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How to Do Marriage Right | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2022 3:00 am

How to Do Marriage Right | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 2, 2022 3:00 am

Hear what Pastor Greg Laurie has to say about doing marriage God’s way! Husbands, this one’s especially for you!

Notes

A successful marriage is a total commitment.

Wedlock should be a padlock. 

1. God created marriage.

Before God created the church, before God created the state, before God created the school, God created marriage.

As marriage goes, so goes the family.

As the family goes, so goes the nation.

Satan hates what God loves.

And the man said, “This is now bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.” —Genesis 2:23

The Garden of Eden was perfection.

Some are called to singleness, and for them, friendship can fill this gap.

Neither Jesus nor Paul the apostle were married.

2. To have a marriage that works, requires you to do two essential things: leave and cleave.

The Hebrew word for leave is often translated as “abandon.”

The Hebrew word for cleave means, “to glue, to cling.”

Companion: One you are united with in thoughts, goals, plans, and efforts.

To dwell means, “to be aligned to or give maintenance to.” 

Keep working on, maintaining, cultivating, and strengthening your marriage, because the moment you stop progressing, you potentially start regressing.

3. Men hold the key to a happy and working marriage. 

Note: Paul takes more time and gives more space to what he says to the husband than he does the wife.

A successful marriage is not about finding the right person; it is being the right person.

4. Doing marriage right requires constant communication.

“A good marriage consists of two good forgivers.” —Ruth Graham

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” —Proverbs 31:28

5. Doing marriage right comes back to a commitment you reaffirm every day.

Marriage is tough.

Dating reveals the best of you.

Marriage reveals the worst of you.

6. We need the power of the Spirit to be a good spouse. 

The filling of the Holy Spirit will empower you to be a Godly spouse.

The wife cannot submit to her husband without the filling of the Holy Spirit.

If you are a Spirit-filled person, you will be a submitting person.

If you are a Spirit-filled person, you will think of others over yourself.

Wives are called to submit to the loving leadership of their husbands.

Husbands are to bow to the needs of their wives.

It’s not about you; it’s about your mate.

Most marriages fail because of selfishness.

Note: God uses marriage as a picture of His love for us.

Jesus came to the earth and died for your sins; He will forgive you.

Scripture Referenced

Malachi 2:14

1 Peter 3:7

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. All right, so we're in a series, Am I Doing This Right? And we're talking about marriage, and specifically I'm going to zero in on husbands. The title of my message is You Really Need to Hear the Message, You Booing Husband. I heard that. I did hear about a lady who talked, one of our pastors out back, who said, I brought my husband for the message today. That reminds me of a time I was in this little restaurant and some lady recognized me and she said, are you Greg Laurie?

Yes. Well, this is my husband, and he's not a Christian, and you need to start, and the poor guy had just got his burger. He is getting ready to eat his burger, and his wife is just making life miserable. I'm not going to do that to you husbands today, though I did think of an alternate title for the message. Instead of how to do marriage right, I thought about husbands, I'm going to kick your butt.

No, not really. I'm not going to do that, but what we want to do is see what the Bible has to say about marriage, about husbands, about wives, about parenting, and much more. Let's pray. Father, bless this time as we open your word. It's alive, it's powerful, it's sharper than any two-edged sword, but you don't send your word to destroy, you send it to restore, to strengthen, to bolster, to help. So Lord, help us have strong, vibrant, happy marriages.

Speak to us from your word now, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen. Another quick poll. How many of you are married? Raise your hand.

Oh, okay, a lot of married people. How many of you are happily married? Raise your hand.

About the same, close. How many of you are single? Raise your hand. How many of you who are single want to get married? Raise your hand. Okay, not as many, so that's okay. I'll talk about that in a few moments.

How many of you who are married wish you were single again? No, don't. No, okay. So I heard about a mom and her five-year-old daughter that curled up on the couch watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs together. The little girl had never seen this movie before. She could hardly wait to tell her dad all about it. So Daddy gets home and the little girl tells her dad the whole story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. And then she talks about the part where the prince comes and kisses her and she comes back alive again. And then the little girl says, Daddy, you know what happened then? Knowing fairy tales, he said, well, then they lived happily ever after.

