06 Jan 2019
"Why marry? " Actually, the more pressing question is, "Why stay married? " Because many people cannot answer it, they have called it quits in their marriage. To them, it is easier to leave an unhappy marriage. Thus for a marriage to last, we need to understand the most important purpose taught in the Bible. This purpose may just be the missing piece in your marriage. So, take your time and listen to this sermon to find out more. May God bless your marriage.
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And in 2019, as in what we have done in the past 2, 3 years, we've always begun with a kind of a focus on a particular subject. And this year, we like to focus on the family and we have begun this year therefore with this series called, “Home Fix”. Ah, I know this is kind of a spoof from a DIY hardware store, but I hope this will be memorable for you - Home Fix. And we're looking to how the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when applied to our families can bring healing and blessing herein.
Now for those of you who join us for the first time, you might like to know that topical sermons are not our usual, ah, staple diet. What we do as a church is generally taking the people through the Bible, chapter by chapter, book by book, passage by passage. But as mentioned, every once a year we have a focus on a subject. And so we will revert to our expository, chapter by chapter, passage by passage preaching after this series. But for now, for the next nine weeks, we are going to look at the Gospel application to our homes.
Now, there are going to be 9 sermons. You say, “Are you sure, got so long? So many things to say ah?” I think so because we're looking at the various relationships at home. The first sermon in this series will be a look at the “Purpose of Marriage”. So we are going to you, look at that today. Why marry? Why stay married? That's what we are going to look at.
Next week, we are going to look at the “Priority in Marriage”. This is a paradigm shift that I want to encourage our people in. So I will explore that with you next Sunday, you can find out more. The third message will be about the “Permanence of Marriage”. God's will is that marriages do last. Now, there are some reasons why they do not last. There are some reasons why one would be able to remarry. But in general, let's not walk away with loopholes or escape routes out of marriages. But to honour God's intent in the “Permanence of Marriage”.
We are going to look at that 2 weeks from now and then we're going to look at the “Specificity of being a Husband”. What is your role? And what are your responsibilities? I hate this message, the most because it's the most, most convicting part. This is where I fail so much. But that's what we need to look at as a church, to look at the role of the husband. And then the next Sunday is where the husband can poke the wife and say, “It's your turn ah! “The role of the wife”. What's your role? And what are your responsibilities.”
So, these 5 sermons will focus on the most important relationship in the family, the husband and wife. But the home is more than just the husband and wife. In fact, we also as a church, do not want to neglect a very important segment of people in society. So the next sermon we are going to look at is on singleness. So people who are not married, they don't intend to be married or for people who are not yet married though they intend to be married.
What is God's Word for them? Because so often people think that first-class citizens are married people and second-class citizens are the singles. That's not even true in the Bible. So, we are going to look at that and have a biblical perspective to how “Singleness” should be dealt with. And how we should relate with people. And how you should use your singleness for the glory of God.
After that, okay, you want to guess what sermon number 7? Actually, I have already showed that unfortunately. So sermon number 7, we are going to shift the focus to the parent and child, so I'm going to talk about how to raise a pagan kid. What's a pagan? A pagan is someone who does not know God. Someone who rejects God. So, I'm going to tell you what you can do so wrongly that you will raise pagan kids, even though you come to church. But there are things we do that can turn our kids away from God.
So this is a kind of a negative demonstration sermon and then the week following we are going to look at how you can gospelize your children. Ah, Singaporeans are experts at providing good diet for our kids, right? I must eat this, must eat that. You should try this, the protein different, the vitamin different. We are experts at that.
We are experts at sending them for tuition. We are good at making online research and finding out the best tuition centrs we can send them to. But I don't think many of us focus on raising our kids in the Gospel or with the Gospel. So, we are going to look at, ‘Gospelizing Your Child’ in sermon number 8. Last sermon, sermon number 9, is ‘Honour Your Parents’. Don't forget this, very easy to forget, right? Because you think about your own family and you forget still there is a command. It's part of the 10 Commandments to honour your parents.
Ah, I know some of you today are going through difficult times in your family. A, a series like this is not easy. I think superficially, it will be fun and nice to hear about interesting insights into the family life. But I do recognize that many go through very difficult family situations. And I pray that God will comfort your hearts. And I pray that God will use His Word to encourage you. ‘Home Fix’’, may the Gospel be beautifully applied to your family.
The question I want to answer this morning is a very simple one, and that is - why marry? Why should I get married? Some of you look at me as if, that's a stupid question. Look at my boyfriend, he is so young and handsome and dashing. Why won't anyone want to marry him? Or another lady, another guy would say, “Look at my girlfriend she's so beautiful and she's perfect, why wouldn't I marry her?”
And to some of you this is a stupid question. But some of you may say, “Pastor, that's a great question, I've been looking at my ah lau and been asking, “why did I marry him? Why did I marry him?” That's maybe what you are struggling with why marry. So, I really think a marriage can last only if you really understand why you're married. Why do you go to the gym? If you are not clear why you go to the gym, you won't stay in the gym for very long.
So the reason why, the motivation is of utmost importance really. So, we are going to look at the purpose of marriage. And biblically and the in a very common sense way, we all know some reasons why people would want to get married.
Why did you marry? How many of you here are married? Can I see by a show of hands? Married people? Wah, so many! Alright, why did you get married? Don't know, my father tell me to. Why did you get married? Hah, silence, ah! I know why you get married? One you want to have someone who will walk with you in life's journey. You want to have a companion. You want to have a, a confidante. You want to have a friend, someone more than just a friend. You don't want to walk through life alone. And I think that's a good reason.
The first reason, I would like to suggest is that of partnership. And that's what was given in the Bible in the Garden of Eden. “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him.” [Genesis 2:18] So, in God's wisdom, He saw Adam alone and He said, “It is not good, therefore I will make a helper suitable, compatible for him.”
And if you're looking for partnership and therefore you get married, it's not the wrong reason. It's a good reason. It's a biblical reason. But there's also a second reason, I think. Would you all want to help me now? You get … yup, ‘procreation’. Jill read my slides is it? She got the exact right word - procreation. We get married so that we can have children.
Of course, today there are people who ignore the teachings of the Bible. They go ahead and have children without marriage but the purpose of marriage is also that we may have children. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Adam would not have children, if not for Eve. No matter how he tried, right? And God brought Eve to him that they may be one flesh. That they will have the ability to fulfil this command. Also in Malachi 2:15, God is seeking for godly offspring in our families.
So some people get married because they want partnership. Some people want to get married because they want to have children. And some people get married because number 3, I would say it's, ‘pleasure’, intimacy. That's found in Proverbs 5:18, “let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth”. Elsewhere in 1st Corinthians 7:2, “but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband”. So I think these are some very common reasons, some verses that remind you why people get married today - the purposes. Number 1, Partnership. Number 2, Procreation. And number 3, pleasure.
Now these are reasons why people get married. But let me say that these are not really great reasons for people to stay married. Why? Because there may come a day where your husband become senile. Maybe some of them say, “He's already senile.” There will come a day your husband, just is not capable of providing that partnership to you or vice versa, your wife. Maybe some of you have already decided in your marriage that we will not have kids. It's okay not to have kids, we have many, many instances today, ah, what do they call that, Dinks, right? Dual Income No Kids. There are more and more dinks in society and it's fine. It's your choice. And what about those who have difficult relationships? And there is difficulty in the sexual life and so on?
So after a while, you think about it, if these are the only reasons why you are married, these will not be reasons that will keep you married for very long. Because you say, “I'm not having great relationship with my wife. We are always arguing. We are always quarrelling. She not a partner, she's an enemy. It's better off if we just call it quits!” “ We won't have any more children, let's call it quits.” “We are not having a great sexual life. I'm frustrated, she's frustrated. Let's call it quits.”
So no wonder today, especially with a society that is more and more accepting towards divorce and so on. The, the home is under attack. And people are looking for the fastest way out, once they don't get what they look for when they were getting married. That's why they quit.
And that's why I say to you, in ‘home fix’, we begin with a look at a purpose that transcends all these variables. We are looking for something that is deeper, stronger, higher. And I say to you, there's a fourth purpose of marriage that is so often neglected and forgotten in the church.
I think the fourth reason in marriage is that of ‘portrayal’. Your marriage is meant to depict; to show; to display; to demonstrate something more than just the two of you together. Your marriage is meant to portray something, to tell people about something. To tell people about what? To tell people about the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To tell people about the deep love between Christ and His church.
So marriage is a portrayal of the Gospel. What do I mean? The love between a husband and his wife is to reflect the love between Christ and His Church. This is not from me. This is from the words of the Bible. In Ephesians chapter 5, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife”. It's time for him to start his new family, he leaves his daddy and mummy, not in the sense of abandoning them. But now a new priority, I'm going to hold tight to my wife and now we are going to share this intimacy in such a way that we can be said to be one flesh.
