I took the photo below of the young mothers who attend a Bible Study on parenting and marriage. In this photo, they are getting ready to hear the Bible Study lecture. The lady to the far right on the front row got saved recently at this Bible Study, praise the Lord! How exciting is that!!!! (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)
Once a month, the Titus 2:3-5 leaders have lunch together. Gwen Brodd, who started the Women’s Bible Study is seated next to me.
Betsy Watkins, (standing to the right) gave the following excellent lecture at our Women’s Bible Study. Betsy and her husband also counsel married couples.
ABC’s of Marriage Part 2 (continued from ABC’s of Marriage Part 1)
1. A – ADMIT when you’re wrong and APOLOGIZE. ASK for forgiveness.
2. B – BE an Initiator. (See Part 1)
3. C – Be your husband’s greatest Cheerleader!
I think one of the most appreciated actions we can take toward our husbands is to encourage them. If we are not doing so, then who is? Encourage him in his leadership role. Show/express appreciation to him when you see his leadership in your home. Verbally express to him (even in front of others) what you notice about his character strengths. Yes, brag on him in front of the children!
Now, when we all think of cheerleading, I’m sure we probably think of shouts and noise. But have you ever heard of a silent cheer? I learned this about 38 years ago in AWANA. We had a “silent night” where much of the evening was spent in silence, or at least limited vocal input.
Sometimes silent cheers are in order with our husbands. Take a listen to this verse from Ephesians 4:29. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” I know we all want to have the last word, but sometimes no words are the best! Silent cheers! Let’s practice!
4. D is for DATE!
I cannot encourage you enough to continue to date your husband. It will help you remain connected and healthy even during the years of child rearing. Your husband and your marriage need to be your first priority after your relationship with God. I cannot stress that enough! As in any relationship, you must work on your marriage in order for it to continue to thrive and grow. Remember back to your pre-marital dating days? You probably spent hours getting ready and anticipated your date nights with your boyfriend who has now become your husband.
I know you don’t have hours to get ready for anything these days, but dates are such a good thing. My husband has told me it means a lot to him for me to initiate dates and plan the evening. I would say he does it most of the time, but reverse courtesy is much appreciated. Be creative. I often hear (and have heard this for years) that couples cannot afford dates, cannot afford a babysitter and on and on. I just have to say that I don’t buy that. We make a way to do many, many things, so pray, ask God, brainstorm with your husband and with friends to make dates happen!
5. E is for EXAMPLE!!!!
My encouragement to you today is to give your children the best example of a Godly marriage. I know we are all imperfect people trying to give an example of God’s perfect plan in his relationship with his people. We cannot do this on our own. We must run to Jesus; run to the cross for cleansing and forgiveness when we make mistakes. We run to the cross for motivation, for a model of sacrificial love. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Although we are imperfect, may we be cross-centered parents who attract our children to the gospel!
I want to close out our morning with this scripture passage, and I encourage you to read it during the next week as well.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.