hey lanterns we’re so excited you’re here with us today we also want to make sure you know how to stay up to date with all the things God is doing through live church and let me just tell you it’s a whole lot it’s simple to do just download The Life Church app you can do that wherever you download your apps from but for now that we want to get you to pastor Craig Groeschel message for this week [Applause] [Music] [Music] well I’m excited that you’re at church today and I’m excited to start a brand new message series it is called relationshipgoals and I would love to set the tone for this four-part message series by starting together in God’s Word will be in Genesis chapter 2 God had created man but at this point man was still alone and this is what scripture says then the Lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone I will make a helper who is just right for him so the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep while the man slept the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and he brought her to the man and the man exclaimed that’s funny to me God the giraffe that was cool the porcupine confusing the woman at last Adam says this one is bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh she will be called woman because she was taken out of men this explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one the two will become one flesh today we are starting a message series called relationship goals if you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen the hash tag relationship goals has been used about eleven million times I have my own Instagram hashtag I use whatever I show a picture with Amy I always call her my she being technical as she is says technically speaking I’m not a bride that’s a woman he gets married on him but what any day but I will say until the day that I die she is my bride she is my bride she’s my bride and so I use the hashtag my bride if you look at the most popular my bride hashtags you’ll notice we dominate the page we crush it we’re everywhere I love showing off my bride inevitably whenever I post a picture with Amy a bunch of people will comment relationshipgoals couple goals in other words we want some version of that whatever we see that I want that I want that what I see is I want that I want that there’s so many classic images of relationship goals in fact I found a photographer that has just amazing relationship those photos I want to show you one of them and people may look at this when I say oh that’s what I want that’s what I want I’ll be completely honest with you even though that is an amazing photo I have never ever wanted that ever I have never been driving in a completely warm car on a very cold day and said Amy let’s stop let’s get out of our warm car let’s go sit on cold snowy concrete we’ll get a kid to go get out their iPhone and move us around in the cold until we’re just right and then you can take the picture so many people see glimpses on social media and say I want that but I want to tell you that’s not always real sometimes this is very carefully edited crafted moment in time that is not exactly what we want but I want that if we ask him to explain what is that that they want they’re big it’s fuzzy I don’t know that you know like love walks on the beach romantic photo shoots in our bedroom with our new Pottery Barn comforter before we slow-danced by the fireplace I want that so if you ever look at our marriage and image and say I want that what I want to do is I want to be very clear what that is that you want what do we have that you may want what we have honestly is an absolutely completely incredible god-ordained relationship that is far better than I ever ever imagined that marry marriage could be I promise you with all my heart my bride is my best friend I would rather be with her than anybody in the world especially guys I want to be around her as often as I can if we spend three days together on a little getaway when I come back I’m miserable going to work being away from her I’ll text or four or five times where they miss you miss you miss you I want to be with you we have incredibly genuine and intimate conversations our deal is walks when the weather is nice we’ll go three four walks a week hour hour longer talking sharing our hopes our dreams talking about our kids talking about ministry we serve God together we’re blessed in ministry there’s a unified vision we have a rich spiritual life together it is better than I could ever describe that’s what you want but before you gag at a hallmark love story this is part of it what we have in our marriage it’s a it’s a journey it’s not a destination in other words we haven’t arrived and that is all that we ever have but we also have as we have challenges hardships and struggles to overcome I will stay with complete integrity before God and all of his people that Amy can be really stubborn don’t you let that pretty little face fool you for a moment the chick can stand her ground I can be very demanding controlling and at times harsh our marriage is filled with massive miscommunications painful misunderstandings hurt feelings and what I would call intense conversations intense conversations that’s preacher language for fights last time we had a fight Amy came crawling to me on her hands and knees and said get out from under that bed you coward and fight like a man if you want that what you know what that is one time she might have thrown a shoe which I caught with one hand and put on which made her even more angry I’ve slammed doors she’s hung up phones on me once maybe twice perhaps three times in our 28 years of marriage she tried to get out of a moving vehicle she was so mad at me I’m like no you’re not getting off that easy you’re not gonna die doing that get back in here we’re gonna finish this thing off let me tell you what we thought about we thought about the house how we keep the house what we put in the house her piles my messiness in the house we’ve thought about how to load the dishwasher in the house we thought about how I Drive how she drives we thought about how long I run the water you want to see her come unglued just watch me leave the water on if I walk away demons come out of that godly woman