Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HEART AND SOUL OF MARRIAGE.L4- Gender and Marital Lies


Satan is the Father of Lies – to believe and live out lies means we are following him not God! – This validates the importance of doing a daily truth workout.  There are daily victories over lies that we can consistently have.

GENDER LIES  A few examples…
·        Women are not equipped nor should they ever lead – they are created to be followers not leaders
·        Men do not have the capacity to be as emotional as women
·        Women are more easily deceived than men
·        A man needs to ‘cover’ a woman in her ministry and activities
·        Men are analytical, love sports & lack nurturing capabilities
And more... .. most women love to shop, have babies, cook and stay home.. men love the remote control, tv, sports and being in a man cave…   NOT!

What kind of negative impact do gender lies create?
Conclusions/ ideas on audio

Let’s look at a few of the lies in detail… gender lies and relationship/ marital lies

Lie #1 Women are not equipped nor should they ever lead – they are created to be followers not leaders

Did Jesus believe women could lead?
Luke 8:1-3
See Acts 1:4-5
Acts 2:17 –  If Christ commissioned solely men to the ministry of the gospel, why did He send the power for that mission upon both men and women?

Examples:  Samaritan woman (John 4:7-42)   vs 39

Mary of Bethany (see Matthew 26:6-13)
Matthew 26:13

The Gospel Empowers Women
Biblical Examples:
Miriam (see Micah 6:4 & Exodus 15:20)
Deborah (see Judges 4 and 5)
Huldah (see 2 Kings 22)
Esther – (see Esther 4)
Phoebe – (see romans 16)
Priscilla (see Acts 18)
Philip’s daughters  (see Acts 21) - prophetesses

Lie #2  Women are more easily deceived than men
Can we blame Eve for everything?

Lie #4 Women must obediently submit to their husbands in all situations

God opposes violence (see Prov 21:7, Ez 45:9)
Malachi 2:16
Malachi 2:17
 (see Matthew 20:25-26)
Eph 5:21
Eph 4:22-23
 the word   ‘hupotasso’: to identify with

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Relationship / Marital Lies

“To understand the realities of the marital relationship, it is essential fist to recognize the unrealities.”
                                  William Lederer & Don Jackson

Have you ever noticed how people seem to change over time?  Sue’s husband, Steve, was handsome and attentive when they got engaged.  But after being married a few years, he turned into a vain, controlling, egomaniac.  While they were dating, Steve liked how stylish, smart and fun Sue was to be around.  Somewhere along the way, though, she turned into a materialistic, attention-seeking, know-it-all.  How in the world did they not see the true person before they decided to commit to each other for life?  How about you - how has your spouse changed over time?

While it’s true that we all change, most often the change is in our perceptions of another’s characteristics.  There are two sides to every characteristic we have.  In the beginning of a relationship we tend to see only the good.  After marriage and a few children, our focus easily turns to the negative.

And it’s not just in marital relationships – it is the same with all relationships.  So, whether you’d like to improve your relationship with a spouse, a friend, a neighbor or a co-worker, you need to root out the lies you believe and replace them with God’s truth. 

Lie:  All my marital problems are my spouse’s fault.
This lie is essentially the ‘blame game’-it focuses on how prone we are to blame our spouse or good friend when our relationship goes awry.  One clue to determining if you are falling into this lie is to pay attention to how often you say ‘always’, ‘never’, or some other absolute.  “She never cares about what I’d like to do.”  “He never helps around here.”  “I wish just once he would show me a little appreciation.”

What we often forget is that it takes two to create a relationship.  In a marriage, two people come together with all their strengths and weaknesses to create one marriage.  Genesis 2:24 says, “…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  It is impossible for the characteristics of that combined relationship to be influenced totally and completing by only one person.  Deep down we know this, but it is much easier in the short run to turn outward and look at our spouse’s faults rather than doing the hard, and often painful, work of looking inward to our own hearts, hurts, habits and hang-ups.  The problem with taking the short-term approach is that it leaves our relationship and our state of mind in the exact same spot year after year, with no chance for improvement.  And that is a losing proposition for the long term.

It is true that a specific problem may be caused by the actions of one spouse.  However, even then the other spouse plays a role in the resolution of the issue.  Our reactions to another’s negative behavior impacts how we move forward in that circumstance, both as an individual and as a couple.  We can choose to default to our own negative behaviors or we can face the problem head-on with help from God and assistance from wise counsel. 

