Scott LaPierre is the senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church, in Woodland, WA. He and his wife, Katie, have seven children they homeschool. Pastor Scott is also an accomplished author and conference speaker. Most of his time is spent with his home and church families. He enjoys writing, reading, and studying God’s Word. Prior to pastoring Scott taught elementary school and served as an officer in the Army.
I know what you’re thinking: “Uhh…an audiobook of a workbook???”
Yes! The audiobook of the Marriage God’s Way Workbook has a bell sound letting you know when to pause the audio. Listen to the above sample. This makes the audiobook a perfect conversation starter for:
As you work through this book, recognize the tension created in your marriage is a good thing. God is introducing areas that need to be improved, and the best way to do that is by asking each other tough questions.
This will be even truer as you use this workbook. Whenever you experience tension, remember God is at work strengthening weak areas of your relationship!
Focus on the Way Your Spouse Feels
Many workbook questions contain the word “feels.” This is because:
It is not a question of whether a husband thinks he loves his It is a question of whether his wife feels loved.
It is not a question of whether a wife thinks she respects her It is a question of whether her husband feels respected.
Consider these two passages from Marriage God’s Way:
In Chapter 10 the sixth section, “Perception Is Reality,” records: “Note the emphasis here is how a wife feels. A husband might insist: ‘My wife is the supreme relationship in my life. She is more important than anything ’ But the wife might not feel that way. A wife’s perception is her reality. It is not about what the husband says or even thinks but about what the wife feels.”
Chapter 11 discusses wives respecting their husbands, and the fifth section, “Learning, Then Embracing” records: “A wife who does [these things] will have a husband who feels very respected.”
Focus on the way your spouse feels. Then, after learning how your spouse feels, make the appropriate changes to help your spouse feel differently. The poor alternative is trying to talk your husband or wife out of feeling the way he or she feels. The section, “Embrace the Struggle,” also says:
A husband might say, “Outside of the Lord Himself, do you feel you are taking second place to anything in my life?” If a wife answers that she does not feel she is the supreme relationship in her husband’s life, the husband should not try to talk her out of the way she feels or persuade her to see things differently. Likewise, a wife might ask her husband, “Do you feel I respect you?” If the husband explains how she makes him feel disrespected, the wife should not argue with her husband and try to convince him he is wrong. Instead, each spouse should listen to the other and try to make the appropriate changes.
Similarly, if your husband or wife is hurt by something you have done, do not try to make him or her feel wrong. When hearing your spouse’s thoughts, commit to not interrupting or arguing. If you understand how your spouse feels, then you will learn to treat him or her the way he or she wants to be treated.
Crucify Your Flesh and Apologize the Right Way
As you continue through this workbook, you are going to hear answers that reveal:
Hurts you have caused
Ways you have failed
Your flesh will flare up and threaten the work God wants to do in your marriage. Read Romans 8:13 and Galatians 5:24, and then list three ways you will need to crucify your flesh:
Stay on guard against your sinful nature tempting you to get angry. Do not let pride have victories in your marriage! Instead, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness the right way. Some people— whether intentionally or unintentionally—act like they are apologizing, but their “apologies” are simply ways of making excuses and shifting blame. This only serves to increase frustration and hurt. Sincere apologies have the opposite effect—they diffuse aggression and prevent bitterness. Proverbs 15:1a says, “A soft answer turns away wrath” and there are not many softer answers than apologies made the right way. To do this, make sure you avoid two words:
Avoid the word “but.” When an “apology” contains this word, it is an excuse disguised as a confession:
“I’m sorry, BUT if they hadn’t done that…”
“I am sorry, BUT this happened…”
“I’m sorry, BUT I never would’ve done this if not for…”
Avoid the word “you.” When an “apology” contains this word, it is a manipulative way for people to shift blame, and make the other person feel bad about being hurt or upset:
“I’m sorry YOU did this…”
“Well, I’m sorry YOU are mad…”
“I’m sorry YOU are offended…”
Instead, make sure you apologize the right way. This involves two steps:
First, say: “I am sorry for . . .” or “I am sorry I . . .” followed by the offense you
Then, say: “Will you please forgive me?”
