Who Do I Do This For?
I DoPastor Deone Drake - August 20, 2017
We do what we do to glorify God and help each other become like Jesus.
Community Group Study Notes
- Why is it so significant that we view marriage as God joining two people together?
- What does it mean for a marriage to give the world a picture of Christ and His Church? Why is this so important?
- What is one action step you can take in response to what you heard in Sunday’s message?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:6)
So the person in the middle was Scott Lackey, he's been the emcee for this whole thing, with the microphone in his hand and the Lego bow-tie. And I want you to picture that instead of having it on the game show, he's actually sticking a microphone in your face on the day you got married. Or sticking a microphone in your face when that day comes. And he were to ask you just one question. Why are you getting married? What's your reason for getting married? As you're about ready to walk down that aisle, what's your reason for getting married?
Now, I would imagine that he'd get a lot of answers, but I really think that all of the answers that he would get would probably fall under four buckets. And to make it simple for us, I made sure that those buckets began with the letter "C". Here's the first: Chemistry. I'm getting married because of chemistry. Physical attraction. We came to a party one time and I looked across the room and there he was. There's my dream guy, there's my dream girl.
I remember for me it was in 1984, I was in a Sunday school class that Pastor Rich George was teaching and there was one seat left, my wife insists that I sat next to her, I insist that she sat next to me. Either way I don't remember anything that was taught in that Sunday school class that morning. I was gone, she is my dream. There is this passion, there is this physical attraction, we're drawn to each other. Chemistry.
Then there's Compatibility. We have, I can't believe it, I met my soul mate. We have everything in common. I mean we just, we love everything, we love doing everything together. I didn't really think that I would find someone in this world who likes bowling as much as I do. Compatibility.
The third "C" is Communication. Ever since we met we just hit it off. We talk and we talk and we talk and we talk about everything and we never argue. It's just so easy. I mean, we just, I've never met anybody like her. I've never met anybody like him. We just talk and talk. Communication is so easy.
And then the fourth "C" is Cinderella or Prince Charming. I met my Cinderella. I met my Prince Charming. He's perfect, there's no one like her, we are going to have a fairy tale wedding. You might as well, because you're living in a fairy tale right now to think that, right? Come on, I need some help from some of the people that have been married awhile.
Now, there's nothing wrong with all of those things. They're usually the start of a relationship. I just want you to know right away that they're not really the things that you can build a relationship on. First of all, when someone says the kinds of things like that - "we just hit it off, we have everything in common, we just can talk and talk and talk. He's perfect. She's my Cinderella". When people say those kinds of things, they're usually in a stage that's called infatuation. And infatuation is really nothing more than being in love with being in love. In other words, you're not really in love with that person. You don't really love that person, certainly not the way Pastor Jerry was talking about last week. You're in love with the idea of being in love. You love the way this person makes you feel when you're in their presence. That's beautiful. Find a corner and write a poem about it. Just don't build a relationship on that because it's not sustainable. And if that's the only Kool-Aid you're drinking, that we're going to have this great marriage because of chemistry or communication or compatibility or "he's my Prince Charming", you're in for a rough ride for a while when you wake up and realize it's not all that.
There's a second reason why it's not a good idea to build a marriage on those four "C's". It's because these things have a short shelf-life. They just don't endure consistently, not as hot as they were at the beginning throughout a relationship. For example, chemistry ebbs and flows. Mostly ebbs. This physical attraction, because life changes us. I know this may be hard for some of you to believe, but I am not as good looking as I was when my wife first laid eyes on me back in 1984. We age. We don't weigh the same. We wrinkle. We gray. We shorten. That's one of the new things for me. I'm not only not as good looking as I was, I'm actually shorter than I was when I met her. How does this happen, right? So chemistry ebbs and flows, and not only that, the realities of life hit us. Like children throwing up at three o'clock in the morning. Or we're exhausted. Or not today. Or we're just not on the same page. So chemistry ebbs and flows.
Secondly, compatibility is never 100%. It just isn't. You could write a book on compatibility because you think that you and your special loved one is so compatible. I mean, your picture should be right next to the word "compatibility" in the dictionary. Let me promise you something after thirty-two years of marriage. You will find the one thing and you will argue about the one thing in which you are not compatible. I know this may be hard for you to believe guys, but it may surprise you that she does not think watching football all day Saturday and all day Sunday and Monday night and Thursday night is a great idea. And it might surprise you ladies, that he's not going to think that chasing after every garage sale within ten miles of where you live is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I'm hearing amens now.
I learned this from a dear friend of ours, her name is Sue, along with her husband Rick, they head up our divorce care ministry. She said that really a relationship is like peeling the layers of an onion. And you'll get to those first couple layers and you'll think that you'll be certain that you found your soul mate, cause these layers, there's an attraction there. There's the compatibility, there's communication. And those first couple layers, you'll think that person's perfect. But believe me, as you peel off the layers of that onion, you are going to hit a layer, and you're going to say I'm not really attracted to that. We're not really on the same page in that. I don't really know how to talk through that. And I recognize Mr. Prince Charming here has some flaws.
In fact, the first argument that you might have might be when you realize that you did not marry a spitting image of yourself. And you ought to thank God because your marriage can't handle two of you. It can't. And so couples who come to me for pre-marital counseling using this idea of the onion and peeling off the layers who say to me "we never argue." I often want to say well go home and don't come back until you have one. Because what it often means really is that we do not know each other well enough. We haven't gone through enough layers to realize that there are some differences. Yes, there are couples who figure it out and really don't argue and we're glad about that. We're not encouraging you to argue, but oftentimes it is "we just don't know each other", or the relationship isn't really tested enough to know whether or not it can handle an argument. So compatibility is never 100%.
Third, communication isn't always extraordinary. And that should be obvious to us. When we're dating, our conversation is often fiction. The life we're going to have together. You don't have any idea what that's going to be like. You have no idea when you get married what your marriage is going to be like. And so talking about our future is often fiction. It's certainly a whole lot different than actually doing life together. Conversation is different. And it isn't always exciting. It isn't always extraordinary. In fact, don't laugh. You very well may be, you very well could become that old couple that you see at a restaurant and they're just eating their meal. And once in a while, he'll look up at her and just keep eating and they never say--that can be you someday. Sorry. Communication isn't always extraordinary.
And the last thing - Cinderella and Prince Charming. It's flawed. It's flawed. You've all heard of eHarmony.com, this website, this dating website and the founder of that, Neil Clark Warren says something that's obvious is that we always, when we start dating, put our best foot forward, right? I remember our first date. We went to a steak place, my wife and I did. And I don't know who ordered soup and who ordered salad, it really doesn't matter, but we talked about this later. If it was me that ordered the soup, I was so worried because you put your best foot forward, that I would slurp my soup and she'd think I was a pig. And then she had salad, and she told me that she was worried that she would crunch a little too hard on the croutons and I would think "what in the world am I getting myself into"? We always put our best foot forward. And Neil Clark Warren says that all of us can do that for about twenty-four months. And that's why he suggests that we date that long. So that we know what the other side of those twenty-four months looks like, because we put our best foot forward.
And the idea is listen, I'm dead for saying this, but I did not see my wife without makeup until April 13th, 1985, the day after we got married. Not that she needs any. Good answer, right? And she didn't realize that she was going to be married for the rest of her life to someone who, when they get anxious, makes a sputtering noise. You didn't know that because we put our best foot forward. The reality, listen, you will marry someone very fragile, very human, very imperfect and God's grace, if you let Him, will help you make it work.
That's why Tim Keller says something, that it's going to get you. We always marry the wrong person. Why? Because our expectations, who we think this person is will always be different than reality, who this person actually is. Besides, marriage changes us. We're not the same people twenty years down the road, thirty years down the road, forty years down the road that we were on the day when we stood before the pastor and pledged our lives to each other.
There's another reason why these four "C's" aren't a good reason to build a marriage. They cannot be the anchor for your relationship. They can't. They won't sustain it. Let me give you this illustration. In the home that we used to live in before we moved into our new home a few years back, there was an alcove in the living room. And I wanted to put some shelves up in there to store our DVDs and our VHS tapes and all that kind of thing. And off I went, and I bought the right shelving, the right fasteners, the right brackets. And I put this thing together really good. And I'm looking at it, and I'm thinking my goodness, I ought to be sending some pictures to some people because this is really a good job. And then I started to put the DVDs on the shelf, the top shelf, and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and it all crashed to the floor. Now I had the right brackets, I had the right shelving, I had the right fasteners. I missed the studs and there was nothing to anchor that together. And so as wonderful as chemistry and compatibility and communication and thinking he's Prince Charming are, they cannot be the anchor for your marriage because it can't support it. The anchor is deciding who I do this for.
And the reason I say that is because God is going to make you one. He says that. And that means something huge. No one, no one in your life will ever be able to disappoint you to the degree that your husband or wife will. No relationship will be able to disappoint you to the degree that your marriage will. And so you need something that will support it, that will anchor it.
Here's where we're going. Here's where we're going. The anchor for your marriage is God's purpose for it. The anchor for your marriage is God's purpose for it. So rather than asking the question with Scott Lackey with the microphone "why are you getting married?", why don't we ask God "why should I get married?". Why should we get married? Let's ask God. Because He has something to say about it. And I want to take you there by giving to you a running sentence throughout this message.
Here's the first thing. God joins us together. God joins us together. There's a truth in the New Testament that I think we miss, and I think we miss it because we focus on a particular part of the verse and not the rest. It's in Matthew 19, and Jesus is having a conversation with religious leaders about marriage, but mostly about divorce. And at that time there were two schools of rabbinic thought regarding divorce. One was a very liberal position that you could divorce your wife for any reason. She burnt the toast, divorce her. She doesn't look good as she did on her wedding day, divorce her. You don't like the way she cleans the house, divorce her. So there was one school of thought. And the other school of thought was much more conservative, more in line with the Old Testament. And it taught that the only way you could get a divorce or the only reason you could get a divorce was because of infidelity, or sexual unfaithfulness.
And so they asked Jesus, what do you think? And He reminds them, back in Genesis 2:24 that God had said a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. And so He says to us, listen to the intent. God's intent is one man for one woman for one lifetime. Let me pause here for a second. Because I recognize that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people who sometimes mess up. And that may be you. You may say "This is God's intent and I know that, but I've missed that". Aren't you grateful for God's grace and His mercy that allows us to start over? And many of us have and have found the joy in marriage that God has longed for us? But this was God's intent. And He says that marriages end in divorce because our hearts get hardened. And we all know that to be so. We have been invited to a wedding and we've watched a couple pledge eternal forever love for each other and ten years later they're arguing about who will get the toaster and who will get the kids. We understand that that's not God intent.
But in the process of talking and having this conversation Jesus makes a very important statement. He says this: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." Now again, I think we missed that because we focus on the let no one separate, and we should, it's important words. But the middle part says this: What God has joined together. And this is so important that we understand it because you and I are going to wake up at times and we're going to turn over and look at the person we married and say "am I sure that I made the right decision here"? And let me tell you, if you're basing it on the chemistry and the compatibility and the communication and he's Prince Charming, you're going to have doubts. But if you base it, you anchor your marriage on this, God has joined us together, that's going to be a significant difference.
And the reason I say that is because I don't want you to look at that statement: "God has joined us together" the way the world did. It's obvious God's joined us together because we just hit it off. It's obvious that God joined us together because we're so compatible. It's obvious that God joined us together because everything fell into place. It's obvious we were meant to be. That can be a sign that what you want in marriage is more important than what God wants in marriage to you.
An example: We just hit it off. It's obvious God's bringing us together. We just hit it off, but he doesn't love God. He doesn't love God, he's not interested in following God. And it could very well be in those kinds of relationships that God is testing your devotion to Him, whether you'll make the right choice or not. But He's not joining you together with someone who doesn't love God.
So while the four "C's" are important, here's a more important one. Does he follow hard after God? Does she love Jesus? If you want to know a test for whether or not God is joining together, here it is. You will never have to question his love for you or her love for you because you know that he loves God more than he will ever love you. Because if he loves God well, he will love you well as well.
And this is the test. What God has joined together, let's continue the sentence. It goes like this: God joins us together to glorify Him. God joins us together to glorify Him. Paul writes these words in Romans 1:5: "Through Him we have received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake." We are obedient to glorify Him, that's what it means, for His name's sake. To lift Him up, to make His name great. Now I don't believe that the New Testament would ever parse out a passage of Scripture and say this is important for your work life, this is important for your relationships with your friends, but you don't have to apply this to marriage. No this definitely applies to marriage. That I am obedient to God for His names' sake to glorify Him.
Now the problem with us trying to wrap our minds around this statement glorifying God is that glorifying God is such a Christian cliche that it loses its meaning. So I need to explain to you when we talk about glorifying God in our marriage, what does that mean? The Hebrew word for glorify is kabod. It's transliterated K A B O D, and a means to give weight to something. And so we say that God is should be glorified because he should carry the most weight in our lives. And we talk about that giving weight to someone, giving weight to something.
I give you this example. There's a guy in my singles ministry on Thursday nights. His name is Bruce. And Bruce knows every last thing that you could possibly know about all of the presidents in the United States. I mean the order, where they were born, when they died, where they're buried, their wives names, their Secretary of State's names, their pets, everything. So if we're sitting at this table, and someone asks a question about one of the presidents, we just go, Bruce. We give him the most weight, because he knows the most.
Now why is that? What why do I use that analogy? Because when it comes to marriage, I have some ideas. My wife has ideas. Dr. Phil has ideas about marriage. That magazine at the doctor's office has ideas about marriage. But God has ideas as well. And I'm going to give him the most weight, because he's God. And the most weight is given to God because I want to glorify Him.
So I look at a statement like this in Ephesians 5:33. A real simple statement about marriage. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Husbands, love your wives. Wives, respect your husbands. You look at a passage of Scripture like that, I know what you're thinking. Husbands, love your wives. God have you have you met my wife? Wives, respect your husbands. Just spend five minutes with my husband, and you know. And so your friends have an opinion. Don't put up with that. Leave him. Leave her. Move on. You deserve better than that. God says, obey me. God says, obey me. God says, give me the most weight. Obey me. And you obey Him because he carries the most weight in your life.
And glorifying God has a specific goal. You glorify Him because he wants something in and through your marriage. And I want to find out what this is, if I'm going to do things his way. Let's continue the sentence. God joins us together to glorify Him in giving the world a picture of Christ and His church. God joins us together to glorify Him in giving the world a picture of Christ and His Church.
Our ultimate calling as a husband and wife does not come from my ideas about marriage or yours. It comes from God. And God speaks through the Apostle Paul in a very significant way about marriage. And I know you know these verses. Ephesians 5. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. For this reason, verse 31, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two we'll become one flesh. This is a profound mystery -but I'm talking about Christ and the church.
Now why in the world does Paul do that? He's talking about the relationship between a husband and wife, and he sets right next to it the relationship between Christ and the church. It's this. That even though God created marriage first, he wants marriage to be the reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church.
Now I recognize, I'm not stupid, I recognize that that passage sometimes difficult to navigate through, especially with that little word submit. But here it is, as simple as I can make it, husbands lead like Christ, and wives respond like the church responds to Christ. And that's why I will say, when I am doing a wedding ceremony, just like I did yesterday, I will look straight at the husband, and I will say that you will tell your wife this. Like Christ, I will die for you. Like Christ, I will never leave you nor abandon you. Like Christ, I will abide with you like Christ. I will give you rest when you are weary, peace when you are anxious, joy when you experience sorrow. Like Christ, I will lead you well. Like Christ, you will never worry about the direction that I am taking you, because I love you and I want what's best for you.
And then I will look at the wife, and I will say if you understand that you are to take the role of how Christ's church responds to him, then you will say things like this. Like the church, I will follow you. Like the church, I will serve you. Like the church, I will continually draw closer to you and attach myself to you, without fear or reservation.
Husbands, love your wives. Husbands, love your wives. What I am going to say right now is not a scientific study. Nor does it remove the responsibility that a wife has to her husband. But a little while ago, a while back actually, several years ago, I was walking to my brother David, who is the counseling pastor here, and Pastor Rich George who has been here like almost 40 years. And both of them together have around 70 years of counseling experience. So I thought it was a good, good people to talk to. And I asked them this question. Listen carefully. Have you ever counseled a Christian couple having difficulty in their marriage, and you could say - you could say with relative certainty that to the best of his ability, the husband was loving his wife as Christ loved the church? And both of them immediately said no. Now again, it's not a scientific study. It doesn't mitigate the responsibility that a wife has. But it does call us to this - husbands, love your wives.
I can speak of my own marriage. Like I said, I've been married for 32 years. And my wife and I have had our own share of rough spots. And I want you to understand something. That in those rough spots, my wife has never come to me and said to me, Deone, I think I know what the problem in our marriage is. What's that, Pat? I think the problem in our marriage is that you love me too much. She has never said that to me. And as I look inside my own heart, and I look into the mirror of my soul, I would have to confess to you that there have been too many times where I would have to say that I love my wife, but I love myself more. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.
