Issuu on Google+

REALationships: A Devotional Journey

You and your partner are about to embark on a journey that will challenge, encourage, and equip you to be the person and relationship you were created to be. Remember: this devotional is created to go in conjunction with the REALationships series, so don’t miss a Sunday! Let’s grow into the relationship God intended together!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 1:Who Are You? When it comes to relationships a lot of times we don’t know who we are before we enter the relationship. We don’t know what to answer to…whether it be a confident woman that knows what she wants, or a self-aware young lady that needs affirmation. Or whether it will be a man that is in control and understands people, or a man that is scared to hurt or offend their love. And the wild thing is this: IT’S OK! But it is ESSENTIAL to know who you are and who your significant other is before moving into a play of answering! The reality is simple: if you don’t know who you are, you’ll answer to anything. Before a relationship will truly thrive in the way God created it to, we must individually know who we are in Christ and what He created us to be. READ: Jeremiah 1:5 DISCUSS TOGETHER: - Share what each of you think that verse means about yourself - Which 3 words best describes you? Confident, Self-aware, Leader, Follower, Romantic, Clueless - The word “consecrate” here means to be set apart for a specific purpose. What are some unique passions, talents, and desires you have? (share them) - If you could do ANYTHING, money was not an option, what would it be? PRAY: Pray for/with each other. If you’re single, pray for your future husband/wife, and pray that God would help you be the person they will need you to be as well. JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 2: Encouraging Your Spouse All relationship SHOULD be “give and take”, many rarely are. Giving and taking means adding value to your spouse or future spouse. Imagine what your bank account would be like if you never added anything to it. Instead of depositing your paycheck you simply put them in your glove compartment, yet you never stopped writing checks or using your debit card. Your checks would bounce, your card would be denied, and your account would not be able to be used anymore. Sadly, that is the outlook for a lot of relationships today. Many people never deposit any value to their significant other, yet they continuously expect to withdraw value from the other. Without depositing then withdrawing the emotional account becomes bankrupt and dry. READ: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 DISUSS: - How would your relationship look like if you encouraged each other? - Tell your significant other/write down how you would like for them to encourage you in your journey of life. - Take a moment and separately write down what it is that you love about the person. (singles: write down what your future spouse would have about them) Now, share that with them. Grab their hand, and tell them what you wrote down. PRAY: Pray for/with each other. If you’re single, pray for your future husband/wife, and pray that God would help you be the person they will need you to be as well. JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 3: God’s Idea of Your Help Growing up my dad used to work on vehicles a lot. In fact, I’m convinced that sometimes he would intentionally mess one up, just so he could work on it. He loved ripping a motor apart to rebuild it, tearing our oil pans to replace and things such as that. I would often go outside, especially when I was younger, to help him. He would ask me for a wrench, a socket, or a pair of pliers and I would bring them to him…MOST of the time. It took me a while to understand his terminology, his thoughts, and when he said “NOW”… he meant 30 seconds ago! It took me spending time trying to understand my dad before I could truly become a good helper to him. Until I understood what he meant and thought, I wasn’t much help. That’s the process we must take in our marriages. We need to spend more time understanding, rather than trying to be understood sometimes. READ: Genesis 2:18-24 DISCUSS: - What does the word “helpmate” mean to you? - According to the above scripture why are we supposed to help each other in life? - Take a moment and let your spouse/boy/girlfriend know what exactly you want to do to start helping them accomplish their dreams (we talked about them on day 1) and in life in general. - Let each other know how much appreciate how they’ve helped you in the past. Be specific. PRAY: Pray for/with each other. If you’re single, pray for your future husband/wife, and pray that God would help you become the person they will need you to be as well. JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 4: Leaving Your Past…THERE! Could you imagine trying to drive down the road while continuously looking in the rearview mirror? You’re not looking out of the windshield, you’re looking in the rearview mirror. You can see the cars that are riding behind you just fine. In fact, you can tell what color their hair is, and how badly they need to shave. And just as you’re figuring out that the guy looks like Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, BAM! Your run right into the car that had to hit the brakes in front of you. You didn’t mean to, nor did you want to, but you had to…because you weren’t looking ahead. So many times in relationships what happens is the past is never really left in the past. We think on past relationships, entertain the fun that they were, and even hold our significant other hostage to their memory. Or we throw our significant others past in their face, never allowing their baggage to