Author Archives: Brandon

Purpose in Marriage

Do you know what God said first to Adam and Eve in the Garden?  Some of you might think “Thou shalt not…” “Do not…” or “NO, NO, NO” There is something important about the first thing someone says. So to set this up a little. God told Adam that He was going to make him a helper.  He over delivered and gave Adam a beautiful naked woman while living in paradise. Then God brought Adam and Eve together and told them. 

 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Genesis 1:28

The first thing God did was give them VISION. Be fruitful and increase in number has more to it than sex, though sex was God’s idea.  PRAISE JESUS! It was generational in building the culture of God’s Kingdom in their children, grandchildren, and beyond.  “Fill the earth and subdue it” was vision to rule over the earth.  God gave them authority, creativity, and understanding to make a difference on the earth. He gave them a job.  It was not just Adam’s role but both Adam and Eve. God gave them unity by giving them a vision that would require each other’s unique gifts and talents. 

One of the reasons marriages struggle is a lack of common purpose.  God wants unity and the enemy wants division. What is division? Di- means two. So division means two visions.  Not one good and one bad, just two.  If you go on a walk with someone and have two visions of where to go, you will go separate ways and find yourself in two different places.  God wants you to have a vision for your future!  If you are married he wants to bring unity, passion, and purpose to both of you. 

So how do you find purpose?  Great question!  There are two things that unite, a common enemy and a common mission.  Here is a few questions to start with:
What do you both love? 
What do you both hate?
You might love kids and hate that kids don’t have family in their lives. Fostering might bring unity. 
You might love financial freedom and hate dept. You might find unity in helping others financially find freedom by teaching classes. 
You might love blessing marriages and hate divorce. You would make great marriage mentors. 
You might love entrepreneurship and hate when small business fail. You could mentor young business owners.

So what do you love and what do you hate? Common enemy and common mission will bring unity and purpose. If you spend your life united, you will have the marriage other people are inspired to have. If you spend your life serving others you will have a legacy others will be inspired to have.  So schedule some time this week to talk about what you love and hate. Pray that God would give you passion, purpose, and vision to bring Jesus glory as you serve others!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
@brandonsereg
@yourvibrantchurch

How 30 Seconds Changes Everything

What if I told you that doing one thing for 30 second each day would cut your chances of divorce in half, help you walk in freedom, and significantly increase the intimacy in your relationship.  I know the phrase if it sounds too good to be true it isn’t real… So much of our faith sounds too good to be true but it is very real.  Before I share what that one 30 second thing is…

Have you ever looked into another persons romantic relationship and thought… “I want that.”  My questions is what is that?  For some it is picture that was seen on facebook or a movie they saw.  We all know “that” isn’t real!  Jerry Maguire’s “you complete me” line is a lie!  The two have this very dysfunctional relationship that ends leading you to believe that they will live happily ever after, but you know this relationship is headed for disaster. Here is why: No person on the planet can fulfill you. I have seen so many marriages end in this pursuit. The husband is not link the fictional character in the Nicolas Sparks book.  The wife with 3 kids is nothing like the model on tv that loves football.

My wife and I have massive miscommunications, painful misunderstandings, hurt each others feelings, and had intense conversations (that is preacher language for fights…).  At the same time we have playful interactions, we dance in our kitchen or in a department store, we go on long walks and talk about life, and show genuine and sincere affection toward each other.

One of the major reasons we miss fulfillment in our romantic relationships is because they type of fulfillment is misplaced. Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment is:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

You see our significant other is not “the one” but “the two”  God is our one and our spouse is our two. If you are not married let God be your one and don’t search for it in another person.

So how do we do that?  Back to that one 30 second thing… This one thing will change everything in your fulfillment and bring intimacy in your marriage or future one.  Here it is:

Pray with your spouse.  Notice I did not say pray for your spouse, I said WITH. Before you go to work grab their hands and pray.  If you do not have a spouse. Every day write a pray for your future spouse and put it in a shoebox.  When you find your “two” give it to them.

So how do you pray for your spouse?

1. Keep it short.

Start with 30 seconds.  You will never pray for an hour if you don’t start with 30 seconds.

2. Keep it consistent

Pick a time. Choose to do it before something.  Before you go to work, before breakfast, or before the kids get up.

3. If you miss a day, don’t miss two

Perfection is not the goal, consistency is. It is about creating a habit to strengthen intimacy.

