[CS-FSLUG] Achieving Godly Strength in Marriage.

Fred A. Miller fmiller at lightlink.com
Sun Feb 14 09:57:55 CST 2010

*Achieving Godly Strength in Marriage*

Jonathan Falwell


I have been preaching a series on marriage in recent weeks and would
like to share some thoughts on the topic in today's column.   According
to the Barna Group (www.barna.org
<http://list.trbc.org/interspire/link.php?M=35591&N=62&L=41&F=H>), 26
percent of evangelical Christians have experienced divorce, so there is
certainly a need to address this problem within the church culture.

My prayer for this column is two-fold.  First, I want to encourage any
Christians now considering marriage to prayerfully ensure that they are
spiritually and emotionally prepared for such an important commitment. 
Second, I would like to hearten any Christians going through a difficult
time in their marriage to remember that the husband-wife relationship is
a sacred bond designed by God and we should take our oaths of marriage
very seriously.

You know, all too often, I believe Christians enter into marriage with
flawed expectations.  Young believers desiring marriage often say to

   1. Marriage will solve all my problems.
   2. We'll have plenty of money.
   3. After we get married, he/she will change.
   4. We won't fight; everything will be perfect.

These types of unsound hopes can only lead to deep problems. Certainly,
other problems in our lives can lead to difficulties in marriage, including:

    * Over-dependence on parents.
    * Focusing on past mistakes and failures.
    * Insecurities about ourselves or our mate.
    * Unachievable expectations for our mate.

Here's a news flash: We're all flawed.  As such, we need the perfect,
infallible God to be our guide in every area of our lives---and
certainly that includes our marriages.  Without God at the helm of any
marriage, it is at risk.  It's that simple. 

Therefore, every Christian should make it his/her constant prayer that
God will enable them to become the husband/wife they need to be,
remembering that we cannot be what we need to be as a husband/wife on
our own.  An important statistic that bears this out is from a recent
study that shows that of couples who attend church together weekly AND
pray together daily, the divorce rate is 1 in 1105, or .01%.  Compare
this rate to the overall divorce rate and you will see how vitally
important it is to base your relationship on God's principles.

Let's examine a very important biblical passage regarding marriage:
Genesis 2:21.  It reads: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall
on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the
flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man
He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  And Adam said:
'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'  Therefore, a man shall leave
his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become
one flesh."

This verse defines marriage as a God-ordained, lifelong covenant between
man and woman.  We see in this passage the following:

   1. God gives strength to marriage ("and the two shall become one
      flesh...").  This is why II Corinthians 6:14 ("Do not be unequally
      yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has
      righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with
      darkness?") is so important.  Our strength in marriage comes
      through a deep, continuing relationship with God.
   2. Companionship equals Discipleship ("And the Lord God said, 'It is
      not good that man should be alone...'").  As couples, we must be
      jointly working to be followers of Christ so that we can properly
      put aside the petty problems I mentioned above.  God must be at
      the core of our marriages.
   3. God wants us to be supporters and equals of each other in marriage
      ("I will make him a helper comparable to him...").  There is no
      room for selfish motives in marriage.
   4. Our mission in marriage should be to walk with, fear, obey and
      serve the Savior together (Deuteronomy 13:4).

Again, to those who are struggling in marriage, I have a special message
for you: God can help you change your expectations for your marriage. 
Successful marriages require tender hearts, my friends.  There are
certainly biblical reasons for divorce, but we must be willing to
forgive other problems, ever mindful that our Savior has forgiven us
first.  Ask God to help you rise above your doubts, your failings and
your pain.

Finally, I want to remind everyone of a Scriptural passage that
underlines the ideal condition of the Christian's heart.  It is also the
heart condition that all couples need.  Colossians 3:12-14: "Therefore,
as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness,
humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and
forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even
as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things
put on love, which is the bond of perfection."

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to 
allow the people to carry arms.  History shows that all 
conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry 
arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so."--Adolf Hitler

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