Session 1 – God’s Blueprint for Marriage

Session 1 – God’s Blueprint for Marriage

Session 1

 God’s Blueprint For Marriage

Christian marriage can be one of the greatest blessings of a person’s life. Many followers of Jesus Christ view their spouse as a best friend, a lifelong love, a faithful companion, and a co-worker for the Lord.

For others, however, marriage is a source of frustration and disappointment. Some married couples look at the future with fear, despair, and hopelessness.

Many married couples find themselves somewhere in the middle. Their marriage is good in many ways, but they want to keep growing.
The good news is that God’s Word has all the instructions we need to have a marriage that will honour Him. Peter said that God has given us, “Everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). God wants His children to learn how to build marriages that are permanent, productive, and give praise to Him. As we begin this study together, be encouraged that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior stands ready to help us build better marriages.

I. Marriage is God’s Idea

Genesis 2:18: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I WILL MAKE him a helper suitable for him.’”

A. According to Genesis 2:18, where did the idea of marriage originate and who designed the Blueprints of Marriage?  God!

– therefore, not subject to man’s revision; cannot change terms

B. God said that everything He created (including marriage) was “very good.” God knew His plan and was pleased with it.

Genesis 1:31: “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

1 man with 1 woman = “Very Good!”

C. Before God ever established Nations or people groups, He established marriage and the family. What are some implications of knowing this “order of priority?”

– the family is the foundational unit of society; society must be built from the family up; destroy the family = destroy society; expect satan to attack the family

II. The Purposes of Marriage

To build your marriage upon a Biblical basis, you must be committed to fulfill God’s purposes for marriage.

A. Common reasons people get married

a) To escape
b) To gain social status – peer motivated
c) To have “Legalized” and “Guilt-free” sexual gratification – selfish motivation
d) To gain a housekeeper or fix-it person – how can you serve me, attitude
e) To gain a sense of self-worth
f) Economic reasons
g) To have children
h) Partner is attractive and makes them feel good
i) Many people desire marriage to become happier, to feel more fulfilled, or to fill a void in their lives.

B. Biblical Purposes

a) Purpose 1: Children (procreation Gen. 1:28; Psalm 127:3)
b) Purpose 2: Companionship (Genesis 2:18; Prov. 2:17; 1 Peter 3:7)
c) Purpose 2: Assistance (Genesis 2:15, 18)
d) Purpose 3: Characterization of God’s relationship to His people and Christ’s   relationship to His church (Eph. 5:22-32)
e) Purpose 4: Sexual union (Gen. 1:27-28a; 2:24c; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Heb. 13:4)
f) Purpose 5: Comprehensive Partnership (Genesis 2:24c)

1) What this doesn’t mean:

a) Uniformity – Loss of identity or individuality
b) Clone – No differences (Rom. 12 – the Church is one, yet many parts)

2) What this does mean:

a) Unity – Comprehensive, yet without constriction
b) Partnership – Complete in every area of life
c) Sacrifice – Commitment to sharing all of life together

3) What will you share together?

a) Intellectual
i)   Thoughts and ideas
ii) All that each one learns
iii) Insights, reasons in decision making
iv) Opinions on various matters
v) Study, discussion of the issues of life

b) Desires/ Feelings (Romans 12:15; 1 Cor. 12:25)

i)   Joys and sorrows
ii) Grief and pain through the trials of life

c) Social Relationships

i) Developing close friendships with the same people
ii) Common recreational activities
iii) Develop interest in each other’s personal hobbies
iv) Extending hospitality to other people

d) Work
i)   Communicate about work related activities
ii) Home projects
iii) Difficulties related to work; relationships
iv) Rejoice with one another’s accomplishments
v) Prayer about work

e) Spiritual Life (1 Peter 3:7)
i)     Praying together
ii)   Reading and studying God’s word
iii) Discussing spiritual problems and truths
iv)   Common convictions and views
v)   Local church involvement
vi)   Serving Christ in common ministries
vii) All that God is teaching you
viii) Exhortation and encouragement
ix)   Testimony for Christ
x)   Raising up godly children
xi)   Counseling one another about personal sins
xii) Confessing sins to one another
xiii) Seeking and granting forgiveness

f) Physical and Sexual (Song of Songs; Prov. 5; 1 Cor. 7)

