Wow…this woman’s online bible study continues to amaze me! We just finished reading week six of Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Last week as we discussed week five on God’s priorities for women, the conversation heated up here at the Womens Bible Cafe. Some of you agreed with the author, while others felt angry and uncomfortable with her. Others sent me private emails and I was deeply touched by your comments. Most evident from last week’s discussion is that Nancy Leigh DeMoss has us stepping outside our comfort zones. We examined our priorities and see if they’re in alignment with scripture. This week the lesson continues as we discuss lies we’ve believed about marriage.
We now realize that marriage “was designed by God to reflect His glory and His redemptive purposes” as Nancy writes in chapter six. This is not an invitation to choose the meanest, smelliest, most offensive man you can find….marry him…and then say…Lord, show me the glory! The point of this week’s lesson is to encourage those who struggle and wonder why their marriages are not overflowing with joyfulness. “Happiness is not found in any relationship. True joy can only be found through Christ,” says Nancy. If we depend on our husband for joy then we’re likely to place him on a throne and pressure him to continue serving us. He’ll quickly become an idol. We are reminded in scripture not to place anything above God as an idol, including our husbands. God meets all our needs, not our husbands.
We also learned to allow God to change our husband’s heart and stop trying to “fix” our men. In the book Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee and Leslie Strobel, Lee writes “Yes, I was an atheist, but she refused to let that term define me. Instead she tried to see me as God saw me: as a treasured part of his creation, a human being whose soul was etched with the likeness of God, a wayward son whom he longed to connect with.” His wife led her atheist husband to Christ by modeling her faith and introducing him to her best friend… Jesus. Her love for Christ influenced his heart, not her nagging and attempts to repair him. He says “In the end the issue of salvation is strictly between your spouse and God. Be devoted, be prayerful, be encouraging- but don’t try to be responsible. You’re not!”
Finally, we learned about submission from a spiritual perspective. We’re reminded to submit to God’s will and remain obedient to the Father, unless your life is in danger from an abusive husband. I’ve often recommended the book How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick because she reminds us to keep our focus on God. “When our spouse acts wrong we can:
- Choose to LOVE………………..rather than hate
- Choose to SMILE………………rather than frown
- Choose to BUILD………………rather than destroy
- Choose to PERSEVERE………rather than quit
- Choose to PRAISE…………….rather than gossip
- Choose to HEAL……………….rather than wound
- Choose to GIVE………………..rather than grasp
- Choose to ACT…………………rather than delay
- Choose to FORGIVE………….rather than curse
- Choose to PRAY………………rather than despair.”
Leslie writes “God created humankind with free will and we must decide whether we will obey his commands to love both him and others. This power to choose, however is exercised through our will, not our emotions.” If you struggle with the emotions of loving difficult people, then you’ll want to study Loving Well by Beth Moore and discover God’s will for loving others. Submission does not mean a lack of boundaries, so if you’re frustrated by your spouse’s behavior then read James Dobson’s book Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis and learn the tough love principles and when to walk away from for marriage.
My own grandparents modeled perseverance in marriage and when asked why their marriage was so successful Grandpa always said “Each morning when I get out of bed, the first words out of my mouth are ‘I’m sorry.’ I know I’ll do something during the day to offend her, so I start my day with an apology.”
Quotes From Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy but to glorify God.
- Happiness is not found in any relationship. True joy can only be found through Christ.
- It’s not your responsibility to change your spouse; that’s God’s responsibility.
- The fact is, marriage is hard and good marriages are even harder.
- Many women look to men to meet their needs rather than looking to God.
On page 69 of the Companion Guide Nancy writes “If physical danger or abuse is involved, a woman should seek protection, direction, and intervention from the appropriate civil and/or spiritual authorities, rather than attempting to handle the situation on her own.”
Our Prayer Wall is the place to reach out with your prayer needs and praise reports. Please visit the page and pray for those people who are asking for you to lift them up in prayer.
For Next Week
- Pray for the women who are doing this study with you.
- Read Chapter Seven in your book and companion guide.
- Look at the list of Key Resources on page 269 for topics addressed in this book
- Check in with your Small Group Leader
Group Discussion- Answer ONE question or as many as you like
- What biblical counsel would you give to a woman who says her husband is not making her happy?
- What biblical counsel would you give to a single woman who is not content without a husband?
- Share a blessing you’ve experience from submitting,or a consequence from not submitting.
- Share your thoughts about this week’s lesson.
Have a great week…share what you are learning with others as you grow in truth!
God is good…always!