“Meaning of Marriage” reflection questions, Week 5


Here are the reflection questions from last Sunday’s class, which covered Chapter 5 in Keller’s book. You can download them as a separate Word file by clicking here. We watched this video clip, “It’s Not About the Nail,” and I asked how it applied to Keller’s discussion about the “power of truth” and the “power of love.” (See “Marriage Link” below.)

Chapter 5

Keller compares marriage to the Cinderella story. An hour comes when the “real, unvarnished you stands there, unfiltered for all to see.” What has your spouse seen in you that you hadn’t previously seen in yourself?

How is marriage like a Mack truck driving toward a structurally flawed bridge? Keller writes, “Marriage does not so much bring you into confrontation with your spouse as confront you with yourself.” What have you learned about yourself through marriage? Do you wish you hadn’t known it? How does marriage’s “power of truth” relate to the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Re-read the Rob and Jessica story. Can you relate to it? Can you imagine reasons you were brought into your partner’s life—and vice versa? Have you helped one another become better people?

When we consider our spouse’s flaws, why is it helpful to say, “This drives me crazy, but that’s not truly him [or her]. That is not permanent”? How is it not permanent? What does Keller mean when he refers to someone’s “glory-self”?

If you grow disillusioned with your spouse’s flaws and are tempted to think, “There must be someone better than this,” what would Keller have you tell yourself?

Keller says that marriage’s “power of love” can overturn negative judgments that had previously shaped our self-esteem. Is this true in your experience? Is your self-esteem better or worse since you got married? How is this power of love a “miniature version” of the same power that Jesus has with us? (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.)

What is “love currency” and how does it become part of the assumptions we bring into marriage? What was your mother’s love currency? your father’s? What tension has been created in your marriage over these differing assumptions? What are some actions on your part that say, “I don’t love you,” to your spouse?

What is your particular “love language” or love frequency (using Keller’s radio analogy)? How can our spouse show us he or she loves us? Does this difference in love languages reflect itself in our gift-giving to one another?

When does the “power of truth” become a weapon against our spouse? Read Mark 11:25 and Matthew 18. Why is important that forgiveness precedes confrontation? What does it look like to offer the power of love without the power of truth?

Re-read the story of the Russian czar and his stepson. How does the cross teach us the “power of grace”?

Relate 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 to this discussion. Read the last paragraph of the chapter!

Marriage Link

Watch this video clip, “It’s Not About the Nail.” What does this couple need to fix the problem, the “power of truth” or the “power of love”? Assume this is a married couple. If you were the husband, would you handle the situation any differently?

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