Derek Prince - Why So Many Marriages Break Up?
You cannot overemphasize the importance of covenant. Covenant is entered into through sacrifice which is the laying down of a life. Now, apply this to marriage. When a man and a woman get married as Christians, they come through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Each one of them says as Paul said: I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ lives in me. So, after they have passed through the sacrifice of Jesus, each one turns back and looks at that sacrifice.
The husband says: When I came through that sacrifice, I died. I laid down my life. Now I live out my life in my mate. She’s the expression of my life. And the wife does the same: When I passed through that sacrifice, I died. I no longer live for myself. I’m living for the one with whom I am in covenant. Each laid down his life or her life for the other. That’s the basis of Christian marriage. And that’s the only basis on which marriage can truly succeed. See? It’s totally contrary to the attitude of people today.
That’s why so many marriages break up. Because most people today go into marriage with the attitude: What will I get out of this? And it doesn’t work. The Biblical attitude is: What will I give? And that works. I should probably pause and say I’m certainly not an expert, but I have a good track record. I was married to my first wife, who is now with the Lord, for 30 years. We, together, raised a family of nine daughters, adopted daughters. Our marriage wasn’t perfect but it was happy, it was successful and it was fruitful. It was subjected to tremendous pressures.
In the first two years, we lived through the fighting that brought the State of Israel into being. Twice in that period we had to flee from our house in the middle of the night to save our lives. It was not an easy way to begin a marriage. But, we were together and God used us, and we served Him. And God made us a blessing to many, many people. Then after my first wife was taken home, three years later, I married my present wife Ruth, whom you've see here tonight. We have now been married for just over ten years, and our marriage has been outstandingly happy and successful. Through our marriage God has birthed a ministry which is actually now reaching most of the earth with the Word of God.
So, at least I’m not offering you a theory when I talk about marriage. There isn’t such a thing as a perfect husband. There might be a perfect wife, I don’t know! What I’m saying is I’m not just teaching theory, I’ve proved what I’m teaching in practice, it works. You look at the people that don’t approach marriage that way and what you look at is a series of disasters. No generation in human history has ever had so many unhappy, broken marriages and homes as our generation. The reason is the wrong approach. "What can I get"? rather than "What can I give"? Do you know what Jesus said? It is more blessed to what? To give than to receive. That’s true in marriage. The one who gives is the one who is fully blessed.