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Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

November 9, 2014

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Craig & Amy

Groeschel’s From This Day Forward
7 Days
Start This PlanView a Sample Reading
You can have a great marriage. The choices you make today will determine the marriage you will have tomorrow. Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel and his wife, Amy, show you how five commitments can help you fail-proof your marriage: Seek God, fight fair, have fun, stay pure, and never give up. Get the marriage you always wanted, starting right now — from this day forward.
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We would like to thank Zondervan, HarperCollins, and LifeChurch.tv for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://www.zondervan.com/from-this-day-forward
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Seek God

Modern culture tells us we should look for that perfect person: “the one.” If we just find and marry “the one,” everything afterwards is wedded bliss, right? That’s a pretty unreasonable expectation to place on someone. Just think: would you want to be “the one” to bear that responsibility? Then why force those expectations on someone else?

God is the One who completes you. He created you to love Him with your whole heart and to put Him above all else. God is your One. Your spouse is your two. And when the two of you commit to seek God together, you can build a marriage-together-on a firm foundation that will stand the test of time.

What’s something you could ask God to do in you that would make you a better partner to your spouse? Become the kind of person you would want to be married to. Seek the One with your two. Begin by committing to pray together every day, even if it’s through a text message, over the phone, or silently.

Let’s pray together: God, help us to put You first in our home and to seek You together. Help us establish a strong foundation by building our relationship on You. Help us commit to a regular time that we pray together each day. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Matthew 22:36-39 NASB

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, ” ‘Y ou shall love the L ord your G od with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your mind .’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘Y ou shall love your neighbor as yourself .’

2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB

14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Matthew 7:7-8 NASB

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 6:33 NASB

33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Day 3

Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Day 3 of 7

Fight Fair

All couples fight. But how you fight can mean the difference between a minor disagreement and major damage. Healthy couples fight for resolution, not for victory. Conflict isn’t a relationship killer all by itself. But here are four warning signs that you may not be handling conflict in a constructive way:

1. Criticism

Are you using disagreement or conflict as an opportunity to criticize your spouse? Or are you guilty of criticizing them in front of other people? Criticism is a warning sign that you’re fighting against each other instead of for the relationship.

2. Contempt

Contempt is one of the most accurate indicators that a marriage is heading off track. Even if it’s never expressed in words, a disgusted glare, an exasperated eye roll, or a snarky mental remark is still a big red flag.

3. Defensiveness

Right now – when you’re not in the middle of a fight – you have to admit that defensiveness is not something that you’ll probably be able to see in yourself once your feathers are ruffled. You’ll have to choose to listen when it’s pointed out to you.

4. Stonewalling

If your spouse won’t seek God with you, don’t let that stop you. Your spouse is not your enemy. We only have one enemy. And he’s a thief and liar who never fights fair. Don’t fight each other. Get on the same team, and fight off the spiritual issues like pride and a hard heart that sabotage your relationship.

Let’s pray together: Jesus, please help us to keep conflict from driving a wedge into our marriage. Help each of us lay down our pride and address our own issues with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Help us commit to fight in a way that brings restoration and resolution. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Proverbs 27:15 NASB

15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike;

James 1:19-20 NASB

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 18:2 NASB

2 A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. 20 With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord . 23 The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. 24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 21:23 NASB

23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.

Ephesians 4:27 NASB

27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

John 10:10 NASB

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

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Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Day 4 of 7

Have Fun

Being engaged can be a lot of fun. It’s full of so much anticipation and excitement, yet it’s such a small window of time in the context of an entire life spent together. How can you carry that fun of courtship, engagement, and the honeymoon into year after year of marriage? How can you have fun when you’re facing financial strains, problems with the kids, or just the normal changing seasons of life? Do you have to keep pursuing your spouse even after you’ve already “caught” them?

Yes! You have to make fun a priority. It may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but the reality is, it’s a necessary part of having a marriage that goes the distance. Fun is a requirement. And you can choose to have fun with your spouse.

What if someone else’s marriage looks more fun than yours? What if that girl at the bank laughs at your jokes? What if that guy at the office always seems to have better weekend plans? If the grass looks greener somewhere else – water your lawn! Be intentional about intimacy and connectedness. Work to get back to being best friends: laughing together, snuggling, looking to each other for comfort and joy. It may not seem fun to schedule time for fun, but that may be where you need to start. And that relationship is what you want anyway, isn’t it?

Let’s pray together: Father, we repent for the things we’ve allowed to crowd out our time with each other. Help us to make time for down time as a couple. Give us wisdom and creativity to find ways we enjoy being together. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 NASB

9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

Song of Solomon 7:1-4 NASB

1 “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist. 2 “Your navel is like a round goblet Which never lacks mixed wine; Your belly is like a heap of wheat Fenced about with lilies. 3 “Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle. 4 “Your neck is like a tower of ivory,

Song of Solomon 7:10-12 NASB

10 “I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me. 11 “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, Let us spend the night in the villages. 12 “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;

Proverbs 5:18-19 NASB

18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe,

Matthew 7:12 NASB

12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Revelation 2:5 NASB

5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent.

