Marriage Defined Participants Guide


Join the Conversation:

Record thoughts and questions here that come up as you watch the episode.  Explore them later with the group.
Listen to God’s Word: Genesis 3:14-24



Discuss the Episode

1.Dan and Tremper discuss many of the false expectations that people bring to marriage. What are some false expectations you brought or you’ve observed people bringing into their marriages? How did those expectations impact your/their relationship? How have you experienced or have you observed people experiencing God’s goodness in marriage?

2.Marriage in a fallen world has experiences of deep joy and incredible struggle and pain. Tremper and Dan both shared stories of how their wives fought for them.  What examples have you seen where spouses fought for one another?  How could you come alongside your spouse or a close friend (if you are single) and fight for them?

3.Dan and Tremper suggest that God uses marriage to help us experience His love for us and that Christian marriage should have a purpose beyond itself.  How do you think marriage fits into God’s redemptive plan for the world?  How have you seen marriages exhibit signs of God’s love and redemptive plan?

Resources for Further Growth

Reflect on What Others Have to Say
Underline and mark ideas you would like to discuss.

For in the first place, love convinces a couple that they are the greatest romance that has ever been, that no two people have ever loved as they do, and that they will sacrifice absolutely anything in order to be together. And then marriage asks them to prove it. Marriage is the down- to-earth dimension of romance, the translation of a roman- tic blueprint into costly reality. It is the practical working out of people’s grandest dreams and ideals and promises in the realm of love. It is one of God’s most powerful secret weapons for the revolutionizing of the human heart. It is a heavy, concentrated barrage upon the place of our greatest weakness, which is our relationship with others. We cannot possibly, it is true, in any practical way maintain a commitment to every other person in the world: that is God’s business, not ours. But marriage involves us in this mystical activity of God’s by choosing for us just one person, one total stranger out of all the world’s billions, with whom to enter into the highest and deepest and farthest reaches of sacrificial, loving relationship.
Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage

What marriage offers—and what fidelity is meant to protect—is the possibility of moments when what we have chosen and what we desire are the same. Such a convergence obviously cannot be continuous.  No relationship can continue very long at its highest emotional pitch. But fidelity prepares us for the return of these moments, which give us the highest joy we can know: that of union, communion, and atonement…. To forsake all others does not mean—because it cannot mean—to ignore or neglect all others, to hide or be hidden from all others, or to desire or love no others. To live in marriage is a responsible way to live in sexuality, as to live in a household is a responsible way to live in the world.  One cannot enact or fulfill one’s love for womankind or mankind, or even for all the women or men to whom one is attracted.  If one is to have the power and delight of one’s sexuality, then the generality of instinct must be resolved in a responsible relationship to a particular person.
Wendell Berry, The Body and the Earth

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