Malachi 1:6-9 “Where’s the honor due to me? If I’m a master where’s the respect due to me? “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ “By offering defiled food on my altar." “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty. “Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty.”
What God’s saying is He’s talking to the priest, who was in the habit of giving God the “leftovers”. They’re supposed to give him the unblemished perfect lamb. They were giving him the blind, crippled ones. He said "take that to your governors and see how they like it". They wouldn't accept it, why would God? Are you giving your spouse your leftovers?
Last year we had some friends that divorced. Now we have some friends who look like they’re separating. They both go to church. The divorce rate is the same for Christians, 50%. Why? Because you’re giving your spouse the leftovers with your time.
The Bible says a cord of three is not easily broken, but a lot of people are cutting God out of it. Make sure you plug back into church if you plug out. Make sure you’re reading your Bible and praying or you’re defrauding yourself of the blessings God has for you. One hour of church each week isn't enough. That gives Satan an entrance. You’re opening up a crack because you’re pulling yourself away from God. You’re pulling away from your spouse when you pull away from God. If Satan can destroy your marriage he destroys a part of your testimony. “They went to church and now look where they are” Now people look at you like “If God loves marriage, why did their marriage fall apart?” The biggest lie is that marriage is about you, your marriage is to glorify God. Period. And sometimes glorifying God is staying in a marriage that isn’t the happiest all the time. Not every marriage is a safe place. But at the same time, don’t throw your hands up at the first trial.
I’ve seen that someone will stop going to church for some reason. These families that profess Christ and Christianity, people who I talk to about the Bible with, there was a deep relationship there. Then for some reason they stop going to church. Then they stop going to small group. You pull yourself out because those people are condemning to you and your lifestyle. Then they start finding another “god”: work, facebook, whatever. Whenever you pull out of people holding you accountable. Then you see a replacement of friends. You have to make sure that the people you care about are still plugged in. Sometimes you need that peer on peer accountability that’s not from your spouse. I’m not saying that changing churches is bad, but I would still expect to see you at small group. If I can’t go to you for a problem what have we been doing this whole time? We’re building relationships. That friendship is based on Christ. You’re going to get a Christian answer, you’re getting a Biblical answer from these guys. When they pull out, they’re getting bombarded by Satan and you better start praying from them. I’m not talking about a Christian marrying a non Christian or non Christians marrying, I’m talking specifically about Christians. Then Satan is in there working on these people.
When that happens, when you’re in a place where you can’t stand to see your spouse, don’t EVER hang out with the opposite sex one on one. NEVER hang out with someone of the opposite sex one on one. All Satan needs is a chink in that armor. You don’t know what could spark. It may be nothing the first time, but then it opens the door. It can start in the most subtle ways, “My husband never opens the door for me…” Then you may start complaining about your spouse to a person of the opposite sex. Women look for emotional support and if their marriage is on the rocks and they see some guy who is actually listening and paying attention, you just became a supplement for the husband. You should not be some other girl’s trusted friend and vice versa. Don’t be someone else’s emotional sponge because you’re building a connection and it’s way more deep and intimate than what you think. What starts as innocent, turns to casual, to intimate, to sexual. There are such things as emotional affairs, when you trust someone else with these intimate details that’s what you’re doing. Put safety barriers up.
Kids ruin your marriage. They are not supposed to be at the top. It’s supposed to be God, spouse, kids, work. But a lot of women put kids first, a lot of husbands put work first. Then you put undue pressure on your kids to fill your emotional needs. Date nights people! Take at least two weekends out of the month for no kids. You don’t have to go out, just hang out together at the house after they go to bed. Put your phone’s, iPad’s, laptops, etc away. In our culture the kids stay up until everyone goes to bed, but in the past there was a bed time at 8pm. Be creative. If you don’t get home until late, try to hang out in the morning. There's a book called “Kid CEO”, I haven't read it but you can tell what it's about! Don’t put your kids first because they’re not the ones you’re going to grow old with.
There’s a difference between talking “business time” (money, bills, schedule, etc) and talking “face to face time”, we have to be able to talk to each other about both because it’s different. Don’t stop dating your spouse, at least two weekends of the month try to have a date.
People that come from divorced homes tend to see divorce as an option. Are you willing to compromise? If divorce isn’t an option, then it won’t be an option! I remember when we were having a hard time and we were irritated with each other and it was all these “me, me, me” things. I remember thinking “Have I already had the best years of my marriage? Will my marriage be this or worse for the rest of my life? Maybe, but it’s not about me. I made a promise to God that I would take care of her and that is a much difference promise. That’s when our marriage started turning around” We’ve got to stay faithful to our spouse even when it’s not fun and even if they’re not being faithful to you. Read the book of Hosea. He married a prostitute who slept around and was unfaithful to him and when her beauty ran out and she was going to be sold as a slave he bought her back.
Have someone that you can call at 1am who can come over and give you wise advice.