Building Materials

Teaching Notes

How do you experience a strong, vibrant marriage that lasts a lifetime?

A strong, vibrant marriage does not just HAPPEN; it is BUILT.

N.I.S.T. Key Findings:

  1. Foundational Issues
  2. Quality of Materials
  3. Added Stress
  4. Deferred Maintenance



The quality of the materials directly impacts the beauty and longevity of what you are building.

Building a strong, vibrant marriage is less about FALLING in love and more about GROWING in love.

- Upgrade your DEFINITION of love.

Love [noun]: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person; an attraction that includes sexual desire; the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship; a person you love in a romantic way

- Webster


Redefining Love


Love is patient, love is kind.

Patient – to be even-tempered while enduring trying circumstances; to bear up under provocation without complaint, the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate, long-suffering, forbearance.

Kindness – to be warmhearted, merciful, gentle, considerate, sympathetic, to provide something beneficial for someone, to choose the best.


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.

Envy – set one’s heart on something that belongs to someone else, become painfully desirous of another’s advantages, have intense negative feelings over another’s achievements or success, jealousy.

Boast – to heap praise on oneself, exhibiting self-importance, bragging.

Proud – to be arrogant, conceived of as being puffed up with air, to have an exaggerated self conception, conceited.

Dishonor – to act unbecomingly, to shame, to behave indecently, disgracefully, or rudely.

Self-Seeking – insist on one’s own way, to demand their way, making sure it works out for themselves.

Easily Angered – to be easily provoked, a state of irritation expressed in argument. Record of Wrong – resentful, bitter, keeping score in order to hold over the other person’s head.

Evil – wrongdoing, doing what is unjust, violating God’s moral law, designed for human flourishing.

Truth – that which conforms to reality, integrity, righteousness, holiness.


It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Always Protects – to bear up against difficulties, to keep confidence, safe, consistent, endures.

Always Trusts – to believe, put faith in; in relation to God, it is taking Him at His Word; in relation to people, it is not being gullible but believing the best and giving the most generous explanation.

Always Hopes – believes no one is beyond hope, confident expectation that a better tomorrow awaits.

Always Perseveres – endures, to wait with persistence, to face and withstand with courage, maintain a belief or course of action in the face of opposition.

- Become a LEARNER of Love.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2


Agapetos      Agape       Agapao

1. Embrace that you are DEARLY LOVED.

agapetos – the object of one’s affection, having a very special relationship; beloved

2. Commit to living a LIFE of LOVE

agape – the self-giving, sacrificial love that gives the other what they need the most when they deserve it the least.

3. Rely on Christ’s love to EMPOWER you.

agapao – “The unconditional love of Jesus in us, that is flowing through us to be a force of transformation around us.”

- Efrem Smith

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21


Love Asks: What is the HIGHEST and BEST for the other person?