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Building a Great Marriage Index:
Faith: #1 Hope | #2 Love | #3 Submission | #4 Oneness
Forgiveness: #5 Conflict | #6 Crises | #7 Forgiveness
Friendship: #8 Intimacy | #9 Trust | #10 Love works!
Purpose: Great marriages need love! 'Unconditional Love' points us to Life Principle #1 needed for great marriages: Husbands are to love their wives with agape love: unfailing and pesistent love. This is the first part of session #2 of Building a Great Marriage.
A great building is built from a great blueprint. In the same way, great marriages are built by God’s glorious blueprint. Bad marriages do not result from an imperfect design but from builders who don’t build according to God’s plans!
There are two other dangers to be aware of. First, there are those who do not build according to the truth. They might profess to know the truth, but they simply don’t build by the instructions. Jesus had some hard words for them.
“And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand” (Matthew 7:26).
I have heard many spouses say that they can’t change: “That’s just the way I am.” It often really means, “I won’t change.” In other words, they know what is right (thetruth) but minimize or excuse the need to change. There is also another danger.
Bad marriages are aggravated by the fact that many people are convinced that their actions are according to the Lord’s Word. Many times, though, they are wrong. This is even more difficult to overcome when pride is mixed in. So some know the truth but don’t live it. Others think they know the truth but base their practices on falsehood. In either case we are not to blame the design but the “builders” who ignore the blueprint.
It is for this reason that we want to spend several sessions focusing on God’s truth or blueprint for marriage. The truths behind marriage are so powerful that they make me weep when I think of them. You might wonder why. Let me explain the reason.
God created marriage not just to organize society and have happy couples or even to have children, but also to enable us to better understand the glorious truths of God.Perhaps you can better understand it like this.
When God wanted to make a most wonderful relationship for mankind, He took the best model possible. Where was that found? It was found in the Godhead. When we peer into the design of marriage, we are peering into the heart of God. Paul speaks about this mystery in Ephesians,
"For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:31, 32)
Marriage is described as a mystery. Marriage is earthly, but it also is a type of God’s redemptive plan. God enables us to understand mysterious spiritual truths by better understanding earthly relationships. Here are three marriage analogies:
Three Marriage Analogies
(1) Christ left His heavenly Father
- Husband leaves his father
(2) Christ secured a bride (with His life)
- Husband secures a bride (with dowry)
(3) The church (His people) belongs to Christ
- The wife belongs to her husband
God created marriage in order to fully reveal His love on earth. It is this mystery that Paul alludes to in chapter 5 of Ephesians. We will explore these wonderful plans today. There are three aspects we will explore. We will first introduce the overall design and then address the first aspect of a great marriage. Now remember, these are holy truths.
You might sense alarming moments as you look into these things of God. Don’t be afraid. Let the truths of God speak to our heart. God desires to reveal the greater heavenly pattern to help us have better marriages. We do not only want to learn the truths but also carefully apply them to our lives so that we can have great marriages!
There are three life principles that make great marriages: (1) Unconditional love, (2) Inner Fulfillment, and (3) Together forever.
Each is distinct but fully integrated with the others. The deeper we look into these truths, we see the beauty of God’s redemptive plan working out their grace and goodness in our marriages. As we understand these principles, we will be able to know how to improve our marriages but be able to provide good counsel for others.
Let us further turn our attention to the first life principle of Unconditional Love by reading 'Description of God's Love.'
This Building a Great Marriage is a long series. We have printed or download ebook editions which make it easier to read and are available with BFF's other great books in our store.
Read more exciting and practical articles on marriage. Just click on a link or graphic below.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988