· Eph 5:23 - let everyone of you love wife as himself and wife, see that she reverence her husband.
· Marriage = covenant relation – designed to reflect relationship of Christ and the Church.
· When working as God intended – dynamic flow of 2 lives together – heaven or hell.
· Very act of joining and flowing together surfaces hidden unresolved attitudes/walls.
· Prov 4:23 “Out of heart flow issues of life”
- Unresolved treasures – pain, resentment, reaction overflow and must be resolved.
- Reconcile = change thoroughly. Definition – bring into harmony so sound together in unity.
- Most focus on the impossible – trying to change their spouse!
· Key Problem Area – point of focus = bad habit, character flaw, personality trait. Come to point of intolerance or alternate between:
i) Demand change
ii) Give up – what’s the use
Never solve problems by trying to make the spouse change – resentment, discord.
2. Defilement that divides
· Heb 12:14-15 “Follow peace, looking diligently less any man fall from grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up many be defiled.”
· Follow (1377) To pursue, follow hard after
· Peace (1875) To join, set at one again, oneness
· Defile (3392) Contaminate, pollute
· Trouble – to annoy, crowd in
Example – David and Michal
1 Sam 18:20,28 Michal loved David – deep affection and attraction for David
1 Sam 19:11-12 Michal had deep loyalty to David – even at risk of fathers anger
2 Sam 6:16 Time of revival, presence of God strong – season of fulfilment of promise
Michal unable to enter or participate or unite with her husband - defiled
i) Distance: separated herself from David so remained distant and aloof
v16 “looked through window” – to lean out, gaze at spectacle, passively look.
v16 “despised him in her heart” – to condemn, judge, look down upon, think to scorn.
· Harboured inner feelings and sat in judgement of David.
Rom 14:10 “Why judge your brother or set at nought your brother, for we shall all stand …”
· Judgement and criticism are rooted in pride and law, person did not measure up to our standards.
iii) Defiled: polluted within by own attitudes and feelings
v20 “How glorious was the King of Israel today!”
· Harboured anger and resentment in heart - look and words – sharp, scorning.
· Life in turmoil because of unresolved reactions.
a) Father: 1 Sam 25:44 – Saul had given daughter to Phalti – forced into adultery.
b) Husband: Failed to rescue her – unmet expectations.
· Anger is a powerful destructive emotion – crushes, damages, releases demons.
· Anger à resentment and bitterness – must address what fuels it – unmet expectations.
a) Desire for fulfilment through external things – people, circumstances.
b) Unrealistic expectations – perfect world.
c) Unfulfilled dreams, hopes – disappointments.
d) Inability to meet expectations of others – struggling for approval
· Michal - angry at father, angry at David, felt helpless – overflowed in reaction
- blind to blessing of God
· Behind the look and scorning words was a demand for David to change!
· 2 methods changing people – seen in way God has dealt with people.
a) OT – Law: “Thou shalt”
· Law = requirements or demand to live by à reward if obey, consequences if don’t.
· Law à spouse distances self and demands change à will reward if change occurs.
· Result: spouse sets self up as judge and demands/withholds.
· 2 consequences:
- person forced to change feels rejected, lacking, pressured to perform, resentful.
- marriage is under a curse. Gat 3:10 under works of law - curse
· unhealthy patterns, denial/victim/control
b) NT – Grace
· Grace = God accepts, loves, forgives and becomes one in spirit with those willing to trust.
· God exposed His heart and opened Himself for personal relationship even at risk.
· Ro 2:4 “The goodness of God leads you to repentance”
· Grace: Accept spouse as they are. Ro 15:7 Receive one another as Christ.
· When try to change spouse, therefore a demand, pressure to use own strength, will power.
· When 2 people become one there is an interflow of life supernaturally.
Note: Exception – God does not join Himself to every person
- when person won’t respond to grace then law is needed.
- 1Tim 1:9 Law is for lawless
- Ro 3:20 By law = knowledge of Son
- some situations require demand for change or consequences follow
2 Sam 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul was barren – desolate
3. Removing the roots that defile
· Trying to change spouse:
- is sign heart attitude not right
- creates demands and pressures within relationships
- leaves you resentful and focused on negatives
i) Prayer: Draw near to God for grace for personal change
Heb 4:16 “Come boldly … grace to help in time of need”
cf - Michal – husband “Phaltiel” = God is my deliverer
ii) Humble Self:
Ja 4:6 “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”
Grace = power to live a godly life
· Must deal with own heart attitudes – hard?, uncaring?, judgemental?, fearful?
· Are there unresolved issues? – bitter judgements?, inner vows?
· Repentance of own ungodly reactions and hidden walls.
· Renounce destructive reactions – silence!, bitter judgements.
iii) Accept spouse as they are:
· Face realities and let go unrealistic expectations
· Release blessing
iv) Commit self to unity: Activate law of bonding
· Do things together
· Communicate honestly – share personal feelings, struggles, without blame