Read: Rom 12:2; Mt 19:4-6; Gen 3:8, 12, 14-19; Ph 2:4; Eph 5:28-29
In the beginning marriage was established for companionship, for procreation, and for sharing responsibilities. With the Fall came a disruption of the whole creation, including marriage. Consequences included pain in childbirth, a lifetime of toil in order to produce adequate food, and Eve being subject to her husband.
- Romans 12:2 – Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God change you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.
- Matthew 19:4-6 – Jesus quotes Genesis 1,2 and concludes, “So they are no longer two, but one. Man must not separate what God has joined together.”
- Genesis 3:8, 12, 14-19 – Adam and Eve hide from God, blame God, and hear the consequences of their sin.
- Philippians 2:4 – Look out for one another’s interests, not just your own.
- Ephesians 5:28, 29 – Men love their wives as they love their own bodies, as Christ loves the church.
Questions for Discussion:
- In the Genesis 2 statement on marriage which Jesus quotes in Matthew 19, what do you see each of the following three statements communicating about God’s original intentions for marriage?
* A man leaving his father and mother.
* A man being united with his wife.
* A man and his wife becoming one.
- How do these ideals operate in the formation of marriages today? To what extent do these play a role in the reasons why couples marry? (See in the Teacher’s Edition of the Quarterly H. Norman Wright’s list of both negative and positive reasons couples marry).
- There is a sometimes expressed conviction that there is only one person on the planet who is the right mate for us, that our task is to follow the leading of God in His providence as He leads us to this person. What is your opinion on this conviction?
- When Adam and Eve fell, their relationship with God and with each other was damaged. What do you see as the greatest threats to marital satisfaction today?
- With the Fall came a disruption of the whole creation, including marriage. The consequences of sin included pain in childbirth, a lifetime of toil in order to produce adequate food, and the subjection of the wife to her husband. What do you understand the latter to mean? Does that condition remain in place for couples who have accepted Jesus into their hearts, in whom the Holy Spirit is recreating the lost image of God? What do we understand the affects of that work by the Spirit to be, particularly as it relates to Christian marriages?
- What does it mean for one to forgive his or her spouse? Are there any sins that are unforgivable?