[God's Design for Building Your Marriage] Introduction
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; by knowledge its rooms are filled with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures.
Proverbs 24:3-4 (NET)
Are you building your home or tearing it down? God tells us that there are three things we need if we are going to build: wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Proverbs says that God’s Word gives us these things. He is the author of marriage, and His principles do work.
Please take the time to pray and ask God for the grace to be the kind of woman who can truly build a home according to God’s design. Pray for faithfulness, humility, and the desire to obey God day after day, despite the circumstances or the responses of those around you.
Your willingness to commit to this study speaks well of your heart for God. Remember that the greatest commandment is to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments” (John 14:15 NET). The more you love Him, the more you will become like Him and live for Him rather than yourself. Thus, you will become the kind of wife whom God has designed you to be.
This study was written for women, not for couples. As I looked for a study on marriage, I found that almost all of them were written for men and women. In your homework you will read some verses for husbands, but we will not study them. God expects us, as women, to obey His Word for us, regardless of whether our husbands obey. In this course we will focus on our responsibilities, not theirs. I do believe that if you apply the principles of the Bible in your home, the atmosphere will change and God will honor your obedience.
Without God’s help, we have no hope of truly being the kind of wives who build their homes on God’s wisdom and knowledge. If you have not placed your trust in Christ alone as the only way to the Father, you can do so today. Believe that He is God and that He came to earth as a man and died for you and rose again, trusting Him alone for eternal salvation. Ask Him to give you the grace to follow Him and begin a new life. He promises to give you His Spirit to live within you to enable you to have the power to live the kind of life we are talking about in this study.
Some of you are single. How great that you want to prepare for a future marriage! I wish I had known these principles before I got married! I have designated some questions for you and some for the married women. Go ahead and think through all the questions, always considering how you would deal with the issue if you were married.
As you go through this study, your personal homework each week is the most important part. Those things you consider when you are alone with God will be those which you remember and apply. However, it is also important to commit now to complete the study with the group. As you gather weekly, the other women will assist you in solidifying and enlarging the truths that you study on your own. They will help you be accountable for what you learn. It is so easy to read something and then dismiss it. In fact, God speaks of that very thing in the book of James: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:23-25). Go for the blessings in your life!!
There are several sections in each lesson: Understanding God’s Design, Building Your Marriage on God’s Design, Parenting with God’s Design, Wisdom from a Mentor’s Marriage, and Summing It Up. You may want to work on one section each day to help you spend daily time with God.
In preparing this study, I have leaned upon the experiences of many women and am grateful for their personal stories, so freely given to you. In particular I wish to thank the Mentoring Moms from the Moms classes at Prestonwood Baptist Church who were so transparent in sharing their own struggles in marriage in an effort to disciple you.
May the Lord richly bless you as you walk in obedience to His design for your home!