Becoming a bold woman in spiritual warfare!

In my current Bible reading, I’ve been struck with how many times God used women to take a bold, courageous, and wise stand against the enemy.  There are so many occasions where a woman steps out to lead or help God’s people when the enemy is attacking.  Here are some of the examples:  Abigail (in 1 Samuel 25) acts wisely when her husband did not.  Rahab (Joshua 2) hides God’s people from the enemy.  Deborah (Judges 4) courageously leads the people of God into war against the enemy.  Esther (Esther 4 & 5) boldly intercedes for God’s people even though it was dangerous for her to do so.  The wise woman (2 Samuel 20) reasoned with an enemy who was about to destroy her city and her wisdom saved the city.

What can we learn from these women?  They were all very alert to the enemy’s schemes and they all boldly chose to take action against the enemy, trusting in God for the outcome.  So here is the question for you:  Do you see the enemy attacking your husband, your marriage, your family, or individual children?  If you do, are you going to just wring your hands in despair, or are you going to take action?  Hopefully, you will become a courageous woman of action!  What does God want you to do?  Do you need to commit to press into prayer every single day, several times a day?  Do you need to boldly confront an issue?  Do you need to get wise counsel from a godly woman? Do you need to ask others to pray with you?

What strong, capable wives need to know

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being a confident and capable woman.  In fact, I usually feel pretty strong, confident, and capable.  However, I’ve realized something very important to the health of my marriage.  I need to allow my husband to be needed by me!  When I act like he isn’t needed, he feels emasculated.  Your husband probably does too.

Men are wired by God to be leaders.  In fact, in Ephesians 5:22-24, God makes it pretty clear that the husband is the leader, not the wife!  “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

So, even though you are a strong capable woman, give room for your husband to lead.  Avoid making all the decisions for your family.  Ask him to make some decisions.  Even though you’re perfectly capable, ask him to help you with some projects.  Yes, you can re-arrange the living room furniture without his help, but he will enjoy being needed by you if you ask him to lift the heavy furniture.  (And don’t forget to admire his muscles!)

Speaking into your husband’s life when concerned

You likely know your husband better than anyone.  As his wife, you’re also called to be your husband’s helper.  This is made clear in Genesis 2:18 when God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”.  Then God created woman!  Well, one of the many ways you can truly “help” your husband is to gently, humbly and lovingly voice your concerns when your husband is clearly heading off course in some area of his life.

Is your husband drinking more and more alcohol?  Is your husband spending increasing overtime hours at work to the detriment of his health or family time?  Is your man overly busy and unable to squeeze in any time for exercise?  Is your guy coming up with reasons why he can’t make it to church lately?

If you see your husband’s life getting out of balance, you can do two things.  First, pray that the Holy Spirit would convict your husband about his decisions or behavior and that the Holy Spirit would make your man aware of the correction he needs to make.  Secondly, ask God if He wants you to gently bring up the concern for discussion with your husband.

Tips:

  • Take a lower physical position than him (such as kneeling beside him while he sits on the couch).  This position comes across as very humble and gentle and he will likely become less defensive.
  • Tell him some things you really appreciate and admire about him, and say “I am for you”.
  • Tell him something like “I’m in this with you. I’m your partner. How can I help you?”
  • You might also say “I’m struggling with some stuff too (tell him about your own struggle) so maybe we can help each other”.  When you display humility, he will be much less defensive about the concerns you’re raising.

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

3 things husbands want in communication

Want to improve your communication interactions with your husband?  Well, maybe it would help if you understood three things that really matter to most men when it comes to communication.  Here they are:

1)  Most husbands prefer that their wife be direct in stating what they want or need.  They don’t respond to hints.  They don’t want to have to read between the lines or try to read your mind.  They just want you to come right out and state what you want or need…and it helps if you can state your needs calmly, without a lot of drama or intense emotion.

2)  Most husbands want you to keep it simple and short.  They don’t want long explanations or fascinating details.  Their minds begin to wander after about 30 seconds!  So get to the point quickly.  Ecclesiastes 5:3 is a good reminder.  It says “Many words mark the speech of a fool“.

