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The Good News About Marriage

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • May 5, 2017
    12:00 PM
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Well today I'm talking about something then hopefully is practical and my intent is not to be discouraging to anyone and I hope to be inclusive of everyone I think that the topic today is something that singles or marrieds or even divorcees looking to remarry and a variety of things can benefit from so that is our intent today you know you stop and you think about the Garden of Eden how nice it would be there were now to not have to worry about and stress about the things that are taking place in this world today to have a perfect life a perfect existence to be able to be face to face with the father. But there are 2 things that God gave us in the garden of supreme importance that is not only for our benefit but for God's glory can you think of those 2 things I heard somebody say the Sabbath and marriage the Sabbath and marriage both for our benefit for our growth for our rest for renewal for our relationship with God to grow to better understand him and who he is and the devil knows that the devil smart he's the he's wise and so he is attacked very strongly those 2 things the Sabbath and marriage and we see it in society today don't we Here's one article columnist 5 reasons marriage doesn't work any more you read further on it talks about how marriage is dead. It's not relevant to the day and time in which we live it's antiquated it's all fashion it just plain doesn't work that's a new USA Today here's another on C.N.N. ready for the marriage apocalypse and I think you can read that maybe you can the marriage apocalypse may be coming talk to any millennial and you can envision an America virtually marriage free with everyone happily single Would that be nice everybody happily single this is do away with marriage says this C.N.N. Opinion article another one Fox News Opinion Dr Keith says Cameron Diaz is right for reasons why marriage is a dying institution and we get bombarded with all of this bad news on top of bad news on top of bad news knowing Here's another one lesbian activists surprisingly candid speech gay marriage fight is a lie to destroy marriage not only were they lobbying certainly for the gay marriage but alternately their goal and that's why this was such a big deal when it hit the press their alternate goal is we just wish there was no such thing as marriage we want to do away with all of it and this gal in 12012 speech Gessen an author an outspoken activist of the L G B T community is just now going viral and includes a theory that many supporters of traditional marriage have speculated about for years the push for gay marriage has less to do with the right to marry it's about diminishing and eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the traditional traditional family so where did this whole idea come from this idea of marriage where you think back to the creation account. When God creates on day one and on day 2 and on day 3 and each day what does he conclude the day with a little phrase that keeps reappearing God saw that it was good it was wonderful it was beautiful it was just as it was supposed to be but then we get here to Genesis 218 and we see the same voice saying it is not good that man should be alone Tyler. Is not good. That man should be along and so in verse $21.00 of that chapter and the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place in the rear which the Lord had taken from man he made into a woman and he brought her to the man and Adam said this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man can you imagine how excited he must have been to see now here is a creature that is like me but uniquely different to help me verse 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh this is God's idea this is God's institution I mean really this sounds kind of odd because they don't have a mother they don't have a father but Jesus is saying these words not just for them but for all of humanity this is how it will work when you get to the right time when it's no longer diapers is no longer clean up your messes and all the rest then it's going to be the tonnage you will leave your father and your mother what college student hasn't quoted that verse a few times and Clichy to my husband to my wife. And I shall become one flesh there's an important part of that too this one flesh God says this is going to bond 2 individuals 2 people in such a close and connected way that I can't have this does happen in here there and everywhere but we have to put this hedge of protection around it and we're going to call it marriage they're going to be committed they're going to covenant with each other and with me and they're going to say I preserve this and I reserve this for this one person this safe relationship where I can be fully and completely vulnerable I'm like I can be vulnerable with any other human on the planet and to protect that vulnerability he says to put this hedge around it and we're going to call it marriage Hebrews $134.00 says marriage is honorable it's a good thing Jeremiah $314.00 that's another aspect of this is I believe God One is to better understand the relationship he longs to have with us the jealousy perhaps that God feels how he has reserved us how he is he's coming to get us his bride and some of these verses Jeremiah 314 return or backsliding children say if the Lord for I am married to you notice the language I'm married to you I'm covenanting with you I'm committed to you as part of the lesson God wants to teach Isaiah 544 and 5 fear not die maker is the line husband the LORD of hosts is his name and I read the Holy One of Israel Revelation 1007 let us be glad and rejoice give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his wife has made herself ready as just a few verses of the many throughout Scripture of God comparing his church to his broad. And he as the husband of his bride and there's this one Husbands love your wives and it tells us how love your wives just as Christ also love the church and gave Himself for when was Christ abusive When did Christ abandon his church When did Christ speak harsh words to tear down rather than to build up you know husbands and I think we could say wives to love your spouse love your wife just as Christ also love the church and gave Himself for her there might be some in the room that said I'm ready to die for my wife yes but are you made to live for your wife when the Jesus abandon abuse mistreat the church he didn't and now word for love there's a lot of forms of the word for love in the Greek and you've heard I'm sure this before there's towards friend brother sister there's ethos a desire or longing but then there's a gap a that's the Divine Love and so in this passage that I got a love that's the immeasurable unfailing love of God and it only comes from God It's divine and he says husbands I want you to love your wives the same way that I love the church that's a tall order how can I do that you can't it comes from God But if you're connected to God you can do all things through Jesus Christ and you can adopt a you can love with the a measurable unfailing love of God God instituted is his idea and he says I'll even teach you how to do it I'll teach you how to love love as I have 1st love you he tells us so Husbands love your wives just as Christ also love the church and gave Himself for her. Here's a quote from thoughts from the blessings page 63 marriage and the sabbath had their origin twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity as the creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock saying a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shell become one we read that verse already and he announced the end of the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time this house to be that which the Eternal Father himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man stop and think about it there is a level of sanctification that God can achieve through his church through other believers but let's just be real there is a level of sanctification that will never come except through a husband or a wife because you won't take it from anybody else nobody else can tell you about this little thing or that little thing but your spouse can come along and say honey it's true this is a problem you need to work on that but it's for our highest blessing and development it's for our own sanctification that God gives us this gift of marriage otherwise or stand see I'm supposed to a you know that's not what I'm saying. But there's something about that relationship that vulnerability that allows us to grow in ways we couldn't otherwise what if God's primary purpose and marriage was not to make us happy but to make us holy Have you ever thought about that. Now don't get me wrong God doesn't want us to be unhappy in our marriages but the idea today is that well we'll stay together as long as we're happy. And that trumps everything else and people will say well why did you leave him well I just wasn't happy years plenty of studies 3 years 5 years 7 years they've all replicated the same conclusion people that say well I deserve to be happy Have you ever heard that I deserve to be happy therefore I'm going to get a divorce and then I will be happy and then question people over here to find out how happy they are or aren't and then 5 years later they've asked that same individual after they've gotten divorced are you happier or less happy you know they say by their own admission less happy than I was 5 years ago they come back to that same person now it's been 10 years are you more happy or are you less happy what they say again by their own admonition less happy why because when they were back over here they had no idea how complicated this thing called divorce would be they had no idea what it would mean for holidays for children for grandchildren. Great grandchildren for work for church for all these other ways that we interact with one another and we think well if I just cut it off if I just separate I'll be happy now granted they came to Jesus with some questions how about divorce what can we do and he quoted the same verses that we already read this morning don't you know he says but just because there are biblical grounds for divorce doesn't mean we have to get divorced now realize that you're just one side of the equation and sometimes something is Biju over and over and over and you can do everything you can to be redemptive and all the rest so I'm not trying to paint a one size fits all but what I am saying is largely statistically those that get divorced 5 years later are less happy and 10 years later are even well enough less happier than they were 5 but they're less haven't they were back there. But somehow society and I shouldn't say somehow somehow the devil has made it seem as if the divorce is the easy button and you just press the easy button and I get to have a redo and start over and everything will be great and grand and I think it centers on this idea would have God's primary purpose and marriage was not to make us happy but to make us whole. To think Lord how could I be sanctified to this relationship how could I better learn self sacrifice giving putting my spouse ahead of me not because I'm waiting and looking for something in return you know that thing I did well it's your turn now but because it's the right thing to do. Shouldn't it be at least $5050.00 did God say that. I would if he had and so I believe the devil has been working awfully hard at our marriages because he knows that the foundation of the church is really the family if I can break up the family and really what is the pillars of the family but husband and wife and so I can make husband and wife break apart I know we'll have a huge impact on the kids that's good I know it's going to have an impact on the church that's great and I know I'll have an impact on the whole mission and purpose of the church and so the devil goes after yes the Sarah when it goes after marriage the 2 institutions and I believe he's working awfully hard but he paints the picture you'll be happier you deserve better and on and on he goes. So you take this young couple what the books are saying and what research is saying is that cohabitation is on the rise but they don't just move in there's not really boxes involved what they say is they slide in the cohabitation or how do you slide in will is really quite easy you just decide well let's let's go here and spend the weekend together and OK that was nice and then maybe you just stay the night over the weekend here in my apartment OK that was fine and when just leave your toothbrush and then a few days later weeks later OK they stay a little longer and then a few days longer and before they know it they just kind of say I don't even know why I have the apartment they just slide in and that's what people are doing and why is this young couple slide into cohabitation think about that couple Number 2 there's a couple that's been married for a while you ever heard of The 7 Year Itch it's real I don't mean to scare anybody but there's something about 7 years I can't really put my finger on I don't know if that's when when kids happen and life gets a little crazier or jobs get a little crazier or whatever it is but something about 7 years when many marriages have a difficult time might be 6 it might be 8 but this couple right here in this picture is wondering what am I bothering with this for this is not what I signed up for he's not doing his part she's not making me happy they're not fulfilling me and on and on it goes and the thought has been put in the mind marriage doesn't work any way only 50 percent of marriages succeed I must be one of the 50 percent flip a coin it's me why am I going to stick around for something that's probably not going to work anyway I might as well get out of this while I'm still young and have a chance and find happiness that's couple Number 2 what they have in common a couple number one will come back to this couple Number 3 They've been married something didn't go as planned as they had hoped. And so they found themselves divorced or widowed or whatever the case may be and they're looking at a 2nd marriage but they're also scared and nervous Why because the seed again has been planted by everything in research that says oh you didn't do well in the 1st marriage let me tell you the statistics only get worse for 2nd and 3rd and 4th marriages you're doomed honey it's not going to work you might well not even try as I've talked to couples to say we're scared to death about getting marriage married because we you know what people say about 2nd marriages they just don't work so many of them fail and so what all 3 of these couples have in common no hope in the institution of this thing called marriage and the devil says yes. Just what I wanted marriage doesn't work it's archaic we'd be better off if we just in power 1312 Thank you Melanie for reading this for us this morning says Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire comes is the Tree of Life Clear word paraphrase says it this way when hope is constantly crushed the heart feel sick but when hope is realized it's like eating from the tree of life you've heard people say that right there's just there's no light at the end of the tunnel What are they talking about there's no hope for me I'm probably the worst most down place you can be is when things are not going your way and you feel like there is no hope constantly crushed your heart feel sick but when hope is realized you are energized I can get through this because I have a hope of something better that will preach a great sermon to about it's not today. So Elizabeth now Robert Andrews and while we're there every year they have this family and ministry conference and one of the presenters was. Named the top of this book I'm not trying to sell a book I don't get royalties but if you don't believe what I'm going to tell you in the next last part of this message I would encourage you to go to Amazon when the sun sets and get this book you can get is a Kindle you can be reading it by 930 tonight on your little device the good news about marriage I thought about not stealing the title for the sermon but I want to remember the name of the book so if you get home you think was the name of the book just look at my title the sermon and type in Amazon you'll see these colors you know you're at the right place now she writes a lot of other books a few I should say she's not a therapist or anything like that she's a statistician that kind of came in the back door if you will but she does various research and she wrote these 2 books called for men only and for women only We've done a marriage seminar in this church before and if you are not familiar with those books there are 2 different books for men only and for women only don't be intimidated by the titles men can read for women only book and vice versa but the idea is understanding your husband or understanding your wife and it's simple things it's little things it's practical things that you can apply to your marriage right now today and if you're like me when you read it you'll laugh I laugh now this isn't this book this is some other ones they have some I should put pictures of them but I said wow this isn't just Elizabeth in the eyes continuing argument or debate or issue this is like everybody this is like 75 percent of all women feel this way and I was in all how moment for me because at the oh this is no Elizabeth issue this is my issue right now that's how all women feel most of all I mean you can't put everybody in the same box. But it's so practical so helpful and so if you haven't seen those other books I would encourage you to pick those up too I tell people I consider the steps to Christ for couples now it's not an amnesty book but I call it that because it's one of those that you should read every year or listen to it every year I have it on digital format I haven't and paper form I have it in audible so I can listen to it and every time I hear I'm like oh yeah oh yeah I have the couples that come through for pre-marriage counseling I say get these books so you have to prepare me for not putting those up on the screen again I'm not selling books even though I'm selling books but I'm getting a role these are just so good so what is this book The good news about marriage had to say the power of hope many factors lead to a marriage succeeding or breaking down that's true but the biggest underline theme she found is there hope in the marriage or not that's it do you have hope where we make it leads to a different outcome then this is never going to get better we're probably going to be a statistic we have a culture wide feeling a futility about marriage and it's only getting worse everyone thinks half of all marriages end in divorce if you heard that before if you have Raise your hand you know mostly marriages fail if you heard that before most marriages are just so so mean they're not that happy maybe you heard something like that before marriage is complicated requires a rocket science to fix it you have to go to a professional and go through all this counseling and even then I don't know if it's going to work and the other thing I buy things is the rate of divorce is the same in the church we're going to tackle those with the time we have left but could it be that divorce is not the greatest threat to marriage but discouragement is this idea that it's not going to work anyway. Will be a while you can virtually every study has found that marriage is essential when it comes to family raising children and personal happiness and fulfillment but the news doesn't like to talk about those studies then when I talk about highlight the bad news so let's look at this $15.00 areas of good news area number one the idea of the 50 percent divorce rate is inaccurate if you were to ask me a month ago I would have said yes what it is I mean common sense everybody knows this. The idea that the percent divorce rate is inaccurate let's look at this according to the Census Bureau she didn't do the census bureau says their 71 percent of women are still married to their 1st spouse OK let me try that again 71 percent women are still married to their 1st found us. And it only gets better the 29 percent of the 1st marriages that have ended includes those who have been widowed and not just divorced and so what we have here is a 71 percent we have no idea on the 29 percent that are no longer some in the 1st half we don't know if they're divorced or their spouse passed away we don't know no clue and she's tried a search and this and that they can guess and they can guesstimate a little bit but we know it's not 50 percent. And we know it's going to be better than 71 percent because somebody has done I hate to say it but somebody is done right. And so 1st marriage divorce rate is likely closer to 20 to 25 percent not 50 percent now does that still need to be improved on yeah but Debs worlds away from half that's the opposite that saying you have a 75 you guys have a 75 percent chance of making it. It's a good thing. Even among baby boomers the highest divorce rate is that category by the way 7 in 10 marriages are still intact that's huge so why do people keep publishing the 50 percent. Well all those numbers are projections when you look at the data charts the divorce rate hit a peak in 1980 and has been dropping ever since but in that spike there was an estimate if this trend continues it will not be long before we reach 50 percent and it stuck and so not everybody and their brother has been just quoting this 50 percent 50 percent and if you follow the trail back to this person's going this person or this person it just kind of fizzles because the data is not there but the devil's done amazing job to say you only have 50 percent chance now some are saying maybe 40 to 50 percent because a lot of the most common datasets that are used are from people that get married as teenagers and that is about 50 percent but that only makes up 4.9 percent of all marriages so don't take a small subset Well teenage marriages. And then apply it to everybody on top of that the average age of marriage now is $29.00 for men and $27.00 for women so it's not the norm also the media's predisposed to negative news have you noticed this not the positive news New York Times had a front page with a headline saying divorce is contagious Now if you actually read the study not the New York Times article but if you read the study Ashanti presented in her book there's all kinds of good news but New York