Summary: A sermon that can also be used as a marriage or relationship seminar. Ephesians 5:22-30
Have you noticed that, as much as couples seem to ’get along’, they also spend just as much time ’not’ getting along? Statistics show that in the late 1800’s, only one out of every 34 marriages ended in divorce. By the mid 1900’s, one out of every 7 marriages ended in divorce, and through 2010, statistics show that one out of every two marriages now end in divorce.
Why is that? Have we lost our ability to love over the years? Maybe we have lost our ability to see people as they really are. Or, maybe we have just become so concerned with our being comfortable that we are unwilling to expend the work necessary to have good marriages.
I know a man who says the best way to really know a woman is to go shopping with her. And I also know a woman who said it took Moses 40 years to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, but if a woman had been leading them, they could have made it in two weeks. And thus, the battle continues.
Marriage is the very foundation and bedrock of our society, yet we see it dissolving before our very eyes. When these foundations, which God formed in righteousness, are weakened by our attempts to change them to fit our desires, it will create a much different foundation; a foundation founded upon unrighteousness.
A husband and wife were sitting in the living room after a hard day’s work. She was reading a magazine and he was reading the newspaper. He read an article that quoted researches who said women talk twice as much as men do. She said that was because women had to repeat everything twice. He lowered the newspaper and said, “Did you say something?”
There seems to be more and more people confiding in me that their marriages are having problems, and most times the one confiding says it is the other person’s fault. That reminds me of the story where a well-to-do gentleman met a very beautiful woman and began dating her. After several months, he decided to marry her, but hired a detective first to investigate her past. Several weeks later, the detective gave this report: “The lady seems to be beyond reproach. Her past is spotless and her reputation is pure. The only thing negative about her is that in the last few months, she has been seen in the company of a man who does not have a good reputation.”
We always tend to blame others while overlooking our own faults, don’t we? The first thing we instinctively do is see a problem come into our relationships and see it as something our spouse caused. I think we need to remember what my father used to tell us kids: “Anytime you point a finger of blame at someone else, you must remember that there are three other fingers pointing right back at you.”
To have happier marriages, we must understand what marriage is. And the first thing I would tell you is that marriage is not a human-instigated concept, but a union that was created and ordained by God Himself.
1. HAVING A “DESIRE” ISN’T ALWAYS A GOOD THING
In GENESIS 3:24, we read how God created the marriage relationship.
“A man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.”
As far as why God created this union, we need to read verse 18.
“God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is like him.’”
It seems that nobody has a problem with the fact that God made man and then He made woman, and then He made marriage. What many seem to have a problem with is figuring out who is in charge. And to understand who is “in charge”, we need to know what they did and what God told them afterward.
In chapter 3, we read about the serpent talking Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, we see where she encouraged Adam to join her. The next thing we see is Adam also showing total disregard for what God had told them and he accepted the fruit. This is where man fell from grace because he was only focused on what he wanted, not on what God wanted for him. He became disobedient, and then he found out what consequences were.
When God found out what they had done, He gave them each a curse.
Staying in chapter 3, reading verse 16, God told Eve,
“… You will bear children in anguish, and your desire will be for your husband, but he will dominate you.”
God is not telling the woman that she will love and want her husband, but that her desire will be to rule over him; to be his boss; but her husband will actually dominate her instead. The Hebrew word for “desire” is “tesuqah” which the Brown, Driver, and Briggs lexicon calls "unusual and striking".” It only occurs three times in the Old Testament. It can carry the sense of deep longing, or it can show the desire to overcome or defeat an enemy. This latter meaning best fits the meaning in verse 16.