God has given me a vision for Christian wives. I see him raising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God! Don’t we all want that?!
The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men! As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God. Hallelujah!
The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord. But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife He is calling you to become. He is calling wives to be…
encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
respectful (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
gentle (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
compassionate (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
prayer warriors (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)
It’s vital for you and your spouse to come into agreement on the major issues within your marriage, such as finances, parenting, time spent on recreation, frequency of sex, etc. You must come into agreement because division in a marriage often leads to the eventual collapse of that marriage. God’s word even states this. In Matthew 12:25, Jesus says “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
So, what should you do if you and your spouse are consistently divided in a specific area? Don’t just throw your hands up in the air and give up! Decide to respectfully, but thoroughly, discuss the issue with your husband. Ask God for the right timing and ask God to prepare your heart and your husband’s heart for the conversation ahead. The goal is to reach a compromise that you can both support. And, if you can’t reach such a compromise on your own, then seek help from a pastor, counselor, or mentor couple. Do whatever you need to do to come into agreement with your husband on this issue. It will bring peace to you, your marriage, and your household!
P.S. If the disagreement stems from your husband wanting to do something immoral, then compromise isn’t the right option! In that case, you will likely want to see help from a counselor or pastor, and you may have to establish boundaries in the relationship.
I have seen so many women wither and die emotionally in their marriages because their husband is engaged in disrespectful or sinful behavior and the wife gives up too easily in terms of confrontation. (I should know because I was one of those women in my first marriage!) So why would a wife give up? I believe it boils down to one main fear.
The wife fears that if she continues to confront the issue, or heaven forbid, draw a serious boundary, her husband may decide to leave her…and in her mind, she will lose what’s supposed to make her happy and secure. But this is faulty thinking! Your husband is not a reliable source of happiness. God is the only one we can depend on for unconditional love, compassion, and security. If your husband were to leave after you draw a line in the sand, I believe God is big enough to take care of you financially. I know He is. Do you trust Him? Do you believe what He says in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”?
Trust in the One who will never leave your side. Trust in the One who can provide innovative ways to take care of your financial needs. Trust in the One who can bring supportive people into your life to stand by you as you draw boundaries. That One is Jesus.
I get asked quite often about boundaries in relationships. The subject of boundaries is a topic tossed around a lot, and women sort of instinctively know they need boundaries in relationships, but they don’t exactly know the how, what, when and whys of healthy boundaries!
First let me explain that there is a difference between asking your boyfriend or husband to change and setting a boundary. A boundary is not a request for the other person to change. A boundary is deciding what YOU will do to protect yourself physically, emotionally or mentally from the other person’s harmful or destructive behavior. A boundary basically says to that other person, “I can’t control your choices, but there are some things I CAN do to control how your choices affect me”.
Let me give some examples:
A husband refuses to stop looking at pornography and that choice wounds his wife’s heart. She makes a request for him to stop (and most likely to seek serious help for that addiction), but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary. She tells him if she continues to catch him looking at porn, she will move to a separate bedroom or even separate from him entirely until he gets serious help for his problem. That’s setting a boundary.
A husband is emotionally abusive and that wounds his wife. She makes a request for him to stop, but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary. She tells him if he screams obscenities at her or degrades her even one more time, she will immediately leave the room (or the house) because she won’t tolerate that kind of behavior. If the emotional abuse continues, she might set an even larger boundary and tell him she will need to separate until he seeks serious help. That’s setting a boundary.
By the way, boundaries are Biblical. Here’s an example from Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. And 1 Corinthians 5:11 I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
Having a rough time in your marriage? Do you wish you’d never married your husband? Our society makes it very easy to throw in the towel and divorce. Divorce might seem very tempting, but let me tell you from personal experience; it’s really hard on your children. Actually, it’s devastating for them. Yes, God can heal them over time, but your children will always carry a deep emotional scar. Whoever started the rumor that kids can bounce back from divorce was lying!
I’m not saying that a woman should never divorce her husband. The Bible certainly gives a clear allowance for divorce in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus says “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Jesus clearly states that when a spouse has cheated on you sexually, divorce is permissible. After many years of studying the Bible, I also believe God permits a woman to divorce her husband when he grossly sins against his wife through continuing physical or emotional abuse. After all, God instructs us in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life“. After years of severe emotional or physical abuse, a woman can become a mere shell of a human being. I don’t believe that is God’s will for anyone. Throughout the Bible, we see that God is more concerned with mercy than merely following rules.
