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Marriage OH 1.

8 (Screen read version)

What The Bible Teaches about Marriage 2
The Heart of Marriage: The Heart of Marriage
Faithfulness is faithfulness
not romantic love that speaks of feelings and desires rather
than commitment
Marriage Course “A” Marriage Course “B”
“Relationships begin “Marriage begins Nothing to do with “falling in (or out of) love”!
when we fall in love. when you publicly promise
Relationships end lifelong faithfulness. Marriage At the heart of the Universe is its Creator:
when you no longer feel in ends “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to
love. when one of you dies. anger,
So love is central, Faithfulness is central,
but it is rarely fully but it is rarely understood. and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”
understood. This course will show you Exodus 34:6
This course will show what faithfulness means and Note the context:
how you can each give and how to be faithful through god
receive times and bad, A time of terrible unfaithfulness on the part of the people of
the love you need. no matter how you feel. God

To Discuss Marriage involves

Marriage Courses: •Leaving parents, so that husband and wife become “next
“A” Maintaining the Romance of kin” to one another.
“B” Keeping Faithful
•Holding fast to each other
Which course do you feel attracted to more? Note:
Why? Distinguish Sexual desire (physical drive) from passionate
Which course suggests a more Christian approach to bonding (heart’s union)
Marriage? “Holding fast” a word that combines passion with
Why’? permanence
Faithfulness results in a “one flesh” union, a joining done by God.
Every married couple is joined by God
Romantic love (emotional feelings and wishful dreams)
whether or not they are Christians,
whether or not they are married in church,
faithful commitment (loyalty and determination)
whether or not they are thought “compatible”,
whether or not the motivation is “good”,
“The Heart of Marriage is The Heart of The
even if the marriage is a “marriage of convenience”!
The Heart of The Universe is Faithfulness The Bible shows no interest in the precise ceremonies or
in Bible terms: “faithful love” or “steadfast love” celebrations
that begin married life. a unit to be used by God in loving service in his world.
Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of Sarah his (deceased) Why Prostitution is Wrong
mother To go with a prostitute is to do something that is intended
and took Rebekah, and she became his wife… by God to make two into a new family unit.
Genesis 24:67 But that is not the intention of someone going to a
The marriage feast of Cana did not follow after a synagogue prostitute.
service; So sex is being used for a very different purpose from God’s
the feast was the marriage and probably included some purpose. 1 Cor 6:12-20
simple vows…
John 2 Why Divorce is Wrong
3 One flesh union is what God has joined together.
To Discuss So breaking up a marriage is tearing apart something
potentially beautiful made by God.
What is it that makes a wedding a valid
marriage? Tearing Apart
•The exchange of presents? • Neither husband nor wife should put career, comfort,
personal fulfilment or their own
•The vows made in public? desires before their marriage. So doing amounts to
•The prayers? tearing up what God has made
•The feast?
• Neither should parents tear apart the marriages of their
•The intentions of the couple? children by interfering,
•True love between bride and groom? or not giving them space to grow together and develop
this new family unit.
If a couple afterwards?
consent in public to be married, then they are
joined together by God. • Neither should employers or bosses do anything to
damage the marriages of their
The wonder of Marriage: employees or juniors.
Human and divine intention become one.
To Discuss:
One Flesh People view the institution of marriage in different ways.
To be “joined together by God” is the same as what Genesis
means by being “one flesh”: •Some see marriage as a sacrament
A new family unit, built around the faithful exclusive sexual •Others as a contract
union of husband and wife.
God’s purpose for sex is to make this new family unit by
•Others as a covenant
What is the difference?
marriage How do you see marriage?
to whom you have been faithless,
Marriage: A Covenant though she is your companion
and your wife by covenant.”
Marriage is not a contract that can be conveniently broken
and a fresh contract made The Lord was a witness to each marriage that took place
between different persons. among His people.
Rather it is a covenant witnessed by God. He reminds each man of “The wife of his youth”:
A covenant is a relationship She is his “companion” joined to him, his friend, the one
who goes through life with him.
• That the parties to it have chosen And she is his “wife by covenant”
• That has certain obligations where each has made Marriage: A Sexual Covenant
certain promises to the other and “The wife of your youth” has sexual associations.
entered into commitments For it echoes Proverbs 5:17-21 wherethe young husband is
o That are binding on both parties warned against infidelity
o For all time. (through prostitution or adultery)
This covenant relationship in marriage reflects and encouraged to go on taking sexual delight in the wife of
