Inspire Conference 2008 - Part 2
5) Many women believe the lie: "I’m waiting for my husband to support me in meeting my needs, and then I’ll turn around and meet his needs."
Be supportive. The Bible says what you make happen for others, God makes happen for you.
I have heard someone give instructions on starting a revival as -- draw a circle, stand in the middle, and say, "Lord, let it begin with me." This applies to anything in your life. Do you want a "marriage revival"? You must take the first step. Don't wait for your husband. Somebody has to make the first move. Why not you?
"However, let each man of you (without exception) love his wife as (being in a sense) his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband - that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerate him and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him and loves and admires him exceedingly." Ephesians 5:33 (amp)
Proverbs 31 speaks of, “bringing him good – not harm all the days of his life.” Strive to be a true partner and make it easy for him to achieve his goals, not be like a huge weight on his back while he’s trying to do as God has called him to do in life.
A wife has the power to tear her husband down, to tire him out, to be so needy the poor soul can’t get anything done.
My husband has had staff members in the past who literally couldn’t get anything done because their wives were so needy. Sometimes it doesn't matter how talented or anointed a man is - if his wife is difficult it can make what he brings to the table obselete. It really is true that a wife can affect her husband's success so much. Proverbs speaks of a foolish woman tearing her house down with her own hands. She can tear down the house, tear down his success, his dreams, etc.
Proverbs 12:4 says, “A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown, but a shameful wife saps his strength.”
I don’t want to sap my husband’s strength. At the end of the road, I want my legacy to be…”she helped that man become what he is today.”
7) Some women believe the lie: "We're in a special season right now and don’t really have any time to spend together in any significant amount. Someday, our time will come.
Many people live life in a continual cycle of “somedays” or “if only”’s.
If only I could find a man...
if only I could get married...
if only I could have children…
and it's the same thing with "someday... "
Someday when we get married, we’ll have more time together…
Someday when we have kids, we’ll be so much happier…
Someday when the kids finally start school…
Someday when the kids go to college...
Someday when the kids move out...
YOUR SOMEDAY IS NOW.
It’s important to sacrifice to have time together in all seasons of your marriage. Someday may never come, tomorrow is not guaranteed -- so take the time now.
Larry and I know that sometimes we have to sacrifice other things that are screaming for our attention, to go out on a date. Or, we know that instead of working on the computer or reading the paper what we really need to do is to go sit in our Jacuzzi for 20 minutes together. Just that time out there by ourselves helps us to come back to center again.
WHATEVER YOU FEED GROWS, WHATEVER YOU STARVE DIES. FEED THE PASSION IN YOUR MARRIAGE. Some marriages are dying for lack of attention and it's all blamed on the the special "season" you're in. Don't buy that lie. You will always be in some sort of "season". Life really doesn't take a break. Take time for each other now.
9) Women buy the lie: "I don’t think sex is that important. After all, I’m a mother now, I am tired, and it’s not like we’re newlyweds or something…and we're getting older, and sex just isn't as necessary..."
Don't fall into this trap, ladies. And...
Don't just have sex. Have great sex.
The Bible is the greatest sex book every written! GOD SAYS IT, THAT SETTLES IT! (Whether you believe it or not.) Remember that old bumper sticker, "God says it, I believe it, that settles it?" BAD THEOLOGY. Ladies, God said it, that settles it whether you believe it or not.
Ladies if you are here today at this conference and when I mention this topic you get a little unhappy zinger in your heart and you are wanting me to skip over this point real quick..........realize there is probably a place in your life that needs to be healed. What we must remember is that married women who are whole, healed and walking in their destiny love sex! If you are a married woman and you are not comfortable with this issue, I can almost guarantee, you need to receive God's healing, or at least re-train your mind completely on what the Word of God has to say about this subject.
The thing we need to remember is that God is the creator of sex, and the Bible is our greatest resource. We don’t or should not base things by what we believe in our heart, by our "upbringing", by our Mom or Grandmom's opinion, but by what the Bible says.
One time I was teaching at an event and had a woman who vehemently disagreed with me about what I was teaching come up to me and I said, “I have no problem looking at things your way if you can just show me in scripture exactly what you are basing your beliefs on. Because my teachings are not based upon my thoughts or feelings but upon the Bible.” She said, “well, you won’t find my beliefs anywhere in scripture -- I can find nothing in the Bible to base this on, but it’s just what I feel in my spirit.”
