ELEVEN REASONS FAMILIES SUCCEED

COMPILED BY RICHARF & RITA TATE

Please order their study/workbook from www.hensleypublishing.com .

(2007 - The book will cost about $15 including shipping.)

1 - REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT MARRIAGE

"Wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, there is future success for you,
And your expectation shall not be cut off." - Proverbs 24:14

"Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart" - Psalm 37:4


What is an "expectation?" Discuss.
For example, what is a reasonable expectation that you have from your employer?
What unreasonable expectations do some employees have?
Now think in terms of marriage, and evaluate these common expectations:

A.) Marriage will be the answer to my problems.
(compare with Phil 2:1-4, Eph 5:22-28.)

B.) Because I am ___ ___________, divorce or failure in marriage won't happen to me.
(See Eph 6:10-13, Prov 1:33, 3:6). (Chapter 3 will discuss his & her differing needs.)

C.) We won't argue. (Or if we do, something is terribly wrong.)
(Prov. 27:17, 16:11, 3:12 Galatians 5:13-15). (Chapter 7 will discuss conflict resolution.)

D.) My spouse will change their bad habits after we're married (and I fix them.)
(2 Peter 2:17-19, Titus 3:5, Prov 14:29, Luke 21:19)

E.) We'll work out our spiritual differences after we're married.
(2 Cor 6:14, Phil 1:27)

(The workbook goes on to give bible verses with foundational principles. Please do not just copy this page, and assume you've got the message. This page is just to "get you into" the study. We don't want to plajorize their book. If you can't afford the $15, let me know, and I'll get it for you. - Rob (boltonsRus@gmail.com)

2 - PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE


"Which of you intending to build a tower, doesn't first sit down and count the cost, to determine whether he has sufficient to finish it?" - Luke 14:28

Why did you get married? (Or: Why do you want to get married?) Discuss.
Why did you choose the spouse you chose? (Or: What kind of spouse are you choosing?)
What is meant by "Falling in love."? Will that love endure, or must a deeper love grow?
How did you prepare for the wedding vs. preparing for marriage?
Here are five imperatives for marriage preparation:

A.) Marry a believer! Beliefs - Purpose - Goals - Behavior.
(2 Cor 6: 14-15, 1 Cor 13:4-7, Matt 7:16) (If not: see 1 Peter 3:1-4, 1 Cor 7:12-14).

B.) Take Your Time.
(Prov 21:5, Eph 4:32.)
Inspect PAST BAGGAGE, PRESENT CONDITION & FUTURE GOALS.
Know your spouse, their strengths & weaknesses, their family, their intentions.

C.) Settle the LEAVE & CLEAVE Issues
(Gen 2:24, "Singleness of heart": Acts 2:46, 4:32, 11:32, Col 3:33)

D.) Establish a "COVENANT" Marriage
(Sacred, not just legal. Deut 23:21, 23.)

E.) Seek BIBLICALLY-BASED Pre-Marital Counseling
(Psalm 1:1, Prov 8:14, 11:14, 15:22, 19:20)
Discuss a ship leaving for the destination. At which point is "direction" most critical?

3A - UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT NEEDS: FOR WOMEN


"In humility, considers others ahead of yourself. Look not just at your own interests, but that of others. Your attitude should be the same as Christ's…" Phil 2:3-5

"In honor, preferring one another." - Rom 12:10


"Different" "Needs"
Needs (eg. Mazlov's pyramid, see also Job 11:18, Ps 4:8, Rom 12:10, 1 Thes 5:13).
"Essential to health and well-being" vs. "Neediness": "covering for character disorders"
Different - In upbringing, experiences, personality type, birth-order, and gender.

The Woman: Genesis 2:18 - A "helpmeet", ("completer") finds meaning in relationships.

1.) She spells LOVE: "C-H-E-R-I-S-H".
Let her know she's precious. Give her Affection, affirmation, and pay attention.
Eph 5:25-33.

2.) Honesty and Openness
In her need for security, she'll forgive weakness, but not deception. Verses on liars:
(Prov 12:22, 2 Thes 2:10 Prov 19:5 and others.) Key verse: Proverbs 20:7.

