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Section 4  - Let Your Light Shine Study #11  - Marriage
Christian Marriage: Cord Of Three Strands
 

Introduction: God’s word and power provide us with everything we need for a happy, godly, fulfilling life in every area (2 Timothy 3:17, 2 Peter 1:3, John 10:10). The area of marriage is crucial, and if a marriage is not going well, serious spiritual problems will also be present. Marriage is a vital area for discipling. Indeed, Christian marriage is one arena in which disciples will dramatically outshine the many worldly examples surrounding them. A great marriage draws others to Jesus!

The Scriptures:

God’s Plan

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Explain:
Marriage meets our deepest needs. Your husband or wife should be your closest friend.
   - Matthew 19:9—marriage is for life.

Spiritual Marriage Principles:

Communication

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Build up with your words, do not tear each other down! (Proverbs 12:18, 18:21)

James 1:9
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.

Be quick to listen. (Proverbs 18:13)

Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Ephesians 4:26
"In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

Deal with resentments or bitterness / Do not bury them

Proverbs 15:22
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Plans fail for lack of counsel – Be partners in planning. (Set up a regular planning time to work together on scheduling, finances, household needs, etc.)

Selfishness

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Know what GOD expects! Husbands should NEVER be harsh! Husbands must serve their wives, being considerate. Husbands should do their share of the housework, cleaning, taking care of the children…

1 Peter 3:5-6
5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,
6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.


Know what GOD expects! Wives must learn submission. Wives should never nag or be bossy. Proverbs 21:19,25:24, 27:15

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--
30 for we are members of his body.
31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
32 This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


The husband has been called by God to be the spiritual leader of his family.

Marriage Discipling / Counseling

The scriptures teach us many things about marriage: our roles, responsibilities, our need for unity, how we should speak to one another, how we should treat one another, etc. We need to be “taught to obey” these scriptures just like we are taught how to have a deeper relationship with God, to love and serve others, and to serve the poor. Sometimes our marriage is the last place we practice our Christianity, when in truth, it should be the first place!

Acts 5:1-11
1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price."
9 Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.


Do not “protect” each other when there is lukewarmness, sin or compromise

Proverbs 15:22
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Take advice.

Q: Is either one of you closed to input?

Every marriage needs counseling; no one is above it. Marriages need discipling. “Four-way openness”: husbands and wives having permission from each other to speak to the other’s discipler if there are unresolved problems. This is a powerful safeguard and a good test of sincerity.

Spirituality

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!


Talk about spiritual things when you are together.

Pray with your spouse daily.

Considering studying a spiritual book together (marriage, parenting, or just a spiritual book in general).

Romance

1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Do not deprive one another.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.


Do not forget to love like the Bible describes (this is the best recipe for romance!) Remember the special touches: cards, flowers, presents, surprises.…

The Spiritual Exercise: Do something this month to build up your marriage spiritually. (Examples: Pray together, seek out marriage discipling/counseling, share your faith together, start reading a marriage book together, etc.)