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Week 4 – Your Marriage {Intentionally Focused}

 

Intentionally Focused Week 4

Last Tuesday night, over 3 million people tuned into the Evolution vs. Creation Debate, between Bill Nye the “Science Guy” and Ken Ham the “founder of the Creation Museum”.  How relevant this debate is to our passage today.

You see, if we do not believe that Genesis 1 is truth – then our reading in Genesis 2 is irrelevant.

Hebrews 11:1-3 says:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

It is by faith, that we believe God spoke the world into existence.  Without creation – there is no Adam, no Eve, no sin nature and no need for a Savior.  Essentially, God’s word is not God’s word.  And so by faith, we believe God created Adam and Eve.

In Genesis 2 we find the role of the wife defined and that is what today’s 2 minute video is about:

(if you cannot see the video – click here)

 

Don't miss this blessing

I know that these are not easy words for a modern woman of today to accept.  But, it is so completely beautiful when we live out God’s plan for marriage.

Sometimes we are tempted to think the grass is greener in other marriages.  We imagine that someone has something better than we have, and we want it.  We can’t see the dirt from our angle.  And possibly the grass is super green in the front yard, but in the backyard it’s filled with dead spots that are hidden from acquaintances.

To be honest, the neighbors on both sides of us literally have greener grass.  They both have in-ground sprinklers and spend time tending to their yards.  Their yards look gorgeous!  Ours, on the other hand, gets burned out by the sun every summer and the only green spots are where the neighbors’ sprinklers spray onto our yard. Lol!  We could have exactly what our neighbors have if we would simply water and tend to our grass!

This same principle applies in marriage.  Before we jump ship or sit in discontentment, I wonder if we watered and tended to our marriages, if we could be the ones with the greener marriages!

Here’s How to Water Your Marriage:

1.) Accept the fact that all marriages are flawed.

As Dr. Gary Chapman says, “Conflicts are not a sign that you have married the wrong person.  They simply affirm that you are human.”

2.) Make your husband second priority only to God.

Flip-flop your priorities so your marriage is not coming in dead last, and you will find grass that looks burned start to grow green again.

3.) Set aside a regular date night (even if you can’t leave your home, declare a special evening after the kids are in bed).

Spend some time just enjoying your husband.  Hold hands, steal kisses, talk, and listen.  Slow down and enjoy each other as you did during the dating days!

4.) Smile at your husband.

A genuine smile is simple but irresistible.

5.)  If your grass is looking brown in some spots, tend specifically to those spots with prayer.

Do not let it go dormant and die! If necessary, seek professional counseling to find ways to water the burned areas and help them grow again.

6.) Do not neglect your marriage and assume that it will grow all on its own.

Just as my brown grass is not going to turn green on its own, my marriage isn’t going to flourish on its own.  To stay healthy, your marriage needs your attention.  Discipline yourself to tend to it.

~excerpt from the book, Women Living Well:Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids & Your Home

Week 4: Reading Plan

Week 4

Week 4: Memory VerseMemoryVerse-04

This week’s Challenge:

We all have husbands with different needs.  Don’t miss the blessing of being a helper to your husband.    What are some areas you already help your husband in?  What are some areas where you could work to be a better source of support and encouragement?

Walk with the King,

Courtney, WomenLivingWell.org

 

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Comments

  1. Good morning!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed each morning of Bible study, and I’m already looking forward to future bible studies! I totally agree in the video how we should not be bossy or nag about things to our husbands. However, I couldn’t help but wonder what women think when they see that word helper? It does not mean we should carry all the load. Now it is more common for men and women to have a full time job. It is upsetting to me when I see a man view his day as finished when he gets home, while his wife labors until an hour before bed. My husband and I have only be married for 4 years (5 in May). At first, we had this struggle. I would become frustrated and make it worse. I began to pray and God made him see things differently. He is much more helpful around the house and we are a team! While I agree that we can go about things the wrong way, I disagree to the meaning of that word helper. It’s misinterpreted too often. We are a companion, not a slave to our spouse. My advice for those couples that have this battle.. Pray and be patient!! It’s amazing at what God will do for us because he loves us.