3.) Financial Stability
The man is the protector/provider, not the woman. She may help out, but it's not her duty. She's not built to carry the burden. 1 Tim 5:8, Prov 6:6-11.
At the same time, the woman must not abuse the situation by over-spending on wants.

4.) A Family-First Partner
She needs to see her man MAKE TIME for her and the children. Be at their games, performances, and other activities. Attributes of a good father:
Matt 7:11, Luke 15:20-24, Prov 1:8, Isa 38:19, Psalm 103:13, Josh 24:15.

5.) A Husband who is Teachable
She wants his success more than anyone else, and she's trying to help. So listen and be open. (Prov 19:20) Be willing to change certain things.

6.) Conversation
Women THINK by verbal brainstorming. (Vs. Men need quiet time alone to think).
What men SAY to women is huge. (Prov 18:21)
See also: Ecc 10:12, Prov 16:24, 15:1, 15:23

7.) A Husband who is a Spiritual Leader
Lead in VISION (purpose), Biblical Instruction, Prayer, and Example. (Josh 24:15)

Note: These match the SIX needs of the previous study "HIS & HERS" except that #5 and #6 above were combined into a single point, #1 was the "Header" and "Affection" was its own point


3B - UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT NEEDS: FOR MEN


"The wife must respect her husband." - Eph 5:33

"The man is not independent of the woman, nor the woman independent of the man. This situation is from God." - 1 Cor 11:11-12

1.) He spells LOVE: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"
Look for ways to admire him, and give words of affirmation. (Discuss also: "earned respect".) Eph 5:33.

2.) Sex
1 Cor 7:2-4, Heb 13:4. Man is biologically wired to be visually stimulated, and to require sex on a regular basis. (Discuss also: foreplay, affection, relationship.) "Women need a reason. Men just need a place."

3.) A Peaceful Home
Acts 7:33, (shoes off = welcome, "holy" = sacred, set apart.) (also Exodus 10:21-23, Prov 21:19, 27:15, Prov 31: 10-31). 4 Things a wife can do: Welcome, give space, keep the home clean and orderly, And be sweet (nice).

4.) Attractiveness
1 Peter 3:3-4, Prov. 31:17,25. In shape, good hygene, dress nice, have a good disposition. Be easy to cherish!


(X.) Recreational Companion / Prayer-Warrior Partner - other studies have the same top four needs above, but then add these two. Discuss.


Recreational Companion - Even if you can't play on his softball team, at least take an active interest in things that are close to his heart.

Prayer Warrior Partner - The man is the spiritual leader, not the spiritual lone ranger. Be an active participant in the spiritual life of the family.

5.) Maturity #1 - A Loyal Supporter (Cheerleader)
Eph 4:29 - "Minister GRACE." (also Prov. 31: 11,12,25,28)

6.) Maturity #2 - A Sweet Spirit
1 Peter 3:4, Eph 5:1-4, Prov. 31:30. As discussed above in #3. The woman is the centerpiece of the home.

7.) Maturity #3 - Discernment ("Radar")
Matt 27:19, 2 Kings 4:9-10. Be alert. As he is your protector, so also you may have opportunity to protect him, and the family. It's okay to be suspicious of other influences. Watch each other's backs!

4.) THE LEADER OF THE HOME


"The husband is the head…as Christ is the head of the Church" (Eph 5:23)

"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall, and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none."
(Ezek 22:30)

A.) Various considerations
1.) Discuss "Build up the wall" and "Stand in the gap before me" from Ezek 22:30.
2.) Find leadership principles in 1 Kings 9:4 and 2 Chronicles 26:4.
3.) Define "Head". Gk: "Kephale", meaning "leader, ruler, or SOURCE."
4.) Define "Submission". Gk: "Hupotasso". Voluntary, continuous, "under-rowing".
5.) The spirit of leadership: Self-sacrificing, cherishing, nurturing vs. dictatorial. Discuss also: "Argument from extreme case."
6.) Do you feel safe? Isaiah 40:11, the shepherd-leader.
7.) What is there is no male leader?

