MARRIAGE PROGRAM - PART ONE (copy)

This course will provide teaching about the institution of Marriage from a Christian perspective. Only a few guidelines for Officiating a Christian Wedding will be included along in this online portion. The main part of the practical teaching will be done at the upcoming workshop. 

The instruction in this course is based on the rites & rituals of York St. Peter's Evangelistic Organization as per their By-Laws and Constitution as accepted and authorized by the Office of the Registrar General Of Ontario since 1968.

LESSON ONE: What is Marriage? (copy)

Objective

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Know the Biblical perspective of Marriage
  • Understand the Origins of Marriage and how the Wedding Ceremony came to be
  • Understand why God made Eve
  • Understand that Marriage isn't for everyone

What is Marriage?

Marriage is a gift of God. When God brought to Adam the woman who was specially created for him, he cried out joyfully: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.

 Marriage is a gift of God.

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:20-25

Who Established Marriage?

Marriage is something that has been established by God. Man has not devised the institution of Marriage. It existed right from the beginning, from the creation of the first man and woman. 

Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 19:4-6:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’  and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”God gave us a commandment to protect marriage. 

Though shalt not commit adultery

With this commandment God protects Marriage. This allows sexual intercourse only within this blessed union. Anything before or outside of a marriage is considered fornication. 

How did the Wedding Ceremony come to be?

Most Christian authorities view Holy Matrimony as ordained by God, a covenant between three, the man, the woman, and God. It is the lifelong relationship between and man and a woman as husband and wife. It is the most intimate of all human relationships and it is a gift from God. It is a sacred institution and is to be held high in honor among all people. 

Jesus stressed the importance of the sacredness of maintaining a lifelong marriage. In not only Genesis 1 and 2, but also Matthew 19:3-6 states that He created mankind as male and female, and the male and female - the two, shall become one flesh. ONE flesh. So they are no longer 2 separate entities. They have become ONE flesh. THEREFORE... what God has joined together, let no one separate.

The teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul support Christian Marriage. Presently, many Christian denominations recognize marriage as a sacrament, a covenant, a sacred institution. But this wasn't always so. Prior to the 1184 Council of Verona recognizing marriage as a sacrament, there were no specific rules or rituals for celebrating a marriage. The marriage didn't have vows that had to be exchanged in a church. A priest was not required to witness the union. The couple could actually exchange consent anywhere at anytime. The male could be herding goats and say to the female "I would like you to be my wife" and her agreement would seal the union (along with due diligence to the parents).  

At one of the Roman Catholics most important councils held in 1563, the validity of marriage was dependent on the wedding taking place in the presence of a priest with 2 witnesses present. Parental consent was no longer necessary.

The Church performed marriages in a partially enclosed area between the interior of the house and the street. In a vestibule prior to the 16th century. This is when the emphasis was on the marriage contract and the engagement. Later, the ceremony moved inside a room connected with a church or a religious building.   

 

What was Eve's Role?

We know that Adam was overjoyed at having a real companion. This is the clear will of God:  

Many different Bible translations state that in Genesis 2:18 God said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18).  The King James translation uses the word 'help meet' rather than 'helper'.  A helper is seen as a subordinate, one who was worthy and obliged to serve his needs. 

HELP - The Word Ezer

A Suitable HelperThe word ezer in Hebrew.  The letters, reading from right to left, are ayin, zayin, and resh.
Ezer is pronounced “ay-zer”.

The biblical scholar, David Freedman, determined that the Hebrew word 'ezer' meaning  'help'  in English is a combination of two roots. One root meaning is to rescue or to save. The other root meaning is to be strong.  So the word 'help' and the word 'meet' have traditionally been combined to mean 'helpmate'. A wife may often be referred to as a helpmate, taken to mean the husband is the boss and his wife is his domestic.  But the word 'help meet' has a much deeper meaning. The word 'ezer' has been used 21 times in the Old Testament. Twice in the context of Eve, three times to reference other people and in 16 of those times it meant 'Savior' another word for God or Jehovah.. our help. In all of these cases there is no reference to anyone in a subordinate position such as a maid or a servant. 

Examples: 

  • Psalm 33:20 says "the Lord…is our help ('ezer) and shield"
  • Psalm 121:1-2 reads "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help ('ezer) come from? My help ('ezer) comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Ezer describes the aspects of God’s character.  He can be our strength, he can be our rescuer, he is our protector ... HE IS OUR HELP! And this word 'ezer ' was our God's choice of word to describe Eve, the the first woman. Why? Because she would be someone who would provide valuable and vital strength and vital assistance to Adam.

 

Is Marriage For Everyone?

Marriage is honored and condoned among Christians and throughout the Bible however, there is no suggestion that it is necessary or mandatory for everyone. 

Some singles may choose to remain single, or perhaps one has lost their spouse and not willing to remarry. These individuals have not failed as Christians or are not incomplete in Christ. 

So why get married?

  • First, there's the matter of close companionship and mutual support (Gen 2:18: where God himself says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."). 
  • Second, God has gifted most to desire sexual intimacy and children, for he desires godly offspring (Mal 2:15).  Should one have these desires, one should marry, "for it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Cor 7:8).

As for Jesus, there is no evidence that He ever married, but there is considerable evidence that he was single, unmarried. Jesus taught that there is a place for those who are voluntarily single in Christian service. He believed that marriage could be a viable distraction from the ministry or an urgent mission. He made it clear that the Kingdom of God would be established where there would be no marriage or giving in marriage as in Matthew 22:30; 

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.Look at Luke 18:29-30

And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.

TEST

Please  click on the Home button below. When you get back to the course listing continue with the test for Lesson One.

 

 

LESSON ONE TEST: What is Marriage? (copy)

What is Marriage?

  • It is a commandment
  • It is a gift from God
  • It is where man obtains a female servant
  • It is something that all believers must do

What part of Adam's body did God use to make the Woman?

  • his Appendix
  • his Collar Bone
  • his Rib
  • his Flesh

Connect the matching statements. "Adam was overjoyed when God presented the woman to him. Adam said.."

  • This is now bone
    Of my bones
  • And flesh
    Of my flesh
  • She shall be called Woman
    Because she was taken out of Man

Because he now had the Woman as a help meet, who shall Man leave?

  • He shall leave the sinful community and live a secluded and Godly life.
  • Satan and his temptations
  • The Garden of Eden
  • His mother and his father

Man will stay with his wife and they shall be;

  • The parents of many many children
  • The rulers of a great nation
  • Two separate people each following their own will but living in harmony
  • One flesh

Who devised the institution of marriage?

  • God
  • Man
  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • The Early Christians prior to the birth of Jesus
  • The Early Christians prior to the birth of Jesus

Indicate whether each of the 3 statements are True or False?

  • When God made human genders he made only Males
  • When God made human genders he made Male and Female
  • When God made human genders he made only Females

Indicate whether each of the 3 statements are True or False?

  • Man shall be joined to several wives
  • Man shall be joined to another male
  • Man shall be joined to his wife

What commandment did God give to protect marriage?

Thou shalt not  

Indicate whether each of the 4 statements are True or False in the eyes of God?

  • A Man and Woman's union must be lifelong
  • A Man and Woman's union will be with many conflicts
  • A Man and Woman's union must be as long as each can tolerate the other
  • A Man and Woman's union will not be recognized unless there is a formal ceremony

What is the most intimate of all human relationships

  • That of Man and Wife
  • That of Mother and Child
  • That of Boyfriend and Girlfriend
  • That of Believer and Believer

In which scripture verse does God warn against divorce?

  • Matthew 19:6
  • Genesis 2:18
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3

Which Christian Denomination determined the validity of Marriage in 1563?

  • United Church
  • Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
  • Baptist Ministries
  • The Anglican Church
  • Roman Catholic Church

What is the Hebrew word for helper used throughout the Bible

  • ezer
  • agunah
  • chaver
  • dukhn

True or False?

  • It is necessary for a believer to marry

True or False?

  • Marriage is mandatory for all Christians so that they may multiply

Choose three reasons why one would like to get married.

  • Companionship
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • Bear Children
  • To become an honored member of the church.

Give two biblical words to describe the sin where a person has sex with someone other than their spouse.

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Betrayal
  • Fornication
  • Offence

True or False?

  • Most divorces are not necessary and can be avoided.

True or False?

  • Marriage is a gift given by God

True or False

  • God intends marriage to be between a male and a female.

True or False?

  • Marriage is not meant to be a permanent lifelong commitment.

True or False?

  • As long as a man marries a woman, he can marry as many as he chooses.

Conclusion

This completes the Test for the Lesson 'What Is Marriage?'

Please  click on the Home button below. When you get back to the course listing continue with

Lesson Two.

 

 

LESSON TWO: Obligations of the Husband and Wife (copy)

Objectives

·         Course will provide the principle foundations to a Christian marriage

·         The role of the husband and wife will be examined.

A Wise Quote

I pity the married couple who expect too much from one another. It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain. The same goes for the man who expects too much from his wife.”(Ruth Bell Graham)

Life Hits! The Unexpected Happens!

It can become very difficult to keep your marriage centered in Christ when newly married, therefore it is important for the married couple to base their life on God’s solid foundation. It is equally important to maintain it.  They must constantly fight not to fall into the trap of worldly routine. This is a difficult job to give up the thrills and woes of human nature. This is why God must be involved and allowed to orchestrate his will within a marriage.

We know that God gave marriage to us. We believe He has a plan for us that is far better than our own self made goals and objectives. He purposefully blessed men with women and vice versa. He made them to be companions to one another and enjoy each other’s company.  To be there to help each other throughout this journey and in times of need.  To help pick up and strengthen the spouse that may stumble. To nurture and strengthen their marital relationship for His glory. To always be there for each other, no matter how bad, or in today’s generation… no matter how good circumstances get.

When a marriage is without true love or without the grace of God, an issue such as falling asleep on the couch could prompt separation and more, whereas an unexpected winfall producing a substantial amount of money may prompt one or more spouse to separate from the union and fall into a life of sin. Where is God in this plan? God never planned for marriage to be this way...caught in the trap of worldly routine…full of conflict, contention, selfish and lacking faith….lacking true love and intimacy. He planned for marriage to be a life-long promise and commitment between not only man and wife, but also to Him.

A Suitable Companion

Man had everything he needed in the Garden of Eden. Food, water, no need for shelter or clothing, animals were respectful of his authority as a man, and he was able to walk happily in the presence of his maker on a daily basis, but with all of that he was alone. A single man. This is why God declared, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him (Genesis 2:18) He made him Woman. And both man and woman were bound to one another. They enjoyed the life God had given to them as a couple and they walked happily TOGETHER in the presence of their maker.

Walking With God

Any couple wanting to have a rich and fulfilling marriage must walk happily together in His presence. They must become one in spirit and seek God in all things. They cannot leave it up to their own judgement. God must always be involved. Why? He knows all about the husband. He knows all about the wife. He knows their needs and wants long before they do. He wants to lead each person to the spouse and union He has planned for them.