  2. This bible study has been wonderful!

    Any suggestions for how to apply this week’s theme of “Intentionally Focused on Your Marriage” for those of us young women who are still single? It can be a challenging season at times, and I’d love to be able to get something positive out of this week’s theme.

    Thank you! :)

    • Hi Julia,

      Great question! :) This week you may not have an immediate application for these passages as a single, but as you study – you will learn more about God, his ways, and how he created marriage to be. It’s important for us to understand these things so we can encourage/counsel other married women or be prepared if marriage is in God’s will for us. I began studying marriage passages long before I was married as a teenager. I am thankful for those days of study that prepared me for that first year of marriage. I also think it’s good to study all of the council of God’s word so we can discern in culture what is Biblical and what is unBiblical.

      So thank you for joining us – I apologize these passages do not have an immediate application – but I pray you will find these verses enlightening as we build our Christian worldview.

      God bless!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

    • I don’t know if this would be helpful, but I told my daughter to answer this week’s challenge this way: What do you think will be easy to encourage & help your husband with? What do you think will be hard?

  3. Hi Courtney,
    I am single and don’t have kids and am struggling to figure out what to focus on this week and will have the same problem in week 6. If you have some insight, that would be helpful. I know when you’re not married, it’s good to learn about marriage for when/if it happens, but with this week being Valentine’s day, I am trying not to focus on that…. Other than this week I have learned so much from this Bible study.
    Thanks

    • Hi Rachel – thank you so much for sharing your heart and struggle here – I just answered a similar question above so I am posting my answer here also.

      This week you may not have an immediate application for these passages as a single, but as you study – you will learn more about God, his ways, and how he created marriage to be. It’s important for us to understand these things so we can encourage/counsel other married women or be prepared if marriage is in God’s will for us. I began studying marriage passages long before I was married as a teenager. I am thankful for those days of study that prepared me for that first year of marriage. I also think it’s good to study all of the counsel of God’s word so we can discern in culture what is Biblical and what is unBiblical.

      So thank you for joining us – I apologize these passages do not have an immediate application – but I pray you will find these verses enlightening as we build our Christian worldview.

      God bless!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  4. Thank you for this morning’s message, Courtney! ( I’m also in the middle of your Women Living Well book study and loving that so much, by the way. :) )

    I have been trying to take to heart my God-given role as a helper to my husband, and in the past few weeks I have seen Him change my heart in ways I never thought would happen–everything from a cleaning schedule, to finding more joy in the kitchen–it’s been a blessing to serve my family and serve them well. However, I DO struggle all the time with nagging and criticizing my husband (and he shares that same struggle in his relationship with me). He is wonderful at helping around the house and spending the evening hours and weekend being a terrific, involved Daddy. However, putting God at the center of our marriage is a huge heart’s desire of mine, and whenever I see him make promises of rising early to have regular quiet times, only to break those promises after a few days, I become that hurt, nagging, critical wife all over again. That’s the emotional place I am in this morning. It was so comforting to read your reminder that every marriage is flawed, because we are all human and fall short, but I wonder if you (or any of the ladies doing this study) have tips/encouragement for how I can drop the criticism and judgment of my husband’s spiritual life? Any suggestions for how I can spur him on to grow closer in his walk with God, even when it feels like trying to encourage by simple example is not enough? I truly want my focus to be on how I can help him, but it’s hard to not also look at how he should help me. I get so frustrated with that selfish part of myself!

    • Kim – Oh girl – I know this struggle is so hard and you are not alone. So many women wish their men would take the reigns of being the spiritual leader…but if you’ve read my book then you already know that…rarely is a man motivated by nagging or disrespect and often through our disrespect we push our husbands away from the very thing we desire. I would encourage you to read I Peter 3:1-4 and consider this approach – win him without words through your pure and reverent life.

      Also, each time you are tempted to criticize him – walk away – and go and take that criticism to the throne of God. Pray pray pray. Only God can change hearts. Communication is important. Continue to talk to your husband about your hopes and dreams but not in a naggy way. Work to communicate with gentleness and respect.

      And know, there is not a married couple on this planet that does not struggle, fight or wish there was something about their spouse they could change. Marriage is a sanctifier of our souls – it purifies us and shows us where sin in our own hearts lie.

      You asked an important question here Kim – thank you for commenting.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

    • Wow!! This is exactly where I am too! I want so much for my husband to desire the LORD! Thank you Kim for verbalizing your heart like this.

  5. Thank you Courtney for your message. I never quite had that perspective on how my role as a wife hinges on first believing Genesis 1. It makes so much sense. I was even more pleased to learn how God was calling so many things good but then He calls out that man alone was not. After so many years of reading the bible I had never seen that. I applaud your message this morning and encourage with you all the women both single and married to embrace this role as helper. We need not be afraid of it. We need to surrender to it and see it for the beautiful creation and GOOD thing it is. I have been married 10 years and I see over these years that when I esteem him as the leader, when I decide in God’s love to serve and take care of my husband, he devotes his time and cherishes me as his wife. Swallow your pride if it exists like it did for me and believe God blesses our roles as wives. He does!

    • Thank you Lisa!!! I too struggle in this area of “pride”. I was a mathematics major in college and played Division 1 collegiate basketball. I have always taken pride in being able to do anything with Jesus. However, I need to learn to let my husband lead and be content to follow. And see how God blesses our marriage.

      Thank you again, I truly do want to serve (and have used my platform as an athlete for just that). And now want to serve my husband!!

  6. Good Morning! Thank you for the incredible word for this morning’s reading! This is just what I needed! I know I can be doing more in my marriage to maintain it healthy, and this just gave me the push and encouragement I needed! I desire wholeheartedly to be my husbands helper and to be all God has created me to be in my marriage. Thank you! =)

  7. Just a note, a friend of mine gave wonderful advice to me that is appropriate for stranger, friend or spouse. If there is conflict, spend time praying for that person and praying for God to show you the proper response. You cannot pray for someone and stay angry. You change your view and God changes them – maybe not the way you thought but the better way.

    • Oh Dianne, yes!!! That was perfectly said!!! Pray for the person, and in the midst of that payer, the Lord will help your heart view the situation through His love. ~ :o) Marlene {Leadership Encourager}

  8. It was so interesting how you began your post with reference to the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. I had the same exact thought as I read this morning’s verses and began SOAPing them — that unless you believe Genesis, nothing else in the Bible is going to make sense for you. My hubby and I watched the debate and we are so thankful that we have a sure foundation for our faith.

    Thanks so much for this study; it’s just what I needed at the start of a new year!

  9. As a widow woman for the last 4 years, when I read the duties of the woman in the bible, I look back on my 47 1/2 years with my husband and see the good and the bad; I see the things I could have and should have done different. I now feel that I am married to Christ and I want to apply these principles to my daily life for Christ. Please pray for me that I can and will be more Christ like in my daily walk with Him; That I will be His helper.

  10. Talk about bait and switch: a whole week dedicated to marriage? What if I’m not married? I am shut out of this. I thought this study was for me as a woman. Or are you saying real women are married?

    I wish with all my heart Christians would focus intentionally on being good Christians. Then if they are married or single, poor or rich, ill or healthy, they will succeed at ALL what they do.

    A discussion about marriage has its place, but taking out a whole week of this Bible study to focus on it? For many of us fantastic, beautiful, wholesome women that ain’t gonna happen.

    • You could take a whole different approach on this subject. For example, praying for your future husband and your role as his wife that God has already planned for you. If you are convinced that will never happen, then I am sure you have married friends and this could somehow benefit them through you in a way that only God knows. No one says a real woman has to be married, don’t read into something that isn’t there just because you are upset. Christianity isn’t about being ‘good’, that is why Jesus came. All Christians have roles in life: wife, mother, friend, sister, employee, employer, etc. God addresses everything in the bible. There will be plenty of instances when the verse for the day or week may not apply to any one of us. If we only focused on being a ‘good’ Christian then we would never go any deeper. It is important to know what god wants for us and from us and you never know when you might need to know how Christ views marriage. Gmg is a never ending bible study, sure it takes a break every 8 weeks or so, but 5 days is pretty short compared to the upcoming days.