The little girl said, no, Daddy. Then they got married. So sometimes people think marriage can be like a fairy tale. We have this vision of love that has been given to us by movies, rom-coms, television shows, and other things where we think our prince is going to come to us riding on a white horse or our beautiful wife is going to come to us on the beach at sunset running toward us in slow motion. That's how we'll know it's her.

She's going in slow motion, right? But I don't really believe in fairy tales. We won't live happily ever after, but the question is, can we live happily even after? You know, sometimes people say they have a marriage made in heaven, which is a nice sentiment, but does that mean other people have a marriage made in hell? I mean, if you have a happy marriage, if you have a strong marriage, a marriage made in heaven, so to speak, that's because you have applied yourself. If your marriage is hurting, that's probably because you've neglected things to make it that way. It's been said marriage is like a three-ring circus, engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. Now, I hope that's not the case for you, because we want to do marriage right. I've seen it done wrong far too many times.

As you know, my mother was married and divorced seven times, and she had a bunch of boyfriends in between her husbands, and as I watched that life of my mom, I knew that was not the life I wanted to live, but stats tell us if you come from a divorced home, it's a far higher possibility that you yourself will end up divorced, but thank God, Kathy and I are getting ready to celebrate 50 years of marriage. So here's some video. It looks like it's from another century of our wedding. Look at that. What's going on with that suit? Okay, that's a bad suit. I look like a pimp or something.

I don't know what's going on. Kathy looks the same, doesn't she? Doesn't she? She looks the same. So my wife looked at me, and she saw underneath all of that hair and beard was a bald man.

That's what she got. But we're thankful to God, almost 50 years. Heard about a couple that was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Friends and family were gathered. The husband stood up in front of everyone and said, My dear wife, I want to say after 50 years, you've been tried and true. Well, the problem was this wife was a little hard of hearing. So she said what? He said, My dear wife, after 50 years, I found you tried and true.

She shot back, Well, after 50 years, I'm tired of you too. How many of you have heard that joke? Raise your hand.

What do you want, a medal? Look, we need to do this God's way. He's shown us how to have a strong and lasting marriage. But there are people that think they can change the way marriage is structured or how it should work. A survey of millennials found that 43% of them would support what is called a beta marriage model, which means you would test a relationship for two years before deciding to commit or dissolve. And then at the end, you negotiate and see if you want to remain married. This is so stupid on a number of levels. Here's the bottom line. People think living together is a good way to determine as to whether or not a marriage will work. Let me say this. If you want to undermine a potentially strong marriage, live together outside of marriage.

You say, Well, why do you say that? Well, number one, the Bible tells us clearly that we should make that commitment before we enter into a sexual union with someone. But studies show the same thing. Couples who live together are gambling and losing. In 85% of the cases, many believe the myth that a trial marriage can work. But actually, it's more like a trial divorce where eight out of 10 couples will break up before the wedding or afterwards in divorce. So it's like how to sabotage a marriage. Live together. So I know I'm talking to someone who's living together.

Stop. You need to make an immediate change in that area if you want to have a strong and lasting marriage. I wish we could take this word divorce and strike it from our vocabularies.

Wedlock should be a padlock. The Bible gives us all the information we need to know about how to have a strong marriage, and a lot of us aren't even aware of what it says. So there's so many passages I could turn to, but I'm going to start with Ephesians chapter five.

So turn there with me, if you would, Ephesians chapter five. And while you're turning there, it's amazing to me that people will think so much about a wedding and think so little about a marriage. You can spend so much on weddings now.

It's unbelievable. My wedding cost like $15. It was like a hippie wedding, you know, so it was pretty inexpensive. But people will think so much about the wedding. What about the marriage?

Or they'll put so much thought into purchasing a house, but they won't give any thought to building a home. And that's what really matters. So here we have a foundational truth about marriage in Ephesians five verses 31 to 33. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, Paul writes, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Here's point number one if you're taking notes. God created marriage. God created marriage, it wasn't Adam's idea, it was God's idea. Before God created the church, before God created the state, before God created the school, before God created any of these things, he created marriage.

That tells us something. That tells us that marriage is the very foundation of the family. And the family is the very foundation of the nation. As marriage goes, so goes the family. As the family goes, so goes the nation. And that is why our nation is in so much trouble right now because of the breakdown of the family.

And why is there a breakdown in the family? Because Satan hates what God loves. God loves us, he created marriage for us. Satan knowing the power that marriage has and the strong family has on a nation has done everything he can to undermine it. You know, it's worth noting that the devil doesn't even enter the scene until Eve is created. I'm not blaming it on Eve. But I'm saying as soon as a man and a woman come together, the devil steps right in and goes, okay, we gotta put a stop to this. We can't have this.

That's when the attacks begin. So we need to do it God's way, as my friend James Merritt says, and I quote, If you're in a bad marriage, it's not because God had a bad idea. Marriage is his ideal idea. The problem is we got married and we turn an ideal into an ordeal and then we want to look for a new deal, end quote.

See, we've gotten away from God's original plan. The Bible begins with a wedding in the book of Genesis and it ends with a wedding when the bride and the bridegroom are joined together. So this first marriage of Adam and Eve is effectively a model for every marriage. Here's what Adam said in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2, 23, after God created Eve. This is not bone of my bone, some flesh of my flesh.

She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. You know, when we think of the Garden of Eden, we might almost think of it as a fictitious place, a fairy tale destination, sort of like Camelot or Neverland or Atlantis. But Eden was a real place and it had real people and real events took place. It's now took place there.

Now think of all the gorgeous places you've ever seen or maybe even a photograph of an exotic location you would like to visit one day. Eden surpassed all of those things. It was absolute perfection. Adam's job before Eve was created was to discover the secrets that God had placed in the garden, to just enjoy fellowship with the Lord. And as wonderful as that was, something was missing in Adam's life.

And to be more specific, someone was missing. I mean, the animals are great, but Adam needed a companion like him. And over and over in the book of Genesis, we see the Lord creating things and saying, it was good, it was good, it was good. And then God looks at the loneliness of Adam in Genesis 2, 18 and he says, it's not good.

So I'm gonna make a helper comparable to him, comparable to him. So someone who would assist him or help him reach fulfillment. So God created Eve and this is where it all begins. That brings me to point number two. To have a marriage that works requires you to do two essential things. Again, to have a marriage that works requires you to do two essential things.

What are they? You are to leave and you are to cleave. That's from right there, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife or cleave to his wife in verse five.

The Hebrew word for leave is often translated abandoned, as in abandoned ship. So the idea is the man must abandon the ship of his parents and the daughter the same and the two of them must get into their own little ship called marriage. Now you're still a son to your parents or a daughter to your parents or a sister or a brother, but now a new family has formed and this new family, this new union between a man and a woman must take precedence over all other family relationships. The closest relationship outside of marriage is specified here, a son to his parents. So now this is the new family unit and the primary responsibility now is to be a good husband or a wife and in time to be a good father or a mother.

The husband's primary commitment must be to his wife and hers to him. So it's finding that right person. Heard about a guy that was having a hard time finding his wife because his mom didn't approve. Found a girl, he brought her home, mother didn't like her. Found another girl, brought her home, mother didn't like her either. So he goes out and finds a girl that looks like his mother, dresses like his mother, talks like his mother, brings her home.

Now the father didn't like her, so that's a problem. So leaving, a man will leave his father or mother. That means you give other relationships a lesser degree of importance.

That includes best friends and that certainly precludes close relationships with members of the opposite sex because now you're married and now that could be a potential conflict down the road. So you leave and then you cleave. That's King James. You're joined together in a union. This word here for cleave means to glue or to cling.

So the idea is like let's say you're climbing up the face of a mountain. You're holding on tightly. So it's something you're holding on to each other. You're not stuck together. You're glued together. You are holding on to each other so you leave and you cleave. You sever and you bond. You loosen and secure.

You depart from and attach to. And your spouse should be your best friend. That's so important because marriage really starts with a friendship and it should always be that friendship. You're not just business partners or lovers or parents or all the other things that you do. You are hopefully first and foremost friends.

How well do you know your spouse? There's an interesting verse to Malachi 2.13. It says the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth whom you have been faithless although she is your companion and wife.

Interesting. She's your companion and wife. And the word companion can be translated one you are united with in thoughts, goals, plans, and efforts. By the way, that's why you only want to marry a Christian. Look, marriage is hard enough being married to a Christian.

Okay, let's be honest about this. It's challenging. It's hard. But to marry a non-believer, how can you be united with a non-believer in thoughts, goals, plans, and efforts?

The answer is you can't unless the believer is disobeying God and is aligning themselves with the values of the non-believer. But this is very important. You're united together. And if you don't do this right, it will hinder your prayer life. Listen to this, husbands. First Peter 3.7 says, husbands, dwell with your wife with understanding, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel as being heirs together of the grace of life so your prayers will not be hindered. Wait, what? What? In other words, God is saying if you don't do this right, husbands, if you don't love your wife as you ought to, if you're not united with her, if you're not giving honor and respect to her, your prayers will be hindered.

So if you feel like your prayers haven't been going anywhere lately, maybe this is one of the reasons, you see. And by the way, to dwell with your wife doesn't mean to just live with her. It actually means to be aligned to and to give maintenance to. You've got to give maintenance to a marriage, just like you have to give maintenance to a car. And the problem is, is you know you buy a new car, and you know when you buy that new car you make all these vows.

I will never eat food in this car. I will wash this car every week. I will maintain this car, and then a month goes by, and then a year goes by, and then three years go by, and you're shuttling the kids back and forth, and you've done all the things you said you would never do, and you've neglected the engine, and you haven't changed the oil, and you haven't done the things that you need to do to keep a car running, and then the car starts sputtering and breaking down. Or even worse, you say, I'm tired of this old car. I want to get a new car, right? Or you might say, I'm tired of this old marriage, and I want to get a new marriage.

I want a new person. No, what you need to do is maintain the old car, if you will, and turn it into a classic. You know, when you see that, when you see a perfectly restored car cruising down the road, it's a thing of beauty. I used to have a 1957 Bel Air.

Now, some of you know what that is. I should have a picture to show you, but it's beautiful. It had the continental kit.

That means it just was decked out, gold trim. It's super cool. The problem was no one wanted to drive with me in this car. I would say to Kathy, let's go out for a drive. Oh, Greg, I don't like it. I feel like we're in a parade.

Okay. I'd pick up my son Jonathan after he surfed, Dad, do you have to bring that car? Everybody's looking at us. The only person I could get to drive in that car was my dog. So me and the dog had a night out.

You know, kind of sad. But that thing was in perfect running order. Original parts, matching numbers, everything. Then I sold it.

I regretted it afterwards. But it's a beautiful thing to see a perfectly restored car, and it's even a more beautiful thing to see a perfectly restored functioning marriage that has gotten stronger, not weaker, with the passing of time. So maintain maintenance. You know, we have something in our car called an idiot light. Maybe we need idiot lights in our marriage. Little warning, husbands, love your wife. When's the last time you told your wife you loved her? Or wives, respect your husband, stop nagging him.

Little warnings, that'd probably be a pretty good thing. C.S. Lewis put it this way, and I quote. He said, people get from books, and I would add from movies and TV as well, people get from books the idea that if you married the right person, you may expect to go on being in love forever, and as a result, they find they are not. Now, they think this proves that they made a mistake and they're entitled to a change, not realizing that when they have changed, the glamor will presently go out of the new love just as it went out with the old one. Lewis concludes, in this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last, but if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter, more lasting kind of interest, end quote.

Very well said. So you hang in there, and periodically, I must take stock of my marriage and ask myself the question, is there any relationship that is infringing on my relationship with my spouse? Or is there anything I'm engaged in that is taking away from my marriage?

