Yesterday at a women’s meeting, I was asked what I thought was a woman’s biggest problem in marriage. And my answer was that she was contentious versus having a gentle and quiet spirit (which is the same as having a happy heart). Most of this week’s lesson addresses a woman’s deepest problem, her heart.

Chapter 15 in Wife School is about parenting, but we will discuss other topics in this week’s WSO lesson.

Week Fifteen, Day One
If You Are Bored with Your Marriage

Boredom in your marriage is not about not having enough exciting activities to do together in your marriage. If you are currently bored in your marriage, what is really going on is that…your husband does not get you, is not interested in what you are interested in, does not pay attention to you, listen well to you, understand you, or pursue your heart. When women are bored with their marriages, it is about not having enough friendship and emotional intimacy in the marriage. I found the above photo on the internet and the tag line was, “Is this marriage bad enough to leave?” He wasn’t doing anything terrible; he simply was in his own world and didn’t respond to his wife’s need to be understood, listened to, and given affection. Women crave emotional intimacy and closeness. However, most men understand emotional intimacy about the same as how you and I understand quantum physics.

I am not saying that it is okay for men to not understand their wives, but I want you to know that it is normal. Men have not been taught how women need many demonstrations of love and affection, as well as emotional release (talking and being deeply listened to) to the same degree that men need sexual release. This was recently illustrated to me by the number of Christian husbands I know that just ignored Valentine’s Day. Ignored! Women love Valentine’s Day and men hardly even know the day exists (unless again, a mother or wife has trained them). Your husband has not been trained how to ask your opinion, how to encourage and affirm you, and how to care for and comfort you on a deep emotional level. For women to be deeply fulfilled in a relationship, men must eventually be taught these skills.

Teaching husbands to be emotionally intimate with their wives should be compared to teaching kids math from grade 1 (addition) to grade 10 (geometry). It is a course. It builds on other principles. You don’t teach second graders calculus. But, after 10 years of math, you can teach kids calculus. Women, we have to understand that men do not have a clue about what we want as far as emotional intimacy. It’s so ridiculous to discipline kids for not getting linear equations at eight years old. Yet, we do that to our husbands. We don’t want to take the time to teach them how we feel and what we want. We expect them to know. That is absurd. The vast majority of men don’t know. He will want to please you, though, and will be willing to be taught, if you are filling him to the brim.

Make your list of what you want. Systematically, ask for the top one to two things, but accept what he gives for now. In the meantime, enjoy the intimacy of sisters, best friends, and God.

You don’t have to teach cats to chase mice and you don’t have to teach men to want sex. But you have to teach men how to love you in a language you can hear. After they learn how to have emotional intimacy with you, you will not feel bored in your marriage anymore.

Learn to do marriage as one would learn to play chess. There are skills that enable one to consistently win. And teaching your husband how to understand you and meet your needs will definitely prevent your marriage from getting boring. But of course, this is a lot of work and takes a truckload of patience.

Consider getting some of your intimacy needs met from other female relationships so you do not pull on your husband so much in this area. Years ago I read that marriage is only to be about 25% of our relationship plate. (Where do people get these numbers?!?) Anyhow, when I read that, I remember thinking how my relationship with my husband was about 85% of my relationship plate. And the problem with that is, of course, you have a lot of expectations from someone if they are 85% of your relationship plate. Since then, I have intentionally grown other relationships. But still, the fact remains that I expect a lot from David, which frequently makes it difficult for him. I don’t think David will ever be only 25% of my plate, but when he is 85%, he is bound to fail. One human can’t give that much to another. I have some awesome friends (no sisters, dang it) in which I enjoy deep, intimate conversations. And now I have a grown daughter and a precious daughter-in-law with whom I have very satisfying relationships. But the challenge to me remains not to expect David to be Superman in filling my emotional intimacy tank. He is wonderful and generous, and that is enough. Superman expectations cause us to be disappointed and contentious. Be on the lookout for how much emotional intimacy you expect from your husband. Women are notorious for wanting the husband to fill most of the relationship plate. Friends, find some women to help meet your needs in this area. Your husband will be worn out if he is your only close relationship.

Bottom line, we are to work on our demanding hearts in prayer with the Lord. We are to be filled with the Spirit, and that comes from getting off the throne of our lives and putting God on the throne. We choose to be content with the portion we’ve been given, while praying for (and working for) what is still not right…which at this point might be that your husband still does not reciprocate the depth of relationship you want.

David has co-authored with me, Husband School: Where Men Learn the Secrets of Making Wives Happy. We wrote this book so it would explain to husbands what wives want.

Let’s look at the life of Hannah for help with contentment. Contentment is often a woman’s most pressing need when she is bored with her marriage.

Week Fifteen, Day Two
Learning Contentment in Hard Circumstances

All of us right now have issues in our lives that we’d rather not have. Sickness, issues with kids, infertility, marriage struggles, job problems, depression, weight, loneliness, no money, no free time, rude in-laws, difficult extended family members, and inattentive friends are just a few of the many concerns women have. We all have things we want to change.

In the Old Testament, Hannah had some very difficult circumstances. She was in a polygamous marriage, and had to put up with mean Peninnah, another one of Elkanah’s wives. And on top of that, she was infertile, an extremely painful burden for women to bear. Many commentators say how nice and comforting Elkanah was to her, offering her a double portion of food to show his love. Obviously, those commentators were men. Yes, Elkanah was a dutiful man, who regularly went to worship. But to me, Elkanah was a typical man who did not understand women. He says to Hannah, “Am I not better to thee than ten sons?” If I were Hannah, I would have wanted to say, “Elkanah, a double portion of food is not what I want. And you are not better to me than ten sons.” (This might be why God picked Hannah and not me to be the mother of the great prophet, Samuel.) Anyhow, I don’t think Elkanah was any great relational genius who listened well. Hannah is aching from grief over infertility and Mr. I’m-Enough wants her to be satisfied with his awesomeness. Give us a break, Elkanah. I know you meant well, but you don’t get women, that’s for sure. So let’s add “a husband who doesn’t understand women” to Hannah’s list of woes.

(I am sorry if you think I am being harsh toward Elkanah. I think it is comical that God captured the repeated hurt that women experience in marriage and male commentators miss it. If you have been in Wife School Online very long, you know that I love men and admire their courage to face the harsh work place, their strength to protect their families, and their responsible natures that seek to provide. Women, not men, (and women’s tendencies to emotional turmoil) are whom I repeatedly reprimand. However, a man being emotionally dense is equal to a woman being dense about a man’s gargantuan appetite for sex (as well as being dense to a man’s need to be accepted ‘as is’ without continual advice on how to improve). This is the recurring clash of the sexes throughout the ages. I am only illuminating Elkanah’s failure here, but you understand that I equally understand our failure as women in the male/female relationship. Correct?)

Now to continue with our topic of contentment… Hannah has something magnificent for us to learn in the midst of difficult circumstances such as dealing with her husbands’ mean additional wife (can you imagine?), infertility, and a husband who doesn’t understand her. (See 1 Samuel 1-2). The magnificent behavior that Hannah models for us is her prayer life. Prayer is where we can find peace amidst our unwanted circumstances. It is through prayer than God gives us the peace that passes understanding as He gives us His very presence! In Hannah’s case, her heart was ripped apart with grief, but it was not demonstrated in emotional turmoil to her husband and she did not blame him. Her grief, disappointment, and requests were offered to God in prayer. What we find in Hannah is that in the midst of her pain, she still has a spirit of trust, patience, and devotion. Now that’s a lovely woman and a woman to model ourselves after!

God answered Hannah’s prayer. If you will read her prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, you will find striking similarities to Mary’s prayer in Luke 1:46-55 after Mary was told that as a teenager, she would be pregnant. These two women are reverent, grateful, and had moldable hearts in the midst of extremely difficult situations. How interesting that God selected such lovely, godly mothers for Samuel and for Jesus!

Prayer is the greatest work any of us can do, and maybe, the most difficult. Make this your year that you learn to pray and that you do pray. Carve out time every morning and pray the Psalms back to God. Until we become women of prayer, our hearts will clamor with discontentment. Take your heart to God and learn to wrestle in prayer until you become the gentle and quiet spirit that is a blessing to God and to all around. Make your first job every day to get your soul happy in the LORD. Of course, you will have disappointment. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But learn to be a woman who can live above circumstances, who is able to be nourishment for others because she is full of the Holy Spirit, and she has rolled her burdens onto the Lord (Psalm 55:22).

