Is a Great Marriage Really Possible?

What's the point of marriage?

One of the things that I do is I do a lot of weddings, and I do a lot of marriage counseling and pre-marriage counseling. One of the things that we do is we sit down and I asked from the very beginning I say, "What's the point of marriage? What's the end goal of marriage?"

The goal to marriage is to finish together. That one day, when you take your last breath, that you would be together to usher your mate from this world into the presence of our destiny, and what we were created to do and be. That's the goal. That I would take my last breath, holding the hand of my mate or she with me, and that we would finish the race together.

50% of marriages fail

 You've heard it before. In our country, 50% of marriages fail. Yeah, way to give us a boost, Pastor Jeff, right? Well, I'll give you the boost. That's actually 2% down from before. About five years ago, they did this poll, and it was at 52% of marriages. We're cranking away, and we're keeping marriages together 2% at a time, we are now at only a failure rate of 50%.

Now, here's the thing about this. If I were to tell you that when you walk out of Pipeline Church, you have a 50% chance of being mauled by a bear. A lot of you'd be like, "No, I'm cool. I'll just stay here. That's fine."

The problem is, as we look at marriage, very few times do we actually look at it and realize there's a 50% chance (according to national statistics and world knowledge) that this won't end up how I think it's going to end up. I have never performed a wedding where the man and wife or the couple stood in front of me and they said, "I'm going to do this until... we'll see how it works. We're just trying this out for a while." No, everybody says, "Till death do us part."

What I hear a lot is from people that are looking to get married, they're trying to find their mate, they're trying to find their spouse, they're saying, "Is it really possible, Jeff, to find a great marriage, to find my way to a great marriage? Is a great marriage really possible in the United States of America today?" I'm going to say, "Yes."

You don't just happen upon a great marriage.

 Everything we do is paved with intentionality, and direction, and has to be something that effort is exerted on. Some of us are thinking at this time, "Well, it doesn't have to be this hard, does it?" Well, it's one of those things that it's a difficult thing to walk and a difficult line to walk. There's a section of Scripture that it typically use when it comes to weddings, you guys probably know it, it's the love chapter:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

That is love. Now, we see that, and we know that that is the mark and this is why I would say that it's possible to find a solid, good and forever marriage, because we have an understanding of what it's supposed to look like.

Now, here's the problem, you and I are human and we very rarely hit all of the marks. But while this is the mark God's called us to, He is empowering us to find ourselves in that place. It's asking God through His wisdom and power to say, "Remove those things from me." Remove that pride and that arrogance, remove that jealousy, remove all of those things from me that naturally exists there and bring about the fruit of the Spirit in my life that is patient and kind and loving and joyful.

You make a terrible God

In our lives, we get stuck in this thing I call Dreamboat Syndrome. We idolize our spouse. Oh, I love this, I love this, I love this, I love this, but that which we idolize, we eventually will demonize.

Maybe you married somebody, he's just laid back and he's easygoing. "I love this guy. he makes me so comfortable." Two years down the road, you're like, "He's the laziest son of gun I've ever seen."

That which we idolize, we eventually demonize. Why? Because we have a tendency to take a person and put them where God should be and put their attributes there and go, that's what I've been waiting for. Meanwhile, God's saying, "no, that's not the recipe." Make God your one, and your spouse your two.

"The One"

In our day and age in our world and the world we live in and the things that we're told, we're told that we will never be fulfilled in life until we find "The one". Let me just tell you this, if you're single here, that's not the truth. If you're married here, that's not the truth. I might blow up some things for some other people this morning, but that is not the truth.

The thing, the idea that "I need the one" is not the truth, it is not the goal, it is not the big picture. Here's what I'm going to tell you. If you are going to make the promise of priority in your life, the first thing you have to commit in your heart, in your life is that God is and will always be my one. Your life will never be complete until you find your one, which is God.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

The most comfort and encouraging thing in your life should be when your mate tells you, "God is my one, you get to be my two."  

God becomes your one, your spouse becomes your two and if you and I, even though it is great and good and a gift from God, if we put our spouse as the one, we're asking them to do something they can't do, to be God in our life.

The promise of priority

Husbands, my challenge to you today is to lead your family, protect your family, pray over your family. Lead them, lead them. Wives, if he's willing to lead, please let him lead

Your role is to protect the priorities in your family and everything within your power must be about laying down your life for Christ and your spouse and let everything else follow.

Here's the promise of priority: "I promise that God will be my first priority and my mate will be my second." I guarantee, you make that promise, your marriage will last. Your relationships will find fruitfulness.
This blog post contains excerpts from Week 1 of the "You & Me" sermon series.

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