We’re learning to communicate God’s way as we work our way through a series intent on finding the areas in which we ruin marital communication, and re-aligning them with God’s desires. Today we’re going to discuss the importance of listening. Really listening. Not just to each other, but to God as well. Honestly, if we could all master just this one area of communication, what a difference it would make! But alas, we are a society that has forgotten how to listen. So, we must re-learn this lost virtue, and who better to learn from than our Creator?
The Bible tells a story of a woman – a widow who persistently sought justice from an evil judge. Jesus encouraged us to approach our Heavenly Father with that same kind of persistence in prayer, knowing He will surely grant us justice – and quickly! This is the story of my own persistent prayer.
Before we get into the specifics of communication, let’s prepare our hearts. It’s essential that our intentions as we proceed be in line with those of our Heavenly Father. This begins from a place of humility. It is only from there we can approach our spouse with any hope of improving our communication.
It’s human nature to read the kind of stuff we’re going to be addressing “for” someone else. Instead of taking the opportunity to honestly evaluate ourselves, we look for ammunition to load into the arsenal of judgement we’re building against our partners.
Friends, our goal is healing. The only person we have any power to heal is ourselves. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our passage for this week.
Terrible communication is likely one of the most common roadblocks to healing in broken marriages. Unfortunately, we’re just really, really bad (like as a people) at communicating with each other. We’re selfish, we jump to conclusion, we’re rotten listeners, we assume and presume like nobody’s watching, we manipulate and lie, we spend all kinds of time looking at the faults of others while rarely looking inward to our own faults, and we’re just plain mean to each other. Often times, before we can even think of addressing the larger underlying issues in marriages, we have to first learn to start communicating according to the standards God has laid out for us in Scripture.
Last week we talked about the dangers of pornography in marriage from a Biblical perspective. This week let’s get informed about some of the facts surrounding this issue.
It comes as no surprise to me that the world at large has turned a blind eye to the life-shattering dangers of pornography, but I was stunned to find that even among “moral” young people, there is an acceptance (albeit an uncomfortable one) of its presence and use in their homes. It is imperative we speak truth into their lives and alert them to the life-shattering dangers along that path!
For the past two weeks we’ve been digging into Galatians 5 to help us understand the quantifiable differences between a person who is living to please the Spirit – one who is repentant and in recovery, and one who is living to please the flesh – someone who is putting on a good show, but is still living in bondage to sin. More or less, we’re trying to understand the differences between the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the flesh.
last week we closely examined what the Bible calls the fruit of the flesh. These markers are the proof we can confidently believe when we question whether or not a person has truly repented, or whether they are still living a lie. So this week, we’ll look at the flip side of that. The fruit of the Spirit. These are the qualities that will be evident when recovery is real. When a person has genuinely surrendered to God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his life and produces very visible fruit.
Last week we started dissecting Galatians 5 in order to understand the difference between a person who is truly in recovery, and one who is still living a lie. (The difference between the fruit of the Spirit, and the fruit of the flesh) It’s important we know how to tell the difference in order for us to be able to make wise decisions about how to move forward. The good news is, God will always equip those who are His to live in wisdom! He’s given us His Word, and He’s given us the Holy Spirit. We need only submit to their leading and He’ll show us the truth! Always.
When people we love are addicts, we want to believe they’re in recovery. When they tell us they’re clean, we want more than anything for it to be true. We look for reasons to believe things are different, because it’s what we hope so desperately is reality. Too often, we allow that desire to blind us to obvious signs that contradict the promises we’ve been given by the ones we love. Often, we’ve been burned so many times we begin to wonder if we can ever really know the difference. We might even wonder if true, lasting change is possible.
I’m here to tell you, it is! Not because I’ve experienced it (though I am experiencing it) but because the Bible says it is, and I believe the Bible. So, I’d like to walk us all through this difficult topic from a Biblical perspective. I’ll show you what it says, and demonstrate its truth with what I’ve seen in the past, what I’m seeing now; and why I think they’re very different.
If you’ve been with us for the past 5 weeks, we’ve been working our way through a series on Biblical boundaries. We’ve learned a lot! Today, we’re finally going to wrap this series up with a quick reminder of who’s in control. What it’s so easy to forget in the midst of all the chaos of life is that being obedient to God in this area (really in any area) allows us to step out of the way and Him to do His work. It puts God in control!
We’ve spent the past four weeks learning what the Bible has to say about boundaries. Now it’s time to take what we’ve learned and figure out how to practically apply it. Today, we’re answering the question, “How do I actually set Biblical boundaries?” It’s time to come up with a strategy for laying out our borders, building our fences, and installing our gates. In case you’ve missed the earlier parts of this series, here’s what we’ve been learning (it builds the foundation for what we’ll do today, so you might want to catch up!)
We’ve been spending some time learning about Biblical boundaries over the past 3 weeks. We’ve already spent two weeks defining and laying out some Biblical principles surrounding the establishment of good, healthy boundaries, and there are still 2 more weeks to go. Today we ask, what’s a boundary rule, and what does the Bible say about setting them?
Building on the five principles we learned last week, we’ll continue to look to the boundaries God enacts throughout the pages of Scripture in order to better understand what healthy boundaries look like.
As followers of Christ, our goal is to become like Him. For that reason, there is much we can learn about what healthy boundaries look like based simply on how He makes boundaries with us. Here are 5 principles we can learn by observing His example.
Establishing strong, Biblical boundaries is one of the hardest, yet most important things for a betrayed wife to do. Really, for any believer to do. Unfortunately, it’s a task that leaves most of us wondering where and how to even start. Many of us have spent our lives believing that unconditional love looks different than the Bible actually describes it. But God sets strong boundaries with us, and He makes it clear in Scripture that we are to do the same in our relationships. All of them. So, we’re going to spend the next 6 weeks exploring what the Bible has to say about boundaries. We’ll learn what Biblical boundaries look like, how to set them up, and how being obedient in this area ultimately puts God in control.
Are you a betrayed wife who is fiercely committed to seeking and following God as you heal? Are you looking for a community of like-minded women also recovering from betrayal trauma? Would you like to join our secret Facebook support group? Connect with Cherith on Facebook, and send me a private message to request to be added.
Or, contact me via email if you just need someone to talk to who understands and is committed to gently pointing you toward Jesus.