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Match for Marriage – Meant for Life

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					              Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                  Week 1
I.    Introduction
      A.    Instead of a reactive ―repair‖ approach for troubled marriages, a
            proactive approach  do it right the first time!
      B.    Romantic relationships remain a mystery (Proverbs 30:18-19)
      C.    Relationship issues affect everyone in one way or another.
      D.    Many people initially approach relationships with little strategy or
            forethought – too young, giddy sense of romance, immature, etc.
      E.    The world’s view
            1.)      Physical first (physique, attraction, appeal, sex)
            2.)      Worry / wonder about everything else afterwards
            3.)      Many wrong reasons for, and approaches to, marriage
            4.)      Follow the same chaotic pattern of broken relationships
      F.    The Biblical view
            1.)      Fully understand / develop all four aspects of life
            2.)      Follow a specific order for relational interaction
            3.)      Pursue relational interdependence (Mark 12:30)
            4.)      Choose to live a balanced, abundant life (John 10:10)
      Group Questions / Discussion
            1.)      What relationship advice have you received?
            2.)      What have people told (or warned!) you about marriage?
II.   It’s a Mystery
      A.    ―Love at First Sight‖ versus ―Heartbreak Academy‖
      B.    Existing sources for relationship guidance and advice
            1.)      Popular magazines (men’s and women’s)
            2.)      Online sites (single’s sites, dating sites)
            3.)      Public schools (sex education to minors?)
            4.)      Older siblings or peers (limited / biased experience)
            5.)      Churches (historical slanted / ―prudish‖ view – although
                     some offer ―premarital mentoring‖)
            6.)      Observed ―modeled‖ relational behavior by parents

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       C.    Existing relational patterns
             1.)    Luck of the draw (no strategy or forethought)
             2.)    Lack of positive inter-generational guidance
             3.)    Cyclical confusion / issues / problems / results
       D.    God wants every person to live an abundant life (John 10:10)
             1.)    Not just spiritually, but also intellectually, emotionally, and
                    physically
             2.)    Not just individually, but also relationally
       Group Questions / Discussion
             1.)    Describe what you felt the first time you fell in love.
             2.)    What effect do you believe the world’s influence is having on
                    relationships? (magazines, TV, movies, social norms)
III.   We Need Help Solving the Mystery
       A.    Personal pressures – loneliness; immaturity; hormones; immoral
             choices; lack of, or ignorance toward, relational guidance
       B.    Worldly influences on our development / expectations
             1.)    Hollywood, television, societal standards
             2.)    Current philosophies (political correctness / unchecked
                    tolerance / acceptance / relativism / religious legalism
       C.    Negative relational results / statistics
             1.)    Divorce, living together, domestic violence, suicide
             2.)    Alternate lifestyles, family demographics, abortion
             3.)    Casual sex, unwed pregnancies, social diseases
             4.)    Impact on society (costs for abortion, criminal judicial
                    process, ongoing education, medical, etc. – $112 million
                    annually!)
       D.    Proof that we need help with relationships!
       E.    We can’t keep doing the same things while expecting better results
       Group Questions / Discussion
             1.)    What negative relationship statistic surprised you the most?



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            2.)    How has relationship guidance been affected by political
                   correctness, unchecked tolerance, blind acceptance, and
                   religious legalism?
IV.   God’s Relationship Clues
      A.    The Trinity reflects relationships at a Divine level
      B.    OT – God’s relationship with the Israelites
      C.    NT – God’s relationship with His church
      D.    10 Commandments – divine and human interaction
      E.    Song of Solomon – intimacy within a marriage
      F.    Why use the Bible?
            1.)    Logical Approach (absolute truth versus relativism)
            2.)    God invented relationships and relational intimacy
            3.)    Stands the test of time (everlasting and enduring truth)
            4.)    Our instruction manual for life (II Timothy 3:16)
      Group Questions / Discussion
            1.)    Explain how relativism negatively affects relationships.
            2.)    How does the seemingly ―restrictive and prudish‖ Biblical
                   approach provide relational safety and security that the
                   world’s progressive approach cannot offer?




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                                 Week 2
V.    Relational Interaction
      A.    We were created for healthy relational interaction
      B.    Interaction – ―a mutually shared, two-way action of two individuals‖
      C.    Takers, givers, and one-sided relationships
      D.    Fulfilling relationships – mutual (shared) and reciprocal (two-way)
            involvement
      Group Questions / Discussion
            1.)    Why is shared and two-way interaction important to a
                   fulfilling relationship?
            2.)    State a few reasons why sometimes people settle for less?
VI.   Relational Interdependence
      A.    Types of interaction in relationships
            1.)    Dependence – unhealthy, insecure, ―needy‖
            2.)    Independence – arrogant, detached, selfish
            3.)    Interdependence – mutual reliance and fulfillment
      B.    Put your own one-of-a-kind life’s puzzle together first
            1.)    Find out who you are (personality, preferences, purpose)
            2.)    Claim and accept the uniqueness and value God gives you
                   (Song of Solomon 2:3; 6:9; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5)
            3.)    Don’t ―force fit‖ people into your life – no matter how good
                   that specific ―puzzle piece‖ looks or sounds!
            4.)    Trust God – wait patiently for His timing and His person
                   (Psalm 37:3-4, 7)
      C.    Fulfillment whether single or married (I Corinthians 7:7-8)
            1.)    Determine God’s will and purpose for your life
            2.)    Determine if someone fits within your life’s purpose
      Group Questions / Discussion
            1.)    What are some ways that dependence and independence
                   show up in relationships?
            2.)    Discuss some observable benefits of interdependence.

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VII.   Made in God’s Image
       A.    The Trinity confirms God’s plurality (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
             ―Let us make man in our image‖ (Genesis 1:26)
       B.    Divine interdependent interaction is evident within the Creation
             1.)    God the Father was present (John 1:1-2)
             2.)    The Holy Spirit moved upon the surface of the earth’s waters
                    (Genesis 1:2)
             3.)    Jesus (also called ―the Word‖) created everything that was
                    made (John 1:3)
                          Everything was spoken into existence, except man
                          God was more intimately involved when He made
                           man (we were handmade by God!)
                          Implies a more personal, affectionate involvement
             4.)    God’s plan of salvation was developed before time began (II
                    Timothy 1:9)
                          He saw our sin – and planned our reconciliation
                          He continued with our creation anyway
                          He still gave us free will!
       C.    Made in God’s image does not refer to His divine attributes
       D.    ―Image‖ – similarity, resemblance, fashion, manner (likeness)
       E.    One similarity – we were made to enjoy wholesome and fulfilling
             interdependent relationships
       Group Questions / Discussion
             1.)    Why did God create us with free will if He foreknew that we
                    would sin?
             2.)    How does realizing we are ―made in God’s image‖ affect our
                    self-image and self-worth?




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                                  Week 3
VIII.   Incomplete Creation
        A.   God created us with all four aspects of life (Genesis 2:7)
             1.)    He formed our physical body from the dust of the ground
             2.)    He breathed into us the breath of life (spirit)
             3.)    We became a living [experiencing, sensing, feeling,
                    emotional] being (soul)
             4.)    He gave us the intellectual capacity for freewill (mind)
        B.   Even with all four aspects, Adam was incomplete
        C.   Was this a mistake? No, God made him incomplete being alone
        D.   God created Eve as his ―helpmeet‖ (Genesis 2:18). Helpmeet is
             translated as:
             1.)    ―Suitable helper‖ (NIV)
             2.)    ―Companion‖ (MSG),
             3.)    ―Suitable partner‖ (CEV)
             4.)    ―Comparable helper‖ (NKJV)
             5.)    A combination of these terms gives us ―compatible
                    companion‖ (―Matched 4 Marriage!‖)
        E.   God created us with the need for human interaction
             1.)    Not someone identical, yet not a complete opposite
             2.)    Nothing in all of Creation completed Adam as did Eve
        F.   Naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25)
             1.)    No physical inhibitions, fear, or shame in marriage
             2.)    Physical touch and sexual intimacy are critical elements to
                    the human experience (Mayo Clinic report)
        G.   Priority of their relationship
             1.)    For whom was Genesis 2:24 intended? Adam had no
                    parents to ―leave‖!
             2.)    ―Leave and cleave‖ places the significance, priority, and
                    commitment on the new relationship / family unit
        H.   No ceremony necessary

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            1.)    Marriage is not a tradition, ideal, or event
            2.)    The married man and woman are their own marriage
            3.)    This emphasizes the need for mutual compatibility in all four
                   aspects!
      Group Questions / Discussion
            1.)    Why didn’t God create Adam and Eve simultaneously?
            2.)    Compare the interaction in a marriage with the interaction in
                   a personal relationship with God.
IX.   What’s so Remarkable About the Four Aspects?
      A.    All four aspects – spirit, mind, soul, and body – are given to every
            person from conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Job 31:15; Luke 1:41)
      B.    All four aspects are influenced by many factors
            1.)    Family, genes, culture, upbringing, values, environment
            2.)    Observed parental behavior / interaction
            3.)    Society, personality, circumstances, experiences, choices
      C.    Developmental progress results in maturity or immaturity
            1.)    Personal goal – full maturity in all four aspects
            2.)    Personal maturity prior to seeking a romantic relationship
            3.)    A fulfilling relationship requires maturity, balance and
                   interdependence in all four aspects
      D.    All four aspects are interdependent
            1.)    Any imbalance or deficiency in any aspect creates a
                   distortion
                   a.     Spiritual – fanatical focus creates ―holier than thou‖
                   b.     Intellectual – brainiac with little in common with others
                   c.     Emotional – lack of control leads to instability
                   d.     Physical – shallow without other three aspects
            2.)    Common danger – staying in our comfort zone by focusing
                   on only one or two aspects instead of full maturity in all four
            3.)    The bottom line is balance – each aspect is to be fully
                   developed, equally applied, and abundantly enjoyed

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E.    Each aspect has varying levels of depth and intensity
      1.)    Spiritual – nonchalant seeker  fervent saint
      2.)    Intellectual – uneducated  scholar
      3.)    Emotional – detached loner  affectionate lover
      4.)    Physical – realist  romantic
F.    Relationship goal – find someone compatible with you in all four
      aspects
      1.)    Develop, know, understand, and accept yourself fully
      2.)    Observe all four aspects in other people
G.    The key is balance
      1.)    A juggler with four balls in the air – equal attention / balance
      2.)    All four tires on a car – equal presence, balance, alignment,
             maintenance (to avoid a wreck!)
H.    True fulfillment in an interdependent relationship requires both
      people having all four aspects:
      1.)    Fully developed in their own life
      2.)    Mutually shared at compatible levels and intensity
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)    Give examples of how an overemphasis or imbalance in one
             aspect affects the other three aspects.
      2.)    What are some obstacles that hinder people from finding a
             compatible and interdependent relationship?




