Monthly Archives: September 2012

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES FOR A GRACE FILLED MARRIAGE

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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8. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES FOR A GRACE FILLED MARRIAGE?

I. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES FOLLOW CHRIST’S EXAMPLE

A. Husbands and wives need to humbly serve each other. Philippians 2:5-8

B. Husbands and wives need to demonstrate sacrificial love. Ephesians 5:2

C. Husbands and wives need to be committed to unity. John 17:22-23

D. Husbands and wives need be willing to suffer without sinning. I Peter 2:19-20

II. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES OBEY BIBLICAL EXHORTATIONS

A. Wives are called to influence their husbands through their Godliness. I Peter 3:1-6

• The wife’s godliness is expressed through submission to her husband’s God give headship in the marriage.

• The wife’s godliness is expressed without words.

• The wife’s godliness is expressed with deeds.

B. Husbands are called to influence their wives through their graciousness. I Peter 3:7

• The husband demonstrates graciousness by being a good student of his wife’s needs.

• The husband demonstrates graciousness by being sensitive to her limitations.

• The husband demonstrates graciousness by honoring her as his spiritual sister.

C. Husbands and wives are called to “out grace” each other. I Peter 3:8-9

1. To sum up husbands and wives “let all be harmonious.”

Harmony is not uniformity. Harmony is produced by complimentary differences. Diferent sounds in music are combined in a way to produce harmony. When a husband and wife both “sing from the Divine music of God’s Word,” they produce harmony with their different strengths and weaknesses in marriage.

2. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be sympathetic.”

Sympathy is being touched by the feeling of another person. To enter into their joy and sorrow produces emotional support and closeness. Romans 12:15

3. To sum up husband and wives, “let all be brotherly.”

Husbands and wives are to exhibit a family love. Family celebrates the oneness we have with a common Father, a common Lord and a common Life. No longer do we speak of yours and mine. We speak of ours.

Our bond is such that all we have is available for the wellbeing of our spouse. We share one another’s burdens and seek to make the others load lighter.

4. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be kindhearted.”

Unconfessed sin leads to hardheartedness. The Spirit-filled heart is compassionate and sensitive to the needs of one’s spouse. Caring and sharing are expressions of kindheartedness.

5. To sum up husbands and wives, “let all be humble in spirit.”

Humility is a proper estimation of our inability to do anything worthwhile apart from God’s provision and strength. Pride and self-confidence always result in failure. Humility allows us to tolerate the shortcomings of others, as we are aware of our own.

III. GRACE-FILLED MARRIAGES RETURN GOOD FOR BAD I Peter 3:9

A. Grace-filled marriages never return “evil for evil” nor “insult for insult.”

B. Grace-filled marriages always give a blessing in return for evil or insult.

“Blessings” are verbal or concrete acts of kindness.

C. Grace-filled marriages enjoy God’s blessings.

D. Grace-filled marriages pass on God’s blessings to each other and others. I Peter 3:10-12

Those who wish to “love life” live the “grace-filled” life by:

• Refusing to speak evil against others

• Turning from evil deed to do good

• Seeking peace with others

Those who live the grace-filled life are rewarded by God.

• God’s eyes are on you

• God’s ears hear you.

GRACE MEANS TREATING EACH OTHER BETTER THAN WE DESERVE

TAKE IT TO HEART

1. In what ways does your marriage fall short of a “grace-based” marriage?

2. In what ways does your marriage reflect a “grace-based” marriage?

3. How do you treat your spouse?

Rate your treatment of your spouse:

1= Almost Never, 2 = Sometimes, 3 = Usually, 4 = Almost Always

___ Harmonious

___ Sympathetic

___ Brotherly

___ Kindhearted

___ Humble in spirit

3. How can you return a blessing the next time you feel hurt or disappointed with your spouse?

WHAT ARE GOD’S PRINCIPLES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT? Week – 7

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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7. WHAT ARE GOD’S PRINCIPLES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT?

Introduction

The premise of this study on marriage is that we are to paint a portrait of the relationship of Christ and His Bride the Church. The Bible describes sinful mankind and a Holy God in conflict. Because God is holy he could not ignore the punishment our sin deserved. Because God loves us He made a just way for our sins to be forgiven. This forgiveness is made available through the substitutionary death of the sinless Son of God Jesus Christ. When sinners place their faith in Christ’s death in their place they are forgiven and the conflict with God is removed.

Every married couple experiences conflict on various levels. The issue is not avoiding all conflict. The issue is following God’s example and exhortations for resolving conflict. Conflict can result in separation or in resolution, depending on how we choose to respond. Let us begin by considering the gift of peace from the perfect Peacemaker.

I. RESOLVING CONFLICT IS POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD’S GIFT OF PEACE TO US.

God’s peace expresses itself in three dimensions.

A. We have been given the gift of peace with God. Romans 5:1-2

B. We have been given the gift of peace with others. Ephesians 4:2-3

We are called to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This tells us that the Spirit has already established unity in the relationships of believers.

In the marriage of two believers there is a spiritual unity established by the Holy Spirit based on spiritual realities. As we focus on the oneness we have in Christ we promote oneness in the marriage relationship. When we take our eyes off these spiritual realities, we disrupt unity.

C. We have been given the gift of peace with ourselves. John 14:27

If as believers we have been given the gift of peace and unity why do we still experience conflict in marriage and other relationships? It is helpful to consider the various sources of conflict because the source often dictates the solution.

II. RESOLVING CONFLICT REQUIRES AN HONEST CONSIDERATION OF THE SOURCES OF CONFLICT.

A. Sometimes marriage conflict comes from inappropriate desires.

1. The sources of inappropriate desires are the world, the flesh and the devil. James 4:1-4

James describes the conflict believers have with the world, the flesh and devil. Even though we have been set free from bondage to these influences we still experience temptation. Temptation appeals to the desires of the flesh in conflict with the desires of the Holy Spirit. In this passage we see a variety of desires that put us in conflict with God and in conflict with others.

• Lust is the desire for pleasures that are immoral.

The result of blocked lust is sometimes the destruction of other.

• Envy is the inappropriate desire for the position or possessions of others.

The result of blocked envy is fighting and quarrelling.

• Friendship with the world is expressed by living in its godless ways.

The result of worldly living is hostility with God.

2. The solution to inappropriate desires is repentance. James 4:7-10

• Repentance requires submission to God.

• Repentance requires resisting the devil

• Repentance results in drawing near to God and restoring fellowship.

• Repentance requires putting aside evil thoughts and deeds.

• Repentance includes a grieving over one’s sins.

• Repentance restores the humility that results in God blessing one’s life.

B. Sometimes conflict in marriage comes from natural differences.

1. Couples experience conflict based on different temperaments.

It may be helpful to distinguish between temperament, character and personality.

