MARRIAGE MATTERS

MARRIAGE MATTERS

Connected – Week 4 – Marriage Matters

Genesis 2:18-24; 1 Corinthians 6:13b-20

[funny proposal story]

I wish I would have been taught more about marriage when I was younger. If you think about it, if you get married, you will spend majority of your life married. Yet, we might prepare for marriage for a month before our wedding, and actually we prepare more for the wedding than we do the marriage. We spend more time practicing divorce than we do preparing for marriage. I’m convinced that that is what most dating is…practice for divorce. “That person doesn’t make me happy…that person is starting to annoy me…” In marriage, that person isn’t always going to make you happy…they are sometimes, and probably often are going to annoy you…and much more!

I’m not an anti-dating person…but I do think that we’ve got it all wrong. I know that many of your future spouses will not be happy about the relationship you’re in right now or the relationship that you have had in the past. If you want a fulfilling rest of your life, you need to do it starting right now. You need to start thinking about your marriage now. If you date, it should be because you actually, truly honestly, not due to your overactive hormones of your need for affection, but actually, truly, want to and can see yourself marrying that person. Some of you may be that way…many of you most likely are dating for selfish and ungodly reasons, ones that will end up hurting that person, hurting you, and hurting both of your possible spouses and even the rest of your lives.

So…marriage…what about it, and what do I need to know right now?…

Purity paves the way to intimacy.

Our most intimate relationship on earth is marriage. See how intimate this relationship is. It goes all the way to the beginning, to the first man and woman. The first married couple.

Genesis 2:18-24

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

So, we see that our most intimate relationship on earth is marriage…So, what does that have to do with the other point that purity paves the way to intimacy? Ok, well let’s look at a couple places in the New Testament that refer to this passage we just read in Genesis.

1 Corinthians 6:13b-20

13 …The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

When you unite with someone sexually, you are one with that person. This is the biblical truth.

Don’t listen to the lies of Satan! The culture we live in throws out lies after lies saying the opposite. They say that everyone has sex and you’re lame if you don’t. No, the ones who don’t just don’t talk about it or sing about it to auto tune. They say that you can’t live without sex. No one has ever died from not having sex. They say that sex is a natural part of a loving relationship. If this is true, why can’t those students who are so sexually active keep long-term, loving relationships? They say that sex is a natural part of growing up. The truth is that sex outside of its designed parameters of marriage keeps people from growing up. They say that sex outside of marriage would cease to be a problem if teens would just wear condoms. Condoms may prevent STDs and pregnancy, but there are A LOT deeper problems than that. Condoms do nothing to block the mental and emotional consequences of sex. A condom can’t: erase a memory, remove guilt, restore a reputation, or repair self-esteem. They say that sex makes life better. Truth is, sex outside of marriage doesn’t make life better; it makes life more complicated. Don’t listen to the lies of Satan!

God invented sex and marriage and he created sex for marriage. – He invented sex as a good thing, a thing that unites, a thing that is meant to bring freedom, enjoyment, and intimacy in the most intimate of relationships – marriage. But for all the good that God created sex for within marriage – it’s just as destructive outside marriage as it is good within marriage.

Sex outside of marriage is destructive. Fire in the fireplace is a wonderful thing. But fire on the carpet can burn your house down. Sex is like fire. In the right context, it is awesome. But when it is outside the context it was designed for, sex can burn your life and your relationships to the ground. Don’t play with fire.

Now what if you’re not going THAT far? How far is too far?

Well, besides Paul saying “Flee from sexual immorality,” I want to ask you this question. You will be married one day, Lord willing…You will love that person more than you can possible love anyone on this earth…They are your jewel, your treasure, your love…How far would you want your wife to go with the person she dated right before you? How far would you want your husband to go with the person he dated right before you?

A pure life now will bring you a more fulfilling and intimate marriage in your future. Purity paves the way to intimacy, and the most intimate relationship you will have, by God’s design, is your marriage. If marriage is so important and the most intimate relationship on earth, let’s see some verses on what the Bible has to say about it…

1 Corinthians 7:29

29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,

Luke 14:26

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 18:29-30

29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

How can God say these things if marriage is so important? It seems like it is saying the opposite. It’s because of this:

Ephesians 5:25, 32

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Marriage on earth points to a greater marriage – Christ and His church.

All of our relationships point to our greatest and most essential relationship. But marriage was specifically designed for that very purpose. It shows Christ’s love and commitment for His church – those He’s saved. Marriage is designed to show Christ and His church.

John Piper says, “The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people.”

Marriage is a covenantal promise, not a contractual agreement. And that covenantal promise starts now…way before you get to the point of putting that ring on. And, everything leading up to that point should be to show Christ’s covenant keeping promise. He didn’t cut any corners – He didn’t take the easy way – He gave himself and his life fully and wholly to you…for you.

What if you’ve messed up? There’s grace. There’s forgiveness. Isaiah 1 says that though your sins are like scarlet, He will wash you white as snow. That’s what Christ offered on the cross. That’s what the story of Hosea and Gomer shows. You can be forgiven and pure through the sacrifice of Jesus. Well, that shows that you can be made right with God, but what about your future spouse? What if you’ve already messed up? Start saving yourself for your spouse now. Show him or her that you’re waiting for them.

Write letters to them. Now. When you’re lonely. When you’re waiting. When you’re thinking about them. When you don’t even know them yet – pray for them – when you are struggling with liking a boy or girl and wanting to date them but trusting God over your feelings – When you are lonely – when all your friends have boyfriends or girlfriends and go to parties and you are home – by yourself – write to them…your future spouse.

Now, there are one of three possible stories. Here are the three stories you can write to your future spouse: (by Andy Stanley)

Story 1

When I was a teenager I messed up sexually. I got carried away with the person I was dating. I figured that since I did it once, it really didn’t matter if I did it again. So I slept with several other people along the way to meeting you.

Story 2

When I was a teenager I messed up sexually. But when I was ____ years old, after hearing my youth pastor teach on purity and intimacy in marriage, I decided that God knew what He was talking about. Sex was created for marriage. I decided that from that point on I would wait. I set new standards and have stuck with them. Since that day I have saved myself for you.

Story 3

When I was a teenager I realized that God knows more about sex than anyone. Since He created sex for marriage, I decided to wait. I have saved myself for you.

Which story do you want to tell? Which story would you want to hear from the person you will one day marry? Let’s begin right now with committing ourselves to God and our future spouse.

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