Just Get Married
March 30, 2008
All right. Everyone stand if you would. Everyone stand and high-five three people and say, “Man I’m glad to have you at Fellowship.” And please remain standing. If you have your Bibles turn to Ephesians 5:25. It is very important many times in reverence to the Holy Scriptures that we stand as we read.
Ephesians 5:25. Please read it along with me as we do this thing together. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Father, you brought each of us here for a reason. Use my vocal chords right now to communicate your timeless truths. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Please be seated in the presence of the Lord. I have the opportunity to speak a lot. And normally when I speak I try to think about everyone I’m talking to. We’re one church in five locations. Today, though, I’m going to change what I normally do. Today I’m just going to talk to a few. I’m not going to talk to all of you. Yes, you can listen, and I hope you will. But this talk is directed to just a few.
I’m talking today specifically to the single men in the house. And to even be more specific, single men who are passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Now I’m not saying that you just talk it and don’t walk it; I’m talking about you talk it and walk it, you walk it and talk it.
You might think, “Well okay, I’m in church. I guess that means I’m a believer.” Well today when I walked into my garage that did not make me a car. It took you a while to get that, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for showing me the love. We’re going to show the love, though, today to speak the truth in love to just a few Christian single men. The rest of you check out what I’m going to say. But again this is a very, very limited talk. The title of today’s talk is going to shock you and rock you. It’s called, “Just Get Married.” Say it with me, everybody, just get married.
We’ve given marriage a bad rap. Our culture, we’re anti marriage. Have you noticed that? We don’t like marriage. Marriage is a burden not a blessing. It’s an albatross not an asset. It’s something bad not something good.
Most guys say, “Well, I’m going to get through school, date around, backpack through Europe, let the years roll off the clock. And when my hair begins to thin and my waistline expands from a 31 to a 36, I guess I’ll mail it in and just get married. I will have the America dream. Then I can get hooked up with someone, live in a little house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids. I will wait as long as possible; then I’ll just get married.”
Isn’t that fascinating? Because that is just the opposite of what the Scriptures tell us. If you are a Christ follower and you’re a single male, if you have a desire for the opposite sex, I have news for you today: Just get married. The Bible says it from cover to cover: Just get married. If you’re single and you’re a Christian and you have a desire for the opposite sex and you don’t get married, you, my friend, will live outside of the will of God for the rest of your life.
“Wow, Ed, that’s a bold statement.”
I know. This is a bold talk. God is pro-marriage. Marriage is the only human relationship that is analogous to God’s relationship with his people.
For a marriage to be off the chain, on a holy ‘notha level, a death burial and resurrection has to take place. In marriage you have to die to yourself; you have to bury that stuff and allow a resurrection to occur. The reason we have the covenant, the reason we can have this awesome institution called marriage is due to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you want to build a legacy? Do you want to make a lasting impression on people? The material of legacy is marriage. Read about it throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. You show me biblically functioning marriages; you show me marriages where the gospel is center, and I will show you a legacy that you will not believe. So single men, I will say it once again: Just get married.
Yet a lot of us, I’m talking to single men, we’re commitment phobic. Guys, we’re just naturally commitment phobic, aren’t we? I don’t want to commit. What if something better comes along? I don’t want to commit.
“You know, Ed I guess I would commit if I’m 100 percent sure.” Say what? “Oh yes, I want to be 100 percent sure.”
I hate to confess this, but when Lisa and I got married June 26, 1982, I was not 100 percent sure. When I became a follower of Jesus Christ, I was not 100 percent sure.
So if you’re 100 percent sure, date her long enough where you have some healthy skepticism! Then curl your toes over the diving board and dive in. Just get married. 100 percent sure? Man, what are you smoking?
And here is what other single men have told me; this is just hilarious. “What if someone better looking comes along?” I am serious. I have heard that a squillion times. “What if someone comes along, someone who has the body of Angelina Jolie and the morals of Mother Teresa; what do I do then?”
