Summary: GOD'S GRACE CAN TRANSFORM YOUR BROKEN RELATIONSHIP INTO ONE OF GRACE AND JOY
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Extreme Marriages
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Marriage relationships are hard work. It is difficult to have a marriage that is strong enough to withstand the challenges of life, yet rich enough to satisfy the longing of the heart for friendship and love.
But thanks to modern science there is hope. Take a look at what research has yielded to help enrich your marriage relationship.
Now, now, that’s fiction. Some of you were ready to order one for your spouse. Pam had out her cell phone ready to order one for me ……..
So what does it take to make your marriage extreme – that is extremely strong, extremely loving, and extremely lasting?
• Marriage is important to the Father. God designed the first marriage, when He created Adam & Eve to be one in the miracle of the 6th day of Creation.
• Marriage is important to Christ. Jesus began His miracle-working ministry at a wedding. He is still doing miracles in marriages today!
• Marriage is important to the Holy Spirit. He is our “engagement ring” that connects us to the promise of our full marriage when we receive our reward. Our heavenly reward begins with the “marriage supper of the Lamb” where we are married to Jesus Christ as His bride.
o I’ve said that the first time I got married, I was the groom, but the next time I’m going to get married, I’ll be the bride.
o Now don’t you look at me funny like, what kind of church are we in where the pastor was a groom but is going to be a bride – That’s what Scripture tells us about our relationship with Christ. It is close, and intimate, and the closest thing on earth to the relationship God wants with us is a good, healthy, blessed marriage.
1. THE IDEA OF MEN & WOMEN WAS GOD’S IDEA.
• “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:27)
• Men and women are equally important and are complementary to each other in God’s design.
• The creation of woman became a testimonial, for creation was incomplete without her.
• Think how colorless, how one-dimensional a world it would be if there was only your sex in it!
• Can you imagine living in an all-male world or an all-female world?
• You need to see and rejoice in the fundamental differences between male and female in order to enjoy the goodness God planned for you in marriage.
2. MARRIAGE WAS DESIGNED TO MEET THE FIRST PROBLEM OF THE HUMAN RACE: LONELINESS
“And the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone …………..” (Gen.2:18-22)
• You were made for fellowship and not for isolation.
• Picture Adam in this beautiful environment - he had the fellowship of God and the company of the birds and the animals, yet he was alone.
• God saw that this was “not good”.
• So God created woman - a perfect solution for overcoming the man’s loneliness.
• Our wise and loving Creator made another creature, like Adam, yet wondrously unlike him.
• The creation of mankind was now complete; the woman complements the man.
• Man and woman coming together in marriage is God’s ideal of completeness.
• Man and woman, meant for each other and totally suitable for each other - spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically.
• It is possible for you to be living in the same house with your mate but because you or your mate’s needs - spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically are not being met by each other, you could still be lonely.
• However, this is not God’s design for you; his design is COMPANIONSHIP and COMPLETENESS for the two of you together.
3. MARRIAGE WAS DESIGNED TO BRING HAPPINESS, NOT MISERY
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen. 2:23).
• This is the world’s first love song!
• Adam is delighted with the sense of unity and equality he has with the woman.
• He expresses a tremendous excitement, a joyous astonishment. *The phrase “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” became a favorite Old Testament saying to describe an intimate, personal relationship.