we fight about the temperature in the house we fight about what we’re gonna watch on TV we fight about her unwillingness to turn the lights on inside of her house whenever we entertain she thinks this romantic and mood study I think is dark we’ve got company over I’m turning him on she’s turned him off I’m turn him over give me each other look look she does this we worship we fight about whether I took my shirt in or leave it untucked when I preached messages we fight about how to discipline our kids we fight about the worship style at church if you’ve ever said I like that song Amy didn’t either but I did so we did the song at church just so you’ll know we why’d fight about what to watch who to hang out with we fight about what I eat what I don’t eat when I eat how much I eat how much I should eat in fact back when I did eat pancakes and amy was making them the wrong way I tried to bring loving correction name of the Father the Son of the Holy Spirit she put her shoulder in to me and physically removed me from her kitchen like a linebacker would push off some kind of rookie and she told me not to come back in her kitchen for six months and I did not if you ever look at us and say I want that I hope you’ll understand exactly what that is that you want relationship goals relationship goals what I like is I like that people want something different I like that people are craving something better because what normal is today isn’t something that I really want when you look at normal relationships today you see a lot of fear you see a lot of hurt feelings you see a lot of anger you see a lot of bitterness you see a lot of mistrust you see a lot of fights about money you see a lack of unity about how to raise our kids you see two people doing their own thing without any kind of common vision so I hope that you do want something different and something better and that’s why today we’re starting a message series called relationship goals we’re gonna look at four goals that I believe that we should all have in order to have the relationships that truly honor God week number one today we’re gonna talk about our first goal and that is to be Christ centered everybody say we’re Christ centered Christ center being Christ centered is a lot different than just calling yourself a Christian you can have two people in one marriage that call themselves Christians and just because you call yourself Christians does not mean that your Christ Center in the way that you live I’m gonna say this again just because we call ourselves Christians does not mean that we’re Christ centered in the way that we live we’re gonna be Christ centered when we’re Christ centered we tend to become mission driven the problem is so many of us are driven by the wrong things were driven into separate ways we are going to be led by the power of God into caring about what he cares about our second goal is to be mission driven in our marriages the third week we’re going to talk about being devil kicking if I say it with an attitude we are devil kicking we need to understand that we are in a spiritual battle in our battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities of this dark world and that our spouse is never ever our enemy but we do have an enemy that hates everything that matters God and he hates marriage because God ordained marriage and we need to learn to stand together and fight against the schemes of the evil one we are going to be christ-centered mission-driven devil keke and we are covenant keeping a by Sarah covenant keeping because we don’t enter into a contract we enter into a holy Covenant and we’re gonna learn what that means and how we honor God let me give them to you again that I want you to say them together what are we going to be we have relationship goals we will be Christ centered mission driven devil kicking covenant-keeping all of our churches saying aloud with me what are we we are going to be Christ centered mission driven devil kicked in covenant-keeping one more time I need you with me is no fun without you what are we going to be we have goals we’re going to be Christ centered mission driven devil kicking covenant-keeping what does it mean to be Christ centered in our marriages what does it mean to be Christ centered in our lives it’s a very very fair question and we need to start with the understanding that no matter who we are no matter what our relational status is our lives are centered around something if you are married your marriage is centered around something or some things if you’re not married your life is centered around something what is your life centered around those of you that are married you may be married to somebody else but your marriage is really centered around you self that’s what I want you’re not meeting my needs I’m upset with you you’re not doing what I want to do is centered around itself many marriages are centered around children we’re gonna do what you want go everywhere you want we don’t invest in our marriage because we’re investing in you it’s all about your kids it’s all about you and taking all these actives and then one day when your kids are gone you wake up and wonder who the heck is this person living next to me in my house because you have no time with it because you were so sit around your kids some it’s centered around money or material things or success or your career or your image we want to show everybody from the outside that we look like we’re good on the inside on the inside were really messed up but we’re gonna try to show you that we had amazing happy marriage with this materially blessed life it’s centered around something the problem in my opinion with the whole idea of relationship goals I want that I want that is this idea it ends up driving in this myth that I call the myth of the one the myth of the one so many people today wrongly believe this cultural truth that to really be fulfilled in life to really be happy in life to really do all that you’re supposed to do in life and of all the meetings supposed to have you have to find the one to really be happy and fulfilled in life you have to find the one perfect one that makes you goose bump lien tingly Wiggly and all the love songs on the radio makes sense and every