B.) TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE HEAD OF THE HOME
1.) Determine to in fact be the leader. Learn what it is and do it. Deut 4:9, 31:13, etc.
2.) Enforce GOD's principles, not your own. Deut 6:7.
3.) Put on the three P's:
PROTECTOR / PROVIDER / PRIEST
4.) Give unconditional love.
5.) Provide an environment for growth.
6.) Practice beneficial discipline.
7.) Provide constant and fair guidance (Exhort, comfort, charge) 1 Thes 2:11-12.
8.) Exhibit merciful forgiveness.
9.) Strive to meet their needs above your own.
10.) Cherish each member of the family as a unique, God-given person.


C.) From John Piper's Book "Marks of a Strong Spiritual Leader"
Goal oriented, restless. Optimistic, trusting God Intense, zealous Self-controlled, disciplined
Sensible thick-skinned. Energetic, good work ethic Biblical thinker. Articulate.
Able to teach others. Good judge of character. Tactful. Doctrinally correct.
Organized, efficient. Decisive. Persevering, not a quitter. Love people.
Can "rest" in God. Trustworthy. No compromise key issues Set excellent example.
Creative. Delegates sensibly.



5.) THE NEEDS OF THE CHILDREN


"Children are a heritage of the Lord" - Psalm 127:3

PRILIMINARY DISCUSSIONS:
1.) "Heritage of who?" (See verse above.)
2.) Raising them towards independence: Perfect parents or not, "the voice of moral, sensible leadership needs to eventually come from within them and not from you."
3.) Spiritual priority: that they hear the gospel in a meaningful way, and come to know and serve Christ. Some stats:
If BOTH parents faithfully attend church - 72% of children will continue to do so as adults.
If only DAD faithfully attends church - 55% of children will continue to do so as adults.
If only MOM faithfully attends church - 15% of children will continue to do so as adults.
If NEITHER faithfully attends church - 6% of children will find Christ and serve as adults.
4.) Two-parent homes do best! Good parents are fulfilled and whole themselves. (For single-parent homes: Job 29:12m Psalm 68:5, God will mercifully intercede.)
5.) The seriousness of actively raising children. 1 Timothy 4:6.
6.) Each child is unique.

FIVE NEEDS OF CHILDREN:

(Assumes needs covered in Ch 3 are met: provision, etc.)

1.) Unconditional Love. Not based on performance. Matt 3:17, Romans 8:39. Parents who are trying to resolve their own problems through their kids will fail to love unconditionally. It is them inevitable that the child will grow up with humiliation, lack of confidence, and a tremendous sense of guilt.
2.) Training. (Prov 22:6). "Train" doesn't mean just tell or even teach. It includes hands-on experience, free to fail, and eventually genuine success. "In the way he should go" actually implies according to the child's own God-given tendencies,(not someone else's). See also: Eph 6:1-4. Parents can be authorities without be authoritarian. Also Heb 10:24.
3.) Nurturing. "Touch" and "Time". Do things that lead to real bonding. A meaningful life includes being part of something beyond just yourself. Family is the first opportunity.
4.) Encouragement. Not flattery (Prov 26:28), but genuine, deserved praise for accomplishment, or effort, or attitude. Learn to praise: selectively, immediately, specifically, and intentionally.
5.) Discipline. Children need parents who are in control. 1 Tim 3:4.
a.) Learn HOW and WHEN to say No.
b.) Chasten in love. (Prov 19:18, 3:11-12, 13:24.).
c.) Be consistent and fair with discipline. 1 Thes 2:11 says to exhort, comfort and admonish (charge).
d.) And what you SAY, you must DO. This goes for both your personal example, and your execution of discipline on them. Don't threaten punishment you won't carry out.
e.) Physical discipline for rebellion, (not incompetence.) (Prov 22:15, 23:13-14, 19:18, 29:15-17.) Pain and harm are two different things. Chasten, but don't abuse.
f.) Adult-run families vs. Child-run families. (See chart in book.) Discuss.