THE EMMAUS WALK PRESENTS:

"Family Workshop & Love Bank,"

by Pastor McGraw

Part One--Family Workshop

There are four stages of the family: the marriage of man and woman, the birth and raising of children, man and woman alone, and the death of a spouse. The foundation of the family is the relationship of the husband and wife. The survival of the family depends on this relationship. If this relationship is weak the unity of the family, most likely, will come to an end. With a divorce rate of 60% in the church it is important that we learn how to have a strong relationship between a husband and wife. The husband and wife relationship must last throughout the whole marriage, "until death do we part." Children will come and go, but the husband and wife are always there.

The biblical standard for marriage is a monogamous relationship in which a man and woman share a lifetime commitment to each other, second only to their commitment to God. It is an unconditional, lifetime commitment. If there be any other commitment greater than your commitment to the marriage, that commitment can destroy your marriage. Jesus emphasized God's intention that marriage be a lifetime commitment--Mark 10:2-9; Matthew 19:3-9.

Malachi 2:15: "I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel..." Matthew 19:5,6: "...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to this wife; and the twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Let us look and see what God is saying about marriage.

When marriage is looked at as two different businesses coming together to do a task, yet each "marriage partner" keeping his or her own identity, we hear terms like "me and mine" and "you and yours."

God said, "they shall be no more twin, but one flesh." That means we are not two separate businesses, but we have united them and become a corporation. It is no longer "me and mine" and "you and yours" but "we and ours." When uniting as an individual business we are looking at which is best for me, but as a corporation we look at what is best for us. I realize that if you (my spouse) fail, I fail, and when you succeed, I succeed.

Every corporation has a business plan. In a marriage there should be a plan on which way your family is going. "Without a plan you plan to fail."

When making your plans you must remember that there should be NOTHING that comes before or between your relationship with your spouse. Children, family, friends, job, money, NOTHING. Before you make any major decision you should ask the question, "How will this affect our relationship?" Never assume that your spouse will understand. You are not a mind reader. Ask for his or her opinion or input.

The first plans made should be about the relationship of the husband and wife:

How much time will we give to ourselves?

When will we give this time?

What or who can come into our time? How often?

What names will we call each other?

What names shouldn't we call each other?

How will we handle disagreements?

How long before we make up?

How will we make up?

There are many other relational questions that must be asked and answered. You know the ones that are important to you. Don't assume that your spouse is on the same page that you are on. Ask the questions. Stay with the questions that only concern the two of you. Also talk about your needs that your spouse needs to consider, and be sure to talk about your spouse's needs that you in turn need to consider.

Part Two--The Love Bank

Before you married you fell in love with your spouse to be and you spent all the time you could with her or him; you were in love. What caused this love? First, you were attracted to the person by his or her looks, or his or her actions. This got you to notice each other, but it was the things that both of you said and did that developed your love. Both of you said and did things that deposited love into the other person's LOVE BANK. After a while both of you deposited enough love into the other's Bank so that you both fell in love. That is why you married, to keep this relationship pure.

Guess what? Like any other bank, there are service charges and withdrawals. When there is more taken out than put in, bankruptcy sets in, just like as in any other bank. Your spouse can (will) fall out of love with you while you are still in love with them. Why? It is because you have depleted their bank by what you said or did.

In a healthy relationship both banks stay full to over-flowing. Things that we say or do deposit or withdraw from our spouse's bank. It is wise to deposit more than you withdraw.

Things you can say to deposit love:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Things you can do to deposit love:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Things you can say to withdraw love:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK:

Questions to ask your spouse this week:

What things do I say that make you happy?

What things do I say that make you angry, sad, or hurt you?

What things do I do that make you happy?

What things do I do that make you angry, sad, or hurt you?

Do I spend enough time with you?

Do I pay enough attention to you?

Do I give you enough space to you to do your own thing?

Do you feel appreciated?

?_____________________________________________________________

?_____________________________________________________________

Rules of your homework: Remember it will be just as hard for your spouse to be honest with you as it is for you to hear the truth.

1. DON'T both of you do this exercise the same day. Let there be at least two days inbetween.

2. Do this with an open mind. Don't think that your relationship cannot be helped with this exercise.

3. Be HONEST with your answers. Tell the truth and same the devil.

4. DON'T ask for things that your spouse cannot deliver.

5. Listen to what your spouse is saying and try to understand. Take notes.

6. Don't get on the defensive. Ask for forgiveness and do better.

7. Keep your voice down low. Don't get mad and fight.

8. Reassure your spouse that you love him or her, and thank your spouse for his or her openness.

Remember, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to maintain your spouse's LOVE BANK full to over-flowing. Your spouse cannot make deposits or withdrawals for you in his or her bank. Only you can make deposits into or take withdrawals from this account.

Part Three: More on the Love Bank

To understand and apply this Love Bank concept in our relationships is to walk in love--Romans 13:10, "Love works no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Every time we talk, act, or do something that loves a person in some way, we deposit love, and every time we talk, act, or do something harsh toward someone we withdraw love--Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."

We have already talked about things that withdraw from the bank, so now let us take a look at those things which we can say and do that will deposit love.

DEPOSITS

Compliments: *Things your spouse does

*Things you spouse looks

*His or her accomplishments or efforts

*Et Cetera

Appreciation: *Things your spouse does for you

*Who he or she is to you

Love Words: *I love you

*I'm glad you belong to me

Et Cetera

Spending Time Together: *Dates

*Time alone at home talking, laughing, hugging, kissing without sex

Calls During the Day: *Just to say "I love you," "I miss you," "I was thinking about you," and Et Cetera

Small Gifts: *Doesn't have to cost a lot

*Love notes

Sharing Special Things: *Look

*Song

Et Cetera

Depositing love into your spouse's Love Bank should be your number one priority. Children come and go, your job will come and go too. When everything is said and done, you only have each other.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS FINE ARTICLE FOR YOUR OWN HELP AND ALSO FOR CLASSES ON MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIPS. IT WILL NO DOUBT SAVE HUNDREDS OF MARRIAGES AS WELL AS ENHANCE THOSE WHICH ARE ALREADY DOING WELL--Editor

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