Temperament is a combination of inborn traits that affect our behavior subconsciously.

Character is one’s natural temperament modified by childhood training, education, spiritual convictions and beliefs.

Personality is an outward expression of ourselves, which may or may not reflect our character. Personality can be façade or a genuine expression of our inner self.

THE FOUR BASIC TEMPERMANTS THEORY

400 years before Christ, Hippocrates, a brilliant Greek physician and philosopher proposed four different types of temperament. While no person is a single-temperament type, each person usually has one type that is predominant over the others.

It may be helpful to read the following descriptions and identify your own dominant temperament and that of your spouse. Place an ”

I” in the space that best describes your temperament and an “S” on the line of the best description of your spouse.

___

Sanguine – The Sanguine are warm, buoyant, lively, receptive, spontaneous and out-going. He never lacks for friends. Feelings rather than reflective thought influence his decisions. He enjoys people and avoids solitude. He has a tendency to speak before he thinks.

___

Choleric – The Choleric temperament is described by the following words: hot, quick, active, practical, strong-willed, self-sufficient, decisive and opinionated. Cholerics are often leaders who are determined, purposeful and willing to stand against the opinion of others for what they believe is right. His least developed area is his emotions. He is often insensitive to the feelings of others because he is task, not relationship oriented.

___

Melancholic – The Melancholic temperament is described in the following words: analytical, self-sacrificing, gifted, perfectionist, sensitive and emotional. Melancholics are often gifted in the arts. A dependable friend but does not push himself on others. His analytical ability causes him to see the dangers and obstacles in any project he is part of planning. He has a strong desire to be loved by others. By nature he is an introvert. He is prone to emotional swings from ecstasy to gloom. He places high value on self-sacrifice.

___

Phlegmatic – The phlegmatic temperament is slow, calm, easy going, well balanced and happy. He enjoys life and has a dry sense of humor. He is rarely angry or depressed. He is steady and often tries to avoid direct involvement. He does not lack for friends because he enjoys people. He is sympathetic, but hides his true feelings. He does not seek leadership but when pressed to do it he proves capable. He tends to be a peacemaker.

2. Couples experience conflict based on different priorities and pace.

Priority refers to what we value.

___ I am task oriented if I value accomplishing a task over nurturing or establishing relationships.

___ I am people oriented if I value nurturing or establishing relationships over accomplishing tasks.

Pace refers to the speed or lack of speed generated by our temperaments.

___ I am a fast-paced person compared to most other people I know.

___ I am a slow-paced person compared to most other people I know.

TAKE IT TO HEART

1. What are some examples of how having different temperaments in marriage can lead to conflicts?

2. What are some examples of how having different priorities in marriage can lead to conflicts?

3. What are some examples of how having different pace in marriage can lead to conflicts?

4. How have these differences led to conflicts in your marriage?

3. Suggestions for resolving conflicts arising from temperament differences include:

 Allowing God to transform your temperament weakness through the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23

 Accepting each other’s differences and learning from each other’s strengths.

C. Sometimes conflict in marriage comes from differences of opinion.

1. Differences of opinion are common because each person is unique.

Many things influence our opinions and preferences. We reflect on previous experiences, the examples of our parents, the way we were raised. Our opinions will also be impacted by one’s personality, preferences and gender differences.

2. Suggestions for resolving differences of opinion include:

•Let each person express his or her point of view without interruption or criticism.

•Ask each other questions for clarification.

•Determine the main point of disagreement.

•Seek for any Biblical principles for or against the views presented.

•Commit to pray for a resolution and unity.

•If an impasse still exists and decision must be made and the issue the husband as leader should be granted that responsibility. (the wife is not obligated to do anything immoral or illegal under her husbands headship)

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. I Corinthians 11:3

III. CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN MARRIAGE SOMETIMES REQUIRES LOVING CONFRONTATION AND FORGIVENESS.

When a married couple has a difference of opinion that is serious enough to lead to conflict what should they do to resolve the issue?

A. Some couples react to conflict with “fight responses” (DOMINATION) such as:

•Outbursts of anger and loss of self-control.

•Abusive language

•Threats

•Physical assault

The “fight responses” are always inappropriate ways for believers to treat one another. If this is a pattern in your marriage you need to confess your sin before God and ask your mate for your forgiveness. Repentance is also needed. To repent is to change course or manner of behavior.

B. Some couples react to conflict with a “flight response” (ISOLATION) such as:

•Denial and pretending a problem does not exist

•Silence

•Withdrawing emotionally or physically from one’s mate.

•Separation

•Divorce

When a person is in physical danger, the “flight response” is an appropriate way to seek self-protection. In other kinds of conflict the “flight responses” are counter-productive. They deny or delay the need for resolution. They lead to resentment and isolation.

C. Some couples react to conflict with a “forgiving response” (RESOLUTION) which includes:

1. Caring confrontation:

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Galatians 6:1

 

“If anyone is caught in any transgression.” (INITIATIVE) — A transgression can be a moral transgression or a relational transgression. It is appropriate to approach someone we know and love if their behavior is offensive to God or to others. In marriage, it is an expression of love to confront wrongs committed by our spouse.

 

“you who are spiritual” — In church relationships the mature believers initiate confrontation. In marriage the caring spouse has that role. It is imperative that one be spiritually up to the task. Before confronting one’s spouse take time to examine your own heart. Be honest about your motivation.

 

“restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (AFFIRMATION) — The goal of confrontation is the restoration of the relationship. It is to resolve the offenses and return to marital oneness. Gentleness needs to be conveyed in one’s tone of voice and one’s choice of words.

 

“keep watch over yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (HUMILITY) — One temptation we need to conquer is the temptation of pride or arrogance. Just because we do not have the same weakness or sin of the person confronted is no basis for pride. We each have our own shortcomings and thus should always be humble when confronting one another.

2. Seeking Forgiveness

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Matthew 5:23-24

TAKE IT TO HEART TIPS

When seeking forgiveness always:

1. Confess your offense to God first.

2. Admit your wrong without blaming the other person.

3. State clearly the offense you are confessing.

4. State steps you have taken to avoid this offense in the future.

5. Ask for forgiveness.

6. Offer to pray for the offended person if they so desire.

2. Granting Forgiveness

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

TAKE IT TO HEART TIPS

When granting forgiveness always:

•Thank God for His generous forgiveness of your offenses.

•Acknowledge the hurt and pain the offense has caused.

•State the offense you are forgiving.

•Assure the offender of your own shortcomings.

•Affirm your desire to rebuild the damaged relationship.

•Pray daily for the offender and for restoration in the relationship.

The Heart of Marriage – WHAT IS THE PAINT FOR MARRIAGE – Week 6

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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6. WHAT IS THE PAINT FOR MARRIAGE?

