We had another amazing week at RiverTown! It was another record attendance Sunday for the year and we met a lot of new friends who were looking for a way to connect with Christ and a new Church family. I can’t say thank you enough to the visitors who are returning and plugging in to our ministries and HomeTeam fellowships and Bible studies. Every time someone takes even one step in church to grow their relationship with God, they reap such amazing benefits for their own lives and for their whole family!
I want to issue a challenge that I think we can meet as a Church. If each one of us invites three or four new people every week, then by the end of the series at least one of those will make the choice to come and see what you are experiencing! You can pick up some of our extra VELCRO MARRIAGE inviter post cards this Sunday to give to the people you care about. My challenge to us is to finish this series with more people hearing God’s word of hope, life, and salvation than on the first Sunday! That means that we can exceed 300 people hearing God’s word, since our attendance for the first Sunday of this series here at RiverTown for Velcro Marriage was 290.
I shared the first three messages of my teaching from the VELCRO MARRIAGE sermon series back in February. These FOUR NEW MESSAGES are like chapters 4 – 7 of a continuing saga of love and hope for those of us who want and need more connection in our lives. That’s everybody, right!!!
Here’s last week’s message from my YouTube Channel, if you happen to have missed last Sunday:
This Sunday is all about learning how to make a CLEAN CONNECTION with the ones we love!
No two elements in the world can make a permanent bond if the connection is obstructed, dirty, or unclean. The goal of a marriage or any relationship is to create a clean connection. When there is a clean connection between two people, nothing can pull them apart. Intimacy and trust are free-flowing when the bond is purified by God’s cleansing power. Sin, unforgiveness, apathy, other people’s opinions, or even our own busyness are some of the forms of debris that create disconnection and lead to the biggest relationship killer of them all – SHAME!
What Does Shame Do In A Relationship?
Shame leads you to blame the other person for your own opinion of yourself.
Shame handcuffs you to past relationships.
Shame won’t let you receive new love. In shame, you can’t receive an authentic compliment, affirmation, or encouragement.
Shame steals your energy, joy, and happiness while you blame the other person.
Shame makes you settle for less than you deserve in a relationship or makes you try to perfect it beyond what is possible.
Shame thrusts you into destructive habits for relief. Pain always seeks pleasure!
- Substances, damaging relationships, self-mutilation, eating disorders and the like tend to follow those overwhelmed with shame.
The Ultimate Purpose Of Satan’s Sinful Temptations In Your Life Is Not Actually The Sin Itself. The Problem Of Sin Before God Has Already Been Solved At The Cross Of Jesus Christ. Sin Has Consequences For The Christian, But Those Consequences Are Not Eternal. They are Earthly. Satan’s Ultimate Purpose In Tempting You To Sin Is To Open Up The Door Of Your Identity So He Can Inject Shame Into Your Heart.
I know so many people who’s personal lives have been touched by feelings of rejection and shame. I’m sure you do too. I know from personal experience that these feelings harm our relationship with God and with people who are trying to love us. Misunderstandings, conflicts, blaming others, and even self-hatred are the guaranteed results in our lives when these feelings take over. In these moments we feel dramatically distant and cut-off.
Take A Look At How The World’s First Couple Experienced Shame And Isolation:
Genesis 2:24-25 (NASB) For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Genesis 3:7-13 (NASB) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Sometimes these feelings are easy to see and get worn on the surface with a victim mentality. Other times they get hidden so deeply that the person carrying them can’t admit the feelings exist. They can’t admit these feelings are present because they don’t even know the feelings are there. These two extremes are called victim and denial. These feelings of rejection and shame become most painful In family connections, especially in marriage.
Here’s the point: The feelings of rejection and shame we often feel in marriage don’t usually originate in the marriage itself. The relationship gets blamed for the feelings, but the feelings can come from anywhere. The reason they surface so much in Marriage is because of the day in and day out struggle to connect emotionally, combined with our intense need for each other. When these feelings come to the surface we shouldn’t blame the person who triggered it. The source of the eruption is always the same. It is the inevitable eruption of all the pressure from our past rejection and shame spewing like a volcano and poisoning the our atmosphere of love. The relationship may need repentance and strengthening, but the relationship is not the source of the shame that erupts. No one else is responsible for your feelings of rejection and shame. The feelings were already there!
The first step to healing is to stop the next relationship eruption before it starts. God usually speaks to me by giving me truth from His word and boiling it down to a nugget I can memorize and use to change my thoughts and actions. Here is the best one I’ve ever received on the subject of rejection and shame.
Your Rejection Of Me Is Only Shameful To Me If It Awakens In Me My Rejection Of Myself! Rejection Of Myself = Shame!
We are God’s Children and He never rejects us! It is helpful to begin to view even the thoughts of self-rejection triggered by others as my own sin! The reason is because every time self-rejecting thoughts are triggered in my life, Satan has access to pour them into his cauldron of shame. Then Satan’s shameful blend triggers our own hearts to erupt, disrupt, and hinder every clean relational connection in my life. That kind of internal shame always makes a relationship dirty and keeps us from making a Clean Connection!
Join us this Sunday at RiverTown to find out how to bring your shame to Jesus and be cleansed forever. Get ready for A CLEAN CONNECTION!
See You Sunday!
Pastor David Rathel
P.S. I would like to highlight one of the best HomeTeams we have ever had at RiverTown. Check out THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES HomeTeam for singles or couples on Wednesday Nights at 7pm. Get the information and sign up here: http://www.rivertownchurch.com/work-view/marriage-enrichment-five-love-languages/