Summary: The key ingredients to a Christian marriage are: 1.The presence of God in the marriage 2.The realisation that we have married our husband and wife – warts and all and 3.The reality that we have to leave home not just physically but mentally too.
Story: A young courting couple approached the gates of Paradise and knocked on the door.
St Peter appeared and beckoned them in.
As the young man approached St Peter he said:
“Before we come in can we ask: Can you get married in paradise”
St Peter replied. “I don’t know off hand. Take a seat and I’ll find out.”
The young couple took a seat and five months later St Peter returned. “Yes you can get married in Paradise. Come on in.”
The young man approached St Peter again and said: I don’t want to tax your patience, but if it doesn’t work out – can we get divorced?”
St Peter drew himself to his full height and replied.” If it has taken me five months to find a vicar in Paradise, how on earth am I going to find a lawyer?”
Shelly and Simon have come here today to be married and our hope and prayer is that it will be lifelong.
You have come to church today to make your vows before God and so I would like to say a few words about Christian marriage
A good Christian marriage has three important ingredients
1. The presence of God in the marriage
2. The realisation that we have married our husband and wife – warts and all and
3. The reality that we have to leave home not just physically but mentally too.
1. The first important aspect of marriage is presence of God
I believe that the presence of God is the most important aspect in a good marriage.
The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes recognised this when he said;
“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Eccl 4:12)
Why is a commitment to God so important?
Firstly because you have come here today to make a promise to your partner in the sight of God today.
You cannot make a more awesome commitment than you have today.
You have asked God and this congregation to witness your promises
Secondly because faith in God gives you the same base line to operate from.
And a good base line from which you can bring children up.
If you share the same Christian faith –you will be able to pray together and worship God together.
And we hope you will make coming to church a priority.
Knowing God means that you can bring you conflicts – and you will have them – to Him.
You can come to the Bible to seek advice too.
One of the most important pieces of advice given in the Bible are some words from St Paul:
St Paul in Eph 4:26 says:” Don’t let the sun go down on your anger
Story: Don’t follow then advice given by the Best Man at a wedding reception I attended in 2005.
I had married the couple in the morning – and obviously the Best Man had been listening to the sermon.
For he said this in his speech:
“ I agree with what the Vicar said this morning – “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”
and then he paused.
He then continued: “ stay up all night fighting instead!
Maddy and I have our occasional differences.
If we are still arguing when we go to bed – I often say to Maddy – “ I forgive you dear!!!” – and THEN duck!
So one important aspect of Christian marriage is that sharing YOUR futures together with God.
2. The second important aspect to marriage is the realisation that you are marrying a Real person
The person you are marrying is not some sort of silver screen god or goddess.
You have married a person who is flesh and blood, with all their idiosyncrasies and foibles.
And today you have each come to Church to say that you are making a commitment to your spouse your No 1 priority – outside your commitment to God!
So watch out that you don’t drift apart .
Don’t allow other things to become more important than you are to each other.
One such interloper in marriage is work! You can get so into your work that you neglect your spouse
Story: Remember no one on their deathbed ever said that they wished they had spent more time in the office.
Cultivate make your spouse your best friend and not just your room mate!
And remember you need to adjust to being married
You are no longer single – but married, which means you have to take your spouse into account.
3. The third and final important aspect is to remember that you have both left your parental homes
When you get married – your family commitment is no longer PRIMARILY to your parental homes.
Yes, you are still to love and respect them – but your role has changed today