“This mystery is profound and I am saying that it refers to Christ and His church”. So Paul, in verse 31, is talking about marriage. And then in verse 32, he is telling us this is to be a picture of the Gospel. The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ dying and rising to save us from our sins, in order to reconcile us to the Holy God. The Gospel tells us of a renewed relationship between Jesus and His people, and therefore, I think from this text, it is clear that marriage is a portrayal of the Gospel. And I'm saying to you that this reason number 4, is a necessary reason for the Christian home to stay strong and committed.
Yes, my husband may be diagnosed with terminal cancer. He might have suffered a stroke, he can't talk, he can't think like he used to, but that does not matter. Yes, we may not have children, that does not matter. Yes, we maybe not having lots of pleasure between the two of us, that's not the matter. The key is that the marriage is not just about me. It's not about my wants. It's not about my own fulfilments. My marriage is meant for something greater than myself.
My marriage is lifted from a secular realm to sacred realm. My marriage is to depict something really cosmic and great and grand and that is Christ and His Church. And that's what keeps us together. Many of you struggle with this question, why should I stay married? Why can't I call it quits? I say, “Because of Jesus, because of God, because of the Gospel.”
I want to understand that in this congregation, there are some of you would say, “Yes, I love Jesus. I love God and for that reason, I want to honour God in loving my wife and loving my husband. I, I want our marriage to glorify Him and to show the Gospel.” But I also know that in a congregation like this, there are those who do not know Jesus. You're not a believer of Jesus Christ. You say point number 4 does not matter to me, I'm not interested in what telling the world about Jesus and the church is not even in my radar.
I say to you, “Yes, at this point of time, it really does not matter to you.” But I want to say this, “just as marriage is a portrayal of the Gospel, I've also seen that the Gospel is a powerful strengthening of the marriage because I've seen many folks, many marriages that are on the on the brink of breakup, get healed when they get to know the Gospel. When they get to know Jesus and His love, it changes their lives, it changes their marriages.” Because some of you today, you might be here, invited by your friends because this might be your last resort. I've met with people who have come to me and said, I've been to counsellors, I've been to therapists, we have talked a lot. But, church is … is my last try. “Pastor, you are the last try and if this does not work, we are going to divorce.”
I mean, wah, what kind of pressure is that man! But that's exactly what happens and I didn’t change their lives. But as they get to know the Gospel, I can tell you, their, their marriage is far from perfect, my marriage is far from perfect, but the marriage is not what it used to be anymore.
Why? Because there is power in knowing the love of Jesus in the Gospel. So please hang in there, even though this point may not be so relevant for you. Please hang in there, not just today but for the next few weeks. And I pray that the Gospel, the good news of God's love in Jesus Christ will heal you, bless you, change you and strengthen your marriage.
So, let me come back to this portrayal point. The reason why we stay married, a lot of times is because of the desire to honour God in reflecting the Gospel. But how? In what ways does a marriage between a husband and a wife reflect Christ and His church? I suggest to you, 3 simple ways.
Number 1, very simple in the Scripture is that my marriage reflects the Gospel in the way the husband sacrifices for his wife. The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” [Eph 5:25] I hope you see the direct correlation there. The husband is to love his wife. The husband is to give himself up for his wife because that's the way Christ gave himself for the church. Therefore your marriage is to be a mini picture, a mini representation of this grand and glorious Gospel reality. Husbands, love your wives. Your love for your wife is the model the Gospel. The way you love your wife is to show people the Gospel.
Now, I'm a man. I've been a man for 40 over years. And I know men, one thing I would say about we man, I hope I don't offend you. But one thing I will say, about we men is that we are absolutely selfish creatures.
I think I'm a very, very selfish man. I think about me, myself and I, a lot of times. I think about my preferences. I think about what I want. I think about what inconveniences me. And I hate to sacrifice. I hate to give up my time. I hate to give up my preferences. I hate to give up my energy. True? I mean, you don't know me. But ah, is it true for you men?
Men also like to lie but hah, hah, hah. But I think I'm a very selfish guy and I find this very, very difficult. I find this difficult because I'm always thinking about what I can get, what I can gain, what benefits me. But real love is not what benefits me, real love is what benefits them, what benefits her.
