Sermons

Summary: This Sermon explains to us how a real marriage should be an example of Christ’s relationship with the church

Redefining Relationships

The Mystery of Marriage

Ephesians 5:25-33

Lawrence D Vinson

MARRIAGE IS TO BE THE EXAMPLE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

INTRODUCTION

The topic that we are going to cover today affects 57 percent of all American residents over the age of 15. So the chances are that over half of you in this room will be able to benefit from relationship that we are trying to redefine today.

Interestingly enough, I read of a business that exists in Albuquerque, New Mexico designed specifically for those couples in America who have gone through or going through a divorce. The company is called Freedom Rings: Jewelry for the Divorced. Founded by jeweler and divorcee Lynn Peters, the company makes custom jewelry out of wedding rings. Each customer at Freedom Rings pays a fee, and the ring-smashing ceremony begins--complete with champagne and music. Just before the smashing the M.C. says, "We will now release any remaining ties to your past by transforming your ring--which represents the past--into a token of your new beginning. Now take the hammer. Stop for a moment to consider the transformation that is about to begin your new life. Ready? With this swing let freedom ring!"

She then uses a four-pound sledgehammer to whack her emblem of love and fidelity into a shapeless piece of metal. And the ceremony ends. The fact that women are pounding their wedding rings into pendants and men are grinding theirs into golf ball markers doesn’t surprise me. We’ve all heard the divorce statistics. However what does surprise me is what marriage has been turned into.

Marriage is a biblical concept; it came from God for a very specific reason. Take a look at marriage today and you wouldn’t know that to be the case. Just take a look at the New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition and you will see how this word has been changed. The original definition

states marriage as, “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.” Okay, not bad, although they’re still missing a major component of it, but that’s not the worst it. This definition now has amendments to it, listen to these: “A similar long-term relationship between partners of the same sex.” Here’s another: “A relationship between married people or the period which it lasts.”

Dictionaries define things based on the cultural perspectives that it sees. So when I look at this definition I see a couple things. First I see that our culture has taken God out of the marriage equation. This is especially true when we see our culture become more and more acceptable of homosexual marriage. Secondly, I see that within our culture marriages are not designed to last. People are treating their marriages as if they were a product from a infomercial on Television, full with a money-back guarantee.

I want you all to understand that Satan is waging a war against God and all of us on many fronts. One of the greatest battles he is waging is against the marriage covenant. Why? Because marriage was founded by God to be an example of our relationship with Him and Satan will do anything it takes to destroy that. When you destroy marriage, you destroy relationships with God.

Today I want to fight back and I want you to fight back right alongside with me. Of course we are not going to fight with guns, swords, or bombs; instead we are going to fight with our hearts. We must redefine marriage within the culture in which we live. It is imperative that we bring this covenant back into the arms of God.

If we are to redefine marriage then we have to learn one simple truth, a truth that we will be exploring together this morning. That truth is simple: Marriage is to be the example of our relationship with Christ. If we learn that truth then we will know what each of us must do in our own marriages in order to bring them back to the point where God intended marriage to be.

Okay, so we know the goal, but how do we obtain that goal? I think that this question has two very distinct answers for two very distinct group of people. Let’s take some time today to reveal what those groups are and what they must do to make their marriage an example of their relationship with Christ. So, If Marriage is to be the example of our relationship with Christ then...

BODY

What does that mean for the Christian Couple (Read Ephesians 5:25-33)?

I find it really funny that the text that we use for marriage is not intended to be about marriage, it’s actually about Christ’s love for the church. With that said, though, there is still a lot of things that we can learn about marriage from this text.

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