Thursday, June 18, 2015

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We sure take for granted our ability to make a phone call. There were some folks in Chicago's western suburbs some years ago who didn't take it for granted. Now, you've got to realize, that was in the day before cellular technology. My daughter was in college in the western suburbs of Chicago, and she was used to being able to pick up the phone and there's Mom and Dad.

We were used to being able to pick up the phone and connect with her as well. But this massive storm system had hit the Chicago area, and it wreaked all kinds of havoc. One casualty of the storm was particularly bothersome. Somehow a fire began in what was called the telephone switching station. The fact is it knocked out all the phone service to and from the area. It might be like all the cell towers being blown down. We tried to call our daughter for over a week, and every time we did, we'd get a recording, "Circuits are busy. Try again later." Well, the circuits weren't busy. They had just gone bye-bye for a long time.

The ripple effects of losing that communication were really damaging. There were businesses who had no business all of a sudden; they depended on the phone, and they actually had to lay off people. There were families out of touch, and worst of all, there were teenagers unable to call their friends! Well, it pointed out how vulnerable we were when our communication center wasn't working.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Marriage Trouble, God Trouble."

Well, the Bible describes one of life's switching stations...a center through which all kinds of communication happens and what happens when it breaks down. Our word for today from the Word of God is from Malachi 2. I'll begin reading at verse 13, "The Lord said, ‘You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.' You ask, ‘Why?' It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 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."

We just read about people whose communication with God has broken down. Why? Well, that question is posed and the answer is given—their marriage isn't right. Broken promises, un-kept vows, neglect. And it's come between them and God. That kind of breakdown is actually suggested over in 1 Peter 3:7, where husbands are told to "...treat their wives with respect so that nothing..." get this, "...will hinder your prayers." So, there's a disturbance in the marital switching station that is blocking communication up to God. So it's hard for either mate to talk to God or hear from God.

But it's also blocking communication down from the marriage. The children, it says, are destabilized when the love they came from is threatened. They register all the disturbances of the marriage. We think the kids might be the problem, and it might be the disturbances in the marriage that they're just reflecting. Godly children come from united parents. When you've got two different drummers, you get rebels.

In a sense, your communication with your mate is that switching station through which communication up and down goes. So many relationships depend on the health of that one relationship. The health of your marriage sends out love, and it sends out blessing to everyone that you both touch. The struggle of your marriage sends out unsettling, grating vibrations to everyone you touch.

So, how's the communication center doing? Don't be surprised if the enemy's been attacking it. He knows your marriage is the center of so much that matters. Don't let him start a fire in the switching station.