Welcome to Session Five of Enhancing Your Marriage! This online study is 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.
Bones of My Bones
“Some of us may not think our marriages were made in heaven, but I believe God would disagree. He was in on it when we tied the knot, and He’s in on it now. God will use whatever condition our marriages are in to make us holy, which is His goal in every believer’s life. He can also create, enrich, recreate, revive, or restore love in the best or worst of marriages, even if it seems as if we’re working on it alone right now.” (pg.85)
Read Genesis 2:7,18-23.
Why do you think God said it was not good for man to be alone?
Have you ever felt alone, especially in your marriage?
Would you be happy as a woman alone, without anybody, not just without your husband? Why or why not?
How do you respond to your husband’s differences? intellect? on a spiritual level?
If God had fashioned you from your husband’s rib, how might that influence your attitude toward you husband?
These are great questions to think through. You might even want to ask your husband how he would assess your marriage and oneness physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
And the Two Shall Become One
Read Genesis 2:24.
What three commands does God give?
What message is God sending the man?
Why do you think God commands the man to cleave?
How should a woman respond to her husband if he does leave and cleave to her?
“A husband is to leave all other relationships of his youth and create a new relationship with his bride, who is to respond in kind.” (pg 90)
Is anyone or anything causing you to neglect your husband?
In what way is your oneness with Jesus reflected in your life?
The Covenant Love of God
Read Genesis 9:8-17.
What does this passage reveal about God’s commitment to His creation?
Have you ever felt that God failed you? Are you willing to reevaluate your opinion?
“Marriage is a covenant relationship that God puts on the same plane as His covenant relationship with you and me…”
“God obviously has high standards for marriage. Our frail personalities often do not live up to these standards, however, and it is likely that some of you reading this study will feel like you have already blown it. Perhaps you are divorced and remarried by now. Maybe the divorce was not your choice. Though your first marriage may not have met God’s expectations, always know that you are serving a forgiving God. You can be restored and vow to turn your current marriage over to a loving, compassionate God. He can make our crooked paths straight.” (pg. 95)
The Miracle Covenant – A Biblical Perspective
Ask yourself: Do I please God in my marriage? Read Malachi 2:1-16.
Now read Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-9. In what ways did Jesus affirm God’s command?
God grieves over divorce. You may be asking some questions about divorce. Let’s look at a few.
What if your husband had an affair? or you had an affair? “Remember the message of the cross – forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. Consider seeking the biblical counsel necessary to rebuild what only God can restore, even if you have to do so alone.” (pg.99)
What if you’re dealing with an unrepentant, adulterous husband? “Measure what you hear from others by the yardstick of God’s Word. Seek biblical counsel as quickly as possible, especially if you’re confused and unsure what to believe…Stay in His Word daily…battle for you husband on your knees, praying for God to rescue him from the clutches of the Enemy, to soften his heart, to draw him to Himself and then back to you and your family.” (pg. 99)
What if you are in an abusive marriage? “Are you in physical danger? Are you children in physical danger? If you don’t seek help, nothing will ever change…RUN towards the solution, not only for your sake, but also for your husband’s and your children’s sakes. Seek shelter from physical harm until he gets the help he needs. Don’t rule out skilled intervention. Abusive behavior is not OK with God!” (pg. 100)
What if you have been divorced and are now remarried? “Whatever your past mistakes in the area of marriage and divorce, ask God’s forgiveness and accept it, knowing that you have been set free from guilt.” (Dr. Ed Wheat, pg.100)
Loving God’s Way
What do you believe about love and where do those beliefs come from? How is this concept of love affecting your marriage?
Read 1 John 3:16-18; 4:7-16.
How does John define love?
What does our love, or lack of love, prove?
Read 1 John 4:17-21.
How are we able to love?
How can His perfect love in us help us to love our husbands faithfully and without fear?
What is the believer’s responsibility?
What does this mean in marriage? or if your husband is an unbeliever?
Read Romans 5:5. How are you able to elevate agape love above any negative or “loveless” feelings?