Answer: Divine Love

INTRODUCTION:

At the beginning of this study we compared marriage to a portrait. In a way unique only to marriage, a portrait is being painted, in a spiritual sense. A physical portrait has several components: artists, a canvass, a brush, paint and a subject.

Let us consider these elements in the marriage analogy.

1. The Artist is God.

2. The canvas is the marriage relationship.

3. The brushes are the Husband and Wife submitted to God’s hand on their lives.

4. The paint is the divine love that abides in every believer.

5. The subject being painted is the image of Christ made visible in our marital relationship.

What does Scripture tell us about Divine love?

1. Scripture tells us God Himself is the embodiment of Love. 1 John 14:6

2. Scripture tells us love is experienced in a trust and obey relationship with God John 14:6b

3. Scripture tells us love reveals us as His disciples. John 13:35

4. Scripture tells us Jesus revealed a new kind of love. John 13:34

Jesus revealed a love that was not practiced or perceived by the Israelites in the Old Testament era. Jesus revealed a love that is not practiced or perceived in our world. It is a love characterized by grace, sacrifice, forgiveness and selflessness.

The Greek word for love is AGAPE. This is a self giving love that demands something from us. It is a radical commitment to place the welfare of others ahead of one’s self. It is the willingness to sacrifice time, energy and resources for the benefit of others. In the context of marriage, it is a radical commitment to seek God’s best for your spouse no matter what the cost.

Both husbands and wives are called to love each other. Ephesians 5:25 Titus 2:4

Unlike the brushes used by painters, human brushes have a mind of their own. It is necessary for human brushes to willingly submit to God’s will. If you are exhibiting these qualities in your marriage it shows you are yielded to His will. If you are not exhibiting these qualities in your marriage you are not yielded to His will. Christ’s will regarding love is described in all its spectrum of colors in I Corinthians 13:1-8a. The importance of God’s love in our lives and marriages is made clear in the first three verses.

I. The Portrait of Christ’s glory cannot be painted in our marriages without Divine love.

A. Without Divine love we amount to nothing 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

B. Without Divine love our works amount to nothing 1 Corinthians 13:3

II. The Portrait of Christ’s glory can be painted in our marriages with Divine love.

The spectrum of Divine love is described beginning with 1 Corinthians 13:4:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant

A. Paint your portrait of Christ and the Church with the color “Patience.”

Love is “always patient.” The word used here can also be defined as long-tempered. It is used almost exclusively of patience with people. It refers to a wronged person who has the ability to take revenge but chooses not to retaliate.

B. Paint your portrait of Christ and the Church with the color “Kindness.”

Kindness and patience are a unique pair. Patience will take whatever is necessary to reflect Christ’s image. Kindness will give whatever it takes to reflect Christ’s image. God Himself is the perfect model of kindness. Titus 3:4-6

Husbands and wives must be willing to serve each other, seek to make each other’s burdens lighter. Self-sacrifice is the key to active kindness.

C. Do not paint your marriage portrait with the color “Jealousy.”

Jealousy is like a two-headed monster. One head wants what other people have and the second head wishes others did not have their possessions. Jealousy is like a poison to a marriage relationship. It is an expression of selfishness that can destroy the oneness and happiness.

D. Do not paint your marriage with the color “Boastful Arrogance.”

A loving person does not brag about his or her own accomplishments. They are humble even in success. They know that all they are and all they have is a gift from God. James 1:16-17

Jesus, although equal with God, did not arrogantly cling to His rights and His position but emptied Himself to be our Servant. Someone has said, “Arrogance is big headed but love is big hearted.

Paul continues to describe Divine love in verse 5 — “does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered”

E. Do not paint your marriage portrait with color of “Unbecoming Behavior.”

A believer abiding in the Love of Christ refrains from inappropriate behavior. Titus 2:1-3

Love never resorts to tactless or ill manners. Offensive and unwholesome words and deeds are foreign to love. Love seeks to show honor and respect for others and is willing to adjust to the needs of others.

F. Do not paint your marriage portrait with the color of “Self-seeking.”

Love never acts for its own advantage over the needs of others. It is never motivated by the desire to gain its own rights, possessions and honor. Love is totally unselfish.

G. Do not paint your marriage portrait with the paint of “Quick Provocation.”

The one who loves as Christ loves is not embittered or enraged by abuse, wrong, insult or injury. It accepts the opposite of love and gives blessings to one’s enemies.

H. Do not paint your marriage portrait with the color of “Recorded Offenses.”

Love does not keep score of evil done to it. Love does not look for ways to get even with the offender. Love rather seeks to forgive and release the offender. It absorbs hurt as the sea quenches a spark. It pardons as God pardons sinful man.

Continuing in verse 6 Paul gives some import contrasts in Divine love — “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth”

I. Paint your marriage portrait with the color of “Grieving Evil and Rejoicing over the Truth.”

Love finds no pleasure in wrong. Love grieves over wrong because it recognizes the offense it is to God and suffering caused by evil. It also grieves for those who will ultimately suffer eternal punishment for lack of saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Love finds pleasure in every progress that truth makes in one’s heart and in the hearts of others. Truth brings men to salvation. Truth brings men to holiness. Truth brings men to the blessings of God. Love celebrates the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

In verse 7 we find the ability of love to exceed the challenges life places before us — “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.

J. Paint your marriage portrait with the color of “Bearing up under Suffering.”

Consider it all joy, my beloved brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Love endures sufferings and accepts hardship without complaining. It knows that trials are opportunities to trust God and develop spiritual maturity. It reflects Christ’s willingness to suffer greatly for those He loved.

K. Paint your marriage portrait with the color of “Consistent Faith.”

Love is not blind belief. Love puts its trust in the revealed Word of God. It sees clearly the evidence of God’s existence through his conscience, nature and the Word. He refuses to be distracted by the world’s values and the world’s ways.

L. Paint your marriage portrait with the color of the “Blessed Hope.”

Love recognizes that it may never receive the reward for its faithfulness in this life. But love is expressed because it pleases Jesus Christ the lover of our souls. Love “hopes in all things” promised in the future. Love know its true reward will be hearing, “well-done thou good and faithful servant.”

M. Paint your marriage portrait with color of remaining “Faithful under Pressure.”

Love does not run from pressure but runs to the Lord for strength in time of need. Love does not turn away from difficult marriage relationships nor does it shirk difficult responsibilities. Love is long-suffering and refuses to give up in defeat. Nothing deters love from its convictions.

