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13. Commitment

source : www.winwellness.org

Close Emotional Ties

Commitment

           

 

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COMMITMENT

CLOSE EMOTIONAL TIES

 

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Graphic of Dog

Bobbie –The Hero from Scotland

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In 1858 a police officer named John Gray died of tuberculosis and was buried in Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh, Scotland. His little dog, a Skye terrier named Bobby, was so faithfully devoted to his master that he kept watch over his master’s grave day and night for fourteen years until his own death. Bobby would only leave the churchyard once a day. At the sound of Edinburgh Castle’s “one o’clock gun,” the dog would go to the restaurant he had frequented with John Gray and there have lunch with the sergeant who was responsible for firing the cannon.

 

The keeper of the cemetery tried at first to evict Bobby, but in the end he took pity on him. He built a shelter nearby and fed the dog regularly. Bobby never spent a night away from his master’s grave even in the most dismal weather conditions. He was buried just outside the churchyard near his master. The dog had a loyalty, a commitment stronger than death.

 

The dog’s devotion touched people all over Scotland and beyond. Today a bronze statue of Bobby still stands near the Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh.

 

We marvel at the commitment of a pet, but in this chapter we are going to consider a commitment that can be even greater: the commitment of husbands and wives to each other. While there are other kinds of commitment that are also important, such as commitment to children, to God, and to lifework, it is this primary relationship upon which the family is founded that is key to commitment for the rest of life. But is this commitment possible in today’s world?

 

A true love story

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A True Love Story

Kim met Krickitt on the telephone when ordering some sportswear for the soccer team he coached. He liked what he heard . . .

 

More telephone calls, then letters, then face-to-face visits occurred. Love was growing. The day came when he flew from New Mexico to California, went to her apartment, and called her name until she came out on the balcony. He knelt on one knee and held out a bouquet of flowers. “Will you marry me?” Kim asked. A few months later they knelt at the altar in a lovely wedding and promised to join their lives, “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

 

Shortly after their honeymoon, the couple were traveling down a freeway after dark. They drove through a cloud of smoke that limited visibility, crashed into a flat-bed truck, and then were broad-sided by a pickup. Their little car skidded a hundred feet on its roof. Krickitt’s brain was severely damaged, and although her life was saved, the trauma had compromised various brain functions, including her short-term memory, which led to relationship issues.

 

Sadly, Krickitt did not recognize Kim anymore. When shown her wedding picture, she looked at it with a quizzical expression. The occasion and meaning did not register. When she was well enough to go home, she couldn’t recognize anything about their apartment. Another problem was that she acted like an unruly adolescent. Her temper outbursts were completely unlike the Krickitt that Kim had known and loved. Could their brand-new marriage survive this crisis?

 

Circumstances could scarcely have been worse, but in times of shattered dreams, these two were willing to go back to basic unchangeables. Krickitt’s short-term memory wasn’t there, but her long-term memory was. She had grown up believing marriage was forever, and she had promised God to be faithful to her marriage before she ever met Kim. And Kim hung in there as a caretaker in the hospital and in the home. As a coach, Kim had never been a quitter, and he believed in keeping his promises.

 

Kim sought a professional counselor. They dialogued about what made Krickitt fall in love with Kim in the first place. Finally Kim understood his assignment. He would have to start over and win her heart back! He began dating her again. Kim had loved the Krickitt he had known, and he came to love her as the person she had become. He decided every woman should have special moments to remember.

 

On Valentine’s Day, Kim again went down on one knee, gave Krickitt a bouquet of flowers, and asked her to be his bride. If she couldn’t remember their original wedding, he would celebrate another ceremony with her. Three months later they stood again at the altar, and Krickitt held out her hand to Kim and said, “I thank you for being faithful to our original vows, and I pray that I might be the wife that you fell in love with.” Commitment had conquered, and the promise “in sickness or in health, until death do us part” had held firm against all odds.[i]

 

Commitment is a choice.

 

What is the secret of a long, happy marriage?

Let me share with you some interesting news about good marriages that last a long time and what contributed to these happy relationships.