Is this making my marriage weaker or is it making it stronger? Point number three, men hold the key to a happy and working marriage. Men hold the key to a happy and working marriage. Ephesians five, verse 25, read it with me. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with a washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and that she should be holy and without blemish. So, here's the conclusion. So, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, and he who loves his wife loves himself.

So important. You know, it's interesting to note that Paul has three times more to say to husbands than to wives. So gentlemen, start your engines.

Game on. See, in many marriage relationships, the husband is passive at best and sometimes even resistant. In so many marriages, the wives are the ones taking the initiative spiritually. But according to scripture, husbands should be taking point, husbands should be leading, husbands should be loving their wives as Christ loves the church.

They think, Greg, give me a break. Who can do that? Answer, no one without the help and power of the Holy Spirit, which I'll talk about in just a moment. But here's a simple test to determine whether you love your wife or not. Do you love her enough to not just live for her but to die for her, listen, and die to you? If you wanna love your wife, you've gotta die for what you want out of the marriage and start living for what you can give to the marriage.

Let me say that again. If you want to love your wife, you've got to die for what you want out of the marriage and live to what you can give to the marriage. A successful marriage is not finding the right person, it's being the right person. Okay, it's on you. And this is addressed to husbands and wives, by the way. Oh, he needs to do that, well, she needs to change this. That may all be true, start with you. You see, this is the idea. You put the needs of your mate above your own. You make it more about them than you make it about you.

But here's the cool thing. What does Paul tell us to do? Love your wife as Christ loves the church. We're the church, right? We're the bride of Christ. Why do we love Jesus right now?

The answer is found on the Bible, 1 John. We love Him because what? We love Him.

That's it. We love Him because He first loved us. Jesus took the initiative.

Jesus showed His love in a tangible way to us and because of that love, it won us over and we came out of our rebellious ways. In the same way, guys, you love your wife as Christ loves the church. She's gonna respond.

Treat her like a thoroughbred and she won't become a nag. That'll offend someone, I don't know. A woman is not a horse.

My answer is of course, of course. Unless it is a talking horse. These are old references to old TV shows, kids, so don't be alarmed.

I think Greg's losing his mind. He's talking about horses, calling women nags. No, I was saying treat her like a thoroughbred and she won't become a never mind. I believe men hold the key to a happy and blessed marriage.

That brings me to point number four. Doing marriage right requires constant communication. Doing marriage right requires constant communication. There are two times when a man does not understand a woman. Before marriage and after marriage.

So let's just get that out of the way. But without question, communication is the lifeblood of the marriage, talking with each other, listening to each other. A survey was done among divorced couples and they were asked why did their marriage fail? 86% said deficient communication.

So we need to learn how to communicate. I heard about a couple that was having marital problems so they went to see their pastor and they sat down in his office and he asked him a lot of questions. And after about 30 minutes he says, I think I've discovered the problem. He asked the wife to stand up.

Pastor came from behind his desk, walked over to the woman and gave her a hug. He looked at the man and he said, this is what your wife needs at least once a day. Husband said, great, what time do you want me to bring her back tomorrow?

So I think he missed a point, right? Guys, listen, you don't need to just hug your wife. You need to tell your wife you love her, right? When's the last time you told your wife you love her? You're gonna do it right now.

Husbands, look at your wife, look at them. Repeat these words after me. Repeat these words.

Greg is a handsome man. What do you say? Say that to me. But don't say that now.

Say, I hate it when preachers do stuff like this, don't you? No, seriously, just look at her. Tell her you love her. Oh, come on, I didn't hear it. Good. Give her a kiss. You have permission.

That's right, very good. See, women communicate in a much more fluid way than men. Sometimes we say, women are more emotional than men. We also say, women don't know how to park and men do.

Okay, the first point is wrong, the second, that's true still, no, I'm kidding. No, but women are not more emotional than men. They express their emotions differently than men. Men feel everything women feel, but we don't express it in the same way. I'll be honest, we're mystified by the way girls talk.

We'll watch girls talk like three girls, four girls, having a conversation simultaneously. That's not the way guys talk. The guy talks, hey, how's it going? Hey, pretty good. Hey, what are you doing?