REMEMBER: DIVINE LOVE NEVER FAILS TO REFLECT THE GLORIOUS IMAGE OF CHRIST AND ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSES IN OUR LIVES

TAKE IT TO HEART PROJECT:

At this point we want to stop and let you take a close look at your love life. What paint are you using on the canvas of your marriage and relationship with others? As you re-read the definitions of the paints, ask God to help you see clearly your strengths and weaknesses. Listen to the Holy Spirit to direct you to 2-3 of your strengths and 2-3 of your weaknesses. After evaluation, ask someone else to affirm or disagree with your self assessment. In the end chose one paint you wish to eliminate and one you wish to use more consistently.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I express this quality of love:

1. Almost always 3. Sometimes

2. Often 4. Almost never

A. Christlike love is always… (1 Corinthians 13:4)

____ “patient” – suffers long even when wronged repeatedly. It refuses to yield to just resentment.

____ “kind” – full of goodness, illustrated by the constant need to make oneself useful. It conquers idle selfishness and comfortable self-pleasure. To put oneself at the service of others.

B. Christlike love is… Not this…

But this…

____ ”

is not jealous” – Love never detracts from the praise that is due another nor tries to make him seem less and self seem more. When love sees another as prosperous, gifted, or rich it is pleased and glad of his advantages. It is satisfied with its own portion and glad of another’s greater portion.

____ ”

does not brag” – It never boasts of its own accomplishments and qualities. Has a proper estimation of his importance. Content to allow accomplishments to go unnoticed rather than bring credit to himself.

____ ”

is not arrogant” – Love does not have a superior attitude. Snobbishness and an inflated ego have no part with love. Love always projects humility and regards others as more important. Love handles success graciously.

 

Heart of Marriage – GOD’S PATTERN FOR WIVES – Week 5

 

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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5. WHAT IS GOD’S PATTERN FOR WIVES?

I. WIVES ARE TO FIRST LOVE JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus makes it clear that the way we express love for Him is by obeying His Word.

Obedience is the ultimate expression of worship because by it we make it clear that we trust Him and consider Him worthy to be Lord over our lives. To be a godly influence in her home a wife must first be a good follower of Christ.

A. Obeying Christ, wives seek to “to honor God’s Word” by example and exhortation.

Titus 2:3-5

1. Notice in these verses the kinds of behavior that “dishonor” the Word.

• “Malicious gossip”

• “enslaved to much wine”

2. Notice in these verses the kinds of behavior that “honor” God’s Word.

• “teaching what is good”

• “encouraging younger women to love their husbands”

• “encouraging younger women to be sensible”

• “encouraging younger women to be pure”

• “encouraging younger women to be workers at home”

• “encouraging younger women to be kind”

• “encouraging younger women to be subject to their own husbands”

B. Obeying Christ, wives cultivate their “hidden person of the heart.”

While man looks on the outward appearance, God looks at our hearts. When we focus only on the outside appearance we seek approval of the world’s values. What is precious in God’s eyes is not our physical beauty but our spiritual beauty.

Notice the qualities God is seeking.

• “a gentle spirit”

• “a quiet spirit”

• “submission to one’s husband” I Peter 3:1

• “chaste behavior” I Peter 3:2

• “respectful behavior” I Peter 3:2

C. Obeying Christ, wives seek to be “faithful in all things.”

1 Timothy 3:11

1. What does it mean to be “dignified?”

2. Why is the warning not to be a “gossip” repeated so often to women?

3. What does it mean to be “temperate”?

4. What does it mean to be “faithful”?

D. Obeying Christ, wives are modest in their looks and extravagant in their works.

1 Timothy 2:9-10

1. Wives are to be modest in their looks.

2. Wives are to be extravagant in their works.

E. Loving Christ, wives submit to God appointed authority.

1. Wives show their love for Christ by submitting to the teaching authority of the male leaders in the church. 1 Timothy 2:11-12

2. Wives show their love for Christ by reflecting the consequences of Eve’s disobedience. 1 Timothy 2:14

3. Wives show their love for Christ by training up their children to follow Him. 1 Timothy 2:15

II. Wives are to love their husbands.

Titus 2:4

A. Wives love their husbands by voluntarily submitting to their headship in the marriage and family.

1. God has designated the husband as the leader in the marriage relationship.

2. God calls wives to yield to the husband’s leadership because he represents Christ’s authority in the marriage.

3. The wife’s submission mirrors the submission of Christ’s bride, the church.

B. Wives love their husbands by showing them respect.

Ephesians 5:33

Question: What communicates “disrespect” to your husband?

1.

2.

3.

Question: What communicates “respect” to your husband?

1.

2.

3.

C. Wives love their husbands by being responsive to their needs.

1. The wife responds to her husband’s need for a co-worshipper.

2. The wife responds to her husband’s need for a co-worker.

3. The wife responds to her husband’s need for companionship.

4. The wife responds to her husband’s need for sexual intimacy.

God has designed marriage as a “one flesh” relationship. One of the ways husbands and wives love each other is by giving sexual pleasure to each other. Paul says that when we meet one another’s sexual needs in marriage it lessens temptation to immoral behavior.

In Willard Harley’s research he found the following needs among the husbands.

1. Sexual fulfillment

2. Respect

3. Household Manager

It is interesting that the Bible encourages wives to “respect” their husbands and be “workers” in the home.

D. Wives love their husbands by being committed to the wellbeing of the family.

Proverbs 31:10-31

TAKE IT TO HEART: PART I

1. Read through this passage aloud as a group.

2. Individually read through the passage underlining every character quality of this woman.

3. Individually read through the passage and circle each activity performed by this woman.

4. Individually read through the passage and list 5 qualities or activities you would like to reflect in your care for your family.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

TAKE IT TO HEART: PART II

What are your husband’s top 3-5 top needs that you could lovingly meet?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

For your information Willard Harley found the following needs among the wives.

1. Affection – someone who cared how they felt.

2. Conversation – someone who would talk to them on a meaningful level of openness.

3. Financial stability – someone who was a good money manager.

4. Trustworthiness – Someone who was truthful and faithful.

5. Help with the children – someone who was an active co-parent.

What are your top 3-5 needs you would like your husband to fulfill?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

1. Schedule a time with your spouse to discuss your top felt needs.

2. Take turns asking each other how you could best meet each other’s needs.

3. Ask for specific ways you could communicate love more effectively.

4. Be willing to confess shortcomings and grant one another forgiveness.

5. Choose one or two goals related to meeting your mate’s needs.

6. Pray together for the power of the Holy Spirit to be a better lover.

E. A wife loves her husband by growing in the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24

Growth Project

Memory Verses: 1Timothy 4:7-8

Using Scripture to Change My Life

This study is more important than anything we have done up to this point. Here you will be allowing God’s Word to bring specific change into your life. Remember, change—real spiritual change—is a work of God’s Spirit. Don’t ever think you can change in your own strength. This growth project is not magic, but it can help you use God’s Word to guide your attitude and behavior in relationship to God and your wife.

Here’s what you do.

