Marriage

Foundations of Marriage

By Karen Polich

The Bible lays out the foundations of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7: 1-16. Paul gives a clear picture of a Godly marriage. A God built marriage is centered in Christ and soaked in His Word. Not married yet? Seek God first. Married to a non-believer? Seek God and honor the vows you have taken.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin

On Sunday, Pastor Michael M. Cook shared the biblical outline for the foundations of marriage and three keys areas of a Godly marriage; happiness, harmony and permanency. Listen to the podcast here.

We should experience happiness in a Christian marriage. God was the creator of marriage and established the sanctity and purity of a monogamous relationship. It is between one man and one woman. Happiness comes when we honor our husband or wife above our own desires. If happiness is lacking, we need to go to God in prayer. He is the ultimate authority on marriage.

We should exhibit harmony in Christian marriage. God calls for physical, psychological and spiritual harmony in marriage. Marriage is a partnership. It is meant to be lived out together. When God is at the center, marriage bears fruit. Harmony is essential and needs to be in place in each area. When harmony is lacking, lean into each other and make the effort to bring harmony.

We should expect permanency in Christian marriage. It is a life-long contract, not an experiment. Longevity is part of God’s design. When the Word of God is at the center of marriage, it establishes stability. Make prayer a priority. A God-centered marriage brings serenity into the home.

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. ” – Andre Marios

Allow the Holy Spirit to reign in your life. Make Him the center of your marriage. God has laid out the foundation to build a marriage designed by Him.

Hope in the Midst of Hurting Marriages – Part III

By: Karen Polich with Curtis & Michelle McFadden

God designed more for marriage.

His Word calls husbands to an uncompromising commitment to consideration. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1Peter 3:7)

Pastor Michael Cook continued the “10 Characteristics of Consideration”.
1. Be the spiritual leader.
2. Tenderness.
3. Intimate conversation.
4. Affection.
5. Give her security.
6. Time.
7. Help.
8. Romance.
9. Personal development of her life.
10. Spend time with God.

Curtis and Michelle McFadden share their thoughts.

 

Reflections of a husband.
These sermons grabbed my attention. I was reminded that I need to improve as a husband. My wife is my friend, life partner and lover. Our relationship is second only to my relationship with the Lord. I liked how the ten characteristics of consideration started and finished with God. Husbands need a solid foundation in making important decisions. A strong relationship with God starts with daily time spent with Him. This will allow me to be the spiritual leader in my household, not that my wife cannot, but because God has instructed me to lead my family.

I need to have a routine to date my wife. During our younger years, before marriage and three lovely kids, I wanted to know Michelle as a person. What she liked to do, her favorite foods, hobbies and activities. I just wanted to spend time with her. Time becomes scarce but I cannot make that an excuse. Weekly dates might not always work, but I need to spend time with my wife daily. Have a cup of coffee, talk to her during dinner, pray with her before bedtime, so when the kids are gone and life slows down I will not be sitting in front of a stranger. I need to constantly study and learn the subject of Michelle.

Reflections of a wife.
A recent survey found that on average husbands and wives spend only 37 minutes together a week. I was shocked until I took a look at my own life. With three young children, it takes creativity to spend quality time together. Neither of us can really be a helpmate without quality time. We have been known to put our kids to bed when there is still daylight just to have a date night in our home. These have been special moments when I have seen my confidence build as a woman and truly felt like my husband helped me see the gifts that God has given me. This is why time is so precious to me. Time is all the areas of security, romance and personal development.

Knowing that my husband is called to honor me as we are coheirs in God got me to thinking, “Hurray, bring on the chivalry!” It doesn’t mean I just want him to give in to all I say or think. There will be disagreements. God made us unique. This is where I realized I may not be allowing my husband to honor me. Society tells us to be “superwoman” or “supermom”, that we can do it all and on our own. Not true. I have seen what this does to me and how it hurts my husband as well. As a wife, I should welcome the honor my husband shows me.

I was deeply encouraged to pray for my husband. I would never want his prayers to be hindered. Without that connection to God, it could lead to disaster in our home. I pray his relationship with Christ always stands firm and that it remains a priority.

To listen to Pastor Michael Cook, click here.