 

Liu Yung-yang, age 103, and his wife Yang Wan, 102, celebrated their eighty-fifth wedding anniversary in 2002. The Taiwanese couple was honored for having the world’s longest marriage. They were certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the couple with the world record for the longest marriage. They held hands as they received the certificate from Guinness at their home in northern Taiwan. About forty of the couple’s 110 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered at their home for the event. They had the distinction of holding the record as having the longest marriage for a living couple and also for having the highest aggregate age of any married couple. Their combined ages totaled 205 years.[ii]

 

Percy Arrowsmith, age 105, and his 100-year-old wife, Florence, celebrated their eightieth anniversary on June 2, 2005, in England. A card sent by Queen Elizabeth read: “What a splendid achievement. I send you my warm congratulations and best wishes for your eightieth wedding anniversary.” Percy and Florence claim the key to their long marriage was to not go to sleep on an argument. They say that at bedtime they always kiss each other and hold hands.

 

John and Amelia Rocchio of Rhode Island, USA, in 2005 celebrated their eighty-second wedding anniversary. John, age 101, said that the secret of a committed life is “patience and understanding” which will get you a long way with your wife! A covenant relationship can grow stronger and more tender with the passing of the years.[iii]

 

David and Lauren Blair of Tennessee, USA, have renewed their marriage vows one hundred times. David said, “We love telling each other we love each other over and over again.”[iv]

 

Did you know that research is proving that marriage is good for your health and promotes longevity of life, as we have discovered in the lives of these four couples?

 

Research on marriage and longevity, parental warmth, and needs

 

 

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RESEARCH

 

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Marriage & Longevity

Starting at a baseline age of 48, if married, 90% of the men will still be alive at 65. If unmarried, 60% of men will be alive at age 65.

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Married women tend to be healthier than single women. A study found wives were about 30 percent more likely “to rate their health excellent or very good than the same-aged single women were and almost 40% less likely to say their health is only fair or poor. For women, wedlock increases the likelihood of surviving to old age from about 80% to more than 90%.”[v]

 

Marriage is a good thing. It started long ago in the Garden of Eden and still is part of God’s plan for us today. God gave Adam a wife who was his companion and best friend. After sin it was for better or for worse; it was to be a lifelong commitment. When married, contented, and satisfied with our companion, our joyful moments increase the endorphins in our bloodstream and contribute to a healthy life. When nutritious meals are prepared for each other and eaten together, this contributes to a healthy life. When one is down and discouraged and the other encourages, this contributes to health. Even if one is ill and the other helps care for him/her, this contributes to a longer and healthier life.

 

When Millie was very sick for months with cancer, John her husband fought for her life. She would never have made it without him. Yes, marriage is a good thing.

 

A marriage following God’s Garden of Eden plan brings happiness to husbands and wives. It also creates an environment of love where children sense warmth and acceptance. Scientific studies document that when children sense warmth from their parents, these children will be healthier.

 

 

 

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Chart of Midlife Health as Related to Childhood Parental Warmth

 

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A Harvard study by Dr. Stanley King and others randomly chose 126 healthy male students from Harvard classes and followed them for thirty-five years with detailed medical and psychological histories. Only 47 percent of those who perceived that they had had a warm, close relationship in childhood with both mother and father had diagnosed diseases in midlife. By contrast, 100 percent of men who perceived that they had low warmth and closeness with both parents had diagnosed diseases in midlife. Note the tremendous impact of warmth and closeness on biological health.[vi]

 

Marrieds are not as lonely as singles. A study on loneliness across seventeen nations found that marriage is associated with lower levels of loneliness than singleness.[vii] Whether single or married, we all have a special need—a need to be loved. In marriage there is a live-in companion, an anti-loneliness friend who loves us.

 

Happiness in marriage is not so much about attempting to get one’s needs satisfied as it is about reaching out to meet one’s spouse’s true needs. This keeps the couple connected and the relationship strong.