So the Christian man is called to love his wife. In a sense, you are to benefit your wife. Your chief consideration, your chief KPI in your marriage is not what I've gotten from this marriage, but what I have given in this marriage. My goal is to see my wife flourish and blossom that she will be beautiful inside; outside; everything. This is my goal and to do that I need to sacrifice. To do that I must be willing to give up.
Often times in weddings, when I conduct weddings, when I preach at the weddings, I would often say this. When you are going through a wedding it is like going through a funeral. “Pastor, you very pang, not pangtan [superstitious in hokkien dialect].” Very er what do you call that in Hokkien? Bad luck, er okay, you, you say the most inappropriate things. But actually, it is not wrong if you think about it. Going through a wedding is like going through a funeral. Why? Because when you are committing to your, committing to another in marriage you're saying, “I'm willing to die.” “Wah ai si liao. I marry her, wah ai si liao. I marry him, wah ai si liao. I'm going to die.” I have to die, I want to die, because if I don't die, we can never be one, agree? You can never be one until you're willing to die to your own preferences and desires.
So men, this is God's will for you, about your time, about your money, about your energies. How much of it is given up for your wife? How much of it is still grab hold of? Your KPI in your Christian life might be this. I, I don't think there's a ministry that is greater than the ministry at home. And it begins with loving your wife and giving yourself up for her. Now what's unique about the love of Christ is that it is an unconditional love, right?
The Bible tells us that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, while we were ugly and enemies of God, He gave Himself up for us.
So think about it, it's very easy to love your wife on wedding day, tio bo? Wedding day, she has fasted for 3 months, so that she can … after the dinner is over, OK, OK, alright, she's fasted for 3 months, she has done her nails, her hair, everything is beautiful. The ceremony is romantic, you went to Bali, you went to don't know where, photo shoot. And wow, I can love her, man. I've been married for 18 years, alright, 18 years, things change.
Maybe you, you realized, after a while your wife suddenly got more spare tire. Maybe her hair turned grey, wrinkles are appearing and as I have often say, one day you will wake up seeing that she took out her false teeth. You say, “Wah lau, like that one ah! That was not what I thought!” you know but when, when she was like this 30 years ago, I said I could love her forever, but now a bit difficult leh. And maybe she has her moods, her swings and sometimes things become heated at home. And those are the days when you said, “Huh, cannot la, cannot love her already lah!” But that's not the way Christ loves the church.
We are a very unfaithful people. We sin against our Lord, we love the world, but one thing I want to say to you is, Jesus never let go of His church. He loves us, steadfastly, unconditionally. Now, that's a very high calling, one verse die already seriously. One verse, we die, as men, we, we are guilty before God. But at the same time, this verse forces me, forces you to regularly turn to God for grace, for forgiveness to be the man God wants us to be.
But remember this folks, remember, remember this, my dear brothers. In marriage, you seek to love your wife, to sacrifice yourself for her, not just because of partnership and procreation and things like that but because you seek to honour God in portraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So that's way number one.
So now is the time for you to rib your wife and say, “It's your turn ah.” So the second way, I think the marriage is to reflect the Gospel is in submission. You're spot on – Submission. So, the husband models the Gospel in the way he loves. The wife models the Gospel in the way she submits. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
I know this word is not a nice word for ladies. I know you cringe at this word. “Wah lau, submit, aiyoh, cannot lah, Pastor, you do not know my husband la, cannot submit to this kind of guy one. He's very gong one, very stupid one, very foolish. If I submit to him, nothing will ever get done one.” Well, I'm afraid that is not what I said. This is what God said, “Wives …” Can the ladies say this with me? Wives …you see, bey kum guang [unwilling in hokkien dialect] not, not loud eh, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Ah, Second statement, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in …”, wah, this word also very succinct. Submit in what? wah, hah, hah, what “… everything to their husbands.” Now I hope the husband don't look at this one, “Eh you see lah, you, everything, okay everything.” I hope the husband loves his wife, alright? And not use this to bash the wife and say, “I'm Tarzan you are Jane, listen to me.” And then the Bible also says, “That the wife see that she respects her husband.” Again I say these are not my words, these are the words of Scripture in Ephesians chapter 5.
Now, submission is a very difficult thing, just like sacrifice is a difficult thing for the man, I think submission is a difficult thing for the ladies. You say, why? I, I observed, like I said, I'm married for 18 years. I observed, women are actually very, very, very, very, very sharp. Very sharp, everything also can see clearly. Actually men are very blur, everything also can't see clearly. So a wife, when she's so sharp, she observes her husband so blur, it is very tempting for her to then wrest control, “le bey zhai, [unsteady in hokkien dialect], you don't know one lah, let me take over.”
True or not? I don't want to create waves in the family here. But I think it's generally true. You, you tend to want to, you say, “I will submit to you.” But after that you, you jump up and you do this and do that. And it's difficult for ladies because a lot of things I think women do much better than us, husbands. And maybe for ladies you fear that when you gently and humbly submit, you might be abused, you might be taken advantage of, you might be taken for granted. So I understand all that.
Or maybe you think that submission is terrible because you will not be able to contribute, you will be having to live in silence for the rest of your life. And that's not quite helpful. So let me just say it, number 1, the word submission is not silence. It didn't say wives, be silent before your husband. The word submit in the Greek, hupotasso means to rank yourself under. It is a military word, you submit yourself, you put yourself under the command and control of another. So that together, you will fulfil and accomplish the mission.
So it doesn't mean you play a silent role but you do play a subordinate role; a supporting role. By all means contribute, by all means suggest, by all means reason and work together with your husband to come up with the best plans. You're not to be silent. But ultimately if your boss, your superior, your husband decides on something, you support. And that means that as a wife, you are to cheer your husband on. Ensure that you do your very best that he will flourish and blossom to be the man God wants him to be.
Be very careful about disrespecting or embarrassing your husband in public, even in prayer meeting. “Please pray for my husband, he's really useless.” Please pray for my husband, is fine, but no need to add that part. And, and so you need to be careful because you are to submit, you are to respect, you are to do your very best in. Your role as supporter, that's what God calls you to do, to support your husband, to be the best that he can be, alright. And you may say, “Pastor again, you do not know my husband. How to submit to this kind of a guy?” Well, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as on to the Lord.” You do it not just because of him. You do it because of Him, Christ, because of God.
There will be mistakes made in life. Who doesn't make mistakes? But I think what is important is that you obey God and trust that God can even grow him, grow us in our mistakes. Of course, if your husband is leading you to sin, you don't do that. But apart from that I think, reason, contribute, but remember your role as a supporter. Okay. Not easy, but that's how you display the Gospel. When people look at you, say “Wah, you actually, you are a very capable lady, why do you always submit to him, ah? “Well, because of the Gospel.” That's mind blowing in this world today.
I remember a lady in our church, she wrote, she said, “After understanding that men were created to need respect, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to humble and teach me to submit to my husband happily, to encourage him to become the spiritual leader at home…” Many times husbands don't want to be leaders at home because it is because they already led by their wives. So the wife said, I, I want you to lead, I, I am praying for you. I'm going to support you and to support him in his church ministries so that he can become the person that God wants him to be. “…I grew to be more submissive instead of wanting to control and resist.” Great attitude, great prayer. And I'm sure and I know God has honoured this prayer, I can see it with my eyes.
So marriage is a portrayal of the Gospel. Marriage is meant for something more cosmic, grander than just yourselves; to your own benefits. It's to tell people about Jesus and His love. In what way, 1, how the husband sacrifices. 2, how the wife submits. And number 3, last one, how does marriage portray the Gospel? In sacrifice in submission and number 3, what, support? Support, good guess but it's quite close to submission. OK, let me give you the word, the word is steadfastness.
What makes this marriage glorify God is that it is permanent? It is steadfast you don't call it quits. Now again I don't derive this myself but I think the Bible does teach that.
Look at this, verse 31, which is our text, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” This, this intimate, strong, unbreakable relationship, this holding fast is crucial to display the Gospel, right? When people see you hold fast, in a world where everybody is giving up, it causes people to sit up and ask why? 30% of marriages in Singapore end up with divorce and I think it's only going to grow. The world is going to be more difficult for sure.
But that's where the Christian life shines even brighter, when we hold fast. Some of you today are on the brink of breakup. Your heart aches, my heart aches. And I think it's because you really find no reason why you should hang on. But I say to you, “If there's anything worth fighting for, it's because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” I think many people will tell you hang in there in marriage because of your kids. Think about your kids! How terrible it will be for your kids and some of you reason. Well, I think we can still co-parent yah. But that's not strong enough reason for me to hang in there. Some of you are counselled to say, “Hang in the marriage otherwise, your family will lose face.” “But hey so many people are breaking up anyway. No big deal!”
