Relationship: Marriage is precious
In our ten week journey through the Bible studying marriage we have concluded that the ultimate meaning of marriage is a portrait of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32-33). In other words, Biblical marriage is designed by God to proclaim the Gospel. A servant-leader husband loving his wife unconditionally, while the wife returns that love as she respects her husband, is the perfect backdrop to display the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). One can never say too often that marriage is a reflection of Christ and his church.
Therefore, marriage is precious. It should be held by all in honor. The goal of this study is to see marriage through the lens of the Bible and get in sync with God’s heart for this one flesh union. A Christ-centered marriage is a light in an otherwise dark world. To be out of step with God’s value in marriage is to lurk in the shadows of culture. Christians are the salt of the earth and light to the world to the degree that they are out of step with the values of the world and in step with the values of God.
Our final study will focus on the idea in Hebrews 13:1-6 of living a life that pleases God. The command to hold marriage in honor is packed tightly into a section of Scripture that focuses on living a life of love. This radical life of love is possible knowing that God will never leave or forsake us. Entering marriage is entering a radical commitment to love. God’s design for marriage is to live free from the bondage of selfishness. God’s design for marriage is for the glory of His name and the good of His people.
Radical Life of Love
Vs 1 – Love Christians
Vs 2 – Love Strangers
Vs 3 – Love Prisoners
Vs 4 – Honor Marriage
Vs 5 – Don’t Love Money
Vs 6 – Love that God wants to take care of you
Vs 4 – Keep marriage bed undefiled
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Marriage is a place to live out a life of FORGIVENESS, JOY and HOPE
Spread the GOOD NEWS
Relationship: Hope in Marriage
Colossians 3:1-6 / 1 Peter 4:7-11
The goal for every American married couple is to climb out of the sewer of cultural understanding when it comes to marriage. The Apostle Paul commands us to, “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
The problem with marriage today is not that there are too many husbands and wives who are passionately in love with heaven. The problem is not that married couples are retreating from the world, spending half their days reading Scripture and the other half singing about their pleasures in God all the while indifferent to the needs of the world. The problem is that husbands and wives are spending ten minutes reading Scripture and then half their day making money and the other half enjoying and repairing what they spend it on.
The Apostle Paul is telling us that it is not heavenly-mindedness that hinders love in our marriage. It is worldly-mindedness that hinders love, even when it is disguised by a religious routine on the weekend. Where is the person whose heart is so passionately in love with the promised glory of heaven that they feel like an exile and a sojourner on the earth? Where are the marriages that are so full of Gospel reflection that there is maximum joy even in the stress and evil in the world?
In this session we will explore the power of right thinking in marriage. We will explore the difference of a marriage built on cultural knowledge and a marriage built on Biblical knowledge. We will answer the question: What happens in our homes when our marriage is Christ centered?
Marriage: Right Thinking
Culture vs. Kingdom (Colossians 3:1-6)
Glory of God (vs 4)
Hope: Romans 5:1-2
Security: Romans 9:22-23
Gospel: 2 Corinthians 4:6
Power of Repentance (vs 5)
Evidence of Genuineness: 2 Corinthians 7:9-13
Multiplication of Strength
Blessing of Hospitality (1 Peter 4:7-11)
Vs 7: Cultivate a personal relationship with Christ
Vs 8: Cultivate a personal relationship with each other
Vs 9: without grumbling
Vs 10: Steward God’s Grace
Vs 11: Glorify God
Overcome cultural norms with Kingdom knowledge
The stress of life is overcome by loving others
Over the last eight sessions we have discussed the high valve of marriage. Marriage is magnificent, not because of a husband or wife or the earthly benefits received in a loving marriage, but because of where marriage comes from and what marriage points to. Marriage comes from God. Created on the sixth day, marriage is God’s design and holds God’s purpose…marriage points to Christ loving the church; the Gospel. That is the reason marriage is magnificent.
As a grandfather, I know how easy it is to focus on the earthly aspects of marriage and family. I know how easy it is to be thrilled with wife, children, and grandchildren. I absolutely love my family. I love the family my wife and I have built together. So much so that it is easy to lose focus on the eternal aspects of family by valuing my relationships with wife and children and grandchildren only on the here and now.
Marriage and family, though precious, are temporary for this age; the church is forever. Being in a human family is no guarantee of eternal blessing; being in God’s family means being eternally blessed. Relationships based solely on family are temporary. Relationships based on faith in Christ are eternal. Therefore the most important aspect of our family and marriage is how well they reflect the Gospel.
Read Matthew 22:23-33
On what relationships were the Sadducees focusing? (hint: temporary or eternal?) How was their thinking affected by their value system?
Why did Jesus say they were wrong in the way they thought? (verse 29)
When Jesus said “God is the God of the living” (verse 32), what did he mean to convey to the Sadducees?
How do these words of Jesus teach us to think about our marriage and family relationships?
Relationship: Change, Making Disciples
In the last session we focused on change. Simply stated, the commitment to marriage is a commitment toward change. But not change for the sake of changing, change that brings Christ-likeness into our marriage. The Biblical term for change is sanctification. Becoming more like Christ in every aspect of our life should be the life long goal for every Christian. We discussed the “how’s” of change; examining the pattern for change seen clearly in the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church. Christ died to change her. True change is never the result of selfishness or oppression. True change only comes from sacrificial love.
In this session we will answer the question, “Why is change such an important subject in marriage?” Another way to look at this subject is to ask, “Why does the Bible call me to a life of sanctification?”
In order to answer the question of why change toward Christ-likeness is necessary in our marriage, we must discuss again the foundations established in the first seven sessions regarding Biblical marriage. We established that the main meaning of marriage is to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church. Our main text for this conclusion is Ephesians 5:21-33. Marriage is a husband playing the role of Christ, and a wife playing the role of the church, proclaiming the Gospel to everyone who would look their way, especially their children. Grace plays the foundational role in marriage as two imperfect people join together forgiving sin and forbearing strangeness. In short, God designed marriage to reflect the Gospel. This is the most important thing for all husbands and wives to know about their marriage.
In addition, God has designed marriage as the institution from which we are “fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…” (Genesis 1:26-28). The whole of Scripture makes clear that God’s design doesn’t call us to simply fill the earth with warm bodies, but fill the earth with children who follow Christ. God’s design for marriage is to be a place that fosters a hunger for Christ and His love. What better environment in which a young person grows? What better reason for every husband and wife to change to be more Christ-like every day? Simply stated, change toward Christ-likeness in our marriage is necessary because the Gospel is at stake. Marriage is a place for making disciples. Jesus commanded, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:20).
Making Marriage a Place for Making Disciples
Structure presented in the text: (Ephesians 6:1-4)
- Fathers Lead
- Mothers and Fathers Teach by Example
- Environment of Honor and Unity
- Always Pointing to the Lord
- Child has a Front Row Seat to View “Christ and the Church”
Fathers, don’t provoke anger: (verse 4)
Why the focus on anger?
- When authority and self-will come together anger often occurs
- Anger devours other emotions
- God’s forgiveness deals primarily with anger (Eph. 4:31-5:2)
Think about the dynamic change that will happen in our children when they love what they see at home in your Christ-centered marriage.
Christ-centered marriage is a place of tender love that opens our children’s heart and delivers them from anger.