Summary: 1st of 5 messages on the Home. This message is about the key issues of what it takes to build a life time of love in marriage. Bill Brian is the source of several major points.

Heaven Help the Home

Marathon Marriage – Oct 2

Security & Significance – Oct 9

Fighting Fair – Oct 16

Taming the Tongue – Oct 23

Leading & Loving – Oct 30

In the next 5 weeks I’d like to encourage you at home. God gave us a wonderful gift of home – a place of protection and significance. Home is a place where you don’t have to pretend to be something you are not. In fact, home is a place where you can’t pretend successfully because people know you too well.

The challenge is that the home is under attack. There is a war to destroy this refuge for the human soul. Sometimes the battle is overt and very apparent. Sometimes it is subversive and invisible. Sometimes it is simply a matter of neglect, apathy, and disrepair. Whichever the challenge, whatever the direction of attack it’s clear that this is not going to be easy. If we are going to make our homes a place of encouragement, rest and safety we need God’s help to make it so.

Now, this is not anything new. I am appalled at what our world and culture is constantly bringing against the home – but this attack is not new – it’s as old as the battle between the angels of God and Lucifer.

At Meridian Christian Church we say that our mission is to “Help People Find The Way Home.” That being the case let’s talk about what it takes to make our earthly home a Godly home.

This week we’ll be looking at what it takes to build a strong foundation – Making a Marathon Marriage.

Let’s go to our expert contributors to learn what it takes to make a good marriage.

How to Have a Marathon Marriage

“No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.”

Kirsten, age 10

“You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.”

Alan, age 10

When asked to give the right age to get married, six-year-old Freddie said,

“No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.”

Freddie, age 6

In answering the age-old question about whether it is better to be single or married,

“It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.”

Anita, age 9

And, when asked how best to make a marriage work, 10-year-old Ricky perceptively replied: “Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck.”

Ricky, age 10

I should note here that this “Ricky” is not a quote from my childhood. I deny it categorically!

The Seasons of Marriage

There is no doubt that making a Marathon Marriage – one that goes the distance, “till death do us part” – is a very real challenge.

Actress Sandra Bullock secretly married "Monster Garage" reality-TV star Jesse James in July. It’s his third marriage. Larry King has been to the altar six times. Billy Bob Thornton, five. Tom Cruise has been boasting about his third wife-to-be. Prince Charles wed for the second time in April. But it’s not just celebs changing partners.

Recent statistics show almost half of those who marry in the United States split before death do they part. Many experts agree the stigma of divorce is waning.

"Many people in their 20s have what we now commonly call starter marriages, find they aren’t compatible, then marry someone else," says Kathleen Waldron, of human services at Arizona State University. "A lot of them rebound and many times bring the same mistakes and issues into another marriage. It’s not so uncommon for people to say they got wiser by the third marriage."

Donna and I have a marriage that has gone through several different seasons. We’ve had our ups and our downs. We’ve experienced things that were funny -- and other things that made one, or both of us, weep with anguish and pain. That’s really the nature of marriage -- it’s dynamic, it is difficult, it is different every day – kind of like a river that flows through every possible environment – from the deep jungle to the arid dessert; from the cold harsh winter glaciers to warm and fruitful farmland.

Every marriage experiences it all at one time or another. Unfortunately, a lot of folks are not prepared to survive the harsher times.

In my observations there are four seasons of marriage.

The Season of Romance

… Everything is IDEAL

The first season is the romantic season. . Most every relationship starts off here. During the romantic season of marriage, couples demonstrate intensity. They focus only on each other. Their feelings are strong, their passions are unbridled.

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