Summary: Keys to developing a lasting marriage partnership

Marriage: a R.E.A.L. Partnership

Selected Passages

June 11, 2000


I. The power of partnership – Earnest & Arnold

A. 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis

1. Extremely hot summer

2. Two merchants with a problem

a.) Arnold Fornachou who sold ice cream

1.) Ice cream was selling like hotcakes

2.) Problem: He ran out of paper bowls and was losing customers

b.) Ernest Hamwi who was a pastry chef

1.) Trying to sell Persian waffers called zalabia

2.) Problem: He couldn’t sell the zalabia

B. Partnership is born

1. Ernest saw the problem Arnold was having with the ice cream

a.) Ernest got an idea

b.) He rolled warm zalabia into cornucpoias

2. Ernest shows the idea to Arnold

a.) Ernest places a scoop of ice cream on the waffer

b.) Ernest & Arnold created World’s Fair Cornucopias

c.) Today we call them ice cream cones

II. The deep need for partnership in marriage

A. Partnerships solve problems and everyone benefits

1. We all have partnerships in life

2. The most important one you will have is with God and the second is with your spouse

B. Marriage is a partnership

C. Partnership is the key to a successful marriage

1. Partnership makes marriage work

2. How do we make marriage partnership work? – We need to get R.E.A.L.

Read Text – Ecclessiates 4:9-12

BODY – Keys to marriage partnership

R – Relationship Driven

A. Your relationship with God

1. God must be the first and foremost relationship in your life

a.) If God is not first in your life – This is your number one problem

b.) This will spill over into EVERY aspect of your life

c.) It will have a negative impact on your family

2. God must be first within your family

a.) Families are meant to be the change agent of the world

b.) God wants to be number one

c.) Far too many of the problems we face are results of not being right with God -

3. If there are serious problems in your family – How is the relationship with God?

B. Your relationship with your spouse

1. Husbands relating to their wives

a.) Men you are to be the spiritual leader of the home

b.) Common problems that men have with relationships

1.) Men often stay where they get their strokes

2.) Men derive their identity more from achievement than relationships

3.) Men are trained for their work not relationships

4.) Our culture has mistaken the masculine image

2. Wives relating to their husbands

a.) Women you are to be help mate to the husband

b.) Common problems that women have with relationships

1.) Relationships are a chief source of competition

2.) There is a great temptation for women to control relationships

3.) Women often take on too many relationships at a deep level

4.) There have been few models of female spiritual leadership

C. Your relationship with your children

1. Model good leadership in the home

a.) You must be leaders

1.) Children come into problems when parents become passive

2.) Leadership is action, not position

b.) Share your leadership

1.) Be united

2.) Be fair but firm

3.) Be loving and merciful

2. Model spiritual leadership

a.) Keep the spiritual life fresh

b.) Have spiritual times as couples & families

1.) Keep God in the picture

2.) Encourage one another in the Lord

E – Emotionally healthy

A. You need support from God

1. This is a must in life!

2. No person can ever be truly whole and healthy without God

B. You need support from your spouse

1. Your spouse needs to be your #2 supporter

2. Your relationship and your partnership will never be healthy without spousal support

C. You need to support your spouse

1. You need to provide strength and support for your spouse

2. When you partner with your spouse you will receive new strength

A – Amplification Oriented

A. The meaning of amplification

1. Amplification simply means grow or expand something

2. This means that marriage needs to be focused to grow

B. Marriage requires growth

1. Three areas of growth

a.) Physical – Physical intimacy, aging process

b.) Emotional – Emotional intimacy, maturing process

c.) Spiritual – Spiritual intimacy, discipleship process

2. Marriages that stop growing start dying

a.) Once “marriage momentum” is lost – very difficult to regain

b.) Keys to marriage momentum

1.) Total commitment

2.) Consistent effort

3.) Clear communication

Equals – Relationship Recharge

L – Life Changing

A. Marriage changes your life

1. Your life cannot remain the same

2. Your life never stops changing

B. Focus on positive changes

1. Change isn’t easy and often creates additional difficulties

2. It is easy to lose perspective in times of change

a.) Marriage is a journey – progress happens over time

b.) Keep focused on the positive

CONCLUSION - Allow God to transform your marriage

1. God can and will improve your marriage relationship

A. He must be a part of the equation

B. God must be given the right to lead your marriage

2. God wants to help you emotionally strengthen your marriage

A. God has the power to give you the support you desperately need

B. God will give you the emotional stability that you must have to maintain a healthy marriage

3. God wants to grow your marriage

A. God can grow your marriage beyond your wildest dreams

B. God can help you become the spouse you were always mean to be

4. God wants to literally change your life

A. Believe that God can be a mighty change agent in your life

B. Allow God access to the deepest recesses of your heart