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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:5-7
A Regret-Free Marriage
1. What a blessing to be forgiven of sins; To have joy replace sorrow, life replace death, and conflict replaced with God’s friendship, Psa. 51:1-4, 12.
2. Since all of us have sinned, regret is something we must learn to address in our lives. Even with forgiveness comes the regret of our past failures, cf. 1 Cor. 15:8-9; 1 Tim. 1:12-15.
3. Marriage is a relationship in which we may allow sins to fester, flourish and finally fracture what God has joined together, Matt. 19:6. If we fail to care for our marriages (although we can be forgiven of our sins against one another), regrets are bound to occur.
4. If we are to have strong marriages we must freely forgive. We must be generous with our kindness and deliberate in faith, to say and do what God expects of us as husbands and wives, Col. 3:18-19.
5. By respecting some fundamental guidelines we can minimize sin and its regret. And, when there is sin, we must fully repent of it, without regret, to be forgiven, 2 Cor. 7:9-11.
I. REFUSE TO SEE DIVORCE AS AN OPTION.
A. God Hates Divorce, Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:10-11; Heb. 13:4.
1. So must you! Marriage is for life, Rom. 7:2.
2. The “exception” (put away for the cause of adultery) is just that – an exception to the rule – It is not the rule for marriage!
3. Putting away for “any (every) cause” is not God’s will, Matt. 19:3.
a. cf. 1 Cor. 7:12-15: Believer is not to leave the unbeliever who is content; if the unbeliever is not content, he/she may leave...but not the Christian.
b. Putting away with a view never to remarry is not God’s will, Eph. 5:25, 22.
B. When there is Conflict, Solve it in God’s Way, Matt. 5:21-25.
1. You are one flesh, so act like it! Matt. 19:5-6; Eph. 5:31
2. There is no conflict that God, truth, humility toward each other and love for one another cannot overcome. Those who tell you otherwise would try to separate you from the love of God in Christ. Rom. 8:37-39
II. MAKE YOUR MATE YOUR PRIORITY. (Unselfishness) Gen. 29:18-20
A. This is How Christ Loves His Church, Eph. 5:25, 28-29.
1. The husband loves his wife before he loves himself.
2. You will not regret pleasing your wife when your wife’s joy is your purpose and aim.
B. This is How the Church is to Love Christ, Eph. 5:24.
1. We are not our own; we have been bought with a price and belong to Jesus, 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
2. The wife yields to her husband’s will and leadership, not as a slave, but as an unselfish helper given by God to complete her husband, Gen. 2:18 (consider Sarah, 1 Pet. 3:5-6).
-Neither of you will regret putting the other first!
III. AVOID HURTFUL WORDS WITH YOUR MATE. (Tame the tongue) Jas. 3:5-8
A. In Marriage, Hearts are Exposed to Each Other, Gen. 2:23.
1. That requires much trust in each other: that each will respect the other and not take advantage of other another by word or deed.
2. It requires that you do not take your spouse for granted: That expresses disregard and a lack of respect toward him/her.
3. Use words that encourage and strengthen each other – they will also strengthen your marriage (without regret), Eph. 4:29-32.
4. Lies (including half-truths), profanity, hurtful, disrespectful, malicious... All these must be eliminated in order to control our tongues toward our spouses, Jas. 3:9-12.
IV. BUILD MEMORIES WITH YOUR MATE. (Be companions, not just roommates) Eccl. 9:9
A. Build Memories that Reflect a Shared Faith.
1. To be able to remember lives lived by faith (worship together, learning God’s word together, praying together, challenging each other to grow, etc.), cf. 1 Pet. 3:7.
2. As partners who helped each other avoid sin, Prov. 5:15-20.
3. As disciples of Christ who put His will first, cf. 2 Tim. 4:8.
B. Build Memories that Echo a Mutual Love, 1 Jno. 4:7-11.
1. To remember that each were compelled by love in words and deeds toward one another – what a memory without regret!
2. Practice love now or you will regret it later, 1 Cor. 13:4-8.
C. Build Memories that Insure a Shared Hope for the Future, Phil. 1:19-20.
1. Like Paul, commit yourselves to enlarging Christ in your lives and you will have no cause of shame (disgraced, regret)
2. There is no marriage in heaven, but unless we are honorable in our marriages on earth we have no hope of going there!
1. Marriage is God’s blessing so live joyfully in it, Eccl. 9:9.
2. Build a marriage free of regret. Set your mate as your priority, use kind words that strengthen your resolve to live by faith, and build precious memories.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: May 28, 2013