Big Idea: God’s design for covenant-keeping love forbids us from acting unfaithfully toward our spouse. We can love God and others best by building a thriving marriage in which adultery does not occur. A thriving marriage restores God’s original design and puts covenant-keeping love on display for all to see.
I. God’s vision for thriving marriages
A. The command and its scope (Deuteronomy 5:18, Matthew 5:27-30)
B. The plan in the beginning (Genesis 2:25)
C. Adultery destroys God’s plan. (Proverbs 6:32-35)
II. What does this look like today?
A. Destructive cycles
B. People wait until it’s too late.
C. Understand why affairs happen. (I Corinthians 7:5)
1. Some affairs are driven by sexual addiction.
2. Some affairs are cause by prolonged intentional celibacy inside of marriage.
3. Some affairs happen because temptation lands in the cracks in the marriage.
D. Stories of success: Interview with Steve and Ann Lansing
III. Call to action
A. Build positive cycles by refusing to destroy God’s design.
B. Take courageous steps to face the things that scare you.
C. Invest in marriage constantly.
1) Do the command to not commit adultery and God’s design in marriage affect singles? If so, how? Why should they care about this command? What does Jesus’ teaching on lust/adultery have to say to singles?
2) How do you understand Jesus’ teaching on lust from Matthew 5:27-28?
3) What is God’s design in marriage? How would you describe that to a “seeker”?
4) How did sin affect God’s original design? When you consider the effects of sin – fear, broken relationship, lost trust, separation, hiding, loss of intimacy – which of these is scariest to you? Why? Have you seen this in your experience or in relationships that you have observed?
5) Who all is affected in the case of adultery? Have you ever tried to be helpful to a couple going through difficulties? What was that like? How did they receive the help? What did you learn through the process?
6) Have you experienced negative or destructive cycles? How did you first discover that you were in one? What was it like? What did it take to change it (if, in fact, it did change)?
7) Why do you think most couples wait so long before seeking help? How often does kicking the can down the road work?
8) If you are married, what positive habits or rhythms do you have that build health and vitality into your marriage? Share ideas as a group.
9) What negative cycles can you take some tangible steps to stop?
10) What new tool(s) could you start using to build life and health into your marriage?