Marriage & Intimacy: Marriage as Commitment (07.29.19)
Open in prayer and then sit in 3 minutes of silence to shift focus toward this time of seeking God and practicing the way of Jesus.
As a church, we are committed to letting Ephesians 4:2-6 guide how we interact with the Spirit and one another—including when we talk about topics like marriage.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:2-6).
In light of this, here is an exercise to help us in understanding our collective background around marriage.
- Slowly read through the statements below as a group.
- In a spirit of courage and openness, raise your hand if you can resonate with any of the statements as they are read.
- Group members should silently observe the rest of the group’s experiences and background.
- Limit conversation to a minimum until the end of the exercise, but remember the thoughts, feelings, and questions that come up for follow-up conversation.
Read each statement slowly, and if you’re comfortable doing so, raise your hand if you agree with, relate to, or identify with the statement:
- I grew up in the church.
- I did not grow up in the church.
- The church I grew up in consistently taught on marriage.
- The church I grew up in did not talk about marriage that much.
- The church I came to faith in was mostly made up of families.
- The church I came to faith in was mostly made up of unmarried people.
- I feel like I have a clear understanding of the Bible’s teaching on marriage.
- I feel like I don’t have a clear understanding about the Bible’s teaching on marriage.
- I feel like the church has elevated marriage over singleness.
- I feel like the church has elevated singleness over marriage.
- I came from a home with two parents who have remained married.
- I came from a home where my parents were divorced.
- I came from a single-parent family.
- I came from a family with two parents who were never married.
- I came from a blended family involving step-parents.
- I was raised by grandparents or other relatives.
- I came from multiple families, perhaps due to foster care, adoption, or otherwise.
- My parent(s) hold(s) a strong Christian faith.
- My parent(s) do(es) not hold a strong Christian faith.
- I am married.
- I am not married.
- I was married but no longer am.
- I hope to be married.
- I do not hope to be married.
- I am ambivalent about being married.
- I have been engaged to be married before.
- I have had an engagement that didn’t result in getting married.
- I have dated a person seriously where we both hoped we would marry each other.
- I feel pressure to get married.
- I feel no pressure to get married.
- I wonder why some people aren’t married.
- I think some wonder why I’m not married.
- I don’t think about marriage that much.
- I think some people idolize marriage.
- I think I have idolized marriage.
- I think the church has idolized marriage.
- I am tired of hearing about marriage.
- I want to learn more about marriage from the Bible.
- I want to support married people in my community.
- I want to support unmarried people in my community.
- I want people to support me in my experiences, feelings, and thoughts around marriage.
Take some time to discuss what you noticed about your community through this exercise. After discussing, have a few people pray for your group.
Hearing & Responding to Scripture
Slowly read through this week’s core sermon Scripture: Matthew 19:1-6.
Prayerfully reflect with these questions for 5-10 minutes, and discuss with a partner or group:
- What stood out or surprised you in this Scripture?
- What might God be trying to communicate to His people and to you specifically through this Scripture about marriage?
- In honest response to God, tell Him how his Scripture’s message affects you. What do you want God to know or see that is happening in your life?
Take a moment to intercede for one another, for those you know who need prayer, and for God’s will to be done in our city.