Here is the latest edition of the newsletter from Treasured Relationships. I hope you will find it helpful.
Newsletter, September 24, 2015
In This Issue:
- Thoughts From Dave
- Article: "Why People Marry"
- Treasured Relationships Update
Thoughts From Dave:
1. Welcome new subscribers! There are 23 new people on this newsletter list, mostly from people who stopped in at the Treasured Relationships booth on Saturday, September 19th at the Holly Ridge Sampler event. Several others are people I met at the new "Kingdom Life Ministries" church in Wilmington on Sunday. It was a busy weekend, in a good way, and I am always happy to meet new people. It is my goal that each newsletter I send out will provide value to the readers. Please let me know any time you have an idea about making this even better.
2. As mentioned before, I am in the process of upgrading the Treasured Relationships Website to a new platform. I hope to be ready to "throw the switch" in the first week of October. There will be numerous improvements, and the new software should simplify things like sending this newsletter out reliably. Something mysterious happened to several past issues of my newsletter, for example. I've had a number of "glitches" with the current system, and have been assured that these are corrected in the newer version. I'll send out a notice when the upgrade is completed.
"Why People Marry"
Why would anyone want to marry? It is obviously a big deal for many people today, with controversy arising about the very definition of marriage. Just look at the news. The homosexual movement won a Supreme Court decision, allowing them to marry. Then an elected official (County Clerk of Court) was jailed because she refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, with her name on them, because of her Christian conviction that God defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. (Which is absolutely true: the Bible is explicit on this.) It seems like there examples in the news almost daily that emphasize the importance of marriage to people throughout our society.
So, what’s the big deal anyway? Does marriage matter today, and if so, why? I believe it does, and that there are good reasons. In this brief article, I can only touch on the key reasons for marriage, so I ask that you consider them and see if they apply in your marriage.
First, we are complex beings: there are at least 6 distinct elements to every human being. We are (1) intellectual, (2) physical, (3) emotional, (4) social, (5) spiritual, and (6) relational in nature. (Note: these can be listed in any order, it makes no difference. If you take away even one of these elements you will have an incomplete picture of human existence. A person can pretend that they are only 4 or 5 of these, but it will not change reality.
Marriage, as designed by God, involves all of these. It is clearly relational in nature: within marriage people are to relate on the deepest possible levels. When I engage you in thinking about this, I am appealing to your intellectual self. Simply asking the question triggers awareness of both intellect and relationships. So enough on those two, let’s now think about the other four.
When leading marriage enrichment workshops over the past 25 years, I would ask why people marry. I would often get a few unique answers, but every time these were included in the list of answers to the question: Love; Companionship; Sex; Social Acceptance; Financial Security; Raising Children; and Seeking the Blessings of God.
But can’t we get almost all of these without bothering to get married? Certainly we can have love and companionship without marriage. Couples in our society seldom wait until after the marriage ceremony to start having a sexual relationship. Living together without being married has become socially acceptable. A couple can combine their finances and set aside funds to build financial security, married or not. And certainly there are many households today where children are being raised by two parents who are not married. This only leaves the issue of seeking God’s blessings. But people who have no relationship with God seek to be married at about the same rate as dedicated believers.
There must be some other draw to marriage today. It is commitment. Our hearts long for companionship with a person we can be committed to, who will also be committed to us. We are created with this longing, which God himself acknowledged in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Notice that this was before the man’s fall into sin, and while this same man had personal fellowship with God. Still, God declared that this was not good enough!
God’s answer was to create woman, and to give her the same deep longings as the man. Both of them needed a deeply personal relationship in which they could have an unbreakable union. Marriage was, and still is, God’s answer for the deepest human need of being united in life with another person. In this union we find completeness and strength.
God’s design for marriage is for the unity of the man and the woman to encompass all of life. It is not simply a physical relationship, or a setting to gain emotional support. It is a combining of two distinct lives into a single unit that encompasses all the six aspects of life, as listed above.
The only way this type of union can take place is with commitment. This is not like going into business with a partner, where each contributes 50% of the resources to get it going, each does 50% of the work to make it prosper, and each benefits by receiving 50% of the gain. Marriages that follow God’s design are not “50-50 propositions” at all. Real commitment is a 100%-100% proposition. With the 50-50 mindset, I agree to scratch your back as long as you agree to scratch mine. With the 100-100 mindset, I commit to scratch your back even if your arms fall off and you can’t ever scratch mine again.
People long to marry, and choose to marry, because at our very core we have a need to be fully committed to someone who is also committed fully to us. Only in marriage can two individuals be united at the deepest possible levels, in all aspects of human existence, and experience complete fulfillment. Our bond is physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. And we need all of these in order to become complete.
When the man and the woman are fully committed and reach this level of unity, this also serves the best purpose that God has for their lives. When we do marriage God’s way, our marriages become a tangible representation of the relationship between mankind and God, as made possible through Jesus Christ. (The references to this in the Bible are many, but my purpose here is not to get into an in-depth Bible study.) I am simply stating the fact that God has a distinct purpose for marriage, which is met when we follow His design for marriage. When we do marriage by God’s design, we experience multiple blessings directly from God.