time you’re together you feel that special little bond and you gotta find the one and so a girl meets a guy he’s kind of cute and he opens up the car for the door I think I met the one each other I think I met the one he’s so amazing I mean this guy like he went to church one time back in the 80s and he has a job you know and my last three boyfriend’s are unemployed and want to be professional video game plays but this guy has a job from 9 to 5 I think I’m the one what I would love one time is for people to recognize and realize that they you do not need another person to complete you single is a whole number Jesus had a pretty good run without needing a wife he pretty much please God in a massive way we don’t need another person to complete us Christ completes us and we can do what he calls us to do therefore I would love it if one day when you meet that amazing perfect guy instead of said I think I met the one you would instead say I think I met the two I think I met the two because in a christ-centered marriage Jesus is your one and your spouse is your two when our marriages are truly centered around Christ not just in word but in the way we live we’re all about Jesus and all the rest comes under him in fact this is what Jesus said whenever a guy asked him in Matthew 22 what is the greatest commandment of the law if we’re going to know one thing Jesus what’s most important and he said love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your minds in other words we’re gonna put our God first he will be the center of all we do that is the most important force in our life why does this matter why am i talking about being Christ centered let me just say again that all of you if something is in the center of your life I’m going to show you so some diagrams that will help maybe bring this into a better understanding there’s something in the center of your life I’m going to ask you what is it whatever goes in the center of your life it always influences what your values and your beliefs your values and beliefs are driven by what is in the center of your life which then influences your actions and your decisions which ultimately influences your influence and impact in other words the difference you make in this world and the fulfillment that you feel feel honoring God is all a result of what your life is centered around what is your life or your marriage centered around it could be yourself if it’s centered around self I promise you your influence the impact will be incredibly limited it could be around your kids if it’s all about your kids your marriage will suffer and you’ll never please God ultimately in the expression of your family the way you could otherwise it could be about your lifestyle or for those of you that want something better even deeper relationship goals your life could be centered around Christ when you are Christ sent then Jesus the Son of God influences your beliefs which influences your actions and your decisions with ultimately leads to a life of impact and fulfillment if it’s not centered around Christ then you’ve got the wrong goal driving your relationship now to those of you that are not married yet if you have relationship goals I want that in the future let me just say this to you if you want a Christ centered relationship in the future with a christ-centered life today if you want to honor God with putting him first in a future marriage honor God by putting him first today what are you waiting for well I see all the time unfortunately if somebody says yeah one day you know once I find that that person that’s special my love muffin must not above in mine my soulmate forever then we’re gonna serve God in church and then we’re gonna get our life together and such but this is my time and I’m gonna do what I want in my time and I got my knees and I’m gonna party right now I’m gonna do my thing listen to me anytime you do your thing apart from God that’s always called sin it’s always called sin and you don’t build a life of righteousness in the future on a foundation of sin today thank you Chris I don’t know if they’re getting this if you if you want that in the future embrace that today I’m not waiting for someone to finish me so I can start serving Jesus then I am serving him following him Christ centered loving the Lord my God with all my heart my mind my soul and strength today there’s a big difference between calling yourself a Christian and living a christ-centered life I was born in the USA I’m not a Muslim or Buddhist oh yeah I guess I’m a Christian no no no no no that’s in word Christ is Lord he’s first he’s a savior of my life you don’t do old a life of righteousness in the future on a foundation of sin today so how do we do it if we want to be Christ centered in all that we do how do we become Christ centered in our marriages had I taught this maybe 10 years ago I would have given you a whole list of really good things good ideas good suggestions but there would have been a problem if I give you a bunch you’re gonna do none of them I would have said you need to like read your Bible together which is important you need to go to church to govern you to serve in church together and you need to you need to learn to forgive one another and you need to learn to submit to one another in love and you learn to forgive each other need to rejoice in each other Nene let’s show love and respect to baba baba i give you a whole list and you would have done any of those I’ve learned that a better strategy is to ask for one thing that has the highest impact the highest value that tends to lead to the other things and then you might just do that so what I’m gonna do today is give you what is my opinion of the highest return action that can help you be Christ centered in your relationship if you do one thing that I believe will help you become Christ centered in your marriages I would suggest that you very simply commit to pray together daily just pray a short prayer every single day one action that I believe can lead to all the other actions that will help really truly give you a Christ centered relationship now in this holy moment as we’re talking about prayer let me just acknowledge that some of you are thinking right now oh crap I don’t wanna