This week the Pacific Conference pastors and spouses are enjoying a few days on the Oregon Coast. It’s an important time in the lives of our pastors as it provides space for reflection, rest, and refreshment. Shared meals and inspired teaching, along with some remarkably beautiful scenery become the backdrop for the growth and encouragement needed to do the courageous work of ministry.
Since we believe the job of the conference is to help build healthy churches, this week we are focusing on building healthy pastors by building healthy marriages in our sessions titled, Covenant. Here are a few important quotes we’ve heard during our sessions so far…
1. Where your attention is, your affection follows!
2. Communication in marriage must take place face-to-face and side-to-side.
3. Be intentional about deciding how you will value each other. Praying for each other shows value.
“What is the most generous assumption you can make about this person’s intentions?” -Brene Brown, Rising Strong
4. Four Destructive Patterns to avoid (Source: Fighting for Your Marriage):
- Negative interpretations believe the worst about the other.
- Escalation starts as an argument over the laundry and ends with a threat of divorce.
- Withdrawal is the unwillingness of one or both spouses to engage in the hard things.
- Minimizing the other’s feelings and perspective. Sarcasm, put-downs, and body language can all be used to disrespect your spouse
5. Paying attention always pays off.
6. The Submit to One Another Principle: If you know something bugs your spouse and you don’t have to do it, stop it! If you know something pleases your spouse and you can do it, do it!
7. A healthy marriage requires not only that the wife submits to the husband but that the husband submits to the wife (see Ephesians 5:21).
8. Establish technology rules for your marriage. For example:
- Not at meals.
- Not on dates.
- Not while we’re talking.
- \Not while we have company.
- \Not in bed.
9. Enjoy life with the wife of your youth.
“Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”-John Gottman, The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work
10. Who will go first? A healthy marriage requires the courage to be the first to take the risk, to offer the apology, to push through the hard stuff.
11. It’s important to build “new marriages” as life transitions occur (job change, retirement, empty nests).
12. Betrayal is anything that takes away your attention from your spouse.
13. Satan lives in lies and secrets. Secrets are destructive in relationships. It is the enemy’s tool to bring you down.
14. Do something to build your marriage annually.
15. Be careful little eyes, what you see. Studies show that 50% of the men in our churches struggle with pornography.
16. Don’t pray for your spouse to change. Pray blessing over them. What you think about your spouse becomes your reality about your spouse.
17. The enemy defines sex in our culture.
18. Intimacy requires vulnerability. Talk to one another with humility, grace, and vulnerability.
19. Guys, we need to love our wives with sacrificial love. That’s what they need from us.
20. You are only accountable as you are truthful.
BEFORE YOU GO
What about you? Did we miss your takeaways? I’d love to hear what your “one thing” is. You can share it in the comments.
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Daniel and Heidi’s presentation mentioned our need to see our “troubles” in marriage as a gift in that they bring our pride and selfishness to the surface where they can be talked about and dealt with, We also heard several different times during the retreat, not only the value of praying for your spouse, but also with your spouse.
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