3)  All husbands need their wives to be respectful, both while talking and while listening. This is Biblical. Ephesians 5:33 says “the wife must respect her husband“.  This means speaking to your husband in a respectful tone and making sure your body language and facial expressions show honor.  No eye-rolling!  It also means that you listen attentively when your husband is speaking to you, and you refrain from interrupting him, finishing his sentences, or correcting him.  Oh, and one more thing.  It means you let him have a few moments to unwind when he comes in the door at the end of the day before you launch into a big discussion!

How affirmation changes your husband!

Did you know almost all men struggle with feeling inadequate on almost every level?  It’s true.  Since God designed men to be leaders in revealing the nature of God, it’s to be expected that Satan would try to destroy that mission by making men feel like they’re not up to that challenge!  Satan is constantly whispering to your man that he is a failure, that he’s not good enough, that he’s not smart enough, and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a godly leader, husband or father.  These are all lies!  Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan is “the father of lies“.

Unfortunately, when a husband starts believing these lies, he often decides to either give up trying to be a good husband or he may numb out by using pornography, alcohol, or becoming a workaholic.

However, a man’s wife has the ability to counteract the voice of Satan!  Ladies, why don’t you start telling your husband that you believe in him?  Tell him that he CAN do it.  Let him know that you see good qualities in him.  Remind him about his unique talents and spiritual gifts. Show him the respect that God commands wives to display in Ephesians 5:33.  As you affirm him and esteem him, you may likely find that your man becomes more confident and becomes an even better man than he is now.

If your husband struggles with some kind of addiction

You have two choices if your husband is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, porn, gambling, drugs, video games, etc.  The first choice is to wring your hands in despair, whine to your friends, tell him how disgusted you are in him, allow yourself to grow resentful, and eventually divorce him.  Hmm.  That doesn’t sound like the best choice for your family!

The second choice is much more likely to result in his eventual release from the stranglehold of the addiction.  You can choose to pray for him daily, lovingly ask him to seek help through counseling or a 12-step program, set firm boundaries on any behavior that adversely impacts you or your family, and continue to speak “words of life” to him.  What do I mean by “speaking words of life”?  I mean reminding your husband of his many good qualities; reminding him that God has great plans for him; and reminding him that you still love him and that you are willing to stand next to him in this battle.  Your words are so very important.  Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.

Your husband will be much more likely to put in the hard work to break free from his addiction if he feels supported, encouraged and loved by his wife.  Yes, you must have firm boundaries, but he still needs to know you are for him.

Marriage reminder from Christmas tree fiasco!

One of my super humbling moments as a newly divorced woman actually reminds me of a vital marriage principle.  Here’s the event forever etched in my memory from December of 2002:

It was nearing Christmas and I had just gone through a divorce after 18 years of marriage.  My children were 16 and 14 at the time and I wanted to keep as many Christmas traditions in place as possible, so I announced that I was taking the kids to cut down our Christmas tree from a local tree farm.  Just before we took off, I realized I didn’t have any way to tie the tree to the top of my SUV.  But hey, I’m a reasonably intelligent person, or so I thought. lol  I wasn’t going to let anything deter me!

So I searched my new house for something resembling rope or a bungee cord.  Alas, there was no such thing on hand.  All I had was some….sewing thread. Hmmm. Well, maybe a whole bunch of thread would work?

Off we went to pick out our beautiful Christmas tree.  My son cut it down.  Unlike me, he apparently knew how to handle this part of the operation.  We hoisted the tree to the top of my SUV and then I carefully wove my spool of thread back and forth across the tree to secure it to the roof.  My kids just shook their heads in disbelief.  Then we took off, and we actually made it about a half-mile before the tree took a slow, inelegant slide from the top of the car to the road. Splat!

Why am I sharing this story with you?  I’m using it to remind both you and me that a tiny thread is not sufficient to hold anything heavy when the wind starts blowing against it.  In the same way, we need a super strong rope to hold a marriage together when we are slammed by the wind of miscommunication, frustration, and unmet expectations in marriage. We need a rope of three strands…you, your husband and the Lord.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Sit down with your husband and brainstorm ideas on how you can keep God in the center of your marriage. You will need him to help hold you guys together when you encounter the inevitable adversity and challenges that hit every marriage!