 

Willard F. Harley, Jr., a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist, found that husbands and wives expressed the following needs in marriage:

 

 

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HER NEEDS

1. Affection

2. Conversation

3. Honesty & Openness

4. Financial Support

5. Family Commitment

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

 

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According to Dr. Harley, the husbands tended to sense the following needs in marriage:

 

 

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HIS NEEDS

1. Sexual Fulfillment

2. Recreational Companionship

3. Attractive Spouse

4. Domestic Support

5. Admiration

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

 

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These needs may not be needs of all couples, since some couples have other specific needs. So, husbands and wives need to ask themselves the question, what am I doing to meet the perceived needs of my spouse? Couples must not only want to meet each other’s needs, they must actually try to meet them.

 

 

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“My primary goal in marital therapy changed from resolving conflicts to restoring love. If I knew how to restore love, I reasoned, then conflict resolution might not be as much of an issue.” 

 

 

 

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D.

 

Dr. Harley after many years of offering marital therapy came to a summary conclusion.”[viii]

           

Building close emotional ties       

 

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How do you go about building emotional closeness and intimacy in marriage?

  • By being there when your companion needs you the most.

 

 

                                                     

 

 

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  • By gaining the victory over selfishness.
  • By making deposits in your marriage relationship bank account.

 

 

We encourage couples to have a “knee to knee, eye to eye” intimate talk time about the needs each one has and how they can better meet each other’s felt needs.

 

Perhaps the greatest way of meeting emotional needs is by being there when the husband/wife needs you the most—to help when there is too much to do or things are difficult to handle. When we do that, it can express real, unselfish love, which is what marriage is all about. This is an essential high priority for a happy marriage relationship.

 

Today the number-one problem in marriage is selfishness. If I’m so preoccupied with meeting my needs that I don’t have time to think about your needs, then our marriage may not be totally fulfilling and could be in trouble. If wives are precious, what kinds of unselfish acts might husbands do for them? These include: taking time to communicate, planning family events, making decisions together, giving affectionate hugs, helping with the home chores, providing financial security. What are selfish reasons that might prevent loving acts? These include: “I need to be on the computer,” “I have to watch the game,” “I’m tired.” Think about it. It is the same for the wife. Is she willing to give up time or energy for her husband? To join him at some recreational activity, visit the in-laws, fix nutritious meals, dress attractively for him, be romantic? It is a love choice to give up selfish wants to meet the needs of the beloved. Consider praying together as a couple that God will assist you in making unselfish, loving choices that will help to meet each other’s needs.

 

Jim went with his wife, Jill, to a counselor. They were told to write down eight needs they each had. Jim wrote (1) sex, (2) sex, (3) sex. If only Jim could forget about his own hormone level for a little bit and focus on his wife, their marriage could be enriched. And if Dr. Harley’s list is right and Jim begins to make a real effort to meet her needs of affection, conversation, openness, financial support and commitment, he might be surprised to find her responding more to his sexual desires, making herself more attractive, affirming him with words of appreciation and admiration. Life is a boomerang. What you throw out to others is what comes back to you.

 

Steven Covey uses the phrase “emotional bank account” to represent the quality of the relationship we have with others.[ix] We can make deposits, and we can make withdrawals. If we criticize or belittle our spouse, we are making a withdrawal in the level of trust. But if we build up the other person, help and understand them, we are increasing the level of trust and communication. Relationships will thrive when there are generous deposits in the account. Why should the emotional bank account run on empty or even be overdrawn, when it is so easy and satisfying to make deposits?

 

Marriage—the ultimate commitment

Those who say “I do” in a public ceremony make a very different decision than do two people who cohabit or others who “hook up” with someone without a relationship. Those who marry make a deliberate, careful choice. By participating in a public ceremony and invoking the blessings of God, they voluntarily impose limits on themselves, taking formal responsibility for a spouse and children. More than that, they commit themselves to mutual support, announcing to the wider community that they are committed to each other for life.[x]

 

Commitment is the glue that keeps a couple together during times of adjustment and adversity. Marriage is a school where maturity takes place and characters are polished and improved.

 

In this time of serial monogamy, casual shacking up and easy divorce, the choice of monogamous fidelity may seem to be revolutionary. It is as if God is saying, “Here are all these men or women out there. Choose any one you want, but that is it!”