Now here is one of the greatest enemies of a loving marriage. Selfishness. Putting your needs and wants before those of your spouse. Looking out for #1 first and THEN the other. What many fail to see is that they are one and the same. They BOTH make up #1. And this is why all married couples need Christ. It is Him, and Him only that can change our hearts and mold us into the husband or the wife that he intended us to be. If man tries to mold his marriage on his own volition, it will most certainly fail. God must be involved. When Christian foundations are applied it will result in harmony in the marriage and in glory to God. All problems in Christian marriage stem from failure to live as bible teaches. If God’s will is manifested in a marriage, harmony is guaranteed.

The Role of Man

The role assigned to men neither leads to a slave like submission of women as in Islam, and neither to the rivalries inspired by the women’s liberation movement. The God-given relationship between man and woman is expressed clearly in the comparison with the relationship between Christ and the Church:

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph. 5:24–25) THEN there will be harmony and peace within the union. Christians are encouraged to pattern their lives after these models to experience Gods richest blessings upon their marriage. They may strive to do so however, when things go wrong statements like these arise; “My spouse Is wrong? Nothing is wrong with me. I’ve done everything right.” Bitterness and resentment arise.

Listen, when you don’t fulfill God’s desire for your purpose of life your relationship with Him suffers, it deteriorates; but when you do, you enjoy your relationship with God without setbacks, even if your spouse is the problem. You’ll find that His grace even brings that adversarial spouse to repentance.

 

Different Roles

At creation God assigned different roles to man and woman. Man’s duty was to work and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15). Nowadays, many may not have a garden with fruit and vegetables to work in. Some may be in sales or construction, but the main duty was to work and provide. On the other hand Woman was designed to help the man in his tasks, whatever they may be (Genesis 2:18). Both man and woman had two very distinct and different roles. They were both created by God, in His image (Genesis 1:27), therefore, their roles were equal in value to the relationship, only different in function.

In a hospital, the Surgeon's role is to remove or repair the offending body part. The nurse will assist during surgery and may continue to nurture the patient throughout his recovery. Both are working towards the same goal, and both roles are equally essential in value regarding the well being of the patient. In many cultures today, especially among the older generation, the husband although retired may work endlessly tending to his garden. Sure enough you will find his same wife of many years right by his side, each and every day as he toils, helping to maintain the lawn, washing the car, shoveling the snow. They are a complement to each other. And the husband regards his wife as a queen. He will do anything for her. Should one of them fall upon ill heath and die, the other becomes lost.

Can the Roles Be Reversed?

So going back to creation, everything was good and where it should have been naturally, as God intended it to be. These roles of man and women were assigned before the fall of man. And even after the fall, Adam would continued to provide for his family (Genesis 3:17).  Eve would bear children and nurture them (Genesis 3:1620). She would prepare the comforts of home. She would look to Adam as the ‘source’ for provision and protection and be a helper to him and Adam was made accountable for the family. So you see the fall of man did not define their roles. It only made their existing roles harder.

In any situation of coexistence with more than one individual someone has to assume leadership. Someone has to be the head, the source. This doesn’t mean that the other is unworthy or unequal to the leader in any way.

Envision this. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, then they hid from God in fear and shame. But hiding did them no good. God knew where they were and what they had done. But really, who started it all anyway? Eve gave Adam the fruit so she had committed the sin first (Genesis 3:9). But who did God call out to first? Who was the one accountable for the Woman? It was Adam.And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?Clearly God placed Adam as the leader, the head of the union, but Adam chose to be passive. Eve on the other role had the role of helper. She was to follow Adam’s lead but she turned it around and she became the leader. (Genesis 3:6). The reversal of these roles were the cause of the fall of man.

A Continuous Pattern

All through the Old Testament you see that this pattern of the husband’s and wife’s roles continued. And in the New Testament, it is shown that the roles didn’t change however if we look at Galatians 3:28 there is emphasis that male and female were still equal in God’s eyes although they perform different functions..

In the New Testament, the analogy of Christ and His church are used to depict the role of the husband and wife. A Christian man is to lovingly and willingly lay down his life for his wife (Ephesians 5:25) just like Christ did. Yes, he will still maintain leadership, but the kind of leadership he must maintain is that of servant leadership.

  • Husbands must not demand obedience from their wives, but by their own humility, they must guide.
  • Husbands must honor their wives (1 Peter 3:7) and hold them in high esteem. In the Bible, we do not see women as second class citizens, slaves or possessions. They are equal with their husbands and they are also heirs in the grace of life.
  • The husband is held accountable by God, so he must lead and serve his wife.
  • In Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 womanhood is exalted and great value is put upon her given position.  To date woman’s role from creation has not changed. Although some may enjoy being the ‘source’ or breadwinner of the family, and although some men may enjoy household and nurturing duties, the roles in a Christian and a non believers home remains consistent.

Times are much different now than Bible times. Both spouses may have to work to make ends meet, but in the end, it’s usually mom who is responsible for nurturing the family.

A Woman's Role

Now what about women:

Take a look at Titus 2:4. Here Paul commends women to love their husbands and children. The older women would teach the younger women in the church how to take care of their families and homes.

In Titus 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:1-4 Women are to follow their husband’s leadership with respect and willingly choose to submit to their leadership. I Peter states that when wives submit to their husband’s leadership, they are doing it as service to God.

A woman working to help her husband can be a great blessing to him. Scripture doesn’t forbid a woman working outside of the home. As a matter of fact some women did appear to have businesses (Proverbs 31), but regardless, a woman’s first priority is to her husband, family, and home life.

God did not create men to lord over women nor did he create women to simply wait on men. He made them both to complement each other through healthy companionship. Men and women were created by God with distinct abilities to so that they could fulfill these Biblical roles as assigned to them, and when they follow the Biblical pattern within their marriage and the home, they bring glory to God and so depict Christ and His church.

Conclusion

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Lesson Two Test

 

LESSON TWO TEST: Husband and Wives Obligation (copy)

Choose all that are applicable: God planned for marriage to be a life-long promise and commitment between:

  • Himself
  • A Wife
  • Close Relatives and/or Friends
  • A Husband

What is one of the greatest enemies of a loving marriage?

  • Patience
  • Selfishness
  • Gossip
  • Arrogance

Choose all that are applicable: While both man and woman were created equal in Gods image, what were their respective duties?

  • Man: To provide for and protect his wife and family.
  • Women: To provide for and protect her husband and family.
  • Men: To nurture and support his wife and family.
  • Women: To nurture and support her husband and family.

Choose the correct answer from the drop-down menu.

  1. Husbands must not demand   from their wives, but by their own humility, they must guide.
  2. Husbands must their wives (1 Peter 3:7) and hold them in high esteem. In the Bible, we do not see women as second class citizens, slaves or possessions. They are equal with their husbands and they are also heirs in the grace of life.

Conclusion

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Lesson Three

LESSON THREE: The Biblical Role of the Husband (copy)

Objective

  • To be able to define the Biblical role of a husband.

What Is A Husband?

Some of the things the scriptures will tell you of a man and a woman’s role in marriage may be different from what you hear at work, on tv, in the newspaper or online. Some of what the scriptures teach may seem shocking, may cause denial and rebellion. Leader? Submit? Are you kidding me? Why are the expectations of today different from the scriptural teachings? Your work counselor or co-workers, the media, political leaders, laws of the land, they didn’t create marriage so then they have no authority or truth to the subject of marriage.  And neither should they. Marriage is God’s institution. It comes from God and God alone. Not Parliament, the Judicial system or the Marriage Act. It is our almighty Father who has given us this gift and it is him who has set the rules. WHO IS MAN, that he has the audacity to change what God has declared?

A Husband must believe the gospel with both mind and heart. He must let the spirit of God direct their lives so they don’t live for themselves but for God. Both husband and wife must lose their life unto Christ. Matthew 10:39. A Godly marriage that fulfills Gods expectations of marriage, is a happy and stable marriage.

A Leader

Someone has to lead. God assigned that role to the husband. The Bible teaches that he must be the leader of the home and he must maintain control of his household and his life.  1 Timothy 3 tells us about two roles in the church held by men. The Overseer and Deacon. Both must manage their family well. Both must lead their family well. Why? In Verse 5 it specifically says, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” 

Ephesians 5:21-24 says, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

 1 Corinthians 11:3 says, But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

The literal translation of the word ‘head’ is source, so it is clear that the primary role of a husband in the Bible is to lead. And what exactly does leadership mean? Leadership simply means to influence. Therefore, a Christian husband should influence his family. He is a leader, not a dictator, or a slave owner. He must not demand the obedience of his wife and he must not think that he rules over his wife. He may simply influence his wife and family so that they may learn and grow in biblical teaching. He must learn to show them by example using his words and actions. Maintain a Godly character and attribute that will bring glory to God. He must lead by example. A Husband should never be a weak pushover that gives up his leadership role or his influence in the home. The result of a husband who correctly upholds his biblical role is a strong, confident, spiritually mature wife and a happy stable family.

A Provider and A Protector

There are two ways a husband can show influence in his home. That is through provision and protection.

This also falls under leadership. How can a husband influence his wife if he does not care for her? Think about it. He may demand and maybe out of fear or humility, his demands may result in her following his lead, but really he will never ever truly have her willingly follow him or have her heart unless he provides for her needs and cares for her well-being. He must also protect her both physically and spiritually. Listen to what these Scriptures say:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8)Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers (1 Peter 3:7)

And yes, women are the weaker partner. They are physically and magnificently built to be the weaker partner. They lack the verbal and physical strength and stature of a man. Arm wrestling, boxing, football, many physical activities including hard laborious work, in most cases women cannot withstand the strength of a man. For this reason the physical nature and strength of a man must be managed with grace and gentleness.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)

God has amazing love for His ‘daughters’ and the children that they bear. When God gives one of His daughters to a man in marriage,  He puts the obligation on the man to care for her and not consider her to be second rate or inferior to him.  He finds them so precious that He asks for special care to be given them; a care that only a truly believing man can provide for her.

However Women are not weak and do not need someone to care for them. They are very capable of taking care of themselves, but God made  men and women different physically, and due to the physical nature and strength God gave men He has charged them with the provision and protection of their wife and family. In the villages it was the men who tilled the earth and pulled in the harvest. They provided. If a lion entered the village, it was the men who sent the women and children back while they stepped forward and chased the threat away. It was the man who hauled large sections of stone and wood to build a shelter for their family. The man was commissioned to provide and protect. 

 

A Companion

The role of the Christian husband is fulfilled through the heart of companionship. Ephesians 5:25-33 says, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The marital relationship is meant to be based on love, respect, and support. The husband and wife are to help each other. This idea is introduced at the beginning of the Bible in the story of the creation of Eve. Adam was all alone and needed a companion, a suitable helper, yet one could not be found so God created Eve.  Genesis 2:20-24 says, …But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

A Physical Companion

Here is another understanding of companionship. God created men and women with some clear differences. These differences are natural, physical, and emotional. The differences in one compliment the differences in the other.  Usually where one is weak, the other is strong. Therefore, both can help each other by meeting each other's needs through physical and emotional intimacy. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 says this, But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. When both spouses meet each other's needs through a healthy companionship, the two can live a long, fulfilling and successful life together as God intended. This companionship will allow them to work together as a team to develop and grow a family. God’s plan was that every home function under the specific roles of both a husband and a wife. As a result they will bear and raise healthy children who will grow to honor God with their lives and follow their parent's example. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'(The first commandment with a promise). Children are blessed through the honor of their mother and father who work together to train them up in the way they should go.