Stage No. 1. —

Dismantling. “Lay aside the old self” (Ephesians 4:22)

a. Write out any wrong attitude or behavior in relation to your wife or others that you see in your life.

b. Think about and write down the negative consequences of these wrong attitudes or actions.

Stage No. 2 —

Rebuilding. “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23)

a. Begin memorizing the verses given on the following pages.

b. Memorize at least one per week until eight or nine are memorized.

c. As you memorize, write down ways that the verse applies to you.

d. Write down any insights or convictions you have gained through meditating on these verses.

Stage No. 3 —

Exercising. “And put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24)

a. After four to six weeks of memorizing, begin exercising your convictions by designing a project.

b. Write out specific ways that you desire to obey Scripture. Example: Pray every day for my wife and her needs.

c. Evaluate at the end of the time period or project and…

• do it again.

• Revise it.

• thank God for the victory; or

• do another project.

Stage No. 4 —

Defeating. “And not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27)

a. Satan will redouble his effort to tempt you and discourage you.

b. When he tempts you, quote the Scripture to him as a sword. (Matthew 4:1-11 and Ephesians 6:17)

Stage No. 5 —

Evaluating.

Record your experience and growth.

Four growth projects per year is a reasonable challenge.

TAKE IT TO HEART

Growth Project Verses

The following character traits and verses are only suggestions for you. For each additional character trait, you can easily complete your own by taking a topic and listing appropriate verses.

Kindness

Luke 10:34-35 1 John 3:16-18 Proverbs 14:21 Genesis 50:19-21

Acts 20:35b Proverbs 15:1 Leviticus 19:33-34 Ephesians 4:31-32

Luke 6:31 Matthew 25:35-36

Humility

Philippians 2:3-4 Romans 12:10 Matthew 23:11-12 Galatians 6:3

Luke 22:26 Isaiah 57:15 James 4:6b, 10 Romans 12:16 2

Corinthians 10:12 Romans 12:3a

Teachability

Psalm 143:10 Psalm 25:56 Psalm 78:7-8 Proverbs 29:1

Daniel 1:8 Proverbs 18:15 Proverbs 25:12 Jeremiah 9:23-24a

Psalm 32:9 Proverbs 2:1-10

Forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7 Micah 7:18-19 Luke 6:37 Luke 17:4

Romans 12:17-19 1 Peter 2:23 Luke 11:4a Mark 11:25

1 Peter 3:9a 1 Peter 3:8

Obedience

Luke 2:51a-52 Romans 13:1a Titus 3:1a, 2b 1 Samuel 16:7b

Deuteronomy 10:12 Matthew 6:24 Joshua 24:15 1 Samuel 12:20

Judges 16:16-17

Discernment

Proverbs 2:1-6 Hebrews 5:14 Colossians 4:5-6 Ecclesiastes 5:2

Proverbs 8:12-13 Proverbs 22:3 Proverbs 14:16 Proverbs 22:3

Proverbs 14:15 Proverbs 26:11

Purity

2 Timothy 2:22 Psalm 101:3-4 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 Romans 6:12-13a

Psalm 51:10 1 Timothy 1:5 Ephesians 5:1-4 1 Corinthians 6:9b, 12

1 Corinthians 6:18

Responsibility

John 10:11, 14 Romans 5:1-2 Genesis 43:9 Genesis 44:33-34

Joshua 24:15 Hebrews 11:24-25 1 Peter 4:10 Luke 17:10

Matthew 7:26 Luke 12:47

Courage

Daniel 3:16-17 1 Thessalonians 2:2 Joshua 1:9 Psalm 91:5-6

Acts 20:22-24 Deuteronomy 31:6 Daniel 6:5-11 Matthew 14:29b-31

Mark 4:37-40

Servanthood

Romans 14:21 1 Corinthians 10:24 Philippians 2:3-4 1 Corinthians 10:24

Matthew 23:11-12 Matthew 20:26-28 Mark 10:42-45 1 Corinthians 9:19

Matthew 25:42-43a Proverbs 11:26

Contentment

Lamentations 3:25-26 Psalm 27:13-14 Psalm 13:1-2 Psalm 37:4-5

Philippians 4:11-13 2 Corinthians 9:8 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Psalm 37:7

1 Timothy 6:9

Endurance

Revelation 14:12 Daniel 3:28 James 1:12 1 Peter 2:19-20

Matthew 24:1 Mark 13:13 Galatians 6:9 Hebrews 12:1

1 Corinthians 10:13 Hebrews 10:36, 38-39

Is Jesus God?

Colossians 1:15, 16 Colossians 1:17 John 1:1-3 1 Peter 2:22-25

Mark 1:22 1 Timothy 3:16 Matthew 3:13-17

If You Feel Worried

Proverbs 3:4-6 Psalm 55:17-19, 22 Proverbs 20:24 Psalm 124:8

Psalm 125:1-2 Matthew 6:25-34 Psalm 18:2-3

If You Feel Discouraged

Psalm 42:1-11 Psalm 130:1-7 Psalm 31:2-12, 19-21 Jeremiah 20:11-18

Psalm 102:1-7 1 Peter 5:7-11 Psalm 43:1-3 Ephesians 1:8

How Much Does God Love Us?

John 3:16 Romans 3:23 Romans 8:35-39 1 Corinthians 2:9

Ephesians 1:4-5 Ephesians 3:17-19 John 15:9-13 1 John 3:1

Heart of Marriage – GOD’S PATTERN FOR HUSBANDS – Week 5

 

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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5. WHAT IS GOD’S PATTERN FOR HUSBANDS?

I. IN GOD’S PATTERN THE HUSBAND IS TO FIRST LOVE JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus makes it clear that the way we express love for him is by obeying His Word. Obedience is the ultimate expression of worship because by it we make it clear that we trust Him and count Him worthy to be Lord over our lives. To be a good leader in the home a husband must first be a good follower of Christ. What does the Word say to men who would be godly husbands? Paul writes: Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, let everything you do be done in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14

A. In obedience to Christ, husbands protect their families from evil. “be on the alert”

The picture here is one of a man standing guard over his family as a soldier might stand guard duty for his fellow troops. Husbands are caring for their families in a hostile world. The Evil One is prowling like a lion seeking to destroy God’s children and godly families. So husbands are to stand between the evil world and their wives and children to observe and warn and when necessary do warfare against the spiritual enemies.

What enemies threaten your family?

1.

2.

3.

B. In obedience to Christ, husbands model the teachings of the Word. “stand firm in the faith”

“The faith,” in this context refers to body of truth including the Gospel and the teachings of Scriptures. To “stand firm” refers to an unwavering trust and consistent obedience to Christ. In the military comparison it would describe a soldier under attack who refuses to yield ground to the enemy. Husbands stand not in their own strength but in the power of the Lord. Husbands will be attacked by life’s trial and difficulties. Husbands will be attacked by Satan’s temptations. While no husband is perfect, every husband should aspire to greater and greater consistency in living out the truth before one’s family with confidence in the Lord.

