Don't Make it Fair: Partnership in Relationships

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. 

God wants to strengthen us and point out the beauty in the differences in each of us. When we celebrate our differences, we actually are battling back the enemy and what he wants from us.

Let's talk about marriage for a minute. Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. I need us to get this.

How is it different, Jeff? What do you see?

A contract is based on mutual distrust. We need to know that. Protect me from what you are going to do wrong to me. That's what a contract is. I'm only in as far as you are in, is what a contract says.

We Have Been Practicing Divorce

Now, I don't want to get lost just talking about marriage. I'm going to talk to people who are dating. Dating and relationship from the world's perspective, from the way that the world does dating and relationships, is like practicing marriage.

That means we get engaged to each other in a way where now we're solid, just one unit. We're doing things together. People, when they're dating, they make assumptions that it's a miniature version of being married. You got to try this out.

A lot of people, by the time they've gotten married, they've practiced getting married and getting divorced multiple times. Then they come to the year two when you wake up to that person and you go, "Oh, I didn't see that coming." They go, "This is not what I got into."

You already know how to break it off because you've learned, you practiced it, you lived through it. That's why God says, "I want you, not to just be in this distrust relationship, I want you to be in a covenant relationship that's based on mutual commitment. Mutual commitment." We're all in for richer, for poor, for sickness, and for health, till death do us part. Marriage is not dividing everything in half. It's giving everything you've got.

Don't Make it Fair

Do you want to know the guaranteed recipe to ruin any and every relationship you've ever had? Interested to know? It's three words. Make it fair.

"That's just not fair."

 If you want to ruin every relationship you have, whether it's a relationship with the people you work with, your family, your friends, your loved ones, somebody you're dating, somebody you're married to, your grandparents, I don't care. Every relationship, if you want to ruin it, go ahead and make it fair.

A lot of times, into relationships. You treat me good, I'll treat you good. If I get a whiff that you're messing around, I'm going to make sure I burn your house down. I'm going to go all crazy on you. I'm going to make sure that if I can't have it, nobody else can. Ooh. If you want to ruin every relationship you ever had, go ahead and make it fair.

When we look at the Word of God, does fair have anything to do with it?

Fair Has Nothing to do with It

 If you come, and you do me wrong, what does the Bible say I'm supposed to do to you? Love you? Treat you like you don't deserve to be treated?

In the moment where I stand up, and I say, "But I deserve," that's the moment when I have to look up and remember that there is a cross that is now empty, where my savior hung.

He gave me what I did not deserve, in the time where I did not deserve it. It says, "While I was lost in sin, in the middle of my grossest, dirtiest, most filthy moment, Christ died for me, gave his life for me so that I could know true redemption."

Don't make it fair. Plan to lose, plan to give your life.

You + Me = We

Godly leadership and mutual submission is the definition of biblical partnership.

Paul's writing his letter to the Ephesians. He says, "And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the savior of his body, the church, As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean." 

Men, you and I have been called to lead. In leadership, we've been called to lead from the front. When you lead from the front, sometimes you take the arrows and the bullets and the pain for your spouse because you have been called to lead. That doesn't mean you make all the decisions. It's not a dictatorship. That's not leadership. Wives respect when he's willing to take that position and allow yourself to be led.

A Partnership Requires

1. Common Vision (you've got to be heading in the same direction)
2. Commitment (don't bow out just because it doesn't "feel" right)
3. Clear Priorities (in order: God, marriage, kids, friends, church, work, school, vacation/sports)

That's my hope that you pick up today, that you will begin to place priority in the right place and on the right people and the right things and you can find the relationships and the marriage that God is leading you toward.
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