.

III. Marriage (God’s Blueprint For Marriage)

    A. The Command To Love Is Needed Because Many Saints Come To The Table With Issues (They Need Loving And A Safe Environment To Share Their Deep Thoughts And Issues)

Many times we forget that many husbands and wives come to the marriage with many issues and problems. Many have had a miserable past. Many have had a terrible childhood which may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, depression, wrong treatment, unfaithful friends/spouses, bad parents, alcohol, and drug abuse. Many were placed on pedestals at a young age and grew up prideful and arrogant. Many were taught they were better than others and grew up thinking others were beneath them and now they look down on others. Many were materialized at a young age by parents and caregivers to love the world system and grew up loving money and materials things. And today there are many husbands and wives who come into the marriage covenant loving money and material things. And many don’t believe they are loved if they aren’t showered with money and materials things. So, many come into the marriage loving the world and the things in the world. Many married couples don’t know how to handle deep issues and that’s why we need the help of the Holy Spirit and mature saints in the Body of Christ. For many men in particular, deep and honest communication can be very threatening. Too many wives and husbands are afraid to be honest with each other. The Scriptures, however, emphasize being open and vulnerable. Paul modeled transparency when he wrote to the Corinthians, many of whom were not exactly his admirers: “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote you with many tears; not that you should be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you” (2 Corinthians 2:4). Paul was not afraid to weep or say, “I love you.” Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus (John 11:35). Reaching this level of meaningful communication is not easy, but the rewards far outweigh the cost. Many times we long to be heard and understood. The most natural place for this to occur is within the safe harbor of a healthy marriage. That “safe” harbor can be created and maintained only by a couple committed to each other. At its root, love is a commitment

   B. Marriage Relationship

 Marriage is a divine institution. It is a divine institution, because God Himself originated it: Genesis 2:22-24 “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Eph. 5:30-31 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” The world did not invent marriage. We received it from God. It was God who made Adam. It was God who said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." It was God who made Eve. It was God who brought her to Adam. God officiated at the first ceremony in the Garden of Eden. In the word of God, marriage always refers to a man's and woman's relationship for life. It is an agreement by which two people vow to live together in mutual affection and fidelity until they are separated by death. Marriage, like the church, is an institution created by God to portray a spiritual relationship, to the glory of God. God instituted this union for many purposes: To prevent promiscuous intercourse between men and women, To promote domestic harmony, and To secure a place for rearing children to love God to name a few. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. Marriage comes with the label, “Much assembly required!” It takes a lifetime of work to put it together the right way. Most couples plunged in without carefully reading the instruction manual (God’s Word), confident that we could figure it out. And those who don’t read the instruction manual quickly get into trouble and frequently need to read and re-read the manufacturer’s instructions. Most of the problems in marriages can be traced to our neglect of reading and obeying God’s instructions. 

   C. Christ As Head

Ephesians 1:22 says, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” The word “head” is clearly a metaphor that occurs in a context dealing with Christ’s authority “over all things.” Colossians 2:10, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” This clearly implies that Christ is the only leader and authority figure (head) over all other authority in the universe. In the context where “the church is subject unto Christ” (Ephesians. 5:24) Christ is said to be “the head of the church” (Ephesians. 5:23) which indicates that the word head once again implies authority. “Now when head is used metaphorically, figuratively, as it is here, it refers to priority in function. That is what the head of our body does; it runs the body; it is in charge; it is the direction setter of the body. Used metaphorically, therefore, the word head means primarily leadership, and thus it is used in this passage.”

   D. Husband's Role 

 1st Corinthians 11:3 "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." Ephesians 5:22-30 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. The Apostle Paul says that the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. "This comparison of the husband with Christ reveals the sense in which a man should be his wife's "head." "He is her head as being vitally interested in her welfare. He is her protector. His pattern is Christ Who, as head of the Church, is its Savior!" God placed ultimate responsibility with respect to the household on the shoulders of the husband. Husband, God is commanding men to love their wife, as he loves himself. That command is from God to the husband. It is not the wife's responsibility to enforce that command. The Father has given those commands and He will see that they are obeyed. "Head" does not mean male dominance, where a man lords it over a woman and demands her total obedience to his every wish and command. It’s not a Tarzan and Jane or Caveman mentality. 

