Discovering Us - Part 1

Learning Keys To A Successful Christian Marriage From Scripture

Tim Lundy
Apr 18, 2021    40m
How can we have a successful Bible-based Christian Marriage? This message studies Bible verses about marriage and teaches us how to apply the commands for both the husband and the wife so that we can improve our marriages. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:00 Well Venture, we're launching a fun new series, as you can tell from the video, The Story Of Us. And I appreciate Christian and Sarah, so exciting to hear their story, and personally, to get to work with Christian and to see how God is leading in their home and the ways he's shaping their marriage.

Tim Lundy: 00:31 And it's fun for us in this series, as we think about marriage, we think about us. What does it mean as a couple? And over the next four weeks, we're going to approach this in different ways. This week, as you can see from that story, I want to start at the very beginning, especially for those who are thinking about marriage, or maybe newly married, or just some of the foundations of marriage, we're going to look at that. And then next week, we'll look at those of us who maybe we've been married for a little while, or we have kids, or some of the struggles that come. The third week of this, we're going to look at what if you're starting again, maybe you're remarried, maybe you're having to build a home again, and we'll look at some of the unique parts of it. And then the last week, what if you're not married? Does God still have an us for those who are not married? And we certainly believe that the New Testament and our faith teaches that, and so we'll talk about what that means. And each week you're going to get to hear some different stories here from different perspectives. But for this week, as I said, we want to look at the very beginning.

Tim Lundy: 01:38 You know, I was thinking about my marriage, it was 30 years ago. This last December, we celebrated our 30th anniversary in the middle of COVID and all that was going on. Hopefully with things opening up a little bit more, I owe Lea an anniversary celebration still. Maybe I should call Murph, and we can do some mini manning with Murph together, and that can be our anniversary. I think Lee has greater plans than that, but that might be fun to do as well. But 30 years ago, I remember getting married, and I didn't have a lot of money. We went on our honeymoon, we drove, we went from Memphis, Tennessee to East Tennessee, up in the mountains. And we drove around all the different restaurants, and we had the classic, across the back of the car was the just married, and they hung the cans in the back, everything with it. And while we were there that week on the honeymoon, the just married written on the car, a couple of times, as we went into restaurants, we would pull in and someone would see it and pay for our dinner, just kind of in celebration. And even when I got home, you know, for a while I thought maybe I should keep it on the back of the car and see if we can milk this for a little bit longer.

Tim Lundy: 02:48 It reaches of point post honeymoon, though, you kind of have to wipe away that saying, the, just married. And yet, as you think about it, and we think about marriage, we think about the story of us. Unfortunately, that phrase applies to a lot of marriages, you're just married, and I don't mean time-wise, I mean quality wise. You've just kind of settled into, well, we're just married, we're making it. And I don't know about you, I don't want to be just anything in life, certainly not in marriage. Certainly not, if we believe that Jesus Christ has changed everything, and he actually brings a difference to our marriage as much as anything else.

Tim Lundy: 03:38 And so, as we look at it this week, again, as I think about starting out in marriage and some basic fundamental principles, some of these would be the kind of thing that I would say in a marriage sermon. It's interesting, anytime I do a marriage, I'll do a smaller sermon with it. And the later, almost invariably, the people who get the most out of it are the people there who've been married for a long time, because they actually know what it means. So while these are some principles for launching, or maybe some principles you should think about if you want to get married, these are also some principles that apply to any marriage, and I think all of us could take note.

Tim Lundy: 04:17 Here's the first thing I would just call any couple too, especially right out of the gate, right at the start. Is that you should make it a lifetime commitment, just choose right out of the gate, this is a lifetime commitment, we're in it for the long haul. It was one of the things I've so appreciated about Lea, is that I've known that's been her commitment, that's my commitment. And so out of the gate we just said, divorce is not an option when you go through the hard times, when you struggle in ways. Because you know you both are bringing that commitment to it. And as I say that, you know, people will throw out the stats a lot of times of, you know, well, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. And then I'll hear people say as well, and it's no better in the church. And I'll be honest, I've preached that, I thought that for a number of years.

