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Teach Yourself About Spiritual Relationships: Scriptural Guide

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(Section 1)

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin

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PREFACE:  The purpose of this ministry is to spread the word of God.  We pray that you are blessed by what is revealed within.

(Note:  All of our lessons will be available in their entirety on this site.  See, our primary goal is to spread and minister the word of God freely.  We have also decided to make our lessons available in printed form for a small fee for the benefit of those: who may not access to the internet,  who want a printed copy for their study reference, and for utilization by Sunday school and bible study groups.  The proceeds from these sales go to support the continued availability of this online ministry.   We praise God for those who are learning and growing through this online ministry.)

1. Introduction

     The purpose of this bible study lessons is to take a biblical look at how to handle the dilemmas that we face in today's relationships.

     Satan's goal in life is to steal, kill and destroy (ST JOHN 10:10.) He walks up and down the earth looking to destroy that which is good (1 PETER 5:8.) That means that he is after your marriage, your children, your friends, and all that God has blessed you with.

     Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (ST JOHN 10:10.) In order to have this abundant life we must learn what God has to say about relationships. Then we should act according to his word.

     In order for us to restore our relationships, we must begin to adhere to all the principles that God has set forth in his word. As stated in ROMANS 12:1-2, we must allow our minds to be transformed, so that we can prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

     Satan has infiltrated our thinking with many views that do not line up with the word of God. These views cause destruction in our lives and in the lives of those that we deal with. Think about the world's view on abortion, divorce, sex, money, children, family, and other areas that are so critical in our lives.

     This short study is not designed to cover all areas. It will go into areas that the Lord has placed on my heart. Once you complete that, I recommend that you continue to study in this area as well as other areas.

     STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD WILL BREED LOVE IN YOU FOR YOUR SPOUSE: A NEW LOVE. FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. BY HEARING AND APPLYING THE WORD OF GOD IN OUR MARRIAGES, IT WILL BREED NEW LOVE IN US FOR OUR SPOUSE AND THOSE AROUND US. 

2. Sin Will Destroy any Relationship

     We can see this principle very clearly if we examine the first few chapters of GENESIS. 

     God created man so that he could have companionship. A relationship was established. God wanted someone who would worship him just because he was God. Man was the only part of the earthly creation that had a choice. We were given the ability to reason. We could accept or reject God.

     Everything was perfect until Adam and Eve were enticed to sin by Satan who came in the form of a serpent. After eating of the fruit of the tree and disobeying God, they were cut off from their relationship with God.

     God cursed them (GENESIS 3:1-24) and they were cut off from the garden of Eden. More importantly, they died spiritually and were cut off from God.

     Sin destroyed the relationship that they had with God.

      We will discuss this principle more in a latter chapter.

3. Guidelines for Married and Singles

     This section applies to both married and single people. I felt this was an appropriate place to start. 

     Read 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-40. As you read follow the notes below. There is too much information to reference everything so I have only highlighted points in certain verses. NOTE: The numbers indicate the verse to which the comments apply.

I CORINTHIANS 7:1-40

     1. Paul's desire was for every man not to touch a woman. If we never taste or experience something, we never acquire a desire for it. We could now live our lives totally dedicated to God. Since there was no desire for the opposite sex, we would not have to deal with fleshly desires.

     2. However, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

     3. a. One of the husband's duty is to render due benevolence (disposition to do good, an act of kindness, a generous gift) to his wife.

        b. The wife is to render due benevolence to her husband.

    4. a. The wife's body belongs to the husband.

         b. The husband's body belongs to the wife.

     5. If a married couple does not come to an understanding in the area of sexual relations, satan will always use this to create confusion and division in a marriage. A couple should not stop having sexual relations except for fasting and prayer. There must be consent in this action. If not, Satan will temp you for your incontinency [the state of being incontinent. 

INCONTINENT: lacking self-restraint, as a: failure to restrain sexual appetite.

     HEBREWS 13:4 tells us that "marriage is honourable, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." We should enjoy this privilege that God has given us. At the same time, we should not bring anything into our bedroom that will defile our bed. Many of the sexual toys on the market are perverse and will defile our bed. Any X-rated film we watch will enter our eyes and defile our mind. These things will defile what God has created to be beautiful. I believe this is the main area that Satan will try to attack in separating a marriage. Learning to communicate openly about this area will open up the path to truly becoming one in marriage. 