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            Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                 Week 4
X.   The significance of your SPIRIT
     A.    Spiritual aspect – moral standards, ethics, and religious beliefs
     B.    The spirit:
           1.)    Comes from ―the God of the spirits of all mankind‖ (Numbers
                  27:16)
           2.)    Is breathed into us by God (Genesis 2:7)
           3.)    Separates us from the rest of creation
           4.)    Is our vertical window allowing a consciousness of God
           5.)    Allows us to worship God (John 4:24)
           6.)    Is eternal – will have an eternal destination
                  a.       Since Adam’s sinful disobedience, all mankind is
                           ―spiritually dead‖ (Romans 5:12)
                  b.       If we accept Christ as Savior and Lord, our spirit is
                           ―reborn‖ (John 3:3, 7)
           7.)    Though invisible, it is readily obvious when it is absent (the
                  missing component after physical death)
                  a.       It is the spirit that gives us life (Job 27:3)
                  b.       It will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
                  c.       Without it, the physical body dies (James 2:26)
                  d.       Jesus surrendered His spirit back to God when He
                           died on the cross (Luke 23:46)
           8.)    The moral standards, ethics, and religious beliefs of the
                  spiritual aspect establish the guidelines for a wholesome and
                  interdependent life.
           9.)    Most relational problems are linked to a deficiency in the
                  spiritual aspect
     C.    Spiritual interaction with the other three aspects
           1.)    A mature and balanced spiritual aspect provides the moral
                  framework for the choices / actions you make in life
           2.)    Relationship choices must be aligned with God’s Word

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     3.)    The world’s culture runs counter to spiritual well-being
     4.)    Aspect interdependency:
            a.      Put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5); transform
                    your mind – new way of thinking (Romans 12:2)
            b.      Govern emotions with Biblical principles and spiritual
                    morals (Jeremiah 29:11; Hebrews 13:5; I John 1:9)
            c.      Sexual abstinence until marriage (Hebrews 13:4; I
                    Corinthians 7:9)
D.   How the spiritual aspect affects relationships
     1.)    The starting point in relationship discussions
     2.)    Christians are not to be ―unequally yoked‖ (II Corinthians
            6:14)
     3.)    A morally strong spiritual aspect should govern relational
            behavior (fantasies, passions, actions)
E.   Spiritual development and maturity
     1.)    Spiritual rebirth through salvation
     2.)    Read God’s Word daily and apply it to your life experiences
            (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:9, 105)
     3.)    Regularly scheduled quiet times for prayer and meditation
     4.)    Worship and fellowship with other believers
     5.)    Eventually include ―devotions‖ in your dating routine
F.   Signs of spiritual maturity
     1.)    Establish a personal relationship with God
     2.)    Know what you believe and why you believe it
     3.)    Have a well-defined set of moral / dating standards that align
            with God’s Word
     4.)    Show the courage to stand for your convictions – even if you
            must stand alone
     5.)    Maintain a positive self-image and acceptance as one of
            God’s valuable handmade creations
G.   Spiritual Compatibility Questionnaire

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Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   Since the spiritual aspect plays such a critical role in life and
            relationships, why is it downplayed or ignored?
      2.)   Name five or more potential relationship disasters that await
            an unequally yoked couple.
      3.)   What other spiritual differences could affect a relationship?




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                                     Week 5
XI.   The significance of your MIND
      A.    Intellectual aspect – ability to think, reason, understand, and decide
      B.    God gave us mental capacity to learn from / about Him
      C.    The mind:
            1.)    Provides deductive reasoning – if….then scenarios (algebra)
            2.)    Allows the exercise of our freewill – relationship choices
            3.)    Must be guarded / protected (Psalm 19:14)
            4.)    Must be filtered through the moral framework of the spiritual
                   aspect
            5.)    Must be stable / sound – not double minded (James 1:8)
            6.)    Must be brought under the obedience of Christ (II
                   Corinthians 10:5)
            7.)    Has an eternal impact – memories last forever (Luke 16:19-
                   31)
                   a.       Your mind is like a computer – what ―files‖ would you
                            delete if you could?
                   b.       How will this decision look when I stand before God?
      D.    Intellectual interaction with the other three aspects
            1.)    A mature and balanced intellectual aspect is interdependent
                   with the other aspects
                   c.       Physical attraction & emotional chemistry must be
                            balanced with spiritual morality & intellectual wisdom
                   d.       Intellectual imbalances (non-use or ―analysis
                            paralysis‖) both have negative results
            2.)    The intellectual aspect provides the reasoning and
                   decisioning capacity
            3.)    Intellectual deficiency negatively affects the other aspects
                   a.       Samson’s deficiency in his decision-making ability
                            and moral framework caused his downfall



