MARRIAGE LIVE Pt 2: Walking Together
Pastor Don Prewitt
“When Sherri and I were engaged we went to a counseling center that did not know us and took our marriage test, just as a lot of you have here at Harbor Light. When the test results came back the gentleman called Sherri and work and said, “I recommend that you simply don’t get married.” Of course Sherri called me crying and telling me that we cant get married. Why was he so concerned? Our test results were extremely opposite in almost every area of our lives. His concern may have been extreme but it certainly did call for some concern. After you have been married for more than, say, 2 weeks, you realize that it isn’t always easy to go in the same direction, especially if you think and feel and act so differently.
Everyone of us desperately are in need of refining our relationships with each other and learning over and over again just how important and life giving walking together is to us as followers of Jesus.
King Solomon said in Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me, no, four things I do not understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
Solomon was a pretty darn wise man, the wisest of his time. And he pondered just like many wise and learned people how an eagle flies in the sky and how a snake slithers and finds its way up on rocks to bath in the sun. He wondered about the mystery of a big heavy boat floating across a large violent ocean and tried to figure out what it was that made it not topple over. And then at the end of all those amazing ponderings he adds “will someone please tell me how a man and a woman live together for any amount time without nailing each others hands to the wall and running over each others feet with the truck!” How is it that 2 different people can come together, love each other and make sense of life when they are so extremely different? This is truly something to ponder!!
Jesus desires for those of us that are married to live in unity; to walk together. This is so important for us to remember and yet so difficult at times to accomplish. Why is unity so important? The world is supposed to look into our marriages and see a picture of Jesus loving His church. This is a rather sobering thought for the husbands in the room!
Romans 1:20 says:
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead”.
The scriptures clearly tell us that relationships in the home; that are created by Him, should reflect Jesus. People should be able to look in and be able to say, “That’s what Gods looks like”!
In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus figured that the Pharisees should have already known His original design when He quoted Genesis. Lets read it together.
"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together."
1. God made them male and female
If by chance you haven’t noticed God DID make men and women very, very different in every way! AND God put those two different kinds of people together! What was He thinking?
Often, but not always, women are better at communicating their feelings and men have a tougher time.
Again, often, but not always, women are better at emotional feelings while men are more apt to be better at tasks and getting things done rather than assessing the emotional state of the house.
Often, but not always, women are more nurturing while men are more apt to want to win a good fight, conquer and command.
Why so different? Because when God stated in Genesis 2:18
“It is not good for man to be alone”. He knew what He was saying! Adam had all he wanted, except for the completeness of a woman.
When I was in seminary I got into a fight with one of my professors as the entire class watched on re: this subject. I wasn’t married yet and I didn’t like anyone telling me that I wasn’t complete because I wasn’t married. I was foolish and didn’t know what I was talking about. For those of you that immediately felt the same feelings when I mentioned woman-completing man, let me explain it this way.
The word “good in this text actually means beautiful. So it could actually read “It is not beautiful for a man to be alone”. God didn’t create Adam and then think, “oh my, I’ve made a grave mistake, and I created a half-creature”! No, He looked at man that He was pleased in and said, I think he could be even more beautiful if I added woman to the mix. It was if He were standing back from His own painting and saying “I love my creation, but I think that it would be perfect if I just added another color next to that man I painted”. What is interesting is that on the color wheel that artists use to paint, there are colors called complimentary colors. They are colors that are actually opposite of each other on the color wheel. If you want someone to notice a particular thing in the painting you would use complimentary colors.
Why do artists do this?
-Because those opposite colors compliment each other.
-Because they actually make their colors pop being next to each other.
-Because if the artist wants something to be noticed in his picture, complimentary colors put together make it happen.
So though we are different, we compliment each other IN our differences. God never intended for marriage to be as Lisa Bevere said “a power struggle, but rather a power source”. You don’t have to be married to be complete, but when the opposites of a man and a woman are brought together it creates something very beautiful, something very complimentary!
1. God made them male and female
2. The two shall be united into one
a. “ONE” like the first day of the week.
ONE: The two shall be united into ONE, like the first day of the week. In other words this unity or marriage should be number one on the list of highly important. Great priority and effort should go into making your relationship the number one relationship in our lives. This means your marriage takes priority over the children, over your ministry, over your job and over your own wants and needs. When we get used to marriage and then get into a routine of life we can easily forget that God made us ONE.
One day when Sherri and I were dating I gave her a ride home after worship practice. On the way home we passed the Mississippi river and there was an amazing, 3 story, showboat docked at the shore. I said to Sherri, “hey, lets go check that thing out!” The whole thing was a little awkward since we were broken up at the time. When we walked up there were a bunch of people walking on so Sherri and I got in line and walked on with the rest of the people. We were looking around when we realized that the boat was moving, and door had shut and we were being taken on a very long ride down the Mississippi with a boat full of architects. I panicked and actually had the hair-brain thought of jumping off and swimming back to shore. But having a level headed woman next to me we opted to stay on board and talk architecture for 3 hours with people that probably could see that we were far from their type.
Life can be like that, right? We can be minding our own business and all of a sudden we find ourselves going in a direction that feels like there is no way out. We HAVE to work, we HAVE to raise children, and we HAVE to keep the bills. It takes great effort to keep the ONENESS in our marriages; and in our relationships.
Let me talk to the parents for just a minute. Many try and allow their kids to be involved in everything that they couldn’t do when they were kids. We put them in 3 sports, Fine Arts, piano and violin lessons, etc., etc. We become nothing more than taxi drivers for our children thinking that they need to be involved in everything to really be well rounded. In the mean time we ignore our number one priority, our relationship with our spouses. What do our children need from us?
What our children need more than being involved in everything possible, they need to see their mother and father deeply in love with each other.
Keeping the ONENESS in our marriages is an attitude that we develop as individuals and married couples. Some try weekly date nights. I don’t want to give you specific ways that you should keep your marriage top priority, but I am here to tell you that if you decide to do weekly date nights and they don’t work out, do every other week date nights. If every other week date nights don’t work out do monthly date nights. In other words always work on keeping your marriage number one, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Child centered parenting.
b. This word also means: with ONE consent
Generally speaking, when we think of submitting to another person, we think of giving in to someone else’s desires because of pressure. Not in the case of “one consent”. It is simply learning to walk together in unity; the way God first created man and woman.
Unity is making an agreement to go in the same direction as opposed to trying to get two people to think the exact same way. Just like Sherri and I, many of you think differently, react differently; have different temperaments, gifts and motivations. We can make these differences moral issues in the sense that whatever we feel or do or how we react to issues is thought to be the best way. And sometimes we will even make a moral issue out of if and think that if our spouse doesn’t do thing the way we do than they aren’t as spiritual as us.
There are moral issues worth fighting out, but the way that we run a house hold or do the bills or keep our room clean or even discipline our children may simply be a matter of our own preferences. And if we cant come to some agreement on these things than most likely the real and moral issues will be a problem also.
“One consent” is simply taking two different people and pointing them in the same direction, thus giving them unity. Instead of losing something by submitting to each other, we gain something. And when the world looks in on that they say, “This is God!”
Often it’s hard for us to submit to each other because of some experience that we have had. Think back on your childhood experiences, or other relationships besides your spouse. Think about how they have shaped how you look at submitting to someone else.
1. God made them male and female
2. The two shall be united into one
3. Let no one separate them
Often in Jewish marriages they would put an actual yoke on the bride and groom to represent this bonding that takes place. God is saying let no one take that bond away. Let no one take away that tool that makes completely different people come together in unity and walk in the same direction towards the same goal led by the same God. Why? So that the world could look in and say “This is what Gods love looks like!”