Two Upcoming Opportunities for Couples @ SRC!

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If you were to ask somebody you know, “What’s the one thing you’d like to see improved upon in your business, or friendships, or marriage, or __________?” there’s one answer you’re going to hear more than any other.

Communication.

“In my line of work, I’d like there to be more open communication with my superiors.”

“My friends and I are so busy we hardly have time to just sit and talk anymore.”

“In my marriage, I feel like my wife and I sometimes miss what each other is trying to say.”

Well, we have — not one, but two — opportunities for married/engaged couples to learn some new tools to grow in healthy communication skills.

Opportunity #1: Emotionally Healthy Skills 2.0

Skills 2.0 is an 8-Week Study designed to provide people with various tools that will help them grow in their Spiritual and Emotional health. The study is both video and discussion based, and each participant will receive a workbook to participate in the study.

 

What Skills Does the Study Focus On?

There are 8 Different Skills focused on throughout the study. These include:

  • September 24: Introduction and Community Temperature Reading
  • October 1: Stop Mind Reading and Clarify Expectations
  • October 8: Genogram Your Family
  • October 15: Explore the Iceberg
  • October 22: Incarnational Listening
  • October 29: Climb the Ladder of Integrity
  • November 5: Clean Fighting
  • November 12: Develop a Rule of Life to Implement Emotionally Healthy Skills

The study will take place at South Ridge Church during the dates listed above, from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. There is no fee to participate in the study.

If you would like to learn more about the study, please contact me (Pastor Justin) at the SRC Church Office. Or you may click here to register for the study.

Opportunity #2: Fight For Your Us (Marriage Conference)

Fight for Your Us (Social Media)On October 20 & 21, Brad & Kate Aldrich (authors of OneFleshMarriage.com) will be joining us to discuss specific tools for communication and clean fighting.

The conference will take place:

October 20: 6:30-8:30pm

October 21: 9:00am – 1:00pm

The cost for the event is $35, which includes all materials needed as well as lunch on Saturday. Feel free to contact me (Pastor Justin) in the SRC Office for additional details, or you may click here to register.

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real marriage ministry begins!

Here at SRC, we’ve learned a few things about couples through the years. For example…

  • 2/3 of All Couples would like a Mentor Couple to interact with, even when their relationship is going well.
  • 9/10 of All Couples would like a Mentor Couple to interact with, especially during challenging seasons in their marriage.
  • All couples learn in a variety of ways, and they all want to take steps forward in their marriage. Sometimes they’re just not sure how.

This is why we’re very excited to begin a new ministry at SRC – Real Marriage.Real Marriage Logo (final)The Real Marriage ministry is designed from the ground up, helping couples grow in their Friendship, Unity, and Intimacy. In other words, it’s holistic in nature, focusing on every aspect of the marriage relationship.

How does it work?  Good question.

We’re going to begin offering some things at SRC we’ve never offered before. For example:

  • Large Groups – South Ridge Church will begin hosting three Real Marriage Events a year. These events are typically held in January, June, and October and are specifically designed to help couples take information about marriage and turn it into intimacy and oneness in their relationship. For 2015, we’ll have a Friday evening event in June booked soon. But we already have a Weekend Event planned for October 23-24, right here at SRC!
  • Community Groups – SRC Community Groups often discuss the same topic as the Weekend Message. And because we offer at least one Marriage-themed message series a year, all groups will be encouraged to discuss the subject of marriage within their group. Additional Life Group studies specific for wives, husbands, or couples may be available throughout the year as well. The goal of each group is to help couples apply a selfless, Christ-like love within their marriage.
  • Mentoring – The heart of the Real Marriage ministry is in mentoring. Whether a couple is engaged and planning to be married in the months ahead, or they have been married for many years, mentoring is a way to help all couples focus holistically on their relationship.

Is anything happening right now?  YES!

Marriage mentoring is now available at SR!. In most cases, couples meet with a mentor couple once a week for eight weeks to discuss various aspects of their relationship. If you have any interest in receiving mentoring, you may contact the church office any time.

We also have a good girl's guideDiscussion Group for Women beginning soon. The group will be discussing a book by Sheila Gregoire, “The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex.” It’s a great opportunity for wives to discuss a Biblical view of intimacy in marriage. If you have any interest in participating, please contact the church office soon to register.

