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Read an excerpt from Famous Lovers in the Bible


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MARRIAGE

Marriage Secrets from 'Famous Lovers in the Bible'

By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Producer

CBN.com If you have had trouble trying to figure out what goes wrong in your relationships, you are not alone. It turns out that for as long as people have been having romantic relationships, they have also been having problems with them. Even couples in biblical days had their share of problems. They may not have had to deal with water and electric bills, rush hour traffic or getting the kids to soccer and cheerleading practice on time, but many of the challenges they did encounter are the same issues that continue to plague relationships today.

Authors Doug and BJ Jensen set out to study these relationships of biblical times, and their book Famous Lovers in the Bible gives interesting insights into the problems and challenges that all couples face in relationships.

Their quest to discover how relationships can be improved began when their own relationship was falling apart after two years of marriage. Hoping to save their marriage they began to seek answers that could help them.

“We diligently researched relationship-building information, we interviewed couples happily married over 20 years, and most importantly, we turned our focus to the best marriage instruction manual – the Bible,” Doug said.

It was when they volunteered to teach a Bible study about couples in the Bible, that they began to see how couples have always struggled with many of the same issues in relationships. Through their study they observed 30 different issues that biblical couples often dealt with including: communication, trust, forgiveness, temptation, jealousy, faithfulness, loneliness and anger.

“We glean relevant knowledge from Biblical couples when we focus on the choices they made and the consequences they experienced because of their choices,” Doug said.

The lessons they learned helped them take the steps needed for God to heal their marriage. Now, they hope to help others by sharing those lessons in Famous Lovers in the Bible.

The book highlights ten different biblical couples and examines three relationship challenges faced by each couple. In the first section of each chapter, the authors have written together about the couple and the challenges they face. Following that, Doug has written a section about the issues faced by the man in the relationship and BJ writes about the issues faced by the women.

“In that way, Famous Lovers in the Bible tackles relationship issues and also personal issues, because our personal issues do affect our marriage,” BJ said.

For instance, the chapter that examines the relationship between Abraham and Sarah begins by discussing the couple’s struggle with faithfulness. Next, Doug examines Abraham’s struggle with obedience, and BJ discusses Sarah’s struggle with waiting on God’s timing for a child.

Both authors said they chose one of the biblical couples as their favorites to write about. For Doug, it was the relationship between Adam and Eve that impressed him the most.

“Adam and Eve are the only couple in history that had a perfect marriage, at least until they ate the forbidden fruit,” Doug said. “Their perfect relationship, before they fell into sin, is the model for marriage.”

BJ’s favorite couple to learn about was Pricilla and Aquilla. “They served God as a team – they were together in most everything they did. It seemed like they came full circle from Adam and Eve and back to what an ideal marriage looked like, a relationship of complete unity,” she said.

She was also impressed by Mary’s courage in her relationship with Joseph. “I am in complete awe and totally inspired when I think of how Mary willingly and obediently answered God’s call by saying, ‘May it be to me as you have said,’” BJ said. “I loved that Mary’s focus was not horizontally on her circumstances, but vertically on God.”

The authors hope couples will see reflections of their own relationships in the lives of the biblical couples and learn from their examples how to effectively handle the challenges they are facing.

“Our hope is that Famous Lovers in the Bible will be a valuable asset to couples on a journey to create an abundantly blessed marriage … whether they are a couple struggling in their marriage or a couple seeking ways to make a good marriage a great one,” BJ said.

The book features discussion questions in each chapter making it useful not only for couples, but also for churches, small groups, and pastors.

Read an excerpt from Famous Lovers in the Bible -- Chapter 4: Jacob and Rachel

Purchase Famous Lovers in the Bible


Doug and BJ Jensen have been ministering to married couples for many years, leading Bible studies and marriage retreats. For more information, visit their Web site, www.createlovingrelationships.org, or email them at, jensen2@san.rr.com .

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