"When the Honeymoon is Over" - Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

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There are times in premarital counseling where I feel that I’ve been pitching, but no one has been catching. I want both members of the couple to understand that a good marriage is an extraordinary amount of work, and that both parties in the couple must be committed to be about that task for the remainder of their lives together, (which I understand to quite literally be, the remainder of their lives…together!)

Quite often however, especially early on, couples are so enamored of one another, that they cannot see a real need to work, and certainly can’t imagine that such a need would ever exist. “This bliss will never go away….”

They'd been married for about 18 months, and now, the honeymoon was clearly over. She was fed up and sad and angry, all at the same time. So I invited her to bring her spouse back so we could chat together, and she did. I found in him the same things: discouragement, sorrow and no small amount of venom. He blurted out, “Can’t there be some sorts of rules?” Sure they can be, but they often don’t really help…they just magnify that tension that is already there.

I shared a scripture passage with them. I told them I call it the CIE text. It is Matthew 18: 15-20, and provides for a rather legalistic method of dealing with problems or disagreements: confrontation comes first and if that doesn’t work, there is intervention, and when all else fails, there is excommunication.

In this sermon we shall discuss the challenges that come with being in relationship; even in the church! We’re going to explore how to proceed when there are stressors; what to do when the honeymoon is over?

~Pr. Luther