From this Day forward... Fight Fair

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We are in a relationship series. God never designed us to go through life alone… with any relationship.
We are talking about...

From this Day Forward...

Those are popular words that are used in many weddings. Let’s look at the theme verse for this series.
Lamentations 3:19–23 NLT
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
We have hope because The faithful love of the Lord never ends. God’s mercies are fresh every day.
Last week we asked the question, Are great relationships possible? And the answer is yes they are possible but they are not likely to happen if we live like the rest of the world where the odds of making it are only 50%.
Last week we set the foundation was to Seek God. That’s the foundation of it.

1. Seek God

2. Fight Fair

3. Have Fun

4. Stay Pure

5. Never Give up

Repeat that.

From this Day forward, I will fight fair

silly fights…
Toothpaste usage--- if he would just put the lid back on...
Husband ate the last Little Debbie…
He won’’t read directions…
Thermostat control
Remote usage
TV Volume
Listening vs. Fixing it… you want him to listen
Where to spend holidays…
Leaving hairs in the sink…
Eating ice cream in a bowl vs. container.
Leaving the Lid up
Please at least flush the toilet
Right way to drive
Toilet paper - over or under
The who said what loop… yes you did… no I didn’t....
Use of FB
No matter what condition our relationships are in, there is hope. There are people everywhere that need hope. Our hope comes through Jesus Christ.
Look at God’s plan for relationships.
Genesis 2:24 NLT
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Psalm 133:1 NLT
1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
Psalm 133:3 NLT
3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
Treasure… blessing… refreshing… everlasting…
That’s a picture heaven on earth. God didn’t design our relationships to just survive. Last week we saw how you can turn around the odds of making it. We want to help you not only survive in your marriage, your dating, any and all relationships, we want to help you thrive in them.
If God’s design was for us to have great relationships, then why do we fight over little Debbies, and cat litter… Well, the reason is that we were born into sin. We have a sinful nature. And we still have that old nature hanging around.
The question is not if we will fight, but how we fight. We want to talk abut fighting fair. We may not be good at it… we need to learn how to do it.
ILL of a fight where the two are yelling in each others face… won the fight but lost his friend.
That’s what we do in our relationships… we win the fight but we lose the relationships.
We all take the wrong road in our relationships.

We are fighting the wrong enemy

We have somehow convinced ourselves that our spouse, date, whoever is the enemy but they are not. The bible teaches that we do not fight flesh and blood enemies.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Our enemy is not flesh and blood… it’s not your spouse… kids… co-workers… we are confused.
During the Vietnam war, we fought the North Vietnamese but the problem was that they looked exactly like the South Vietnamese. So sometimes the enemy would be right there in our camp and we didn’t even know it. That’s the way it’s gotten in our relationships. We make the other person to be the enemy and fail to recognize that the enemy is still there. The devil is a despicable enemy and he wants to destroy your life, your relationships, our society and one of the ways he does it is by getting us to fight each other and not him.
Mark 3:25 NLT
25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
If he can divide us, we fall.

We are driven by wrong motives

James 4:1–3 NLT
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
you … you … you...
We have wrong motives. The secret to a successful relationship with living a God first life is that it puts the other ahead of yourself.

We are using wrong tactics

We are demanding our right to be right. The greatest relationships takes place between two servants. When one person takes the needs of the other person as more important than their own.
1 Corinthians 6:3 NLT
3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.
1 Corinthians 6:7 NLT
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?
Tombstone - Here lies the body of William Jay who died maintaining his right away. He was right, but he is just as dead as if he were wrong.
When you make wrong turns, you may demand your right to be right even though are dead wrong.
Dale Carnegie - Figure it out for yourself which would you rather have, an academic victory or another person’s good will.
You can seldom have both
Proverbs 18:19 NLT
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
When we are fighting … when we are not fighting fair, we are destroying relationships. We will have disagreements, but we have to fight fair. We are sinners and we will disagree
When unhealthy couples fight they fight dirty… healthy couples fight, they fight for resolution. Unhealthy couples fight to win the fight.
Let me give you hope… a solution. So say …

From this Day forward…

It’s what happens from today…
You may be hearing me and thinking that your relationships are MESSED UP. There is hope… we learn to fight fair. We can learn from James.
James 1:19–20 NLT
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
We want to learn from this passage how we can have heaven on earth types of relationships.

From this day forward, I will..

1. Stop and listen carefully

Stop… most of us react instead of responding. 99% of the time, when we react, it’s the wrong thing to say. So we have to be …

“quick to listen...”

There have been times when Kathy is sharing something and I am coming up with a fix and interrupt her… she usually will respond, can I finish first. We need to be quick to listen. Look at this
Proverbs 18:2 NLT
2 Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
We need to stop and listen and understand instead of pontificating on our opinions. Us men don’t get it. We can’t do two things at once. If we are watching TV or looking at something on our iPad and someone is talking to us, we don’t hear them. You women can me cooking dinner, helping kids with homework, planning the next days meals and telling your husband what he needs to be doing all at the same time. Guys are brain damaged. We are different.
So we have to Listen and understand. You may try to repeat what you think you heard them say. It gives the opportunity for you to listen, for your spouse to be affirmed that you are hearing them, for you to hear it right and make sure it’s right and it keeps the focus on the issue not on the person and that’s where we need to go.
Try saying, I can understand how you would feel this way when I do that… I am affirming her feelings without agreeing with her

2. Guard my words vigilantly

“slow to speak...”

Look at this… Use this on yourself.
Proverbs 21:23 NLT
23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
Sticks and Stones… that’s the biggest lie there is.
Our words inflict so much pain on people. Once you put words out there it’s impossible to get them back.

Ask these questions

1. Should what I am about to say even be said?
2. And should it be said now?
We need to work on our relationships in non-conflict times… Ask some questions…
1. How am I doing?
You may not like the answer…
2. What can I do better?
Before you get into conflict, establish some rules of engagement.
1. Never call names…
2. Never get historical
3. Never say “never or always”…
4. Never raise your voice.
Jimmy Evans says a discussion will never rise above the level it reaches in the first three minutes.
5. Never threaten divorce
6. Never quote the Bible in a conflict to prove your point.
Make to guard your words.

3. Manage my anger righteously

“slow to get angry...”

Ephesians 4:26–27 NLT
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
When we go to bed angry, we give a foothold to the real enemy.
Fighting postures
Silent fighter -
Huffing fighter
Someone one time said they stayed awake three days trying to honor that scripture. But it says don’t let the sun go down… learn to manage your anger.
It won’t blow over. We have to learn to fight fair. Most of us want to have your marriage be heaven on earth. God will work in your life.
If you have a negative and critical attitude about your spouse, you are on a slippery slope to hoplessness. You need to turn it around.

In times of conflict, I will fight for unity, not for personal victory.

Prayer time
Salvation - Seeking God. You need a fresh start, but here is the good news, you can have a fresh start. Pray a salvation prayer.
Altar time - couples to come to altar together and pray together.
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