Discovery Study Guides
Men, Women and Marriage
In the U.S.A. nearly 80 per cent of couples cohabit prior to marriage and nearly 50 per cent of contemporary marriages end in divorce. Each year over one million children 18 and under experience the divorce of their parents.
Child abuse is on the increase. While 3 million reports of child abuse are made each year in the United States, experts estimate that the actual incidence of abuse and neglect is 3 times great than reported.
So, the “try before you buy” philosophy doesn’t seem to be working when it comes to marriage. What can we learn from the Bible that can help us do better?
Created Male and Female
1. In whose image were human beings created that shows equality with each other? Genesis 1:27
“So God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them.”
2. What instructions were given to the first man and woman? Genesis 1:28
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”
God created us as sexual creatures, male and female, with the ability to have children. Our sexuality is not something sinful as some have considered. But sexuality, as with all of God’s gifts, can be abused, and often is.
3. What boundary did God set to show freedom of choice? Genesis 2:16-17
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Being able to choose is what makes us moral creatures. In Morality USA, co-authors Ellen G. Friedman and Corrine Squire explore the troubled terrain of moral life in the contemporary United States, arguing that moral uncertainty has become an everyday experience. Not only in public debates but also in personal discussions among families and friends clashes occurs over what constitutes the rules of right conduct.
Without God there’s no basis for morals.
Biblical Marriage – One flesh
When God created Eve from Adam’s rib, Adam’s response when he first saw Eve was, “Wow!” (my free translation). Actually he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23).
4. With what words did God express the deep physical and spiritual unity that is meant to exist in marriage? Genesis 2:24, 25
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
5. How does the writer of Hebrews describe marriage? Hebrews 13:4
“Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
Ron Farmer, psychologist at Sydney University, was a pioneer of sexual liberation. “I was wrong,” he says. “When I look back on what I said and taught and did, I feel embarrassed and remorseful. I wasn’t any happier. My lifelong depression and sadness was still there. I was at the point of physical exhaustion. I was telling people to go down a road I knew didn’t lead anywhere.”
On premarital sex he now says: “I couldn’t recommend it.” His own experience demonstrates that life without sexual boundaries is no life at all.
“Marriage is a demarcation point, society’s inbuilt safety mechanism. The rise of sexually transmitted diseases is a warning. AIDS was a truly exquisite signal. It is as if our bodies have screamed out for a change in direction” (Time, 15/12/86).
God’s way is still the best!
Bible Discovery by Errol Webster. Reprinted with permission by SIGNS. Biblebay © 2001-2014, Westlake Village, CA.