“And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”- Mark 3:31-35 

If you were asked what the greatest blessings in your life are, what would your answer be? If you are like most people, your answer would be family, parents, brothers, your husband or wife, your children, your grandparents and maybe a few close friends. The next question is why you consider them a blessing in your life. There are many reasons why they could be a blessing in your life. Hopefully, some are a blessing because they lift you up, they support you and they help you with your walk with God.

In the Mark 31 passage above, Jesus’ family comes on the scene seeking to help Jesus, at least in their own minds. Jesus is surrounded by crowds of people and his family wants to take charge of Him.

If we are honest we want to be surrounded by people as well. We desire to be surrounded by people who will help us get ahead, people who will improve our life, people who will help us through the rough patches. We want people around us who we can spend time with, have fun and talk over the issues of the day.  But we also want people who we can be more open, more candid with. People we can do life with and know they have our back no matter what the circumstance. People we can feel secure with. People we can be intimate with: intimacy is defined as any relationship where we know another fully and where we are also fully known.

Our spouse can fill all those roles. The spouse can bring clarity to the relationship and energy, a unifying spirit and the ability to keep the focus on God where it belongs.

The world and God have different views on the recipe for a good marriage. The world might say that couples need “chemistry”. God takes a different view. He says the covenant that men and women make with one another is what a good marriage is based upon. Spouses honor one another and God by understanding and adhering to that covenant. Marital relationships are strengthened by growing together toward the same goals. We simply need to let go and let God handle it.   

God is constantly trying to change us into the persons He created us to be. He uses marriage for this purpose. Recognizing these things provides an entirely new perspective on marriage and will strengthen the relationships without crowds around us.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What kind of relationship do you want? What brings you closer to people, what pushes you away?
  2. What builds connections in your relationship with them?
  3. What time and energy are you willing to put in to developing intimacy in this relationship?
  4. How might you make them aware of your interest in building greater intimacy?