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Marital Transparency

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Marital/Child Raising Tax Breaks

How many of you have paid your taxes this year?
If you are married and/or have children, you probably got a pretty decent tax break.
Turn and talk to one another about this...
Why do you figure the federal government gives tax breaks for marriage and for children?
Point One: The federal government gives tax breaks for marriage and child raising because the creation and stability of family is central to societal health.
If the federal government can figure that out, how much more should we understand it in the church!

What Is Marriage?

Early On…Contractual and Transactional
1 Kings 3:1 NIV
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem.
Was not withoput love.
Later we read that Isaac loved Rebecca.
Genesis 24:50–53 NIV
Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
Genesis 24:51–53 NIV
Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
Was not without love.
Later we read that Isaac loved Rebekah.
But it was not compatibility, relationally, and even necessarily spiritually driven.
Marriage was primarily contract focused.
Jesus returned marriage to its spiritual meaning…Covenantal.
Matthew 19:4–6 NIV
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
What Jesus so often did in his time on earth, was return the real meaning to things.
Matthew 19:
He healed on the Sabbath because the Sabbath wasn’t about the rule, but about the Spirit of the rule.
Reminded people that salvation
Reminded people that marriage wasn’t about contracts, but about a covenant made between a man, a woman, and God.
What do you think Jesus might say about the way we tend to see marriage today? How about your marriage?
Point Two: God wants in marriage for love, devotion, and spiritual intimacy to be so deep, that the bond is unbreakable.

Transparency = Intimacy

Do you see that theme in marriage today? Do you see that theme in your marriage? Let’s talk about how we get there.

How?

Transparency = Intimacy
Cannot tell you how many times I have spoken with people who broken the bonds of covenant in marriage because they were afraid to be transparent with their spouse.
Odd dynamic. We very often get married with the idea that the person makes us feel good.
Also carry with us this weight that the other person cannot walk with us through our baggage.
In marriage, intimacy is created when we are honest, and when we pray together in that honesty.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Cor 13:
Ephesians 5:20–21 NIV
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Point Three: The single best way to create a spiritual bond in marriage is to be transparent, and to pray together about everything.
I like to think of this as creating space in marriage.
Rather than being quick to take offense, to feel threatened, or to be angry, we recognize that we are both married to a sinner, and we are also a sinner.
As such, we are patient, kind, humble, truthful. It protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres...
If we can be both transparent, and a spouse, we can then take the not so good in marriage to the foot of the cross in shared prayer.
Point Four: Transparency trusts in God’s power, not our power.
We only see the power of us.
Point Five: Phrases that should be regular parts of your conversation with each other...
I’m scared
I’m tempted
I’m sad
I’m hopeful

Hope

Recall a conversation with an Eastern Orthodox priest.
“Tears are ok for repentance. But too many tears point to despair.”
Transparency isn’t designed to be a hopeless enterprise.
To give voice to everything in marriage is to actually speak of trust that God is going to work an amazing, and great thing in marriage!
It is to trust that God is bigger than circumstances.
That God will be there in the joys, and in the valleys.
that we may not see a way, but god will always make a way.
Christian marriage is, in the end, the msot hopeful enterprise of all the things we can experience on earth because...
Two Christian people who trust enough to share everything in prayer, can get through anything. Anything.
Conclusion: God’s design for marriage is that it would be better than good.
God wants marriage that is Godly.
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