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Summary: Healthy marriages communicate the gospel.

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WEDLOCK OR DREADLOCK?

Genesis 2:18-25

S: Marriage

Th: My Life as God’s Light

Pr: HEALTHY MARRIAGES COMMUNICATE THE GOSPEL.

?: How?

KW: Correlations

TS: We will find in our study of Scripture three correlations that demonstrate how healthy marriages communicate the gospel.

The ____ correlation that demonstrates how healthy marriages communicate the gospel is…

I. COMMITMENT

II. GRACE

III. PASSION

RMBC 09 November 01 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Marriage (Father forgive them)

The pastor was visiting the fourth-grade Sunday School class to talk about marriage as part of the lesson. He asked the class, "What does God say about marriage?" Immediately one boy replied, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Did you know what you were doing when you got married?

So many of us went into it blindly, rather clueless.

But we don’t have to be clueless.

I think we all agree that instructions are important.

We use them all the time.

We use recipes to make our meals, manuals to install our software, and prescriptions to take our medicine.

Without instructions, we would have a tough time in life.

Doesn’t it make sense that instructions would be important when it comes to something as serious as marriage?

So, let me ask you this…

Are you cooperating with God’s plan for marriage or fighting it?

ILL Sign

A few years ago, billboards were springing up in the South as a campaign to get people to reexamine their relationship with the Lord. One billboard said this:

Loved the Wedding—Invite Me to the Marriage

-God

The truth is, there are a lot of church weddings—weddings that ask for God’s blessing.

But there are also a lot of marriages that fail to ask for God’s blessings.

Simply, wedlock is not meant to be dreadlock.

It is not meant to be a struggle.

Marriage is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.

TRANSITION:

I think that we would probably agree that…

1. The concept of marriage has gone through tremendous change.

In the 1960s and 1970s, most cohabitating couples in America could be described fairly as “anti-marriage.”

That is, they were deliberately seeking an alternative to traditional marriage, an institution they viewed as “repressive” or “irrelevant.”

As a result, the concept of living together gained prominence.

And now, it is as if it is expected.

You should see the shock on couple’s faces when I tell them I won’t marry them one year from now when they are already living together.

They don’t understand.

They have grown up in a culture that says it is okay.

The statistics bear this out…

The number of unmarried couples living together has increased from 523,000 in 1970 to 4,236,000 in 1998.

Because of that, we know little about commitment today.

But not only that, there have been some unexpected results.

For example, several studies done in the 1990s have found that couples who live together have an 80 percent greater chance of divorce than those who don’t, and that women who live with a man before marriage are twice as likely to experience domestic violence.

A National Center for Mental Health study revealed that women who live with men they are not married to experience depression four times more than married women, and two times greater than single women.

There is also far more infidelity by both partners.

In another survey of over 100 couples who lived together, 71 percent of the women said they would not live-in again.

The Scriptures have always said what secular sociologists are only recently concluding through these studies, that living together without the commitment of marriage is not conducive to a fulfilling relationship—even if the couple eventually marries.

2. The results of the change demonstrate that marriage is not the culprit.

The evidence is that cohabitation, and then divorce, are increasingly being seen as the real culprits, in spite of what we see on television.

What is interesting is that Generation X, that is, young adults under the age of 35, is significantly more anti-divorce than folks in the Baby Boom generation.

ILL Article “Down the Aisle” Newsweek, 20 July 98

From a 1998 Newsweek article called “Down the Aisle”:

“More Gen-Xers are the product of di-vorced parents than any previous genera-tion, leaving many of them emotionally conflicted about marriage—and at greater statistical risk of divorce themselves. Since many children of divorce have never seen a successful marriage up close, they’re bereft of role models. And some measures that Gen-Xers are counting on to protect themselves from divorce—marrying later and living together before marriage, for instance—are of dubious value.”

“They know marriage is risky, but there’s a stronger sense of commit-ment—more than…in their parents and grandparents. The bad news is, they don’t have a clue how to make their relationships work.”

Even the children have been picking up on this.

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