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Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Strengthen Your Marriage by God's Grace
Saturday, May 10, 2014

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All too often, we try to repair broken or damaged relationships on our own power. But our best efforts do not create any lasting change in our marriages. The key to truly transformed relationships is found in verses like these from our study passage: "Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy" (vv. 23-24). When we do this—when we let God's Spirit and grace empower our lives—then we have the ability to apply the relational principles found in verses 25 through 32.

  1. Why are the characteristics detailed in verses 17 through 19 sometimes demonstrated by people who claim to be Christians? Are any of these traits present—on a consistent basis—in your own life and marriage?
  2. According to verses 20-24, how do you live a life that isn't characterized by selfish, ungodly behavior? (See also Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-25; James 1:21-25.)
  3. According to verses 25 through 31, what behaviors should follow our new life in Christ? With guidance from God's Spirit (Gal. 5:18), which of these behaviors do you most need to work on in your relationship with your wife?

Key Study Passage:

Ephesians 4:17-32

Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for ways you've seen God's grace at work in your marriage. Confess those times your words and actions have damaged your relationship. Ask for the Spirit's guidance in discussing difficult issues with your wife.

Ephesians 4:17-32

Living as Children of Light

17 With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn't what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

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Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, I humbly yield my relationship with my wife to you, asking for your transforming grace to permeate all areas of my marriage.

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