Part One
"One Plus One Equals One"

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Matt 19:5-6 (KJV)

As a carpenter by trade I am always dealing with things that need to be fixed or repaired. This series of messages I will be bringing over the next seven weeks I won't be talking about putting on a new roof, installing a hot tub, or painting the walls. I will be talking about strengthening your marriages, helping your children become the men and women God wants them to be, and turning our homes into a small slice of Heaven in this world. We can do that, but we may need to do a little Home Improvement to make it happen. So, as the Lord leads, I am going to deal with some topics that affect the modern family. I am going to talk about some things that affect your family. I believe the Word of God can teach all we need to know about this matter of Home Improvement.

Sometime back, a magazine printed an article about saved people who survived life and death situations. That article revealed the truth that when the end of life seemed certain; people’s thoughts would invariably turn to their family and to God.

     In that article there was a story about a man who shared his experience. He said that he was having some difficulties on his job and it appeared that he might even lose his job. He was called by the CEO of the company to come to headquarters.

     He made the plane arrangements and was greatly troubled about it. He could think of nothing but his job and his job security. He got on the plane and as the plane was making its way to the city where the home company was located, all he could think about was his job and what he was going to encounter when he met with the CEO. In the course of the flight, the plane got into some very serious trouble. It appeared that it was going down and that he might lose his life.

     He says when that occurred, suddenly everything that had been a concern to him, every worry related to his job situation, disappeared and his thoughts were dominated by thoughts concerning his family. He said that when you really get down to it, the bottom line is not so much your social connections, it is not so much your financial circumstances, it is not even so much your job. What really matters when you get to the bottom line is family.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1 Tim 5:8 (KJV)

As with anything there is always two sides.  As a carpenter I fix things, but there are elements that work to destroy the things I fix, the weather, fire, insects and so on.

We have the greatest expert in "Home Improvement" His Name is Jesus!

We also must deal with the one who is out to destroy everything that Jesus improves, the devil.

The devil has a number of tools in his arsenal to try to destroy family life.

·    Divorce is an enemy of the family. Nearly one out of every two marriages in our country end up in divorce.

·      Alcohol is an enemy of the family. Almost every situation where there is marital discord and family problems, you will find that alcohol is a feature.

·     Materialism is an enemy of the family. In our families we have an abundance of material things, but that doesn't seem to have made us very happy. We have more cars and yet less compatibility. We have more gadgets and yet we have less grace. We have more luxuries and yet we have less love. We are finding out that an accumulation of material things does not necessarily give you a stable, happy family.

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Gen 2:18-25 (KJV)

All the animals came before Adam and he gave them the name he wanted them to have. This process was not to see how smart Adam was. God used this to build within Adam a desire for a mate.

     When Adam, saw all the animals and their respective mates, it dawned on him that he was alone in the world. He had God, but there was not another person with whom Adam could share his life. As God said in verse 18, this was a situation that was “not good”.

     God created this desire within Adam for a mate and God satisfied that desire. In verses 21-25, the Bible tells us how God formed the woman from Adam’s rib and gave her to the man. So, God planned, organized and conducted the first wedding. The animals were the witnesses. On that day, God brought Adam and Eve together in holy matrimony.

     As they married, I have a feeling that Adam looked over at her and said, “You're the only girl in the world for me.”

     Of course, she could not say, “I want you to know I had a lot of offers before you came along.”

    So, the family unit was formed, and the first marriage came into existence.

Now, if you want to carry out a real Home Improvement project, then you are going to have to do it God’s way. To do that you must understand the mathematics of marriage, that One Plus One Equals One. If you want to have a fantastic marriage and family, then God says, “Do the math.”

"So Lets Do Some Math"

One Plus One Equals One Physically:

Every person is made up of body, soul and spirit: There is a part of us that is physical. There is a part of us that is psychological. There is a part of us that is spiritual.

When a marriage takes place as God intended, the man and woman becomes one physically. They become one psychologically. They become one spiritually.)

     We want to begin by exploring the physical portion of our lives. There is a physical union that occurs within marriage. There are several statements about the physical relationship that exists between a husband and a wife that I feel need to be made.

Sex is the gift of God.
Sex is God's idea.
Sex is good.
Sex is of God and it is good when it is within the circle God intends for it to be, in the circle of marriage.

9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Cor 6:9-11 (KJV)

God warns those who misuse sex that they give proof of their lost condition before God and before man.

Sex can either be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. Which it is depends on where it is found. Let me illustrate.

Is mud good or bad? Mud is good in the pig pen, but it’s bad when it’s on your carpet.

Is fire good or bad? Fire is good if it is being used to cook me a biscuit, or keep us warm, but it is bad if occurs in your attack, or in your wall.

We are living in a culture today where people, especially young people, are being told that there is nothing spiritual about sex. People talk about casual sex. We have a generation of people who have been brought up in America who have been taught and believe that they basically came from animals. Therefore, if they come from animals, it is all right if they live their lives as animals. Our generation has come to believe that unregulated sex between consenting partners sex is okay. The philosophy is, if it feels good, do it!

When there is a sexual relationship that exists outside the boundaries God established, it never ends well. It brings fear of disease and unwanted pregnancy. It brings guilt. It shatters relationships. When sex exists outside the boundaries created by God, it reveals the true nature of your spiritual life and your relationship to God.

