Summary: Divorce is an epidemic in our society today. This sermon focuses on God’s view for marriage and how we can improve our marriages as God meant them to be.
A Loving Covenant
A. We have an Epidemic on our hands today. It is not a disease epidemic that medicine can cure. Nor is it an epidemic of pestilence or natural disasters.
The Epidemic that I am talking about today is the Break down of the Family!
Today: One Half all marriages end in Divorce; only about 13% of all kids live with both natural parents.
B. We have been talking about LOVE – God’s Love for you and me, everyone! God’s desire – command for us to not only experience His Lavishing Love but to Love others. Certainly, our LOVE should be most evident in our Marriages and families.
God has an Answer to the Epidemic and it begins with God’s People living their Marriages in a Loving Covenant – as God intended!
Loving Covenant = a God honoring binding agreement, or commitment with all the Love God intends!
C. Today, amongst us there are people at different stages in life and marriage:
- People, not married, seeking to be married but have not yet found that right man or woman.
- People who don’t want to be married and whom God has blessed with the gift of Celibacy.
- People who have formally been married but are now widowed or divorced.
- People are married but who are not happy in their marriage.
- People who are happily married and God is blessing your marriage.
D. Sociologists tell us that Marriage grew out of the need to domesticate rogue males. Religious ceremonies were invented so that wild males would stay long enough to raise the children whom they fathered.
Modernly people often approach marriage in similar fashion as a trap or some kind of “religious ceremony.”
But God wants us to Understand Marriage as a Loving Covenant between a Man and a Woman.
So what do we learn about this Loving Covenant? How can we make the most of our Marriages as God desires?
A. We need to see our Spouse as God’s Loving Gift.
Vs. 18 – God sees that Man is alone – and it is not good!
So God creates a woman from the man’s Rib and brings her to the man – VS. 22-23
You can see the love and Passion in the Man as he responds to God’s gift to him.
Action Steps: 1. Recall how your spouse is a Gift from God and He has brought you together. 2. Know that as God worked this out for Adam and Eve, He wants to work in your marriage as well. 3. Tell your spouse and treat him/her as a Gift from God.
B. We need to Follow God’s Loving Plan for the best Marriage.
God not only calls us to a Loving Covenant in Holy Matrimony but He gives us a Plan. Just like in His Loving Covenant He desires with us is more than just a call – He sets out the plan through Jesus Christ.
So God wants us to know and follow His Loving Plan for Marriage.
God’s Loving Plan = Vs.24
1. Leave – part of what this means to “leave father and mother” is that we GROW UP - ILL> Birds when their babies get to a certain age, nudge them out of the nest to fly on their own. It is time to take responsibility for yourself, so in marriage we must grow up and take responsibility. Leave also reflects those things that we might be committed to more than our Spouse. So we need to make our greatest commitment to our Spouse. When a person is more Committed to their parents or family heritage than their spouse, or their job, of their friends, or…. Than their spouse – their marriage will struggle and be hindered.
2. Be United or Cleave – this involves our choosing to invest ourselves completely with our spouse. It is choosing to spend time with him/her in a way that enhances the partnership rather than detracts from it. It is choosing to listen and share in a vulnerable way without rejection or put-downs. It is choosing to be joined together tightly over a lifetime. When one or both partners become emotionally distant or have bad or harsh communication the marriage will weaken and eventually dissipate.
3. Become one Flesh = this obviously refers to physical consummation of love between a man and woman in marriage. But it also refers to God working two very different people into One as they join in similar ideas, thoughts, experiences, life purposes, etc. This takes time, commitment, love and God working in a couple to make this happen. So when one or both of the partners in a marriage lose that Oneness from physical and emotional oneness, the marriage can be damaged.