Summary: Three actions for a better marriage.
Building A Better Marriage
B. The speaker at a woman’s club was lecturing on marriage and asked the audience how many of us wanted to "mother" our husbands. One member in the back row raised her hand. "You do want to mother your husband?" the speaker asked. "Mother?" the woman echoed. "I thought you said smother."
C. It often starts with something small. Maybe she arrives home to find the kids aren’t in bed yet. She thought her husband would be more thoughtful. He didn’t think it was a big deal. Besides, he was playing with them and they could nap the next day. She’s upset, then he’s upset because she’s upset. She speaks up, he rolls his eyes. He thinks she’s a nag, she thinks he’s insensitive…
D. Marriage…it can be exciting and happy one minute, turbulent and rocky the next. But the fact is that people still believe in marriage and that they can enjoy long happy marriages. I know that’s what you want and it is certainly what God wants.
E. This month I’m going to spend some time in Co. 3 dealing with families, beginning today with marriage. There’s really no way to escape life’s little irritations – but we can minimize them and learn to build long and happy marriages in spite of them. Today I want to give you three actions you can take if you want to build a better marriage.
Cultivate a Kingdom Focus
A. Every marriage ought to be thoroughly grounded in Christ.
B. Co. 3 begins by telling us to seek those things which are above – to set our affections there.
C. Christ is our life – remember, a death has taken place: how does that death apply to the marriage relationship? Gen. 2:24
D. A kingdom focus…
1. Living by the Bible
2. Walking in the Spirit
3. Sensitive to the Spirit’s leading
4. Living for the glory of God according to His purposes for your life
5. Living with a concern for holiness and purity and grace
E. As we grow in Christ, as we cultivate a kingdom focus our lives become a fertile and broken ground ready and able to receive what God has for us.
F. So many marriages are stuck, boring, dying and even just mediocre because one or both people have grown hard. The first step to building a better marriage is to cultivate a kingdom focus.
Do the Work
A. God shows us that there’s more to being a Christian than getting saved waiting for heaven. You want a better marriage? It starts with you!
B. Talk through the verses – out with the old, in with the new
C. Consider how a lesson from gardening applies – if you want good crops then you’re going to have to do the work.
D. Consider how a craftsman works a piece of wood to create a masterpiece
E. There’s no easy way to build a great marriage – it takes work, patience…
Nurture that Relation like Your Life Depends on It
A. Verses 18-19: wives submit, husbands love
B. In the skit you watched earlier this was the problem. It’s not about what time the kids get in bed or how pretty and witty the cards are. Women need to know that they are loved and secure and captivating.
C. Men aren’t really afraid of nagging – but they have a deep need to feel respected and admired and needed.
D. Those are things that absolutely must be nurtured in the relationship through time, attention, more time, talking, listening, and more time.
E. What are some other things you can do to nurture your marriage relationship?
1. Pray together – try it!
2. Turn off the TV - Go for a walk
4. Shop together
5. Do things you both enjoy doing together
6. Talk about money
7. Talk about your future
8. Dream together
9. Be a private eye – study your marriage partner
10. Go for a ride
F. The list goes on and on – the point is to make this the most important relationship in your life outside of Christ, nurture it, provoke it
Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labors
A. A Sunday school teacher was trying to demonstrate the difference between right and wrong. "All right children, let’s take an example," she said. "If I were to go into a man’s pocket and take his wallet with all his money, what would I be?" A child in the back answered, "You’d be his wife."
B. Did you know that every year over 2 ¼ million people get married in the United States? That’s about 6,300 people every day. 262 people get married every hour, or a little over 4 people get married every minute of every hour of every day in the United States. 175 people got married during the course of this sermon, and while the media crams the “50% of them will end in divorce” down your throats, the fact is that 3 out of 4 marriages will last. It is up to you how they will last.