For the next 3 months or so we are going to be going through the Happily Married book study. I am convinced your marriage will not be the same after you read this book. It is comprehensive, convicting and inspiring. This is a great resource for wives to not only do alone but also with their husbands. I found that many chapters my husband could read and glean wisdom from as well. I highly recommend that you order your copy!
Each page has wide margins for taking notes. And let me tell you, you’ll want to write notes and mark up this book!! Debi Pryde has so much wisdom to share.
The book is broken down into 12 lessons. Each one will challenge and equip you in your marriage. Each lesson starts out with a research question, a Bible verse to look up and write down what it means. Then there are 3-5 thought questions to prepare you for the material ahead. Make sure you take the time to answer these questions!
The Glue That Holds It All Together
I love that this study starts out with the foundation of all marriages, the glue that holds our marriage together: the Bible.
No other book, preacher, counselor, or course can hold a marriage together. Love itself can not even hold a marriage together.
Sadly, Disney has warped our minds from the time we are little girls while prime time television carries on the lie that true love is all that you need in order to be happily married. If we have love then everything else will be a piece of cake.
A national survey was conducted and the number one polled result for happily married couples was good communication. While communication is a big deal, it is not the glue that holds marriages together.
No book has the power to supernaturally change our lives or our marriages like God’s Word. pg. 7
We all have a choice, are we going to apply the wisdom given to us in God’s Word or are we going to try to make it on our own while ultimately living in misery?
Without God’s wisdom at the center of our lives, we are going to miss out on the happiness that we are all in pursuit of.
God wants His children to be happy but we have to choose to live out biblical principles in our lives each and every day in order to have happiness.
When each person in the marriage is working on their own walk with the Lord than we are able to draw closer to each other. I’m sure many of you have heard that analogy. But there is so much truth in it!
We need to be focused on getting closer to God individually and our marriages will reap the benefits of our actions. When we are not in the Word and seeking God than we are not in a position to have the Bible be at the center of our marriage or to learn how to love sacrificially.
Love is Giving
Our pride wants to make sure that we are taken care of first. We will always feel empty when we are focused on ourselves. We will find joy when giving ourselves to serving others, including our spouse.
When we feel hurt or angry with how we are being treated in our marriage we pull away. We want to protect ourselves from being hurt. We want our spouse to treat us that right way before we will show them love and respect again.
This approach is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches us. Take a close look at 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Love is patient, kind and is not proud, seeketh not her own. Do these sound like your marriage? Does this sound like your behavior in your marriage?
Happy marriages are kept strong by a love that gives. That kind of love deliberately chooses to love your spouse the Bible way, even when they don’t deserve it.
It means putting your own needs, wants and desires on the back burner and choose to sacrificially love and serve your spouse, despite their behavior.
We can only change our own behavior. We can’t force our spouse to change or act differently. It’s time to stop focusing on what your spouse is or isn’t doing and focus on how you can better love and serve them.
We need to stop recording everything our spouse does wrong and instead record more ways that we can be a blessing to them.
Self-sacrifice is the strength and foundation of true love and the glue in any good marriage relationship. pg. 9
Real happiness, the kind that so many of us are after, comes only when we learn how to give. Not when we are trying to please ourselves.
Commitment to Love
Have you ever noticed that marriages just don’t fall apart in one day? It happens after days of making choices that ultimately hurt our marriage.
On the contrary, happy marriages are made up of making everyday choices that show our love to our spouse.
Happy marriages take daily decisions to sacrificially love our spouse.
How do we do this consistently over time? Debi tells us that we must work at discovering what is most important to our spouse and then finding ways to sacrificially meet these particular needs and desires. (pg. 15)
Ask your spouse what is important to them, in order of importance. Then brainstorm ways to make it happen every day. This would be a great exercise to do together. Make it a date night, prepare ahead of time and have your lists ready to go to discuss.
Your marriage will be blessed because of it!
Marriage is supposed to be delightful; it should be and it can be if we are intentional about it!
Your turn! Are you letting the Bible be the glue that holds your marriage together? What’s holding you back?
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