Teamwork and Partnership
in Marriage
Speed painter video clip
• See
“We easily get used to
things that make us feel
Dr Sonya Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology,
Author of “The Myths of Happiness”
There are many examples of
hedonic adaptation in the Bible
Adam & Eve – “bone of my bones” to mutual blame
Abraham and Sarah – from faith to faithlessness
Isaac & Rebekah – from first love to cold disregard
Jacob, Rachel, Leah – from love triangle to
triangulation to strangulation
Ahab and Jezebel – codependency to mutual evil
Ananias and Sapphira – admiration to deceit
Redemptive Marriages
Boaz & Ruth’s “hesed”: kindness, respect, love
Redemptive Marriages
Joseph and Mary – nurturing the Lord
Redemptive Marriages
Priscilla and Aquila –
amazing portrait of
partnership in marriage
For the next 30 minutes
• Read six passages from Scripture
• What are the signs of teamwork and
partnership in their marriage?
• Reflection questions
• Personal response from my marriage
Priscilla & Aquila: Rome to Corinth
Acts 18:2-3: There he (Paul) met a Jew named
Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently
come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because
Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
Paul went to see them, and because
he was a tentmaker as they were,
he stayed and worked with them.
Isthmian Games
The first sign of partnership
You enjoy working together with your spouse –
and with others
Think of your spouse/friend/family member.
In what ways have you worked together?
In what ways has working together
strengthened your relationship with one
another, and with God?
Personal reflections on working together
 Huey Fern and I currently work together to earn a
living. We share: one computer, one car, one
home office, one calendar (iCloud), email
accounts, bank accounts, company.
 Not every couple can work like this. It’s not easy
(use of car; bedroom space).
 Working together is a powerful way of building
intimacy in marriage, and connection in
 Red flag: Drifting apart in separate worlds
 Tip: Take turns talking and listening at day’s end.
Priscilla & Aquila in Ephesus
Acts 18:18: Paul stayed on in Corinth for some
time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for
Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.
They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul
left Priscilla and Aquila.
The second sign of partnership
You make decisions with your spouse – based on
faith, and for the sake of the Kingdom.
Think of your spouse/friend/family member.
What’s a decision that the both of you made
together – on the basis of faith and trust in God?
Looking back, what gave you the courage?
In what way did God reveal Himself to you?
Reflections on trusting God together
 God’s voice: “Launch out into the deep and let down
your nets for a catch”
 At Regent: from wealth to poverty (2 jobs to 0; paying
rent and housing loan). How are we going to live in the
most expensive area of one of the world’s most
expensive city?
 It’s not easy (toilet paper, old bread). But trusting God
together built resilience and flexibility in our marriage
(e.g. walking to work). We were poor but we were rich.
 Red flag: A sense of self-sufficiency. “I did it my way.”
 Tip: Pray together. Every night. Every week.
Priscilla & Aquila in Ephesus
Acts 18:26: He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in
the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard
him, they invited him to their home and
explained to him the way of God more
The third sign of partnership
You are being mentored in God’s Word together
– and you mentor others.
Who has mentored you, or contributed
significantly to your spiritual growth?
Thank the Lord.
What spiritual contribution are you
making to the lives of others?
Reflections on mentoring
 Hwa Chien and Kim Guat: “never hit below the
belt”. 24 hours of conversation in their home.
 We mentor 4-5 people. They stay in our home
and join our family rhythm and work.
Highlight: praying with Hannah. Regent friend.
 Red flag: A self-absorbed marriage/family
 Tip: to find mentors, invite a married couple
for coffee. Ask them about their top 3 values
Priscilla & Aquila back in Rome
Romans 16:3-4: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my
fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their
lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of
the Gentiles are grateful to them.
The fourth sign of partnership
You serve God’s people in the church –
usually in quiet and courageous ways.
In what ways have you (and your
spouse) served the church together?
Reflections on serving the church
 The local church is the primary arena for God to
move powerfully throughout history. When God
works, there’s bound to be risk and sacrifice.
 Examples: Fong Yang & Constance; couples in
CDPC Puchong; individuals who have made
sacrifices. Our own struggle to serve.
 Red flag: No commitment to serve the church
 Tip: Serve God’s servants. Faithfully. Cheerfully.
Priscilla & Aquila back in Ephesus
1 Corinthians 16:19: The churches in the
province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and
Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so
does the [Ephesian] church that meets at their
The fifth sign of partnership
You serve God’s people in your home –
and you do it with warmth and hospitality
In what ways have you served God’s
people through your home?
Reflections on serving Christ at home
 In modern urban life, the home is one of the
most powerful ways to impact lives.
 You don’t need a big place. All you need is a
floor and a glass of water (Mildred).
 Our 900-sq ft apartment: ground zero for
 Red flag: Not ‘welcoming the stranger’
 Tip: Don’t just eat. Be a host: prepare
questions to ask, listen, pray.
Priscilla & Aquila back in Ephesus
2 Timothy 4:19: Greet Priscilla and Aquila and
the household of Onesiphorus.
(2 Tim 4:16-18)
“At my first defense, no one came to my support,
but everyone deserted me. May it not be held
against them. But the Lord stood at my side and
gave me strength, so that through me the message
might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might
hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and
will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him
be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The sixth sign of partnership
When people think of you (and your marriage),
they think of God.
Think of a person/couple/family who has
expressed gratefulness to you for blessing
them (e.g. Ian and Nouvelle Hadfield’s
thank you card)
In what ways is your marriage a visible
reminder of God’s loving partnership?
The six signs of partnership and
teamwork in marriage.
1. Working together – and with others
2. Making decisions together – based on faith
3. Being mentored in God’s Word – and mentoring
4. Serving together in the church – in quiet,
courageous ways
5. Serving together at home – doing it warmly
6. When people think of us, they think of God –
and when they think of God, they think of us.
Exercise: 5 minutes
If you’re married or in a relationship…
• Thank your partner (in a specific way) for building teamwork
and partnership in your marriage.
• Discuss and pray about one thing you’d like to practice
together this week to build teamwork and partnership.
If you’re single or your spouse isn’t here…
• sit in groups of three: What’s one sign of
partnership/teamwork that you’d like to cultivate (in your
The six signs of partnership and
teamwork in marriage.
1. Working together – and with others
2. Making decisions together – based on faith
3. Being mentored in God’s Word – and mentoring
4. Serving together in the church – in quiet,
courageous ways
5. Serving together at home – doing it warmly
6. When people think of us, they think of God –
and when they think of God, they think of us.