Successful Ways of Growing your Relationship
Text: Acts 5:1-11 & Judges 13.
SCENARIO 1: Ananias and Saphirah in a context of a great move of God, yet they choose to conspire to lie.
SCENARIO 2: Manoah and his wife living at a time of darkness in Israel’s history and a difficulty moment in their marriage, choose to seek after God
Three things stand out about Manoah’s wife:
- She is CHILDLESS and HOPEFUL. Verse 2: “His wife was unable to become pregnant and had not given birth to any children.”
- She is SENSITIVE and OBEDIENT to God Verse 3: “Even though you’ve been unable to become pregnant and haven’t given birth, you are now pregnant and will give birth to a son!
- She is BOLD and TRUSTWORTHY When she is given a promise that she was pregnant and will give birth to a son, she went and told her husband about the encounter.
Ananias and his wife chose a path of lies against God, Manoah and his wife chose a path seeking and hearing from God about their problem. Ananias and Saphira, the voice of God leads to death: they drop dead for lying. Manoah and his wife, the voice of God leads resolution of their problem, healing and obedience, they give an offering and worship God.
The opportunity to walk out of the closed doors promises much for us:
I. Couples that ENVISION TOGETHER GROW TOGETHER (Proverbs 29:18)
Successful couples start by dreaming and creating their future together. A strong vision must overcome temporary desires of compromise and personal gain. Your future is guided by a good set of values. When a vision is jointly owned, it can UNITE, create PASSION and promotes INTIMACY. Or it can lead to DECIET, cause DIVISION, and lead to DEATH of INTIMACY. Great values guide your vision towards realization.
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4
The Bible affirms that the FEAR of God is the beginning of wisdom. A couple’s relationship with God governs their actions regardless of their circumstances in life?
A couples future must be defined by a commitment to;
- An enduring PARTNERSHIP
- A grounded CORE IDEOLOGY
- A defining CULTURE
- An uncompromising DIALOGUE
- A heart of SERVICE
II. Couples that QUESTION THE STATUS QUO CREATES AN ENVIRONMENT OF GROWTH
What questions should Ananias and Saphirah have asked?
- Manoah and his his wife ask questions that lead to greater disclosure.
- Ananias and his wife kicked God out of their relationship when the allowed Satan in; Manoah and his wife invited God in and even offered sacrifice and worship.
Couples need discernment in order to ask intelligent questions that shed light in moments of ambiguity. The ability to study the marital environment enables a couple relate intelligently.
“To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13
Questioning brings FOCUS to challenging SITUATIONS.
- When Ahab stopped questioning, MANIPULATION settled in
- When Ananias and his wife stopped questioning, their marriage DIED.
- When Manoah and the wife questioned, God’s PRESENCE came in their home.
Asking the right questions;
- Removes the limitations
- Clarifies perceptions
- Resolves fear of the unknown
- Removes assumptions
- III. Couples with a biblical CULTURE create room for CELEBRATION and GROWTH
A couple’s operational culture is the sum total of their years of exploration, experience, and learning. Operational culture determines how a couple will relate and function. Operational culture has a bearing on a couple synergy and productivity. Breaking out of closed doors of hinderance, ushers one in an environment of freedom that spurs growth and connectivity. Selfishness DESTROYS intimacy and KILLS the future dreams. Selfishness breeds disunity, greed, and death to intimacy.
IV. Couples that make regular reviews provide an opportunity to re-energize and re-strategize
A) Failing to Examine Oneself works negatively for any relationship
- Regular review improve the operational culture.
- Reviews help spouses take responsibility.
B) Failing to Address the GAPS that exist in a relationship openly and freely clogs up the marriage.
- Our power of choice can be our greatest blessing or curse.
- Culture based on fear causes damage to a relationship.
Bishop Philip Kitoto