C. In obedience to Christ, husbands act like Godly men. “act like men”

Every culture has its own definition what it means to act like a man. The most important source of information on manhood however, is not from human culture but God’s Word.

Let us consider some descriptions of the Godly man.

1. The man of God feeds on the Word of God.

2. The man of God models His life after the Perfect Man Jesus Christ.

3. The man of God yields to the Holy Spirit’s power.

4. The man of God exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit

5. The man of God refuses to act as a child

As males, we go through various stages of life. We go from boyhood to manhood. Some men become husbands. Some husbands become fathers. Some fathers become grandfathers. Some grandfathers become great-grandfathers. In each of these roles there are relationships and roles that need to be faced as a man, not as a boy.

Every day we need to ask the Spirit of God for the power to defeat the “boy” in us. The “boy” is seeking to take control of our speech, thoughts and reasoning. God calls us to be men not just aging boys. A man is different from a boy in that he does not focus on his own desires but makes loving relationships and taking responsibility his priority. Our wives need us to be men. Our children need us to be men. Our churches need us to be men.

D. In obedience to Christ, husbands are strong for their families. “be strong”

As men we often make the mistake of putting trust in our own strengths, gifts and abilities. In other words, some of us are guilty of self-confidence. Some men suffer a lack confidence. They have an attitude of defeat and discouragement. A man’s strength, spiritually, flows from Jesus the True Vine. As branches we remain connected to the Vine as we actively trust and obey. From that relationship we can indeed be “strong.”

E. For the Love of Christ men are great lovers. “let everything you do be done in love.”

The word for “love” here comes from the Greek word, AGAPE. It is the kind of love God showed us by sending Jesus to die for us. It is the kind of love that Jesus says will make all men know we are his disciples. It is the kind of love described in detail in I Corinthians 13. It is the kind of love we are to express to our wives as a portrait of the love of Christ for his church. Every word and deed of the godly man is to be clothed in this kind of love.

When Jesus was asked to state the greatest commandment, He answered with the top two commandments: To love God and to love others as we love ourselves. These are the two most important commandments. One definition of AGAPE is this: “A radical commitment to seek God’s best for others.”

When applied to our love for Jesus Christ it is a “radical commitment to do His will.” If we are to love our wives as God intended we must first love Jesus Christ by obeying His commandments and growing in His likeness.

TAKE IT HOME

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13. This passage lists the qualities of men who seek to be leaders in the Church. As you read, write on a piece of paper three of the qualities you are consistently exhibiting in your life and three qualities you would like to see grow more consistent in your life. (For example: able to teach, not addicted to wine, but gentle.)

Three qualities from 1 Timothy 3:1-13 I consistently demonstrate:

1.

2.

3.

Three qualities I need to see grow more consistent in my life:

1.

2.

3.

II. In God’s Pattern Husbands are to love their Wives.

A. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Ephesians 5:25-27

Here we see again the husband is “painting a portrait” of Christ on the “canvas” of his marriage. As others see the way a godly husband treats his wife, they also begin to understand the profound love of Christ for his bride the Church. As the wife experiences this love she is profoundly drawn to her husband’s Lord, the source of this love. As the wife experiences this love she is profoundly drawn to her husband. Her trust in him and respect for him increases with every word and action that makes her the focus of her husband’s affection.

1. A husband’s love requires self-sacrifice.

2. A husband’s love seeks to promote the wife’s spiritual growth.

3. A husband is to love his wife as he loves his own self.

This statement reminds husbands of some important truths. Woman was taken from the man’s rib and is flesh of his flesh. Secondly, in marriage the husband and wife are one flesh. Although the wife is an individual distinct from the husband she is also one with him. So when a man loves his wife he loves an extension of himself. He is nurturing a part of himself as he would nurture his own body. This verse emphasizes the unique closeness that characterizes the marriage relationship. Most people take care of their bodies by feeding them, cleaning them, developing their potential and protecting them.

a. A husband loves his wife as he loves himself by “nurturing” her?

To “nourish” means to help something grow. A husband is to help his wife grow to her full potential in Christ.

He is to help her grow spiritually by:

• Being a good example of a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.

• Spending time with her in the study of God’s Word.

• Praying with her and for her on a daily basis.

• Encouraging her to use her spiritual gift is service to Jesus Christ.

b. A husband loves his wife as he loves himself by “cherishing” her.

To “cherish” means to treat something or someone as valuable.

One principle might be this: You grow to cherish persons in whom you invest. Our wives are valuable because they are created in the image of God and because they are given to us by God to treat as valuable as our life partners. We must take time to invest in them and demonstrate by our words and actions their priceless value.

Consider some things you can do to show how much you value your wife:

• Take time each day to listen to her and communicate with her.

• Show appreciation verbally for who she is and what she does.

• Look for ways to make her burden lighter.

• Be sympathetic to her unique needs as a woman.

• Be a servant leader to her.

• Wash her feet.

• Tell her you love her.

• Help her develop her gifts and abilities.

B. HUSBANDS ARE TO LEAD THEIR WIVES AS CHRIST LEADS THE CHURCH

The Greek word for “head” is KEPHELE. It can refer to a physical head, the headwaters of a river or source of something. Overwhelmingly it is used of the leader or the one who has the responsibility to oversee. This definition is best used here because it is used in contrast to the wife’s call to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.

1. The Headship role of the husband is modeled after Jesus Christ.

Let us make some important observations about a husband’s headship.

1. Headship is a divine assignment and does not indicate superior ability.

2. Headship is a divine authority with accountability back to God.

3. Headship is not dictatorship put servant leadership.

4. Headship is not to be used to bully or intimidate or force a wife’s submission

5. Headship is to be modeled after Christ’s headship over the church.

2. The Headship responsibilities of the husband are modeled after Jesus Christ.

a. Headship includes taking responsibility for the material provision for his wife and family.

• The husband should manage the household finances well.

• The husband should put the families material needs before his own.

• The husband should be a good manager of the family’s resources and abilities.

b. Headship includes taking responsibility for the physical protection of his wife and family.

• Husbands must be willing to risk their own lives for the safety and wellbeing of their wives and families.

c. Headship includes taking responsibility for the spiritual protection of his wife and children.

• He protects his wife from destructive relationships with unhealthy friends or family members. He intervenes on her behalf to shelter her from harmful influences.

d. Headship includes taking responsibility to provide spiritual enrichment to his wife and family.

TAKE IT TO HEART

Read Genesis 3:1-7

1. List the ways Adam failed to love and lead his wife when confronted by an evil threat.

2. What was the root cause of Adam’s failure in your opinion?

3. What threats are facing your marriage and family needing your action?

4. What would make your wife feel nourished and cherished by you?

Heart of Marriage – Week 4

 

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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4. WHO IS GOD’S POWER FOR MARRIAGE?