Tim Lundy: 05:08 Until a few years ago, Shaunti Feldhahn, she's a Harvard trained writer, she does research as well. And she really dug in and said, is that a true stat? It was interesting me, what she came back with was that 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse. Now you go, wait, where did we get those other stats? Well, when you add in multiple marriages, it changes things. But she said, if you really drill down based on other rates and factors, the average first marriage divorce rate, the average rate of those who are in their first marriage and get divorced, is probably closer to about 25%, not 50 with it. And the other thing that she brought out, that you hear all the time, well, being a Christian makes no difference. She said, actually, if you dig into that a little bit more, not just people that would claim Christianity, but couples that really practice their faith, people that they attend church, it's a fundamental part of their life, it lowers that divorce rate that much more. In fact, from her studies, she said, if you really make your faith part of your life, it lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25 all the way up to 50% in some of the studies.

Tim Lundy: 06:25 And so I say all that, I don't want to fight about stats. I just want to proclaim, it does make a difference, your faith makes a difference, commitment makes a difference. And if you choose out of the gate to go, man, I am in this for the long haul, it makes a difference. Not to mention the fact, it's what God calls us to. In fact, when Jesus was asked about marriage, if you look in scripture in Mark 10, he says, "From the beginning of creation." So he goes all the way back to the very beginning, here's how God defined it, "God made them male and female." And he says, so man and woman in this, "‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." He's actually quoting out of Genesis. So Jesus says, you know, we don't have to redefine marriage or what it means, from the very beginning. God made it, it's a man and a woman, they bond together, there's this one flesh in unity that they come together. It's a mystery that Paul tells us. But notice what Jesus adds to it that you don't find it in the Genesis passage. He says, "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” That's interesting to me.

Tim Lundy: 07:40 And if you read that Mark 10 passage, he really calls his followers, and the people of that day, to really live that out. That Jesus actually believed this marriage commitment was important enough that if God has brought you together, don't let anybody person separate it. And we know in scripture, God hates divorce. He says that, he hates divorce. Now let me be clear on that though, he doesn't say he hates divorced people, he hates what divorce does to people, the impact on them, and the pain of it. So when he sees divorce, he hates that, because he knows, and if you've been through it, you know the trauma and the pain that comes with it. In fact, as I said in a couple of weeks, we'll talk through, man, how do you rebuild your life? What are some things that come out of it? Because God can bring and redeem any situation, I always teach that.

Tim Lundy: 08:40 But as you're starting out a marriage, part of it is embracing this principle that Jesus said it, God brought you together, what God has joined together. God put the two of you in this, and he designed this. And I think it's important to see that, because when you get into marriage, I mean going into it, you're so in love. And part of it, anytime you fall in love, there's about an 18 month window where your brain is flooded with chemicals, it just is, different hormones that hit it. And so when it says, love is blind, you're in that. But when you come into marriage, especially, there there's these aha moments.

Tim Lundy: 09:19 I like the cooking show Chopped, I don't know if you've ever seen it, it's on the Food Network. They have all these chefs they've brought in for this competition. And if you watch it, they have to make an appetizer, and then an entrée, and then the dessert. But the interesting part is, they don't know the ingredients going in. In fact, they have the mystery basket, and they all open the basket, and there's four ingredients in it and they'll pull it out. And usually, you know, a couple of the ingredients are pretty normal, then they start throwing some curve balls, and then there's always something out there. When they kind of pull it out, and it's okay, you've got to work with a leg of lamb, and then you got broccolini, and then they kind of, oh, kimchi paste, and then out of the blue, there'll be like sour gummy worms, now make a dinner with it. And you can see them, they've got this look like, oh, who put this in there? What am I going to do with this?

Tim Lundy: 10:09 And I think it's a great picture, because when you get married in a lot of ways, as much as you think you know that person, it's like opening the mystery basket. And you know, for her, she looks in and she goes, oh yes, he's smart and ambitious, oh, I love that ingredient. Oh, he's tenderhearted, love that ingredient. Oh, wait, he's inept with his hands, can't do anything around the house. Hmm, that's interesting. Oh, he loves video games and plays them into late in the night, wait, who put that in there? Or he looks at it and says, oh man, she's so beautiful, love that, love that. Oh, she's so smart. Oh wait, she's never on time. Oh, she's never heard of a budget in her life, she spends money like crazy. I mean, I don't care who it is, when you open it up, and it's not just four ingredients. I mean, the longer you're married, you start discovering this person. And every so often you'll ask yourself, man, who put that in there? Why aren't we dealing with that? And you might tell yourself early on, well, oh, I can change him, oh, she'll stop that, and we all grow in ways. But I'm just telling you, there's certain parts of the person you've married, that's who they are, and God brought you together. And the thing on the show Chopped, they don't get to turn the basket back in. They don't get to go, oh, I don't really like this anymore, give me a new basket. And they actually have to use all the ingredients, and I think in the same way, God brings us together, and he's using the ingredients of our life.

Tim Lundy: 11:46 Here's the second principle that you see out of that, God is using each of you to make you more like Him. He's using your spouse, he's using your wife to make you look more like Jesus, he's using your husband to make you look more like Jesus. He's using the good parts, but hear me on this, he's using the parts that you might not have chosen to put in him. And those may be the very parts that he uses most in your life, where you have to learn to sacrifice, where you have to learn to give and to love. That together, he's shaping you.

Tim Lundy: 12:27 You know, we quote Romans 8:28 a lot of times in hard circumstance. Have you ever applied it to your marriage? Romans 8:28, "We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good." That doesn't say all things are good, your spouse may have things in their life that aren't good, I'm not trying to justify that, and they can't use it to justify their behavior. But God can use any circumstance, any hard time, any struggle as a couple, for our good, especially in those who are called according to his purpose. See, that's why it's so important that right out of the gate, you just make a commitment, we're in this for the long haul, I can't tell you the security it provides. When Lea and I struggle, and we've been through hard times, like any other couple, and hard times just in life. But in any of those circumstance, it's not on the radar at all, that this is a doorway out, that this is a reason that we would ever pull apart, because we know there's a commitment there, no matter what, to each other in it.

Tim Lundy: 13:37 See the importance of making that commitment, it actually protects not only the marriage, but protects the love in the marriage. You know, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous martyr, he was killed by Hitler right before World War II ended, and he wrote a wedding sermon for his niece and a close friend to him that were going to be married. He wanted to get out and deliver and marry them, but he couldn't. But in the sermon, he wrote these words and he mailed it to him, listen to what he says in it. I like the way Bonhoeffer puts it, he says, today you were young and very much in love, and you think that your love will sustain your marriage, it won't, but your marriage can sustain your love. See, we think if we just love each other enough, oh, it'll keep marriage going. The problem is feelings of love especially, struggles in love, can come and go. But if you flip that around and you go, you know what, we're committed to this marriage. See, then the marriage protects the love that's there. Marriage gives the opportunity for the love to grow, that goes beyond feelings in it. So right out of the gate, the first thing, just a commitment that this is for a lifetime.

Tim Lundy: 14:53 Here's the second thing with this, establish your marriage on the same foundation. Establish your marriage on the same foundation. Now, I've got kids that are teenagers, becoming adults with it, and as we talk about it, I've got two daughters who are married. And as we've walked through this, I mean, if you've got kids that are dating, you know, one of the key things is really calling them, what is the person that you marry, are you thinking about that now? Are you thinking about, man, what are my standards? Where am I really am I drawing those lines?

Tim Lundy: 15:26 Paul puts it this way, look at it in Second Corinthians, he says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." That term unequally yoked, I like the way the NET Bible puts it, look at the next translation here, "Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?" Paul's talking on a real practical level here, and Paul's talking about a partnership, but especially a marriage partnership. If you're going to enter a lifetime commitment and a bond, he says, you don't want to be unequally yoked. It's a picture of two ox, and if you were plowing a field, you want the ox to match so that it's easier to do this, you don't want it unequal in it. And he just says in a very practical way, that when you're entering into marriage, you can't enter it in a way where you fundamentally see life differently.

Tim Lundy: 16:22 See a part of it is how you see yourself, or even how you approach life. In Better Man, this last semester, the men's group that I teach, we've spent a lot of time talking about, do you live a compartmentalized life or an integrated life? See a lot of people approach life like this circle, if you think of this circle as a person, and they've got these compartments of their life. They may have a God compartment, and then they've got self-things they care about, and their work compartment, or others, their relationship with that. And sometimes these slices are bigger for some people, or bigger for others, but the problem with even this whole approach to life is you're kind of living a segmented life, it's not integrated. See, that's the core of it, especially for the Christian. When Jesus Christ comes into a life, what do we say? He comes into your heart, he's changing you from the inside out. It fundamentally changes every part of your life, so at the core of your life is your relationship with God, and it changes the way I see myself, and I see others, and I see my work, and my world with that. See, all of that has changed.

Tim Lundy: 17:24 And so, if this is what God's done in my life, and I'm trying to make it work. The problem with that, a lot of times we convince ourselves, well, I like the person so much, I'm attracted to the person, sure they don't have the God quadrant of life going on, maybe they don't have the relationship here. But they got this other good stuff in it, and we kind of match in other ways, and we try to force it and make it work. I'm just telling you, I've seen a lot heartache over the years with it. That if you're fundamentally going to let Jesus Christ really shape from the inside, out in your life, as you just think about that, think about the fact that it shapes the way that you parent, it shapes the way that you control your money, it shapes the decision-making you make about your career and life in that. To have someone that you're yoked, that you're connected to, you see life the same way.

Tim Lundy: 18:23 Another way of putting it is, I would describe it like this in the next point, different operating systems, lead to difficult marriages. Different operating systems, you know on a computer, you have an operating system. You either have a Mac, I've got a Mac, an Apple, so the iOS, the operating system, or maybe you're a windows person or Linux. I mean, you know, whatever system here in the Valley, I'm sure someone can convince me real quickly what's the best with it. I remember years ago, I worked at a large church, and they were trying to get everybody on the exact same system. And this was when it was a little harder, programs weren't shared as much as they are now. And so they were mandating, man, we want everybody, they were windows, the IT guys were all windows guys. And a few of us had Apples, we had Macs, and we're like holding onto our Macs for dear life. And they were just like, you don't realize how hard it is to integrate the two in the same system, you don't realize the programs don't work as well, and all with that. And so if you could just simplify our lives with it, and we would push back and go, well, it actually simplifies my life to be able to do it that way.

Tim Lundy: 19:29 And as think about that, that's so often what happens when it comes into marriage, especially if one is a Christian, and Jesus is the core of that operating system, and one's not. And then all of those programs of life that you're trying to run, you're approaching it in a different way, and it can lead to a really difficult marriage. Now I say this because here's the reality, even for a lot of Christian marriages, where both of your believers, you live like you're unequally yoked. Because one or both of you really hasn't embraced, man, I'm going to make Jesus the core of the operating system.

Tim Lundy: 20:15 So when I say that commitment, here's the point that you see in this, choose to actually live according to what Christ commanded, choose to actually live according to what he commanded. I'm not just talking about marriage passages, before you ever get to a marriage passage, anything that it says in the Bible. If I were to take this Bible and literally go through it and cut out everything, especially in the New Testament that it says about marriage, and still hand it to you and tell you to live, according to it, you'd be amazed how much your marriage would improve just living out the other commands, just making Christ the core of your operating system. I think this is why people get down on Christian marriages, because they're looking at those specific passages, and they're applied to a home that isn't operating according to the rest of what the system says, and they're wondering why it doesn't work.

Tim Lundy: 21:07 See, you've got to start with the core. I mean, if you just live out the core commands, when he says speak the truth in love, what if you just apply that to your marriage? When he says, don't let the sun go down on your anger. When he says, don't be conformed to the world, be transformed with the renewing of your mind. When he says, treat each other the way you want to be treated. I mean, if you just applied this passage, look at this one from Philippians 2, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. This is not a marriage passage, by the way, this is Paul writing to every individual in a church. So any place where you're doing an us, whether it's a friendship, whether it's any relationship, as Christians, we're called to live this way. But you know, when I look at this passage, man, if you took this passage and applied it to your marriage today, you'd be amazed at the difference. And if both would commit to do that, where we go, you know what, I'm not going to look out for me, I'm going to be humble toward them. I'm going to consider them more significant than me. I don't look out for my interest in this marriage, and in this home, and in this family, but I look out for the interest of others.

