Real Marriage – Key #1 Becoming Relationally Healthy

Real Marriage – Key #1 Becoming Relationally Healthy

– Oh yeah, you should do it.

– You should do this, ‘Cause I keep messing it up. This is like our 57th tape. Howdy Pastor Mark Driscoll here with my wife and best friend, Grace. And I wanna thank all of you through Mark Driscoll Ministries, who give any amount to pray at any time or encourage with any email or social media posts. We’ve got a brand new sermon series, Real Marriage. It’s Six Keys to Unlocking All of Your Relationships, Including Your Marriage, that we’re teaching right here at the Trinity church. I’m preaching, we’re doing Q and A and we’ll give it all away through so thanks a bunch for helping us out. Well, I love you, good to see you. Today, we start a brand new series, Six Weeks in Real Marriage. We’re going to look at six keys to unlock all of your relationships, including your marriage. And I want to tell you a little bit about Grace and I. We are able to help every one of you who has done something wrong because we have done everything wrong. And so we relate to you. We met at the age of 17, neither of us were virgins. We dated, shouldn’t have. At the age of 19, I became a Christian and we realized we’d done a lot of things wrong. We got married at the age of 21. How many of you didn’t know anything about life or relationships at 21? We didn’t either, so we got married. And so we got married at 21, between our junior and senior year of college. And honestly, we did not start our relationship with a lot of wisdom. We made a lot of mistakes. And as a result, we wanna be real about the failures, faults and flaws that we’ve had. And we want to help you get real with God and get some real help. And I thought it might be helpful to share with you our wedding photo, there you go. If you can’t tell, I’m the one on the right, Grace is the one on the left. I know it’s very, very, very difficult to tell us apart. And I know what some of you are thinking. Well, you know what? How many of you have heard, when couples get older, they start to look alike? You heard that? Could you please covenant with me in prayer that that doesn’t happen in my family? If Grace gets my voice, everyone’s terrified. And if I roll over and look at myself, I’m sad. And how many of you, looking at this, you realize Grace looks the same, maybe better, Amen, Amen?

– Amen.

– Okay guys, not so enthusiastic, but yeah, Amen, that’s okay. How many of you would say, “Pastor Mark, you don’t look exactly the same. “You’ve not aged as well.” Amen?

– Okay, here, let me tell you why, this isn’t in your notes, but take a pen out, write this down. Two things, this is important. Number one, women age like wine. Okay, write that down, women age like wine. Number two, men age like milk, men age like milk. That’s why it works like this. So, that’s us at the age of 21, we’re now 46, so we’ve been together almost 30 years. We’ve been married for almost 25 years and we’ve made mistakes, we’ve learned things the hard way and we love you and we want to share with you. And we want this to be a safe place for you to be honest and get some real help from a real God who is really helpful. And so where we’re to start today is in John Chapter Four, we’re gonna look at a case study for better part of an hour together on a woman who meets with Jesus at a well. And if you’re not familiar with the Bible, this is the Bible. It covers a few thousand years of history and as a result, it’s a selective telling of history. And there’s a lot of people we don’t know about and a lot of things that we don’t hear about and when the Bible stops and it sort of pans the camera in and it focuses on one person and in conversation in one day, that’s to highlight something that is a pattern and a precedent, that’s very important for all of us. And so today we’re gonna look at one conversation between Jesus and one woman, she’s called the Samaritan Woman. And I’ll read this all fairly quickly. If you got a Bible, go to John Four and if not, you can just follow along right here. So here’s the story about Jesus and the Woman of Samaria in John Four. He, that is Jesus, left Judea, departed again for Galilee and he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob, a guy, way, way back in the Old Testament, had given to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, so Jesus, weared as he was from his journey was sitting beside the well. They’re in a culture and a climate and a condition like ours. They’re in the desert, it’s hot, it’s dry. Walking all day, you’re tired and when you pull into town, you’re looking for the, well, the one source of water. It was about the sixth hour, that’s around noon. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For His disciples, had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria, for Jews have no dealing with Samaritans?” There’s some racial and religious conflict here. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink, you would have asked Him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep. You didn’t bring your bucket, where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself as did his sons and livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come to draw water.” The story continues in theory, hypothetically. Did I miss it? Go back, it was my fault, not yours. Okay, this is a good principle for marriage by the way. Anytime something bad happens, it’s your fault, okay? Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Technically true, Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’ “for you have had how many?

