The Mustard Seed
Marriage has four areas of relationship:
A Case for Sexual Purity
Part 8 -- How To Court
Marriage is a growing experience as two people become one in all four areas of their relationship. Mutual understanding, trust, and open communication are important components in each of those areas.
Courtship and engagement is a time to focus on your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual bond. You will have a lifetime of marriage to develop your physical bond. If a couple is communicating, understanding, and loving in the first three areas, the way is open for a loving bond in the physical area in marriage. However, if any of the first three areas are weak or immature, the way is already blocked for mutual understanding in the physical relationship. You will not fully enjoy sex together through the years of your marriage if your intellectual, emotional, and spiritual union are weak.
It often happens during dating that a couple's relationship becomes too physical too soon. That slows or even stops development of the first three more important areas of relationship. People who marry "in heat" remain strangers to each other. A few years later they wonder why they ever got married.
Where dating and courtship go different ways is that so much of dating involves two activities: hanging-out and making-out. Courting couples conscientiously plan their time together to get to know each other intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. They learn all they can about each other -- their faith life and experiences, their values, their life goals, their family relationships, their friends, their strengths and weaknesses. Then, as their bond of love grows, they commit to encourage and support each other in all of those areas. Together they take time to meet each others' friends and extended families and win their friendship.
Even after the "I Do's" are said, this study of each other never stops. 1 Peter 3:7 says, very literally, "Husbands, love your wives according to knowledge." Make your mate the subject of a lifelong research project, even after your hair turns gray and falls out and the skin on your mate's face is wrinkled.
God designed marriage like a triangle. God is at the top of the triangle; husband and wife form the lower two corners. As you grow closer to God through sharing Bible study and prayer, you grow closer to each other.
There is one more important part to this triangle. Our relationship with God has been broken by sin. The cross of Christ is like a bridge across that gap which reconnects us to God through His love and forgiveness. Sin has also broken our relationship with each other. That same cross of Christ is the bond that reunites us. Marriage is a lifelong demonstration of God's love as we learn how to love and forgive each other. "Love erases many sins by forgiving them." (1 Peter 4:8 NIRV)
Texts of Scripture I highly recommend for couples to discuss together are:
• Genesis 1 - 3
• 1st Corinthians 13
• Ephesians 5 and 6
• The whole book of Proverbs
As you read and discuss, also pray together about the things God is showing you through His Word.
"You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved... Let the message about Christ live among you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct one another wisely... Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ." (Colossians 3:12-17 NIRV)
(...to be continued...)
To view live Signed Sunday morning worship, click here
You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
a couple blocks south of the Metro Red Line Forest Glen Station
Sunday Worship: 9:30AM
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich