Date: 
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 10:45am
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Exodus 20:14

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR MARRIAGE
EXODUS 20:14

For the past two months we have been studying the 10 Commandments and looking at God’s values for our families  Today we have arrived at commandment number 7 which tells us we must teach our children to honor, to protect, to value their future marriages.  Read it with me.

Exodus 20:14     You shall not commit adultery.

        I want to remind us that God’s commandments are not arbitrary.  He doesn’t give us rules for the sake of giving us rules.  He is a loving heavenly Father trying to protect His children from their own worst enemy, themselves. 

        And God is not anti-sex.  He invented sex.  But He also prescribed boundaries for our good.  He wants us to see it as His gift to be used in proper ways.   It is just like water.  God has given us the gift of water and it is a great resource to have until you use it in the wrong way.  Then you drown.  Fire is a gift of God, but only when it is under control and being used the way God intended.  When fire gets out of control, it is incredibly destructive. 

        Nothing destroys a family more completely than adultery.  Nothing brings more pain and heartache, shame and suffering, grief and guilt, depression and distress than adultery.  

        Today I want to help you “Affair Proof” your marriage.  If you are going to teach your children to honor their marriage you have to affair proof yours.  Let me give you five principles to live by. 

1.  Determine that Sex Outside of Marriage is Wrong

        We have to teach our children that the time to decide that sex outside of marriage is wrong is not when the temptation comes.  Joseph survived Mrs. Potiphar only because he determined ahead of time what was right and wrong so when Mrs. Potiphar came calling, he was able to resist and flee.  His convictions were already established.  His heart was already fixed. 

In today's world where:

There are permissive values that basically say anything goes;
Where the entertainment industry is absolutely obsessed with sex;
Where sex is used to sell everything from shampoo to hamburgers;
Where the internet makes connecting with someone way too easy;
You don't stand much of a chance of remaining faithful to your marriage unless you establish some guidelines for your life.

        If you don’t determine in your hearts that God knows best and God’s commandments don’t change and it doesn’t matter if everyone else is doing it, sex outside of marriage is wrong and you are going to obey God no matter what, you are already in trouble.    

        So principle #1 is determine ahead of time and don’t waiver.  Principle #2 is work at deepening your commitment to your spouse.  Work at making the grass on our side of the fence as green as possible. 

2.  Deepen Your Commitment to Your Spouse

        Marriage can be dangerous.  I read about this man Sam. 

Sam, was in trouble again, this time for forgetting his wedding anniversary.   His wife was really angry. She told him, "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!"

The next morning Sam got up and left the house very early.   When his wife woke up she looked out the window and sure enough there was a gift-wrapped box in the middle of the driveway.

Confused, the wife put on her robe, went out to the driveway, and brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Sam has been missing since Friday. Please pray for him

        God’s plan for marriage is one man, one wife, one life.  It is to be until death do us part.  I studied under Dr. Jack McGormann in seminary.  At the time he had been married right at 50 years.  He used to tell us that he and his wife had never once even considered divorce.  Murder a couple of times but never divorce.  If your marriage is going to survive until death parts you, you have to work at it, you have to invest in it. 

        Adam and Eve were walking through the garden one evening and Eve turned to Adam and asked, “Adam, do you really love me?”  Adam replied, “Eve as far as I am concerned, you are the only girl in the world”.  That ought to be our attitude toward our wives. 

        Now marriage is not easy.  It requires selflessness and compromise.  One of the greatest books I have read on marriage is entitled, “His Needs, Her Needs” by Dr. Willard Harley. Through exhaustive research, he has identified, what he thinks are the top 5 needs of most men and the top 5 needs of most women.

The top five needs of most men are:

1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companionship
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

The top five needs of most women are:

1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial support
5. Family commitment

Did you see any similarities between those two lists? No. No wonder we have so much trouble adjusting in marriage.  Men and women are incredibly different.  Instead of trying to change each other, we need to recognize and appreciate the differences and work to meet each other’s different needs. 

Aisle – Alter – Him

“Women Are Like Spaghetti, Men Are Like Waffles”

See in a marriage, we need to stop trying to change our spouse and start trying to change ourselves.  Get serious about what it is that your spouse needs and determine that you're going to meet those needs.  Do everything you can to make sure they have no reason to look else where.  This will go such a long way in protecting your marriage. 

