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Summary: An undeclared war is being waged in many of our homes and our marriages are suffering because of it. It can become easy to see our spouse as our enemy. But the real enemy is found elsewhere - it's found within. Why do we find it so easy to treat those

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Sleeping With The Enemy?! - Romans 7:14-25 - May 23, 2012

Series: After The Honeymoon - #5

This past Wednesday, Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., posthumously received the Medal of Honor. That medal ceremony brings to close a story that began 43 years ago, when Leslie and his bride, Rose Mary, stood in front of family and friends and exchanged their wedding vows. Mr. and Mrs. Sabo had a grand total of 31 wonderful days together, as husband and wife, before Leslie shipped out for Vietnam.

Now, Vietnam has been called many things – a “police action,” and an “undeclared war” – but whatever you choose to call it, nothing changes the fact, that by the time that conflict was over, more than 153,000 American servicemen had been wounded in action. Over 58,000 had been killed. Among that number was Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr.

But the casualties of that conflict went far beyond those whose bodies were ravaged by the instruments of war. That conflict left scars, not just upon the soldiers, but upon their families, and not just upon their families, but upon a nation.

And those types of casualties are harder to quantify. Among them were certainly countless marriages - and there is no way for us to know just how many marriages were destroyed by a war that was never formally declared, but which left wounds in its aftermath which were very real.

Today there is another war that rages. And while hostilities have never been formally declared, the casualties mount just the same. But instead of taking place on foreign shores, this battle is being waged in our homes and in the context of our marriages. And so this morning we are continuing with our series on marriage entitled, “After The Honeymoon.” And the whole idea of this series is to see good marriages become great, struggling marriages to find hope, and hurting marriages to find healing as we look into God’s word together.

And that’s a good starting place for us, because God is the one who has created marriage in the first place! And when He brings a man and a woman together in this sacred union, it is meant to be a rich, and a wonderful gift, that flows forth from His hands. And I hope that if you’re married, that that has been your experience in marriage! Yet the truth is that mixed with the joy and wonder and excitement there may also be times of hurt, and heartache, disappointment and frustration, possibly even bitterness, disillusionment and regret.

And we ought not to be surprised when difficult moments come into our marriages. Just take a look at who you married and you’ll understand why that is! Take a good look at them. In fact, here’s what I want you to do … If you’re married, take a moment, right now, and look deep into your spouse’s eyes. Go ahead and do that ... don’t be shy! What do you see?

Now they’re many ways to answer that question, aren’t there? You might see the man or woman of your dreams. You might see your best friend. You might see the person who knows you better than anyone else. If you had a fight on the way to church maybe you’re seeing the enemy, the one who has hurt you, wounded you in some way! You could answer that question in so many different ways, but I want you to understand is, that as you are looking into the eyes of your dearly beloved, that you are looking into the eyes of a sinner.

And then I want you to look even deeper. Because there is something else you need to see in your spouse’s eyes. If you look close enough, what do you see? You see a reflection of yourself, don’t you? In your partner’s eyes is reflected the image of yet another sinner.

That’s what marriage often does – reflects ourselves back at us – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Marriage is one of God’s many places where He is at work refining us and molding our character into that of His own Son. See, marriage is for our good, but it is for God’s glory! And God is glorified as sinners are transformed by His grace. The Gospel is proclaimed in our marriages as we extend that grace to one another. And that is true of any relationship – not just our marriages - so don’t think that if you don’t happen to be married right now that this isn’t a message for you! God’s truth is truth for us all. And the truth is this: that when all is said and done, God is more interested in your holiness than in your happiness. And marriage is a place where all those rough edges in our lives can be reflected back at us, that we might see them as they really are, and allow God to work in them to bring holiness and healing.

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