An Influence

The companionship between a husband and wife is directed by the influence of the husband through his provision and protection. It is also covered by his caring, gentle, and graceful love for his wife and family. Without the roles of a husband being fulfilled by a righteous man of God, the family is at  risks of the difficulties brought on by sin and spiritual distortion. Satan desires the breakdown and destruction of the family unit. Only through Christ along with following and understanding the biblical roles will the family unit remain strong and continue to grow in God.

 

Conclusion

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Lesson Three Test

LESSON THREE TEST: The Biblical Role of the Husband (copy)

God created Woman to be a ............. to man.

  • Homemaker
  • Friend
  • Slave
  • Companion
  • Leader
  • Equal

Choose all that apply: Select the biblical roles of a husband

  • A leader
  • A provider
  • A pushover
  • To influence
  • A help meet
  • A master
  • A protector
  • A lordship
  • A companion

Satan desires the breakdown and destruction of the family unit, but through Christ, understanding and following the biblical roles the family unit will remain strong and continue to grow in God.

  • True
  • False

Choose all that apply: What are the two ways a husband can show influence in his home?

  • Dictating
  • Provision
  • Protection
  • Physical Discipline
  • Inducing Fear

Conclusion

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Lesson Four

LESSON FOUR: The Duties of a Christian Husband (copy)

Objective

  • To be able to define the duties of a Christian husband.

The Duties of a Husband to his Wife

Failing any of these duties mentioned next a husband has forsaken his vows, the sacred rules the Lord has Ordained and will find only conflict within his marriage, family and life

A Husband Must Love His Wife With All His Heart.

This is a mans first duty to his wife. Love comes from the (Greek word agape) Not a love that comes from desire or lust of the flesh. When the scriptures talk about love they mean the sacrifice to make to better someone other than yourself. Can you measure love by your enjoyment? No. Only by your sacrifice for the other person. You may love the things your wife does for you, but that is not loving your wife. For a husband to love his wife is to refer to the sacrifice that he makes for her. For a man to love his wife is to speak about Calvary, our Savior, how He sacrificed himself for us. How He has delivered us. A husband must be his wife’s Savior. To speak of loving your wife is to speak of carrying a cross

Ephesians 5:25, Husbands, love your own wives, even as also the Christ loved the assembly, and gave up himself for it;

Colossians 3:19, Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

But where do we see woman is commanded to love their husband? They are told to submit to their husband, to be obedient to him, to show him respect, but no where is it commanded to love or ’agape’ her husband. A woman will love a man in response to the ‘salvation’ he offers her just as Christ offers all His Salvation. We have a Savior in Christ, and a wife ought to have a Savior in her husband. We have a deliverer in Christ, and a wife ought to have a deliverer in her husband. The husband must love his wife like Christ loved the Church and sacrifice for her, committing to make every effort towards her fulfillment, no matter the cost. Commit to going the distance for her.

Read the story of Jacob in Genesis 29:16-30. He so loved Rachel that he agreed to work for Rachel’s dad for seven years straight just to get his permission to marry her. Only thing was, dad failed to mention to Jacob that he has to marry the older daughter first. The one that he didn’t love so another deal was struck. If he wanted Rachael so badly not only would he have to do as father wished and marry the older sister first, but he would have to make another sacrifice and work for dad another 7 years. 14 years in total. Would you do it for your wife or husband. Yes, it’s a high price to pay but in this example, a sacrifice made for love.

Romans 5:8, But God commendeth his own love to us, that while we being yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Christ probably looked at us all and said 'you people are all messed up. You're heading down a dangerous path, but I will save you. You may not love me, and I may not like the things you do, but I am your deliverer, your Savior so I will sacrifice myself to save you for as long as I live.'

And thus, the only time a man is excused from loving his wife is when he dies. What love is there without sacrifice? This is why the minister will ask up front at the wedding “Are you going to love her in sickness and in health? For better or for worse? For richer or poorer? Are you going to do this for as long as you both shall live?" The 'I do' response from both husband and wife is their commitment to sticking it out no matter what and each must hear this commitment from the other.

No matter how you abuse me, talk to me, hurt me, ignore me, deny me of sexual intimacy, mistreat me or act irresponsibly, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!

A Husband Must Sanctify His Wife

That he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water by the Word, That he might present it to himself the glorious assembly, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any of such thing; but that it might be holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:26-27)

When a man marries a wife, he gets her with her past and history. He gets the good and the bad. He sees her with makeup on and makeup off. He may think she wasn’t what he expected. she is quite plain without makeup, she fusses incessantly over everything, she has a bad temper and yells a lot, she really can’t cook at all and SHE SNORES LOUDLY. She didn’t seem so bad when dating, and now that your married? Well…if you love your wife, you will have to be her sanctifier. That’s all good and well but what is a sanctifier?  

To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is "sanctified" when used to write. Eyeglasses are "sanctified" when used to improve sight. In the theological sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified when he or she lives according to God's design and purpose.

So to sanctify your wife, you will place her in a unique category, set her aside and take her from where she is to where she needs to be. When you see her flaws and her problems you must not shun her, or argue with her or demand obedience from her. You now become the fixer and that is what it means to love. What Christ is to His church, a husband is to his wife. You are the sanctifier. So if she's problematic, it's your job is to fix it.

At this point your new wife may have some things that are not going to be pleasant to live with; things from her past, things from her history. Remember, you are the sanctifier. You don’t look the other way and run. You must stay with her and help her to fix those problems. If she needs strength, you as her husband must be her strength. If she needs joy, you as her husband must be her joy, be her peace, be her power base. If she needs to scream at you, don’t lose your cool. Show leadership, strength, and control.

A Husband Must Nourish His Wife

So ought husbands to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no one at any time hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as also the Lord the assembly. (Ephesians 5:28-29)

Many husbands need to know how to nourish and care for their wives. The scripture says that husbands ought to "love their wives as their own bodies." The spirit here is that Christ gives himself to his Church, and so should a husband give himself to his wife. So that she is fulfilled. So that she is strong. Do things that you know are mentally and physically right for your wife as if it were for yourself. Example: You care about your health so you cut out junk food totally, she needs attention, then give her your undivided attention. Encourage and influence her to do the same.  If you're not your wife’s joy, her strength, her protector, the one in control, then how do you expect to nourish your relationship? It has nothing to do with what she's doing for you in return. Your attitude should be  “And if you hate me, I'm going to love you. And if you reject me , I'm still going to try to please you. Because I am here to feed and nourish you. Because I am your sanctifier!"

 

A Husband Must Dwell With his Wife

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, with the wife as with a weaker vessel, rendering them honour, as also being joint-heirs of the grace of life; so as your prayers not to be cut off. (1 Peter 3:7)

Husbands are commanded to dwell with their wives. And this doesn't mean to just coexist in the same house as them. The Greek word for “dwell” means "to dwell in close harmony with, closely aligned, to be in proximity with." An intimate dwelling. The idea of ‘I work, I provide, you stay home and cook and clean, take care of your job and I'll take care of mine” presents a problem. The home is your job! Yes husbands... yours! The role of the wife is to help the husband, but she is not to replace your role in the home. She must work with you and you with her to create harmony in the home. Whenever your presence with her is replaced by a job, or friends or any other outside influences in an excessive manner then you’re not living with her. 

But listen, God says to LIVE with her. Sure you’re tired after work but don’t come home and just flop on the couch and wait to be served dinner. Pay attention to her. Give her a lasting hug and a kiss, tell her you missed her all day, dry the dishes as she washes. Make one side of the bed while she makes the other. Offer conversation. Ask her about her day. Why? Because God did not give her to you to be your slave. He gave her to you to be your partner. Your ‘help meet’. 

A wife may be hard to interpret. Confusing, complex. Learn to really listen to her, what she likes to do, what makes her happy or sad. Tell her to talk and you’ll listen. Tell her to teach you more about her because you will use what you learn to love her better. Don’t watch tv and listen. Don’t read the paper and listen. Don’t stretch your feet out on the couch, close your eyes and listen. Let her know that you are sincerely interested in listening to her and understanding her if only she will communicate with you. You must be able to make time for her and listen to her.

A Husband Must Honour His Wife

A husbands is to treat his wife like his queen. She must be treated as special. Does your wife feel special? Many husbands do for other women what they wouldn't do for their own wives although at one point they used to do it. For instance, when dating he used to open up the car door for her every single time. Now she can barely open the door herself before the care drives off! Yet when at work, and the husband is heading out for lunch with a group of friends, he will gladly open the door for his female co workers. What changed? The wife is the husband's queen, and the husband should roll out the red carpet, pull out the chair, open the door, and escort her in. The wife must feel special. Use words and actions from the heart. A phone call to say I love you.. you’re on my mind, a surprise delivery of flowers, a little note under the pillow she will find when making the bed. Make her know that she is special and loved. Just 30 seconds of effort can make a big difference in her heart. Plan a night out. Never ask “what do you want to do tonight?” That may be even worse than no date, knowing that no effort was put into it. In other words, what she is hearing is ‘if you want to spend any time with me, think of something to do.’ No! The husband must have a plan made and invite her to join him. Make her breakfast in bed. Do you think she cares if it’s good or not? The fact that you cared enough to try will melt her heart. THIS is honoring your wife. Here’s an example. Before marriage a pretty girl may be approached by a not so handsome fellow who really wants to get to know her. She may reject him several times, but he will persist. He will bring her flowers, leave her nice notes, open doors for her, be available to hold an umbrella over her head and keep her company as she waits for a bus in the pouring rain. Soon, his not so attractive appearance is no longer an issue. She begins to appreciate his efforts and that night calls her friend saying “I think I like him’. This is because he honored her.

Unfortunately many husbands stop honoring their wives once they become married. Now, she fends for herself. She may go out with friends often out of boredom or loneliness, spend a lot of money to feel happy, become argumentative or perhaps be tempted by another man who may show a genuine interest in her. You must let her know that she is your love, your happiness, your evening date, your Saturday fun. You must honor your wife. And if you feel you married the wrong woman, then treat her like the right woman. Honor her, and she will become the right woman.

A Husband Must Pray With His Wife

If there is no spiritual relationship in the home, there won't be any dynamic relationship in the marriage. 1 Peter 3:7 teaches that you are heirs together. What that means is that God will not afford you anything if she is not included. Your wife must be included in your prayers. You are not single anymore because you became "one flesh." God will not to treat you apart from her, because He sees one flesh. Husbands must pray with their wives.

The Real Question

These duties of a husband are essential to making the marriage work. So here is the real question. “Will the marriage work?” or “Will you work for marriage?”

 

Conclusion

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Lesson Four Test

LESSON FOUR TEST: The Duties of a Christian Husband (copy)

Choose all that apply: According to the Bible, a Christian husband must:

  • Love his wife with all his heart.
  • Sanctify his wife
  • Nourish his wife
  • Dwell with his wife
  • Honour his wife
  • Adorn his wife
  • Pray with his wife

Choose the correct verb from the drop down list.

Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands,  your own wives, even as also the Christ *******ed the assembly, and gave up himself for it;"

The husband must love his wife like Christ loved the Church, and sacrifice for her, commit to make every effort towards her fulfillment, no matter the cost. He must commit to going the distance for her.

  • True
  • False

Select the correct word from the drop down menu.

To someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. 

If there is no spiritual relationship in the home, there won't be any dynamic relationship in the marriage.

  • True
  • False

Conclusion

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Lesson Five

LESSON FIVE: The Biblical Role of the Wife (copy)

Objective

  • To be able to define the Biblical role of a wife.

What is a Wife?

The woman was originally given to man as a “help meet” (Gen. 2:18), but she was not given to be the ruler over the man. Christ also confirmed this through Paul in the New Testament: Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3)

Some women turn their nose up at these scriptures. No man will rule over me! But like it or not, God has placed husbands in a position of leadership over their wife. Submission an expression of love for Jesus

However, God is the wife’s chief first and foremost authority. Her first allegiance is to God and if her husband asks her to do something God condemns or commands us not to do, she is under obligation to obey God rather than her husband. See Acts 4:19, Daniel 3:16-18. In these cases the wife should first humbly appeal to her husband to change his mind. If her appeal is unsuccessful she must act in accordance with God’s desire rather than her husbands.

 

God's Plan for the Wife

The role of the wife is clearly described in the Bible. Although males and females are equal in relationship to Christ, He gives specific roles to both the husband and the wife in marriage. 

Wives are given these roles, among others:

  • They Must Be Mentors  - Titus 2:4-5 says, Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
  • Witnesses - 1 Peter 3:1 says, Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.
  • Examples - 1 Timothy 3:11 says, In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

The Design Order of the Family Unit

God has designed the family unit and given each member a rank. In order you have Christ is the husband, the wife, and then the children. This is exactly the way God wants the family unit to work. For instance, if you walked into the doctor’s office and was greeted by the doctor and examined by the receptionist, you would immediately see that things are wrong, and out of order. With this ranking things cannot work right, but things will work smoothly when done His way. 

We know that God assigned the husband as the leader of the home (1 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23). The Bible describes this leadership as loving.  It must not be dictatorial, condescending, or patronizing of his wife or children. This love is one of mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and selflessness.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Ephesians 5:25-26). 
Ephesians 5 also teaches of the wife’s role in the marriage. Ephesians 5:22-24 says, Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 

Colossians 3:18-19 backs up this concept. It says, Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. From these verses we see that love and respect is an essential part of both husband's and wives roles. If these requirements are present, then authority, headship, love, and submission will pose no problem for either spouse.

Alison, a wife, has this to say about her role:

The role we have as wives is that of encouraging and helping our husbands. When we try to make it any more, or any less, that's when we run into trouble. My mom used to teach a young married couples class, and I will never forget her most ‘valuable piece of advice.’ She always told them that the husband is the head of the home, and the wife is the neck. The neck supports the head, and helps the head to fulfill its duties.

 

The Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31 also teaches of the role of the wife in the Bible. We are taught of her worth to her husband and family, how she cares for those who depend on her, how she provides for her family, protects them, and shares her strength and wisdom with others. A wife fulfills her responsibilities with grace and with strength. Proverbs also teaches us that a wife is a blessing to her husband. She is worth more than rubies! Wives must live in the wisdom of God.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Conclusion

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Lesson Five Test

LESSON FIVE TEST: The Biblical Role of the Wife (copy)

Choose the correct word from the drop down list.

The woman was originally given to man as a “” (Gen. 2:18), but she was not given to be the ruler over the man. 

 

According to 1 Cor. 11:3:

  • The head of every man is
    Christ
  • The head of every woman is
    Man
  • The head of Christ is
    God

Choose all that apply: The Biblical Role of the Wife includes:

  • Being a mentor
  • Being a witness
  • Establishing the design order of the family unit
  • Being a leader over her husband

Choose the correct terms from the drop down list.

Proverbs 31:10-31:

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life......

..........Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” 

Conclusion

 

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Lesson Six

LESSON SIX: The Duties of a Christian Wife (copy)

Objective

  • To be able to define the duties of a Christian wife.

The Wife's Duty

There are only two people that can come together to become one flesh; a husband and a wife. Not a Wife and a wife or a husband and a husband. Marriage is a Holy union ordained of God, where the husband serves the wife and the wife the husband. But in some cases a man may question his marriage within the hour of saying his vows.

Proverbs 27:15, On a stormy day drops of rain drive a man out of his house; so also does a railing woman drive a man out of his house.

As it turns out, his wife is not very much like she was when they were dating.

What does it really mean to be a godly wife? Because if you are married, this is what you must strive to be. And if you are not married this is what you must learn to be. The first duty a wife must fulfill is help her husband.

 

 

Help her Husband

In the beginning, when God made Adam,

Genesis 2:18, And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make for him a  help meet suitable to him.

God made a woman to be a companion to him, to work alongside him. The duty of a wife who wants to ensure a strong marriage and family, is to be the right hand to her husband in such a way that whatever God has given the both of them to accomplish, she must be by his side as his helper. The woman is not a temporary help and she is not a slave. She is an essential part of God’s Divine plan.

One reason why so many men are miserable and why so many marriages fail in this generation is because the woman is not out to help her husband.  She uses the marriage to help herself. They don’t want to be seen as a helper. And by no means do they want to submit to anyone. They want to remain proud and independent.

So that leads to the question “What is a helper?” Well, first off, man does not like to be alone. That was the reason God created women. But man also needs help to accomplish what God has commissioned him to do and also life’s obligations. Man has his own faults, and God made you as a wife the helper because man desperately needs help. He desperately needs someone to walk beside him, someone who will be not the same but different from him, in order to complete him therefore fulfilling the Divine plan of God.

As a wife, when you see faults in your husband, this is a chance to fulfill your scriptural duty. This is not an opportunity to fuss and get upset about how faulty or ‘messed up he is, but to give him the kind of help that God has called you to give. Better yet, if you are the complete opposite of your husband, that is wonderful because you can fill in all the blank spots where he needs help. You will complement him and he will complement you.  So use the opportunity for Godly assistance and not for disgust. As his wife, you have been commissioned to help mold and shape him into the man that God ultimately needs him to become in order to carry out His ultimate plan.

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:10, Who shall find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more valuable than precious stones.

There are some women who have low self esteem and that makes them a weak wife. God sees you as a priceless gem. When you see yourself in this respect then you will act accordingly. But if you only look at yourself as imitation jewelry, you will live as such. Proverbs 31 is speaking of a woman as a priceless gem, not imitation jewelry. This scripture says when a man finds this kind of woman, a true, authentic, real wife, he's got a piece of jewelry that's so very valuable. What else does it say about this woman?

Proverbs 31:12 says,For she employes all her living for her husbands good.

She will do him good all the days of her life and refrain from doing evil towards him. He will be able to measure how his wife is constantly and determinately looking out for his good and his well being. He can confidently say that every day that his wife wakes up she is thinking about how to make him a better man. And as a wife that should be the number one goal, and if not then you are not a godly wife. Sure, you may be a bed partner, sure you may be a cook, you may look after the kids, do this, do that, but a godly wife seeks the good of her husband all the days of his life. So, just as his duty is to love and honor you, you are to ask constantly, “What good can I be to him today?” After all, you are his helper.

Help him Inside and Outside of the House

Another way a wife helps her husband is around the house.

Proverbs 31:13-14, Gathering wool and flax, she makes it serviceable with her hands. She is like a ship trading from a distance: so she procures her livelihood.

Proverbs 31:16, She views a farm and buys it: and with the fruits of her hands she plants a possession.

Proverbs 31:24, She makes fine linens, and sells girdles…

Yet remember, just because you are a Christian wife, it does not mean that you have to be locked in the house and forfeit education or a career. The Proverbs 31 woman is one who has skills, she knows the value of money, she saves it and she spends it wisely. But she's doing this for the good of her husband and her children. A godly wife uses her skills, and brings the fruits of her hands back home for the good of the home and the enhancement of her husband. There is no monetary competition between the husband and the wife. All is done for the good of the household.

When you begin to live your married life thinking about yourself, with no thought of the betterment of your husband, you are taking steps in dissolving your marriage. God did not give you a husband for you to live as an independent single woman. He gave you a husband so that you could partner with him, helping him by using your gifts, your skills, and the abilities that He has blessed you with for the betterment of the whole household. Whatever your career demands of you that which negates your duty as wife and mother, you're in the wrong career, and it is not a calling from God.

Help him Parentally

The Proverbs 31 the wife uses her abilities, she does not throw them away. She also helps him parentally:

Proverbs 31:15, And she rises by night and gives food to her household…

Proverbs 31:21, Her husband is not anxious about those at home when he tarries anywhere abroad: for all her household are clothed.

In other words, she helps the husband by helping to care for their children but it is not her duty alone. The husband's duty is to manage the household, and the wife's duty is to help him. She is not to replace him, but she is to help him. In this scripture we have a woman who's so committed, so dedicated, that she wakes up early before everyone else to make sure that all the bases are covered.

Now, why does God ask the woman to make the household a priority? Because one of her duties is to raise the next generation of godly seed. If a wife has other obligations that cause her to leave the house so much that she cannot assist her husband in a significant way, as a parent and guardian of the children, she isn’t fulfilling what God has told her to do. This is why the older women have a duty to "…teach the young women to be sober, to be lovers of their husbands, to be lovers of their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers of the home, good and obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5). That's why "...the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house" (1 Timothy 5:14).

A wife must never let the outside pull of the world keep her from being a dynamic wife and mother. She must never let the schedule outside dictate the schedule inside.

 

Help him Personally

Proverbs 31:17, She strongly girds her loins, and strengthens her arms for work.

Proverbs 31:22, She makes for her husband clothes of double texture, and garments for herself of fine linen and scarlet.

A wife takes care of herself. In todays day and age we could say she dresses nicely and takes good care of her body. She makes sure that her husband and family is well clothed.

Help him Ministerially

A wife will help her husband ministerially:

Proverbs 31:20, And she opens her hands to the needy, and reaches out fruit to the poor.

Proverbs 31:26, But she opens her mouth wisely, and according to law.

She will happily and readily serve the poor and provide Godly counseling to others. She works alongside her husband’s ministry, she's his partner and shares her wisdom with others. She does not have time to gossip because she's spending time devoted to her husband. She is busy providing help for her husband.

Proverbs 31:11, The heart of her husband trusts in her…

Proverbs 31:23, And her husband becomes a distinguished man in the gates, when he sits in council with the old inhabitants of the land.

Everybody knows who her husband is because of her.  People will know him because she makes him look good.  But the wife also gets rewarded for this. Proverbs 31:28 teaches, 

And her kindness to them sets up her children for them, and they grow rich, and her husband praises her.

Her husband should praise her, and teach his children to praise their mother. He should teach the children well, so they thank her for giving them warm clothing, hot food, shoes on their feet, a warm blanket to sleep under, for her love, her protection, her teaching and understanding.  When a husband has a wife like this he should talk about her all day long. The wife is to make her husband look good, and the husband is to take his wife public with him.

