Welcome to Session Six 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. We have a lot of hard questions to ponder this week.
What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? ~ Judy Rossi
Enhancing My Marriage Begins With Me
“Eventually in our marriages, we have to realize that we can’t change our husbands. But we can make ourselves available for God’s change in us.” (pg.106)
Read Philippians 4:4-7. Are there issues in your marriage that cause you anxiety? Write them down.
Do you believe Philippians 4:4-7 applies to every issue in your marriage?
These verses tell us that we do not need to be anxious about anything. This doesn’t mean sitting back and watching God do everything. No. We are to pray, ask, and give thanks while having total trust in the One who can take care of any issue.
How are we supposed to think? Philippians 4:8
“The hard truth is that if our Christian walk isn’t first credible to our husbands, then out walk isn’t credible.” (pg.108)
Read Romans 8:28-29. What is God’s promise? What is His purpose?
What does this mean for your marriage?
Loving My Husband, No Strings Attached
What is agape love?
What is right about how your husband is?
Has he always been this way?
What is wrong with the way he is?
Has he always been this way?
Do you find it difficult to accept your husband the way he is? If so, why do you think that?
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. Now read the scripture aloud. Read it again and replace the word “love” with you name.
What do you learn?
We need to put agape love into action!
1. Choose to love your husband with your thoughts, attitudes, words, and conduct with no string attached.
2. Attune yourself to how and why you may close yourself to your husband.
3. Ask your husband to write down, or tell you, his three greatest needs from you that will help him to feel secure in your love.
4. Begin to study your husband afresh.
God will NOT let you down!! You will be blessed by your efforts!
Submission – God’s Powerful Conduit
What is your picture of submission?
Here is what submission IS NOT:
“Biblical submission is about function, not status. It’s about responsibility, not rights.” (pg.114)
Read Ephesians 5:25-33.
Describe your husband’s love for you. How does it compare with Christ’s love for the church?
Now read Ephesians 5:22-24, 33. How are we to demonstrate our love to our husbands?
Are we to be selective in our submission? No. We are to be submissive in everything. This is a way that we wives sacrifice and show self-denial ~ through loving and respecting our husbands. But what if your husband is an unbeliever? What then? This submission applies to you as well. Unless our husbands ask us to do something that goes against the word of God, then we are to submit…but if he is doing his part, he will be loving us with the sacrificial nature of Jesus.
“The toughest aspect of the Ephesians 5 commands to husbands and wives is that they’re non-negotiable, even if we feel we have lots of reasons why they should be.” (pg.116)
What is your honest response to your husband’s leadership?
If you compete for control in your home, how is your relationship with your husband affected?
Respect – The Evidence of Honor
Read 1 Peter 3:1-6. List all of the traits that show respect to your husband.
An inner beauty. “The word quiet, as it is used in this passage, doesn’t mean lack of noise, or activity, but lack of agitation or harshness. It doesn’t mean a godly woman is to be passive, complacent, or speak in a whisper. It doesn’t mean she can’t differ with her husband or that she has to be withdrawn or uncommunicative. It means she is to cultivate the peace of God in her life.” ~ Jo Berry (pg. 119)
How does your husband respond when you show him respect?
How dos your lack of respect affect your husband?
In what ways do you show respect to your husband?
My Friend or My Enemy?
Read Matthew 7:1-5. What does this passage tell you?
Whose job is it to change your husband? Yours? or the Holy Spirit’s?
How would things be different in your marriage if you were your husband’s greatest advocate?
“A reaction is a sudden, intense, sometimes out-of-control behavior fueled by emotion, with little regard for the negative thoughts preceding the emotion. It exercises self. A response is preceded by deliberate, purposeful thought, which determines the behavior. It’s fueled by the Holy Spirit and exercises self-control.” (pg.122)
Read Romans 12:1-2. What are we urged to do?
What are some common ways that marriages are conformed to this world?
Do you react or respond to your husband?
Watch yourself over the next few days and write a log showing reactions and responses. I will tell you, I have been watching myself and it is amazing how many times I react instead of respond. I need the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work in me!