Bible Study – The Amazing Power of Grace – Week 1 Part 1
Scroll down the page for all of the free resources for this week, including scripture cards, the FREE study guide, this-week-at-a-glance, discussion questions, and a coloring page.
As we embark on this topic of grace, I thought today might be a good time to share my story with those of you who haven’t read it yet. It’s painful read, but a good fit with today’s reading assignment from John chapter 8…
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
It was my husband’s birthday
I still had some wrapping to do when I heard the hum of the garage door open and close. I glanced at the clock. It was only three thirty; the kids weren’t even home from school yet. Michael wasn’t due home for at least another hour, and if you know my husband at all, you’ll understand why this took me by surprise. Michael’s never been late for work, he doesn’t come home early, and he’ll miss a day only if he’s bleeding from the eyes. Whatever the case, I was just glad he was home. This was going to be an awesome night with the family, and I couldn’t wait for it to get started!
Leaving his briefcase by the door, he asked me to join him in the living room. I wasn’t sure what was up, but one glance at the stone-cold look on his face told me that something was wrong—terribly wrong.
Sitting across from him, I’ll never forget the sound of his voice as it rang in my ears and ripped through my heart.
“Are you having an affair?” he asked.
Looking up at him I quickly answered, “No. Why would you even ask that?”
“Please don’t lie to me,” he said. As he continued to question me, the heat rose in my face. My cheeks were numb; my mouth was dry; my body was weak. “Did you have an affair?”
I hung my head, unable to look in his eyes. Sitting alone on the couch, I felt the fear of truth spin around me like the web of a spider until I was helpless to move. Barely able to speak I lifted my chin in a nod and then in another. My house of cards collapsed, my shame crashing to the ground along with it.
My sin, the glorious fruit of lust, had enticed me into the pit where all I could think of was death. For death itself had enveloped me, and with it came shame and reproach. I had sinned against God, my husband, and my family. Everything I had once held so dear to me loomed above the pit of sin and shame I had dug for myself.
Every muscle in my body was heavy, tense, numb. I was disconnected from the pounding of the blood that sped through my head like a runaway train. Even if I wanted to speak—even if I had something else to say—I couldn’t. My jaw was locked; my throat was closed.
Michael stood up, and as I watched him walk out of the room, I realized that in every sense of the word, I was alone.
Through a fog of confusing emotions I managed to get off the couch and go out to the car where I fished through my purse for my keys. Not knowing what else to do, I drove. I didn’t know where I was going, what I should do, or where I’d be spending the night. All I knew was that I had to go someplace—anyplace—but where?
Finally pulling into a parking lot, I stopped the car and collapsed onto the steering wheel. My thoughts were a dark and dusty swirl of emotions that ripped through my heart and beckoned me into the grave. Tears poured down my face like poison escaping a wound, and I sobbed until my stomach was raw from the pain.
I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a home. And I didn’t have a shoulder to cry on. All that I had were the shattered pieces of my life.
A few hours later I made my way back to the house, where I started packing up a few things I could carry. Michael came into the room and sat down on the far corner of the bed. Staring straight ahead, he started to talk. This was my husband, the man I had lived with for nearly half of my life, but in every way he was different, from the sound of his voice to the way that he carried himself. We were suddenly strangers.
We exchanged words for a while,but at the end of the day I had nothing left to offer him but soiled rags, words of remorse that he couldn’t rely on, and promises where all trust was gone. My eyes were swollen from crying; my heart was heavy with shame.
“Do you want to stay?” he asked.
I didn’t know how to answer. All I wanted to do was stay with my family—to turn back the clock a year. Back to a time when being a wife and a mom was all that I knew and all that I wanted to be. But I was unworthy to be a wife, a mother, and a child of God. How could I stay in a place where I didn’t belong? How could I ever live on the surface again? How could I ever be trusted to love?
“I can’t,” I said. “I just can’t.”
Again he said, “That’s not what I’m asking you. Do you want to stay?”
Loving his wife as Christ loves the church, Michael reached down to me with a hand of grace when I needed it most. When every thought told me that I was unworthy of love, something miraculous happened that changed the way that I look at marriage and the way that I look at our Savior. It was the realization that I am saved by nothing but the power of grace.
Perhaps that’s how the woman who was caught in adultery felt when she was brought to Jesus. Face-to-face with her Savior, she was left with nothing but His hand of grace. What did Jesus write in the sand with His finger that day? Some say He was listing sins—and perhaps He was. But a part of me will always wonder whether it was an invitation that beckoned her to come home to a place where sin is washed away by the blood of an incomparable Savior.
There is incredible power in the words of Jesus Christ, who said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 nkjv). It takes incredible strength for a man to echo those very same words.
