March 28, 2023 3:00 am
Marriage was created by God. It’s a perfect union . . . of two imperfect human beings. So it’s no surprise that matrimony isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There are issues that arise that can frustrate the harmony in the home. But as we’ll learn today on A NEW BEGINNING, there are biblical principles that can restore the peace and tranquility that makes home feel like home. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie presents a message called How to Do Marriage Right. Insight we can put into practice today.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Everything I do during the wedding is not the only affirmation a wife ever needs. Pastor Greg Laurie reminds husbands to tell wives how they feel. Marriage was created by God. It's a perfect union of two imperfect human beings. So it's no surprise that matrimony isn't always rainbows and butterflies. There are issues that arise that can frustrate the harmony in the home. But as we'll learn today on A New Beginning, there are biblical principles that can restore the peace and tranquility that makes home feel like home. Today Pastor Greg Laurie presents a message called, How to Do Marriage Right. Insight we can put into practice today.
We are in a series, Am I Doing This Right? And we are talking about marriage and specifically I am going to zero in on husbands. 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 are so many passages I could turn to but I am going to start with Ephesians chapter 5 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 is point number one if you are taking notes. God created marriage.
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. Point number two. 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 is 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 5. Now you are 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. 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 am 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 5 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. 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 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. OK.
It's on you. 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. OK. We're the church.
Right? We're the bride of Christ. Why do we love Jesus right now? The answer is found in the Bible. First John. We love him because what?
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 going to 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 be coming.
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. 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.
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 going to 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. Don't say that.
Say I hate it when preachers do stuff like this don't you. No seriously. Just look at her. Tell her you love her. Good.
Give her a kiss. You have permission. That's right. Very good. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody what are you doing this weekend. I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. What is Harvest at Home. It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place. So you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.
Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we're learning about the importance of communication in marriage. Pastor Greg is helping us learn how to do marriage right.
Let's continue. 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. 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. In fact 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. But we have the emotions. I think it's easier in some ways.
Not always but in some ways. For women to say 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 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 got to tell her. Because I know that a guy.
I know that I to use an example. Well 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. Never 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. Then we met.
So this is the problem. So you know time changes. We say well I don't really like this man I've married or this woman I've 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 in 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 5. 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 son of 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 going to talk to the wives a little bit. So husbands make sure you come back with your wife. Wives make sure you show up.
Alright. It'll all be good. We've got to just get this sorted out in priorities in our life.
Because I think sometimes people think marriage is going to make them happy. And then you get married. You go wow okay.
Well I'm not so happy. We need kids. Let's have kids. You have kids.
And you say wow. You 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 going to 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.
No 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. 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 and the married person.
If only I was single. Though you do what God has called you to do and put God first and you need the power of the Spirit to pull all of this off. Great insight today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie has brought us a message called How to Do Marriage Right. And as he mentioned there's more marriage insight coming next time. And he has one more comment from the message today before we go.
So stay tuned. Over to you Pastor Greg. I'm speaking with Randy Alcorn and he has written a book called Heaven for Kids that we're offering to our listeners for their gift of any size. You know there's some misconceptions about heaven.
I've heard it said, in fact it was said to me after our son Christopher went to be with the Lord 14 years ago. Well God must have needed another angel in heaven. We don't really become angels when we get to heaven.
Maybe you could address that. Are we different than angels? Do people become angels?
How does that all work? Right that is a huge misconception. And there's one verse when taken out of context that I think people have used to support that idea. And that's when Jesus said that in the resurrection we will not be married or given in marriage but we will be like the angels. Okay that's just one specific sense in which we'll be like the angels and in terms of not being married. But he's not saying we'll be angels. There's many aspects in which we are like angels and that we're intelligent beings and communicative and all of that. But they're not made in the image of God. We're not angels. Never in the Bible do you have people with wings and hails around their head and you know all of that.
People are different. We are God's image bearers. We will be that for all eternity. So you don't become an angel when you die if somebody says well oh yeah my loved one died and now they're my guardian angel.
That's just not biblical. It's wonderful what we will be. We will be redeemed human beings forever. And we will get to know angels and probably some who were our guardian angels. I think Nancy told me just within a few months of dying, my wife Nancy, that she said you know what? I can't wait to meet my guardian angel or any angels that were assigned to me that will have such great stories to tell me of what happened behind the scenes and what nearly happened that they rescued me from.
That's right. Well those are just some of the insights you'll find in this book that we're offering you this month for your gift of any size to Harvest Ministries and our radio broadcast A New Beginning. It's called Heaven for Kids written by that guy you were just listening to.
His name is Randy Alcorn. You're going to love this book. Yeah, you will. And what a great resource to help your kids or your grandkids understand what's waiting for them in eternity, especially if they're asking those questions, especially if a friend or loved one has recently passed away. What an important tool to help you give them perspective. And we'll be happy to send this important resource to thank you for your investment and keeping these insights coming your way each day here on A New Beginning. So contact us today for your copy of Heaven for Kids.
We won't be mentioning Randy's book much longer, so get in touch right away. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here around the clock to take your call, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, as Pastor Greg mentioned, he'll direct his biblical counsel to wives. More from the series Am I Doing This Right? But before we go, Pastor Greg closes this way. 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. 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. Amen. Visit us at harvest.org.
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