This sermon, Cultivating a Healthy Marriage by Tim Keller was recommended to me and I’ve found it helpful. Here’s a summary of one section and how the Gospel brings perspective:
Human Heart Presupposition:
I’ll be the spouse I should be; if and to the degree you’re the spouse you should be.
I’ll be the spouse I should be even if you’re not the spouse you should be since Jesus loved me in spite of me.
Listen and all your message to be shaped by the Gospel.
(*Updated with the following outline…)
Cultivating a Healthy Marriage
Timothy and Kathy Keller
1.Think of marriage like a garden
A. Whether rain or draught is going to take lots of work
B. Marriage is not the flowers, sod, or leaves but it’s to the best fruit out of the “garden”
C. Can’t walk away from a garden for a few days and think it took care of itself
A. Why did you get married?
2. Family Stability?
3. Both 1 and 2 are unbiblical!
B. Gospel Reenactment is the purpose
1. Requires Gospel Motivation
2. Sacrificial love creates freedom
3. Sacrificial love is always an action first and feeling second
4. Servant or ministry perspective should always be used
3. Headship – both husband and wife play Jesus
A. Husband is the head of the family like Jesus is head of church
B. Wife plays Jesus submitting to the Father to glorify and serve
C. Both headship reveal God’s character because male and female are both created in God’s image
D. Helper possesses strengths the other doesn’t
A. Never used to get something they want
B. Always a gift and used in service to the best interests of the other
C. Voluntary submission between equals
D. Jesus gave used His authority as a sacrifice and will be forever in glory
A. Jesus revolutionizes headship and submission
B. He is exalted above all for His service to God’s children
C. Never submit to a man who is habitually sinning against God
A. Always ask, “What is the goal in what I’m about to say?”
B. Remember the log in your eye
C. Attack the problem not the person
D. Slow down your responses and let the other talk
A. Behaviors that others do to make me feel loved
B. Speak in the same language. If you speak in French or German your English speaking spouse won’t get it.
A. Conflict avoiders and conflict confronters, which are you and why?
B. Use all your energy to solve the problem instead of attacking
C. Keeping a scorecard is a recipe for death in any relationship and especially marriage!
D. The occasion of the conflict never supersedes the cause of the conflict. The cause is always a sinful heart!!
9.Repentance and forgiveness
A. Truth without love ends in breaking people apart
B. Love without truth leads to avoidance of the problem and zero growth
C. No excuses, center on the wrong, and offer to change