the covenant relationship between God and his people, his youth.
as the marriage relationship generally reflects God’s love
for his chosen people. A Sexual Covenant: Right Delight
In Ezekiel 16:8 God the Divine Husband says to “Jerusalem”
His bride, “Let your streams of water by yours alone, never to be
“I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with shared with strangers.
you… and you became mine!” May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the
wife of your youth.
God is faithful to His covenant and He calls us to be faithful A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you
in ours. always,
So when God’s people are unfaithful to Him, may you always be captivated by her love…
it is not surprising that their unfaithfulness is duplicated in Proverbs 5:17-19
their own marriages.
Unfaithfulness to God carries over into unfaithfulness in A Sexual Covenant: Wrong Desire
…Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
5 Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?
Malachi 2:13-14 For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord,
2You cover the Lord’s altar with tears… and He examines all his paths.”
because he no longer regards the offering… Proverbs 5:20-21
But you say, ‘Why does he not?’
Because the Lord was witness Remember Joseph’s answer to Potihar’s wife:
between you and the wife of your youth
“My master has entrusted to me everything – except you! • absorbing all your thoughts and imagination (day-
Why should I do this wicked thing and sin against God?”
Furthermore it means a relationship with God as witness. Adultery is Wrong because:
God is present when the promises are made. • It is a turning away from a promise eating forbidden fruit
He holds each of the parties responsible to keep their without any sense of breaking covenant
promises. “This is the way of an adulteress:
If either party brakes them, they are answerable to Him. She eats and wipes her mouth
Why did God not listen to the men’s prayers in Malachi’s And says, ‘I have done no wrong,’
- Pro 30:20
Because they had broken their marriage covenants • It is secretive and dishonest, shrinking from publicity.
and He was holding them to account. “The eye of the adulterer… waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he veils his face.”
The heart of marriage is faithfulness that excludes rivals for - Job 24:15
life. 7
In friendship three are company, and four even better Note also:
company. Adultery
But in the sexual relationship anything more than two is
• Hurts children “in the intimacy of the family home
Scripture consistently condemns adultery as a very serious broken by cheating on promises,
sin. darkened by secrecy and lies, riven with conflict and
hatred.” – C.A.
The Seeds of Unfaithfulness
For married couples: • Leads the adulterer himself from security to chaos
If you find yourself attracted to a neighbour, a friend, or a • Destroys the moral fabric of the adulterer’s life
work colleague in a romantic, physical or emotional way,
ask yourself: • Damages society, “keeping company with adulterers”
leads eventually to approving their
• Can I talk to my life partner (spouse) about this behaviour (- Ps 50:18)
relationship? If not why not?
God’s Faithfulness:
• What does God think about it? 1. Faithfulness in marriage is modelled on the faithfulness
Am I keeping 100% to His commands in this matter (as
of God
found in Scripture)?
who makes covenant promises as the “bridegroom” of His
Beware any relationship that is: people, His “bride”.
• secretive (“don’t tell anyone-else about ‘us’”) The story in the Bible of God’s marriage is
• exclusive (“just between the two of us”) the story of one utterly faithful spouse married to one
persistently faithless spouse,
a story showing the misery of adultery and the wonder of Because God is always faithful to us, we can be faithful to
costly faithfulness one another,
Hosea gives a vivid picture of this loyalty: forgiving where necessary, because of all that He has
His wife has hurt him abominably, deserting him and having forgiven us.
affairs with rival after rival. And yet he takes her back with
loving tenderness. The Heart of Marriage
He will make the “valley of Trouble” into a “door of Hope” - is Faithfulness
Hosea 2:14-15
2. Faithfulness in marriage comes from the faithfulness of
who pours his grace into us,
offering us the moral resources necessary to build a
resources we do not have ourselves.
We cannot be faithful by our own strength!
Faithfulness & Forgiveness
How to live with ongoing troubles in relationships: Forgive
70 x 7
Cf Parable of the unforgiving servant
The point: “You really must forgive. Forgiveness is very
The real point:
We need to understand the huge debt we have been
forgiven if we are disciples of Christ
Marriage is not easy for any couple.
Conflict is hard to resolve and hurts are hard to forgive.
We lack the moral resources to solve our problems in our
own strength.
But once we know the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers
we find God’s grace pours into our hearts out of gratitude
Husbands and wives can forgive each other when they
remember that
God is ever the faithful lover of His people.
If we are grateful to Him, we can forgive one another.