Faithlife Sermons

How To Save Your Husband

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In week three of Meant To Be, we will look at the nature of marriage as a permanent, covenant relationship. He shared four factors that contribute to the loss of passion in our marriages and relationships!
1 Corinthians 7:10–16 NKJV
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

How Did This Happen?

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul writes to married people that they should not divorce. Marriage is meant to be permanent because when two people marry they become one flesh. The process of divorce is of one being torn in two.! It’s important to remember that there are biblical exceptions to this, in cases such as abuse or unfaithfulness. This addresses marriage, not dating. In a dating relationship, we still have the option to break it off. Finally, he encouraged us all to focus on the present, not the past. No matter what is in our pasts, we do not stand condemned, but are free to look forward to the future God has for us! When two people get married, they are filled with passion for each other. But many marriages reach a point where no passion is left, and the couple wishes to separate.
“How did this happen?”!

When Celebrating Becomes Frustration.

The first factor that contributes to divorce and to dysfunction in any relationship is when we stop celebrating the things we love about someone. If we do this, we may end up frustrated by the very things we used to love. We can guard ourselves against our tendency to slide from a “get to” mindset to a “have to” mindset in our relationships! The 80/20 Principle. People tend to leave the 80% of something they love for the 20% they don’t like. This applies to marriages, relationships, churches, and more. We all have our 20% of dysfunction, and we don’t always have to look hard to find it. But when we celebrate the 80% before fixating on the 20%, we can learn to sustain the relational passion God plants in our hearts!

When We Becomes Me

In Mark 2, there were two men who were so determined to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus that they cut a hole in a roof to lower him through. When Jesus saw the faith of these men, He healed their friend!
Mark 2:3–5 NKJV
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
In marriage, “You’re not a me anymore.” Though we live in a selfie-centered world, we can’t drop someone at the first sign of opposition. Just like the two men who cut a hole in the roof, we need to stick it out in our marriages, carrying the other person when they can’t walk on their own. That carries over to all our relationships we need to carry others to Jesus when they don’t have enough faith to walk themselves!

When Debtors Become Collectors.

In Matthew 18, Jesus told a parable of a man whose master forgave him an incredibly large debt. But that same man who was forgiven of so much demanded payback from another man, and eventually started choking him!
Matthew 18:21–35 NKJV
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
We all owe a debt we can’t pay, but God cancels our debt in Jesus Christ. Passion dies when we forget we’re debtors and start trying to collect each other’s debts. When we live by payback, we’ll die by payback, especially in marriage. And when we choke others with unforgiveness, we really end up choking the lives out of ourselves! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that an unbelieving spouse is sanctified by their believing spouse. Sanctified means cleansed. In the Old Testament, unclean things defiled clean things. But when Jesus came, He made unclean things clean by touching them. We have Jesus in us, and God wants to use us to purify each other in our relationships. He wants to use us to extend the same mercy to each other that we need from Him!
Matthew 6:9–13 NKJV
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Prayer is a time for confession of our sins so that we can be forgiven. Prayer is also a time for us to rely on God to give us the strength to forgive those who have hurt us.
The only “debt” that we are to remain under?
Romans 13:8 NKJV
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

When Covenant Becomes Contract.

Covenant is not a word we understand very well in our current culture. But in the Old Testament, men made covenants by cutting a bull in half and walking between the pieces seven times. This meant, “If I break this, may what happen to this bull happen to me.”! Marriage is a covenant; not a contract. Contracts are built on mutual distrust and provide convenient exit points. The only reason we have a relationship with God is because of a covenant He made with us through His Son, Jesus. It was pretty inconvenient for God to love us, but Jesus kept the covenant amidst being beaten, spit on, mocked, and crucified. All this was done for us.! When we view marriages as contracts, we’ll look for loopholes to get out of them. It takes a covenant to save a marriage-- the recognition that we have vows to fulfill, no matter how much pain we have to bear. The covenant of marriage reflects the covenant of Jesus Christ who died for us—His Bride, the Church—to raise us to life in Him.
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