Real Marriage

This is not your average sermon series on marriage. We won’t give you five steps to happiness. We won’t talk about sex in code. We won’t talk about how you can fix your marriage. No, this is a sermon series about Jesus—and what he has to say about marriage through the Bible.

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Reverse-Engineering Your Life and Marriage

The most important day of your marriage is the last day. What will that day look like? As you think about and plan for that, consider that you need Jesus, Jesus’ people, prayer and planning, as well as some flexibility and a sense of urgency. Pastor Mark interviews families whose marriage stories illustrate practically each of those biblical principles. We want to live purposefully, passionately, and presently, making the most of each day, just in case it’s the last day.

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Can We ___________?

When the Corinthians asked the Apostle Paul a list of questions about sex, he directed them to consider three categories: 1) Is it lawful? 2) Is it helpful? and 3) Is it enslaving? Pastor Mark encourages married couples to do the same, so that they may be free in Christ to enjoy one another and use whatever freedom they prayerfully agree is acceptable to them.

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Selfish Lovers and Servant Lovers

Jesus is the unselfish servant, but we are all selfish. Our selfishness is rooted in pride; we believe “I’m more important than you.” Proud people are selfish lovers, in and out of the bedroom (and most problems in the bedroom are the result of problems outside of the bedroom). Selfishness shows up in the “little things,” the little foxes that gnaw at and destroy the roots of the precious vine of a marriage. Are you proud and selfish, or are you a humble servant, by the grace of God?

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The Porn Path

Porn hurts God. Porn hurts men, women, and children. Porn hurts marriages. There is no such thing as free porn. Crissy (iamatreasure.com), a former pastor’s daughter who grew up to be a porn star and has since returned to a vibrant relationship with Jesus, shares her story and realities of the porn industry. Those of you on the porn path: Jesus died so you can kill your sin before it kills you. Recommended Resources: Treasures – A unique, faith-based outreach and support group for women in the sex industry. Books: Porn-Again Christian Redemption Rid of My Disgrace

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Disgrace and Grace

Sexual assault is an epidemic: 1 of 4 women and 1 of 6 men have been assaulted—including Pastor Mark’s wife, Grace. Sin would leave us as shamed, defiled victims, but in Jesus, we are cleansed from all unrighteousness if today we turn from sin and trust in him. Two key books on assault from Mars Hill leaders: Rid of My Disgrace and Redemption .

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Sex: God, Gross, or Gift?

Before sin entered the world, God created sex for marriage between one man and one woman. People distort this gift and tend to see sex as either god or gross. However, the Bible gives six ways in which sex is a gift from God: for pleasure, children, knowledge, protection, comfort, and oneness. When God tells you to be faithful to your spouse, to practice chastity before marriage, to enjoy fidelity within marriage, what he’s saying is, “I want the best for you.”

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Taking out the Trash

Every house—like any relationship, particularly a marriage—has trash that must be taken out. You’re going to sin against each other. Trash is going to accumulate. If you don’t take out the trash, it will stink up the whole relationship. Don’t fight with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Rather, fight to the glory of God by recognizing sin and repenting of sin. Repentance is three things: confession, contrition, and change. It takes a sinner to repent. It takes a victim to forgive. It takes two people to reconcile. The only way your relationship will be enduring and endearing is if repentance of sin and forgiveness of sin are practiced; otherwise, it will not get better, it will get bitter.

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The Respectful Wife

A wife is incredibly powerful in the life of her husband. The wife is to respect her husband (Eph. 5:33), which means “to notice, regard, honor, prefer, defer to, encourage, love, and admire” him. A respectful wife has a head of respect (How do you think about your husband?), a heart of respect (How do you feel about your husband? What do you say about him?), and hands of respect (What do you do for your husband?). A disrespectful wife may be silent and compliant, or loud and contentious. Still, it is possible to disagree respectfully. Do you respect your husband?

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Men and Marriage

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Every covenant—including the new covenant of salvation—has a head, who is ultimately responsible for the covenant. The husband is the covenant head of a marriage; he is responsible for his marriage, his wife, and his kids. Similarly, Christ took that which was not his fault—our sin—and he made it his responsibility on the cross. He is our covenant head.

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Friend with Benefits

God the Trinity is a friend and has friends, and he made us in his image and likeness for friendship with him and one another. Marriage is about friendship. Your spouse is to be your “lover and friend” (Song 5:16); in other words, your friend with benefits. Marital friendship is to be: Fruitful, Reciprocal, Intimate, Enjoyable, Needed, Devoted, Sanctifying. How’s your friendship with Jesus? With your spouse?

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New Marriage, Same Spouse

Pastor Mark Driscoll kicks off the Real Marriage campaign by sharing his and Grace’s marriage testimony, in which God has given them a new marriage with the same spouse. You don’t need a new spouse; you need to be a new spouse. You can have a new marriage with the same spouse; you can defeat Satan in your life and marriage by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11). Jesus died for sin so you can put your sin to death. Because of the blood of the Lamb, there’s a testimony. A biography is about me; a testimony is about Jesus. A biography is about what we do; a testimony is about what Jesus does. In a biography, we’re the hero; in a testimony, Jesus is the hero. What’s your testimony right now?