Sermon Notes & Slides
Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth
Overview: The book of Proverbs instructs us on how to make good and godly decisions in every facet of life. Such instructions are particularly helpful when we consider the relationship between a husband and wife since their union is designed to be a lifelong bond that influences future generations and points others to the church. In sum, Proverbs teaches that one’s spouse is a gift from God; that husbands and wives enjoy a special intimacy; that faithfulness in marriage is a clear and correct expectation; that both bring gifts and faults to the marriage; and no earthly possession should outweigh the love between them. And yet, the Bible as a whole calls for us to look beyond Proverbs in order to appreciate how marriage functions as a picture of Christ’s love for the church.
01. Christ is head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. We portray these truths when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, view each other as members of the same body, and find our sufficiency in Christ.
02. Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. We portray these truths when we respond to God’s call to holiness, and forgiveness.
03. Christ will present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle that she might be holy and without blemish. We portray these truths as we rely on God’s faithfulness to outlast our faithlessness.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. What important truths are provided for our understanding of marriage from Genesis 2:18-25? How does Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 19:8 underscore the permanence of marriage between a man and a woman? In other words, why should marriage be viewed in the context of creation rather than culture?
2. Sometimes feminine imagery is used to describe temptation’s lure (Proverbs 5:3-6) but on other occasions feminine imagery is used to describe the path of wisdom and righteousness (Proverbs 3:13-18). Why is this imagery used in such different ways? How would this imagery communicate truth within the context of a father instructing his son?
3. Consider the various texts which speak to the relationship to husbands and wives (Proverbs 5:18-19; 12:4; 14:1; 19:14; and chapter 31). How do these texts reflect or challenge the pictures of marriage and personhood in our culture?
4. Notice the glaring contrast between joyful love and illicit attempts at love in Proverbs 5:15-20. How does the command to find joy in one’s spouse speak to the depths and reality of genuine, biblical love? How does the stark portrayal and stern warning against adultery underscore the importance of covenant faithfulness in marriage?
5. In what ways does Christian marriage point to the reality of Christ’s love for the church? How can you implement the concluding comments regarding the church’s response to Christ’s love at Northpoint?
For Further Reading: John Piper, This Momentary Marriage (Crossway, 2012)