Hey, my brother, take a look in the mirror, front and back. I hate to rain on your ego, testosterone-driven parade but there are a lot of guys better looking than you. And guess what? I don’t care who you marry. Let’s say you marry Angelina Jolie with the morals of Mother Teresa. A better looking one is going to come along. Do you know who Lisa, my wife, likes? She’s not here so I can confess this. She likes Donny Osmond. I’m serious. I can’t compete with Donny Osmond. I know that. He’s better looking than I am; he’s richer than I am; he’s more talented than I am. But I do have one thing over Donny. I’m a Christian; he’s a Mormon. Mormon’s aren’t Christians. Man, I can’t wait for the e‑mails on that!
Now, Donny is a very talented guy, but Lisa committed to me 25 years ago. Yet, I meet people all the time, single men, Christian men, who tell me, “I just want to be sure. I just want to be totally and completely sure.”
Now, let me get very specific. Single men in the age bracket of 32‑50. I mean we’re starting to get really specific here; we’re drilling down to your grill now, my brother. You show me a single man between 32‑50 and I’ll show you a man who isolates himself. It is just a natural thing that we do. We just isolate ourselves.
Have you ever wondered why single men between 32‑50 are a little strange, a little weird and a little whacky? They’re isolated and insulated. It is sad they have those crazy eyes. Watch out girl, he is between 32‑50, he’s single, and he’s isolated. Guys, we get all messed up. We have got to get married because we need someone to tell us, “Honey those tube socks don’t go with that suit. Hey honey, your nostril hair is so long you can braid it.”
We need somebody to help us. Because guys, we’re not that smart. I hope you realize that women are smarter than we are. If you don’t, just do some study. Women are smarter than men. I admit it. Let’s receive it and believe it. As Joel Osteen says, “Amen!”
Now, we can focus on one or two things better than they can. That’s about it. God has given us the leadership capital and responsibility to be the kind of man of God, the kind of husband of God and the kind of father of God and the father of kids that He wants.
Now here is what is so weird about it. Women in the age group of 32‑50 don’t isolate themselves. Women have this relational desire. They build relationships of community with other women and they understand that and they feel that and they have that.
So the 32‑50 guys, man we’re weird. But most of the women in that age category are not weird. A few are whacky, but most aren’t. Isn’t that interesting? Women are relational creatures. They buy pets, a dog, a cat, they have these friendships. Then all of the sudden one of the weird single guys will walk in, 32‑50, and the girls are like, “Honey, stay away from him! He’s weird. He has been in isolation for several years.”
It is interesting, the excuses that we give, guys. Anti-commitment. What if something better comes along? What if I just don’t feel it? And what if I have to be totally sure? That dog won’t hunt.
You see marriage solves a lot of our junk, guys. And again, if you are a Christian, if you are single, it is God’s will for you to be married if you have a desire for the opposite sex.
Maybe you’re thinking, “What? Did you just make that up? Did you draw that from outer space?”
No, I drew it from Scripture. 1 Corinthians 7:9, “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Every time in the Bible you have lust and you have someone talking about burning with passion, you know what the answer is? Just get married. It’s very simple, really. See we have made marriage complex. Have you noticed that? All these wheels off websites and all of these conferences and books and all this crap that you have to do just to qualify to get married. If Lisa and I had to have gone through all of that we would have never gotten married. That has got to be some of the most lame brain junk I have ever seen in my life.
It’s not that hard. One man, one woman, following Jesus in covenant. That’s marriage.
But we like things hard because if it’s hard, it’s complex. Then when I fail, I have an excuse. Marriage is simple, and it solves so much stuff in our lives.
Of course I say “our,” I’m trying to draw the Christian single men in because we’re men. Yes, I’m not single, but I’m saying “we, our.” I’m trying to show you the love here. A lot of you are feeling conviction right now. Don’t look to the right or the left; just look straight at me. Everything is cool. Everything is cool. Man, the women are smiling right now, but the guys are like, “Oh no. Where are the exits?”
