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Date: October 4, 2020
The Point: Physical intimacy is reserved for one man and woman within the covenant of marriage.
Get Into the Study
Use the following illustration as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are two reality TV shows that, between the two, have aired nearly 40 seasons of men and women trying to find “the love of their life.” The shows have spawned multiple spin-off shows as well as numerous international versions around the globe. And even though the shows have rarely touched on religious topics, one recent bachelor is known for being a born-again Christian. Although few seasons have resulted in marriage, the shows’ popularity demonstrates how much viewers still regard marriage as a worthwhile pursuit. The season premiere for The Bachelorette launches Tuesday, October 13th. In one trailer for the upcoming show, Bachelorette Clare Crawley exclaims, “I don’t want to give up because it’s worth it.”
God’s Word presents marriage as a worthwhile pursuit. But the Bible isn’t ignorant about the many avenues people take to get there. On both shows, the pursuit of a spouse has included activities that Christians believe should be reserved for marriage alone. Finding the right path to marriage can be challenging and confusing. Both The Bachelor and the Bible depict this confusion. Fortunately, the Bible also presents a better way and solid guidance—one that honors God and each spouse. In this session, we’ll try clear up the confusion so we can follow this better way.
Bring your group’s attention to The Point: Physical intimacy is reserved for one man and woman within the covenant of marriage.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of a mature couple talking about marriage or giving marriage advice. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following in your study of Exodus 20:14.
According to a recent article by Psychology Today, “[w]hen spending time with people who have solid, healthy marriages, we sometimes hear them exclaim how thankful they are to have such a wonderful partner. But what distinguishes these people from so many others who just consider themselves fortunate to have ended up with a decent spouse is that they are not only expressing gratitude to each other, but to God. According to research, prayers of gratitude in marriage may actually contribute to the happiness of the marriage.”
This research from Frank D. Fincham and Ross W. May found that couples who pray—and specifically pray prayers of thanksgiving to God for their marriages and their spouses—had healthier, happier marriages. “Fincham and May also note that research indicates that gratitude to God impacts well-being to an extent that surpasses generalized gratitude. Specifically, it has been positively linked to both emotional and physical wellness, and inversely related to symptoms of depression.”¹
As it turns out, expressing thanks to God for one’s spouse leads to healthier marriages, and healthier individuals. As we recognize God’s great design and thank him for the covenantal union of marriage, we reap the benefits of his blessing.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
1. Fincham, Frank D., and Ross W. May. 2020. “Generalized Gratitude and Prayers of Gratitude in Marriage.” The Journal of Positive Psychology, January.
- How would you describe the ideal marriage?
- Who is your favorite sitcom or movie married couple?
- What do you appreciate about the idea of marriage?
- What are some obstacles to marital faithfulness and sexual purity in our culture?
- What are some practical ways we can remain faithful to this commandment?
- How does the union of marriage reflect God?
1 Samuel 11:1-3a
- How can we respond in a God-honoring way when we are tempted to sin?
- Who helped form your understanding of what it right and wrong regarding sexual intimacy?
- How can we guard our thoughts with faithfulness and purity?
1 Samuel 11:3b-5
- What are the benefits of a society following God’s standards for sexual purity and faithfulness in marriage?
- What did David’s actions reveal about his attitude toward Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband?
- Where do you see unfaithfulness modeled or even celebrated today?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
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