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Posts in Marriage

How do you build a good foundation for a marriage?

Couples share about their experiences during the Train to Reign Family Program – a two-week course designed to teach practical skills in relationship building and parenting.

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — The 2020 date will be announced soon. | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Why give a week of your time to work in the kitchen? How does it make a difference?

Work is a vital part of family life. Working in the kitchen to prepare and clean up from 3 meals a day takes effort.

This is an amazing story of a family who gave up a week of their vacation to come to the Christian Training Center to work in the kitchen.

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — The 2020 date will be announced soon. | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What is the best way to train children in the way of Jesus in families today?

Melissa Lee has been overseeing CTCI’s children’s ministry for 26 years. Find out how Jesus is working in children’s lives during our Train to Reign Program.

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Train to Reign

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers. Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed. Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more here.

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!

Why is freedom so important to the Christian life?

Susan Pons talks about why freedom is so very important to the Christian life and to families. Susan grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of eight, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

 

“Whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:16 — Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers. Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed.

Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more and register

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!


If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Wives, Why Should We Submit to Our Husbands?

Good morning and welcome to another beautiful day that the Lord has made! We invite you to join us as we share another valuable pearl of wisdom! Women, please know that submission as God intends is beautiful in a marriage! Husbands have a command from the Lord in this matter also. We are considered equal with our husbands yet different in nature. The two complete each other and become one.

Here is another small clip from Susan Pons’ message “Leave and Cleave” from the Train to Reign family program here at CTCI. When we break down Scripture and make practical sense of it, then we can begin to apply it to our lives and in this case our marriages.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as unto to the Lord. Women are equal in every way to men because we are also created in the image of God, but women’s roles are meant to be different from his. Then the Lord God said. It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. The words of a husband are to have a cleansing effect. This does not mean he should condemn, belittle, or behave condescendingly, but, he should show love in what he says and how he says it. What an incredible challenge for husbands to face and what a wonderful blessing for wives to receive! Christ speaks to us in the same way through his Word to his people.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. What an incredible example of love is this is! For a husband to love his wife as his own body…tenderly nourishing, pleasing it! What wife could ask for more? When a husband loves his wife as much as himself, it helps to make submission from his wife an easier passage. Christ loved the Church more than His own body. As a part of His Body, we are to submit to His love.

Therefore, a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is very great, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband. As husbands make their wives his priority, he becomes the earthly example of Christ’s intense love for His Bride. Wives perhaps should realize that respecting…responding in respectful tones…builds up a man’s role as a husband.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8)

So, why not begin the conversation with your husband or wife and examine the place your marriage is in concerning leaving and cleaving? You just might find answers to questions that used to seem impossible to solve. Look forward to this wonderful experience called marriage. It is meant to be good!”

It’s never too late, while we are still here, to begin restoring relationships. If you would like to know more about our family program here at CTCI called Train to Reign, and how we may be able to help you, then please fill out this quick contact form and submit. We will contact you quickly!

 

 

Husbands, will you lead in the fight for your marriage?

Good morning from all of us here at CTCI! Please join us in this second of three clips from Susan Pons’ message titled “Leave and Cleave” as we uncover the next practical action step to a Biblically sound marriage. We see who has the first foundational responsibility and where the command comes from!

“It is important to note after God created humankind in His image as male and female, He then gave to them (and us) the first necessary step for the design of a successful marriage—leaving. This command was given to Adam as a means to establish his headship. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve (I Timothy 2:13).

It is interesting to see that this commandment also reveals man as the initial and  active foundational builder in the marriage relationship. In other words, it is the husband’s responsibility to place that first stone creating the firm foundation of his marriage. 

That first solid stone has the word leave engraved upon it.  The second cornerstone to be placed in the marriage foundation finds the word cleave chiseled deeply into  the foundation’s underpinnings. These are two absolute necessities for a solid marriage.

Jesus says it well in Matthew 7:  Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock.  Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

If there is no leaving—the first stone in a firm foundation is not put into place. This was God’s plan, not ours.

God’s earthly plan for marriage, then and now, was to guide man away from his former priorities which were formed in him in his life before marriage. Then, he was to turn and make his wife his new priority, through  covenant, with the intention of creating a brand new identity with her. He is commanded to begin building a state-of-the-art foundation for his new life with new stones.  He would begin this construction by placing leave and cleave in the mainstay positions.  This masterpiece, the first marriage, Adam and Eve, was predestined to be a foreshadowing of Christ and the Church.” (Ephesians 5:32)

The marriage built on the right solid foundation as commanded by our God will prevail. It does not matter if you have been married for five weeks or fifty years! This command given by the Lord, establishes a fruitful marriage not matter what stage.

Husbands, you can begin to establish steps leading to a solid foundation even now! It all begins with two words… leaving and cleaving.

Would you like more information about how our Train to Reign program here at CTCI can help guide you practically on this journey of marriage as God intended?

 

Marriage…Why it is a mystery

Greetings to each of you from all of us here at CTCI, we hope you enjoy this clip from our teaching today! 

Marriage, according to God’s Word is meant to be an earthly reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5:22) What an incredibly high calling! The Lord has given us the first two steps in creating this new identity once we say “I do”.

Mr. Webster gave us excellent definitions for these two words:

Leave: to go away from; to abandon; to exit; withdraw from; to forsake. 

Cleave: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly.

Step #1 – Leave our old life behind. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:7) Many of us have not done this. We brought our “single life” into our marriage and thought we would continue in our previous lifestyles.

