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This is the thought that marriage is an outdated institution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

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