be buried… and thus you run right into roadblocks and hard times because you’re looking in the rearview mirror. Make a vow that you will NOT let that happen anymore! READ: Psalm 103:12 DISCUSS: - What part of your past have you been hiding from God? He can’t throw it away if you still have it. Let it go… offer repentance. - What have you been holding onto in your marriage? A fight, a disagreement, resentment…get it out in the open. Talk about it. Forgive each other! - What does your relationship look like going forward? What can you do to help each other get there? PRAY: Pray for one another…singles pray for your future and yourself. JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 5: BE the right person I once had a guy in school trying to help me get better at basketball. He knew all the right moves, all the right steps, all the right things to do. I listened for a while until one day I was tired to working on things like that and I challenged him to a game. THE GUY WAS TERRIBLE! He couldn’t hardly hit a shot, he could barely dribble, and I could beat him…bad! The problem was he was trying to tell me how to do something he couldn’t do himself. That sounds like a lot of us. We are so desperately trying to get people to treat us the way we want to be treated, that we forget to treat them the way we should. We are more worried about others becoming what we want/need, that we forget to become who we should be in the first place. To get respect we must first give it. Vow today to become the right person for your current or your future mate. Treat people with love, compassion, greatness, and hope. If you become the right person, you’ll attract the right person/attitude! READ: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 DISCUSS: - What does it mean to BE the right person? - Take a moment and write down the type of person that your significant other deserves. (GO…NOW!) Are you living up to that? How are you? How can you? - Tell each other what you want to do better to become the right person for them? Repent to them for the things that you may not have been doing. PRAY: JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 6: Outside Relationships We are all relational. It’s a given. There’s no way around it, nor would any of us really want there to be. God sent His Son, Jesus, to create relationship. We were created in God’s image, therefore, most of us will do whatever necessary to have interaction with someone else. We CRAVE relationships. The issue, most times, isn’t relationships (too many or lack of), but it’s the wrong kind of relationships. I see many females in marriages/relationships that crave attention from males. That’s their DNA. Males struggle with the same thing. The thing we must guard ourselves and our relationships from is inappropriate relationships. If you’re more comfortable talking to someone of the opposite sex, besides the one you’re in a relationship with, take a step back…WAY BACK! If someone’s trying to reel you into a relationship like that, run…FAST! The enemy wants to destroy strong Godly dating/marriage relationships, don’t give him the opportunity! SAVE YOURSELF NOW! READ: 2 Samuel 11 DISCUSS: - Maybe, unintentionally, there seems to have been an inappropriate relationship within your relationship. Sacrifice that on the altar of forgiveness, give it to God and let it go…regardless of the price! - How can you help each other stay out of harm’s way? - What would you noticed this happening in your relationship? Map out a course of action…TOGETHER…NOW! PRAY: JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 7: DATE NIGHT Put the kids in a room with a movie, or better yet with a baby sitter (we have many trustworthy teens in the church). Turn off the TV, turn up the music… one of you cook a meal, or cook it together. Go out to a movie. Buy your woman flowers, buy your man his favorite magazine or sweet. Dress up nice…wear something you wouldn’t wear to the store, but something to impress them! GO OUT ON A DATE! Flirt, play around, talk about life, enjoy each other’s company. Stop being so business minded that you forget to be love minded! Whatever your date night looks like, and whatever night it is on…this is your free pass…ONLY if you do a date night! GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN! REKINDLE THAT LOVE!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 8: Loving Like Christ - Sacrifice Jesus was such a selfless and loving role model. He washed his servants feet. He went to places that others were afraid of. He talked to people that others strayed away from on purpose. Jesus… the ultimate example. The entire reason He did this was to share the goodness, the love, and the greatness of the Kingdom to the church. Yet the Bible tells men to love our wives, as He loved the church. WOW! The one thing that Jesus did mostly was sacrifice. He sacrificed His reputation to eat with thieves, He sacrificed His time to pray with the lame, and He sacrificed His life to give us hope and promise. If we are to love like Christ – we must sacrifice. Without sacrifice love is a convenience instead of a choice. READ: Ephesians 5:25-33 DISCUSS TOGETHER: - What do you feel you sacrifice for your relationship…your wife/girlfriend? - Ladies, what do you wish he would sacrifice more? Now…what does he sacrifice that you appreciate more than anything? (you MUST tell appreciate that as well) - Men, what can you sacrifice more? TV? Xbox? Hunting? Internet/social media? Technology? What can you sacrifice? Whatever it is, tell her, and let her hold you accountable to it. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 9: Loving Like Christ - Understanding It’s been said a thousand times, “Men will never understand women!” and to an extent I completely agree. We will never understand what the pain of childbirth is, we will never grasp the stress of emotional control. We will never get the undying need for continuous compliments. And that is ok! But what we must always do is TRY to understand her! Jesus was greatly understanding. He understood the woman at the well, He understood the woman with the issue of blood, and He understands you and me. As complicated as we may be, He strives to understand. In fact, that’s part of the reason He sacrificed was to understand us. Let’s steward our energy towards understanding our love more and more. READ: Hebrews 2:17-18 DISUSS TOGETHER: - Is it easy or hard to understand each other? Why? Answer to each other. - What can you do to help the other understand you better? (ie: be more vocal, be more open, etc.) - How important is it for you to be understood in what you’re going through? How can the other person SHOW you that they are understanding or are trying to understand? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 10: Loving Like Christ – Supportive Could you imagine sitting down to eat dinner at your kitchen table. The only problem is, the table is on the floor because the legs have come unattached. The support the tabletop had to hold it up has suddenly disappeared. That wouldn’t be a very comfortable dining experience, to say the least. The Bible says that a chord of 3 strands cannot be easily broken. I believe that verse is working in a double context. 1- the 3 strands of the Trinity (God, Jesus, Spirit). 2- the strands of support. Few things in life are as powerful, energizing, and encouraging as having people support you in your endeavors. I believe relationships should be ones of support, encouragement and belief. Jesus supported the actions and works of people that had Kingdom aspirations. READ: Matthew 10:1-8 DISCUSS: - Is there anything you feel God has given you a heart to do and you just haven’t yet? What is it? (Share) - If you KNEW you had unimaginable support, what would you do different in your life? Who would you share the Gospel with? What would you sow a seed into? - What do you want to do to show your support of each other better in the future? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 11: Loving Like Christ - Love On my 26th birthday I drove up to my in-law’s beach house. I was sick with strep throat, frustrated about my car messing up, and tired. We were going to eat, so I had to hurry up and change so I wasn’t the source of delay. As I pulled up, a garnet Toyota Tundra pulls in behind me. I’d never seen it before, but man was it good looking truck. My wife pops her head out, and screams “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Needless to say, my mood changed….quickly! That gift meant the world to me, not just because it was a truck, but because it was MY truck – a truck I didn’t even look at first. My wife showed me love by knowing my preferences, desires, and making it happen. It showed me love. Jesus showed love by purchasing salvation, giving access to God, granting relationship, and providing freedom, among other things. READ: Philippians 2:8, Ephesians 5:1-2, John 15:9 DISCUSS: - What is your way of RECEIVING love? Is it words? Actions? Gifts? - Talk to your partner about a time that stands out to you and how they showed you they loved you. - When you’re asked ‘how do you SHOW love?’ what is your answer? - Each of you go off alone, write down 5 ways that you will SHOW your partner how much you love them in the next 5 days. Don’t let them see the list, only you know what is says. They will find out when you do it! PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 12: Loving Like Christ - Honor Honor. It’s a forsaken attitude that is so often overlooked. It’s forgotten, ignored, and even despised by some. Somehow in our culture today the idea and attitude of honor is not an important one. Honor is the idea that brings with it holding the door for someone, speaking highly of people, and clapping/greeting someone in authority over us. Honor…the most foreign and forgotten attribute of God. Without honor there are blessings of great joy that are locked away in a Heavenly place. You honor what you love and you love what you honor. If you love your husband/wife/boy/girlfriend then honor is a must in your relationship. You should see them as a king/queen in your life, and treat them as such. Honor is shown through action, word, prayer, and attitude. In The Bible, Lot was shown incredible protection and inhabitation from God simply by honoring His messengers! Your relationship will be greatly blessed if you honor each other and God in the midst of it all. After all, He did give you to one another! READ: Genesis 19:1-19 DISCUSS: - When you think of “honor”, what does that look like to you? - How can you honor one another in your daily relationship? (ie: open the door for the other, better attitude, etc.) - What are some things that would REALLY make you feel honored? This may be the same as what would make you feel loved, restate that if so. - How can you make sure your relationship is honoring God? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 13: Love Like Christ - Protect Not too long ago there was a great attack of the enemy on our lives. It seemed that the enemy was using many avenues to discourage, frustrate and anger me and my wife. One of those avenues were other people. During this difficult time there were tears shed, anger felt, and allegiance questioned. But, there was one thing that helped me through it all. Knowing that God and my wife had my back…ALL THE WAY! When you know there is someone standing behind you that will also jump in front of you, just to protect you, if needed is an energizing thought. Your significant other has to know that you are there to protect them. Jesus protected people from judgment, hurt, and Hell throughout His life. The woman that was caught in adultery was shielded from all. Jesus looked at her with a love and appreciation that caused her to forget her accusers and focus on her protector – Jesus! Is your protection of your wife/husband/boy/girlfriend showing the protection of Jesus? READ: Matthew 16:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, Romans 8:28 DISCUSS: - Talk about how you met. What brought you to one another? (This is God bringing you together…protecting you from other relationships) - What does it mean that God is protecting you personally and relationally? - What are you willing to do to protect one another? (Physically, emotionally, mentally) PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 14: DATE NIGHT Put the kids in a room with a movie, or better yet with a baby sitter (we have many trustworthy teens in the church). Turn off the TV, turn up the music… one of you cook a meal, or cook it together. Go out to a movie. Buy your woman flowers, buy your man his favorite magazine or dessert. Dress up nice…wear something you wouldn’t wear to the store, but something to impress them! GO OUT ON A DATE! Flirt, play around, talk about life, enjoy each other’s company. Stop being so business minded that you forget to be love minded! Whatever your date night looks like, and whatever night it is on…this is your free pass…ONLY if you do a date night! GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN! REKINDLE THAT LOVE!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 15: The Man is the Head I once worked for a company that is very distinguished and established. While working there, we lost our manager and someone else had to step in. We were assured someone would step in quickly, but no one really did. It became chaos quickly because there was no one to answer to. There was no one that had final authority, no one that was given the ability to call the shots, and no one to go to for questions. When God created the Earth, the human race, and everything else, He set a very final strategy of authority in place. Men are to be the head of the house. Many times, however, men either do not step up to this, or women do not allow them to. If the man is not the final authority, the leader, and the spiritual voice in your house, your relationship may be outside of the Godly structure. READ: Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Corinthians 11:3 DISCUSS TOGETHER: - Define, together, what it looks like for the man to be the head of the relationship/household. - Men, this doesn’t mean that you disregard your ladies thoughts/ideas. When have you disregarded her thoughts and what can you do to listen better? - Ladies, what can you do to make sure that he knows he is the head of the relationship? What will you do to give him that authority? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 16: God is the Head of man Bill Cosby had a famous line when his hit show “The Cosby Show” was on. If one of his kids would show out, he would look at them, and calmly say “I brought you into this world. I can take you out.” A line I have heard repeated from people for years since the show ended. That line is a line of humor, yet truth. As the father, he DID have a part in bringing them into this world. Men, you may have felt good after yesterday. Learning you are the head of the house/relationship. The discussion that ensued may have given your relationship a new sense of direction and structure, since you are now on the Godly structure. But don’t forget who “brought you into this world” and who can “take you out.” YOUR final authority is God. You will answer to God for the way you lead, love, and lament over your relationship. Make Him proud! READ: 1 Corinthians 11:3, Proverbs 19:21, Psalm 22:28 DISUSS TOGETHER: - Look over your relationship. How are you keeping God at the center of your life and relationship? - Men, what are you doing to lead your family into a deeper relationship with God? - How is your life showing your family how they can love, worship, and hear from God in a deeper level? - What do you want to do better/more to lead your relationship spiritually? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 17: Listen To Your Man’s Voice In youth ministry we used to play a game. We would blindfold someone, and set up an obstacle course of chairs and they had to maneuver through the course. The only way they could get through it was to listen to the voices of their friends as they tried to tell them which way to turn and walk. It often ended up in hysterical laughter and some bruised shins. The voice that is loudest is the voice you will follow. First, we must know that God’s voice must be the loudest voice we hear. Secondly, we must know that your man’s voice is the second loudest! That’s right, not your friends, family, nor your boss…your man’s! If you’re married there’s a reason that The Bible says to leave your family and hold to your husband. Make sure that when your husband speaks, leads, and loves it is heard above the noise of everyone else. READ: Genesis 3:1-13 DISCUSS: - Eve let the serpents voice overpower that of Adam. What will you do to make sure this doesn’t happen in your relationship? - Always compare your man’s voice to the word of God. What does it mean for your lady to hear your voice? - What will you do, guys, to make sure that your voice is one that is worth being heard? (You can’t expect her to listen if you are never uplifting, helping, or encouraging her.) PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 18: Take Care of Him There are few things I like more in