Summary: Marriage is more about being the right mate than it is finding the right mate; the Fruit of the Spirit make you the right mate.
A FRUIT-FULL MARRIAGE: FAITHFUL LOVE*
Sermon Objective: Loving God and loving humankind is the pinnacle of faith and existence; all Spiritual virtues flow from these.
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
It has been 4 years since we have done this together so I think it’s high time we do.
Husbands, please turn to your wives and repeat after me:
I, (name), take you (name), to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
Ladies, your turn:
I, (name), take you (name), to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
Husbands, you may kiss the bride. Go ahead! It’s okay to kiss her in church!
That seems like an appropriate way to start a sermon on the virtue of FAITHFULNESS. Those words you just recited are called “vows” … that means pledge or promise and they are some of the most important vows you will ever take. Maybe, if we recited them to our spouses a bit more often we would remember them and take them seriously. Maybe it would actually evoke faithfulness in some who are vulnerable to straying. With 27% of all adults in America having been through a divorce and statistics among Christians being about the same, it certainly couldn’t hurt!
It seems like more and more people forget Henry Ford's sage advice. When asked on his 50th wedding anniversary for his rule for marital bliss and longevity he replied, "Just the same as in the automobile business, stick to one model."
Someone once said, “expectations are premeditated resentments.” I am forced to admit that this is often true. Placing high expectations on a fallen human being can lead to great disappointments.
Nowhere is this more true than in marriage. Many come to marriage with expectations that are wildly out of sync with what can be realistically expected. We buy in to the “happily ever after” stories of our youth and expect the toad we’re dating will be magically transformed into Prince Charming the moment we say, “I do.”
You can call that a “premeditated resentment.”
Growth is essential for any marriage. Praying for, encouraging, and patiently waiting as growth happens is a sign that both parties in the marriage are mature and realistic. Seeking the Spirit of God’s influence and fruit within a marriage is a sure was to assure a long and happy relationship together.
Steven Gola the founder of divorcehope.com once said “The way we respond everyday to the various encounters with people and situations determines what kind of life we will have. The same situation can have two opposite outcomes depending on how we respond.”
If this statement has credibility anywhere it is in respect to … FAITHFULNESS; the Fruit of the Spirit is the relational, healthy, Godly way to respond.
You see, MARRIAGE IS MORE ABOUT BEING THE RIGHT MATE THAN IT IS FINDING THE RIGHT MATE. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT MAKE YOU THE RIGHT MATE.