{Enhancing Your Marriage} Obedience in Action: The Process of Change

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Welcome to Session Four 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.

enhancing your marriage

A Matter of the Heart

Hopefully you read Genesis 4:1-16 when it was posted in our Facebook Group. We read about Cain and Abel and how Cain brought the fruit of the ground, but Abel brought the firstlings of his flock. Cain became angry and his countenance fell. And he did not have a repentant heart. God asked him to make a good choice, to look at what he was doing. Cain was warned…and he ignored it. Read Proverbs 23:7. How does this explain all human behavior?

What do these scriptures teach us about the heart?
Jeremiah 17:9
Mark 7:20-23
Luke 6:43-45

Now read Ezekiel 36:25-28 and Hebrews 4:12-13. What is the purpose of God’s word for the believer?

Everyone Has a History

“Satan would have us believe that our past defines our present and shapes our future. In Jesus, however, it does neither. With the indwelling of His Spirit, everything we are and everything we can become is now found in Christ alone, regardless of our journey.” (p.70)

Read these scriptures:
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Jeremiah 29:11-13
Colossians 1:21-22
John 8:31-32

Do you have a “history”? Do you need restoration? One “history” that I have always struggled with is my history with food. My history shows a lack of concern for myself as the temple of God and a lack of self-control. But in my marriage, even if I am feeling fat, ugly, and self-conscience, my husband finds me beautiful no matter what I think. He loves me anyway. And for that I am extremely grateful. But I do need to not be so lazy when it comes to eating habits. I’d rather take the easy route like eat somewhat healthy and not exercise. Two years ago I lost 40 pounds and it felt great! But it has crept right back because I didn’t do what it takes to totally restore myself to a new and healthy way of eating right.

But Jesus says He frees us from sin. Do you believe that? Do I believe that? What reservations do you have?

I seem to want God to “fix” me, to take away the desire to eat bad food, to GIVE me the desire to exercise. But having freedom for sin doesn’t mean we won’t ever struggle with sin. But we do need to acknowledge that we can’t handle sin on our own. We need to trust God with our history and believe He knows what to do with it.

Has God ever allowed you to use your “history” to minister to someone else? THAT is an amazing testimony!

Getting on Track

This and the next section give us the steps we can take to confront the sin in our lives. This makes me nervous, friends. Please don’t leave the group when it gets rough!! I need to confront my sin as much as everyone else, and I NEED you gals. 🙂

Step 1: Recognize Your Inner Enemies as Sin
I like to ignore my sin. What about you? Read 1 John 1:5-8 and 10. What do you think?

“Recall that God’s very first act during creation was to separate the light from the darkness. It’s the first thing He does with a new believer as well (Colossians 1:13-14) Therefore, He’ll hold us accountable if we claim to be His yet continue to (habitually) dabble in the darkness.” (p.73)


Read Romans 7:14-25. What is our hope? Can you identify with Paul?

Step 2: Deny Yourself
Who wants to do that? Read Mark 8:27-38. What was the rebuke? What three things does Jesus require of His disciples?

“Do you profess Jesus as the Christ and then reject tough truths because they don’t serve your interests?” (p.74)

How would denying yourself change your marriage?Marriage Week 4

Step 3: Confess, Repent, and Receive God’s Forgiveness
Read 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. What two types of sorrow are there?

AWESOME BIBLE ACTIVITY: {If you do not mark up your Bible, then don’t. BUT I encourage you to. If you don’t want to, print out the Psalm and color on the print out.} Turn to Psalm 51 in your Bible. Find a RED colored pencil. But a box around every word in the Psalm that means sin. For what is David asking?

Read Psalm 32:3-4. What happens if we do not deal with sin?

Read James 4:1-10. What is the remedy and what is the result?

1 John 1:9 is one of my favorite verses!!

Friends, we need to confess our sins to God. We need to confess not so we can feel better, but because we have offended the God of the universe. Not only do we need to ask God to forgive us, but we need to forgive ourselves.

“God’s searching and testing is a merciful undertaking, one that all Christians should welcome. So be encouraged. He’ll test you and try you until your sins are driven out (little by little) and replaced with Himself.” (pg. 78)

Full Steam Ahead

Step 4: Trust God
Read these verses – Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3; Jeremiah 17:5-8. How are we to trust God? Are there rewards?

We need to trust God to get rid of our sin. Yes, we actively are involved in the process by changing our behavior, but it will be God who searches our hearts and brings to our awareness of the sins we are committing. Then with His help we are free to follow and obey Him.

Step 5: Wait for God
Read these scriptures. What do you learn about waiting? Psalm 37:34; Isaiah 40:28-31; Isaiah 64:4; Psalm 40:1-3.

Have you been waiting for God to remove something from your heart? How have you waited?

Step 6: Rejoice and Pray with Thanksgiving
What do you learn from Philippians 4:4-7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18?
What is the opposite of thanksgiving?
How does your attitude affect your marriage?

Step 7: Obey
Read these passages and notice the blessing promised as a reward for obedience: John 14:21; John 14: 23; John 15:9-11.

Think about the areas of your marriage in which you need to improve…What are they? How will your obedience to God affect these problem areas?

Staying on Track

Ready to read something great?!? Read Hebrews 12:1-13 and answer these questions:
What is our responsibility?
On Whom are we to focus?
How are we to respond to His discipline?
Why does the Lord discipline us?
What are the ultimate goals for God’s discipline?
What is our part in producing the harvest?
What admonition is given at the end?

“Buck up! Let the race that God has marked out for you strengthen you. Keep your paths straight, and remove everything that you could trip over. And keep going in the right direction, so that the parts of you that are still weak will be strengthened and healed. Persevere.” (pg. 83)

How will you respond? I know that I need to trust Jesus enough to ask Him to cleanse me and get me back onto the right path. Because if I am dealing with my sin and God is cleansing my heart, my marriage can’t help but improve!

God loves you so much! Are you obeying Him out of your love for Him?

Thoughts? Please share!