   E. Wife’s Role: "HELPER" Genesis 2:18 .Yes, Man Needs Help, "It is not good that man should be alone". Purpose of woman's creation? Bible reveals; is to help husband.

It's important for us to look clearly at what the Bible says on this subject. A wife is to be her husband’s help mate and a lifetime companion, a friend, and a lover for her husband to enjoy every day. Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (1 Timothy 2:9) A wife is to be modest in public and erotic in private with you. A modest woman is a lady. There is much sin and temptation that results from women showing too much skin in public. Just think of the pleasure of knowing that no one sees too much of your wife's legs and other parts of her body.

   F. Submission: The theme of submission mentioned in Ephesians 5:21 is now taken up and developed in detail from the church (The One New Man/Body of Christ) in general to the Christian household in particular. Accordingly, submission-authority is discussed in three domestic relations: that of (1) wives and husbands (Ephesians 5:22-23), (2) children and parents (Ephesians 6:1-4), and (3) servants and masters (employer/employee) (Ephesians 6:5-9). The head of Jesus Christ (God the Son) is the Father (God the Father) and Jesus as the Son makes Himself willingly submissive to his functional head – the Father. Therefore, just as Christ is submissive to His head (God the Father) and to His authority and leadership over Him, so the wife is to be submissive to her head (the husband) and to his leadership and authority over her.

 Ephesians 5:21-22 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." (Submission has nothing to do with equality). Headship has nothing to do with equality. Men and women are equal under God in every way. The Word of God tells us that wives are to submit to their husbands as submission rendered by them truly is submission rendered to Christ Himself. When the wife yields her will to that of her husband, she yields to the Lord provided the husband’s direction are in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21) or in line with God’s will. (Fear meaning what pleases God). The Word of God gives the reason in Ephesians 5:23 why wives should be submissive. Just as Jesus is divinely appointed head or authority over the church (The One New Man/Body of Christ), in the same way the husband is the divinely appointed “head” or authority of his wife. 

    G. Children’s Role: Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”


"CHILDREN, OBEY YOUR PARENTS!"

We must understand clearly which children are addressed. Is this command only for naughty children? Are the good children not required to obey this command? Or, is this a word only for the young children, so that older children, say 10 years or older, do not need to hear it? Or might this be a command only for natural, biological children, but if you happen to be an adopted child, it does not apply to you? The text does not make any limitations. Each and every child is addressed. Children, including teenagers and young adults living at home with your parents, you may not go home after church and say, "That text did not apply to me." God is our ultimate authority, higher than parents, higher than government. None is higher in authority than Jehovah God and Jesus Christ who sits at His right hand. And the text brings that out as a reason why children are commanded to obey the Lord. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." When the text says, "this is right," it means "this is in accordance with the law of God." This is righteous. This is the way a person lives who desires to be pleasing to God. The context brings out this fact, for verse 4 reminds parents of their duty to instruct their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Such instruction involves teaching our children to obey. 

 IV. Starting Out In Marriage

    A. Principle Of Leaving (Ephesians 5:31) “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

 The Parents And In-Laws Place In The Marriage 
A husband and wife have a better chance for a successful marriage if there is some independence-physically, emotionally, and financially-from parents and in-laws. Some husbands and wives never quite leave their father and mother when they get married. Consequently, they have not chosen their spouse above all others. In truth of fact, they never made the proper marriage vows from the beginning and results become inevitable. Cleaving is established in the marriage. Do not allow relationships with parents to become too important. A common problem is to “complain” to a parent when we are not happy with a spouse. Some parents are always hearing negative things about their son-in-law or daughter-in-law. These kinds of things can accumulate in the hearts of parents and create resentment toward their child’s spouse. 

    B. Principle Of Cleaving
The marriage is a unto death due us part. Many times there is no commitment on the spouses' parts. Instead of learning how stay and solve their problems together, they pull apart and walk away when things get tough in the marriage. Outside of God, the most important relationship God instituted was the husband and wife relationship. Not the parent/child relationship or the father/son relationship or the relationships that Satan has instituted through the world system. The reason is because from the husband and wife relationship comes the family. Husbands and wives must return to spending quality time with each other and the husband and wife getting back to doing the things they use too before the children came along. The problem today is that many married couples have taken all their time and energy and put them into the children while the marriage relationship begins to suffer. After years of focusing on the children and not the marriage relationship, many couples grow apart and once the last child leaves home, they really don’t know each other. Children need to see their father and mother show affection and love towards one another because many go out and emulate those same things in their marriage.

