This video segment is one of six presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: communication, finances, decision making, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

MarriageEquip(Part2) from Equip on Vimeo.

Worksheet One: Sketching Our Marriage Story

Worksheet One (Completed Sample): Marriage Story_Birth to Wedding_SAMPLE

Worksheet Two: Marriage Story_ Present or Future

Worksheet Three:  Celebrating Our Non-Moral Differences

Memorize: Ephesians 5:28-30 (ESV), “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “In the same way” – We’re to present our spouse to God spotless and holy as Christ does the church (Eph 5:27).
  • “As their own bodies” – What we’d do for our self should be the minimum we’re willing to do for our spouse.
  • “Loves his wife love himself” – We best love ourselves by loving our spouse; creating a home marked by peace.
  • “Nourishes and cherishes” – We’re to be excellent (willing, skillful, and frequent) at what builds up our spouse.
  • “As Christ does” – We can only love our spouse this way because of God’s love for us (I John 4:10-11, 19).

 Teaching Notes

“We are not to live for one another, but live beside one another for the Lord. Our lives are not meant to revolve around one another, but they are meant to revolve together around Jesus Christ (p. 141).” John Henderson in Catching Foxes

“One of the riskiest, but most rewarding benefits of a marriage relationship is the exhilarating experience of knowing and being known, of revealing and having another person reveal himself or herself to you (p. 19)… If the person who knows you best also loves you most, your marriage will be truly special (p. 88).” Dennis Rainey (editor) in Preparing for Marriage

“The Christian teaching does not offer a choice between fulfillment and sacrifice but rather mutual fulfillment through mutual sacrifice… So, what do you need to make marriage work? You need to know the secret, the gospel, and how it gives you both the power and pattern for your marriage (p. 47)… Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, ‘I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!’ (p. 121)” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage

“Surely God could have made it ‘good’ on the first attempt. Pay close attention: God is creating drama to underscore something important about marriage (p. 59).” Winston Smith in Marriage Matters

“Marital dissatisfaction is best met with prayer, ‘That is why I need you, O God’ (p. 237).” Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage

“It is not your husband or wife’s choices that you are rejecting, but God’s… It is God who formed your spouse with his or her natural gifts and personality, and after he did, he stood back and declared your spouse ‘good.’ It is hurtful to your spouse when you disrespect her for things she did not choose or reject her for things she cannot change. Every difference is an opportunity to celebrate God’s creative artistry (p. 211).” Paul Tripp in What Did You Expect?