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Marriage and Family

Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry

  Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways 

 


Chapter One

God's Plan for the Family

 

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the Lord. – Prov 18:22

 

Children are a gift from the Lord;  they are a reward from him.  Ps 127:3

 

1. God Created the Family

A. "It is not good for the man to be alone" – Gen 2:18

1. Man (and woman) was created to need something other than God.  This is not unspiritual, it is how God chose to make us.

 

2. The need is for relationship with other people.  There is an emptiness within us that God does not fill.  He wants us to satisfy this through people.

 

3. God designed the family to be the primary way for this need to be met.  He says, "I will make a helper suitable for him" (Gen 2:18b).  Of course, the helper is his wife.

 

B. Mark 10:6-9

But God's plan was seen from the beginning of creation, for 'He made them male and female.'? This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,? and the two are united into one. ? Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together."

 

C. Children are also a part of that plan:  Ps 127:3-5

 

2. Family and Ministry

A. Your family is your ministry – 1 Tim 3:4-5;  Tit 1:6

1. Your first ministry is to your family

If you are able to do well in that ministry, you may qualify for a ministry outside the home in addition to the one you will always have within it.

 

2. God has called you to the office of husband or wife; father or mother.  This is a great responsibility.

 

3. Ministry outside the home is in many ways easier and more full of immediate rewards.  If you can minister well in the home, you will very likely be able to minister well outside it.

a. Ministry within the home involves how you live seven days a week.  You cannot fool the members of your family.  They know if you live what you preach or not.

 

b. The more you are with someone, the more challenging it can be to love them all the time.  In church ministry, you are with people in a limited way.  In the home, you are with them continually.

 

c. People appreciate public ministry.  They thank you and tell you what a powerful message you preached, etc.  On the other hand, it may be years before your children ever appreciate what you do for them every day.

 

d. Just because outside ministry seems to have greater rewards, do not fall into the deception of thinking it is more important.  That is the devil's trap for you!

 

B. Your family is a witness to the world

As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."? This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.  So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Eph 5:31-33

 

1. In a mysterious way, something in marriage speaks about Christ and the Church.  His love is revealed in strong marriages.

 

2. When believers have very good families, they demonstrate the relationship Jesus has with His people.

 

3. When believers have families that are no different from those of the world, they do not encourage people to come to Jesus

 

4. When believers have families which truly serve to meet the needs mentioned in part 1-A, people in the world take note.  Every person has those needs, and yet most are frustrated because they are not fulfilled well.  They should see that the way to being satisfied in life and in relationships is by following Jesus.

 

5. 1 Thess 4:11-12 – You win the respect of outsiders when you live your private, daily lives in a way which glorifies God.  This makes it easier for them to come to Christ when you preach to them.

 

C. Strong families help to build God's Kingdom

1. Need to make them a priority.  This means that you always be sure that you are first ministering well to your family before planning to minister to others.

a. God's will for you is to have a strong family.

 

b. Other ministry is empty without strong families.

 

c. The same God who says, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel" also  says "Love your wives" and "Train up your children."

 

d. 1 Sam 3:11-14 – Even though Eli had a very big and successful ministry in Israel as the high priest, God judged him because he failed to be a good father to his children.

 

2. Sometimes you need to choose to allow other ministries to suffer in order to be a good minister to your family.

a. 1 Cor 7:32-34 – As people with families, you cannot be as devoted to ministry as single people can.  This is why Paul was suggesting that people remain single.  God does not expect a married person to spend as much time and energy in outside ministry as an unmarried person. Do not try to do it!

 

b. In the end, your other ministries will be stronger if you "neglect" them a little in order to build a strong family.

Your ministry is an overflow of your life.  If your private life at home is not in order, eventually this will effect your public ministry.  However, if things are wonderful at home, other ministry will flow more easily.

 

3. Sometimes your family will be called on to make sacrifices for the sake of other ministry.

a. However, this must be done on a solid foundation of ministering well to your family

 

b. When your family knows that they are your priority, it is easier for them to make sacrifices.

 

c. We need to have proper balance, based on proper priorities.

1). The balance is that we need to devote ourselves to our family ministry and to other ministry.  It is not a matter of choosing one or the other.  This will mean sacrifices for both sometimes.

 

2). The priority is that family ministry must come first, followed by other ministry.

 

d. Do not sacrifice your family for the sake of other ministry, but train your family to make sacrifices.

