It was another good solid day of worship (Free, Breath, Never Let Go, How He Loves Us) and Word (Sticky Relationships) at RC that featured a full house in both services. Our 11AM crowd got a little extra humor as I threw in some spontaneous stand-up.
We concluded Sticky Relationships by focusing on marriage and addressing cohabitation. I will list my sermon notes below and I also want to let you know that you can listen to the entire series by clicking HERE.
Week 1 = Cohesiveness in Christ
Week 2 = Cohesiveness in Community
Week 3 = Curing Cohesiveness
Week 4 = Making Marriage Stick
Making Marriage Stick
Opened the message with an amusing video by The Skit Guys entitled Romantically Challenged.
Proverbs 18:22 says, He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
- CEV = A man’s greatest treasure is his wife—she is a gift from the LORD.
Genesis 1 = 6 times God says something is good.
When He is finished He exclaims it is very good.
Then in chapter 2 He says something is NOT good.
Genesis 2:18-25 (MSG)
18GOD said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” 19So GOD formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. 20The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion. 21GOD put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. 22GOD then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man. 23The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” 24Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. 25The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame.
- CEV = That’s why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person.
- NLT = …joined with his wife and united into one.
- KJV = Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
We discussed the word cleave and how it is translated as “adhere to” and sometimes means “to pursue after.”
- I shared how I pursue my wife Annette while we were dating. I guess you will have to listen to the podcast for the complete scoop.
To have a healthy marriage that lasts requires a tenacious (you like that Pastor Chris?) mentality “to stick together no matter what”.
- The prophet Hosea was a good example – he succeeded in his marriage to a prostitute because of his agape love for his unfaithful wife.
- To cleave to each other involves faithfulness to the spouse at all costs.
- The husband/wife relationship is the only permanent one. (Your kids will eventually move out.)
Marriage is an irrevocable covenant or contract in which the couple accepts full responsibility and commits themselves to each other regardless of problems, personalities or pressures.
Jesus said in Mark 10:9, And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.”
The Message translation is my very favorite for this same verse: Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.
In Genesis 2:24 we have 3 key words: Leave, Cleave, Unify.
This is a beautiful metaphor of Christ and the church. Just as a husband and wife are one flesh, so Jesus is one spirit with His church. And as the church is to respond to Jesus, so a woman is to respond to her husband. As Jesus loved the church, so I am to love my wife.
So how to you become “one flesh?”
Sex. This is not a dirty word. God created sex. This is plan for married couples. And Genesis is clear that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I expound upon this in the podcast.
Within the marriage bounds sexual relations are holy, good and beautiful. Boom!
In fact, the Greek word for “bed” in Hebrews 13:4 is KOITE (pronounced koy-tay) and literally means “cohabitation by implanting the male sperm.”
God’s way still works!
Show a clever (funny, yet powerful) video. Watch it HERE.
Ephesians 5:22-25 (NLT)
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…
1 Peter 3:7 (NLT)
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
Four Reasons Marriages Get Unstuck:
(I used 4 of the 5 from Perry Noble’s blog.)
- Couples Refuse Help
- Couples Refuse to Address Their Part of the Problem
- Couples Refuse to Change
- Couples Refuse to Learn
- Couples Refuse Intimacy
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NLT)
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Unfortunately the above Scripture has been abused in more ways than one. If 1 Corinthians 13 is being practiced then don’t expect to throw this Scripture in your spouses face. The bottom line is if husbands are loving their wives like Jesus loves the Church and wives are submitting to their husbands according the Word it should be easy to be intimate. And frequent intimacy (not just sex) will develop lasting cohesiveness in marriage.