How do you have a great marriage?

#1. Faith

Proverbs 1:7 [ESV] The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Fear

  • 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”?

Reality

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.

Repentance

  • Change mind & heart = change of decision & direction

Proverbs 13:21 [ESV] Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.

Reward

  • 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

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.

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