The Heart of Marriage
Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg
8. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES FOR A GRACE FILLED MARRIAGE?
I. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES FOLLOW CHRIST’S EXAMPLE
A. Husbands and wives need to humbly serve each other. Philippians 2:5-8
B. Husbands and wives need to demonstrate sacrificial love. Ephesians 5:2
C. Husbands and wives need to be committed to unity. John 17:22-23
D. Husbands and wives need be willing to suffer without sinning. I Peter 2:19-20
II. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES OBEY BIBLICAL EXHORTATIONS
A. Wives are called to influence their husbands through their Godliness. I Peter 3:1-6
• The wife’s godliness is expressed through submission to her husband’s God give headship in the marriage.
• The wife’s godliness is expressed without words.
• The wife’s godliness is expressed with deeds.
B. Husbands are called to influence their wives through their graciousness. I Peter 3:7
• The husband demonstrates graciousness by being a good student of his wife’s needs.
• The husband demonstrates graciousness by being sensitive to her limitations.
• The husband demonstrates graciousness by honoring her as his spiritual sister.
C. Husbands and wives are called to “out grace” each other. I Peter 3:8-9
1. To sum up husbands and wives “let all be harmonious.”
Harmony is not uniformity. Harmony is produced by complimentary differences. Diferent sounds in music are combined in a way to produce harmony. When a husband and wife both “sing from the Divine music of God’s Word,” they produce harmony with their different strengths and weaknesses in marriage.
2. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be sympathetic.”
Sympathy is being touched by the feeling of another person. To enter into their joy and sorrow produces emotional support and closeness. Romans 12:15
3. To sum up husband and wives, “let all be brotherly.”
Husbands and wives are to exhibit a family love. Family celebrates the oneness we have with a common Father, a common Lord and a common Life. No longer do we speak of yours and mine. We speak of ours.
Our bond is such that all we have is available for the wellbeing of our spouse. We share one another’s burdens and seek to make the others load lighter.
4. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be kindhearted.”
Unconfessed sin leads to hardheartedness. The Spirit-filled heart is compassionate and sensitive to the needs of one’s spouse. Caring and sharing are expressions of kindheartedness.
5. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be humble in spirit.”
Humility is a proper estimation of our inability to do anything worthwhile apart from God’s provision and strength. Pride and self-confidence always result in failure. Humility allows us to tolerate the shortcomings of others, as we are aware of our own.
III. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES RETURN GOOD FOR BAD I Peter 3:9
A. Grace-filled marriages never return “evil for evil” nor “insult for insult.”
B. Grace-filled marriages always give a blessing in return for evil or insult.
“Blessings” are verbal or concrete acts of kindness.
C. Grace-filled marriages enjoy God’s blessings.
D. Grace-filled marriages pass on God’s blessings to each other and others. I Peter 3:10-12
Those who wish to “love life” live the “grace-filled” life by:
• Refusing to speak evil against others
• Turning from evil deed to do good
• Seeking peace with others
Those who live the grace-filled life are rewarded by God.
• God’s eyes are on you
• God’s ears hear you.
GRACE MEANS TREATING EACH OTHER BETTER THAN WE DESERVE
TAKE IT TO HEART
1. In what ways does your marriage fall short of a “grace-based” marriage?
2. In what ways does your marriage reflect a “grace-based” marriage?
3. How do you treat your spouse?
Rate your treatment of your spouse:
1= Almost Never, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Usually, 4 = Almost Always
___ Humble in spirit
3. How can you return a blessing the next time you feel hurt or disappointed with your spouse?