– Five

– Five, a full handful. Go get your husband. Well, it would be a carpool. There’s a couple of them, okay? Jesus said, “You’re right in saying, ‘I have no husband’ for you’ve had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband.” Living with a sixth guy. “Jesus, what you have said is true,” the woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive you’re a prophet.” That’s a great insight. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Maybe she’s changing the subject. Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. It comes from the line of Abraham. But the hour is coming in is now here when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for the father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah, the Savior is coming. He was called Christ. When he comes, He will tell us all things. Jesus said to her, “I, who you speak to, am He.” Just then, His disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek? Or why are you talking with her? So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to Him. Here’s the case study, the woman at the well in Samaria. Now the way this works geographically, there’s Galilee in the North, there is Judea in the South. That’s where God’s people live. They know what the Bible is, they know who God is. They worship the right way at the right place at the temple. And in the middle, there’s an area called Samaria. These were people who basically created in our modern vernacular, a cult. They took a little bit of what the Bible said, took some stuff out, put some stuff in, created their own religion, their own Bible, their own church, their own priesthood, their own temple. And as a result, they were very confused. They’re idolaters, they’re in the wrong religion, they’re worshiping the wrong God, the wrong way, the wrong place. Everything’s wrong with these people. They’re totally convoluted and confused. And so when God’s people would wanna travel North and South, they would generally go around Samaria. For a straight walk, it’s two or three days, to go around is four to six days. You really know that you want to avoid people when you are walking through the desert for a couple of extra days to avoid them, okay? How many of you avoid certain people in your life? How much effort do you make to avoid them? If you would walk from here to Tucson to avoid them, I would submit to you, you really don’t like them, Amen? And so Jesus, rather than going around, He goes through. And he pulls into town, which is not what holy men tended to do. And he went to the well, which is not where holy men tended to be. And he talked to a woman, a conversation that holy men would not opt to have. And He sits down and has a conversation with her regarding relationships. And I want you to see from this case study, first of all, nine aspects of emotional unhealth, Nine contributors to emotional unhealth. And all of this is in your notes. Number one, isolation. There’s a difference between solitude and isolation. Firstly, solitude is something that you choose for a period of time. Isolation is what others choose for all time. The first is to get time with the Lord so you can reenter, the other is being marginalized. It’s outcast, it’s rejected. How many of you have been part of a friend group and then all of a sudden that group held together and you were extricated, removed from it? You were ostracized, you were kicked out. That’s exactly what’s happening here. It says that she shows up at the well at the sixth hour, that is about noon. One of the first things we learned when we moved to the valley is if you have heavy work to do outside, don’t do it in the middle of the afternoon, Amen? Right, in that day, each day, a woman and usually with their children would make the journey to the wild. There’d usually be one well in town where there’s a fresh water source, you would then gather with the other women, you would talk, visit, kids would play, little social time, you’d load yourself up with your water and you’d bring it home. Because this is labor-intensive work, you do it in the morning while it’s at least a little more cool and you’re not baking under the heat of the midday sun. So, the women would gather in the morning, but she would come by herself in the heat of midday, why? Because she was the outcast, she was marginalized. She was rejected. She was the one with a bad reputation. She was the one that the other women would talk about, they wouldn’t talk to, She was the one who had the horrible reputation and there was no hope for any change for her. First contributor to emotional unhealth, isolation. She’s a very lonely woman. We don’t even get an indication that she has any children. She’s by herself all the time. Not of her choosing. Number two, an unhealthy neediness for relationship. Might I submit to you that if you have had five spouses and then you’re living with the sixth person and we don’t know how many other people in there she may have lived with or slept with, the need for relationship is real. God made us and he said, “It’s not good to be alone,” but this is an unhealthy neediness that she has for relationship. Now, how many of you know someone that’s just emotionally needy? They’re very demanding, right? They’re always just craving, longing, wanting attention, affection. They’re a person who is just incredibly needy. She’s at a place where she is very needy, She goes from one husband to another husband, to another husband, to another husband. This is an unhealthy emotional neediness that is present in her. And as a result, she’s