How to be Better Together

We are addressing one text that has been abused and misused in the church. It’s a text about marriage — more specifically, a text about the idea of submission. What does the Bible really say about men and women in regards to marriage? How are men and women designed to relate to one another? How do we prepare for marriage — or strengthen our current marriage — based on this understanding of the Bible? How do we become better together?

Teaching Notes

THE MOST POWERFUL RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLE:

Mutual SUBMISSION.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21

Approach:  A love marked by GIVING not GETTING.

Objective: To BRING out the BEST in the other person.

Motivation: Out of HONOR for JESUS.

HOW TO BE BETTER TOGETHER:

A great marriage is like a beautiful DANCE.

Greco-Roman Culture: Household Codes

The call for wives:

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

The call for husbands:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-33

The Marriage Code:  Compete to be SELFLESS.

LEARNING TO DANCE TOGETHER:

Step 1:  Shatter the STEREOTYPES.

Step 2:  Become a STUDENT of your SPOUSE.

Step 3:  Practice DATING for LIFE.

Step 4:  Always speak HIGHLY.

Step 5:  Pursue those a STEP AHEAD.

Step 6:  Prioritize PRAYER.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

FURTHER RESOURCES:

Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

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Scripture

  • Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Ephesians 5:21-33

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