Summary: Little broken things in our marriages and our relationships are actually inviting more and more things and bigger problems.
I heard about a woman who woke up the morning of Valentines Day and said “Honey, I had the most amazing dream last night. I had a dream that you gave me a beautifully wrapped box and inside the box there was a stunning diamond necklace. What do you think that means?” The husband just grinned and said, “You’ll have to wait for tonight.” And so sure enough, after work she rushed home to find a beautifully wrapped box sitting on the counter waiting for her to open it. She just knew that her dream was coming true -- perhaps he went to Jared -- and when she opened it up she found a book entitled, The Meaning of Dreams.
I hope you had a great week, a good Valentine’s Day and today I want to help you improve your marriage or relationships, because we established last week that when you build your relationship on the right foundation, you’re always going to move up and that God’s design for relationships are that they’re always advancing. Always moving forward. Always getting better. And I know that, remember this from last week? I know that because God created relationships not just for the fulfillment of man and woman but also for His glory. So you’re to honor and glorify God with your relationship and the way you do that is by building on a faith foundation.
Now today I want to get a little more practical and this message really does have something for everybody because I want to teach you a theory today called the Broken Window Theory and it’s a theory used primarily about criminal activity but I want to apply it today to romance and relationships, I know that sounds weird, right? I mean there aren’t always obvious connections between crime and love but I think you’ll see the connection by the time I’m done with it.
Here’s the gist of the theory. The Broken Window Theory basically says that when an environment is in disarray, it only gets worse. That disorder invites disorder. The theory specifically speaks of broken windows. So hang on, let me go in here and see what we’ve got. Oh if you could see it in here, what a hot mess! Good grief, it’s like our worship leaders have been living in here! Ok, so the theory basically says that when a place like this one, has a broken window like this one, wait for it, it leads to more and more problems, greater challenges, and more severe difficulties. It’s the broken window theory. If you allow a window in your house to be broken, eventually, it doesn’t take very long for your house to become a shack.
The theory actually was first tested by a psychologist back in the late 60’s who took two cars and he parked one of them on the street in a neighborhood in California and the other one in the Bronx, New York. You know the Bronx right? The car in California, sat untouched for an entire week. But on this car in the Bronx, he removed the license plate and propped open the hood and within a day, a day, this car, was completely stripped. Nothing left! Vandalized, on blocks, wasted. So then in a final twist to the study, he went back to the first car, and he broke out the window just to create some disorder and within only a few hours, that car in California with the broken window was destroyed just like the car in the Bronx. His theory was that disorder invites even more disorder. That something as simple and as small as a broken window can actually lead to much bigger, much more significant and severe problems in an environment.
Now if this theory is true, then think about the impact in most of our marriages and relationships. Let’s be honest about it. Most of us have some broken windows in our relationships. We have some things that maybe seem a little small, seem a little off, seem like they’re not the way they’re supposed to be, but we we’ve settled in and acted like that’s the norm, it’s just the way it’s going to be, it’s just a part of this relationship, but I’m telling you today that your broken windows are leaving you stuck at the love shack. These little things in our marriages and our relationships are actually inviting more and more things and bigger problems, and greater challenges and before you’ll ever experience all that God wants for you relationally, You’ve got to fix the broken windows. Fix the broken windows.
Today, I want to talk to you about the three most common broken windows in relationships. I’m talking to you out of 20 years of ministry experience now and in my experience, the three areas I’m going to teach you today are the three most commonly overlooked areas in a relationship. They’re three of the biggest deals that most people treat like they’re no big deal. And I’m telling you, if these three windows are broken and you don’t fix ‘em, its just going to lead to more and more damage and distress and disorder, so you’ve got some homework when you leave from here. You’ve got to fix some windows. These are issues that lead to other issues and other issues. And if you have one or more of these broken windows in your relationship, it WILL, not might, not could, not probably, not perhaps, but it WILL lead to other problems, so you’ve got to fix these 3 windows.