Relat(able) - week 6

Marriage with a Mission

This week’s relationship focus is marriage (in case the title wasn't obvious enough). If you are single, the conversation below is still valuable to have with your group...

Conversation points:

  • What are some famous marriages from history, film, literature, or television? What stands out to you about these marriages? How realistic were they?
  • How have your ideas of marriage that you formulated growing up changed today?

As we weave our way through the various relationships in life we land this week on marriage (or “mawwiage” if you’re a Princess Bride fan). The premiere marriage passage in the New Testament has to be Ephesians 5:21-33. At the “macro” level, Paul says this about marriage:

Marriage is a picture- a picture of God’s love for the church, his commitment to his people.

Marriage is a covenant- a binding agreement, not a ceremony, a party, or an exchanging of vows and rings.

Conversation point:

  • Why is submission a difficult concept for most people? How is God’s concept of submission different from the world’s concept?

Practically, spouses in healthy marriages should do these things:

  1. Prioritize your marriage
    Your spouse is the most important relationship in your life on earth apart from Jesus. You have to prioritize that relationship and “align your orbits,” because the relationship will become fragmented if you're not moving together in the same space.

  2. Talk to your spouse
    When you talk to your spouse, allow for vulnerability without immediate retaliation. Have conversations that help you find out how your spouse is really doing- listen so your spouse feels safe in sharing and knows you won’t make judgments or give criticism (by the way, scheduling your lives ≠ having a real conversation).

  3. Contend for your marriage
    We contend for the stuff we really want. Show your spouse that your marriage is worth contending for. Everything on this planet is against your marriage, so you need to make choices that put your marriage before yourself.

  4. Champion your spouse
    Publicly and privately champion your spouse. Go on record publicly as being supportive of your spouse’s efforts. Privately praise and encourage your spouse to show that you aren't just looking for attention but are sincerely applauding him or her.

  5. Resign from the mission of changing your spouse
    Instead, adopt the greater mission of making God first in everything. Everything funnels into the mission, which comes out of the statement that “Jesus is everything.”

Conversation point:

  • Which of the 5 points above resonates with you the most? Why?
  • What are practical things all of us can do to strengthen marriages around us?

Deeper Dive

If you or your group wish to further explore this week’s topic:

Revisit Ephesians 5:21-33.

  1. What is the connection between submitting to each other and our relationship with Jesus?
  2. How would you summarize the roles of the husband and wife presented by Paul in this passage?
  3. How is Jesus, through his love for the church, a role model for husbands? How should this role benefit wives?