All this being said, please do everything you can to fight for your marriage. Don’t give up easily. Don’t let bitterness grow. Work to resolve issues before your heart grows so cold that you don’t feel like working to save your marriage. You may possibly need to separate from your husband in order to bring his attention to the seriousness of the problem, but your goal should be reconciliation and restoration of your marriage. Find a good counselor. Get a mentor couple. Read the Bible. Pray continually. Don’t give up on your marriage too easily. If for no other reason, fight for your marriage on behalf of your children.
Are you having one of those weeks or months? Has your husband broken your heart? Are you an emotional wreck over a situation with one of your children? Don’t try to carry that burden alone! It’s too heavy.
Even though it would be so helpful to reach out to some godly female friends, many of us tend to isolate during really hard times instead. Unfortunately, that only makes it easier for Satan to beat you down. With no other voices speaking hope into your life, he has free realm to whisper one lie right after another.
Jesus describes Satan this way in John 8:44: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The lies may sound like this: No one really loves you. Your life sucks and there’s no hope. You should have never married your husband. God doesn’t really care about you. You’re a failure as a mom compared to all the other moms. There is no way in the world to recover from your financial mess. God could never change your husband’s heart. Blah, blah, blah.
One of the keys to drowning out the voice of the enemy is to listen to other voices! Spend time reading God’s Word. Also, spend time with godly women who can speak truth, wisdom, and hope into your life. If you don’t know any women like that, then it’s time to start building new friendships. I know you might be scared to tell another woman what’s really going on in your marriage and family. However, you might be surprised to find that other women will start opening up to you and sharing their own challenges as you begin sharing yours. Just keep in mind that the point is to encourage each other and pray for each other…not to trash talk your husbands or have a pity party!
Are you and your husband at odds? Are you discouraged in your marriage? Pray. Are you longing for more intimacy and love in your marriage? Pray. Are you concerned about the choices your husband or children are making? Pray. Prayer really can change everything! It can produce a miracle! James 5:16 says “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.”
I have witnessed God do absolutely amazing things when I have prayed with total faith in His mighty power. I have witnessed miraculous healings. I have seen God soften my husband’s heart in areas. I have witnessed loved ones turn to Christ for the very first time. I have witnessed God supernaturally supplying much needed financial help in the nick of time. I have even seen God “heal” completely broken computerized equipment in our sound studio!
Here’s the thing. I don’t have the power to do any of those miracles. I especially don’t have the power to change my husband’s heart or my children’s hearts….but God can and does change hearts! In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Awesome! So, seek God in prayer. Be persistent in your prayers for your husband and children. Your situation might seem impossible, but nothing is too hard for God. He can even change hearts.
I often talk and write about how wives were created to be their husband’s helper, and while that’s true, I feel it’s necessary to make a clarification. Yes, we should help our husbands by showing them respect, allowing them to lead the family, and assisting them as they seek to follow God’s promptings in their life. However, that doesn’t mean a wife should give up her own individual identity in the process.
Submitting to your husband’s leadership does not mean that you become a doormat which has no value. Helping your husband does not mean you sacrifice doing the things that bring you great joy. Respecting your husband doesn’t mean he’s always right and you’re always wrong. If you go too far in that direction, you will become an empty shell. It’s as if your heart doesn’t matter. God doesn’t intend that for you. In fact, He says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
Spend some time in prayer with God and ask Him to reveal if there are any areas of your life where you have lost your true identity. Have you stopped doing some things that bring you fully alive? Is it time to sit down with your husband and talk about how you can both live in a way that brings joy and fulfillment? Don’t allow yourself to disappear in the relationship.
Our words are SO powerful! If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door. He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.
However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence. I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. Your respect and admiration mean everything to your man. If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away. He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries. He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.
If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside. He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God. A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!
Do you wish you could be a more courageous woman, a more secure woman, a more confident woman, and a woman who is able to stand strong under pressure or hardship? I think I’ve found the answer. We must go beyond just accepting Christ as our Savior, and truly decide to make Christ our Lord!
When I think about the ladies I know who are strong, confident and unshakeable Christian women, they all have something in common. They have made the courageous decision to surrender their lives to Jesus and they’ve truly committed to following him as the leader and master of their lives. This is, in fact, what the Bible calls us to do in Romans 10:9…If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It’s important to note that this Bible verse tells us to declare Jesus as “Lord”, which means “master” in the original Greek.
Have you truly made Jesus your master? Maybe that’s the missing piece in your life. I can tell you from personal experience that once you truly make a heart decision to make Jesus your Lord and master, all His promises to love you, comfort you, and counsel you start to come alive in your spirit. You begin to realize that you can trust his leadership 100%. Once that happens, you’ll find yourself strong, confident and unshakeable!