Tim Lundy: 22:30 See, when a couple takes a passage like that and they go, this is going to be a fundamental part of our operating system, we're actually going to align our lives to what Jesus said, it changes everything. It then gives you that operating system, that foundation, that you can then come and apply the marriage passages to. Then suddenly those marriage passages that can be really hard on their own, they work in a different way because they already have the system that you're building off of, but you have to make a commitment to that.

Tim Lundy: 23:07 And then when you do that, and here's the final point I would just say for those that are starting out, then you can embrace your unique fit and function so that your spouse can flourish. See, now, as a husband, you've got a unique fit in this marriage. As a man, God has designed it in the unique ways, you fit into it, and you've got unique functions. As a wife, that's true as well. And as you read those passages, there's distinct things that God calls him to. And so as we finish out, and you know, we could do a whole series in that. But if you were to look at some of the distinction about what does he call a wife to, and what does he call a husband to, when they summarize, especially.

Tim Lundy: 23:50 I just say for wives, here's part of your fit and function, a wife is called to esteem and support her husband in his leadership. You're called to esteem him and support him in the unique leadership role God's called him to, in his fit and function. And as I say that, one of the most direct passages is Ephesians 5, when Paul writes about this. Look what he says directly to the wives, he says, "Wives." And even as I read this, you know, it's funny, these days, the more, if you just read this passage, I'll read it at a wedding sometimes. And some of the words in it, I mean, I can feel even in the crowd, it's like, Oh, I can't believe he said that. Let me remind you, I'm just reading scripture here. Now, I think it's been over abused and maybe some of these words are used in ways that Paul never met him. But he says directly, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord." You kind of always have to add this part in the passage, a lot of men like to put a period right here, wives submit to your husband, boom. That's not what he says, he says, no, as God gets to define this, not as you get to define this. "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church." Again, you've got to bring Christ into it, "His body, and himself it's Savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ..." In the same way that all of us submit to Christ, "...wives should submit in everything to their husband."

Tim Lundy: 25:17 You go, whoa, that's a pretty broad command. Even as I read this, if I was a woman, I would bristle at this passage. I mean, that's the thing about the Bible, if you read through the Bible enough, there's going to be a passage you don't like. I've got a lot of them I don't personally like hearing, and so that's why it's real important before we kind of flare up and put our own understanding on it, we really look at it and go, okay, what is it that he's calling you to?

Tim Lundy: 25:46 Instead of just hearing my words as a man, I want you to hear the words, there's a young woman that I really respect as a writer, and as a researcher, Rebecca McLaughlin. And she wrote a book called, Confronting Christianity. And she describes it, this passage in particular was difficult for her. She said, you know, I came from an academically driven, equality oriented, all female high school. I was studying in a majority male college, I came across this passage, I was repulsed. I had three problems with it. First, that wives should submit, I knew women were just as competent as men. My second problem was that the idea that wives should submit to their husbands as to the Lord. She said, it's one thing to submit to Jesus Christ, the self-sacrificing King of the universe, it's quite another to offer that kind of submission to a fallible, sinful man. She said, my third problem was the idea that the husband was the head of the wife, this seemed to imply a hierarchy at odds with men and women's equal status as image bearers before God.

Tim Lundy: 26:57 But to her credit, she said, despite my shock, I just kept studying it. And when I trained my lens on the command to husbands, the Ephesians passage came into focus. She said, I had to look at both sides of it. When I realized that the lens for this teaching was a lens for the gospel itself, it started to make sense. If the message of Jesus is true, no one comes to the table with rights. The only way to enter is flat on your face, male or female. If we grasp at our rights of self-determination, we reject Jesus, because he calls us to submit to him first, completely. She said, you know, it used to repulse me, now it convicts me.

Tim Lundy: 27:37 I like as she writes, she said, I've been married for a decade, I'm not naturally submissive, I'm naturally leadership oriented. I hold a PhD in a seminary degree, I'm a trained debater, and I'm the best one in the family in it. And thank God I'm married a man who celebrates all of this about me, yet, it's a daily challenge to remember my role in this drama and notice opportunities to submit to my husband as to the Lord. Not because I'm naturally more or less submissive, but because he is more naturally less loving, because Jesus went to the cross for me, and ultimately I want to live for him to the best of my ability. See part of this, I love her honesty in this, isn't natural, they struggle in it, but her whole operating system has been shaped by Jesus, and it changes even how she approaches a passage like this, and I know that's hard.