We are not victims in our relationships.  Romans 8:31 says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  We can choose how to how to respond to someone else’s behavior.  If you find your life spiraling out of control, step back and take some time to evaluate how you are responding to the situation.  Are your actions contributing to the chaos?  Although it can be hard to see, please know that you have options in how you respond, most likely options you can’t imagine right now.  Seek them out.  Make it your goal to respond to the situation in a Godly way.  Perhaps it’s time to pour out your heart to God and wait for him open up doors for you.  One of the ways he does that is through support groups.  Consider joining one with people who are dealing with the same situation you are in.  You will find help and hope.

Blaming others never leads to real change.  Listen to the words of Dr. Chris Thurman:  “you cannot afford to blame your emotional reactions on external events if you want to have emotional health, develop good relationships with others, and be mature spiritually.”   As you go through your days, start paying closer attention to when you become emotionally unstable (ie., frustration, unhealthy anger, depression, lashing out at others) and become aware of what caused the reaction.  Then examine your self-talk and perception of the event and explore other options for handling that situation.  Here is a reminder of the steps you can use to go through that process.  If you diligently apply yourself to this exercise, you will start recognizing your contribution to the events in your life.
a.                     State the event
b.                     Assign a value ($1 - $500 with $500 being an extremely emotional event like a death)
c.                      Whose fault – yours or theirs
d.                     Self talk
e.                     Response – physical & emotional
f.                       New self-talk
g.                     Change in response

Lie:  My spouse can and should meet all of my needs.
This lie falls closely on the heels of the ‘all my marital problems are my spouse’s fault’ lie.  Essentially, this lie says that it is my spouse’s fault if my emotional needs are not met.  Not only is this playing the blame game, it is completely unrealistic.  Perhaps it would be easier if we could look to one person to meet all our needs.  It would take away any work on our part and alleviate us from responsibility for caring for ourselves.  But the reality is that one person cannot meet all of our needs – only Jesus can do that.

Think of the vastness of our emotional needs:  attention, acceptance, appreciation, approval, affection, affirmation, comfort, encouragement, respect, security, support, and understanding, to name a few.  Could you meet all of those needs for another person?  If you are trying to do so – please stop.  It is impossible and leads only to disappointment and perceptions of failure. 

Sometimes it’s not our, or another’s, actions that need to change.  It is our expectations that need to change.  When we face up to the fact that it is impossible for our spouse to completely and consistently meet our needs, we start taking responsibility for meeting them ourselves.  Here’s a start:
·        Admit you have needs  - and that it hurts when they are not met.
·        Identify your needs – perhaps write them down.  You’ll notice that some are consistent like the need for love, but others change from day to day, like needing support for a difficult situation.
·        Ask your spouse if they are able and willing to meet your needs.  Be specific.
·        Affirm and appreciate your spouse when they do meet a need
·        Look for morally appropriate relationships to meet the rest of your needs – from a variety of people.

As you acknowledge your specific needs and seek ways to meet them, you will find yourself becoming emotionally more mature and able to meet others’ needs.  Most importantly, look to God first for your needs:  “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

Lie:  My spouse owes me for all I do
We all keep score – whether we realize it or not.  And we want our spouse to know it when the number of our good deeds has exceeded theirs.  “I took out the trash yesterday – couldn’t you at least have taken your dishes to the sink?”  We often operate our marriages like a business, where I do ‘x’ and you pay me by doing ‘y.’

It is healthy and practical to have an established division of duties in a marriage.  Shared, organized tasks enable a home to run smoothly.  But this lie goes beyond the agreement.  One spouse either agreed to do ‘more then my fair share’ or goes above and beyond initial expectations - but not with a pure heart.  You may even be using your deeds as manipulation to extract a certain behavior out of your spouse.  That is not out of love; it is self focused.  Deuteronomy 15:10 says “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

Over the next week, try a new way:
·        Think before doing – will you be resentful if your spouse does not compensate you for your good deed?  Then don’t do it. 2 Corinthians 9:7b says “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.”
·        If you decide to complete the task, acknowledge to yourself that it was your choice to do it and you are owed nothing in return.
·        Do not announce your deed to your spouse.  Matthew 6:4b says “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Ultimately, we are owed absolutely nothing for all we do in our marriage.  We get to be with that person and care for them.  Make it your goal to become a person whose reward is simply in the ‘doing.’

