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The Goal Is Holiness, Not Happiness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 13, 2020 1:00 am

The Goal Is Holiness, Not Happiness Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 13, 2020 1:00 am

There’s good evidence in the Bible that marriage is designed more to develop character than to ensure a lifetime of bliss. When the rough spots come, and they will, what are couples to take from those experiences?

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Looking to Jesus. There is good evidence in the Bible. Marriage is more about developing character than ensuring a lifetime of when the rough spots come and they will water couples to take those experiences today of Frank ghost of married reality church in Chicago this one sir finish line delete certain some people see marriage as a ticket to an endless honeymoon. Tell us why you preached today's message.

The goal is holiness, not happiness, Dave.

I wish that all of us understood that indeed the goal is holiness and not happiness. The simple fact is, I've heard someone say that we always married the wrong one. In other words, we look around and we think should I have married this person because you have two centers coming together in a commitment that sometimes is strained, but how desperately we need the message that were going to be turning to in just a moment, today's the last day that were offering the book entitled, when a nation forgets God.

The seven lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany. Some of the lessons have to do with the economy law, the role of law that which is legal might also be evil propaganda, and especially if you're a parent very important. A chapter on how the state reared children in Nazi Germany and actually cut off the responsibilities and the obligation of parents great lessons.

Lessons that we must learn if we don't want to go in the same direction. The book is entitled when a nation forgets God. The seven lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany for a gift of any amount.

This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Now let's go to the pulpit of Moody church where we learn again what marriage is really all about. Well, from time to time.

I share either letters or comments with you and by the way last week's message did receive. I did receive emails and comments that are very encouraging of couples who are in great need, who are finding the whole, but how do you like this. I feel like a thing is my conversation so unintelligible that I'm not worth talking to, I could be a post in the ground for all he bothers to communicate with me. I feel as if I don't know my husband. He's been hiding from me years. Some time ago a woman told me she says my husband is as old press that there's a guard at Auschwitz this past week I spent 3 1/2 hours with a friend of mine whose wife left him.

I spent time encouraging him praying with him and what happened in his side of the story is simply this, that even though he tried to be her servant. He was not able to create for her the perfect world that she really wanted furthermore that because of some abuse that she had endured in previous relationship. She not only didn't tell want to be involved in any conflict avoided it emotionally and then physically she decided to leave you see in a marriage like that any risk of getting on to something that is touchy or controversial is impossible because you can't take that risk.

If someone does not want to work through conflict and today I want to explode.

The most common myth that there is about marriage and the most common myth is simply this, that good marriages don't have conflict if I had married the right one. Why, indeed, we wouldn't be having fights and arguments we'd be getting along just perfectly so because I married the wrong one. Where is the escape hatch.

I'm here to tell you that almost all marriages have conflict.

The difference between fulfilling marriages and unfulfilling ones are, how they relate to con and how they work out their differences. You can be here today and you can hate your mate and if you listen carefully, God will teach you how to love and you too can have a fulfilling marriage. If you meet certain requirements that will get into in just a moment, but you see, we expect too much from marriage.

We have our sites fire to hide their people who expect marriage to do what only God is able to do and so here's the scenario.

Here's a woman who marries a klutz it's a good word. I checked it in the dictionary. I he self absorbed.

He can't feel anything for anybody else but he feels his own heard very deeply, but he is a Christian.

At least he attends church and has a good job so she marries him she marries an unhappy, self-centered man and she expects this self-centered and noble things to make her happy, to an unhappy man make you happy.

He's failing at it isn't a then you have a man who marries a flighty woman. She's the life of the party. Everybody likes her. She is often times the object of attention and furthermore, she's pretty and because he can see a lot better than he can think he decides that he's going to marry her. But he hadn't counted on something because her father left her when she was a teenager she had a lot of unacknowledged anger that she had never dealt with and he gets married and now he discovers that she has two Pullman freight cars full of baggage and he doesn't know how to handle it and pretty soon the very things that drove him to her, attracted him to art are the very things now that he just can't stand she spends too much. She's not focused. She's everything that he doesn't want she quote isn't the woman he married we'll talk about that in just a moment, but I'm here today to give you hope no matter how disappointed you have been in your marriage. No matter how many disappointments and how unsatisfying and mismatched. Why are there is hope when a British or was told that there are many divorces in America because of incompatibility. I'm told he was shocked. He said I thought that incompatibility was the purpose of marriage, I mean why would anyone want to get married if you were not interested in incompatibility. That's the whole point of marriage is incompatibility and God is going to use marriage to work through those incompatibilities to do his work.

You stay tuned. But in order for this to happen.

I think that there are at least five assumptions that I need to make an route to a fulfilled marriage five assumptions and then listen to these very carefully. First of all, it does take two of you. It does take two of you. You Work on a marriage to well alone. You can respond in a godly way, but you can't really work on a marriage alone. Some of you say well you know that that ends it there right now he's not interested in counseling. She can't change so you know we're outta here. We were checking out of the sermon right now my dear friend you understand why that attitude exists. Don't you the man marries a woman who is judge mental she's judging everything.

She's a perfectionist. He can never please her.

So he just shuts down.

He just shuts down because of her judgmental is there was a man who was on a plane, a Christian man sitting next to a non-Christian in the Christian wanted to witness to him and said that now he said the are you ready for judgment day in and said what is it, when is and he said well it could be very soon, or it could be much later, in the guise it will when you find out those dates you let me know because I'm sure that my wife want to attend both times.

He's not been open up if he confesses to you, a struggle with pornography and you freak out over it is not going to open up is going to clam up and become what one woman said about her husband a great stone face. There are some marriages in which there is so much contempt and so much hostility that when he says Belushi says green when he says red.

She says you can predict it.

My dear friend. You are never going to have a fulfilled marriage. The both of you unless both of you decide right now we are no longer going to be at Caceres we are going to become allies were going to be on the same page and were going to start to work this out does take two of you. Second assumption is that you have to go through pain to get there you have to go through pain to get there. There may be some exceptions, but almost always you have to go through pain, marriages, marriage is looking into a full-length mirror that shows you your sin. That's what marriage does takes to sinful self placed people puts them together in intimacy and says get along and it's not easy because of my Canadian background. I love to drink tea as a matter fact I didn't have coffee this morning. I had a cup of tea at home and also a cup of tea here at the church. There's a woman here, by the way, who loves to bring the boxes of tea that's her ministry and I thank God for that because I've always got lots of tea. Well, you know, when I looked at those teabags this morning. I you know little white fluffy bags with a little string you really don't know exactly what's in them until you put them in hot water and when you put them in hot water.

You discover the kind of tea that it is new got all this brown stuff swirling around in. There's nothing by the way, now in the water that wasn't in the teabag at the beginning. Is there now here's the thing that little teabag that sweet little package that represents the single life. Nobody really knows what's inside because you've never had an opportunity to demonstrate what is inside the moment you say, I do.

You're in hot water right here in hot water and suddenly everything begins to come out. She makes me so mad and says now wait a moment. Where's all that anger coming from.

There's nothing that she couldn't draw out of you.

That isn't already there. You know the dirty water that was in that sweet little teabag that you fooled her with before you were married. But it's all there. You can't get there from here to there without facing yourself and facing pain which leads to 1/3 assumption we need to have a different perspective on marriage. Some of our staff this week introduced me to the book sacred marriage by Gary Thomas, an excellent book by the way, but Gary Thomas is in his book that the real purpose of marriage isn't happiness. You thought that you were going to be happy. Well you know the real purpose from God's standpoint, isn't happiness.

It is holiness, and then he quotes someone as saying this marriage is the merciless revealer. The great white searchlight turned on in the darkest places of human nature and it is there in the searchlight that our sin is revealed, and so that God can work on it and he's got a lot to work on density so easy for us to see other people's it's somebody else's sin. I heard a priest saying you know in the Catholic tradition.

They have confession and the priest said you know a woman came to me and she started to just say all the things about what her husband did there, and so forth. He stopped her and says who sins are you here to confess so.

And God is going to do is to work on us. Oh, you say I knew right from the beginning that this was a bad marriage. I didn't love her right from the beginning couple of comments. First of all, what you're confessing to is that you're not really a Christian because the Bible says you're supposed to love your wife. Secondly, could I be blunt here. You're an idiot to marry somebody don't marry.

And thirdly, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with this question. How you keep your covenant, the presence of a holy God was there to observe your vows.

So with that background, we now go to number three number three yes different perspective. Number four. You must open up lines of communication, man, you have to start to talk you great stone faces out there you're going to have to talk and wives are going to have to accept your husband and not be judgmental against them so that he can talk and feel as if he is heard and why should be able to talk and communicate and the husband actually listen without communication you can't have a fulfilled marriage. You can have two people in the same house under the same roof and be miles apart emotionally and spiritually. You're going to have to face the pain talking to a man in Christian ministry of all things. This is not some person who is distantly related to the Christian message. He's a Christian minister goes home and takes care of the kids makes the evening meal. What is your wife doing she's on the computer from about seven in the evening to 11 at night in a chat room that's her life is the chat room. My dear friend if you want to have a fulfilled marriage are going to have to say no to the silliness of chap and you're gonna have to begin to wake up and minister and connect with the mate. God gave you 100 different stories and then you think you've heard them all and then suddenly somebody comes up with another one. So what you need to do is to open the lines of communication is your marriage a priority or isn't. If the chat room is more important than your husband. What are you expecting out of marriage and where you think that is leading you. By the way in man if you're on the watching all kinds of stuff.

