Strengthening Congregations Through Stronger Marriages
Over the weekend of May 21-22, a diversity of couples met online with Sam for our marriage conference— “Restored to Our Original Design” –some retaking the seminar to grow still more in Messiah through their marriage! Word of Messiah Ministries (WMM) teaches these marriage seminars as part of our congregation planting work, for a congregation can be no spiritually stronger than the families in that congregation.
…a ‘gentle and quiet spirit’…
The conference uses Sam’s book, Messianic Marriage Matters, which covers the biblical view of marriage from the original design (Genesis 1-2), the marriage catastrophe (Genesis 3) and the restoration of the original design in the finished work of Messiah where we study the Spirit-filled marriage (Ephesians 5:18-32) and the victorious marriage, even when your spouse is not on board (1 Peter 3:1-7).
There are six sessions over the weekend, each session is 90 minutes with 50 minutes of instruction, 10+ minutes of Q&A, and the 30 minutes for the couple to privately go over the questions for each session.
The Q&A time helps the conference team to understand where the couples are in their marriages so that we can minister more specifically on the issues as the Holy Spirit surfaces them. One woman asked, “What exactly do you MEAN by ‘affirmation’ of our spouse?” and another asked, “Please explain what having a ‘gentle and quiet spirit’ looks like.”
“align with God and His will for our marriage…”
We watched the whole group smile when one person observed, “You blew our minds when you talked about WHO is to do the nurturing.”
Always a highlight is the closing session when each person can give us his or her “takeaway” from the conference. It is very encouraging to see how God uses this seminar to make God’s truths accessible and understandable to the conference participants.
Our youngest couple told us, “It’s so impactful to learn and review scriptural evidence of how we should walk out a Godly marriage. The scriptures reinforced some of the good things we are already doing, but more importantly, we were able to study scriptures that show areas where we need to repent.
We assumed these areas to be true, but they are based on worldly ideas or teaching. Now we know that they are areas that we needed to align with God and His will for our marriage.”
“…I need to submit to her needs and not my own”
They went on to say, “We learned that we don’t do things in our marriage to earn appreciation or gain credit. Instead, we do them to honor and serve one another, and to obey, honor, and appreciate the LORD God.”
Sam further commented on this truth by stating, “Whether we affirm our spouse, or not, actually says more about us than about them. Marriage is ministry, where we are called to be God’s instrument of His forgiveness, mercy and love to our spouse.”
Another young husband said that he always liked the verses about “wives submit to your husbands,” but “I now see that I need to submit myself to meeting her needs, not my own.”
“…it’s not about the other person…”
Another man told us, with his wife nodding her head in agreement, “This has been a wonderful, biblical foundation for us. It’s just a beginning. We will continue with the workbook to help us in our communication. I’m excited about what is to come.”
After studying Genesis 3, one woman soberly confessed, “The enemy will attack the one with less knowledge of the Word. It makes me want to read and know the Word better, so I’m not vulnerable.” As a reminder of the conference and the frequent reminder to obey what they learn, each couple was mailed a “refrigerator card” (pictured) with John 13:17 on it.
Several other “takeaways” of what was taught were, “We can’t appreciate when we don’t forgive.” “Self-loathing is sin because we’re still focusing on self.” “It’s not about the other person. It’s about you putting God in the center….” “Love is the greatest commandment. We must love our spouses through difficulties.” “I learned about grieving the Holy Spirit and how to walk in the Spirit. I have been blinded to that.”
Pray for others you may know
Pray for WMM’s congregation planting work as we see many more couples strengthening the congregations’ testimony of the new life in Messiah, even to the Jew first!
Please pray not only for your participation in WMM’s marriage conferences but also for others you may know that seek to grow in Messiah through their marriage!
Go to wordofmessiah.org/conferences and reserve your seat (on your own couch) for October 22-23, 2022.