Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Married for God - Chapter 2

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

Chapter 2 – Married for a purpose

In this chapter, Ash seeks to answer the question “why did God make humans male and female?”

Going back to Genesis 1, Ash comes up with 4 reasons:
  1. We are made in the image of God. We have a unique dignity that plants and animals do not have.
  2. We are entrusted with a unique privilege. We are to fill the earth.
  3. We are created male and female. We are to use this to care for God’s world.
  4. We are to rejoice in our creator – thankful dependence on God and cheerful obedience to his command.

He sums up these 4 with this motto: marriage is sex in the service of God. He is clear to point out that ‘sex’ is shorthand for “the marriage relationship in all its fullness: in intimacy, friendship, partnership, fun and faithfulness”. (p33)

Do you agree with his motto that marriage is “sex in the service of God”?

He thinks that this is misunderstood in 2 ways, both which are self-centred. Marriage either becomes “sex for the fulfilment of me” or “sex in the service of us”. Marriage is not to meet my needs, or to assuage my loneliness, rather marriage is for serving God.
we were not made to gaze forever into the eyes of another human being and find in him or her all we need… We need to replace this selfish model of marriage with one in which we work wide by side in God’s ‘garden’ (that is, God’s world), rather than gaze for ever into each other’s eyes. (p42-3)
How easily does your marriage revert to “sex in the service of us”?
How do you try to prevent it?
It is too easy for Christians to think of marriage as a discipleship-free zone. So that outside of marriage we talk about sacrifices, taking up our cross and so on. But inside marriage we just talk about how to communicate better, how to be more intimate, how to have better sex, how to be happy. (p40)

Do you fall into this trap in your own marriage? How can you encourage one another to godliness rather than self-fulfilment?

How might you encourage couples to model their marriage on serving God, rather than each other?

Ash finishes the chapter stating that, because of the fall, we must always remember that God does not just want more people on earth, but he wants people transformed by the gospel who have been saved by his grace. The service of God must include as a priority proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

How does your marriage help to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?

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