To all of you women out there who are married - may God richly bless you in your marriage. After reading this book - I am even more assured that this task should not be undertaken without Jesus. Sacred Influence is a must read for all married women and women who want to be married one day. Gary Thomas also wrote Sacred Marriage, Sacred Parenting, etc.
Here are just some of the quotes that I felt were extremely challenging or uplifting - and some Scriptures that I found very pertinent:
"Women tend to be more invested in their relationships and marriage than are men. Woman are bent to their husbands." (p 19) - He went on to say that this wasn't a good thing - it was a result of the fall - that women would desire their husband's place.
"Some women never rise above a sinful propensity to define themselves according to their likability or acceptance by men." (p 20) Man, how true is this (no pun intended). In the many years that I have ministered to women - I find this to be incredibly true (sadly in my life at times as well). I've seen women stay with men who aren't good for them just because they can't see their lives single. Oh, but we have a Husband!
"If you're trying to find your primary refuge in your husband, if you've centered your hope on his approval, if you will do almost anything to gain his acceptance, then you've just given to a man what rightfully belongs to God." (27) - I spent much of one relationship this way - it is not the right way to go about it. God is the only ONE who can satisfy you - whether married or single. The life of hurt that comes from doing the above is not worth it. God brings so much more joy!
"A good marriage doesn't happen by accident, and a good marriage isn't maintained by accident." (35) - Both are the work of the Spirit and the foundation of Jesus and His unchanging truth in the life of the 2 who are married.
"This should be the goal of every husband and wife - a man aspiring to be worthy of his wife and vice versa (38). I think I learned a lot of this from Phyllis and Billy. They once told me something back in college when Chuck and I were doing a project together. Pursue Jesus - love him - and out of that you will be able to love your spouse. The thing they want most is for the other one to love Jesus more. If Phyllis was loving Jesus - then she would be serving Billy in the ways that he needed - and vice versa.
"Nothing compares to being married to a godly woman - nothing. Nothing gets more tiresome more quickly than living with a narcissistic, weak, and fearful one." (39) - Oh, God - make me like the first one - make me more like You daily!
"Fighting your husband's irresponsibility with irresponsibility of your own is like pouring gasoline on a fire" (p?) - Something else he said in line with this is how much easier it is to sin when we have been wronged. How true is that? But, that is when peace, patience, a gentle and quiet spirit, one wrapped and soaked in grace and mercy comes in handy (all given to us by a gracious and loving Father).
"That's why forgiveness is so crucial - we need to let go of the past so we don't keep coloring the present with it" (137) - Oh, forgiveness - how I need it every day, and so do others. Mercy, there it is again!
"Someday, a young woman will have the opportunity to make me one of the happiest fathers-in-law who has ever lived - simply by loving my son well - by being generous, kind, and encouraging, by helping him become all that God intends for him to become, by forgiving him when he sins, lifting him up when he's discouraged, comforting him when he is sad, and sharing in his glory when he succeeds." (241) - This is what I want to be - this is what I encourage all of you wives to do - love your God well - in order to love your husband well.
Ecc 9:17, 2 Cor 7.1, 1 Cor 7.17, Phil 2
May you strive to love Jesus and love your husband