by J. Gerald Harris

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Marriage: Prescription for a Powerful Partnership (3 of 6)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Ephesians 4:26-32

Today we want to talk about the marriage relationship. What is the condition of your marriage? I hope it is better than the marriage I read about recently. There was this nagging wife who hired a medium to bring back the spirit of her dead husband. When he appeared in a ghostly form, she asked, "Honey, is it really better up there?"

Without hesitation he answered, "O, yes. It's much better here that I'm not up there."

Well, today we want to consider the prescription for a powerful partnership. In all of the older forms of the traditional marriage ceremony you encounter these three words, "love, honor and obey."

But the truth is that that word "obey" is an anachronism. Before many a ceremony, a bride has taken me over to the side and said, "Pastor, could you leave out that word 'obey?'"

And certainly it is an old word. And I personally would like to take those three words and reinstate them into every marriage ceremony, and apply them to the bride and the groom and change them in this way. The three words would be "do you promise to love, honor and forgive?"

Dr. Leslie Brandt, the great Christian psychiatrist, said that the divorce rate in America would be radically cut if forgiveness was as much a part of marriage as the conjugal bed.

Forgiveness - a strong word; a needed word. In fact, a mark of maturity is the ability to forgive and to ask for forgiveness.

I dislike the word "incompatibility." So many divorces today are granted on the grounds of incompatibility. That is a meaningless word. It is a ridiculous word. It is a very poor word. It is a hollow word. Because most divorces are granted, not on the basis of incompatibility. The judge knows it; any discerning attorney recognizes it. Most divorces are granted on the grounds, not of incompatibility, but immaturity. It's one mate or the other saying, "I want my own way. I want to live out ...

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