Submit to your Husband

Another thing a wife must do is reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:33, Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-24 explains the meaning of submission. The word “submission” is a good word, but because people have defined it wrongly, most look at it and say, “I'm not submitting to anybody. What an awful word! Why is it a good word?" It’s a good word because Jesus submitted himself to the will of the Father.

First of all, submission has nothing to do with equality. Submission has to do with accomplishing God's purpose. Jesus submitted to the Father in order to accomplish salvation. He did it for His Father's purpose, and He never questioning whether it was "fair" or not. It had nothing to do with whether Him and His Father were equal.

1 Peter 3:7 says a husband and wife are “joint heirs,” and therefore equal and are to be treated as equals. To submit to your husband does not mean that you are a door mat or a slave. It doesn't mean that you are to be humiliated, beaten on, or any such thing. A woman are equal to any man in the eyes of God. But when it comes to God’s purpose for a woman, submission is absolutely necessary.

To submit to your husband doesn’t mean that you have to agree with him on everything, but it means you must recognize his position as head of the household to accomplish God's purposes as it relates to the family. Some women find this appalling. “I can't and I won’t submit to any man. Completely out of the question!” Well, look at it this way. You may not agree with everything your boss tells you, but you submit. If you're in court you may not like when the judge tells you that you must answer a question truthfully, but you submit. These examples deal with submitting to a position but don’t deal with submitting to a man.

God has called your husband to a position. Like it or not, his position is head over the household. Again, he’s not entitled to be a  dictator or a boss or a wife beater." His job as the head of the home is to give direction to the household. The duty of the wife is to willingly place all of her strengths under the authority of the husband to follow him as he follows Christ. That's why Ephesians 5:22, says Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

If your husband  leaves the Lord he is no longer in the position as your head, he no longer qualifies as the head, for he has abandoned it. This is why you are never to disobey the Lord in order to follow your husband, because your greater allegiance is to the Lord. But if your husband is trying to serve the Lord, don't ever work against him. He may not be doing it right, or perfectly, but if your husband is trying to please the Lord don't work against him. Why? Because he needs a helper, not a hurter. He needs assistance, not a hindrance. He needs somebody to come alongside and smooth all those rough edges. Every wife should  have this following attitude towards her husband.  “I accept you as my leader because God has put you as head of the household. I will honor you as head of the household. I will follow you as head of the household. But please don't lead me away from Christ, because if you lead me away from Christ I'm going to have to leave you and go with Christ. I don't want to leave you so please continue to follow Christ so I can follow both of you.”

 

That's the whole idea! That he follow Christ and you follow him. If your attitude is that your husband is no good,” maybe he's no good because nobody's helping him. Maybe that's why. Just maybe God gave you to him to fix up the rough points and you never caught the message.

That's what headship is. Jesus submitted to the Father, the husband submits to Jesus, the wife submits to the husband using all her gifts and strengths for the betterment of the household. A wife who does not submit herself to her husband has not submitted to God. You can read your bible every day, have devotions, go to bible study every Wednesdays, and still be out of the will of God if you don't submit to your husband.

For some wives, their husband may not know how to be a good husband because he was not raised with a good father; perhaps he has never seen a godly husband. Not knowing what a godly husband is, he will therefore have to learn. Some wives may rebel against this, and it may take some time, but those wives will have to humble themselves and say, “Father. I have sinned in this area. I have not been a helper, I've been a hurter. I confess that I've sinned, and today I'm going to tell my husband that he now has a helper. Someone who's going to work with him, not against him. Someone who's going to support him, not crucify him. Read 1 Peter 3:1-6.

 

Ungodly Husbands

1 Peter 3:1, Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives

The scripture raises a question about women who's husbands have strayed from the will of God. The world says, “Leave him, you don't need him…leave! You don't have to go through that! Walk out!” But that is not what scripture teaches us. Now are you going to believe your "friends," or are you going to believe the Word of God? And that's the problem. There are too many wrong voices that are being listened to. God says if your husband is not a godly man yet, he can still be won without a word, by the behavior of the wife in certain cases.  God didn't call you to be your husband's pastor or to preach to him. He also didn't call you to be his nag. The husband wont be won over by the preaching skill of his wife. And as most wives know, the more you try to change him with your voice, the worse he gets. So what does the Lord want you to do when it comes to dealing with the husband who has strayed? He wants you to get out of the way so He can chastise him. God says be like Jesus in the same way. Now what was Jesus like? He was one;

1 Peter 2:22-23, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;

Jesus didn't threaten, He didn't manipulate with his voice, He didn't manipulate with tears. He did his Father's will and God made it work. Have you tried God's way to change your husband, or have you been fussing for 15 years? You should make your husband stare at you and wonder, “What's gotten into you?” Shock him with your help and your submission. Make him stare. Make him wonder what went wrong. As your husband observes your holy and respectful behavior, they may be won.

1 Peter 3:3-4, Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Women spend a lot of time making themselves look good on the outside, but God says, that more importantly, make yourself good on the inside. There's no point in looking beautiful on the outside if you're ugly on the inside. So be beautiful on the inside! Your husband and all that you encounter will see it. 

Language is Important

In Genesis 24, Rebekah was able to meet God's divine appointment for her life (marriage) because she was faithfully carrying out her current obligations. She had a ready willingness to serve others. These qualities put her in the right place at the right time with the right attitude when God intended to match her with Isaac. Isaac's servant asked for some water from her, "And she said, Drink, my lord..." (Genesis 24:18). She reverenced a stranger, and God used that stranger to bring Rebekah and Isaac in marriage.

Here's another example: 

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord (1 Peter 3:6)Sara reverenced her husband. How do you know? Because of how she talked to him. She said, “lord”. In other words, her submission was not private, but universal. “Lord!”

In Genesis 18:12, she calls Abraham, “lord.” God told her that in one year from now, she's going to get pregnant, "...Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (Genesis 18:12)

Sara was in an impossible situation.  She was 90 years old, her husband 100 years old and no pregnancy in sight, but she called him lord. And when God saw her reverence Sara got pregnant! God enabled Abraham to do what he couldn't for the past 100 years. In this day and age, it would be funny to call your husband 'my lord' but if you reverence your husband, God can make him do things he can't do otherwise. God can turn his attitude around and his life around, if you do your part, if you get out of the way so God can dispense His loving chastisement and grace upon him. So reverence your husband; lift him up, embellish him, serve him, while he does the same for you

Conclusion

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Lesson Six Test

LESSON SIX TEST: The Duties of a Christian Wife (copy)

Choose all that apply: What duties must a Christian wife fulfill?

  • Help her husband parentally
  • Help her husband personally
  • Help her husband ministerially
  • Submit to her husband
  • Lead her husband
  • Put herself before her husband
  • Help him inside and outside of the house

Proverbs 31:10 claims that to a man, a ____________ women is more valuable than precious stone.

  • healthy
  • virtuous
  • beautiful
  • timid
  • well liked

A Christian wife must spend most of her time in the house nurturing her family and being a help to her husband. It is best that she forfeit an education or a career if she can.

  • True
  • False

When a husband strays from God, it is only then that scripture permits the wife to stray from her husband.

  • True
  • False

Conclusion

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Lesson Seven

LESSON SEVEN: Resolving Marital Conflict (copy)

Objectives

  • To be able to identify how man attempts to resolve marital conflict.
  • To be able to identify how God resolves marital conflict.
  • To understand the importance of forgiveness.

Going Through Tough Times

God brought you together, and He is even more concerned about your marriage than you are. When you go through hard times as a couple (and you will), never forget that God gave your marriage to you, and He is with you. Matthew 19:6 explains how marriage makes two people one flesh. Another key to a successful marriage is learning how to selflessly put your spouse before yourself. True love means we want what is best not for ourselves but for the other person. A good attitude is to wake up each day asking God how you can bless your significant other. (Dr. Billy Graham)

Resolving Conflict

There is hope for every Christian marriage no matter how desperate. Unfortunately some have no faith so they have failed to appropriate God’s grace within their marriage. And if there is no grace, it’s highly likely that hurts and offenses have not been forgiven and conflicts are unresolved. This is a distorted representation of Christ and his Church. A marriage will never make progress on path of righteousness without addressing these problems. The image of God will be shrouded in darkness in a distorted marriage.

If unresolved conflicts and offenses not forgiven ask for God's grace to resolve them His way. This leads to true reconciliation and restoration which is a praise to God’s power and wisdom. Look to God with a humble posture and wait upon him.

Man's way of resolving conflict is designed to bring relief for himself only, but God’s way will bring about His glory resulting in blessings. Its either all about us or all about God. We become selfish, impatient, ignore God and go our own way. Isaiah 53:5 said sheep are like this. We take a shortcut to find quick relief. We want fast service and lack patience to wait upon the Lord. We must remember that God’s way requires faith. Proverbs 14:12

**In this lesson we focus more on the sin of a wife, not for any other reason but a man is commanded to love his wife and is held to doing so, but a woman is only commanded to submit to her husband. She may not love him at all, she may love another, she may resent him and may therefore be rebellious. But know that concerning issues of adultery, abuse and mistreatment, we are well aware that men are just as much at fault as women.

Man's Approaches to Resolving Conflict

False Forgiveness

Many attempt to forgive as Jesus instructed with the best of intentions, but many Christians fail to forgive from the heart. Mouthing the words aren’t effective. Some may ask God to help forgive but still have that little bit of resentment buried deep in hearts. Many settle for this, but have not experienced true forgiveness. This does not glorify God in the least because the attempts to do this is done in man’s  own power and fails to bring true forgiveness from the heart as God desires.

Stoic Denial

Some Christians seek to maintain an image of spirituality and strive to appear patient and loving. Inwardly they are hurt by the offense but ignore it, not even seeing the need to forgive. They may say the offender is an immature or inferior Christian. They build themselves up in their own minds and get enough consolation to say ‘Get over it. Just forgive them for they know not what they do’. They may also say ‘He/She is the one at fault but I’m above offense because I’m patient and loving’. They convince themselves that they forgave the offender but in reality transferred hate or hurt into their own prideful arrogance that makes the other person to be inferior. This is not a display of love but arrogance. It comes from their own attempt at forgiveness rather than seeking God for His power to forgive from the heart as Christ forgave.

 

Silent Treatment

Some retreat into silence. It is a most usual response. We should forgive but the pain of rejection, abuse, or offense at the hand of those we trust and love throws us for a loop. We should pray for the one who offended us and ask God for his power of forgiveness, but often we cease in asking for his grace and learn to avoid or ignore the one who committed the offense. Our silence becomes a method of getting even and only after we feel they have paid the price do we let them back into or lives. This sinful, unloving method dishonors God.

 

Deceptive Self Pity

‘I was sinned against so I take consolation in the fact that I maintained my integrity when I was wronged. I was in the right. I am the good one. I didn’t sin. The other person is the sinner. When I go to God I am justified.’ This is a form of pride. Unless you can forgive the offender from the heart you remain self absorbed in your pain and suffering unjustly. It is difficult for you to see yourself as a wretched sinner, just like the one who sinned against you. ‘Woe is me, nobody really knows what I’m going through. I am suffering more than others. Others cannot understand, so I’m off the hook.’ Until Gods power is unleashed resulting in forgiveness from the heart for the one who sinned against you, His glory is not displayed and He is robbed of his honor.

