FOLLOW-UP STUDIES

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Christian Marriage: Cord of three strands
 

God's Word and power provide us with everything we need for happy, godly, fulfilling lives in every area (2 Timothy 3:17, 2 Peter 1:3, John 10:10). The area of marriage is crucial, and if 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!

I. 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.

    Marriage meets our deepest needs.Your husband or wife should be your closest friend!
  • 1 Corinthians 7:39
    A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

    Marry a Christian!
  • Matthew 19:9
    I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

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

    Take advice!


II. Worldly v. spiritual marriages
  • a. Communication

    1. Time together (meals, discipling, unscheduled time)

    2. Listening (especially needful for husbands)

    3. Express, don't suppress feelings

    4. No festering resentments

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

    5. Co-ordinate schedules; don't leave each other in the dark about the other's plans!

    6. Communication may intensify conflict; expect it, don't avoid it!.
  • b. Selfishness

    1. Harsh husbands?

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

    Husbands must serve their wives

    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.

    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.

    Being considerate. Husbands should do their share of the housework, cleaning, taking care of children…

    2. Bossy/nagging wives.

    Proverbs 21:19
    Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

    Proverbs 25:24
    Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

    Proverbs 27:15
    A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;

    Wives must learn submission

    Colossians 3:18
    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

    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.


    3. Weak husbands? (henpecked) The man must be spiritual leader in the relationship.

    Ephesians 5:22-23
    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.

  • c. Hospitality

    1. Is homelife centered only around each other, life in a cozy, selfish, private world?

    2. Hospitality is God's will! (1 Peter 4:9) open your home to others.

    3. Use hospitality in evangelism.

    4. This is the husband's responsibility even more than the wife's!

    1 Timothy 3:4
    He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

    5. An untidy home isn't inviting!

    Proverbs 24:30-34
    30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
    31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
    32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
    33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
    34 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

  • d. Spirituality

    1. Talk about spiritual things when togethe.

    2. Pray with spouse daily.

    3. Don't "protect" each other when there is lukewarmness or compromise;

    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.


    speak the truth in love!

    Ephesians 4:15
    Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
  • e. Romance

    1. Don't deprive one another.

    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.

    2. Remember the special touches! (cards, flowers, presents, surprises…)
  • f. Input

    1. Are you (two) closed to input? festering problems?

    2. Every marriage needs counseling! no one is above it!

    3. Marriages need discipling. "Four-way openness": husbands & wives having permission from each other to speak to the other's discipler if there are unresolved problems. (Good test of sincerity.)
Practicals
  • Pray together every day!
  • Share your faith together.
  • Share Quiet Times from time to time.
  • Work on the church classes together. Expect the best of each other!
  • Spend an evening a week alone together, showing your love for each other and really communicating.
  • Read and discuss 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Read Song of Songs to one another! (Lover and Beloved parts)
  • Pray daily that you will be able to study with one couple together.
  • Have frequent double dates.
  • Discuss your schedules together.
  • Plan an overnight trip together (without the children).
  • Read Sam and Geri Laing's - Friends and Lovers (DPI).