Thursday, November 1, 2018
Download MP3 (right click to save)
A lot of great sights to see in New Orleans. But it's hard to think of New Orleans for very long without remembering Hurricane Katrina and the devastating wind and waves that so wracked that city. Now, afterwards of course, there was a lot of finger-pointing as to who was to blame for those tragedies. And the subsequent revelations showed that there seemed to be plenty of blame to go around at all levels. But one fact became clear: the single greatest cause of death in New Orleans' darkest days didn't come so much from the storm but from the levees that couldn't hold back the waters of the storm. The walls around New Orleans just weren't strong enough to withstand like a high-magnitude storm.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How To Build a Storm-Proof Marriage."
It takes strong walls to protect a city that can be overwhelmed by major storms otherwise; or a marriage, for that matter. And there may have never been a time when more severe storms have threatened our marriages than right now. We're busier than ever, often to the point of neglecting the person who matters the most. I mean, we're bombarded with temptations that threaten the purity of our marriage relationship. The temptations and the needs and the pressures in our children's lives; they drain energy from a marriage. The toll the storms can take? Well, it's documented in the staggering number of marriages that have collapsed or are quickly deteriorating.
We've got to build some very strong walls around our marriage to keep it from being inundated due to levee failure. Our word for today from the Word of God, Malachi 2:15, says this about God's view of our marriages: "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." Or I guess the husband of your youth, for that matter.
How can we do that? For starters, we can build five walls that keep our marriage strong. Each marriage "levee" can be summed up in the form of five ironclad commitments that can protect the lifetime love. Wall # 1 is no other passion. You make a choice that you will direct all your desire to one person and one person alone-your marriage partner. No wandering eye, no fantasies about other people. In the words of Proverbs 5:18 and 19, "Rejoice with the wife of your youth…let her breasts satisfy you at all times." Notice it says, "Let her" be enough. Before God, you actually choose to focus all your passions and all your needs on one person. Focused passion breeds fulfilling love. "No other passion." It's a strong wall around your marriage.
So is Wall # 2 – No more important voice. You pledge that no other voice on earth will be more important to you than that of your lifetime love. For a man, God says, "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:28). When you really listen and really respond to the person you're married to, you really, really love them.
Wall # 3 commits to no accumulating anger – "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" the Bible says. (Ephesians 4:26) Nothing is worth being angry about tomorrow. Harbored anger turns into growing resentment that becomes cancer in a marriage.
Wall # 4 – No reckless words. Proverbs 12:18, "Reckless words pierce like a sword," and Scripture commands husbands to "love your wives and do not be harsh with them." (Colossians 3:19) Reckless words that you spew in the heat of conflict or frustration leave lasting scars and they punch major holes in the walls around a marriage.
And that last wall, # 5 is, "No back door." "I will not even consider ending our marriage as one of my options." The moment you leave that door open, you make it likely you will ultimately use that door to destroy your marriage. Jesus said, "What God has joined together, let man not separate" (Mark 10:9). And in Malachi 2:16, God just bluntly says, "I hate divorce."
No other passion, no more important voice, no accumulating anger, no reckless words, no back door: five commitments-five walls to protect your marriage from the storms that could destroy it. Build those walls high, build them strong, because that kind of love is more powerful than any storm.