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Reset Relationally: Love for a Lifetime

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As we stay in the area of our "Reset" series that focuses on relationships, we are talking about how we can specifically reset relationally with our spouse, kids, etc.

Notes & Transcripts
Introduction:
Love for a Lifetime
There was a tragic story of a man named Glynn Wolfe—who died alone in Los Angeles back in 1997 at the age of 88. No one came to claim his body. He only had $430 to his name—money that was applied to the cost of a pauper’s funeral. The city paid the rest. And, the sad truth is that this kind of thing is a fairly common occurrence—especially in large cities like L.A.— where, in spite of the fact that you live close to millions of people—you can still live and die VERY alone.
This week I read the tragic story of a man named Glynn Wolfe—who died alone in Los Angeles back in 1997 at the age of 88. No one came to claim his body. He only had $430 to his name—money that was applied to the cost of a pauper’s funeral. The city paid the rest. And, the sad truth is that this kind of thing is a fairly common occurrence—especially in large cities like L.A.— where, in spite of the fact that you live close to millions of people—you can still live and die VERY alone.
Mr. Wolfe’s situation was unique though—because he was no ordinary man. In fact, he held a very special world record. You see he is listed in the Guinness Book as the Most Married Man, with 29 monogamous marriages to his credit. 29 times Glynn Wolfe was asked, “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife...forsaking all others do you pledge yourself only to her, so long as you both shall live?” Twenty-nine times Glynn Wolfe replied, “I do,” but it never quite worked out that way. His longest marriage lasted seven years and his shortest only 19 days.
It is said that he left behind several children, grand-children, great grand- children, and of course a number of living ex-wives, and innumerable ex-in- laws—but still, Glynn died alone.You would think that, after all the income Glynn sent his way, at least his divorce lawyer would have come to the service!
I share this tragic story—because I think it’s indicative of the tragic state of the institution of marriage in our culture. We live in a nation where over 60% of new marriages end in divorce—and Christian marriages seem to be failing at an even higher rate than those of non-Christians. Unless things don’t change, Mr. Wolf won’t hold his record for very long.
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an even higher rate than those of non-Christians. Unless things don’t change, Mr. Wolf won’t hold his record for very long.
If you’ve seen the movie FIREPROOF, then you know it is the story of a couple named Caleb and Catherine whose marriage is in deep trouble. It’s is headed for divorce court. Caleb is a captain in the local fire department and his close friend confronts him with his need to do something to keep that from happening. Let’s take a look:
Play “Session Three “Love For A Lifetime”
I love that salt and pepper shaker illustration—because it underscores the truth that God designed marriage to LAST. It was meant to be a life-long covenant that “glues” us together. So whenever marriages fail, someone ALWAYS get’s hurt—broken!
The next few weeks we are going to be talking about resetting our relationships with our spouse, children, etc. You may be here this morning and you aren’t married or you are here this morning and you have gone through a divorce. Listen, this series is for everyone. This isn’t a time to look down at anyone but instead a time to encourage everyone. If you are single this morning, take what we talk about in this series and study it then store it away. This will be useful for you to not get trapped in some of the pitfalls some of us have fallen into already. For those who are here and have been through a divorce, I am sorry you experienced such a difficult situation. But this series is for you too because we can all learn from our past, learn from the Word, and make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past!
Body:
Let’s turn now to our first text for this morning.
3 Some Pharisees came to Him to test [Jesus]. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
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Matthew 19:3–6 NLT
3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
4 – “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
5 – and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’
6 – So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Now—this last sentence in verse 6 is the WARNING I give at the END of every wedding. Of course at this point the couple is beaming. The vows have been said. The rings are on their fingers. The ceremony that they were so nervous about is over...the fruit of months of planning and work. That’s all behind them and now they’re about to turn and face their parents and friends, as husband and wife, for the very first time! In just a minute, the music will swell, the people will stand and clap; they’ll descend the stairs and walk down the aisle to begin to live...happily ever after.
I wish there would be a way to grab a tiny teachable moment and remind the couple...remind them of something they are about to discover—namely, that marriage DOES have its highs and its lows—that, as someone once put it, “The most difficult years of marriage are those following the wedding.”
Now, of course I’d never do that—but I wish there would be a way to grab that teachable moment and remind the couple...remind them of something they are about to discover—namely, that marriage DOES have its highs and its lows—that, as someone once put it, “The most difficult years of marriage are those following the wedding.”
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In fact, according to Hal Seed, most marital experts say that all marriages go through four STAGES or SEASONS.
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are about to discover—namely, that marriage DOES have its highs and its lows—that, as someone once put it, “The most difficult years of marriage are those following the wedding.” In fact, according to Hal Seed, most marital experts say that all marriages go through four STAGES or SEASONS.
(A) The first is what is referred to as

The season of ROMANCE.

This season actually STARTS long before the wedding—the moment two young people meet and fall in love. In those early days they believe that, unlike the rest of the world, they have a picture-perfect relationship. In this first season, they just know that they have something special between them. Theirs is a rare love, not like the common stuff their parents’ experienced.
No—it’s more like Anthony and Cleopatra or Romeo and Juliet. It’s MAGIC every time they’re together, and MISERY every moment they’re apart.
Hal Seed says, “During the romance stage all is right with the world. Women lose weight and men lose money, because she’d rather spend time thinking about him than eating and he’d rather spend money on her than pay the rent.”
Romance is the season that most love songs are written about.
“When a man loves a woman, he can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else. He’d trade the world for the good thing he has found.
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When a man loves a woman, he’d give up all his comforts and sleep out in the rain if she said that’s the way it ought to be...”
For some reason when we’re in this, the season of ROMANCE, nothing else matters. We don’t think straight and we don’t act smart.
Now—for most Americans, this romantic stage lasts somewhere between moment they fall in love and the first time he leaves the toilet seat up—or the first time she uses his razor. For those of you interested in more precise facts, psychologists tell us that these romantic puppy love feelings of infatuation wear off, on average, about 2 1⁄2 years into any relationship.
(B) And this leads to the second season—

The season of REALITY.

Basically REALITY is the season that sets in when romance wears off. Suddenly, wives wake up, smell the roses and realize that the object of her pursuit, the man of her dreams, the individual she feared she could never attain, the person she could not live without...well, he’s is not quite the knight in shining armor she thought he was. And the husband—the husband learns that the “Sleeping Beauty Princess” whose hand he has won—is not completely perfect after all. In the reality stage, he sees her without make-up on. She hears his bodily noises. He’s not as thoughtful as he once was. She’s not as flirtatious. Referring to this season, some say marriage is, “...a romance in which the hero and heroine die in the first chapter.”
Author Wayne Oates writes about this stage and says:
“All couples have friction during the first two years of marriage over several adjustments. They have to work out a mutually satisfying routine of work, sleep, social activities, and physical intimacy. They need to agree about how to be involved in the rituals of each other’s parental families at major holidays and family rituals. They must learn the subtleties of each other’s non-verbal behaviors and ways of communicating feelings. They have to come to terms with their desires to change each other. And they must make explicit the unspoken and previous unconscious assumptions about marriage that they brought to their union.”
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several adjustments. They have to work out a mutually satisfying routine of work, sleep, social activities, and physical intimacy. They need to agree about how to be involved in the rituals of each other’s parental families at major holidays and family rituals. They must learn the subtleties of each other’s non-verbal behaviors and ways of communicating feelings. They have to come to terms with their desires to change each other. And they must make explicit the unspoken and previous unconscious assumptions about marriage that they brought to their union.”
For example, he says, “When we first started dating, I saw her as such a neat person—never a hair out of place, never a wrinkle in her blouse. Now I’m seeing that she’s compulsive. We can never go anywhere on a whim, because she’s got to get ready first. She’s so meticulous, she even irons my underwear!”
She says, “While we were dating, he was always the life of the party. He would do outrageous things and light up the room. I was so proud to be with him. Now I’m seeing how impulsive he is. He never thinks before acting. Sometimes he does things that are so outrageous they make me embarrassed to be with him.”
Let me put it this way: reality clarifies what romance conceals.
C. This leads to the third season—

The season of RESENTMENT.

She thinks, “Something happened when I wasn’t looking. Who switched husbands on me? I went to bed with George Clooney and woke up with Mike Myers. I thought I was marrying the man of my dreams, but somehow I wound up with Osama bin Laden’s nephew.” He says, “I thought I was marrying Julia Roberts, now there are times when I wish she really was the runaway bride.”
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woke up with Mike Myers. I thought I was marrying the man of my dreams, but somehow I wound up with Osama bin Laden’s nephew.” He says, “I thought I was marrying Julia Roberts, now there are times when I wish she really was the runaway bride.”
Do you get the picture? RESENTMENT shows it’s ugly face during this phase, as the one who was once the object of our AFFECTION now becomes the target of our FRUSTRATION. Spouses find themselves BLAMING each other for all the evils in the world, even if they are only remotely connected to the problem. If there are financial stresses, it’s her fault because she spends too much—or his fault, because he makes too little. If there is friction, he started it, or she was too sensitive. If there’s blame to be cast, well, go look in the mirror pal, because I’m certainly not the one at fault! A great example of this from the movie clip we watched when Caleb says, “I am not a perfect person, but better than most. And if my marriage is failing, it is not all my fault.”
It’s during this resentment phase when character is tested and the need for a truly COMMITTED love comes into play for the first time.
I mean, this is when the state of “being in love” burns away—and what is left, if spouses so choose, is LOVE ITSELF. You see, this season is when spouses DECIDE to REALLY love.
And—if they make that choice—a committed love that focuses on you and your needs, not me and mine, well, then the relationship can enter the fourth season of marriage.
D. Experts call it

The season of REBUILDING.

You see, if couples see their frustration and conflict as an opportunity to move on to something better, to move from romance to reality...from the honeymoon to a healthy relationship from young love to mature love...from monologue to dialogue...from just living together to living in deep unity—well then they can come through these seasons with a richer relationship and begin to develop a stronger—more “fire-proof” marriage. But they have to commit themselves to the hard work required in building this kind of relationship. Spouses have to believe that marriage as God intended is really possible. Elton Trueblood once said,
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move on to something better, to move from romance to reality...from the honeymoon to a healthy relationship from young love to mature love...from monologue to dialogue...from just living together to living in deep unity—well then they can come through these seasons with a richer relationship and begin to develop a stronger—more “fire-proof” marriage. But they have to commit themselves to the hard work required in building this kind of relationship. Spouses have to believe that marriage as God intended is really possible. Elton Trueblood once said,
“A successful marriage is not one in which two people beautifully matched find each other and get along happily ever after because of this initial matching. It is instead a system by means of which persons who are sinful and contentious are so caught up by a dream bigger than themselves that they work through out the years in spite of repeated disappointments to make the dream come true.”
But...if they both don’t make this kind of choice...if they don’t believe in and work toward the fulfilment of this dream...I mean, if Godly, committed, forgiving, love doesn’t get practiced, well, then the marriage never makes it through all the seasons. It either gets stuck in a perpetual wintertime of resentment, or it dies and is buried in a ceremony we call, “divorce.”
This is the glasses-off truth about marriage. All marriages have romance and reality and resentment on their calendars. Some DO follow God’s will. They work to experience the springtime of REBUILDING. And, when they reach the end of their lives—they are not alone. No—far from it—they have a spouse with whom they share a love more deep and rich and full than they ever imagined. It’s as if their love were an apple that gets riper and sweeter every year—a LOVE that says, “grow old with me—the BEST is indeed YET to be.”
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In 2006, after nearly 60 years of marriage, Billy Graham described his relationship with his wife Ruth. He said, “This is a wonderful period of life for both of us. We’ve never had a LOVE like we do now. We feel each other’s hearts!” Of course Ruth died the next year—but this statement helps us understand Billy’s words since—in which he described how much he misses his mate.
Over the decades they built and shared a GREAT love! Well, how can WE get there? How can we build marriages that LAST and develop that caliber of LOVE—a love so much better than the “puppy” love that drew us together in the first place? There are tons of articles and books written on the subject— but there is a chapter in Charles Swindoll’s book, Marriage: From Surviving to Thriving and in this book Swindoll, who has been married 50+ years, suggests five BASIC principles drawn from ...principles that help couples get through the rough seasons such that they built a strong marriage.
(1) First, he says that

I. Couples must cultivate complete HONESTY.

He points to
Ephesians 4:25 NLT
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
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And I think it’s obvious that this text can be applied to marriage because as husband and wife we are “members of one another.” We are two who are working to become one. Now—the Greek word in verse 22 that we translate “falsehood” or “deception” is “pseudos,” from which we get the prefix, “pseudo.” And the sad fact is we tend to use “pseudos” all the time. We use a “pseudos” as though it were a relational tool—a tool with several “attachments” that it can be used in a variety of ways —ranging from: mild to extreme deception, diplomatic hedging, stretching the facts, not telling the whole story, staying silent when we should speak, whitewashing motives, flattery, twisting the truth, adding false details, contriving stories, and embracing fiction as the truth.
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whitewashing motives, flattery, twisting the truth, adding false details, contriving stories, and embracing fiction as the truth.
We reach for the “pseudos tool” in order to fix something in a relationship that we think is broken or might become broken. But, it has the very opposite effect because as John Stott puts it,

“Fellowship is built on trust, and trust is built on truth. So falsehood undermines fellowship, while truth strengthens it.”

Now—unfortunately “pseudos” is a “tool” that is used frequently in the ROMANCE season—of a relationship—especially during courtship or dating. For example, a groom-to-be will tell his wife HE LOVES OPERA. To win her hand, he goes to these performances time after time, trying to impress her with his love of the arts. She’s thinking, “Oh boy! I’ve finally found a man who loves opera as much as I do!” Of course once they return from the honeymoon he never goes near the opera house again.
A lovesick woman will get up at three o’clock in the morning make lunch and then freeze to death on a windy lake ice fishing with her beau, all the time saying, “Oh this is so much fun! Thank you for bringing me!” But of course, after her wedding day she never goes ice-fishing again.
Swindoll writes,
Well, let me ask you...what kind of relationship did these two opera-loving ice-fishers build? —a fake one! You can’t build reality—truth—with falsehood. It’s no wonder that when the season of romance fades spouses so often find themselves married to a stranger. Swindoll writes,

“The truth is hard. It’s risky. It requires vulnerability and trust and faith. But some couples have covered themselves with fig leaves for so long, that they can barely stand the thought of being [open and honest] in front of the other. They’ve hidden behind deception so long they can barely recognize the truth.”

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that they can barely stand the thought of being [open and honest] in front of the other. They’ve hidden behind deception so long they can barely recognize the truth.”
Let’s think of it this way: if the truth sets us free—then no marriage is more in bondage than a marriage that’s wrapped up in “pseudos”—deception, untruth, lies. So as Paul says, lay the “pseudos” aside and build your marriage on TRUTH. It’s the only way to have a REAL marriage that experiences REAL, lasting love.
For those of us who are single this morning, this applies to you too! If you want to have a long-lasting relationship, the best thing we can do is build it on Jesus Christ and on honesty.
(2) Swindoll’s second bit of advice is this. He says

II. Express ANGER in appropriate ways and at the right time.

Ephesians 4:26–27 NLT
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Now, I want you to note that Paul doesn’t say, “Never be angry...” because anger is not always sinful. We should be angry when we see the children abused and people go hungry. We should be angry at injustice in any form—AND there are times when it’s even understandable to be angry with your spouse. I mean, shrugging off a serious offense by your closest, most trusted companion—your help-mate for life—this is a sure sign that the two of you are disconnected. The problem in marriage is that we usually EXPRESS our anger in inappropriate ways like belittling or intimidation or accusing or yelling.
Another thing—EXPRESSING anger in an inappropriate way—well, it usually prompts our spouse to RECEIVE anger inappropriately by becoming distant or condescending. Let me put it this way for marriage to work—the angry partner must express self-control and the recipient must do this as well. Remember, the quickest way to calm an angry mate is to simply listen without getting defensive. We must work hard to hear what he or she is expressing however poorly and then we must show empathy.
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without getting defensive. We must work hard to hear what he or she is expressing however poorly and then we must show empathy.
Another thing—as Paul says here we mustn’t go to bed ANGRY.
I mean, if we are not careful—if we don’t resolve our anger as soon as possible —well it gives our adversary a “place” in our lives. It’s like we let him sublet a part of our heart. And this word picture is not far from the truth because the Greek word we translate as “foothold” or “opportunity” in verse 27 was used to refer to a place where a god was worshiped. So—when we give anger time to fester it’s as if we are erecting a temple of sorts. And as Swindoll warns, “If you erect a shrine to your anger in your heart the devil will appoint himself its priest.”
Have you ever done that? Rather than face your mate with your anger, clearly, respectfully expressing how he or she caused you pain, you nurtured the offense. You told yourself you were being magnanimous—you know, letting it go—but in reality you stored it away for future use. And every once in a while you take it out and caress that offense, remembering how wrong your mate was and how right you are. You might even have more than one offense stored away. You may have a large mental storage room for collected hurts and injustices. And you know—it’s funny how those offenses get bigger in there when you’re not looking. When we put these things in satan’s care, truth gets twisted, facts are distorted, and small things become bloated. Listen—the more we allow anger to fester—the more opportunity we give satan to invade, weaken, and ultimately rip our marriage into splintered pieces.
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Remember, as says, “love keeps no record of wrongs.” So—if you want to experience the kind of love God intends in marriage—deal with conflict and anger—do it quickly and respectfully...and lovingly. Ask God to help you resolve the conflict in a way that STRENGTHENS your relationship.
Here’s a third way to build a marriage that lasts.

III. Don’t STEAL from your mate.

Look at
Ephesians 4:28 NLT
28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.
Now—remember—this was written to Christians—members of the church at Ephesus—and with that context in mind I would say that Paul wasn’t referring to shoplifting or bank robbery. No—he was talking about someone who claims to be a part of a community but always takes and never gives. Well—a marriage is a “community” of two, isn’t it? We exchange vows— promises and expectations—just like a community that signs a constitution.
Now—remember—this was written to Christians—members of the church at Ephesus—and with that context in mind I would say that Paul wasn’t referring to shoplifting or bank robbery. No—he was talking about someone who claims to be a part of a community but always takes and never gives. Well—a marriage is a “community” of two, isn’t it? We exchange vows— promises and expectations—just like a community that signs a constitution.
As an example, I would say that in the “Henshaw community” my time, my trust, my best self—even my body belongs in part to Charity and vice versa. When I withhold or violate any of those things, I rob her of what is rightfully hers.
I STEAL...when I let something else encroach on the time I promise her.
I STEAL...when I give my very best at the church and leave nothing for her at home.
I STEAL...when I reveal something she asked me to hold in confidence.
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I STEAL...when she tells me about an area in her life where she is vulnerable —something that causes her fear—and I use it against her.
I STEAL...when she messes up and I say I forgive her—but later I bring it back up.
I would be STEALING...if I were to use our income selfishly—and so on.
I’m not asking for a show of hands—but has my list of examples of STEALING flushed out any marital thieves out there this morning? Has God’s Spirit convicted any of you of these—or OTHER ways that you are STEALING from your spouse? Well, it is impossible to do this and experience REAL love! REAL LOVE—the kind of love that as Graham said, lets you “feel each other’s hearts” comes from not TAKING but GIVING.
This week I read about Cindy and Chip Altemos who, after ten years of marriage, were in the long process of getting a divorce. The proverbial baggage from years of various conflicts seemed too great to overcome, so they separated and even agreed to date other people. Five years into that painful separation, Chip was in the hospital with kidney failure. With his health deteriorating rapidly, his soon-to-be ex-wife came to his aid—in spite of Chip’s being in another relationship at the time. Cindy said, “He was still my husband. There was no way I could walk around with two kidneys, and he had none.” She agreed to donate a kidney, telling Chip there were no strings attached—no written agreement concerning a better share in divorce court. The transplant took place on February 21, 2007, and a funny thing happened as they both recovered in the hospital: they fell back in love. Chip thought to himself, “Why would I want to date someone else, when I have a woman who would give part of herself so I can keep living?” He put an end to his other relationship and asked Cindy to come back home with him. The two will be married 19 years in October.
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(4) Here’s a fourth basic principle when it comes to building a lasting marriage.

IV. Guard your SPEECH.

Look at
Ephesians 4:29–30 NLT
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
where it says,“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
In short—this means as spouses we must be careful what we say to each other and how we say it. And you need to understand, the word “unwholesome” here is too mild. The Greek term literally refers to rotting vegetables or rancid fish. This brings to mind one of the more popular pranks to play on the bride and groom at the wedding reception. While they are busy “friends” put shrimp in the hubcaps of their car. They also put some on the engine block— and after about three or four days “unwholesome” would be too mild to describe the stench surrounding that car.
Well, that helps us understand the kind of speech Paul talks about—the kind speech that doesn’t give grace to others—the kind of words and tone that cause the love that two spouses used to share—to rot and decay. I like how Kendrick put it in day five of THE LOVE DARE. He said,