Train your family to willingly make sacrifices on behalf of others to whom you are called to minister.  Your children can have the ministry of sending out their parent to do God's work.  This attitude comes through training and prayer, as they develop their own personal relationship with Jesus.

 

Class Discussion: 

Ø.      What are some things which keep believers from having strong families?

Ø.      What are some things that we can do to show that our families are a priority?

 

 

Chapter Two

The Christian Marriage

 

Assignment:  Think about a couple you know who has a very strong marriage.  Write out a list of things which you see that make their marriage to be good.  Some people should be prepared to share with the class.

 

1. What is a 'Christian Marriage?'

What makes a marriage Christian?  Is it simply because one or both partners are 'saved?'  There are many balokole whose marriages do not look significantly different from those in the world.  There is no major difference in the way they treat their spouses or raise their children.  There is no more joy or peace or love in their homes than there is in the homes of the unsaved.  In short, there is nothing very special about them.  But should there be?  What is God's plan for marriage?  What would the perfect marriage look like to Him?

 

A. Picture of a Christian marriage

1. Prov 5:18-19

Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.  She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.

 

a. A Christian marriage is happy and blessed

 

b. The needs of each spouse are met – emotionally, physically, relationally,…

 

c. There is a deep and intense love – "May you always be captivated…"

 

2. It is a marriage which is ruled by God's thoughts and attitudes.  The Bible has much to say on the subject of how we are to treat one another and show love.  These are all especially true in the marriage relationship.  The following is a small sample.  Think about each of these scriptures in relation to how you treat your spouse:

 

a. Luk 6:31 -- Do for others what you would like them to do for you.

 

b. Jn 15:12 --  I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.

 

c. 1 Cor 10:24 --  Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

 

d. 1 Cor 13:4-7 -- Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

e. 1 Cor 16:14 --  And everything you do must be done with love.

 

f. Col 3:13 --  You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

 

g. 1 Jn 3:18 --  Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

 

B. Each partner gives himself for the other – Eph 5:24-25

 

C. Jesus is Lord over every area of your relationship

This includes how you treat one another, your finances, your physical (sexual) relationship, how you raise children,…

 

2. Role of the Wife

A. Submit:  Scripture describes the role of the wife as submitting to her husband.  See 1 Cor 11:3;  Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18; 1 Pet 3:1

 

B. Other directions in Scripture for wives

1. Prov 19:13; 21:9,19 – In these passages, we see that wives should not be naggingquarrelsome, or complaining.  In fact, for a man to live with such a woman is described as pure misery.

a. Nagging – this describes a woman who is always trying to get her husband to change.   However, the only thing she accomplishes is annoying him.

 

b. Quarrelsome – this is the woman who is always arguing.  She is convinced that she knows better, and she wants things to be done her way.

 

c. Complaining – this woman does not like the way her husband does things, and she is always grumbling about it.  She does not like the decisions he makes, or the way he provides, etc…

 

2. Prov 31:10-31 – among other things, the ideal wife:

a. is trustworthy

b. gives her husband a good life

c. works hard

d. is wise with the use of money

e. is generous to the poor

f. brings honor to her husband

g. is wise and able to instruct others

h. is a good mother

i. fears the Lord

 

3. 1 Pet 3:3-6 – Wives should be more concerned with inner beauty than outer beauty.  It does not mean that they should not try to be beautiful in their outward appearance, but that the beauty that is within is greater and more important.  Inner beauty  is:

a. having a gentle and quiet spirit

b. being submissive to husband

 

Discussion Groups:

What does it mean for a wife to submit to her husband?  How can she show that she is submissive?

 

3. Role of the Husband

A. Loving

1. Just as a wife's role is primarily described as submitting to her husband, the husband's role is described as loving and giving himself up for his wife.

 

2. His love is to be the same as the love that Christ has for the Church.  Christ revealed the depth of this love when He laid down His life and died for the Church.

 

3. In following the example of Jesus, husbands are called to love their wives

a. sacrificially – Rom 5:8

Husbands are to give up their own rights and privileges in order to love their wives.  They are not to make decisions based on what is best for them, but based on what is best for their wives.

 

b. unconditionally – Rom 5:8; Mat 7:43-47

Sometimes it may seem like your wife does not deserve for you to love her in a sacrificial way.  Remember, though, that neither do you deserve the love that Jesus has for you.