Here's a human example. The story is told of Cyrus the great Persian king from a long time ago, who had captured a wealthy man in another country, along with his wife and his children. And they stood before him, at least the man did, before Cyrus. And Cyrus said, what will you give me if I release you? He says, Cyrus, I will give you half of my wealth. And what will you give me if I release your children? He said, I will give you my freedom. And what will you give me if I release your wife? He said, I will give my life. So moved was Cyrus that he released them all. And as they were going back home, the wife said to her husband, wasn't Cyrus a handsome man? She said, I didn't notice. I could only keep my eyes on the one who said he'd give his life for me.
Men, be that kind a husband. That's what Jesus is calling us to. And I ask you, that even though we get weirded out about this word submit, If you were in the context of living with a man who would live and die for you, would that increase or decrease the possibility that you would follow after him?
Towards what end? Let's finish the sentence. God joins us together to glorify Him in giving the world a picture of Christ and His Church as we serve each other towards Christ's likeness. God does have a purpose in marriage. It is that you and I, as husband and wife, would become like Christ. As we serve each other, and yes, we serve each other to be kind. Yes, we serve each other to be selfless. Yes, we serve each other to make the life of our spouse better and easier. Yes, we serve them to relieve some stress or burden, because they've had a hard day. Yes, we serve them to demonstrate love. But there's a higher calling. Christ's likeness.
I want you to think of this in a different way perhaps. You are a disciple of Jesus Christ first. And if your wife or husband knows Jesus Christ, they are also a disciple. And therefore, think of marriage as an incubator for discipleship. And what's the goal? Jesus said it this way in Luke six. The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. Will be like Christ. So think of it this way. God wants me to become like Christ. God wants my wife to become like Christ. Who is better equipped and closest to her to help in that process than me? That's what it looks like.
How about this verse, which was not spoken in the Bible about marriage, but how about using it as a verse for marriage? My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. What is the purpose for marriage? That Christ is formed in my wife. That Christ is formed in my husband.
Tim Keller, who has written the book, The Meaning of Marriage, has this incredible statement about the purpose of marriage. "What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creation that God will eventually make us. The common horizon," what we look for, "husband and wife look toward is the Throne, and for the holy, spotless, and blameless nature that we will have. Within the Christian vision for marriage, here is what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say "I see who God is making you and it excites me, I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this.'"
You know what the problem with our marriage is? We set our sights far too low. Help me just to get along with her. Help me to just get along with him. How about this? Help me, God, to participate in what you're doing, so that she becomes more like Christ. How could anything be more exciting?
You talk about those four "C's", seeing them a different way. How about chemistry? My wife still excites me. She had a brand-new outfit on this morning in the nine o'clock service. She is so beautiful. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever met. But let me tell you something. There is something far more exciting, and that is she is becoming day by day more like Christ. I am attracted to that. Talk about compatibility. My wife and I will never see eye to eye on lots of stuff. But let me tell you something. We see eye to eye on this. That we both want to see the other person become like Christ. Talk about communication. What a thrill it is to have spiritual conversations with my wife that we both use to make us more like Christ. And my goodness, Cinderella - that's too low of a view for marriage for me. I'm not interested in my wife becoming like Cinderella, because she's becoming like Jesus. And that's far more superior to me. What could possibly be more exciting than that?
And what does that mean for you? What does that mean for me? It means we have a plan in marriage. It means that we have a plan. You want your kids someday to be in the best college, you plan for that. You want to retire someday or maybe at a particular age, you plan for that. You want to have a marriage that fulfills the sentence that we gave, you plan for that.
What kinds of things does that mean? Here's one thing. You know that the enemy of your soul wants to steal and kill and destroy your marriage. And so you have a plan to resist him. And you have a plan to say, Satan, you are not going to win over my marriage. You have a plan which means that you pray for and with each other. When did you, when was the last time you did both? You prayed for your wife husband or with your husband or wife? You have a plan, you prioritize the marriage. It means that no activity, no other relationship, including the one you have with your children, no relationship is more important to you than the relationship that you have with your husband or wife. You prioritize it. You protect your marriage. That's a plan. You protect your marriage.
An old Puritan writer said that marriage is like a pair of shears. Always joined together, sometimes moving in opposite directions, and always punishing anything or anyone that comes in between.
This past Friday my sister-in-law Anna threw a surprise birthday party for my brother David. As I said, he's the counseling pastor, if you didn't know here. It was really cool to see some extended family that you don't get to see that often. And a lot of my brother and his wife, their friends were there. But the real cool thing is he has six children. Three of them live out of town, and three of them live in town, and all of them were there. And they all had an opportunity to say things. And we look forward to that, because they're funny. And they had great stories about their dad as they were growing up.
