After learning God’s plan for your marriage, you will still experience difficulties. You may find yourself wondering if His plan is really working, or experience frustration because your spouse is not cooperating. If this happens, don’t panic or look to the world’s methods! Don’t fall back on old habits! Instead, use the following evaluation checklist to discern the true source of the problem.
Your Spiritual Foundation
- How is your devotional life? Read Psalm 1:1-3. Would you use words like worshiping, listening, thanking, confessing, interceding, etc. to describe your daily communication with God?
- Do you read and meditate upon God’s Word in a daily quiet time?
- Are you trusting God with your finances and giving tithes regularly?
- Are your priorities in accordance with God’s desires for you and your family? Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in your life (Gal. 5:22-23)?
Remember: You must depend upon The Lord! The key is not in your methods, but in a relationship with God!
Communicating In Love
- Take the "Effective Listening Self-Evaluation" in Loving Communication (see Appendix E).
- Have you been reacting to your spouse in the flesh, or responding to them in love?
- Take some time and review What Love Is Not, which is found in Week 3: Day 2 through Day 5. Are there areas where you need to improve in your communication, or apologize to your spouse?
- Have you been using the "Breaking the Cycle of Unloving Communication" (see Appendix G)?
Remember: Your communication with and toward your spouse reflects the value you have placed upon him/her.
Meeting the Companionship Needs of Your Spouse
- The best way to lead or submit is by personal example. How are you doing?
- Are you and your spouse working together and supporting one another? How is your management style?
- Do you need further discipleship in parenting, financial management or another area?
- Are you praying regularly for and with your spouse? Have you followed through with your commitment to have a weekly family Bible study in your home?
Remember: God loves you and He loves your spouse. You must trust Him. He has not given you a task beyond your ability as you trust in Him and obey His will.
Has God revealed areas in your family relationships where you have drifted? If so, follow the steps outlined below to get your home back on course.
- Confess to God, acknowledging your weaknesses, mistakes or failures.
- Receive God’s forgiveness. Allow Him to embrace you in His arms of love and grace.
- Repent by turning away from your error and commit to walk in obedience to His will.
- Ask for forgiveness from your spouse, if necessary.
- Be willing to forgive your spouse, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.