Summary: Your neighbours hear you talk every day, but do you really know what they want you to say?

What Your Neighbours Want to Hear

May 16, 2004 Sermon ċ Proverbs 27: 14 NLT

Pastor Dean C. Brown

"If you shout a pleasant greeting to your neighbour too early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse!"

I was walking in my neighbourhood this week, and as is my usual, I was looking for something new and exciting going on. I hadn¡¦t walked very long before I found it. A woman in the neighbourhood had obviously just gotten up and was looking to get her morning newspaper without being seen by anyone. Her attire was such that I knew that she had worn it to bed the night before and her hair style was a unique design, reminiscent of a horses tail that had not been combed out in some time.

I don’t know how long she stood at the door, waiting for a chance to snatch her paper and dash back into the safety of her house, but unfortunately I rounded the corner just as she committed herself to the act. As she bent down to pick up her prize, all that was in me wanted to yell, "Good Morrrrrrning! Beautiful day, eh?"

"If you shout a pleasant greeting to your neighbour too early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse!"

I wonder - is there anything your neighbour might want to hear from you this morning?

1. Your neighbours wants to hear that commitment in marriage still matters.

I know that our culture ridicules what I’m about to say, but I’m gong to say it, anyway. God’s design for marriage is that it last a lifetime. And I believe, with competent research backing me up, that people who marry and stay married are happier, healthier, and wealthier than those who don¡¦t.

Do you know what the Bible says about the permanence of marriage?

Genesis 1: 27; 2: 24 NIV "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Matt. 19: 1-9 NLT "After Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went southward to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River. Vast crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick. Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for any reason?" "Haven’t you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning `God made them male and female.¡¦ And he said, `This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together." "Then why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?" they asked. Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery--unless his wife has been unfaithful."

Jesus does what we must do. He goes to God’s Word, cites the higher law of creation, and responds to two divergent religious groups of His day who interpreted divorce quite differently.

The Hillel and the Shammai Schools

Hillel taught that a woman could be divorced if she did anything which was displeasing to her husband (not picking up his socks off the floor). The Shammai group held firm that only running around (marital unfaithfulness) was just grounds for divorce. Jesus aligned Himself with Shammai. Our culture aligns itself with Hillel!

Our neighbours have known since childhood that marriage is designed to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, too few people are telling them that commitment matters anymore.

God’s Recipe for Healthy Marriage

-Begin with a bowl full of mutual submission.

-Mix in love and respect in healthy doses.

-Work it all together for a lifetime and when it¡¦s fully matured,

-Bake it in the oven of thanksgiving and season it with forgiving grace.

"Where did I get this, Pastor?" you ask. Not from Dr. Phil!

Ephesians 5: 21; 33 "And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

The University of Chicago is doing some fascinating research these days on marriage. And these liberal educators are affirming that couple relationships are best enjoyed in a loving, committed marriage!

Tell your neighbour that commitment in marriage still matters, despite what Trish, on The Bachelor, says!

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