Rules of Engagement – Marriage

When it comes to games, none of us like having “new” rules come up while playing game
* Feels like they are making them up
* Like they are cheating or bending rules

The more complicated the game, the more rules there needs to be
* Go fish is so the rules are simple
* Chess is complicated so the rules are more nuanced

The same applies to families
* Blended families
* Adoptive families
* Past marital problems
* Prior marriages
* Financial difficulties

Question for all the married couples…
* Did anyone pull you aside and explain the “rules” or any rules for marriage?
* Of course not
* It you are dating, are you concerned about learning the rules for a good marriage?
* Of course not

Each person comes into a relationship with their own rules
* How they handle conflict
* How they process stress
* How they think roles should be
* What they think your marriage and family should look like

You will also bend those rules to your own favor.

Examples:
* While arguing, ones spouse bring up past relationships…
* When angry, one spouse compares the other to a parent
* When hurt, one spouse shuts down and pulls away
* A spouse manipulates the other to get what they want
* A spouse refuses to forgive and move past a hurt

We don’t think of marriage this way because culture has convinced us that marriage is solely base on romance

A lie we believe when we enter marriage is that “LOVE IS ENOUGH”
* “We will love each other enough to get through any crisis”

Another lie – “We will love our kids enough to get through any problem”
* Also not true. You will love your kids, but its not enough

Thats some lies about marriage, lets talk about some truths…

Truth #1 – God created Marriage
* ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:5-6
* It is a blessing

Truth #2 – Marriage is the MOST INTENSE human relationship possible
* You are choosing to allow someone else to have major influence in your life
* Intimacy

Truth #3 – Marriage is difficult, but following the right rules makes it easier
* Doing anything worthwhile requires a plan

Let me introduce you to the first and most important rule of Engagement for Marriage:

Rule 1: God’s word comes first
For your I Do to be true, God’s word must be in you

Psalm 199:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.

When not guided by God’s words, we are on our own
* Not enough to know about…
* Has to be important to you

Galatians 5
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Or in other words, don’t get to live in the promise that God has for his children

All of these things lowers the value of God’s image bearing people
* When we use others for our own gain, we reject the value God has placed on them

There is another way…
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…, joy…, peace…, forbearance (patient self control, restraint, tolerance)…, kindness…, goodness…, faithfulness…, 23 gentleness… and self-control.
Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Putting God’s word first, changes us
* What we want
* How we act
* How we respond

The triangle is the strongest shape in geometry
* 3 is a powerful number
* Ephesians 4:10-12 (Cord of three strands
* Trinity (God is three in one)

On this triangle we have three distinct points
1 – Husband
2 – Wife
3 – God (Top)

Let’s call these pipes, Trust pipes…
* They represent the flow of trust between the points on the triangle

Lets look at a few ways many marriages look:

1 – Only connected to each other
* This may seems fine at first but eventually hurt, anger, resentment build
* These things have no where to go and eventually lead to “TENSION”
* If you are marriage, you know what I mean
* Sharp comments to each other
* Constant bikering
* Complaining about spouse to others
* This leave the relationship vulnerable
* If not fixed, they this piece will fall away because trust has fallen away

2 – One spouse connected to God
* This is a reality for many. One spouse is seeking God with the other one is not
* Not always, but often wife seeks God for family and Husband doesn’t lead
* Has two possibilities.
* 1 – Could lead to non godly spouse to seek after God
* 2 – Could leave spouse feeling isolated because other spouse does not value belief

3 – Both spouses
* This is the way God created marriage to function
* Only in this way can two become one
* This can of marriage is powerful and effective
* In loving each other
* In raising kids
* In ministry
* In financial success
* In friendship and influence

How should this look practically in your marriage? (3 ways)

Connect

Connect with God daily
* For your I Do to be true, God’s word must be in you

Connect with your spouse daily
* Relationships are fulled by connection and intimacy

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

Protect

Set rules of engagement in place
* Pray and talk together
* Abide by those rules at all times

Pray for and over your spouse
* Together and separate

Be quick to ask for forgiveness (and mean it)

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

Encourage

Be each others greatest champion

Use your words to bless, never curse

Ephesians 4:29
No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.

Rule 1: God’s word comes first
For your I Do to be true, God’s word must be in you

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