Riverside Community Church

Week 2 - Spouses


My wife said to me the other day, “You haven’t heard a word I said in the last 5 minutes” And I thought to myself “What a weird way to start a conversation”.

That’s marriage, what a difference between men and women, we look different, we think differently and we feel and sense things differently. Now let’s mix in that both men and women are sinners and selfish by nature à let’s marry the two and see what happens. Marriage.

Today is the second message of a series entitled; ‘Relationships, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and the topic this morning is MARRIAGE

-here is a Bible verse for marriages that I want to give you up front

Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

…, each one of you (husbands) also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

-for those of you here today who are single, not married or have lost your spouse, while you listen please pray for those here who are married. Marriage is the hardest relationship we engage in our lives and it can be the most rewarding human relationship that we can have.

Sociologists Popenoe and Whitehead have researched and summarized their findings: "Key social indicators suggest a substantial weakening of the institution of marriage. Canadians have become less likely to marry. When they do marry, their marriages are less happy. And married couples face a high likelihood of divorce."

Today, 38% of all marriages in Canada end in divorce (2008), this includes Christians.

Couples everywhere are struggling in their marriages. If you are struggling in your marriage, join the club. All couples struggle.

It’s natural, because marriages are made with two sinful, selfish individuals. People are lining up everywhere to get out of marriages that make them unhappy.

Top 7 Reasons for Divorce



Lack of communication

Constant arguing

Weight gain

Unrealistic expectations

Lack of intimacy


I look at that list and see that many of the reasons for divorce trace back to 1 main factor from a sociological stand point: Unrealistic expectations

Don’t get me wrong, we need God in our marriages and we’ll talk about how that is the key a little latter but unrealistic expectations are a big problem. And I see it in us, in our marriages.


Here are a few unrealistic marriage expectations that we may bring into our marriage.

Let me call them marriage myths


1)   And they lived happily ever after      -if that is somewhere in the back of your mind you will be disappointed –every marriage starts out good but inevitably it runs into something bad (Not yet? Buckle up à it’s coming)

IE. Infertility    loose a child       boredom (your not as appealing anymore) busyness (over busy à irritability à snap at each other)       

pain from the past


 marriage myth

2)  That the wife’s picture of a perfect marriage is the same picture the husband has –we all have a list of unspoken rules that we bring into a marriage and we have in our mind unconscious roles for wives and husbands. Usually these rules and roles develop from our family of origin.

IE. If my mother always cleaned up after meals and my wife is on to me about helping with dishes à I think what’s wrong here. Or if I am a wife and my father always took care of the car repairs and my husband just waits for the car to breakdown or for it to rain to clean the car  à I think he’s failing, when he’s really just failing your expectation.

-couples have to work out their own roles and rules in their marriages not bring in preconceived ones


marriage myth

3)  Everything good about our marriage is just going to get better and better    WOW -NOT NECESSARILY. Hold on there, when you first get married, it’s the best. Can you really expect it to perpetually keep getting better. That’s tough and unrealistic.

 -not only that but some of your spouse’s traits that attracted you to him or her initially can flip and can start to bug you later on

IE. Your husband’s trait of being patient was great at the beginning but he’s patient with everybody. So when he is helping someone and he’s taking a long time, he is patient, à well it bugs me because he isn’t getting my things done


marriage myth

4)  Everything bad in my life should disappear after we’re married. It will erase all my past ills. NO IT WON’T, your past follows you into your marriage


marriage myth

 5)  BIGGEST MYTH my spouse should make me whole, my spouse will make up for all things I’m lacking.

-it’s our compulsion for completion, my spouse will complete me, make me whole          NO, NO. 

Our compulsion for completion can only be made with Christ not our spouses 

John 15:5 (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; (THERE’S OUR COMPLETION –IN CHRIST).


What will help my marriage, what can I do with my marriage unhappiness, how can I save our marriage, how can we overcome “our” problems????

-I’ve mentioned many things about marriage myths that you need to work through but I want also to see more importantly what the Bible says:


Think of it as the Biblical role I must take on for a healthy/happy marriage

 Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

…, each one of you (husbands) also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Husband love your wife                wife respect your husband


That’s it? That’s all I have to do??      

Hang on, it’s a little more difficult that that


You see wives you’re not perfectly loveable and husbands you’re not totally respectable

-were sinners, marred by sin, everybody is a little messed up but the Bible doesn’t say love the loveable à it says husband love your wife


The Bible doesn’t say respect him if he deserves it, if he’s earned my respect 

-it says wife respect your husband


I want you to Know

God designed marriage

I want you to Know

Adam wasn’t good without Eve

I want you to Know

God performed the first wedding by putting Adam and Eve together

I want you to Know

God’s plan           Leave parents     Cleave       become one

Husband love your wife - that’s an order from Heaven, it’s a choice you make not a warm feeling and loving your wife is completed in action.

To love your wife, you treat her warmly, tenderly, affectionately, Men, be gentle with your wives, be soft                         OH  I’M NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON

         God wasn’t asking you, God was telling you             LOVE YOUR WIFE

To love your wife is to listen to her, to encourage her and try to help her at every opportunity

To love your wife is to put her first above yourself every time all the time


The Bible even tells us to be gentle with our wife so our prayers are not hindered

Wives - you need to respect your husbands. The same word for “respect” of your husband in verse 33 is the word in verse 21 for the “fear” of the Lord. In the same way that you fear and reverence and respect the Lord, you also need to respect your husbands. Not for who they are, but for the role they have been placed in.

Wives, even if your husband is personally not worthy of respect, show him respect anyway, not for who he is, but for the position that God has placed him in.

To respect your husband is to talk to him respectfully, not with a sharp tongue or harsh critical words but humbly / politely

To respect your husband is to respect the role God has given him

To respect your husband is to encourage him, is to support him is to seek his happiness over your own.

-this is God’s basic design for marriage à love and respect,

When we follow God in this we even grow closer to God

Wife         Husband

How can I improve my marriage?

Don’t fall for the marriage myths,        they’re poison

Find your ‘completion’ your whole person, in Christ not your spouse

Follow God’s basic design     Husband - love your wife in action

                                          Wife  - respect your husband in his role


-some of you need to apologize to your spouse because of your behavior, the lack of love in action or the lack of respect  - then do so, apologize ask for forgiveness as you drive home from church or as soon as you get home.

- then covenant together           -that as the husband you will in action love her

- And as a wife that you will actively respect him

Do so please, for your good and God’s honor                   (PRAY)