my life than when my wife goes out of her way to make sure I’m taken care of. When she cooks me my favorite meal, or she rubs my neck, or she brings me a plate of food. It’s not a servant thing, it’s an “I’m here to take care of you” thing. In The Bible we continuously see that when people take care of God’s messengers/people they are in turn taken care of. We have seen, over the past few days, that God is the head of man, and man is the head of relationships. That’s just the way God set it up. You know you love it when your man takes time to take care of you. When he cooks, takes out the trash, brings you flowers, whatever he may do. Take care of God’s messenger, God takes care of you! READ: 1 Kings 17:8-16 DISCUSS: - What does it mean to you to take care of the man in your life? - Just like Elijah in this scripture, would you truly give your man the last of what you had, if he needed it? - Is your relationship to the point where you would give your man anything he needed, and have faith God would provide everything else? Why or why not? - Guys, what kind of thing do you enjoy when she does them? What kind of thing does she do that lets you know she’s taking care of you? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 19: Ministry Together Someone once said that every moment is an opportunity to make a difference, the decision is whether we seize the opportunity or not. Every morning you wake up, every night you go to bed, every day you go to work, every minute you watch TV there is an opportunity to do something to make a difference. With technology, connections to others, and wisdom there are numerous opportunities each day to effect someone’s life, in a positive way. When you are in a relationship your opportunities for ministry and positive effect doubles. You have twice the opportunities, twice the moments, and twice the ministry awaiting before you. The question is, will you both seize the moments? When you become married you are no longer 1, but you are now joined together, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Encourage your man/woman to make a difference every day. Equip one another to do something that will positively affect someone else’s life. READ: Jeremiah 29:11 DISCUSS: - Share about a moment today, that you seized or let slip away, where you did or could have made a difference in someone’s life. Celebrate together. - How can you effect someone’s life at work each day? - Set a time each night to celebrate together some positive effects each have made in someone’s life. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 20: Pray Together There is a popular saying that is plastered on billboards and websites everywhere: “A family that prays together, stays together.” How true! Prayer is a wonderful act of conversation with God. It’s not a matter of prayer changing God’s mind, it’s more of God changing our hearts! Prayer with your significant other can create a spiritual bond that no one can break. It adds intimacy, power, and love that is indescribable. We have learned the biblical structure of relationships, now we need to pray over that! Men, take the lead – ladies, follow suit and pray over your man! He faces tremendous pressure by leading your family, providing for your family, listening to God’s voice, and balancing work! You never know what that prayer may keep you out of or bring you into. Don’t forget “A family that prays together, stays together.” READ: Mark 10:9 DISCUSS: - What do you need prayer for? Share it with each other. Make a list where you can both see it. - Hold hands, and take time praying over each other. Men, pray over your girl for her needs, and that God will bring His purpose for her out! Ladies, pray over your man, ask for provision, ask for guidance, ask for strength, and ask for power. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 21: DATE NIGHT Put the kids in a room with a movie, or better yet with a baby sitter (we have many trustworthy teens in the church). Turn off the TV, turn up the music… one of you cook a meal, or cook it together. Go out to a movie. Buy your woman flowers, buy your man his favorite magazine or dessert. Dress up nice…wear something you wouldn’t wear to the store, but something to impress them! GO OUT ON A DATE! Flirt, play around, talk about life, enjoy each other’s company. Stop being so business minded that you forget to be love minded! Whatever your date night looks like, and whatever night it is on…this is your free pass…ONLY if you do a date night! GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN! REKINDLE THAT LOVE!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 22: Purity Pure: “unmixed with any other matter. Free from dust, dirt, or taint. Free from harshness or roughness and being in tune.” (MerriamWebster Dictionary) Purity is the act of being pure. Purity is most often taught within the context of dating and pre-marriage relationships, but I believe purity in marriage is just as key. Purity can be diluted by the look, thought, talk of another person other than your current romantic interest. Purity is lost by the seeming acceptance of pornography, questionable discussion about the opposite sex, and yes even reading things that make your mind “go there”! God has called us all to be pure, and remaining pure through your life and your marriage is also commitment and dedication to your current/future spouse. Let’s train our minds, tongues, and eyes to become a catalyst of purity instead of questionable commitment. READ: 1 Corinthians 6:18;20, Galatians 6:7-8, Matthew 5:28-30 DISCUSS: - How can you become more pure in your marriage? (ie: turn the channel when sexual content comes on, listen to wholesome music, etc.) - Your past may be a place where your