3 Ways God’s Word Can Heal Your Marriage And Linkup

Today I want to talk about the connection I see between my times of study in God’s word and how it heals and helps my marriage.

As a counselor and life-coach, I’ve gathered an arsenal of communication and relationship strategies and principles over the years that have been very beneficial to my marriage. I apply them and use them regularly.
Marriage and BibleBut . . .

So today I will be discussing . . .

3 ways my studies continually help and heal my marriage . . .

1. Keeps me focused on godly and right thoughts and behaviors.

For example, my reading today was 2 Peter 1:5-6, where the Word challenges me to rely on Christ’s divine power within me to grow my faith by adding goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness. So my focus for this day is on adding “self-control.” #Ineedthisone

I prayed about self-control this morning, asking God to reveal where I’m lacking it. Much of my lack of self-control begins in my mind. I vacillate between being fearful or insecure and being prideful in my relationships (especially with my husband).

So I am seeking God’s power whenever I’m fearful of showing my husband affection or affirming him in some way (yes, this is a major weakness for me).

I’m also seeking God’s power whenever I’m prideful and want to argue about how something should be done or said with my husband. Remember I’m a counselor! Ha! So I always see where the “problem” is, even though the problem is often in and with me!

2. Encourages me when I am discouraged or feel alone.

Let me use that 2 Peter 1:5-6 as yet another example. In verse 5, Peter reminds me that Christ-followers have God’s “divine nature” within them. That reminds me that I am NEVER alone, even though it might sometimes seem that way. It also reminds me that all I have to do in situations that are discouraging or alienating is to turn to “Christ within me” to find His power for any challenge.

3. Gives me a portal into Christ’s heart—the ultimate Lover of my soul.

Each day that I read, whether it is in the New Testament or the Old, I come to understand God more. And that knowledge deepens my faith in Him and my trust in His unconditional love. This keeps my heart full of love when I feel like my husband isn’t loving me as well or as much as I would like. This is SO CRUCIAL to staying encouraged and persevering in marriage!

But I can’t really sense any of that as clearly unless I am consistently studying God’s word AND, in my opinion, really gleaning the truths in a thorough and application-oriented way.

So that brings me to my 6-week Bible study of 1 Peter that I’m offering through a private Facebook group. My study notes will only take you about 5 minutes to read each day, but I also provide a method for you to glean these Scriptural gems for yourself, if you’d like.

Study Bible
Also, my studies are not simply “devotionals” with a general theme. I take the verses bit-by-bit, scouring for what these words and phrases mean. I take the time to do extra research in commentaries, so that you can understand these truths and the contexts that they are in better.

My first posting of the notes—which are meant for your own studies Monday through Friday—will go live on Sunday evening April 2, 2017. If you’d like to be added to the group that is currently forming, friend me at Beth Oster Steffaniak and request this. Here’s a sample of my study notes from 1 Samuel. Remember the study and notes are free and comes with absolutely no pressure from me! 

I just want to offer to others what has been so transformational in my own life and marriage. 🙂

 

What is something God’s word has revealed that you need to work on in your life and/or marriage?

 

What holds you back from getting into God’s word on a daily basis?

 


I’d love to have you check out a 30 minute podcast interview that Belah Rose did with me recently on how to Overcome Insecurity with Vulnerability in Marriage. This is part 1 of a 2 part series, so you can check it out next Tuesday for the follow up interview as well. 😉

Here are some lovely linkups I joinChristian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Faith and Friends, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

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  • Mary

    I am finding that going deeper in God’s word has helped me to grow deeper in my relationship with God. It is never a waste of time and I know God loves spending that time with us. Point three is my favorite- gives me a portal into Christ’s heart. How beautiful! Spending time with Him gives us the opportunity to know Him better and allow Him to love us more. Thank you for your wisdom.

    • It truly is not a waste of time, Mary. That’s so important to realize whenever we endeavor to establish this sacred habit in our day. Thanks for your encouragement here, my friend. I can see Christ working mightily in you and your blog!

  • Spending time in God’s word washes me and refocuses me on what is good and pure. I don’t know where I’d be without it. Your group sounds great.

    • I love that “washes” and “refocuses,” Debbie. That’s so true of how I feel too. Thanks for your encouragement. You’re sweet to join in the conversation here weekly. 🙂

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post and s-Step, Beth. You have the knack for finding the essentials, and this IS essential.

    More to say but far too ill to say it. Sorry, perhaps later. Did want record my appreciation.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/03/your-dying-spouse-287-spiritual-buoyancy.html

    • Thanks, Andrew. I suppose finding the essentials has become a skill through my very detailed study of God’s word. It’s something the Lord has honed in me for sure. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re continuing to go downward, my friend. You have an iron will that astounds me though. Prayers being sent on your behalf and hugs being sent through the blogosphere!