Here is what marriage solves; you never hear this stuff. Marriage solves a lot of the sexual temptation in our lives. Guys, we’re sexual creatures. Women are sexual creatures. We’re going to have those desires. If you have the desire for the opposite sex it’s a good thing because it’s a God thing. And we’re to practice sex within the confines, within the covenant, within the reef of marriage.
ILLUS: Sex is a Ferrari. If someone gives you a Ferrari you don’t trash it. You don’t take it 4‑wheeling. You take care of the Ferrari. You drive it on the autobahn if you can. You drive it on the freeway when the cops aren’t out. That is what a Ferrari is for. Yet, we have taken this gift of sex, this Ferrari, and we have trashed it and we have abused it.
Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
The math in marriage is one plus one equals one. Oneness is in marriage, two becoming one, two fallen and fallible people becoming one, two self-centered sinners becoming one. When you have sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife, you have the nature and character of God reflected. You have the feminine aspects being joined together with the masculine aspects. You also have a reflection of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three in one, one in three.
(The verse continues) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
But the hard part, the work, is that becoming. Becoming one flesh? That’s tough. I will talk about that later.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 7:5. If you are single and you have a passion for the opposite sex, don’t even pray about it, don’t even discuss it don’t even wonder about it. God’s will for you is just get married. Just get married.
When you get married, and this is going to blow you away; when you get married, your sex life with your spouse will cause you to seek God in a deeper way and in a more profound way and even in a more passionate way.
Have you guys gone to sleep? Let’s give me applause for that. Here we cheer for these little sports teams that play basketball and football and hockey and baseball; we act like raving lunatics and then we hear something from God’s Word that blows that stuff out of the water we’re like, “What did he say?” Man, if that doesn’t fire you up you better check the pulse. Do you know what I said?
In marriage, as we fulfill each other sexually, it will free us up to hear from God in a deeper way. Prove it?
1 Corinthians 7:5,”Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.”
Abstinence in a marriage can distract you from hearing the voice of God. You’re single, you have a desire for the opposite sex, you try to pray, and your mind is going here, there and yonder. You’re not thinking about the things of God. What’s the answer? Just get married. Just get married. It helps with sexual temptation.
Now you’re going to be tempted, you’re going to be attracted to other members of the opposite sex. You keep the guidelines and guardrails around your marriage; you keep the Ferrari on the autobahn; you swim inside the reef, because when you go on the other side of the reef there’s sharks over there, my brother. And you don’t want to swim with the sharks.
Here is something else that marriage solves. Guys, this is fun, isn’t it? Slothfulness. Have you ever seen sloth? A sloth is a tree dwelling creature that just hangs on his back just pretty much sits there. Guys, we’re basically lazy. Women are not basically lazy; we are. We’re just lazy. We’re hanging around like a sloth. Then all of the sudden we go, “Oh man, the Final Four is on? Dude, did you see that dunk? It was unbelievable!”
We don’t want to work. We don’t want to romance. We don’t want to try. We don’t want to take initiative. We’re just a sloth. You get married? You can’t be a sloth. Are you kidding me?
As iron sharpens iron so one man or one woman sharpens another, especially as one wife will sharpen one husband.
Hey Christian single; hey Christian single who likes women, if you want to stop your laziness and if you want to stop your slothfulness and you’re I’ll‑do‑it‑tomorrow mentality, just get married. If you want to discover creativity and innovation, just get married. Because the most creative relational aspect in life should happen within the marriage covenant.
God has created us in his image. Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created…”Revelation 21:5, God says, “I am making everything new.” God walks throughout eternity creating.