Times didn't care about the good news they only want to report the bad news is this idea if you have friends and this friend that friend they all got divorced it could be more pressure for you get divorce well that can bear out and make sense but what they didn't tell you. Was that the actual divorce rate in the town that they were describing it was only $9.00. I mean that's why how why wasn't the headline American town only has 9.5 divorce rate and I say think. So 5 areas of good news number 175 percent of marriages stay intact that's a much better estimate than 50 so when couples ask are we going to make it you can say yes most couples do especially if they're not one of those high risk areas Number 2 the common re marriage divorce rate of 60 percent for 2nd marriages and 72 percent for 3rd marriages is inaccurate. Again you don't have to believe me she's got a lot more proof in her book but she's really changing the tide on this according to Census Bureau again 2965 percent of women are still married to their 2nd spouse but if you track with me the 1st time is the same thing is true of this number 35 percent that remains includes death and divorce so stop and think about it a 2nd marriage usually occurs when people are younger or older older sometimes a fair bit older so are they going to be more deaths or less death more do we know the difference between which ones died which ones got divorced no so when we come up with an estimate the 2nd marriage divorce rate is likely closer to 30 percent or the inverse 70 percent of 2nd marriages last. Is that good news. But often people go into a 2nd marriage saying well we'll do everything in our power to make it work but just in case it doesn't work we're going to set up some little protection because I got burned the 1st time and so I'll put this little side bank account that he doesn't know about and I'll just be putting some money over there just in case. Which can actually be a big part of the problem because you're building walls and there's a lack of trust is trust important in a marriage yes there's a devil no there I believe he does but if people knew 70 percent of 2nd marriages last Are we going to make it yes most 2nd marriages do it's good news so 75 percent of marriages stay intact 70 percent of 2nd marriages stay intact number 3 the idea that only 30 percent of those marriages are happy marriages is also an accurate most people think most marriages are just so so there's one right reason why people are cynical about marriage and our lives together instead why bother they say yet according to many different studies meaning lots of support on average 80 percent of marriages are happy and let me just qualify for all you doubters that means both spouse husband and wife filled out yes I'm happy it's not a wife saying how figure that also feel this out how you know where yes we're a happy. No they give the husband one too and he can say well sorta happy. They're not going to be included as a happy spouse or a happy couple they both independently have to check we're happy and what's the number 80 percent of marriages are does know they're happy is happy good. Well disappointed that you're not more sad in your. Marriage don't have to be perfect to be happy most people enjoy being married Here's another study I think is very encouraging. If you're taking pictures of slides take a picture this one Scott Stanley and Linda wait did a study and they found that among those people that were the most unhappy what I say the most unhappy if they stuck it out for 5 years 80 percent of those couples 5 years later said we're happy we're happy we figured it out we got through that long distance part of the relationship we got through when he got laid off and then I had this thing happen and and the hospital bills although we got that all figured out and so 5 years later and there's a lot of other studies on this too at 3 years 7 years and they all come out with the same conclusion they're happy the point being don't bail stick with it so 75 percent of marriages stay intact 70 percent of 2nd marriages stay intact 80 percent of those marriages say they are happy and number 4 marriage is not rocket science what do I mean by that or what does she mean by that shanty fell and found in her research for the surprising secrets of highly happy marriages and for women only and for men only that most marriage problems are not caused by the big ticket issues whether it be alcoholism or sexual abuse and we could probably add to that she says for most couples their relatively simple thing is little things and most couples are trying hard to work and improve on their marriage but they're just doing the wrong thing they're using the wrong verbiage they're giving to their spouse what they need but it's not what their spouse needs and by tweaking some of those relatively small things it can make all the difference instead most the time a husband or wife care about each other. And try hard but in the wrong areas where they can hurt each other without listening as they said the reality is little changes can make all the difference and that's what I love about those small books they're little changes it's not rocket science you do things a little differently tried as an experiment on your spouse this works people you're interested in little things that work. For example found this in your research women have an underlying insecurity about whether their man really loves them when they choose them all over again and see the man brain doesn't understand that I said I do at the altar what's left to say. You never tell me that you love me honey I told you like a month ago you don't remember that. I know is this underlying insecurity and I don't remember what the number is it's in one of those books that I was talking about earlier but it's a large number like 7080 percent they need to be reminded often I love you I would choose you all over again. Does that make sense to me no I have a guy brain is that a little thing that I can do yes now can I go golfing I don't golf but yes you can honey I love you too thanks to. Little things men on the other hand have a much greater desire to be respected and feel he is a good provider OK So that's the guy brain Respect Is he providing And so for example the woman is touched when he the husband puts his arm around his wife in church and whisper something like. And that's just like. Me all over again. You want the equivalent of I love you to a male. It's not to say we don't like to hear the words once in a while but you know once a month will suffice right. For the man who wants to hear something like this is how he's touched when a woman says something like Thank you thank you for being such a good dad thank you for cutting the grass thank you for whatever it is to us in our language that's thank you for being a good provider I respect what you do and how you provide for our family and so that in our years is like I love you so now with my love and she says thank you we both have a. Not quite but anyway it's not rocket science it's little things so I'm repeating these on purpose 75 percent of marriages stay intact 70 percent of 2nd marriages stay intact 80 percent of those marriages say they are happy the little things can make all the difference and I've saved this one for last because this is always bugged me and bothered me the rate of divorce is not the same in the church have you heard that raise your hand if you heard that the numbers are identical I've said I'm before the numbers are identical in the church I mean this is terrible. George born and he's a big statistician he never found that the rate of divorce was the same in the church people took his data and they mis interpreted it and so she went to barn and she asked him about this and he studies looked at the belief system but not the actions and so basically what we have here is on a questionnaire they're asking whatever question they want and then they say and what denomination are you well if you write down Roman Catholic if you write down Baptist Methodist all these things but you may only go to church like twice a year does that make you an active involve member at church. It really doesn't and so she teamed up with Barnett they really did the study and they asked were you in a church this last weekend or how many times this month or something along those lines among those who attend church regularly divorce drops by $25.00 to as much as 50 percent I think that's significant because the myth is saying if you're going to church if you're reading your Bible if you're part of a small group if you're going to prayer me it doesn't matter at all in your marriage and really if it doesn't help in my marriage what other ways are the Bible completely unhelpful maybe the whole thing is just a whole scam and the devil says Yes No $25.00 as much as 50 percent if you're involved in your church divorce goes down because the Word of God is powerful it does work and if I'm connected with the true source of who love adoptee love is going to make a difference in my marriage to my spouse how I treat them and so the answer is yes it makes a difference so you see them all here again divorce rate dropped 25 percent of those who attend church regularly so I just conclude with this Proverbs 1312 hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire comes it's a tree of life I don't know where you are on the spectrum you might be a young single as I just don't know about this thing called marriage you might be in a marriage and you say this is really tough right now and I'm really honestly. Looking for other options you might be passed out already and you're looking for somebody else to to marry a 2nd marriage a 3rd marriage a new thing and I don't even know if I want to bother because the terrible whatever it is I hope today's presentation gives you hope in this institution that God came up with it was his idea of marriage and somebody at this seminar they raise their hand and I don't remember exactly how they worded it but they they said Shanti Have you noticed in all of this as you go back and try and find the research and who said it and you you find these rabbit trails that go nowhere or come to a dead end do you feel because he's a Christian do you feel like there's like the devil has his hand in this and she says absolutely I do and that's why we've got to get the word out that this isn't the case so we can give people hope that marriage is not dead therefore these are the words of Jesus what God has joined together let no man separate and so I take courage today and hope today from the fact that there is hope for God's institution of marriage and I hope you take courage in that as well because I think it is one of those divine institutions one of the 2 that Jesus gave for our benefit to bring our in glory to him. To sanctify us in a way that is meaningful and practical for the world around us in our sphere of influence Dear Heavenly Father I would pray today that this presentation this morning this sermon would give hope to individuals wherever they are whatever phase of life they find themselves in that they may see the good news about this divine institution that you gave as a gift to us may we use it to glorify you we pray in Jesus' name and this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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