Date Night Study Hall Session One: The 5 C's of Marriage - Covenant.
Date Night Study Hall
Covenant - September 13
Walking vs Swimming
Ephesians 5:25 and Titus 2:3-4- Why do we need to be taught to love? What is love?
Ephesians 5:25 – not about emotion; it’s about Christ.
“In love” is a consumer, self-driven connection; love is a covenant, self-sacrificing commitment. Children as our culture’s primary covenantal relationship.
You cannot love like Christ on your own; you need Christ-in-you.
Break – explanation of class outline:
September 13 – Covenant
September 20 – Communication
September 27 – Conflict
October 4 – Closeness
October 11 – TBD
October 18 – Children (metaphorical & literal)
Covenant (The Foundation of the House)
Abraham and Sarah – Genesis 16:1-15. Key concept – Everyone’s marriage is messed up – it’s not just yours! Abraham and Sarah had more dysfunction than most.
Our focus in popular culture is on “boy meets girl.” But what happens next? What is the point of marriage and is it really better than just dating?
Aside – There are two major problems with Scriptural studies on this topic. First, Scriptural instructions around marriage and sexuality evolve over time in the Bible. Second, marriage is far more important in our culture than in the Bible. This is good and bad, but beware the “one relationship to rule them all” mentality.
Marriage is a tool God gives us to experience the Trinitarian life, and to shape us into the image of Jesus. In marriage, we care called to: death to self, life of selflessness, creation and new life, intimacy, forgiveness, promise/covenant, faithfulness, love, union. It is costly and priceless.
Note that marriage is a great tool but not the only one. Romance is NOT necessary for a full life (see Jesus).
Marriage is becoming one flesh. Both a horizontal and vertical component, hence the language of covenant “before God” (i.e. Proverbs 2:17). So how do we recognize God in our marriage?
Abraham and Sarah – Genesis 17:15-19
Promising is essential to our identity.
God has a plan for us; this marriage is about more than our happiness (Genesis 12:1-4). Abraham’s offspring have missional necessity.
What is the mission of your marriage? This may change over time. Shared mission matters.
How are you listening together for God’s plan? Praying for each other daily is a must.
Abraham and Sarah – Genesis 18:9-15
Praying together is ideal as well, but awkward at first.
Pryamid of God/spouse/me.
Shared community matters.
Danger of relapse – Genesis 21:1-14.
Next week – Communication, the framing of the house.
Conversation: Discussion Questions
1. Have you experience being “in love”? How about real love?
2. Explain the purpose of marriage in your own words.
3. If you are married, do you need most to work on the horizontal, or vertical, what components of the Covenantal life?
4. If God uses marriage as a metaphor for a relationship with us, how does that shape your understanding of the life of faith?
5. If you are dating or married, what could you do to more clearly draw Christ into your regular life together?
6. When you relapse and forget to involve God in your marriage, what should you do?