In marriage we should create. Romance is about work; work and creativity are inseparably linked. So guys, let’s wake up and smell the espresso. It’s time to step up and to step out and be a man and realize God has given me this testosterone for a reason. It is to hook up with someone, to save myself sexually until marriage and realize that marriage is for life. And I’m going to leave a legacy because the material of our culture and the Bible is built on marriage.
is something else marriage will solve. Man, I am so selfish I can’t believe it but not anymore. I mean I still struggle with it, but not like I used to. Because for 25 years I have been forced to be unselfish. You can’t be selfish and have a good marriage; it’s impossible.
“Hey Jesus,” they asked him, “What is all this stuff about?”
Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your body.” Then he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
That’s spiritual maturity. We have tried to make spiritual maturity so complex, so muddy. “It’s hard, it’s difficult I better go to Seminary. I need another Bible study. That’s what I need.” No, you don’t. Just get married. That’s what you need. You want to grow? Just get married.
“Well, surely I need to pray longer.” Just get married.
You know what? I’m still working on love thy neighbor as thyself. I don’t know about you, but that’s a tough one. For me to put Lisa’s needs above mine? Wow! It tests me every day, 24/7. But as I look back in the rearview mirror of my life, I would not be half of the Christian I am today without Lisa and without marriage. So if you want to go to a holy ‘notha level, my brother, just get married. Just get married.
I’m tired of the world and the culture that tells us, “Sack up with someone; play house with someone.” That’s totally abusing the beauty and the love and the covenant and the legacy that God wants us to build. Because guys, you have so much potential, you have so much to offer. For you to go to this holy ‘notha level it’s going to have to take place within marriage. So it helps with sexual temptation, right? We should satisfy one another regularly, creatively, and passionately. It helps us with slothfulness, selfishness, legacy, and spiritual maturity.
Do you remember the verse we read earlier, Ephesians 5:25? I will read it again. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Do you know what the greatest sermon I will ever preach is? I mean really, do you want to know the greatest sermon I can ever preach and what venue? It’s not here; it’s in my marriage. That’s the greatest message I will ever preach. It’s my marriage. The venue is the covenant of marriage. Many times Lisa and I don’t feel like it. Many times we don’t have those romantic, hot feelings, 24/7. So often we have hung in there because of the covenant, because of the legacy. But no matter how difficult the problems are today, the legacy and the covenant completely overshadow it and obliterate that. That is what we have got to think about. It’s not just about the now. It’s about the future. It’s about the next generation. It’s about what God wants to do, yes, in today’s world, but also in the future. That happens when we just get married and when we just stay married.
You know what makes me sick? Again guys, I will get up in your face on this one. I have heard this so many times I want to vomit. A guy will come up to me and go, in the middle of a divorce, “You know what Ed, I’m really glad this is happening because I never really loved her.”
Again, guys, we’re not that bright. When someone says that, do you know what they’re saying? Let me tell you what they’re really saying. They’re saying, “I have failed to live out the gospel. I have failed as a Christian. I have failed as a follower of Christ.” That’s what they’re saying. It’s an indictment upon themselves.
Because I ask you, when did Jesus turn his back on you? When did Jesus walk out the door on you? When did Jesus mail it in on you? I’m telling you, man, we better wake up. Its time for us to take the turf that God wants us to take, not to be soft or weak.
Remember, Jesus is not some pale, frail, blue-eyed skinny decaf sipping white boy. Jesus was a man’s man. And it takes men who are tough and tenacious; it takes men who are risk takers; it takes men who are into adventure to be the kind of husbands and the kind of Christ followers and kind of father that God wants.
Are you ready to do it? I can’t make you. I’m saying, are you ready to do it? See, we have to quit playing church and we have to be the church. Because in this series not only am I going to tell you what marriage is but, I want to give you the 4-1-1 on what marriage does. Marriage reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So what am I saying? Just get married. One more time let’s say it together from the depths of our being. Once again… just get married. Wow. We need that, don’t we? We need that. Let’s pray.