My wife and I went to a class offered at our church call “Re|Enagage.” Watermark Church’s Marriage Ministry created this class that is offered in churches all across the country. If you live near Dallas, TX, you can attend the class, here is the website for more information on how to find where it is offered:
You many be thinking to yourself another marriage class no thank you but please continue reading because Re|Enagage made a huge impact on our marriage. And before you dismiss this by saying “our marriage is not in crisis or turmoil so I don’t need this;” our’s wasn’t either, we just wanted to go from a good marriage to a great one! And just to debunk another lie that the enemy will try to get you to believe…Don’t look at this class as “our marriage will appear that it is bad”… but look at it like “we want to continue to have a great marriage”…and so we are going to get new tools to improve it. Just like you perform regular maintenance on your car, we need to do the same for our marriages. As part of the class, there was a small group time which the purpose is to build biblical community so that people realize that every marriage has issues, regardless of how it appears, no marriage is perfect. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) describes it this way:
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
The small group helped “sharpen one another” as we opened up to share (Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron).
The primary focus of the class was to work on yourself and what you learned in the lessons instead of pointing out what your spouse is not doing.
The first two chapters focused on this Principle: RECOGNIZE YOUR INABILITY TO LOVE.
At first that does not seem so positive, does it? But it is critical to understand how flawed we are so that we look at our spouses through the correct lens, and not expect them to do what we are incapable of doing.
Lesson 1 was on Love…The main idea was:
God’s Standard of love is the way He loves. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV) defines love biblically:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
You cannot meet this standard. THIS IS PERFECT LOVE!
In the reading they made this statement…“While love may be blind, marriage is a real eye opener.”
We all entered our marriage with expectations of what it was going to be like. I am a firm believer that you get what you put into your marriage. “Garbage in, garbage out”…or you can look at it that you put in love, respect, sacrifice; you will get those in return.
The lesson was broke down What Love Really Is…
Love is patient and kind.
Not about instant gratification, Encourages instead of condemns.
Love doesn’t envy or boast.
Celebrates when another is celebrated, Admit failures instead of giving excuses.
Isn’t rude or insisting on its own way.
Not demanding/manipulative to get its way, put the needs of the other first. Studies the needs and wants so they can meet them.
Is not irritable or resentful.
Can handle shortcomings/disappointments, Gladly overlooks small offenses and graciously forgives larger ones w/o bringing them up later.
Bears and endures all things.
Takes on the others hardships as their own, Committed regardless of feelings and what they are receiving in return.
Believes and hopes all things.
Acts in trustworthy manner with no secrets which eliminates suspicion. It believes the best about the other and does everything it can to make the relationship work.
Love is thinking about the other person’s needs over your own, giving everything you have to the other person. Love in God’s perspective is sacrificial and selfless commitment.
“Jesus was the ultimate model for what love is (Romans 5:8 – Christ died for us while we were sinners.) – Real love puts the other person first!”
If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here… ★ Re|Engage – Brokenness ★
If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…