3.  Diligently Guard Your Mind

        Principle #3 is diligently guard your mind.  Adultery always begins in the mind.  I can’s stress this enough.  Sexual sins begin as mental sins.  Nobody goes on Facebook looking for an affair.  But over time, emotions rise up, and guards are let down and what should have been a harmless friendship because a devastating relationship.      

Affairs don’t just happen. There's a process, a whole series of mental and emotional events.

The battle begins in your mind. What you think about, you'll eventually feel and what you feel you'll eventually act on.  Adultery always begins in the mind before it ends up in the bedroom.  You need to understand and value the importance of guarding your mind, because it guards your heart and your heart will rule your body. 

I Corinthians 10:12  Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful lest you fall.

4.  Be Conscious of the Consequences

        Principle #4 is be conscious of the consequences.  The sad truth is, those in the church are falling into this sin almost as much as people outside the church.  And a big reason for this is we take grace and make it cheap and fail to realize that grace does not cover the consequences of our actions.  If you jump from a tall building you are going to break something.  God’s grace does not nullify gravity.  The Bible says you reap what you sow. 

Hebrews 13:4 Have respect for marriage. Always be faithful to your partner, because God will punish anyone who is immoral or unfaithful in marriage.

        God will discipline His children.  The Bible says your sins will find you out.  There is a great price that comes to those who break the 7thcommandment.  Let me read you something written by Chuck Swindoll.

"The following is an incomplete list of what you have in store after your immorality is found out:

        Your mate will experience the anguish of betrayal, shame, rejection, heartache and loneliness.  No amount of repentance will soften those blows.

        Your mate can never again say that you are a model of fidelity.  Suspicion will rob her or him of trust.  Your escapade(s) will introduce to your life and your mate's life the very real probability of a sexually transmitted disease. 

        The total devastation your sinful actions will bring to your children is immeasurable.  Their growth, innocence, trust and healthy outlook on life will be severely and permanently damaged.

        The heartache you will cause your parents, your family and your peers is indescribable.  The embarrassment of facing other Christians who once appreciated you, respected you and trusted you will be overwhelming.

        If you are engaged in the Lord's work, you will suffer the immediate loss of your job and the support of those with whom you        work.  The dark shadow will accompany you everywhere ... and forever.  Forgiveness won't erase it.

        Your fall will give others license to do the same.  The inner-peace you enjoyed will be gone.  You will never be able to erase the fall from your (or others') mind.  This will remain indelibly etched on your life's record regardless of your later return to your senses.

        The name of Jesus Christ, whom you once honored, will be tarnished giving the enemies of faith further reason to sneer and jeer."

Proverbs 6:32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.

5.  Depend Upon the Lordship of Christ

And the final principles is simply, depend on Jesus.  If you want to avoid the sexual sin that will ruin your life and destroy your kids – you must come to know Jesus Christ as your Savior, build an intimate relationship with Him, surrender to Him as your Lord and walk in the power of His Spirit and trust in His value system. 

I Corinthians 6:9-10 …Don't fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a prostitute or behaves like a homosexual 10 will share in God's kingdom….

In marriage sex is a wonderful and beautiful expression of love. But used improperly it destroys marriages, damages families and devastates lives, demolishes self esteem, creates misery and guilt, shame and regret, emotional depression and physical diseases. God has established rules solely for your benefit, not His.  When you don't play by the rules, you get hurt.

God's way is the best way.  Surrender to God’s command to be morally pure.  That means you're going to have physical, mental and emotional intimacy only with the person you're married to.

Maybe you've realized that some of those thoughts in your life weren't harmless after all and you need to say, "God, help me change my thought life." Maybe you've been involved in an emotional attachment and think there's no sex involved so it's OK. Nip it in the bud.  

You know the Bible says that God loves you.  Loves you so much He died for you.  Have you ever asked yourself why God loves you?    It is not because you are so attractive.  To the rest of you are, but to God the stain of sin, ruined your appearance. 

It is not because you are so smart.  To the rest of us, you may be this brilliant engineer, but to God… well you go ahead and create something out of nothing. 

And it is not because you are so talented.  Let’s see you walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead and feed 5000 men, plus women and children with sardines and crackers.

The reason God loves you is because it is the right thing to do in the Covenant relationship He has with us.  And the reason God wants you to love your spouse is because it is the right thing to do in your marriage relationship.