Summary: In this sermon, we explore how to "jump-start" your marriage.
A. Let’s start with a question: Do you know which are the most difficult years of marriage?
1. Answer: The ones following the wedding!
2. I want to speak realistically today – marriage isn’t easy.
3. Even the very best marriages take a lot of work.
4. Personally, I’m exceedingly thankful for my wife, Diana, and for our marriage.
a. Thankfully, we’ve never had a bad marriage.
b. But we have to keep working on our good marriage to make it even better.
B. A man named Tim Timmons maintains that there are basically three stages (conditions) in marriage.
1. Stage #1 is the Ideal - That’s when everyone is happy, and when love is grand!
2. 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 you give her a kiss and she wakes up.
3. Then, far too often, along comes Stage #3 - And that’s when one of the spouses goes looking for a New Deal.
C. When marriage becomes exceedingly difficult (and some do), then we are tempted to quit.
1. And that’s when we can easily fall prey to some of the basic myths or lies about marriage.
I. MARRIAGE MYTHS
A. MYTH #1: People Can Have a Perfect Marriage
1. Truthfully, however, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.
2. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, because to have a perfect marriage you have to have two perfect people.
3. There are various degrees of marriage - from horrible to great.
4. But even the best of marriages has their problems and difficulties.
5. In premarital counseling, I try to get across the point that when two imperfect people marry, the result will be an imperfect marriage.
6. But the average engaged couple has difficulty taking my comments seriously.
7. Engaged couple’s eyes are aglow with love, and that can’t imagine that things could get hard.
8. But every marriage has its’ share of challenges.
B. MYTH #2: There is One Perfect Person Out There for You to Marry
1. The myth goes like this: If you marry the right person, you will have a wonderful life together. Your problems will be minimized. Yours will be a storybook “happily ever after.”
2. Have you bought into that myth? If you have, then when things begin to go wrong in your marriage, and they will, then you will conclude that you have married the wrong person!
3. If you buy into this myth, then you will begin to think that maybe the perfect person for you is still out there somewhere, and you need to trade in the one you’ve got for a better model.
4. The truth is: there is no one and only perfect person for you to marry.
5. You may have made a poor choice, and married a very imperfect and very difficult person.
6. But there is no one and only perfect person out there for you to marry.
C. MYTH #3: We are Too Incompatible to Make This Marriage Work
1. The truth is that we may be very different, and our marriage may have many problems, but these do not have to doom a marriage to failure.
2. Problems don’t have to break up a marriage, in fact, they can actually stabilize and strengthen the marriage as the couple positively works through their problems and incompatibility.
3. Unfortunately, many couples, when confronted with the normal routine problems of marriage, throw up their hands and say, “Well, I guess we are incompatible!”
4. The Swiss psychiatrist, Paul Tournier, suggests that we exorcise this term “incompatibility” from our vocabulary. He wrote, “So called emotional incompatibility is a myth invented by jurists short of arguments in order to plead for divorce. It is likewise a common excuse people use in order to hide their own feelings. I simply do not believe that it exists. There are misunderstandings and mistakes, however, which can be corrected where there is a willingness to do so.”
5. Mature and committed couples will work towards adjustment, bending over backwards to understand each other’s feelings and opinions.
6. Successful couples cultivate their love, even when there are seemingly irreconcilable differences.
D. MYTH #4: God Doesn’t Want Me to Stay in a Marriage that Makes Me Unhappy
1. Have you heard people say, “I have the right to be happy!” Or “God wants me to be happy.”?
2. See, that’s a false notion. You and I don’t have the right to be happy.
3. There are things that are more important to God for you than your “happiness.”
4. In reality, our ultimate joy and happiness comes from our right relationship with God.