Summary: To show that Christ’s relationship with us gives us a wonderful picture of what our marriages should be like.

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Our society is full of many so called “Urban Myths”

These are stories that are claimed to be facts and likewise widely distributed and believed, yet with no basis to them at all

One such myth came into popularity in the 90’s when it was said that the uncooked rice thrown at couples following their wedding ceremonies would swell in their stomachs causing them to bust and resulting in a tragic death for the feathered friend

Therefore, the tradition of throwing rice in our day has been replaced with bird seed, confetti, silly string and bubbles

Yet, there is no truth to the idea that uncooked rice will kill birds. In fact, there are no known cases of birds dying from eating uncooked rice and many including the red-winged blackbirds, bobolinks and house sparrows eat it all the time in the wild.

There is an even more insidious myth prevalent today, although it doesn’t necessarily fit the “Urban Myth” category

This is the thought that marriage is an outdated institution

Why wouldn’t they think this when they see the divorce rate for first time marriages at nearly 50%, even within the church among professing Christians

Besides, it’s convenient and easy to just live together

without marriage, no need to commit, no need to have legal entanglements, no marriage penalty on income taxes

Yet, this is all very cynical and self-serving, and it is certainly not God’s plan for man and woman, which is one man and one woman for a lifetime

So, how do we make our marriages work in a world where everything seems to be stacked against traditional marriage: by following the example of Christ in His relationship with us, the Bride of Christ

<Ephesians 5:1-2, 22-33>

Six examples Christ demonstrates to us, His bride, that we need to incorporate into our marriages to make them as successful as they can be

I. Cherish Each Other

<John 15:9>

This love is much more than a simple, I like everything about you, kind of love

This is the sacrificial, I would do anything for you, type of love

A. Because your spouse is part of you

“Two shall become one flesh”

B. Because your spouse adds spice to your life

II. Nourish Each Other

A. With praise

<Philippians 4:8>

1. When is the last time you told someone how wonderful your spouse was?

What they do well, instead of what they do poorly

“If you can’t say anything good. . .”

2. When is the last time you told your spouse how wonderful they were?

a. Not just because it was a holiday

b. Not just because they just told you something nice about yourself

c. Not just because they just did something nice for you

B. With compassion

<Psalm 86:15>

1. When they are hurting

-“In sickness and in health”

a. Physically

b. Emotionally

2. When they have hurt you

Spouses are not perfect

Though we ought to think they are

They make mistakes from time to time

Or do things that hurt us in some way

Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally

Forgiveness is a key component to Christianity

Sometimes it is easy to forgive everyone except our own spouse

III. Lavish On Each Other

<Ephesians 4:8>

God gives gifts to us all the time

A. Financial

B. Spiritual

C. Physical

Sometimes we ask for these gifts

Sometimes we do not

Thus, we should give gifts to our spouses

IV. Commune With Each Other

<Revelation 3:20>

A. Enjoyment

Never stop dating

B. Communication

One of the greatest reasons for marriage failures is a lack of communication

This perhaps happens because we think we know everything about our spouse

-When really, we still know very little

1. Ask questions

How was your day?

2. Listen

This is an art form

It requires putting everything aside to listen completely

To what is said

To what is conveyed

Without jumping the gun

3. Tell what is on your mind

-Hidden thought accomplish nothing

V. Pray For Each Other

If God is the glue that holds marriages together, prayer is the application of that glue

<John 17>

The High Priestly Prayer

A. Pray for their spiritual well-being

Your spouse is not all for God that they can be

None of us are, w are all still a work in progress

Even when sanctified

B. Pray for their physical well-being

1. Their health

2. They employment

3. Their blessings

C. Pray for your relationship to each other

That it may stay strong and vibrant

And, may I add, pray with each other

VI. Be Faithful And True To Each Other

We live in a day and age when it is almost expected for marriage partners to be unfaithful

Great numbers of married individuals have admitted in surveys to either having had an affair or to have seriously considered it

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