     7. Widows should remain alone if they can contain.

     9. If they cannot contain, it is better to marry than to burn.

     10. In marriage, the Lord commands, "Let not the wife depart from her husband (or vise versa)."

     11. a. If a wife departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband.

          b. Let not the husband put away his wife.

     12. The rest of these are spoken by Paul as the Lord has allowed him to set guidance in this area.

     13. If a believer and unbeliever are together, as long as the unbelieving remain, the believing should not divorce them. 

     14. If one spouse is a believer in a marriage, all other unbelieving members of that household are sanctified by the believer: husband, wife, and children. Believing indicates that the life we are living is a truly christian one at home. Remember, faith without works is dead. 

     15. If the unbelieving depart, let them go. A brother or sister (a christian) is not under bondage in such cases.

     16. By us remaining, it is possible for us to save our spouse.

     25. Notice, Paul has received no commandment of the Lord concerning virgins. He is writing as he feels he has authority to. He gives advice: no firm rules.

     26. Being single is good. We should not take it for granted that everyone that is single should be married. God chooses some of them to remain alone and minister unto him (ST MATTHEW 19:10-12.)

     27. If we are bound to someone, then seek not to be loosed; if we are loosed from a person, then seek not a companion.

     28. IF WE DO MARRY, we are not sinning. However, we will have trouble in the flesh. We will have to learn to deal with our fleshly desires that have been activated.

     29. It is now time for all christians to act as though they are single. This means that we need to commit ourselves to the Lord. We need to sacrifice some of our time, and spend it in prayer and meditation upon the word of God. We need to start walking in the Holy Spirit every day of our lives.

     31. We should never get too attached to this world. Our possessions should never control us. God owns the whole world so we should use it for his glory. Consider your house as God's house and open it to whoever he wants you to minister to. Our money is the Lord's, so let's use it on those that he sends to us for help. The great men of faith considered themselves as pilgrims and strangers in this earth (HEBREWS 11:10-16.) This is the way that we should consider ourselves.

     36-38. These verses let us know that it is okay to marry. We are not committing a sin. 

1 CORINTHIANS 7:
     32. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
     33. But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
     34. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
     39. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

     In these scriptures it portrays the benefits of being single. Those Christians that are single should give themselves to the Lord totally. If a single person does get married, their marriage must be in the Lord. This means that we must consult the Lord about our choice for a mate. If you desire marriage, ask the Lord to send you a mate. Only marry in the Lord.

4. Single Relationships

     The basis to a good marriage, is a good relationship before marriage. If we are single, we should only allow deep relationships to develop with someone of the opposite sex that we would consider marrying.

     God does not want us to be yoked (bands, a symbol of subjection and servitude) to unbelievers. If we marry an unbeliever, we will truly have trouble in the flesh. They may never become Christian and will tend to become upset that you are. They may want you to do many unchristian activities. They may spend all their spare time in unchristian places. This will separate and divide your marriage. (AMOS 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?")

PROVERBS 13:
     20. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

     From the verse above we can see that the company we keep will determine our outcome. If we want to be a strong Christian, we should strive to walk with a strong Christian. If we spend the majority of our time with sinners, we will become a sinner if we are not extremely cautious.

     God has called us to separate ourselves from those that do not believe. 

2 CORINTHIANS 6:
     14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?
     15. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
     16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
     17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
     18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

     All Christians should shun evil associations. I believe this is much more difficult on the saved single person because they may not have access to strong Christian companionship. Once we are saved, God does not want his people unequally yoked with unbelievers.

      In 1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-40, Paul gives a lot of insight into the life of a single person:

     It is okay to seek a wife. 

PROVERBS 18:
     22. Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.

     More in the area of single relationships will be covered when we deal with friends. This area has been separated because it applies to everyone.

5. The Marriage Relationship

GENESIS 2:
     21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
     22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
     23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
     24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

     Marriage is a very sacred union ordained by God. It represents the relationship that Christ has with his church. Marriage should not be taken lightly. Let's look at the spiritual implications of these verses. 

     God could have taken the woman up out of the ground and made her even as he formed the Man, but he didn't. He took the rib out of the side of man. Woman is made totally out of man. Notice, God took the rib and closed up the flesh thereof and made Woman. 

     Even the implications of marriage is stated right here in the opening chapters of Genesis. 

     Man's duty. It is man's duty to leave his father and mother, and to cleave unto his wife.

     A man and woman are to be one flesh. This is the only way for man to be complete. 

