LAKE ORION, Michigan—When Deb Potts began mentoring married couples at her church three years ago, she soon noticed that it was mostly wives who sought counsel.
“A lot of women believe, he should know what I’m thinking and understand my feelings. They think this person is going to be my soul mate and understand me. It’s a huge burden,” Deb said. “So when they hit a problem they think divorce. They don’t understand the beauty of working through struggles. They don’t understand they are part of the problem.”
So Deb started a wives group. To meet the needs of the 25 women who signed up she chose Make Us One, a resource from the ministry that helped guide her to Jesus Christ 20 years ago—Stonecroft.
“From my perspective it’s a fresher look at praying for your marriage,” Deb said.
Make Us One is written in four sections and spans 12 weeks. Designed for women busy with children, work, and a family, this small-group study requires little homework. Participants form a circle and each reads a paragraph aloud.
“One of the things the study touches is what high places [things we prioritize above our relationships with God and others] might be in our marriages, like money, philosophical beliefs, worry, fear, discontentment, and focus on self,” Deb said. “Then there are questions for discussion, like: What unhealthy habits have you developed in your marriage? If you allow high place sin in your life, it could lead to a bad decision, a bad relationship with your husband and a bad relationship with God.
“(Stonecroft) gives you Scriptures to pray for your spouse and we personalize the Scripture. For example Hebrews 13:5: `Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have . . .’ They can pray along the lines and theme of the chapter. We spend a lot of time in prayer. And they like to hear other stories to know they aren’t the only ones struggling in their marriages.”
Deb says the key is for each woman to know that only God can meet her needs.
“It’s so important to make God your source of identity,” Deb said. “Once you do this He becomes your source of satisfaction. This will prevent you from placing unrealistic expectations on your husband. Their change and attitude toward God impacts their husbands.”
God’s work through the study has been apparent.
“After the study we had women who came back and told of changes in their husbands and changes in themselves,” she said. “Some marriages were ready to implode; others just wanted to improve their marriages. Many were on second and third marriages.
“Still, we consider [Make Us One] discipleship. We just do it in the context of marriage. If you’re going to the Lord for your strength and identity, your marriage will be great. The book hit the nail on the head with that.”