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“The First Thing in Your Marriage”
Selected Scriptures
May 21, 2017

I’ve been thinking about marriage quite a bit lately.

I’ve been thinking about marriage because I’ve been working on my notes for the trip to Russia to teach biblical counseling, where I will be teaching several times on various aspects of marriage.

And I’ve been thinking about marriage because quite a bit of the counseling and discipleship I do is related to marriage.

And mostly I’ve been thinking about marriage because I am married and that means I think about it every day — and because Raye Jeanne and I celebrated our 30th anniversary this week, and we have been reminded in so many ways of God’s grace in our lives.

And as I’ve thought about marriage, one thought keeps coming to mind — that the things that we all tend to put first in the marriage, really aren’t first. And because we put second (or third or fourth) things first, we don’t experience the kinds of joys and freedoms in marriage that we might enjoy. So this morning I want to remind us of the biblical principles of “first things” as they relate to marriage.

Here’s the principle:

To find your greatest satisfaction in marriage, find your greatest satisfaction in God.

The reason that there is so much discontent in marriage is not that husbands and wives are selfishly seeking their own pleasures, but that they don’t seek their pleasure in God. Again, to find the greatest satisfaction in marriage, find your greatest satisfaction in God.

Our marriages will never be successful until we are (I am) growing spiritually. If I am not actively pursuing spiritual maturity then I am an anchor on my marriage that is not only keeping us from moving forward as a couple, but I am likely taking my marriage down to the ocean floor where the anchor rests. Spiritual maturity and growth is not an extra in marriage; it is the core of it.

Let’s flesh out the proposition, to find your greatest satisfaction in marriage find your greatest satisfaction in God, with two basic principles:

  1. Make God the Center of Your Marital Life
  • One thing matters in life — the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)
  • One thing will lead you away from the glory of God — idolatry (James 4:1-3, 8)
  1. Be Proactive in Building Your Relationship with God
  • Ingest Scripture for the purpose of being transformed
    • The object of the spiritual life is transformation
    • Be transformed by cultivating a love for God’s Word (Ps. 1:2a).
    • Be transformed by cultivating the practice of thinking about using God’s Word (Ps. 1:2b).
  • Pray for the purpose of cultivating a relationship of dependence (Matt. 6:5-13)

Download the rest of this sermon on marriage.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.