Mark 10:1-9; 12:18-25; 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 4:1; 1 Corinthians 7:29-35; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Christian couples are inseparable by men

– Mark 10:1-9

Our marriage will end

– Marriage is meant for this life only
– Mark 12:18-25

Priorities of a married man/woman

1. Stability
2. Financial Security
3. Possessions
4. Comfort
5. Pleasure
6. Children’s Education
7. Life Skills
8. World Experience
9. Health
10. Social Circle
– The more comfortable we have become in our marriage, the less devotion we are willing to give Jesus Christ.

Christ-centered marriage

– The goal of Christ-centered marriage is not to please ourselves but to please Christ – to learn to love like Christ.
– If marriage is meant for this life only, the questions we need to ask ourselves are:
– What will happen to my wife (husband) when she (he) dies and meets with the Lord?
– How can I prepare my wife (husband) to meet with her (his) true lover and friend in eternity?

Your spouse identity and calling

– You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
– I … urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. (Ephesians 4:1)

“I am crazy about Lisa.”

– Because I am crazy about Lisa, I want her to have a great life. But more than that, I want her to have a great eternity. I want her to look back at her life without regret. I want her to be confident that the time she spent on earth prepared her for heaven. Most importantly, I want her to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”  (Francis Chan, You and Me Forever)

Paul’s warning to Christian couples about distractions

– For the present form of this world is passing away. … I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:29-35)
Christ-centered marriage is eternity-minded and kingdom-focused
– We need a “magnificent obsession,” an overriding purpose that ties our days together, gives comfort in the valleys, calls us forward in the suffering, highlights our joy in springtime, and even seasons our ecstasies. That’s what God provides in a marriage based on Him. This isn’t some ethereal theory – it’s very practical, and it can do more than merely hold our marriages together; it catapults them to new levels of fulfillment. In the end, selfishness is a very boring life.
– A marriage with a shared love of Christ – a magnificent obsession – is a marriage that grows ever deeper over time; as God shapes our hearts to desire Him, He is also, in that work, shaping our hearts to desire and enjoy each other.
– So although relational intimacy, conversation, laughter, sex, and child raising may season our lives, these wonderful realities are not the end of life or the substance of life.
– The best marriages are achieved by living for something else and letting that something else come back and lift up our marriages. The key to a happy marriage that becomes ever happier is a magnificent obsession outside of marriage.
– (Gary Thomas, A Lifelong Love)

Reflections and discussion for this week

(1) Are your marriage eternity-minded?
– Think about what the Lord has planned for your spouse in eternity vs. what you have wanted for your spouse in this life.

(2) Are your marriage kingdom-focused?
– Think about what the Lord has sent your spouse to do for His kingdom vs. what you have set out for him (her) to do.

(3) Pray for your spouse
– I always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)