One Plus One Equals One Psychologically

Not only does a married couple become one body, they also become one soul. We each possess a physical nature, and we all possess have a psychological nature as well. This means that you possess an intellect. You think. You have emotions. You feel. You have volition. You make decisions. You have a will. You exercise that will.

     When we are married, we become one physically with our mates, but we also become one with them mentally. It is in a marriage that the partners work toward this whole matter of psychological compatibility.

     Sometimes, people will get a divorce and they will state as the grounds for that divorce that they are incompatible. That sounds foolish on the surface, but I have come to believe that is a fact. Some people simply cannot live together because they are incompatible.

     Dr. Billy Graham used to say that he and his wife “were happily incompatible”. I like that. The problem that many couples experience is that they fail to factor God into their incompatibilities. They try to make it work using human energy, and when it doesn't’ go to suit them, they throw their marriage away like it was a piece of trash. There is no sense of commitment. There is no sense of absolute devotion. Where are the people who would rather die than allow their marriages to fail?

A lady went to her pastor because she wanted a divorce from her husband.

     During counseling he asked her, “Do you have any grounds?”

     She said, “Yeah, three acres outside of town. You’ve been there preacher!”

     “No” he said, “I mean, do you have a grudge?”

     She thought a minute and said, “No, we have a carport!”

     Trying a different tactic, he said. “No, like, does your husband beat you up?”

     She said, “No, I get up at 6, an hour before him!”

     The preacher said, “What I am asking is, do you have a case?”

     Without missing a beat, she said, “Nope, we’ve got a John Deere!”

     Finally, in exasperation the preacher said, “Ma’am, what I’m trying to ask you is this; are you and your husband having any troubles?”

     She said, “Oh yes, preacher. We’re having lots of troubles”.

     “Like what,” asked the preacher?

     “Well” said the wife, “the problem is my husband. He just can’t communicate.”

When it comes to communications between spouses, let me give you some quick thoughts.

Be careful what you say.
Be careful how you say it.
Be careful when you say it.
Be careful why you say it.

There are three basic needs every individual has.

Every person needs to be loved.
  Every person needs to be respected.
Every person needs to feel appreciated

Getting married is kind of like buying a CD. You buy the CD for the song you really like. There may even be a couple of other songs on that CD that you kind of like. But the rest of the songs, the ones you can’t stand and will never play, come along with it.

     Any mate has a series of plusses and minuses. If you count up the plusses and they are more than the minuses, you are ahead of the game.

There will always be some measure of incompatibility between spouses, but we can work toward achieving greater harmony in our marital relationships.

One Plus One Equals One Spiritually:

You are more than a body with skin and bones and organs. You are more than a soul with thoughts and feelings and with drives and desires. You are also spirit. That means that you have a spiritual nature. That means you have the capacity to relate to God.

If you do not understand the spiritual component of marriage and family, you may have everything else in your family and you will have this gnawing feeling that there is still something missing in your relationship. What will be missing is spiritual oneness.

I believe that the most important thing we need to learn in marriage and family is that we need to be like Jesus. How does being like Jesus Christ relate to marriage and the family?

     The Bible says in Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” He is saying that, in our marriage relationships, we have to learn to love one another the way Jesus loves us.

     How did Jesus love us?  Jesus loved us sacrificially. “Christ gave himself” for the church! Christ loved the church. We have to learn to love like Jesus loved.

     That is why God forbids saved people from marrying the lost, 2 Cor. 6:14, which says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Unless the Spirit of God dwells in the hearts of both spouses, the marriage will never be all that God wants it to be. It will never be all it could be.

Even when both partners are saved, it is still hard to love your mate like Jesus loved the church! Listen carefully. It's real hard for you to love your mate the way you should all the time. But not for the reason you think. It's hard for you to love your mate, not because of your mate, but because of you.

     Most of us are basically selfish. Most of us enter into marriage and family with the wrong idea. We come in asking, not what can I give to this relationship, but what can I get from this relationship?

Most couples enter into marriage like two ticks on a dog. A tick is a little parasite which attaches itself to a host. A tick gets on a dog and sucks the blood out of that dog. The tick contributes nothing to the dog. It just sucks blood out of the dog. The problem in marriage is sometimes you have two ticks and no dog. You just have two people who are draining the life out of one another, with neither partner contributing anything to the relationship. It’s all about what each can get out of the other! That is a recipe for disaster!

The best thing that could ever happen in our homes is for both husbands and wives to become more become like Jesus. We must learn to love our mate and love our family as Jesus loved the church.

     Some married couples have been trying everything they know to do. They've been to counseling sessions. They've read books. What they really need is a personal, faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot be like Jesus Christ until you come to Jesus Christ and He has come to live in your heart by the new birth experience. You can't be like Jesus Christ until Christ is in your heart and life. That's what a lot of couples need.

     Some folk just need to just admit to the Lord that you are a sinner, call of Jesus to save your soul. That is a great Home Improvement project. If you ever get your heart renovated it will change the spiritual temperature of your home! It would forever revolutionize your marriage!

One plus one equals one! God has some strange math doesn’t He? He is able to take two people from two totally different backgrounds, bring them together in Jesus and make them one physically, psychologically and spiritually. That is a beautiful thing!

Homes today have a lot of room for improvement! I believe if we will take the time to look closely at our lives and the lives of those in our homes we will see the need for "Home Improvement"