Notes from Dr. Heath Lisenby from Sermon on 3/12/2023
Intimacy defined: the experience of a married couple where the husband and wife, in their one flesh covenant bond – feel safe, feel supported, they are known, they are accepted, they are emotionally close and connected, and they are loved.
Intimacy is often trivialized. For a variety of reasons, intimacy is often minimized, devalued, and avoided.
Intimacy is often super-sized. For a variety of reasons, intimacy is often idolized, overvalued, and pursued as the most important thing in life.
Intimacy is sanctified by God. This means we should value intimacy in marriage according to God’s good design. Marriage between a man and woman is a gift from God meant to valued, invested in, and enjoyed.
Clarification: Marriage and sex are not required for a person to be psychologically complete, socially acceptable, or spiritually useful. Whether for a season or for one’s whole life, singleness ought to be embraced as a gift from God. After all, Jesus was single.
I. The Creation of Image-bearers and Intimate Marriage
Text #1 In Genesis 1:26-28, we see God’s overarching design for humanity. This is important because God’s Design for Intimate Marriage is Rooted in Creation.
Verse 26 God plans to create humanity in his image.
Verse 27 God’s creates mankind in his image, male and female.
Verse 28 God blesses (commissions and sends) his newly created mankind into service to be partners,
parents, and rulers.
Am I thankful to be created in God’s image? Do I see me like God sees me?
Am I thankful for my spouse being created in God’s image? Do I see him or her likes God does?
Do I consistently show respect and honor towards my spouse simply because he or she is created in the image of God?
Text #2 In Genesis 2:18-25, we see God’s detailed description (what happened) and
prescription (what should happen) in creating the first marriage. This is important because God’s Design for Intimate Marriage is Rooted in Creation.
1. The first component of God’s design for marriage is companionship (the man had animals but no friend, so God provided him with a true friend that matched and fit with him in every way). (Gen. 1:18)
Are you and your spouse really friends – the kind of friend that takes away the sting of being alone? And the kind of friend where you fit together, and you both know it and like it?
2. The second component of God’s plan for marriage is helpfulness (the man had no help, so God provided him with real help to accomplish what God established for them to accomplish together). (Gen. 1:18)
Are you and your spouse truly partners when it comes to parenting? Do you work for agreement? Do you back each other up? Do you help each other and support each other in raising your kids?
Are you and your spouse truly partners when it comes to earning a living, taking care of your home, and managing your finances? No matter how you divide up the duties or who works where – are you a team, are you trusting, are you helping, are you contributing in ways that neither one of you feels alone and what needs to be done gets done?
3. The third component of God’s plan for marriage is great joy (listen to how the man celebrates when God brings the woman to him). (Gen. 1:23)
Do you experience joy and excitement in the presence of your spouse?
Do you thank God for your spouse every day?
How can you speak or show more gratitude towards your spouse on a daily basis?
4. The fourth component of God’s plan for marriage is primary human relationship (leaving = exclusive loyalty to your spouse over and above all earthly relationships). (Gen. 1:24-25)
Have you made the decision to put your spouse first – above all other earthly relationships, including your family of origin?
Do you prioritize time with your spouse – and on purpose put time with friends and hobbies in second place?
Do you prioritize your marriage over your children (they are loved and cared for – not neglected), or do you always put your kids first and your spouse has to settle for leftovers?
5. The fifth component of God’s plan for marriage is permanent covenant (hold fast = glued or clinging together with affection and loyalty, passion and permanence). (Gen. 1:24-25. See also Mark 10:7-9 and Ephesians 5:22-24)
Do we see our marriage relationship as “riveted or glued together?”
Are we actively clinging to our spouse with affection and loyalty? Passion and permanence?
6. The sixth component of God’s plan for marriage is the ultimate “one flesh” intimacy experience. (Gen. 1:24-25)
A. Total Unity with Deep Knowledge: “one flesh” intimacy is meant to be life-encompassing with a unique kind of mutual knowing and supporting one another that is exclusive to the marriage relationship.
How do you and your spouse cultivate knowing one another deeply?
Do you prioritize living a unified life of emotional connection? Knowing one another deeply doesn’t “just happen” nor is it sustained by past conversations or assuming you know already know everything there is to know.
B. Total Safety: Adam and Eve’s experiencing nakedness with an absence of shame highlights their deeply knowing and experiencing joy with one another in total openness, trust, and innocence:
1. Within the safety and contentment of their God-created covenant relationship, and
2. Without sin – the self-exalting, other-harming, shame-inducing, destructive and separating effects of sin.
In your marriage, do you want to be naked and unashamed? Or have you given up trying to grow in openness and vulnerability?
In your marriage, to what degree do you feel safe and free from judgement, rejection, and shame?
II. The Corruption of Image-bearers and Intimate Marriage
Overview of Effects of Sin in Genesis 3:1-13 — Applied to Marriage
Corrupted Trust = Corrupted Desire = Corrupted Choice = Corrupted Nature = Corrupted Relationship
Overview of Effects of Redemption Reversing Gen. 3 — Applied to Marriage
New Trust = New Desire = New Choice = New Nature (Progressive Sanctification) = New Relationship
III. The Restoration of Image-bearers and Intimate Marriage
James 4:1-10 Repentance – Continued
Philippians 2:1-11 Humility – Engaged
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