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Over the last year, I have wrestled and struggled with…
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m excited.
I love any chance to celebrate my relationship with my husband, Travis. I remember our first Valentine’s when we were dating. I wore pink jeans and red lipstick and gave him a CD of love songs, along with a lengthy love letter. Now, 17 years and four kids later, we are happy if we can go out to dinner alone.
And that’s OK. Marriages go through seasons. But lately it’s been easier to focus on his failings during endless days quarantined at home together and harder to muster up a sweet text message or put on clothes that aren’t loungewear. And forget eating alone anymore.
So I’ve been thinking. What we need most this Valentine’s Day isn’t chocolates and a Netflix marathon but focused time together building a stronger marriage. Maybe you need the same.
While there are thousands of books on marriage, I’m always on the hunt for a quick but meaningful Bible study that my husband and I will actually stick to (confession: it’s just as hard for a minister to stick with Bible study as it is for anyone else).
So when I found Trey and Lea Morgan’s “Wisdom For Your Marriage: A 31-Day Couples Devotional Guide Through the Book of Proverbs,” it looked like a great fit for us.
Don’t be fooled by the book’s thin size, large print and self-publication. (Honestly, sometimes this fact turns me off from a book.) This Bible study packs a punch and is worthy of your time. I was convicted before even beginning chapter one.
The Morgans write in the book’s introduction: “A fool is one that knows what God wants for their life, marriage and family, but doesn’t do it. This person is either too lazy to care or just thinks their marriage will be awesome without having to put any work into it.”
Ouch. So often we sit on autopilot and hope for the best. Thankfully, this book doesn’t simply show us our faults and tell us to pray about them. The authors give tangible ways to actively work on our marriages.
“One of the keys to building a strong, healthy marriage is to continue being a learner,” write the Morgans, who attend the Childress Church of Christ in Texas, where Trey serves as senior minister. “No matter how long you’ve been married, there is always more you can learn. Being teachable is one of the greatest traits you can have, and Proverbs will teach us that.”
This 31-day guide explores one chapter of Proverbs a day through a devotional thought, questions and a prayer prompt. Notable topics include: signs you are getting lazy in your marriage; things children need to see; warning signs you are headed to trouble; and an affair-proof checklist.
Each chapter ranges from four to six pages and is jam-packed with stories, advice and supporting Scripture that the Morgans have gleaned from more than 30 years of marriage.
“We should make it a goal in marriage to never stop learning,” say Trey and Lea, who lead marriage workshops, run the Facebook page “Stronger Marriages with Trey and Lea” and host “The Stronger Marriage Podcast.” “People change over time. That makes learning and relearning things essential to a strong marriage.”
Think about all the ways 2020 changed you and your spouse. Neither of you is the same person you were a year ago, let alone when you got married. This Valentine’s Day, let’s skip the empty gestures and get right to the good stuff. There’s no better gift you can give your spouse than recommitment to each other and to the God who created us.
LAURA AKINS is Features Editor for The Christian Chronicle. Contact [email protected].
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