Summary: It is time to stop fighting in your marriage and start fighting for your marriage.
Introduction: testimonies about marriage
Somebody’s gotta tell the truth.
Statistics about marriage
Irreconcilable difference – leading trend for divorce
not happy example
were the martyrs happy?
God will not contradict His word.
Don’t buy the lie of Irreconcilable difference
Your marriage is not hopeless.
You may feel that your marriage is dead and lifeless.
God breathes life into man. Jesus conquered death.
It is time to stop fighting in your marriage and start fighting for your marriage.
Irreconcilable Differences are caused by a lack of understanding about conflict and communication.
Most of us have little or no conflict resolution skills. We don’t really know how to resolve fights. That reminds me of a husband who said, that after 50 years of marriage, he and his wife have had only one fight. When asked what his secret was he said, “The fight started on our honeymoon and I’m still waiting for it to end!”
Today I want to teach a little bit about how to have a fair fight. Because in any marriage or really any relationship, there comes a time that you will disagree:
Turn with me to:
Not chapter 5 but chapter 4
4:25 – 5:2
Healthy Conflict Guidelines
1. Be truthful v. 25
a. “The Day America Told the Truth,” by James Patterson,
91% of Americans lie routinely about matters they consider trivial
1 out of 3 lie about important matters
86% lie on a regular basis to their parents
75% lie to their friends
7 out of 10 married people lie to their spouses
i. disrupts unity
ii. creating conflicts
iii. annihilate trust
iv. destroys relationships
c. You can not build a relationship if honesty, integrity, and truth are not valued.
i. you will never have a marriage of oneness if you and your spouse don’t value authenticity
ii. If you cant be real, you are living a lie
d. Put off falsehoods and speak the truth, you won’t lose real friends and your marriage will not survive if you continue to lie
2. Get Mad, but don’t sin. V. 26
a. Learn not to bottle up your anger
i. Health problems
1. added stress
b. Learn not to explode in your anger
i. Much damage is done
1. fence post illustration
c. Learn to control your anger.
i. Don’t scar up your marriage but deal with the issues
d. Resolve your issues quickly
i. Don’t go to bed angry.
ii. If we nurse our anger, we will give Satan an opportunity to divide us.
3. Play Nice v. 29
a. Watch the words that come from your mouth
i. that it may benefit those who listen
1. The power of life and death…
2. be careful using words like Never or Always
a. never take out the trash
b. always forget to pay bills
i. These can be true statements
ii. Don’t define your spouse in the negative.
ii. See your spouse the way God does
iii. Build up your spouse
iv. Prophecy to your spouse
b. Ask yourself, will this build up my spouse before you say it.
4. Praise the Lord v.30 & 31
a. It catches the devil off guard!
i. It confuses the demons that are sparing your fight along.
1. whispering in your ear: hit her, stab him etc.
b. It replaces bitterness and rage with holiness and peace.
c. It removes malice and opens the heavens.
i. God inhabits the praise of His people.
ii. You need Him to help your marriage survive.
1. I don’t see how a marriage can survive in this day and age without Christ in the center
5. Practice forgiveness v. 32
a. Let go of past hurts.
i. Turtle recall
ii. Quit blaming your spouse for your past hurts from other people.
iii. Quit blaming your spouse for your past hurts from them.
iv. Let it go and build on a foundation for forgiveness for your future
b. Recognize what you have been forgiving of.
i. Lord’s prayer
ii. Surly you can forgive your spouse.
6. Love as Christ loved v. 5:1-2
a. Christ loved therefore He confronted in truth
b. Christ loved therefore He became angry but he did not sin
c. Christ loved therefore everything that came out of his mouth benefited those who would receive what he said.
d. Christ loved therefore He led a life of worship
e. Christ loved therefore He forgave.
f. You must love as Christ loved and gave Himself up for us.
i. If you will learn to give yourself up for your spouse…
1. you will not have to worry about Irreconcilable Differences
Altar/Closing prayer.: let God heal you and your relationships.
Special thanks and acknowledgement to Sermon Central and their contributors. Points and or illustrations may have been drawn from materials found on their website: www.sermoncentral.com.