Our Wedding Celebration

Saturday November 5, 2011 was one of the most joyful and proud days of my life: our son Stephen married the love of his life, Alicia Ingram.

Stephen and Alicia Chafee, November 5, 2011

Words can’t express the joy I have in my heart that Stephen has such a wonderful young woman who loves him, perhaps more than Kim and I do. Alicia is a joy and a treasure, and Stephen knows it. One thing that makes their relationship so strong is the fact that they were best friends before they became a couple.

I also can’t express in words the pride I have in Stephen for the man he has become. Last Saturday I heard person after person, friends we had known from our Woolridge Road Church days, tell me what a fine young man Stephen is. It is one thing for me to have these feelings, but it is quite another for other people to affirm what I already know.

Maybe all of us married men need to look back at our wedding day and remember all the reasons that we got married in the first place. Remember the anticipation, the fun, the fear, and the joy of journeying together as best friends and partners. Reflect on and rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18), and then go tell her what she means to you.

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God’s Covenant of Marriage

How does one go from a good marriage to a great marriage? A husband and wife must never lose their commitment to each other. This commitment to both your mate and your marriage goes deeper than romantic love. It empowers you to keep an unbreakable covenant with your marriage partner regardless of unexpected circumstances. Our covenant God says to us, “I will make you my wife forever,  showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.” (Hosea 2:19).

My Covenant Commitment

C = Commit to working through problems and not walking away (1 Corinthians 7:27).

  1. Decide together that divorce is not an option.
  2. Agree to communicate feelings honestly and lovingly.

O = Offer love to your mate even when you don’t feel like it (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

  1. Evaluate how your love compares to that described in 1 Corinthians 13. Substitute your name in the place of the word “love” in verses 4-8.
  2. Pray daily for those who have hurt you—forgive and forgive again, refusing to keep a record of wrongs.

V = View your marriage as God’s setting for spiritual growth (Proverbs 15:13).

  1. Realize that God did not create any one person to meet all your needs.
  2. While God is your ultimate need-meeter, see your mate as God’s gift to meet some of those needs.

E = Eliminate any emphasis on your rights (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

  1. Identify what makes you angry.
  2. Sensitively express your honest desires—”It would mean a lot to me if you would take out the trash.”

N = Nurture your identity in Christ (Philippians 4:13).

  1. Evaluate if your sense of self-worth is based on how your mate treats you.
  2. Acknow1edge that your true identity is in Christ, not in your mate.

A = Ask God to change you (Psalm 51:10).

  1. Evaluate what areas in your life need changing.
  2. Ask your mate, “Would you name one area in my life where you feel I need the most change?”

N = Nourish your extended family relationships (Exodus 20:12).

  1. Evaluate the tangible and emotional needs of your in-laws.
  2. Consistently look for the positive in your mate’s family.

T = Turn your expectations over to God (Psalm 62:1).

  1. Evaluate the unrealistic expectations you’ve had of marriage and your mate.
  2. Realize God can bring complete fulfillment to you regardless of your marriage partner.

Your Scripture Prayer Project: Ephesians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, I Corinthians 13:4-5, 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, Philippians 2:2-4, 1 Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:25, Mark 10:9

 This covenant acrostic come from June Hunt [print_link] [email_link]

Desires of Husbands & Wives

Although everyone has three God-given inner needs (for love, significance, and security), God designed the husband to have a greater need for significance, while the wife is uniquely created with a deeper need for security. A crucial element in the marriage relationship is becoming aware of your partner’s desires and learning to meet them creatively. Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

How Wives Fulfill Their Husbands’ Desires:

  1. Admiration (Proverbs 31:23)
    1. Praise his positive character traits.
    2. Respect his burden of responsibility.
  2. Domestic Support (Proverbs 31:27)
    1. Provide a peaceful home atmosphere.
    2. Manage the home efficiently.
  3. Companionship (Mark 10:8)
    1. Develop mutual interests together.
    2. Learn to talk knowledgeably about your husband’s occupation.
  4. Attractiveness (Proverbs 31:25)
    1. Develop inner beauty that earns respect.
    2. Display inner strength regardless of outward circumstances.
  5. Sexual Fulfillment (1 Corinthians 7:4-5)
    1. Communicate your sexual desires.
    2. Give assurance that your husband is sexually adequate.

How Husbands Fulfill Their Wives’ Desires:

  1. Affection (Song of Solomon 1:2; 2:6)
    1. Give hugs, kisses, cards, flowers, and gifts.
    2. Tell her how much you care for her.
  2. Communication (Ephesians 4:29)
    1. Listen with concern and interest.
    2. Encourage and praise her positive character traits.
  3. Honesty (Proverbs 24:26)
    1. Commit to total truthfulness.
    2. Share your true thoughts, feelings, and desires.
  4. Financial Security (1 Timothy 5:8)
    1. Shoulder the financial responsibility.
    2. Prepare a budget together to plan for the future.
  5. Commitment (Hebrews 13:4)
    1. Schedule quality and quantity time alone with her.
    2. Make your wife and family your highest earthly priority.

This is information I discovered from June Hunt, the founder and CEO of Hope for the Heart.

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Causes of a Broken Marriage

Many people enter marriage expecting “personal payoffs.” Eventually, these unrealistic expectations become lost hopes and dreams that grow a root of bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 states, “See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Couples expect marriage will always provide:

  1. Love and acceptance
  2. Affection and sexual intimacy
  3. A loving family
  4. Rescue from present circumstances
  5. Financial security
  6. Social acceptance
  7. Protection from loneliness
  8. Time to change a mate’s behavior

When these unrealistic expectations are unfulfilled, many spouses say:

  1. “Life is too short to live like this. We’ll both be happier apart.”
  2. “This was not a marriage made in heaven. We should never have married.”
  3. “I’ve tried everything—our situation is hopeless.”
  4. “You’re wrong. You’ll never change!”
  5. “Everybody’s getting divorced—marriage doesn’t matter anymore.”
  6. “It’s better for the children if I leave, to protect them from the arguing.”
  7. “I’ll never be happy here, but I’ll try to stay until the children are grown.”

Instead of living with unrealistic expectations regarding what you don’t have, be grateful to God for what you do have. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The Key to a Biblical Marriage?

Mutual submission is based on your love for the Lord and your desire to do His will. Because of your love for God, you both must learn to defer to the desires of each other. Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

This is information I discovered from June Hunt, the founder and CEO of Hope for the Heart.

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