Week 10: Colossians 3:18-19
Our faith in Jesus transforms how we live in relationship to others. If everything we do and say is done in the name of the Lord Jesus, it will change how we live. Jesus has authority over every relationship we have and through the apostle Paul, he gives us instructions that will help our relationships accomplish the purposes God has for them. What is God doing in our relationships? He is …
· Developing a healthy, well-ordered life
· Prospering all of those in the relationship
· Providing the optimal environment to reach our God-given potential
· Reflecting well on the Lord Jesus Christ
The marriage relationship is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. It is meant to mirror God’s love for his people. God’s love endures forever, is self-sacrificing, and is an act of the will, independent of our good or bad behavior. With the help of the Holy Spirit, husbands and wives can model that kind of love for each other and those around them. However, it will require taking off the old self and putting on the character of Christ. It may mean changing our thinking, allowing Jesus to be the Lord over our thoughts. We may need to let God do his reconciling work in our lives, something he is eager to do. Whether you are married or single, you will benefit by growing in your understanding of God’s purpose and plan for marriage.
What is the best example of a healthy marriage in a TV show or movie that you can think of?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Ephesians 5:22-33) According to this passage, what other relationship is a Christian marriage supposed to be modeled after? Using that model as a guide, describe what a healthy marriage should be like. In what ways can a strong marriage show others what God’s love is like?
2. (Colossians 3:18-19) What specific direction does Paul give to wives and to husbands here? How is this echoed in the Ephesians passage above? Why do you think Paul focused on these particular aspects of marriage within the overall context of living out the new life in Christ?
3. Jesus is held up in scripture as the perfect example of loving submission (Philippians 2:5-8) and the perfect example of loving leadership (Mark 10:42-45). What do we learn about each from his example? How does this inform how we should think of the husband’s loving leadership and the wife’s loving submission?
1. If you are married,
a. How well does your marriage reflect God’s love for his people? What next step is God calling you to as you consider your own part in your marriage?
b. In Colossians 3:12-14, Paul lists several characteristics of Christ-likeness that describe God’s intent for all of our relationships, including marriage. Which of these do you need the most right now as you work to love and respect your spouse?
2. Paul was not married and yet he clearly thought a good deal about God’s purpose and plan for marriage. If you are not married, how do these passages apply to you? What do you sense that God wants to do in your life in response to these ideas?