Building A Marriage That Works

Bible Book: Proverbs  4 : 20-22
Subject: Marriage; Family; Love in the Home

If you ask people in what area of life that they need the most help, a large number would say "relationships." When it comes to relationships, marriage would be at the top of the list. Harmony is lacking in many relationships today. Don't turn me off, because I said I am going to focus on marriage for a few weeks. No matter where you are on the marriage continuum there will be things that are helpful to you. In order to be in harmony in relationships you need help. There is tremendous help in regard to relationship found in the bible. Proverbs 4: 21-22 says God's words are the keys to life. Today we will explore how to establish a good foundation

I. Conquer Love Barriers

We read in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, "If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I  am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship, that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."

Love is extremely important to a foundation that is strong, but there are some barriers that have to be addressed if love is to flourish. The absence of healthy models is a barrier to love. In order to really understand love on a human level you need to understand God's love. 1 Corinthians 13 is complete only in Jesus Christ.

Many people have a difficult time accepting God's unconditional love. If you have never experienced deep, satisfying love in any human relationship it may be difficult to conceive how God could love you. You may have convinced yourself God can't really love you if he really knows you. Difficult situations in life may make it hard to accept and understand God's love. Stop trying to earn God's love and accept the fact he loves you.

A lack of consistency in a person's words and actions is a love barrier. Look at 1 Corinthians 13.

  • Love is patient and kind.
  • Love is not jealous or boastful.
  • Love is not arrogant or rude.
  • Love does not insist on its own way.
  • Love is not irritable or resentful.
  • Love does not rejoice over wrong.
  • Love endures all things.

Just telling a person you love them is not enough. You must practice love. Of course, with some people there is an absence of verbal expression. Some are more expressive than others. It is important to tell the people you love that you love them. People want to hear they are loved.

An orphan had known nothing but institutional life. She had been shuffled from one orphanage to the next. She defied authority and maintained poor manners. Her friends were few. On one occasion her roommates saw her write a note and hide it in a tree. This was strictly forbidden, so the two girls ran to get the note. Thoughts of blackmail quickly vanished when they read these simple words - I love you.

II. Commit Your Life To God As Your Lord

Look at Philippians 2:11. The first step to healthy relationships is to determine who is going to be boss! Boy that brings up all kinds of potential statements. God must be more than a figurehead in your relationship if it is going to thrive. With God in control you can weather the difficult days.

III. Create A Relationship Task Force

Read Ecclesiastes 4:12. I am working with some folks to create a task force for a specific ministry. You need a relationship task force in your marriage.

A. Bible
B. Couples Who Have A Healthy Relationship
C. Resources That Are In Keeping With God's Word
D. Cultivate Common Courtesy

Note 1 Corinthians 1:10, "you must learn to be considerate of one another cultivating a life in common." Consideration means not thinking only of your self. It means showing common courtesy. By nature you and I are selfish. Jesus is considerate. The goal is to learn from him. Men, this may be the hardest for you and me. 1 Peter 3:7 states, "husbands show consideration for your wives in your life together, so that nothing may hinder your prayers." When you are inconsiderate to your wife God does not hear your prayers. The longer people are together the more inconsiderate they tend to become.

IV. Cherish Compromise

Mark 3:25 reads, "if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Every single marriage has conflict. Compromise is a word you don't hear often among Christians, at least in a positive way. There are some things you don't compromise. When it comes to relationships, especially marriage there has to be some compromises. When a person refuses to compromise when it is needed that person is damaging the relationship.