Ladies, Christianity is not based upon what we "feel in our spirit." THE WORD OF GOD IS OUR STANDARD, PERIOD. Let's not get off track and think whatever we feel in our spirit is correct. If what you feel in your spirit does not LINE UP WITH GOD'S WORD, it's not right no matter what you feel. And the Word of God declares freedom for married couples.
This book of the Bible alone should show you that God doesn’t just want the minimum for you but the maximum! There are countless scriptures but I have time for just a few today.
Proverbs 5:18,19: “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.”
Another translation of the Word of God says "intoxicated…" instead of "captivated." Married love has been created by God as something that makes us feel at it's height as though we were intoxicated at times.
God asks us to be generous – generous forgivers, generous lovers. No, not just providing our husband the minimum love (I’m talking emotional, physical, in every way possible), but radical, all-out, generous love that goes beyond the limits of just minimums or “mandatories”.
Real love doesn’t ask “do I HAVE to do this?”
I love reading Kristy Dykes blog and I know some of you here do too. She's got great insights about marriage, and also about married sexuality. One of her poems is called, "Mama's Nightgown" and I want to share it with you today:
This morning, Mama's smiling and humming
and her nightgown's inside out.
The boys are noisy,
the dog's barking,
she doesn't even shout.
And Papa? He's laughing and dancing
through the house,'
cause Mama's nightgown is inside out!
Ladies, how long has it been since your nightgown was turned inside out? For some of you that needs to be the first thing you do when you get home from this conference, it's been so long. Your husband will be very grateful to send you back to Inspire Conference next year!
For years the church has produced a whole lot of man made rules but spoken little of sexual fulfillment. The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 7 that we should not deprive one another and that we should be careful not to have sex too infrequently. In just a moment I’m going to talk about why that is. But first, let me say that Hebrews 13;4 says the marriage bed is honorable and the bed undefiled.” This means that as long as you are:
· Experiencing the sexual relationship only with your mate
· Submitting to one another in love
· Anything is permissible!
The church needs to be an example of couples with healthy marriages and sex lives.
Statistics show us that 49% of married people are dissatisfied with their sex lives.
Approximately 2 million marriages are sex-less or have sex less than 10 times a year.
48% of women surveyed admit to faking orgasms regularly.
40% of married women surveyed report never having one.
The sad thing is, it doesn't have to be that way because God ordained something different for them.
In the church we pray about everything else. Somebody has diabetes, we pray. Somebody has a broken arm, we pray. Somebody has a sex-less non-fulfilling marriage, we ignore it. What a tragedy. Or we say, "go to a counselor." I submit to you, everything can be brought to the Lord, even our sex life, and He can and will heal it.
I have prayed for women who have confided at services, women's events and conferences and said that they have experienced no fulfillment in their marriage and the women's team has prayed for them and they have gone on to have satisfying marriages. Why not? God CAN do anything. We prayed for a lady at a conference who had no fulfillment in her marriage for 17 years, and another for 50 years. Both of them experienced this for the first time when they went home after the women prayed for them and believed God for their miracle. We just often don't ask him or we believe His great gift must be shrouded in secrecy.
Let’s address those who may struggle with extenuating circumstances…
1) Medical issues – if your problem can be fixed – get it fixed. If it can’t, improvise. Do what you can do. There is no need to feel guilt if you have physical or medical limitations. However make sure they are real and not an excuse. Larry and I have ministered to people whose spouses have medical problems such as diabetes...I've know of people who if they just lost 30-40 pounds they could come off of their medication, and have a perfectly normal life not to mention a normal sex life. However, they won't do it. They simply don't want to. Here's the thing - if it CAN be helped and you won't do it, that's a sin. Don't use medical problems as an excuse of giving up your sex life in marriage if you CAN do something to help it but simply WON'T. This is not fair to your partner. (or to you, really - because you are settling for less than God's best for you.)
2) Abuse – is this a reason to be upset? Of course. But don’t settle for less because you were abused. Why should you continue to be victimized? Furthermore, why should your husband be victimized? GET THE HELP YOU NEED. Go to counseling asap. Recover what the devil tried to steal from you! Go back to the enemy's camp and get what's coming to you!
