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*Confessions of a Pastor – I find marriage to be quite a challenge!*
Valentine’s Day was this past Tuesday.
Maybe you ended up getting your Valentine flowers, chocolate or a card.
That card may have been a Shoebox card.
Shoebox is a tiny little division of Hallmark.
Did you know that only 20% of ideas people submit to Shoebox get accepted?[i]
Here’s some of the 80% that didn’t make the cut! *I bought your baby a Rottweiler.
See, now all those annoying toys I give you later won’t seem as bad! *Have a Happy Birthday!* *If you can... * What with all the violence and strife and pollution and gas prices and beef hormones.
*Now these two cards did make the cut!
Before rushing into a face lift (blank) checks out how it looks on the cat.
*/Until death do us part!
A couple of times that almost came true!/ /Happy Valentine’s Day!/
Do you remember the Temptation Survey Results we unpacked last weekend?
We asked this question: /Name a temptation which enters your mind most often?/
I gave you some of the results but not all the results.
Someone said this. *To leave my incredibly selfish spouse!
*Today I begin a brand new four week series entitled, Confessions of a Pastor.
Last week I gave you my first confession.
I am tempted far more than what you think I am! Here’s my second confession.
*I find marriage to be quite a challenge!
*Now please hear what I’m saying and what I’m not saying.
/What I’m NOT saying is that I don’t love my wife.
What I am saying is that I love her dearly/.
That’s why marriage is such a challenge!
If I didn’t love her and if I didn’t fear God – I would just leave!
Because in my mind, leaving just seems easier.
Leaving would create instant happiness.
The Bible says that’s not true! *Is there anyone else who finds marriage to be a challenge?*
And why is that?
I asked a few people to give me their reasons why marriage is so challenging?
*Here are a few of their answers!*
*Marriage is challenging because* people change over the years.
(Abuse, addiction, dysfunction, mental illness – oh will marriage be challenging.)
People change emotionally, physically.
/After examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, the doctor took the lady's husband aside and said, "I don't like the looks of your wife."
The husband answers, "How rude.
I think she looks beautiful.”*[ii]*
Our looks do change./
*Marriage is challenging because of money or the lack thereof.
Bon Jovi sings, */“It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.
We got each other and that’s allot.”
I agree but money does help.
/*Marriage is challenging because couples often juggle work schedules making life exhausting.
Marriage is challenging because children are challenging.
*Tricia and I were watching either Jay Leno or David Letterman one night.
A comedian was being interviewed and this guy asked, “Do you know what makes parenting difficult?
The other parent!
Parenting is tough but parenting becomes almost impossible if two people see it only their way!
*Marriage is challenging because of poor communication.
/(Pillsbury flower story*[iii]*)/ Marriage is challenging because we don’t often prioritize relationships.
*God must be first.
When he’s not all of life goes out of whack.
*/I make my marriage challenging…/*/I am often selfish.
I have a tendency to put my wants in front of my spouses.
*(Remote in my purse joke)* /*One person wrote*: Marriage is challenging because you have /two people with two different personalities, two different sets of interests and talents, two different backgrounds coming together to make one life.
/Maybe that’s our problem.
We need to be reminded that marriage is about TWO becoming ONE! *Turn in your Bibles today to Luke 5. DO YOU NEED A BIBLE?*
We’ve spent the last five weeks in Luke 4. I just kept reading.
I want you to know that Luke 5 has nothing to do with marriage.
Luke 5 is about discipleship.
Discipleship - what it really means to be a Christ follower.
Being a Christ follower changes every relationship, so in reality, Luke 5 has everything to do with marriage.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all describe Jesus calling his first four disciples, but Luke gives us details. Luke also shocks me as bit, because as a doctor you would think he’d like things done in order.
Matthew and Mark take Jesus’ life and map it out in the order that it happened.
Luke moves stories around to get the biggest bang for his buck.
*Take Luke 5.* Peter has been hanging out with Jesus for nearly 9 months now.[iv]
He saw Jesus’ baptism.
I bet he heard God speak that day!
He saw Jesus cleanse the temple and turn water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
But Jesus decides to go back home to Nazareth so Peter goes back home to Capernaum where he’ll begin to fish again!
*Let’s read Luke 5: 1-11.
Leave life the way we know.*
Right here Jesus calls his first four disciples.
Two sets of brothers.
Peter and Andrew, James and John.
Think about this.
Luke tells us in Acts 12 that James will be the first Apostle martyred for his faith.
John will become Jesus’ closest friend.
Tradition tells us he will die a natural death after receiving a supernatural Revelation in AD 95.
Peter will preach in Acts 2 and oh do people respond.
The first 12 chapters of Acts outline the acts of the HS working in the life of Peter – the one time denier of Jesus!
When Luke says they left everything – he means it.
But they didn’t leave empty handed.
They are full of faith!
When it comes to marriage, let’s leave behind everything culture tells us marriage is.
We think marriage is a fairy tale.
Prince Charming meets Cinderella.
He’s her knight in shining armor.
He sweeps her off her feet.
He becomes her one true love and they live happily ever after.
*Here’s another Hallmark card.*
/(Name, you’re the one I love.
I love you cos you’re special.
I love you cos you’re sweet.
I love you cos you came along and made my life complete!*[v]*)/
Please, that’s just not true.
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