Do you want to have a great marriage that lasts? In this sermon based in the book of Proverbs, Pastor Mark gives four keys – faith, forgiveness, friendship, and fun – to have a great, Christ-centered marriage that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
How do you have a great marriage?
Proverbs 1:7 [ESV] The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Respect & reverence, honor and humility, priority and purpose.
- God first in everything
- What is right in the sight of God?
Everyone needs a new beginning. My testimony
Proverbs 28:14 [ESV] Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
- Honor goes up, blessing comes down
- God wants your heart
- God does not bless people, God does bless heart conditions
Jesus taught that hardness of heart was the cause of divorce (Matt. 19:18)
Proverbs 31:11,30 [ESV] The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain…Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
- You need God
- No one else can meet your relational needs
- Healthy relationship w/God – example & resources for healthy relationships
Faith is belief that directs behavior
- 2 faiths – highest divorce rates
- 1 shared XN faith
- lowest divorce rates, lowest domestic violence rates,
- highest – happy wives, father involve w/kids, affectionate dads, empathetic husbands
We did not start w/faith. I was unbelieving/religious. Grace was believer/rebellious
Proverbs 20:9 [NIV] Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?
Sin – shortcoming, wrong doing, rebellion, folly
Why do we sin?
- Sigmund Freud – primal urges
- Carl Jung – Collective unconsciousness from our racial history
- Carl Rogers – forgot our goodness, picked up some bad habits from others
- Bible – children of Adam (Rom. 5:12-21)
Proverbs 14:16 [ESV] One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
- Change mind & heart = change of decision & direction
Proverbs 13:21 [ESV] Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.
- Dr. John Gottman – 16 yrs, observed 49 married couples in an apartment/lab
- Recorded everything from facial expressions to heart rate – 91% divorce prediction
- Criticism – naming the sin, attacking the person not the problem
- Contempt – disgust, name calling, mocking, provoking body language (roll eyes, glaring)
- Defensiveness – guilty person doubles down, excuses, blame-shifts
- Stonewalling – Cold War (85% x husband) – heart divorce before the legal divorce
Sin leads to death, Jesus leads to life.
- Taught us to pray (Matt. 6) “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”
- Everyone has a record of debt to God & others (Col. 2:13-15)
- Jesus does not make us pay (mercy). Jesus does pay for us (grace)
= There is no personal health without forgiveness for you & others (mind, body, heart)
= There is no relationship without forgiveness. Test? Bless!
Proverbs 18:24 [ESV] A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Friends are Rare
Friendship- overused word (all friendships are relationships, not all relationships are friendships)
- Quantity vs Quality of relationship (social media followers vs friends)
- Friendly toward all, friends with a few
Proverbs 13:20 [ESV] Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
- Friends are wise, foolish, evil
- Am I a wise friend? Am I picking wise friends?
- You need to agree on personal friends and couple friends
- Friendship with the wise, ministry to the foolish
- Jesus is the wisest friend to walk with (“One wiser than Solomon is here”)
Proverbs 17:17 [ESV] A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
- You find out who your friends are in tough times
- 70% women & men want friendship w/spouse (Gottman)
- Friendship defends against domineering
Back to Back, Shoulder to Shoulder, Face to Face & our story
Night before wedding stayed w/uncle John (Glady’s story)
Proverbs 15:13-19, 22 [NLT] A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them. A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway…Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
- Look back to the past – take photos, capture memories & revisit them
- Look now to the present – windows of opportunity
- Look forward to the present – ask spouse & make plans