Tag Archives: marriage

New Marriage Life Group

Love-Does-Web.jpg

As we prepare for the summer, we will be starting a new marriage 5 week study entitled Love Does buy Bob Goff. Life Group begins April 20, and continues thru May 18.

  1. April 20-I’m with You
  2. April 27-Free to Fall
  3. May 4 -Audacious Love
  4. May 11 -Be Not Afraid
  5. May 18-Follow Me

Book are $12 order by April 13

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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The Best Marriages are The Best Friendships!

I received this email from Jimmy Evans’ Marriage Today. I thought I would share with you. Very insightful.

The best marriages are built upon a foundation of good friendship. Before anything romantic happens, friendship needs to be present. You have to have good will toward each other. That’s what friendship means.

There are seven steps to becoming best friends with your spouse:

Be faithful. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Good times are great, but going through hard times together can truly strengthen a relationship.

You can’t just be your spouse’s friend when it’s convenient. Your friendship is forged during times of adversity. That’s when you learn to trust each other. That’s when you pay the most attention. A friend loves at all times.

Believe in each other. You’ll never be friends with someone who doesn’t believe in you. One of the reasons God created marriage was to bring humans to their full potential. That’s one of the things men and women do for each other.

One day we will stand before Jesus and give an account of what we’ve done for our spouse. Have you brought him or her to their full potential? Find out why God created your spouse and then help him or her get there. When you have two people in a marriage who believe in each other, you become best friends.

Embrace each other’s differences. A friend who rejects you will not be your friend for very long. Compatibility is based on character and values, not on sameness. That means your husband or wife may be very different from you.

Will you celebrate those differences or reject them? Do you spend your time training your spouse to become more like you? Or praising him for being unique?

Be real and transparent. Friendship means being honest. Your spouse needs to know your heart, your thoughts, and your perspective. And you must allow your spouse the same right. Closing parts of yourself off from your spouse can build a barrier against intimacy and trust.

Be a safe place. Every husband needs to be his wife’s refuge, and vice versa. Your best friend is the person you call when something great or terrible happens. Why? Because they are safe. Because you depend on them. Because you know they’re going to celebrate good news and be encouraging when you’re facing bad news.

Be fun and creative. Remember, “a man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Having fun in marriage dramatically improves your relationship. In fact, one of the danger signs in a marriage is when a husband and wife stop having fun together. Husbands and wives need to enter into each other’s worlds and spend time laughing, playing, and enjoying each other’s company.

Bear each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2 says carrying each other’s burdens fulfills the law of Christ. A friend will not sit by and watch another friend do something without offering to help. It should be the same within marriage. Serve each other. Help each other. Don’t stand back and watch your spouse suffer.

The healthiest marriages are built on a foundation of friendship. It makes everything else easier, but you have to work at it. If you’re not best friends with your spouse now, then decide to become that. Ask God to bring you closer as you pursue these steps together.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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Bliss Life Group

When you said “I do” what did you think was going to happen?

Art-of-Marriage-Banner1

You found out this “married thing” was actually pretty tough at times. Your marriage obviously does not look like everyone else’s marriage. That is why you have a very unique marriage. No two marriages are alike. Your marriage is like an art canvas that will be painted on for a lifetime.

We will host a life group beginning this Wednesday, Feb 24. Each lesson will be for 60 minutes from 6:30-7:30 pm. We will be interacting with each other and viewing a study video consisting of 25-30 minutes.

Did you know that 1 in 7 marriages begins on-line today?

Top reasons people marry: Love 91%, Companionship 88%, Lifelong Commitment 82%, Security for children79%, Public Commitment %77, Legacy of Financial Status 66%, Religious Beliefs 62%, Family Pressure 50%, Desire for a Special Occasion 48%.

Children quotes about marriage:

“When I get married I want to marry someone who is tall and handsome and rich and hates spinach as much as me”, Gwen, age 9

“I want to get married but not right away yet, because I can’t cross the street by myself yet”, Arnold, age 6

“First she has to like pizza, then she has to like cheesecake, after that she has to like fudge candy, then I know our marriage will last a lifetime”, Bobby, age 9.

If it were just that simple. I am praying for all your marriages that God may bring you into a closer relationship to Himself and to each other.

marriage-triangle

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Marriage and Ministry

I am posting a recent blog post from Ed Stetzer. Enjoy.