Step #2 – Cleave, or cling to our spouse and God’s instructions for a successful marriage. It does not matter what kind of past you may have come from (stable or dis-functional) the Good Lord requires a new oneness and obedience together in Him.

Let’s take a peek at this small piece of a teaching here at CTCI called “Leave and Cleave” written by Susan Pons. She and her husband learned by experience how to do this God’s way.

This is one of a series of three posts from this teaching that we will be sharing.

“Between uncovering God’s plan for the Christian household and reading Mr. Webster’s definitions, Larry and I were confronted with the stark realization that we had failed to leave behind many of our former self-seeking attitudes and independent ways in order to become one. This included our distinctly male and female thought patterns, which were reasons enough to cause major rifts between us. It was up to us to change. This was challenging… yet oh so rewarding!

But, the Lord had an answer that was designed for each couple from the very beginning of time. Actually, leave and cleave is the first command God gives to man and woman following their creations. (Genesis 2:24) So, these two action verbs must be very important in His sight. This mystery is very great; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5: 31-32)”

So, we see in God’s Word that we are commanded to leave our old life before marriage and cleave to our spouse as a new family is created. What steps can you, even now with your spouse, “leave” from your lives before marriage?

Why not come to our Train to Reign program this June and learn how to practically walk this out. It will be a precious time of healing, training and restoration. Train to Reign is the name of our family program here at CTCI and it is designed to help heal and restore family relationships based on Biblical truths. Would you like to know more about how we may be able to help you?

Why do Opposites Attract?

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International! Today we would like to share with you a very small clip from one of the teachings at CTCI’s Train To Reign program for families.

We each have a specially designed place and order in our marriage and in our family. God created it that way from the very beginning. And, God’s design in marriage is for us to complete and compliment each other! We are to be different, on purpose. How very profound and perfect! Here is the clip:

“Eve was not designed to be exactly like Adam. Eve was not only designed to become one flesh with him, but also, to be his complimentary opposite, possessing the other half of the qualities, responsibilities, and attributes which he was not given in the creation process.”

God meant it to be this way in order to deepen the understanding of the union between Christ and His Church. 

For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Christ is head of man. Man is the head of woman. God is the head of Christ. In His divine wisdom, God established this order…

-teaching written by Susan Pons

When we want or lack something we are instinctively attracted to it! For example, without realizing it my sister ended up with a husband that loves to cook. You guessed it, she doesn’t love to cook! We smile about how God knew and arranged the whole thing. What about a friend of ours that own their business, he, an introvert for the most part, is out doing the physical job while she is dealing with the customers and building longterm relationships. It works, they compliment each other and make a great team. One is no better than the other just endowed with different gifts, as intended! It’s when we criticize differences or expect people to think and be be just like us that problems arise.

What if in our marriage, today, we purposefully choose instead of complaining about what we think something should be, (because we know we are right) allow it for that time to be their way. After all we have only told them our opinion how many hundred times? Let the Lord reveal the truth in His time. Meanwhile, instead of the argument, what if we choose to accept our spouse as the complement that he/she really is… and accept them this way with gratitude?

It’s beyond amazing to watch as families come to CTCI and see miracles occur! The Lord God meets them as they seek Him and His righteousness in their family relationships. The Lord guides and directs the healing process through group teachings and individual sessions during our family Train to Reign program and families are restored!

If you would like to donate to our ministry please click here.

Would you like more information about our ministry? Please complete this form. 

Article comments can be made below.

Hot or Cold?

This morning’s devotion by Susan Pons is talking about marriage, however, it’s also relating Christ to the Church. So, whether you are single or married, please join us as we dig into God’s Word and feel free to comment below!

Revelation 3:15 – “I know your works. You are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were either hot or cold. So because you are neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Ephesians 5:21 – “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Ephesians 5:31 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, and I am applying it to Christ and His church.”

 

1. Considering that Paul is referring to marriage as a mirror of Christ and the Church, how important is marriage in the sight of God?

2. Was marriage part of God’s plan from the beginning?

3. If the Lord will spit out the Church for being lukewarm, what does this say about marriage?

4. Is your marriage lukewarm? How so? Discuss this with your spouse today.

What kind of Ark is He asking you to build?

Please join us in this mornings devotion by Susan Pons regarding healing in our homes and families.

Genesis 6:9,11-12 (NASB) These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (NASB) When the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1. Why do you think Noah and his family were the only humans saved during the flood?

2. Do you believe the Lord looks down from heaven in today’s world on our individual household?   What kind of ark is he asking us to build?

3. What changes will it take for you and your wife to obey God in your ark?

4. Discuss this with your spouse:    “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

      

Monday Morning Devotions

Today as we get ready for a new year, let us resolve to give top priority to our relationships!

Devotion by Susan Pons

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1).

Staying the path with God requires a discipline to take the time to hear Him speak:
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27)

There are seasons in this life when we can drift away from our “first love.”

Similar to an earthly marriage that needs careful attention to keep the flame burning, so it is in our union with the Lord.

How do we keep these two most important relationships alive?

1. Inclining our ears towards the Lord and our spouse.

2. Seeking both relationships with all of our hearts.

3. Cutting off those things that keep us from nourishing these two highest unions.

So, today, let’s make the effort not to drift away from our relationships with the Lord and in our marriage. The rewards are great!

1.What is it in your personal life that can cause you to drift away?
2.What kind of discipline does this require of you?
3.How does our not drifting away affect the Body of Christ of which you are a
part?

We would love to hear your thoughts on these questions and this study! Please comment below!