 

Gossip and Unbiblical Counseling.

Sometimes spouse will go to his/her pastor for help regarding a conflicted marriage. Although it is wise to seek counsel many delve into sinful discussions or prayer requests tainted with gossip. They get into a  detailed explanation of their spouses sin, but it is often dressed up to make the complainer appear innocent. It is Sinful for anyone Pastor or Counselor to accept accusations about another person if they are not present.  The principle of love is broken when we listen to and accept as true an accusation of another person without allowing them to be there to defend themselves. This is an un-Christian practice which commonly prevails. Some are very forward to speak, judge and hurt the others good name. Consider if you are guilty of this and how you would feel to hear that others gave an ill report of you. Pastors and counselors must be careful to steer conversation away from this. Gossip is highly destructive and condemned by God as a serious offense. Lifestyles that include habitual gossip are generally associated with damned unbelievers as in Romans 1:18-32.

James 3:1-8

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says,he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members,staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Gods Way of Resolving Conflict

Husbands and wives will eventually run into conflict. They will have arguments and disagreements over the course of their marriage. The Bible gives lots of ideal instruction on living a Christian life. Some tend to brush it aside and form our own ideas that seem more practical. A good example is in Jesus’s teaching about divorce. (Matthew 19:3-8) The Pharisees tried to test Jesus by asking Him if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife.  Jesus responded ‘man should not separate what God has joined together’. But the Pharisees cited how Moses instructed that man could give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away. Then Jesus made this statement to illustrate how people tend to toss aside His idealistic teaching. He said ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard’. This is not to address the issue of divorce but to demonstrate that it is our nature to rationalize the truth when it seems too far out of reach to put into practice. They wanted more reasons for divorce that suited themselves. People have not changed and will always have this tendency. As we see God’s methods we will understand that they are ideal. In fact, its humanly impossible to deploy them in the power of our own flesh. It needs His power to be unleashed within us. God's solution cannot be accomplished without His intervention:

  • His solution is not a plan or a multi-step program.
  • God’s way seeks true reconciliation and restoration through changed hearts which will afterwards bow down and worship Him for who He is, the Almighty living God who desires to make His glory known.
  • It’s not about couples working on their relationship. Its about God honoring His promises, unleashing his power as His people humble themselves and call upon Him to act in accordance with His promises.
  • When man has his own way and has even just a little success it elevates him. He feels he did it all by himself. But God’s way changes hearts and those who observe are aware that God has moved and He gets all the glory. This is what honors Him and any other approach dishonors Him. See what Jeremiah 17:5-6 says.
  • There are no short cuts to Gods way. It requires faith, to believe God's will change hearts in us and others by His power. It requires us to wait upon Him and abandon our own attempts at problem solving.

When husbands demand submission wives take offense and conflict begins. When wives fail to submit, husbands take offense and conflict begins. Arguments start and the home is unpleasant.

Unless the wife submits to her husband there will always be problems. The home is upset and not in harmony with God’s teaching (Ephesians 5:22). This is a big problem in most homes today.

The Bride of Jesus

In what manner should a Christian man respond that fulfills his responsibility to love his wife as Christ loves church? The picture of Jesus on the cross is an example. He gave his life for his bride, the Church. Most have chosen to please themselves rather than Christ on many occasions. But Jesus should be first love but in many cases He is not;

  • Perhaps we have failed to trust Him when there are trials.
  • Perhaps we are wanting acceptance from others.
  • Some may refuse to testify of Him to others.
  • Some are after other love and pursuing their own desires

Only once we are repentant we can understand that we are apart from Christ and yet washed clean by his blood, then we understand what it means to love our wife as Christ loves church.

Man, must love his wife, even when she doesn’t submit, love her even if she leaves him for another man. This is not an easy thing to do and God provides a clause for these deep hurtful offenses which we will discuss later. Here is an example of how a man should love his wife.  In the Bible, Hosea’s wife committed adultery. She became pregnant. She ran away to live with multiple lovers but Hosea still loved her and tried to provide for her. He endured the deepest pain of severe betrayal. Eventually she was sold to slavery and Hosea who continued to love her bought her back. Now some may say that Hosea is a sucker for punishment, a foolish man to continue to love a woman such as his adulterous wife. But to say that is to say that the word of God is also foolish, for this is what God has commanded a man to do upon taking a wife. His love for her should be lifelong, through good and bad. If Hosea cannot love his wife even if she participates in sinful acts, how can God love him, as he too was born into sin and committed sinful acts? How many of us have committed sinful acts? If you cannot love your spouse even if they participate in sinful acts, how can God love you?

Jesus desires His bride to follow closely on His path. A wife's sanctification is wholly critical for her well being, but her husband's love drives him to pursue her with all his heart and soul, even when she goes after others. Some of us treat our husbands or wives not as they deserve, but Jesus’s love for us never waivers. To love his wife as Christ loves the Church, the husband must die to his own desires.

Submission Challenges

When a wife doesn’t submit to her husband, instead of being mad, be compassionate, the husband must ask God on her behalf to have mercy, protect her from the temptation that is causing the rebellion. Rather than look down on her, hold her in the highest regard as his beloved bride for whom Christ died. In some cases, this is much easier said than done, but it is the will of God.

Some men believe they have the right to expect their wives’ submission to their leadership. This is an un-biblical understanding and this will cause contention in the marriage. God holds wives fully responsible to submit to their husband’s leadership but the husband has no right to demand their submission.  A ‘right’ meaning something to which one has a just claim, that someone may claim as due. Something deserved. To demand submission is to exercise lordship over them, and this is something Christ warns against.  Matthew 20:25-28. Christ is head of church however He had to demonstrate that to love as He loves, husbands must assume the role of a servant to the object of their love. Look at Jesus. Although he was the son of God he became a servant, He served man, He washed the disciples’ feet, He put his own needs aside. Although the husband is head over wife, he can’t fulfill his responsibility to lead without discarding his right and regarding the needs of his wife and well being over his own.

God tells husbands to treat their wives as if they are weaker vessels. The wife is not at liberty to lead. God has purpose for her which must be obeyed and followed. God is mindful of how those in authority treat those under them. They must treat the weaker with respect and understanding. Matthew 18:10.

But a husband must never disobey God's will. If his wife asks him to do something God condemns, or not to do God's commands, he must obey God, not his wife. Acts 4:19, Daniel 3:16-18.

Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves church and mimic that of Christ. But sometimes husbands can’t always do that. We still have sinful flesh and there will be times when we react in sinful ways. We must realize the flesh has difficulty discarding the desire to be in authority. The flesh hates submission to God and other humans. In order to react as Christ would the spirit of Jesus must be in control within you. You have to think, which is controlling you?  The spirit of Jesus or the flesh?

Walking in the Spirit needs faith. Look beyond circumstances to God for power, wisdom and strength. Believe what he has declared, then you are empowered to act like He would react.

If the lack of submission produces anger, know and identify this as fleshly reaction, not spiritual.

Remember what God says that bears light on the situation. Romans 8:28 teaches; 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.All things include the sins of others, including our husbands and wives.  When we learn to understand this, a husband is able to enjoy peace in presence of God no matter how badly his wife may treat him. He is free from bitterness and desire for control.

A wife is afforded an umbrella of protection under her husband’s leadership. To enjoy this she must submit to her husband as to the Lord. When she blatantly rebels or decides to take matters into own hands she is taken out from under husband’s leadership and prone to satanic attack. Rebellion can manifest in anger. Causing yelling, silent treatment.... These are works of flesh that dishonor husband the wife and Christ.

In summary, although the worldly methods to resolve conflict don’t bring about true reconciliation, forgiveness or restoration of relationships. Many Christians knowingly and unknowingly settle for the results they themselves can provide for a seemingly quick resolution. Their marriage is destined for destruction unless God’s methods are followed.

 

Forgiving Each Other

If there is contention in your marriage there most likely are past hurts and offenses that have not been forgiven which produce bitterness and resentment towards your spouse. If you are seeking God’s help you must secure His deliverance only through true forgiveness.  

Unforgiven offenses destroy a marriage. They pose a threat to your eternal wellbeing. Eternal life depends on our ability to forgive others. Many Christians are not clear about what it means to forgive others. When we forgive we are to forgive sins against us. The words trespass and transgression are often used in the bible to replace sin. When a person transgresses he causes an offence. It is your responsibility to forgive the offense.

Some offenses are easier to forgive than others, for example, an offense done out of complete ignorance in a way that doesn’t cause much harm…. You own land.  An older man who is lost is walking on your land because he missed a turn on the hiking tail. He trespassed but did so out of ignorance without malice. This is easy to forgive and must be forgiven. Now, much worse is two teens who do not like you set your land on fire burning everything. Not only is land damage but you know it was done out of spite with malice. The offense has potential to cause anger and desire for revenge. This is much more difficult to forgive. Your trust in the offender is broken. If they are not your kids, you expect teenagers to sometimes act badly, but if they were your kids who burned your property because they hate you and want you gone, the degree of hurt and damage increases, especially if you weren’t aware of how they felt towards you. This is the definition of betrayal and this one requires the greatest amount of forgiveness. The more your heart has given the greater the pain that can result from betrayal. If betrayal does not cause extreme hurt then that proves he had not given his heart to the offender in first place.

But ALL offenses must be forgiven. They may be brought into our lives to test our faith. So how do we know we have forgiven a most serious transgression such as betrayal. If we choose to forgive we must decide to forgive and forget, put it behind us as to forget it… It's done, gone, never to be thought of or spoken of again. If you simply make up your mind to forgive or tell the offender he is forgiven, or if enough time has passed that you hardly think about it anymore, did you truly forgive the offender?

Jesus said we must forgive from the heart (Matthew 18-35). There must be a change that takes place in our heart in regard to the person and the transgression that caused so much pain. It is naïve to think we really forget transgressions that caused deep pain. We don’t, and this is NOT what God expects. Although bible says God forgets ours He doesn’t do so at all. The expression is used to convey that it is ‘as if’ He actually forgot completely (Matt 18:34), ‘as if’ blotted from His mind. But God never forgets. If he did He would not be omniscient. Likewise we never forget but if we truly forgive it will appear to the offender ‘as if’ we completely forgot. It will only appear this way if there truly has been a complete change in the heart of the one offended.

How does such a change come about? It requires repentance brought about by God. Paul said Romans 2:4. We must accomplish this through faith. We must believe only God can enable us to forgive and this belief must drive us to depend on God and call upon Him to bring it about. Well, you may be pleading desperately with God to help you forgive your spouse but still have bitterness. Believe that only God can deliver you from the bitterness and resentment by faith.

An Example of Forgiveness

A great example of forgiveness is seen in the story of Joseph. As a young man his brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous (Gen 37:17-28). He ended up in Egypt where God watched over him and raised him to a position of high authority second to the Pharaoh. Later in life his brothers were forced by famine to take refuge in Egypt and found themselves under his care and authority. They were afraid that Joseph would take revenge for their horrible sin against him but he said ‘you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good'. Our faith tells us that God is good and all-wise. His purpose in everything is for good. Once you come to grips with this then forgiving the transgressor is not impossible as it seemed before. But still we must wait on God for Him to unleash His power in us to forgive. This is the posture of faith that maintains we are powerless and God has the ability and desire to give this power as a means of manifesting His glory.

