Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Ten ways to improve your marriage. Five for the ladies and five for the men.

Survivor’s Series

How to Survive in the Real World

Sermon # 3

Surviving Marriage

The Ten Commandments for Marriage

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Americans have one of the highest marriage rates in the world; we believe in marriage. Although people nowadays wait until they are somewhat older (on the average) to marry than they did twenty years ago, about 96 % of Americans do marry at some point in their lives. If you could ask the average American to list the ingredients of a good life, most would place being happily married near the top. Even 80% of those who divorce marry again. This indicates that they still believe in marriage. .... [Diana R. & David E. Garland. Marriage for Better or For Worse. (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1989.) pp. 7, 25]

“Though marriages are meant to last a lifetime, they can deteriorate rather quickly. I like what someone calls the seven stages of a cold for a married couple. The first year of marriage, the husband says, ‘Honey, I’m worried about my little girl. You have a bad sniffle. I want to put you in the hospital for a complete checkup. I know the food is terrible there, but I have arranged for meals for you to be sent in from Vanentini’s’ The second year: ‘Listen, sweetheart, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I’ve called the doctor and he said I can bring you in this afternoon. Just rest in bed until it’s time go.’ The third year: ‘Maybe you should lie down, dear. I’ll make supper tonight. Do we have any cans of soup in the house?’ The Fourth year: ‘Look, dear be sensible. After you have fed the kids and washed the dishes, you should go to bed.’ The Fifth year: ‘Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin. The Sixth year: “Please gargle, or something, instead of sitting there barking like a seal. I think I’ll sleep on the couch tonight. The Seventh year: ‘Would you stop sneezing. What are you trying to do, give me pneumonia? You better sleep on the couch tonight.’” Dan Erickson

Every marriage has problems. From the beginning of the honeymoon, all along the way, partners struggle with their weaknesses, their differences and with the crises that life brings their way. Every marriage sees conflict. Every marriage has shared more pain than anyone outside knows. Every marriage is a journey of hills and valleys, highs and lows. Although all marriages have troubles, not all marriages are in trouble….. There are times when we argue over trivial issues or when we think our partner acts like a boob, or when we cannot agree about something that is important to each of us. Maybe yours is a good marriage but you know its not as good as it could be, this message is for you.

For the last two weeks we have been involved in a series entitled, “How to Survive in the Real World.” Today we move on to the subject of “How to Survive Marriage.” I want you to understand that I do not speak from a position of superiority. The only thing I have to commend me is being married for twenty-six years, and that has more to do with my wife’s sweet and forgiving nature than it does to me. I can speak from authority because I have made most of the mistakes that we are going to talk about.

When the Christian comes to marriage, we dare not allow the world (our culture) to shape our thinking, our attitudes or our actions. A Christian marriage is guided by a different set of expectations and principles than that of the world. In fact a marriage in which the husband and wife play out their respective roles obediently are to be a picture of the relationship that is to exist between Christ and his bride, the church.

The very first institution God founded upon the earth was the home (Gen 2:18-25). As the home goes, so goes the society and the nation. At least part of the problem in our society is a false definition of love. Love is not just a sentimental feeling, nor is it a simply affection. It is also an act of the will – a determination to give love in a form that others can accept.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. (10) For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. (11) Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? (12) Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

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Dennis Sproull

commented on Jan 29, 2013

I like the approach you took in equal comparison between mates. Too many times we reflect more on one or the other and it becomes lop-sided. Marriage really is 50/50. Great job!

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