The normal downhill stream for most women is to focus on what is missing and what is disappointing. You must put energy toward overcoming this natural negative system and this normal pull of gravity in your life. Prayer, your TJ lists, and disciplining your mind to think Philippians 4:8 thoughts (controlling that parade across the screen of your mind) are good starting places.

Week Fifteen, Day Three
More on Learning to Have a Happy Heart

We have discussed having a happy heart many times before and will continue to discuss this subject, as this is quite a challenge for most women.

Paul says he learned to be content (Philippians 4:11). I think Paul is talking about the choice to accept his hardships and portion as from God. I remember a girl in one of my groups who was struggling with discontentment before she had kids. She then had a baby and even though she loved her baby, she still struggled with being discontent. The second child came, and she was devastated with this new workload. It wasn’t until her third baby (three babies under three) that she learned contentment. Contentment is not as much about circumstances as it is about letting go of who rules your life. Paul goes on to say that if we have food and clothes (1 Timothy 6:8), we are to be content. Paul is not saying to not diligently pursue your God-given goals, to lie down passively, and do nothing. Here is that delicate dance, that wobbly balance, where you accept God’s hardships and portion, yet seek legitimate means to overcome your problems and pursue your goals.

The secret in doing this is to, in one hand, be content today with the lot you have been given. But also, hold in the other hand, the pressing forward of your calling. Finding the balance of “accepting what is today” with “how much do I pursue answers and to what extent”…is difficult and tricky for all of us to comprehend. Yes, you must learn to be content and accept what is, while still, peacefully battling and pursuing what isn’t.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites grumbled because they had no water and their grumbling was upsetting to God. It blows my mind that God was upset with them for grumbling over no water. They were wandering with no homes and now, they had no water and still God was upset with their grumbling. (That’s some high standard, Lord.) Yes, the Israelites had big issues. But they were to come to God and trust Him to provide, and not grumble. Of course it was okay to ask God for water and of course, it’s okay for you and me to seek answers to our problems. But God looks at our hearts and we are not to clamor and grumble, but instead trust His promises. (He has given us irrefutable evidence in creation that He exists. Have you ever studied the uber-complex language and code that exists in DNA, as well as the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection and the reliability of the New Testament documents?). Somehow, we are to learn to be content with our difficult situations because he is God, and yet, with quiet hearts, seek answers. What maturity and godliness this balance demands! (Review the lives of Joseph and Job in the Old Testament.)

I think of a lovely woman I know who has had major heartache with her family’s health, broken financial dreams, major issues with adult children such as divorce, and more. Yet, in talking with her, you would never know. Her spirit stays soft and happy. Yes, she is seeking answers, but her heart is not demanding.

And then I think of another woman who has had some issues with her children but otherwise, has had the life of a princess. She constantly takes the conversation to how horrible and terrible she has it. She has definitely not learned contentment. Somehow, someway, we are to wrestle our hearts down, accepting that life includes hardship! Life is not a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. What we do is look at others’ best two seconds of their day (which they post on Facebook) and then we look at their adorable Pinterest lives, and we feel “less than”. What a ridiculous standard to try to obtain.

When I was young, an older non-Christian woman told me that “some people really do have Cinderella lives.” I believed her, and thought my life stunk. But one thing counseling others has done for me is teach me to realize that circumstances are not the predictor of who has a lovely heart. Some of the women with the best circumstances are the biggest whiners and some of the women in the hardest places are the most lovely.

I know your life is not perfect. I know you are wrestling with your in-laws, your friends, your weight, your finances, your time, your health, your church, your husband, your children, aging, etc. I know. I promise, I understand. But learn contentment during it all. Figure out how to get your heart under and still be a lovely garden to invite others into for shade and nurturing. Nothing is worse than a complaining, grumbling “Oh-my-life-is-terrible” woman. Become grateful for what you have, but also, legitimately/actively try to fix that which is wrong,and then put your problems on the shelf in heaven while you laugh at the days to come. Become a delightful woman, even in the midst of suffering and hardship! No one can do that for you. Your husband can’t. Your pastor can’t. You must decide that this is who you are going to be and ask God to make you this kind of woman.

Learning to have a happy heart is one of the most important lessons in a woman’s life. Your heart is on open display for everyone in your home. You cannot hide anger, disappointment, or bitterness from those you live with. Clean out your heart. Finding contentment and developing a happy heart is non-negotiable. Paul had to learn contentment, so I’m pretty sure that means the rest of us do as well.

Over and over again, I hear men talk about the beauty of their wives’ gentle and quiet spirits. Men seem to rejoice in their wives’ softness, goodness, and kindness more than almost any other attributes (well, let’s not forget the 7thA of Affection). What a delight a soft heart is to a man. A woman can be absolutely, stunningly gorgeous, but if she has a grumbling and discontent heart, it negates all her beauty. Men are attracted to happy women. These women sparkle. They twinkle. Work on your heart. But remember it is the impossible frontier to conquer, without the Lord.

Week Fifteen, Day Four
The Awfulness of a Despondent Spirit

I cannot stress how awful a despondent spirit in a wife is to a husband. A despondent, sad spirit robs energy from others. It is very difficult for you to fill your family’s tanks when you are continually down. If heaviness pervades your spirit, it is a very serious issue.

Some women just seem to get the gene of resilience. I am thinking of a woman who has had a child with cancer, a husband with an illness which necessitates that she work full-time, children with learning issues, and still has the most selfless and joyful spirit. Then, I have seen women with money, beauty, time, and family still whine and waddle through their discouragement. Some of this is genetic, I realize, and some women learned to have a happy heart by what they saw in their mothers growing up (that’s your goal for your daughters, right?). It is really impossible to say exactly why some people have such resilience to heavy trials and others break under much smaller trials.

Said another way, I’m not sure why God gave some women strong minds and the ability to overcome hardship while other women received a proclivity to become severely discouraged. But I do know that you can learn to have a strong mind, and you can take responsibility for growing and developing a mind that is disciplined, unwilling to be offended, refuses to fall into the pit of self-pity, and refuses to blame others. No matter what childhood you had and what genes you were given, there are many skills you can learn to overcome a despondent heart.

One skill that we repeatedly discuss is the discipline of making time to bathe your mind with Scripture and prayer. Another essential in growing a strong mind is to fellowship frequently with other strong believers. If you are given to discouragement, this is especially important.

Another outstanding and helpful insight is that you have control over what thoughts you allow to parade across the screen of your mind. Focusing on what is missing and what is disappointing is a surefire method to have a despondent spirit. Instead, develop skills to have positive thoughts parade across your mind. I like to have many Philippians 4:8 pages in my Turquoise Journal. This is where I keep lists, such as, “The Gifts That God Has Given Me” (giving away our gifts gives us joy). I also have a page called “My Life Purpose” where I write what I perceive God is telling me about my purpose here on earth. This helps me not sweat the small stuff. I write down all of my trials and across from each one, I write down an encouraging word from the Lord on how to think about this trial. I have lists of God-given goals and of course, gratefulness lists. Included are lists of sweet things my husband and children have done/said, etc. Bathing your mind daily with Philippians 4:8 thoughts and other Biblical thought is the key to overcoming the habit of thinking depressing thoughts. Learn to encourage your own heart in the Lord. Reread the alley/park examples (Week Two, Day One) until you learn to take full responsibility for the parade of thoughts that march across your brain.

Stoic Marcus Aurelius claimed, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Did you understand that? It’s not what happens to you; it’s what you think about what happens that determines your emotions. A few years ago, a woman I didn’t know criticized me severely (and I mean severely) because she did not like the choices I made regarding handling some issues with our family’s pets. I remember thinking, “Ha, she’s a crazy. That doesn’t bother me.” And then later that day, one of my sons said a small, negative thing to me, and I became un-glued. I said to myself, “I guess I’m not a good mother.” It’s not what was said; it’s the value I personally attached to each circumstance. What I told myself was “the crazy lady’s remarks don’t matter” and I told myself “my son’s remarks are uber-important.” Do you see how your self-talk determines your emotions? It’s the value you attach to situations that drive your emotions. Realize that you have the power to watch the parade across the screen of your mind, and then, take mature action to refute your own thoughts. I used to say to myself, “That woman doesn’t like me very much because she didn’t call.” Now I say to myself, “That woman must be very busy because she didn’t call.” Try to frame situations in the best possible light. Repeatedly explaining things to yourself from a negative perspective can make you a despondent person.

Your life experience is based on the thoughts you have. Learn to control your thoughts. Navy Seals study mental training. Elite athletes engage in mental training. So why not you? Why don’t you take responsibility for learning how to think like a positive, giving, happy, godly woman?

Week Fifteen, Day Five, Part A
The 2-Day Rule

I don’t like unneeded, mindless rules. But here is a rule that has saved me many regrets. It’s called the 2-Day Rule and it goes like this: If a woman is upset with her husband about anything, give it two days to settle. If after two days, and much prayer, she still feels like she needs to confront the situation with her husband, she may. But only after two days with much prayer.

What happens in those two days is that if we will pray, God will download His perspective into us. Two days is enough distance that the emotional sting of something has died. When a lawyer presents his case to the judge, the judge often delays in making a decision because he wants to think about it. He takes the issue under advisement, which means he will think about it and get back to you. What grief you will save your marriage if you will simply zip it up and take the issue under advisement. I am shocked that what seems like an 8-out-of-10 issue when it happens becomes a 4-out-of-10 issue if I give it 2 days.

Try it. It’s a cool way to buy yourself some self-control…and save a lot of unnecessary conflict in your marriage.

Week Fifteen, Day Five, Part B
If Your Husband is Not Responding to the 8 A’s

I want to address the women that feel they are trying to give their husbands the 8 A’s, but he is still distant, or is holding back from turning toward them. Let me offer a couple possible reasons this might be going on.

It is possible that your husband is still afraid you might return to the emotionally tumultuous days of the past. If you brought your husband great emotional turmoil in the past, it would be beneficial to have a discussion that goes something like this: “Honey, I know I brought you a lot of emotional turmoil in the past, but I now realize what I was doing, and I’m trying to change. Have you noticed? Is there something I’m still doing in which I have a blind spot? My goal is to understand you and make you happy.”

Most human beings will soften to that kind of sentence, if it is sincere. In the past when you asked your husband why he was distant, then slammed him when he told you, he will be reluctant to tell you again. For Pete’s sake, if he tells you something hard to hear, don’t get defensive. Listen without being emotional. Men hate to be honest and have a direct conversation, only for you to break down in tears. Try to listen objectively and humbly to what you’ve done wrong. This is very difficult for women. Women want to respond, “Well, if you treated me like you loved me, I wouldn’t do that.” But humility demands that we go first and change. Humility demands that we not insist on getting high treatment, but give it to others. Before he will really open to your new change, you may have to hear some hard things, and humbly accept them. This is a fork in your marriage. Will you be humble? Will you go first and change, even though he is not being humble? This again is where the “wise woman builds.” She builds her house with humility and with meekness, which is not demanding that she is “right.”

Again, as we’ve discussed before, what I’m talking about are those same two qualities that Jesus used to describe himself in Matthew 11:29, “gentle and humble in heart” (the word gentle means the same as meek, which is yielding your rights). And again, these are the same two qualities that Peter discusses in 1 Peter 3, a gentle and quiet spirit. These two crowning qualities are imperative for a woman to master. If a woman can live out those two virtues, miracles happen in a marriage. But these virtues are for women who are ready to get off the thrones of their own lives and put Jesus on them. No women can live with humility and meekness in her own strength.

Understanding marriage is not rocket science. But doing it well is difficult to do, as a very death must happen to self.

If your husband is not responding to the 8 A’s, is it possible that you are still trying to run the show? Are you still trying to get him to serve you versus truly serving him? Are you still wallowing in self-pity? Men do eventually respond to a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3 says that husbands “may be won”). Ponder this. Pray over this. And get off that throne and give it to the Lord. You are doing a crummy job running your life, anyhow, aren’t you? Let Someone who sees the path ahead run your life.

A second reason your husband may not be responding to the 8 A’s is if he is involved in a deep sin, such as porn. He will feel very guilty if he is doing this and will probably want to blame you for things that are not really your fault. You will need to get help, for sure, if your husband is struggling with porn. But know that the first step in helping him is not to blast him, but to respond to him with a gentle and quiet spirit. God uses wives such as this to draw their husbands up and out of their sin all the time. (We become like the people we hang around, remember?) You are not the Holy Spirit in your husband’s life, but God will use your godliness and goodness (not your harsh words of reprimand) to prick your husband’s conscience. There will be a time when you will need to speak the truth in love about a husband’s sin, but husbands know if you are really trying to love them or if you are only trying to admonish them because you are personally annoyed. You can’t fool your husband with your motives.

Time after time, I hear how a man comes out of a sin area and how he attributes his wife’s love, acceptance, and perseverance as the keys to his deliverance. This is not fun, to be the godly rock. We want our husbands to be this for us. But this is our call, to be godly, gentle, and humble, even if our husbands are not. Soak in 1 Peter 3. This was written for women who have husbands that are disobedient. Our tendencies are to get bitter, and then to be sarcastic and critical. Here is your work, Friend: change that in prayer!! How impossible it is to return good for evil without God’s enablement!

The wise wife builds her house, but houses are not built in a weekend. They take months and years to build. And remember, “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25). Do not get discouraged when there are storms. Prayer is where you will find your peace that passes understanding. Women who persevere will find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There is no substitute for perseverance in hard times. This is where you will see what you are really made of. Pray and then put your hurt on the shelf in heaven, where He that watches Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Then live above your circumstances because God listens to the cries of His children and in His time, gathers His forces.

To keep yourself from getting discouraged, repeatedly camp out in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Wise women build their houses, but there will be thunderstorms during the building process. You, though, the wise wife, are armed with the Word and prayer, the double sticks of dynamite that blast the Enemy’s stronghold.

Prayer

God,

When I think about contentment, I realize there is a lot of ugly smut hidden in my heart that I try so hard to cover up. I don’t want anyone to know about my self-pity, about my desire to be up front and applauded, and about my secret greed. I want everyone to see me as the “put-together-Christian.” You and I know the truth about who I really am.

Lord, you know how I expect other people to be perfect and not mess up, or else they get a tongue lashing (either directly or behind their back). But when mess up, I want lots of grace from others, lots of understanding. I’m such a contradiction!

This sin in my heart is deep. And when I see how it is truly all about “me and mine,” I doubly know it grieves you. I’m supposed to love my neighbor as myself and I can’t even do that correctly to my friends!

So, Lord, I want to bring these ugly parts of me out into the light of Your presence right now. I want You to show me how You feel about them. And I want You to give me the motivation to change. Fill me with Yourself. Christ in me, there’s the hope.

Take my heart and plow it, as a farmer plows the earth in the spring. And then water me with Your Word and grow some beautiful fruit. I am really helpless and pathetic unless You show up. But You said You would. You said if I draw near to You, You will draw near to me. I don’t have to be discouraged about this heap of filth inside my heart. I can believe that You are drawing near and will begin the demolition. It is certainly needed.

I go back to my day’s work now. I receive Your forgiveness, which of course, I don’t deserve. I will put my burdens on a shelf in heaven as I calmly go about trying to solve my problems, with Your Spirit leading me. And I will put on a happy heart, knowing that at any second, You could call upon legions of angels to help me. I will walk in the truth that You love me and have good planned for me, even though it feels hidden at the moment. I trust You, God. The evidence You have demonstrated in creation shows me that You exist.  I believe because of the evidence. The evidence is irrefutable.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Assignments

  1. Do you understand that boredom in a marriage is really about that your husband does not get you, he is not interested in what you are interested in, he does not pay attention to you, listen well to you, understand you, or pursue your heart? How do you feel about having to teach your husband those skills? What percent of your relationship plate is your husband? How could you grow other relationships to get your intimacy needs met while you wait on your husband to learn to do better in this area?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. How does Hannah’s contentment compare to yours? What is God saying to you in this area of contentment?
    _______________________________________________________________________
  2. Would you say your heart is under and that it is a lovely garden to invite others into for shade and nurturing? Why or why not? How are you doing with whining and self-pity?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. Do you have a despondent spirit or are you more the resilient type? Do you have a tendency to focus on what is missing and on what is disappointing? How can you change that?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. How are you doing with standing apart from the parade that marches across your brain and taking responsibility to instead, think Philippians 4:8 thoughts?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. What are your thoughts about the 2-Day Rule? Would that work for you? Explain.
    _______________________________________________________________________
  2. If your husband is not responding to the 8 A’s, are you willing to ask him if you have a blindspot? What are your thoughts on this?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. The Bible says that storms will come, but the house built on the rock will stand. How are you building your house on the Rock? Explain. _______________________________________________________________________

The beauty of a woman who is filled with God is one of the most beautiful creations in all the world. No mountain, no ocean, no sunset can compare with that beauty. May God make us all women filled with Him. God tells us directly in 1 Peter 3 that “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” You can be of great worth in God’s sight. Now that is very cool.