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How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2022 3:00 am

How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 23, 2022 3:00 am

In this Sunday episode, Pastor Greg Laurie concludes his current series, Am I Doing This Right? with a message titled “How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage.” Listen in and learn how to strike the word “divorce” from your vocabulary and put your spouse first in all things.


“I would give my entire fortune for one happy marriage.” —J. Paul Getty

If you do not work on making your marriage stronger, it will slowly but surely die.

1. Selfishness (one word to sum up what breaks most marriages apart).

The problem more likely is you.

Marriage is not about finding the right person but being the right person.

People are so obsessed with themselves.

The origins of sin, selfishness, and the focus on ourselves came from the fall.

“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” —Genesis 3:16

The term desire means to, “compel, impel, urge, or seek control over.”

(Same word used when the Lord warned Cain later in Genesis.)

Sin wanted to master Cain, but God commanded Cain to master sin!

God is saying to Eve, as a result of sin, “you will want to control the man.”

God is saying to Adam, “You will want to rule over and dominate the woman.”

The curse on Eve (and woman) would be a desire to control man.

The curse on Adam (and men) would be the desire to control women.

2. Communication breakdown.

Learn to listen.

“Only a fool answers a matter before he has heard it.” —Proverbs 18:13

Avoid raising your voice.

If you feel anger building (if necessary) walk away.

Once you have had your disagreement, try to find a resolution, and then forgive!

Fight to resolve, not to win.

3. Adultery.

Sow a thought, reap an act.

Sow an act, reap a character.

Sow a character, reap a destiny.

In the New Testament, there are 26 references to Pornea.

  1. Our bodies are not made for it (1 Corinthians 6:13).
  2. We should not seek it out (1 Corinthians 7:2).
  3. We should run from it (1 Corinthians 6:18).

You do incredible damage to yourself.

“When adultery walks in, everything worth having walks out.”

You do incredible damage to your spouse; trust is broken.

You do incredible damage to your children.

You do damage to the church.

You do great damage to your witness and the cause of Christ.

You sin against the Lord Himself.

Note: They said, “Command.” Jesus said, “Permitted.”

1. Divorce is allowed when sexual immorality takes place.

Immorality is not only grounds for divorce; it is also grounds for forgiveness.

2. The only other reason God gives for divorce: desertion.

“Am I loving my wife as Christ loves the church?”

“Am I respecting my husband and submitting to his leadership?”

“Am I denying myself and putting the needs of my mate above my own?”

1. Walk with God.

2. Walk with your spouse.

3. Do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.

4. Count the cost.

Jesus responded, “Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!”

Scripture Referenced

James 4:1–2

2 Timothy 3:1–2

Genesis 4:7

Ephesians 5:28

Philippians 2:3–5

James 1:19

Ephesians 4:31–32

Ephesians 4:26

Matthew 5:27–28

1 Corinthians 6:16–18

1 Corinthians 7:13, 15 


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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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 Today is the last message in our family series called Am I Doing This Right? And the title of this message is How to Divorce Proof Your Marriage. And I want you to turn to Matthew chapter 19. Matthew chapter 19.

How to divorce proof your marriage. Okay, now I already saw some hands go up, but let me take a quick poll. How many of you are married today? Okay, raise your hand up.

Okay, that's great, great. Let's pray. Father, I pray for every marriage represented here and in every campus and those watching online. I pray for these marriages, that this message will strengthen them.

That they will learn things they can do to make their marriage stronger than it's ever been before. So we ask your blessing on this time of Bible study and we ask it all in Jesus' name, amen. I want to say also good morning to Harvest Orange County and Harvest Kumalani on the island of Maui. I was just there last Sunday. It was great to be with everyone on our Maui campus.

It was great being there, great being home now. So how to divorce proof your marriage. Okay, I heard about a husband and wife celebrating 25 years of marriage together. They gathered family and friends for a special celebration. And in front of everyone, the husband announced, my dear wife, you've been such a great wife for these 25 years.

And it's my way of saying how much I thank you and for giving me these 25 happy years. I'm gonna take you to Australia. She was so excited, Australia. I've never been there before, koala bears, kangaroos, shrimps on the barbie, I can hardly wait. And then she said, if you're gonna take me to Australia for 25 years of marriage, what are you gonna do for our 50th anniversary? He dryly said, that's when I will pick you up.