  11. Michelle Perez says:

    Today’s study hit me upside the head :) I love my husband with all of my heart and I thought I was being all that I could be to Him, but what I realized being home with 3 children all day, one which is a newborn, I am really devoted to my babies. I spend more time with them than I do my husband. And I see that I have been neglecting my marriage. So easy to get so engaged with the little ones that by the time 6:00 rolls around I am ready to throw in the towel and go to bed. My energy is totally given to the kids and I have none for when my husband needs me. My prayer this week is for strength, that supernatural strength that God provides so I can be united with my husband and we can be one. I want the spark that we have to catch on fire again! Thank you again for this wonderful study!!!! God is good!

    • Michelle, you spoke to my heart with what you said. I went through the same thing! I was worn out and done by the time evening hit. I poured all of me into my kids and into my home all day long. But, it’s amazing what the Lord can do when you turn to Him and ask Him for the strength you can not seam to muster up yourself. Praying for you!! ~ :o) Marlene {Leadership Encourager}

  12. What do you do when the wife is a Christian and the husband is not? My husband is 51yoa and he still drinks, club and” hangout with the fellows”. My daughter and me are not number one priority in his life. He use to go to church all the time and I wouldn’t go because he would leave church and go drinking so I stayed at home. Then my parents started getting ill and the Lord started speaking to me and I knew I had to start back going to church. I was baptized while attending bible study classes and I know that the Lord was preparing me for my parents death. They got sick at the same times and died within 3 weeks of each other. Had it not been for God I would not have made it through. I started back going to church regularly with my daughter who was 4years old at the time and have been going every since but I can’t get my husband to go . He says he is going but he hasn’t. My daughter is involved with a local church youth group and she loves it and I encourage her every way I can but my husband thinks because the congregation of the church is white and it does not have any black members that she is not going to get anything good out of going. But I know that the God I serve does not see color and is no respector of person and that she may be just what that church needs to see the same thing. We don’t know how the Lord works nor who He will use for His work. My husband mind is only on worldly things even though he knows God and was raised in church. There is no togetherness in my marriage. I am at a lost as to what to do.

  13. I am really looking forward to this week! I am single, but I recently started praying over the man that God is preparing for me. With this challenge, I just asked God to prepare my heart to be the helper, supporter, and encourager that my husband will need.

    Thanks so much, I have really enjoyed these weeks of being FOCUSED

  14. Albert Torres says:

    5.) If your grass is looking brown in some spots, tend specifically to those spots with prayer.

    Do not let it go dormant and die! If necessary, seek professional counseling to find ways to water the burned areas and help them grow again. Why is this so important that it is in here…?

  15. ABBY vANDER vEEN says:

    I am truly enjoying studying and learning about the beautiful relationship that God created between husband and wife! Thanks so much, Goodmorninggirls team, for all the work put into it.
    My question is if God saw that it was “not good” for man to be alone then why does he call some to be married and some, like Paul, not to be married?

    • This is a great question. At the time of creation – had God left Adam completely alone – the human race would have come to an end. It was not good for Adam to be alone. So God created woman in his image. Man without woman did not completely reflect God’s image. Once he created Eve – his image was complete. But this was not a command for all to marry. In general, because of the way God created men – they are naturally protectors not just of their homes but of society (i.e. military), in general, because of the way God created women – they are nurturers not just of their homes but of society – dealing with the hurting with tenderness. Though in the Genesis passage there was a wedding between Adam and Eve – this does not mean that all should wed but rather that whether you are married or single – your gender reflects a part of God’s image from creation.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  16. MARKISHA Williams says:

    Today is my first day in this site and I am so happy I checked it out. I have one question, in the graph that tells me what to read and study for the day, what does SOAP stand for?

