Making A Masterpiece Marriage Series
Creating A Fighting Marriage (3 of 3)
February 16, 2003 Chester’s FBC, Chester, IL Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A couple had been arguing about everything for years. Both spouses were tired of living in their state of perpetual conflict. Finally, the wife tipped off her husband about her prayer life. She said, "I’ve been praying for God to help us stop all of this arguing by taking one of us to Heaven. When he answers my prayer, I’m moving in with my sister."
A. When two people spent so much time together, there will be "heated" debates. We all have disagreements in our marriages.
a (ETS) In the Old Testament we see God arguing with His marriage partner all the time.
B (ESS) we can have these disagreements with out destroying our marital relationships.
a I hope you’ll take these rules into your next fight as a married couple.(PQ)
b Let’s look at two rules of engagement that God abided by when he had a fight with His lover. (TS)
I The first rule of engagement is that God showed astonishing patience.
 " `I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.  I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments.  I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck,  and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.  So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was fine flour, honey and olive oil. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.  And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.  " `But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.  At the head of every street you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, offering your body with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.  You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, and provoked me to anger with your increasing promiscuity.  So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct.  You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied.  Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia, a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.  " `How weak-willed you are, declares the Sovereign LORD, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute!  When you built your mounds at the head of every street and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.  " `You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!  Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors.  So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.
35-45.......tells of God’s tough love for Israel
 They will burn down your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers.  Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.
A Israel, His Wife, was defiling herself with anyone who wanted to lay in her bed.
a God said, you have given yourself away for free......you pay other lovers to be with you. (Not only a Prostitute, but a Cheap prostitute. Your giving your lovers gifts that I gave you.) *Floozy, trollup, whore....converted their home into a brothal.
*If anybody has ever had a reason to get a divorce it was/is God!!!!
*DON’T THINK HE DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT!!!!
b EXODUS 32:
9 "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.  Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." 11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?  Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: `I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ "  Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
*God is saying "I’m sick of you, I’m leaving!!!!"
*Moses remembered the covenant and called God on it! (Vv:13)
*God didn’t leave the marriage and God had the right to challenge Israel’s faithfulness. (He did)
*For hundreds of years God has fought for his marriage...patiently saying "return to me" "Come back to me."
B It’s sad how many couples aren’t willing to hang in there when their marriage hits the skids.
a A very popular divorce in our time are "Amiable Divorces."
*Couples have drifted apart, go there separate ways and they throw in the towel w/o a fight.
*I see God patiently fighting for his marriage for centuries, if God patiently fought for his marriage....I want to be like God.
b If God’s marriage teaches us anything, it’s be patient with your marriage.
*A 1998 study in Minnesota found that the majority of those who have gone through a divorce wish they had tried harder to work through their differences. This study, by the nonprofit Minnesota Family Institute, discovered 66 % of those divorced look back with regret that they didn’t give their marriage a better effort.
C Howard Hendricks has a unique way of making you squirm on the horns of a dilemma. One of those unsettling dilemmas involves marriage partners who are frustrated with the way their spouse has turned out. One such guy approached Dr. Hendricks with a list of gripes about his wife.
a Hendricks consoled the guy with his Columbo-type tactics. He told the man he was really surprised that a man of his intelligence would marry a woman with so many blatant faults. The man quickly defended his prenuptial decision by declaring, "She wasn’t that way when I married her!" Hendricks then retorted,
b "Then I guess it means you made her that way."
* The fault we often foist upon our spouse can frequently be the result of our own activities, or lack thereof.
As one old cowboy put it, "A man who treats his wife like a thoroughbred will never end up with an old nag."
T.S.: God showed astonishing patience as a rule and he also followed this next rule of engagement.
II The second rule of engagement is that God isn’t passive about the problems.
A Married couples fight. (I’m always weary of those who say ‘We never fight’) EVEN GOD FIGHTS WITH HIS PARTNER!!!
a In Psalms (among other places), we see God’s spouse venting about how God was acting towards them.
PS 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
PS 94:1 O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. 2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3 How long will the wicked, O LORD,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
b God also let His lover know how unpleased He was them. (Didn’t ignore)
ISA 43:20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. 22 "Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.
*God sounds like a jealous husband who had a wife that didn’t appreciate all the hard work he did.
WHEN THERE WAS A PROBLEM BETWEEN GOD AND HIS SPOUSE....IT WAS BROUGHT OUT IN THE OPEN.
B Why do couples let important issues slide until they become a major problem?
a By the way...a spouse doesn’t need to endure unending abuse, whether physical/emotional. (There’s nothing spiritual about being doormat.)
*Submit doesn’t mean submit to abuse, that’s wrong.
b Deal with your problems, talk them out. (Going to your separate rooms doesn’t solve problems.)
C Dr. James Dobson, Love Must Be Tough (Dealt with infidelity in a marriage)
"No one labeled the behavior for what it was: selfishness and sin! Therein lies a fundamental problem. These loving, gracious people inadvertently shielded their wayward spouses from the consequences of infidelity. If there is anything that an adulterer does not need., it is a guilt-ridden mate who understands his indiscretion and assumes the blame for it. Such a person needs to be called to accountability, not excused by rationalization!"
*DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM.
A When two people spent so much time together, there will be "heated" debates. We all have disagreements in our marriages.
a (ETS) In the Old Testament we see God arguing with His marriage partner all the time. (ESS) we can have these disagreements with out destroying our marital relationships.
b We’ve looked at two rules of engagement that God abided by when he had a fight with his lover.
He showed astonishing patience.
He isn’t passive about the problems
B I hope you’ll take these rules into your next fight as a married couple.(PQ)
a Options? Throw in the towel...ignore the problems that can destroy your marriage
b Be patient with your spouse...deal with your problems.
C Who is fighting by the rules?
a While attending her first wedding, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?" The mother responded, "Because white is the color of happiness, and this is the happiest day of her life." The girl thought about this for a moment, then asked, "So why is the groom wearing black?"
*Your marriage is going to have a lot of "white" happy times...but you and I both know there is going to be some black too. Fight by the rules of engagement.
b Who is fighting by the rules? (P.Q)
***Notice: I have used Sermon Central sermons for a very long time. If this or any of my sermons are similar to a sermon that is currently already on Sermon Central by another pastor or teacher.....chances are I have used it. Actually, there is probably absolutely nothing in this sermon that hasn’t been preached before! If I used your sermon and haven’t given you credit, please write me and I’ll give you credit by name. I have in no way intentionally withheld credit to any work I’ve used/borrowed from. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF I HAVE "USED" YOUR WORK IT WAS BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU HAD A SUPER SERMON! I prefer to preach with an outline and just rearranged your sermon. My intent is to make sermons relevant and easy for outline guys to use. If you use MY work, feel free to claim it. I do not care!!! Simply realize that I have borrowed from other preachers, too.
Mike Fogerson, Pastor, Chester’s First Baptist Church