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“Financial pressure can suck the romance right out of a relationship.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex andDating (p. 176). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Have you found that true?  I’m sure that many of you have. The truth is it can suck out all of the enjoyment of life.   Andy says, “The number one source of conflict among couples is money.”  It is number one.
He then says, “The primary source of financial pressure is debt. Dumb debt. Credit card debt. Car leases… If you have debt, chances are you have other bad financial habits.”
Make a commitment to stop and look at what it is that is causing you to not get this under control.  I love the prayer of the Psalmist who says, “Search me oh God and know my thoughts.”  Why do you have to have all of the stuff?  Now there can be good reasons for it but if it causes relational problems then there is a problem.  Take it to God and then take it to your spouse.  Prioritize and then let some things go
Andy also says…

“Love does not sustain itself naturally.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex andDating (p. 97). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Have you ever stopped to think about that?  Andy says, “What come naturally are passion, lust, chemistry, and that ‘can’t wait to get you alone’ feeling. But over time, all of that is eventually squashed by our unbridled, selfish, self-preserving natures.”
You see real love is un-natural. The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”  Andy says, “Do any of these traits come naturally? Granted, we know how to turn them all on when we’re winning and wooing. But love does…

“Rehearsing the past does nothing to alter or improve the future.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (p. 91). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
What Andy is dealing with here is the last part of verse 5 in 1 Corinthians 13 (NLT) which says, “Love…keeps no record of being wronged.”  He talking about people who are record keepers and he is saying that love doesn’t do that.
Does your spouse do that?  Did you have a parent who did that?  Do you do that?  That isn’t love, that is a relationship killer and that is a power play.  It’s not love.
Andy says, “Love chooses not to keep dousing the present with the past. Besides, it doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t move the relationship forward. If one of your parents was a record keeper, I suspect you gravitated relationally toward your other parent, didn’t you? Whose influence were you most open to? The filer’s or the forgiver’s? Who did you feel closest to? The filer or the forgetter? Funny how that works…

“Love chooses to see the best and believe the best while choosing to overlook the rest.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex,and Dating (p. 94). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Andy is striving to show us in this section of his book, that we need to strive to embrace love as an action verb.  And he has taken us to the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible to show us God’s thoughts on love.  Now in verses 6 & 7 of this great chapter says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  What does love do?  “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  Not exactly our definition of love, even as Christ followers, is it? 
As Andy puts it, “Love does not delight in or get its kicks digging up dirt or catching someone doing wrong. Love isn’t looking for or expecting bad behavior. Love is hopeful…Love looks for and celebrates good behavior. Unlike the record keepers…

“Unkindness kills romance. Instantly.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating(p. 80). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I know that this is a thought that we all agree with don’t we?  Now if they are kind that sparks something within you.  This is one area that we see what it means to embrace love as a verb.  I Corinthians 13:4 in the Bible says, “Love is kind.”
Andy says, “To be kind is to leverage one’s strength on behalf of another. When we’re kind, we put our strength, abilities, and resources on loan to someone who lacks them.  When you’re kind, you put you at someone’s disposal. Kindness is powerful. Kindness is a decision. It’s the decision to do for others what they cannot in that moment do for themselves. Kindness, in its purest form, is unconditional. It’s not a means to a personal end. The goal of kindness is to benefit the person to whom it’s extended. Kindness is love’s response to weakness. Kindness is perh…

“Great relationships are built on good decisions, not strong emotion.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, andDating (p. 63). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Here is the key.  Andy then says, “Again, falling in love is easy; it requires a pulse. Staying in love requires more. Specifically, embracing love as a verb.”  Embracing love as a verb.  In other words, long lasting love is something you do not something you feel.
Now Andy says, “As commonsense as it may sound, the idea of embracing love as a verb is not all that common. Our culture is not characterized by love as a verb or an imperative. Our culture is characterized by a multifaceted distortion of the Golden Rule.” 
Such as, “• Do unto others as they do unto you. • Do unto others as they deserve to be done unto.• Do unto others so as to get them to do what you want them to do. • Do unto others until you are ready to do unto somebody else.”  And we call that love.
Then he says, “Such are the unwritten r…

“Your relationships will never be any healthier than you.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating(p. 57). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Andy puts it another way, “Relationships are never stronger than the weakest link. Granted, link is a bit harsh. But I think you know what I mean. The stronger, more mature, more secure person in a relationship is always forced to make up for, defer to, or fill in the gaps created by the weaker person.”
He then says, “If you’re the weak link, your relationship will never be any healthier than you. If your partner is the weak link, the relationship will never be healthier than your partner. That’s why I say, the relationship won’t get any better than you. So, the better you become, the happier everybody will be. And if you determine to wait until you find someone who is committed to becoming a better version of him- or herself, well, everybody wins.”
But I see their potential and I’m going to change them.…

“You rarely make eye contact with drivers moving in the opposite direction.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating(p. 52). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Here is the point.  Andy is dealing here with the situation that if we are looking for the right person for our lives then we need to be the right person for their lives.  In other words Andy asks, “Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?”  
You have a list in your mind of what the person who is the right person that you eventually want to be THE person in your life looks like.  So are you making choices in being the kind of person that person would choose?  
He goes on, “If you choose to prepare yourself relationally, you will gravitate toward environments that aid you in that pursuit. In the same way, it will bring you into contact with those who share your priorities. When people complain that ‘nobody’ thinks this way, what they’re really saying is, ‘The people I work with, li…

“Marriage problems are easy.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2015-01-06) from his book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (p. 20). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Now I’ve quoted this thought as a grabber.  It is not to be read and just accepted and quoted but it is something that I hope does get you to stop and strive to understand what it really means.
Here is the context that Andy said it.  He said, “I’ve met with many struggling married couples who would describe themselves as having ‘marriage problems.’ But in all my years I’ve never talked to a married couple that actually had a marriage problem. What I’ve discovered is that people with problems get married and their problems collide. What was manageable as a single person eventually becomes unmanageable within the context of marriage. Marriage problems are easy. They rarely require counseling. But when the premarriage past surfaces in a marriage, that’s another story.”
My son Brett and his wife Marissa and…