     True oneness comes when a man and woman decides to:

     1. Accept God's ideas and guidance on marriage.

     2. Let Jesus become Saviour and Lord of their individual lives.

     When we think of the relationship of Adam, Eve and God in the garden, we begin to get a true representation of what God wants in a marriage.

A. The Divorce Question

     What does God have to say about divorce? This is an important question because too many times we take steps before we ever consider Gods plan.

MATTHEW 5:
     31. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 
     32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (St Mark 10:2-9, Romans 7:2) 

     Anytime we consider divorce for any other reason than fornication, we are going against God's will. To consider God's will, he never intended for there to be a law of divorcement.

MATTHEW 19:
     3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto them, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 
     4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.
     5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 
     6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 
     7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 
     8. He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 
     9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

     Let's notice the following points in these scriptures:

     a. God made us in the beginning male and female: not male and male or female and female, or human and beast.
     b. When they join together (marriage/sexual relations) they become one flesh.
     c. Once they are joined together, man does not have the authority to destroy it: get separated or divorced.
     d. Fornication again is the only grounds acceptable for divorce.

     In these scripture lessons we can see some of God's ideas and policies on divorce. God has never wanted divorce and has always hated it.

MALACHI 2:
     14. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 
     15. And did not he make ONE? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore ONE? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 
     16. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment (translated: cover his wife with violence), saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to you spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

     Note the following points in this scripture:

     1. The Lord witnesses the marriage commitments that we make.

     2. We should not deal treacherously with our wives.

     3. The wife is to be a companion.

     4. Marriage is a covenant.

     5. In marriage we are made one.

     6. The Lord wants to use us [two that are made one (saved married couples)] to raise a godly seed.

     7. The Lord hateth putting away: divorce. This is a Christian principle that we should really adhere to.

B. Husband's Duty

EPHESIANS 5:
     25. Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES, even as Christ also LOVED 
the church, and gave himself for it;
     26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
     27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
     28. So ought men to LOVE their wives AS THEIR OWN BODIES. He that LOVETH his wife LOVETH himself.
     29. For no man ever yet HATETH his OWN FLESH; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church;
     30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

     Husbands are the spiritual heads of their homes. They are to take up authority over it as Christ has over the church. They should rule their homes in love. They are responsible for teaching and training in the home. If they depend solely on outside sources, it will lead to confusion as the wife may tend to pick up and adopt different views from other sources that are contrary to her husband's.

     As a husband, a man should never let anyone disrupt his marriage. He should strive to have an agreement with his wife that she will never allow anyone to counsel her without him being present or his consent. There is nothing that should be said, that cannot be said in the presence of both. If there is, then I can almost guarantee you it is something that shouldn't be said at all. 

     Husbands are required to Love their wives. I feel that this part of the marriage relationship has been seriously neglected in the past, but it is equally important. 

     The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. To understand this, we must look at how Christ loved the church. He committed himself totally to the church. He has never denied the church or done anything to hurt it. He has never abused the church. He leads and guides the church. He does all these things because of God's great love for the church.

     We should love our wife as we love our own body. We should provide both spiritual and physical nourishment to our wife.

     1. We should never speak evil of our wives to anyone: word have power, they either create or destroy: JAMES 3:1-18.

     2. We should give them the love and attention that they need.

     3. We should learn to sacrifice, even as Christ, when it works to the increase and growth of our marriage. We sacrifice our marriages to too many things for me to list here, but I encourage you to think about it: friends, job, children, parents, clubs, etc. We need to give up some things for our marriage. Some of us needs to give up or limit the extra time that we devote to friends and activities. 

     4. This portion of scriptures clearly shows the oneness of the marriage relationship. They are members of our body, of our flesh, of our bones. For Adam, it was actually his flesh and his bones. We should view if the same way.

     5. We must fight for feedback and communication from our wife. Communication in all areas of our marriage will provide a great source of joy and support. If we do not begin now, there is a great possibility that successful communication will never happen in our marriage. Why not start today. You and your spouse have are walking manuals. You both know what you want. If you learn to listen to, respect, and meet each other's needs, you will find how wonderful a relationship can be. 

     6. REMEMBER I CORINTHIANS 7:5! Sexual relations is the most critical part of a marriage. Until there is free and open communications and understanding in this area, satan will always use this area to attack. They are no firm fast rules, but a husband and wife must come to a point of common ground in this area.