The second step is important because it:
Shows you recognize you have done something requiring forgiveness
Shows you are not minimizing your actions
Engages the other person and requires a response
Finally, if your spouse asks for forgiveness and you say, “I forgive you,” you are obligated to do your best to forgive the way God forgives. God does not forget our sins, but He does choose not to remember them:
Isaiah 43:25b—I will not remember your
Jeremiah 31:34b—I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no
Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17—Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no When you say, “I forgive you,” you are committing to do your best to:
Not remember your spouse’s sin
Not hold the sin against your spouse
Refuse to bring up the sin in the future
Although Saul was the king of Israel, a more appropriate title would be the King of Excuses. Do not be like him! Read 1 Samuel 13:1–14 and 15:1–29. What was wrong with Saul’s “apologies”? What excuses did he make? Who did he blame? Provide three examples:
Take Your Time and Pray!
There is no rush as you continue through this workbook with your spouse. Allow time for prayer and reflection. Do not rush answering questions, asking each other questions, or sharing your responses. Consider working through no more than one chapter per day. Also, plan the location and atmosphere when using this workbook:
Would it be best to do the work over some activity, such as a meal together?
Could it be helpful to discuss your answers while taking a walk?
Will you be more consistent if you choose a specific time (and possibly place)?
Pray together when you begin and conclude your times together. If you are forced to do the workbook without your spouse, you should still pray. When you begin, pray specifically for:
Graciousness and honesty in answering the questions
Humility in receiving you spouse’s criticisms When you conclude, pray specifically for:
Your spouse to be the husband or wife God wants him or her to be
The Holy Spirit’s help in applying what you have learned and making the appropriate changes
Finally, be sure to thank God for the gospel that equips you to have the healthy, joyful, Christ-centered relationship he desires for you.
A Father Offers His Son should be published in the next few months! I expect to send the manuscript to my editor this week. The Introduction (below) will give you a good idea what to expect. If you like what you read, please consider:
Serve as a beta reader: simply read the manuscript and give me your honest thoughts. This will allow me to improve the book before it’s published.
Provide a review on Amazon
Share about A Father Offers His Son when it’s published.
As a way to thank you I will give you:
A free signed copy
As many signed copies as you’d like at 20% off
Introduction for A Father Offers His Son
I became a Christian in my early twenties. Soon after, I started reading the Bible for the first time. Like many people, I began “in the beginning” at Genesis 1:1. I read through accounts I had some familiarity with: Creation, The Fall, Cain and Abel, the Flood. I didn’t struggle with much of what I read, including even the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then everything came to a screeching halt when I read Genesis 22:1-2:
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
I thought, “Why would God make such a request? I can understand God calling down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, but how could He ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son?” The truth is, God didn’t intend for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. We know that because the Angel stopped him: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him (Genesis 22:12a).” If God didn’t want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, then what did He want? The answer is two-fold. Continue reading “Introduction for A Father Offers His Son”→
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” If I had to choose only one example of this verse coming true in my life, it would be my brother’s death.
My only sibling, Jason, was fourteen months younger than me. Growing up we were similar athletically and academically. But during high school he started partying and abusing drugs. He dropped out of school and received his GED. We were encouraged when Jason enlisted in the Army. He joined the 82nd Airborne, which involved jumping out of planes. He said he developed pain in his knees. We don’t know if that was true or an excuse to obtain prescriptions from the military hospital. Either way, this is when he became addicted to pills.
Jason separated from the Army after four years of service. He started breaking into people’s homes and raiding their medicine cabinets to satisfy his addiction. He was arrested and I still remember how difficult it was the first time we visited Jason in jail. We had to speak to him on opposite sides of the glass. He was released, but soon after was arrested again. Unable to find a job because of his criminal record, he moved across the country hoping to rejoin the military. That was the last time we saw Jason. A few months later, I received the phone call from my dad that Jason had overdosed in a motel room.
James 5:11 says, “You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” The Bible contains several accounts that depict God’s compassion and mercy…
The wickedest king in the Old Testament. It seemed like there was no false god he did not worship and no command he did not break. He even sacrificed his own sons to Molech. God punished him by taking him into captivity. 2 Chronicles 33:12–13 records:
Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
God not only forgave Manasseh, He even restored him as king.
