Thursday, 30 July 2009

Making Marriage work

If you want to make your marriage work it's going to take some WORK. Great marriages don't just happen!!

Oh yeah and remember, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence rather where YOU water it! So get your eyes and your thoughts off someone else and fix them on what you have, your spouse, and make a commitment to build your marriage.

Be honest and answer the following questions and take the time to talk them through with your spouse. Make sure you listen really hard to each other.

1. What is the biggest frustration in our relationship?

Which of these apply to our relationship?

a. Selfishness
b. Laziness
c. Unhappiness
d. Negativity
e. Boredom
f. Hurt
g. Busyness
h. Fear
i. Distance

2. How often do each of these affect our relationship?

3. What do we tend to slip into one of these traps?

4. How do we treat each other when we have slipped into one of these traps?

Sunday, 26 July 2009

A Friday Rant…No Excuse For Yelling At A Woman!!!

I Thought this was excellent from Perry Noble and I highly endorse it.

The other night I sat down to watch “The Break Up” with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston and had to turn the channel…I could not watch it!

NOW…PLEASE…this is NOT a blog where I rip movies apart. I am not anti-entertainment…but something happened in the first five minutes of the show that literally broke my heart and pissed me off at the same time…

The man (Vince) yelled at the woman (Jennifer)–A LOT!!!

I can’t handle that!!! (I know, I know…in the movie they were not married–which is another issue altogether…just stay with me here!)

Dudes that yell at women (and/or hit a woman) are pathetic wusses! It is absolutely inexcusable!!! There is NO WAY a man can say he is loving his wife as Christ loved the church and also yell at his bride (see Ephesians 5:25-27…she’s supposed to be washed with our words–not tarnished with them! When she walks away from us she should do so without wrinkle or stain or blemish–period!!!)

And men, sometimes we yell when we don’t think we are yelling…

Very early in our marriage Lucretia and I had a disagreement…and we were “discussing” it. The next day after this had taken place we were talking about the incident and she made the remark that she didn’t like it when I yelled at her. I thought back to the argument and didn’t recall yelling at all, so I told her, “Honey, I didn’t yell at you.”

She then went on to explain to me that, though I didn’t yell, that I did raise my voice quite a few times…and to her that was the same.

Since that time I’ve had to be VERY careful when we “discuss” issues to not raise my voice and/or yell.

NOW…do I want to yell sometimes? YES!!! (I just yelled that by typing in all caps!) (One more thing…usually I want to yell when I am getting my butt kicked, thinking that will turn the attention elsewhere!)

BUT…I am constantly reminded that one of the fruits of the Spirit is SELF CONTROL (Galatians 5:22-23) I can’t be “out of control” and be in step with the One who lives in me.

Men, we can’t yell at our wives…they are to be treated as gifts so that our prayers will be effective (I Peter 3:7). God really does care about how His daughters are spoken to!!!

And single ladies…if you are dating a dude who yells at you now…drop him like a bad habit!!! Seriously…you deserve so much better than that. If he loses his temper with you now…well…in MOST cases it only gets worse!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Taking Care of your marriage (part 2)


we tend to take better care of our cars and houses than we do our marriages. We service them, fill the tank, check the tyres, periodically tune them and wash them. We change light bulbs, clean windows, paint walls, unblock toilets put new tiles on the roof when required etc.

But what have you done recently to take care of your marriage?

If you don't put the time, the thought, the effort and the tender loving care into your marriage, it will fail.

I have spoken to thousands of people who, at one time, insisted that it would never happen to them. But no one is immune! No the Prime Minister, not the pastor, not the kindest person in the world.

It's very simple!

If you don't take care of it, it wont last.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Taking Care of your marriage (part 1)

It's very Simple really!

If you don't take care of it, it won't last.

Think about your car, your house, your health, your business, your pet, etc...

If you don't do certain things, it breaks down or falls apart or even dies.

When something is important to us, we treat it with respect and do what needs to be done to maintain it.

At most weddings, amidst the music and flowers, a man and a women make enorous promises to love, honour and cherish each other until death divides them.

A year or two later, amidst the pressures and demands of life, a man and a women hurt, frustrate and neglect each other in ways they swore never would happen to them.

Marriage is a fragile treasure and needs our devoted attention to nurture it, protect it and strengthen it every single day. This sacred relationship does not grow without laboour and selfless sacrifice.

Marriage = work, so get to it today, it awaits your attention.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Video Teaching in August is a must!

Join Pastor Mark & Alison Sherratt on
5th & 12 August at 7.00pm

Highly entertaining 2 part video teaching

Tale of Two Brains

Men’s Brains…Women’s Brains
with US national marriage expert, Mark Gungor

Unlocking the secrets to life, love and marriage.

Mark Gungor, explores the differences between men and women or what he calls, “The Laws of Relational Physics’. Specifically how men and women are wired differently. Mark explains that many of the struggles couple face in marriage are the result of a HEAD problem, not a HEART problem.

Light refreshments will be served.

Register today

Friday, 17 July 2009

Why are we talking about Marriage at MKCC?

'iwantanewmarriage' (Current preaching series at MKCC)

Great question!

Here's six reasons why...

1 . Jesus talked about marriage…so the church should as well. Marriage was God’s idea and He hasn’t changed His mind about what He had to say.

2 . People are hurting! With around 50% of marriages ending in divorce…something isn’t right! Maybe people have tried every way to make things work except the right way!

3 . We want to help, encourage and challenge every existing marriage to build a strong, healthy and satisfying marriage.

4. We have singles! And we really want to help you get things right in their relationships right from the start.

5. We all have friends, work colleagues or family members who are married or in relationships who may be struggling at this time. God wants to use you! We encourage you to invite people so come along on Sundays to hear us talk about marriage and relationships..

6. It is our continued passion that in this series people meet Jesus Christ.

Throughout this series we will be sharing many relational principles that work in all our relationships.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Ten tips for building a marriage

Take encouragement or take action by thinking about the following points and how they can strengthen your marriage:

* You don’t have to feel loving in order to be loving.

* Love your husband/wife even when they don’t deserve it. None of us does all the time.

* Choose to treat your marriage partner with respect! Even when hurt or angry, at least be as polite as you would be to a neighbour or colleague. If you wouldn’t be rude to them, why should you be to your partner?

* Recognise that - just like you - your marriage partner sometimes needs somebody to comfort them. Give a them hug, a touch, a reassuring word or listening ear.

* Make a decision to listen to, and understand your husband/wife - before you expect them to listen to you.

* Remember, it’s not what you said, but what they think you said that is the issue. In a conflict, keep to the issue in hand.

* Resist the temptation to say ". . . and while we’re about it, another thing is . . .” It’s extremely difficult to resolve multiple issues at the same time.

* Help and support one another in the ‘little’ tasks of life.

* On sensitive issues, and during disagreements, feed back what you think your partner is saying or feeling - before you say what you think or feel about the matter.

* Appreciate your marriage partner. Be specific about what you like about them.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Protecting your marriage from the affair

Read a good article today and thought I would post it.

The heaving platform began to empty as the train drew into the station, and I squeezed onto the first available carriage. As I stood shoulder to shoulder with London commuters, I noticed a young couple opposite who stood smiling, gazing into each other’s eyes. To their left was a poster that read in big bold letters, ‘Mind the gap’.

Wise words, not only for users of the London underground, but also for marriage. Because it’s when a couple fails to ‘mind the gap’ in their relationship that an affair is so easily entered into.

Sarah and Robert’s was one of the first weddings we went to after leaving college. Many commented at the time that it was a match made in Heaven. Robert came to see us a few months ago. He sat at the table with his head in his hands and told us the painful news – this same marriage now lay in tatters.

Away on business
Over the next hour, he told us his story. When they were first married they had so much in common, a good social life and jobs they enjoyed. After their first child was born, Sarah continued to work part time. The pressure of Robert’s work increased and he was often away on business. Imperceptibly, a gap began to open up between them. The life seemed to have gone out of their relationship.

It was against this backdrop that Robert’s employers sent him on a business course. On the first evening, he was introduced to Lisa, a manager in the same line of business. As they chatted, he found that they had so much in common, and a spark was rekindled in him. He remembered thinking that this was how it used to be with Sarah when they first met. At the end of the course, they exchanged mobile numbers and agreed to keep in touch. She phoned him the following week and he agreed to meet up to discuss a business plan. The encouragement and support that she gave him was a powerful magnet. The meetings became a regular event. One day she suggested that it would be easier to meet at her flat…

Unmet emotional needs
The truth was that a gap had opened up in the marriage and Lisa had filled it. Their story is not uncommon and, of course, it could just as easily have been Sarah having the affair.

The beginning of an affair generally has little to do with physical attraction but much to do with friendship, and someone other than a spouse meeting unmet emotional needs.

Protecting a marriage is about ‘minding the gap’, by learning how to show love to each other in a way we each understand, as well as seeking to meet each other’s needs.

In my experience of speaking to couples, the failure to meet one another’s needs is more often simply due to ignorance, rather than selfishness or a wilful refusal to put a partner first. The fact is that most men and women have very different needs. But most assume their spouse’s are the same as theirs, and then are frustrated when their misdirected efforts do not have the desired effect.

Despite their best intentions, they fail to connect simply because they do not understand each other’s needs. A husband’s need for sexual fulfilment is not met by his wife’s offer of intimate conversation. In the same way, her need for affection is unlikely to be met by his suggestion of an evening together at the gym.

Love needs nurture and care if it is to grow – and nurturing the love in a marriage will mean taking time to tell one another what our needs are, and then learning how to meet them. And this is not about an iron-willed determination to meet needs at all costs. Whilst it begins with a choice, the feelings often follow, as it’s when we feel loved that we feel like loving. As Michelle Pfeiffer says to Bruce Willis in the film ‘The Story of Us’, “It’s a dance you perfect over time. It’s hard, much harder than I thought, but you don’t just give up.”

Another important part of minding the gap involves putting boundaries in place to protect the marriage relationship. Most affairs start with intimate conversation. So putting boundaries in place may mean saying no to lunch à deux, and proactively taking steps to avoid being alone with someone of the opposite sex to whom we’re attracted.

When my friend Kate found herself attracted to a colleague, she decided to confide in a trusted friend. Immediately the bubble burst and she found that her feelings changed. She had put an important boundary in place.

The conversation with Robert was several months ago. He had the courage to choose to end the affair. The slow and painful process of rebuilding trust and learning to meet each other’s needs has begun.

As the train pulled into the station, the young couple pushed their way to the door and stepped down from the train. I watched them walk away down the platform hand in hand, as the familiar tannoy announcement reminded us to ‘Mind the gap’.

Mind the gap

* Discover an activity to enjoy together
* Talk honestly about how you feel
* Keep your sexual relationship alive
* Show appreciation and approval – be your spouse’s ‘Number 1 Fan’
* Set aside a regular time to be together
* Go on a marriage course (like The Marriage Course)
* Set appropriate boundaries
* Seek to understand and meet each other’s needs

Sunday, 5 July 2009

A Healthy Soul Builds a Healthy Life

The last one today, I hope you have found my comments helpful..

5. Teach your soul to be accountable

We could talk about being accountable to God, your spouse, family, community, work, church but what about holding yourself accountable to YOURSELF. You make decision, promises, New Year resolutions etc - come on take responsibility for the outcome!

Blaming others or circumstances is typical of human behaviour. However, I believe that excuses only give us reason to stay the way we are! Building a healthy soul starts with accepting responsibility and accountability for our own life.

We need to get this right because YOU are your own greatest project! You are responsible for you and it is time to take things seriously. Your attitudes, thoughts, actions, outbursts, character flaws etc. YOU are responsible for being you! When I realised this, my life started to change course as I became passionately interested about changing somethings in my I didn't like.

Someone once said, 'don't be to hard on yourself', my reply was, 'why not?' After all he is never going to be as passionate about my life as I am and I wanted to change. With God's partnership in my life, the Holy spirit and I are working together to craft in me the character of Christ - LONG WAY TO GO STILL THOUGH!!

What do you need to take responsibility for in yourself you know that needs to change?

Friday, 3 July 2009

A Heathy Soul Builds a Health Life

4. Teach your soul to boast in the God

'My soul shall make it's boast in the Lord' Ps 34:2

Those people who need to boast about themselves display all the evidence of insecurity. You need to develop a different type of boast that is focused on God and how good he is. Focus on His character, His purposes and His faithfulness throughout all generations. This will continually promote a humble lifestyle in us as his servants who are dedicated to serve the Lord and others

'How great is our God' is an awesome song written by Chris Tomlin and is sang by millions of Christians around the world and let this be our anthem for the rest of our lives. May these worlds be our first words in the morning, in our conversations throughout the day and be the conclusion to every day.

Do you need to change what you are boasting about?

One more tomorrow....

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A Heathy Soul Builds a Health Life

3. Fill your soul with HOPE

'This hope we have as an anchor of the soul. both sure and steadfast' Heb 6:19

Without hope, we have nothing to secure us in life's storms. Those who find themselves consumed with despair and hopelessness (and I have been there!! Any one else what to own up??) find themselves unhinged and then quickly drift of course.

It is easy to become filled with fear as the negative voices that seem to surround you. What is it that seeks to hijack your joy?

You can keep hope alive and strong by daily meditating on God's word. Practice reflecting and thinking on God's word throughout your day. POUR HOPE into your soul FEAST on God's word.

When Alison and I lost our 1st little boy named Luke (He lived for 6 hours), this as you can imaging was a difficult time for us, our family and our church. After the understandable time of Grieving and finding God to be our refuge and strong tower. As we read his word, strength came to our lives and hope filled our soul and assured us that he was with us, he had called us and we had a work to do. We were to to hold his hand and trust in him - and we did and the journey continues to this day.

You need to know that Jesus is with you, 'even to the very end of the age'. Hope will always lead you on, upward and forward.