Summary: Commitment and ’mutual respect’, and practical ways to build these in marriage. Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.

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Married, But Not Best Friends, Pt. 3

Song of Solomon 5:16

3 Key Words to unlocking the door of marital friendship:

• Companionship—time together. New info: wives—share in your husband’s work…he finds much of his identity in his job

• Conversation—talking together. Women need more of this, so men have to grow in this area.

3rd word tonite:

• Commitment—trying together. We talk much about this, and often, because it’s so important, and so lacking.

For our friendship to continue and grow, there must be a mutual respect for each other. This is true for any friendship.

I’ve done my share of marriage counseling, and often when I see troubled relationships, I see people who don’t respect each other. And just the opposite is true in strong marriages—they have a very high degree of respect for each other.

There’s things I can do to lose the respect of my wife, and there’s things I can do to gain respect…and the same is true in reverse.

There’s many symptoms of lack of respect, but a very common one is “name calling.” The names hurt, but they’re not the real problem…the real problem is the lack of respect which led to it.

Ill.—TV has us programmed to call names [Everybody Loves Raymond—“idiot”].

I worked 6 years for Steve Proctor, and made some fine mistakes during that time. He probably wanted to strangle me at times, but didn’t because I was pretty quick back then!  Seriously, I could get him mad for sure, but never once did he lower himself to call me a name. Know why? Because he always maintained a basic respect for me, seeing the potential even in the midst of a problem. Working hand in hand, spending hours together all the time, I could get pretty frustrated w/ him, but I never resorted to calling him names. Know why? Yeah, I wanted to keep my job! But more so because of my respect for his position.

Your spouse should have a position of respect in your mind. They’re your only spouse…right? And no matter what happens, their position should affect our disposition.

I have never once called my wife a name…[that I didn’t come to regret it!]

6 areas of commitment that will help build mutual respect:

[All the verses we’ll look at deal w/ friendship in marriage. And true friends will have commitment to these 6 things.]

1. Commitment to sacrifice

John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Think about this: if a true friend is known by being willing to lay down their life for someone they love, shouldn’t they be willing to sacrifice their time for them? A hobby? Compromise on a disagreement?

“When Time is no Longer”--By Jack Hyles

When I give you my time, I am giving you my life, for time is life. If one takes the life of another, actually he takes only time from him. Murder is simply taking from a person the amount of time that he would have lived anyway. So in a real sense, when I give to you my time, I am giving to you my life, for time is life.

How much more could I honor you than to give you my time? How much more could you honor me than to give me your time? My time with you is an investment. Your time with me is an investment. Let us care for each other’s investment wisely.

If I spend some time with you, I am giving you a gift that can be given only to YOU! The moment that I give to you I will never have again. Once it is given, it can never be given to another. Such a realization should cause us to appreciate moments spent as friends, for a moment given to me by a friend is not only his giving to me of his life, but also something which he can give to no other person and which can never be given again.

For you to give me a moment, or for me to give you a moment, is to exchange the only moment that we actually know we have. We are only promised the present. When we share the present with each other, we are giving to each other the only moment that we have for sure. There may never be another.

The giving of a moment to a friend is a greater gift than Heaven can give. If I spend a moment with you in Heaven, it will not be subtracted from time, for there is no time there. In Heaven I will not be giving you my life, for life is eternal there. Here is an earthly gift that I may give you that I cannot give you in Heaven, for to spend a moment there is not a sacrifice. May I then never take lightly the time you give to me, and may you never take lightly the time I give to you.

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