   C. Principle Of One Flesh
Intimacy does not happen overnight. The word says in Genesis 2:24 and they shall be one flesh. They became one in a physical relationship, spiritual relationship, and emotional relationship. Their lives blended together in a oneness. You share the same name, children, and spiritual needs. Learning how to love is a very important piece. Learning how to love just doesn’t happen overnight since the fall of mankind. They become one in maturity, in other words, men can’t stay boys forever and women can’t stay girls forever. They must become one spiritually and mature together spiritually.

V. Problems In The Marriage:

   A. Married But Unhappy Ephesians 5:22-30 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Husbands Love, Wives Submit and Children Obey and Fathers Not Provoke Their Children. Follow these commands and there will be happiness in the marriage

 Many saints are living in loveless, emotionless and uncaring marriages. There is no respect in the marriage, the husbands and wives are at each others’ throat constantly. There are many signs indicating an unhappy marriage. Infidelity, frequent arguments and Disrespect, emotional and physical abuse, lack of communication, lies or keeping secrets from one another, using material things for happiness, drugs, alcohol, not spending time with each other, lack of intimacy and affection, poor body language, depression and loneliness, unrealistic expectations for each other, arguing about finances frequently and no emotional connection. Happiness will not just come, there is an order that God designed since the fall that the husband and wife must follow in order to have some happiness in the marriage. God specifically gave commands to the husbands and the wives as well as the children. 

    B. Dangers Of Flirting (Infidelity Doesn’t Occur Out Of The Blue/How Do Spouses End Up At Motel 6 Room 325?)

As Paul warned, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Many times those flirting will say “Flirting” is innocent. We were only talking. It wasn’t going anywhere. I’m not seriously interested! Do you think I would cheat on you? How could you think that? This can easily turn into an argument. Most infidelity doesn’t occur out of the blue. It happens between people who know each other–either in a friendship or professional relationship–and have grown increasingly attracted to each other. Combine this with feelings of distance in a marriage plus opportunity, and you can get infidelity. The longer temptation is allowed to be present, the greater the chances that an affair will happen. 

 

   C. The Dangers Of Emotional Infidelity (Playing With Others Emotions Can Be And Is Deadly At Times)
Most affairs begin as an innocent connection between two people. You may be brought together through work, church, or school. But if your guard isn’t up and your boundaries aren’t well-established, a newly developing connection can quickly become entangled. Many in the Body of Christ fail to realize that as we spend time together, either face-to-face, through the computer or by phone, Satan can use those mediums to gradually suck us into an emotional affair that can rip a marriage or a relationship to shreds even though the relationship never becomes physical. We in the Body Of Christ should be careful not to allow relationships even to begin to develop inappropriately. As Paul warned, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).Talking or venting to a person of the opposite sex about what your marriage lacks, what your partner lacks, or what you’re not getting to make you happy sends a loud message that you’re available for someone else to ‘love and care’ for your needs. It’s also a breach of trust. Sharing thoughts and deepest concerns, passions and problems is what deepens intimacy; it builds an emotional bond between two people, time better used in marriage relationships. 

    D. Emotional Infidelity Leads Right Into Physical Infidelity

Many Saints Are Taking On The World’s Perspective About Infidelity

We in the Body of Christ must use our spiritual eyes to see that Infidelity or cheating" as it's more commonly called, has become the "in" thing to do nowadays. The rich and fabulously wealthy seem to swap mates as easily and readily as most of us change our socks or our underwear. The tabloids are full of celebrity couples or superstars who marry, stay together for a short time, and then split up because one (or both) have strayed outside of the marital bounds. It's almost become a national past time, right up there with hot dogs and baseball. 

