Re-Introduction to Intimacy A workbook for couples Part 1 Build the Foundations
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Love Map Exercise: Name my two closest friends. What was I wearing when we first met? Name one of my hobbies. What stresses am I facing right now? Describe in detail what I did today or yesterday. What is my fondest unrealized dream? What is one of my greatest fears or disaster scenarios?
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What is my favorite way to spend an evening? What is one of my favorite ways to be soothed? What is my favorite getaway place? What are some of the important events coming up in my life? How do I feel about them? What are some of my favorite ways to work out? What medical problems do I worry about? What was my most embarrassing moment? Purpose I have a significant purpose and there is a reason for my life. He won t lead you to do something that He hasn t prepared you to do. The Principle of Transference - If we don t trust Jesus to meet our deepest needs, we will automatically transfer the expectation of those needs to those closest to us, especially our spouse.
When you depend on others to meet your deepest needs: 1. You will never be fulfilled. You will become discouraged and cynical. You will become bitter toward people and reject them for not meeting your expectations. When you have a problem, where do you go first? We all have problems, especially relational problems that only God can solve. As a young man in marriage I did not know how to relate to Jesus like I should. I depended too much on Karen. She depended too much on me. We had a dysfunctional marriage. God will not only heal you, but He will fill you with the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.
Galatians 3. When you depend on God, He will help change all the relationships in your life. They were probably knuckleheads at times and did things wrong. The truth was she expected something from a man he could not give and she rejected him.
The Most Important Issue in Marriage What struggles did Jimmy and Karen face in the early years of their relationship? The woman at the well had been married five times and had given up on marriage. Even today, why do so many people lose hope and believe that marriage doesn t work any more? We have four basic needs: acceptance, identity, security and purpose. Which of these needs are you seeking most right now in your life? Without realizing it, do you find yourself relying on your spouse to meet your deepest needs?
In Relationships, Not Arguing Means You’re Not Communicating
How has that affected your relationship? One of the most impactful disciplines in your marriage is for you and your spouse to pray together. It not only shows that you trust God, but it also opens the door for Him to heal any hurts and build intimacy in your marriage. How can prayer become a greater emphasis in your relationship? Share with the small group an area of your marriage that you would like to see improve over the next few weeks as you go through this workbook together.
For example, you might like to communicate more or desire to overcome a specific issue in your relationship. Help us put our trust in you to meet our deepest needs. We re sorry for depending on others when we should trust you first. Begin healing any disappointments and frustrations in each relationship as we start this new journey. This may be during a planned communication time or while on a date night. Tell your spouse something that you love about them. It may be something that you haven t said in a long time.
If you can t remember a specific reason, think back to a positive experience when you were dating. There have been times that you transferred the expectations of your life to people and you set them up for failure because they could not be Jesus to you. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the level of intimacy and satisfaction in your relationship.
HIM: I would rate the intimacy in our marriage as No intimacy Great intimacy HER: I would rate the intimacy in our marriage as No intimacy Great intimacy Jimmy shared that if we aren t trusting God to meet our deepest needs then we will usually transfer the responsibility to meet those needs to another person. When have you transferred the expectations of your life to someone other than your spouse?
Now tell your spouse about a time when you were expecting them to meet your deepest needs instead of God.
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Talk to your spouse about your mistakes and ask for their forgiveness. HIM: The result of expecting my wife to meet my deepest needs has been When you have a problem where do you go first: a friend, the web, a credit card or a store? It does not matter if you love Jesus. It does not matter if you believe in Jesus.
Do you trust Him? Even if you are a Christian, it doesn t automatically mean you are putting Christ first. In practical terms, place a check mark next to those areas that are currently a part of your regular schedule. Sometimes Karen will say to me when I am not having one of my better days, Did you pray this morning? In marriage, we have to learn to stop responding in fear and begin responding in faith.
What is a step you can take to begin responding in faith and have a more positive outlook on your relationship? Focus on yourself and how you can change. Help us forgive each other for mistakes of the past. Today, we choose to make you the center of our marriage and family.
Recognize That Sex Can Be a Trigger
Help us do the right thing first and believe for the best in each other. Our spouse can never meet these needs, and if we expect them to do so, we ll end up disappointed, frustrated and bitter. God is the only one who can empower us to relate successfully with others long-term. He is the only one who heals our hurts and fills us with unconditional love. When we admit our mistakes and share our weaknesses, we are drawn closer together. Our mate becomes the completer in our relationship as God intended. While many people desperately want a marriage that succeeds, fewer and fewer really believe that it can happen for them.
It s difficult to find successful marriages when there are so many casualties in relationships. You ve probably asked yourself, How can I know that we are going to make it?