purity was compromised. If so, and you have not yet asked your significant other or God for forgiveness, simply do that today. (details are not necessary) - Ask your partner to keep you accountable for purity. Ask them to let you know when your purity together may be compromised. (accountability partners are key) PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 23: Sexual Integrity In college I loved to eat Hot Pockets. I had a stockpile of them and I would regularly eat one or two for lunch or a “snack”. You know the drill, you unwrap the Hot Pocket, you place it in the sleeve, you place it in the microwave, heat it up for a couple of minutes, and it’s ready to eat! My microwave wasn’t the best, so I would regularly bite into my Hot Pocket only to have it still be very cold. The Hot Pocket wasn’t quite ready, and I wasn’t ready for that! Sexual Intimacy is biblically set to consummate or make the joining of 2 people, through marriage, official. Sex is as much of a spiritual act as it as a physical act. I know this is a difficult topic for some, because I believe, the enemy has made it a place of awkwardness because God ordained it! A healthy sex life is a healthy marriage, an unhealthy sex life is an unhealthy marriage. Likewise, if you partake in the spiritual consummation of sex too soon in your life, it can cause much heartache and disappointment in the future! READ: Mark 10:6-9,1 Corinthians 7:3-5,Hebrews 13:4 DISUSS TOGETHER: - Is it awkward to talk about sex with your spouse? Why or why not? Tell each other. - Talk about what you can do to help your sexual intimacy become even stronger? - (SINGLES) What are you doing to keep yourself from sexual intimacy? What boundaries? What safeguards? Write them down! PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 24: Spiritual Intimacy As a kid I hated those Chinese Finger Traps! Even if I knew the trick to get my fingers back out of them, I always seemed to forget when my fingers got stuck. I thought it to be a very cruel and undesirable game that someone got bored with their kids and decided to trick them. I didn’t see the humor What if I were to tell you that there was a way, that God set up, that could create your relationship to have a Chinese Finger Trap type connection? Most people would jump at the opportunity to become united with their partner greater. There is no greater bond than that of a spiritual bond. When 2 spirits connect in understanding, prayer, and love it becomes a powerful bond that cannot easily be broken. When God brought/brings your heart together with your “soul mate”, and when it becomes legal and biblically consummated there is a connection that takes place. However, it’s your constant pursuit and maintenance of that connection that takes place with God. And the denial of that can also cause that connection to fade. Be intentional! READ: Matthew 9:1-9, Genesis 2:24, DISCUSS: - We’ve looked at this before today, but take a moment to take your “spiritual temperature” in your relationship. How are you doing spiritually? What can you do to grow together spiritually? - Take a few moments to pray over one another again. Pray whatever comes to your heart for them. (SINGLES) Pray for your future spouse. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 25: Emotional Intimacy Have you ever woken up and just had a bad morning? Maybe a bad hair day, or you stub your toe on something, or you burn your toast, or maybe your coffee burns your tongue. It’s amazing how just those few frustrations in the morning can change and dictate your entire day. There’s a simple reason why. Most of u are driven my emotions. Emotions can be a good thing, but they can also be a bad thing. If we are driven more by our emotions than our faith, we will never take bold steps to accomplish God’s goals and purpose in our lives. At the same time, if we have control of our emotions, and our partner respects our emotions they can be a great thing, because they don’t control you! It is our job, as lovers, to create emotional intimacy with each other. Increase the good emotions (confidence, joy, love, etc.) and decrease the bad emotions (negativity, self-doubt, frustration, etc.) in each other! READ: Galatians 5:16-17,Proverbs 15:18,2Corinthians 10:5 DISCUSS: - Has there been a day recently where you allowed your emotions to control your day, or even your attitude towards your partner? What did that feel like? Why did that happen? - What will you do from this day forward to ensure that you will be more cautious not to let your emotions drive your day? - What will you do from now on to ensure that you encourage your partners good emotions, and discourage their bad emotions? - How will you control your emotions when you do not agree? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 26: Taking Care Of Each Other Do you know your partners favorite color? What about their favorite food? Hobby? What about exactly what they do at work? Do you know about their first car? Are you friends with their friends? Intimacy causes you to know each other’s details. It causes you to know all about them. Their wants, desires, wishes, and dreams. Without intimacy in a relationship you become roomates instead of lovers. Again, this may seem like a rehash from before, but as lovers we should desire to provide what our partner wants. In order to do that, we must know what our partner wants in every area of their life – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, sexually – every single area. And it is our job to provide that whenever we possibly can. Intimacy creates a bond that’s driven by love and appreciate, affection and honor. Let’s make a vow to take better care of one another, starting today. READ: 1 John 4:7-8, 1 Peter 3:1, Romans 