Lesson 12

Drink From Your Own Spring

(Gen. 2, Proverbs 12, 18, 19, 27, Eph. 5)
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Introduction: This week our study of Proverbs turns to marriage. Since King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines ( 1 Kings 11:3) he obviously had lots of experience and should have had volumes to write about marriage! Seriously, Solomon's wives led him astray. (1 Kings 11:3-4) Our goal this week is to see what God inspired Solomon to write about marriage that will help us!

  1. Two Become One


    1. Read Proverbs 19:14. Why does your wife come from God instead of from your parents? Does this suggest that parents are not a good source of advice when it comes to marriage? Or, does it mean something else entirely?


      1. If you are a parent, do you think you have a better idea who your child should marry than the child?


      2. How, exactly, do you think you get a prudent wife from the Lord? (Pray about it!)


        1. If you are unmarried, should you pray that God will direct you to the proper spouse?


        2. If you are parents, should you pray that God will lead your children to the proper spouse?


      3. What does it mean to have a "prudent" wife?


    2. Let's turn to Genesis 2:22-24. Here we have another reference to parents. Why does the text say you leave your parents and become united with your spouse?


      1. Why do you have to leave your parents?


      2. When your children become married, should you leave them alone?


        1. What about helping them to work out their troubles?


        2. Shouldn't parents help resolve disputes between married children because the parents have experience in these things? (I think God knew exactly what He was saying when he counseled young married couples to "leave" their parents. If a dispute is just between the two young people, they will have to work it out between them. However, as soon as a parent (or two) takes sides, the one young person will not feel the need to compromise and the other young person will turn away because they are "outvoted" and cannot win even a compromise.)


    1. Read Proverbs 18:22. How is finding a wife finding favor from the Lord? (God's original plan was marriage. When it works right it is a blessing.)


  1. One Becomes A Pain


    1. Is marriage always a blessing? Let's read Proverbs 12:4. What do you think Solomon means by a "disgraceful wife?" (He contrasts it with a wife of noble character. A wife of noble character would be one who seeks to please God. Earlier we discussed a "prudent" wife.)


      1. Why is a bad wife like decay in the bones? What, exactly do you understand decayed bones to mean? (Your life, your happiness, is fragile.)


    2. Read Proverbs 19:13 and Proverbs 27:15. Do you like to hear the rain on the roof? Is Solomon talking about the pleasant sound of rain?


      1. Why is a quarrelsome wife like "constant dripping?" (She gets tiresome!)


      2. Notice both texts refer to a "quarrelsome" wife. What does that mean? (One who likes to fight.)


      3. What is the solution to a wife who likes to fight? Assume you are in that situation, how would you change things?)


    3. Read Proverbs 21:9. What is so good about the roof?


      1. Does this means the solution to a quarrelsome wife is to move to the roof? Get out of the house?


    4. If you are unmarried, do these last three texts worry you? Consider than our original discussion about getting a wife from the Lord!


    5. What if you are already married to a quarrelsome wife? What should you do to take away the pain? Let's talk about that next.


  2. Taking Away the Pain


    1. In Genesis 2 we read that God made Adam first and he made Eve out of Adam's rib. Do you find any significance in either?


      1. Did it just take God one practice time to get it right? (That would be what the ladies say! The order of creation seems to favor Adam -- just as the first born was favored in the Old Testament. Creating Eve out of a rib, instead of a foot or head, however, seems to symbolize equality.)


    2. Assuming God's original plan was equality between the spouses, did that remain true for the future?


    3. Read Genesis 3:16. Why was this said? Did the relationship between husbands and wives change after the entrance of sin?


      1. Jesus came to restore us to God. Did He also "undo" Genesis 3:16? Did He restore equality between man and wife?


    4. Our lesson directs us to read Ephesians 5:25-33, but interestingly omits a reading of Ephesians 5:21-24. We will read both! Read Ephesians 5:21-24.


      1. Does this sound like Genesis 3:16? Does this suggest that after the cross the original plan of equality between the spouses resumed? (An unbiased reading of this certainly sounds like Genesis 3:16 is still in effect.)


      2. What does it mean (v.24) that wives should submit to their husbands in all things?


        1. What do husbands think it means?


        2. What do wives think it means?


        3. Is this just a discarded cultural rule of Paul's time that has no application today?


          1. If you say "yes," then can you explain Genesis 3:16?


    5. Read Ephesians 5:25-28, 33. What does it mean for a husband to love his wife as Christ (v.25) loved the church?


      1. In what way did Christ love the church? (He died for it.)


      2. What do you make of the fact that v.33 tells husbands to "love" their wives and wives to "respect" their husbands?


    6. Let's get back to the "dripping" "rooftop" wife. After looking at Ephesians, how would you solve this problem?


      1. Since the dripping comes from a "quarrelsome" wife would you just tell her to quit fighting and submit to her husband?


        1. Do you think that kind of advice would work?


          1. Let's assume she is quarrelsome because her heart is not completely converted. Would reading the texts about submitting work?


      2. Should a husband love his dripping wife - even when she is still dripping?


        1. Did Christ love His church even when it was killing Him? (There is a "vision" here that married people must catch. I think sin altered the intended relationship between men and women. It altered our relationship just as sin has altered our relationship with God. When Jesus died for us, He did not eliminate sin, He overcame it with his self-sacrifice. In the same way husbands must overcome quarrelsome wives with self-sacrifice. Nothing will stop the "dripping" better than pure, unselfish, love. Nothing will get you off the roof faster! The world cannot understand this. It looks at Paul's advice and calls him a sexist. However the converted heart understands the power of love that Paul commands. The key text, one of my favorites: "He who loves his wife loves himself." (v.28))


  3. The Wife of Your Youth


    1. How do you remain married a long time? Anyone here want to tell me based on experience?


    2. Read Proverbs 5:1-5. Is an extramarital affair fun? (Starts out as honey, ends up like bitter gall and death.)


    3. Read Proverbs 5:15-18. How does this text counsel us to be able to rejoice in the wife of our youth?


      1. The text tells us to "rejoice" in the wife of our youth. How does adultery make it difficult to rejoice in our wife? (Adultery is an attack on her self-worth. It also breeds comparisons in the mind of the wandering spouse.)


        1. Is this a problem that goes beyond adultery? What is the effect of pornography? (It also causes comparisons.)


    4. Read Proverbs 6:23-27. Is only adultery forbidden? (This moves it back a step. You should avoid lusting, being captivated by the beauty of another woman.)


      1. If you blow it, the text says you are like a loaf of bread. What does (v.26) mean?


      2. How is adultery like putting fire in your lap?


      3. Read Proverbs 5:32-35. What is another problem with adultery? (The husband!)


    5. We discussed earlier how a quarrelsome wife can be won over by a husband's self-sacrificing love. How would you compare adultery to self-sacrificing love? (It is just the opposite. Instead of giving up yourself for your wife, you give up everyone else for your lust. You prefer yourself over your wife, your children and the woman's husband. It is pure selfishness!)


    6. Friend, marriage is in bad shape today. The statistics on divorce in the church are just about as bad as outside the church. Will you make a concerted effort to follow God's advice on marriage and rejoice in the wife (spouse) of your youth?


  4. Next week: To Make a Disciple

Discussion

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