Sermons

Summary: Marriage brings with it great blessings, but marriage also brings with it many problems because marriage is the uniting of two sinners. Today, I would like to share three of the biggest and commonest marriage problems, but as you listen, you will discove

The Big Three: Major Obstacles to a Better Marriage

(topical)

1. “A Swedish woman who lost her wedding ring 16 years ago was flabbergasted when she found it again, around a carrot growing in her garden, media reported Saturday.

Lena Paahlsson had taken off the white gold ring before a Christmas baking session with her daughters in 1995, but it had disappeared from the kitchen counter where she placed it.

After looking everywhere, and even pulling up floorboards in the search, Paahlsson and her family, who live on a farm in northern Sweden, had given up on seeing the ring again, she told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

That was until October this year, when she was picking the last carrots in her garden and suddenly found one with her ring glimmering around it.

The family thinks the ring must have fallen into the sink back in 1995 and been mixed with potato peels that were composted or fed to the sheep, since all the soil in the garden comes from composted vegetables and sheep dung.

The ring no longer fits … but she … plans to have it enlarged.” [Source: Vancouver Sun]

2. This woman has obviously been married for many years, and, like the loss and discovery of the ring, marriage has its let downs and its rediscoveries.

3. The series I am beginning today will hopefully be practical, helpful, and beyond superficial.

Main Idea: Marriage brings with it great blessings, but marriage also brings with it many problems because marriage is the uniting of two sinners. Today, I would like to share three of the biggest and commonest marriage problems, but as you listen, you will discover these dynamics apply to many relationships, not just marriage.

I. Deceitful HEART Syndrome (Jeremiah 17:9)

A. Selective MEMORY

1. One authority suggests we forget 99% of the bad things we do

2. I knew a situation where a man beat his wife on the honeymoon, but forgot

3. This means that everyone feels they are not perfect, but less at fault

B. Rearranging REALITY

1. What we do remember, we often adjust

2. My dad was lazy, so I learned to do things at an early age. At age 16, I paneled over the bad kitchen walls…my dad later told people he did that…

3. The good ideas you had might become your spouses good ideas…

4. Not everyone is equally bad in this way, but we all struggle with this…

C. UNDERSTANDABILITY

1. I’m not as BAD as my spouse

• Because of selective memory, we are always less guilty, and the wrong we do is understandable based upon how we have been treated…

• The wrongs I do are minor, the wrongs my spouse does are major

2. I’m better than my PARENT

• Mom put up with dad who was twice as bad, so why can’t my wife?

• The view is that as long as I am a least some better than my parent, that’s all that matters and my spouse should be thankful I am not worse…

D. ORCHESTRATION

1. What I want is WRONG

2. I arrange things so it looked like I made an EFFORT to resist

3. I cover my FLANK so I look good to others

4. When people come to me for marriage counseling, it might be for help, or it might be to check something off a list so that they look good when they file for divorce, they can say they tried counseling but it was hopeless

II. Not BELIEVING Your Spouse (Matthew 13:57)

A. Sadly, MANIPULATION is sometimes part of marriage

1. We want our spouse to please us, and we can make requests, live with shortcomings/non-compliance, or we can try to trick or manipulate them

2. Because of this, we learn to weary

3. Kramden and Norton song, “When your wife treats you good, that’s bad”

B. We must not DISMISS what our spouse says because of familiarity

According to PsyBlog, “As this study shows, on the vast majority of occasions the less we know about someone the more we are inclined to like them. It’s like the fake student in Moreland and Beach’s study, ambiguity allows us to imagine that other people share our world-view, our personality traits or our sense of humor. Unfortunately as soon as we start to find out more about them, we’re likely to find out how different they are to ourselves and, as a result, to dislike them.”

“All day all night, Carey Grant. That’s all my wife talks about is Carey Grant. What can he do that I can’t? Big deal, big star, Carey Grant.”

1. If you hear the same thing from several close people, believe it.

2. Consider your spouse’s opinion

3. Take feelings seriously.

4. Unless there is a credibility issue, trust your spouse’s intention

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