Re-Engage Message Series

Re-Engage: Keys to be a Better Marriage
Part 4 – Why Things Fall Apart
(Colossians 3:18-19)

February 4, 2024
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

 

EVERY MARRIAGE IS IN ONE OF FIVE STAGES.

A. The dream world stage.

“Our marriage will be different,” they say, “because we love each other so much.”

B. The disillusionment stage. 

This is the time when marriage begins to get real.

C. The misery stage.

    1. There are points in time that we begin to believe that our spouse will never change and may never want to change. It is during these times that fighting becomes far more normal than you ever dreamed it would be.
    1. University of Chicago Sociologist, Linda Waite – 2002 study of 10,000 couples) https://firstthings.org/does-divorce-lead-to-happiness/

D. The awakening stage.

    1. This is when you realize you can’t change your mate, but you can change yourself.
    1. Healing begins to happen when you choose to truly appreciate the strengths of each other and when you choose to accept the personality of the one you married. You stop trying to change or control each other.
    1. Over time, the couple begins to work through their quarrels and come to forgiveness. They adjust.  They begin to listen to each other and begin building a deepening respect.

E. The mature love stage.

    1. It isn’t a perfect time, but it is an important time. You still have occasional arguments, but they are short.  The fear about your marriage is over.
    2. You have a growing and deepening love that will last.
    3. Genesis 2:25 And they were both laid bare and were not ashamed.

2. HOW DO WE GET TO MATURE LOVE? WE CHOOSE TO BUILD TWO KEY PRINCIPLES INTO OUR MARRIAGE.

A. Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (NIV)

    1. To submit means to voluntarily place another person’s needs and desires above your own. It means to willingly take second place.
    2. To love means to voluntarily give yourself away to meet another person’s needs and desires in the place of your own. It means to willingly take second place.

B. God used two different words that have the same foundational meaning but two words that apply that meaning differently, according to the need of the mate.

    1. In most marriages, a husband has an innate need to be respected as a leader and protector of his home.
    2. In most marriages, a wife has an innate need to be loved, valued, and protected.

C. The basis of both of these words is selflessness; the act of putting your mate above yourself. The key to our success in marriage is, after God, to become ‘mate-centered’ not ‘self-centered.’

D. Why do marriages fail? They become “me-centered.”

3. THREE THINGS CAN CHANGE SELF-CENTEREDNESS IN YOUR MARRIAGE.

A. Yield your rights and needs to God.

Philippians 4:19  And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

B. Let go of the stronghold of your anger.

 Hebrews 12:15  Be careful that no poisonous root of bitterness springs up in you.  If it does it will bring damage to your life and ruin your relationships. (paraphrase)

C. Concentrate on meeting your mate’s needs.

    1. “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.” (Zig Ziglar)
    2. Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (NIV)
    3. The goal is to make God #1 and my mate, #2 in my life.