An interesting note in Mark 11:22-25. Forgiveness is linked to prayer because it requires the power of God to perform it and faith to lay hold of us. No wonder why he says those who forgive will be forgiven. Those ones live by faith. They continually call upon the Lord in dependence on Him. These are the justified. Severe transgressions that seem impossible to forgive require desperate seeking of God for gift of repentance and power to forgive. Everything is on the line. If you can’t forgive… you will be at a spiritual impasse. There is no moving forward. Also, this means that GOD’S POWER IS IN QUESTION. If He cannot work this power in you, then either you are not His child or he is Not the almighty God. When there is true forgiveness God is most magnified.

Forgiveness and the Pain of Severe Offences

When true forgiveness takes place, is all the pain that was afflicted removed? Forgiveness takes place in hearts. Only resentment and anger towards offender is removed but pain can remain, whether physical or emotional. For example, an offender shot you. You can forgive but physical pain lingers on. On the other hand, your child is murdered. You can forgive the murderer but the pain that come with the loss of your child will remain. When there is true forgiveness, it is ‘as if’ the offender did not cause the pain, but the pain can remain.

Until a Christian can forgive, he can’t help but resent the offender and misses out on what God wants to do in his life. God wants to show him His glory and prove He is the comforter. But wallowing in misery and holding fast in anger and bitterness, how can you walk in the path of righteousness and experience the joy God has for you?

When God pours out His power, enabling us to forgive a grievous transgression, we behold His glory. It had to be Him doing it because we were completely powerless to forgive it on our own merit. We had to turn to Him.  We labored long in prayer asking him to give us the power because we believed that He has the power and desire to give it. And when we got it, we experience in great measure his Love being shed broad in our hearts. This is why we never want to forget. We are reminded of His deep love for us every time we remember it. God showed Himself to us and we Never want to forget it.

Some insist that you don’t forgive the offender unless and until he first repents and asks for our forgiveness as is believed in Luke 17:3. Although it speaks of forgiving when the offender repents, we must not assume they always have to repent before they forgive. It merely tells us to forgive when they repent, but we also must forgive even if they don’t. It's our responsibility.

SO if you want to see changes in your marital relationship you can't avoid God's command to forgive one another. Look within yourself. Are you in the practice of forgiving your spouse and all those that sin against you? Do you have resentment to your spouse or someone else that hurt you? Are you angry with anyone for causing you harm? Then you are at a spiritual impasse and cannot move forward on the path of righteousness until you truly forgive the offender from your heart.

Begin pleading with God to display His glory by delivering you from your bitterness and resentment into the joy of His presence.

Now.. God has given you the grace to forgive your spouse.

  • If your spouse is caught in a sinful behavior causing the other harm, pray and talk gently with them. 
  • If efforts don’t work consider enlisting help of others in the church.Avoid talking with others about your spouse when not present. Take a wise believer with you to confront him so he will see his sin and repent.
  • Apply the principles of  Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1, and 1 Corintians 13:1-8

Ending a Marriage 1

Dissolving a Marriage

Divorce is the termination of the marital union hence dissolving the bonds of holy matrimony and the marital responsibility of a married couple.  In most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. Many protestant churchs will allow people to marry after a divorce although there are biblicly limited reasons for divorce. The Eastern Orthodox Church will allow for a limited number of reasons, but require that marriage after divorce be celebrated with a feeling of being sorry, as in penance. 

A Separation is a married couple who may formalize a separation while remaining legally married.

Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Wiping it out completely as if it never happened. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place. In the Catholic Church, an annulment can end a marriage, again for limited reasons as if it never ever happened. 

The New Testament teaches us that sex is reserved for marriage. Sex with someone other that your spouse is the sin of adultery also known as fornication. 

Most Christians sincerely seek to uphold the seriousness of their wedding vows. Yet there is a compassionate clause to recognize deep hurts and offences. Although this is not the ideal resolution, at times it is really necessary to relieve the partner of the intolerable emotional pain, betrayal, unfaithfulness or even desertion. 

God really hates divorce:

For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Malachi 2:16

The Bible is clear on addressing marriage and divorce. Those that have a conflicted or troubled marriage are encouraged to examine their hearts and seek the help of God. They are also encouraged to seek counseling or restoration because most divorces are not necessary and can be avoided. 

 

Ending a Marriage2

When you read Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:7-9 Jesus really appeals to God's will in creation. He stresses that male and female are created together in Genesis 1:27 and for ONE ANOTHER: Genesis 2:24. Hence, Jesus takes a really firm stand on the will of God and the permanence of marriage. 

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder!

  • Let us look at the reinforcing position of this scripture.
  • It is emphasized that marriage is made by God (what God hath joined together).
  • It is emphasized that it is between male and female (made them male and female).
  • It is emphasized that it is lifelong (let not man put asunder).
  • It is emphasized that it is a monogamous relationship (a man leave his father and cleave to his wife and they twain shall be one flesh).

Jesus replaced a Mosaic Law with his teaching:

Anyone who divorces his wife except for sexual immorality causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. The exception statement 'except for' originally uses the Greek word 'porneia'. The translation means fornication, marital unfaithfulness, sexual immorality,  unchastity. The word 'porneia' can also refer to various sexual deviations such as illicit sexual intercourse, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, intercourse with close relatives..

Jesus refused to be trapped or coerced when cornered by the Pharisees into choosing strict or liberal positions on divorce.  In Matthew 19:3 the Pharisees asked Him; “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?”

Jesus stood firm and reaffirmed God's will as stated in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.  Perhaps He may even be getting a bit annoyed with them. Why? It is clearly stated in the Scriptures and the Scriptures are the Word of God. The truth. They relay the will of the Almighty;

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.  I TELL YOU that ANYONE who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”Divorce will always represent a failure of the marriage union, but in most cases it's root cause is a deviation from God's will. However, where there is sincere remorse and repentance, there is God's grace and redemption. 

Conclusion

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Lesson Eight

LESSON EIGHT: The Role of the Wedding Officiant (copy)

Objective

  • To learn the terms and procedures that are required to understand your role as a Wedding Officant.

What is a Wedding Officiant?

What is an officiant? A wedding officiant is simply the person or Official that reads and writes ceremonies for couples getting married.

An Officiant presides over the wedding ceremony and is legally authorized to sign the newly married couple's legal documents and Solemnize the Marriage.

Parts of a Wedding Ceremony

Most couples will want a ceremony that reflects the customs of their families:

For instance, many people will request the following traditions: 

  • Processional - Entrance accompanied by music/wedding party including the bride to the ceremony site
  • Opening words - Welcome, why are we here.
  • Presentation of the Bride – In many cases, the brides dad gives her away OR the couple is presented for marriage
  • Declaration of Intent - This is the only legal part required in a wedding ceremony. This tradition is completed by the couple declaring their intent by saying "I do".
  • The Address - Words of advice directed toward the bride, groom or both.
  • Readings – An opportunity for others to speak. This is commonly verses from the bible or short speeches, but is completely optional.
  • Consecrations - Words to explain the next step, which are the vows.
  • Vows – Words that couples will say to each other to express their love and dedication. They can memorize or read their own vows from cards or repeat after the Officiant.
  • Ring Blessings -  (words about the rings and their meaning)
    • Round – Symbol of eternity.
  • Ring Exchange – Couples give each other a ring and place it on their significant other's fourth finger on the left hand. For the Bride, the wedding ring goes closest to the heart so an engagement ring is not usually worn by the bride but placed on after the wedding band following the ceremony. If the Bride chooses to take off her engagement ring during the ceremony it can be held by the maid/matron of honor. Men may choose not to wear a ring. Sometimes there are no rings but tattoos or strings are used to represent the couples dedication.
  • Kiss - "You may kiss the bride"!  Suggesting not too much tongue, don’t drop your partner, and make it just long enough for a photo but make it good.
  • Benediction – A blessing on the wedded couple and their marriage.
  • Closing words – a reading, scripture, poem and words of thanks to everyone for coming.

  • Signing of the Registry and Marriage License.
  • Presentation of the Wedded Couple - The Officiant makes sure musician knows that they have been introduced. "For the very first time, or introducing Mr and Mrs xxx."

  • Processional – The Wedding party processing or leaving the ceremony site to music.

Signing of the Registry and Marriage License

The Marriage License

The couple is responsible for obtaining a marriage license from a Municipal Office or City Hall prior to getting married. The City of Toronto charges $140 for this license. As it is only valid for 90 days, couples must ensure that they have this  3 months prior to the wedding. They must be at least 16 to get this license. At the age of 16 or 17 they will both need their parents' consent to get married. Once the have obtained a marriage license, they can get married right away. They must present it to the Wedding Officiant on the date of the marriage. If either was divorced and remarrying they must show the original divorce decree or a court-certified copy of the final decree, final judgment or certificate of divorce in order to receive a marriage license. The Wedding Officiant will ensure that the couple has obtained their Marriage License and confirm that they have purchased it one week prior to the wedding. It will be presented to the Officiant prior to the start of the ceremony. Following the closing words, the couple must step to the side of the pulpit with their Wedding Officiant to sign the Registry and Marriage License in front of their attendants and witnesses. We can't emphasize this enough. Always used the names found on the couples government issued ID on that date. We will go through this in more detail in the Workshop. 

Banns

Before a couple can legally get married, they must obtain either a marriage licence from their local municipality or a banns form, commonly provided by a church when they publicly announce their commitment during a church service (a church publishes this declaration, called “the publication of banns”). In this modern day and age Banns are rarely used, but it is important to note that Banns cannot be published if one of the participants has been married before. If this is the case, the couple must obtain  a marriage licence.

The Marriage Registry

As an Ordained Wedding Officiant you will received your Registration number to perform weddings directly from the Registrar General of Ontario. Along with your registration you will receive a form to fill out and submit. This will allow you to receive a free Marriage Registry. This Registry is a legal entity and belongs to the Province of Ontario. It is required for proof of marriage and Vital Statistics. Usually after a long number of years have passed, the personal marriage information is released to genealogy sites for family history research. Should you pass away the Registry must be returned to the Government. Upon completing of a wedding ceremony, the Officiant must ensure that the couples personal information is recorded in this Registry book at all times. Should you not complete this form and send it back for your free Marriage Registry, you will later have to purchase one at $125. 

The Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate is the legal record of a marriage. It lists the date and place of the marriage, and names of the people who were married. It is important to note that a Record of Solemnization of Marriage is not the same thing as a marriage certificate. Before a couple can get a marriage certificate, the Wedding Officiant who performed the marriage must send a complete and signed marriage license to the Office of the Registrar General. Once this has been received, the couple is free to request their Marriage Certificate be provided to them from the Registrar General. 

* IMPORTANT *

This is one of the strictest of our regulations regarding marriage. Within 72 hours of the wedding the Wedding Officiant must send a completed and signed marriage license to the Registrar General.

You will be accountable to YSPEO as you are operating under our sponsorship. Every 3 months you will be required to submit a list of past weddings from your online account. Necessary steps will be taken to ensure there have been no changes, and that the marriage was indeed between male and female. You will be reminded to submit and only one warning will be given in the case that it is not submitted. Should it be found that you were just negligent in submitting we will charge a $100 fine. However, if information was changed due to a same sex marriage which was performed and you refrained from sending the list in to us, your membership will immediately be cancelled and this disassociation will be relayed to the Office of the Registrar General who in turn will immediately revoke your Registration to Solemnize Marriage. We will also take legal action to the full extent of the law for breech of contract and the same sex marriage will be legally contested.

Why do we do this? 

It has taken YSPEO so many years to gain the trust and recognition of the Christian Community as an Organization of integrity and faith, based on righteous and truthful biblical teachings. We will not compromise our beliefs and integrity due to one person who does not want to honor our Statement of faith or rules and regulations. We has zero tolerance for this. We also do not want to be associated in any way with un-Godly marriage. We made this clear upon enrollment for the Program with which you agreed. If same sex marriage is what you would like to do, then we recommend stopping now and searching for another Denomination to represent you. 

Members of the Wedding Party

A Wedding Officiant must know who the members of the wedding party are and what they do. This is crucial to performing a perfect ceremony as they will look to you for guidance and leadership. We will go over these participants in more detail at the Workshop. 

  • Bride & Groom - The most important people. Man and Woman. In some cases they may pay for part or all of the wedding. 
  • Parents of the Groom – In many cases, the parents of the groom may pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes the alcohol at the reception. The parents of the groom must be seated prior to the processional.
  • Parents of the Bride – In many cases, the parents of the bride pay for the wedding minus the alcohol and rehearsal. The brides father commonly walks her down the aisle. Sometimes the mother is included in this tradition. The brides mother is last person to sit before the start of processional if she is not participating.
  • Matron/Maid of Honour – The female equivalent of the Best Man. A woman, married or unmarried, who is very close to the bride and supports her before and during the ceremony and reception. She may hold the engagement ring, or  the bride's or grooms ring. She takes the brides bouquet during the ceremony so the bride can do what's necessary
  • Man of Honour / Best man – The male equivalent of a Matron/Maid of Honour. A man who stands up with the groom and hold the rings during ceremony.
  • Groomsmen – A group of men who accompany the groom, may act as ushers and serve as escorts for the bridesmaids.
  • Bridesmaids – A group of women who accompany the bride and are escorted by the groomsmen. The bridesmaids commonly walk in alone or with the groomsmen and leave with groomsmen
  • Junior Bridesmaid – A young girl too old to be the flower girl but not yet a woman. The junior bridesmaid commonly walks in with other bridesmaids.
  • Ring Bearer – Very young boy who carries a ring pillow and FAKE rings down the aisle. The ring bearer commonly symbolizes a page carrying the royal heraldry or brides dowry. Walks in and out with the flower girl. It is important to note that the real rings are commonly held by the Best Man.
  • Ushers – People used to escort attendants to their seats and hand out programs prior to start of ceremony. Often the Groomsmen.

 

Characteristics of a Good Officiant

These are the characteristics of a good wedding officiant:

  • A good personality is necessary - Many couples are both nervous and stressed out, so ensuring you come off as likeable, trustworthy, calm and easygoing will make their special day go much smoother. 
  • A good speaking voice - As you will be leading the ceremony, you must know how to communicate and enunciate clearly to make sure the words you say have an impact, carry throughout the audience, and are easily understood. 
  • A bit of humor - Many people will be quite emotional or nervous throughout the ceremony, so having  a subtle and appropriate sense of humour may help calm nerves. 
  • Have a basic understanding of common event technology (Microphones, projectors, speakers, etc.) - Most officiants may need a lapel microphone to keep their hands free. Never stand in front of the speakers or you will get feedback.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the wedding process. A nervous bride or groom needs your expertise and leadership.
  • Have lots of ceremony options and suggestions (such as locations) for your couples to choose from. While some couples may be from a specific church or denomination, religious ceremonies are commonly held in a church. However, each couple deserves to have their wedding the way they want it so their personalities shine through.
  • Be on time - NEVER be late. Always be early to advise musicians, photographer, and wedding party of what needs to be set up or done. Being on the site early also gives you time to comfort a nervous bride, a jittery groom or an anxious mom.
  • Have a contract - Make sure you have a document detailing what you expect from the married couple to be. Most contracts include the when, where, how and why's of a wedding, terms of payment, deposits, charge for travel, and rehearsal information. It is reassuring for both the couple and yourself to have such a document that helps make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • See what others are charging and charge your fees accordingly.
  • Be professional - Dress the part. Look sharp and refined. Wear a good suit, dress, clergy attire perhaps with a stole. Be a leader and use tact. Be polite, diplomatic, keep your promises, and deliver what was promised. Don’t gossip.
  • Have a backup plan - Have a second person you can fall back on if any unexpected sicknesses or issues arise. Make friend of other officiants that can be there on short notice.
  • You are hired to be the leader and therefore can make or break the special day. Know what common wedding vendors are needed. These are vendors you will typically interact with at a ceremony:

VENDORS

  • Photographer, Videographer - Extremely important to connect with them to ensure they do not block the view of the bride or groom, impede your ability to officiate, become annoying, or block the view of the attendees. They must get the perfect shot, but that groom needs to see his bride coming down the aisle. No flashes in faces.
    • Tip: Make friends with them. They can offer you photos and videos that you can use for your marketing and advertising.
  • Disk Jockey/ Musicians -  Let them see the program and layout for the ceremony so they know when it starts and when it ends. Highlight their cues to play music. You may need to bless the meal if attending the reception. You may also need to have him adjust the microphone .
  • Connect with the venue and the caterer if attending the reception. Check with the on-site coordinator and with the caterer about the ceremony setup. Let them know if you need a table to sign the marriage license or a podium for the readers. Make friends with them. Give them your business cards. They will refer you to a couple who need to book an Officiant.
  • The venue may be a church, temple, a non-denominational chapel, a private home or backyard, a garden or a park, hotel, historic mansion, hall, restaurant and places specifically designed and decorated to hold a wedding. Know about different venues and be able to give the couple a few choices if they can't decide.

Conclusion

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Lesson Eight Test

LESSON EIGHT TEST: The Role of the Wedding Officiant (copy)

What are banns?

To be legally married, a couple MUST have either a Marriage License or a Bann.

  • True
  • False

What is the only legal component required in a Wedding Ceremony?

  • Biblical Readings
  • Vows
  • Declaration of Intent
  • Consecrations
  • Exchange of Rings

Match the members of the Wedding Party with their description. You must scroll up and down to complete this quiz.

  • Parents of the Groom
    In many cases, they may pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes the alcohol at the reception. They are seated prior to the processional.
  • Parents of the Bride
    Walks the bride down the aisle. Sometimes the mother is included in this tradition. The brides mother is last person to sit before the start of processional if she is not participating.
  • Matron/Maid of Honour
    is very close to the bride and supports her before and during the ceremony and reception. May hold the engagement ring, or the grooms ring. Takes the bouqet during the ceremony so the bride can do whats necessary.
  • Best man
    Stands up with the groom and hold the rings during ceremony.
  • Groomsmen
    Accompany the groom, may act as ushers and serve as escorts.
  • Bridesmaids
    Accompany the bride and are escorted by the groomsmen. Commonly walk in alone or with the groomsmen and leave with groomsmen
  • Ring Bearer
    Very young boy who carries a ring pillow and FAKE rings down the aisle. He commonly symbolizes a page carrying the royal heraldry or brides dowry. Walks in and out with the flower girl.

A Marriage Registry;

  • Can only be obtained at a Christian Book store.
  • Can be purchased through your Denomination.
  • Is sent to a Wedding Officiant upon Registration.
  • Is obtained through a free offer when you receive your Registration by mail.

Determine if each of the statements are True or False

  • A marriage license is provided by the Wedding Officiant.
  • A marriage certificate will be sent to the newly weds automatically after the wedding.

It is the Wedding Officiants responsibility to send the completed Marriage License to the Office of the Registrar General.

  • True
  • False

Pre-Marital Counselling

You have completed Part One of the Wedding Officiant Course.

You have learned some topics of pre-marital counselling. These are things you may want to go over with the couple prior to the wedding. Non too often many embark in a marriage and are not clear as to what their role as a husband or wife is. This will certainly build up after time and cause problems within the marriage.

If you have the opportunity, make an appointment with the couple and have a bit of a chat with them.  Let them know what is expected of each one of them and how to achieve a healthy and happy balance within their marriage. 

This is also great way to get to know the couple and for them to get to know you. Build a good rapport with them and make their experience with you a light and friendly acquaintance. In the future they will be happy to recommend you to others. 

Ways you can schedule time with the couple:

  • Arrange a visit at their home
  • Invite them to your home or office for an informal chat over coffee and dessert
  • Meet for lunch or at a well known restaurant for coffee, light appetizers, dessert or even dinner. 
  • Take a walk through the local botanical gardens. Sometimes a stroll with good conversation is an ice-breaker.
  • Don't be so serious. This is a new step the married couple will be taking. They will be a bit nervous discussing this. Add some humor and keep the conversation light. 

In Part Two you will learn about Officiating a wedding and will be able to practice what you have learned at the Workshop. Should you have any questions pre-marital counselling, or if there's something you're not clear on, jot it down and email it to us or bring it to the workshop with you for the Question and Answer session.

 

ASSIGNMENT!

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

  1. You must research how to obtain a Marriage license and know everything there is to know about it. Call your resources and ask questions. Who can get one, how much does it cost, methods of payment, required Id, further requirements, filling them out.  What if one partner cannot go to the Registry office, what if one of the couple is widowed or divorced? What if they want to become married outside of Canada. This knowledge is critical to all Clergy prior to performing a wedding. You will be quizzed on all aspects of the Marriage License Application and filling out a Marriage License during the workshop. Know about this inside out. 
  2. Research Christian wedding traditions, customs, different wedding ideas. Choose one that you find particularly interesting. Write a short paragraph about it, perhaps if they are common to a particular nationality, what the custom or idea is, how it is executed and it's significance if any. This will be presented at the Workshop.
  3. Find 3 biblical stories outlining fornication in a marriage, or divorce. Give an outline of the circumstances and how it was handled. 
  4. Research what the Bible teaches regarding those who do not wish to marry. Write a paragraph of at least 500 words on this topic. 

Please submit these assignments to: info@yorkstpeters.com to gain access to Part Two on Wednesday July 27. Part Two will include the most vital part of your training along with the Workshop practice.

Follow The Instructions To Exit The Course And Submit Your Marks

Click on the Home button below to get back to the course listings

You will see the list of courses. At the top right you will see your overall score and the score you got for each individual course to the right of the course picture. Click on the Blue door at the top right and choose FINISH COURSE. When the next window comes up click on Finish Course again. (If you do not do this we won't receive your marks and you will have to do the tests all over again).  

You will be taken back to the main Marriage Program window. AGAIN, click on the blue door. Click on Finish Path. When the next window comes up click on Finish Path again.