 

From this day forward: singles’ chastity and marrieds’ fidelity

 

 

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Single Time

 

 

Singleness is a viable option for those who choose not to marry. Mother Teresa, Paul, Jeremiah, and even Jesus did not marry. Some of the great men and women of history have been married to a cause, and having a spouse might have detoured them from what they felt to be their calling. Some go through a stage in their service for others when they feel called to singleness, but then in a new situation God calls them to the ministry of marriage. For their particular case, a joint ministry may become a greater blessing to humanity than their single ministry would have been.

 

But in the Lord, singleness means chastity. While single you may be preparing for marriage—preparing by being an interesting, happy, skillful, joyful, and financially secure person. For men this may mean preparing for a livelihood that will provide for a family, getting an education, and perhaps some travel until, like Adam, you find your missing rib—the right person you have been looking for.

 

The Bible speaks about marriage

In the biblical book Song of Solomon[xi] the bride says that her beloved is “like an apple tree.” She is no longer dreaming about all the trees in the orchard, but just one. And he answers that his beloved is “like a lily among thorns.” She is the only one he sees.

 

 

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What the Bible says about Marriage

         The groom is “like an apple tree.” --Song of Solomon (2:3)

         The bride is “like a lily among thorns.” (2:2)

 

After the record of the first marriage in the Garden of Eden, the Bible says,

 

 

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The Eden Formula for Marriage

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Genesis 2:24

 

 

When Jesus quoted this verse He added, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”[xii] Some have made mistakes along the way in relationships. God is merciful. He forgives. But now in our new life He calls us to faithfulness, mental and physical fidelity, and sexual exclusivity from this day forward. A woman’s heart, a man’s heart, can allow for no rivals.

 

Finding the right person to be committed to for the rest of your life is an enormous personal decision and responsibility with gigantic consequences—good or bad—and should not be taken lightly. For those who are single, pray a lot about your selection of a partner, since the selection of a life companion is one of the most important decisions of life.

 

Marriage is a blessing of God, filling two hearts with the magic of love. Would you like to join Elizabeth Barrett Browning in saying, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”? Why not write a tender letter to your beloved and let her/him read it by candlelight at a romantic moment or have pillow talk about your love relationship, sharing what you appreciate about each other—like “I am so thankful for you and that God brought you into my life; you are just the right person for me. You are always so kind to me even when I make mistakes. I love you so much.”

 

Beware! an enemy of marriage

Satan is an enemy of happy marriages and finds joy in breaking up families by putting infatuation spells on unsuspecting marrieds. His greatest tool is tempting individuals with almost irresistible urges. He traps young teens, older teens, young adults, and even their parents and grandparents. He tempts the rich, the uneducated, and the very educated—no one is exempt from his alluring temptations. We call it the beautiful, sweet mystery of iniquity that tastes so good but ends up so bitter in ruined and broken families, alienated relationships, and separation from God. Satan smirks and is pleased when men and women fall into his snares.

 

When you are tempted, pray a lot and ask God to put a protecting hedge around you and your family. But you need more than prayer—you need two feet to run away fast.

 

One married man and some male friends were in a hotel elevator going to the floor of their rooms. All of a sudden the man pushed an elevator button to exit on a floor below the floor of his room and raced out of the elevator. His friends wondered what had happened. Later they found him walking on the beach, and he confessed to his Christian friends that a prostitute had just gotten on the elevator and he had to get out of there—fast. He won the victory.

 

God is able to protect us in our relationships if we truly desire to be protected. He knows Satan’s tactics. He is merciful, kind, and loving. God is able to give us victory in times of temptation.

 

Remember that your relationship with your husband/wife offers stability in an uncertain world. It gives strength and security to your children. It is the best for your society, your community, and your church. Keeping your marriage healthy and vibrant should be a top priority in your life. Avoid allowing yourself to be put into temptation’s way.

 

The commitment you make to one another and to God is an ongoing one. You have to continually remind yourself of the importance of this primary relationship. If you daily keep God’s presence in the center of your marriage, your relationship will be so much stronger, happier, and more fulfilling.