We’re excited to begin this new ministry at SRC, and we look forward to working alongside many couples in the years to come.

the hopeful marriage: the best is yet to come

There’s one question everybody knows they will be asked from time to time.  It’s thought provoking yet simple. Challenging yet straightforward. When you hear it, you know you should have an answer, but few have clarity to answer it well.

“What do you want your life to look like five years from now?”

Since we’ve been discussing marriage the past three weeks, let’s apply this question into the context of your marriage:

“What do you want your marriage to look like five years from now?”

Stop and think about that.  What would be ideal for your marriage? Let’s refrain from thinking of ‘perfection’ (such a dangerous word), and just focus on what would be ideal.  You don’t have to be too specific.  Provide just enough detail so that when you share this with your spouse he/she understands your desires.

How much time will you get to spend together every week?  What will your friendship look like? How will you be growing in holiness together?  What will you do for holidays? Vacations? Family gatherings?

Now, take an opportunity this week to write down your ideas in the form of a story.  Simply title your story, “The Best is Yet to Come…and My Ideal Marriage would be to…” and write it out.  Keep it short.  Under 1,000 words.

Take as long as you want to work on it.  Maybe a day.  Maybe a week.  The more you think through what you really desire in your marriage the more ideal it will be.

Just remember, your spouse is going to be doing this activity as well.  Chances are, they may have different ideas. Different desires. Different expectations.  So here’s what you’re going to do…

After you’ve both had plenty of time to think through things on your own, take an opportunity come together and discuss your thoughts.  Maybe you’ll discover you’re not as far off as you thought.  Maybe you’ll be way off!  Either way, focus your conversation around one simple question: “What changes can we make so that these stories are a reality for our marriage?”

As you discuss it, you’re going to write a new story.  One you both agree on.  The story of YOU gets set aside.  The story of US begins to be written.  Not only do you write it down, you begin to live it out. As you do, your experiences together become magical, not mundane. Expectations become more than normal, they’re natural.  As you live this out you’ll begin to know and be intimate with your spouse in ways deeper than you imagined.  Continue this story long enough, and you may one day help other couples re-write their story.

Don’t get me wrong…

Your story may change from time to time.

It may need to be refined.

In some seasons, rewritten.

But it’s your story, and you’re writing it together.

You’re living it together.

You’re experiencing it together.

Most of all, you’re enjoying it.

Together.

the helpful marriage: marriage as holiness

Last week, we at SRC began a new series on the subject of Marriage. It’s a subject I’m passionate about. Very passionate about. Why? Because the marriage relationship is the one relationship we have on earth that most closely resembles our relationship with Jesus. (Oh, how I wish we were taking more than three weeks on such an important subject!)

Anyway, last week’s message was on “The Helpless Marriage”, and if you haven’t listened to it yet, it’s currently available to download right here. Go on…go and have a listen.

This week, we’re moving forward to “The Helpful Marriage.”

Generally speaking, a helpful marriage seems pretty solid from the outside. It has a husband and wife who get along pretty well. They take care of the family. Pay the bills. And are overall…helpful toward one another. That’s something every marriage should have, right?

But there’s something missing within this type of relationship, too. Sure, things looks good on the outside, but the truth is that neither spouse opens up and shares their life dreams or fears with their partner. It’s even possible that secrets may be being kept. Both individuals may struggle with various weaknesses (or sins) in their lives, and they come to the mutual agreement of, “If you don’t talk about these things in my life I won’t mention these other things in your life.”  They move forward in life with the mindset of, “As long as things look good from the outside, and as long as we help one another raise the family, that’s all that really matters.”

As you know, there’s more to a healthy marriage than looking good. Much more.

One aspect of a healthy marriage is friendship. This was the focal point of the message last week.

Another aspect of a healthy marriage is that the marriage is built on holiness. I know that’s not a word most people use in everyday conversations, but if the marriage relationship truly is a reflection of one’s relationship with Christ, then holiness is the foundation upon which the marriage relationship must be constructed.  Read that one more time just to let it sink in.

If the marriage relationship truly is a reflection of one’s relationship with Christ, then holiness is the foundation upon which the marriage relationship must be constructed.

This weekend we’ll be discussing three areas of holiness within marriage, giving some specific examples as to how each one may be applied within your current marriage.  Until then, feel free to discuss the following questions with your spouse.

  1. What do you think “holiness” looks like in a marriage?
  2. Do you currently think there are any areas of our marriage where we are “helpful” but not “holy”?
  3. How can I help you better become the man/woman God has made you to be this week?

