Stress Fractures

Bible Book: Song of Solomon  2 : 15
Subject: Marriage; Family

Today I want to read from a love story. It is found in your bible. The book is the Song of Solomon. The Song of Solomon is a very different book from most in the bible. It conveys the story of a woman, called the Shulamite, and her love for her shepherd. The shulamite shepherdess has given her heart to the shepherd. The couple remains true to each other despite extreme opposition, stress fractures, if you will that seek to destroy the relationship.

There is an opposition that in this world toward families. Society that does all it can to break them up. This world allows for all sorts of ungodly behavior. But, the world system still tries to do all it can to break up families.

The song is a beautiful picture of Christ and you. It is also a picture of the love of a husband and wife. Every relationship faces stresses that seek to fracture one's love. Song of Solomon 2:15 calls them the little foxes that seek to spoil the vines. It is not normally the huge problems that cause the most difficulty; it is an accumulation of many smaller issues.

I want us to look at some of the little foxes with which you are going to have to deal if you are to preserve a strong relationship, or restore a relationship that has weakened.

I. Busyness

Ephesians 5:15-16, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."

Many couples are caught in the trap of becoming too busy. It is not that you are involved in bad things. You are just involved in too many things. What are the results?

A. Irritability
B. Preoccupation
C. Constant Fatigue

II. Insensitivity

Note Ephesians 5:17, "So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the lord is."

A. Dullness

It is interesting insensitivity will lead to dullness. If you are not sensitive to God's voice it will lead to spiritual dullness on your part. Insensitivity in your marriage will lead to dullness in your spouse. You wonder why she doesn't respond to your romantic advances, yet you have been insensitive to her needs throughout the day. The will of the lord for your marriage is that you be sensitive to each  other's needs. Gary Smalley talks about the clinched fist. He uses it to illustrate a closed spirit. What does my open hand say to you? What does my clenched fist say to you?

B. Stubbornness

Note Ephesians 5:21, "Submit to one another out of reverence for christ."

Stubbornness refuses to give in, to admit my part in a problem and to seek help. The only way to correct this is to respect Christ in a way that leads to mutual surrender.

C. Boredom

One of the major reasons for the breakdown of a marriage is boredom. The relationship slowly becomes old. Too many couples are marriage partners but not friends.

My parents, before moving up here, lived on Lake Jackson. Once while visiting them I asked my mom how their relationship became so strong. She said the greatest thing that happened to them was - me! (Just kidding.) She said, "We became very good friends."

III. Intimacy

Retain intimacy and romance in your relationship. The bible talks extensively about this. Look at 1 Corinthians 7 and notice that this passage talks about the importance of intimacy in marriage.

IV. Financial Pressure

Many couples are facing a fractured relationship due to financial issues. Oswald Chambers says, "Most financial problems are related to one of the biggest psychological faults in most of us. The inability to delay gratification." He goes on to say, "The basis of financial unhappiness is the installment system which promotes the idea of having the benefits before you can afford the price."

Advertising convinces us we need it all and the latest credit card promises we can have it all. One of the best things couples can do for their finances is to get involved in a study that helps get spending under control.

V. Unfaithfulness

God intended sexuality to be freely enjoyed as his gift. There are two evils that threaten: Fornication before marriage and/or adultery after marriage.

Bill Hybels in a book entitled, "Christians In A Sex Crazed World," talks about affair-proofing your marriage. How?

1. Choose your friends wisely

2.Beware of the workplace

3. Set boundaries you are unwilling to cross

4. Understand God's word on the subject