Friday, September 17, 2010

Marriage: How You See It Determines How It Will Go

Marriage counselor, Dr. Paul Faulkner, recently wrote:

"The number one reason marriages fall apart is selfishness."

You might think it doesn't take a Phd to figure that one out, but it is Dr. Faulkner's blunt presentation of the problem that catches one's attention. He doesn't talk about a lack of self-fulfillment or frustration with not achieving one's dreams. He identifies the problem as it is, when people don't get their way in a marriage they walk.

We've all heard many times from our elders that marriage is give and take--that you can't get your way all the time. But even though we've heard those things so often and probably even believe they are true, that is not the way most people see marriage. Whether folks will admit it or not, we see marriage principally as a way to make us happy. Is that wrong? Of course not! But if that is the only principle your marriage is based on, there is good reason to expect some very rocky times ahead. And the reason is, very often we don't get our way in our marriage relationship and there are regular times when that same relationship doesn't bring us a great deal of happiness. So what does this all mean? Marriage isn't worth it? Not at all. The problem isn't with marriage though, the problem is with how we see it.

Marriage is a tremendous blessing from God, but the way we experience that blessing comes not from having our spouse do everything we want, but rather our fulfilling the roles God has given husbands and wives. Marriage is like all the other wonderful things God has given us which we seem to misuse and make a mess of. The happiness we so desperately want from having a husband or wife comes from living selflessly. Which really means we are to look at marriage the way God does.

We are studying the apostle Peter's first letter to a group of Christians living about 65 AD. They were going through some very tough times and Peter wrote to these people to help them understand how Christians live in tough times. One of the topics the apostle touches on in this letter is marriage. And what he tells his original readers is as relevant today as it was then: until we see our marriages as one more opportunity to serve Jesus Christ, we are going to have a difficult time getting it right.

A lot has been written to ridicule what the Bible teaches us about marriage, but when we look around at real world husband-wife relationships what we find is that the biblical principles which Peter sets forth are so glaringly missing. And the tragic result is often divorce. As always, God's way is the best way--even when it comes to marriage. Don't miss the opportunity to get your marriage headed in the right direction. Join us this Sunday (September 19) at 10:00 am.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.