pray my spouse should have skipped church today so some of you thinking it’s too personal it’s too intimate prayer life best private what I’m gonna promise you is if you are both followers of Christ you can pray together that’s too private may I remind you and it’s kind of embarrassing to say this out loud but it’s incredibly true the chances are if you’ve been married any time at all you probably go to the bathroom in front of each other [Music] maybe you don’t most of you do just private most of you probably had babies together that taste get a little bit into them you know you swap spit whatever and other stuff that’s intimate I promise here you can try together yeah I think this is one of the most underutilized tools to create true spiritual strength I think if I was an enemy I would try to keep every Christian couple from ever praying together because if I can keep them from praying together I can keep them from bonding spiritually I can keep them from becoming more mission driven and says they’re not going to God together in prayer there probably won’t be double kicker they’re gonna be getting their tails ticked by the devil and then ultimately they won’t be covenant-keeping you see when you pray together you bond it’s hard to do really bad things that hate each other when you know you have to pray think about this you’re praying later in the day you can’t really fight and pray you kind of got to resolve things if you’ve got an ongoing battle with some sin issue lust it’s really hard to go look at porn and then pray with the person who’s being incredibly faithful to you somehow it empowers you emboldened you maybe to work through some issues so you can truly have that intimacy together when you do pray let me tell you what it generally leads to other things that help strengthen your marriage around Christ you may end up talking about spiritual things because you prayed together you may end up moving your kids towards spiritual things because you prayed together you might start sharing what you’ve done in the YouVersion Bible plan or even start doing the same plan together because you prayed together chances are pretty good that you’re going to be the church together because there’s a big difference between going to church and actually being the church that you might start serving together you might start being mission minded together whenever you’re under attack you’re gonna realize what under spiritual attack and you fight back together it’s amazing what tends to happen when you truly pray together if you’re hesitant I’ll tell you right now I didn’t pray with Amy for a long time every day regularly we didn’t part of the reason was it takes her so long to get warmed up I mean a long time like like warm-up breathing and praises to God for a long time like he knows he’s good let’s just get on with this but if there’s one thing that’s helped us be Christ centered it’s praying together so how do we do it if you if you’re willing to give this a go where do we start how do we do it I’ll give you three thoughts about how to pray with your spouse the first thing is let me make it easy for you keep it short this isn’t an hour-long intercessory prayer thing so just get that out of your mind how about pray 60 seconds hey if that’s gonna push you let’s pray 30 seconds you do that enough it may grow to two minutes and five minutes you may end up praying together for an hour or some time but you’ll never pray for an hour if you don’t start with 30 seconds let’s just take the pressure off this isn’t fancy let’s just join hands for 30 seconds a day a minute whatever you want and say Jesus help us Center our relationship around you keep it short keep it consistent in other words we’re gonna do it at a certain time of the day this is our prayer time and then if you missed a day because you probably will don’t miss – Oh miss – keep it short we’re uniting keep it consistent I would suggest maybe you pray before something this is the cue that leads to the habit release two other good things we pray before we start the day I’m walking out the door we join hands we pray before we start the day you might pray before you enjoy a meal God we thank you for this meal and you pray before you start it there’s your cue maybe you pray before an event a something a conversation with a kid a difficult presentation at work a new job interview but when you hear bad news before you face the bad news we pray to get together because that’s what we do let’s make it simple you may say I don’t really know what to pray well I will give you a very simple prayer I’ll post this in different places on social media so you can have this and pray and you may just want to go ahead and pray it aloud with me here’s how here’s the prayer just say it with me everybody say dear God give us wisdom and clear direction in all we do today help us to show your love to each other and shine your light into the world keep us close to you away from temptation and always in your will in Jesus name Amen there you go every single day before long you may add a few of your own words and before long you’re gonna wake up and realize oh my gosh we are more Christ’s sinners which has empowered us to be more mission driven which is enable us to be more devil kickin and all the way through and through we are covenant-keeping we pray together those of you that are not married you may say well what do I do well if you want to Christ in our marriage and if you choose love of Christ there live today you pray you pray what you are one of the things I did is I came out of the party scene and Saturday night was a big party night so I devoted Saturday nights after I was a Christian to seeking God and I used to listen to cassette tapes on marriage if you don’t know what a cassette tape is just go to Wikipedia and the healthy and hordika tape is and I Iowa journal about the man of God I wanted to be for my future wife and I would write down my prayers for the woman that would one day be my wife I’d never met Amy but I knew one day God would bring me somebody and so I wrote down prayers and love notes and I had a whole shoebox full of them I was dating Amy and I realized that she was by Tim I took out my shoe box and said head just once you