This ministry exists to help people develop Godly relationships, to deepen their understanding of and dependence on the Holy Spirit, and to "do marriage" God's way. It might sound strange when I say "to do marriage", but it is accurate. Marriage is something we do, whether well or poorly (or somewhere in between). And we can all perfect the art of marriage in our most important intimate relationships.
Questions or comments?
Email me privately at email@example.com with any questions, comments, etc. Or go to the www.treasuredrelationships.com website and book a time for us to “meet” over the phone or internet. You select one of my available time slots, and I will send you the details of how we can connect live. I meet this way with people in Australia, Canada, Egypt, and a bunch of US states. So it really doesn’t matter how far away you are from Wilmington, NC. I am here to serve you, and I wish you well.
Treasured Relationships Update
Progress and Plans:
I am currently looking for opportunities to assist pastors and church leaders with their ministries. My interest and calling is to help build healthy relationships anywhere that I can be used by God. So, please let your church leadership know. For churches close by, I am available to come in and teach classes, lead workshops or retreats, speak at special events, preach, etc.
Now that school is back in session at UNCW here in Wilmington, we are again attempting to lock in a time for the "How to Avoid Falling For a Jerk (or Jerkette)" class for the college students. This program is all about learning to date smartly and follow the Biblical principles for mate selection. This is the same program I have led for a few church groups (and over 100 times for single adult service members). The program can be presented as a 1-day conference/mini retreat, or broken up into a series of about 7 sessions lasting 1-hour each. If your church has a group for single adults, singles again, or even the teens, I would love to set up a schedule to lead this program for you.
In the spring I taught a class on Wednesday evenings titled "Biblical Marriage." This was a study of what the Scriptures say about marriage; and how applying these teachings in practical ways leads to stronger marriages with greater: commitment, communication, intimacy, romance, physical connection, and solid families. I can build a program like that to meet the needs of a particular congregation, and will be glad to do so.
Last but not least, I would like to enroll about 8 to 10 couples to start a group coaching program in the near future. Everyone was busy over the summer, and we didn't get this started yet. So the offer still stands! The format will include some teaching of effective marital skills, but mostly supporting those couples in moving forward to achieve their goals through coaching. This is fun and non-threatening for everyone, because it follows the coaching model instead of a counseling/therapy model. Once the group begins, it will be a closed group. New people wanting to join will have to get on a list for the next group. I could have up to 2 groups going at a time. Each group would run for 8 weeks, meeting once per week at a time and place that works for the group. For example, we might have a church hosting the group in their facility. Also, these groups can be either in-person or virtual. I have a conference line we can use for virtual meetings, which makes attending much more convenient for everyone. Attendees can attend by using their computers or their phones, easing childcare and distance concerns. If interested, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date, location & time to be announced soon: "How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerkette)" for students at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Individual and couple coaching sessions via telephone, Skype, or conference line as preferred by the clients. Some choose to set a certain time to meet each week, while others prefer scheduling their sessions a week or two in advance. Either way is fine with me, and my calendar function on the website makes scheduling (as well as re-scheduling) easy.
I try to always have plenty of openings weekly for "Strategy Sessions", which are no-charge opportunities for us to meet and get to know one another. One of the services I provide in these discussions is to determine if counseling/therapy are needed, or if my "training plus coaching approach" would be more helpful. We can also discuss options such as whether an individual or couple approach, vs. a group approach would be the most effective. My goal is always to provide support in any way that I can, get to know each other, and determine the best next step for you.
In private relationship coaching, I work with no more than 10 clients (individuals or couples) in private 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 sessions during any given month. Group coaching and programs in local churches are in addition to this. This way I can be fully engaged with my coaching clients and help them as much as they desire. Relationship coaching is very effective, and is entirely future-focused. Instead of digging into anyone's past (childhood, prior personal failures, etc.), we keep the focus on what you want your relationship to look like 6 months from now; and what you can change right away that will move you in that direction. This approach is exciting and even fun, as well as incredibly helpful for my clients!
I am an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and communications are covered under pastoral confidentiality. What you share with me will never be shared with others, unless you ask me to do so (for example: to intervene on your behalf).
Please tell others about Treasured Relationships! If you know anyone who might be able to benefit from this ministry, ask them to check us out on the website. They can also schedule a free, no-obligation, 1-hour "strategy session" with me right on the website by clicking on one of my available time slots in the online calendar. Then I will send them the details about how we can "meet" in real time via the telephone or internet. The days of having to drive across town for appointments are over, and we have embraced technology that makes this more effective and more convenient at the same time.
Welcome to new members of the Treasured Relationships community!
I send the Treasured Relationships newsletter to you twice each month. This is usually on the first and third Tuesday of the month. I hope you will stick with us, and that you will find the content beneficial. I also hope that you will allow us to help you as needed, and encourage others you know to get plugged in as well. I personally answer all email, so send me your questions, thoughts, concerns, suggestions, whatever. But, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time and your request will be honored.
Your contact information is never shared, period. I hate spam just as much as you do. If there is something that I think you would appreciate, I may suggest that you sign up for it and can provide the link in this newsletter.
Treasured Relationships LLC: "Helping couples relate well, build fulfilling relationships and experience marriage as God designed it to be!"