Pointers

Building a Strong Marriage

from Pastor George Sasso, CCCH Marriage & Family Ministry

with Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families

No one plans to become a broken family or a miserable couple. We marry because we yearn for a life-long, thriving relationship. So, how can believers become intentional about building a God-honoring marriage?

PRIORITY ONE: Discover God’s Design for Marriage

We must understand that every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting the marriage between God and His people. Marriage is the most frequent metaphor used in the Bible to describe God’s relationship with His people. In fact, writing to the Ephesians, Paul called marriage a “profound mystery” because it is a picture of “Christ and the church.”

PRIORITY TWO: Commit to a Covenant Marriage

Today’s civil marriages are much like business contracts—easy to get into and easy to get out of. God’s covenant with His people was a promise to remain eternally faithful even if His people weren’t faithful in return. In covenant marriage, both spouses are committed for a lifetime—in sickness and health, for better or worse. They don’t threaten divorce or consider it as an option.

PRIORITY THREE: Pursue a Passionate Marriage

Couples aren’t supposed to just stick it out and find a way to make their marriages survive. God calls us to pursue a passionate, thriving marriage. The Song of Solomon expresses the kind of love, joy and celebration God designed for marriage. That passion is built on much more than infatuation and sexual desire. It is rooted in the physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy God created couples to experience as a foretaste of the eternal unity, communion and intimacy we can have with God.

PRIORITY FOUR: Become Heroic in Marriage

Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue humanity. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul connected Christ’s sacrifice directly to marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25) and “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:24). In other words, mutual submission to one another requires giving up our own interests to heroically serve the other person.

PRIORITY FIVE: Fight for Your Marriage

Every couple will mess up. Too often, however, they also choose to give up. Throughout scripture, God fights for His relationship with His people, remaining faithful in the face of unfaithfulness. He forgives again and again. No couple can avoid strife and arguments, but we can avoid giving the “devil a foothold” in our marriages by keeping short accounts and quickly restoring the relationship regardless of what happens.

GOING FURTHER – Resources

It should be noted that Calvary Chapel Chino Hills does not necessarily endorse any particular resource and the entirety of its content.

Recommended Books:

Available at the CCCH bookstore

The Marriage Masterpiece by Al Janssen

The Bible opens and closes with a wedding and in between God uses the metaphor of marriage more than any other to describe His relationship with His people. So what does that mean for your pending marriage? Al Janssen tells the bigger story of marriage as God created it and as couples can experience it.

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Describes how to discover and serve your spouse’s unique love language.

Simply Romantic Nights Kit from Family Life Ministries

Discover intimacy in a new light using a series of his/her date night ideas.

The Act of Marriage by Tim & Beverly LaHaye

Is for every married and soon to be married Christian couple who want to make lovemaking a pleasure in their marriage.

Sheet Music by Kevin Leman

Sex is about the quality of your entire love life, not just the alignment of your bodies. So if you’re willing to forge ahead for the sake of the best marriage you can imagine, this book is for you.

Recommended Websites:

www.focusonthefamily provides online collections of marriage articles, resources, assessments and referrals representing the best of Christian marriage support.

www.Loveandrespect.com: We believe love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.

www.Familylife.com The Art of Marriage equips those with a passion for building a godly marriage. Click on “Events for Couples” and click on “The Art of Marriage” for more information.

GOING FURTHER – Church Support

Please check your e-bulletin or call the church office for upcoming Marriage Ministry events. We offer Love & Respect and The Art of Marriage classes at least once per year. You can also email the Marriage Ministry at marriageministry@calvarycch.org