Okay, so that's not a good sign, right? One of the wealthiest men who ever lived, J. Paul Getty, once said this, and I quote, I would give my entire fortune for one happy marriage. I don't know if he ever found it. You don't have to be the richest man or woman in the world to have a happy marriage. You need to do it God's way. Now, I wanna talk about how to divorce-proof your marriage. Now, this isn't 100%. And actually, at the end of my message, I'll tell you what the Bible says about divorce, and there are allowances in Scripture for divorce, but that's the last place we wanna go.

We wanna do everything we can to prevent that. And God, in His Word, tells us how to have a strong and long-lasting and happy marriage. But there's God's part, and there's my part. You see, after you say, I do, there's a lot more to do. If love is a dream, then marriage is the alarm clock.

And we need to get real and get down to the real business of building a strong marriage. You could liken it to a garden. You know, you have to take care of a garden. You have to tend it.

You have to weed it. You have to water your plants and so forth. Or you could liken it to other things that are there in life, that your body, for instance. You know, if you neglect your body, it will break down even more.

It's already gonna break down, right? But you can make it worse by absolute neglect. So you have to take care of yourself physically. You need to tend your garden, and you need to do the same for your marriage. A comedian once said, quote, the secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. Is that true?

I don't think so. There are secrets, if you will. They're openly disclosed, but they're found on the pages of the Bible. So first we have to identify the threats against our marriage. You know, the Bible says in the book of Song of Solomon, it's the little foxes that spoil the vines.

It's often little things that are left neglected that turn into big things that begin to undermine and eat away at a marriage. We have a problem with squirrels at our house. And being Halloween almost, we put some pumpkins out in front of our house.

Don't judge me for that. I know some people get very upset about these things. And the squirrels are eating our pumpkins. And so we got some fake pumpkins. But you know, they're always coming in and nibbling away.

The little foxes that spoil the vines, the little squirrels that eat the pumpkins. I actually read this news article just last week about a guy who kissed a cobra and filmed it for social media. Kissed a cobra.

What could possibly go wrong? You guessed it. The cobra turned around and bit him in the face. And sadly, he's not the only guy doing this sort of thing. A herpetologist is someone who's an expert on reptiles. Actually, when I was a little boy, I wanted to become a herpetologist. But this guy said of this man and others, he said others like this dude are publicity hungry and do something crazy like freehandling the snakes, putting it around their neck, or kissing it. We know of at least 25 of them fatally bitten over the last five years.

So craziness to kiss a cobra. But this is what happened to Eve in the Garden of Eden. She was sort of entertaining the serpent, if you will.

And she underestimated the power of sin and how fatal can be. So what are some of the threats against our marriage? Some of these I stated in an earlier message.

Some of these I've not stated yet, but you might want to take notes. Number one threat to your marriage, one word, selfishness. Selfishness. If you were to sum up in one word what breaks most marriages apart, it would be this. Selfishness. I go into the marriage thinking marriage is going to make everything better, or this man or this woman is going to solve all of my problems, et cetera. We literally think this mate of ours is going to meet all of our needs. And it's time to look in the mirror. Because in time you might start blaming your mate for all of the problems in your marriage. But look in the mirror and you might find that the problem is you. James 4, 2 says, where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from?

Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way and fight for it deep inside yourself.

That's it. I want my way. You can't have your way. I want my way.

And this battle of the wills begins. I've said before that marriage is not so much about finding the right person as it is about being the right person. But we live today in a self-absorbed culture, a selfie culture. We're so obsessed with ourselves.

And did you know that the Bible said there would actually be a sign of the last days? 2 Timothy 3 says, know this, in the last days there would be difficult times for people with love only themselves. And that's what it seems like today. We've lost our moral boundaries.

Everyone just does whatever the heck they want to do and it's becoming a form of chaos. And this all goes back to the Garden of Eden. The origins of sin and selfishness started there. And after Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and gave to Adam, and he also ate, part of the judgment because of the curse of sin was this. God said to Adam and Eve, your desire, he said to her, will be to your husband and he shall rule over you.

