“My Beloved is Mine”–the Powerful Partnership of Marriage

Delivered by Jill Parker, Seminar, Springfield Gardens, November 2008

MY BELOVED IS MINE

God’s Plan for a Great Marriage for You

Saturday, Session 1 – Paul to Husbands and Wives: “Submitting to one another in the love of Christ” – Ephesians 5

Session 2 – Loving Each Other on the Big Issues

Sunday, Class, “My Beloved in Mine” – Making your Marriage Rich and Sweet

Sermon: Your Marriage and First Corinthians 13: God’s Plan for a Better Way

WOMEN’S NOTES BY DR. JILL PARKER

Saturday: Loving Each Other on the Big Issues

ALL ABOUT LISTENING WELL

Big Issues are: God; personal relationships such as children, parents, friends; finance; work; sex

Back to the basics:

  1. God created men and women with different needs and different ways of communicating and feeling.
  2. He also created the divine institution of marriage where their different needs and roles meld perfectly for a harmonious, happy, glorifying life in His kingdom and His world.
  3. We need to understand God’s plan, ourselves and our needs, and those of our mate.
  4. Then we can thoughtfully and devotedly meet the many challenges of that extraordinary relationship.

TODAY WE WILL FOCUS ON LISTENING. Listening is 50% of the communication process in an ideal relationship.  Listening is active. “Listening” to the needs of ourselves and our mates and thoughtfully interacting will be a great help in working through the Big Issues. Listen to understand. I plan to incorporate tips on what I have read over the past 5 months on this subject.

Some roots of the problem:

  1. God created man and woman to be different but to complement each other and meet each other’s needs.
  2. Assume your mate is a good person and has good intentions all the time, even when they may act differently some of the time. 1 Cor. 13:7
  3. Realize that God will bless you when you do what is right in a marriage. Gal 6:9; 1 Cor. 7:16; Matt. 5:11-12
  • Here are some general comments about the differences, but don’t over-generalize because everyone is different. The Myers-Briggs personality analysis should help along with your own observations.
  • His needs5: sexual fulfillment; recreational companionship; an attractive spouse; domestic support; admiration
    • Her needs5: affection; conversation; honesty and openness; financial support; family commitment
  • People express love differently and need love shown in different ways: words of affirmation; quality time; receiving gifts; acts of service; physical touch2
  • Eggerich’s “Love and Respect” series3 is based on the Ephesians 5 passage and emphasizes that most women really want to feel loved and most men want to feel respected.  But Cracking the Communication Code, the title of their latest book, takes some thought and listening skills.  Men and women don’t express things in the same way.

There are often 3 cycles in a marriage3 that are based on showing love and respect the way the spouses can understand it:

  1. The Crazy Cycle: Without his love, she reacts without respect and without her respect, he reacts without love.3 – miscommunication where perhaps the woman criticizes hoping to motivate love and the man retreats, which the wife interprets as unloving.  This just makes everything work in reverse.  Communication is a lot non-verbal too.  The tone of voice, the look on your face and lots of other clues say more than words at times.  This is not about earning the love or respect but recognizing the deep needs of the spouse. The one who sees himself/herself as the most mature should move first to break the crazy cycle.  Making exaggerated statements like: “I don’t love you and never will.” Or “I don’t respect you and never will,” are deadly to the relationship. Feminism works against a woman respecting her husband but that does not change his need. Media also downgrades the role of men.

 

 To stop the crazy cycle, the best weapons are decoding and forgiveness. Don’t violate the basic need of a husband to feel your respect.  Jesus is the model for forgiveness.  Matt 11:25,29. Sympathize with the offender; relinquish the offense to God; anticipate God’s help.

2.  The Energizing Cycle: His love motivates her respect and Her respect motivates his love3 – how to motivate a spouse to be more loving/respectful. The key to motivation is meeting the deepest need of the spouse. Our society tries to get men to behave in a more feminine manner and that does not help. To energize:

For women: husbands respond to the feeling/ideas of: Conquest; Hierarchy; Authority: insight: Relationship; Sexuality (CHAIRS)

For husbands: women respond to: Closeness; Openness; Understanding: Peacemaking; Loyalty and Esteem (COUPLE)

Requires good listening and lots of “decoding.”  You have to think about what they really mean and not answer until you think.