Marriage and Ministry

Ministry marriages don’t succeed by accident. It takes effort. |
Marriage and Ministry

Marriage advice can be a bit overwhelming. But, you need it. Although most of the doomsday stats about pastors are not true (that they all hate the ministry and want to quit), ministry does put stress on a marriage.

In my most stream-of-consciousness column ever, allow my to share a few things that Donna and I have seen after almost thirty years of a ministry marriage.

1. Marriage is worth the investment.

Yes, it is an investment. I know that it is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I’m thankful for a strong marriage.

Ironically, you have to invest in a marriage for it to be worth the investment. It sounds strange, but it’s true—it takes continual investment on the investment.

I’ve seen “perfect” couples—like some we knew in high school and college—get married, drift apart, and end up divorced. We have not. It’s not because we are perfect, it’s because we work hard.

You have to make investments while serving in ministry to get the return on investment you want.

2. Choosing your marriage partner is the most important human decision you will ever make. 

Not to go all Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on you, but you must choose wisely in marriage. That begins with who you marry, if you in fact get married.

I’ve seen many miserable ministry marriages. A big part of that misery relates to bad marriage choices. My wife was/is beautiful, but that’s a really bad foundation upon which to build a marriage.

Instead, I’m thankful that as a ministry marriage, we are in this together. She, and we, have a joy in what we are doing. You simply can’t have a successful ministry marriage if you have not chosen one another wisely.

You have to make investments while serving in ministry to get the return on investment you want.

3. Most fights are over stupid things that don’t matter. 

When I was younger I always wanted to prove my point. It’s more important to prove your love. You do that by not arguing over stupid things. Note: most arguments are from stupid things, over stupid things, and including saying stupid things.

Most arguments are resolved when both people are more concerned with being in a relationship than with being right. I’m amazed at how many times I thought I was right. I had to be right. I had to show her I was right. And, let me say, that’s just wrong. It’s dumb. And it does not work.

In all marriages, you don’t sweat the small stuff. And, it’s mostly small stuff.

4. Sex is essential to a marriage relationship. 

It’s not everything, but when you value and prioritize it, your intimacy impacts your relationship. Sex does not just happen. It, too, is something you work at. It’s fun to do the work, though!

5. Practices (like date nights, long conversations, and trips together) make your marriage stronger. 

Some of these are essential—you need a regular date night if you are married. If you can’t afford dinner, you can walk in a park. You won’t have a strong marriage if you don’t act like you are married. If you’ve forgotten how to be married, then act like your dating until it all comes back to you.

6. Kids are awesome, but they stress your marriage. 

I’m a pretty obsessive parent. I love my kids. I spend time with them. They are a treasure. But they also make marriage more complicated and stressful. Kids should know that your marriage is your first priority. The most important thing you can pass on to your children might be not be what you give them, but the marriage you show them.

7. Never go to bed angry.

Yes, that’s true for everyone according to Ephesians 4:26, but stretching an argument into two days usually leads to stretching it longer. Then bitterness sets in.

You can’t really settle most arguments if you are not willing to just say, “We may not agree, but we can forgive and move on.” (See number 5.)

Kids should know that your marriage is your first priority.

8. You need Jesus. 

I started dating Donna because of her faith. She had shared her faith with the girls in her neighborhood, came to the Bible study I was leading in high school, and loved the Lord deeply. She still does. When we put Jesus at the center, everything else revolved around Him well.

I really love being married. Without a strong marriage, everything else in my life suffers. And I am well aware that such a marriage is not always so easy for many couples.

However, I learned that—in our marriage—I was the cause of many of the challenges and conflicts. Donna was the cure.

Either way, we have learned a lot. We are still learning. But, maybe you can be encouraged by our experience.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Marriage on the decline

Today’s post comes from USA Today:

Regan: Marriage is going out of style

Trish Regan, Special for USA TODAY

Updated 11h ago

It’s June — the time of year when we’re supposed to hear wedding bells. You know the drill: The invitations start pouring in and you find yourself scrambling to order gifts from registries and block off summer weekends to attend ceremonies and parties.

Trish Regan is an anchor at Fox Business Network and a columnist at USA TODAY. (Photo: Dave Cross)

Only, this year, there aren’t quite as many invitations. And next year, there will be even fewer.

