Skip to main content

Cultivate a Healthy Marriage

These are some notes I took while listening to a lecture from Tim Keller and his wife. Awesome stuff. You can download the whole talk for free here.

The Marriage as a Garden
- a garden takes an enormous amount of work
- a garden takes constant attention
- it is a long way from seed to the apple tree!
- you can't just plant a seed and expect fruit the next day

Planning and Planting
- why did you get married/what is the purpose of marriage
- who are you in the marriage

- why marriage: family security/prestige...later for happiness (middle ages)
- the purpose of marriage is Gospel reenactment (to help your spouse become his/her future glory self through sacrificial service) - love is an action first, feeling second
- most important thing in marriage is to develop a servant/ministry mind-set

- both spouses take on the role of Jesus (man-Jesus as head of church, woman-Jesus as sacrificial, submissive Son to the Father)
- 'helper' - can only help out of strengths that the other doesn't have
- difference between ontological (essence) and economic (role) standing
- tie breaking headship is only exercised when the women is going down a road that is sinful or destructive to herself, the marriage or the family
- the Biblical pattern calls both men and women to submit

Fertilizing and Watering
- communication
- love language
- sex

4 rules for communicating in conflict
1. before you say something to your spouse you MUST ask yourself - first! - what is my motive? (are you coming from a ministry mindset or a selfish mindset) why am I sending this message?
2. always start with the part that is your fault - even if it is only 5% (take care of your own 'log')
3. attack the problem and not the person
*you've done this
*I'm affected like this
*I think this way would be better
*I'm asking you to see if I'm missing something I
4. make it safe for your spouse to criticize
*ways you make it unsafe: 1) blow-up; 2) apologize really quickly and be hyper-spiritual; 3) explaining too much

Love Language
- you can't tell me you love me in Finnish, I don't speak Finnish so I won't hear you
- behaviors that when others do them make me feel loved
- speak the language so others feel loved, even if it doesn't speak love to you

1. According to the Bible sex is really good and in marriage needs to be frequent
2. The biggest pleasure and the most lasting pleasure is giving pleasure
3. Mastering number 2 answers the frequency problem
4. Biggest problem in sex is the male/female differences (context)
5. Sex is such a sensitive thing that it rises things that you could otherwise probably ignore

Weeding and Pruning
- marriage brings you into conflict not with your spouse but with your own sinful self
- pruning hurts, it feels like a death, but it must be done

Opposites in Marriage
- conflict avoiders v. conflict confronters

- if one person has a problem, you both have a problem (1 Cor. 12)
- you have to want to solve the problem not score points, this requires a Gospel humility
- you need to learn to step off the battle field and become the coach

How to Repent
* the way you repent is not to make excuses
1. Figure out what your % of the wrong is
2. Make no excuses (separate the occasion from the cause)
3. Offer to make a change (debrief - how can we make sure this never happens again)

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

Lessons from Mt Everest

It would be great is life was all fun and easy and exciting like glissading down a mountain side.  However life is actually much more like climbing up the mountain.  It is difficult, painful, dangerous and exhilarating all wrapped up into one.
Last Sunday I preached at a church in Northfield and I shared some thoughts about this.  I compared lessons I've learned studying mountain climbing to lessons I've learned living life.  Here are the five things I talked about, along with some accompanying Bible verses.
1. You have to have a goal and you have to work hard towards achieving it, sometimes for a long time ---> Jer 29:10-14  2. You have to expect setbacks (injury, weather, enemies, catastrophe) and roll with them ----> 2 Cor 4:8-10  3. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought possible ----> Phil 4:13  4. In most cases, you need others to help you (guides, logistics, cheerleaders, friends, expedition leader) ----> Heb 10:15   5. You have to acknowledg…