  • pioneerpat1

    To be honest trust. I just had a situation at work where I got totally screwed at work and the overall boss has had to repeat it to the staff overall and overall again how the process was so pure and honest and I know she is lying but I know the truth and can’t say it. I have been in too many situations in my life like that. Sometimes it is hard to believe. That is what gets in my way.

    • That’s an honest and natural answer, Patrick, given the way you’ve been wounded by those you face daily. I suppose that’s also the reason I began to study God’s word–because I couldn’t trust my husband to give me the comfort, insight, or power that I needed. Only God was and is trustWORTHY. I hope you give His word a chance to prove that to you. Hugs and prayers for you, my friend!

  • Hi Beth! As usual, your sharing some quality insight on marriage. I can relate to so much of what has been said here, particularly how God’s word helps to keep your mind focused. on whats good and right, which of course will help anyone’s marriage. Thanks so much for sharing and for hosting!

    Blessings!
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinstry.com

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Tiffiney. I appreciate having you in the linkup and love reading your posts since I relate to them on so many levels. 😉

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  • Sarah Geringer

    Beth, I’m focusing on the fruit of self-control this month too. Reading Karen Ehman’s Zip It has helped me examine my words and thoughts. I’ve felt convicted and swept clean by the Holy Spirit. I agree 100% with your quote: “Each day that I read, whether it is in the New Testament or the Old, I come to understand God more. And that knowledge deepens my faith in Him and my trust in His unconditional love. This keeps my heart full of love when I feel like my husband isn’t loving me as well or as much as I would like. This is SO CRUCIAL to staying encouraged and persevering in marriage!”

    • That sounds like a great book for me, Sarah. I love the way you say that, “swept clean by the Holy Spirit.” Such a beautiful way of stating the cleansing we experience when we study and apply God’s word to our lives. Thanks for encouraging me and I so look forward to getting to know you better at She Speaks! I’m very grateful we can room together as well as learn together at the conference. I count it a blessing that God has orchestrated that, my friend!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    I would be an even bigger prideful mess if I weren’t in God’s Word each day which gives me words like self-control when I’d love to pick that battle with my husband. And we all need to know Jesus as the lover of our soul because our husband will never meet all of our needs and expectations – it’s just not humanly possible. In this two person dingy, out on the ocean with just me and my husband – God’s word is literally my lifeline that I can’t live without. Awesome post and I’d love to join your group.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Yes, Jesus must be the Lover of our souls, Bev. He is that lifeline when we are over our heads–which, in my case, seems to be more times than not! ha! Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability as well as your encouragement to me, my friend!

  • Susan

    I think for most, it is time constraint and demands – not for me anymore as our nest is empty. But, I see my daughter who homeschools and hits the floor running each morning… Right now I’m immersed in the gospel of Matthew – the red words – as I write my tenth book!!!! xo

    • Yes, it is so difficult, Susan, to be in the trenches of motherhood and finding the time to be with the Lord as well. I’m so grateful for the flexibility that my job affords me so that I can work my “work schedule” around my time with God! I am truly blessed, as it seems you are too! 😉

  • theromanticvineyard

    Ah Beth, I love how practical and helpful this post is. Thank you for walking us through a slice of your life in this. So many people make God’s word a drudgery and a duty, rather than the lifeblood we need to live the life He’s called us to live. You are such an encouragement.
    Blessings,
    Debi

    • Thanks so much Debi. I am trying to challenge that unfortunate belief with this series. It might be difficult and even feel like a drudgery at first, but when we realize how very much God encourages us as we meet with Him daily, I’m hoping they will see that “drudgery feeling” fading away. Thanks for encouraging me! It means a lot to have you here and in the linkup, my friend!

  • It does my heart good to read about your application to your marriage of all that you’ve learned in training and practice. Sometimes the “shoemaker’s kids go barefoot” and it’s not uncommon for professional counselors to live in a wasteland with their own families.

    • Thank you, Michele. I knew that it would give people insight into the principles by putting some “flesh and bone” on them as well. You’re right. We can’t afford to counsel others unless we have let God’s word and truth counsel us first.

  • YES, more God!! For me it comes down to being me-centered instead of God-centered, that is what holds me back!

    • Yes, that’s a tough one to overcome, Jenn. I’m still trying to die to self every minute of the day. Just when I think I’ve got that licked, God opens my eyes to all the other ways I am letting “me” get in the way of Him. 😉

  • It’s good to read this, how you are sharing with others what you are learning and living! – Marriage can be hard (it is hard!), but with God’s on our side and as the center of our marriage we can win the battles of life. Great and encouraging post! I’m new over here, thanks for hosting the link up too! Blessings

    • Yes, this is where the rubber meets the road in our marriages, Tayrina–when we let God speak into our hearts as we navigate the challenges of marriage. I don’t know how people make it without God’s word lightening the steps before them and lifting them when they can’t take another step. Thanks for joining the linkup! I hope you keep coming back!