In many cultures, marriage is an endangered institution. In the United States for example, it is estimated that of all the marriages taking place in 2012 at least 50% will end in divorce. Also in the States, fewer couples are getting married, opting instead for informal cohabitation. In some segments of American society, close to 70% of children are born out of wedlock. Of those who are married, many say they are unhappy or are just remaining together for cultural, religious or economic reasons. Why do people find marriage to be such a difficult living arrangement? How did what God intended as a gift and blessing, become for too many, an unwanted burden? For the answer, one needs to revisit the garden in which the first marriage took place.

I. IN THE BEGINNING MARRIAGE WAS IDEAL:

ADAM AND EVE REFLECTED THE PERFECT PORTRAIT OF MARRIAGE

A. IN THE BEGINNING ADAM AND EVE REFLECTED GOD’S IMAGE PERFECTLY

Adam and Eve had a perfect marriage because they were morally perfect. They always loved each other consistently; they always served each other sacrificially. They always spoke words of encouragement and good. They enjoyed perfect oneness with each other and perfect fellowship with God.

B. IN THE BEGINNING ADAM AND EVE OBEYED GOD’S WILL PERFECTLY

Adam and Eve were given responsibilities to manage and maximize their resources and potential. They were to maximize their reproductive potential by filling the earth with their offspring. They were to manage the natural resources such as fish and animals. To “subdue the animals” may have referred to domesticating them for work. Thus they would maximize their productivity. The cultivation of the garden indicates the garden needed tending and that Adam and Eve could improve its potential by caring for its plants. This assignment received no negative response from Adam and Eve and it was all pronounced, “very good.”

C. IN THE BEGINNING ADAM RECEIVED EVE ENTHUSIASTICALLY

The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib, which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:22-23

II. MARRIAGE BECAME AN ORDEAL: ADAM AND EVE’S DISOBEDIENCE DISTORTED THE PORTRAIT OF MARRIAGE

A. God established a test of Adam and Eve’s loyalty and submission to Him

• The test was a prohibition against eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

• The test was set in the midst of freedom to enjoy the fruit of all the other trees.

• The test reminded Adam and Eve that they were under the authority of their Creator.

• The test reminded Adam and Eve that God was their source of Life and Blessing.

• The test would result in death, if failed.

B. God’s test of Adam and Eve’s loyalty was failed.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field, which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:1-6

C. God’s warning of “death” took place.

The consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience was “death.”

The definition of “death” is separation from life. After eating the forbidden fruit death took place. Adam and Eve were immediately separated from the life God has given them. Adam and Eve were immediately separated from the life of personal holiness. They were immediately separated from the life of perfect fellowship with God. Adam and Eve were immediately separated from the life of perfect marital oneness. Adam and Eve were immediately separated from the life of eternal existence on the earth as God’s overseers.

D. The “death” caused by disobedience produced devastating consequences.

• SHAME

Adam and Eve were ashamed before each other.

Adam and Eve were ashamed before their Creator.

• BLAME

Adam blamed the woman God had given him.

Eve blamed the serpent God had created.

• PAIN

Eve would experience pain when she gave birth to children.

Adam and Eve would experience pain in their marriage.

Adam would experience pain in his labors for food.

Adam and Eve would experience the pain of physical death.

Adam and Eve would experience pain in their parenting.

Summary: “the wage of sin is death.”

III. THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST MARRIAGE CAN BECOME A NEW DEAL: THE PORTRAIT OF MARRIAGE CAN BE RESTORED THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

A. GOD PREDICTED ONE WHO WOULD REVERSE THE CURSE OF SIN ON MANKIND

Genesis 3:14-15

B. GOD PROVIDED THE ONE WHO WOULD REVERSE THE CURSE OF SIN

Matthew 1:20-23

Romans 3:21-26

C. GOD PROMISES TO REVERSE THE CURSE FOR ALL WHO PUT THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.

John 3:16

1. THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WE CAN EXPERIENCE FREEDOM FROM SIN’S PENALTY.

Romans 8:1-2

2. THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WE CAN EXPERIENCE FREEMDOM FROM SIN’S POWER.

Romans 6:12-13

3. THROUGH JESUS CHRIST WE WILL EXPERIENCE FREEDOM FROM SIN’S PRESENCE.

John 14:2-3

IV. GOD’S NEW DEAL FOR US BEGINS WITH OUR PERSONAL REQUEST FOR FORGIVENESS BY FAITH

A. Placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ is a personal choice

John 1:12-13

B. Placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ shows trust in His work not our works.

Ephesians 2:8-9

C. Placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ acknowledges He is the only way of salvation.

Romans 6:23

John 14:6

D. Placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ means you accept the Gospel as true.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

TAKING IT TO HEART:

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and would like to ask Him to forgive you and grant you new life you can do it now through a simple prayer of faith.

“Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross in my place. I confess that I am a sinner unworthy of your grace. I believe that you paid for my sins through your death. I believe that you can grant me forgiveness and new life by the power of your resurrection. Lord Jesus, be merciful to me a sinner and forgive me of my offenses against you. Lord, grant me your new everlasting life by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

As a child of God we need spiritual food and exercise to be healthy. God’s word is our food and God’s work is our exercise. In the book of James it says, “Faith without works is dead.” So we need to feed on God’s word and obey what it says. As we trust and obey we will grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ. As we grow closer to Christ’s likeness we will see growth in our marital oneness as well. The pure love of God described in I Corinthians 13 is now within our Spirit filled ability to live out. At this point consider the following simple Bible study method for your daily feeding on God’s Word.

V. GOD’S NEW DEAL IS EMPOWERED BY OUR PERSONAL SUBMISSION TO THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT

A. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead along with the Father and the Son.

B. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to empower our new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit ministers to believers on earth until they are reunited with Christ in heaven.

*He is called a “helper.”

*His is called “the Spirit of truth.”

*He is with the believer forever.

*He is indwelling every believer.

C. The Holy Spirit is our Source of Power unleashed through our obedience. Jesus promised to send His disciples One who would give them the power to do His will and work on earth.

D. The Holy Spirit’s power is neglected when we disobey.

1. The Holy Spirit is “grieved” by disobedience.

2. The Holy Spirit is “quenched” by disobedience.

3. The Holy Spirit is unleashed by willful submission.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is contrast to the drunkenness of wine. When a person is drunk he is under the influence of that drink. The world offers many drinks, drugs, addictions and influences to which we are tempted to yield for temporary pleasure. All of the world’s offerings ultimately destroy our bodies, our morals and our relationships. The only influence we can trust to have control over us is the Holy Spirit. He is perfect and brings only good things to those who will trust Him with their daily decisions and behavior.

