In Genesis chapter 2, we are introduced to the human need for relationship as God says - "it is not good for man to be alone.” There's a communal quality to humanity in which we only function properly and rightly when connected to others. We are introduced to the need for relationship through a description of the pinnacle of human relationship - a marriage between a man and a woman. In the beginning, relationship and human community was wonderful, safe, and full of love. Genesis 2 concludes with man and woman living in God's paradise, Eden, and being comfortably naked and warmly secure within each other's presence. Everything was as it was supposed to be.
It would be wonderful if that's the kind of world we live in. But Genesis 3 describes the account of how everything went wrong, how Eden was lost, and how God's good creation came undone. Sin came in and immediately brought a disconnected and self-centered shame between the man and woman. They covered themselves from one another, they hid from God, they blamed one another, and they longed for autonomy. Along with this great fall came everything we hate – fear, embarrassment, shame, disconnectedness, and other types of relational pain.
Essentially, though we still long for healthy connectedness, human relationships became harmful and toxic. And, as demonstrated with Cain + Abel, we have a tendency to hurt those ones who are closest to us.
We need God's healing and help.
We need a Gospel pronouncement of hope and correction.
We long for healthy connectedness and only God can give it.
So, this Sunday, November 4th, Steve Lee will be addressing the pinnacle of human connectedness - marriage. Whether you are married or single, this Sunday's topic is an essential one; and all of us, no matter the season of life we may find ourselves, need the guidance of God's right way in interacting with others.
If you are married, you already well know the joys and pains of marriage; and you also know the help we need from God's word and our church community in order to have a thriving marital relationship. This Sunday, and next week's Community Group discussions, will be a great assistance to you.
If you are single, this Sunday's message, and next week's Community Group discussions, can help you prepare for what's next in your life, equip you to come along side your married friends (offering prayerful and practical help), and enlarge your understanding of God's correct way of living in every category of life – including love, relationships, sex, and marriage.
It’s been a while since I posted anything on marriage or relationships, so…
Here are some recent, and very helpful, resources on Love + Marriage + Singleness:
You May Never Marry Right Person – How Our Culture Misunderstands Compatibility
Timothy Keller explains why the quest for compatibility seems to be so impossible.
7 Ways to Destroy a Marriage
Perry Noble shares 7 sure ways to bring great harm to your marriage.
The Truth about Marital Compatibility – For Singles and Married Couples
Phil Smidt shares 5 questions for singles and marrieds about compatibility.
The Meaning of Marriage – Introduction
The Introduction to Timothy Keller’s new book on marriage.
Lastly, here’s a wonderful interview with Tim and Kathy Keller about singleness, relationships, marriage, and sex…