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Summary: Do you know one of the most important reasons for a marriage to become miserable? Find out what makes a marriage miserable and learn how to deal with that problem. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give brief feedback.

INTRODUCTION (SECURE ATTENTION) & BACKGROUND OF THE PASSAGE:

PRAY before starting the sermon.

Marriage is a wonderful thing.

Proverbs 18:22 says that: He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

It is said that marriages are made in heaven.

But so is thunder and lightning!

Many Christians are married but miserable.

Many couples start their marriages with big dreams but end up in despair.

They know that God designed marriage.

They know that marriage is permanent.

They know all the Bible references related to marriage.

Yet, many couples are not fulfilling God’s purpose towards their marital lives.

Ajith Fernando, the author of 'The Family Life of a Christian Leader,' says that when a husband or wife refuses to crucify self, it leads to conflict and loss of joy and peace in homes.

If we are not willing to bend our ego, it will lead to arguments at home.

Today’s text tells us that we need to deny ourselves daily.

Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to LUKE 9:23 (READ)?

I have entitled today’s sermon as: CRUCIFY YOUR 'SELF' IN YOUR MARRIAGE!

I have prepared the outline of this sermon based on a chapter entitled, 'Crucifying Self' from Ajith Fernando's book, 'The Family Life of a Christian Leader.'

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: Not needed as this is a topical sermon.

FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already included.

You might be wondering why I’m talking about crucifying self on the wedding day.

But I believe that crucifying self is extremely crucial for a happy marital life.

If you want your marriage to glorify God, it’s absolutely essential that you crucify yourself.

THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To encourage Sriraj and Suma, and all the married couples to deny themselves in their marriage in order to glorify God.

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: Crucify yourself in order to have a happy and God-glorifying marriage.

I. CRUCIFYING SELF IS CHRIST’S COMMAND.

Read Luke 9:23.

The same fact is reiterated in Matthew 16:24 and Mark 8:34 (refer).

Jesus says that if we want to follow him, we must deny ourselves daily.

In Galatians 2:20, Apostle Paul says: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

But unfortunately, many Christians don’t have such a mindset.

They want to pamper themselves.

Many Christians are concerned about their ego.

That’s why we see so much of discord in marriages.

We live in a world where people look to their own interests.

The world says that if both of you are incompatible, you probably married the wrong person.

People with this mindset think that the problem is always with the other person.

But John Piper says that if you want to know whether you married the right person, there’s a solution.

Pull out your wedding certificate and see whose name is there.

Some say that if you are not happy in your marriage, you need not stay in that marriage.

But in Mark 10:9, Jesus said: What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

In order to have a marriage which glorifies God, we must be willing to crucify our self.

I have personally witnessed several couples who were not willing to crucify their self.

As a consequence, they become stubborn and some of them have a strained marriage.

I have also experienced that whenever I’m not willing to crucify myself, I’m not happy in my marriage.

When we refuse to crucify ourselves, we go against God’s will.

Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife once said, “A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers.”

Part of crucifying our ego is to forgive our spouse even they have wronged us.

The Bible says that God’s ways are different from ours (refer Isa. 55:8-9).

In order to have a God-glorifying and satisfying marriage, we need to deny ourselves.

Thus, we need to constantly crucify ourselves so that we can have a marriage that will fulfill God’s will.

Failing to crucify 'self' demonstrates that we don’t want to submit to God.

II. THE SPIRIT WILL HELP YOU TO CRUCIFY SELF.

Thankfully, we don’t have to do all this in our own strength.

In fact, we cannot crucify self in our own strength.

We need to have accountability partners.

We need to have people in our lives who can ask tough questions about our personal lives.

But ultimately, the Spirit helps us to crucify self.

In Romans 8:13, Apostle Paul says: For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

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