Well, I don't know. That's a guy talking, right? Girls are talking and talking and all these things are happening and then they say, they're in a restaurant, let's all go to the bathroom together and off they go. A guy would never do that, ever. In fact, if we see each other in the bathroom, it's awkward.

Oh, hey, uh. But we have the emotions. I think it's easier in some ways, not always, but in some ways, for women to see they love each other than men, say to each other, I love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you. Guys say, ahem, love you, bro. And we give them a punch, you know, just don't want you to get the wrong idea, that's all. But husbands, listen. See, it's not that bad, guys, is it?

This message. But listen, you gotta tell her. Because I know that a guy, I know that I, to use an example, will look at my wife and I'll say, she looks so beautiful today. Man, I love the way she looks in that outfit.

Man, that was a fantastic meal. Boy, that was really encouraging what she said. I'll think it and not say it. She can't read my mind. So you need to say those things to her.

Verbalize it. I love what it says over in Proverbs 31, her children rise up and call her blessed. So kids, remember to honor your mom too. Tell your mother how much you appreciate her, call her blessed, but then it goes on to say, and her husband also praises her. Husbands, praise your wife, respect your wife, compliment your wife in front of the kids. Do it in front of other people. Let me tell you about my wife, she's so amazing. Listen, never criticize your spouse in front of others. Well, they need criticism.

That may be true. Learn the art of kicking them under the table instead. But don't say, my husband is so lazy or my wife is so that. No, don't ever do that.

You save that for a private conversation later. But you know, sometimes as time passes, we look at our spouse and say, wow, this isn't what I signed up for. Do you wives ever feel like you dated Dr. Jekyll and married Mr. Hyde? Is there any husband here that feel like you went to bed with Sleeping Beauty and woke up with the Wicked Witch of the West? One comedian said, my wife and I were happy for 20 years. One comedian said, my wife and I were happy for 20 years.

Then we met. So this is the problem. There's an old Arab proverb.

Now I didn't write this, don't get mad at me. It's an old one. Marriage begins with a prince kissing an angel and ends up with a bald-headed man looking across the table at a fat lady. Wow. Brutal. That's true in our marriage.

Not the woman part, but the guy part, right? So you know time changes. We say, well, I don't really like this man I married or this woman I married, but you need to hang in there. And I'll tell you why. Because the best is yet to come. You might say, well, how do you know?

I know. Listen to this. A study was done on couples who were having conflict but decided to stay together. Two-thirds of the unhappily married spouses who stayed married reported their marriages were happy five years later.

Most striking long-term studies demonstrated that two-thirds of those unhappy marriages will become happy within five years if the people stay married and don't get divorced. So hang in there. Weather the storm. Oh, it's so hard. Okay. This is where you need help. And that brings me to my last point.

Number six. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to be a good spouse. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to be a good spouse. So coming back to Ephesians five. Before Paul says, husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the church. Before he says, wives, respect your husbands and submit unto your husbands as unto the Lord. He says this, Ephesians 5 18.

Don't be drunk with wine because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves making music in your heart to the Lord. Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and submit one to another out of reverence for Christ. Underline that verse. Submit one to another out of reverence for Christ.

What does that mean? To submit means to get underneath. No, it's not just about a wife submitting to a husband. It's about a husband submitting to a wife.

Let me put it another way. It means that you're supporting her. You're helping her. You're supporting him.

You're helping him. It means to rank beneath the rank under so that servant leadership from the husband. This isn't about superiority or inferiority. It's about sacrifice. It's about putting your mate first, putting God first before them, of course, and then putting your mate first. So if you're a Spirit-filled person, you will think of others above yourself.

Now, we don't like the word submit. We don't like the idea of ranking under someone, but that's because we're selfish when we should be selfless. If I'm Spirit-filled, I'll put someone else above myself.

Most marriages fail because people don't do what the Bible says, and they make it all about themselves. So let me wrap this up. I'll talk about this more next time. Then I'm gonna talk to the wives a little bit, so husbands, make sure you come back with your wife. Wives, make sure you show up, all right?