I didn’t deserve Michael’s love and forgiveness. I didn’t deserve a second chance. I didn’t deserve my family, and I didn’t deserve to be loved by those whom I hurt. But in that moment of darkness when one person in this world cared enough to display the covenant-keeping love of Jesus Christ to His church, I turned from my sin and clung to the grace of God that is strong enough to break the bands of sin and death. It’s strong enough to graft one man to a woman when everything in this world threatens to pull them apart.
I started Time-Warp Wife out of that place of grace, all the while wondering if God could use someone who’s broken and tarnished like me. The object of my ministry is to encourage women in their marriage in hopes that they won’t make the mistakes that I have.
I am a sinner who is nothing without the grace of our Lord.
In order for two souls to survive this union–to be grafted together as one–they must be completely sealed by the covenant-keeping love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the faithfulness of His bride. It’s the compound that holds marriage together and the reason itself that marriage exists.
Marriage exists to display the merciful covenant-keeping love of Christ and the faithfulness of his bride.~ John Piper, Momentary Marriage
FAQ: How do I participate in this study?
It’s simple. If you haven’t done so already, download a copy of the FREE Bible study guide. You’ll also find the download further down this page.
On Mondays I’ll have new printables for you (see links below) including scripture cards, questions, week-at-a-glance, and a coloring page. Friday is a recap of the week, and my thoughts on the study.
During the week, you’ll study at home, following the outline of the study guide. You can study alone or with a group of friends–well suited for either.
In addition to my posts here, you can find me on Facebook. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, I’ll post my journal entries and share my thoughts. I’ll also open up the discussion for you to share your thoughts.
Here is a link to my facebook page:
Note: I don’t have a journal for this study other than the printable one provided on this page. However, if you want a journal to keep your notes in, my Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible Study Journal would be a perfect fit. You can find that one on Amazon and use it alongside any study you choose. (affil link)
These are my favourite online Bible study tools!
Bible Gateway – Every version you can imagine is online
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
Looking for an easier commentary? Here’s the Concise Version
Other commentaries you might prefer
Interlinear Bible – I love this one!
Blue Letter Bible – Dig into the Hebrew and Greek
Bible Word Search
THIS WEEK’S RESOURCES
WEEK AT A GLANCE
Click here to download this week at a glance.
Click here to download this week’s study questions.
SCRIPTURE CARDS – 7 per week – 30 in total
Click here to view and print this weeks cards:
Week 1 – Page 1 | Week 1 – Page 2
Click here to print this colouring page. Come back on Friday for another one!
FREE BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
click the image to view and download, or click here
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Thank you for sharing your amazing story of true grace, forgiveness & redemption. I Love this format & all your resources. I’m excited to participate in the study.
I love your story! It could have been taken from my life. The same situation happened in my marriage about 6 years ago. I too, was blessed with a husband that loves me like Jesus loves the church. His words to me were, if Jesus died and forgave all my sins, I should be able to forgive you. It’s been hard at times, but I honestly think that our marriage has continued to grow stronger every day. It’s almost refreshing to hear of a story similar because most people always assume the man cheats and of course the old saying “once a cheater, always a cheater”, but I live my life proving that saying wrong and focusing on honoring Christ with my marriage. We are put through whatever fires God sees fit to accomplish his perfect will. Thank you for sharing and I hope one day to help others with my story as well!! God bless!
Nicole, thank you for sharing your story! You give hope to the hopeless. God is good!
Darlene your story could have came out of my own mouth. I, too, had an affair and when my husband
found out, he asked me to stay and work things out. I stayed only to pacify him until I could get a place
of my own. I told myself I didn’t love him anymore, and I was in love with the man who I had an affair with.
A week into this, I saw how much my husband was hurting, and I opened up to him about why I believed I had an affair. He opened up to me about why he believed HE had an affair. We really talked for the first time in years. That day we started rebuilding our marriage. I had been out of church for about 3 years, but he had been out of the church since his teens (about 30 years). He asked if I would go back to church with him, and I wholeheartedly said YES!!
God started restoring our marriage that day, and we are closer now that we have been in our 15 year relationship and 13 year marriage. I know that God will be glorified through our trials.
Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. God has the power to restore!
I have to tell you how much my story compares to yours. I had an affair a couple years ago, and have been living with it ever since. I repented to Jesus asking for forgiveness of my sins, and knew I was forgiven by him. However, I never confessed it to my husband. The look of hurt in his eyes as I told him I slept with someone else was like deep cut in my heart. I felt unworthy, and unloved for so long. I believed that I did not deserve him, and if I divulged my secret, he would never forgive me or trust me again. To my surprise, my husband told me he forgives me, and did not want to lose me. That I mean more to him than I will ever know. How could this man show me unconditional love after I betrayed him the way I did? That fact alone has strengthened our relationship not only with each other, as well as our relationship with our God. I look forward to this study, because I believe it will help heal me. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us Amanda. I pray that you will continue to grow together in grace.
Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed beginning the Bible study this evening & the reminder that grace is a gift, unmerited and undeserved, yet given freely!
Glad I found you!