Imagine you did something hurtful to a close friend. To your surprise, your friend doesn’t respond with anger and judgment. Instead your friend extends you undeserved love by giving you a beautifully wrapped gift. How would you feel about that?
Many of us have hurt our close friend, God, by making unwise sexual choices: doing things we shouldn’t do, thinking sexual thoughts that dishonor God and others, or giving sex and relationships too much of a place in our lives. Sex according to God’s design is like that beautifully wrapped gift that we don’t deserve.
1. Read 1 Corinthians 7:32. If we’re unmarried, what should be our attitude toward life, relationships, and sex?
2. Read Ephesians 5:22-24. What do these verses say about how a wife should relate to her husband?
3. Read Ephesians 5:25-30. What do these verses say about how a husband should relate to his wife?
4. Read Ephesians 5:31. What gift does God give to a husband and wife sexually when they come to their relationship with a heart to give and sacrifice, not just to satisfy their own needs?
5. Read Ephesians 5:32. When a man and woman experience marriage and sex as God designed it, what greater thing does it point to?
6. God wants unmarried people’s focus to be on pleasing the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 7:32). How is that approach to life and sex a beautiful gift from God? (as opposed to being consumed with sex and relationships, caught up in comparisons, and feeling like you always need to “have” someone)
7. God also wants married people’s focus to be on pleasing the Lord by showing each other love and respect. Out of this love and respect comes beautifully intimate sex and pictures the love and intimacy God wants to have with us. How is this kind of relationship a gift from God?
8. How does it make a difference in your life to know that sex is bigger than sex (that for unmarried people the “bigger thing” is abstaining from sex to please God and that for married people the “bigger thing” is loving each other in a way that pictures Jesus’ love for his people)?
9. Read Joel 2:25. How does it help to know that God’s forgiveness in Christ is bigger than any failure to live in line with God’s design for your sexuality and relationships?
10. What step is God calling you to take (in his power) to live in line with his design for you in sex and relationships?
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