    E. Finances (One Of The Main Reason For Divorce/Many Times It’s Till Debt Do Us Part)

In a majority of marriages, finances have always raised tensions for couples, it may be harder than ever these days to avoid conflict. That's because today's range of family complications — moms leaving and re-entering the workforce, late marriages that bring debt and adult children, shrinking pensions and baffling health care choices — are demanding ever-more financial decisions from couples who can't even agree on whether the house is warm or cold. Many couples do not look past the wedding day. One main reason that many marriages end up in divorce is the lack of discussions couples have before they get married regarding their views on finances, what debt they are bringing into the marriage, experience they have with budgets, what they envision their financial future to be, and many more. 

 

 

 

 VI. Marriage Destroyers

     A. Not Studying God’s Word Together.

The bonds of your relationship with God and each other are strengthened when you read God’s Word together rightly divided. Reading the Bible has a way of centering couples on who they were called to be. We can’t use God’s Word as a resource if we don’t know it, particularly as it relates to marriage. And even if you know the Word, there’s always more to learn and glean. Husbands and wives should always dedicate a regular time to “see what sayeth the Lord. ”Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2nd Timothy 2:15)

    B. No Prayer Life

This is the most powerful tool you have as a couple. Although it’s important that you each have private time with God—praying for your spouse, marriage, family, etc. —there’s a unifying effect when husband and wife join in their petitions. It brings calm to situations and reminds you Who’s in control, even if the two of you are on different sides of an issue. In addition to your personal prayer life, be sure to pray together regularly. Don’t forget the desires of your spouse’s heart when you pray. Ephesians 1:16 “Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;” Romans 1:9, " without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers."

    C. Hitting Below The Belt (Corrupt Communication/Hate Speech)

In the heat of conflict, we say things that we all regret. Things come out of our mouth, and the moment it launches from our lips, We regret having said it. We wish we could pull it back and stuff it back into our mouth. Taking The Gloves Off!!! Sometimes in the midst of a disagreement, words can be thrown that cut like a knife. Sadly, we ignore the Word of God which says in James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:.” Ephesians 4:29-32 “ Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  “Not everything that comes to our mind needs to come out of our mouth.” 

    D. No Intimacy or Sexual Relations Due To Arguments And Corrupt Communication

If you are fighting, the last thing you want to do is to be intimate with each other, right? Conflict is a barrier to intimacy in marriage. The two are not one, but two. One of God’s purposes for sex is to foster “oneness” or unity (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6) in your marriage. Couples who don’t have regular sexual relations are allowing a barrier to come between them. No sexual relations in marriage means the couples is less unified.

    E. Finances (One Of The Main Reason For Divorce/Many Times It’s Til Debt Do Us Part)

In a majority of marriages, finances have always raised tensions for couples, it may be harder than ever these days to avoid conflict. That's because today's range of family complications — moms leaving and re-entering the workforce, late marriages that bring debt and adult children, shrinking pensions and baffling health care choices — are demanding ever-more financial decisions from couples who can't even agree on whether the house is warm or cold. Many couples do not look past the wedding day. One main reason that many marriages end up in divorce is the lack of discussions couples have before they get married regarding their views on finances, what debt they are bringing into the marriage, experience they have with budgets, what they envision their financial future to be, and many more. 

 VII. Divorce: 

 Divorce is an issue that effects us all. All of us are touched by it either in our own family or in our circle of friends. Marriage was meant to be for a lifetime. God established the institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden. It was meant to last for a lifetime. Marriage is a conditional contract. The husband and wife, by taking their marriage vows, both agree to do certain things. Everyone knows it takes two to make a marriage work, and both must uphold their end of the bargain or the marriage breaks down. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). I Corinthians 7:12 and 13 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.” Divorce ought to be a rare event that is done in extreme circumstances where the other person has violated the terms of the marriage union made so badly that measures need to be taken temporarily until the issue is resolved. No one should walk away from their marriage without first getting as much help as they possibly can and trying their absolute hardest to keep it together. When it all comes down, only you and God can know what you need to do. There will be marriages between good and faithful persons who make a sincere effort to honor their vows that still fail, and virtually every Christian denomination recognizes that the dissolution of a marriage cannot always be avoided. Certainly in cases where abuse is present in the marriage, divorce may be the only option available. Many saints constantly deal with emotional and verbal abuse. Many just don’t know what years of emotional and verbal abuse can do to a husband or wife in a marriage. 

 Verbal and emotional abuse can drive husbands and wives away. The effects of emotional abuse are often silent. Verbal and psychological wounds leave a spouse forever changed. Emotional abuse is often overlooked, unnoticed or confused with other causes. Emotional abuse tends to happen every day. The effects are more harmful because they're so frequent. Emotional abuse is often the hardest type of abuse to recognize and overcome because its scars aren't visible to the naked eye. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse doesn't leave behind scars or other physical evidence. The long-term effects of this type of abuse in a relationship can be long-lasting and devastating and can even affect the abused person for the rest of his or her life, especially if the abuse is never addressed through the Word of God. Verbal abuse doesn't leave physical bruises, but it can cause deep and lasting mental scars. When it comes to domestic abuse, we think of the external signs: black eyes, broken bones, bruises or bleeding. But we must remember that any form of abuse is devastating. The long-term effects of verbal and emotional abuse can be just as devastating, if not more so, than the long-term effects of physical violence. The old adage goes: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me." But ultimately, it's often words that can do the most damage. Other people's words have an incredible power to affect how we see and feel about ourselves. While positive words of encouragement can uplift and inspire us, negative words cut to the core and resonate over and over again. "It is the put-downs, name calling, insults, belittling and critical statements that have the most serious and long-lasting effect on self-esteem. Many time we encouraged saints in the body of Christ to just hang in there when all the red flags and handwriting is on the wall that the abuser has no desire to change.

By The Grace Of God Home Bible Study

MARRIAGE MATTERS

CHURCH

CHRISTIAN

Conference Outline (The Grace Wherein We Stand/Bible Conference 2015)

By Pastor Timothy D. Roberson 

By The Grace Of God Home Bible Study


 I. Before Marriage

   A. Unequally Yoke

  B. Biblical Dating

  C. Shacking: A Trial Run

  D. Red Flags 

  E. Christians Can Be Abusers

  F. Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties (Are You Really Ready For Marriage)

  G. Prenuptial Agreements

 

II. Wrong Reasons To Marry

    A. Feeling It’s Too Late To Call It Off

    B. Lust And Looks

    C. Finances

   D. Impulsivity And A Mistake

 III. Marriage (God’s Blueprint For Marriage)

     A. The Command To Love Is Needed Because Many Saints Come To The Table With Issues (They Need       Loving And A Safe Environment To Share Their Deep Thoughts And Issues)

   B. Christ As Head

   C. Husband’s Role (Satisfying The Wife)

   D. Wife’s Role/Submission (Satisfying The Husband)

   E. Children’s Role

 IV. Starting Out In Marriage

     A. Principle of Leaving /The Parents And In-Laws Place In The Marriage 

     B. Principle of Cleaving

     C. Principle of One Flesh

 V. Problems In The Marriage

     A. Married But Unhappy

    B. Dangers Of Flirting (Infidelity Doesn’t Occur Out Of The Blue/How Do Spouses End Up At Motel 6 Room 325?) 

    C. The Dangers Of Emotional Infidelity (Playing With Others Emotions Can Be And Is Deadly At Times)

    D. Emotional Infidelity Leads Right Into Physical Infidelity (Many Saints Are Taking On The World’s Perspective About Infidelity)

    E. Finances (One Of The Main Reason For Divorce/Many Times It’s Till Debt Do Us Part)

 

 

 VI. Marriage Destroyers

      A. Not Studying God’s Word Together.

      B. No Prayer Life

      C. Hitting Below The Belt (Corrupt Communication/Hate Speech)

     D. No Intimacy or Sexual Relations Due To Arguments And Corrupt Communication

     E. Finances (One Of The Main Reason For Divorce/Many Times It’s Till Debt Do Us Part)

 VII. Divorce

Conference Detailed Points and Subpoints

 I. Before Marriage

    A. Unequally Yoke: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14).

When it comes to matters of faith and belief it is so hard to mix it with those who don’t believe in Christ or the same doctrine as you. Saints in the Body of Christ are commanded to not marry someone who is not a believer. Reading the Bible together does not make you equally yoked. Being in love does not mean that you are equally yoked. Being married does not mean that you are equally yoked. Having a great friendship does not mean that you are equally yoked. Having things in common does not mean that you are equally yoked. If you are not equally yoked can you still get married? Yes . . . if you take II Corinthians 6:14 out of the bible. The first thing you have to do is be a believer in God’s word Believing on the gospel (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Many young people in the Body of Christ feel strongly that there is no harm in just dating the unsaved. We as mature saints should encourage our young people as well as adults to heed the godly Words in 2nd Corinthians 6:14 for in so doing, we will spare them a lifetime of heartache. Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