1 TIMOTHY 3:
     4. One (a bishop) that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
     5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
     12. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

 

PROVERBS 5:
     18. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
     19. Let her be as the loving hind and the pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times: and be thou ravished always with her love.
     20. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger.

 

ECCLESIASTES 9:
     9. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

 

1 PETER 3:
     7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving HONOUR unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

     These scriptures point out more principle that husbands will do well to memorize and adhere to. In order to be an effective leader of the church, we must be an effective leader at home. Marriage is the natural equivalent of Christianity. If we cannot accomplish the natural, we will not be able to accomplish the spiritual. God places great emphasis on this fact throughout the new testament.

     We must learned to be satisfied with our wives at all times. If we can grasp and apply this principle in our thought life, it will show outwardly. Regardless of their appearance or actions, if we hold this thought dear, we will always love our wife. LOVE IS NOT A FEELING OR A DESIRE, IT IS A COMMITMENT.

     If we don't apply these principles to our relationship, then our ministries and spiritual relationship with God will be greatly hindered and affected.

C. Wives Duty

EPHESIANS 5:
     22. Wives, SUBMIT yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
     23. For the husband IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE, even as Christ is the HEAD of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
     24. Therefore as the church is SUBJECT unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

     Wives are suppose to submit (to yield to governance or authority, to yield oneself to the authority or will of another: surrender) to their OWN HUSBAND. This is God's plan for a marriage relationship.

     Why? Many women may ask the question or even get furious at God for making a decree. Let's look at these implications.

     God created the man first. Also, as part of the curse (GENESIS 3:16) he made the woman subject to the man so that he would rule over her. He took the woman from his flesh and made her. She is a part of him. It says that since Christ is the head of the church, saviour of the body, the church is subject to him. Likewise, in the same manner should women be subject to their husbands in everything.

     Two cannot walk together unless they agree: AMOS 3:3. If two people try to live life their own way and go in their own direction, then there will be confusion and God is not the author of confusions: 1 CORINTHIANS 14:33. 

     As Christ is the Spiritual head of the church, so is the husband the spiritual head of the body. He is responsible for the growth and understanding of his household: wife and children. 

PROVERBS 31:
     27. She LOOKETH WELL TO THE WAYS OF HER HOUSEHOLD, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
1 TIMOTHY 3:
     11. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things
1 PETER 3:
     1. Likewise, ye wives, BE IN SUBJECTION to your OWN HUSBANDS: that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (life) of the wife. SEE ALSO PROVERBS 31:10-31

     As we look at these other responsibilities, we see that the wife is responsible for the household duties. The husband should help as much as possible in this area as this is part of his love commitment. If the wife does not take good care of the household duties, there is generally no one else to do them so the household and the marriage suffers.

D. Being One in Marriage

EPHESIANS 5:
     31. For this cause shall a MAN LEAVE his father and mother, and shall be JOINED unto his WIFE, and they TWO shall be ONE FLESH.
     32. This is a GREAT MYSTERY: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
     33. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so LOVE HIS WIFE even as himself; and the WIFE see that ye REVERENCE HER HUSBAND.

     In order for a marriage to be true, we must adhere to these principles. The man must do his part and become the spiritual head of his home. He must step to the front and lead. He must never neglect to love his wife and sacrifice what's best for her. Being the head does not mean being a dictator. Christ lets us go and asks us to follow him but the choice is still ours. We should lead our wives, but the choice is still theirs. But, if we show true love and Christ is the center of our marriage, they will follow. 

     The wife should love her husband enough to submit to him, even as we must love Christ enough to submit to him. We have trouble in christianity when we refuse to submit to Christ's Lordship of our lives. A marriage will always have trouble and never be full and complete until we follow these God given principles.

6. Always Treat Your Marriage and Family Like It's Terminally Ill

     As you begin to apply the truths of God's word to your marriage and your family, you will find that your life will be fuller. However, the tendency will be to say, everything is fine now so let me return to business as usual. If you follow this attitude, you will find that things will get worse as they return to normal.

     If someone you loved was terminally ill, you would want to spend every possible moment with them. If they were no longer able to get about, you would regret all the things that you've dreamed about doing with them that you never got around to because you were so busy or to lazy.

     If you think of your marriage and family in the same light, it will prompt you to say and act because we know that we will not always be able to be there.

     Remember that no relationship just happens, it is built. We must continue to work on making what we have better through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

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