Tim Lundy: 28:46 I think one of the key parts that you have to point out in the passage, this is not a passage where men are commanded to make women submit, this is a passage where women are commanded by their volition to support the leadership that God's called them to. And part of the breakdown in it, and if I'm just going to be honest, the breakdown that often has come through the church, is that men have abused this passage, abused the authority, sometimes called women to a form of submission that really doesn't match what God's calling them to. You know, years ago, Andy Stanley was at a wedding, and he went out with a wedding party. And they are at a bar after the rehearsal dinner, and a few of the girls in the wedding party, they weren't believers, but they knew he was a pastor, he was a youth pastor at the time. And they said to him, they said, is it true, the Bible actually says the husband supposed to be the head, this whole submission thing? Listen to how he responded. He said, before I answer your question, imagine you're married to a man who genuinely believes you're the most fantastic person on the planet, he's crazy about you. You have no doubt that your happiness is one of his top priorities. He listens when you talk, he honors you in public. To use an old fashioned term, he cherishes you. He's not afraid to make a decision, he values your opinion, he leads, but he listens. He's responsible, he's not argumentative. You have no doubt that he would give his life for you if the need arose, you never worry about him being unfaithful, in fact, he only has eyes for you. He said, the longer he talked, each of them were leaning in a little more. And when he finished that, he said, now, would you have trouble following a man like that? And the girl that asked the question said, where is he? I'd love to be in relationship with him. Andy's point in it, and when he finished, he says, you know, the person that has chosen to leverage himself, the man who's chosen to live out what Christ called him to do, it fits even in the hard command of what the wife's called to do.

Tim Lundy: 31:12 That's why I just point out, this is only doable if the guy's willing to live out what God's called him to do, this is what God calls him to do, A husband is called to love and protect his wife as a sacrificial leader, as a sacrificial leader. Again, Christ has to define it for us, guys, look how he puts it in Ephesians 5, "Husbands love your wives." Not as the way you would normally choose to define it, but "As Christ loved the church and gave himself up." Look out Peter put it, Peter was married by the way. He says, "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way." Peter, doesn't say, oh, you're going to reach this point of understanding her completely, he says, you live in an understanding way. Do you know what that means? You're constantly growing and learning to understand her more, that takes effort. He says, "Showing honor to her." You honor her, and he says, "As the weaker vessel." Now the term here, especially in the Greek, it's not lesser vessel. It doesn't mean that she's lesser than you, Peter's just honest here. Here's what he's saying to men, you need to recognize you have the strength, you have the power, whether it's physical power, sometimes it's financial power, sometimes it's verbal power, you have the power as a man to really hurt her, to abuse her, to cause damage. Peter says, you never do that.

Tim Lundy: 32:41 So you don't use your power to ever hurt her, you use it to protect her, that's what God's called you to. She would never feel threatened by you, she never feels scared of you, she doesn't pull back from that power because she likes it because she feels more empowered with you around. Peter says, you do this, "Since they are heirs with you of the grace of life." In other words, you're equal before God, "And you do this so that your prayers may not be hindered." I love this line, Peter is basically saying, if you don't treat her this way, God's not listening to your prayers. That's a pretty strong statement, isn't it? Your prayers are hindered.

Tim Lundy: 33:29 Because here's the reality, and I always like to point this out. Guys, if your wife is a follower of Jesus Christ, if your wife's a Christian, then God is not only your Father, he's also your Father-in-law, he's her Daddy. And he cares how you treat her, and as her daddy, here's what he's saying, Don't come to church and act all spiritual, don't bring all your prayers, don't act like this, man, you're a super spiritual guy, if you're not going to treat my daughter the way she needs to be treated. See in all of this, it's hard to live that fit and that function, it cuts across all of us, it calls all of us to sacrifice, but we do that. And I'll close out what I called you to, We do that so that they can flourish. You do that for their sake, because remember, you're not looking out for your own interest, You're looking out for theirs. So that both the husband and wife, when you're married, you want to see them fully flourish, you want to see them succeed, you want to see them be all that God designed them to be.

