Enjoying your marriage on the rock


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This "study" involves four Scriptures that teach the biblical design for marriage. It is followed by two "assignments" to encourage couples considering marriage to discuss their current situation leading to marriage. The final assignment uses Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages.

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Enjoying your marriage on the rock

  1. 1. Enjoying Your Marriage on the Rocks (This is the first of three homework assignments with the other two following atthe end of this assignment. Take time to complete each of these thoroughly—you will beblessed by the time you spend in preparation.) How many men have said, “My marriage is on the rocks.” If they onlyunderstood! There is only one Rock, and their marriage is nowhere near it! In fact, ifmore marriages were on THE Rock, they would be stronger and healthier than everbefore. The Rock, of course, is Jesus Christ, and in this short study, I hope that you willbe able to navigate your marriage right on to that rock! For each lesson you will be asked to read a passage of scripture and answer somequestions. An explanation of the passage follows the questions, but don’t look ahead.Spend some time studying before you continue. Knowledge is so much more valuablewhen we dig it out ourselves. Before and after each lesson, pray for your spouse and your marriage. If you havechildren already, pray for them as well, that they will see your Christian faith andexample. Treat each study as a prayer, that you will be blessed in your efforts to build aChristian marriage.
  2. 2. Lesson OneREAD: Genesis 1 & 2 1. How were man and woman created? In what ways are they the same? Different? (2:7, 18-25) 2. What model did God use? (1:26-31) 3. In the creation of men and women, what did God do to “create” woman subject to man? Why then is woman to submit to man? 4. In what way is she to submit? (2:18, 20) In this study we find that men and women are both created in the image of God.As such, we are equal in essence and value. It is only because God purposed for womento be the helper that it is so. God knew that to have order, someone must be the leader inthe family, and he chose the man. Therefore, man is not the leader because he “deserves”to be, but because God commands him to be! The woman is not subject to the manbecause she is inferior, but because God has commanded it! What does this mean? Itmeans marriage works best when both the husband and the wife are submitting to God’swill.
  3. 3. Lesson TwoREAD: 1 Peter 3:1-7 1. With what attitudes should women submit to their husbands? (v. 2, 4) 2. In what manner should men respond to women? What happens if he fails to do so? (end of v. 7) 3. What reason does Peter give for this response? (middle of v. 7) While we often quickly recognize that women are sometimes the “weaker” vesselin a physical sense, we fail to recognize their equality in a spiritual sense (see also,Galatians 3:28). Once again, we are reminded of our “essential” equality. Then we aretold to honor the woman because of that equality. But why honor? Because the woman’s role of submission is chosen by the woman out ofobedience to God’s will. She submits because God tells her, not because her husbandtells her. As a result, the husband should honor and exalt his wife for that humility andservant heart. It was Jesus, in fact, who said in Matthew 23:12, “Whoever exalts himselfwill be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” If God will exalt thehumble, shouldn’t we also? Husbands should give due honor to the wife who submits outof reverence to God.
  4. 4. Lesson ThreeREAD: Ephesians 5:22-33 1. Who is the head of the wife? (v. 23) 2. To what does Paul compare this relationship? (vv. 23-24) 3. What are husbands commanded to do? (v. 25) 4. To what does Paul compare this command? (v. 25) 5. What are the implications of this command? (v. 28) 6. What is Paul’s closing comment? (v. 33) The underlying thought in this section of scripture is “sacrificial love.” Christ diedfor his people—the church—out of love for us. We are expected to do likewise in allaspects of our lives. The choice of the woman to submit to her husband is sacrificial.The manner in which a man fulfills his role must be sacrificial as well. When husbandand wife give themselves over to each other 100% (there is no such thing as a half-sacrifice), then the relationship develops love and respect. This is true for the sexualrelationship as well.
  5. 5. Lesson Four READ: 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 1. Who is spoken to first in verse 3? What is he told to do? 2. Who has authority over the wife’s body? Over the husbands? (v. 4) 3. What is the couple told not to do? (v. 5) 4. How would such “mutual” authority be lived out? When this passage is quoted, it is usually by men to make their wives submitsexually. After all, it says “do not deprive.” Every man knows what that means, right?But what does it mean for the woman? What does it mean not to deprive her? The man’s body belongs to the wife. He is not to deprive her either. The man’srationale, of course, is that if “they” are having sexual relations then “she” is not beingdeprived. But is that true? As hard as this may be for men to understand, sexualfulfillment is more than sexual intercourse and the associated climax, especially forwomen. Men use this passage to “make” women fulfill their needs. What would it look like ifa woman used it to make the man fulfill her needs? She has the biblical right to do so,does she not? The passage is about mutual fulfillment in the marriage relationship. Theman may demand more sex more often. The women may demand more foot massagesmore often. The man, more sex. The woman, more caresses. The man, more sex. The
  6. 6. woman, more . . . well, you get the picture. Both husband and wife are given theauthority to request (and expect) the other to fulfill his or her needs. Yes, the requestsmay look entirely different, but God expects that both people in a marriage will besatisfied based on the idea of mutual sacrifice.Conclusion Marriage will continue to be the most difficult task set before man and woman.As the world’s definition and models of “family” change, more and more people will besearching for rock-solid principles on which to build a family. The Bible contains thoseprinciples and they are built upon the rock—Jesus Christ. We must learn and embracethe biblical model for marriage or else our families, and ultimately the church, will facefailure. I pray that this study will help you build your marriage on the Rock of Salvation.(These following assignments are for couples involved in one-on-one premaritalcounseling sessions; however, if you would like to complete one or both, I’d be happy tohelp you with them on Saturday after the final session.)Homework Assignment #21) Each of you is to write a letter to me (David Srygley) telling me why you shouldmarry. In this letter you are to include ten (10) reasons why now is the right time for youto marry and ten (10) reasons your future spouse is the right person for you to marry.Homework Assignment #31) Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Identify the Love Language whichbest conveys to your future spouse how much you love him or her. What are 10 specificways to say “I love you” in his or her own language.2) Identify your own Love Language and make 10 suggestions for having your love tankfilled.