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The Blessing Of Covenant Marriage Mal.2.10

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THE BLESSING OF COVENANT MARRIAGE

MAL. 2:10-16

INTRO: (EX: ALZHEIMER EX.)  MARRIAGES NEED SOLID FOUNDATIONS (EX: I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY MARRIAGE CEREMONIES I HAVE DONE—SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 125-150—I WISH I COULD SAY THEY ARE ALL “HAPPILY EVER AFTER” BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE.  THE BOOK OF MAL. HITS ISRAEL HARD—THEY WERE COVENANT VIOLATORS—MEN WERE DIVORCING THEIR WIVES TO MARRY NON-ISRAELITES.  (EX: FAMIY IN MIAMI, FLA. PUT FINISHING TOUCHES ON THEIR NEW HOUSE BUT THEN FOUND OUT THEY HAD BUILT THEIR HOUSE ON THE WRONG LOT—OOPS!)  MANY AMERICAN CHRISTIANS ARE BUILDING THEIR MARRAIGES ON THE WRONG LOT—MANY FAILED TO HEED PAUL’S WORDS “DON’T BE YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS”—OTHERS SAY VOWS WITH CROSSED FINGERS—KNOWING IF IT DOESN’T WORK JUST END IT & GO TO ANOTHER.  ONE MAN SAID A COVENANT IS LIKE A NET UNDER TRAPIZE ARTISTS—WHENEVER YOU FALL THE COVENANT IS THERE TO KEEP YOU FROM FALLING ALL THE WAY DOWN. THESE WORDS ARE MEANT TO BE ENCOURAGEMENT TO ALL—SINGLE, MARRIED, DIVORCED, WIDOWED—LET GODS WORD SPEAK.

I.                  WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

A.   THE O.T. PICTURE—A LINE IN MOVIE “MESSAGE IN BOTTLE” HAS THE LOVER SAYING “YOU ARE MY TRUE NORTH”—SOUNDS OK FOR MOVIE—BUT ONLY GOD IS TRUE NORTH OR ANY OTHER DIRECTION. GOD GAVE US MARRIAGE SO WE MUST USE THE COMPASS OF HIS WORD---SEE PROV. 2:16,17---IN O.T. WE GET PICTURE OF GOD MARRYING HIS REBELLIOUS CHILDREN—ISRAEL. GOD PROMISED TO LOVE THEM & NEVER ABANDON THEM—ISA. 5 ASKS WHAT MORE COULD GOD HAVE DONE FOR HIS CHOSEN (VINEYARD) ISRAEL.

B.   THE N.T. PICTURE---JESUS IS BRIDEGROOM WHO HAS REDEEMED THE CHURCH AND CONTINUES TO LOVE/PROVIDE & INTERCEDE FOR HER.  THE MARRIAGE COVENANT ILLUS. GODS UNCONDITIONAL GRACE AND ETERNAL LOVE

C.   THE GENESIS PRINCIPLE (GEN.2:18-25)—THE FIRST “NOT GOOD” IN BIBLE IS IN GEN.2:18—“NOT GOOD FOR MAN TO BE ALONE”—WHY? NOTHING IN ANIMAL WORLD WAS SUITABLE FOR ADAM—GOD KNEW WHAT HE WOULD DO. GOD CREATED US FOR RELATIONSHIPS.  ADAM NEEDED A “HELPER” LIKE HIM.  (EX: ADAM SAID “I NEED SOMEONE LIKE ME BUT DIFFERENT—SEXY, SWEET, SUBMISSIVE & SENSITIVE TO MY NEEDS—BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT BOSSY” WELL GOD SAID “SOMETHING LIKE THAT WILL COST YOU AN ARM & LEG—SO ADAM SAID “WHAT CAN I GET FOR A RIB?)—SO EVE WAS TAKEN FROM ADAM’S SIDE—1ST SURGERY! SHE WAS BUILT FROM WITHIN ADAM’S BODY.  NOT FROM FOOT OR HEAD BUT UNDER ARM TO SIGNIFY PROTECTION & NEXT TO HEART TO LOVE HER. SHE WAS TO BE AN EQUAL PARTNER WITH HIM—SO JESUS’ SIDE WAS PIERCED AND CHURCH WAS BORN FROM WITHIN JESUS—SO WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST. NOW ADAM WAS HAPPY—HE PROBABLY SAID “WOW, GOD THAT IS A 10!” THEY WERE TO COMPLETE EACH OTHER—LINKED IN BODY, SOUL, MIND—THEY BECAME ONE FLESH.  NOW LOOK AT PARTS OF COVENANT MARRIAGE

1.     LEAVING—(EX: CUSTOM ON IDONESIAN ISLAND). LEAVING PAST BEHIND IS BEST WAY TO WALK INTO FUTURE—FOR HUSBAND/WIFE TO HAVE INTIMACY GOD INTENDED THERE MUST BE A LEAVING—MANY MARRIAGES SUFFER BECAUSE THIS PRINCIPLE IS NOT FOLLOWED. CHILDREN TAKE SECONDARY POSITION—THEY WILL LEAVE HOME—OR THEY SHOULD! BUT YOUR SPOUSE IS FOR LIFE

2.     CLEAVING—TWO PEOPLE GLUED TOGETHER PERMANENTLY—COMPLETE LOYALTY/COMMITMENT  (EX: SHOW SALT/PEPPER CLIP)—COUPLES SHARE THEIR GIFTS/ABILITIES ALWAYS LIFTING EACH OTHER UP & HONORING EACH OTHER’S UNIQUE GIFTS.

3.     WEAVING—THIS IS INTIMACY—“IN TO ME YOU SEE” (GEN.2:25)  ITS BEEN SAID YOU GET MARRIED & BECOME ONE—THEN YOU LIVE TOGETHER FOR AWHILE & FIND OUT WHICH ONE)  ITS ONLY IN THE SAFETY & SECURITY OF MARRIAGE THAT WE ARE FREE TO REVEAL OURSELVES—PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL/  SPIRITUAL. THE “I’S” BECOME “WE’S”—THE ME & MINE BECOME US & OURS. THAT IS WHY DIVORCE REVERSES GOD’S PLAN—ONE BECOMES TWO.  BUT THE COVENANT BINDS TWO TOGETHER LIKE GLUE

II.               COVENANT MARRIAGE IS A HOLY PROMISE TO GOD

A.   MARRIAGE IS A LIFETIME INVESTMENT—(EX: WOMAN IN GUINESS WORLD RECORDS—MARRIED 23 TIMES!)  MARRIAGE COVENANT IS HOLY PROMISE TO GOD AND YOUR SPOUSE TO CARE FOR, LOVE AND BE FAITHFUL TO HIM OR HER FOR LIFE. ITS IS THE WILLINGNESS TO MAKE MARRIAGE ALL GOD INTENDED IT TO BE.  THAT TAKES HARD WORK—AND LOTS OF PRAYER—AND LOTS OF GRACE---EXACTLY WHAT JESUS GIVES TO US EVERY DAY!  (EX: 5 STAGES OF MARRIED COLD).  MARRIAGE IS NOT PRIVATE EXERIMENT WITH THE ATTITUDE “I’LL TRY IT & IF IT DOESN’T WORK I CAN ALWAYS BAIL OUT”  NO! BAIL OUTS ARE FOR GOV’TS NOT FOR MARRAIGES. MARRIAGE IS NOT BASED ON THE ATTITUDE “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”  IT IS NOT A SOCIAL CONTRACT THAT YOU KEEP AS LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LOVE. NO! MARRIAGE IS A LIFETIME INVESTMENT OF YOUR WHOLE SELF. SAYING VOWS TAKES LESS THAN 5 MINUTES—KEEPING THEM IS THE WORK OF LIFETIME.  WE HAVE TO LEARN TO LISTEN WITH HEART—UNDERSTAND (BE STUDENT OF OUR SPOUSE)—TRUST. A VOW IS REALLY A CONFESSION OF INADEQUACY AND CALLING ON THE ONLY ADEQUATE (POWERFUL) ONE—ONE WHO GIVES US STAYING POWER.

B.   AN ATTITUDE OF “ONENESS”  (PHIL.2:2—MAKE MY JOY COMPLETE BY BEING LIKE MINDED, HAVING THE SAME LOVE, BEING ONE IN SPIRIT & PURPOSE) AND THEN ACTS 4:32—ALL BELIEVERS WERE ONE IN HEART &MIND, NO ONE CLAIMED THAT ANY OF HIS POSSESSIONS WAS HIS OWN—BUT THEY SHARED EVERYTHING THEY HAD)—GOD INTENDS THE SAME ONENESS FOR BELIEVERS IN MARRIAGE—SHARING ALL THINGS.  MARRIAGE IS NOT JUST ABOUT GETTING PERSONAL NEEDS MET—IT SHOULD BE THAT WAY IN CHURCH TOO!  ITS NOT WHAT YOU WILL GET BUT WHAT YOU CAN GIVE!

1.     A WITNESS TO THE WORLD—WHEN THERE IS GENUINE LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER IN MARRIAGE & IN CHURCH—IT IS POWERFUL WITNESS TO A WATCHING & OFTEN SKEPTICAL WORLD.  WE ARE TO DISPLAY UNITY TO A BROKEN WORLD—NOT CONTRIBUTE MORE BORKENNESS—BUT SADLY THERE IS AS MUCH BROKENNES IN CHURCH AS THER IS OUTSIDE IT.  WE ARE ALSO TO REFLECT CHARACTER OF CHRIST. COVENANT MARRIAGE (AND OUR COVENANT WITH CHRIST) IS CALL TO HOLINESS NOT JUST HAPPINESS. WITH YOUR SPOUSE YOU ARE MORE THAN COULD BE BY YOURSELF—YOU DON’T LOSE YOUR IDENTITY—YOU ACTUALLY ENHANCE IT!  YOU ARE A TEAM/PARTNERSHIP

2.     GOD IS THE “THIRD PARTNER”—YOU CANT REALLY HAVE SPIRITUAL ONENESS & SUPERNATURAL LOVE WITHOUT GOD AS THE THIRD PARTNER.  WHEN YOU SHARE SAME COMPASSION/CONVICTIONS FOR THE THINGS OF GOD YOUR JOY & ENERGY TO SERVE IS MUCH GREATER. NOW IN MAL.2 WIVES WERE DIVORCED SO MEN COULD MARRY NON-ISRAELITE WOMEN & WORSHIP THEIR IDOLS. SO 2 COR. 6:14 SAYS “DON’T BE YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS”—WITH UNBELIEVERS YOU HAVE UNION BUT NOT UNITY. THERE IS A LACK OF AGREEMENT AT DEEP LEVEL OF SPIRIT.  MARRIAGE IS LIKE TRIANGLE WITH GOD AT TOP & HUSBAND & WIFE AT EACH END MOVING TOWARD GOD. WHEN YOUR MATE WONT JOIN YOU SEEK STRENGTH OF BODY (CHURCH)—STAY FAITHFUL IN SERVICE (DO WHAT YOU CAN) AND KEEP PRAYING

CONCLUSION---SHOW CLIP #2

GOD IS GOD OF MIRACLES—NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD—TOO MANY GIVE UP TOO SOON.  MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT PLEDGE TO LOVE & HONOR WITH GODS HELP & STRENGTH. 

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