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Summary: This sermon explains four important principles to having a successful marriage

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Introduction

• It is very easy to get married. Staying married is the great challenge, and enjoying the marriage is yet another issue.

• Do not rush into marriage. Take your time, find the right person and then take that step.

• I want to share 4 major principles of marriage with you. Marriages that are having problems have one or more of these ingredients missing. Let me use the acronym DeLoWiFe – Devoted Love Wisdom and the Fear of God - or DLWF. The principles are as follows:

1. Both Parties Committed and Devoted to Christ

• A 3-fold chord is not easily broken (Eccl 4:12). Both parties must be individually devoted to God. The Bible does not say a 2-fold chord. If one party is devoted to God and the other party is not, you cannot have a 3-fold chord.

• The person who is not devoted to God provides a weak link in the chord. He or she weakens the marriage. This is a common phenomenon in many marriages. Especially when you are not convinced about the devotion of the other party to Christ.

• The party that is devoted to Christ will have to WORK SO HARD to keep things going. But that is not how it is supposed to be. Both parties must be totally committed to Christ.

2. Love for God

• Your love for God is the key to a good marriage. It is the very foundation to a successful marriage. It shapes your life, informs your behaviour and guides your steps. Without it, you will have it tough in marriage, in human terms.

• Our love for God is not some feelings that we have for Him. Love for God can be proven.

• If you are now planning to get married, be sure the person you want to marry loves God sincerely and is committed to Christ. Otherwise, you will be challenged.

• The test of our love for God. The Bible says “If you love Me, keep My commandments" - John 14:15. John 14:21adds that "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me". In 1 John 5:2-3, we read "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome". Again, 1 John 2:3-5 says "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him".

• In marriage, love for God becomes even more important. We live with each other in obedience to God and that is what makes a marriage work. You love each other, the husband loves the wife. You respect each other, and the wife respects the husband in obedience to God

3. Wisdom

• It is good to have knowledge but knowledge is never enough. You need wisdom. You need to be able to apply what you know into making good decisions on a daily basis to bring you life, health and success. That is wisdom. It makes you do things in a certain way.

• Prov. 4:7 says "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding".

• Prov. 14:1 adds that "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands". Not a beautiful woman but a wise woman.

• Prov. 24:3-4, NLT "A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables".

This is not common sense. This wisdom comes from God. Be careful to have it. Without it, you will not have it easy.

A house is built by wisdom not by wealth. If you go for wealth, that is all you will have.

Proverbs 3:13-18 "Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her".

• It takes wisdom to marry and to enjoy marriage.

4. The Fear of God

• This is the highest form of wisdom. And you need it in marriage.

• It is what makes you have good judgement and do things that bring strength to your marriage.

• The fear of God IS the beginning of wisdom – Psalm 111:10; Prov 1:7; Prov 9:10; Job 28:28. It is the conclusion of the matter in Ecclesiastes 12:13

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