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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

Marriage is of great importance to God. The aim of marriage is both unity for the couple, and for the raising of godly children. The marriage relationship is a symbolic picture of the trinity, and of the relationship between Jesus and His Church.  


Bible Zone

So what does the Bible say about marriage? Or how what is a Christian marriage, and how should Christian family members relate?


Start of Marriage

When Jesus was asked about marriage He referred to the beginning of marriage in Genesis 2:18-25.  This passage defines marriage.

  1. What was the purpose behind the creation of woman?
  2. The man who slept was different from the man presented with the woman.  In what way different?  And how might that explain man/woman differences?
  3. Why does the man desire to leave his closest relatives for the woman?
  4. V24 holds three factors of marriage -
  5. Leaving - What is left behind in marriage?
  6. Joining - What is joined together in marriage? What does it mean to be joined?
  7. United - This is a process - how do a couple become more united?
  8. What does it mean in a marriage relationship for there to be no shame?


 Genesis 2:   18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." ...  21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man's ribs* and closed up the opening.22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

  23 "At last!" the man exclaimed.

"This one is bone from my bone,  and flesh from my flesh!

She will be called 'woman,'  because she was taken from 'man.'"

  24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

  25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.


Roles in Marriage - Wife

The Bible sets out roles for husband and wife within marriage.  First for the wife. Ephesians 5:21-24

  1. What attitude is the wife asked to have towards her husband?
  2. What is the basis for this attitude?
  3. How does this relationship between husband and wife illuminate our relationship with Christ?
  4. To whom is v22-24 addressed, and conversely, to whom is it not addressed?


Ephesians 5:  21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. ... V33  and the wife must respect her husband.


Roles of Marriage  - Husband

The husband too is given instructions on his role.  Ephesians 5:21, 25-33.

  1. What attitude is the husband asked to have towards his wife?
  2. What is the basis for this attitude?
  3. What responsibility does the husband hold for the well being of his wife?
  4. How does this relationship between husband and wife illuminate our relationship with Christ?
  5. To whom is v25-33 addressed, and conversely, to whom is it not addressed?


21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

   25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word.*27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.30 And we are members of his body.

  31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."*32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself,


In our society which seeks equality over everything, these roles can meet with resistance. It may help to understand that the roles are concerned with our attitude to one another as they mirror our attitude to Jesus.  They are not necessarily about the job functions within marriage. A leader may delegate whole areas to those who are more competent.


Children and Parents

A child has a place within a family.  This too has overtones of our relationship with God. Ephesians 5:22, 6:1-4

  1. What attitude are children asked to have towards their parents?
  2. What attitude are parents (fathers) asked to have towards children?
  3. What is the basis of this attitude?
  4. What is the linkage between this relationship and the 10 commandments?


Ephesians 5:  21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 6:   1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,* for this is the right thing to do.2 "Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise:3 If you honor your father and mother, "things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth."*

  4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.


Marriage and Divorce

When asked about divorce Jesus gave some teaching both about divorce and the fundamentals of what marriage is about. Matthew 19:3-8

  1. What is the state of a married couple before God?
  2. On what basis had divorce been allowed in the Old Testament law of Moses?
  3. Why would divorce and remarriage be equated to adultery?
  4. On what grounds did Jesus permit divorce?


 Matthew  19:    3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?"

  4 "Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.'*5 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.'*6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."

  7 "Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?"* they asked.

  8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.*"


Marriage and Children

Divorce is contrasted with God’s purpose for marriage, this time with a focus on children.  Matlachi 2:15-16

  1. What is the connection between God and the married couple?
  2. What is God looking for in marriage?
  3. What is God’s attitude towards divorce?
  4. What attitudes does the Lord look for from each partner in marriage?


Malachi 2:   15 Didn't the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.* And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.16 "For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of Israel. "To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,*" says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife."


RELATIONSHIPS & MARRIAGE