At our church this week we are showing the movie, “Fireproof,” free to the entire community. We are showing it Thursday, Friday, and Saturday two times (once in English and once and Spanish). We are also doing “Fireproof your marriage” small groups on Sunday nights. Finally, I’m starting a 6 week sermon series entitled, “Fireproof your marriage.” This is the first sermon for it. It will be preached Sunday, January 25th, 2009.

The slow fade.
Hebrews 13:4

We live in a time that marriage and family is taking a backseat to things of this world. Satan, in his attack on the church uses his most vicious assaults on the institution of marriage. There are many reasons behind this. One of them being that marriage is the one institution that was created by God at the dawn of creation, therefore it is the oldest institution in existence. Another reason I feel he attacks marriages so ruthlessly is because when we looks at marriage, she sees a living illustration of Christ and His church.

Notice what this passage of Scripture says.

Ephesians 5:25 ESV – Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

Kirk Cameron in an interview made this statement, “Men are notorious for learning everything they can about their wife and wooing her before their marriage, then once they are married, they begin to move on and become infatuated with other things.”

That is a very true statement, unfortunately. This is what I’m talking about with the title of the sermon, “slow fade.” Once we start living in the daily grind, and pursuing other things, the romance, affection, and everything else begins to fade away. And as they begin to fade away, Satan has things, busyness and friends, and people of the opposite sex positioned to take their place.

Does God have something to say about marriage in Scripture? Yes He has many things to say. In fact, if we were to look at everything He has to say about it, we would probably be in this series for about a year or more of Sundays. We aren’t going to be doing that, we are only going to be scratching the surface here.

Let’s look at our Scripture text this morning and allow God to speak through each word and each phrase to us.

Hebrews 13:4 ESV – Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Our relationship with our spouse must be more precious to us than all other earthly relationships.

Hebrews 13:4a ESV – Let marriage be held in honor among all…

It doesn’t matter how long you have known your spouse over other acquaintances, the relationship you have with your spouse is the most important relationship that you will have with a earthly person.

There should be only one relationship more important to you than your spouse, and that should be your Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.

In fact, your best friend should be your spouse, not another person.

You see, not only can someone of the opposite sex get in the way of the marriage relationship, but so can a good friend of the same sex.

If you spend more time with the friend than you do with your wife, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate your relationships.

Notice that this passage says that marriage should be held in honor.

In the Greek, “honor” means, “Considered precious; held as great worth; valued and priced; honored and esteemed.”

Do you consider your spouse precious? Do you consider the relationship a great worth? Do you value time with your spouse? Do you honor and esteem them?

To be honest, I really don’t have to go too much further in the texts, or other passages before I start to realize that I haven’t really done what just this first portion of the passage suggests. I’m sure that I’m not the only one present here this morning who feels this way either.

In light of this revelation, what should we do?

Well, ask the Lord to help us to consider our marriage precious; to hold our spouse as a great worth to us; to value and prize our private time together; and to honor and esteem them.

Let’s go further into the text this morning and see if there is anything else that can help us prevent the slow fade from occurring.

We need to view our intimate relationship with our spouses as holy moments.

Hebrews 13:4b ESV – and let the marriage bed be undefiled…

Just so that everyone one here knows – Satan is not the author of sex, God is. Satan has of course perverted it, but God has established it as a holy thing between a husband and wife where the two become one flesh.

Notice this passage.

Ephesians 5:31 ESV – Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

Notice that phrase, “hold fast,” in this passage? In Greek it literally means, “To glue together.”

Remember in the movie how the LT. firefighter superglued together the salt and pepper shaker.

This is how our relationship with our spouses should be – intimate moments are like glue to a marriage.

Now there is a warning in our text we need to look at this morning.

Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4c ESV – for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

It almost seems that sexual immorality and adultery are the same thing does it not. Well, they are different and we have to look into the Greek to really see the difference.

Sexually immoral – Greek word is, “Pornos,” where get our English word, “Porn.” Here is the literal meaning, “a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator.”

This would involve homosexuality, lesbianism, pornography of every kind, and just pure perversion. If you are caught up in this God will judge you; He will discipline you. So cry out to Him and repent and ask for not only His forgiveness, but His help.

Adultery – Greek word is, “moichos”, it means, “an adulterer, faithless toward God, ungodly.”

This definition really spoke to me. It is more than just finding sexual pleasure with a person of the opposite sex outside the bonds of marriage, but by doing this, it also shows that you are faithless toward God, and ungodly.

If you are in an adulterous relationship, not just physical, but even an emotional one, or if you are even thinking about it, turn to God and cry out to Him and repent. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to help you. And if at all possible, break off the relationship, no matter what the cost might be.

Marriages in our modern society and churches are in a slow fade.

We can stop this by doing what our text says: Honor our marriage, respect our spouses and hold them in esteem, honor the intimacy between one another and do not let anything defiling come into the marriage union, turn from sexual sin and flee from temptation.

Let’s determine to stop the slow fade in our marriages. Begin working on your own marriage and let’s see them become Christ-like one marriage at a time.