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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Love casts out fear in relationships

When people say that in relationships, it’s often a sign that somebody’s trying to control somebody else. What’s beneath that control? It’s fear. Insecurity causes us to try to control others or resist the control of others. When you’re so insecure that all you think about is what others think of you, it destroys your relationships and disables your life.

It’s an amazing dilemma we have as human beings: We long to be close, but we also fear being close. We long to have intimacy with others, but we’re also scared to death of it.

Insecurity prevents intimacy and destroys your relationships. You can’t get close to somebody if there’s fear in the relationship. If insecurity destroys relationships, then what builds them? Love! Love builds relationships.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it … shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (NLT, second edition). How does that work? How does love expel all fear?

Love takes the focus off of you and puts the focus on others. I get the focus off of me and focus on the people in front of me instead. If I stood there thinking about what they thought of my hairstyle, I would have something to be afraid of, right? But the minute I start thinking about how much I love my church family and how we serve God together, all of a sudden the fear is gone. It’s the same in any relationship. Focusing on the other person gives you the power to throw fear out of your life.

So how do you find that power to focus on other people? You realize how much God loves you. The moment you begin to understand how much God loves you, you don’t have to prove yourself any more. You don’t have to spend your life trying to impress other people, because you already know that God loves you.

Do you know how freeing and enjoyable it is to live life that way? Your identity and self-worth are not caught up in what others might think of you. When you’re secure in your relationship with Christ, you’re no longer pressured by everybody else’s expectations. God’s love frees you to love others fearlessly.

What insecurities or fears keep you from opening your life and heart to someone, whether it’s a friend, spouse, or family member?
How does our culture keep us insecure in our relationships?
What do you think God believes about you? What does he see when he looks at you?

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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Marriage is meant for connection

In God’s plan men and women need each other” (1 Corinthians 11:11 TLB).

Marriage doesn’t solve your problems. Marriage does not create your problems. Marriage reveals problems. It simply magnifies what was already a problem when you were living as a single adult.

There are a lot of things marriage can’t do, but it does have a God-designed function. So why did God design marriage?

God created marriage for the connection of men and women.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:11, “In God’s plan men and women need each other” (TLB).

Whether or not you get married, if you’re a woman, you need men in your life. If you’re a man, you need women in your life. Why? Because nobody holds the full image of God. Women get part of it, men get part of it, and we need each other. God wired it this way. God thought up gender. God thought up sex. And God thought up marriage. What a God!

Did you ever wonder why God made man and then woman a little bit later? Why didn’t he make them both at the same time?

I think he did it for Adam’s benefit. I think he wanted Adam to realize how much he needed women in his life.

Genesis 2:18 says, “It isn’t good for man to be alone; I will make a companion for him.”

You need companions in all different areas of your life. But there is nothing like the companionship of a marriage. It is in a relational class all by itself.

Here’s what Jesus had to say about it: “‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Mark 10:6-9 NLT, second edition).

That passage makes three major points about marriage:

Marriage is God’s plan. It’s not a tradition we can just throw out.
Marriage is between a man and a woman. Their body parts fit together for a purpose — the creation of everybody else.
Marriage is to be permanent. It’s meant to be for life.
Do you realize how radical those three statements are? It seems like most people don’t believe those statements any more. But it’s still the truth! It’s still the way God designed marriage. And just because we live in the real, not necessarily the ideal, doesn’t mean we get to say the ideal doesn’t exist.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized