Monday, July 30, 2012

“Marriage is A DIFFICULT Journey” (Psalm 15:4)

S-1329 8AP/3B 7/28/12 Hymns: (O) #464; (S) #; (C) #

Text: Ruth 1:16-18; 1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 19:4-6

Theme: “Marriage is A DIFFICULT Journey” (Psalm 15:4)

Marriage for Wade Lynn Wright and Molly Jane Andersh Armour, SD

Let us pray: O Lord our God, source of all blessing in happiness and joy, we thank You for the gift of marriage, which we celebrate today. May you give Wade & Molly the ability to rejoice always in Your true and genuine love that has bound them together as man and wife. May You fulfill every worthy wish of their hearts? May You open their eyes to the beauty and the mystery of the love they hold for each other, every day as today. And may their life together embrace and nurture the promise of this moment, so that all who know them will call them truly blessed; through Your Son, our Savior, we pray. Amen.

Wade and Molly, I hear you are here to get married, is that true? (Wait for response). Are you sure this is what you want to do? (Wait for response). Do you realize that getting married is a very difficult journey? (Wait for response). Do you still want to go ahead with it? (Wait for response). If so listen carefully to God’s Holy Word that it might help you do what you can’t do on your own.

The text I have chosen for this blessed occasion is from Psalm 15:4 “Who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind” The Psalmist teaches us that the Lord honors those who keep their promises even if and when it hurts.

Today, you are so excited because you are going to marry your best friend and begin a journey together. Today, you are so happy, all your family and friends are with you helping you celebrate the moment. Today, you are dressed for the special occasion (and you really look lovely). But, after all of the hoopla and music dies down, there will be just the two of you traveling down the road of marriage together; and this will be a big change and a difficult journey indeed.

Going on a journey (like the one you are taking in September to the Bahamas) takes a lot of efforts. First, you have to contact your agent or go on the website and set the date. Second, you have to pay for it from your hard earned money. And finally, you need to pack for the long trip.

At times, those cruises are the most memorable and most beautiful. And at other times they can be a nightmare. No matter how much you plan, things happen that your dream trip becomes your worst nightmare.

Today, by the power of the Holy Spirit I want to give you three “L” words that will help you make your difficult journey better and grant you a life-long relationship as husband and wife. They are: 1. Listen, 2. Learn. And 3. Love.

The first word is “Listen.” Now as you hear this word, you think listening is easy, but I assure you it is very difficult. As a matter of fact if you were to turn around and ask the women sitting here how well do their husbands listen to them, they will tell you hardly. Every woman knows that men have a problem called “Selective hearing.” And to be honest even women have “selective hearing.”

But this is very important for you to practice and it will take a lot of hard work. That is why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk. Don’t just talk, listen first and then share only that which is good. Listen to your partner so that you may give her or him the benefit of the doubt of what it is they are talking about.

The second word is “Learn.” Learn all you can about your partner. Learn what it is that makes them happy and that which makes them sad. Learn what makes them click and that which makes them pout. Learn to read the sign language of one another. So be attentive and study your partner’s needs and supply it, so that you this dream journey doesn’t end up being a terrible nightmare.

Learn to communicate well with one another so that you may have a healthy marriage. You may have heard of a young man who walked into the college library. ‘I’m looking for a book titled, “Man, Master of Woman,” he said. The librarian thought for a moment, then replied, ‘Try the fiction shelf over there’.

We smile at that because most men at some time or other struggle to comprehend the mind of a woman. Yet the Scriptures clearly instruct husbands in 1 Peter to ‘be understanding towards your wife’ (1 Peter 3:7). Make sure you talk to each other, both in the good times and in the bad.

Furthermore, learn that your life together is not always going to be a smooth journey. Soon you are going to be saying the vows and part of the vows are these words: “For better and for worse”. Let me assure you Wade and Molly that there are going to be plenty of worse moments in your marriage. It is not always going to be good even better. You will know what I mean. Marriage is indeed a Difficulty journey.

The third word is: “Love.” Now we use that word so often, you hear it in songs and see it on the big screen. But this is not the Hollywood kind of love, or the country music type—this is not the mushy and gushy type or as one of my friends like to refer to it “merely a quiver in your liver or an ocean of emotion type of love. No I’m talking about the genuine and true love that takes a lot of hard work. This is the kind of love that is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle reading you have chosen: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

Rather than reading it as it is, I suggest you read it this way: “Wade is patient and kind; Wade does not envy or boast Wade is not arrogant or rude. Wade does not insist on his own way; Wade is not irritable or resentful; Wade does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Wade bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. And to you too, young lady, “Molly is patient and kind; Molly does not envy or boast Molly is not arrogant or rude. Molly does not insist on her own way; Molly is not irritable or resentful; Molly does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Molly bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.

Wade and Molly, these words are hard for you to fulfill and do. On your own you can’t do them. It is impossible. What you need is Christ’s love, His sacrificial love that took Him to the cross to die for your sins and rise again so that He may equip you with the right ears to listen, gives you the wisdom to learn all that you can to make your partner happy and blessed; and fills your hearts with His love so that you can love your partner with His genuine and true love. PAUSE.

Wade and Molly, I exhort you in the name of the loving Savior, Jesus Christ to put to use these three “L” words so that you may not be part of the statistics. Keep the vows that you will make, not to me or to your friends or to your parents, but to GOD. Marriage is a DIFFICULT journey even more so, if it is traveled alone without the One who brought you together, Jesus Christ. Don’t make it more DIFFICULT than it is.

Instead, be equipped for this difficult journey by being connected to a church that feeds you His Words properly so that you may listen often to its benefits. Be connected to a church were others have gone through this DIFFICULT journey, learn from them and try to imitate them. Be in a church that teaches you the truth that you are a sinner and that Christ died for your sins and rose again to give you the gift of peace and love. And be steadfastly in the Church where Christ’s love is evident as He gives you His body and blood to nurture and nourish you.

Wade and Molly as I told you before, I say it again, Marriage is a DIFFICULT journey. Even though it is difficult don’t ever quit working hard at making it the most blessed and most beautiful marriage it can be. Remember your sermon text which I have chosen, “Keep your vows even if it hurts.” Yes, keep them when it hurts and especially when you know your partner is not doing his or her part. It is then that you will need to listen to the Savior’s Word again. Learn from Him to forgive and love your spouse unconditionally as He loved His church and died for her.

May God bless your marriage journey! Amen.

No comments: