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:
- Date nights
- Long driving trips
- Small group studies
The audibook is narrated by professional radio personality and voice over artist, Andy Waits. I’m praying this can be a blessing to you.
Would you like a FREE copy of the Marriage God’s Way Workbook audiobook?
Audible.com is offering a FREE audiobook of the Marriage God’s Way Workbook for people who try a one month membership!
You can cancel any time, but you’ll still receive the audiobook!
The following is taken from the introduction of the workbook…
Using This Workbook
Following these guidelines will allow you to receive the most benefit:
- The workbook contains questions for each section in Marriage God’s Way. Read the book before looking at the corresponding questions.
- Instead of reading a chapter of the book and then answering the questions, it is best to read one section at a time and then answer the questions.
- Some questions are addressed to both spouses, while others are for only the husband or wife. Whatever the case, be sure to discuss all your answers with your spouse.
- Ideally, husbands and wives should each have their own workbook and do the work together.
In Chapter 2 of Marriage God’s Way, the third section, “Embrace the Struggle” says:
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:
- Your weaknesses
- 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.