1. Matt. 19:6 - It is sin to put asunder our marriage ["divorce," depart, separate; derived from the idea of a chasm (chora), an empty expanse, such as the countryside between villages].
2. Heb. 13:4 - Marriage is an honorable institution & is to be honored by all people, including those who are married.
3. Gen. 2:18, 23-24 - God endorses marriage & provides for its success.
4. Question is: Will we obey His will in our marriage so that it can succeed?!
5. Six truths to help keep your marriage strong:
I. CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TECHNIQUE. 1. Common mistake: Thinking things constitute happiness in a marriage, rather than being the right kind of person. 2 Cor. 8:12
-Example: 1 Tim. 6:10.
2. The Character Of Christ (Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:10):
-Love - Eph. 5:25; Titus 2:4; Eph. 5:2.
-Humility (not selfish pride) - Phil. 2:3-4.
-Honesty - Eph. 5:25.
(Generates trust, security & commitment between you - Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5).
II. LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
· Of your partner's sins - 1 Cor. 13:5-7.
· Of your goodness ("I've done , therefore I deserve ") - 1 Cor. 13:4.
-Kindly forgiving each other - Eph. 4:32.
-Healing - Eph. 4:31.
III. BEING IN A MARRIAGE CARRIES AN OBLIGATION TO COMMUNICATE.
· Be honest & open with each other. No secrets!
· By listening:
-To each other - Jas. 1:19.
-To instruction - Prov. 19:20.
-To wisdom - Prov. 8:32.
· By talking:
-Plainly - Gal. 4:16; cf. 1 Cor. 14:9.
-Kindly - Jas. 3:9-12; cf. Prov. 14:3; 15:1-2; 20:3; 25:11.
-Often - Prov. 12:25; 15:23.
IV. FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE, NOT A FEELING.
· A constant choice - Matt. 18:21-22.
· A choice of the heart - Matt. 18:35.
· A choice of mercy - Matt. 6:14-15.
V. LOVE IS A COMMITMENT, NOT A FEELING.
· It is a decision of will which is carried out by action - Matt. 5:44-45.
-Husbands: As Christ loved the church; as you love yourself - Eph. 5:25, 28-29; 1 Pet. 3:7.
-Wives: As the church loves Christ - Eph. 5:24 (cf. Jno. 14:15); 1 Pet. 3:5-6.
· Must decide to have an overriding commitment to each other which is far deeper than the flesh & emotions.
VI. READING MINDS IS NOT SOMETHING HUMAN BEINGS DO WELL.
· 1 Cor. 2:11 - Therefore
-Don't assume verify! 1 Tim. 6:4 (evil suspicions/surmising).
-Communicate (discuss & resolve - Matt. 5:23-24).
· This is greatly helped when trust is established & maintained in a marriage.
1. Everyone faces challenges in marriage.
2. Those who succeed work at keeping their marriage healthy, happy & in harmony with the will of God!
-Adapted from Connections Christian Counselling: http://www.connections.ndirect.co.uk/wedserm.html