Contested Marriage

Marriage: Reality/Fantasy

October 2, 2022 / Josh Sercey

This week Pastor Josh kicks off our new series: Contested Marriage. For this sermon, pulling from Matthew 19:1-12, we explore the realities of marriage and how we often have the wrong expectations for marriage.

  • Marriage is never neutral. There are always competing mindsets and desires that are working for more ground in our marriage. 
  • One of set of these competing mindsets is Reality vs. Fantasy. We have to have a view of marriage that is realistic.
  • The first reality of marriage is that it is not easy. It is two sinners coming together under one roof for a lifetime, which means difficulty and hurt is inevitable. 
  • The second reality of marriage is that it is not exclusively about our personal fulfillment. Marriage exists to increase our joy in our spouse and our joy in Jesus. And those two joys don’t always serve our personal fulfillment. 
  • The final reality of marriage is that it is not ultimate. Marriage is sacred because God created it, but it is not ultimate nor is it the crown jewel of Christian relationships.


  1. We begin by exploring the contest between Reality and Fantasy in our marriages. But even apart from marriage, we know how false or unreal expectations can damage a relationship. What are some experiences you’ve had in this? Whether in marriage or not, how have you seen unreal expectations damage a relationship?
  2. The first reality Pastor Josh explored is that marriage will not be easy. Any time two sinners come together in a relationship there is bound to be conflict and hurt. This is true in marriage, friendship, or any other human relationship. Why is it important to come into a relationship knowing sin will at some point make things difficult? How can you do that without also being cynical?
  3. The final two realities Pastor Josh explored were that marriage is not only about our personal fulfillment and marriage is not ultimate. Both of these deal with asking things from other people that they were never designed to deliver. Has there been a relationship where you’ve experienced this? What effect did it have on you when someone expected something from you that you were not designed to give them?
  4. In marriage, friendship, or any other relationship, we must keep our focus on Jesus. Healing in relationships is best pursued when we are looking to Jesus for his power and help. In other words, the Gospel has the resources necessary to move a relationship toward health. How have you experienced this? Is there a relationship that has been healed or made healthy because of the Gospel?