Some of the evilest people in the Old Testament. When they repented, God spared them. This made Jonah so angry that he wanted to die, but God rebuked him:
Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left?” (Jonah 4:11).
The Prodigal Son
This parable reveals the heart of God the Father. Luke 15:20:
The son arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Jesus on the Cross
When He was crucified He prayed:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
1. Job’s Sacrifice and Intercession Turned Away God’s Wrath
Job 42:7-8—And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
The Book of Job provides some of the greatest revelation of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Although Job didn’t have the revelation that we have, he still looked forward to a Mediator, Advocate, and Redeemer. Centuries later, Jesus revealed Himself to be the reality and substance of Job’s words.
Job Needed a Mediator
He longed for a Person to stand between him and God:
Job 9:1–2—Job asked: “Truly I know it is so, but how can a man be righteous before God?”
This is the most important question people can ask, because it determines where we spend eternity. Job answered his question and explained why “a man [cannot] be righteous before God”:
Job 9:3–4—“If one wished to contend with Him, he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?”
Paul asked, “Have [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not!” (Romans 11:11a). Stumbling is not the same as falling, and we can see the difference between the two by considering two men who had much in common. Who does this describe?
A well-known man received a unique opportunity when Jesus asked him to become one of the twelve disciples. In accepting the invitation, he became a student of the greatest Teacher in history. He could be with the Son of God day and night. The man heard Jesus’ teaching, and when His enemies tried to trap Him with penetrating questions, he heard the profound theological answers. He saw miracles that showed the Messiah’s authority over death, nature, demons, and disease. Jesus gave him some of the same divine power to cast out demons and perform miracles. He witnessed firsthand Jesus’ love, grace, and mercy. After experiencing all this, he betrayed Jesus in a strong, convincing way only hours before His crucifixion. Then he felt great sorrow.
Who is the man? If you say Judas, you are right. If you say Peter, you are right.
Stumbling Is not the Same as Falling
There are plenty of similarities between Peter and Judas, but one crucial difference. Regarding their faith, Peter stumbled, but Judas fell. Luke 22:31–34 records:
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Job is the New Testament example of a persevering saint. James 5:11b says, “You have heard of the perseverance of Job.” How did he persevere? He persevered the same way everyone perseveres—by maintaining faith in God. Twice Satan predicted he would curse God, and at one point his wife even told him to do so (Job 1:9-11, 2:5, 9). He rebuked his wife saying:
“You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (2:10a).
Basically, he said, “As readily as we accept God’s blessings, we must also accept the trials.” Then he succinctly described what it means to persevere when he said:
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (13:15a).
He declared that no matter what happened to him, he would maintain his faith in God.
Be Encouraged Comparing Yourself with Job
Comparing ourselves with Job can be discouraging. Who wants to think they must endure trials as well as he did? We should be encouraged though because he was far from perfect. Trials bring us closer to perfection, which means we are not yet perfect. Sin has affected every part of us, including the way we respond to trials. Job is an example of this.
We need to expect trials, and persevering through them can be easier when we understand the blessings! James 1:12 and 5:11 state:
James 1:12—Blessed is the man who perseveres trials;
for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life which
the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
James 5:11a—Indeed we count them blessed who persevere [through trials].
The Greek word for “persevere” is hypomonē, which is the same word for “patience” in James 1:3 and 4:
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (hypomone). But let patience (hypomone) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Many Bibles translate “patience” as “perseverance” or “endurance.” This is fitting because patience allows believers to persevere. I prefer “persevere,” because “endure” sounds like tolerating or putting up with. Persevere is synonymous with success. Those who persevere through trials are victorious. They are triumphant and blessed as a result. Some of the blessings, such as maturing from trials, occur in this life. Other blessings occur in the next life when we hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
A few years ago I was experiencing a trial, and this is part of a message one of my heroes, Dave Zumstein, sent me:
It may seem glorious to you to be a mighty man leading mighty men into battle. I think it is glorious to God to see a man quietly, but strongly, striving to fight the good fight amidst difficult times. When the call comes for difficult times, oh that we might be that type of man.