According to the Pew Research Center, the American marriage rate hit a rock bottom of 50.3% in 2013, down from 50.5% the previous year. Compare that to 1960, when 72.2% of Americans married. Meanwhile, a new finding by the forecasting firm Demographic Intelligence, suggests marriage rates will continue falling into next year as Millennials choose to opt out of traditional relationships.

Marriage is going out of style and that’s a problem. An economic one.

This decline in marriage is the last thing a fragile economy needs. Historically, a rising household formation rate has contributed to America’s financial success. People meet, they marry, they buy a home, they have children and they buy more things. One new household adds an estimated $145,000 to the U.S. economy thanks to the ripple effect of construction spending, home improvements and repairs.

That ripple effect is disappearing as Millennials increasingly chose to live at home. In 2012, 45% of 18- to 30-year-olds lived with older family members, up from 39% in 1990 and 35% in 1980. The Atlanta Fed says, “The decline in household formations is the main reason why the housing industry did not play its traditional role of driving the economic recovery.”

Marriage and family also provides a sense of stability that encourages prosperity — especially for men. According to an American Enterprise Institute study by economists Robert Lerman and Brad Wilcox, young married men, ages 28-30 make, on average, $15,900 more than their single peers, while married men ages 33-46 make $18,800 more than unmarried men.

In a world of online dating and hook up apps like Tinder, where singles can browse pictures of nearby people they want to meet, society and government alike no longer seem to place as much value on the institution of marriage. Indeed, 41% of babies born today are born to single mothers — that’s 2.5 times as high as reported in 1980 and 19 times as high as in 1940. Americans are also having far fewer children — nearly half of child-bearing age women did not have kids in 2014, the most since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking this stat in 1976.

While there are plenty of reasons for individuals to fear marriage — the poor job market, rising housing costs and high divorce rates, the U.S. government is doing its fair share to compound the problem, discouraging people from marrying through misguided, outdated and senseless tax policy.

Working couples tying the knot this June will get hit with a higher tax bill come April 15 because two incomes often put a married couple in a higher tax bracket than they’d be in as individuals living together. Add to that advantages single parents have in taking standard deductions for children and phaseouts for tax benefits that kick in at lower limits for couples than they do individuals and you have a tax policy that hardly encourages marriage.

Marriage may not be for everyone but the statistics tend to prove that it’s a strong predictor of healthier lives for the couples themselves and for their children especially. It’s also a better path to financial well-being and good for the overall economic health of the country. Bizarrely, our government’s tax policy has done nothing to encourage marriage and everything to discourage it. At the very least, economic policy should not penalize people for marriage.

It’s time for Washington to step up to the plate and do away with marriage penalties. And it’s time for couples — when and if they meet the right person — to start saying “I do.”

Trish Regan is the Host of “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan” airing daily starting today at 2 p.m. ET on the Fox Business Network. Reach her on Twitter at @Trish_Regan.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

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imarriage seminar

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Beginning on Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015, Lucy & I will be leading couples through a new marriage seminar entitled imarriage. I am excited to teach this all important study by Andy Stanley.

Here is a small description: Standing at the altar, we all had a picture of what our marriage would look like. The problem is this picture of marriage results in expectations that we unload on our spouse. The weight of these expectations can rob your marriage of love and joy. As a spouse you never feel like you measure up and you never feel like you are good enough. So what are you to do with your expectations? You can’t deny them, because most expectations started out as God-given desires. This series explains that you must learn to transform your expectations and look to God if you are to experience marriage as it was designed.

Our families are under heavy attack in our culture today. The family nucleus begins with the marriage. Without a covenant marriage, the family suffers. When the family suffers, society in general suffer as well. Confusion sets in over the smallest of all concerns like, “what is the definition of marriage?” It seems pretty simple that a marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. But now with 51 gender options available on Facebook, its no wonder there is so much confusion. Gender is a role, not a sex option, which is what you are at birth. Therefore it is agreed that you are male or female for a question like “what sex are you?”, but when it comes to a gender role, society says you can be anything you want to be.

So, without going further into more details, I think you can see the real issue is the identity of a marriage. We as Christians should hold to the Biblical view of a marriage being exclusive to one male married to one female for life. If we can determine that, then the family has a fighting chance to succeed. That is why my wife and I go to great lengths to do marriage enrichment and marriage coaching whenever we can. It is important!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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