"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Speak the Truth In Love- Part I of the Communication Series

Many of you will agree that one of the greatest obstacles to a successful marriage is the inability to communicate. It is imperative that the lines of communication be open at ALL COST between a husband and wife.

SH mentioned Josh Powell's five level of communication:

Level 1: Cliche conversation. This is where a person hides behind the safety of cliches. No personal sharing is involved. Cliches such as  'how are you today?' or 'Looks like it is going to rain today'
Level 2: reporting facts about others. Here people mention what others have said to them but offer no personal views on those facts. You know, reporting facts like a newsreader
Level 3: ideas and judgements. This is where real communication begins. A person is willing to step out of the cliche screen and risk sharing his/her ideas and judgements.
Level 4: feelings and emotions. A person shares his feelings about issues. This is where effective communication starts. Couples need to interact at a level where you know what each other feels about vital issues
Level 5: openness and honesty. This is the ultimate level. All deep relationships especialy marriage must be based on honest communication if not the marriage will suffer.

The communication process in marriage (and even other aspects of life) comprises of three simple but very powerful rules: talking, listening and understanding. We would address each one separately.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Role of A Wife

Last weekend, we started the topic "Who is in Charge?" and discussed the role of the husband in a marriage. From the comments we received here and on twitter it was clear that God is in charge however, the man has been commanded to be the head and loving leader in a marriage. Today we look at the role of the wife.

"The major function of a woman in marriage is that of submission to her husband's leadership". Hmm that word submission for a lot of people has a negative connotation. I certainly didn't like that word a lot before I got married. Submit? Whyyy? Writefreak blogged about this a while back as a lot of women see submission as a form of slavery. You can check the post here. The comments were really interesting.

Ephesians 5:22-24 New International Version (NIV) Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Image from google images
Some women say well my husband can be the head while I am the neck and I can turn him whichever way I want. lol, That seems funny but in reality that is how a number of women have decided to resolve this submission matter.  Our attitude towards submission shouldn't be one of fear but it is "to be enjoyed, and when rightly understood and practised, it helps a woman experience the security she needs."

So the multimillion dollar question is what exactly is submission?

SH says "submission is really an attitude or a frame of mind. It recognises that just as Christ was subject to God, and that the church is subject to Christ, so a woman ought to be subject to her husband. By this attitude she is saying 'I believe God has arranged the structure of marriage in harmony with the highest principles of the universe. And one of those principles is submission to a higher authority. God has placed my husband above me, not to be superior to me, but to be my spiritual covering and protection. God will protect me from harm through him and as I recognise this principle and live happily and contentedly beneath it, I shall be relieved of a great deal of the stresses and strains of life because Gd has arranged and equipped my husband to carry them.'"

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Who is in Charge?

This topic is a very interesting one and could be seen as controversial but I enjoyed reading and learning from it. Remember we are using the book- Marriage as God intended as a study guide and the book is based on biblical principles. As a result this topic is being addressed from a Christian viewpoint. You can take this as a disclaimer if you wish. ;).  Please note this topic isn't only for the Married but also for the Singles. Better to know all about these things before signing the dotted line.

Some marriages today are in trouble because there are two people trying to be leaders. Billy Graham's wife Ruth said in an interview once "if there are two leaders in a marriage then one of them is unnecessary". According to SH "roles determine relationships". He said "show me a marriage in which the roles are clearly defined, clearly understood and acted upon, and I will show you a marriage where relationships blossom like a beautiful flower." Someone might say "what roles?" We are leaving in a society where these distinct roles have become blurred. The feminist movement believe that apart from the ability to bear children there are no differences between men and women. However this according to the bible is not true. Paul was able to break the roles down in the book of Ephesians 5. Verse 23, 25 say that the husband is the head of the wife and must love his wife as Christ loves the church. While verse 24 say the wife is to submit herself to her husband in the same way that the church is subject to Christ. Lets us break these two roles down a bit further.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What’s happening to marriage?

Today we shall begin our discussion on Selwyn Hughes (SH) book- “Marriage as God intended”. This chapter addresses why marriages break up.  Please note that throughout the book discussion over the next couple of weeks we would be picking key points from the chapters whilst adding in our own thoughts and not rewriting the whole book so I’ll highly recommended like I did last time that you get the book.

Let’s go there…. (I just had to chip that

Ok so I won’t go into all the scary statistics but it is not news today that a lot of marriages are in trouble. We have all heard about Kim K's 72 days of marriage resulting in divorce. What a shame! A lot of marriages around us are breaking up and the numbers keep increasing by the day. Which worries me because it shows that marriage and family are becoming less and less important to people.

SH highlights 4 main reasons why marriages are going downhill: