Marriage Basics - Part 4

Faith Church March 13, 2010 Genesis 2:18-25

 

Introduction: 

1.  We have one more week to finish our study on the Bible Basics of Marriage

- specifically, our series is : Taking the NEXT Step With Joy: In Our Marriage & Family

- we want the marriages/families represented in our church to be GROWING

- To some, this may be new term, but we’re talking about the doctrine of . . .

  • Progressive Sanctification = the process of changing and growing to become more like Jesus Christ

>  we need to identify sinful habits (using God’s Word) of thinking and action that God wants to change and REPLACE them with biblical thinking & actions

> that’s done through the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s Word as we chose to OBEY God’s Word (be a ‘doer’ of the Word, not just a hearer)

2.  While God will certainly do His part, we have to understand this process takes #1: TIME (we have to be patient, keep pressing on) and . . .it take #2:  EFFORT (we have to do our part – and we can’t do it without Jesus – which is why He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us through the Word of God!)

3.  You have to start with evaluating where you are currently (admitting you are not perfect) and acknowledging you need to grow to be more like Jesus in the way you think and act

* Each week we want to keep emphasizing the reasons for this series:

#1: To glorify God in our marriages and families

- since marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church, we want to make sure we are giving the right opinion of God as people watch our marriage/families develop

- to strengthen our church because:

#2:  Strong Marriages and Strong Families = Strong Churches!

4.  Q:  Do you want our church to be spiritually strong?

strong’  = a high quality depth in our relationship with Christ and bringing glory to God in a multitude of different ways!!

- if that’s going to happen, we have to be growing in our marriage/family!

[OPEN bibles to Genesis 2:18-25 – have 1 person read a verse, next person next verse . . . ]

- So far, we’ve studied 2 key principles regarding marriage: [DO THIS QUICKLY!!]

I.  Marriage Was Given by God - Gen. 2:18 “And the Lord said . . .”

- Since God gave marriage, God has answers for marriage (found in His sufficient Word)

> that gives us HOPE and MOTIVATION to find those answers so we can grow and change

- the 2nd principle was

II.  Marriage Fulfills a Basic Need or Purpose.

- This answers the question, Why did God create marriage in the first place?

- we emphasized that marriage is not based on love, or sex, or compatibility

- instead, the purpose of marriage is to provide companionship (solves the alonenessproblem) and to glorify God by serving the Lord together

- It’s an intertwining of 2 persons in all areas of life and should always be growing!

- let’s pick up where we left off LAST week:

- the 3rd principle is this:

III.  Marriage is a Growing Relationship.

  • Genesis 2: 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

A.  Marriage involves "leaving" your parents.

-  We need to spend time on this because this is often part of the problem in marital conflicts

> the ‘sons and daughters’ become obsessively dependent upon their parents

> OR the ‘dads and moms’ of the world want to maintain CONTROL over their children, even when the child has moved out of the house . . . or the child gets married!

> what God intended to be “In-laws” (not a biblical term) becomes OUT-LAWS!!!

-  the word ‘leave’ is a strong word = literally, the word means"abandon"

>  before you get hasty, we have to use good principles of Bible study (hermeneutics)

> one of the most important principles of Bible study is the ‘UNITY PRINCIPLE’  - i.e. you interpret the bible in light of the rest of the scriptures

Example: One passage can’t fight against another– there is UNITY among truth.

-  so the meaning of the word ‘abandon’ must not disagree with rest of Scripture.

1.  “Leave” must be balanced with Deut. 4:9, Psalm 78:1-8, and 1 Timothy 5:8.

  • Deuteronomy 4:9 "Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

 

  • Psalm 78:1-8 

-  These are really “Grandparents' verses” – it describes/pre-scribes the role of grandparents

>  The PURPOSE of grandparents in American culture is to SPOIL THE GRANDCHILDREN!

WRONG – WRONG – WRONG

- These verses clearly communicate that a man must TEACH his children's children.

- That means he/she has have a relationship w/his own children so they will ALLOW him to do that very thing – and even WELCOME that opportunity

- in addition to what Moses wrote, in the NT, Paul wrote to Timothy and said: 

  • 1 Timothy 5:8 And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

> A man is expected to look after widowed mother!

> to literally ‘abandon’ one’s parents or totally forsake them makes this impossible

Point:  The word cannot mean literal abandonment in that sense of the word – i.e. to forget your parents were ever alive, or utterly forsake them and/or leave them by themselves.

-  the word ‘leave’ is a very strong word – and it does indicate when you leave, your first allegiance is to this new unit (the idea of putting together a new unit)

- we have to understand this aspect of ‘leaving’

2.  “Leave” means more than geographical leaving.

- when God says it’s time to leave your father and mother and be joined to your wife, then it’s time to LEAVE

- however, sometimes Mom's “apron strings” are made out of very stretchy material

> the leaving process is hindered or delayed and/or prolonged till mommy is ‘comfortable’ (which could take YEARS!)

- Many have moved 1,000’s of miles from home and have never left home (figuratively)

Example: If a wife is lonely 1,000 miles from home, the command to ‘leave’ is not getting obeyed!

- this doesn’t mean a person can’t ‘miss’ their parents OR want to go see them over vacation or invite them to come to your house– that’s sign of a good relationship

- but when what Dad said 20 years ago is more important than what spouse thinks and that very idea gets rubbed in the husband’s face, then something is WRONG!

- some spouses care more what their parents think than what their spouse thinks

-  in some cases, parents have died but the children have never LEFT!

Point:  Marriage is a growing relationship (moving from one point to the NEXT STEP!).

-  Requires cutting the proverbial “apron strings” of one’s mom or parents

3.  “Leave” means:  radical change in the relationship

- and, I can tell you from experience, the change takes place faster than I imagined

a.  Genesis helps us to understand what we call the T-P-T principle:

  • T= Temporary (H/W + Child = T)

- God didn’t create Adam with kids – but He created ONE wife, Eve

> God didn't put Adam in garden with children OR parents.

- God didn’t create Eve with kids – but brought her to ONE husband, Adam

- But since Genesis, the husband grows up obeying & honoring his parents & God

- and the wife grows up obeying & honoring her parents & God

> but in marriage, the COMMITMENT is to God 1st and then EACH OTHER

- that’s why some children can’t witness effectively to their parents . . . .they are too busy obeying them and pleasing them rather than God 1st and then their spouse

- while Psalm 127:3 is a very powerful verse:

  • Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are a heritage of Jehovah; and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

- . . . children not the most important relationship in the home (we’ll deal more with this in our fall series on parenting)

- some say, "Children are our future" (true to a degree, but it can be over-emphasized

- as parents, we need to plan to teach this truth to our children and teach them to leave biblically.

  • P = Permanent (Child gets married = H/W together – till death do we part = P)

- this is part of the covenant relationship – the loyalty to one another

- we’ll talk about ‘cleaving’ to one another in just moment

> “cleaving’ is also a very strong term and not one to be taken lightly

Point: The relationship between the husband & wife if permanent

-  Permanent in the sense of “till DEATH or Jesus comes . . . .when there will be no marriage in Heaven

  • T = Temporary(Child [H/W] have children as a result of their marriage = grandchild)

-  Illustration:  One wife, after her second wedding, tells her new husband:

“I'm from this certain culture and this is the way we live.”

  • Dad is #1
  • Mom is #2
  • My sisters are #3
  • My children are #4
  • You are #5

- that is not consistent with what God says about marriage!

b.  The process involves settling past conflicts as you leave.

- An person should not leave his/her parents (just to ‘get out of the house’ or to ‘get away from parental authority’) because of the guilt of unconfessed sin.

> Marriage is not an escape from a home or a way to get out of this mess one is in

> You should take care of the problem in biblical manner BEFORE you leave

Note: If you did leave wrongly, go back and clean up the mess!

- when a person ‘leaves’ their home, they should ask the question: 

Q:  Are there unsolved conflicts you’ve had with your parents?

1) One of the major unresolved conflicts has to do with authority.

- If I asked your parents if you enthusiastically obeyed what would they say?

- If there was a problem, are you willing to ask forgiveness?

** IMPORTANT POINT: This is an important question to ask BEFORE marriage!

2) Are there lessons God intended for you to learn from your parents (or whoever brought you up) that you haven't learned yet?

- God gave you the specific parents you have for specific reasons

Illustration: My parent taught me how to WORK hard and be faithful to your church!

- It’s hard to leave home emotionally when you didn't learn the lessons God wanted you to learn because of your rebellion.

3) Some people are almost obsessed with something their parents did to them or they did to their parents.

Q: What do you think that leads to in one’s spiritual life?

Answer: Bitterness (even revenge) & that will devastate a life . . . a marriage . . . and a family (impact on kids).

c.  The process includes not being slavishly dependent upon one’s parents.

- In decision making process (advice may be good), but careful about allowing parents to get outside these boundaries by trying to overly influence (control) their children

- this also has application to FINANCIAL issues:

> if there are ‘strings’ attached to financial gifts – DON’T DO IT

Example: If you come to visit us on Christmas, we will give you $

- The pro- a reason for all this is . . .

d.  The leaving process creates a NEW decision making unit.

- the ‘one flesh’ relationship means the mates needs, ideas, welfare are first now.

- you have to view your spouse's opinion in decision making more important than parents.

e.  The process creates a loyalty.

- this will reveal itself as parents might complain about or criticize your spouse behind their back

- or being overly critical face-to-face

[Note:  This doesn’t imply that parents cannot practice Matthew 18 or Galatians 6 – those are biblical mandates and are the proper way to try to prevent or solve problems]

- what we are talking about here is sinfully criticizing or gripping or slandering your spouse

f.  The process does not allow children to dominate marital relationship

- as we said earlier: Children are NOT the center of the home

- some have ‘child-centered’ homes and that can DESTROY a marriage – and even could be idolatry

B.  Marriage involves "cleaving.”

C.  Marriage involves "weaving."

V.  Marriage is a picture.

A.  Of a marriage in Heaven - Rev. 19.

B.  Of how the church should obey God - Eph. 5:22-24

C.  Of the way Christ loves - Eph. 5:25-26

 

Recommended Resources for Further Study:

Adams, Jay.  Christian Living in the Home.

Thomas, Gary.  Sacred Marriage.

Tripp, Paul.  Marriage, Whose Dream?

Building Marriages God’s Way (Resources of Faith)

Mack, Wayne.  Homework Manual for Biblical Counseling, Vol. 2.

Mack, Wayne.  Strengthening Your Marriage.

Wheat, Ed. Love Life for Every Married Couple.

Viars, Steve et al.  Marriages That Last (audio series).

Adams, Jay.  Solving Marriage Problems.

 

B.  Marriage involves "cleaving.”

- this is another very strong term in the Hebrew language – and actually has differently levels of meaning and/or application:

1.  “Cleave” = welding together

- you could also use the phrase, literally . . . become “glued together”

Point: This relationship is so strong and welded so firmly nothing will break the bond!!

- in other words, marriage is intended to be a PERMANENT relationship –a strong bond!

> and that strong bond is growing stronger as the days/weeks/months/years go by

Illustration: Lester & Margret Bell (members of our church) have been married for 66 years – that’s CLEAVING!!

- cleaving implies that anything that is threat to the relationship (that would seek to destroy or decrease that bond) should be avoided and/or REMOVED immediately!!!

2.  “Cleave” = learning to love

- this is ‘agapa’ (God’s kind of love) that helps hold together the covenant relationship
(i.e. the vows that were made to each other!)

- given the fact that the husband is COMMANDED to love his wife, there should be a mutual commitment to investing in each other’s ‘love bank’

> lots of deposits and an occasional withdraw . . . instead of a lot of withdraws and only a few deposits!

- Paul instructed Titus about the role of the ‘older women’ (this isn’t necessarily older in age, but older in spiritual maturity – some older (in age) ladies can be very immature spiritually)

  • Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4. so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, . . . so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

- Jesus said some very important things about what reveals our heart (inner man):

  • Matthew 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

- this would include cultivating (investing) your love toward your spouse

IMPORTANT POINT: If a husband is not getting enough love, he better look in the mirror because he sets the standard – he doesn’t GIVE to GET (that’s not the point)

> but if wants his wife to show godly love, he has to MODEL it!! (more on that later!)

- love is CHOICE, an act of the will – not something you FALL INTO or OUT OF!!

3.  “Cleave” = a commitment to God and to each other.

- Proverbs 2 admonishes us about responding to WISDOM – the value of it and what wisdom can protect us from (the adulterous woman)…

  • Proverbs 2:17 That leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God.  For her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead; none who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.

- God is speaking to Israel regarding their unfaithfulness to Him and to their marriage covenant

  • Malachi 2:14 "Yet you say, 'For what reason? [referring to the fact that God has rejected their offerings, crying & lamenting]' “Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have deal treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

 

“The Lord’s reaction to this widespread unfaithfulness was threefold. First, He refused to accept the sinners’ offerings, even when they wailed & lamented over His displeasure (v. 13).  Second, He urged them to come to the senses and return to their wives (v. 15b, 16b). Third, He declared His hatred of divorce, which He characterized as a violent deed (v. 16a).”
Robert B. Chisholm (Jr.), Interpreting the Minor Prophets, p. 285

Point:  God doesn’t take it lightly when we don’t honor the covenant we made!!!

> in fact, He not only doesn’t take it lightly, He rejects it and will deal with our sin

- let’s summary what we’re communicating:

Love is NOT:

Love IS:

Feeling

Deliberatechoice

Convenience

Obedience

Blind Chance

Covenant

Compatibility

Weldingtogether

- Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 13 (a great study on love) that:

  • 1 Cor. 13:8 Love never fails.

* All this happens in spite of changes that occur over time:

-  one person described getting older as: the bulges, bunions, bulges, bifocals!

C.  Marriage involves "weaving."

weaving’ = becoming ‘one flesh’

* God’s view: 1 + 1 = 1

1.  When people get married, you have 2 unique people (w/many differences).

- with all these differences, they weave their relationship together that they become “one”

- that can reveal itself in a lot of areas:

Example:   2 different homes // 2 different sets of values // 2 different sets of finances // 2 different views of vacations or who takes garbage out // 2 different views of children

> Those differences are a part of God’s plan to strengthen the unity (to learn from each other – benefit from each other’s strengths)

*Key ingredient to this process: Humility

- to be learner – to do things God’s way instead of being stubborn, and having a “It has to be MY way or the HIGHWAY mentality!”

- PRIDE doesn’t build unity (look at Gen. 3!!) – in fact, Proverbs puts it like this:

  • Proverbs 13:10 By pride comes nothing but strife (NKJV)
  • Proverbs 28:25 An arrogant man stirs up strife … (NAS)

2.  Because of the affects of the curse of sin, we have to recognize the fact that adjustments will need to be made.

- we have to realize the goal is not to conform your spouse to be just like your family

- but to build a ‘godly’ family together as both of you seek the Lord’s will through His Word and obey His Word and grow together as husband/wife and as father/mother and grand father/grand mother ….

V.  Marriage is a picture.

A.  Of a marriage in Heaven - Rev. 19.

-  Your marriage is to be a picture of that marriage – someday the BRIDE of Christ will be united (totally) with the Groom!!

B.  Of how the church should obey God - Eph. 5:22-24

-  Wife should picture that (we’ll be dealing with that in a few weeks)

C.  Of the way Christ loves - Eph. 5:25-26

-  Husband should picture that truth:

  1. None of us can give love until we know His love.
  2. None of us can give His kind of love until we know His love.
  3. None of us can forgive until we know His forgiveness.
  4. None of us can live apart from Him.

Recommended Resources for Further Study:

Adams, Jay.  Christian Living in the Home.

Thomas, Gary.  Sacred Marriage.

Tripp, Paul.  Marriage, Whose Dream?

Building Marriages God’s Way (Resources of Faith)

Mack, Wayne.  Homework Manual for Biblical Counseling, Vol. 2.

Mack, Wayne.  Strengthening Your Marriage.

Wheat, Ed. Love Life for Every Married Couple.

Viars, Steve et al.  Marriages That Last (audio series).

Adams, Jay.  Solving Marriage Problems.

Faith Church