Summary: This sermon deals with the realistic expectation of the amount of work it takes to make a marriage successful.
What Is Marriage, It’s Work
11/19/95 Eccl. 3:1-12 Ephesians 4:20-5:2 Topical
One day on the job, the supervisor called John, Dave, and Sam into his office. John had been on the job for 11 years, Dave for 4 and Sam for one year. All three men liked their job and were doing okay at work. The supervisor told them, "fellows, they are having a training seminar on how to work more efficiently at the plant and it might be nice if you guys would agree to go to it. It’s not a requirement so you’re not going to be paid for it. But it could make your experience here more rewarding for you."
John the 11 year vet went home and told his wife, the boss said there’s going to be a training seminar that might help us with our work. I’ve been at that job for 11 years. What in the world could anybody teach me about improving my skills? I’m not going to anything that I don’t get paid extra for. He probably just felt he had to invite me, but his real intent was probably to get to the newer guys.
Sam the one year vet went home and told his wife, The boss said there’s going to be a training seminar that might help us with our work. I’ve been there for a year now, and I don’t see much more that needs to be done. The boss told me that I’ve been doing okay. I guess he feels the other guys need the training, and he invited me just to not make them look bad.
Dave the four year vet went home and told his wife, the boss said there’s going to be a training seminar that might help us with our work. He said that I’ve been doing good job at work. Maybe he invited me because He sees some potential in me that I haven’t realized yet. Perhaps there’s something to the job that I haven’t seen. What do you think honey, should I take the extra time and go even though I won’t get paid for it. Of course you should go. This may open some bigger doors for you in the future. Who knows how we might blessed down the road.
Dave went and learned some things about some technology that was coming down the pike, about how things were handled at other plants to make them more efficient, about what things they were doing at their own plant that were counter productive. Three years later, Dave was chosen to replace his supervisor after he retired.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that Dave made the right choice when given the opportunity to improve himself. There’s no greater fool than the one who thinks that He or she has learned all that there is to learn. Some guy declared at the end of the 1800’s that everything that could be invented had been invented. How wrong he was.
Marriage is the one thing that we have never seen a perfect one exist, but we are quite sure we know the perfect way to handle it. Some of us are like John, "I’ve been married for 20 years, what can anybody tell me. Is it possible you can do the same things wrong for 20 years, or that something new has come up in 20 years.
Some of us are like Sam the one year vet, I’ve seen the mistakes those older couples made, but that’s not going to happen in my marriage. Very few of us are like Dave when it comes to marriage, able to admit, that there are some things I don’t know, some things I need to keep learning, and some things I can benefit from by studying others successes and failures. Perhaps there is something better for me that I have yet to experience.
Most men are terrified of going to a marriage seminar. They automatically assume that it means they are admitting something is wrong with them or their marriage. The problem is they are right. Something is wrong with every man and something is wrong with every marriage. Something is wrong with every woman too. Sticking one’s head in the sand does not correct it or make one any more of a man. It takes courage to humble one’s self and seek the best not just for yourself, but for your mate.
Marriage is not what we expect it to be. People have lied to you when they said, as long as you really love each other, it will work. That’s a bunch of non-sense. Being romantically in love will not produce a good marriage. Look at the artists who sing all those romantic love songs, and try to see if you can keep up with the number of divorces they have had. The one manual that tries to give us a realistic view of marriage, is the one we don’t want to apply to the marriage. It’s called the Bible.