Mr and Mrs: Fix Your Focus

Introduction:

If you asked the average married couple, they would tell you that they are 100 percent committed to focusing on their marriage. On the surface, this sounds like a reasonable and honorable statement. People that say it, mean it and have the best intentions. But good intentions aside, how we focus on our marriage or relationships can be the problem. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because God knows what we need (Matthew 6:32-34), and that includes the relationships we have in our lives. In verse 33, Jesus challenged to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In this week’s message we talk about how to fix the focus in our relationships. By choosing to focus our thinking on strengthening our relationships with God and our spouses, our marriages and other relationships will grow and flourish.

Something To Talk About:

  1. Are you focused on finding or becoming? “Is there someone out there for me?” Every Christian believes or at least hopes that God has the perfect person for them. But here is something to consider: should I spend a lot less energy finding the right person, and focus more of that energy on becoming the right person. If we focus all of our time on finding the man or woman, we may be neglecting some great opportunities to allow the Lord to develop us. Instead of trying to find something in anyone else, what are you currently focused on becoming right now? It is easy to worry about the man or woman’s walk with God when I should have been concentrating on God’s sanctifying work in my own life. The reality is that no one will never complete you; only God can. Your spouse can’t complete you; only God can. Our focus should be on becoming the man or woman God intended us to be.
  2. Are you focused on then or now? Most people are naturally one way or the other—they either focus on the past or they wish to look to the future. We’ve talked about the the danger of living in yesterday. I certainly believe that a lot of marriages get into trouble because of things that happened to the individual before they were even in a relationship. Things that weren’t dealt with. Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow” and it is equally important that we don’t wish away today, waiting for tomorrow to come. It’s about focus and the only way to tomorrow is through today. You’ve got to live there. It’s easy to fall in love with your picture of the future, but you don’t have to wait for that to be realized to start living in your calling. What is God doing in your life right now? 
  3. Are you focused on what it’s not or what you’ve got? It is easy to look at our partners as either right for us, or all wrong. This all-or-nothing model of relationships puts us in a catch-22. We want to know whether we are with the right mate, but the very act of questioning whether he or she is either right or wrong sets us up to expect way too much from them. We have to stop asking of marriage what God never designed it to give — perfect happiness via conflict-free living. It will never be that. But that does not mean that we can’t embrace and appreciate what God designed marriage to provide: partnership, spiritual intimacy and the ability to pursue God — together. Despite our imperfections, God created the husband and wife to steer each other in His direction. 
  4. Are you focused on theirs or mine? It is sometimes easy to blame our spouse for our unhappiness. We can believe as a result that things will improve. But that is not what the Bible teaches us. God works in different people in different ways. Some people grow rapidly, while others grow slowly, but steadily. Our focus should not be on comparing ourselves with others, but on comparing ourselves with God’s Word. The Scriptures are the mirror to show us what we are like spiritually and to shine light on the areas that need to experience and learn spiritual growth. In other words, we need to focus on our spiritual growth and our role in the marriage, not on what our spouse is doing or not doing.

Questions:

  1. Do you focus too much or too little on the relationship? What one area in marriage do you need to fix your focus?
  2. Read Matthew 6:31-34 through Matthew 7:1-2. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because God knows what we need. What does this mean in the area of relationships?
  3. Why do we tend to focus on what could be rather than what is?
  4. In verse 33, Jesus challenged to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When it comes to relationships, in what areas of your life is it easiest for you to focus on God? In what areas is it the most difficult?
  5. How do you communicate dissatisfaction with your spouse?
  6. What can we do this week to fix our focus when it comes to relationships?

Take One Thing Home with You:

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19.

Most married people and most people in relationships for that matter, have wished at one time or another to go back and give the young versions of themselves the benefit of the wisdom they have accumulated over the years. Much of the wisdom or advice would center on finding the right partner. Most people believe that if you found “the one,” your life would be happy, secure and fulfilled. The problem with that line of thought is you’re making your spouse responsible for your happiness. To expect another person to make you feel happy, secure and fulfilled will leave you disappointed at best and disillusioned at worst. Even the best “soulmate” or spouse will never take the place of God. 

Only God Himself can settle those deep heart-needs as Philippians 4:19 reminds us. 

If a husband could meet every need his wife had, we’d have no need for God. Therefore, instead of just focusing on finding the right partner, let God work on your heart to help you become the right partner. In Romans 15:13 Paul tells us, “ I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”