 

c. by serving them – Lk 22:27;  Jn 13:1

 

d. as they love their own bodies – Eph 5:28

 

B. Other directions in Scripture for husbands

1. Col 3:19 – do not be harsh with your wife

 

2. 1 Pet 3:7 – Honor your wives and be considerate of them.  If you do not, your prayers will be hindered.

Class Discussion:

How can a husband lay down his life for his wife?

 

C. Roles in the home

1. The Bible does not specifically teach about what responsibilities the husband and the wife are to have.

 

2. Within our own cultures and traditions, and especially considering the above scriptures, each couple needs to decide themselves as to what roles each partner will have in the home.

 

3. Think of all that needs to be done in the home.  What do you think is a biblical and fair division of these responsibilities?

 

4. Communication

A. All difficulties can be solved if we learn to communicate

 

B. Lack of communication causes many problems in marriages

1. Different expectations

When you are expecting one thing to happen, but your spouse expects another, there will be a conflict.  The problem is that we often assume that our spouse is thinking the same thing as we are.  This leads to trouble.  The way to avoid this is to talk with each other about what you want.

 

2. Hiding thoughts and feelings

If you do not tell your spouse about what you feel and think, there is no way for him to know.  He cannot know what you want of him if you do not tell him.

 

3. Lack of understanding

Without spending time talking together, you will not understand each other.  You will not know why she did something the way she did.  You will not know why he made that decision…

 

4. You cannot agree if you do not communicate

 

C. Communication takes time

It is very important for couples to take the time to talk to one another.  Express what is happening in your life, and how you feel.  Express appreciation and love for one another.  Talk about your work, ministry, children,…

 

D. Speak the truth in love – Eph 4:15

It is important to say what you truly feel and think and want.  It is also important to say it in a loving way.

 

E. Be honest and open

In order for your relationship to stay strong, you must be willing to speak very openly and honestly with your spouse.  Do not try to hide the struggles and temptations that you face.  In fact, one of the best ways to help you overcome sin is to talk to your spouse about your temptations.

 

5. Conflict

Class Discussion:

What happens when there is a disagreement in your home?

How do you handle conflict?

 

A. There will always be things that you disagree about.  Learn to disagree in a good way.

1. You do not always have to have the same opinion about everything.  Many times you will not.

 

2. Do not put the other person down when you disagree

 

3. Do not attack the other person

 

4. Do not try to convince the other person of your point of view without also listening to his

 

5. Learn to submit to one another – Eph 5:21

 

B. There will be things your spouse does that you will not like

1. Remember that your love is not based on your spouse's deserving it.  You love because the Lord commands it.

 

2. Remember that there are also things that you do which bothers your spouse.  Have grace.  Col 3:13

 

C. Some principles for handling conflict

1. Deal with it quickly.  Do not just let it go away on its own.  When you do that, it does not really go away, but causes bitterness to grow instead.

a. Eph 4:26 -- "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

 

b. Mat 5:23-24 – Jesus tells us to be reconciled with our brothers in Christ quickly – before even worshipping God.  How much more is this true of our own spouses!

 

2. Remember that your relationship with your spouse is more important than getting your own way.  Sometimes it is better to "give in."

a. 1 Pet 4:8 -- "Love covers a multitude of sins."

 

b. 1 Cor 13:5a – "Love does not demand its own way."

 

3. When discussing a conflict, do not bring up past problems.  Keep on the subject.

*1 Cor 13:5b – Love… keeps no record of when it has been wronged."

 

4. Do not say "always" or "never."   [You always treat me like that!   You never listen to me!]

 

5. Admit when you are wrong.  Be willing to ask for forgiveness.  Be the first to repent, even if you feel the other was more wrong than you.

 

6. Be quick to forgive when wronged – Mat6:14-15; 18:21-22

 

7. Learn to be able to discuss the problem in a calm and loving manner – Prov 15:1

 

6. The Marriage Act

"Kiss me again and again, for your love is sweeter than wine…"

"You have ravished my heart, my treasure my bride.  I am overcome by one glance of your eyes, by a single bead of your necklace.  How sweet is your love, my treasure, my bride!  How much better it is than wine!..."

Oh, how delightful you are, my beloved; how pleasant for utter delight! You are… like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of dates.  I said, 'I will climb up into the palm tree and take hold of its branches.'  Now may your breasts be like grape clusters… May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine, smooth and sweet, flowing gently over lips and teeth.".            -- Song of Songs 1:2;  4:9-10;  7:6-9

 


A. God created sex and designed people to enjoy it

See Gen 1:27-28;  2:24

The purposes are:

1. To produce children

2. To enjoy

3. To be a physical sign of the intimate relationship between a husband and wife

 

B. God designed sex to be enjoyed in marriage

1. Having sex before you are married is fornication, and there are many scriptures which forbid it.  We will discuss this more in the chapter on being single.

