Summary: This message addresses some of the primary issues facing troubled marriages today. It was a follow up to a message called "Marriage that Goes the Distance" that I did the preceding week.

Top Ten Marriage Killers

Communication in marriage can be a challenge can’t it? You only have to be married five minutes to know what I am talking about. That’s due in part to the fact that men and women speak two entirely different languages.

Last Sunday’s message was on Marriage that Goes the Distance. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment, and dedication to make a marriage work.

Last week we honored a number of couples in our church who had been married from 50-65 years. It was a special day. Did you see their picture in the paper this week? Let’s give them another big hand. They are the pacesetters. Thank you!

We know that God’s standard for marriage is one man and one woman for life. We talked about the fact that marriage is not just about finding the right mate, it is about being the right mate and I gave you ten characteristics relationships that go the distance. Let’s do a quick review…

1. Christ is central.

2. Unconditional Love.

3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

4. Commitment.

5. A significant investment of quality and quantity time.

6. Healthy communication.

7. A commitment to growth. You will either grow up or you will grow apart.

8. Effective conflict resolution.

9. Physical intimacy.

10. Have fun!

This morning I want to outline what I believe are the Top Ten Marriage Killers.

Before we get into that I can tell that some of you are disappointed today. Last Sunday the ladies on the praise team sang the old Tammy Wynnette song, “Stand by Your Man” before the message. It seemed like that song blessed more people than any song I have heard in a while. I was surprised by that.

I knew some of you would be looking forward to another country song before this morning’s message, and even though we didn’t have a song to sing, a friend shared some good country song titles with me. Since this week was the CMA awards down in Nashville, I thought it was only appropriate that we mention a few country songs that talk about relationships, but that didn’t receive any recognition in Nashville this week.

Country Song Titles:

How can I miss you when you won’t go way?

If the phone doesn’t ring you’ll know it’s me.

If I’d shot you when I wanted to, at least I’d be out by now.

If you won’t leave me alone, I’ll find someone who will.

Take me out to the cornfield honey, and I’ll kiss you between the ears.

I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.

I’m sorry I made you cry, but at least your face is cleaner.

If my nose was running money, I’d blow it all on you.

It’s obvious that marriage killers have to be avoided in order to have a marriage that will go the distance. Some of the positive things that I spoke to you about last week will resurface today as potential hazards to your marriage if handled improperly.

I want to invite you to do a little personal evaluation as I outline these ten points.

ASK - Where are we strong? Where are we weak? What area(s) need attention?

My hope is that you will go home and talk about these things with your mate. I sincerely hope you won’t leave church and forget about it. Talk about these things and see to it that you give your marriage the attention that it needs in order to flourish and grow.

MARRIAGE KILLER #1: Over-Commitment and Physical Exhaustion.

People are so overcommitted in so many areas of life that they have very little time and very little energy left for the things that matter most. People are just worn out.

The good news is that you can choose where to invest your time and energy. Sometimes people imply that they have no choice in the matter because the financial demands of their lifestyle require them to work every waking minute.

Here’s a thought; change your lifestyle. Sell some stuff. Simplify. Downsize. Learn to live with less. Because when you are a slave to the job and a slave to overtime, at the expense of your marriage or family, you have your priorities way out of line.

And don’t buy the lie that says you are doing it for your family. Sit down and talk with your mate. Talk with your kids. What they want is you, not the stuff you can buy them because you sacrificed the most important gift you can given them, which is your time.

Over-commitment and physical exhaustion are especially tough challenges for young couples who are trying to get started in a profession or in school.

Do not try to go to college, work full-time, have a baby, manage a toddler, fix up a house and start a business at the same time. It sounds ridiculous, but many young couples do just that and are then surprised when their marriage falls apart. They have adopted a very deadly pattern of behavior that will derail their marriage if left unaddressed.

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Scott Coburn

commented on Jun 17, 2008

Amen! This is an excellent listing based on my experience also - as both a minister and a former practicing lawyer in domestic law.

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