Your desire, again, will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Now sometimes that's quoted in a positive way. Actually think of that as a warning. God's saying because of sin, this is what's going to happen. The word used here for desire means to compel, impel, urge, or seek control over you. Here's what God is saying. As part of the curse, Eve, you are going to try to control the man. But then to the man, he said, you'll have dominion or you'll rule over her.

Again, it's not positive, it's negative. He is saying, and the man will try to dominate the woman. This is where the battle of the sexes began. The curse on Eve, if you will, was a desire to control the man. The curse on Adam was to control the woman. So this is where this conflict comes from that we have to this very day.

So what's the antidote? It's to do what the Bible says. Instead of be selfish, be selfless. God says to the husbands in Ephesians 5, husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the church. And the husband, love his wife as his own body, and he who loves his wife loves himself.

Notice it's a given there. It's not saying you need to love yourself more. It's assumed that you already love yourself.

You do love yourself, by the way, and I love myself. So it's just saying love your wife as much as you love yourself. And how do you do that, men? By laying your life down for her.

By putting her needs above your own. Philippians 2 says, don't be selfish. Don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble. Thinking of others is better than yourselves. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others too.

So it's putting her needs first, but ladies, it's you putting his needs first. Selfishness, number one. Number two, what causes marriages to break down? Deficient communication. A communication breakdown. In a survey that was done among divorced couples, they were asked, why did your marriage fail?

86% of them said, deficient communication. Couples need to learn how to resolve conflicts. How to fight fair. How to disagree agreeably. Because conflicts are going to arise.

So you need, first of all, to learn how to listen. James 1.19 says, let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. But the problem is, we do the opposite.

We're quick to anger, quick to speak, and slow to listen. So when your wife or your husband has a problem, instead of cutting them off, saying, I don't want to talk about it, you need to say, all right, tell me what's troubling you. And even if you think it's utterly ridiculous, hear them out. Understand what they're saying.

Maybe you don't intend what you're doing to be what it is to them, but that's how they're perceiving it. So work it out, avoid raising your voice. If you feel rage boiling up inside of you, you need to walk away, and you want to resolve this. Ephesians 4.31 says, get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and all types of evil behavior.

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ruth Graham, the wife of Billy Graham, once said, a good marriage is made up of two good forgivers. And you have to learn how to forgive, how to keep short accounts, how to not bring up things that happened 20 years ago.

Well, I remember 20 years ago you said this, or you did that, no, no, no. So we want to work these things out and find a resolution. Ephesians 4.26 says, don't let the sun go down in your anger. So don't go to bed angry at each other.

Fight to resolve, not to win. Okay, number three, big threat against our marriages. Adultery, adultery. It's so significant, I mean, God's top 10, when he says, you shall not commit adultery, is one of the 10 commandments, and we all know someone who has fallen into the sin. I'm probably speaking to someone right now that has fallen into it, or maybe your mate was unfaithful to you, or you know of a family that was devastated by adultery. Can you imagine how different America would be if we obeyed this one single commandment?

Watch, that's the other nine, just this one. Don't commit adultery if we remain faithful to each other, but it's so widespread in the culture today. Unfaithfulness is one of the greatest threats against marriage. 40 to 50% of all married men, according to some studies, have had extramarital affairs.

And the girls again, yeah, you guys are such dogs. Well, the ladies are catching up. The numbers for women being unfaithful to their husbands is higher than ever. Today, while only 19% of married women knew their husbands cheated on them, 41% of the women cheated.

So it's happening on both sides these days. Solomon warned about this, about immorality, going to the house of the prostitute when he says in Proverbs 7, 24, listen to me, my sons, pay attention to my words. Don't let your heart stray away toward her. Don't wander down her wayward path. Her home is the road to the grave, and her bedroom is the den of death. Wow.

Her bedroom is the den of death. Now Jesus took it to another level. In the Sermon on the Mount, he pointed out that the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. So he said in Matthew 5, 27, you've heard that it's said by Moses, don't commit adultery. But I say if you even look on a woman with lust in your eyes, you've already committed adultery with her in your heart. Whoa, okay. And this phrase that he uses, looks at a woman, does not mean a casual glance, not incidental or involuntary.

