Summary: building a healthy marriage

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Intro: years ago I took a class on marriage counseling at A.U.M. It was to give information to help people going through problems in their marriage. One day our teacher didn’t show up and we found out later that she wasn’t returning to the class, she and her husband were going to get a divorce. So tonight, I don’t claim to have all the answers on the perfect marriage, but by looking at one couple in the Bible, I feel there are some important steps we can all take in making our marriages work.

A Marriage That Works

Genesis 11:27---25:11

1.they journeyed together—Chapter 12—the first step that I see in a marriage that works is togetherness. Abraham and Sarah spent quality time together. Many times a problem in marriages is the drift, going separate ways, developing separate enjoyments and never building on common ground.

· sometimes men will have their activities, women theirs, and there is very little common interests. I feel it is important to have shared experiences with your mate.

· Journeying together---it is important to realize that at the end of the road, that significant other will be there for you when no one else is.

2. they left their families—Chapter 12-13 another problem in marriages is that some people never become one with their partner, they never cut the umbilical cord with their parents.

· Couples need to learn problem solving on their own. If they are constantly allowing parents to be involved with that process they will never grow.

· Confidentiality—there are things that need to be kept private, but when family members are given information, especially negative, it clouds the whole process of the couple building their relationship.

· Boundaries are important—not that you isolate yourselves from your family, but there are clear boundaries in place so that the couple has the space to become a brand new unit for God.

3. they separated from Lot—Chapter 13—we know that Lot was not on the same spiritual level with Abraham, so there had to be a separation. Too many times outside influences that are not healthy or Godly will destroy a marriage. Sometimes you have to send Lot in a different direction.

· Your wife or husband is your best buddy. You must not only love each other, but you must like each other. Your spouse must become your best friend.

· You don’t need to be possessive of each other, but protective. We should allow our mate to have quality friendships and relationships besides us, but if anyone could jeopardize the relationship, there must be a separation.

4. They trusted God’s promise—they basically lived their lives trusting God. Here is a real key to a marriage that works, giving God first place. The devil loves destroying families, so we need to give God our marriages because He is stronger than any weapon the enemy forms against us.

5. they wanted to leave an heir. They had a goal of leaving a spiritual inheritance behind. Isaac dug wells, built altars and became a great nation like his parents. This is so important that people see their marriage as an opportunity to leave a spiritual heritage to the next generation

· One of the problems is seen when parents are absentees. We cannot let the school teacher, the coach, the band director to be more of an influence in our children’s lives than us. It should be the goal of parents to invest their lives into their children becoming something for God.

· Society makes this more difficult, but even if you don’t have quantity time, you should spend quality time as a family unit.

· Abraham offered Isaac to God—our number one goal for our children should be heaven, spiritual goals should always come before the other dreams and visions for their lives.

6. desire a Godly companion for our children- Rebekah wasn’t an accident but a mate on purpose. It is amazing how many Christian parents want their child to be involved with the prettiest or the most popular, or someone from a wealthy family. But we should point our children to spiritual union, they should understand that to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever is a hard way to go.

7. Abraham valued Sarah—chapter 23—when Sarah died, Abraham bought the most expensive burial place he could find. My point isn’t about doing an expensive funeral service, but valuing your wife.

· Putting your spouse down in public doesn’t make them look smaller but makes you look smaller.

· Our society has devalued women and as a Christian man you should honor your wife, bless her before others, she is a gift from God into your life.

· She is more valuable than gold. If you were to calculate all that she has done for you over the years, and put a price tag on her life, you couldn’t add it all up. Since she is so valuable, treat her as a treasure.

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