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            b.     Mental / logical restraint balanced with spiritual insight
                   help control the emotional and physical aspects
     4.)    Until we reach intellectual maturity, listen to other mature
            sources (God’s Word, Holy Spirit, parents, pastors)
            a.     Determine your life’s purpose – align relationship
                   pursuit(s) with God’s purpose / plan for your life
            b.     Develop critical thinking processes – a compatible
                   partner should ―fit‖ with your intellectual aspect
            c.     Logically evaluate your relationship pursuit – What
                   attracts me to this person?
E.   How the intellectual aspect affects relationships
     1.)    Intellectual compatibility is often the first step in developing a
            relationship – start talking about commonalities
     2.)    Wide intellectual differences diminish things in common and
            they restrict meaningful communication
     3.)    Goal – find someone compatible with your intellectual level
F.   Intellectual development and maturity
     1.)    As you develop and mature intellectually, rely on sound
            counsel from trusted, ―experienced‖ sources (not peers)
     2.)    Knowledge – accumulated learning (Proverbs 2:6)
     3.)    Wisdom – applying what you know to your life (Proverbs
            2:10-13)
     4.)    Experience – combination of successes and failures (your
            own and others’)
     5.)    Maturity – learning from experiences (learn from those more
            experienced than you!)
G.   Signs of intellectual maturity
     1.)    Allow God’s Word to affect your decisions and choices
     2.)    Develop the reasoning skills to make sound decisions based
            on reliable sources that support all four aspects.



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      3.)   Ask questions and keep an open mind to invaluable input
            from trusted mentors and family members
      4.)   Take full responsibility and ownership for your decisions and
            actions—for both the rewards and the consequences
      5.)   Learn continuously – see the world!
H.    Intellectual Compatibility Questionnaire
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   How does a significant gap in the intellectual aspect affect a
            relationship?
      2.)   What relationship thoughts should you bring ―under the
            obedience of Christ‖?
      3.)   What are some ways you can engage your mind to control
            your strong, passionate feelings for someone?




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                                  Week 6
XII.   The significance of your SOUL
       A.   Emotional aspect
            1.)    The experiencing, feeling, sensing part of living!
            2.)    Is usually subject to gender stereotyping
       B.   The soul:
            3.)    The divine breath of a living creature (Hebrew and Greek
                   definitions)
            4.)    Separate from the spirit (Matthew 12:18; I Corinthians 15:45;
                   I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12)
                   c.     Spirit – a living vitality and consciousness of God;
                          vertical window
                   d.     Soul – an awareness of our surrounding environment;
                          horizontal window
            5.)    Allows you to feel and express emotions
            6.)    The extension of who you are – the center of your emotions
            7.)    Sometimes synonymous with ―heart‖ – your inner core
            8.)    The intangible component that gives the capacity for a
                   deeper life – deeper expression, deeper meaning
            9.)    Without emotions, we are robots – performing obligatory
                   duties, yet feeling nothing
            10.)   Emotional response generally reveals true inner feelings
                   (huge relational clue!)
            11.)   What is on the inside of a person generally comes out
                   a.     Every tree is known by the type of fruit it gives (Luke
                          6:43-44)
                   b.     ―Out of the abundance of the heart‖ the mouth speaks
                          (Luke 6:45 NKJV)
       C.   God is emotional – as made in His image, we share this aspect




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     1.)   God the Father – love (John 3:16), hatred (Proverbs 6:16-
           19), anger (Numbers 11:1), jealousy (Exodus 34:14), and
           compassion (Psalm 86:15)
     2.)   Jesus – tenderness (Mark 10:13-16), meekness (II
           Corinthians 10:1), joy (John 15:11), humility (John 13:4-5)
     3.)   Holy Spirit – can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30)
D.   Emotional interaction with the other three aspects
     1.)   The emotional aspect must be acknowledged, understood,
           and developed as a part of who you are
     2.)   Emotions affect the other three aspects (interdependency)
           a.     Spiritual – fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
           b.     Intellectual – sound wisdom to control a heart that will
                  sometimes mislead you (Jeremiah 17:9)
           c.     Physical – purity of lifestyle and conduct (I Timothy
                  4:12)
E.   How the emotional aspect affects relationships
     1.)   Emotional dependency versus interdependency
     2.)   An ideal mate should be a compatible emotional match
           a.     Romantic versus realist – frustration
           b.     Opposites initially attract, but long-term?
           c.     True emotional ―connection‖
F.   Emotional development and maturity
     1.)   Strong sense of self worth and acceptance
     2.)   Understand your own emotional level, intensity, and needs
     3.)   Observe the emotional level, intensity, and needs in others
G.   Signs of emotional maturity
     1.)   Know who you are – personality, spiritual gifts, traits
     2.)   Observe and discern the emotional interaction of others
     3.)   Assume direct responsibility for controlling your emotions
     4.)   Be comfortable experiencing and sharing genuine, heartfelt
           emotions

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      5.)   Move past dependent and independent relationships and
            into an interdependent relationship
H.    Emotional Compatibility Questionnaire
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   What are the benefits and challenges of being emotional
            ―opposites‖?
      2.)   When is being emotionally ―needy‖ a bad thing for a
            relationship? Can it be (and, if so, when is it) a good thing?
      3.)   What are some obstacles that keep men from fully and
            honestly expressing their intimate feelings?




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                                Week 7
XIII.   The significance of your BODY
        A.   Physical aspect – the enabler of the other three aspects
             1.)   Relationally, the physical aspect involves all physical
                   contact, physical affection, and sexual intimacy
             2.)   The physical expresses the spiritual, intellectual, & emotional
        B.   The body:
             1.)   The temporary physical address where your spirit, mind, and
                   soul reside (embodiment)
             2.)   Enables the other three aspects to interact with God, others,
                   and the environment (experience; expression; enjoyment)
        C.   Important things to know about the body God gave you
             1.)   It’s not yours – it is God’s (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
             2.)   Choices made with the body:
                   a.     Result in rewards and / or consequences
                   b.     Have a direct impact on the other three aspects
             3.)   Allowing the body to overrule the spirit, mind, and soul
                   usually is a downward spiral to sin (James 1:14-15)
             4.)   Satan is in attack mode – he usually targets our entire being
                   through the body’s desires (I Peter 5:8)
             5.)   To guard against physical sin derailing us:
                   a.     Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11)
                   b.     Avoid ―the sin‖ that so easily trips us (Hebrews 12:1)
                   c.     Don’t play / toy with sin (Proverbs 6:27)
        D.   Physical interaction with the other three aspects
             1.)   The physical aspect by itself, though temporarily exciting and
                   pleasurable, is quite hollow
             2.)   The physical aspect desperately needs the interdependence
                   and balance of the other aspects
             3.)   Seek commonalities in the first three aspects instead of
                   focusing solely on the physical attraction and urges

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     4.)   You can generally do something you have not yet done, but
           anticipate doing. But you can never undo something you
           have already done and regret
E.   How the physical aspect affects relationships
     1.)   Physical involvement without the full support and agreement
           of the other three aspects is unfulfilling and frustrating
     2.)   Fullest physical expression (sex) is reserved for marriage
     3.)   It requires the same level of compatibility as the other three
           aspects
     4.)   Historical negative church views
           a.     Sex has been considered as carnal, sinful, ―dirty,‖ and
                  a spiritual hindrance
           b.     Christian divorce rates similar to the world’s
     5.)   Personal choice for fulfilling perpetual romance
     6.)   A fulfilling relationship involves all four aspects, fully
           engaged and interdependent, and equally contributing
F.   Physical development and maturity
     1.)   Maturity includes:
           a.     Strengthening, protecting, and caring for the body
           b.     Avoiding anything that harms / hinders the body
     2.)   Dating care & attention – versus – marriage care & attention
     3.)   Remember – Satan is constantly attacking you! Resist him!
           a.     Maintain healthy personal habits
           b.     Maintain healthy physical appeal for your spouse
           c.     Maintain vibrant physical interaction
     4.)   God only gave you one body – use it wisely
G.   Signs of physical maturity
     1.)   Respect yourself and your future spouse
     2.)   Say ―no‖ to yourself – control premarital desires
     3.)   Exhibit personal accountability to a moral standard
     4.)   Do not place yourself in vulnerable situations

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      5.)   Commit to physical health and well-being
H.    Physical Compatibility Questionnaire
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   If the physical aspect is shallow and ultimately unfulfilling
            without the other three aspects, why does it get so much
            attention and promotion?
      2.)   How can two people tell if they are physically compatible
            without having premarital sex (of any kind)?
      3.)   Knowing our physical bodies truly belong to God, and we are
            just ―borrowing His clay‖ for a short period of time while here
            on earth, how should that affect our physical actions and
            choices?




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                                 Week 8
XIV.   Applying All Four Aspects to Life
       A.    Pulling all four aspects together and applying them to life situations
       B.    LS #1 – Physical involvement with no emotional connection
             1.)    Imbalanced emotional attachment
             2.)    Using sex to control or affirm
             3.)    Typical result is an empty, unfulfilled relationship
             4.)    Need all four aspects to result in a healthy, wholesome,
                    fulfilling, committed relationship
       C.    LS #2 – Learned emotional responses versus true compatibility
             1.)    Differentiate between genuine emotional responses and
                    behaviors (truly feeling something / buying flowers)
             2.)    If emotions / feelings are learned, are they truly genuine?
             3.)    Be who you genuinely are – as God made you!
             4.)    Find a compatible emotional match without trying to
                    ―change‖ or ―train‖ him or her
       D.    LS #3 – Acting our way to a feeling or feeling our way to an action
             1.)    Typically, acting is part of a drama – not real
             2.)    You may act forever, but never truly feel anything
             3.)    Dull life versus an abundant life
       E.    LS #4 – Difficulty in expressing what is felt inside
             1.)    Communication style differences – where there’s passion,
                    there’s expression
             2.)    What is on the inside generally comes out (fruit tree parable
                    in Matthew 12:33)
             3.)    No fear in perfect [complete; fulfilled] love (I John 4:18)
       F.    LS #5 – Romantic feelings fade; commitment lasts a lifetime?
             1.)    Time’s affect should mature, ripen, blossom – not fade
             2.)    Prioritize a perpetually romantic environment
             3.)    Value and safeguard what is important to you
       G.    LS #6 – Appreciation of meaningful expressions

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      1.)   Not all expressions are meaningful – find out!
      2.)   Discover compatibility and commonalities first!
H.    LS #7 – People change over time – just have to deal with it
      1.)   Mysteriously changing versus facing relational dilemmas
      2.)   Maturing, growing, spending time……together
I.    LS #8 – Love language differences
      1.)   Importance of clear communications and expectations
      2.)   Learn your ―language‖ prior to a committed relationship
J.    LS #9 – Love is a decision, not a feeling?
      1.)   Love is indeed a commitment; but it’s also a strong feeling
      2.)   A continual commitment proven by ongoing affection,
            connection, and fulfillment
K.    LS #10 – Women are emotional; men are physical
      1.)   The Bible contradicts societal emotional stereotypes
      2.)   As our example, Jesus modeled emotional maturity
L.    LS #11 – Assuming how a partner feels – with no communication
      1.)   Avoid emotional attachments and dependencies
      2.)   Pursue ―mutual‖ expressions as well as genuineness
M.    LS #12 – Difficulty in expressing emotions / feelings
      1.)   Everyone has some level of emotional expression
      2.)   We express what we are passionate about (sports, kids)
      3.)   Ocean treasure isn’t found at the surface, but in the depths
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   When we derive our self-esteem from a source other than
            God’s perspective, how does that affect us and our relational
            pursuits? How does it affect our relational interaction?
      2.)   Along with the chemistry and attraction in a relationship,
            what steps can we take to equally engage our morals and
            logic?
      3.)   What affect does a strong emotional connection have on a
            relationship?

