Gateway North, Branson & Online
4/10 – God Loves Married People
Last week, we learned that God loves sex because He created it and meant it to be fulfilling. Like a fire though, it can be destructive when not experienced as He intended in a marriage relationship. For most couples, it’s challenging to maintain a thriving, intimate sexual relationship over time. Our misconceptions of sex, differing expectations and the never ceasing challenges that life brings can all get in the way.
This week’s questions are focused on married couples and overcoming the challenges faced on the way to a relationship of deepening intimacy — spiritually, emotionally and physically.
For Singles, as you reflect on the message and these Next Steps, consider the question, “Am I becoming the person I’d want to marry?” And next week will be for you with the message, God Loves Single People.
- What originally drew you to your spouse, and what do you admire about him/her now?
- What are the ingredients of a thriving sexual relationship on which our culture focuses? What messages do we get from our culture about sex within marriage?
- Read Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:3,10, which talks about not arousing love until it so desires. Why do you think the security of a committed marriage relationship is key to deepening sexual intimacy?
- How can you better create a safe, committed, trusting environment with your spouse?
- One important aspect of building trust in marriage is getting time together. How is this going in your marriage, and what could you do to make more intentional time with your spouse?
- Read Song of Solomon 1:1-4,13 & 1:15, 2:2,10,14. These verses show a husband and wife emotionally connecting as they pour out praise for each other and express their love. What are the different ways that words can build intimacy with your spouse? What are the strengths and weaknesses in your communication? How can you grow your emotional connection with each other?
- As you think about laying the spiritual, emotional and physical groundwork for a thriving sex-life, where do you see your greatest current obstacle? What step can you take together to address that obstacle? Will you commit to pray with your spouse about it? Would it be helpful to seek guidance from a spiritually mature couple you know or a counselor?
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:3,10 — Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires…Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires … come out, and look, you daughters of Zion. Look on King Solomon wearing a crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.
Song of Solomon 1:1-4,13 — (Wife speaking) Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine…your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you! Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers…My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.
Song of Solomon 1:15, 2:2,10,14 — (Husband speaking) How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves… Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women… Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me… show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
We recognize that for many sex and intimacy can be a difficult topic — it’s a place where most of us have wounds or scars of some kind, but there’s hope! God wants to help us, heal us and make us sexually whole people who are free of the sexual insanity of our culture, and instead find something better. We’ve put together some classes and groups to help you, and we hope to add a few more as the series progresses.
THE MINGLING OF SOULS — God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex & Redemption
- Class for Gateway Singles on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2:00-4:00PM. Childcare Available.
- Class for Gateway Marrieds on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2:00-4:00PM. Childcare Available.
AFFAIR RECOVERY GROUP — Will start in May. Details and Registration will be added to website soon!
WOUNDED HEART GROUP for Women — Wounded Heart is a 14-week, adult women’s support group for victims of sexual abuse. Starts Monday, May 16th, from 7-8:30PM.
SEX ADDICTION GROUP for Men — Starts Tuesday, May 17th from 7-8:30PM. Registration will open soon.
Additional details & registration info will be posted in the upcoming weeks! Questions? Email Restore@GatewayChurch.com
And PARENTS, our NextGen team has put together some great resources for you to start the conversation with your kids. Just text the word THETALK to 80123, and you’ll get a link to a PDF resource. DOWNLOAD THE PDF RESOURCE HERE.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!