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Marriage Workbook

By Craig Caster

APPENDIX G – WORKSHEET

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF UNLOVING COMMUNICATION WORKSHEET

Step One: Each night, spend some time alone with the Lord. Ask Him to soften your heart and speak to you about what could have done differently during discussions, arguments or situations with your spouse on this day. Write your findings in the space provided.

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

Ask the Lord:  Was there something I could have said or done that would have glorified God and/or stopped a situation from turning into an argument?

Step Two: Read the following verses and ask the Lord to reveal areas needing improvement.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Love suffers long(patient) and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...”

  1. Were you impatient?  Suffering long means you exercised the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,…”

Did your flesh rise up seeking justice for a perceived wrong, or battling to get your own way?

Explain:

  1. Were you unkind? The opposite of kindness is unkindness. 

Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”

Did you provoke your spouse? Did you get angry, raise your voice, or say hurtful / mean things?  Did you judge, ignore or are you resentful toward your spouse?

Explain:

  1. Was jealousy a motive behind the reaction toward your spouse?

Romans 13:13-14, “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (NASB)

Explain:

  1. Were you haughty or arrogant? Did you belittle your spouse or make them feel unimportant?

1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Explain:

  1. : Were you rude or did you act unbecoming?

Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

Did you embarrass your spouse or say something bad about them in front of someone else?  Were you rude, did you do something they have asked you not to do?

Explain:

  1. Were you only thinking of yourself and not considering your spouse’s viewpoint? Did you defensively justify your position and/or excuse your actions?

Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Explain:

  1. Were you harboring bad thoughts toward your spouse for minutes, hours, or days before this situation occurred? God has told us not to harbor bad thoughts, but to forgive.

2 Corinthians 10:5, “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

You need to take responsibility for letting your mind be consumed with bad or evil thoughts toward your spouse. If God knows us, sees our past, present and future sins, yet His thoughts toward us are only goodPsalm 139:17-18then how can we justify evil thoughts toward our spouses? If this is your problem, what thoughts and attitudes should you forsake, confess and leave with the Lord? Identify specific areas or origins causing your bitterness or resentment.

Explain in writing, then add a prayer asking God to change your heart:

  1. Have you been allowing discouragement and hopelessness toward your marriage to overwhelm you?

Romans 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Have you doubted God and His almighty power to intercede for you? “Love hopes all things,” not doubts all things. If you doubt God, focusing on past or present problems and not on the loving all-powerful God, you will become discouraged and act this out with your spouse. In what ways have you been doubting God regarding your marriage?

Explain. Now confess to doubting God’s power and goodness to you, and write a prayer asking for help to trust Him with your marriage.

Step Three: Pray and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Step Four: Pray now and ask God for humility and strength, and to provide the best time to sit down with your spouse, admit your faults, and ask for forgiveness. Pray together, asking God for His strength to break the ungodly and sinful habits that have been practiced over time.

Remember: Understanding how to meet each other’s companionship needs as husband and wife takes time and loving communication. It also takes a willing heart that desires to learn and change.

Q: Do you agree?

Q: Are you finished learning?

Write out your prayer to change, and your commitment to pray for God’s grace each day to break these bad habits.

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