3) Older couples – studies show that need for sex does decrease a bit, but does not disappear. Younger men have physical urges at least every 24 hours, and older men it decreases to 48 hours to sometimes more time, and you can have some challenges as you get older but this is not God’s clue that your sex life is supposed to evaporate!
4) God created sex, for life! Studies of the people on earth who have lived the longest – in Soviet Georgia –many living to 103 years old, all have one thing in common when surveyed -- regular marital sex.
He also wants you to make it CREATIVE. God believes in creativity so much he made it the 5th word in the Bible…
A creative lover seeks to keep sexual excitement alive in marriage by striving to find new things that will please his/her mate. Keep them not knowing what to expect!!!
10) Some women believe the lie: “I don’t really think we’d ever be in danger of getting a divorce. I can relax. I mean, who would want my husband? He’s gained fifty pounds since we’ve gotten married, lost all his hair…and instead of a Mustang, he drives a mini-van.”
No, do not relax. Marriage is spiritual warfare.
Pray above all else. Marriage is spiritual warfare. You must play and pray.
Ladies, a few years ago I was working on a project in the church sanctuary with some people and it was getting late in the evening. My husband was getting hungry and came down and asked me about dinner. I told him we really needed to finish the project and asked if we could wait a little bit. He said he'd be happy to go pick up supper for everybody. So he ordered it over the phone from a place and then went to pick it up. The restaurant had it where you picked up carryout orders by the bar with the cashier. He went over and paid for the food and the server who rang up the food at the register said, "hey...I'm getting off work in a few minutes. How about if you stay here with me and we can have a few beers?" My husband said, "Um, that would be a problem for two reasons." She gave him a coy little smile and said, "why?" He said, "First, I'm happily married. Second, I happen to be the pastor down at Northside Assembly of of God here in Tampa." She looked at him and said... "I know. I went there on Easter last year."
Ladies, this is absolutely a true story. That woman knew who my husband was when he walked in there. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy and he will send out "assignments" against us. However we don't have to be defeated. You see, I'm glad that Larry and I not only have a prayer life together, but we have a good sex life. When some devil-sent woman comes along and tries to tempt him, he has not only our prayers to combat the devil, but he has a satisfying marriage that makes it easy for him to turn from the wiles of the enemy. Incidentally, don't think this story is so odd. Something like this has happened to my husband a few times and many pastor's wives I know personally have had this happen in their marriages!!! You see, Satan is especially out to get the men "on the front line." We have to be ready to combat his evil schemes. Also you are not safe just because your husband is not a pastor. Realize the enemy hates you. He doesn't just dislike you. He wants to destroy your family. DON'T LET HIM. Two things are vitally important and the Bible tells you about them clearly -- staying close sexually AND prayer! Listen to this incredible statistic:
One out of every two marriages in the United States ends in divorce. However, only one out of every 1,150 couples who pray together on a regular basis get divorced!
You’ve got to have the play/pray combination. This is a powerful combination, in fact it makes you unstoppable. Where do I get this?
I Corinthians 7:3-5 “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.” Niv
I Corinthians 7:3-5: (The Message) 3The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality--the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. 4Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. 5Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting--but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it.
Father God, I pray that you would heal marriages. Bring people back to a Biblical understanding of marriage and intimacy… help us to act on the facts of Your Word when it comes to these most important issues in our lives. We forsake the religiousity that tries to snuff out the truth of your Word about marriage from being proclaimed in our churches. We ask you to come and HEAL OUR LAND. It starts in the home. If it doesn't work at home, we can't export it. God, heal our homes. Bring couples back together. We forsake the lies of the enemy and we discover and implement God's truth. In the name of Jesus...amen.
Tonight when I get home to Tampa I'll post some other highlights from Inspire '08. Just one funny little tidbit...when Pastor Sandy got up to preach tonight, instead of coming from the front row as she normally would she came walking down the center aisle from the back as she was introduced, and over top of her regular clothing she was wearing her nightgown...INSIDE OUT! The crowd lost it. It was so incredibly funny!!! She said, "if by chance you missed the first session this morning you have no idea why I'm wearing my nightgown inside out, but you'll have to get Pastor Deanna's tape to see what this means! It was awesome. My friends are not only extremely anointed but they have a great sense of humor. Thank you, Jesus...