Together: in cooperation; with united action; conjointly: to undertake a task together.
As Valentine's Day makes it yearly rounds many of us are again cornered by cupid for just a small moment and we are summoned to answer the little question that swirls around inside our head: What is love?
As I ponder that question I can tell you right off the bat that I'm not going to try to write a long and exhaustive piece on such a huge topic.
What I do want to share is one of the best sermons I've ever heard on love. This morning at Cypress Wesleyan Church, the church our family attends, Senior Pastor, Ken Murphy, discussed and educated everyone in attendance on the finer points of a relationship between a husband and wife.
Today's sermon is part of an ongoing series entitled "The Cleavers vs. the Kardashians."
I take notes every Sunday... this Sunday was no different.
Let me share.
Before I share this morning's notes and discuss marriage I think it's important to acknowledge the very beginning, the genesis if you will, of the institution we call marriage. In the beginning God created and ordained the institution of marriage. Genesis 2:19-24 states:
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
As you can see marriage finds its foundation in God.
God intends for those who choose marriage to come together and become one.
In the same vein of having children versus raising them, it is much easier to get married than it is to stay married. Statistics conclude that 48% of all marriages end in divorce.
With that large percentage of failure staring at us straight in our faces it is imperative that we educate ourselves of some fundamental truths when it comes to building a successful marriage.
Let me share "5" truths that will, if taken seriously, empower us to live better lives with the one we love.
1. LITTLE THINGS ADD UP...
Galatians 6:7-9 states; "Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time."
- It is our personal responsibility to "do good" to one another.
- It is important that we express our love through action.
- Develop the mentality that we will always keep "winning" our spouses heart.
The little things really do add up. They can add up in our favor or not. The choice is ours.
2. EXPECT CONFLICT...
Ephesians 4:26 states; "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."
- Conflict is normal and necessary. Conflict resolution is the key.
- When there is a conflict stay on point. Tackle the problem not the person; remain issue based not person based.
- Communication is the key to unlock your greatest future.
- We as married couples live in three zones:
- Really Good
- OK... Fine
- Really Bad
No couple got into one of the zones over night, but we can in the blink of an eye, and with one bad decision, leave the "really good" or "OK...fine" zone in a heartbeat. Ask yourself, and your spouse, what zone you are in. Be truthful, you are only hurting yourself by being in denial.
Different roads lead to the same destination... intimacy.
- Top need, whether communicated or not, for people is to be unconditionally loved and accepted.
- Talking leads women to intimacy. Men starve their wife's soul when they don't communicate or talk with them. Listening is vitally important also.
- Sex leads men to intimacy. Don't shoot the messenger... I'm just sayin'.
5. CHOOSE COMMITMENT...
Don't wish, don't hope, don't fantasize and don't even dream... just choose. Choose commitment to one another over all else.
In the end, love can simply be summed up in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Here is to all that become one and that they stay "one" forever.