Pastor continued the series on Tension, first reminding us that tension can lead to negative outcomes, but that where there is tension, there is power. This week’s message is on Tension in Marriage. Probably everyone has experienced this whether married or a child of a marriage. We bring the best of us to marriage and hope for best. A marriage relationship is filled with tension because two people come together to become as one. Even with the best of plans, which doesn’t always exist, the marriage situation is a recipe for tension.
Pastor noted that often a lot of planning goes into the wedding, but how much goes into the life after the wedding? Pastor shared how there were some mishaps at his wedding and reception but the problems at the wedding didn't set the tone for marriage.
The natural instinct for individuals is to pull away. Satan will do everything he can to destroy the relationship within a marriage. Matthew 19:7-14.
Relieving tension is different from avoiding tension. People need to deal with the tension which will allow the relationship to grow stronger.
Point: Tension is a warning sign AND an opportunity to bring your marriage under God's design.
The Bible shares God’s design for marriage. First, two become one (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:6) but it takes more work than just love. God's blueprint for marriage is set out in Ephesians 5. After providing an outline Paul admonishes people to “be careful how you live, not as fools but as the wise. Ephesians 5:15. A primary, necessary element is to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21. This attitude of submission and respect is expanded in verses 22-33.
It helps to recognize stressors in marriage. Stressors are external events that cause impact. This impact is viewed as negative or positive. Which indicates that we have choices in how we react.
Chronic issues will clearly cause problems. If there is a chronic issue it will have to be set off by other areas: spiritual, physical or psychological.
Some well-known stressors are: parenting, job stress, exhaustion, noncommunication, disagreement, hurt feelings, poor health, in-laws, financial issues, lack of respect, lack of appreciation.
Many stressors are invited in. Instead of avoiding them and allowing them to fester and create a wedge that deteriorates the relationship, they must be dealt with.
How do you eliminate stressors?
1. Recognize the stressor and consider options, make choices. For example, it is not fair for one spouse to feel like he or she only gets leftover time. The situation needs to be discussed and it may take a change of job even if it means less income and/or change of lifestyle. We can have victory in Christ (1 John 5:4) and more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
2. When the stressor can't be eliminated, we can change our reactions to the stress. God will give you way out. 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Satan wants to destroy marriage; God wants to save the relationship. When tension leads to a decision point, what will you do? It may be time to redefine your identity in Christ. Your own relationship with Christ defines how you deal in marriage. We can plan for marriage by finding our place in Christ first. (As my husband always says: Christ has to be the center of the home for the marriage to be successful in His will.)
I didn’t think I’d find a song about marriage but I found this. Jesus and You.Verses for Today:
Ephesians 5:15-21 NIV
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Thank you Lord for giving me a wonderful husband who agreed that You would be the heart and center of our love and home!