Extending Grace to Your Mate
Dealing with unmet expectations and dreams
Book 4 of "Marriage by the Book"
(Bible-based advice for individuals, couples, small group studies and adult Sunday school classes)
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Sooner or later, you will face an unpleasant question: How can you live with a spouse who has flaws, someone different from the person of your dreams? How do you respond when the person who seemed so perfect when you were first married turns out to have habits that bother you? When the person who seemed to be an ideal Christian has imperfections? How do boundaries, forbearance and forgiveness work in marriage?
What do you say when your spouse lets the car run out of gas or doesn't remember your birthday? Or how do you deal with it when your husband or wife forgets to make entries in the checkbook register, talks with a mouth full of food or interrupts when you are talking?
Doug Britton writes about a woman who was deeply disappointed with her marriage. When she and her husband were engaged, they had wonderful talks long into the night, right up to the day of their wedding. Then they married and the talks stopped. To her horror, he retreated into the living room night after night to watch TV. Their intimate talks were replaced by replays of TV sitcoms.
He also writes about a man facing a different type of disappointment in this Bible-based marriage book. When Frank and his wife dated, he was amazed that such a beautiful woman would love him. He imagined the sensuous love life they would have, but once they married, she seemed more interested in talking with friends on the phone, or in cleaning the house, than in making love.
Solomon aptly described the pain of unfulfilled expectations and dreams when he wrote, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12). Each day of marriage can bring another crushed dream and more frustration, anger, bitterness, depression or self pity. The Bible is full of stories of unhappy marriages.
You too may face the pain of unmet expectations in your marriage. Or you may simply have to deal with minor frustrations or annoyances. Whatever your situation, take heart. You are not doomed to become a resentful, suffering martyr. The Bible provides solutions and God gives us understanding and grace. This book shows practical ways to apply the truths of the Bible.
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
As you read this Bible-based marriage book, you will learn practical steps to experience a joyful heart regardless of your circumstances. You will learn how to experience God's grace in your marriage and how to cover your spouses failures with your love.
In these pages, you will discover:
Bible-based marriage advice
When setting boundaries is appropriate
When forbearance and forgiveness are appropriate
The art of comforting your spouse in difficult times
How to appreciate the weird ways your husband or wife does things
What to do when you are disappointed with your spouse
How to escape having a pity party
What to do when you get angry
How to know if you are asking too much of your mate
This book is perfect for a six-week study by an individual, a couple, a small group or a church class. It can be studied alone, or as part of an ongoing study using all eight books in Marriage by the Book. If you study in a group, the Group Leader's Guide is a helpful resource.
Each chapter is interactive, with personal application questions scattered throughout to help you put its biblical advice into practice. The book is comprehensive and detailed, yet easy to use and practical.
"I highly recommend these books. They are unique and unmistakably anointed by God. You will be stronger in your faith, and better in your approach to life, when you study them. They will make a tremendous difference in your ministry to individuals and families in your church."
(By Doug Britton, author of several Bible-based marriage books. LifeTree Books. Paperback: 5½ x 8½. Spiral-bound. 148 pages. $12.99)
-- Rev. Glen D. Cole, Sacramento, CA
"Marriage by the Book has allowed us to empower and impact hundreds of marriages from a biblical perspective. Couples who were on the path to divorce are happily married today because of studying these books."
-- Samuel Gordon, Associate Pastor. Capital Christian Center, Sacramento, CA
"Doug Britton has written some of the most relevant resources for dealing with real-life issues. You'll appreciate the caliber of the content, the interactive approach, and the dynamic results that follow these resources."
-- Steve Brown, District Administrator. NCN HonorBound Men's Ministries
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