Lie:  I shouldn’t have to change who I am to make our marriage better.
This lie implies that we are good just the way we are and we don’t need to change, or that we can’t change.  “I’ve always been this way and can’t do anything about it.”  “If you really loved me, you would accept me just as I am.”  But we all have plenty of room for improvement.  God’s Word tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 that “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”

But beyond our universal need to become more Christ-like, if something you are doing is hindering your ability to be intimate with your spouse, isn’t it worth changing?  If there is an unpleasant aspect of your personality that pushes your spouse away, you have a choice – to hold onto your ‘quirk’ or to change it so that you can experience greater intimacy and fullness of relationship.  We all crave peace, joy and contentment.  But they don’t come from stubbornly holding onto your character defects.  Peace, joy and contentment come from a closer, more intimate relationship with God and with others.  Now that is worth changing for!

Lie:  My spouse should be like me.
At first glance, it appears reasonable to think we should be married to someone who is just like us.  And in many ways it would be easier – no arguments on which restaurants to go to, what to spend money on, or what to do on a Saturday afternoon.  Of course no two people are exactly alike, but to get close to it seems like a reasonable foundation for a marriage.  But if you really think about it, that would get a bit boring over time.  Part of the excitement of life is the variance in ideas and actions and attitudes.  If we were all exactly the same, we really wouldn’t need or want anyone but ourselves because there would be no difference between us!

In addition, this is really just the flip side of the ‘I shouldn’t have to change who I am’ lie.  This lie claims that not only should I not have to change who I am, my spouse must think, feel and act like I do in order to be loved and accepted.  This lie says, ‘I know best how to be human’ and ‘My way is the best.’  That is discounting the way God made each of us – unique and varied, all reflecting different aspects of His Being.  Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  And that applies to everyone – including your spouse.

Lie:  If our marriage takes hard work, we must not be right for each other.
Now that we have discussed some of the other lies, it is probably apparent why this is simply not realistic.  Our natural tendencies are to be self focused and looking out for ourselves, even in relationships with those we love.  It takes hard work to resist our natural tendencies and focus on others and this could not be truer than in a marriage. 

In God’s wisdom, he uses marriage to assist us in resisting those tendencies and to ‘grow us up’ in Him.  We have all heard, and perhaps said ourselves, “They bring out the worst in me.”  But that statement itself admits that we have a ‘worst’ – that there are some behaviors and attitudes we have that do not line up with God’s Word.  If that was not the case, there would be no ‘worst’ to bring out!  So, that leaves us with a choice:  continue to act in an undesirable manner, blaming our spouse for it or face our behavior and take steps to change it.

God, in a way that only He could think of, is blessing us with a spouse that is the catalyst for making us the best person we can be!  And in the long run, that benefits everyone.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9


1.    Discuss the gender lies presented tonight and how they have personally impacted you or those you care about/ know.
2.    Share a time when you blamed your spouse (or close friend or family member) for your emotional distress.  Using the exercise below, was there another option for thinking about and handling the situation?
a.   State the event
b.   Assign a value ($1 - $500 with $500 being an extremely emotional event like a death)
c.    Whose fault – yours or theirs
d.   Self talk
e.   Response – physical & emotional
f.     New self-talk
g.   Change in response

3.    What are some of your needs?  Verbalize them to your partner/ spouse…Remembering not all your needs can be met by them – are there others in your life that can meet these needs?  Who are they?
4.    Have you ever done something for someone while expecting a certain behavior or attitude in return?  Share an example. 
5.    Identify any behaviors or thinking patterns that may be pushing others away and preventing greater intimacy in your relationships.
6.    Have you ever had someone require you to think, feel or act as they did in order to be accepted?  Have you ever done that to someone else?
7.    Are you willing to do the hard work to change your relationships?  Share a specific action you can take toward that goal.

Take the test on the following web site and bring it with you next week.  Home Page – “Take Quiz” called What’s your style?

THE HEART AND SOUL OF MARRIAGE.L3-Personality.Embracing our Differences


There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.
There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.
God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning.
Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies.


TRUE COLORS PERSONALITY TYPES SEMINAR WILL BE OFFERED SATURDAY, 1/11/2013, 10:15AM - 12:30PM... by 2 area professionals... Dr. Gail Majcher and Mary Diapolo