It's intentional. It actually speaks of repeated gazing. Jesus is not speaking of things that you're exposed to, that you don't want to be exposed to, but where a person goes out of their way to look at something or engage in something or look at a woman or look at a man in a way that will arouse them lustfully. And you give the devil a foothold. This is why Job said, I've made a covenant with my eyes to not look lustfully at a girl. Because everything starts in the mind.

Everything starts right here. It's been said, sow a thought, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.

So we want to think about what we think about. Remember what happened to David, the king of Israel. We looked at this in our series, House of David. He was up on his balcony kicking back and he saw a beautiful woman named Bathsheba, ironically bathing herself.

He looked at her and began to lust after her and then acted on it. It started with a lustful look and it became a national scandal and the Israeli press came in and he said to all of them, I never had sex with that woman. No, they didn't.

Said that. Wrong story. How many of you got that joke? Raise your hand. How many of you didn't get it? Like what was he doing?

What was that voice? Everyone got it. A few people maybe didn't get it. But today I'm telling you it's insane and you know this already. Sexual temptation is everywhere. It's a mouse click away. It's a swipe away.

It's so accessible. Pornography is a real problem in the culture today. I read about one porn site receiving over 33.5 billion site visits in one year alone.

Revenues from pornography exceed all of those of professional football, baseball, basketball franchises combined. So it's right there and it damages you. You say no, it doesn't really hurt you. It's okay.

No, it's not okay. I actually read an article where a neuroscientist said that it sort of remaps your brain because of a release of endorphins and things that it can do to cause an imbalance and the result is it damages your mind and produces greater depression and poor mental health but it damages your soul too. The Bible talks about this. The word pornography comes from the Greek word porneia and in the New Testament there are 26 references to porneia and we find out that our bodies are not made for it. 1 Corinthians 6, 13. I've got the references on the screen.

You may want to look them up later. We should not seek it. 1 Corinthians 7, 2. And we should run from it, 1 Corinthians 6, 18. And finally, we should repent of it because it is sin. Don't engage in this sin because once you start, you're just creating a greater problem and it's like you're pouring gasoline on a fire and it warps your ideas of what sex should be and can be in a proper marriage relationship. It's just bad on every level.

Why is it bad? Well, number one, you damage yourself because when you're living in a world of sexual sin or even fantasizing about it or constantly thinking about it, you're damaging your own life, you're hurting yourself and you're actually in a state of sin and it's been said, quote, when adultery walks in, everything worth having walks out, end quote. It's a pretty powerful quote. You say, well, if I commit adultery, I know it's a sin but God will forgive me.

Yes, he will. Isn't that good news? But others won't as quickly and you may have to face the repercussions of that. People say, well, it was nothing. It was innocent. It was a one-night stand. It didn't mean anything.

No, it means a lot. Actually, the apostle Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians that when you engage in sexual relations with a prostitute, you become one flesh with her, you see? Because sex is designed to fulfill and complete that sense of oneness that happens when a man and a woman come together in marriage. So when you go and engage in sexual relations with someone else besides your spouse, you enter into sort of a oneness with that person and it violates your oneness and it breaks with your spouse and it breaks down the trust in the marriage relationship. So well, it was a mistake and we all make mistakes.

Yeah, it was a mistake but it was worse. It was a sin and it needs to be repented of. Another thing that happens is you damage your children because when there's adultery, they look at you and I talk to these families. I said, be a good example for your kids. If you wanna find a surefire way to turn your, listen to this. If you wanna find a surefire way to turn your children against God, be a hypocrite in your home.

Nothing works better. In some ways, it would almost be better for a child to not be raised in a so-called Christian home and I wanna qualify that but it would be better to not be raised in a so-called Christian home than to be raised without any biblical values because when they see you say one thing and do another, that says to them, this isn't real. It means nothing to me and a lot of times when you hear of young people who are walking away from their faith or deconstructing their faith or doubting their faith foundation, it's because they saw hypocrisy in the home. Don't go there. Think about it.