But every single one of them said in their own way something. The one thing we really appreciate about my dad, our dad, is this - I have never heard him, we have never heard him say anything inappropriate about another woman. And we have never heard our dad put down our mom. That's why my brother has the moral authority to speak into marriages as he does, week after week. That's why you will have the moral authority to speak into the lives of your children and those around you when you protect your marriage.
We have a plan. We know something huge. We know that adversity will come. How many marriages I know that have ended in divorce because something came into their life and it pulled them apart. What a shame. Because we know exactly what God is doing, even in adversity. Paul wrote it this way. It's not on the screen. We know that all things work together for good, to them who love God, to them are called according to his purpose. And what is that purpose? That you and I would be conformed to the image of his Son. So that we know that when adversity comes into our marriage, as it has at various points in those 32 years, we know what God is doing. We know what Satan's trying to do, but we know what God is doing. He's trying to make us like Christ. And so the plan is this. We use that adversity to draw us closer together, not pull us apart.
You see, here's where I'm trying to land us. We do what we do to glorify God and help each other become like Jesus. We do what we do to glorify God and help each other become like Jesus. I want to say this, if you're married, within the sound of my voice. This needs to become your goal. This needs to become your goal if you want to get married. And the other person that I want to marry, they need to have that as their goal, too. My goal is to glorify God and help each other become like Christ. But even if you have absolutely no interest in ever getting married, that needs to be your goal as well, because you belong to the body of Christ. And the relationships that you are in are designed to help the other person become like Christ.
As I was sitting over here - and with this I'm done - before the 9 o'clock service, a passage of Scripture came across my mind. And and I realize because, here's here's the honest truth. Yes, there are some marriages within the sound of my voice that are in trouble. And we've been praying throughout this whole series that something would be said that would would trigger a spiritual response, and get you to where you need to be.
But I think every single person in this room could say if the standard is that I love Christ, I love my wife as Christ loved the church, I haven't arrived. If the standard is that as a wife you are to respond to your husband and respect him as the church responds to Christ, you haven't arrived. And it very may well be that for the majority of your marriage, you haven't lived by this at all. And you know right now that your marriage is not what it's supposed.
The passage of Scripture that came across my mind was Joel 2:25 which says, I will restore the years that the locust has consumed. And I'm here to promise you that if you will recommit yourself to the purposes of God, he can do a work in your marriage.
So I'm going to close in prayer in just a minute. And I think Pastor Jonathan is closing at Lockport. And I want you understand something. I would encourage you to have some kind of conversation with your husband or wife today. It may very well be that you know, there was a day when you stood at an altar, and after everyone's gone today, that you come at this altar with your husband or your wife and you recommit yourself. Maybe you don't do that here. Maybe you do that this afternoon on your deck. You say, you know what, we've really not had the marriage that honors God. And I want to. And I want to. Let's pray and let's recommit ourselves.
It may be that right now you need some help. And there's some prayer partners in the Fireside Room. There's some counseling that can happen here. Our marriage is not where it's supposed to be. But we want it to be. And so we're gonna surrender our lives to this purpose, to glorify God by helping each other become like Christ.
And I would encourage you not to listen to my voice. It's not strong enough. I would encourage you to listen to the Spirit's voice. And what is he saying? What is he saying? And what does the Spirit of Christ tell you to do right now regarding your marriage? Let's close in prayer.
God, I know that as as we've talked this morning about marriage, it can be a difficult subject. It can be a difficult subject for single adults who hope to get married or perhaps were married and it really didn't end well. And it's a difficult subject to navigate through. It can be a difficult subject because there is no relationship, if we are married, that's more important, and yet as I said before, it's a relationship that can sometimes bring us great pain. And there may be a husband or wife in this room right now or within the sound of my voice that is in great pain because of their marriage.
Lord, you can do in a moment that would take us a lifetime to undo. If we will simply surrender to you. I pray even as Christa did a moment ago that you would give us great humility to recognize that I've not been the husband that I need to be. That I've not been the wife that I need to be. But God, I'm coming to you, asking you to do a work in my heart, asking you to do more work in our marriage, that it will become one that honors you and brings us joy.
I pray that you will remind us that there was a reason why we stood at an altar one day and pledged the rest of our lives together. And that reason is still alive, because you are. I pray we would remind ourselves that you created marriage, therefore you'll defend it. That we can fully, with great confidence, surrender our lives to you. I pray that we would do this in Christ's name, for his glory. Amen.
God bless everyone. Thank you.