This last Sunday Tom & Amanda Gould shared something with the people of Elevation Christian Church that the NFL & Players Union wish that they could do. They made their relationship new again. It was almost a year ago Tom said that he was done with their marriage. He had moved out and was living in an apartment and was preparing for divorce. But something happened. Something enabled Tom & Amanda to start all over again. It was the relationship that they both began with Jesus Christ. You see Tom & Amanda had been to church and they had heard all the religious conversation, but they had never made their relationship with Jesus a priority. Let alone that relationship with Jesus the center of their relationship. Amanda shared that for a woman that their are two humbling things that occur in a womans life, child birth and a troubled marriage. She went on to share that they she knew that other things had crept into their life that did not make the marriage the priority.
You see I think that as I watch the NFL and the Players fight away. They to have lost the focus on what is important. It is one word “relationship”. They have unfortunately let other things take the focus away just like Tom & Amanda. The only difference is that Tom & Amanda had the humility to see that they needed number one a relationship with Jesus and a relationship with each other centered in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those in the NFL would be able to do the same thing, humble themselves to see that a relationship is at stake here. God saw it that is why He sent His son here to earth. To reconcile the relationship between us and Him.
Maybe just maybe the NFL and the Players Union could learn something from Tom & Amanda as they point to Jesus the one who can and will help in our relationships.
Over the last couple of weeks at Elevation Christian Church we have really felt the need to tackle some heavy topics. We talked about PORN and the damage it does to relationships. We didn’t back down from what it means for the families of people dealing with PORN as well as the ones that are addicted to it.
This week we tackled another heavy topic, DIVORCE. It was a message that I truly prayed over and really knew that we needed to deal with as we go through this series called “I Want A New Marriage”. Anytime that you talk about marriage you also have to talk about divorce seeing how in some books they say 35% of marriages end in divorce or some others say that it is as high as 50%. No matter what the statistic may be it is an area of life that has affected us all. I can share about the different relationships in my own family that have been effected, I have uncles and aunts, cousins, a brother, and even my own parents. So as I walked into this weekend were I felt that there needed to be much grace when it came to this topic because I too know the sting of this subject and how it changes each person that is involved. I also knew that we needed to call peoples attention to the severity of the damage that it causes and I chose to even point out that living together because you have been hurt in divorce is not what God wants either. I know that there are situations that I might not now about or that there are things that have happened in the past. All I know is that I am called by God to speak about what He wants for our marriages and if that bothers someone then I have to remember that even Jesus had people get upset with His teaching. (Good company to be in I think.)
What was awesome was the conversations that I did have with several couples that have been attending our church and are seeing the next steps that they need to take in their own relationships. That they heard the grace and mercy of Jesus and they understood that what they were doing was not what God wanted for them in their relationships and that they knew that God as calling them to make some huge commitments and decisions in their lives. I pray that they continue to take those steps to live the way that Jesus has called them to live not because it is easy but because it is the best for them.
As we head into the month of February we all know that Valentine’s Day is in that month. So with that in mind we decided that it was a great time to talk about relationships, marriage, and all that goes with that. Valentine’s Day is really a day that we celebrate the love and relationships we have and it comes only once a year. What is sad is that may be for some people the most romantic and awesome day they have in the year which is really pathetic! With that in mind we are going through a series called ”I Want A New Marriage” what we want people to really see is that the new marriage or relationship that they want is the one that they already have, it just takes some work. I know that we always hear that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, well that is because someone on the other side of the fence put the work into the yard and that is why it looks the way it does.
I thought that we could start out the month by giving people some tools that they can use when it comes to the relationships in their lives. But I want you to realize that the tools are only good if you use them. Here are two books that I have read in the last couple of weeks that I think have great information and practicality in them for relationships.
“Love & War: Finding the marriage that you dreamed of” by John and Stasi Eldredge you can also find the 8 week Devotional for Couples that is great.
“The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” by Gary Chapman it too has a companion book that you can go through as a couple for Bible Study.
“Love & War” is a great book that walks you through their relationship and all that they struggled with to be where they are today. It is a great read if there are things in your marriage and relationship that are keeping you part. ”The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” is a great book that will actually give you work to do at the end of each chapter that allows you to put into practice what you are learning, if you are not a big reader then this is the one that you will what to get. I hope that this is a help to get things rolling in your relationships and marriages. Even if you are a single person these are great to read because it prepares you to think now about what you will want in your marriage. If you are a single guy then I would encourage you STRONGLY to read these because it will prepare you to be the husband that I guarantee a lady is looking for in her life.