married Life – Week 1 (Jesus and Marriage)
Jason White


Your spouse does not complete you. Jesus completes you. He meets your needs. When we quit expecting our spouse to meet our needs and begin trusting in Jesus to meet our needs, our marriages will begin to flourish.



and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to


Sermon Audio Transcript
In September of 2001 I walked up to the door of a woman who I had only had one conversation with over the phone, and I was about to take her out on a date. The scary part was that I didn’t even know what she looked like. My friend had suggested that I give her a call and ask her out on a date, which I had done, but now I was standing at her door nervously shaking…wondering, “What if she isn’t attractive? Is there some way I can get out of this if that’s the case? What if she is attractive, and she doesn’t find me attractive? What if we go on this date, and the conversation goes stale? All these questions racing through my mind…I could hear her walking towards the door… and she opens it and fireworks go off and we both could hear a Lionel Richie love song in the back ground…it was spectacular.And…Natalie and I did have a good time on our first date together. As a matter of fact, we both knew pretty quickly that the potential for marriage was there…and 2 ½ months after that first date, on Christmas Day, I called Natalie on the phone to wish her a Merry Christmas…she was at her parent’s house and she thought I was 4 hours away at my parents house, but I wasn’t…I was actually outside of her parent’s house talking to her over the phone, telling her that I missed her and she was telling me that she missed me…and then I told her that I had a special Christmas gift for her that was delivered to her parent’s house and that I wanted her to get while I was on the phone with her. And when she opened up the door, I was down on one knee with a ring in my hand & asked her to marry me. And this summer on 6-1, we will have been married for 20 yrs…it’s been the best 20 years of Natalie’s life! HahaWE – No, we’ve certainly had a great marriage…but it hasn’t been a perfect marriage. B/C no one has a perfect marriage! We all think it’s going to be…we all think it’s going to be “happily ever after”…I mean when we first meet someone and there’s emotional/physical chemistry, we are always wanting to see each other and can’t even stand to be apart…and we start to think, “If this is the case, then we would have an amazing marriage when we are together ALL THE TIMEAnd so we get married and we are together all the time but at some point things don’t feel quite like before. We sense that we aren’t being treated like we were at one time…& all of a sudden we start saying things like, Notice me! … Appreciate me! … Thank me! … Don’t take me for granted! … He doesn’t even see me anymore! … I can’t remember the last time she was affectionate toward me!And this may lead to fighting…arguing…giving and taking…but then maybe a new season in life comes along…kids enter into the picture and they draw you back together for a while, but then schedules become mostly about them…and with so much attention and focus on the kids, you become a little more distant and a little more distant over time…at some point, some of us just decide that this isn’t working and it would be best for the kids and everyone involved to call it quits and get a divorce…and we try to start over with someone else who gives us the warm fuzzies at first, but then over time the same problems that were in the previous marriage creep into this one, and then you have the difficult task of blending families and making visits work…and it’s even more crazy and difficult than before.But some of us stick it out (for the kids)…but don’t work on the marriage…just decide to cohabitate together for the kids…and then the kids go off to college and what you’ve made your whole life (kids) is no longer around…and you are staring over at this person who you are married to but feel like you really don’t even know. And you have no idea what to do so you just grow more and more distant…you are still living in the same house, getting older together, but life is just stale, boring…you’re just riding it out until you die… Guys, the truth is, that while marriage is a great thing given to us by God, it can be a very difficult thing…no matter what phase of life you are in marriage can be tough. But since it is given to us by God, it is not a bad thing…marriage is not the problem…so I want to talk about marriage from God’s perspective over the next few weeks and how it applies to our lives. Now I know that some of you are not married…but here’s the deal, what we are going to be talking about will apply to your walk w/Christ and it will apply to relationships in general, so don’t tune me out over the next few weeks…please don’t not come.And I even know that some of you have had some tough situations and maybe experienced a divorce or the death of a spouse…or maybe you’ve even longed to be married but just haven’t been able to find the right person…and just talking about marriage can be tough.I hope you know that you are seen…that there’s grace…that the Lord meets you where you are at…and that we as your church family are here for you too. We do truly believe in family ministry here & that means all of us, single, divorced, widowed, married, are all family & in this thing to support/encourage each other & grow together!SERIES INTRO So here is what we are going to do…over the next 5 weeks as we go through this message series on married Life, I am not going to be giving you self-help techniques to go home and practice to bring life into your marriage…No, see it’s my belief that most of the problems that we have in our marriages comes from us looking to get our needs met by the