Discussion Guide: Week 3
Marriage: What Makes a Marriage?
Life happens in the context of relationships. As a matter of fact, we are wired to be in relationships and connected to one another. The past two weeks we’ve discussed the importance of relationships. This week we’ll take a look at marriage and discuss God’s plan for marriage.
Whether you are married or single, have children or not, the principles in God’s Word are truth and life for each of us. Since we are His kids, we can see from His word how He wants to relate to us and how we are to relate to others.
I Peter 4:8 tells us, Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (NIV)
What a great verse for us to remember for all of our relationships, but especially in marriage! Love covers.
Getting More Together:
Marriage was created by God.
It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him. Genesis 2:18 (GNT)
Jesus said, “But in the beginning, at the time of creation, ‘God made them male and female,’ as the scripture says. ‘And for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.” Mark 10:6-9 (GNT)
a. Why did God create marriage?
b. Is there an eternal purpose in marriage? If so, what is that purpose?
c. What does it mean to “leave his father and mother”? How does this reveal more about God’s plan for marriage?
God’s plan is for married couples to be in unity.
See from the passage in Mark 10 above that “a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.”
I Thessalonians 5:23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)
a. Did you know that unity is mentioned three times in the New Testament? Look at John 17:20-23, Mark 10:7-8, and Ephesians 5:31. Share insights from these passages.
b. Why is unity hard to maintain in marriage? Are there aspects of working toward unity in friendships, general family relationships, work relationships, and others that would help us prepare for/strengthen unity in marriage too? What about the other way around?
c. According to the passage in I Thessalonians, we have three parts – spirit, soul, and body. How can we bring unity among these three aspects of our own self? What are ways having unity within ourselves could help us bring unity to relationships with others?
Love is a choice, and God has given us a blueprint of the kind of love He wants us to choose.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (ESV)
a. List the six things that describe love.
b. List the eight things that love is not.
c. Take time to talk about being patient, kind, truthful, bearing all things (being patient in the face of provocation), hoping all things, and enduring all things (being willing to remain even when circumstances or relationships become difficult).
Marriage is an opportunity to serve and to sacrifice.
Jesus was the greatest servant of all.
Mark 10:44-45, And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (ESV)
a. What does it mean to serve your spouse?
b. In what ways do we sacrifice for our spouse?
c. How are the needs of men and the needs of women different from each other? How are they the same?
d. How can having a “servant’s heart” help us in other relationships, like friendships, work relationships, school, etc.?
Share any insights from the message that spoke to you and how it applies to your relationships.
What are some steps you can take that will help strengthen your relationships?
Divide into smaller groups or prayer partners (male with male, female with female) and take time to share and pray over one key prayer request for the week.