Last fall a group of women from my church started going through “The Excellent Wife” and “The Excellent Wife Study Guide” by Martha Peace together. It’s the fourth time that I’ve gone through this book and every time I have been both convicted and encouraged. It’s a book that can be studied by yourself or with a group of women.
Martha Peace does a wonderful job of walking women through the different aspects of marriage. Starting with exploring the foundational truths for a wife in her understanding of God, sin, relationships, marriage, and her role in marriage.
My favorite part of this book is how she describes the biblical process of change. The putting off and putting on process found in Ephesians 4:22-24 – “put aside the old self” and “put on the new self”; taking your old thoughts, the wrong, sinful thoughts and putting on the new thoughts, the right, Godly thoughts. She gives practical examples of the thought process and how to think biblical thoughts.
The second book that I am currently reading is the “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. The author points to Matthew 6:33 to help us understand how to honor and love your spouse by “[seeking] first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and these things shall be added unto you”.
One of my favorite lines from “Sacred Marriage” is about contempt and respect:
“Contempt is conceived with expectations; respect is conceived with expressions of gratitude. We can choose which one we will obsess over- expectations, or thanksgivings. That choice will result in a birth-and the child will be named either contempt or respect.” – Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage
I highly recommend both of these books whether you are newly married or have been married for decades. We can all use the encouragement and admonishment to strive to honor the Lord with our marriages.