Count the cost for that momentary pleasure and it's questionable how much of a pleasure it will even be, think of the cost that could literally last for a lifetime. Coming back to David, he was engaged in adultery and his children repeated his behavior. The Bible talks about the sins of the parents being visited on the children.

That's not speaking of some mysterious generational curse that goes from family to family. It's simply saying your children will repeat your behavior, both positive and negative. So you live a godly life.

Let's pray they repeat that behavior. You live a godless life. Unfortunately, they will repeat that behavior as well and you damage the church. You know the Bible says when one of us suffers, we all suffer and when one of us is exalted, we're all exalted and so when one of us, maybe it's a leader, it could be a pastor, it could be a well-known Christian, whoever it is, when they fall, then people say, oh wow, look, they're all hypocrites. This is what Nathan the prophet said when he went into the house of David, the court of David, I should say. He says you've sinned against God and you've given the enemies opportunity to blaspheme.

You've given ammo to the devil to use against us. Don't go there. Don't let that happen to you. Well, I can't fight it.

You can fight it. There's no temptation taking you, but such is as common to men and God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above your capacity to resist, but what with the temptation, make a way of escape. So there's always a way out of every temptation and finally, you sin against the Lord himself. This should be the primary reason we should not commit adultery, not just because it will hurt our wife or our husband or our kids or our reputation or the church. No, the main thing should be, oh, I don't wanna do this thing against God.

We talk about David and what he did, but there's the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis who was also tempted sexually and he resisted that temptation and ran from it and I love what Joseph said when he said, how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? Okay, so there's really the most serious threat against marriage of all is divorce. Let's see what Jesus said about divorce.

It's very quiet in this room, isn't it? Okay. I know this is a very heavy subject.

I'll try to make some stupid jokes sometime soon. Matthew 19, verse seven. They asked Jesus, why did Moses commend to give a certificate of divorce and put her away? He said, Moses, because of the hardness of your heart, permitted you to divorce your wives.

I would underline two words, command and permit. Why did Moses command, they said, to give a certificate of divorce? He says, no, actually because of the hardness of your heart, he permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so and I say to you, whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery, whoever marries her who is divorced, commits adultery. So they said command, he said permit. Why did Moses command divorce?

Oh, hold on, guys. He never commanded it, all right? He permitted it and why?

Because of the hardness of your heart. See, in this culture, women were really mistreated and this is why it's so absurd to say that the Bible is against women or that the authors of scripture were misogynists and chauvinists. Now give me a break, it's the very opposite. The Bible elevated the woman to her rightful place and this culture, even in Jewish culture, a woman could be divorced for almost any reason and she could be thrown out of the house and falsely accused and have no means of income or anything and so it's allowed under certain circumstances. When is divorce allowed? Divorce is allowed when sexual immorality takes place. Verse nine, Matthew 19, if you divorce your wife except for sexual immorality. So if one of the spouses has been unfaithful sexually, that is technically grounds for divorce. It also technically is grounds for forgiveness.

Every effort should be made to restore a marriage and examine the steps that led to this and then put into place some preventative measures. And so it doesn't mean you must divorce but there is an allowance given in scripture by Jesus himself. The other reason divorce is allowed is desertion, desertion. First Corinthians 7, 13, it says if a Christian woman has a husband who's an unbeliever and he's willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.

That's very important. Because sometimes Christian wives find themselves married to non-Christian men and vice versa. They think well God wants me to divorce them and remarry a Christian. No, actually even if you're married to a non-believer and I don't know how you found yourself in that place, maybe you just said I'm gonna marry this guy or this girl even though they're not a Christian or maybe you became a Christian after you got married. Whatever it is, if you're married to a non-believer, you shouldn't leave them because of that alone. We already talked about what it says in first Peter three, without a word, seek to win them by the way that you live, wives. But then he goes on, first Corinthians 7, 15, but if a husband or a wife who isn't a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases, a Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them for God wants his children to live in peace. So if one of the mates says I'm done with this marriage, I don't wanna be married to you anymore, I'm walking out and I'm never coming back again, you are not required to remain in that relationship. You are free later to remarry.

Now you may still attempt reconciliation and try to work it out somehow, but it happens. It's interesting though, I don't read anything about irreconcilable differences in the Bible. And that's why many marriages are broken up today, irreconcilable differences. And I've said jokingly before, I've had irreconcilable differences with my wife for 50 years.