12:10, Colossians 3:23 DISCUSS: - Let’s play a game today. Try to guess each other’s favorite color, food, what is their hobby, what they do at work, what their first car was, and name 3 of their friends. See how many you get right! - Make a point to declare to one another that you will do what you can to make sure that they are served with their desires in life. Remember, you’re serving God by serving them! PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 27: Find Your Gift Is there a better feeling in the world than when you are doing what you know you are great at? You feel a sense of confidence, a sense of belonging, and sense of pride that is rarely found any other way. Often times that’s why people will jump from job to job, it’s to find that feeling of credibility because they are doing what they are good at. Within each person is a gift that God strategically placed. Your gift and your passion will more often than not coincide together. The key to fulfilling the purpose God has intended for you is to find your gift and passion and pursue it with everything you have. In relationships God will also connect people that will help gifts. He will connect you with someone that will encourage, equip, and engage your gift in life. If we aren’t using our gifts as a couple or individuals we are doing a great injustice to God. READ: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 DISCUSS: - What do you enjoy doing? What would you consider your passion? - Out of the gifts listed in the scriptures above, which gift do you feel most connected with? - Take a chance to talk about what each of those gifts mean and how you would use your gift to help make a difference for the Kingdom of God in the world. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 28: DATE NIGHT Put the kids in a room with a movie, or better yet with a baby sitter (we have many trustworthy teens in the church). Turn off the TV, turn up the music… one of you cook a meal, or cook it together. Go out to a movie. Buy your woman flowers, buy your man his favorite magazine or dessert. Dress up nice…wear something you wouldn’t wear to the store, but something to impress them! GO OUT ON A DATE! Flirt, play around, talk about life, enjoy each other’s company. Stop being so business minded that you forget to be love minded! Whatever your date night looks like, and whatever night it is on…this is your free pass…ONLY if you do a date night! GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN! REKINDLE THAT LOVE!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 29: Family First Priorities are the key to thriving in life. You have to know what has to get accomplished and what can wait. You must learn what you have to focus on immediately and what doesn’t deserve your attention at all. Priorities at work create effective work deadlines and make your boss proud. But the wrong priorities in life can complicate things way more than you ever intended. You prioritize what you love and honor the most. The issue, for most people, is their family is the last on the priority list. This is backwards. Your family, whether you currently have kids or not, should be the first to get your priority. Your time is spread, your energy is spread, and your love is spread about, but don’t take away from your family to give to others. Your family is your first ministry God has entrusted you with. It’s how you treat, honor, and love your family that shows the Kingdom of God the greatest. In a day when families are dispersing, children have no real parent, and kids are begging for love an attention, don’t deprive the blessing you have in your family any longer. READ: 1 Timothy 3:1-5 DISCUSS: - Set a time each day that you will spend time playing and talking with your family. - Plan a family day together soon. Ignore your phone, emails, and other things and go to the zoo or the park. Work on it tonight. - What can you do prioritize your family even more? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 30: Lead Your Kids “I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you. And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are. We got cowboy boots and camo pants, yeah we’re just alike hey ain’t we dad? I wanna do everything you do…so I’ve been watching you.” (Watching You by Rodney Atkins) What an eye opening statement and even song by Rodney Atkins. I would venture to say that dad isn’t the only person that kids are watching. Whether you’re a parent yet or not, today is for you. There will be a day, if not yet, where your actions, reactions, words, and even attitudes will be judged, picked up, and used by children. It causes us to feel the love God felt when He sacrificed Jesus, and it even causes us to question our lives to ensure we are leading them to Christ. The reality is you are leading them. The question is: where? READ: Proverbs 22:6, Titus 2:7, 2 Timothy 2:15 DISUSS TOGETHER: - Discuss how you have been or how you will lead your kids to love Jesus during their lives. - Go through the Bible for a few minutes, circle and write down at least 3 scriptures you will pray over your current/future children. - How will you lead your children with your words, actions, reactions, and attitudes? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 31: Leaving Work As I sat in the college classroom listening to my professor talk about the importance of youth ministry in today’s world, his words were not gaining much attention. I wondered how the weather was outside, I wondered how much longer until I could play Ultimate Frisbee, and I wondered what I’d eat for dinner. Then, out of nowhere, he said something that garnered my attention and still does. “…And I just realized that the work on my desk, would still be there tomorrow if I didn’t finish. So, I went home.” Pastor Tracey Reynolds caught my attention and still continues to do so with that one statement. Work is how we gain our money to live our lives. We must do our work timely, greatly, and as our ministry, but work doesn’t have to determine our lives. There comes a point where I have to, and you have to, learn to leave work at work! Don’t take the stress, frustration, hurt, and annoyance of work home with you. Don’t rob your family to pay your job! READ: 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 11:29, Proverbs 3:14 DISCUSS: - Set a time that you will leave work from here on, and make it a point to leave at that time! COME HOME! - Figure out a way that you can help “drop off” your work emotions and thoughts. - Make a point to make time to NOT talk about work. Only talk about sports, your day, whatever you want, other than work! PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: What are your thoughts from today’s devotion? ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 32: Create Memories It’s been said, many times over, that most people remember the negative moments of their life more vividly than the positive moments. That means there’s a lot of people walking around in this world that forgot all of the fun times they’ve had and only remember the bad things in their lives. Create memories with your family. You don’t want your family to look back on the times you had together and have to search their memory for good times. You want them to think back at the most fun times of their lives and immediately think of your family. The memories you create with your family today will follow them for rest of their lives, and will affect the way your kids raise their kids. READ: Psalm 127:3-5, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 1 Peter 3:7 DISCUSS: - Remember that Family Day that you sat down and planned on Day 1? Have you done that yet? If so, talk about some memories from that trip. Maybe look through pictures even as a family. If no, why not? What else do you need to do to make sure you do this. - Pull out a picture album from a trip or important time in your life, look at them all together. Talk about the pictures, enjoy the time together. - (SINGLES) write a list of dream trips/memories you want to do/take. PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 33: Leaving a Legacy If you go to a graveyard and you look at the headstones in there, you will see they have something in common. They all have the year they were born, the year of their death, and in the middle will be a “-“ (dash). That dash is an incredibly important piece of that person’s life. That dash represents the laughs shared, the memories created, the sadness experienced, and the schools graduated. That dash is the essence of their lives. The question deems necessary: what do you want your dash to say about you? Or I could ask it this way: what kind of legacy do you want to leave? The legacy you decide to leave will directly impact the life you live. If you want to live a legacy of faithfulness you will become a person of integrity, one that keeps their word, and someone that is truthful. The legacy you decide to leave will directly impact the life your kids/partner lives as well. READ: Proverbs 13:22, Proverbs 10:7, Proverbs 1:8 DISCUSS: - Each of you take a few minutes and write down at least 3 words a piece that describe the legacy you want to leave? Come back together and share them with each other. - Does your legacy require you to make a life change? If so, what? How can you ensure you will leave the legacy you want to? - Take your lists and pray over them together. Ask God to help you make your legacies a GODLY reality! PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 34: Project Discussion is the biggest component of a relationship to help make it a raving success. Without discussion or communication your relationship is sure to face demise. Take this day and talk about everything you learned and how you grew during this 5 week devotional series. READ: Go through this book and highlight and discuss the most powerful scriptures you read together. DISCUSS: - Have you grown during this series? How? - What are the most powerful things you learned? Why? - How are you both going to continue reading The Word together? How are you going to continue praying together? PRAY TOGETHER JOURNAL: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Go to the local bookstore and find a devotional book for couples and do it together. You could also read a chapter of the Song of Solomon together each night and discuss it.


REALationships: A Devotional Journey Day 35: DATE NIGHT Put the kids in a room with a movie, or better yet with a baby sitter (we have many trustworthy teens in the church). Turn off the TV, turn up the music… one of you cook a meal, or cook it together. Go out to a movie. Buy your woman flowers, buy your man his favorite magazine or dessert. Dress up nice…wear something you wouldn’t wear to the store, but something to impress them! GO OUT ON A DATE! Flirt, play around, talk about life, enjoy each other’s company. Stop being so business minded that you forget to be love minded! Whatever your date night looks like, and whatever night it is on…this is your free pass…ONLY if you do a date night! GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN! REKINDLE THAT LOVE!


REALationships: A Devotional Journey CONGRATULATIONS!! You and your partner finished the REALationships devotional series. My heart and desire is that your relationship or future relationship has grown tremendously. DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep going forward with this. Don’t stop here!


REALationships Study