“Meaning of Marriage” reflection questions, Week 6

March 29, 2014

keller_study

Here is the final set of reflection questions, many of which we’ll discuss in our March 30 class. These questions cover chapters 6 and 8. Here’s the video of a favorite love song of mine, which I discuss in the “Marriage Link” section below!

Chapter 6

Kathy Keller (who wrote Chapter 6) discusses the easily misunderstood topic of gender roles in the Bible. Does she assume that her readers will accept any concept of gender roles? What evidence do you see of our culture’s rejecting gender roles? Where do gender roles remain in effect? What resistance do you have to the idea of gender roles?

In your own marriage, are the roles that each spouse plays interchangeable? If not, what makes one partner more “suitable”for a role than the other?

A widespread belief about the Bible—often held by people who haven’t read it—is that it endorses the subordination of women. What evidence does Kathy Keller offer against this view?

Read Genesis 2:18. Why does Keller say that the English word “helper”is not the best translation? Recall the final scene from Jerry Maguire, which we watched in Week 1. In what ways are Jerry’s words, “You complete me,”consistent with the message of Genesis?

Describe the ways in which God-given gender roles become distorted after sin enters into the world in Genesis 3. Is stereotypical male and female behavior the way things were “meant to be”?

Read Philippians 2:5-11. How does Keller say this relates to the role that wives are called to play in the marriage relationship? If men are to be “servant-leaders”in the marriage, what does that servant leadership look like in light of Christ? To what role does Keller say the husband must submit?

Re-read the section “The Cross and the Other.”How does the relationship between spouses relate to the cross of Christ?

Chapter 8 

What three views of sex are prominent in the world today? How are these views reflected in pop culture through TV, movies, books, and music?

Why is the Bible a “very uncomfortable book for the prudish?”

Read chapter endnote #3 on pages 276-7 (hardback). Why does Wendell Berry say that sex is not merely a private matter but is “everybody’s business”?

Do you believe you can have a happy marriage without a satisfying sex life? According to Keller, what role does sex play in the marriage covenant?

Re-read the last two paragraphs in the section entitled “Sex as a Commitment Apparatus.”What are some practical problems associated with premarital sex?

Describe the inner conflict that Jane Eyre endures as she considers becoming Mr. Rochester’s mistress (in the section entitled “The Inner Dialogue”). What can we learn from her resolve when we face sexual temptation?

Re-read the section “The Importance of Erotic Love in Marriage.”What does Paul say about “marital duty”? How did his words go against the grain of Greco-Roman sexual values? From Paul’s point of view, how important is a mutually satisfying sex life?

Re-read “The Erotic Marriage.” How does Keller say that changing our emphasis in sex from “receiving pleasure”to “giving pleasure”overcome problems in the bedroom? Can you give pleasure even when you’re not feeling in the mood?

Re-read “Sex as a Test.” Why is important to keep working on your sex life throughout all of life’s changes?

Read aloud the section “The Glory of Sex.” What does it mean to you that the “best marriages are pointers to the deep, infinitely fulfilling, and final union we will have with Christ in love?

Marriage Link

Read this blog entry about a favorite song of mine, John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over.”As I wrote there:

But this song rings true to me. Love within marriage can be renewed, reborn, and re-kindled. We should work to ensure that it will be. “We have grown,”the singer says up front. But personal growth doesn’t mean that couples have to grow apart—or if they do, that it’s permanent.

Do you believe that it’s possible to “start over”in your marriage relationship? What have you learned in this course that can help you renew or rekindle your love for your spouse?

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