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September 21, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues “Divine Design,” a series about Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.
The post 821. Four Things You Need To Know Before You Say “I Do” appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform for continuing a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. Today's message will be preached by Beecher you Pres. Steve Pettit like to ask you to take your Bibles this morning in turn with me please to the book of Ephesians Ephesians chapter 5 will actually look at a number of verses this morning, but we will make our primary focal point on these verses towards the end of the message. Last time we met together.
I spoke on some basic principles concerning marriage and the things that I learned is a college student. By studying the 24th chapter of Genesis in those principles became guideposts for me and they were they were very helpful that I hope it was helpful last time you were here that you're able to hear the message today I'd like to continue to be practical and I want to talk to you about four things that you need to know before you say I do now, there are going to be a number of you that are going to be married here in the next three or four months of the next six months. In some cases, a number of you will be married in the next year to year and 1/2 so as you enter into this marriage relationship.
There are some things that you need to understand so I like to just make them very simple to be very simple things this morning. Very practical and I hope very helpful. The first thing I like to say this morning that you need to know before you get married is that marriage actually requires work. If you want your marriage to work. You actually have to work at it. Marriage is not a Hallmark movie somebody said a Hallmark movie is a movie shown on television that has the same basic plot is 50 or more other movies on the same network marriage is not a Hallmark movie marriage is more like a long sports season where you have ups and downs, frustrating practices, nagging injuries, great wins top losses the need of occasional motivational speeches. Periods of exhaustion during the season and times you want to quit the team.
That's really what marriage is more like if you want your marriage to work you have to work at it. The Bible says in Philippians 213, work out your own salvation. I think with me if spiritual growth requires diligent effort. Then Shirley, this would include building a good marriage and when you get married you need to decide from day one, even not from the marriage, but from the dating and through the engagement and everything that's involved that you build on the right foundation maybe asked this morning should love be this hard. It would seem like it would be more natural you love each other you want to be with each other and like each other and therefore it should be more simple, we have the tendency to believe the movies that when people meet that perfect one.
They live happily ever after. So who has a happily ever after marriage.
I read recently about a married couple. Once upon a time is celebrated with they were celebrating their 25th marriage anniversary.
They become so famous in their city for not having a single conflict in their marriage for 25 years that the community wanted to celebrated and so the local newspaper editor comes to the celebration. He wants to find out what's the secret to their happily ever after marriage and so the newspaper editor asked the question. He says it's unbelievable how is it that this kind of marriage can be possible.
Today, and so the man looked at this at attorney said well it actually all started in our honeymoon. He said when we went on our honeymoon. We decided to go horseback riding one day and so my horse is pretty good but my wife's source was a little sketchy well while we were riding on the wet trail my wife's horse got spooked suddenly and through true my wife off the horse, my wife got up from the ground, patted the horses back very kindly and calmly said that your first time while she climbed back on the horse and she continue with the ride and after a while it happened again. My wife was thrown off a horse, and this time she got up Call and said to the horse that your second time and she continue to run it when the horse threw her off the third time she very silently took a pistol out of her purse and shot the horse does miss it. I shouted to my wife what are you doing you killed this poor animal are you crazy, and she looked at me and calmly said that your first time. Well, we live happily ever after. Ever since, that's about the only happily ever after marriage.
If you want marriage to work you got to work at it today. The divorce rate hovers around 50% of all marriages. So why do people get the divorce and you can go online and Google and the number one reason people get divorced and you'll find out is money or unfaithfulness or incompatibility, or irreconcilable differences, but I think the primary reason is a lack of initial investment on both sides. You have to be invested in your relationship and when you get married you don't think that way because you like each other. I mean you like each other like you like hot dogs and hamburgers and movies and all kinds of stuff then after a while your marriage. You find out you don't like each other about certain things. Mr. Benson said to me this morning is like the woman got married and she thought she married her denied own and in shining armor on a white horse five years later she married, she realized she married the horse and so sometimes you find out there things about each other. You don't like, so you have to work at it and if you're not committed to working at your marriage is not a work that's the first thing number two if you want your marriage to work that day. If you wanted if you want to get married you need to understand that not only does marriage take work but marriage is all about change. You need to think we have a tendency think marriage is all about love and that's okay. It's not wrong. As long as you define love is changing because that's what has to happen. You actually have to become different. You have to become different. As a person and nothing changes a person more than getting married number of years ago I was working with our evangelistic team and I got real it and actually it was at the end of the semester and they were actually about to leave the team and I'd come to like me, some of it been traveling with me to in three years and to be honest with you I was so frustrated I was frustrated with the fact that they were so immature in the irritated me.
One day I met with him and I remember it was in the back of the church in the in the baptismal room. This little room with a table.
We are meeting their and I sat down, looked at him I said you know what I said just go get married.
They looked at me while five out of the six of them were getting married within the next two months as it is time for you to get married because I done everything I can do with you. It is not working.
I will get married. What is when you get married you gotta change you half to change. Getting married doesn't solve your problems getting married reveals your problems because guess what the person you get married to finds out what you're really like it exposes the real you. It brings out your fear is your self-centeredness, your insecurities, your natural inbred anger and irritations your laziness, your expectations, your family traits your frustrations your demands your bent towards manipulation you get married you come in this marriage and you find out how each other. Thanks. My wife and I got married, my wife grew up in a family where when the gas needle that was back in the days when they had gas needles on the gas tank in the car when the gas needle got down to one half her dad always filled it up so one half means half empty and that was the way she thought about in this you married me.
I know I never kept my gas needle at half, I thought, why waste money on gas. I always kept it slightly above E number one. I didn't want to spend the money. Number two I love the thrill you know of beating the odds one more time and so we got married and my wife came in one day and she was glitch note, my wife's got shopping and she came back in after she went to the car and she says the gas is own 1/4 of a tank. I went you got plenty of gas. When you can rot around all day long, don't worry about it. What she did that for a while until one day she ran out of gasoline in a bad part of pain on and so it created no small stir among the brethren. And you know what I had to change was in my like this is your fall where your faith because we always have a tendency to blame the other person, for the problem but I was the problem. I did change, marriage is maximum exposure and it's all about change.
Traditionally, one of the classic purposes of marriage was to change men in the past been married, knowing that it meant a great deal of personal alteration marriage meant that the man had to settle down. A man would have to learn to conduct himself in a new and more interdependent relationship that would require mutual submission, support and teamwork.
The Bible says in first Peter 37 husband's well with your wife. According to knowledge. That means to live with your wife and to focus on her and on her needs to become sensitive and understanding to meet her needs. Unfortunately, many men are about as sensitive as an 18 wheeler Mac truck so they have to learn you have to understand each other's needs and you have to understand each other's fear Jim stop to think what is the greatest fear of a woman in the greatest fear of a man going in the marriage. What is the greatest fear of a woman. Generally, the answer is her greatest fear is abandonment.
She's afraid her husband will abandon her and that abandonment doesn't need met necessarily mean divorce can be things that simple as neglect distraction I mean is really interested in you before you get married and you get married, and after a while he becomes disinterested, or other things begin to capture his attention.
He becomes irresponsible and soon there's a distance between the two of you and it can lead all the way to divorce and ultimately to another woman coming alive so the good fear of a woman is abandonment. So, therefore, was a husband to do is to provide security through love, perfect love casts out fear. The husband has to become the protector yet to become the provider he has to become the spiritual leader of the home, be frankly honest with you the greatest threat to my marriage. The greatest threat to my marriage externally is working at Boston University.
You know why because it's so demanding and my wife and I for the first 35 years of our marriage pretty much were together all the time as an evangelist.
We live in trailer we travel together.
We work together we's to stuff all the time now. I'll leave sometimes it 76 30 in the morning, come home at 10 or 11 o'clock at night and do that day after day after day after day and you don't happens over time. A distance takes place as of the biggest threat to my marriage is working here Bob Jones University. I'm just being honest with and so therefore even after 38 years of marriage, you have to pay attention and a man has to pay attention to his wife. So what's the greatest fear of Amanda greatest fear of man is not abandonment is embarrassment that is somehow his wife will embarrass him physically, socially, publicly, intellectually, and the wife therefore has to learn to treat her husband with respect and honor, and encouragement alive should be the cheerleader in the home not to criticize or when I would come home from work when I was a youth pastor. My girls were small three and one-year-old they would always meet me at the front door because my wife would hear me pull up in the driveway and she would say to the girl's daddy's home.
Daddy's home and then I would open the front door and the girls would be standing there, my wife would be standing there in the little girl screamed and you know what I loved. I was being embraced I was being welcomed home. Perhaps that's why men get angry with their wives, husbands, love your wives, and don't be bitter against them. Why, because of so much embarrassment. So what we have to do is have to understand that marriage requires change and if you are thinking about getting married and you don't want to change them think twice about marriage because you enter into it with the willingness to serve and become a different person then number three. The third thing I like to say is this that you can actually be happily married. I want to say that for your own benefit allow young people today often have a misperception of marriage and happiness. In some places they become very pessimistic lot because you've heard people say that almost everyone they know who got married aren't happy and with so many divorces, why, why risk it is just better to wait for the perfect person somebody said marriage is a three ring circus engagement ring wedding ring and suffering some ices.
What's the difference between love and marriage, love is blind. Marriage is an eye-opener. And so is almost as if you hear these horror stories of people get married anything that I don't want to go through that and I think it's important to know that many who struggle to be happy in their marriage are struggling because of a couple reasons.
Number one. The first reason is because they haven't been married that long. In other words, when you hear so I say they're not happy marriage. How long have they been married three years wow that's really long three years. Your eyes folks that good relationships take a long time a good marriage has to mature, there will be always struggles throughout your marriage. However, many of the deeper struggles or when you're younger maturing and you're having to overcome yourself. When I was a student here Bob Jones. I lived a couple years with a wonderful precious little lady named Mrs. Leonard Haynes choose a godly woman she been married to a doctor and he had passed away. She raised five children and one day I asked Russ Mrs. Haynes what is the key to marriage and she looked at me and she said the two bears bear and forbear you. She said she said love requires a lot of patience. If the perp first practical definition of love is love is patient and kind and that's exactly what you have to learn to marriage.
You have to learn to be patient and kind.
I would say in the 38 years of my marriage. The most difficult year was my sixth year of marriage really wasn't my wife's fault. It was totally my fault.
But what happened is over time and circumstances God began a deal with me about my wrong thinking it was based on expectations I had certain expectations and marriage and my wife was not fulfilling that those expectations fact is one day I remember we were traveling down the highway and we are coming out of Cincinnati, Ohio into Kentucky. We are making our way up I 75 and my wife turned to me in the truck were traveling. I was an evangelist and she looked at me and she said you know what you want something out of me.
I can never give you only God can give it to us exactly the way I felt because I had expectations and my thinking was wrong because I was selfish and often times what marriage does that route stand in the core of your being and starts bringing out some that ugly selfishness that's there that your parents couldn't get out that not even you could get out because you had to be put in a circumstance to see what's there. And God broke me over a major area of selfishness in my life. Two thirds of those who are unhappy could become happy within five years if filled shots stick it out. Stay married and grow and mature.
It took me 10 years of marriage to understand that everything I wanted to see change in my wife's life with simply a mirror reflecting what needed to change in my life when I would look at my wife wishing she would change that what God was saying yes here's a mirror of yourself. You are the one that needs to change because folks you can't change anybody else including your wife but you can change yourself by the grace of God, and every time I pointed a finger at a prayer at my wife.
I wish you would change that. I have three fingers pointing back at myself and it's a lesson the chapter learn about life that it takes time to change, so you have to give yourself the time and that's why often times people happy but there's a second reason and that is I believe that often times people struggle to be happy in marriage because of the fact that they have a wrong understanding of the purpose of marriage. Traditionally, what was the purpose of marriage.
Think about. Traditionally, marriage was to create a structure for lifelong devotion between a husband and wife. Marriage was viewed as a solemn bond of commitment where each person set aside their own desires and interests in the favor of the relationship and marriage, children would be brought into the world and a family was created and that family became a place of stability where children could grow up and thrive in the two people and marriage could serve the common good. They could be a blessing and a benefit to the community and ultimately marriage became a representation of Jesus and his church.
If I could summon up the meaning and fulfillment of marriage is found through self-denial, through giving up your freedoms and binding yourself to the duties of marriage and family that's been the traditional viewpoint of marriage and you know a lot of people have rejected that because it seems oppressive because it is actually not about you. However, the viewpoint of many people today is different. They have a more nontraditional secular mindset in this viewpoint, the meaning of life can only come when an individual is free to choose the life that most fulfills him or her personally. So what is it look like well, they want to marriage in which they can receive emotional and sexual satisfaction from somebody who will simply let them be themselves. They want a spouse who was fine, intellectually stimulating, sexually attractive, with many common interest in who own popular about all that all is supportive of their goals and of the way they're living now and will not put a lot of demands on their looking for spouses put together somebody whose low maintenance without many personal problems. They are looking for someone who will not require or demand significant change their looking for the ideal person who is happy who is healthy whose interesting and contented.