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             Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                Week 9
XV.   Dating Forward, Not in Reverse
      A.    Today’s prevailing culture and emphasis has it backwards!
      B.    God calls believers to stand apart (II Corinthians 6:17)
      C.    How the four aspects identify levels of relationships
      D.    Building a solid relational foundation
            1.)    Jesus’ example of a house on a rock (Luke 6:47-49)
            2.)    Discovery during dating – not prying!
      E.    Godly, smart, and safe stages of dating (in God’s order).
            1.)    Each level builds on the previous stage & grows deeper
            2.)    Stage 1 – Spiritual (co-workers, acquaintances)
                   a.     Equal ―yoke,‖ values, beliefs, moral standards
                   b.     Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
                   c.     No emotional or physical involvement
            3.)    Stage 2 – Intellectual (friends)
                   a.     Outlook, degrees, career, ambitions, logic
                   b.     Give differences as much scrutiny as commonalities
                   c.     Increasing emotional chemistry; no physical
                          involvement
            4.)    Stage 3 – Emotional (best friends, family)
                   a.     Connection either exists or it doesn’t (not learned)
                   b.     Ensure it is a healthy emotional attraction
                   c.     Avoid ―falling‖ before confirming feelings are mutual
                   d.     Danger of settling for the ―familiar‖
                   e.     Listen beyond what your heart wants to hear
                   f.     Listen to the true inner essence of a person
                   g.     Control strong feelings; no sexual involvement
            5.)    Stage 4 – Physical (spouse)
                   a.     Full sexual involvement reserved for marriage
                   b.     Discover physical commonalities, needs, desires
                   c.     Exercise self control and discipline while dating

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              Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                   d.     Sex is more than a casual occurrence to exploit
                   e.     Emotional chemistry versus physical attraction
                   f.     God intends marital sex to fully satisfy both the man
                          and the woman
       Group Questions / Discussion
             1.)   Along with peer pressure, loneliness, wanting to be accepted
                   / loved, curiosity, and the world’s promotion, what are some
                   other reasons why the dating stages are reversed?
             2.)   When we ―fall in love‖ or find ―love at first sight,‖ what steps
                   must we take to involve the spiritual and physical aspects?
             3.)   Why is a premature or unhealthy emotional attachment
                   dangerous?
XVI.   Relational Intimacy
       A.    The concept of intimacy has been lost in our global community
       B.    True intimacy – more than sexual involvement
       C.    True intimacy involves mutual:
             1.)   Desire – confirms the mutual, reciprocal feelings
             2.)   Intention – willingness and ability to trust and be vulnerable
             3.)   Passion – energizes full expression and enjoyment
       D.    Compatible expectations and connection
       E.    Intimacy within the four aspects (build on each one; level of
             intimacy stops where compatibility is no longer shared)
             1.)   Intellectual
                   a.     Usually, the safest place to start – leading to spiritual
                   b.     Commonalities – school, career, church, friends
                   c.     Can both hold an engaging, intelligent conversation?
             2.)   Spiritual
                   a.     Commonality is a ―must have‖ for a Christian
                   b.     Shared values, convictions, morals, beliefs
                   c.     Denominational differences may be insurmountable
                   d.     Nonchalant seeker versus spiritually grounded

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      3.)    Emotional
             a.     Much more guarded – inner core of a person
             b.     Requires high trust and willingness to be vulnerable
             c.     Depth of life experiences and personality correlate to
                    emotional depth
             d.     Human experience, passionate zeal, and equivalent
                    appreciation for the emotional side of life
             e.     Examples of emotional intimacy
                            Sharing true inner feelings and thoughts
                            Feeling respected, worthy, whole, and
                             accepted
                            Enjoying quality time together – alone
      4.)    Physical
             a.     Initial physical involvement during dating phase
             b.     Sexual intimacy – fullest demonstration and most
                    sacred expression between two married people
             c.     All sexual involvement is reserved for marriage
             d.     Intended to be mutually initiated and enjoyed
F.    Perpetual romance – “that wonderful feeling of being noticed,
      wanted, and pursued—of being at the very center of our lover’s
      attention”
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.     Explain how intimacy in all four aspects strengthens a
             relationship.
      2.     How does a couple demonstrate intimacy prior to marriage?
      2.)    Why is being completely trusting and vulnerable so important
             to a fulfilling relationship?
      3.)    What are some reasons why a person may not want to trust,
             be vulnerable, or ―let someone in‖ to their inner self?




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               Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                Week 10
XVII.   R U Ready for Marriage?
        A.   Finding compatibility is no guarantee that daily interaction will
             miraculously create your marriage dreamland fantasies
        B.   Interactive behaviors necessary for the ―give and take‖ of marriage
        C.   Understand, prepare, and commit to them prior to marriage
        D.   Some are gender specific – yet enough overlap exists to imply they
             apply equally to both a husband and wife
             1.)    Make a lifetime commitment (I Corinthians 7:11)
                    a.     God’s intent for a ―helpmeet‖ – ―Meant 4 Life!‖
                    b.     Determine your relational level of commitment prior to
                           marriage (both people in a dating relationship)
                    c.     Commitment emphasizes the importance of
                           compatibility and interdependence in all four aspects
             2.)    Be a faithful companion (Malachi 2:14)
                    a.     Marriage is a covenant – a solemn / binding contract
                    b.     Faithfulness includes all four aspects!
                    c.     God hates divorce – the destruction of something He
                           created (Malachi 2:16)
             3.)    Love unselfishly and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25, 28-33)
                    a.     Love as you love yourself – and love as Christ
                    b.     Move beyond self-centeredness and selfish desires
                    c.     Marriage is about putting each other’s needs first
             4.)    Leave and cleave (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7)
                    a.     ―Cleaving‖ – sticking together as if glued
                    b.     No other relationship takes priority over the marriage
                    c.     A spouse completes his/her partner like nothing else
             5.)    Follow his lead (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5)
                    a.     ―Submissive‖ – relational alignment, not servitude
                    b.     Submitting responds to loving; loving responds to
                           submitting (reciprocal interaction)

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       Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

            c.     Caution – be compatibly selective (Proverbs 6:24-25)
      6.)   Take a year to cheer (Deuteronomy 24:5)
            a.     ―Cheer‖ – to brighten, make glad, or make joyful
            b.     Starting a new family unit is a stressful adjustment
            c.     Godly spouses please each other (I Corinthians 7:33-
                   34
      7.)   Find compatible completion (I Corinthians 11:11-12)
            a.     The world view scoffs at the concept of completion
            b.     Relational completion involves matured
                   interdependence, not unhealthy dependence
            c.     God gave Adam and Eve only each other
      8.)   Offer compassionate comfort (Genesis 24:63-67)
            a.     Finding a compatible spouse requires God’s
                   sovereignty, wisdom, guidance, and perfect will
            b.     God knows each person – knows each
                   temperamental match
            c.     Spouses – a unique source of comfort for each other
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)   What are some obstacles to fully ―leaving and cleaving‖?
      2.)   What challenges will a couple face in ―following his lead‖?
      3.)   Compare and contrast personal development with
            completion / fulfillment in a relationship.
      4.)   How does a spouse’s compassion differ from anyone else’s?




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                                 Week 11
XVII.   R U Ready for Marriage? (con’t)
              9.)    Avoid needless machismo (Colossians 3:19)
                     a.     ―Harsh‖ – insensitive, inconsiderate, and unkind
                     b.     World’s view of ―macho‖ contradicts the
                            compassionate example Jesus portrayed
                     c.     Foster a compassionate, sensitive, affectionate home
              10.)   Live peacefully (Romans 12:18; I Corinthians 7:15)
                     a.     Make every effort to live peacefully with everyone
                            (Hebrews 12:14)
                     b.     Considerate lifestyles and behaviors
                     c.     A peaceful and harmonious environment includes the
                            willingness to quickly and genuinely say, ―I’m sorry,‖
                            and ―I forgive you‖
              11.)   Demonstrate a sensitive spirit (Proverbs 25:24; 30:23)
                     a.     ―Gentleness and quietness‖ (I Peter 3:3-5)
                     b.     Man’s focus is on fixing up the outside; God looks at
                            the heart (I Samuel 16:7)
                     c.     Become an inwardly peaceful, sensitive,
                            tenderhearted person
                     d.     Create a safe haven where the world is shut out
              12.)   Live joyfully satisfied (Proverbs 5:18)
                     a.     ―Rejoice‖ – being cheerful, happy, and delighted with
                     b.     Growing relationally stagnant, grumpy, argumentative,
                            detached, and humdrum is not God’s intent for an
                            abundant life (John 10:10)
                     c.     Choose to be joyful in marriage for your entire lifetime
              13.)   Show pleasing devotion (I Corinthians 7:32-34)
                     a.     ―Please‖ – to satisfy, gratify, make happy
                     b.     Not an unhealthy, one-way pleasing to gain
                            acceptance or affirmation

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       Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

             c.     Mutual pleasing, not obligatory actions
      14.)   Create an affectionate atmosphere… (Ecclesiastes 9:9)
             a.     Joyful – gaze upon with delight or affection
             b.     After marriage, sex does not replace romance
      15.)   …Then, be affectionate! (Titus 2:4)
             a.     At times affection may involve just being, not doing
             b.     The test of meaningful loving affection
             c.     True affection is most visible through (mutual)
                    emotional and physical interaction
      16.)   Respect each other (I Peter 3:7)
             a.     ―Knowledge‖ and ―honor‖ – dignity and respect
             b.     Both are co-heirs of God’s grace and kingdom
             c.     Male strength and ego are to protect and honor
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)    What stereotypes make it difficult for a man to outgrow his
             ―macho man‖ act?
      2.)    How critical are the traits of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians
             5:22-23) to a relationship (love, joy, peace, patience,
             kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-
             control)?
      3.)    What outward evidence and benefits result from becoming
             ―beautiful on the inside‖ (I Peter 3:3-5)?
      4.)    Identify a few challenges to maintaining a perpetually
             affectionate atmosphere. How can they be overcome?




