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Summary: Our marriages are weak because the tie that binds them is weak, which is Jesus Christ.

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Protecting Marriage

Griffith Baptist Church – 1/11/09

P.M. Service

Text: Nehemiah 13:23-31

Key verse: Nehemiah 13:27 - Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?

Premise: Our marriages are weak because the tie that binds them is weak, which is Jesus Christ.

The Introduction

A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other. The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice. "Father," he said, "I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage. I love my fiancée, very much, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my future wife will be put off by them." "No problem," said dad. "All you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed." Well, to him this seemed a workable solution. The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up her mom. "Mom," she said, "When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful." "Honey," her mother consoled, "everyone has bad breath in the morning." "No, you don’t understand. My morning breath is so bad, I’m afraid that my new husband will not want to sleep in the same room with me." Her mother said simply, "Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth. Not a word," her mother affirmed. Well, she thought it was certainly worth a try. The loving couple was finally married in a beautiful ceremony. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn, the husband woke with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searched the bed. This, of course, woke his bride, who, without thinking, immediately asked, "What on earth are you doing?" "Oh, no!" he gasped in shock, "You’ve swallowed my sock!" SOURCE: Pastor Tim, http://www.cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh

Marriage in our country has been in trouble for a long time.

Many Christian marriages are also in trouble and the numbers are increasing.

o One reason for this is the secularization of the home

o God is not being kept the center figure in the home

Another reason is the weakening of believers in their resolve to marry those that are saved as well.

We have crossed the line somewhere and bought into the lie that this is an area we can be lax in.

And Satan laughs as he proclaims his plan, “Destroy the family and marriage, destroy the church.”

Discuss text briefly

Three marriage principles for Christians

Body

1. Christians Should Marry Only Christians – 23-25

A. Never lower the principles

i. God has established marriage

a. It was God’s standard way back in the garden of Eden

b. One man for one woman has always been what God created

c. It is a picture of Christ and His bride, the Church (Rev. 19:7-9; 22:17; Eph. 5:22-33)

ii. Purity before and during marriage

a. Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

b. Your body is the temple of God – Read 1st Cor. 6:14-20

iii. Marriage is a sacred union - Matthew 19:6 - Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

B. Never settle for second best

i. Don’t fall for the pressure of finding a spouse is a “have to” thing

ii. We should want the best God has to offer in a life’s mate

iii. We should want to be the best God can make us for a life’s mate

C. Top two requirements for looking for a Christian mate:

i. Salvation (Is he/she saved?)

a. Psalms 119:63 – I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

b. This is not just lip service salvation, but genuine salvation

c. There ought to be evidence of a relationship with God and a strong testimony

d. Never let someone tell you what you want to hear.

• Some know the Christian lingo

• Never decide with your heart alone, it can be deceived

• Never go on your emotions, they can frustrate common sense

ii. Service (Is he/she active and serving faithfully?)

a. The test of a true disciple is obedience

b. Service should be consistent

c. Service should be done with joy

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