wrong person…we are often looking for satisfaction and fulfillment from our spouse when those things are meant to be found in Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” and Paul in his ltr to the Colossians says that “in Christ we are complete.” He brings the life, He brings the satisfaction, He brings the fulfillment, He meets our needs…and if we will each come to a firm grasp on Christ as our Life then it will free us up to step into marriage not looking for something from them that we already have in Christ and that they couldn’t provide for us anyway.So that is what this series is going to be about. It’s why you see a lowercase “m” on married & an uppercase “L” on Life…no, we didn’t make a mistake on our punctuation…that was intentional. B/C Christ is our Life…our life is found in a Person, it’s just often not the person we normally look for it in. It’s found in God the Son, Jesus Christ & so that is why the L is capitalized. So this series is about how to find & experience Christ as our Life within marriage…GOD In Anne Trippe’s book titled “Marriage! The Journey,” (which btw I want to say up front was a major inspiration for this series & this msg. Much of what I will say especially in this 1st msg comes from the first few chapters of her book)…but anyway, one of the things she talks about is our need for contentment, security, & worth. We need contentment in our lives, which includes peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, & completeness. We need security which includes acceptance, love, protection, safety, & stability. And we need worth which includes our perceived value, significance, & importance. And of course, these needs that we each have were meant to be met by God…When God created Adam and Eve in the garden, things were perfect and they were getting all of these needs met by God…They were content in Him, they found security in Him, they found themselves of great worth and importance to Him. All of these needs were being met by God in the beginning…But God put 2 trees in the middle of the garden: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And these trees represented 2 different ways of choosing to live their lives…They could eat from the tree of life, meaning they could continue to draw on God as the source of their life…Or they could eat from the tree of the kn. of good/evil meaning they would take life into their own hands…be their own source for life. And of course God told them not to eat of that tree b/c He knew how they were created to function…I mean He had just created them…He knew what was best for them so He commanded them not to eat of it, but He gave them a choice.And we know from Gen. 3 that they eventually choose to take life into their own hands…to become their own source for life. This is when sin entered the world & of course there were consequences…God, as a holy and perfect God, cannot be in union with sin so they were removed from the garden and now had to try to get their needs of contentment, security, and worth from somewhere other than God. So, what options did they have left? Well, basically they could try to get them met by how they performed in their own life or from each other or a combination of both. And so…no doubt that this is where manipulation, control, blame, shame, withdrawal, and deception began to enter the picture to try and get what they needed out of each other…and it has carried on to today with sin still being in our world. This world is still under the curse of sin. Look at Genesis 3…Beginning in verse 14, God begins to communicate the curses that sin produced in our world, and in verse 16 listen to what He says…16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”What does that mean? Well the original Hebrew word translated “desire” here is the same word that is used in Gen. 4:7, when God warned Cain about the results of his rebellion. God said to Cain…7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”When God says “it desires to have you,” it means sin is waiting to have control over you/to master you. So if we consider this when we go back to Gen. 3:16, it means that living under the effects of sin & the curse, the wife will try to control the husband & he will try to rule over or control her! This is the curse of sin…We have needs and are each trying to control the other to act in a way that will give us what we need! But here is what else we need to see…We still have these needs growing up, way before we ever get married! And so long before we ever even meet our spouse we were already coming up with strategies and techniques to try and get our needs met. Here’s the way I summarize what Anne Trippe says about this…All of us have unique ways of approaching life to satisfy inherited needs. All have certain strategies for self-protection and for finding worth and acceptance. We blame or lie to justify ourselves, use self-pity to get attention, hide for protection, or to avoid pain. We try to control for things to go our way, to lie and to even “please” for validation…In our flesh, we to try and get our emotional longings met, protect ourselves and absolve ourselves of guilt.So…we each grow up experimenting and learning to use our own unique ways/strategies of trying to get our needs met (flesh patterns). BUT…there’s even more as well…We each have perceptions of the world…the type of family we grew up in…we are being influenced by culture, the trauma we experience in our lives…we are being influenced by our peers, religion, tv, youtube, social media and so on and so on as we grow up…and all of these influences are adding to teaching us our worldview and how to get our needs met as well.So here is one way of summarizing this: Our neediness (contentment, security, worth) + our flesh + our perceptions (of family, culture, and our