 

2. When a married person has sex with someone other than his or her spouse, that is adultery.  There are many warnings in the Bible against this.

a. Prov 5:15-20 – These verses teach us to be satisfied with our own spouse, and not to look to another.

 

b. Ex 20:14 – "You shall not commit adultery."

 

c. Mat 5:27-30 – Jesus tells us to not even lust after another woman.  If we do, that is the same as committing adultery.

 

C. Family Planning

1. Pray about family planning along with your wife.  How many children does God want to give you?  What methods of family planning will be best for you?

 

2. Methods of family planning

a. condom – there is nothing immoral about a married couple using a condom.  It is not 100% effective, but it does limit the possibility of getting pregnant.

 

b. pills – be very careful with the use of pills, because you may not be aware of what side effects they have.  If you know a good doctor whom you can trust, you should discuss this option with him before using them.

 

c. according to the woman's monthly cycle – generally speaking, a woman can get pregnant half-way between the times of her monthly period.  If you abstain from sexual relations during these few days, you have a good chance of avoiding getting pregnant.  This is also not 100% effective, but can be helpful.

 

d. prayer – whatever method you use, do so prayerfully.  Trust God to give you the children He wants you to have, and give Him thanks when He does.

             

D. The key rule in the marriage act is to put others first.

1. Read 1 Cor 7:3-5.  This shows that husbands and wives are to seek to satisfy one another.

 

2. Do not just try to please yourself only, but try to please your spouse as well.

 

7. God's Love

A. God's love is the key!

1. Rom 5:5 -- "...God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

God has put His love in our hearts!  The secret to Christian marriages is the love of God.  We do not have to depend on our own love.  We can have access to His.  He tells us, His love is in our hearts.  It may not always feel like it, but it is there.  God has put His love in us, so that we can love Him and others.

 

2. What does this love look like?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8)

 

a. That is in you!  Pray this.  Tell God, "I am patient, kind,..."  It may feel like you are lying, because you know you are not, but it is in you!  Keep praying it, meditating it, thanking God for it.  You cannot make yourself like this, but God can.  Ask God to make this reality in your experience.

 

b. God wants to move in marriages supernaturally.

 

3. This love is unconditional.

a. It loves with no expectation of return.  It loves not because the person deserves it, but because God wills it.

 

b. It does not love in order to change ("I've done everything I was supposed to, but he's still the same!")  It chooses to set value on the person, even when the person seems to have little or none.  Remember, "Christ died for us while we were still sinners!"

 

4. This love is totally committed to meeting the other person's needs, while trusting God to meet one's own needs.  It is a risk.

 

5. It forgives freely, laying down its right for justice.  "But if I just forgive, I may get taken advantage of.  He may go free without being punished for how he hurt me."  It is a risk, but it is what God calls us to.  It is also what God equips us for.  He makes us strong enough to do it.

 

B. God wants to be involved in every marriage.

1. Sometimes we may be tempted to think that if that marriage is bad, God must not be in it.

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."  -- Matt 19:4-6

 

a. "What God has joined together..."  It takes God to join marriages together.  And He will do it for any marriage.

 

b. Do not fear that if only you had picked a different mate, then God would be in your marriage.  No fear of that.  God will be in yours if you allow Him.  Ask Him, and give Him control.  This is not easy, because we like being in charge, but it is worth it.

 

C. Pray!

There is hope for every marriage to be good and sweet and wonderful.  I often pray for God's help in my marriage relationship.  I sometimes pray, "God, anoint me to be the husband and Daddy you have called me to be."  It is also good to pray together.  Pray for the other person.  Pray with her.  Do whatever you need to do to get God involved in every part of your marriage.

 

D. Sow good things into your marriage

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  --  Gal 6:7-10

 

1. We will have the kind of marriage that we sow.  If we sow good things, with God's help, we will reap good things.

 

2. Most of us do good for a time, but just not long enough.  Keep on doing good.  Keep sowing kindness and forgiveness and selflessness.  Keep sowing tenderness and honor and faithfulness.

 

 

3. Pray for God's intervention.  He is faithful.  He wants us to be fulfilled in our marriages, and He has all that we need to accomplish this.  Let's let Him do it, and let's win the world with our powerful, Christian marriages!