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Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Day 5 of 7

Stay Pure

People spend months planning for their wedding but sometimes neglect to make marriage planning a priority. We may attend a premarital class or talk with the minister who performs the wedding, but we often don’t really open up about what issues we may be bringing into the relationship. We may not even be fully aware of how our habitual thoughts and behaviors could threaten our unity.

Because the marriage bed is God’s standard for sexual intimacy, it’s also the place that suffers most when sexual baggage is brought into a relationship. Whether it’s from a promiscuous past, sexually-charged music, racy novels, unhealed wounds from abuse, or exposure to pornography – any source of sexual stimulation outside the context of your marriage is a dangerous threat. No matter how harmless you’ve convinced yourself it is, if you’re keeping it a secret from your spouse, you’re closing the door to intimacy and opening the door to adultery.

Are you willing to build a barrier together to keep those threats out? Are you willing to limit your freedoms to keep you strong against temptation? Are you willing to be transparent with your schedule, your conversations, or your online interactions? Do this when you’re strong to protect yourself when you’re weak. Ask God to show you your weaknesses – then shore them up.

Will lines be crossed? Will failures happen? Almost certainly. Deal with issues as they arise. Ask God to forgive you. Ask your spouse to forgive you. But fight to stay pure. Purity matters.

Let’s pray together: Jesus, You paid such a high price to make us clean and new. Only You can make us pure in Your sight. Help us have the courage to stay pure. Give us the strength to forgive and to protect our hearts from the damage of sin. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Hebrews 13:4 NASB

4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Ephesians 5:3 & 30 NASB

3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

30 because we are members of His body.

1 Corinthians 8:9 NASB

9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NASB

18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Matthew 5:29-30 NASB

29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Matthew 5:27-28 NASB

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Y ou shall not commit adultery ‘; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

1 John 1:8-10 NASB

8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 NASB

22 abstain from every form of evil.

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Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Day 6 of 7

Never Give Up

When you exchange rings and vows and enter into the covenant of marriage, you’re dedicating yourself to love “until death do us part.” But what happens when the love runs dry? What happens if only one of you chooses to read this Bible plan? What do you do when the worst happens, and those vows are shattered by unfaithfulness? Whatever you’re facing, even if it could be grounds for divorce, that means it can also be grounds for forgiveness.

Marriage is one of the toughest ways that we can see the proverb “iron sharpens iron” play out. No matter what fault you find in your spouse, the truth is, there are always ways that you need to grow and develop, too. If that wedding band starts to feel more like a handcuff, then you have a decision to make: you can decide to forgive what seems unforgivable. You can decide to extend the grace that God gave you to your spouse. You can decide to own up to your mistakes. When your car runs out of gas, you don’t sell it. You put more gas in! Let God love through you. And never give up.

Let’s pray together: Jesus, when I feel like I don’t have any love left to give, help me to love with Your love. Help me to keep the vows I made to You, even when I no longer feel them. Help me give the same grace You’ve given me. And be my strength on the days when I want to give up. I trust that You’re big enough to hold us together. In Your Name we pray, amen.

Proverbs 27:17 NASB

17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

Jeremiah 29:11 NASB

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the L ord , ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Matthew 19:3-8 NASB

3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female , 5 and said, ‘F or this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife , and the two shall become one flesh ‘? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away ?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.

1 John 4:8 NASB

8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:20 NASB

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Galatians 6:7-9 NASB

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

#7

Craig & Amy Groeschel’s From This Day Forward

Day 7 of 7

As Long As You Both Shall Live

Seek God. Fight fair. Have fun. Stay pure. And never give up. These five commitments are the keys to a lasting marriage. But we need God to do these things; we can’t do them under our own strength.

Leave the past in the past. Let every day be a new day. From this day forward, we can decide what we want our marriage to be. We can’t change the past, but God can change our future. Keep your marriage simple, focused, and Christ-centered, and you’ll have the marriage that most people only dream about.

Let’s pray together: God, help me see the ending of this Bible plan as a beginning of a new thing that You want to do in my marriage. I give You complete control of every area of my life – including my marriage – so that all of my life brings glory and honor to You. I want a marriage that shows the world what Your love, redemption, grace, and forgiveness is like. As I commit to seeking You, please be present in my marriage, and grant both of us Your favor. Thank You for all that You’ve already done in our relationship. And thank You for what I trust You will continue to do in us and through us. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Psalms 119:1-11 NASB

1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the L ord . 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3 They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways. 4 You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly!

Beth. 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,

Romans 12:2 NASB

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty , give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head .”

2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB

5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

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