What prepared you for a lifetime commitment to your husband or wife? Were you home-schooled and your parents were your professors? Did you learn through on-the-job training? Did you have a Masters Degree in Marriage? Wherever you received your training, was it the best place for you to learn the principles of developing an exciting and successful marriage? In far too many cases the answer is a resounding “No!”
Let’s look at it from another perspective: Imagine that your marriage is a university and you are going for your Master’s Degree. Your spouse is your major. Some of the courses required include communication, romance, sex, finances, in-laws, spiritual maturity, and a foreign language (the unique language spoken by your mate).
If you received grades in those subjects today would they be A’s, F’s, or something in between? The Lord would be giving the grades with a recommendation from your spouse. With that in mind, what do you think your grade-point average would be?
Masters Degree Challenge
[We] challenge you to go for your M.S.M. —Master’s Degree in Successful Marriage. Obtaining an academic master’s degree usually takes up to six years of dedicated effort. During that time most men and women face victories and hardships. There are many hours of study and preparation, midterms, and finals. Often there are financial struggles. And, at some point, almost every graduate student asks, “Why am I doing this?”
But the rewards of graduating are many and they last a lifetime.
When students have completed their studies, they look forward to graduation day when the mortarboard tassel will be moved from one side to the other, when their friends and family will be hugging and shaking hands with pride, and when they will hear their name called to receive that long-awaited diploma. The gratification may have been delayed, but it was well worth the wait.
Likewise, obtaining the Master’s degree in marriage requires that kind of commitment —and more. This honor is earned when you are willing to go to the degree of the Master —Jesus —in your marriage.
We encourage that both marriage partners work through this process together. However, you can work through this [process] even if your spouse has no interest in participating, because God is working on you alone. Practice being obedient to God’s Word, His will and His way apart from the actions of your spouse.
As with any other school in which you enroll, there are guidelines that will guarantee your success. A well-planned course of study will make your learning process easier and more efficient.
Focus Only on Your Efforts.
At the judgment seat of Christ, when you answer for the works you did on earth, you will stand alone (see Romans 14:10-12). Your husband or wife will not be there. Even if you try to use him or her as an excuse for any ill-behavior, you will more than likely hear from the Father, “Yes, I know what he or she did wrong but what did I ask you to do?”
Become Professors of the Heart.
Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in your spouse. Often we want to play the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting and teaching our spouses. That is not our job. The only thing we are capable of doing is trying to change our spouse’s minds. In that regard, a wise person once said,
A man [or woman] convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
In areas of growth, your spouse might need a change of heart. This can only be accomplished by Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
It Takes Time
Obtaining a master’s degree can take up to six years. We suggest that you commit a similar amount of time to this Master’s degree effort. At first, that may sound like quite a time investment, but results take time. Besides, shouldn’t we at least give as much concentration to our marriage (in which we promised God and each other “until death do us part”) as we do to an earthly education? The truth is there is no way to judge the condition of our marriages until we do it God’s way —and His way takes time.
During those years, you will be planting precious sees of hope, faith, and love into your marriage. Remember, a tiny acorn develops into a giant oak tree. Your friends and family members will one day be able to sit in the shade of your marriage and realize what happens when people are genuinely committed to each other and to God.
This process, although tremendously rewarding, is not easy. Many of our old negative and destructive patterns have to be destroyed —and those things don’t die easily. An accumulation of wrong information may have contributed to your marriage’s lack of growth or even its deterioration. That wrong information needs to be replaced with God’s wisdom and direction.
Only the strong will survive, but whenever you are feeling weak, remember:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.“ (Philippians 4:13)
This article comes from the book, The Master’s Degree … Majoring in Your Marriage, written by Frank and P. Bunny Wilson, and published by Harvest House Publishers. In this book marriage counselors, Frank and Bunny Wilson, share “their early years in the school of marriage and wisdom gained along the way.” They provide insightful practical mini-courses on increasing and renewing marriage relationships. They help you to “imagine your marriage is a school and your spouse is your most important subject!”
SO WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
I wish you could read the rest of Frank and Bunny’s book, but unfortunately, it is no longer being published. However, you could possibly find it used. The idea they present is one that we hope you will take seriously. Become a student of your spouse and a student of the covenant of marriage.
This web site (and many we link to, as well as resources we recommend) can help you in this journey. PLEASE take advantage of all we make available as you through the leading of the Holy Spirit —our Wonderful Counselor. He can teach you all you need to make your marriage healthy, strong, and good, in every sense of the word as you pray, seek, learn and apply what you have learned.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Grow Your Marriage
5 responses to “Getting A Masters Degree In Marriage”
My husband and his mother have an unusual relationship that I can’t really understand and has caused a lot of marital problems. My husband has no problem hurting my feelings and protecting his mom’s feelings when there is conflict between me and his mother. I don’t know what to do. We’re both Christians. He feels guilty standing up for me and letting his mother know that I am first in his life. When he talked to his mother this way she became enraged and told him never to call her again.
I’m trying to find out how my husband can break that emotional connection that he has with his mother without feeling guilty and learning to repair our love relationship. We have read the Bible over and over, Ephesians chapter five, but he just doesn’t seem to get it. I’m hoping that there is hope for our marriage before it’s too late we’re now in counseling.
I need a lot of prayer cuz after 22 years of being married to my husband his mother has been the third person between our marriage even though she doesn’t live with us. Psychologically and in his mind he has a deep love for his mother. What can I do myself? Is there a way to save our marriage? My heart has become hardened in this situation. We have a small child. My husband has not been very loving to me for a number of years. He also went behind my back secretly and was trying to strike up casual affairs with other women. He also lied about it and erased the phone numbers out of his phone. I really need help.
Yeah. I read I understand the situation. I believe the foundation of marriage is God / Christ Jesus. Read Colossians 3:11 . Christ is all In all. Peaceful marriage Just go to Jesus Christ. I believe he has all answers when we requests them.
Do your part as wife. Love your man, mother-in-law. (1 Cor. 16:14)
Remember to forgive your husband and mother-in-law where both wronged you. Intercede for both of them and stand in the gap.
God knows the whole situation. Present your case to God. God is not sleeping or deaf or too weak to save your marriage. Isaiah 59. Do not get tired.
God promises to prepare your way and level every mountain and hills, break bronze doors and to their iron bars. Give you the hiden treasure (Marriage) to you. Isaiah 45:2-3. God will send victory from sky like rain and you receive what you desire and Christ is victory. 1 Cor. 15:57.
Pray and fast with a purpose. Ask God to give the strength and guide you. Psalm 32:8 Avoid sin, walk in righteousness, do not complain, avoid bitterness, avoid sorrow and read proverbs 6:16-20. God is waiting to do your part and leave of charging your man and in law to him the foundation of a family. Praise God. Be blessed.
You can still buy the book used if you’d like. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-masters-degree-p-bunny-wilson/1113577199
This was great. At first I thought there is a College/ University which has started a master’s degree in Marriage.
I enrolled for master’s degree in Marriage in 2006. But we are friends with my classmate. She asks questions and me I ask questions and reply each other. We communicate to each other. All papers noted above we do them together.
I have come to learn my classmate and I pray to the principal (Holy spirit) to allow her be admitted for one most important paper of salvation.
Every night and day ask the Principal (Holy spirit) to accept her in that classroom of salvation. I know it will done.
Thanks, Deus in Uganda.
I have a masters in marriage with a minor in crazy in-laws!!!