Back to School—’Reading’ the Best Marriage Manual

There are so many
great marriage books out there ..

but in my opinion, the best marriage manual ever is the Bible!

And I’m not talking about looking solely to passages about “marriage” or even “love” for nuggets of wisdom, though that’s certainly a good starting point. I’m talking about diving deep into God’s word on a regular, ideally daily, basis.

I often say that the single greatest tool for bringing healing to a person’s heart and marriage is the Bible. I’ve experienced this professionally and, most importantly, personally!

But here are two cautions . . .

1. You must use your Bible daily or at least regularly if you want to see God do a work in your heart and marriage.

2. You must not look to the Bible to puff you up with knowledge that goes unapplied to your own heart.

#bediligent #behumble

Although a quick reading of a verse or even a quick devotional here and there can be inspiring and helpful. In my view, it isn’t enough to break through the impasses I might face when my heart grows cold in marriage.

I say this not from a holier-than-thou perspective, but from one that has lived half-heartedly, as well as pharisaically when it comes to God’s word. In time and with God’s conviction I came to realize . . .

The distinction  between a quick or inconsistent reading of a verse or two of Scripture versus taking time to understand and apply God’s word daily is the difference between washing your hands and washing your body. We can get so dirty from the challenges and temptations we face in marriage and life. Wouldn’t it seem ridiculous to rely only on “washing our hands”daily and not washing our entire bodies (meaning hearts)?

I also want to add that, though communication techniques are helpful to a degree, they are like putting a bandaid on a gaping wound when our hearts grow cold in marriage. We need both God’s Word poured in daily and deeply, as well as healthy communication to truly thaw out our frozen hearts in marriage.

Allow me to illustrate how this has worked for me . . .

Let’s say that my husband and I have just gotten into a fight that turned my heart instantly colder toward him. My pride has been wounded and my fear is soaring through the roof. All I want to do is get as far away from him as I can. #beentheredonethat

Now, I could practice some helpful communication tool, like reflective listening, with him. But if I don’t even want to get near him, listening might be a bit too hard to do!

Besides, I will most likely be in self-protective mode, with a string of complaints about him running through my head—drowning out any words he might want to say to me.

But if I look to God’s word—not only in the heat of the moment, but have applied it daily and minute-by-minute—then I come to understand my tendency to be prideful or fearful or impatient, yada, yada, yada! (I have lots of “yadas” in my life!) #cantescapemysin

This doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen with half-hearted or sporadic efforts to read and/or study God’s word. So are you ready to “up your game”?

What is one very important practice that has brought healing to your marriage?

What barriers hinder you from making a daily commitment to study/know God’s word?




How is God encouraging you today?

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About the author : Beth Steffaniak

Beth Steffaniak

Beth has been married to her husband Gary for 30 years. They are enjoying the early days of an empty-nest, while Beth has been filling up much of her time with writing, life-coaching and speaking at workshops.

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