So now what to pray.  Here is a sample prayer you can pray:

Dear God, Give us wisdom and clear direction in all we do today. Help us to show Your love to each other and to shine Your light into the world. Keep us close to You, away from temptation and always in Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

@brandonsereg

@yourvibrantchurch

5 Steps to Keep the Romance Alive

Is the romance in your relationship as vibrant as it once was?  If it isn’t, there is nothing wrong with your relationship! It is normal for that passion to dissipate as the relationship matures.  Now before you get depressed thinking you will never again have passion or you need a new relationship to have it again, keep reading. Creating passion takes work.  If you are a hopeless romantic and think that sounds cold, give me just a second before you stop reading. You might have attraction at first sight, but real love something quite different.  You see real love takes pursuit. You have to act to start love and keep it alive. 

When I began dating my wife, I pursued her.  I took her to restaurants (and paid btw), wrote her notes, and just talked for hours about life and our dreams.  These actions stirred passion and took time and planning. So what do you do when that passion or spark isn’t there and you want it back?

Song of Songs 2:11 The season has changed,
the bondage of your barren winter has ended,
and the season of hiding is over and gone.
The rains have soaked the earth

  1. Have Fun

Go do something fun you both enjoy.  Go to a place where you can laugh and have some light hearted conversation.  Do try to win if it is competitive. Look for ways to flirt. Oh some flirting advice… the way you like to be flirted with is NOT how they like to be flirted with.  So guys lets flirt on her terms. Laughter is so important in keeping passion alive. So let loose and have fun. 

 

  1. Quality Time

Dinner and a movie can really put a lid on your conversation. The real conversations are often hard for people to have when there are tables and listening ears around. If you talk at the movie everyone around you hates you.  I like to think intimacy is like it sounds: “in to me see.” Passion over time is linked to sharing your dreams, pains, feelings, and hopes. It is some of the deepest parts of who we are and the only way for that to be shared is making space for quality time.

  1. Communicate What You Want

Romance looks different for everyone.  Your special someone is not a mind reader.  They need you to share with them what romance looks like to you.  Just because they can’t read your mind does not mean they don’t “get you.”  And no, just because you can’t read their mind doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. When your special someone tries and misses that is NOT your moment to tell them. Be grateful you have someone who is trying to pursue you. So let your someone know what makes you tick. 

  1. Keep “Pursuit” Alive

Pursuit takes time and planning. Your special someone feels valued by your time.  I know I put a lot of time and passion into Vibrant. My wife feels greatly valued when I choose the restaurant and plan the date.  She likes it when I randomly dance with her inside of a store or our kitchen. She likes it when I call her in the middle of the day just to check in on how she is doing.  It lets her know, though I am working hard, I am still thinking about her. Pursuit takes intentionality and consistent pursuit will keep romance alive.

  1. Budget for Romance

I know this doesn’t sound sexy. There are so many things in our lives looking for our hard earned money.  To have a three day get away, go to the nice restaurant, or even to just date regularly, it will take investment.  If you make a million dollars this year and lose the relationship, you didn’t win. Every month we put money in an envelope so we can regularly date.  Put money in for someone to watch the kids. Dating does not have to be expensive, but it will cost you something and it is worth investing in. 

I hope this helps you keep the romance alive or put a new spark in it. Today do something even if it feels small to pursue. If you would like to hear more about how to have healthy relationships. Starting September 15th, we will begin a new teaching series called #RelationshipGoals.  We would love to help you navigate healthy dating and marriage. Relationships are hard, so let’s set some goals together. 

Live a Better Story

 

Brandon Sereg
Lead Pastor 
@brandonsereg
@yourvibrantchurch

3 Keys to Fighting Fair

Have you ever been in a fight with that special someone and it seems to only get worse?  I am a pastor who has been married for 14 years and we still have those moments. It doesn’t matter if you just started dating or you have been married for decades, we do not always think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, or share the same beliefs. First of all, fighting is not bad! Passion is good and we should fight for deep convictions. So when conflict happens, because it will, there are some keys to fighting fair.  So I hope this helps you…

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is large and incredibly patient.  Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. 5 Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. 6 Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. 7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as a defeat, for it never gives up.

