Summary: Marriages, like football games, are won by many small plays by the team, instead of one grand play.

Four Play: Four Keys to a Winning Marriage Series

First Down: Focus on the Goal

Feb. 3, 2008 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor


A Some marriages start out with a big play.

1 What are "big plays"?

a $40,000 wedding, new home, new cars, the birth of a child, vacations, graduations, financial success.

b Although they have a big play...many of those marriages will fail (big plays rarely win a football game, either).

2 Winning football teams string together enough first downs (small plays) to do two things:

a Move the ball in position to score

b Keep possession of the ball so the other team doesn’t get a chance to score.

B Teams that consistently win have one clear goal; play as a single unit.

1 Not perfectly, not flawlessly-play successfully as a single unit, team

2 We’ll be looking this month on playing as a team in our houses:

a Focus

b Commitment

c Honor

d Teachability

C God built, designed marriages to run as one team.

1 In the beginning, the only thing that wasn’t "all good" was the fact that Adam was single.

a Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Gen 2:18 (NASB)

b Adam couldn’t have a relationship with the animals.

aa Not his equal

bb Doesn’t know fulfillment

2 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.Gen 2:24 (NASB) (quoted in Matthew 19:5-6)

a God created marriage

b To be one man, one woman, for one lifetime. ONE

c I believe the reason Mal. 2:16 says "God hates divorce" is because it tears apart what should be a permanent union.

D Divorced folks, God loves you!

1 Not an unpardonable, unforgivable sin...bad news-sin happens; the good news is sin is forgivable through the blood of Jesus!

2 Victim of adultery, abuse, abandonment, or a jerk.

3 If I say anything that brings up pain or bad memories, I’m sorry-that’s not my intent.

a Help in your present, permanent marriage

b Single: use them as plays for the person God is going to bring you-OR-help those around you with good, biblical help on marriage.

E Let’s start our Four Play series with a play centered around team focus.

I Men and women tend to focus in different areas.

A To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." Gen 3:16 (NASB) Ladies read

"Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field...Gen 3:18 (NASB) Men read

1 Neither one sounds like fun!

a Sin brought a curse to home & work.

b (IL) 20 men & women in separate rooms-women talk about family, men will talk about jobs.

2 Fig. 1

She chases He chases

children career

a They drift apart just the way married people drift apart.

b We can change the picture with focus

c Draw lines to the cross in the center

B When we change focus, two things happen:

1 We draw closer to God.

2 We draw closer to each other

How? "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall." Matt 7:24-27 (NASB) (transitional sentence)

II We can bring our marriage into a "Cristo-centric" focus.

A We do that by doing two things. Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

1 Listening to God (prayer, Word)

a Talk to God Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. Ex 33:11 (NASB)

aa God has never called a bad play

bb People who want to follow God’s game plan spend lots of time in His playbook.

b Scripture challenge

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