NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (Nov. 9) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this morning’s sermon (or sermon series).
To declare and celebrate the God-given gift and institution called “marriage.”
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
• Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2.24 NRSV)
• A wife of noble character who can find? … Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Prov. 31.10a,11-12 NIV)
• … at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Mark 10.6-9 NIV)
• … submit to each other out of respect for Christ. For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord. A husband is the head of his wife like Christ is head of the church, that is, the Savior of the body. So wives submit to their husbands in everything like the church submits to Christ. As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. He did this to make her holy … He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless. That’s how husbands ought to love their wives—in the same way as they do their own bodies. Anyone who loves his wife loves himself. No one ever hates his own body, but feeds it and takes care of it just like Christ does for the church because we are parts of his body. This is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two of them will be one body. … each one of you should love his wife as himself, and wives should respect their husbands. (Ephesians 5.18b,21b-26a,27-31,33 CEB)
• Marriage must be honored in every respect … (Hebrews 13.4a CEB)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. When it comes to finding a solid marriage mate, opposites attract. True or false? Explain.
2. Briefly tell us about a marriage you knew much about that powerfully honored God.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this sermon.
1. What Old Testament texts does Jesus quote in Mark 10.6-9?
2. Compare the rendering of the first part of Heb. 13.4 in various English translations/versions.
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. Marriage is a sacred thing. How so? What makes it so?
2. Why did God make marriage? That is, why marry? “What’s marriage got to do with it?”
3. Someone says, “Cohabitate. You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it.” Your response?
4. Brainstorm a list of advantages and blessings that come from being married (not cohabitation).
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Single. Married. Both are God-given gifts (1 Cor. 7.7). Pray for our church’s singles and married.
2. Grow the level of respect you give your mate. Strive especially to start and end each day well.