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  • I love number 3! The biggest changes in my marriage have taken place through prayer and submitting to God’s word as opposed to any word or action on my part!

    • Thanks, Crystal! That’s my favorite as well. I know from what you share on your blog how God’s word has been so very important to you and your relationships. Great stuff!

  • Mary Flaherty

    Good stuff, Beth. I especially love the picture…with the oil can and keys by the Bible. The keys to the Kingdom and the oil of the Holy Spirit. One of the things I remember a lot is some practical advice I heard from Joyce Meyer…anytime my husband says or does something that annoys me, I think, “Well, I shouldn’t complain about that. I’m sure there are plenty of other women out there who would gladly take my husband off my hands.” When I listen to my grieving widowed friends, or hear the ache in my single friends’ hearts, how can I dare complain about something so trivial as (fill in your own blank)? Of course, there’s that blasted mirror too…as if I am the picture of the perfect spouse???

    • So true! You were reading my mind. I heard the same advice about other women who would be happy to have my husband. What we may complain about, another woman would enjoy or gladly overlook.

    • I didn’t even think about those metaphors when I set this up, Mary! But I love that you’ve highlighted that reality. God’s word truly is like oil and is most definitely the key in our lives. What a great insight from Joyce Meyer. Yes, we definitely need to keep that in perspective too. Thanks for your friendship! You are a sweetheart!

  • Beth, I appreciate all this so much. It is so very true. I love the verses you picked out to focus on and the encouragement that give. I truly wish I could be part of your Bible study, but am committed to another one at that same time. Perhaps I can join you in the future. I LOVE doing word studies and appreciate all the time you spend digging for the word meanings. It shows in your writing that that kind of deep digging is truly transformational. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today!

    • It looks like you’ve got a great Bible study you’re already in. I loved the truths you brought to light in your latest post, Leslie. Thanks for your encouragement to me. It means so much when people “see” God’s word working through me. That’s always the best compliment a friend can give me!

  • Dear Beth

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

    > So I am seeking God’s power whenever I’m fearful of showing
    > my husband affection or affirming him in some way

    I will try this — to help me find the confidence to speak up (or touch), and to help me choose the right moment.

    For me, the biggest change I’ve noticed has been that when my mind is idle, instead of nurturing resentments or anxieties (or run off down other alleyways), my mind will turn towards a Psalm or a prayer or a scriptural passage. That refreshes me and lifts my mood. Like your #2.

    > What is something God’s word has revealed that you need to work on
    > in your life and/or marriage?

    Too much! Feeling rather tender with it all. I suppose that is a standard phase for the newbie Christian.

    > What holds you back from getting into God’s word on a daily basis?

    What would hold me back was the idea that reading Scripture is Very Serious and must always be done Studiously. I have now decided that I can just read the Bible because I like it. I absolutely love reading the Gospels. Deciding that I don’t /always/ have to “study” has meant I read much more.

    David

    • Thank you, David, for always being such an encourager in my life. I do hope that trying what I’m doing with affection and affirmation with my husband works for you with your wife. It’s something of a discipline that I want to get so ingrained that it becomes my default in time.

      That’s so great to hear how you are applying God’s word to your mind when you feel weak or tempted. That’s something I’m trying to do as well.

      I hope that the way I’ve studied has not made you feel that way–burdened. I want to challenge people to study, but always offer the option of simply reading and soaking in the truths of God that I mine for them. And yes, reading longer sections of Scripture can be very comforting. I will often do that with the book I’m about to study–like 1 and 2 Peter. I will read through it either chapter by chapter or all in one sitting–since these are shorter books. It helps to remind me of the bigger picture instead of staying in that microscopic mode.

      And though reading Scripture is serious, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. So I’d say relax a bit and trust that God is going to reveal the truths you need for each moment and you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to please Him. I pray for you daily, my friend and hope that you feel encouraged by the Lord as you walk toward Him more and more each day and moment of the day.

      • Dear Beth, thank you very much for your reply.

        > I hope that the way I’ve studied has not made you feel
        > that way–burdened

        No, certainly not. I enjoy your reading groups a lot, for several reasons. As well as study, there’s surely scope for reading for pleasure — “abiding” with the Word, if you like. 🙂

  • Studying God’s word has revealed several things in me that needs a change. Recently I saw that I needed to work on my patience with my husband and needed to think peace in my thoughts, words and actions.
    The effect of God’s word in marriage can be immeasurably great, if we yield to what The Holy Spirit teaches us and urges us to do.
    Thanks for sharing this with us Beth, have a super blessed day!
    Love

  • Brandi Raae

    Such great advice – thanks for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays. 🙂

    • Brandi Raae

      P.S. pinned and followed you on Pinterest!

  • Beth, I agree that staying grounded in the Word is so important to our marriages! That 2-edged sword always gets more of my blood on it than anyone else’s! LOL Thanks for hosting. Have a great Lord’s Day!

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