Summary: This is the third of a four-part series of sermons on godly marriage. This message focuses particularly on conflict resolution.
A dietician was once addressing a large audience at a convention. The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.
"Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.
"But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"
A 75-year-old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake."
Welcome to WE-HARMONY.COM. SERIES ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. Today is WE CAN WORK IT OUT, which you may be questioning. We start out with such idealistic hopes like Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella. We’ve all been programmed to believe in a "Fairy-tale" marriage. You know, Cinderella is beautiful, sweet, and hard-working, and the Prince is handsome, rich, and sensitive. They meet at the ball and the electricity flows and they are perfect for each other. Then he searches to find the girl that he knows will make him complete. He passes over the ugly, over-anxious Stepsisters, and finally he finds Cinderella and they live happily ever after with an SUV, a home in the Burbs and 2.7 kids.
And we say we know that it is a "Fairy-tale", but we kind of believe it. Until we GET married.
Bob Russell said - "Wouldn’t you love to see Cinderella -Part II?
The sequel would show them several months later. Cindy gets up and discovers little specks of toothpaste all over the mirror, hair in the sink, and she says "Gee, my ugly Stepsisters weren’t this bad!" and "I haven’t been to a dance in 6 months, I’m going to call this guy "Appendix" - he takes you out once and that’s it!"
And she goes in and yells at him for being a slob, and he says "C’mon, I’m a Prince" and then he starts thinking about how unsophisticated she is. She doesn’t look good; she’s spent too much time eating "Royal Bon-Bon’s".
Cinderella Part 2 would be suitable for family. It would be rated PG - some violence - no sex or nudity!"
That reality will create stress and unhappiness and in some cases divorce unless you learn how to deal with the conflict that comes.
Some one said, ’There are two things that ought not to be entered into lightly- EMBALMING AND DIVORCE.’
It surprises some Christian couples that they have serious conflict. They love each other, they believe in Jesus, yet THINGS HAVEN’T WORKED OUT THE WAY THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO.
As I have been saying -- this series is not just for married people. These things we will talk about today again from the book of Ephesians -- are for any relationship. I’ll use marriage a lot, but apply it however.
Before we go too far, please don’t be afraid to get professional help and counseling at some time in their lives.
Prov. 13:10 - "Pride leads to arguments; be humble, take advice, and become wise." (Living Bible)
In every other area of your life, you get help. If your car breaks down, you don’t just give up on it. You don’t start taking all the parts off and replacing them one by one. You go see and expert. If you are sick, you go to see a doctor even a specialist. Financial -- CPA Legal -- Lawyer
So if you have a marriage problem - GO SEE A PROFESSIONAL CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE COUNSELOR.
The average wedding these days costs $27K. (Which means that my girls have to wait at least three years until the Capital Campaign is over--or it’s Ding Dongs in the church basement).
It’s amazing to me how much people spend on a wedding and never spend anything close to that on a marriage! Denise and I have been -- many times. We are going away to a ranch in June for 5 days of this STUFF to work on it. We require premarital counseling for our weddings here.
Let me remind you here again of the all important Einstein discovery of the 2nd LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. Every system left to itself will deteriorate!
It’s why your house is always a mess -- even if you don’t have kids. It’s why your car is rusting out and falling apart instead of turning itself into a BMW!
Any system left to itself -- including your marriage -- will deteriorate if it is not cared for.
The myth is that everything good in your relationship WILL get better. The truth is everything in your relationship CAN get better.