The New Garden (Part 4): The Four Qualities for Living in Paradise
Pastor Conway
Bible References: Isaiah 26:3-4; 1 Corinthians 7; Colossians 3:12; Amos 3:3; Genesis 2:15-20

We have learned from past experiences how to protect ourselves. Depending on the situation we may go into “autopilot” to protect our feelings and well-being. We may withdraw emotionally, attack verbally, or try to escape a situation. By defaulting to “autopilot” we are acting from fear rather than choosing to trust God. In order to experience paradise in relationships, we must have peace. To have peace in our homes we must:

1. Prepare Ourselves – Make sure we are trusting in God and that we are taking care of ourselves so we have something to give.

2. Put on Grace Clothes (Colossians 3:12) – Christ died to help us live and have the lives God wants for us through His grace. We, however, choose to put on the skin and mindset of the “GRAVE” instead of donning “GRACE”. Wearing “GRACE” requires us to trust God.

3. Have Prior Agreement – Proactively communicate and come to a mutual understanding; decide ahead of time how to effectively react to issues. Build in regular face-to-face time connecting with one another. Understand that when an issue is “radio active”, toxic, and challenging to discuss, seek wise counsel (e.g. professional help, the church). It’s not weakness to seek help, it’s wisdom to know when help is needed.

4. Have Partnership (Amos 3:3) – “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” To have peace we have to be true partners with our spouse, which includes:
a) An agreement to make decisions jointly; no decisions will be made without each other’s approval.
b) A safe environment for open, honest, respectful communication; neither partner should pay a price for sharing their feelings with each other.

5. Purpose (Genesis 2:15-20) – God has a plan and purpose for each of us. He created us for something greater than procreation. Through his grace, we must seek to understand that purpose and diligently and obediently work to achieve what He has called us to do.