know long before I met you I was praying for you and here’s a reflection of my heart and prayers for you she read through those and cried all the way through and that is the very reason why we have six kids today [Applause] and I told her these are for you and if for any reason you break up with me I need those back because like Amy want you to come up here with me if you don’t mind you guys want to just show little love for my bride hashtag my bride [Applause] I want to try to tell you one reason this is so important to me and I love you we have a very blessed life and there are parts of it that are very difficult just like yours what makes ours a little bit different is that there are so many people that were involved in their lives we had our staff all of them gather in seven hundred and some-odd staff members and the burden that some of our staff members are carrying that alone keeps us praying like you wouldn’t believe really really big spiritual challenges our life group our family our friends personal issues we hurt and are burdened and pray and pray and pray and pray and pray we have – last week we got another blow we heard more sad news about someone that we love and we stopped to pray and it looks like this when we gather we join like this and we knew how to stand together and we knew who to go to and where to go if we were not christ-centered we would be like hoping and hoping I’d be it but we know how to stand together if there’s one thing there’s one thing there could help you become christ-centered which will leave to being mission driven will empower you to be devil kicking which will help you to be covenant keeping it’s learning to lock hands one Hamid a short prayer simple consistent authentic and real and that could be the beginning not just calling yourself Christian but being Christ centered and all that you do so with that let’s pray and I’m gonna ask you to pray just don’t do that long form of thing father thank you for our church family we ask God that you would help us be Christ centered and all of our churches whether you’re in a relationship not in a relationship no matter if you’re young you’re old whoever you are if you are a follower of Christ you say I want to be more centered around Christ would you lift your hands right now just lift them high all of our churches people saying yes Amy would you do the honor of simply praying over our church family yes Heavenly Father Lord we thank you that we’re here today to hear such an amazing powerful message father stir our hearts even more so that we cannot let go of what you’re drawing us to to you father to your heart I pray that everyone here as they’ve raised their hands that we would lean more and more into you that we would love you with all of our heart soul mind and strength father forgive us for when we put ourselves first when we put other things first other than you Lord we commit ourselves to you afresh we return to you with all of our hearts set us on fire for you may we hunger and thirst for you may our relationships be centered around you and all that we do we ask this in the name of Jesus amen thank you thank you very alright campus pastors I’m calling an audible every head up every I opened all of our churches there those of you you’re gonna recognize right now you’re not cry sinners let me just be real clear what does it mean to be made right with God we are not made right with God by our good works were only made right with God by His grace who is Jesus he is the sinless son of God who is perfect in every way he was obedient to his father even to death on the cross on the cross Jesus became sin for us he died in our place for the forgiveness of our sins on the third day when the stone was rolled away Jesus was not there he was risen from the dead why so that anyone and this includes you who calls on the name of the Lord would be saved would be forgiven if I can be so bold to say there are those of you watching right now online there are those of you that live churches around the world who recognize your life is not try sinner there are gonna be married couples today you recognize you call yourself a Christian because you went to church didn’t call yourself a duck but you can’t fly you’re no duck you need your life centered around Christ Jesus the Son of God not in name only but in the way you live because of who he is our only reasonable response is to give him our life not to earn his love but because of his love we say I need you I surrender to you and all of our churches those who recognize I’m not a follower of Christ yes everybody is looking and we’re gonna confess boldly when you confess him before people Jesus says I will confess you before my father in heaven so let’s just call it what it is and let’s just get bold and say I need Christ my life is not centered around from him so I turned from my sins I turned toward him right now at this moment publicly I don’t care who sees I surrender my life to Christ that’s your prayer lift them high right now all over the place let us celebrate you right now god bless you and right back over here and who in this section in front of everybody I need Jesus I need as gray all search would just thank God right back over here coming to Christ together right back over here both of you together I need Jesus a honey distress I need his love trips online you click right below me Church with you celebrate a little more a little louder helps them feel loved help them feel welcome we’re all gonna pray together simply pray aloud pray Heavenly Father I give you my life Jesus saved me forgive my sins be my Saviour be the Lord of my life be the center of all that I do fill me with your spirit so I could follow you my life is not my own I give it to you thank you for a new life now you have mine in Jesus name I pray life search could you worship in a big way welcome those born into dog family today okay thanks so much for joining us and we want to remind you we don’t want anyone to do life alone to help you with your next steps just go to Life Church slash next there you’ll find a ton of resources to help you grow with your relationship with Christ and remember whoever finds got finds life you

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