How Not To Give Up On Your Marriage.

Matthew 19:3–6 says, “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.”

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract.

A contract is based on mutual distrust.

A covenant is based on mutual commitment.

A contract limits my responsibilities & increases my rights.

A covenant is a permanent relationship that has no end date thus the reason we repeat these words during the marriage ceremony “Til Death Do Us Part.”

We live in a non-committal society. Everyone wants to keep their options open from work to recreational sports to marriage. There is a severe lack of value when it comes to marriage that is one of the reasons couples are getting married later in life. They want to live together first to see if it is going to work out.

Throughout Scripture the word Covenant is used 300 times. The hebrew word is ber-eeth and literally translated means a binding agreement, a blood covenant, a coming together.

To be my wife, to have & to hold, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.

Why do couples give up? What do we fight about? What drives us apart?

Money, sex, children, separate lives, addictions, secrets, betrayal. All of these reasons fall back to sin. We live in a fallen world. We desperately need a Savior. Marriage is not the answer. Children are not the answer. Jesus is the only one that can change hearts therefore changing lives. Jesus is the only one that can hold the covenant together that we make with our spouse.

How can we keep our covenant vows?

Galatians 6:7 says, “Don’t be misled — you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”

In marriage, you reap what you sow.

If you don’t like what you’re getting, consider what you’re giving.

Stop and personally consider these questions:

Am I always criticizing? Am I angry? How often do I raise my voice?

When was the last time I showed my spouse that I love her/him? How often do I smile?

Have I spoken kind words lately?

Think like this:

If I criticize, she will criticize.

If I’m angry, she will be angry.

If I smile, she will smile.

If I love, she will love.

This past message I shared the following resources for those marriages that are struggling. These resources are not the complete solutions for your marriage, but they are very helpful if you are willing to watch, read, learn, and apply.

Fireproof DVD $4.99

The Love Dare Book $8.27

The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples $11.63

Beware of the temptation to give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW. — Unknown

Life is hard. There will always be challenges and tension. At times, you will want to give up. In those moments remember the covenant that you entered before the Lord and consider what you’re sowing into your marriage.

Are you sowing seeds of death or life? Are you serving self or following the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Galatians 6:8 says.Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

In marriage, you reap where you sow.

Disclosure: I am not a farmer. This might be shocking for some of you to read, but it is the honest truth and I write this with a smile on my face and thankfulness in my heart that God did not call me to be a farmer. One thing I do know though is that if I plant a tree in a specific location, I expect a tree to grow in that location. The same is true in our marriages, we will reap where we sow. If you’re marriage is struggling, consider where you are spending the most time and who you are spending time with. If your marriage is healthy continue to keep the priorities in line. God must be your first priority. Your spouse must be your second priority. Your children must be your third priority. Your job should be your fourth priority. As parents, you cannot properly teach and discipline your children without the power and wisdom of God and if you are fighting one another. You have been called to team work and you have been tasked with a great responsibility. Lead well.

From this day forward make this a daily pray — I will focus on where I am sowing, not how I feel.

Feelings come and go, but your marriage is forever.

Have you ever said or thought something like this?

I don’t feel like being nice. I don’t feel like forgiving. I don’t feel like working on my marriage.

How many other areas of life can you make that excuse?

I am not going to feed my baby today because I don’t feel like it.

I am not going to work this week because I don’t feel like it.

I am not going to pay my taxes this year because I don’t feel like it.

Let this be your proclamation — No matter how we feel, we are not going to give up.

Did you know that not giving up doesn’t just mean we’re not going to divorce?

Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.”

Leaving is physical. Forsaking is emotional. You can still be present physically, but absent emotionally.

You didn’t leave her, you have forsaken her.

Craig Groeschel says, “Getting divorced because you ran out of love is like selling your car because you ran out of gas.”

Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Harvest is the result of not giving up.

What could the Harvest look like in your home?

by Tim O'Carroll

Daily Bible Reading

Day 1: Matthew 19:1–12

Day 2: Galatians 6:1–10

Day 3: Malachi 2:10–16

Day 4: Mark 10:1–12

Day 5: Genesis 2:4–25

Day 6: Matthew 5:31–32

Day 7: 2 Corinthians 9:6–8

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