 

 

Chapter Three

Raising Godly Children

 

Discussion Groups: 

Why do you think that many children of pastors are rebellious and do not behave well?

 

1. Responsibility of Parents

A. Training children primarily is the responsibility of parents.

Parents cannot afford to just think that the church or Christian school will train them to know and love God.

 

1. Deut 11:18-20 -- So commit yourselves completely to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead.  Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…

 

2. Eph 6:4  -- And now a word to you fathers.  Do not make your children angry by the way you treat them.  Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.

 

B. The way children view their parents effects how they view God

1. In many places the Bible teaches that God is our Father.  Because of this, children will to some degree think that God is like their own fathers.

 

2. We should be to our children as God is to us, so that they will have a true understanding of who He is.

a. God is love.  Do our children see us in the same way?

 

b. God is full of grace.  When our children do wrong, do we show them a demonstration of God's grace?

 

c. What are some other ways that you could describe how God treats you?  How can you demonstrate this to your children?

 

2. What Children Need

A. Love

As mentioned above, God is love, and love should be the foundation of our relationship with our children.  If they are not convinced that we love them deeply, we will fail in everything else we try to do with them.

 

B. Time and attention

1. It takes time and energy to raise children.  They will disturb you and make you tired and cause you all sorts of difficulties in life.  That is all part of your calling as a parent.  Do not come to despise these interruptions to your life, but learn to embrace them.

 

2. Take the time to enjoy your children.  They are God's gift to you.  They can provide you with indescribable joy.  And when you enjoy them, you are showing them that you love them and that they are valuable.

 

C. Your example

Of all the people in the world, your children and your spouse will most know if you practice what you preach.  In fact, your words will make much less of an impact on your children that your actions will.

 

D. Protection

There are many dangers in this world, and many temptations to sin.  It is your duty to protect your children from these things, and to train them to know how to avoid them as they grow up.

 

E. Teaching to know God

1. Your biggest desire for your children should be that they come to know God, and that they will enjoy eternity with Him.

 

2. You cannot assume that this will happen, just because you are saved or because you are a pastor.

 

3. Make a definite plan of how you will train your children.

 

4. You must teach them the basics of following Jesus.  This includes such things as that God loves them, Jesus died for them, how to pray, how to avoid sin, how to love one another and love God, how to obey, and many other things.  See Prov 22:6

 

3. Training and Discipline

A. You must provide discipline for your children.

Discipline is training a child to do what is right, and to avoid what is wrong.  It is not simply punishing him because he is annoying you, or because you are angry.

 

1. Prov 13:24 – If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you do not love them.  If you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.

 

2. Prov 22:15 – A youngster's heart is filled with foolishness, but discipline will drive it away.

 

3. Prov 23:13-14 – Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.  You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.

             

B. Heb 12:5-11 – Discipline is a way of showing our children what God is like.  He disciplines us, and He calls upon us to discipline our children.

 

C. Discipline must always be for the purpose of training them in how to live right. 

1. We are not to beat our children for no reason, or simply because they annoy us.  There must be a purpose behind our discipline.

 

2. Combine discipline with instruction.  Teach them what they did wrong, and how they can do better.

 

3. Do not discipline them for simply being children.  For example, do not beat a small child for breaking something if you had allowed him to play with it.

 

D. How to discipline

1. Discipline in love

a. Learn to show that you do not like what they did, but that you still love them the same

 

b. Affirm to them that you will always love them, no matter what they do (as God will always love you).

 

c. Let them know they are still just as valuable to you as always

 

d. It is ok to express love to your child even as you are disciplining them.  In fact, it is very good to do so.

 

2. Discipline must be consistent

a. Your children should understand that when they do a certain thing wrong, it will always bring a certain punishment.

 

b. If the child is sometimes punished for something, and sometimes not, then they are learning that sometimes it is ok to do wrong.

 

c. The harshness of the discipline should be in agreement with the seriousness of the wrong done.  Do not give the same punishment for making too much noise as you do for refusing to obey what you have told him to do.

 

d. Do not punish a child for something he did not know was wrong.  Be fair.

 

3. Do not discipline in anger

 

4. Proper discipline takes time and effort

 

Chapter Four

Singles

 

1. God's Plan for Singles – 1 Cor 7:7, 32-35

A. Being single allows you to be more devoted to God's work

1. For this reason, Paul encouraged young people to not get married.  However, he recognized that not all people are called to live as singles for their entire life.  Some people are, but not all.