cohabitating. In that day, that would have been fairly uncommon, 2000 years ago in the Middle East. Today it’s actually very common. The majority of today are preceded by cohabitation and the result is that it increases statistically your probability of divorce. So, she has an unhealthy neediness for relationship. Number three, there’s no helpful family. There’s no mention of her mom or dad or any extended family. Grace and I have got five kids. We’ve got four teenagers, got two daughters that we love with all our heart. If one of my daughters, Heaven forbid, had gone through five divorces and was living with her boyfriend, true or false, I’d move her home. I’d move her home and I might be doing prison ministry from the inside, but I’d move her home. Right, I’d move her home because I would say, “Honey, I love you, obviously something’s amiss in your soul. Something’s not going well. rather than just rushing into the next relationship, let’s get you home, let’s get you counseling. Let’s get you healed up, Let’s get you healthy, let’s get you well” There’s no mention of family. She’s on her own with no support of any kind. Number four, she’s in an unhealthy culture. So much so that a little bit later in John’s Gospel, I think it’s in John Chapter Eight, they look at Jesus and they besmirch his character and they speak ill against him and they say, “We think two things about you. Number one, you’re demon-possessed and number two a Samaritan.” If I would submit to you that if you put those in the same category, then the Samaritans are a very unhealthy culture. They don’t get sex, dating, marriage, gender, relationships. They’re just early Americans. That’s all they are, right? They’re just America 1.0 a very corrupted, convoluted, confused culture. She’s part of that. If you are born in this country and you do gender, marriage, sex, family, and relationships the way everyone else does, you’ll end up brokenhearted and miserable like everyone else is. The world in its wisdom does not know God and the world in its wisdom does not experience the life of God. She’s in a very unhealthy culture. And number five, she’s spiritually confused. She’s a spiritual person. She basically says, “I’m a spiritual person. Here’s the church I go to. We worship on Mount Gerizim. I’m part of this religious group and I believe in God and I pray and sometimes I go to church and I’m a spiritual person.” Spirituality does nothing. Only the real God can heal. Only the real God can forgive. Only the real God can help. She has the wrong God, the wrong religion. But like our day, she believes that spirituality is a good thing. Spirituality is not a good thing. In the spirit realm, there is God and Satan. There are angels and demons. to just be spiritual is not to be in a spiritually healthy relationship or a life-giving relationship with the real God. You could be in a death-inducing, deceptive relationship with demonic forces that are seeking your demise. It’s not good to be spiritual. It’s not enough to be spiritual. When Grace and I first met, we were both spiritually confused. I was a jerk Catholic kid. Irish Catholic, who hadn’t been to church in years, believed in God, didn’t read the Bible, didn’t pray. Didn’t know Jesus, just had some vague, general notion of some God. And I believe that he graded on a curve and I was a pretty great guy, so I would at least be a C student and enter into eternity. I didn’t know about sin. I didn’t know about Jesus’ death for sin. I didn’t know about the Bible. I didn’t know about the resurrection of Jesus. I didn’t know about the Kingdom of God. I didn’t know any of these things. And Grace was a wayward pastors kid. She grew up in a Bible-believing Christian home, but she had walked away from the Lord. She wasn’t reading the Bible, she wasn’t praying, She wasn’t going to church. We were both spiritually confused. Number six, carrying a lot of past hurt or trauma. Would you agree with me that if this woman has had five divorces and is now living with guy number six, there’s a lot of hurt. The betrayal, the abandonment, the shame, the disappointment. It is not inconceivable that in addition to that, there’s trauma. Sexual, emotional, physical abuse and, or assault. Men didn’t treat women well in that culture. And by the time you’ve been married four or five times, you were treated very poorly. And if you’re living with a man who hasn’t even married you, you’ve sort of given up hope for any sort of healthy relationship and now there’s potential trauma. This woman just takes her pain from one relationship into the next relationship and by relationship number six, she just has pain upon pain, upon pain, upon pain, upon pain, upon pain. I want us to have some sympathy and some empathy for this woman. She is in a very disparaging, very discouraging, very dark, very desolate, very dangerous place. Number seven, she keeps repeating unhealthy relationship patterns. I’m gonna live with this guy, move in with this guy, marry this guy, divorced this guy. Move in with the next guy, sleep with the next guy, live with the next guy, divorced the next guy. Five times, she’s on number six. How many of you have had this thought? You’re like, well, that relationship didn’t work ‘Cause there was something wrong with them. And then this one didn’t work ‘Cause there’s something wrong with them. And this one didn’t work ‘Cause there’s something wrong with them. And this one didn’t work ‘Cause there’s something wrong with them. And this one didn’t work ‘Cause there’s something wrong with them. What’s the only consistent variable?