It'll all be good. We gotta just get this sorted out in priorities in our life because I think sometimes people think marriage is going to make them happy. I think this was the problem with my mom, quite frankly. I mean, she could've just dated a lot of men, but she married them. Sometimes, without a lot of time before, they would just go get married. Seven times, she was thinking a man was gonna meet the deepest needs of her life. You know what my mother was really looking for? She was looking for Jesus.

And she found him toward the end of her life, though she had been raised in a Christian home. But we think, oh no, marriage is it. I'll be happy when I'm married. I just know I'll be happy, and then you get married. You go, wow, okay.

Well, I'm not so happy. Well, maybe I need, we need kids. Let's have kids.

You have kids. And you say, wow, they need to get rid of these kids. They need to move out there. They're like in their 40s, and they still live in the basement. What's going on?

They're on Twitter all the time, yeah. Then you get rid of the kids. They move out. Oh, well, you know, maybe we need to divorce and get remarried. Then you get remarried. Oh, wow, I thought this was gonna be better. It's actually worse than my first marriage.

And on and on it goes. Or the single person. Oh, if I just was married, I know I'd be happy. Now listen, everybody, single people, married people, every person, it's Jesus we're really looking for. This is the one we want.

This is the one we need. Just one little thought for the singles. We talked to you last time with Pastor Jonathan, but you know, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, he that is married cares for the things of his wife, and he that is single cares for the things of the Lord. And so if you don't understand what Paul is saying, you might say, wow, it's better to be single than married.

No, it's not better. It's just whatever God's called you to do, that's what he's called you to do. Some people are called to a life of singleness. Jesus was not married.

The apostle Paul was not married. And it may be that God's called you to a single life. And when you're single, you're mobile, you're flexible, you can do things that a married person frankly cannot do.

So when Paul says he that is married cares for the things of his wife or her husband and how they may please them, that's not a criticism. That's an observation of responsibility that comes with marriage. When you're married, you can't just run off and do whatever you want and live like a single dude. When you're married, you need to bring your wife into the conversation and get her opinion. You can't just go buy whatever or do whatever. Now it's a partnership, it's a union.

The two have become one. You have to think about your wife. You need to think about your kids. This is the responsibility given to you by God. But when you're single, you don't have those responsibilities weighing on you. So you have an ability to maybe do things that the married person could not do.

The simple takeaway truth is this. Just wherever God has called you to be in life, live in that space. Don't be the single person saying, if only I was married, I'm the married person.

If only I was single. No, you do what God has called you to do and put God first and you need the power of a spirit to pull all of this off. So I thought we would close by praying for that power in our life. You know, when we talk about being spirit-filled, I think sometimes we overly mystify it. Oh, the Holy Spirit. We have to say it like that. It's the Holy Spirit.

No, let's just get it out in the light of day. The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, wants to fill you. Good thing to do before you even get out of bed in the morning, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit.

Empower me with the Spirit. Lord, I can't be the husband you've called me to be without this power. Lord, the wife would say, I can't be the wife you've called me to be without this power.

The parents would say, Lord, we can't be the parents you want us to be without this power. We just can't do it. That's okay. Let him fill you with that power. Let's pray right now. Lord, fill us with the Holy Spirit. Why don't you pray that out loud. Pray, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit. Go, pray it.

Fill us, Lord. Help us to be the husbands. Help us to be the wives.

Help us to be the parents you've called us to be. Lord, we know how important marriage is. We know the devil hates it.

We know it's under attack. I pray for the group of people I'm speaking to right now and I pray that these marriages would be strengthened. I pray that divorce will not break any bond here among the folks that are gathered hearing this message.

We pray for our homes and we pray you will strengthen our homes and bless our homes and keep us close to you. Bless our marriages. Bless our families. Bless our singles. Bless every person here, every person watching and listening. Help us to be close to you. We commit ourselves to you now.

In Jesus' name we pray, amen. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 22:58:49 / 2022-12-28 23:15:00 / 16

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