Building An Intimate Marriage - Marriage By Design Session Four

May 19, 2012 Speaker: Warren Boettcher Series: Marriage by Design

Topic: Marriage Passage: Matthew 19:4–19:6

Building An Intimate Marriage

He answered , “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

“All through life you will be changing – both of you…You must expect this and understand that your marriage is a living and thus changing relationship. Fundamental, unchanging truths undergird a marriage, but these principles are lived out by human beings who change and grow…To become one and remain one…is a great challenge.” Ed Wheat

I. Communication: The Life Of An Intimate Marriage

Regular and effective communication in a marriage is vital to its success. Its absence on the other hand will inevitably lead to real problems. In one survey 400 psychiatrists were asked why marriages fail – the most common answer was poor communication. It is God’s desire for Christian marriage to be characterized by companionship, partnership, and maturity.

A. A brief theology of communication

1. God communicates so we might know Him and have a relationship with Him.
2. Christ came to reveal the Father
3. Words are a way we image God

B. Communication builds

1. Companionship: intimacy as a couple
2. Partnership: purpose as a couple
3. Maturity: growth as a couple

C. Overcoming hindrances to effective communication

1. Our past: lack of training, bad experiences
2. Our sin: fear, pride, selfishness, laziness
3. Our schedule: life is busy and will crowd out communication if we let it

D. Communication begins with the heart

1. Manifest a real desire to know one another
“Communication is not always easy. It involves work, pain, sensitivity, and great care. Communication is often a burdensome task, but a task that must be accomplished for the marriage to be complete.” R.C. Sproul

2. Ask questions
“The purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5

3. Cultivate acceptance and appreciation

E. Practicals of communication

1. Spontaneous times
2. Scheduled times
3. Understand the differences between men and women are designed by God
? “Headlines” vs. the “fine print”
4. Topics: children, spiritual life, finances, in-laws, schedules, priorities, daily details, sex, joys, burdens, challenges, etc.

II. Conflict: The Test Of An Intimate Marriage

A. Conflict is inevitable and invaluable

1. It tests what is built
? A man’s leadership and a woman’s submissiveness/respect
2. It provokes growth
“God may use conflict to uncover sinful attitudes and habits in your life. Conflict is especially effective in breaking down appearances and revealing stubborn pride, a bitter and unforgiving heart, or a critical tongue. When you are squeezed through controversy and these sinful characteristics are brought to the surface, you will have an opportunity to admit their existence and ask for God’s help in overcoming them.” Ken Sande

B. Conflict is to be resolved Biblically

1. Typical conflict resolution styles: avoid, accommodate, compromise, compete
2. Biblical principles:
? Glorify God
? Get the “log out of your own eye first” (Matthew 7:5)
? Confess sin

? Ask for forgiveness
? Be reconciled
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (see also Matthew 5:23-24)

C. Practical suggestions

1. Know when to overlook
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

2. Determine to listen and understand
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Proverbs 18:2

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
Proverbs 18:13

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
James 1:19

3. Remember your roles
4. Exercise self-control (it is a fruit of the Spirit)
5. Get help when you don’t make progress

III. Romance: The Fuel Of An Intimate Marriage

A. It is essential
B. It needs to be expressed
C. It’s more than sex
D. The romantic husband
1. Initiative
2. Creativity
3. Gentlemanly conduct

E. The romantic wife
1. Responsive
2. Appreciative
3. Initiative
F. Enjoying physical intimacy

1. It’s Biblical
? God devoted a whole book of the Bible to it.
2. It’s beneficial