 

2. While you are single, make the use of the opportunity to devote yourself to God's work.  Once you get married, you will have more limitations on how you can serve Him.

 

B. Do not have the attitude that life will be good only when you get a husband or wife.

If you are not content in life as a single, you will probably not be content as a married person.  You need to learn to trust the Lord with the issue of marriage, and enjoy life in the moment.  Being single is a special time of freedom and friendships.  Be thankful for the blessings of singleness, and trust that God will also give you the blessing of marriage in His time.

 

2. Purity

A. Sexual purity is demanded by the Scriptures.

1. 1 Cor 6:13-20 – Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, therefore you should not use it in sexual immorality.

 

2. Gal 5:19 – sexual immorality is part of your sinful nature

 

3. See also:  Mk 7:21-23; Eph 5:3-4; Col 3:5; 1 Thess 4:3-5

 

B. Your life will be better if you remain pure

1. Obedience to God's ways leads to life – good, blessed life.  However, disobedience leads to destruction – Deut 30:19-20

 

2. Sexual sin appears to bring pleasure, but in the end it does not satisfy.  In fact, it can destroy you.

See Prov 6:24-29;  7:6-27;  9:13-18

 

C. How can you remain pure?

1. Pray that you will not fall into temptation – Lk 22:40;  Mt 6:13

 

2. Understand that you are in a battle.  Be alert.

See 1 Pet 2:11; 1 Pet 5:8;  Rom 7:7-25

 

3. Know that there is no secret sin – 2 Sam 12:12; Ps 90:8; 1 Cor 4:5

 

4. Flee temptation – 1 Cor 6:18; Gen 39:6-12; 2 Tim 2:22

Avoid situations where you are tempted.  Be careful about the type of people you spend a lot of time with.  Stay away from influences and situations which could lead you to sin.

 

5. Do not trust yourself too much.  Know that there is always a possibility that you could sin – 1 Cor 10:12

 

6. Know that there is a way out of every temptation – 1 Cor 10:13

If you are being tempted, know that there is a way out.  Look for it, and ask the Lord to reveal it to you.

 

7. Depend on God – Tit 2:11-14

 

8. Be accountable to someone

 

9. Hunger for righteousness – Mat 5:6

Train yourself to love righteousness (being right with God) more than you love the pleasures of sin.

 

10. Abide in Christ.  Live in the presence of God – Jn 15:1-6

 

D. What if you have sinned in this area already?

1. Rom 5:20 – Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.

There is hope for you.  Your life is not ruined.  God's grace is greater than your sin.

 

2. Run to God, not away from Him.  Do not allow your feelings of guilt or shame to keep you away from the Lord.  He wants to forgive you and to cleanse you.

Ps 32:3-5

When I refused to confess my sin,

I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long.

Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.

My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

     Selah

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you

and stopped trying to hide them.

I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the Lord."

And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

     Selah

 

3. Repent quickly – Ps 51; 1 Jn 1:9;  Is 1:18

a. Confess your sin to God and ask for forgiveness

 

b. Make a commitment to turn from sinful behavior.  Remember that you need God's grace to do this.

 

4. Accept forgiveness and forgive yourself

 

5. There is no condemnation.  You are a new creation

Rom 8:1;  2 Cor 5:17

 

6. Understand that there may be consequences to your sin.

See 2 Sam 12:10-14

 

3. Finding a Spouse

 

Class Discussion: 

·      What advice can you give to a young person who is seeking a spouse?

·      What advice would you give to a single person to help them to be prepared for marriage?

 

A. There is no one 'biblical' way to find a spouse

 

B. There are some principles that can help

1. Be sure that you are growing in the Lord and have learned the secret of contentment – Phil 4:12-13

 

2. Pray for God to direct you

 

3. Get godly counsel from someone who is mature in the Lord

 

4. Do not accept it if someone tells you, "God told me to marry you."

If God has truly spoken, He will lead you also.

 

5. Trust that God is leading you – Prov 3:5-6

Understand that God may not speak to you in a very dramatic way, and tell you who to marry.  He often uses natural means.

 

6. Natural means that God may use to direct you

a. physical attraction

b. enjoying being together

c. similar interests, likes, dislikes,…

d. similar dreams for future

e. and others…

 

7. Be sure you are seeking the Lord and submitting to Him.  If you are, than you can be free to consider the above natural means.

 

8. Person must be a believer – 1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14-18