Summary: This is the 2nd sermon on Jesus' teaching on marriage & divorce
“WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT MARRIAGE?” (Part 2) Matt. 19:1-9
INTRO – Lots of bad news being tossed about regarding marriage these days. We hit some of the high spots last week about the status of marriage in America today:
- Gay marriage
All of these are places where the status of marriage is taking some major hits.
But, we need to share some good news about marriage. I want to boldly & brashly proclaim that marriage done GOD’S WAY is AWESOME!
- It is the most fun relationship you’ll ever enjoy. There’s something wrong if you get all excited about going to the hunting camp w/ your buddies, or going on that girl trip w/ your BFF’s, but you just are “ho-hum” about being w/ your husband or wife. I heard about an elderly couple who in their 80’s & were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Husband had lost most of his hearing. People were amazed at how well they still got along after all those years. Family came over to their home for a big party. Started mid-morning & went on all day. Finally, in the evening after everyone left, these 2 decided to sit down in front porch swing. Didn’t say much but were just basking in the events of the day. Wife looked at husband, “You know, honey, I’m real proud of you.” He looked at her in a confused way, & after a moment, said, “Well, Bessie, I’m real tired of you, too!” Don’t get tired of each other! Enjoy the fun!
- It is the best friendship you’ll ever have. Pappaw said that your spouse is your soulmate. Nourish this relationship b/c everyone else will eventually go away from you. In the end, it’s just you & your soulmate, the best friend you’ll ever have.
- It is one of the greatest faith-building experiences you’ll ever encounter. Every married couple has testimonies of times when their faith was tested & strengthened.
- It is worth your most intense fight – not fight, in the sense of conflict between husband & wife, though those happen. But “fight” in the sense that it’s worth fighting for – for yourself, for your spouse, for your kids if you have them, for the church, for our society in general. It’s worth us getting involved in the fight to keep the sanctity of God’s definition of marriage intact. It’s worth us getting involved in the fight for His perfect marriage status to be held in highest regard, no matter what anyone else in our society says – not the government; not the courts; not the anti-traditional marriage activists; not the daytime talk shows; not those who want to abandon their own marriages for convenience sake or to enter into a relationship w/ someone else.
We need to magnify the good news about marriage instead of majoring on the bad. Shaunti Feldhahn article, “Everything We Knew About Marriage & Divorce Is Wrong” – 8 yr research project.
- 50% of all marriages are NOT ending in divorce. In fact, 72% of those who have ever been married are still married to their 1st spouse. And the 28% who aren’t includes all those who were married for many years until their spouse died. Good news is that most marriages last a lifetime.
- Myth came out few yrs ago: “Barna found that the rate of divorce is the same in the church.” Barna Group found no such thing. Reran a bunch of numbers, & what they did find out was that regular church attendance lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25-50%.
Great implications to these findings! We can confidently proclaim that going to church matters for your marriage! We can confidently tell a struggling couple, “Most people get through this, & you can, too!” We can confidently teach our young people that, when they encounter the cynics & their “why bother getting married” friends who are living together, they can tell them the truth that most marriages last a lifetime!
You have a copy of the main points of my sermon from last Sunday that outline God’s perfect marital status.
Bottom line is that a marriage done God’s way, according to God’s plan, for God’s glory, is a marriage that works! God’s perfect marriage status works! And it’s awesomely wonderful!
But, if we are going to be true to the Word of God & true in our study of it, we have to look at some of the things that Jesus said that may make us uncomfortable. He had a way of doing that when necessary. Not out of spite or b/c He got some sort of sick pleasure out of putting people on the hot seat. He did it b/c He always shared the Truth of God b/c He WAS the embodied Truth of God. Everything He did was motivated by His obedience to His Father who is ALWAYS working for our good & for His glory. When He pointed out sin or disobedience or rebellion, there was always the opportunity for repentance & restoration. Sometimes folks would respond in repentance; many times, they wouldn’t. Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?