Monthly Archives: September 2012

Heart of Marriage – Week 2

 

The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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2. WHAT ARE COMMON PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE?

Couples who fail to address and resolve life’s problems by obeying God’s Word will lack oneness in their relationship with God, each other and their children.

LISTED HERE ARE SOME COMMON POTHOLES IN THE ROAD OF LIFE THAT DISRUPT ONENESS.

SELFISHNESS

Oneness and marriage is disrupted by selfishness. Selfishness is a focused on pleasing self while ignoring God’s will and the wellbeing of others. Couples seeking oneness will need to honestly acknowledge the temptation to selfishness and embrace God’s solution to conquer this marital pothole.

SOCIETY

The environment in which we live out our marriages is hostile not friendly. The word “world” in scripture refers to the earth’s fallen culture ruled by the “Prince of the power of the air” and dominated by evil. The pleasures of the “world” are strong temptations for our affections. If we willfully yield to these temptations we can become ensnared in behaviors, habits and addictions that divert our hearts from God and our spouse.

SUFFERING

Suffering comes from various sources: natural, supernatural and Divine. Natural suffering comes to us because all creation is under the curse of man’s sin. We are vulnerable to diseases, injury and aging. All of these carry with them a degree of pain and suffering. We also have suffering from the supernatural realm of the Devil and His Demons.

SUCCESS

In many ways the greatest threat to our spiritual integrity is not poverty but prosperity. The prosperity experienced in Western Civilizations has resulted in many turning to a totally secular life style. Prosperity gives one the impression that God is not needed in one’s life. Prosperity out of balance can also lead husbands and wives to growing independence from each other. Financial independence can make divorce a more attractive option for couples struggling with conflict.

Prosperity in balance is not evil. Those who see their wealth or positions of influence as gifts from God to be used for the Kingdom are blessed. Couples seeking oneness with God and each other will need to Christ honoring stewards of any success they may experience.

SEX

Couples seeking oneness with God and oneness with their spouse will need to abstain from immorality.

SEPARATION

Short-term Separation: For many couples, separation for 10-12 hours a day is a requirement of their employment. In some cases this has led to temptations, attraction and even extra marital affairs. Business travel also presents a unique set of circumstances in which temptations must be faced.

Long-term Separation: Long-term separation is often necessitated by employment in other parts of one’s own country or in other countries. Long-term separation requires a plan to communicate long distances and to order one’s life in a way that honors God and one’s marriage vows.

Couples who want to grow in their oneness with God and each other must not let short or long- term separation lead to unfaithfulness or abandonment

ILLUSTRATION:

As believers, we are called the bride of Christ. Jesus is our spiritual husband. Our faith in him has established our betrothal to him. But we are presently separated from his presence. He is away preparing a place for us. But while he is away he continues to love us by praying for us and sending us love letters (Scriptures). He motivates us to be faithful in this period of separation by anticipating the joy of our reunion, ultimate consummation and fellowship forever in His Father’s house.

SPENDING

Every married couple will be required to administrate their assets. Some will manage $500.00 per year, others $500,000 per year. Regardless of the amount, there are basically three things we can do with assets: save, spend or give. While most couples agree on these three options there can be disruptive differences on the proportion allotted to each area. Couples who want to promote oneness with God and each other must apply biblical principles to their management of their assets.

TAKE IT TO HEART

What other “potholes” in road of life might negatively impact the alignment of your marital oneness?

List here:

1.

2.

3.

How have these “potholes” negatively impacted your marriage?

Degrees of Negative Impact: 1-None, 2- Sometimes, 3-Frequently, 4-Greatly

Selfishness ____

Society ____

Suffering ____

Success ____

Sex ____

Separation ____

Spending ____

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Heart of Marriage – Week 1

 The Heart of Marriage

Dennis & Jill Eenigenburg

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1. WHAT IS GOD’S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE?

God’s plan for marriage is introduced in Genesis 2:22-25.

After God created Eve, he brought her to Adam. Adam enthusiastically receives Eve as a gift from God. Her Hebrew name is Isha (woman) which is simply the feminization of his name Ish (man). Adam sees his own flesh and bones in her. By design God made Eve as a “helper” suitable to him. (Genesis 2:20). The word helper “Ezer” is sometimes viewed as an inferior name. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The word “Ezer” is used of God Himself, “a help in time of need.” The sense is that Eve was to be the one to help Adam obey the creator. She would be a co-worshiper, a co-parent, a companion and co-worker under God’s authority.

At this point, the author of Genesis under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit inserts a commentary. It is because of this purposeful creation of the man and woman that God also defines a special relationship for them called marriage.

God’s Plan for Marriage Includes Three Distinct Aspects

I. “LEAVE” – A MAN SHALL ESTABLISH INDEPENDENCE FROM HIS OWN PARENTS

“And man shall leave his father and mother.”

A. What it does not mean to leave father and mother?

“To leave” does not mean to dishonor one’s parents.