 

At times in life we may have made mistakes and have yielded to inappropriate behavior. But if we sincerely ask forgiveness, God will pardon. Remember Jesus told Mary, “Go and sin no more.” He will empower us to “walk in newness of life.”

 

The sex revolution—physical and cultural consequences

“Hooking up,” “shacking up,” or one-night flings are popular with many and are also a great way to get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the US tell us that more than nineteen million cases of STDs are reported annually. Adolescents and young adults (15–24) are the age group at the greatest risk, comprising 50 percent of the total. Diseases include human papilloma virus, herpes virus, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Some diseases leave the female sterile and unable to bear children, and others can cause cervical cancer. These diseases are now more difficult to treat with antibiotics since viruses and bacteria are becoming increasingly drug resistant.[xiii]

These problems bring untold human suffering in every region of the globe. An estimated 1.3 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2009. Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic. The region has just over 12 percent of the world’s population but is home to 68 percent of all people living with HIV. An estimated 1.8 million adults and children became infected with HIV during 2009, contributing to a total of 22.5 million people living with HIV in the region. Adult HIV prevalence varies considerably across sub-Saharan Africa, from 0.2 percent of the population in Madagascar to almost 26 percent in Swaziland.[xiv] People in the prime of life become sick. The children who should be nurtured by them have had to assume a new role as caregivers of their parents and ultimately are left as orphans. It is a tragedy that is changing the demography of many lands.

 

Marriage and family—God’s way

Now let’s look at God’s plan for marriage. First of all, it is a good and healthy plan. There is a natural longing for a companion in those who are alone. Ever since the Garden of Eden,[xv] when God took a rib out of Adam and created Eve, all of earth’s Adams have been searching for their missing rib—the right companion. Which rib was it? Some say it was the one closest to the heart. Actually it was the “prime rib”!

 

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 

 

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Ÿ“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9

Ÿ “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

 

Then the chapter gives three reasons a “twosome” is better than a “onesome”:

  1. If one falls, there will be a companion to help him get up.
  2. On cold winter nights, there is someone to snuggle up to in order to keep warm.
  3. If one is verbally attacked by someone, it’s good to have a companion there to help defend you from the attacker. When there are two, you can stick up for each other.

 

But then Solomon makes a curious statement. After making three arguments for a twosome, he suddenly switches and says: “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

 

It has been said that the rope in the service of Her Majesty’s navy can be identified by the scarlet thread that runs through the line. Similarly, the excellence of biblical Christian marriage is marked not by just two strands, but by a third strand—a safety strand, if you please—that holds the other two together and gives them strength against the uncertainties of life. That scarlet safety strand is Jesus.

 

Let’s go back again and look at the original formula for marriage as found in the first book of the Bible. It is both beautiful and simple.

 

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The Eden Formula for Marriage

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Genesis 2:24

 

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In modern words we call being joined to, love. Leaving means wedlock. One flesh means sex.

Let’s go back again and look at the original formula for marriage as found in the first book of the Bible.  It is both beautiful and simple.

Let’s look at this in a diagram.

 

 

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Graphic of Leaving, Cleaving and One Flesh

 

 

 

 

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Graphic of Modern Meaning of Genesis 2:24: Love, Wedlock, Sex  (Walter Trobisch)

 

 

The three points of the triangle are Love, Wedlock, and Sex. The question is: At what corner do a man and woman enter this triangle? Does sex come first? Wedlock? Love? For the safety of society, the entry should be made from love and then move simultaneously toward wedlock and sex, but always in faithfulness and tenderness.

 

 

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Love, Wedding and Sexuality in Marriage . . .

Are God’s Special Gifts

 

 

 

 

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Ÿ Sex is not man’s idea

Ÿ God invented sex, so He has the right to command how it is used.

Ÿ Sex was made to be shared within the covenant of heterosexual marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

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But remember . . .God’s Plan for Sexuality is meant for . . .

  • the right time
  • the right place
  • the right person

 

 

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The Bible is clear about sex.

   “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” Hebrews 13:4

   The 10 Commandments say: “You shall not commit adultery” Exodus 20:14

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And by the way, there is an interesting by-product of marital fidelity. Lyinda Waite of the University of Chicago states: “The data clearly show commitment increases sexual pleasure for both sexes.”