Some people will get a divorce for a pretty flimsy reason.  Never consider divorce until your elders /minister tell you that person is evil-willed.

3.  The Rewarded Cycle: His love blesses regardless of her respect and her respect blesses regardless of his love.3 – showing love to a disrespectful wife or respect for an unloving husband

This can be very powerful.  God will always reward you whether the spouse is affected or not.  His love blesses regardless of her respect and her respect blesses in spite of his love.  Jesus will reward: Well done. Enter into the joy of your master.  Picture God rewarding you for faithfulness.  Matt 25: 37-40

My response is my responsibility and not the fault of my spouse.  No one can make you do anything.  You decide for yourself.

TEN MISCONCEPTIONS THAT CAN DEFEAT A RELATIONSHIP AND   TEN WAYS TO PROMOTE SUCCESS4

Misconceptions include:

  1. Expecting the mate to make you happy
  2. Expecting to change the mate
  3. Thinking that someone who is independent, equal and open is cold and unfeeling
  4. Thinking you have a right to respond emotionally to your mate’s anxiety
  5. Thinking the relationship will never get any better
  6. Thinking you have already changed as much as you can and things aren’t better
  7. Thinking when you need to talk, the other person must agree to listen
  8. Worrying too much about the past and blaming one’s family of origin
  9. Thinking the mate must love you “like your mother did”
  10. Thinking you can be cut off from extended family and still have a good marriage

Ways to promote:

  1. Work toward emotional calm and intellectual objectivity.
  2. Be willing to change when you see a reason without expecting the mate to change.
  3. Stay in contact one-to-one rather than following the cutoff pattern.
  4. Be sure someone maintains contact – it does not matter who the initiator is.
  5. When someone oversteps their boundary, look for the anxiety. Soothe, and don’t be reactive.
  6. Realize you can choose to take on the emotions of the others around me or not.
  7. Don’t feel the necessity of being liked or approved by everyone around; be your own self.
  8. Focus on your reaction in order to manage without blaming yourself or others.
  9. Make important decisions calmly and thoughtfully.
  10. Work toward being able to be happy on your own and not depending on others.

 

 


Sunday: “My Beloved in Mine” – Making your Marriage Rich and Sweet

ALL ABOUT TALKING AS JESUS TALKED

 

  • View your spouse as a well-intentioned person.
  • Learn what his deepest needs are and try to meet them.
  • Loving your mate is loving God.
  • What words come out of your mouth (and non-verbal communications as well) are REALLY important.  When your spouse has a bad moment (angry, nasty or jealous) you MUST still see that person as good-willed. People need to release their negative emotions. Help them by DECODING.  Men and women hear the same words differently. Try to set aside your pride at that moment.  Don’t exaggerate negative things.
  • Words reveal what is in your heart.  So check out your own intentions and good-will.
  • No one can MAKE you do something. Talk about “I” not about “you.” For instance, say “I feel unloved when you …” rather than “you make me feel…”
  • Use feedback to clarify.  It slows down disagreement.
  • Listen to understand.  Don’t be too talkative or too loud. Men think linearly. Women often “spider-web.”
  • Never criticize in front of others, especially children.
  • Use “Jesus Talk” to speak to him3

Truthful Words – “Laying aside falsehood, speak truth” (Ephesians 4:25).

Uplifting Words – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification” (v. 29). 1 Pet.3:1-2

Forgiving Words – “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger…and slander be put away from you, along with all malice…And be …forgiving…just as God in Christ has forgiven you: (vv. 31-32). James 2;12-13

Thankful Words – “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4).

Scriptural Words – “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…making melody with your heart to the Lord” (v. 19). Ps. 37: 3-5

Set aside natural tendencies of critiquing and mothering.