Would like you could say it this way.
They're looking for the perfect one.
One writer said never he never before in history has there been a society filled with people so idealistic and what they're seeking in a spouse, and if you don't think that's true, then watch the bachelor or the bachelorette. On second thought, don't want, but what is ironic is that this nontraditional view actually puts a bigger burden on the person because they have to be perfect. If they're not perfect there rejected. How can two people be compatible together who are not perfect and the answer goes back to .1 .2. Marriage takes work and marriage requires change.
I just want to say to many of you many of you sitting in this room. You've been blessed to grow up in a Christian home where you observed. Not a perfect marriage, but you've observed a good marriage, a happy marriage. Perhaps there are more of you who have this example that is been set before you than any other university in the world because you grew up in a Christian home. However, many of you have had negative examples that limit you absolutely not my own parents were divorced.
My dad definitely was not happy and marriage. Towards the end of it. So is there a possibility for us to have a good marriage in the answer is yes and that leads me to the last point, and that is there is a secret to me and what is the secret Ephesians 5, verse 31 for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother shall be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Paul is telling us that there's a secret to marriage. What is the secret he calls it a mystery. A mystery is a wonderful look for truth that God is revealing through his Spirit and he called it, not just a mystery because it a mega mystery a great mystery. So what is the great secret to marriage and Paul tells us he says the answer to the mid to marriage is the gospel. If you understand the gospel. Then you understand how marriage is to work for what is policy to the husband and the wife. Husbands, love your wife, even as what Christ loved the church wives what are you supposed to do reverent your husband is the church. Reverence is Christ in the gospel message. What we have we have the secret to marriage. Paul saw one commentator said this way Paul Saul that when God designed the original marriage in Adam and Eve, he already had Christ in the church in mind. If God had the gospel in mind when he established marriage in the Garden of Eden then marriage can only work to the degree that it is close to the pattern of the gospel because the gospel gives you the pattern in the power of marriage.
The gospel says this your more sinful and flawed than you could ever imagine. And the gospel says you're more loved and accepted that you could ever imagine it marriage to flawed people can grow in love together through Christ love the gospel fills our heart with God's love, so that you can handle your spouse when they fail to love you as they should.
Because your security is not found in your spouse, your security is found in God's love for you. We are free to see our spouses flawless and yet still love them and accept them wife because God loves us and God accepts us and through marriage we great we gain a greater understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus.
Jesus gave of himself. He did not himself for us and we began to understand that because marriage requires long-suffering and that's exactly what happened you put up with you suffer in in that suffering, you learn to love and the gospel will provide the power you need to live this life through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
That's the secret to marriage. So let me conclude with this, we recommend three things. Number one I recommend highly recommend that you memorize two passages of Scripture. Ephesians 525 to 33.
If you have a memorize and you need a mirror.
If you get married you need to memorize and then you need to memorize first Corinthians 13 verses four through eight.
Love is patient, love, and is not bona fide self-support. I would recommend what you know why because you get married you can aware of those verses out you gonna run them through your mind over and over and over. Secondly, I recommend highly that when you get married you in your very core of your marriage. Commit yourself to the local church.
There's a tendency to get married and then sorted churches over here and yeah will will figure that out to save you from the very start. If you are committed to marriage or committed to the church why because the church in Christ or picture of marriage you can't separate the church from marriage. If you do, it will create all kinds of problems in your when you get married you need to be committed to the New Testament local church and then finally you need to commit yourself to spend time with God in prayer in the Bible every day. Why because that's the means of a grace filled loving life. My wife said to me one day she sits. She said Steve I am so glad you pray I said why are you going to pray, she says, because when you come out of the prayer closet, you're a lot nicer than you were.
You went into the prayer.
The hope for marriage is grace. And that's the way that works and I believe you'll take these simple truths that God will bless you with a happy marriage. Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your grace and bless what's been said today. In Jesus name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached by Bob Jones University president, Dr. Steve Pettit about Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on The Daily Platform