How do you have a great marriage? (Proverbs)

How do you have a great marriage? (Proverbs)

    • Friends 40-year wedding anniversary
    • Our 27th was Thursday

    #1. Faith

    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

    1. 2 faiths – highest divorce rates
    2. 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

    #2. Forgiveness

    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?  

    1. Sigmund Freud – primal urges
    2. Carl Jung – Collective unconsciousness from our racial history
    3. Carl Rogers – forgot our goodness, picked up some bad habits from others
    4. 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

    4 Horsemen

    “harsh startup”

    1. Criticism – naming the sin, attacking the person not the problem
    2. Contempt – disgust, name calling, mocking, provoking body language (roll eyes, glaring)
    3. Defensiveness – guilty person doubles down, excuses, blame-shifts
    4. 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!

    SHOVEL Story

    #3. Friendship

    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)

    1. Quantity vs Quality of relationship (social media followers vs friends)
    2. 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.

    1. You find out who your friends are in tough times
    2. 70% women & men want friendship w/spouse (Gottman)
    3. 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)

    #4. Fun

    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.

    1. Look back to the past – take photos, capture memories & revisit them
    2. Look now to the present – windows of opportunity
    3. Look forward to the present – ask spouse & make plans

Mark Driscoll

Pastor Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor. He’s grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody. Read More