Focus 1 (of 4) -Couplehood is Worthwhile

Focus 1 | Couplehood is Worthwhile

What if every couple is just a hint at God’s exponential dream?
Consider this ice breaker question to get started.
What is the earliest book you remember?
See what this Spotlight—and series— is focused on.
Tap on the words "Focus 1" in the image below to read this Spotlight's summary.
Let’s talk about the first couple ever.
Listen to this audio clip when you’re ready to begin today’s Spotlight.
(And welcome, by the way! It’s great that you’re here!)
Permit a quick disclaimer first.

This Spotlight series is about couplehood—but it’s not just (or even primarily) for couples.

So if you’re not part of a couple, don’t worry. This is still very much for you.

Couplehood in a Certain Light explores God’s desire to make the many one—a concept the Trinity has perfectly embodied forever. Throughout this series, you’re going to explore the idea that God invented uniquely intimate relationships as a way of drawing us into this kind of “unity” connection.

This series speaks to those who look at couplehood—from within or from without—and ask “What’s this for?” They’re trying to understand not just whether it is fun or not, but whether and how it is valuable. Why would a person be in a committed, intimate relationship?

Welcome Perspective
Whether you’re in one or you aren’t, couplehood draws us together.
Put on your grammar hat for this.

The idea of “God,” as the Bible communicates it, is pretty complicated—God isn’t a human. God is something beyond the experience of human existence, but God still loves to love and connect with human beings.

One of the Hebrew words for God—the one used in the opening lines of the Bible: “In the beginning, God...”—is Elohim (pronounced el-oh-heem). The crazy thing about this name, is that Elohim is plural, but—and you’ll have to put your grammar hat on for this—Elohim gets singular verbs.
This is the Bible’s way of saying that there’s only one God, but that God is something more than one. This is what Christians have often called “the trinity”—three persons (father, son, and spirit), but only one God.

You aren’t like that. You’re one human being, and that’s OK. It’s worth it to simply say “God is something more than I am, and that’s a glorious thing,” just like the song “Glorious the Three” does.
Let’s listen to that songGlorious the Three—together.
Lyrics from Glorious the Three by Vinyard Worship (feat. Jeremiah Carlson)

Oh, great mystery,
relationship that’s so divine—
of perfect love before all time.

Clothed in royal splendor
and at your very sight, all knees will bow—
in awe and wonder say:

Glorious, oh, glorious—
glorious, the three—
who co-exist in perfect harmony.
Father, Spirit, only Son, Holy Trinity,
exalted for all eternity.

Your children pray:
Lord, make us one as you are one
and bind these hearts
to perfect love, Jesus the Son.

Who’s clothed in royal splendor
and at his very sight, all knees will bow—
in awe and wonder say:

Glorious, oh, glorious—
glorious, the three—
who co-exist in perfect harmony.
Father, Spirit, only Son, Holy Trinity,
exalted for all eternity.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh—
exalted, exalted!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh—
high above all other names!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh—
we bind our hearts to thee!

Glorious, oh, glorious—
glorious, the three—
who co-exist in perfect harmony.
Father, Spirit, only Son, Holy Trinity,
exalted for all eternity.
Let C.S. Lewis show the happy privilege this singular/plural God brings.
Watch this video illustration of a section of the chapter “The Three-Personal God” from C.S. Lewis’ classic, Mere Christianity.
Listen and read along to find God’s unity in Adam and Eve.
The only way that a three-persons-in-one-God can really work is through perfect unity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit enjoy a perfect unity, and when God created people he wanted them to learn to experience this unity, too.

That’s why, as the Bible talks about the creation process, it says:

This statement is a big deal because it is the first thing in the creation process that has been called “not good.” So far, everything has been good (which means it has been ideal, perfect, and exactly as God meant it to be.)

God made stars and planets, and they were good.
God made the land and sea, and they were good.
God made the plants and animals, and they were good.

God made Adam, though, and he wasn’t done yet—so he kept making.

He made Eve, and when he introduced Adam and Eve to each other, everything was complete. So the Bible says that:

The question is why? Why was it “not good for the man to be alone.”

To get the answer to that, you have to reach back a few verses:

Worship Perspective
God is the source of the unity in any successful union.
Notice how, scripturally, unity and couplehood are connected.

Certainly, every good relationship is a model of God’s dream for unity. But more commonly than anything else (at least as far as the Bible is concerned) discussions of the unity that God begets tend to lead into conversations about couples and marriage.

You’ve seen it already in Genesis. See, now, how it plays out in Ephesians 4–5. (And if you’re looking for even more reading, explore Colossians 3 someday soon.)

Follow these steps to complete this exercise…

  1. Divide your group into four subgroups, one for each of the images with a section of Ephesians on it below. (This may mean some people are on their own! That’s OK. You’ll “reunite” in a minute.)
  2. Read through your section carefully and be ready to do what the prompt at the bottom of your image asks of you.
  3. Once everyone has had a chance to go over their section, review them as a whole group in order. 

Connect couplehood to the love and unity shared by Christ and the church.

If couplehood is worthwhile because it teaches you about God’s dream for love and unity, you’ll get more out of interacting with couplehood the better you are at connecting couples to the love of Christ and the church like Paul did in Ephesians 4–5.

Work through this list at least three times in your group:

  1. Name a couple you admire (real or fictional; whether the rest of the group knows them or not).
  2. Name one quality you admire about their relationship.
  3. Explain how that quality translates to the relationship between Christ and the church.
  4. Repeat (at least three times)
Learn Perspective
Individuals have to practice recognizing good unity.
Let's talk about sex.
Not all couplehood includes sex, but sex is directly tied to the one-flesh, unity concept that couplehood teaches.

In the Serve sections of this series, you’ll have the chance to think about what can be done to make sure the gift of sex is used to teach the good things God designed it for, and to take steps toward being OK with talking about them.

Watch this video until the 1:30 marker to better wrap your mind around this.

While the whole video is part of Conquerors through Christ’s preacher-training program (designed to help pastors be and do better when it comes to preaching about sex and pornography) the initial story in this video has wide application.

You’ll talk more about this in the next Spotlight, but for today:

Share a story with your group
about a time when a church/ministry leader was brave enough to talk about sex in a way that was helpful to you. (If you have a story like that, of course!)

To learn more about the Conquerors through Christ preacher-training course, click the link below.

Feel free to submit a prayer request by filling out the below form.
(If you choose to make your request public, you'll see it display in the Current at the end of the Spotlight along with anyone else who did the same.)

Prayer Requests

Pray through your requests—together—as a group.
After submitting your requests in the above form, take some time to share with your group whatever requests the group might have for this week.
Serve Perspective
One can and should talk about sex in a way that promotes unity.
Meditate on unity with Psalm 133.
The 133rd psalm is short, but it is a beautiful celebration of unity. Follow the prompts in the video below to pray along with it.
Sing along with (or listen to) this song to close out this Spotlight.
Feel free to sing along or simply listen. Do what makes you comfortable—but do whatever helps you focus on the song's meaning best.
Farewell Perspective
Couples are breadcrumbs of God's exponential dream for true unity.
Let's wrap things up by taking a look at what's Current at Illume.
Tap on the buttons in the frame below to see what’s currently happening at Illume—information on everything from current and upcoming online content to live events and opportunities to serve in the community can all be found here.

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