Tim Lundy: 34:44 You know, this last weekend, the Masters was on, I love the Masters, I love watching the Masters. It is at Augusta National Golf Club, this course down in Georgia. And several years ago, a good friend of mine, he's a member there, his family's been connected to it for years. He called me on a Wednesday, it was the week of Masters, and he said, hey, what are you doing this weekend? The problem was, because Easter moves, sometimes Easter weekend lines up with the Masters weekend. And so as he called, I was working on, you know, Easter weekend. He said, hey, what are you doing this weekend? I said, well, I've got Easter. And he goes, oh, do you have any plans? And I said to him, Easter, it's kind of a super bowl for pastors. So he said, are you preaching? I said, yeah. And he goes, you've got a big staff, can't you get one of the other guys to do it? I said, why? He goes, well, I'm going to fly down Friday night, I'm flying down and I'll be there for Saturday and Sunday, and I'm actually going to stay on the course. I'm going to stay in the Steven's cabin right on the course, it'd be really fun, love for you to go with me. And I'm like, are you kidding me, out of every year? He goes, come on, can't you get somebody else to do it. I go, you can't really bail on Easter Sunday as a pastor, it just doesn't really work that well. Now, I've got to admit, I did call our communications department and I was like have the bulletins gone to press? They were like, yeah, we already did them. I was like, is my name at the top of the message? They said, yeah, why? I said, nothing, nothing, Jesus is just keeping me on point.

Tim Lundy: 36:20 So I called him and I said, I can't go. And a friend of mine got to go, and you know, I heard about the weekend and all with it. They were there behind the ropes, involved in everything, stayed on site both nights. Here's the fascinating thing though, the Masters is really unique as a tournament, because all the members of the club, there's some of those powerful people in the world. And when they come in for that weekend, the members there, they don't see Masters weekend as being for them. In fact, they see that as this is their gift to the world. And so you'll see these executives, CEOs, they're there in the clubhouse making sandwiches for the patrons that will come, they work that weekend. In fact, the whole course has been prepared for that one weekend, every bit of the course, from the grass to the trees, to the azaleas, all the flowers, they've timed it perfectly, so that one weekend, everything is in full bloom. Sometimes they have to slow down with ice, sometimes they bring in heaters with it, but so that when you're seeing it on TV, when you see that tournament with it, you're seeing everything flourish as great as it can. And they use their strength, they use their power, they use, even though they're important people, they see belonging to the club is a privilege. And because of that privilege, they want to give this gift to the rest of the world.

Tim Lundy: 37:48 Yet, as I look at that, and to hear about that, I think in so many ways, what if we approached marriage that way? If you're married, do you recognize being married is a privilege, it's not a right. We didn't earn it, your spouse, their strengths, their love, what they bring to your home, that's not your right to it. What if we approached it in a way that each of us, I use my power, I use my strength, I use who I am, because I want them to flourish, I want the world to see them at their best. I want my wife to be able to use any gifts, and anything that God's called her to, that I don't just relegate to what I think it should be, she needs to flourish the way God's designed her to be. That you would do that for your husband and for your wife, guy's, that's how Jesus designed it. It takes a lifetime commitment to really live that out, it really does, because over life you learn how to do that more. It takes an operating system that is based on Christ. It takes both of you, really wrestling with scripture and going, hey, I'm going to live out these unique commands that God's given me. See, you do that for their good, and ultimately you do that for God's glory.

Tim Lundy: 39:20 Let's pray. God, I thank you, I thank you for the way you designed marriage, I thank you for the way that you've called us to live it out. Lord, I pray for each of us, these passages at times we wrestle with them, sometimes we don't like them, sometimes they convict us. And more than the passage, to really live out in a home, what it means to put others before me, and especially to put Lea before me. Lord, I don't want to just preach this, I want to live this. I pray this for anybody who's hearing this, I pray for those who are starting the marriages, I pray for those who've been married for years. Lord, I pray for those that maybe they're struggling, I pray that you would bring good where maybe we don't see it right now. We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032