And by the way, there is an interesting byproduct of marital fidelity. Linda Waite of the University of Chicago states: “The data clearly show commitment increases sexual pleasure for both sexes.”[xvi]

 

 

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Commitment to your “one and only”

Ÿ Your oneness with spouse symbolizes your oneness with Christ

Ÿ It can allow no rivals

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The bond between a husband and wife is sacred. When this bond is protected and honored, there is profound blessing. The impact of this blessing extends beyond the husband and wife, bringing peace, stability and financial rewards to the children, the couple’s parents, and the extended family. God desires to reveal, through strong marriages, a symbol of your oneness with Christ.

 

 

 

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It is a relationship of love, purity and loyalty.

It is a relationship of priorities and Commitment. 

First Commitment to God, Second—until marriage—a Commitment to our Parents, Third a Commitment to our Spouse “until death do us part,” and Fourth a Commitment to our Children.

 

 

 

 

God’s plan for marriage is “until death do us part.” That takes real commitment, lots of patience, love when at times you don’t feel like it. This takes working at problems, it takes handling disagreements and sometimes unfaithfulness, it takes not having my way, sometimes lacking enough money, many trials, forgiveness, unselfishness, and more.

 

No marriage is perfect. Most couples do have to work together on problem areas and sometimes get counseling help. One young wife who had been separated from her husband for six months because of minor problems, met a couple who seemed to have a perfect marriage. They shared, “We have to work at our relationship: there is no perfect man or woman out there to marry. Always there is some adjusting and problem solving in marriage!” To this the young wife responded, “Well, I guess I better go back to the husband I have and start working with him on our present marriage.”

 

They started dating again, took some tests for married couples, had counseling, and recommitted their lives to each other. The end of the story? They are now proud parents of twin girls and are happily married.

 

The blessings of marriage include fun times, joy moments, and a sense of fulfillment; also the satisfaction that you have done your best, beautiful memories, years in the school of marital education, a companionship for life, adventurous experiences, and possibly children you brought into this world who are making a difference, along with lots of other pluses.

 

 

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Graphic of Jay B and Hattie McCall married 72 years, in their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, U.S.A.

 

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When Jay B. and Hattie said “I do” seventy-two years ago, they were deeply in love, and it was for keeps right from the start. As Jay B. was interviewed about their many years of marriage, he was asked, “Do you still love her?” The quick response with total sincerity was, “Every bit of her.” And Hattie shared that they made it because from the very beginning they were committed to each other. It was “for richer or for poorer.” There were times in their lives that it was “for richer” and other times it was “for poorer.” They did not always agree and had to work at their relationship, but they made it until “death did them part,” when Jay B. passed away at about age ninety.

Making your marriage all it can be

Marriage is a good thing. If you are married, enjoy what you have and keep working at the relationship so that it will get better all the time. Appreciate and cultivate what you have. Express your love feelings by loving acts. Make your marriage all that it can be—a beautiful life-long experience.

 

For those who are not married, your life can be a blessing. God is actively guiding you with the talents He created within you. Singleness is an important calling, whether it is a temporary stage of life or a permanent stage. Regardless of the reason for your singleness, whether personal choice, circumstances, education, divorce, or death, commit your life to God. Covenant to a life of purity and faithfulness to Your Creator.

 

 

faithfulness to Your Creator.

 

 

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Prayer

Lord, thank You for marriage, for the partner You have given us for life, and for Your divine plan that made this happiness possible. 

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Bless us with a beautiful love relationship that grows to newer intimate heights with each passing year.  We dedicate ourselves to making our marriage all You want it to be.  Amen.

 

 

 

Reflect/Discuss

 

 

 

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Reflect/Discuss

 

1. What is the secret of a long, happy marriage? Identify characteristics of some couples you know who have blended their lives in a vibrant, satisfying, beautiful marriage relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

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Reflect/Discuss

2. Does a relationship with God have anything to do with having a more fulfilled, exciting, happy marriage? Discuss.

 

3. Share positive characteristics of your spouse or special friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflect/Discuss

4. What do sexual relations have to do with commitment? Reflect on 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 and share your thoughts with someone.