i)   Concern for well being
ii) Seeking to understand and adapt to one another’s physical     strengths and weaknesses
iii) Demonstrating affection in mutually satisfying, God honouring ways
iv) Dealing Biblically with problems related to sexual relationship
(*** until wedding = purity {including abstinence} motivated by love for God and each other)

g) Aspirational

i)   Unity in goals (2 Cor. 5:9; Amos 3:2; Phil. 2:2)
ii) Unity in desires regarding the marriage relationship
aa) Family
bb) Spiritual growth and service
cc) Children
dd) Finances
ee) Occupational and educational
ff)   Overall future

h) Difficulties and Trials

i)   Proverbs 17:17 – can count on each other in adversity
ii) Eccles. 4:9-12 – Lifting one another up
iii) 1 Thess. 5:11 – Build up each other

 

III. Godly Marriages Involve “Leaving”   (God’s goal for your marriage = oneness!)

Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother. . .”

A. The importance of this Biblical concept:

The principle that married couples must “leave” their parents is so important that it is repeated three times in the Word of God.

Matthew 19:5: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.”
Mark 10:7-8: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and become one flesh; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
Ephesians 5:31: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.”

Comparing these verses reveals that God spoke of the leaving principle in both the Old and New Testaments, and both before and after the fall of mankind into sin. Clearly this idea is part of God’s blueprint for marriage.

  1. What “leaving” does not mean:

It is important to interpret Bible verses like Genesis 2:24 in light of other passages of Scripture. If we did not do this, we might conclude that God’s will is for married couples to leave their parents and never come back.

We know that such an extreme interpretation of Genesis 2:24 cannot be accurate because of verses like Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”

How does what this verse says about a person’s ministry to their grandchildren help balance our understanding of the “leaving” principle?

Leaving also does not necessarily mean that a geographical move must be made. It is possible to leave father and mother and still live next door. It is also possible to live thousands of miles from parents and still not leave them.

 

C. What “leaving” does mean: (from Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne Mack p. 2).

  1. It means that you establish an adult relationship with them.
  2. It means that you must be more concerned about your mate’s ideas, opinions, and practices than those of your parents.
  3. It means that you must not be dependent on your parents for affection, approval, assistance, and counsel.
  4. It means that you must eliminate any bad attitudes toward your parents, or you will be tied emotionally to them regardless of how far you move from them.
  5. It means that you must stop trying to change your mate simply because your parents do not like him the way he is.
  6. It means that you make the husband and wife relationship your priority human relationship.

a. Yes, you should be concerned about being a good son/daughter – or mother/father, but you should be more concerned about being a good husband/wife than about being a good son/daughter or father/mother. Children do not need indulgent parents who continually neglect each other. They need parents who will demonstrate how to face and solve problems. They need parents who will show them how to be good husbands and wives; how to relate to other people.
b. If you become a parent, your goal should be to prepare your children to leave, not to stay. Your life must not be wrapped around them or you may make them emotional cripples.
c. You should be preparing yourselves for the day when your children leave by cultivating common interests, by learning to do things together, and by deepening your friendship with each other.
d. When your children have married, you must not try to run their lives. You must allow the young husband to be the head of his home, to make decisions for himself, to look to his wife, not you, as his primary responsibility and helper. You must encourage your daughter to depend upon her husband, not you, for guidance, help, companionship, and affection.

What are some common ways these principles may be violated?

IV. Godly Marriages Involve “Cleaving” (means to pursue hard; pressing together, firmly joined)

Genesis 2:24-25: “. . .and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

A. In this passage, the word “cleave” is set in contrast to “leave.” In other words, cleaving is the opposite of leaving. What are some words or phrases we might use today to describe the concept of a husband and wife “cleaving” to one another?

B. What does the end of verse 24 say will result when a couple is working hard at leaving and cleaving?

– one flesh

C. God wants His children to build marriages characterized by “growing oneness”. How should a couple’s commitment to this principle affect the way they handle conflict?

– attack the problem, not each other (that would amount to attacking yourself)

D .Please list several possible hindrances to marital oneness.

E. Verse 25 says that Adam and Eve were both naked and not ashamed. Please read Hebrews 13:4 and describe God’s view of sexual relations in marriage.