 

 

Hope in the Midst of Hurting Marriages – Part II

By: Karen Polich with Matt & Nicole Dobson

What is destroying marriages today? Self-centeredness.

Chaotic and hurting marriages are not what God designed. His Word calls husbands to an uncompromising commitment to consideration. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7)

This week Pastor Cook began to look at what husbands are called to do in marriage. Husbands, consideration is key. It will give insight and understanding.

4 areas of “consideration” for husbands.
1. Be the spiritual leader. You must be IN God’s Word.
2. Show tenderness. You don’t treat your wife the way you treat others.
3. Intimate Conversation. You honor her like nothing else when you listen.
4. Affection. Value her and show her genuine affection.

Husbands, are you studying your wife? Always learning her ways?

Matt and Nicole Dobson share their insight and perspectives on Pastor Cook’s teaching.

Thoughts of a husband.

Nicole & Matt Dobson

Nicole & Matt Dobson

To have an uncompromising commitment to consideration for my wife, I have to be willing to compromise. I have to be able to see through her eyes. Without compromise there can be no consideration, I will only be focused on myself. Pastor Cook’s visual of the cast iron skillet and the fine china plate really put things in perspective. Strong and sturdy versus fragile. As a husband, I am responsible for keeping myself in check. I have to turn off work and turn on being a husband when I get home. Listening to my wife and not focusing on myself and my day is what I should do. A major effect comes from the choice I make. I really studied the end of 1 Peter 3:7, “so that nothing will hinder your prayers”. How I handle my relationship with my wife affects my relationship with God. I am called to treat my wife as I should so that my prayers will not be hindered. It goes back to being the spiritual leader of our relationship. I have always focused my leadership on teaching and continuing my own learning of God’s Word. I haven’t put my focus as a spiritual leader on praying for my wife and our marriage. Dramatic results will come when I am praying for her and for our marriage daily. It is extremely important. For people thinking about marriage, this information is critical. I believe it is equally important to learn what the bible teaches about divorce. God’s Word is clear on what we should and should not do regarding marriage.

Thoughts of a wife.
I was struck by the thought that if my husband is going to study me like a book or school work, then I need to give him something worth studying. Since the sermon, I read Proverbs 31:10-31 where God’s Word talks about a wife of noble character. It is my job to be that kind of wife. It can be tough to remember that the Bible does not instruct me to fix or change my spouse. It can be my first thought, but it isn’t God’s will. We have many relationships on earth, none more important than the one we have with our spouse. Who we choose as a spouse is the most important decision we will ever make.

Listen to Pastor Michael Cook’s full sermon here and learn more.

Hope in the Midst of Hurting Marriages – Part I

By: Karen Polich with Kevin Polich

What is on the other side of marital struggle?

The trouble doesn’t happen overnight, it builds over time with little things. But there is hope! God’s Word calls wives to a personal commitment of submission toward her husband. (1 Peter 3:1-6) This is something a wife chooses. It is hard. It is learned and it is scary. Adoration for a husband brings beauty to a marriage, motivating a husband like nothing else. The perfect picture of submission can be found looking at Christ in Philippians 2: 5-11. Continuing his series, The Other Side of Pain, Pastor Michael Cook began looking at marriage. To hear the sermon, click here.

A wife’s perspective.
Submission, a simple word that creates such a commotion in our culture. Should it? As a wife, God calls me to submit to my husband. Not as a servant or a lesser partner, but with confidence and trust. It is liberating. I can be me, basking in the love of a husband who honors me. My actions speak far louder than my words. I have a choice. How do my actions speak to my husband? I can show him how much I respect him when he chooses to do the right thing. I can honor him with gentleness. Belief in him and his abilities to provide for and lead our family is what I want to display. We are on this journey together, with God at the center. As a wife, I have the opportunity to champion him through my actions.

A husband’s perspective.
What impacted me? Hearing this sermon made me more aware of what our marriage looks like and who my wife chooses to be. It is comforting to see the confidence she has in me, confidence in who I am and what I do. I think the biggest part of this is trust. First, we both have to trust God. When we do this, it becomes easier to follow His plan for our marriage. This is how we work together as true partners.

What about you? What are your thoughts on Pastor Michael Cook’s message?