NOVEMBER 2, 2014
BE THE SPOUSE
The essence of marriage is love. But what is love? This weekend we’ll explore the relationship of feelings of love to acts of love and the relationship of romantic passion to covenantal commitment.
- What has been your experience with marriage? Parents, grandparents, friends? What is your general conception of marriage? How do you understand society’s conception of marriage: positive, negative, neutral?
- If you are single, divorced, married, or remarried what did you learn about marriage through this sermon?
- The Bible begins and ends with a marriage (Gen 2v21-25; Rev 21v1-2). What, in your mind, is the significance of this? Why does God give marriage such a central part of the story of redemption?
- What is the profound mystery about marriage that Paul is referring to in Ephesians 5v32?
“Marriage is instituted by God, regulated by his commandments, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Book of Common Prayer
- The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ (Genesis 2v18). What did God mean by ‘alone’? What did God mean by ‘helper’?
- Read Matthew 19v1-12. What is the context of Jesus’ teaching on marriage, divorce, and singleness? What do you take away from his response?
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”- Matthew 19v5
- Have you thought of this verse as a reliable guide to marriage? Why or why not?
- According to the sermon what do we need to leave?
- If you are married what assumptions did you bring into our relationship about finances… division of labor … or recreation… or sex… or spiritual intimacy? If you are single what assumptions do you think you have about these things?
- The myth of marriage is, “if I just find the right person, it will not take any work.” But when the Bible speaks of married love it does not measure it by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. Being united doesn’t happen through feelings of love. Being united happens through acts of love. Discuss.
- The New Testament says that the purpose of marriage is gospel re-enactment. To redo in each others lives what Jesus has done and is doing in yours. To fall in love with this vision means you look more deeply than externals. Instead, you start to become attracted to what God is doing in one anotherʼs life, the person that God is making that person become. What difference would that make in a marriage? In a dating relationship?
The Christian teaching on marriage does not offer a choice between fulfillment and sacrifice but rather mutual fulfillment through mutual sacrifice.