When Sinners Say “I Do”
1. CASE STUDY: Harry decides to forego the Gopher football game on TV in order to dive into “The List” of projects around the house. Five frustrating hours later Harry puts his tools away and looks to his wife for some expression of appreciation for his labors. Her first response is “You’d better get cleaned up; we’re supposed to be at the Portis house in 25 minutes.” Her second response is “I wish you would have asked me about the landscaping before you did it that way.”
2. CASE STUDY: Jack has told his wife that he would be home from his meeting by 7:00 p.m. in order to help the kids with their school projects and homework. He gets home around 9:30 p.m. and the kids are already tucked away in their beds. There was no phone call, no REAL apology, and no consideration for his wife’s worry. The verbal confrontation centers on Jack’s inconsiderate behavior and his wife’s struggles when dealing with the three kids.
3. 1 Tim. 1:15 – “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
· The use of the expressions “faithful saying” and “worthy of all acceptance” (1 Tim. 3:1 & 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Tit. 3:8) indicates this is a summary of doctrine and a common expression among the believers.
· Two Parts – The Gospel & The Crime
· How can Paul honestly say he was the chief of sinners? What standard was he applying?
· In effect, Paul is saying “Look, I know my sin. And what I’ve seen in my own heart is darker and more awful; its more proud, selfish, and self-exalting; and its more consistently and regularly in rebellion against God than anything I have glimpsed in the heart of anyone else. As far as I can see, the biggest sinner I know is me.” (pg. 36)
· Two things grew larger for Paul: his sinfulness & God’s mercy in light of his sin.
· Spurgeon: “Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Savior.”
4. Until sin be bitter, marriage may not be sweet!
· CASE STUDY: Rob says he needs respect, but all he seems to get are Sally’s critical comments each evening when he comes home from work. Sally says she needs Rob to reach out to her and provide a greater sense of security in their marriage, but all she seems to get is Rob’s passivity day after day.
Are we talking about real needs or are we talking about desires?
Is there anything wrong (unbiblical) with the things they say they need?
What is their greatest need?
· There is confusion today re: what is an actual “need” and what is truly a “desire”.
A need is something necessary for survival – a requirement.
A desire is something wished for – a craving to make life more comfortable or bearable.
What is the end result of catering to (focusing on, concentrating on) someone’s desires rather than their needs? What happens in our marriages if we confuse needs and desires – how do we relate to one another?
· Once I realize that I’m the worst sinner I know, then my spouse is no longer my biggest problem: I AM!
If I’m the “worst sinner I know”, then I will make every effort to grant my spouse the same lavish grace that God has granted me.
How does this square with Eph. 5:22-33?
5. It’s not the MAJOR MARRIAGE SINS that derail and defeat us in our marriage relationship; it’s the “little foxes” (comfortable sins) that steal the fruit of intimacy and drive a wedge between us.
· Ultimately it’s my responsibility before God to remain faithful and obedient in my marriage relationship no matter the response of my spouse.
· Ultimately it’s God’s assessment of our value and worth that matters!
· Ultimately the success or failure of our marriage will depend on both spouses viewing themselves as the “chief of sinners” and both spouses extending to the other the same grace they have received from God.
· Ultimately humility (Eph. 5:21) will keep our marriage strong!