– You, maybe it’s you. I’m just gonna throw it out there as a possibility. Put it on the maybe chart. Maybe it’s you, maybe you’re not emotionally healthy. Maybe you’re not emotionally well. Maybe your picker is broken and you attract the wrong kind of people because you’re the wrong kind of person. That’s the situation that she finds herself in. And we have this myth in our culture is, “I just need to find my soulmate. I need to find the one.” No, you need to be the one. And the truth is you don’t have a soulmate. This comes from Greek thinking, where they thought that people were together and then our souls were separated in eternity and then we can be rejoined in earth. Think of a piece of paper that you rip in half and there’s the other half and you say, “Well, I need my other half, I need my soulmate.” That’s not Biblical thinking. Biblical thinking is, two selfish sinners get married and neither one is ever the one, okay? And it’s gonna be a lot of work and it’s a full time job. And you’re gonna have to work on your relationship. They once asked Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, “Have you ever considered divorce?” She said, “I have never considered divorce, but I have considered murder.” Okay, she’s married to Billy Graham, okay? So, what she keeps doing, she keeps taking her pattern of emotional unhealth and she keeps just handing the script of failure to the next actor to read the lines. We do the same thing. Number seven, oh excuse me, number eight, carrying irresponsible people, okay? So, some of you are overly responsible. Some of you are irresponsible. How many of you are overly responsible? Okay, raise both hands. You’re overly responsible, you’re like, “I’ll take care of my responsibilities and your responsibilities.” Okay, how many of you are irresponsible? You guys don’t even raise your hand. That’s how irresponsible those people are, okay? So, the overly responsible people, “I’ll take responsibility for you, I’ll take responsibility for me.” Irresponsible people are like, “I don’t take responsibility at all, maybe we could hook up and you could take care of me.” So what happens is, overly responsible people attract irresponsible people and then want them to be responsible for them. Some of you women have done this and you’ve married a man because he needed you and you needed to be needed. And now he feels like your son and you wanna kill him. Because you’re tired of tending to him and babysitting him and looking after him. And I know I’ve gone from preaching the meddling, but you get what you pay for, this sermon is free, okay? Now, what happens when you carry irresponsible people is this, all of a sudden you’ve got your responsibilities and theirs and that’s what’s happening in this relationship. This man, number six, right, guy number six, should have courted her, married her and then consummated with her and then lived with her. As it is, he doesn’t wanna marry her, he doesn’t wanna commit to her, he doesn’t wanna covenant with her. He just wants to sleep with her. He is irresponsible and she is enduring his irresponsibility. So they’re both at fault. Number nine, settling for abuse. It reaches the point where some of us are so desperate for relationship. “I am lonely, I am hurting, I am needy. I am struggling. I can’t make it, am tired of life like this. I just want someone to be with me.” Let me say this, The Bible says, “It’s not good to be alone.” You were made for relationship, but you find yourself in a very dangerous place when you will settle for in abusive relationship, rather than being willing to be alone for at least a while. This relationship she is in, it is abusive. He doesn’t love her, he’s not nurturing a relationship with the Lord. He doesn’t know the Lord, she doesn’t know the Lord. He’s not encouraging her to heal from her past hurts. He is not looking out for her wellbeing. He is taking a vulnerable woman and he is using her for his own benefit without any covenant or commitment to her. That’s an abusive relationship. Now, I would submit to you that when Grace and I met, in varying degrees, we would check all of these boxes. I would ask you if you are honest, how many of those boxes could you check? Isolation, not really in relationship with God’s people or extended family, unhealthy neediness for relationship, sort of desperate, no helpful family. An unhealthy culture, we can all check that box. Spiritually confused, carrying a lot of past hurt or trauma. I’m assuming that most of us can check that box. Repeating unhealthy relationship patterns, carrying irresponsible people and, or settling for an abusive relationship. The more of those categories that we could say apply to us, the less emotionally healthy we tend to be, Amen? Okay, so you look at it and you go, “Well, where does this woman go for help?” Her culture is confused, the man she’s with is of no help. She’s isolated and alone. She has no one and Jesus shows up. Jesus shows up. And he sits with the woman at the well. This is not where holy men went, Samaria? This is not what holy men do, talk to women? This is not what Jewish leaders do, talk to Samaritans? This is not what virgins do, visit with the girl who’s living with her sixth guy. Jesus never sins, but He’s willing to violate a lot of cultural taboos to love people who are far away from Him as he draws near to them. So, we’ll now look, not only at this woman in the case study, but Jesus. And how does Jesus serve her? These are nine contributors, nine ways rather, that Jesus brings emotional health. Okay, number one, Jesus is a safe person. Jesus is safe. So many other men in her life have been unsafe. They have taken advantage of her, manipulated her, taken the difficult place that she was in. And they have been unsafe. They have been selfish, not selfless. They have taken, not given. They have used and abused, not loved and served. Here’s what I need you to know about Jesus. When it comes to relationships, Jesus is safe. Jesus doesn’t shame, Jesus doesn’t condemn, Jesus doesn’t use, Jesus doesn’t abuse people. Jesus is safe. Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, whatever you’ve been through, Jesus is safe. He’s the safe person to talk to, He’s the safe place to be. Number two, Jesus pursues unhealthy people. No one’s pursuing this woman. She’s at the well all by herself every day. No one is pursuing her. God gets off His eternal throne, enters into human history and takes a long walk through basically a desolate desert and sits at a well to pursue her. You need to see that this is how God works. Some of you haven’t been pursuing God, but God has been pursuing you. Some of you haven’t been looking for God, but God is looking for you. Some of you haven’t even known that you needed God, but God knows your need for Him. God pursues you. This is the great story of the Bible. The great story of the Bible is that it’s a rescue story. That we run from God and that God runs after us. And His name is Jesus Christ. Number three, Jesus forgave sin. Jesus talks about her sin. Let me say this, you and I, we’re all sinners and victims. We’ll get to the victim in a moment, but let’s deal with the sinner first. She shouldn’t have married five guys and then been sleeping with the sixth. There were some things she did in there that were manipulative, that were sinful, that were evil, that were wrong. And Jesus brings those up. Not in a shaming way, not in a condemning way, but in a forgiving way. One of the ways that we become very emotionally unhealthy is when we don’t experience forgiveness of sin and we carry the sin of our past into our present and drag it all collectively together into our future. When we sin, it sends us to hell. But let me say this, when we sin, it also brings hell to us. This woman is literally bringing hell into her life. It is all death, devastation and destruction. There is no life, there is no love. There is just death and there is grief. That’s all she has. When we sin, we are sending ourselves to hell and while we’re on the earth, we’re also inviting hell us. And what Jesus is going to do. is He is going to forgive her sin. Now, here’s what happens when we sin. Now, some of you will struggle with the concept of sin, but we all believe in it ‘Cause we all say things like, Nobody is?