REFERENCES

1. Brecheen, Carl and Paul Faulkner, Marriage Enrichment Seminar, 2004.

2. Chapman, Gary, The Five Love Languages – How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Northfield Publishing, Chicago, 2004.

3. Eggerichs, Emerson, Cracking the Communication Code – The Secret to Speaking Your Mate’s Language (Part of his Love and Respect series), Integrity Publishers, Thomas Nelson Co., 2007.

4. Gilbert, Roberta M. M.D., Extraordinary Relationships – A New Way of Thinking About human Interactions, Chronimed Publishing, 1992

5. Harley, Jr., Willard F., His Needs Her Needs –Building an Affair-proof Marriage, Fleming H. Revell, Baker Book House, 1994.

WORKSHEET FOR LADIES GROUP

 

LISTENING

Question  
1.  How well do you listen to your spouse? Rate yourself 1-5; 5 is tops________________
2. What do you “hear” in the statement: “Nag, nag, nag.  All you ever do is nag.”  
3. If your spouse came in and told you he wanted a new motorcycle, what would you like to say?  
4.  What should you say?  
5.  If your spouse told you that you did a poor job of disciplining your child, what would you say?  
6.  What should you say?  
7.  After we talked about listening today, how would you rate your listening? Rate yourself 1-5; 5 is tops________________
8.   In what way would you like to improve over the next month?  

TALKING

Common phrase Jesus Talk
You make me feel stupid.  
If you don’t stop spending all your time and money with you buddies, I’m going to leave.  
You are no-good, just like my mother told me.  
How could you tell the children that I don’t know what I am doing?  
You always leave all the lights on.  
You never want to sit by me.  
You always insult me.  

 


 

Area Words to Decode Decode
Finance The children always go to you for money. I’m not getting enough respect. After all, aren’t I responsible for this household?
Personal Relations You spend way too much time with your girl friends. I thought I was the most important. Don’t you like to be with me?
  You’re just like your mother.  She ran the household. I feel pushed and maybe disrespected.  I don’t like how your mother’s family operated and don’t want mine to turn out like that.
Work You’re forever talking about your job and the people you work with. Are they more important than me?
God You think you are super righteous, don’t you? You think you are a better person than I am. I feel inferior because of the way you talk about God in your life.
Sex You must be wearing a sign that says, ‘Do not touch.’ I’m feeling like you’re not attracted to me.

 


MY BELOVED IS MINE

God’s Plan for a Great Marriage for You

Ponderings for our Ladies from the Seminar

 

What a wonderful experience John and I had with you lovely folks at Springfield Gardens.  We have been looking forward to that event for almost a year now and truly loved being with you.  Studying the marriage topic helped us too.  We hope it was a positive and constructive experience and made us think about what God wants.  With his help, your marriage can just get better and better with time (and effort).  Don’t the best things in your life take the most time and effort?

During our seminar on November 19-20, we looked at ways to be a better listener for our spouse and also practiced some ways to talk that would be like Jesus talked:

Truthful Words – “Laying aside falsehood, speak truth” (Ephesians 4:25).

Uplifting Words – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification” (v. 29). 1 Pet.3:1-2

Forgiving Words – “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger…and slander be put away from you, along with all malice…And be …forgiving…just as God in Christ has forgiven you: (vv. 31-32). James 2;12-13

Thankful Words – “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4).

Scriptural Words – “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…making melody with your heart to the Lord” (v. 19). Ps. 37: 3-5

TIPS FOR SINGLE LADIES:

I wonder if we have had a chance to practice these gleanings during the days that followed.  Actually for your single ladies, these admonitions of listening to really hear what the person you are talking to is saying (decoding), listening to understand and meeting their needs applies to about any relationship that means a lot to you. So do the precepts of talking like Jesus talked and other tips.  Can you make the relationship with your co-worker, your daughter-in-law or perhaps your cousin better by listening better and watching your words?