“To leave” does not mean to neglect your parents.

B. What it does mean to leave father and mother:

1. It means to establish financial independence from one’s parents.

2. It means to establish emotional independence from one’s parents.

3. It means to establish authoritative independence from one’s parents.

Take It to Heart

1. Do you agree with the previous examples about “leaving?”

2. How should Biblical “leaving” express itself in your culture?

3. Have you “left” your parents in the Biblical sense?

When couples fail to establish healthy independence from their parents, there are negative consequences on their marriage. A failure to leave undermines the husband’s headship in marriage and divides the loyalty of the wife. If you have failed to establish healthy separation from your parents, you can do it in the spirit of “honor” and love.

Summary: Remember, a healthy “leaving” must precede a healthy “cleaving.”

II. CLEAVE – A MAN SHALL FORM A LIFELONG BOND WITH HIS WIFE

“Cleave to his wife…”

The word for cleave is used elsewhere in the Bible to describe a tight bond. It is used for example to describe a belt tightly cinched around one’s waist.

A. “Cleaving” is described as “what therefore God formed together.” Not only is there an element of human commitment but a divine sealing of husband and wife in marital union.

B. “Let no man separate” indicates God intends marriage to be a permanent relationship.

Many in the days of Jesus view marriage as a temporary relationship. If a man was displeased with his wife for any cause he would simply say, “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you and the marriage was over. Jesus rebukes that view.

Other Scriptures that support God’s plan for permanence in marriage:

Malachi 2:13

Matthew 5:31-32

Matthew 19:7-10

Take It to Heart

In Matthew 5 and 19, Jesus uses the “except” in regard to the permanence of marriage. In Matthew 5:32, he says, “Except for the reason of un-chastity” and in Matthew 19 He says, “except for immorality.”

1. What do you think about these exceptions?

2. Do you think they require divorce? Why?

3. Do you think they allow for divorce? Why?

4. Do you think these offenses can be forgiven and marriages continued? Why?

5. Do you believe there are other biblical grounds for divorce? What are they?

Summary: The word “cleave” indicates that God’s plan for marriage is one man and woman committed to a lifelong marital relationship.

III. ONE FLESH – THE MAN AND HIS WIFE ARE TO EXPERIENCE A ONE FLESH RELATIONSHIP THROUGH SEXUAL INTIMACY

The “one flesh” relationship is restricted to the man and woman bond in the covenant of marriage.

This exclusive sexual relationship is further demonstrated by the illicit expressions of sexual activity prohibited in Scripture.

The word for immorality PORNEIA refers to every kind of prohibited sexual relations.

1. Acts that produce illegitimate children (John 8:19, 41)

2. Acts of homosexuality (Romans 1:29)

3. Acts of incest (1 Corinthians 5:1, Leviticus 18:6-18)

4. Acts of fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

5. Acts of sexual immorality associated with pagan worship (Revelation 2:20-21)

6. Sexual intercourse with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:15-16)

7. Bestiality is prohibited. Leviticus 18:23

8. You shall not commit adultery. Deuteronomy 5:18; Leviticus 1, Leviticus 20:10

9. You shall not look upon a woman to lust after her. Matthew 5:27-28

Summary: God’s design is for the “one flesh” relationship to be exclusive for the man and woman in a marriage relationship.

Take It to Heart

1. How important is sexual purity before marriage? Why?

2. How would you demonstrate this from Scripture?

3. How important is fidelity in marriage? Why?

4. What negative consequences are avoided by obeying these guidelines?

5. What positives are gained by obeying God’s will in our sexual lives?

Heartof Marriage Series

MARRIAGE AS A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE THE CHURCH

Elements of Marriage in Biblical Times CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE
1. Son’s father chooses the bride. 1. “just as He chose us” Ephesians 1:4
2. Groom’s friend speaks for groom 2. (John the Baptist) “the friend of the bridegroom” John 3:29
3. A bride price is paid 3. “you have been bought with a price” I Corinthians 6:20
4. A betrothal period begins 4. “I go and prepare a place for you” John 14:3
5. The groom proceeds to meet the bride. 5. “I will come again and receive you to Myself” John 14:3
6. The bride is dressed in white. 6. “he who overcomes will be dressed in white garments” Revelation 3:5
7. The bride and groom meet in the company of their friends, musicians and singers. 7. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet God.” I Thessalonians 4:16
8. The bride and groom enjoy a celebration meal with family and friends. 8. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb.” Revelation 19:9
9. Gifts exchanged at wedding. 9. “If any man’s work remains he shall receive a reward.” Corinthians 3:14
10. The marriage consummated. 10. “come I will show you the bride the wife of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:9
11. The bride takes the husband’s name.

11. “I will write upon him the name of My God.” Revelation 3:12

12. Married “till death do us part.” 12. “they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5

Teachers: Dennis Eenigenburg, Jill Eenigenburg and Kit Marye