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Questions or comments?  Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

the helpless marriage: marriage as friendship (part 2)

Earlier this week I wrote about the importance of friendship in marriage.  Friendship, you see, is just as important in marriages that may be feeling healthy as it is in those that may be feeling helpless.

Why is friendship important? Because marriage is the one relationship that most closely reflects the quality of our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Think about the gospel for just a minute.

We’ve sinned against a holy God. You. Me. We’ve all done it.

He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins.

And Jesus wasn’t just whipped and hanged on a cross. He bore the weight of our sins on His shoulders. Our sins nailed Him to the cross.

Think about the most painful thing you’ve ever experienced in your life. The greatest hurt you’ve experienced due to somebody’s sin against you. Now magnify that times a million. That’s getting close to what Jesus felt.

And what did He do as a result? He didn’t say, “That person hurt me so badly I’m never going to speak to them again.”  He didn’t say, “What were they thinking when they committed that sin against me?” He didn’t say anything like that at all.  Instead, He bore our sins and still invited us to be His friend. John 15:13 says it like this:

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Jesus said that, shortly before He laid down His life for you and me.

If your marriage is currently healthy – that’s great! It really is. Ask your spouse, “What’s one thing I can do for you over the next week to be a better friend?”

If you’re feeling helpless in your marriage, passages such as this should give you hope. Hope that friendship is possible in the worst of circumstances. Hope that restoration is possible.  In the most fortunate turn of events, Jesus has asked you to be friend!

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This is part 2 in a 3-part series on the helpless marriage. Read each post in the series at the links below:

Marriage as Friendship Part 1

Marriage as Friendship Part 2

Marriage as Friendship Part 3

the helpless marriage: marriage as friendship (part 1)

There are a few things in this world I really enjoy. A good cup of coffee, for instance, has the ability to truly brighten my day. A perfect song at just the right time, too, can lift my spirits. But these are simple pleasures. Sometimes I need something much bolder than coffee. Sometimes I need something more encouraging than a song. Where do I turn for such a thing? My wife.

My wife and I have a great marriage. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t consider ourselves ‘experts’ at marriage. Not a chance. But we do consider ourselves to be best friends. In fact, there are days I’ll call her on my way home from the office, not wanting to wait just ten more minutes to hear her voice. Our love for one another is deep, and our friendship cannot be measured.

Some marriages, however, don’t have the same experience. We know this because outside of our ministry here at SRC, my wife and I write a blog on marriage and intimacy. The comments and emails we receive on occasion indicate that many marriages are hurting. Couples have openly told us they’ve considered giving up rather than try to succeed in their marriage. In short, they’ve told us they often feel helpless.

What leads to these feelings of helplessness? Actually, a lot. Much more than I can write here. But one thing we’ve learned is that couples often marry with certain expectations of what marriage will be like. When those expectations go unmet, difficulties arise. And instead of working through those expectations together, the marriage slowly drifts apart.

Please don’t drift apart.

Instead, take an opportunity to evaluate your current marriage in just one area – your friendship.

Friendship, you see, is THE defining factor of a great marriage. Think about it, how many people do you know who have gotten divorced but can honestly say, “Yeah, we were great friends. It just didn’t work out.” Sorry, but nobody says that. Ever.

Maybe you’re currently feeling helpless in your marriage. Or maybe you and your spouse are getting along quite well! Either way, take an opportunity sometime over the next few days to discuss these questions with your spouse. Don’t just think about them yourself. And don’t write down answers in a journal. Instead, have a nice 15-30 minute dialog with your spouse, and see where your conversation takes you.

Question 1: What is one thing we can do together this month to improve our friendship?

Question 2: If we could talk more about one area of our marriage, what area would it be?

Question 3: Helpless, Helpful, or Hopeful – Which word would you currently use to describe our marriage? If helpless or helpful, what steps can we take so we both see it as hopeful?

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This is part 1 in a 3-part series on the helpless marriage. Read each post in the series at the links below:

Marriage as Friendship Part 1

Marriage as Friendship Part 2

Marriage as Friendship Part 3

Have a question or comment?  Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

have a marriage question?

The Helpless MarriageNext Weekend, April 26-27, SRC will begin a 3-week message series on the subject of marriage.  The topics of discussion include:

  • The Helpless Marriage
  • The Helpful Marriage
  • The Hopeful Marriage

Throughout the series, we’re hoping to answer some of YOUR questions on the subject of marriage.  If you have a question you would like us to consider answering as a part of the series, please feel free to let us know by leaving a comment (reply) below.  Thanks!