3rd year JG members should share their testimony this week. Engage your JG in conversation about what makes a good and bad testimony. You can break into smaller groups to do some coaching.
TRUTH – The goal this week is to see how God’s intended pattern for marriage was corrupted by sin and how Spirit-filled living can renew the possibility of realizing the intended harmony in marriage. This harmony is most likely to be experienced when husbands and wives embrace the biblical model of male headship and female submission in marriage. However, because of male abuses of the past and the resulting rise of the feminist movement, female submission is grossly misunderstood and the very idea may seem repulsive to some in your JG. You may need to carefully frame the discussion by admitting there have been abuses, and ask your JG to focus on what they saw in Scripture rather than what they may have seen in people’s lives. You can discuss any of the in Bible questions that might serve your JG’s needs. Here are some tips:
Genesis 2:15-24 – God created the woman because the man alone was not sufficient to fulfill the commission to fill the earth and rule over it. God brought the woman to the man to present her as a gift to him. The fact that the man named her “woman” is both an indication of his authority role in her life and that he was delighted to see how she so wonderfully corresponded to him. She was his equal, and yet she was unique.
Genesis 3:16 – Sin and God’s curse on sin ruined Adam and Eve’s intended harmony in their roles. Marriages would now be marked by male oppression of women in marriage and in cultures generally, and by females grasping for power. The original word for “desire” here means desire to control or rule. See Genesis 4:7 for a comparative example.
Ephesians 5:17-33; Colossians 3:15-19 – The specific parallels between these two Pauline passages are illustrated on a chart in this week’s material. In general, it is significant that Paul’s (and Peter’s) teaching on marital roles is set in the context of spiritual living. This means that following Jesus isn’t just about being a Christian man or woman – a “just me and Jesus” mentality – it’s about being a Christian husband and father, or wife and mother. The Spirit-filled life is lived out in the context of our human relationships. Ultimately, the God-given roles in marriage are intended to reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church. This should impress every husband, wife, and prospective husband and wife with the solemn responsibility of living in marriage so as to reflect the spiritual message God intends to communicate.
1 Corinthians 11:3 – Some have argued that “head” here means fountainhead, source or spring. But the context denies this possibility. Paul uses the word head 3 times to mean the same thing in each phrase. If he meant source or spring, you would translate it as follows, “…the source of every man is Christ, the source of a wife is her husband, and the source of Christ is God.” It is possible to understand Christ as the source of man, and the first man as the source (in creation) of the first woman. But, how can a husband be the source of his wife? Further, to say that God is the source of Christ contradicts the biblical teaching that the persons of the God-head are co-eternal, and that none is produced by another as its source. Therefore, we must conclude that the most natural interpretation for “head” is authority or leader. Christ who was equal to His Father in power, substance and glory, nevertheless voluntarily submitted to His authority and came to do the Father’s will, not His own. The same meaning for “head” should be applied in Ephesians 5:23. A husband is the authority of his wife and she is called upon to submit to him. This does not mean she is not her husband’s equal for even Christ submitted to His equal – The Father.
1 Peter 2:13-3:7 – Peter’s command to husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way shows that husbands are never to exploit their wives’ physical weakness or her attitude of submission in order to oppress her. Rather, husbands must treat their wives as equals who are especially worthy of honor.
EQUIPPING – Discuss any of the Equipping questions that may be relevant to your group. Focus on motivating your JG to embrace the teaching and consider it a vital part of their personal spiritual development.
ACCOUNTABILITY – Allow time for smaller groups of 2 or 3 to ask accountability questions and pray for one another.
MISSION – Be sure to allow adequate time for 3rd year members to share their 60-Second Testimony.