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Marriage and Love
Scripture: Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 5:32-33; Gene...
Track 4 of 7 in the Transforming Families series
Running time: 1 hour, 02 minutes, 46 seconds.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

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Men and women are different. I hope you know this by now but just in case some of you never knew that fact, I am here to tell you that they are different. I have to admit I am a little nervous asking this question but I will venture out and ask it anyway.

From your observations, how are men and women different?

Steve gave the teachers a number of resources to read from to help us prepare for this lesson and there was one I really enjoyed reading and it began with the following paragraph. This comes from an article named, "Everything I know about Women". That title right there ought to tell you something about this writer. He notes a paragraph from a government, taxpayer funded study that opened with the following observation:

After 15 years of exhaustive research, scientists have recently concluded that due to a bunch of complicated factors involving X and Y chromosomes, men and women have completely different genders.

Now guys, we don't need for the government to tell us that our wives are different than we are. We know from our own research that there are absolute "rights" and "wrongs" when we find ourselves in the following situations:

Situation #1: You are getting dressed to go out on a date with your wife and you are putting on what you believe is a perfectly appropriate shirt, and your wife says , "Oh, you weren't planning to wear that were you? The right response is what?

Situation #2: This is a true or false question, Women are permitted to make impulse purchases, men are not?

Situation #3: If your wife asks you to go to the mall with her, what is she really asking you to do?

Situation #4: If your wife is pregnant and she is talking with her pregnant friend, if your wife says, "I believe that I gained 39 pounds and I feel like a blimp" and her friend says, "I put on 45 pounds and I feel like one of those sea lions on the nature shows", what should your response be?

Situation #5: Let's see if you know the answer to this question: If menopausal woman #1 is driving west at 35 mph and menopausal woman #2 is driving east at 42 mph and both of them forget why they even got into the car, and they end up pulling into Baskin Robbins at the same time, and both of them get double scoop chocolate-rampage sundaes and then start talking about hot flashes, how come when they get home they are mad at their husbands?

Beware: As you get older, your wife will insist that you have annual prostate exams. She will insist that it is because she loves you and does not want you to take risks with your health. Do not fall for this trick. What she is really doing is simply retaliating for childbirth.

But the real truth to all of this is simply this, women are so different than men that men can not help but be fundamentally changed by the day-in and the day-out experience of living with these utterly wonderful, bewildering, fascinating creatures whom God tells us to love with the very passion and commitment that Christ bestows on the church. Living with my wife of 30 years, has required me to sacrifice, to change, to take huge emotional risks and to utterly commit myself to another human being. In short, Pam is the main way God builds with in my character Christlikeness.

Isn't it interesting that God chose two very different individuals to unite as one. Conventional wisdom would suggest that it is due to the commonalties that couples come together but when you really look at the couples that get together, most of the time these people are very different from one another.

When you first were married, were you more similar each other or where you very different from one another? What makes your marriage interesting, the differences or the similarities? For those of you who have been married for many years, have the differences increased or has there been a shift, a change?

Paul states something I feel is very important that couples need to learn and recognize very quickly in order to strengthen their relationships. It is called the "Philippian Principle"

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

If this principle would be practiced everyday in the marriage of a couple, how might the relation look and what would be the results? How would differences be handled?

I feel there is big misunderstanding in our society and what is taught about marriages today. Many feel that differences are bad and that differences lead to strife. But can differences exist and yet unity still prevail? Can couples be totally different in individual personalities, desires and interests and still be unified as one person?

When we started this study on transforming families, we opened up with a passage in Ephesians 5 dealing with the husband/wife relationship. Paul concluded his statements with this point.

Ephesians 5:32-33 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Today we begin our first of two lessons focusing on the married couple in the body of Christ, the male/female union which is be a "human echo" of the bride/bridegroom relationship that exists between the Christ and His church.

Marriage/the Married Couple in the American Culture Today

Before we look at what the research says about married couples today, what are some of the misperceptions, stereotypes, etc., that you sense exist as non- Christians view you as a married person?