We're very different people, we couldn't be more different. She likes certain things, I like other things. She's very neat, I'm quite messy. She's sometimes late, I'm often early.

She's cute, I'm fat, what can you do? Look, it's irreconcilable, all right. Now I'm saying this jokingly, but in reality, you're always gonna have differences. So these are the two allowances given by Jesus. Now there's a lot more here, and I literally can't deal with it all from a message, okay. So sometimes you need to get biblical counseling and look at what your particular situation is and there's also a whole nother thing you could do on the topic of separation.

Because for instance, if you're in a home where a husband or a wife is abusive and they're hurting you or the children, under no circumstances are you required to stay in that dangerous environment. So there could be cause for separation, but separation is always done with the hope of ultimate reconciliation. It's not like a half divorce, it's like okay, we're gonna separate and I want you to be accountable for your actions and I want you to get your life sorted out and you need to get biblical counseling and then hopefully we can come back together in a marriage and I've seen this work, but again, this requires biblical counsel, I can't deal with it all here, but let me tell you an interesting story. I received a letter from a listener to our radio broadcast, A New Beginning.

They write, dear Greg, I've been listening to your program for 15 years. I was struggling with a marriage that was not going very well. I've been married for 25 years, but my husband and I got a divorce.

However, I was listening to your marriage series and I was able to grow and be changed and I learned how to love my husband again in a way I never knew was possible and were married again for the last five years. Isn't that great? So. There's hope, you see. She got remarried to her husband that she divorced. Isn't that great? So we need to divorce proof our marriages and I read an article a while ago about one of the wildfires here in California.

They happen every summer. And there was an entire neighborhood that was burned to the ground lying in charred rubble, but yet in the middle of all of these burned out homes, one home survived it all. It did not burn. It was darkened a bit by the smoke, but it escaped unscathed and the man who had built the house was interviewed. Like, why did your house stand when all the others burned to the ground? Here's what he said, quote, we went beyond what was required and made it even safer. They said, well, what did you do? He said, well, we had double-paned windows, extra thick stucco walls, sealed eaves, a concrete tile roof, and abundant insulation. So the firefighters came in, they said, this house, this is where we're gonna make a stand.

And so that's where they started to fight the fire and the house survived. I'm asking you to make a stand today. Only you can do this. I can't do this for you.

We can't all do this for you. You men, you women, you families, you marriages say, I'm making a stand today. This house is not going to capitulate to this culture. This house is gonna stand for Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ. As Joshua said, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Christ is the head of this home. And we're gonna seek to do what the Bible says, not perfectly, not flawlessly, but we're making a stand here.

So it's always a good idea to sort of make sure the brush is cleared, dead trees removed, dry grass removed from the perimeter of your home, deny the wildfire the handy fuel it needs to race towards your home even faster. You say, well, my marriage would never fail. Oh, it could, but it doesn't have to. So periodically, ask yourself some hard questions. Husbands, you ask yourself, am I loving my wife as Christ loves the church?

Let me just give you the answer. No, you aren't. And by that, I mean you can always do better and I include myself in that. Number two, why, as you ask yourself the question, am I respecting my husband? Am I submitting to his loving servant leadership? Thirdly, am I denying myself and putting the needs of my mate above my own? You might ask yourself, are there any flammable materials, so to speak, that are laying around my marriage?

Is there a relationship I'm involved in that could put distance between my mate and myself? A practical note, guys, you can't have a best friend that's a girl unless it's your wife, okay? Wives, you can't have a best friend that's a guy if it's not your husband. Now, I was with my granddaughter, Allie, recently and she said, Papa, are you my best friend? I said, I am. So in that case, it's okay, all right? So I have another best friend who's my granddaughter. But here's the point, though.

It just doesn't work practically. You see, most affairs happen in the workplace, people you work with, people you interact with and then you become involved with socially, then you become buddies and maybe you're texting or you're communicating. Oh, well, we're just friends, we're just friends.

So be very careful. Is there any relationship you're involved in that could put distance between you and your mate? Your husband, your wife should be your best friend. They should be your confidant. They should be the one you're in constant communication with, right?