world) = survival strategies. Okay so here’s where I’m going with this…Each one of us based on our needs, our flesh, and our perceptions have all formed these strategies of ways that we try to get our needs met as individuals… AND THEN we get married! And we bring ALL of the ways we’ve tried to get our needs met throughout our lifetime and our spouse brings ALL of the ways they’ve tried to get their needs met throughout their lifetime and we each have perceptions about how the other person is going to be involved in helping meet these needs we have as well… AND OH WHAT FUN WE HAVE!And so here’s my point: After we get married and we maybe begin to feel as if our needs are not being met…that we are not content…that we are not secure…that we don’t feel worth or value, what we often tend to think is that the problem is our spouse…All of these needs I have been trying to get met my entire life were supposed to finally be met through this person who was supposed to complete me!And so if they aren’t being met, then my spouse must be the problem! They are the reason that our marriage isn’t as good as it is supposed to be…they are the reason that I am not feeling content, secure, or of worth. But here’s the truth: Most of the time, they are not the ultimate problem…the problem is that we are looking for our needs to be met in the wrong place…from the wrong person. They are meant to be found in Jesus not in our spouse. And so that starts with 1st having Him in your life…which of course comes from putting your faith/trust in Jesus to be your Lord/Savior…receiving His free gift of forgiveness/salvation through His work for you on the crossBut then, though, it becomes learning how to experience having your needs met by Him. And that happens through: #1 – Learning the truth about how Jesus actually meets your needs, the truth about you and your identity, and finally how He created you to live and function in this world w/dependency on Him…#2 – Learning the ways that we each try to get our needs met outside of Him so that we can recognize when we are doing it & turn back to Jesus!YOU – #1 – Learning the truth about how Jesus meets your needs & the truth about you & how He created you to live in this world…So we won’t have time to take a deep dive into this this morning, but these are things we talk about all the time around here. Scripture is clear that when we trust in Jesus for salvation that we are changed. In 2 Cor. 5:17, it says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The key phrase there is “in Christ.” It means that you are in union with Him. When we are forgiven, we are united to Jesus through the Holy Spirit…in 1 Corinthians 6:17, it says, “17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” You are joined to Jesus, you are in Christ…and being in Christ you are a new creation…different than you were before Christ. And listen to what Paul says is so different about you in Ephesians 1:3,”3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” And what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:3, “3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. And in Colossians 2:10, “10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ. You are complete…you have every spiritual blessing…all of your needs are already met in Christ: you have contentment in Him, you have security in Him, you have worth in Him.Now you may not always feel like you do, but our feelings can lie to us. You are complete regardless of whether you feel complete. And so, this is the 1st thing we have to know & the more you understand about your identity in Christ (which is why we talk about it all the time), the more you are going to realize how much Life you already have in Him & you will stop looking for it in your spouse…Can you imagine how much better your marriage might be if you quit looking for them to give you something that they really can’t give you anyway and that you already have met in Christ?But there is another piece that is extremely helpful, and that is as mentioned #2 – Learning the ways that we each try to get our needs met outside of Him so that we can recognize when we are doing it & turn back to Jesus! Again, if we have spent a lifetime trying to get our needs met a certain way based on our uniqueness and our false beliefs about how the world works and what roles people play in the world, then we may be acting out in these ways and often not even know it…they are just so engrained in us that we do it without even realizing it. So another key step in learning to experience your needs being met in Christ is recognizing the false beliefs you have about getting your needs met and how you are acting out on those false beliefs.Do you believe that you have to please others to avoid rejection and find love and acceptance? That you have to avoid mistakes to be acceptable? Or that you must be in control & fix things so they won’t fall apart to bring you security/approval? And the list goes on and on. It’s my belief that Jesus wants to expose these lies or myths that you have as He is renewing your mind to His truth. But I also believe that you are going to have to be available to Him to hear it/see it…and that you are going to have to be intentional about letting Him reveal it to you…which means that you have some homework.WE – And this is where small groups come in…to dive deeper into this conversation about marriage and what we are learning in here. This wk, we are going to take a deeper dive into these myths/ways we tend to try and get our needs met. And so if you aren’t signed up, you need to get signed up. Don’t miss out on what Jesus is wanting to do in your own life or in your marriage by just coming on Sunday mngs…Get involved in a group…Learn, grow, and also support and encourage others as we walk through life together.