Pastor Kong’s and Pastor Sun’s Sermon 23, April, 2016 Relationship Builder Series Part 4

1 Pet 3:8-9
Do not repay insult with insult, but with blessing.
Keep tongue from evil.
Seek peace and pursue it.

Marriage is the most complex relationship.
If we can handle marriage, we can handle any other relationship.
There are many conflicts in marriage. There are 2 types: solvable problems and perpetual problems.

We do not have to solve all perpetual problems for marriage to thrive.
However, when perpetual problems get serious, we need to do something about it. We can’t just laugh it off.
Signs of serious perpetual problems include: 
– Rejection
– Condemning

Perpetual problems sometimes come to gridlock: being stuck to the frustration where no progress can be made.
We need to move from gridlock to dialogue.

The cause of perpetual problems: Dreams which are not addressed or respected.
Our dream is formed in our youth. When we are married, we want to recreate that dream.

Pastor Kong and Sun have perpetual problem of ministry philosophy.
Pastor Kong wants to emphasize overseas mission. Pastor Sun wants to emphasize to local mission ministry.
This difference can be traced back to the youth season.
Pastor Sun had a loving mother who took care of 5 kids. Hence, she wants to ‘mother’ CHC well too.
Pastor Kong grew up in small church. In this church, a missionary was considered the ultimate hero.
In this difference, they do not allow perpetual problem to become gridlock.

Gridlock kills relationship.
Gridlock is the sign of important dream which is not yet addressed.
Without this dream, we feel meaningless.

Some dreams are simple, e.g. to clear home mortgage.
However, behind this dream, there is greater dream: feeling security about future.
Some dreams are profound.
While the dreams are good, when it is not addressed, it will create perpetual problem.

Proverb 13:12
When the dreams are not addressed, we become frustrated.
Helping each other realize dreams is major goal of marriage.
Proverb 3:27
Many times it is in the spouse’s power to realize the other spouse’s dream.

Marriage is the husband supporting wife’s dream and the wife supporting husband’s dream.
Husband and wife must tell each other what they want in life.

3 steps to handle perpetual problem (to break the gridlock):

1. Become a dream detective

What is the lifelong dream of husband and of wife?
What is his/her aspiration?
Once we are married, it does not mean we bury our individual dream.
We must talk about the dream, even if the dream feels childish.

Example of conflict #1
The husband is not so concerned with cleanliness. The wife is concerned with cleanliness all the time.
Perhaps during his youth, the husband was controlled under his parents. He then dreamed of his freedom.
Perhaps during her youth, the wife grew up in chaotic family. She then dreamed of order in the family.

Example of conflict #2
The husband wants sex. The wife is too tired for sex.
Perhaps during her youth, she was sexually mistreated. She felt sex was ok during her term when she was ready.
Perhaps during his youth, he wants his wife to feel sexually attracted to him. He wants to feel that for the wife he is irresistible.

2. Communicate thoughts and feeling clearly and honestly

What do we feel about it? What is the dream and why is it important?
Spouse must never downplay spouse’s dream and feeling.

James 1:19
Don’t interrupt, don’t judge the dream.
Listen the way a good friend would listen.

Proverb 15:4
When a friend shares with us, we listen as a good friend.
We do not have to agree or participate in spouse’s dream.
Nevertheless, we listen with respect. How do we listen with respect: 

a. Be understanding and interested in the dream

Proverb 24:3, Phil 2:3
We must be interested in spouse’s dream

b. Offer financial support

c. Be a part of the dream

Even if we do not want to be a part of the dream, we can at least honor it.

3. End the gridlock

Rm 12:18
To live peaceable = to declaw the issue.
We take away the sting. We declaw by separating it into 2 categories:

1. Issues we can’t give in to
Non-negotiable. Core values. This area has to be as small as possible.

2. Issues we can be flexible about
This area has to be as big as possible.

We have to learn to compromise with grace.
We need to turn gridlock into dialogue.

Example of conflict #3:
The wife wants to move close to her parents. The husband does not want to relocate.
Perhaps in her youth, she had a happy childhood.
Perhaps in his youth, he saw his grandparents living in destitute. He wants to have financial security for his retirement.
What is the non-negotiable area for the wife? The place has to be near her parents.
What is the flexible area for the wife? It does not have to be condo.
What is the non-negotiable area for the husband? He wants to have saving.
What is the flexible area for the wife? The saving account does not have to come immediately.

It will take some time to end the gridlock

After marrying for many years, we may feel non-excitement.
Perhaps we should move on to deeper shared meaning.
Two soulmates become one by creating inner life together.

Gen 1:27
God honors individuality of male and female. Adam and Eve had their own dreams.
Nevertheless, God blessed them.

Shared meaning does not mean couple sees eye to eye to everything.
shared meaning means convictions, values, goals and dreams are known and celebrated.

Christians should have the best marriage life which is like heaven on earth.

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Posted April 25, 2016 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Kong Hee, Sermon, Sun Ho

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