4 week study challenging, encouraging, and inspiring us in regards of being HIDDEN in Christ.
Week 1- Hiding in Shame vs. Hidden in Christ
Embarrassment vs Shame
It is human nature to make mistakes. You can react one of two ways:
- Feel embarrassment and guilt but own the mistake, ask forgiveness, and move beyond the mistake. Allow the event to make you a better person.
- Feel shame and seek to conceal the mistake. Blame the people that love you, and deflect responsibility for your actions.
- The serpent tempted Adam and Eve and they both gave into sin.
- They felt shame and hid from God.
- When asked by God why they ate from the tree, they each blamed someone else for their mistake. Adam blamed Eve and even God. Eve blamed the serpent.
The Shame Solution
- Sin is the root of shame.
- The problem that most of us have today is that we want to feel less shame but we do not want to give up the sins that cause it.
- The key to removing shame is to fix our eyes on Jesus who endured a shameful death so that we would not be shamed any more.
- Shame is the result of sin, but grace is the result of God's enduring love for us.
- When we encounter Christ, our identity is no longer in the world, but in God.
- We are not called to hide in shame, but to hide in Christ who has endured shame on the cross for us.
February: Love for a Lifetime
3 week study on the elements of achieving a Love for a Lifetime
Week 1- The Keys to a Lifelong Love
Understanding a person's need for intimacy and companionship. Understanding the stages of marital bonding.
- Why do so many people get off to a bad start to marriage?
- We desire to have a healthy, loving relationship that will last a lifetime.
- It is sad to note that 30-50% of you may end up in divorce. (APA)
- Only 10-20% will achieve intimacy in marriage. Needs meet. Heart to heart. Soul to soul.
- It is an innate need: Popsicle Story
- She tried to buy their love and acceptance.
- She gave her very best. It was taken. It was not enough.
- We are built with a need for intimacy. Need for connection
- It is not just young children that have this need.
- Vietnam Soldiers. Chinese developed brain washing
- Isolating the soldiers, no positive mail.
- 3000 layed down and died. No evidence of physical disease. Lost the will to live.
- God saw this need in Adam. Adam had God to talk to but he still needed companionship.
- He needed emotional and psychological needs
- That is what marriage is intended for, but it frequently fails to accomplish this.
- Dr. Desmond Morris wrote a book called Intimate Behavior
- He talks about bonding in the marital relationship
- Building the house in 15 minutes. Could not accomplish because not enough time to let the glue to dry.
- Bonding is like waiting for the glue to dry
- 12 stages of marital bonding that you have to walk through in order for intimacy to form
- Bonding is defined as a covalent that links 2 people soul to soul
- For better for worse, in sickness and health, forsaking all others
- Move slowly and systematically. Don't rush
- Hollywood rushes through these steps
- When you get married, you still have to go through these steps daily
- Rascal Flatts- Behind the smile
- Hours of conversation. To really get to know someone
- Set a plan at the beginning of the relationship
- If you have gone too far you can turn it around. It takes a lot of courage and discipline
- Do you believe in love at first sight
- How can you love someone if you dont know them
- You are in love with love, an image, the concept
- Define love- It is not a physical condition that changes (like falling in a ditch)
- Love is a decision verses a feeling.
- Is it important to love someone without feeling it? It is important in a marriage
- What is constant is decision to make it work
- In marriage the person is not an asset to make you better. When things change you can just leave
- Surgeon Dr. Richard Selzer’s “I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be thus from now on. The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve. Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? The young woman says, "Will my mouth always be like this?" she asks. "Yes," I say, "it will. It is because the nerve was cut." She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. "I like it," he says, "It is kind of cute." "All at once I know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate her, to show her that their kiss still works. I remember the ancient gods of Greece would appear as mortals. I held my breath and let the wonder in”
- That kind of love and commitment of a man for his wife is so unusual that Dr. Selzer called him a god.
- He is not a god. He is just a man that loves his wife more than his own convenience. More than his own pride. He is committed to her for the rest of his life even though she will be unattractive for the rest of her life.
- That is bonded love
- If you find it in life you are one fortunate person