How how is that contributing to nourishing your wife are you serious about making a go of it, or aren't you are you just playing a game. Are you going to counseling so that you can say what you know we tried counseling and it doesn't counseling yet we were there we tried counseling and now there's an excuse for you to leave and goddesses, no. There's 1/5 assumption, and that is that you have to learn the unfairness the unfairness of forgiveness. There's something about forgiveness that is just so unfair. And that's what makes it so difficult to be forgiven. It was so unfair that Jesus was credited with our sin when he was sinless.

That was so unfair, but it had to be done so that you and I are forgiven and some of you have been treated unfairly, but but what you need to do is to realize that there is forgiveness. Now, if there's been infidelity. Of course there's a whole process. There were trust has to be developed and so forth, and an excellent book on that has been written by someone who counsels in this area, but the point is that were not giving a simple solution will no matter what he does. Just forgive no know there are other things to be said, but forgiveness must be there or your fulfillment will not happen. Now all that, by way of introduction. What I'd like to do is to suggest that there are rewards that we miss when we don't work through our differences and find fulfillment in our marriage. There are rewards that we miss and for this. Let's take our Bibles and turn to the fifth chapter of the book of Ephesians a passage that is very unpopular today because we have bought into the world's values and were so sensitive about what the world says about the role of women. No wonder our marriages are in trouble because we have not looked at God's word and followed it in the first lesson that we learn is the lesson of submission lesson of submission and if you're here today and your new or your visiting. I just want to explain to you something about Christians Christians the love of words. Submit they love it and they love it because Jesus Christ submitted to the father. Where would we be today if Jesus did not submit to the father. They love it because the Bible says all of us are to submit to Christ, they love it because the Bible says that in the church young man should submit to those who are in leadership to the older elders.

We love the word submit and it lies at the heart of Christian order and Christian faith. So with that background, we Outlook here at 10 verse 22 of chapter 5 wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit and everything to their husbands and their some wives were present were saying I don't like that the reason they're saying they don't like that is because of fear of what her husband might do or has done to them. So I need to clarify, we are not saying here that you should ever disagree with your husband. If you have a wise husband. He's going to consult you about everything. Rebecca has kept me from so many foolish decisions that I couldn't even enumerate them, but at the same time. It therefore does not mean that a wife agrees with her husband all the time. It doesn't mean that the will of Christ is subservient to the will of her husband. Obedience to Christ trumps obedience to the husband. We understand that it are being abused will then run for help. Don't walk get help but what this means is, is that the disposition of the wife should be to submit to her husband, and unless there is some extenuating circumstances, she should submit and not merely out of duty, but her disposition should be one to submit support him. The Bible says in the last part of verse 33 see that she respects her husband. That's a separate sermon. Husbands need respect.

Sorry ladies but it's biblical they need respect our story.

Here's a woman whose marriage is in trouble breaking apart and I said to her are you submissive to your husband in the matter of spending because I had a hunch that she wasn't and I remember friend saying to me, you know, my wife likes to go shopping but she never looks at the decimal points.

Well, you know that I need to repeat that for some of you so I said are you said no she said why should I be. He bought a new car for himself and if he buys a new car for himself will then why can't I buy a BCD F even if he doesn't like and that woman has the audacity to pray to God to help her marriage, I believe that there are so many angels in heaven, whose full-time job is to take these kinds of prayers and throw them in the wastebasket where they belong. God says to himself, why should I answer her prayer for her marriage when she to get on her knees and say I am a rebellious, disobedient wife present wasn't being unreasonable.

She should've repented of her sent man she could begin to say now God will my friend, this is Pastor Luther. In the example I gave, of course, I spoke about the wife who I felt should get on her knees, but let me emphasize that often times it is the husband and truth be told, it should be.

Both of them.

It's been my experience that oftentimes marriage problems. Indeed, both sides have responsibility and both sides have guilt.

What we need to do is never answered evil with evil but you know that also is true for a nation. I've written a book entitled, when a nation forgets God. Seven lessons. We must learn from Nazi Germany and I need to tell you that this is the last day that this resource is being offered. If I might remind you of some of the chapter titles. It's always the economy than I speak about the role of law that which is legal might also be evil. How propaganda can change a nation, and parents. I emphasize that, not the state but parents are responsible for their education and I discuss how Hitler really educated the youth in Germany for a gift of any amount.

This book can be yours.

It's entitled when a nation forgets God. Seven lessons. You must learn from Nazi Germany.

Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 the last day, we are making this resource available RTW or 1-888-218-9337 you can write to ask that's running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life.

Those who think marriage is a magic door to happiness should note that half of all marriages fail.

Today God intended marriage to develop character and heart heart rate bonds between a couple. One will not repent. Next time I'm running to win a look at the many rewards we can miss.

If we let our marriages fail. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Mooney church

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