The Realities of Marriage Recap:
- The character of your life/marriage is forged in the thousand little moments of faith in God’s grace…NOT the big moments.
- Marriage is hard for EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE! We’ve ALL been disappointed.
- The Gospel (Good News) only works if you accept the BAD NEWS. The DNA of SIN is SELFISHNESS. The biggest problem is NOT your marriage or your spouse…IT’S YOU!
- Dating in most cases is an illusion of the real person.
- We mistake attraction for love…ATTRACTION IS NOT LOVE!
- We take our cues from the world’s definition of marriage instead of the Biblical definition of marriage.
- The whole Bible is our source for a healthy marriage…NOT just the marriage passages.
- ROMANCE is NOT the cause of a good marriage; true ROMANCE is the result of a good marriage.
- Your marriage needs to live in the Kingdom of God in Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-10. You have ALL you need.
- Your marriage needs to have 3 mindsets: Reaping, Value and Grace.
- Marriage is built on TRUST! You can’t have a good marriage without TRUST!
- You must walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
- The primary purpose of marriage is not happiness…it’s holiness.
- BAD NEWS: YOUR MARRIAGE IS IN STUCKVILLE
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Romans 7:14-19 (ESV)
QUESTION: WHY IS YOUR MARRIAGE STUCK?
ANSWER: BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LAW-BASED MARRIAGE.
CYCLE: EXPECTIONS LEAD TO FAILURE THAT LEADS TO PUNISHMENT.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” James 4:1-2 (ESV)
Problem: We’re asking the LAW to do what LAW was never intended to do. The LAW doesn’t have the power to rescue you and transform your heart. If the LAW could change behavior…Christ wouldn’t have needed to come.
Truth: Marriage problems are not a behavioral problem…it’s a HEART problem.
Your HEART is the steering wheel of your life.
- GOOD NEWS: YOUR MARRIAGE CAN GET UN-STUCK AND THRIVE
Solution: LEARNING TO HAVE A GRACE-BASED MARRIAGE.
GRACE is able to do what the LAW was never able to do. WE NEED LAW…BUT NOT WITHOUT GRACE! GRACE is a way of dealing with LAW. GRACE sets us FREE!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)
NOTE: Grace NEVER makes wrong right…Grace is way of dealing with wrong.
2 Character qualities you need to learn:
- You need to be humble enough to be confronted with the TRUTH.
- You need to have the courage to speak the TRUTH in LOVE.
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:12-15 (ESV)
We ALL have areas of sin in our lives we CANNOT SEE! We need grace of God to help us see, grieve, confess and repent of our hidden sins.
You can’t confess what you haven’t grieved, and you can’t grieve what you don’t see, and you can’t repent of what you haven’t confessed.
This is your prayer for your spouse: “God, please help me to by Your agent of grace to my spouse in the areas they cannot see. And help me not to be selfish and choose the areas that would serve me, but the areas You choose for Your glory.”