    Thank you in advance

  17. Courtney,
    I, like others, am struggling with the term “helper” that is stated in Genesis 2:18. Is it because society as put a negative spin on that term and that role? While we have some traditional gender roles in my household, my husband also cleans the house and will cook dinner a few nights a week. Am I failing as a helper by not doing all the traditional female roles? I struggle with this because I also work outside the home part time in the evening hours. My sleep is irregular because of our little boys night waking and often times I am too tired and the tasks seem to big to complete all at once. But I feel the pressure to do more (always have dinner ready, the house clean, etc) while balancing my need for quiet time as well as doing creative projects that I enjoy and help me feel like not just a worker bee. How do I balance what I want to do, what I need to do and the role God wants me to achieve?

    • KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

      I think Courtney says everyone’s marriage will look different. If you watch the Women Living Well conference videos on Courtney’s YouTube Channel which is Women Living Well and can be found at http://www.womenlivingwell.tv under Darlene Schacht’s talk, Courtney says that everyone’s marriage will look different. She and her husband have chosen to take on the traditional roles in their household. Other people’s marriages, such as yours, are different because you and your husband have taken on different roles. But we ALL follow biblical principles. Give yourself grace..it’s ok if the house isn’t spotless.

  18. Why did God allow evil in the garden to begin with? Why the temptation (tree with great looking fruit) for those who knew no evil? I have read genesis 3 about a bazillion times but when I soaped it, all these questions started popping up in my head. Man was obviously capable of evil but did not know it until they ate the fruit? God only came for visits? He was not always with them as He is for us? I know I’m straying from the lesson here, but Genesis 3 got me wondering….

    • Sue your not alone! I do too. And I just have to force those questions aside. And focus on the content that is presented. To me it one of the times I have to decide is for later study or that the “why” of it is to big for my understanding and I will undrrstand in heaven when all things will be made known (that I care to know) :)

  19. Maybe if you did a little research on the term help (what does it mean, where is used in the bible and in reference to whom and in which context), you would have done a better job in this blog post, and not so many people would be confused. If I read your blog, not knowing beforehand the true meaning of the word help, I would have been very very upset.

    See what I found below with an very easy google search on the term, and see how we have a messed up notion of the word help

    In Hebrew, the word for “helper” used in Genesis 2:18 and 20 is ezer, and it is always and only used in the Old Testament in the context of vitally important and powerful assistance. According to R. David Freedman, the word ezer is a combination of two roots, meaning “to rescue, to save”, and ”strength”.[2]
    The word ezer is used only twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Twice it is used in the context of the first woman. Three times it is used in a military context.[3] Sixteen times it is used in reference to God as a helper.[4] All of these biblical texts are talking about a vital, powerful kind of help, yet when ezer is applied to the first woman, its meaning is usually diminished to fit with traditional and cultural views of women’s roles.

    From: http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/a-suitable-helper/

  20. It makes me sad and confused to read devotions/blogs/ books on the women’s role in a Godly marriage. Usually these assume that the women isn’t holding up her end of this Godly marriage. BUT like in my case I’m married to a man that protrays one thing but lives another way and frequently is defeated by the Devil and leads his family that way. Any suggestions for a good book or devotional that encourages wives in that grey area? Physical abuse is not the only kind of abuse and my heart breaks that even though my children and I have this man that I know God gave us we live such a defeated life because the head isn’t living the life God has called him to.

    • Praying for you Erin, and your family. Here are my thoughts on the grey area. If we (wives) have heart that is devoted to living out the role the Lord has designed for us- He will give us the strength to walk that path. How? Pray continually, to be the wife He wants you to be. Pray for your husband continually. Pray for strength, pray for wisdom on how to deal with the non ideal situations.
      I know it must be so hard, and so frustrating, and so saddening to read books that assume that you are married to “the perfect man”.
      In 1 Corinthians (forgive me, I don’t have the verse in front of me but I know some of it by heart) we read : If a woman has a husband who is an unbeliever… the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife…
      You may the person the Lord will use as His light, in your husbands life – to draw him towards the Lord.
      We don’t choose to be a good wife because we have an awesome husband, we choose to be a good wife because we love our awesome God.
      Easier said than done, i’m sure. And i’m sure you are fervently striving to live out the Word. Praying for you friend! *hugs* ~ :o) Marlene {Leadership Encourager}

      • Thank you Marlene!
        That was encouraging and I need to keep those words close to my heart, let God strengthen me in the areas I’m weak and continue to just work on life while praying for God to work in the places that need life in them.

