THE BLESSED MARRIAGE Pt. 1
The 1 Thing Guaranteed to End All Marriages
Applicable to ALL – Turn to Ephesians 5:25
BLESSED – A blessing was a public declaration of a favored status with God…In all cases, the blessing served as a guide and motivation to pursue a course of life within the blessing. BAKERS EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY.
What are we declaring to the public?
Are you Positioning yourself to receive from God?
A Blessed Marriage does not come without a fight.
WHAT IS MARRIAGE: Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: An intimate and complementing union between a man and a woman in which the two become one physically, in the whole of life. The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship of the Godhead… Although the fall has marred the divine purpose and function of marriage, this definition reflects the God-ordained ideal for marriage from the beginning….The relational aspect of God’s image is reflected in the bringing together of male and female in “one flesh” ( Gen 1:27 ; 2:21-24 ).
~ Why is it under attack? Marriage creates life in the image of God – it’s a reflection.
The One Thing Guaranteed to End All Marriages –
Focus on the Family article: Meg Wallace
What A hard heart Is Not…
A soft heart “produces fruit in keeping with repentance” – it doesn’t go back to the old self.
A soft heart is teachable and not defensive.
A soft heart is forgiving and gracious.
A soft heart puts others first.
Selfish – you take out the trash, you do the laundry, you get a job, you…you…you.
I kind of like it when they are gone – I don’t have to be around the kids as much – I’m free to do “what I want!”
A soft heart doesn’t compare or excuse.
A soft heart doesn’t demand that others change first.
If you don’t humble yourself today and ask God to soften your heart, there’s not much hope – I’m not being negative, I’m being real.
Many say, “I’m not going to come and hear someone tell me I’m wrong!”
2 Timothy 3 reminds us that “in the last days perilous times will come men will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money and boasters and proud and disobedient and unloving…”
SCREEN Jeremiah 18:12 NASB. Context – Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good…
“But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart’.”
Hopelessness often leads to a hard heart – “return and be healed”.
Following our own plans: Most are following their own plans [stubborn].
Don’t follow your heart – “God just wants me to be happy.”
Why is divorce and epidemic in the church? We are embracing the world’s mindset, not Gods.
The divorce rate among Christian, spirit-filled believers who pray together and read the Bible is approx. 1 in 1500 – you go from 50% to 1 in 1500.
GOD’S VIEW: Michael Reagan, the son of Ronald Reagan, wrote of his parents’ divorce: “Divorce is where two adults take everything that matters to a child—the child’s home, family, security, and sense of being loved and protected—and they smash it [to pieces], leave it in ruins on the floor, then walk out and leave the child to clean up the mess.”
Research comparing children of divorced parents to children with married parents:
Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school.2
Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.3
Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families.5
Before you say, “Not my kid,” remember that the children and teens represented in these statistics are normal kids, probably not much different from yours. Their parents didn’t think they would get involved in these things, either. Again, we’re looking at increased risks. [F.O.T.F.]
BUT SHANE…I’M TRYING! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I’M DEAD INSIDE!
“Turn to Him” – then you’ll know Him as Provider, Restorer, Comforter, Father, Friend, and Deliverer.
Reflect for a minute: are you broken or are you angry; are you making excuses in your mind, or saying, “God help me!”
SCREEN Matthew 13:15 NKJV, “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’
“Have grown dull” is a process. Do you lack passion, joy, & fervency for God?
They don’t hear – they don’t see. “Don’t you see?”
Turn and be healed – Humble yourself today – don’t wait until rock bottom.
We say we are “Christians, but is there fruit? SCREEN Ephesians 5:25 NKJV, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
What is unconditional love – 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…”
Most don’t truly love their spouse – they love convenience; they love being served.
28 So husbands [as a result of what Christ did for us] ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
I want to sleep – so I will let her sleep. I want to take a break from these kids. I want someone else to clean around the house – so I will do it. I want to be in control of everything, so I will release some of the control [partnership].
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 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.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
I will not diminish or put him down. I will allow him to lead our home. I will appreciate his strong points – and stop criticizing his weak points. I respect you, even if you don’t respect me.