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               Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                Week 12
XVII.   R U Ready for Marriage? (con’t)
              17.)   Give honor and admiration (Esther 1:1-20)
                     a.    Love/affection and honor/respect are interdependent
                     b.    ―Reverence‖ – admiration, awe, love, and devotion
                           (Ephesians 5:33)
                     c.    Settle for nothing less than mutual and genuine
                           admiration and devotion
              18.)   Rely on each other (I Timothy 2:14; Genesis 3:1)
                     a.    Wise use of feminine intuition
                     b.    God created man and woman with complementary
                           traits to be a compatible companion to the other
                     c.    Two heads are better than one
              19.)   Be a need provider (Genesis 3:17-19)
                     a.    Primary versus sole provider (I Timothy 5:8)
                     b.    Financial provision is not a man’s only responsibility
                     c.    He must have a strategy to meet his wife and family’s
                           needs in all four aspects
              20.)   Exhibit virtuous value (Proverbs 31)
                     a.    Checklist for marriage – make sure it includes virtue
                     b.    ―General moral excellence, right action and thinking,
                           goodness or morality, and chastity‖
                     c.    Encompasses self, spouse, and family
              21.)   Be ravishingly captured (Proverbs 5:19)
                     a.    A wife’s physical / sexual love should have a
                           captivating effect on her husband
                     b.    The power of the physical aspect finds its:
                                 Core connection in the emotional aspect
                                 Commitment in the intellectual aspect
                                 Blessing in the spiritual aspect
              22.)   Enjoy sexual expression (I Corinthians 7:3)

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       Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

             a.       God intended both spouses to fully enjoy each other
                      physically – and to be ravishingly satisfied!
             b.       Pleasure and enjoyment versus ―meeting needs‖
             c.       True fulfillment in the physical aspect – more than
                      simply going through the motions of sexual activity
      23.)   Being versus doing (Luke 10:38-42)
             a.       Activities and events do not make a relationship
                      special – it’s the people in the relationship!
             b.       Meaningful time together is precious and fleeting
             c.       Doing may be required, but being is voluntary
Group Questions / Discussion
      1.)    How does a couple show mutual respect for each other?
      2.)    How does ―relying on each other‖ tie in to ―following his
             lead‖?
      3.)    Explain the meaning behind ―sexual intimacy becomes a part
             of who they are, not just something they do.‖
      4.)    What is the difference between ―doing without being‖ and
             ―being without doing‖?




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                Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

                                 Week 13
XVIII.   The Mystery Solved
         A.   An important relational clue (Ephesians 5:25)
              1.)    Husbands – love as Christ loved the Church
              2.)    Application to relationships
                     a.     Christ met needs in all four aspects
                     b.     Husband – meet your wife’s needs in all four aspects
              3.)    Problems start when we perceive this command to be a
                     ―standalone‖ requirement – very one-sided
         B.   A second important relational clue (Mark 12:30)
              1.)    What did Christ command the Church (and by parallel
                     application, wives)?
              2.)    Application to relationships
                     a.     The Church is to love God with all her heart, mind,
                            soul, and strength
                     b.     Wife – love your husband in all four aspects
              3.)    ―Love‖ in Mark 12:30 implies a daily choice to love fully,
                     willingly, unselfishly, and passionately
                     a.     To experience God’s abundant life, believers must
                            actively love Him in all four aspects – spiritual,
                            intellectual, emotional, and physical
                     b.     To enjoy an abundant marital life, spouses must
                            actively and interdependently love each other in all
                            four aspects (and meet each other’s needs)
                     c.     As faith without works is dead (James 2:17), so love
                            without reciprocal response and interaction is dead
         C.   The relational mystery is solved when both people in a compatible
              relationship genuinely fulfill their corresponding roles
 XIX.    Summary
         A.   What is the sincerest, deepest desire of your heart?
              1.)    Truly achieving compatible relational interdependence?

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             Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life

           2.)    Or continuing what has been done previously?
      B.   What is your true motive in pursuing a marital relationship?
           1.)    Activities to fulfill your developmental, experimental, creative,
                  or adventurous pursuits?
           2.)    Or enjoying a satisfied, fulfilled, and abundant life with your
                  interdependently compatible spouse?
      C.   Discovered clues to resolving the mystery between a ―man and a
           maiden‖
           1.)    Personally develop each aspect fully – to maturity
           2.)    Maintain an interdependent balance within the four aspects
                  (no deficiency, overemphasis, or imbalance)
           3.)    When dating, pursue the proper aspect progression (spiritual
                  first; full physical expression reserved for marriage)
           4.)    Pursue full relational compatibility and interdependence
                  (settle for nothing less)
           5.)    Once such a relationship is found, value and safeguard it
                  above all other earthly priority
      D.   Think through the entire process to your desired outcome
XX.   Compatibility Assessment
      A.   Identify / differentiate between your relational needs & preferences
      B.   List you strengths, weaknesses, and requirements in all four
           aspects
           1.)    Strengths – your characteristics that bring value to a
                  relationship
           2.)    Weaknesses – characteristics you currently do not have or
                  are a ―work in progress‖
           3.)    Requirements – identify the nonnegotiable ―needs‖ from the
                  optional ―preferences‖ you desire in a potential spouse
      C.   Don’t look for someone who is perfect—look for the one who is
           perfect for you!



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