– Perfect.

– Perfect, we all make?

– Mistakes

– Mistakes, I’m a work in?

– Progress.

– That’s what sinners say, okay, just so you know. So if you’ve ever said those things or thought those things or anyone has ever said those things or thought those things about you, you’re a sinner. We’ve all sinned against God and we need to be forgiven. The problem is, if we don’t know that Jesus comes to forgive, that Jesus lives without sin, that Jesus goes to the cross and He endures the punishment of death for our sin, then what happens is, we find other ways for punishment. Some of you punish yourself. “I have done this, I need to hurt myself, punish myself. I need to pay this off, I need to deny myself healthy relationships and a good life because, you know what I have, I have done wrong, therefore I’m going to punish myself.” Alright, some of you, the way you’ve responded is, “I have sinned and sin requires punishment, so I’m gonna let other people punish me. I’m gonna let them use me, I’m gonna let them abuse me. I’m gonna let them harm me, I’m going to let them hurt me. Because after all, that’s all I deserve because I’m a sinner.” You don’t need to punish yourself and you shouldn’t let anyone punish you. You should give all your sin to Jesus and let him be punished in your place. And that’s why Jesus came. That’s why Jesus came. That’s why Jesus can ask this woman, “Go get your husband.” She says, “Well, I got five and I’m on guy number six and if you want to have a meeting, it’s a little complicated.” Right, that would be the box you’d have to check on Facebook under Relationships, Complicated. And Jesus is going to go to the cross and die. And He is going to substitute Himself and He will endure all of the punishment so that she doesn’t need to punish herself and no one else needs to punish her that she could just be forgiven. And she could just dump all of this baggage, all of this hurt, all of this failure, all of this grief. And forgetting what lies behind, she can press forward with a new life with Jesus. You cannot be emotionally healthy. you cannot be relationally healthy until you’re forgiven. And that guilt and that shame and that burden and that condemnation is transferred from you to Jesus. And he is punished and you are blessed and God forgives you and then He walks with you to help you. Number four, Jesus loves the unloved. This woman has had five husbands and no love. See, this is the great myth, some of you think, “I just wanna fall in love and I wanna get married so I can be loved.” There are people that are married that are not loved. Just being married doesn’t mean that you will be loved. This woman has had five husbands and one cohabitation and maybe more, but she’s not had love. Jesus comes to love her. He doesn’t take from her, He gives to her. How do I know that she wasn’t loved? Well, because 1 Corinthians 7:13 says that love endures. That love never fails. That love never ends. Her entire history of relationship is a lot of loss, a lot of ending, a lot of failing. That means there wasn’t continual loving. Jesus loves those who are unloved. Jesus loves those who are unloved. If you will receive forgiveness from and love from Jesus, you will start to become emotionally healthy. And that will allow you to be relationally healthy. Number five, Jesus imparts his emotional life in us by the Spirit. She’s sitting at the well and she is partaking of water to nourish her body. And what Jesus says is, “You’ve neglected the other aspect of your being.” Let me tell you this, you are one person, but you’re two parts. You’re a physical body and you’re a spiritual soul. And what we tend to do is get a lot of teaching and training on how to take care of our body. And we tend to get very little instruction on how to nourish and feed our soul. And so every day this woman goes to the well, trying to get water for her body and she’s not getting any life-sustaining nourishment for her soul. And so what Jesus is going to say is that in addition to this well that she is drawing from, that God will provide for her another well, a spiritual well, not a well that she needs to go to, but a well that goes with her. And that would be an inexhaustible source of life through the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain to you how this works. God becomes a man and Jesus Christ lives on the Earth by the person, the presence, the power of the Holy Spirit. The way that Jesus is emotionally healthy and relationally healthy is by the presence and person and power of the Holy Spirit. It is not possible to be emotionally, relationally healthy apart from a relationship with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not possible. This is why the woman is not relationally or emotionally healthy. She doesn’t know Jesus and she doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. Once she receives Jesus and the Holy Spirit, now she can get healthy, now she can have healthy relationships. Your body needs water, your soul needs the Spirit. Some of us are only tending to the body, we’re not tending to the soul. The result is we don’t have a healthy emotional life. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the spirit, it tells us in another book of the Bible called Galatians, is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. That that is what the Holy Spirit brings. You know what that is? That’s the emotional life of Jesus. If we look at the emotional life of Jesus, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. And we look at Jesus and we say, “What an emotional life. I wish I had that emotional health.” And Jesus says, “I’ll you the Holy Spirit, streams of living water. The same source of life that I live my life by is now imparted to you. He has given to you, you can draw from that well.” And you and I, friends, we can start to experience the emotional life of Jesus flowing in us and through us by the Holy Spirit. This woman doesn’t understand that in an instant, one conversation in one day, not only will her life change, but her eternal life will change as God will take up residence in her soul. And she’s having this little theological argument, “Well, should we go to Mount Gerizim where the cult worships, or should we go to Jerusalem?” It’s like, “Well, should I go to this church or that church?” Jesus says, “How about God comes to you? You don’t go to God. How about God lives in you? How about God changes you? How