So keep that in mind. Here's another thing. Is there any activity I'm involved in that drives my wife and I apart? Maybe it's something the guy does. She says, I wish you wouldn't do that so much. Wish you would spend more time with me.

Or he says the same to her. Or are you leaving and cleaving? Remember, we learned that in the first message. For this God shall amend, leave his father and mother and cleave her, be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. And remember that the word cleave means to hold onto or to be glued together. So we're holding onto each other and building our marriage on the Lord.

And are we doing what the Bible says? Look, in conclusion, life is short. Life is short.

It goes by so quickly. And one day, you're gonna be sitting on the front porch in your rocker in your retirement or maybe in a convalescent home or maybe even lying on your death bed. And you're gonna reflect back on your life. And I'll tell you what, your career won't matter much at that point. How many objects you own won't matter.

In fact, the challenge will be, who am I gonna give all this stuff to, right? When you look at all your accomplishments, here's what's gonna matter. Were you faithful to your spouse? Did your marriage last? Do you have a family? Maybe you didn't have children.

Maybe you did. But you have this legacy. You're leaving and that is a great accomplishment. Don't lose this.

So here's some practical steps in closing to protect yourself and your family. Number one, walk with God. This is the most important thing. Walk with God. Walk with God each and every day.

I feel like if you walk with God, everything else finds its proper place. You know, love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. And then Jesus says, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we'll say love your wife or your husband. So really, if you love God as you ought to, you'll love your wife as you should. You'll love your husband as you ought to. You'll love your children. Walk with God.

David fell into this sin and he wasn't walking with God at that particular time in his life. Two, spend time with your spouse or walk with your spouse. Cultivate communication. Cultivate romance. Don't rest on your laurels.

The best defense is a good offense. Thirdly, don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Avoid all relationships that are flirty or could lead to something else.

Avoid friendships that would encourage such activity. And count the cost. Count the cost because if you go down this road and you end up in adultery or divorce or whatever it is, it's gonna be a sad, difficult path for you.

You say, well, wow, Craig, I, okay. But what about the person who's committed adultery? What about the person who's divorced?

So I guess they're just failures and they oughta just hang their head in shame and go stand in the corner, right? Well, look, God gives second chances, okay? He forgives.

And if you failed, you need to ask for his forgiveness. Remember that woman who was caught in the actual act of adultery and they threw her before Jesus? I don't know where the guy was. There was a guy involved, clearly.

But they took it all out on her and there she is and they said, the law says she should be stoned. What do you say? We all remember Jesus stooped down and rode in the sand. We don't know what he wrote but the Bible says they left from the eldest to the youngest which causes me to think he might have put a name down and written maybe what their secret sin was and so everyone was gone and he looks at the woman and he says, woman, where are your accusers?

And what I find interesting is the word he uses for woman, it was a term of respect, almost as though he said, ma'am or lady. Lady, ma'am, where are your accusers? She says, I have none, Lord. He says, neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. He forgave her and he gave her a second chance and God will give you a second chance as well but stop excusing it.

Stop blaming others for it. Assume full responsibility and ask for his forgiveness and the Lord will give it to you but every one of us needs the forgiveness of God because every one of us breaks God's commandments and we fall short of his standards. So I'd like to close by asking the Lord to strengthen our families and strengthen our marriages and help each one of us to have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. So let's all pray. Father, I pray now for every family represented here wherever they are, every marriage. Lord, strengthen it. Lord, we wanna make this stand here. Do not let these marriages unravel.

We know so many of the problems in our culture today and in our nation are because of broken homes. Let us have a strong home, not just a home holding together but a vibrant, happy home that is a powerful testimony to a lost world and if there's marital problems represented here right now, help, Lord, each one to do their part and put the needs of their mate above their own and help us, Lord, all to walk with you and forgive us of our sins and there might be somebody here today that has never asked Jesus Christ to come into their life to be their Savior and Lord and it all starts here and if you've never asked Jesus to come into your life, why don't you just pray this prayer after me? In fact, why don't we all just pray it out loud together? Just pray these words, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-13 19:46:15 / 2022-11-13 20:03:26 / 17

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