 

 

Singles Reflect/Discuss

                                                                                                                                                           

 

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Singles Reflect/Discuss

  1. How do you think a single woman should prepare for marriage and the responsibilities that go with marriage?
  2. How should a single man prepare for marriage and the responsibilities that go with marriage?

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                           

 

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Singles Reflect/Discuss

  1. What qualities would you most desire in the person whom you would like as your life companion?

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Reflections

 

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Personal Reflections

1.   If married, how do you go about meeting each other’s emotional needs as a couple?

2.   What do you appreciate about your husband/wife? Make a list separately and share “knee to knee” on a romantic evening.

 

 

 

 

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Personal Reflections

3.   If single, what kinds of relationship activities can you be involved in that will enrich your life and the lives of others? Keep praying for the right companion.

 

 

        

 

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Intentionality

___ For the married: I will show my wife or husband my deep love by____________

___ For the single person: My plan is to enrich my life to the highest possible level, become financially stable, and live an interesting, happy life until God indicates He has some other plan for me. Goals I want to reach: _______________

 

 

 

 

Supplementary

 

PowerPoint© Slide 36 

Recommitment Vows

“I take you to be my wedded Husband/Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to honor, till death do us part.”

 

 

 

 

 

     

Enrich your relationship activities

Plan a special couple event each month. Alternate the planning responsibility between him and her.

 

For Married Couples

 

Month 1 ________

Month 2 ________

Month 3 ________

Month 4 ________

He plans _____________

Date_________

She plans _____________

Date_________

He plans _____________

Date_________

She plans _____________

Date_________

 

For Singles

Plan some kind of social events with one person or a group of single friends. This group may be all women, all men, or mixed. Friends become a social support and are extremely important in times of need or crisis. Make the event a social fun time.

 

Month 1 ________

Month 2 ________

Month 3 ________

Month 4 ________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage Commitment Enrichment Evenings

Invite a few couples to your home for a Marriage Commitment Enrichment fun night. Commitment activities may be accessed from the Pressing Forward DVD at the end of the Commitment topic. Such couple gatherings may become a monthly or quarterly event.

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 37

“CLOSE EMOTIONAL TIES”

The End

Slide29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[i]. Susan Wales and Ann Platz, A Match Made in Heaven (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1999), 242–246.

[ii]. “Taiwanese Couple Have World’s Longest Marriage,” BBC News World Edition, Nov. 4, 2002,  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2398463.stm.

[iii]. “82 Years of ‘I do’—World’s Longest Marriage?” msnbc.com, June 29, 2005, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8405716/ns/us_news/t/years-i-do-worlds-longe....

[iv]. David Moye, “Lauren And David Blair Set World Record By Marrying Each Other 100 Times,” Huffington Post, Oct. 3, 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/couple-sets-world-record-for-ma....

[v]. Ibid, 49.

[vi]. Dean Ornish, MD, Love & Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and Health (New York: HarperCollins, 1998), 32–35.

[vii]. Steven Stack and J. Ross Eshleman, “Marital Status and Happiness: A 17-Nation Study,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 60, no. 2 (May 1998): 527–536.

[viii]. Willard F. Harley Jr., Fall in Love, Stay in Love (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001), 13, Emphasis supplied.

[ix]. Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (New York: Golden Books, 1997), 45, 46.

[x]. Wu, Zheng. “Premarital Cohabitation and the Timing of First Marriage,” The Canadian Review of Sociology 36, no. 1 (February 1999): 109–127. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-618X.1999.tb01272.x.

[xi]. Song of Solomon 2:2, 3.

[xii]. Matthew 19:6.

[xiii]. “Trends in Reportable Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States, 2006,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/std/stats06/trends2006.htm.

[xiv]. “Worldwide HIV & AIDS Statistics, Global HIV and AIDS estimates, 2009 and 2010,” AVERT, http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm on 02-17-2011.

[xv]. Genesis 2:20–25.

[xvi]. Waite and Gallagher, The Case for Marriage, 85.

 

 

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