At the heart of the matter, marriage is a commitment first to God, and second to our spouse. This commitment is to be taken strongly and seriously. That is why every marriage ceremony usually includes sharing vows. If you are married, are you struggling to remember that you made a commitment before God and your spouse to fight to have a strong, vibrant, and healthy marriage when you said your vows? Maybe the struggle with your marriage is that you and your spouse are not pursuing vibrant relationships with God. If you are single, maybe you are reading this thinking about your own relationship with God? Are you pursuing Him with everything you have? Today we are going to talk about how to have strong relationships, specifically marriages.
If you're married, what was the best part of your wedding? If you're single, what was the best wedding you have ever been to?
1. In your experience, what causes relationships to be successful. What causes them to fail?
2. Read Matthew 19:1-6. What do these verses reveal about marriage? How does God see marriage?
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
3. Why is it so important for vows to be made during a marriage ceremony? Why is it hard for people to live up to their vows?
4.What are ways that husbands and wives can commit to each other daily?
5. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. If you are married, do you demonstrate this kind of love for your spouse? How might showing this love consistently affect your marriage?
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
6. In what areas do your relationships, particularly your marriage, need help?
7. Are you asking God and other godly leaders for help in your marriage or in your relationships? Why or why not?
Let's spend some time evaluating our commitments, first to the Lord, and then to our spouses for those who are married. What can you do this week to focus on your commitment to God? How can you ensure that you spend time with Him consistently? Maybe it means going to bed earlier. Maybe it means putting your phone down or perhaps it looks like making lunches for work or school the night before so that you have more time with God before you begin your day. Choose one step to take this week to commit to Him, and tell your group what you have decided. Keep your group members accountable throughout the week. Next, if you are married, choose one way to commit to your spouse this week. Maybe you can set aside time for a date night. Maybe you can take care of a chore that your spouse normally does. Perhaps this looks like doing something thoughtful for your spouse so that they know you care and are remaining committed to them.
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Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.