But I'm urging you today to look at the missing piece in your consideration. The biggest piece that we should consider - Christ and His church. Your marriage is worth fighting for because the Gospel is worth fighting for. I hope that's what you believe. I hope Christ, who gave His life for you is worth you glorifying. And that's why you hang in there.
Now, let's face it. Marriage is very difficult. Years ago, we looked at focus on the family and I have a tagline, “Marriage is really, really tough and only Jesus is enough”. It's probably what we are trying to communicate here. It is true, marriage is really, really tough. Most of us when we got married, we don't believe that, I didn't believe it.
I really believed Hollywood, I thought the day I walked the aisle with Winnie, it would be happily ever after. I believe that story painted for me by storybooks and Hollywood movies that Prince Charming meets her Prince Charming, OK, Prince charming meets his perfect wife and life will be smooth sailing, they will fall so much in love with each other, it will be eternal bliss. I realized it's not like that. The moment we go honeymoon, jialat. Why you always do this? Why you, you stay in the toilet so long? Why your socks are all over the place? Why can't you speak nicely to me? How come you can't be faster, we are going to be late? ...... and we start to quarrel and cracks begin to appear.
It begins already in the honeymoon. No one can say after several weeks and months of marriage that your marriage is perfect. No one! If you think it's perfect, it's because you put Handyplas and you faked it. And so we come crashing down. We say, “I, I, I thought, I am supposed to have a perfect marriage but it's so bad! I didn't realize he can be so nasty. I didn't realize I will be so unhappy.” You say, “Never mind lah, let's try a bit more.” Months rolled by, years rolled by, decades rolled by. And over time, it builds up you know. It's like water behind the dam, it just builds up and one day the dam breaks and everything falls out.
So why, why, why is marriage so difficult? We are Christians, we are reasonable people, why so difficult? Let me tell you why, alright? You know, the main reason why marriage is so difficult because we are all, say it with me, we are all sinners. Do you know you're very ugly? Do you know I'm very ugly. We, we comb our hair, we put makeup we look nice on the outside but actually our hearts, we are very ugly.
Even a Christian you still have that sinful flesh in you. We are all ugly, we are all sinful. We are all selfish, we are proud. We are insecure, we are bitter. We are angry. And when you put two different people who are very sinful living together, there will be fireworks. Not the good type, the bad type. And you add to that we live in a world that is filled with sin. Lots of temptations, lots of pressure and you add to this powerful mixture, what else?
You see, we are so forgetful, we forget that he is here. We add to this powerful mixture the, the devil, I'm pretty sure one of the chief things he wants to do is to destroy homes. And you have a perfect storm. You have all the reasons why your marriage is going to be difficult. Isn't it? Sinful people, living with sinful people, in a sinful world, filled with sinful temptations and pressures, tempted by the sinful tempter. It's perfect storm, and that's why we call it quits.
So remember today, the Gospel. The big missing piece that you must not throw away in your considerations as you want to honour God in your marriage. So, why marry? Maybe I should change the question, why stay married? What's the purpose? Is it for partnership? Yes, but not always. It may not be there all the time. Is it for children and pleasure? No, not all the time but I think portrayal is there all the time. It's that unchanging reality from the Scriptures that an obedient child of God, hangs on to.
Before I end, I want to say a few words to single people. Ah, I hope you don't walk away from this series thinking this church is always talking about married people, I feel so second-class. Please don't think about that because the Bible does not allow us to think about that. The Bible never looks at single people as second-class.
The Bible does not extol marriage to in at the expense of single people. At the same time, the Bible doesn't extol singleness at the expense of marriage. Each is precious. Each is a calling from God. But let me just boil it down to the very essence, what's marriage for? If I were to boil it down, what's marriage for? Okay, not fair lah, so general, right. I would say, “Marriage ultimately is for the glory of God.” Correct?
It's ultimately for the glory of God in displaying the Gospel, and likewise I say, even if you're not married, a single person can fully live for the glory of God. There's no second rate citizen here. I want to say to you, “If you are a single person, but you want to get married, I hope you choose your partner wisely.” Choose someone who is who … most people choose those who are tall, dark, handsome or beautiful whatever, smart whatever. But actually if you think about it if your marriage is for the glory of God, then you ought to choose someone who fears God and loves God.
Now, it's a bonus if he is tall dark and handsome. I'm not saying don't choose that. But the, the goal of marriage, let's be very clear must be for the glory of God, alright? To single people, sermon number 6, I hope to address this more fully.
For those who are struggling in marriage, hey, fight for your marriage it's worth fighting for because the Gospel is worth fighting for. I often say this, “My wife Winnie is a wonderful lady and she's one of the nicest people I know. It's not the nicest people, ah nicest person I know.” But even for someone as nice as her, I have problems with her. Why? I am very sinful and I would say to you, “If I was not a believer, if not for Jesus and His love, I believe we would have divorced a long time ago because there are times we can get so frustrated, so upset, let's call it quits.”
But what has kept us? I think you can ask her yourself, she won't say, “Oh, because Jason he is such a great chap.” Nah! I don't think she's going to say that. But we stayed together because of the Gospel. And I tell you what the Gospel has strengthened our marriage. It's amazing! We, we find the reason, not in the person. We do see values, we do see beauty in one another, but ultimately I see the reason in my Saviour and His love. That has nourished our hearts, that has changed our lives. That has blessed our marriage. And I must, I want to say to you, “Our marriage is I think, stronger than when we first started for sure, because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
So, I wish for all of you here a very blessed marriage that will be centered in the Gospel. I really think this is missing in many books, in many counselling today. We counsel people on very practical reasons for your family, for your children, for yourself, for your finances. I, I don't think they are really powerful motivators. The ultimate, ultimate motivation must be the Gospel. And I've seen the Gospel work powerfully in lives who are humbled and receptive. And I wish that for you. I wish in this series, you will learn to apply the Gospel to your home, Jesus and His love will be powerfully transforming.
Ah, the Gospel or the couple shows the Gospel, that's what we have been talking and for all who are here, you do not know Jesus. I want to say to you, “The Gospel grows the couple. “I really believe there is a hope in your marriage if you're willing to come to Jesus Christ, know of His love, His unconditional love for you when He died on the cross to save you from your sins. It changes you, it saves you, it blesses your marriage. I hope this is a simple start to Home Fix and I hope you join us in the weeks to come.
Let's bow for a word of prayer together. Marriage is really, really tough and only Jesus is enough. Nothing wrong for you to grieve over a difficult marriage. But what you do with it, is key today, isn't it? Would you grieve to despair and to giving up? Or would it force you to turn to your saviour, to God, to give you grace and strength and forgiveness? So that you really learn of His love and you really learn to bend His love outward toward your spouse and let God be seen as glorious in your home.
Your father needs to see this. Your colleagues need to see this. Your friends need to see this that Jesus is real in your life. It's not mere talk, it transforms the way you deal with your relationships. Marriage is worth fighting for! My heart breaks because I know many of you are in situations that are really beyond you in many ways. I, I want to pray for you, I want to support you the best way I can. But today this is just between you and God. Based on what you have heard, based on scriptural teaching, would you ask God today, “Lord, what will you have me to do?”
Maybe you don't have a grand plan for what's going to be the future, but ask God for the next step today. Maybe there's a forgiveness that need to be given. Maybe there's a reconciliation that you need to broach. Maybe you can begin in praying. But let the Gospel nourish your heart, heal your heart today. Let the love of Jesus, minister to you.
For all friends, I hope this is not just a pep talk for family. Because at the end of the day, your marriage is not going to last the same way in all eternity. But I tell you something that lasts forever and that is a relationship with God. The marriage ultimately is to point to this Gospel, this good news. And this morning, I want to tell you good news that Jesus loves you, Jesus gave Himself for you on the cross to save you from your sins. Would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and believe in Jesus Christ, that he will save you from your sins and bring you back to the Holy God whom you have sinned against? I pray you will be saved.
So, Father, thank You this morning for Your Word. Just a whole diversity of people struggling and grappling with life and marriage and home. I pray Your Spirit today will work in hearts and bless them. So Father take Your Word today, strengthen our families, save souls. And may Gospel Light really shine, not just because we do some ministry once a week but we will shine in our marriages, in our families. We thank You and pray all this now in Jesus Name, Amen.
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More Episodes from Pastor Jason Lim:
19 Mar 2019
03 Mar 2019
24 Feb 2019
17 Feb 2019
10 Feb 2019
03 Feb 2019
27 Jan 2019
20 Jan 2019
Episodes from other sermons:
10 Mar 2019
30 Dec 2018
25 Dec 2018
23 Dec 2018
16 Dec 2018
09 Dec 2018
02 Dec 2018
25 Nov 2018