Family and Marriage
This is a topical study designed for married couples or those who are planning to be married soon. God uses the picture of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church to model the love a husband is to have for his wife. We will study the marriage links: spiritual foundation, tool of communication, compatibility, love - the dynamic of being one, understanding, and the sexual union of a happily married couple, to be the joyful expression of the oneness.
The Law of Marriage and Family
Gods design for family and marriage gives our relationship a beautiful and meaningful purpose and accomplishes His plans for the world. In scripture there is a providential dimension to marriage; it is to be a permanent and exclusive relationship, but also to be inclusive in the sense that it includes every part of the husband and wifes lives: their spirits, minds, hearts, and bodies. When couples are united as one, and live in this kind of unity, they reflect Gods purpose for marriage.
The Sevenfold Tie of Marriage
Good communication is the tool that helps us maintain and strengthen a husband and wife to work on their oneness. Just as we maintain and cultivate our relationship with Christ by communicating with Him in prayer and listening for His voice, married couples must maintain and cultivate their relationship with each other. Communication is like turning a light on our relationship, exposing things that would harm the oneness and revealing things that would help us grow closer.
Compatibility - the Evidence of Oneness
Compatibility is the evidence of the oneness God designed for a husband and wife. Compatibility includes our: physical relationship, values, spiritual maturity, moral issues, how we spend our time and money, children issues, and every other area of life together. Your spiritual compatibility is foundational in defining the roles and responsibilities each have. In order to maintain compatibility, we must accept our spouse's strengths and weaknesses. The Bible gives us several instructions about how husbands and wives should relate to each other.
Compatibility and Love
Love is the great expression of the oneness God intended when He said, The two shall become one flesh. One big problem in marriage is selfishness. When we learn to treat our spouse unselfishlyto put our spouses needs at the centerwe begin to love as Jesus does. Divine love is best described in 1 Corinthians 13 and shows us how we should love others. With agape love, marriage can truly be fulfilling and everything God intended it to be.
Love and a Biblical Perspective on Divorce
Onenessthe two becoming one fleshis the foundation of a marriage relationship, and love is the expression of that oneness. Without agape love, we can never have the kind of marriage God intended. This kind of love is irreplaceable, indestructible, unconditional, inspirational, and irresistible. We must realize this kind of love is impossible without Gods help. God intended marriages to be indissoluble and hates divorce. Gods Word teaches us to have boundaries for marriage that protect and preserve the relationship.
Understanding our spouse is the link that provides for the growth of relationship and the oneness. The value and worth of a man or a woman is based on their function and role as God has created them. A great prayer for our marriages is by Francis of Assisi: Lord make me an instrument of your peace grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love
Understanding (Part 2)
We must understand the uniqueness of our spouse to be able to communicate at a deeper level. There are eight Biblical questions we should ask: Where are you?, Who told you?, Have you eaten from the forbidden tree?, What have you done? Where have you come from? and Where are you going?, Who are you? and What is it you really want? In other words, Do you want to be who, where and what God planned for you to be?
Understanding (Part 3) and Sex (Part 1)
The Bible provides answers to help us in understanding our God-given role, but the labor of division in a Christian home should be based on our natural gifts, talents, and our spiritual gifts. If our lives and homes are built on Jesus, and we understand our spouses, it will keep crises from destroying our marriage. God created sex for procreation. God also intended for intimacy to be an expression of love and the joyful expression of oneness.
Sex (Part 2)
God intended sex for many purposes. One of the first purposes is procreation, but it is also meant to be a vehicle of expression for married couples. Unfortunately, what God designed for a joyful expression of oneness often becomes one of the greatest obstacles to our oneness. Gods Word shows us what our attitudes and expectations about sex should be in the context of the God-ordained institutions of marriage and family; to bring fulfillment and pleasure to both husband and wife.
Concluding Summary - The Sevenfold Marriage
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul discusses how in the intimacies of marriage, husbands and wives can satisfy each other and how mutual agreement is a very important principle for a fulfilling physical relationship. As the Golden Rule says, In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you. The biblical model for marriage is Christ and the Church. We can only have that kind of love by having a vital relationship with Jesus and allowing His Spirit love through us.