Gwen Brodd is married to Jeff Brodd, mother of four grown sons and grandmother to two grandchildren. Gwen uses her many talents to the glory of God and started a Women’s Bible Study at our church. She asked Titus 2:3-5 ladies to be mentors. 100 young ladies signed up for Biblical parenting and marriage classes on Wednesday mornings.
At 9:00 A.M., the leaders pray together for the Bible Study time. Arriving at 9:30, the ladies meet for an hour of Bible Study in their small group. Afterward, we all gather in the big room to enjoy brunch and a lecture.
The photo is of the beautiful ladies in my small group. They remind me of my grown married daughters. I love meeting with this fantastic group of sweet ladies. We have the best discussions on what the Bible teaches about parenting and marriage. I am always blessed by their desire to do the will of God.
Betsy Watkins, a Titus 2:3-5 leader gave the following excellent lecture at our Bible Study. She and her husband also counsel married couples.
ABC’s of Marriage
I asked my husband, Eddie if he thought there are areas in my life where I resist submitting to him.
He quickly responded, “Yes, when you dash out in front of me when we are running and refuse to allow me to catch up!”
Well, we both had a good laugh about that one, and I decided to RUN with his response. I didn’t ask it again! 🙂
We have learned together this week about the first principle of parenting….our example in marriage. What our children see in our lives as their parents is what preaches the Gospel to them. They learn so much more by what they see than by what we say. Yes, actions do speak louder than words. And as my husband often says, “Talk is cheap!”
- What am I modeling to my children in my marriage?
- Is it attractive?
- Is it something they would want to emulate?
- Do my husband and I live before our children in such a manner that they are attracted to our faith, or do our lives tend to repel them from the Gospel?
These are not just rhetorical questions. Instead, they are ones that deserve careful thought and scrutiny as we honestly answer them. What kind of example is my marriage giving to my children?
Isn’t it so interesting that marriage preaches the gospel? Marriage is the very comparison that God uses to convey the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ’s relationship to the church (to all believers) is wrapped in perfection. Our earthly marriages often seem to be far from that!
We learned that the first audience to whom our marriages preach is God and his angels. The second audience is not our non-Christian neighbors. Our second audience is our children! Do they see our marriage telling them about Christ and His bride?
Again, are our children attracted to or repelled from the Gospel?
Eddie and I recently celebrated 40 years of marriage. I think overall we have a good marriage. I will also tell you that at about year 18, we hit a wall. It seems that personal issues we brought in to marriage (our stuff) as well as our own marriage issues collided. We were at a point of “stuckness.”
Thankfully, God brought another couple into our lives, who imparted life to us through counseling. They gave us a number of tips and tools that I believe will carry us into the sunset! Let me share with you a few of these.
1. A is for: ADMIT when you are wrong and APOLOGIZE. ASK for forgiveness.
So what needs to happen when you hurt your husband?
First, confession to God. I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteous.”
Second, confession to our husbands. James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ” Confessing to God and your husband is admitting that you are wrong….that you have sinned….that you have hurt God and your husband.
What is a proper apology? “Honey, I was wrong when I spoke so disrespectfully to you in front of the children. Will you forgive me?” Using the words “I was wrong” rather than “I’m sorry” means so much more. It means we have taken ownership of our wrongdoing.
And if we hurt our husband in front of the children, we need to apologize to them as well. That is parenting by example!
2. B is for: BE an Initiator.
We all have or have had young children. They come into the world needing many things. They need food, clothing, care, love, touch, attention, affection, security….. just to name a few. Do you think children outgrow needs. I think not! Our husbands were once boys, now grown up into men. They have needs. That’s how God made people. Although God can meet people’s needs directly, He often uses people to meet needs in the lives of other people. We are our husband’s unique help meet. Perhaps God gave me to my husband to help meet his needs. I challenge each of you to really study and learn your husband. What are his needs? What is important to him? How can you enter his world? And yes, do initiate intimate encounters with your husband!
The greatest account of one entering another’s world is found in Philippians 2:1-11.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
What humility! What a servant! What an example of leaving your world to enter another’s world! May this be our model!
Let us leave our world and jump into our husband’s world!
Part 2~ next post!