F. The Holy Spirit is our Source of the behavior and attitudes that exhibits Christ’s likeness.

Galatians 5:16

Galatians 5:22-26

Summary:

GOD’S NEW DEAL ENABLES US TO FUFILL HIS PURPOSES IN OUR MARRIAGES

The Holy Spirit enables us to Mirror God’s image

The Holy Spirit enables us to Mutually complete each other

The Holy Spirit enables us to Multiply a Godly legacy

Heart of Marriage – Week 3

 

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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3. WHAT ARE GOD’S PURPOSES FOR MARRIAGE?

God’s purposes for our marriage should be every married couple’s priority for their marriage. When we embrace God’s purposes many eternal and temporal benefits result. First of all, our marriages bring pleasure to the God that gave us marriage as a gift. Obedience always results in God’s blessing in this life and rewards in the life to come. Secondly, aligning with God’s purposes for marriage produces joy and fulfillment to the couple themselves. Thirdly, our marriages become a healthy nesting place for the spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing for our children. Finally, believer’s marriages become a witness to the lost world of the existence of invisible God living out His love and will through our relationship.

PURPOSE # 1: TO MIRROR THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHRIST TO HIS CHURCH

A. THE HUSBAND IS TO PAINT A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST’S LOVE FOR THE CHURCH

A husband’s love has a divine standard. It does not say, “Love your wife like your neighbor loves his wife.” Nor does it say, “Love your wife as your father loved your mother.” It says, “Love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Suffice it to say that husbands can only love as Christ loves with Divine help. It is a love characterized by “giving up,” another way of saying sacrificial. Someone has defined Divine love as, “a radical commitment to seek God’s best for one’s spouse.”

B. THE WIFE IS TO PAINT A PORTRAIT OF THE CHURCH’S SUBMISSION TO CHRIST

A wife’s submission to her husband has a practical and spiritual dimension. Practically it shows the marriage is a small organization with a designated team leader. In the case of marriage the leadership rests with husband and wife and demonstrates respect for God’s chosen leader by submitting willingly to his delegated authority. In the spiritual realm the wife is reflecting or modeling the obedience that Christ’s Bride the Church gives to Him. This submission is an expression of respect for the husbands God given-role and trust in God’s design for marriage. Submission in the Bible is never a response forced on a wife by her husband. Submission is a willful decision based on her obedience to her Lord. It is obvious that wives need Divine help to respond with a submissive spirit toward their husbands.

PURPOSE #2: TO MUTUALLY SERVE GOD AND COMPLETE EACH OTHER

A. HUSBANDS AND WIVES ARE TO MUTUALLY SERVE GOD

Eve is described as a “helper” for Adam. Eve was to help Adam by being his CO-WORKER. At this point in human history Adam had been given a garden to cultivate and keep. Eve was to help him in that work. A work that spoke of the dominion God had granted mankind over creation. Adam and Eve had the exalted task of being king and queen over God’s earth. They were His designed representatives created in His image to be earth’s managers. This co-worker relationship continues to be a priority purpose for married couples.

Eve was also a helper in the sense of a CO-WORSHIPPER. Adam and Eve were over God’s creation, but under the authority of the Creator. Worship is ascribing God his due honor and worth. In the garden Adam and Eve were to worship through obedience to God’s Word. All of God’s commands such as the food for eating, filling the earth, exercising dominion were of a very positive nature. There was only one negative command. There was a tree in the garden that God used to show Adam and Eve the difference between good and evil. To eat of the fruit of this tree was evil, not to eat was good, so together Adam and Eve were to serve God by being co-workers and co-worshippers. Husbands and wives are to be co-worshippers. A couple’s love for God must come before their love for each other. The more their lives are an offering of sacrificial worship to God the more their oneness will increase with Him and each other.

B. HUSBANDS AND WIVES ARE TO MUTUALLY COMPLETE EACH OTHER

Adam was judged by God to have a problem. He was alone. He was a relational being with no one like himself to relate with. After naming animals, Adam found no one who was bone of his bones or flesh of his flesh. God’s solution was to take a rib from Adam’s side as he slept and from that rib create a woman. When Adam saw Eve he proclaimed, “this is now (finally) bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken from the man.” Genesis 2:22

Eve was described by in Genesis, as “a helper suitable” for Adam. A “suitable helper” is one that corresponds to him. Someone who is designed to solve his “aloneness” need and in turn Adam solved her aloneness need. The man and woman were designed specifically to be COMPANIONS. This companionship was to result in an intimate oneness spiritually, emotionally and physically in a bond called marriage.

TAKE IT HOME

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE TOP FIVE NEEDS OF YOUR SPOUSE?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE NEEDS IN YOUR MARRIAGE?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

C. HUSBANDS AND WIVES ARE TO MULTIPLY GODLY CHILDREN

In I Thessalonians 2:10-11 Paul is describing his parent-like love for the believers in Thessalonica. In his words we find a beautiful reminder of the attitudes and behaviors parents should express toward their children. In these verses we find both tenderness and teaching. We find warmth and love coupled with the communication of the truth. In other words, children need a loving relationship from their parents as the foundation for respect and openness to instruction. It is clear in Scripture that God created the husband and the wife to be Co-parents.

There are three distinct phases to healthy parenting.

Phase #1 Receive — Parents need to RECEIVE their children as a gift from God.

Phase #2 Raise — Parents need to raise their children to know and love God.

Phase #3 Release — “Parents need to release their children to adulthood.

Releasing one’s adult child is very important to the development of two critical other relationships. When you release your child you enable them to develop a healthy dependence on the Lord. They are forced to trust Him to meet their needs rather than the parents. Releasing also gives children an opportunity to develop a healthy interdependence in marriage. Parents who cling to their adult children often drive them away. When an adult child is released, financially, emotionally and spiritually they become peers with their parents. From this position a long term healthy ongoing fellowship can proceed without resentment from the child or interference from the parents.

TAKE IT HOME

What are the three purposes God has given for marriage?

Clues:

1. Mirror…

2. Mutually…

3. Multiply…

What key words describe the interdependence of the husband and wife?

1) Co-worker 2) Co-worshiper 3) Companion 4) Co-parent

“His Needs Her Needs”

Willard Harley

Needs Expressed by Men and Women in Marriage:

Affection A Recreational Partner

Respect Conversation,

A Trustworthy Spouse Sexual Fulfillment

Financial Stability Keeping Up Physical Appearance

Helping with Children An Orderly Household

1. What do you think are the top 5 needs of your spouse? 1-5 in Rank (From the list or others not listed.)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

2. What are your top five needs in rank 1-5 (From the list or others not listed.)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

3. Now compare at home and discuss how you meet each other’s needs.