about God transforms you? How about God puts His emotional life and health in you in an inexhaustible, inexpressible source of life. The power of God at work in you.” And this is what God offers to all of us through Jesus and the Holy spirit, “I love you, I want good for you, I’m hopeful for you, I’m excited for you. Even if you’re not excited for yourself, I’m excited for you.” Okay, here’s the next one. Jesus sends the Spirit to heal hurts. You know what, your body can get hurt. And when it is, you go to the doctor and you say, “I’m not healthy, I’m not well. I need to be healed up.” Do you know that your soul gets hurt? Your soul gets broken, your soul gets wounded? Sometimes the Bible’ll speak of this as a broken heart. Where do you go when your soul is broken? This poor woman, all of these divorces, ostracized, rejected, marginalized, abusive relationship. She meets with Jesus and He puts the Holy spirit in her. Do you know what, the Holy Spirit is the only one who can do any work at the level of the soul. A doctor can work on your body, a psychologist can work on your mind, but only the Holy Spirit can work on your soul. No one has access to that level of depth of being but God. And the Holy spirit is sent to heal her hurts. Before she’s ready to live a healthy life, she needs to be healed. It’s like someone that is in a car wreck and all of their joints ache and their bones are broken. They can’t just move on with life. They need to be healed up. This woman has had emotional and spiritual head-on collisions for her entire life. And she needs to be healed up. The Holy Spirit can heal you. You don’t have to be a broken person. You can be a mended person. Number seven, the Spirit empowers our will to override our emotions. This woman’s decision making up until this point, it’s exclusively emotionally based. All right, how many of you are emotional? You’re really emotional, okay? You’re emotional people. Emotions are like the engine of our life. There’s a lot of combustion, there’s a lot of explosion, but it provides a lot of energy. But imagine your car with no steering wheel. Okay, that’s an emotional life without the will overriding the emotions. This is what, Galatians says is the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. So this woman’s like, “Oh, I love him. Oh, I don’t. Oh, I love him.” And she just literally is out of control. She is just driven by her emotions. If you wanna be emotionally unhealthy, have an emotional life that doesn’t have a steering wheel over it. When I was younger, my first car was a 1956 Chevy. I bought it, I loved it. It only had a few miles on it and I sold it ’cause it didn’t have four doors and so I didn’t think it was cool. I can’t believe, I miss my car every day. If you find it, please send it back. I miss my car. But one of the things that happened when I was a teenage kid, I’m driving my 1956 Chevy, I’m rolling down the road pretty fast, the motor’s running and the steering went out. Literally, steering went out. I think broke a belt or something. Steering goes out and literally the car is not responding. Imagine if that was my whole life every day in the car. Those of you that have an emotional life without the fruit of the Spirit of self-control, the ability to set your will over your emotions, you’re like a person driving a car every day with no steering wheel. And you’ll eventually crash and run people over and have head-on collisions and you just can’t figure out why. Why is life not working? Why are relationships so hard? Why does this keep happening? The Holy Spirit gives us self-control. The Holy Spirit allows us to set our will over our emotions. This woman has never experienced that and now she will. Number eight, Jesus’ relationship becomes our pattern for relationships. I don’t wanna conjecture too much, but maybe this woman didn’t grow up in a home where there was a loving, Godly Mom and Dad. In Samaria, that would not be the case most of the time. So she grows up with unhealthy relationships and then she enters into unhealthy relationships. She has no standards, she has no baseline, she has no template for normal and healthy. Most of us are that way. Most of us are that way. Once she meets Jesus, she realizes, “Oh, this is what a healthy relationship looks like. There’s love, there’s forgiveness, there’s kindness, there’s safety, there’s help, there’s hope.” We do talk about hard things, but we do so in a hopeful way.” And once you meet Jesus, let me say this, this is your first healthy relationship. And as you have a healthy relationship with Jesus, it starts to set a precedent and a pattern for all your other relationships. And number nine, Jesus makes us emotionally healthy, life-giving people. She is a woman who has been isolated. She is not contributing to others and others are not contributing to her. Once she meets with Jesus, she gets emotionally healthy. And then she becomes a life-giving person. There are two kinds of people, people who take life, people who give life. Life-taking people, you know who they are because when you’re going to meet with them, you’re dreading it in advance. “Oh, okay, I’m gonna go see them. I hope it doesn’t go long. And I’m gonna go home and take a nap after we’re done.” There are other people that are life-giving, yeah. “I can’t wait to go see them ’cause when I’m around them, I just feel energized, I feel encouraged, I feel hopeful.” Let me say that there will always be times that’s we are, on occasion, life-taking people. But the goal should be to, when we are life taking, go to Jesus and then let him be the source of life-giving, So then we, then, can go give life to others. And she runs into town. She becomes the first evangelist in the New Testament. She knows very little, but she says it very passionately. She tells all the Samaritans, “I’ve met the savior.” The whole town gets together, there’s a mini-revival. Jesus stays for a few days. And all of a sudden she’s taking the life that Jesus gives her and she’s sharing it with others as a life-giving person. Okay, and that’s what we want for you. We want you to get with Jesus, be healed up. We want you to be a life-receiving person and then a life-giving person. And that is her experience. Now, let me close with this, four principles for relational health. Number one, the Bottomless Well Principle. You are exhausting. You are demanding, you are needy, you are overwhelming, true or false?

– True.

– True, your spouse agrees, okay? Your friends agree. How do I know this? I’m the most exhausting person in the room. That’s why I’m up here and you’re all there. Because it takes this many people just to endure this. That’s how exhausting I am. I am overwhelming. My emotional needs are off the charts. I always say, Grace and I, we’re a drama queen. She’s a queen, I’m a lot of drama. That’s our relationship, okay? You are, how do I know you are? I’m exhausting, I am demanding, I am overwhelming, right? I’m a person who gives a lot and I need a lot. And as a result, there have been times, I apologize publicly to my wife, I have exhausted a very sweet woman, exhausted her. Because I need more than she has. I need more than she has. In fact, my needs are so great emotionally and relationally, it’s as if they’re infinite. So you know what I need? An infinite source to have those needs met. And my finite wife is incapable of being that infinite source, Amen?

– Amen.

– You and I are a bottomless well. You need more wisdom, more patience, more forgiveness, more endurance than any human being could give you. That’s why He talks about these streams of unending living water. What He’s saying is the relational emotional needs you met, you need, rather, can only be met by the Holy Spirit. Here’s the good news the Holy Spirit. You can never exhaust Him. You can never exhaust Him. His love never ends, His forgiveness never ends, His patience never ends, His energy never ends. Your spouse, your friends, your family, they have limits. God does not. So, the second principle is the Bad Jesus Principle and that is that even great people are a bad Jesus. Right, my poor wife early on in our marriage, I was just like, “Never leave me, never forsake me, always be emotionally present, encourage me, love me and be available for me, with five kids.” Seeing all the women like but that was kinda my thought was, right, “Grace, if you’re just perfect and inexhaustible, basically, if I could just take Jesus’ resume and hand it to you, then I feel like we’d have a great marriage.” Here’s my point, if you take the resume of Jesus and you hand it to anyone else, you will crush the relationship and you’ll destroy the person. This is why this woman keeps going through relationship after re, “will you be Jesus? Nope, he’s not Jesus. Will you be Jesus? Nope, he’s not Jesus. Will you be Jesus? Nope, he’s not Jesus. Will you be Jesus? No, he’s not Jesus. Will you be Jesus? Nope, he’s not Jesus. Here’s the real Jesus, okay. He’s the only one who can give you what you need. He’s the only one who can be what you need. Everyone else is a bad Jesus. I’ve seen people that have a great spouse and the marriage explodes because they wanted the spouse to be God. And even a good spouse is incapable of being God. They can’t love you, serve you, save you, rescue you, redeem you, help you, heal you, encourage you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, right? Number three, the God First Principle. The reason that all of her relationships are failing is because her first relationship is not succeeding. How many of you know that when you are given steps, step one, step two, it’s important to go in order, right? It’s important to go in order. So today, step one, you took a shower, step two, you got dressed. If you inverted those, it wouldn’t go well, Amen? Step one, I got dressed, step two I took a I don’t know, I did everything on the list. You did them in the wrong order and the result is different, Amen, Amen? Okay, so, step one, step two. Step one is relationship with God. Adam was made, Eve wasn’t even there, there wasn’t an opportunity for any human relationship. The first relationship with God was supposed to be established and then the spouse added to the relationship with God. That’s the precedent in pattern. This woman doesn’t have a relationship with God first. She doesn’t have a relationship with God, first. Let me ask you this, how is your relationship with God? Is God first, do you talk to Him first before someone else? Do you go to Him first before someone else? Do you take emotional energy from Him before you take it from someone else? Is God first? Is God first? Cause see, here’s what happens. There are three kinds of relationship. Let me use the analogy of buckets here at the well. Two people with empty buckets, “I need love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control and I’d like you to fill my bucket.” And the other person comes with their empty bucket. They’re like, “I don’t have that.” “What do you mean, you don’t have that? I need that. Well I thought you were going to bring that into the marriage.” “What? No, I did not bring that into the marriage. I thought you would bring that.” Well, Boink, hit him with the bucket, right? Two people with empty buckets does not lead to a full relationship. Okay, the second kind of relationship somebody’s got a full bucket, somebody’s got an empty bucket. The person with the empty bucket is, “Okay, you go read your Bible and then tell me what it says. And then you go to church and then you tell me what it was like. And then you go pray and then you tell God what I need. And then you go get love and then bring it to me.” The empty bucket person is taking, the full bucket person is taking from the Lord and then giving to the person. But that’s an abusive relationship. Because oftentimes what that person with the empty bucket does, they actually drill a hole in the bottom. “Oh, empty again, go get some more love, go get some more forgiveness, go get some more wisdom, go figure it out, go fix your problems, go get your stuff together. Oh, went to the ground again, go do some more.” That’s an abusive relationship. A healthy relationship is both empty bucket people go to Jesus and say, “Fill mine up. Lord, I need wisdom, I need love, I need patience, I need grace, I need forgiveness.” And then we go to each other and say “Okay, here’s what the Lord gave me.” “Really? Okay well, here’s what the Lord gave me.” “Okay, we’ll pour into each other’s buckets the source of life that God gives both of us.” That’s the God First Principle. The bucket of your life can only be filled up by God. C. S. Lewis, a great author says it this way, “Whenever we try to put second things into the first place position, we lose the joy of both God and whatever we’re trying to replace Him with.” Your spouse will be crushed. Your friends will be crushed if you hand them all the needs that only God can meet. And if they love you, they will try so hard and they will be so sad because they failed. And they failed, not because they’re evil, but because they’re human. And human beings are finite and our needs of the soul are infinite. The soul is the most important part of you. It is the eternal part of you that has no end. Your body will die and go into the ground and your soul will go to be with the Lord. What that means is the most important part of you is your soul. What that means is that the most needy part of you is your soul. What it means is that the part of you that is needy eternally is your soul. And so the last principle is the I’m a Samaritan Principle. You’re a Samaritan, I’m a Samaritan. So if you look at this story, this case study, there’s two people. There’s Jesus and the woman. So as we read the story, we’re supposed to ask, “Okay, which one am I?” How many of you would say, “Well, I’m Jesus in the story. I’m the source of eternal life. And I heal everyone’s hurt and transform them.” If so, I’ll meet with you after church. You need counseling immediately, okay? We read the story, the only other option is the woman. So what that means is you’re the woman, am the woman, we’re the woman. We all start where she started. And by God’s Grace, if we meet with Jesus, we can end where she ended. See, there’s the hope. This is the whole realness of the series. She is living a life that is pretend and then all of a sudden in a moment with Jesus, she gets real and she meets the real God and she gets real help and she’s really changed. And that’s the great thing. Because, I want you to know why the Trinity Church is here. This place used to be a well in the desert. Do you understand that? There was a desert and there was a well that people would come to get water, sustaining life. The Trinity church, we planted it, to be a spiritual well right here in the desert. Where you can come and gather around the well, as the women did and meet with Jesus, as the woman did. And to be honest and to be real and to get hope and to get help and to get healing, so that you become an emotionally healthy person who’s capable of having emotionally healthy relationships. So, for those of you who are here, let me say that the Bible talks a lot about a walk with God. You know what a walk requires? Steps. So, for some of you, your first step today is become a Christian. Give Jesus your sin, get forgiven, get healed up. Get forgiven for the sins you’ve committed, get healed up for the sins that have been committed against you. Become an emotionally, relationally healthy person with Jesus. For some of you, next step is getting a life group, do life with other people. That’s immediately what she does. She runs into town and she starts meeting with other people. For some of you, you gotta start reading your Bible. Others of you, it’s time to start praying. For some of you, you need to be in church every week because, just like you would never stop drinking water, you should never stop drinking from the life-giving water of God’s Word through God’s Spirit. And let me say this, that there are many people who are what I will call dehydrated believers. One of the first things that I learned when we moved to the valley is, you can’t drink too much water, Aman?

