What an exciting time we had with the Pastor and People of the Mountain Lane Independent Baptist Church in Oakland, Maryland. We were there for a unique “FAMILY CONFERENCE.”
It began on Saturday evening with a wonderful Sweetheart Banquet where couples from the church gathered for a romantic dinner, activities and a message from God’s Word. In spite of the 8” snowfall and high blowing blizzard type conditions 23 couples attended. The interest was high and we were in for a great time on Sunday.
We continued on Sunday with 7 additional sessions. With bitter cold weather, snow covered roads and snow still falling the people came. I was amazed at the commitment and interest of the people. During times of public invitation the altars were filled and scores of others made commitments to attempt winning family members to Christ.
Dr. Dennis and Mrs. Kathy Leatherman were wonderful hosts and hostesses. They did a wonderful job of planning a very successful meeting. I recommend the ministry of this great church. You can check them out at their web site. www.mlibc.org By the way congratulations to Pastor and Mrs. Leatherman who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s day February 14th.
Below is the outline of a message I gave in one of the combined sessions. Because my Sweetheart threatened me, I can’t post any of her ladies sessions.
INCREASING LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
GREAT FAMILIES PRAY TOGETHER, PLAY TOGETHER AND STAY TOGETHER
Some folks are afraid to believe their love can grow and blossom. After 47 years of marriage and 37 years of pastoring I am convinced that most young couples enter into marriage without knowing what real love is. They are attracted to each other. Perhaps have become emotionally attached to one another. Certainly have a certain amount of physical desire for each other. But, do they really understand the commitment that real love is made of.
One of the problems is that they can’t talk about it. They are afraid to really try to go to another level. Perhaps they fear failure and rejection. It is time to get past the fear and go to work building a truly loving growing marriage relationship.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Below is a skeleton outline that may be a blessing and help to someone.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR SPOUSE.
1. STAY – CONNECTED TO THE SOURCE OF AGAPE LOVE – John 3:16 Make sure you are a walking with God and serving Him through the local church. If you are not really in love with God, you are not capable of loving your spouse as you should.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
2. PRAY – TO LOVE YOUR SPOUSE (MORE) works for lost, children, in-laws, etc. James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
I pray often that God will help me love my wife more. We pray together thanking God for our friendship and ministry together AND asking God to help us to have a growing love for one another.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Ask God to give you wisdom in this area. You are no more spiritual than you are in your closest relationship.
3. PAY – BY GIVING OF YOURSELF
Finances – Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Time – Eph. 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Taken in context from the chapter that gives us instruction about the Husband/Wife roles in marriage. See Vs 21-33
Talk - One of the greatest things you can give is talk. And just like talking to God real talk is a two way communication. You spend half your time listening and really paying attention.
4. PLAY – TOGETHER
Come apart before you come apart… R&R we are in a warfare…need breaks
If we didn’t laugh some of the time we would cry all the time…
Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.