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Summary: 1st in a 3 part series on Marriage. (Idea: We used a Christian Magician to introduce each week plus other creative elements)

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REVEALING THE SECRETS

(How to have an ideal marriage)

GENESIS 1:27-28; 2:18-25; 3:7-13

INTRODUCTION TO SERIES:

How bad is the state of marriage in America? Consider these statistics: The number of currently divorced adults has more than quintupled from 4.3 million in 1970 to 19.8 million in 2002. The median duration of marriage in the U.S. is 7.8 years. Only 1/3 of all married couples make it to 25 years and only 5% of all married couples make it to 50. (Stats from www.divorcemag.com/statistics)The home has become an unstable place instead of one that offers security, commitment & trust.

What do we do to reverse this trend? Some say we must get rid of “No-Fault Divorce” or requiring a “waiting period” before marriage, or secular counseling before divorce. With all due respect for all those ideas, I do not believe that any of them will fix our broken homes. You see it’s not the institution of marriage that’s the problem. The trouble is with the hearts of the people within the relationships.

That’s the purpose of this series. We’ve entitled it: "Marital Magic," because I believe we desperately need to restore stability to our marriages. And I believe the way to do that is to see matrimony from God’s perspective. God is the designer of marriage so who better to help us restore the magic than He?

Now, as always when we do this kind of series there are those who may not be directly effected. Some of you are single, widowed and have no desire to be married. I would ask that you listen, not as a consumer, but as one who might share with others, helping them in the future. Some of you are single and desire marriage. Some of you have a failed marriage in your past and don’t want to fail again. Some of you have good marriages and want to keep them that way. Some of you, quite frankly, are sitting here barely holding on to your marriage. Well, I am convinced that this Biblical perspective has the answers for our marriages and our homes. In the weeks to come we will deal with God’s roles and how to love for a lifetime but first...

INTRODUCTION OF SERMON:

Is there such a thing as an ideal marriage? Can a couple live happily ever after? Let’s get a clue from the “Gospel of Shrek - 2". Video CLIP - Shrek 2 -5:19:08 - 23:38- 4:30

Yes, even ogres have problems, even ogres in the movies don’t live happily ever after. Are there any answers to this dilemma? Is the remedy having all the things the Fairy Godmother suggests - She offers beauty, wealth, a well built husband, furniture, fashion all of the external trappings that our culture equates with "having it all." Is that it? Or does it go deeper than that? Are there any secrets or at least some suggestions for a strong marriage? Well, believe it or not there did once exist a perfect marriage.. at least for a while. To find it we have to go back to the beginning of time. A river is purest at its source and the first union should represent for us the standard and elevate our understanding of what God designed marriage to be. I want us to focus on three things about this first marriage that made it ideal and thus reveal the secrets for a strong and lasting marriage.

I. A RELATIONSHIP WITH PURPOSE:

I want you to see that the first marriage was a relationship with purpose. I want us to look at three from our text. The first purpose of marriage is given in Gen. 2:18. Notice that God put Adam & Eve together for companionship. “The Lord God said, It is not good for man to dwell alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Now, the word "companion" means “ally” or “friend.” You see, God knew His creation exactly. He knew that man, generally does not function well alone. Did you know that statistics show that single men do not live as long as married men? If a man is a widower he doesn’t live as long as other married men his age. God knew that man needed companionship so He took action. But the first “companions” had nothing to do with marriage. 2:19- “So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them...”

That verse has always interested me. It almost seems out of place. I mean God says that man had no suitable companion, and we know that He eventually creates Eve. But first He parades all the animals before Adam so he can name them. What’s that got to do with man’s isolation? Is God the ultimate animal lover thinking the beasts will satisfy his loneliness? No, I think that God was giving Adam an object lesson to emphasize his need for human companionship. Adam enjoyed the animals but he couldn’t have partnership or deep, meaningful communication with them. And after looking at hippopotamus, monkeys, anteaters, aardvarks, giraffes and the like, a woman was going to look real good to Adam.

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