From This Day Forward
by Craig Groeschel
– Learn to fight fair. Many couples fight for personal victory when they should be fighting for resolution.
– Be quick to listen
– James 1:19 – Slow to speak. Proverbs 18:2. Wait for your turn to jump in or state your point.
– Ask yourself if what you are about to say should be said and then ask yourself if what you’re about to say should be said right now. It might not need to be said at all. It may not be the right time to say something. Just remember that what you say cannot be taken back.
– Slow to anger – James 1:19. Acknowledge your spouse’s feelings by repeating back what they said to you and making sure you understand it.
– Work on your marriage during non-conflict times.
– The best time to make rules for how you’re going to fight is to establish them before you ever start fighting. Agree that you will not yell or walk out on each other, etc.
– Don’t use harsh words such as never or always.
– Don’t keep score cards — love doesn’t keep records of the bad.
– Never threaten with divorce.
– Don’t quote your pastor or another person while fighting — leave them out of it.
– Your unresolved anger can give the devil a foothold, so learn to resolve things.
– To avoid in our attitudes:
• Don’t criticize your spouse in public or private.
• It’s one thing to ask them to change, but it’s a whole other to criticize about it.
• This is bubbled up anger that has not been fixed.
• This is a sure sign that you need help.
• Blaming the other person for what you did.
• This is the form of doing whatever you have to do to get your way.
• This would be ignoring the problem, refusing to talk about it or denying that even exists.
– Don’t fight for personal victory, fight for resolution and restoration. Don’t fight your spouse, fight to keep your marriage together.
– If you win every fight but destroy your relationship in the process, what have you really won?
– When you are married, love is no longer a luxury, it must be a requirement. The natural romance of when you were dating is not present, and, since you have already conquered your spouse because you’re married, you have to intentionally keep fun in the marriage.
– If you don’t work at it and have some fun in your marriage, eventually you may not have a marriage to have fun with.
– When you were dating, it was fun being together and everything was so good, but now that you are married you must intentionally have fun or your marriage will shrivel up.
– Invest in a genuine, face-to-face time with your spouse on a consistent basis.
– Even if you don’t feel close to your spouse, start loving and serving her/him anyway. Remember that your feelings will follow your actions, so do and later you will feel it.
– If you want what you once had, then you must do what you once did.
– If you neglect each other for even a short season, you will have consequences. You must have fun together and be intentional about doing so.
– Invest in your romance. Make a plan, put it on the calendar and stick to it.
– Make a commitment to get back to the place where you are best friends in your marriage.
– Every step you take in the direction of looking at porn, flirting with a coworker or fantasizing about someone that is not your spouse will distance you one step further from your spouse.
– You may feel strong right now and see no need for accountability in your life, but temptations will be persistent if you’re not careful and they will take you down.
– Have accountability partners that are not your spouse and set things in motion to help you avoid falling.
– A few ways that God says to stay away from sinning in life:
1. Know and keep God‘s Word – Psalms 119:11
2. Maintain the standards that God has placed — let God know you in the most intimate areas of your life.
– Sin does not start on the outside, it begins on the inside. The seeds are planted inside way before they ever blossom. Matthew 5:27–28. The lust of the heart, flirting as if you were available, etc.
– Maintaining purity will always be a challenge for everyone no matter how old or the position he/she has.
– Jesus is the source of purity and holiness. Stay close to Him if you desire to be pure and holy. Don’t allow society to determine what you watch or accept in your home, stay close to Christ.
– Purity matters to Christ. What you look at, talk about, who you hang around and what you think about all determine our purity.
– Your marriage will be as good as you decide it to be.
– While adultery may be grounds for divorce, it is also grounds for forgiveness.
– We might think or say that opposite attract, but opposite also attack. You have to learn to accept your spouse as they are, not as you want them to be.