        So thankful for this devotion and for the GMG team ♥

  21. You do not owe anyone an apology. This week is about marriage, just because there are single women in the group, does not mean that they are shut out or you have been insensitive. There is always plenty to learn even as a outsider peering in. We should all be married to Christ anyway. And those that are single may eventually get married and probably have married friends. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in studying what God says about marriage. There will always be things in the bible that do not directly apply to us, as in any aspect of life. However, it is still important to study and learn all that God has to say. Now if some are upset because they want to be married and aren’t, that is not being insensitive, that is their own insecurity they need to get over. You should not have to change what you plan to write or post because of that. The part on marriage is 5 short days in an endless study of God’s word.

  22. My husband and I have been going through a rough patch in our marriage, and, ironically, religion was the final straw that ripped us apart. My husband wasn’t happy with the way our marriage was going, and instead of talking about it with me, he turned to God…which led to him finding a new church, a new church family, and walking out on the faith we knew together and as a family. It’s been a rough few months as we’ve tried to adjust to going to separate churches and with both of us hoping the other would follow. For me, I wish he would return to his family, but he says there are things in our church/synod he no longer supports. For him, he wants me and our children to say goodbye to a church we’ve been very active in and a church family that has supported us in many ways, to trust and follow him to the new life he’s found.
    I am hoping this week to understand how to strengthen our marriage by gaining knowledge of both our roles; I want to search for wisdom and faith to rid the anger (hurt) I feel towards my husband and to be by his side (without being submissive or going against my beliefs); I want to learn to pray for faith to once again be a part of our life together as we resolve this and all conflicts that arise, as well as how we BOTH must take responsibility for the path of our marriage.

  23. Hello Ladys
    I would like to see if you can help me understand when it said that we have to surrender to your husband. I have been thru some rought patch thru my life and i am very happy that Godhave united me with my husband because if it wasnt for him both of our lives would not be as close to him as now. As everyone else we all go thru some patches of hard time either marry or single and i have gone thru those hard time while dating my husband and few years later on our mariage. The good thing for me is that while dating my husband (which was going thru hard times on his life at the time) i was very connected with God and we where after we got maried but recently 2yr ago i when thru a hard time with my parents and siblings that have cause great harm in my trust on them. I am trully happy because my husband was there with me and going thru that have made our family closer and stronger ( which is the opositive of what my parents wanted) i still dont understand what was the reason for them to do what they did. I have leanr to forgive them even do my children, husband and myself have decided that we dont want nothing to do with them.
    Because of this situation i have lost touch with myself, stop meditating, praying and even going to church. I try to start on of this bible study even to i enroll but never did. But this year was different, I have made it a promise to myself because i could not stand anymore feeling lost the way i was. So this a new begining for me, my husband have always encourage me to try to pray because he know how much i miss that conection with God.
    I feel wonderfull doing this bible study but at the same time i feel so lost at what I once knew. It is some time hard for me to get up early and do the study before the kids get up but if i dont i will still do it will they eat breakfast.

    It may seem simple for some of you but for me is hard to understand the part where it talk about to surrender to you husband and where it said to be a helper to your husband. My husband and i are very close and that is thanks to God it self, he has brougth us closer thru hard situations but we have remain suported to each other and always backing each other up and that is in the home or out of the home. I am a stay homemom and I also homeschool our childrens. We all contribute in the house as cleaning, cooking or anything else need it. This is what i understand as to be a helper to your husband. I trully dont want to miss out on been a helper to my husband, could you guide me on the wright dirrection on understand this correct?

    Thank you for this Bible study I’m glad i have decide it to be part of it.

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