Learn what it really takes to achieve oneness…fighting back. Week 3 of our February series called “Love, Sex, Marriage and Courtship”.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends…
- Love is Patient
- Love is Kind
- Love is Not Proud
- Love Doesn’t Demand it’s Own Way
- Love is not Resentful
- Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
- Love Never Gives Up
- Love Never Ends
This is the kind of love that can Change the World.
This is the kind of love that Satan will seek to destroy.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:4
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. – Ephesians 2:2
We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. – 1 John 5:19
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. – Colossians 1:13
Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. – 2 Timothy 2:25-26
Battleground No. 1: Difficult Adjustments
A. Contrasting backgrounds bring painful adjustments for couples in these areas:
- Family history
- Past relationships
- Painful experiences
B. The following superficial motivations for marriage require shocking adjustments:
- Sexual attraction/involvement
- Cultural or family pressures
D. Differing expectations about marriage in the following areas result in unexpected adjustments:
- Expression of love
- Sexual performance
- Plans for the future
Battleground No. 2: Marriage Philosphy
A. The world’s pattern is a 50/50 performance relationship.
B. The world’s pattern (50/50 performance relationship) is destined to self-destruct because of:
- My inability to meet unreal expectations
- The impossibility of knowing my spouse has met me halfway
- My tendency to focus on weaknesses in my spouse
- My disappointment in my spouse, which paralyzes my performance
- My desire to get revenge when wronged
Battleground No. 3: Selfishness
A. Everyone has a natural tendency to be self-centered and destructive in relationships.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way – Isaiah 53:6a
B. Our culture today encourages and promotes selfishness.
C. This selfishness will rob the relationship of its romance.
Battleground No. 4: Trials and Difficulties
A. There are two failures in our response to trials.
- There is a failure to anticipate the certainty of difficulties and problems.
- There is a failure to respond properly to difficulties and problems.
B. Difficulties do not mean something is wrong with your marriage.
C. God will allow difficulties in your life for many reasons. (James 1:2-6)
D. Your response to difficulties will either drive you apart or bind you together.
Battleground No. 5: Affairs
A. An extramarital “affair” is an escape from reality or a search for fulfillment outside the marriage.
B. Extramarital affairs are attempts to meet a legitimate need illegitimately.
C. Extramarital “affairs” take many different forms:
- Activities affair
- Materialism affair
- Career affair
- Family affair
- Love affair
D. We are deceived into believing that we deserve complete fulfillment and perfect happiness.
- Society programs people.
- People develop an improper perception of reality.
- People compare their expectations and fantasies to real life.
- People begin to question reality (and not their fantasies).
- People escape to extramarital affairs.
- People ultimately end up in isolation
Life Group Questions
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is patient, kind, etc. Which of those aspects of love do you struggle with the most?
- What specific ways has culture negatively influenced your marriage?
- Which of the 5 Battlegrounds has Satan been waging war with you lately? (Difficult Adjustments, Marriage Philosophy, Selfishness, Trials, or Affairs)
- What could you possibly do to arm yourself against the larger threats to your marriage?