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Summary: First in a two-part series on marriage.

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Working Toward a Great Marriage

Part 1 – Six Principles We Can All Apply

Various Scriptures

May 16, 2010

Me: In our year-long emphasis called, “The Year of the Family,” we’re focusing on how we can become a stronger family within the family of God, and also looking at ways to become stronger in our earthly families.

Last week we started looking at families and specifically how mothers can pray. On Father’s Day we’ll look at some things Fathers can do to help their families along.

Today we start a two-part series on marriage. We won’t finish next week, because I want us to focus on something else next week, but we’ll take this up again in two weeks.

I want to encourage all of you un-marrieds to hang in there with us, though, okay? A lot of this is stuff you can apply in some ways to other relationships you might be in, and if you’re thinking about getting married, you might want to hang onto your notes for the future.

I’ve been married 22 years. For some of you, that’s a long time, for others we’re still considered newlyweds.

But one thing I’ve learned about in those 22 years is that I don’t know everything, and that I’ve got a long way to go to be the perfect husband.

But another thing I’ve learned is that God has some things in His Word that, if we’ll apply them, can help all of our marriages get even better than they are already.

We: I think all of us would agree that marriage is under attack in our country and culture nowadays, and I’m not just talking about the efforts to legitimize same-sex marriage, or anything like that.

I’m talking about the idea that Satan is purposely trying to undermine marriages.

He does it in a number of ways, but I think one of the main ways is that he deceives people into thinking that marriage is something that’s supposed to be a situation where two people are in emotional states of bliss the entire time and when reality sets in and the bliss goes away, maybe forever, then that marriage can just be dumped as easily as the weekly garbage.

And they learn a hard lesson that love is grand – but divorce is 20 grand. (SermonCentral.com, contributed by Brian Mavis)

Yesterday’s paper – at least 2 people married in 2008 are divorced. And one couple married in 1987.

I can’t imagine that any of us here today don’t know someone who has been through the pain of divorce for one reason or another.

And that’s the main reason I insist on pre-marital counseling if I’m going to do a wedding.

I don’t want to see their names in the paper in a couple years because the enchantment of marriage has worn off after the honeymoon.

And while there’s no denying that every marriage goes through its rough patches, there’s also no denying that every marriage can be a great one.

God/You:

There is no way we would be able to even begin to cover all that could be said about having a great marriage, so I’ll be sharing a few things that I think are some of the most basic and most important things that all of us who are married can put into place, and that those who are not yet married can keep in mind as they prepare for marriage themselves.

I am unashamedly borrowing from sources like Dennis and Barb Rainey, H. Norman Wright, and others over the course of these two messages.

They have wisdom beyond my years and experience, and I’m not too proud to give you something they’ve said to help all of us have a stronger marriage.

These things I’m sharing with you today are things that I’ve been working to implement in my own marriage.

Some I’m more successful at than others, and some of them I really struggle with. And there’s no way I’m going to tell you what all of those are, okay?

I feel bad enough seeing my own shortcomings in these, and don’t want to invite even more scrutiny!

But I know the value of these things, and as I’ve mentioned before during this year, I’m preaching to myself as much as to anybody here.

So here are 6 principles that any couple can apply to their marriage.

Some of these will have some Scripture attached to them, others don’t but are supported by Scriptural principle.

> Make the marriage relationship the primary one.

Matthew 19:4-6

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

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