Welcome to Week One of Enhancing Your Marriage! This online study will be based upon Judy Rossi’s study of the same name. All quotes, unless otherwise noted, will belong to her.
Take your time as you read through this. Pray as you read the scriptures and answer the questions. Be honest with yourself. This is between you and God. And if you feel like sharing something that might encourage another sister in Christ, please do. You may comment below OR ask to join the Enhancing Your Marriage Facebook Group. This is a safe place where ladies can ask questions and encourage and mentor each other as we work on our marriages.
Knowing God as Author
Read Genesis 1:1-31 and make a chart listing the days and what God created on each day.
Take a look at how God created the world. He spoke, which is amazing. No human can speak and create something from nothing. The first three days “set the stage” for the earth. Days four through six fill the stage.
“He was deliberate in His creation, imaginative in His variety, and ingenious in His groupings. He is not about evolution. He is all about originality.” (page 2)
The Bible tells us that we are made in His image. Have you ever thought about that? The word for “image” is tselem, which means not a duplicate, to shade or shadow. No one is a duplicate and we were created to be a shadow of God. Even though God is perfect and holy, humans have some of the same attributes as God. We have reason, morality, and a spirit. We are relational and we each have our own function, or purpose, in this world.
“Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God! Take the glory! the honor! the power! You created it all; It was created because you wanted it.” Revelation 4:11 (The Message)
Can you image God creating you because He wanted to? He takes pleasure in us. YOU please HIM. He wants to be with YOU. What is your time with God really like?
God has a perfect plan. What He creates is very good. Does God’s “very good” exist in your marriage? If you were to ask God to do one thing in your marriage, what would it be?
Knowing God as Abba
Write, or think of, a list of characteristics that would make the ideal earthly father.
Can you imagine your Heavenly Father having all of these characteristics and even more? Our Father fights for His children, and carries them through the wilderness. He gives His children an inheritance. He encircles, cares, guards, and protects. He is the Potter, we are the clay. We are the work of His hands.
“God is our Abba, to whom we can respond with an attitude of affection, trust, confidence, and openness, just as a child would respond to his or her loving earthly father. That’s relationship, and it’s real.” (page 9)
What does Philippians 4:19 say to you?
Are you willing to trust God to help you in your marriage?
Knowing God as Awesome
“Serving a God who knows and understands all things with all wisdom should be comforting. But it can also be intimidating, especially if we have something to hide.” (page 11) Psalm 139:1-6 tells us that we have been searched and known by God. He scrutinizes us. He is intimately acquainted with us. He knows everything about you. EVERYTHING! and He STILL chooses to cover you with Himself.
So if God knows everything about you, don’t you think God knows everything about your marriage?
Are there parts of your marriage that you refuse to let Him touch? Are there details you think He is unconcerned about?
God is also omnipresent. Read Psalm 139:7-12. Are you comfortable with this, or not? Are there places where you’d rather God NOT be?
Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,…Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” ~ Jeremiah 32:17, 26-27
What truth does Jeremiah teach you?
In Genesis 17:1, God calls Himself “God Almighty,” the ALL-Sufficient One. He can do anything!
Think about this: We can “know” about something. We can know electricity can hurt us. We can read about it in books and on-line. But then you get shocked one morning plugging in your hair dryer. Now you KNOW, through experience, that electricity can hurt.
It’s the same way with God. You can “know” about God…but until you KNOW and experience God, then you really cannot comprehend the ALL-Sufficient One.
Do you believe what you have been reading about God in His book?
Knowing God as Our All
Read Exodus 3:1-22.
God appeared to Moses in a bush. Throughout their conversation God reassured Moses that He would be with him. “Certainly I will be with you.” “This is the sign…” He tells Moses exactly what is going to happen and that He knows what the response of Egypt will be.
But what does Moses do?
“When God sets out to accomplish His purpose (which is usually the impossible, by human wisdom), what He intends is what’s going to happen, no matter what resistance He meets.” (page 16)
Do you have any “what ifs” in your marriage? In what areas of your marriage do you doubt that the I AM could work the impossible?
Now read 1 Peter 1:13-16. What is required of us? What do you think this means? How does the concept of holiness apply to your marriage?
No one is holy like the Lord. All He does is holy. He is set apart. He is not human. He does not think as we do. He is righteous and worthy to be seen as awesome. Because of this, I am to keep a sober spirit. This doesn’t mean walk around all serious all the time. God is a God of joy. But what it does mean, is that we take Him seriously. How conformed to the world are you? Are you holy in your behavior? Are you lusting over something?
We must be sure that we are pure in our marriages.
“Have you acknowledged God as the author of truth? Do you believe that His truth is absolute, no matter where we are in human history? If so, will you believe that what He ordained for marriage from the beginning stands today?” (page 19)
Knowing God as Loving Authority
How does change affect your marriage?
“It’s so easy to say that God is in control when we run out of ways to manage our circumstances, or when we feel helpless and can no longer manipulate the people or events that make our lives a challenge.” (page 20)
How can God’s sovereignty encourage you in your marriage?
If God can do all things and His kingdom stands forever, then I know that He is in control of my husband and every family dynamic in our household. If God causes all things to work for good, then no matter how “bad” a situation seems to be, it will end up being a good thing eventually. It’s just that I don’t see things as God sees them.
Think of your husband. Now read 1 John 4:19-21.
What changes in your marriage do you need to give to God? Ask Him to prepare your heart as you allow Him to enhance your marriage.