MARRIAGE CHALLENGE 2022 - WEEK 3 - HOMEWORK
Session 5 – Question #1 (Workbook pg. 83)
The six words represented by C-O-U-P-L-E are listed below. Next to each word is a brief definition. Under each word, write what it suggests to you. Does your definition match the one given?
Closeness: She wants you to be close.
Openness: She wants you to open up to her.
Understanding: Don’t try to “fix” her; just listen.
Peacemaking: She wants you to say, “I’m sorry.”
Loyalty: She needs to know you’re committed.
Esteem: She wants you to honor and cherish her.
Which of these six principles sounds most interesting? Which is most necessary to a
happy marriage? Why?
Session 5 – Question #7 (Workbook pg. 88)
Emerson writes, “To turn to your wife in the middle of a conflict and say, I am sorry, will you forgive me?’ takes guts. I know because I have been there. It isn’t pleasant, but it works powerfully. Over time it becomes easier, but it is never natural. Even so, this response gives you the power to drain negativity out of your wife in conflict after conflict.”
Why does it take guts to say “I’m sorry?” What often stands in a husband’s way?
This can be a good question to discuss, but only if both of you are “up for it.” Be sensitive to each other’s needs and, if feasible, talk together about why it’s hard for him to say, “I’m sorry.” Is it pride? Or is it fear that later she will use his apology against him in a distespectful way?
Session 5 – Question #8 (Workbook pg. 89)
It is no coincidence that early on in the Bible—in describing the first marriage in human history—there is a living definition of the meaning of closeness.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 KJV)
When Scripture speaks of “cleaving,” the idea in the Hebrew is to cling, hold, or keep close. Two are joined together face to face, becoming one flesh. Did you know that in all of God’s creation only human beings are sexually intimate face to face? Cleaving, however, is more than sexual. Cleaving also means spiritual and emotional closeness. This is a salient passage for husbands—full of insight. Your wife will feel loved when you move toward her and let her know you want to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile.
In the book of Deuteronomy we find still more about what it means to be close.
“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5).
This is a fascinating passage because it shows how well the Israelites understood marriage. Why the whole first year? They knew that the first year of marriage is fundamental. It is important to set the tone for the closeness of the relationship, before the wear and tear of life takes the husband away for periods of time, before they face other problems.
Write out the biblical definition of closeness as outlined above and be sure to add what it means “to cleave.” Obviously, “cleaving” involves sex, but what other kinds of closeness are involved?
Talk together about what closeness means to each of you. How important is it for the husband to let his wife know he wants to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile?