Living the Dream | Part 1
Love God First
Matthew 22: 37-40
1.) Invest in the lives of those of you that hope to get married one day by giving you tools on the front side of marriage that will help you prepare to Live the Dream
2.) Invest in those couples who are married – for some marriage good, for some things are tough – it’s not too late nor too early to invest in your marriage – to take these commitments and apply them in order to Live the Dream
Ladies—dreamed of married, wedding, perfect house, kids named.
Men—dreamed of being really intimate at least 6 days a week? Still dreaming.
How many of you are still dreaming?
We have a lot of expectations about what is marriage going to be like one day and then a lot of times when the marriage doesn’t meet our expectations there’s all sorts of let downs, disappointments, hurt, pain, disappointment, anger, divorce
Many of you right now are so wounded in your relationships – or past relationships – that you’re asking
- “Is this the best this dream can get?”
- “Is a good marriage even possible?”
Is a great (not just good) marriage possible?
It is possible – but NOT LIKELY – if you do what everyone else does.
About 50% of marriages don’t make it. And some of those that do are in it for the “marriage” and not e/o and so miserable.
- And that’s just a basic, realistic statistic (CDC)
- There are – research backed – choices that can significantly reduce your odds even further
- In 2011–2013 by the CDC, 60% of women and 67% of men agreed, “Living together before marriage may help prevent divorce.” (CDC)
- HOWEVER, the actual data shows that cohabiting couples have a 50-80 percent higher likelihood of divorce than couples that do not live together before marrying
- In 2011-2013 survey by the CDC, 54.2% of women and 64.1% of men agreed that, “It is all right for unmarried 18 year olds to have sexual intercourse if they have strong affection for each other,”
- HOWEVER, the actual data reveals that marrying as non-virgins is associated with “considerably higher” risk of divorce and “dramatically more unstable first marriages.”
So the data is in, 50% of marriages aren’t so dreamy
What other significant area of your life are you satisfied with 50% odds (or worse) against you?
- 50% chance of cancer if you keep eating the same cereal for breakfast… you’d stop eating it
- 50% chance that you’d lose all you money in your investments today… you’d move it
- 50% chance you’d get attacked by a herd of a 100 people-eating chickens if you drove through Canton… you’d probably pick another route
The point: if you knew the odds were stacked against you in a significant area of your life – but you could do something about it – you would
If you want your marriage relationship to last – if you want to live the dream – you can’t do it like the rest of the world
Marriage is God’s idea
Marriage is God’s gift
Marriage is not a legal agreement
- Advent of the modern age
- The Marriage License fee is $60
- Both parties must be 18 years of age.
- Both parties must provide proof of social security number.
- There is no waiting period. Blood tests or physicals are not required.
- NOT COMPARE THAT TO GETTING A DRIVER’S LICENSE
Ultimately, marriage is not a legal agreement recorded in the courthouse– it is a spiritual covenant between a man and a woman and the holy God
So, marriage can’t be done the world’s way – unless you’re just planning to fail
Marriage must be done God’s way if you ever have a chance of living the dream
And so over the next six weeks, we are going to study 6 principles that you (married people) can immediately invest in your marriage or (single) prepare yourself to invest in your marriage of your future
- Love God First
- Have Fun
- Fight Fair
- Stay Pure
- Never Give Up
Love God First
FCF: Many people are not seeking God before they’re married.
They love God. They just don’t love Him first.
Their first love is the idea of getting married
Their first love becomes finding the perfect spouse to make them happy.. to meet their needs..
Why? because everyone knows you can’t be really happy in this life until you’ve met the one, your soulmate
Illustration: Conversation with a young man, newly married. He said his wife asked? Do you think that we are soul mates? I told him, “I can answer that for you.” NO!
Culture teaches us something that’s true, to really be fulfilled in life you have to find your soul mate – the one.
The problem is, another person will never be your soul mate.
God is your soul mate – God is your ONE your spouse is your two
God must be your FIRST LOVE – your spouse must be your second
Jesus did not teach that your spouse is your first love.
>>> Mt 22:37-39 (NASB)
37 And [Jesus] said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Singles – What now?
Make God your first love while you WAIT on your second
“I will love God first, while I wait on my second.”
If you hope to have a godly marriage one day, live a godly life today.
Become the kind of person that you’d like to marry.
If you want to marry someone who has had multiple partners then do that, go for it like everybody else. If you want 50/50 odds, then live like everybody else.
If you want to increase the odds (50/50) of going through the nightmare of divorce live like the world
If you want something that is different – if you want to live the dream – LOVE GOD FIRST.
Don’t run after a spouse, run after God. – Mt 6:33-34
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Married – What now?
Love God first WITH your second
“I will love God first, with my second.”
Our marriages will never be what God wants them to be unless God is our first love and our spouse is our second
Often we get it this mixed up
1.) We try to make our spouse our first love, “Oh you’re going to make me happy, oh you’re everything!”
- Weight on our spouse they cannot bear
- Idolize then demonize
- “She’s so organized and she’s so driven. I love the way she’s so passionate about life!” And then they’re married for a while like, “She’s a control freak; she wants everything her way, she drives me crazy, she nags, nags, nags, nags!”
- “He’s so laid back and he comforts me and he’s just so easy going!” And then they’re married for a while like, “He’s a bump on a log; he doesn’t do anything; he’s not a leader”
2.) or, we even might put God as our first love but then we put our children in the number two spot or our careers, or hobbies..
It doesn’t work unless God is our first love and our spouse is our second.
Putting this into practice
- WORSHIP TOGETHER.
- DO LIFE WITH GOD
- READ GOD’S WORD TOGETHER.
- PRAY TOGETHER.
Family Life has surveyed 1000s of Xian couples… fewer than 8% pray regularly… those who do… fewer than 1% divorce.
1.) Single – Pray FOR your future spouse – SPECIFICALLY
2.) Parents – Pray for your kid’s future spouse
3.) Married – Pray WITH your spouse
…Pray for your spouse until he/she will pray with you
Face to face
Hard to pray with someone you’re mad at.
Hard to want to divorce someone you’re praying with.
Difficult to have an affair when you are loving God together!
Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. 1 Chron 28:9 NLT
For the single…
For the married…
For the lost…
There are a lot of you that you’re going to realize right now, the way you’re living, the way you do life, God is not your first love. But He wants to be.