3 Keys to Fighting Fair

 

  • Don’t Fight to “Win”

 

Whenever we are looking to win, we are looking for someone else to lose.  In relationships, you can win an argument and still lose. If one person ends up on top by putting down or belittling the other person, everyone loses.  It is easy to disagree and want the other person to think like you do, but often times they won’t.  

Fighting to win is a mindset you get into before the fight. I know I can have conversations in my head before the fight so I can anticipate her response.  What is crazy is at times I will get mad at her for things she said in the fight in my head that she never said. So when the fight actually happens I have set myself up to “win.” So many times I have “won” the argument and wounded the person I love.  In the moment it might feel like winning, but the hours and days to follow show nobody won. So here is an alternative: 

  1. Fight “For” not “Against”

Fight for unity.  First, unity is not uniformity. Uniformity is you think, believe, and agree on everything.  That is not realistic, and if you want your special someone to think, believe, and agree with you all the time, they might as well be you. You didn’t want to date or marry you.  You wanted someone who broadened the way you look at the world, and not just someone who sees everything the same as you. 

Unity is much different.  Unity is we agree on a destination.  If you have kids you both want them to be great adults that thrive, but you might disagree on how to get there.  Unity in destination removes the need to be right and try to win, because you are not fighting for you but a common destination.  So try starting the conversation in fighting for unity in destination and then talk about the how.

  1. Look First to Understand

This is where real love comes in.  Love does not prefer self first but others. A major key to fighting fair is to understand the other person.  In my marriage, we have this phrase “What I hear you say is…” then I put in my own words what I thought she said.  Then I listen to her reply. Most of the time, what I heard is not what she said. Then she tries to say it again. We do this until I say back what she said.  It is only then she feels heard. Then I give my opinion only after she is understood. Another piece of this is sometimes even though I understand what she said, I might not agree. That is okay.  We might not ever agree on every “how to get to the destination,” but uniformity is not the goal. It is okay when they think, feel and believe differently. Respect is letting that be. You can go back and forth often without it getting out of hand when you respect them enough to not be you. 

I hope this was helpful and you can take steps toward fighting fair.  Remember, when you don’t fight fair or they fight fair remember: no one is perfect.  We have to show grace and forgive. That is just part of relationship. 

If you would like to hear more about how to have healthy relationships.  Starting September 15th we will begin a new teaching series called #RelationshipGoals.  We would love to help you navigate healthy dating and marriage. Relationships are hard, so let’s set some goals together. 

 

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
Lead Pastor 
@brandonsereg
@yourvibrantchurch

5 Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

Prayer is so much better when it is two directional! But how do you know what is God and what is just you?  So many people ask how to hear God’s voice and how to know if it is really Him. I want to encourage you that God wants you to hear His voice more than you do!

John 10:27 My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.

5 Steps to Hear God’s Voice

  1. Adjust Your Pace

A mentor of mine told me “God is not in a hurry.”  We live very busy lives and God wants us to slow down.  You will never read Jesus doing anything more than a walking pace.  Jesus slowed His pace to make sure He kept relationship with His Father strong. One of the key reasons many Christians don’t hear God is their pace.  Slow your mind, slow your role, and wait on God.

2. Get in Silence

Jesus often snuck away from the crowd to be alone with His Father in prayer. He knew as a many He leaked.  The only way for Him to get filled up was to get alone with His good Father.  The same is true for us.  It is when we separate from the busyness and worries that can consume us, then we are open to hear His voice. 

3. Listen More than You Speak

Have you ever sat down with someone and they did all the talking?  Imagine sitting down with Abraham Lincoln and you only had 30 minutes.  How much do you really want to spend talking? God is the creator of the universe and the inventor of you!  The richest time in prayer is in the listening and hearing. 

4. Get in Scripture

God is not only speaking now but He has spoken!  I read through the Bible every year and every day God shows me new things I had never seen or understood. So much of His plan and heart for your life has been written for thousands of years.  I would recommend reading Psalms and the book of John. 

5. Obey

Often God is looking for us to obey what He has already spoken. Imagine a basketball player who wants to perfect a half court shot but can’t make a layup. God has a journey planned for you and there is a step 1 and step 100.  You cannot take step 100 until you obey step 1.  Obeying God is about trusting Him that the journey that is often dimly lit is a good and leads to life.

I hope you take these steps and pray God opens your ears to hear His voice in your life!

Live a Better Story

Pastor Brandon

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