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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7
A Regret-Free Marriage
1. Marriage is honorable, yet often treated dishonorably, Heb. 13:4.
2. Marriage is a covenant with and before God, Mal. 2:14; Prov. 2:17; Gen. 2:23.
a. Vows made in God's sight and before men, Eccl. 5:4-5.
b. God holds us accountable and responsible toward our vows.
3. It is great to see marriages that last 40, 50, 60 years and beyond.
4. What is their secret? No real secret: Marriage is hard work.
5. What can we do to develop and nurture regret-free marriages that endure the test of time, honor God and bless our lives?
I. PUT GOD FIRST IN YOUR MARRIAGE, Col. 3:12-19.
A. When Christ is Lord of Your Heart, He will be Lord in Your Marriage, cf. 1 Pet. 3:15.
B. Rely on His Word to Direct You in Every Part of Your Relationship, Col. 3:16-17 (context).
II. ALWAYS REFUSE DIVORCE AS A WAY TO FIX A MARITAL PROBLEM.
A. Since God Hates Divorce, it Cannot be the Solution to Trouble in a Marriage, Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:6.
B. Have an Unwavering Commitment to the Permanency of Marriage, Gen. 2:24.
-Separation is rarely a solution to improving a strained marriage, and it puts one in a situation with limited options, 1 Cor. 7:10-11.
III. MAKE YOUR SPOUSE'S WELL BEING YOUR PRIORITY, Eph. 5:22-29, 33.
A. Eliminate Selfishness. Whether submission of wife or love of husband, 5:24, 25; Phil. 2:3. Fulfill your God-given role.
B. Magnify Service. Value your spouse greater than yourself, and serve each other, cf. Mk. 10:42-45. This magnifies love.
IV. BECOME GOOD COMMUNICATORS.
A. Be a Good Listener, Jas. 1:19-20.
B. Choose Your Words Thoughtfully, Prov. 15:1-2, 18; 25:11.
1. Well-chosen words bring joy; ill-advised words disrupt and destroy harmony, Prov. 15:23 (1); 20:3.
2. Do not speak harsh, hurtful, corrupt words to each other, Eph. 4:29 (for example: Lies, jokes at the other's expense, etc.).
V. ALWAYS BE FAITHFUL TO EACH OTHER.
A. Protect the Purity of Your Marriage Bed, Heb. 13:4.
1. Sexual purity strengthens marriage, while infidelity ruptures and often destroys, 1 Cor. 6:18; Prov. 6:25-29, 32-35.
2. Adultery introduces into your marriage:
a. A stranger who does not belong.
b. Betrayal, lies, manipulation, selfishness, jealousy, doubt, fear, emotional insecurity, regret, painful memories...
3. Marriage must be kept a lust-free zone (porn, etc.), Matt. 5:27-28; 2 Tim. 2:22; Eccl. 9:9; Prov. 5:15-20 (9:17-18).
VI. NEVER REFUSE TO FORGIVE EACH OTHER.
A. Marriages are Blessed where Hearts of Forgiveness Exist, Col. 3:12-13.
1. "It is too late," or "He/she has said or done something one too many times - no more!" Lk. 17:3-4; Matt. 18:21-22, 35
2. The forgiveness of your sins depends on your forgiveness of others (including your spouse), Matt. 6:14-15.
B. Do not Hold Grudges against Each Other, Matt. 7:2.
1. We should not criticize marriage; God gives it to us as a blessing, Prov. 18:22.
2. Do each other good and not evil all the days of your life, Prov. 31:10-12; Rom. 12:17-18.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: March 17, 2016