   B. Biblical Dating

The first step in the process of moving toward marriage through the initiation of or participation in a godly relationship is to evaluate yourself spiritually. As you move into the stage of life in which you begin to seriously consider marriage generally or a particular relationship, your first step should be to access your own spiritual walk and maturity in Christ. If you aspire to be a godly husband or wife someday, what have you done and what are you doing to prepare for godly role? Dating is for the purpose of finding a marriage partner. Once you decide that you are ready to date, look to God's Word to decide the kind of person to date, and evaluate potential dating partners on that criterion, rather than relying on the World’s standards and views like "attraction" and "chemistry.” Men initiate, women respond. 

 

 

   C. Shacking: A Trial Run

Let's look and see what Scripture says about this topic. Let’s see how God defines marriage and why it would be wrong to live together before getting married. The Bible describes marriage as a committed relationship between one man and one woman that is sanctioned and blessed by God (Genesis 2:22-24). Furthermore, God instituted marriage to be between two people, a male and a female. When it comes to living together before marriage, you may think you are fine just because you are “living together” and nothing more, but I would suggest that you are not. Straight to the point and that is you are living in sin.

    D. Red Flags And Warning Signs Ignored And Purposely Overlooked Before The Marriage

 You will hear and have heard many women say this "I had things broken around me, threats made to me, emotional games played on me—a knife held to my throat, a gun held to my head, and the Bible itself was even used as a weapon against me—always out of context, but used nonetheless. The above statements come from women who married a man who had a dark side. Choosing who you will partner the rest of your life with is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Too many young women are settling for less than God’s best because they don’t know exactly how He expects His daughters to be treated.  I often tell my daughter that a potential husband should be a man who has his focus upon walking in obedience to God's Word and who seeks to live so that his life brings glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Many women fall for smooth talkers, men who talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk. These women, spurred by the desire to be married, are willing to overlook the subtle warning signs many men give off. I often tell my daughter “don’t look for a sign that he’s the right one, but look to the Word of God.”

   E. "Christians Can Be Abusers (They Must Be Transformed: Men/Women)"

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

To many of us, the words “Saint” and “abuser” don’t seem to belong together. They are, or should be, a contradiction in terms. And yet how many of us have heard of a saints who were raised with cruelty and abuse? Our mind is polluted from the fall, the world and our own choices—we need mental detoxification, mind renewal, reprogramming, and the mind of Christ. We need a new mind to go along with our salvation. Saints must remember that God will not just transform us automatically, nor will He force it upon us. He will only do it as we allow Him and cooperate with Him in the process (walk in the Spirit). The Holy Spirit will do the transforming for us through the Word of God. We must listen, yield, rely, submit, learn, pray, study, and obey as the effectual working of the Holy Spirit transform us through the Word of God. Transformation is what the husbands need to do in order to Love their wives and what wives need to do in order to submit themselves to their own husbands. Transformation is what the children need to do to be obedient as well as saints getting along with each other in the Body of Christ. When most people think of domestic violence, they think of a husband battering a wife. But the reverse is also true. Husbands can be abused mentally, emotionally, and physically as well. Many wives will use sex as a weapon to get what they want out of their husbands. Many wives punch, kick, slap, throw objects, and destroy the property of their husbands. All the same things that wives who are battered endure from husbands, husbands can endure from wives. Unfortunately, for the husband it is extremely embarrassing to let anyone know that he is being abused by his wife. 

    F. Bachelor And Bachelorette Parties (Foundations For An Unhealthy Marriage) Satan Will Say “Christians Should Have Fun And Happiness Too.” Romans 12:1-2“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 

Are You Really Ready For Marriage?

