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FEBRUARY 16, 2020
SERMON SUMMARY & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

FRIENDSHIP, DATING, & MARRIAGE

One of the crafty but effective ways the enemy uses to destroy us is by poisoning our relationships. The bible warns us how dangerous it is to pursue the wrong friendships and relationships, which could ultimately wreck our walk with the Lord.

Why is it important to choose our friends?

The bible tells us not to be deceived, for bad company corrupts good morals (1Cor 15:33).  No matter how much you love Jesus Christ or how much you want to follow him if you hang out with people every day who are getting drunk, who are taking drugs, who are talking about sex and/or having sex you will be influenced by them.

God made us in His image and being in His image we are relational beings. We long for intimacy and acceptance. It is therefore important that we find our identity and our security in Jesus Christ because we are going to have to say no to certain kinds of friends. God made us to be in the world to influence the world but not to be of the world.

What is a True Friend?

Proverbs 17:17 says a true friend loves at all times. People make mistakes and they fall into sin, and when they do, a true friend knows what is needed at the moment and how to show love.  

Ecc. 3:7 A true friend knows when to be silent and when to speak, when to listen and just be there for you.

Eph 4:15 Friends speak the truth in a loving way, even if the truth may be painful. A truth teller will tell you if you're heading down the wrong path because they love you.

Proverbs 27:17 A friend encourages you to do more. Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. A friend encourages, “sharpens” and he encourages you to go further, to do more.

When you are thinking of dating somebody it is usually because you are interested in marrying the person.

 When Is The Right Time To Date?

  1. (Song of Solomon 2:7)  Timing is critical. God has given you the capacity to love deeply because you are made in His image, no matter how young or old you are. So guard your heart. Do not open that faucet of love at a young age because God’s design for love was never meant to be shut off.

  2. (Proverbs 24:27) Prepare to provide for your spouse. Don't build your house and establish a home until your fields are ready, and you are sure that you can earn a living.

  3. (1 Thess 4:3) God's design for our sanctification is for us to abstain from sexual immorality, but sin has totally destroyed the design of God.

The Bible says God has called some people to be single and some to be married. Marriage is a picture of what our relationship with God is like. This is why God is so much against divorce because Jesus says “I will never leave you nor will I forsake you” (Deut 31:6) and when you enter into that marriage covenant with your spouse you made that same promise. God is saying marriage is a picture of my relationship with you – but it is not the ultimate goal; you don't need to be married to be complete as a human being. What completes us is Jesus Christ and that is why we pursue Jesus.  

How Do You Choose Your Spouse (Genesis 24)?

  1. Involve your community (Gen 24:1). Get the people you trust involved – your parents and your good friends know if somebody is good for you or not right;

  2. Set standards/conviction. Convictions are non-negotiable - the person must love God more than he/she loves you. Standards are negotiable, and an example of a standard could be something physical.

  3. Prepare yourself (Gen 24:10). What do you bring to the marriage?  Do you possess the same qualities that you are looking for in a spouse?

  4. Be in the right place (Gen 24:11). Do your part. Know the places to meet that person, and be there.

  5. Pray (Gen 24:12). Pray for your future spouse, or if you are a parent, pray for your children’s spouses as early as now.

  6. Look for character (Gen 24:13-16). What are some good character traits to look for? Somebody who loves God, a Christ-committed follower, who acknowledges him as Lord and Savior. Look for somebody who loves others, who is humble, who is joyful in Christ.

  7. Observe (Gen 24:20). If you want to marry somebody that loves God observe them on how they serve the Lord, how they interact with family, friends, other people.  

  8. Get Parental Consent (Gen 24:29, 51). If as a parent you do not like the person that your child is pursuing, invite that person to your house and get to know that person by asking questions. The Bible says the thoughts of a man are deep in his heart but a man of understanding draws it out (Prov. 20:5). Then, lovingly help your child see why you do not think that person is a suitable spouse. Be clear about your reasons.

  9. Get future spouse consent.(Gen 24:57). Talk to your future spouse. Let him/her know about your prayers, your plans, God’s direction, so that they may pray about it as well.

Jesus tells us greater love has no one than this that one laid down his life for his friends, and Jesus has called us his friends (John 15:15). If you pursue after Jesus he will help you navigate through the landmines of this life - he will help you choose the right friend, he will help you choose the right spouse, he will help you honor him in everything that you do but you need to make that decision to surrender your life to Jesus Christ.

Discussion Guide:

  1. Think through the friends you spend a lot of time with currently. Share how any of them has been faithfully by you, patient in getting to know who you are, brave enough to point your blind spots even when it hurts, and challenges you to be more obedient to the Lord. Do you find you have true friends? Are you a friend to someone in the same way?

  2. If you are single, share why you think you are ready or not ready to get married? What are the things you intend to do while waiting on the Lord on this area of life? Do these things you are pursuing reflect that you are putting the Lord first?

  3. If you are married, some of the purposes of marriage are: companionship (Genesis 2:20b-22), transformation (Philippians 2:3-8, 1 Peter 3:1-7, 2 Corinthians 3:18), and to reflect God’s glory (Ephesians 5:31-32). More than being physically in your marriage, how are you and your spouse helping each other grow into Christlikeness and seeing your marriage as a picture of the unconditional love that Jesus has for His bride, the church, and how He calls her to be faithful to Him? What can you do about this?

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