This Sunday, I am ending an eight-week sermon series on marriage. While I have said a great deal about this one topic, I still feel there is so much more to say. I have spent this time reading articles, scanning books, listening to podcasts and sermons, along with reading my Bible, and praying. When it is all done, the pages of unused material will go into a file or simply into my brain until I preach on it again in 14-18 months
Before I move on to the next series on the life of Daniel, I wanted to share a few of the scraps from this series that I was not able to talk about on Sunday morning this time.
- Blended Families. One issue I ran into repeatedly online was the issue of marriage after divorce, mainly when children are involved. I have only preached on this topic once from the life of Jacob in the Old Testament. He had two wives and two concubines, and his family was a mess. I would like to hit this topic again in the future. If almost 40% of people divorce, then it is a topic I need to address. I would love to hear your ideas and stories.
- Expectations. In some ways, this is more of a premarital counseling issue that plays itself out throughout a marriage. We come into a marriage with all these expectations, and if we are not careful, it can destroy the joy in life together. What did you think marriage would be like? How is that impacting your attitude today?
- Being Friends. Dr. Gottman, at the beginning of his book on marriage, says that the struggles couples encounter are not near as important as their relationship. To last in marriage, two people need to be friends first and foremost. That means that both spouses know about each other’s likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, struggles and victories, and almost everything else. A couple with a strong friendship will stay together through any difficulty they encounter. How are you and your spouse getting along? Maybe it is time to cultivate friendship.
- Letting Go of the Past. This can come in a hundred forms. It can be something you suffered as a child, the mistakes you made as a teen, or the infidelity of a spouse. Those are issues where you need to be forgiven or where you need to forgive others. Many times, a husband or wife is in the middle of a conflict they did not create, nor can they resolve. Sometimes the best healing for our marriage is self-healing. What issues of the past have you never dealt with, and how it is affecting your life and marriage today?
These are the four most significant issues I was not able to address in this sermon series. I hope to revisit them over the next few years in either a single sermon or another series. If you are married, I encourage you to process these along with the current series (which is available on our Church website – www.adriancc.org). I have found that successful marriages are those that keep working toward harmony in every aspect of our lives together.