With the divorce rate on the rise in the Body of Christ (The Church), Satan continues to convince godly couples that they are entitled and have the right to one last night of fun and freedom before walking down the aisle. As Paul warned, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Today they are more commonly thought of as a “final fling,” with an emphasis on indulging in activities that represent the “freedom” that will soon be left behind. In more extreme cases it may mean hiring a prostitute for a bachelor party, or a male stripper for a bachelorette party. Persons committed to Christian marriage simply will not participate in such events, which are not only morally degrading, but also perpetuate the myth that marriage means giving up their precious “freedom.” Strippers, exotic dancers, drinking binges, and sexual indiscretions are hardly freeing, no matter what movies show and your friends tell you. In fact such flings are just the opposite. These flings end up creating bondage and baggage that you will be taking into your new marriage – thus complicating a new relationship even before it has taken off. 

    G. Prenuptial Agreement (Not Biblical) Ephesians 5:30-31, "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” (ONE) A prenuptial agreement is a plan for how to separate before a couple even tries to become one. It keeps some or all of what one person has out of the hands of the other -- just in case. Thus it interferes with a full commitment to become one. Marriage is not a temporary commitment. It is a permanent one. It is a vow before the Lord to take another human being as your spouse. Are you sincerely saying, "for as long as we both shall live," if you have made exit plans in advance? Marriage is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. If you won't marry someone without a prenuptial agreement, then that tells me that you don't fully trust the one you claim to love. Love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (I Corinthians 13:7-8). A prenuptial agreement means you are entering a marriage with the idea that there may be problems in the future that cannot be resolved. If such is the case, you shouldn't be marrying that person.

 

 

II. Wrong Reasons To Marry

What do you do if you're engaged but have serious misgivings about your decision, red flags popping up left and right? Do you a) get married, since you've set a date, sent out the invitations, spent a boatload of money, are too embarrassed to back out, and believe that most people get cold feet anyway? Or b) call the whole thing off until further notice? I think most of us would choose the latter, and would recommend thus to any friend or family member having serious doubts. But in practice, it isn't what we many of us do, and understandably so: Calling the whole thing off is difficult, painful, and risky.

   A. Feeling It’s Too Late To Call It Off

Many saints are afraid to break off an engagement to the person they told they would marry months ago. When it came down to it, you realized you were incompatible on many levels. Many had doubts at the inception of the relationship, but ignored them. So, the mistake many make is to continue the relationship not realizing that it’s like trying to force a puzzle piece into a place it didn't fit. Many realize that if they had heeded their gut-wrenching doubts, and paid attention to their parents’ words, (" I know you say you love him or her, but he or she is not the one for you") they wouldn’t be in this unhappy relationship. 

    B. Lust And Looks
How do you know it is true love when you find it? How can you be sure it is true love or lust? What are the differences between lust and love? Lust is something that is gratifying the flesh.  Marriage is an “until-death-do-us-part” commitment. It ought to be approached from a joyous, yet cautiously-solemn, vantage point. Marriage should be embraced for wise reasons, not foolish ones. Marriage on the basis of mere physical attraction is a foolish mistake. Many couples have watched the degeneration of their marriages because the relationships were grounded principally on external features.

   C. Finances

Determined to have the “better life,” many marry the first young man or woman who is able to offer them economic stability. Many who fall into these situations soon learn the heartbreaking lesson that a happy home is more than dollars and cents. These individuals don’t love the person but they love the things the person can give them. They love the money. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 6:10 “ For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

   D. Impulsivity And A Mistake

Many may say “all my friends have marital mates, why should they be left in the cold?” Peer pressure is so great at certain times in life. Far too many have impulsively “run off” to “get married” on a dare, or because others were doing it. Quick decisions can generate a life-time of bitter experiences. Marriage is not something with which just to play. Marriage should not be entered just to cover a mistake. In this age of lust and promiscuity, what should a couple do when they discover that a child has been conceived out of wedlock? Sometimes, a “we-must-get-married” is the quick-fix formula. In the event of such a situation, a Christian couple, first of all, should not just think marriage first. The couple should consider their options. Do they really love one another, and are they committed to serving God? If so, they well may wish to marry, and allow God to direct them in their future plans together. On the other hand, if you are not in love, “getting married” is not a resolution to the issue of the child, and it certainly will not enhance the happiness of the child