JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 16, 2004 – Daniel Akin presented a two-part series about healthy marriage relationships during the annual Family Life Series Crabtree Lectures Feb. 12-13.
The Crabtree Lectures are named for T.T. Crabtree, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo., who began sponsoring the series five years ago.
“This gentleman with a real heart for healthy relationships realized that more than likely, students will meet their future spouse while in college,” Brady said. “He wanted to provide an opportunity on Union’s campus for students to hear talks that help them make good choices about relationships, dating and marriage.”
Drawing from the Song of Solomon, Akin first discussed the problems that can plague a relationship and followed by describing characteristics of the love that blesses a relationship.
“When it comes to having a marriage, sweat the small stuff,” Akin said. “It is the small things in a relationship that will make it or break it.”
Akin outlined seven causes of problems in relationships, beginning with the issue of role reversal.
“God designed a man to be a husband and father, and He designed a woman to be a wife and mother,” Akin said. “If you get those roles reversed, your marriage will be in trouble.”
Silence or stonewalling also destroys a relationship, according to Akin.
“Disagreements will come. The question is what will you do with it?” he said. “Nothing is more essential to any relationship, especially a marriage relationship, than communication.”
Misunderstandings between women and men cause problems in a relationship, Akin said.
“We are different by design,” he said. “Instead of letting those differences cause problems, be thankful. Together we are much better than we would ever be by ourselves.”
Other problems that harm relationships include intimacy stagnation, time ill-spent, outside interference and fatigue, according to Akin.
The second half of the lecture series focused on the elements of love that bless a marriage relationship.
Love is public, Akin said, explaining that people take notice of a couple in love. However, love also is personal and private.
Love is also protective and possessive. “When you really love someone, you will try to protect them from anything that would hurt them,” he said.
Love is powerful and persevering, he said, and it is intended to last for a lifetime, not just a season.
True love is also priceless because it must be given and cannot be bought. It is a privilege and honor one chooses to give. Akin also explained the importance of purity and faithfulness to a relationship, and he described the peace love can bring.
“Love lifts you up and makes you a better person than you were before,” Akin said.
by Katie Gould ('04)