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Summary: Sermon series on marriage.

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Celebrating Marriage #101

MARRIAGE: A DEFINITION

Marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room that's too warm, beside someone who's sleeping in a room that's too cold.

1. Marriage made in Heaven -- So is thunder in lightening! 2. Love is a dream -- Marriage is an alarm clock 3. A honeymoon is a Short Pause - between - I Do and You Better

ILL. I'm told that if you go into some of the jewelry stores in Reno, Nevada, once known as the "wedding & divorce capitol of the nation," that you'll find a sign like this being prominently displayed, "Wedding Rings for Rent."

Now I suppose that most people who see that sign for the first time probably read it with amazement. Then some may even think, "Hm, that's an interesting idea. It certainly would be cheaper to rent than to buy!"

Sad to say, in our contemporary society, among an awful lot of couples, it really might be much more practical to rent their wedding rings for a period of time. Nationwide, 1 out of every 3 marriages ends in divorce.

On college campuses the question arises, "Is it right to impose a 50-year contract on two 20-year olds?" Is it really fair to insist that two youngsters, hardly dry behind the ears, should pledge themselves each to the other for the rest of their lives?

Those are not new questions. The world has always questioned the need for such commitment between two people. The world has seen unhappy marriages - it has seen domestic conflicts - it has seen spiraling divorce rates. This is not new & it is not unique to our times.

I'm somewhat surprised when I hear about a non-Christian couple who has a happy marriage because they are working against tremendous odds. Most people who fall into their category have made shipwreck of their marriages. One out of three marriages ends in divorce.

ILL. But did you know that a study made a few years ago discovered that church going families - where both husband & wife professed a strong personal faith in Christ & went to church together - experienced only 1 divorce for every 55 marriages? It really is true that "Families that pray together, stay together."

But I'm worried today because I'm afraid that many church-going people have gotten in step with the world & have come to believe that the sanctity of marriage is not all that important. Some are packing their bags & going in different directions without any twinge of guilt, believing that marriage is something you try out for a while, & then just leave by the wayside if it doesn't seem to be working out.

Marriage is not an invention of man. It is God's creation. So it seems to me that our great need is to dust off the instruction book & find out what God has to say about His creation. MELVIN M. NEWLAND

This morning we start an adventure that I trust will test what you believe and if necessary temper what you believe about marriage. We are going to put your belief system on trial where marriage is concerned.

"Our Convictions about Marriage"

Ephesians 5:1-32

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.


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