– Amen.

– That’s the first thing they told us. They’re like, “Make sure you drink water.” “What happens?” “You get dehydrated.” And they said, “By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. By the time the symptoms start to arrive, the condition has already set in.” And so we kind of became panicked about the kids, “Drink water, did you drink water? Drink more water.” Right, and we bought them the hydro-flasks and the special water bottles and, “Drink water, drink water, drink water, drink water, drink water, drink water.” You know why? Because the body can get dehydrated. As soon as the body gets dehydrated, you are in a dangerous, desperate position that could actually lead to death. How many people in the valley don’t drink from the well of God to nourish their soul?

– Amen. The result is dehydrated spiritual believers. That you do know the Lord, but your prayer time, your Bible time, your worship time, your sitting down with Jesus, solitude, confession, repentance, hope, help, healing, ministry of the Holy Spirit, is just not happening for you. And some of you would say, “But I’m so busy.: You know what, you’re never too busy to drink water, Amen.

– Amen.

– In fact, you make it the first priority and say, “If I don’t hydrate myself in this climate, I’ll die.” Let me submit this to you, every time you drink water, you should remind yourself of your soul’s need for the Holy spirit. That your soul needs the Holy spirit at least as much as your body needs the water. And many of you, I love you. And I’m glad to teach you. And it’s an honor to be your pastor, but I’m worried about you because you’re dehydrated. We want this to be a well where you meet with Jesus. We want this to be a place that the Holy Spirit is present. We want this to be a place where that water can be drawn to replenish your soul so that you can go out into what is a very barren, desolate, dark, thirsting, culturally, relationally, broken world, and live. How horrible would it be if we drop one of you off somewhere remote in the valley with no water? Spiritually, many people live just like that. They’re hiking and hiking and hiking and hiking and hiking and hiking and hiking. And they’re not hydrating, hydrating, hydrating, hydrating. The Holy Spirit wants to hydrate your soul. Jesus wants to meet with you. He wants to forgive you, He wants to heal you. He wants to put his emotional life in you so that you can have relationship with Him and relationships with others that are like the relationship with Him. And if you will do this, it will transform your life, it will transform your relationships and it will transform your marriage, Amen?

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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