Biblical Marriage Homework Session Seven
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12:
Last week we learned that Grace is what marriage is about. This week we examine how Grace is an agent of change. Every Christian is called to a life of sanctification. Simply stated, sanctification is changing from our old selves and becoming conformed to the likeness of Christ.
This idea has everything to do with marriage. A marriage should never be static. So often we read Scripture like 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 and never think about our marriage. However, this passage has everything to do with how you are growing in Spirit and faith in relationship to your spouse. (And everyone else)
Popular discussions of the “will of God” often center on the major decisions of life. The choice of a vocation, the choice of a spouse, and other pivotal moments in life certainly are times when divine guidance is needed. But seeking the will of God ought not be relegated only to such momentous and occasional events. I sometimes wonder why people would seek the will of God at a pivotal moment in life if they have been ignoring God’s will in their daily lives. Should God speak, would such a person listen? I rather doubt it. One who is not faithful in the small moments is unlikely to be faithful in the great.
In verse 1 Paul is urging you to toward something. What kind of lifestyle would you live in your marriage if you were obedient to Paul’s instruction?
(Verses 2-3) Three questions:
Do you ever consider that God has a “will” for your ordinary every day life?
What is God’s will for every Christian? Are there any exceptions?
Is this “will” of God in daily life more or less important than “major” (one time) life choices?
(Verses 4-6) Two questions:
How would you be treating your spouse if you were living in “passion of lust” like the Gentiles? Who would be the “center” of this relationship?
How would you be treating your spouse if you were living in holiness and honor? Who would be the “center” of this relationship?
If we are withholding grace from our spouse, who are we fighting with, our spouse or God?
Let’s say today your marriage is doing very well; you are loving your spouse and extending grace and your spouse is happy. Have you made it? Can marriage now ride life out in status quo? Should tomorrow be filled with more grace?
 D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 121.