Summary: Over 50% of weddings performed this year will end in divorce. And the statistic does not change just by going to church. Why? Maybe we should read the directions!

Making Marriage Work

Genesis 2:24

New Deal: Tim Timmons maintains that there are basically three stages in marriage. Stage #1 is the Ideal. That’s when everyone is excited, when love is grand, and “our marriage is going to be different!” But then along comes stage #2. The Ideal becomes an Ordeal. This is when we realize that our Prince Charming has warts, and that our Sleeping Beauty is not nearly so lovely once she wakes up. Then, far too often, along comes stage #3. And that’s when either one of the spouses begins wishing for a New Deal. Have you noticed that trend in our culture?

Panel of Women debated on what they thought was a perfect man, a guy who was ‘with it’. You would have thought they would have decided upon some actor or athlete even a wealthy tycoon. They decided that the perfect man was MR POTATO HEAD. 4 Reasons: ‘He’s tan, he’s cute, he knows the importance of accessorizing, and if he looks at another girl you can rearrange his face.

The Men’s List

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday = Sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

Let me begin by saying that my intention today is not to make anybody feel bad who may not want to participate in the recommitment ceremony.

In addition, I don’t want to make anybody here today feel bad who may be divorced and not remarried. I also don’t want anybody who is divorced and remarried to feel bad either.

What I do want to do is celebrate the sacredness of the marriage covenant.

Now I know there are many problems in marriage– but I’m not convinced we should ditch the institution of marriage. Some people feel institutionalized in their marriage. Either they consider their home to be an INSANE ASSYLUM and they are surrounded by crazy people. Or they feel their marriage is a PRISON and their only hope is PAROLE!

I believe we ought to return to God’s original blueprint to find how marriage ought to be. You see, you cannot make proper use of anything until you understand what it is made for.

Felt Pen: I hold in my hand a felt-tip pen. It is a great ideal for, the purpose for which it was made. But, if I try to use this felt-tip pen as a screwdriver– not only will it not accomplish that objective, but I will essentially ruin the pen for the purpose for which it was made. So also marriage. We’ve practically ruined the institution because we’ve tried to make marriage be what marriage was never intended to be. Which is why I think it’s long overdue that we open God’s glove compartment and read the Owner’s Manual.

Today, from Genesis 2, I want us to focus on one simple verse– verse 24. Genesis 2:24– “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” This verse is spoke by the Holy Spirit of God here in Genesis, it is repeated by Jesus in Matthew, and Paul underscored it in Ephesians. I want to suggest that this verse is the foundational verse for marriage. In fact, from this verse we will learn that marriage is designed by God to operate According to three Fundamental Priorities.

I. Leave: If your marriage is going to be what it ought to be– THERE HAS TO BE A LEAVING! “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother.”

Now, that is not a reference to abandon or forsake your parents– even though that is exactly what the original Hebrew suggests. We know from other Scriptures that we must always honor them. But it’s an exaggerated statement to remind us that that when you establish your new home, you are to loosen your dependency on mom and dad. What this means is that we need to sever the emotional umbilical cord. Whether it’s an emotional dependency or even a financial dependency, a physical dependency– you are to “leave” them.

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