This is a Bible study I wrote in August of 2003, I was newly engaged and came across a verse in Proverbs which really jumped out at me and challenged me. I share it now to encourage and challenge myself again!
Proverbs 12:4, "A hearty wife invigorates her husband, but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones." (The Message)
* Describe what comes to your mind when you read the word hearty. (It is important to write this down before going on as your initial thought may evolve throughout this study.) For example, I think of a chowder-like soup: nourishing, fulfilling, satisfying, warm, brings health, energizes, etc...
* Notice the first five letters of the word...how does that add to your above description?
* Look up the definition of 'hearty' in the dictionary.
* Look up the word 'hearty' in a thesaurus; write down what you find.
* From the list of synonyms, cirlce one or two that you'd most like to work on. Pray about these things. Ask a girlfriend or prayer partner to hold you accountable and for additional ideas. If you feel you can, share them with your husband and ask him how you're doing or how you could improve.
* Continue on to the word 'invigorates.' Think about this. Write down some words or phrases that describe how you are invigorated or what it means to be invigorated. What are your surroundings like? Your feelings? Your energy level? Ask your husband what invigorates him.
* Write your own definition of invigorate (use a dictionary and/or thesaurus for additional guidance).
* Now compare the opposite wife...
* Write down everything that comes to your mind - what is implied in the fact that she is cold (frigid)?
* Describe your thoughts on what it means to be a "cancer to the bones."
* If you or someone you know has ever experienced this painful disease - ask them some questions to shed some light on the phrase.
* Search other examples...learn from other wives:
Use this chart.
* What can you learn from the frigid women and their commonalities? How about from the hearty women?
* Confess the areas of coldness in your own heart towards your husband. Ask God to enable you to be a warm, hearty and invigorating wife.
* Overall, what stood out to you the most as you walked through this study with God? Ask Him to bring this truth to mind often until it becomes part of your thinking! Praise Him!