Common Phrase Jesus Talk
To coworker: “Why do you always make me look bad in front of my supervisor?”  
To daughter-in-law: “My son always liked to eat my spaghetti but now he doesn’t seem to notice when I cook something special for him.”  

HOLIDAY TIPS:

With the holidays coming up, there are further opportunities to practice the Biblical principles that we discussed together.  Often people are despondent at Christmas time because things don’t go the way they had hoped and because family relationships are not what they should be and it becomes obvious.  The start of a new year can be difficult too.  So what better time could there be to try out some of these precepts. We can think of ways to help that old “sourpuss” in the family or at work to feel better and not to spoil times for others.

Many of the proverbs give us some uplifting words and pithy sayings to get us to work at this.

Pr 4:4 He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.

Pr 4:5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Pr 8:8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.

Pr 16:24 ¶ Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

Pr 18:4 ¶ The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

Pr 18:8 ¶ The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.

Pr 23:12 ¶ Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.

Pr 25:11 ¶ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.

Pr 29:20 ¶ Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Ec 9:17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

Ec 10:12 ¶ The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

Here are some practice sentences that might help for the holidays:

Common Phrase (not uplifting) Jesus Talk
Gossip. “Did you hear what happened to our cousin Sandra last week? You wouldn’t believe what a mess she got herself into.”  
Bringing up past mistakes and family skeletons: “I just can’t forget the money you ‘borrowed’ from me 10 years ago and never gave back. I don’t really want to eat dinner with you unless you can honor your promise.”  
“Honey, I get upset when your mother comes over.  You know she always makes me feel little. Do we have to have her over?”  
“You have to really watch Uncle Bill during Christmas.  You know he always flirts with my cousin Stephanie. He makes me sick.”  

ROMANTIC TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

 

Would your spouse like a surprise romantic dinner at home for just the two of you? I’ll bet you know what he likes best that you cook.  It does not even have to be expensive of fancy, just what he likes.  Plan some time when others are away and let him know this time is just for him.  There will be plenty of time to listen and talk to him about what is important in his life.  Maybe he will even think to take you out to dinner where you like to eat before too long.

Selecting Christmas gifts is always tough for me.  Sometimes I ask my husband what he wants and then he likes a little surprise as well.  What works best for yours? And let him buy you a new gift.

Making time for your in-laws during the holidays may be a challenge.  Maybe you feel put on the spot to cook something that you find difficult or maybe you feel compared to your mother-in-law or someone else.  Try to put these notions in the back of your mind.  Try to take the initiative by inviting your in-laws at the time you would like them to come.  If you don’t like to cook some dish, ask her to bring that favorite dish of your son’s and then you won’t have to fix it and she will feel special. Get her a personal gift that just suits her.  You can avoid some hurt feelings if you get up the courage to plan ahead.  I wish that my mother-in-law were still alive to do something for.

 


EVALUATION FORM FOR THE SEMINAR

 

Question 1(poor) 2 3 4 (good)
Did the material help you personally?        
Did you feel like trying harder in your marriage as a result?        
How would you rate your relationship with your spouse in your marriage?        
Did John’s presentations on Ephesians 5 and I Corinthians 13 help you to see God’s plan more clearly?        
Do you think the popular “how to” books out on marriage that Jill mentioned are helpful?        

What did you like best about the seminar?

What could be changed about  or added to the current material to make it better for you or others?

What materials would you like to see presented next as a follow-up?

Do you have some questions for either John or Jill?

A word from John and Jill

We thank you at Springfield Gardens for inviting us for our marriage seminar and for all the courtesies extended to us while we were there. We hope that the material presented will be helpful to those attending and that your marriages will be richer, sweeter, and more in keeping for God’s plan for marriage as a result. May God bless you in your devotion to Him and to each other.

We especially thank you very much for the Mp3 music and video players. These will not only give us many hours of personal pleasure but also help us in our church and academic work. We will think of you each time we use them.

We love the Springfield Gardens church and pray for your every success.

We hope to visit with you many times in the future. Our prayers are always with you.

In Him,

John and Jill