* i am reading the MOST challenging and beneficial book on marriage at the moment.  WHAT DID YOU EXPECT by Paul David Tripp has the tagline REDEEMIGN THE REALITIES OF MARRIAGE and is semi-premised with the hope that people read this BEFORE they get married so they carry tools and the right heart into marriage – but its amazing and as i said, challenging for those who ARE married and living out some of the good and not so good that this book is written about

The book totally comes from the heart of grace and growth – that it take grace and intentionality in our marriages to make it work and that every day we’re sowing seeds into our relationship that will become a harvest.  that harvest could be a rich loving marriage or a dissatisfied emotionally starved wreck or anywhere in between.

my highlighter is happy with this book.  its filled with rich wisdom and again, grace, as well as stark raw life examples that are like holding a mirror up to reality.  some of it makes you double take your own heart…

it is a book that every married person should read.  its a book i’ll be encouraging our young couples to read.  it might freak them out.  that’s probably a good thing when a freak out pushes them into grace and growth…

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here are some of the main points after 3 chapts of reading WHAT DID YOU EXPECT:

you are conducting your marriage in a fallen world

– our marriages live in the middle of a world that does not function as God intended.  You will not escape the environment in which God has chosen you to live

– most of us have a personal happiness paradigm… but God has a personal holiness paradigm.  God is working through your daily circumstances to change you

– unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment

you are a sinner married to a sinner

– most of the troubles we face in marriage are NOT intentional or personal

– God loves your spouse, and He is committed to transforming him or her by His grace, and He has chosen you to be one of HIs regular tools of change.

– we tend to personalize what is not personal and then become adversarial in your response

– God uses marriage to reveal the sin of self-righteousness

– marriage is filled with opportunity for moments of ministry… but we often turn those moments of ministry into moments of anger

– your spouse is not the only sinner in the room

God is faithful, powerful and willing

– God’s willingness was motivated not by what He saw in us but by what is inside of Him

We always live in the service of one of two kingdoms … When we live for the kingdom of self, our decisions, thoughts, plans, actions, and words are directed by personal desire, [and] we seek to surround ourselves with people who will serve our kingdom purposes. But when both people submit to God’s kingdom, where Christ reigns and where joy and life are found, marriage becomes an opportunity to exit the small space of the kingdom of self and to begin to enjoy the beauty and benefits of the kingdom of God.

WHAT TO EXPECT COMMITTMENTS:

Commitment 1 – we will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.
Commitment 2 – we will make growth and change our daily agenda
Commitment 3 – we will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust
Commitment 4 – we will commit to building a relationship of love
Commitment 5 – we will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace
Commitment 6 – we will work to protect our marriage

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