Enrich Your Marriage. Kelli B. Trujillo. Indianapolis, Indiana

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1 Enrich Your Marriage Kelli B. Trujillo Indianapolis, Indiana

2 Copyright 2012 by Kelli B. Trujillo Published by Wesleyan Publishing House Indianapolis, Indiana Printed in the United States of America ISBN: Visit All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (MSG) are taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or any other except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

3 Contents Flourish! How to Use This Resource 5 Days 1 7: God s Good Gift 9 Days 8 14: Hopes... Hurts... Healing 29 Days 15 21: Love (in Real Life) 47 Days 22 30: My Lover, My Friend 65 Go Deeper 88 Notes 93

4 How to Use This Resource Flourish! Jesus wants us to have full, abundant, vibrant lives found only through intimate, flourishing faith relationships with him. But what about when life is so full of demands and responsibilities that we feel too busy to breathe? Is it possible to stay connected with God to have a flourishing faith even during the busiest seasons of life? Yes! Spiritual growth can happen in a variety of ways. And in busy seasons when we can t realistically maintain an hourlong-bible-study-every-morning habit, we can still connect with God by tuning in to his presence and listening to his voice, moment-by-moment, throughout each day. Connected Each day of this thirty-day journey includes three different faith-nourishing experiences in which you can connect with God and deepen your relationship with him. These experiences take just five to fifteen minutes. You can do one in the morning, one midday, and one in the evening. Or you can select just one per day. Also, you can turn this resource into a ninety-day journey by doing just one experience each day. Encounter... Deepen... Grow Encounter God in a variety of daily experiences:

5 Act: Apply Scripture s challenges to your life through concrete action. Create: Use art, drawing, poetry, or another hands-on project to interact with God. Examine: Explore Scripture using investigation, research, and study. Interact: Connect with another person as part of your spiritual journey. Internalize: Interact with Scripture using Christian contemplation, meditation, and memorization. Journal: Reflect on your journey and record your thoughts in creative ways. Ponder: Read and think about Scripture, historical information, or an insightful quotation. Pray: Speak to God and listen to him. Symbolize: Use an experience or common object as a metaphor to help you contemplate a spiritual truth. Worship: Express gratitude and praise to God. Enrich Your Marriage Marriage can be both one of the most wonderful experiences of human life and also one of the most challenging. It s joyful, good, and true; but it can also be frustrating, hurtful, and just plain tough. But God made no mistake when he brought you and your husband together. Your marriage was his idea his gift and he has a lot to say about how you can deepen your love for your husband. Over the next thirty days, you ll explore what Scripture says about how you can enrich your marriage. Are there things your husband needs to do or ways he ought to change? Without a doubt. But this book isn t for him it s for you. So every 6

6 experience in this book is targeted solely at what you can do as a wife to help your marriage grow and flourish. With God s help, strive to keep the focus on your part in your marriage over the next thirty days. Surrender your husband s part to God. You ll be amazed at what God will do in your heart and marriage as you seek his will, listen to his guidance, and rest in his love. You ll intimately connect with him. You ll grow. You ll be changed. Ready your heart. Prepare to meet God. Begin the journey. Seek Help Every marriage involves hardship and conflict. That s normal! The contents of Enrich Your Marriage offer significant help for the common struggles of married life. However, if you are dealing with more serious challenges in your relationship such as a high degree of conflict; persistent difficulties related to your sex life; infidelity; or any degree of violence (verbal, emotional, physical), contact your pastor or a trusted Christian friend and seek help. Christian counselors can help you sort through deeper issues of conflict or heartache in your marriage; ministry organizations, friends, and your church family can provide shelter if you are in danger. Invite others to join you on this journey by downloading a free leader s guide for group discussion at 7

7 days 1 7 God s Good Gift

8 day 1 Begin Journal This is a beginning. The first step on a path. Where will it lead? Where will you journey with God as your companion? How might you be different, changed, as you reach the end? Start by taking in the view; look out at the vista before you. Ready yourself to press ahead. To encounter. To explore. To discover. Grab your journal and write a prayer, telling God your goals, hopes, and expectations at the start of this spiritual journey. What do you expect to learn about yourself? About him? How do you hope your marriage will grow and change? Where are you now, here at the start, and where do you hope to be by this journey s end? Pray God knows exactly where you are in this exact moment of time. He knows the state of your marriage right now. He was there when you first met your husband. There when your marriage covenant began. He s been there for all of it for the good (joy, laughter, fun, passion, delight, peace, security, comfort) and for the bad (hurt, betrayal, selfishness, manipulation, cruelty, unforgiveness, insecurity, confusion). Like an author penning a novel, God has been present through every moment, right up until this point in the plot.

9 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I d even lived one day (Ps. 139:16 MSG). How will you enrich, strengthen, grow, and improve your marriage? It begins with trust. Trust in God as the author of your marriage story. A trust that surrenders your own desire to control and lets him be in charge. A trust that brings with it a full, honest desire to follow God s leading. In your marriage, Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he s the one who will keep you on track. Don t assume that you know it all. Run to God! (Prov. 3:5 7 MSG). Quietly, in this very specific moment of your marriage story, pause to speak to the author. Use these prompts to guide your prayer: God, like an open book you ve watched each moment of our marriage. You ve been there when... You ve led me to this moment in our marriage. This moment of... God, help me trust you more fully! I surrender my desire to fix my marriage myself and to think I know it all. I choose to trust you rather than me. Help me to hear your voice during this journey. Ready my heart to respond to your guidance. I run to you! I give you my hopes and dreams for my marriage... Thank you for writing our marriage story. 11

10 Interact As you begin this journey of enriching your marriage, enlist a close Christian friend to pray for you. Working on one s marriage is not easy it will require courage, determination, and reliance on God s power. Ask your friend to pray that you ll be strong, committed, and willing to listen to God as he speaks to you throughout this journey. 12

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