Marriage Part 1- Marriage is cursed, not a curse Eph. 5:21-33 submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Marriage is the most testing, trying and tearing relationship. On the other hand, it can be the most refreshing and enjoyable of all relationships. I cannot find any scripture in the Bible that tells us that marriage is going to be easy. Nor can I find any scripture that refers to marriage as a curse. In the beginning God warned Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for it would truly kill him. Notice, God said, “It will surely kill” (meaning the knowledge of good and evil). God did not say He would kill us. God knew it would turn our heads away from Him and allow us to think that we know best. We then would not go to God when making decisions, which would in turn, cause separation. It appears in the Word, that God only told Adam about the tree. Shortly, thereafter, God created woman for he felt Adam had a need for companionship. My guess is that God told Adam not to eat of the tree and Adam in turn told Eve. When the serpent came to tempt Eve, she indicated that she had already been told not to partake of the tree. God said, …“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17) Eve seemed to have added “nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (Gen 3:3). Therefore, it is my opinion that communication, or the lack of it, played a big part of the fall in the garden. Either Adam didn’t communicate clearly, as men often don’t, or Eve misinterpreted what Adam said, as women often do, or both. Marriage isn’t a curse, but has been cursed from the beginning. Gen. 3:16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it‟ „Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” We come into a marriage in a cursed world, & with a cursed flesh saying, “you will not last”. Both sides come into the relationship with different definitions, approaches & views of love, romance & communication. Ask yourself “where & how did I get my view or definition of love, marriage, commitment & relationships? How does it match up to what the Spirit wants for us?” Our parents & those that we watch have handed us a script & dictionary that tells us what love & marriage is. First of all, our love & marriage to Christ is most important. Second, God uses marriage to teach us & bring us closer to Him. Whether by the conflict it brings up or by the love we can experience, God wants to use it to draw us to Him. Marriage doesn’t function only through romance, feelings & good times; it takes old fashion hard work & willingness to seek to fulfill the needs of the other rather than oneself. Love does not seek it’s own. Song 2:15 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. Even in Song of Solomon’s love affair which one of the greatest, Solomon tells us it’s the small things, the negative details that will rob our perspective that will spoil the whole garden (marriage). Practical Pointers when things heat up: In an argument- Check your motives and remember what you say may cause them to reaction or withdraw. With that, think before you speak and don’t be too prideful to take back something you said in the flesh. When the woman wants her way- Men- Remember she wants love! So, say what you need to, just do it in love. Woman- This is one of the hardest things for you to do, appeal and then submit! You need to remember the man is the one that answers to God for the both of you on these decisions. You need to be under him on this one, wrong or right. When the man is angry- Women- Raising your voice and saying things you know he isn’t going to like will not help you at this point. Make an effort to affirm him or show that you understand him and then give him space. Leave him to God at this point. Men- Try to not close your wife out completely, she is either trying to help or is up against you; grace, grace and understanding for her when she doesn’t understand you. When communication is lost- Remember we will all drop the ball at some point on communicating. Try to roll with the punches and instead of rebelling at the thing you were misinformed about, look at whether it works. We are so tricky this happens a lot, we punish one for not communicating time, place or point accurately. Let it go. Keeping perspective on the 5 enemies of our faith trying to kill our relationships will help us not get caught up on situations or circumstances. Having perspective will shake off the details that don’t need to be magnified. Love forgives & covers but the law keeps score. The Law is superficial; Grace is deep, intimate & relational.