Thursday, May 6, 2010

For those in troubled relationships

I love Paul Tripp's newest book. It is very helpful for those getting married and those already married!

In Paul D. Tripp's book on What did you Expect? Redeeming the realities of Marriage. He focuses on 6 commitments which I think are practical for those considering marriage. If you are not willing to work on these then you shouldn't get married as far as I can see , and if you are married then this is what you should work on:

1. We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.
2. We will make growth and change our daily agenda.
3. We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.
4. We will commit to building a relationship of love
5. We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.
6. We will work to protect our marriage

I just finished reading chapter 3 which is really great. It is called , "Whose Kingdom?"

Here are some helpful tidbits---they are helpful in forming relationships and continuing them:

"..all of the horizontal battles are the fruit of a deeper war. The most important war, the one that needs to be won, is not the war they are having with each other, but a war that wages within them individually. Real change is all about winning this war."

"Sin makes us shrink our lives to the narrow confines of our little self-defined world. Sin causes us to shrink our focus, motivation, and concern to the size of our own wants, needs, and feelings. Sin causes all of us to be way too self-aware and self-important. Sin causes us to be offended most by offenses against us and to be concerned most or what concerns us. Sin causes us to dream selfish dreams and to plan self-oriented plans. Because of sin, we really do love us, and we have a wonderful plan for our own lives!"

"....Sin is essentially antisocial. We don't really have time to love our spouse, in the purest sense of what that means, because we are too busy loving ourselves, and if our spouse is willing to do that, we will have a wonderful relationship." {I had to laugh at this, but it is often so true!}

We "are kingdom-oriented people. We always live in the service of one of two kingdoms. We live in service of the small, personal happiness agenda of the kingdom of self, or we live in service of the huge, origin-to-destiny agenda of the kingdom of God. When we live for the kingdom of self, our decisions, thoughts, plans, actions, and words are directed by personal desire......We seek to surround ourselves with people who will serve our kingdom purposes, and we evaluate them not from the perspective of the laws of God's kingdom but from the perspective of the laws of our kingdom."

He gives an example of a couple named Gwen and Barry. "There was no doubt that Gwen and Barry were very attracted to one another and that this attraction had produced strong affection....The question is, however, whether what they were experiencing was love. Could it be that Gwen was not attracted to Bary because she loved Barry, but because she loved Gwen? Could it be that her attraction was much more self-oriented than she knew? What felt like love may actually have been excitement that this man she had gotten to know seemed to fit nicely into the dream she had always had for her life."

"The self-orientation of sin can produce a powerful attraction to another person, but that attraction should not be confused with love, because that attraction cannot do what love will do when the reasons for the attraction die. And the death of the dream happens to every couple. None of us gets our dream in the way that we dreamt it, because none of us is writing our own story. God, in his love writes a better story than we could ever write for ourselves."

"Could it be that as Gwen and Barry begin to face the harsh reality of the death of their individual and shared dreams, they are not struggling to love one another but are being given the opportunity to love one another more than ever before? It is when attraction wanes, flaws show, and the dream dies that real love has its best opportunity to germinate and grow. For Gwen and Barry, this sad and disillusioning moment is not the end of it all, but the beginning of something wonderful.......this is an opportunity to exit the small space of the kingdom of self and to begin to enjoy the beauty and benefits of the kingdom of God........Gwen and Barry's marriage did not die; the selfish dream did, and when it did , real, sturdy, satisfying, other-centered, God-honoring, perseverant love began to grow."

"It means that the trouble that you face in your marriage is not an evidence of the failure of grace. No, those troubles are grace. They are the tools God uses to pry us out of the stultifying confines of the kingdom of self so that we can be free to luxuriate in the big-sky glories of the kingdom of God......marriage is not an end to itself. No, the reality is that marriage has been designed by God to be a means to an end."

"It is only when a husband and wife each live in a purposeful and joyful allegiance to the plans, purpose, and Lord of the kingdom of God that their marriage can really be a place of unity, understanding, and love."

"Marriage is a beautiful thing that only reaches what is was designed to be through the methodology of a painful process......Could it be that just when you thought God had abandoned you and your marriage that he is really very near, giving you the best gift ever---transforming grace? This grace rescues you from the one thing that you cannot rescue yourself from--you."

This book is excellent and I am only in chapter 3!


  1. sounds like a great book
    lots of good advice there

  2. This sounds very truthful and helpful. I know my own selfishness is my biggest problem in relationships. Funny I never realized how selfish I was until I got into them.

  3. Hi Kim. Oh, my this sounds like a great book! I think we all struggle with a little selfishness. Sounds like this would be a book for me! I truly want to be a light for Jesus!
    I hope you'll come to my party!
    BE a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. I have not yet read a Tripp book but have heard wonderful things about his writing. Will have to look around for it.