“Real love minds its manners”

— because it does!
Listen, you can do everything else right. You can be a mature husband or wife. You can be the fulfillment of your mate’s every dream...good provider... but all of that can be undone by the words you speak and the manner in which you speak them. The fact is each time we open our mouths we either build up or tear down our mates. We either affirm or assault. Which would be most characteristic of your speech? The ironic truth is we are usually more careful to speak nicely to strangers in public than we are with our own spouses in private. You can’t build LOVE FOR A LIFETIME...if you use words that tear your spouse down.
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spouses in private. You can’t build LOVE FOR A LIFETIME...if you use words that tear your spouse down.
So...cultivate complete HONESTY...express ANGER in appropriate ways and at the right times...don’t STEAL from your mate...closely GUARD your speech.
(5) And last—but certainly not least—

V. Be NICE.

This is a very good paraphrase of
Ephesians 4:31–32 NLT
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
where it says,“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
I’m reminded of day two of THE LOVE DARE where it says,“Kindness is love in action...love makes you kind. And kindness makes you loveable. When you’re kind people want to be around you. They see you as being good TO them and good FOR them.”
Well husbands—wives—are you being NICE...KIND...to your spouse? Does your mate see you being good TO them and FOR them? Now...when we men think of ways to be KIND to our wives—when we put our love in action, we tend to think of grand gestures, like jewelry and trips to exotic places. Maybe we think that nothing else is good enough for our wives so we hold back at doing the small things. But for women, the smallest kindness means so much. Remember guys—for them—it really is the THOUGHT that counts.
And...women, have lessons to learn in this area as well. They need to know that criticism chips away at a man’s dignity and leaves him with less strength to love his wife. So women, be nice to your husbands by finding something that he does that pleases you. Point it out and thank him for being a good husband. Even better, notice something in his character that you admire, then tell him that you respect him for it.
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Love for a Lifetime - Redland Baptist Church - Redland Baptist Church 12/13/17, 7(45 PM
husband. Even better, notice something in his character that you admire, then tell him that you respect him for it.
But remember spouses—to GROW a GREAT love—we must learn to be NICE to each other! We must learn to cherish and protect each other!
In his book, Facing Your Giants, Max Lucado tells of a time he used a 300 year old cello as a sermon illustration. He set it up on the stage and explained it’s value to the church. He writes,

“How do you think I treated the relic? Did I twirl it, flip it, and pluck the strings? No way! The cello is far too valuable for my clumsy fingers. Besides, its owner loaned it to me. I dared not dishonor his treasure. Well, on your wedding day, God loaned you His work of art; an intricately crafted, precisely formed masterpiece. He entrusted you with a one-of-a-kind creation. Value her. Honor him.”

Are you doing that spouses?
Conclusion:
This morning—if you are married and like the Swindolls, you are enjoying marriage as God intended—if you share a love that has grown such that like the Grahams, “...you feel each other’s hearts...” then bow your heads and thank God...and sometime today tell your spouse how much he or she means to you.
And...if your marriage is struggling to get from the resentment season to the rebuilding season...then find time today to sit down and talk. Have a conversation in which you each commit to doing the hard work required to BUILD a love for a lifetime. Keep doing the LOVE DARE...commit to these five principles from Ephesians. But with romance and reality and resentment behind you—believing that a great marriage is not just a dream but a possibility, renew your vows to each other and to God.
So...cultivate complete HONESTY...express ANGER in appropriate ways and at the right times...don’t STEAL from your mate...closely GUARD your speech…and BE NICE.
These are important traits to start putting into practice today whether you are married or not. Whether you are a parent or not. Remember, we reproduce who we are!
You know, I think that this longing we all have to experience this love for a life-time is symptomatic of our need to experience God’s love personally and if you are here and don’t know God—you’re not a Christian—then come forward. I’d be glad to tell you how you can experience this love. If you believe God is leading you to join this church...then come forward. But come now as God leads.
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Love for a Lifetime - Redland Baptist Church - Redland Baptist Church 12/13/17, 7(45 PM
life-time is symptomatic of our need to experience God’s love personally and if you are here and don’t know God—you’re not a Christian—then come forward. I’d be glad to tell you how you can experience this love. If you believe God is leading you to join this church...then come forward. But come now as God leads.
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