Improving Your Marriage

Proverbs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:20
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On March 2, 2022 I returned to Baxley, Ga. and officiated a funeral service of one of the members in my previous church. This woman was married to her husband for 70 years! To be married that long means that there was a lot of hard work put in to make it work. Someone once said that there are three stages to marriage.
The first stage has been called “the ideal,” the second, “the ordeal,” and the third, “let’s make a deal.”
Regardless of how long you’ve been married, to have a happy and healthy marriage, we have to continue to “Improve the Marriage.”
Text: Proverbs 24:3-4
Proverbs 24:3–4 NKJV
3 Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; 4 By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.
Wisdom builds the house, understanding holds it together, and knowledge makes it pleasant.

1. Wisdom builds the marriage;

There are two components that have to come together in the marriage for it to be happy and healthy [man and woman].
If you want to find the right woman, I can give you scripture for guidelines to find her. [Prov. 31:10-31, read]
If you are looking to find the right man you have to start in Proverbs 1-7, where Solomon uses the word “my son” 15 times instructing Rehoboam on how to follow the Lord and listen to his parents instructions. Actually I was told this morning by a woman you have to “train them up”.
For wisdom to build the house [marriage], it has to start with Christ and continue with Christ.
When two people marry, Jesus said, in God’s sight “ ‘the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one” (Mk 10:8).
How do two become one? The closer each one grows to Christ the more their attitudes, morals and desires become one with Christ. When this happens the more their actions and lifestyles imitate Christ.
Communication- the art of successfully conveying ideas, feelings and information. This requires not only talking but listening!
Learn to listen- many times we hear what the spouse is saying but we aren’t listening. Listening requires concentration. Not only to hear what they say but the why and how they are saying it. [Listen to Jesus]
James 1:19 NKJV
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Ask questions- asking questions in a nice way can draw out the true intent/feelings of your spouse. [Ask Jesus]
Proverbs 20:5 NKJV
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.
Avoid arguments- arguments are heated exchanges between people that usually end with words that are regretted later on. Allow one to vent sometimes and hold your tongue until it’s appropriate to continue the conversation. Walk away, breathe, forget what was said and then move forward. [Trust Jesus]
Proverbs 19:11 NKJV
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
Getting wisdom comes from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Retaining wisdom is a daily work on our part seeking to be filled with the Spirit.

2. Understanding sustains the Marriage;

Do you understand your spouse? God made us different in body, soul and mind.
God made man to be more dominant, stronger, leader and provider.
God created woman to be his helper, a weaker vessel [feminine], nurturing and giving.
So to be able to understand our spouses we have to spend time getting to know them, constantly.
Date- Dating is the continual courtship that started before you were married. Someone has said, “If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.” [flowers, cards, a walk, dinner, weekend getaways]
Romance- enjoyable love affair. Through the years our bodies, souls and minds go through changes. They can be normal cycles of life or tragedies and health issues that occur. But our love for one another should not change, but maybe the method of how we show it has too.
Intimacy may not be as frequent but holding hands and walks may increase.
Dancing in your home is a type of romantic love.
Reading the Song of Solomon together is romantic love.
Just as we grow and deepen our understanding in Christ, we must do the same in the marriage!
Proverbs 5:18 NKJV
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.

3. Knowledge fills the Marriage;

The greater the knowledge we have of Christ, our spouse and family, the more our marriage will be filled with “precious and pleasant riches.”
What are “precious and pleasant riches”? Your Priorities
Stan Toussaint was a much-loved professor at Dallas Theological Seminary for forty-seven years. He loves the Bible. He also loves the family. In an article titled, “Building a Happy Home,” Toussaint addresses the importance of priorities in family life. He highlights six:
1. Persons before things
2. Home before occupation
3. Partner before children
4. Children before friends
5. Partner before self
6. Spiritual before material
He concludes his article by saying, “Priorities are indeed peculiar. But they are essential. And they’ll go a long way toward producing a strong, biblical, and happy home”
Akin, J. (2017). Exalting jesus in proverbs (D. Platt, D. L. Akin, & T. Merida, Eds.; Pr 24:3–4). Holman Reference.
Marriage is the one analogy used in the scripture depicting the relationship between God/Israel and Jesus/Church.
Isaiah 54:5 NKJV
5 For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
Ephesians 5:22–27 NKJV
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Just like we need to keep improving our relationship with Christ we need to do the same in our marriages, whether its been 3 years 40 years or 70 years!
A happy and healthy marriage begins and ends in Christ!
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