Is there a lot of tension in your home? Are you or your husband stressed much of the time? There’s likely an imbalance in one or both of your lives! I know that’s been the case for my husband and me. In our case, we got so bent on running ministries, counseling others, and helping take care of grandchildren that there was little to no time at all for us to simply relax and enjoy some recreation. God didn’t intend for us to be so “driven” that we can’t enjoy life at all.
On the other hand, Satan wants you to be so busy that you become stressed, pay no attention to nurturing your marriage or yourself, and then both you and your marriage slowly wither and die. But Jesus says He wants us to enjoy life to the full! Meditate on what Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”.
All work and no play is a formula for disaster. We all need to intentionally carve out time for recreation and rest and fun. My husband and I just got away for a week. We relaxed, and it was rejuvenating! Our stress level decreased. My goodness, even Jesus needed to get away from the stress of his work to spend quiet time alone. Luke 5:16 says Jesus “often withdrew to desolate places and prayed” Is there an adjustment you need to make in your schedule or a weekend get-away that you need to plan for you and your husband?
We have an enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and sober-minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil and his demons are looking for ways to destroy your marriage, destroy you, destroy your husband and destroy your children. However, there is good news if you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior! In 1 John 4:4, God says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” We just need to take authority against the enemy. So often, we forget to do that!
Ladies, we have a critical role to play in spiritual warfare. We need to pray EVERY DAY for God to protect our husbands, to purify our husband’s heart, to give our husbands boldness to take a stand for the Lord. WE need to take a stand against the enemy….every day. Jesus makes it clear that we do get to take authority in the invisible, spiritual realm. Jesus tells his followers in Luke 10:19, “I give you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” So, in Jesus’ name, command all evil spirits to leave your husband, your children, your home, and yourself. Then, ask God to fill you and your loved ones each day with His Holy Spirit. Let’s all agree to take bold authority against the enemy, and let’s commit to doing this on a daily basis.
Life often seems like a winding highway full of potholes. We get bounced around by people who disappoint us. We disappoint ourselves. Satan loves to plant that seed of doubt about whether we can make it through current challenges in our marriage, with our kids, at our job, etc. We wonder if we can handle what’s around the bend.
That’s why we need encouragers in our lives! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “encourage one another and build each other up.” My question for you is: Do you have a friend who encourages you? Or do you spend a lot of time with women who are negative, critical, and “downers”?
If you don’t have an encouraging woman in your life, ask God to reveal a woman who seems to have the gift of encouragement. Then ask her if you could regularly get together, perhaps once a week or every other week, just to chat and mutually encourage each other. That’s right. You can be her encourager too. We all need it! Let’s link arms together ladies!
Do you lack confidence in handling disrespectful or sinful behavior by your husband (or boyfriend)? If so, there are some common reasons. Perhaps you avoid conflict because you grew up in a home filled with rage and verbal abuse. Maybe you’re so insecure about your own worth that you can’t stand up for yourself if your husband is treating your poorly. However, you need to recognize this truth. If you remain insecure and scared of confrontation, it’s likely nothing will ever change in your marriage. You’ll keep getting what you’re getting right now.
There is a solution. First, ask God to give you courage to confront any sinful behavior in your marriage. He will be glad to answer that prayer! Throughout the Bible, God continually tells his people to be strong and courageous. In fact in Joshua 1:9, God says “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.” Helpful hint: When I need courage, I ask God’s Holy Spirit to be the one who actually does the confrontation. I ask Him to simply use me as his mouthpiece.
If insecurity is the issue for you, then ask God to reveal your true worth and identity in His eyes. Meditating on what God says in Zephaniah 3:17 is a good place to start. He says, “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” In addition, take a moment to close your eyes and ask God to speak one word into your mind about how He views you. You will likely be amazed at the loving, encouraging word He has for you. You may hear the word “beautiful” or “chosen” or “adorable” or “strong”….
Here are three things I’ve learned about becoming a beautiful wife in the eyes of my husband (and it’s HIS opinion that really counts!).
1) I need to put effort into looking my best for my husband, just like I did when I was dating him! There are many healthy decisions I must choose to make on a daily basis so that I can look my best. For instance, build into your schedule a 30 minute walking or bike-riding time perhaps 4 days a week. Even if you have young children, there is a way to make this work. Put the kids in a stroller or have them ride their bike with you.
2) I need to shed insecurity and choose to have a confident attitude about my appearance and value. My husband says a woman’s confidence is VERY attractive to men. Flirt with your husband. Give him some playful, sexy, sass! He will find that quite attractive!
3) I really need to embrace 1 Peter 3:4 which tells wives their beauty comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit”. When I asked my husband what this verse means, he said it means that a wife is FOR her husband and not fighting him every step of the way. It means she creates a peaceful home where her husband is treated with respect.
We all want to be beautiful wives. So, let’s ask God to grow us in self-control, confidence, peacefulness, and respect for our men.
Did you know you can enhance the relationship with your husband by allowing a gap for him to fill? It’s true. So often, women zoom in to fill all voids in leadership, responsibility, or tasks. There’s something that needs to be handled, and you might even ask your husband to do it, but if he doesn’t jump off his chair and do it in the next 2 seconds, you do it yourself! In a nutshell, you subtly communicate that you don’t really need him. But your man wants to be needed by you. That’s one of the top needs of your husband! He wants to be your hero. He wants to be your knight in shining armor.
Your man is wired to crave your admiration and respect. That’s likely why God tells wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. One of the ways your husband will feel respected is when you demonstrate that you value and need his abilities, strength, and character.
Start thinking of ways you can let your man know that you need him. Do you have a bad headache? Ask him to pray for you. Do you have a heavy box that needs to be moved? Ask him if he can lift it for you. Let him know he is needed. He will feel better about himself as he senses that you truly value him and need his strength, abilities, and character.
We’re all going to have moments (or weeks or months!) that we’re disappointed with our husband. No man is perfect, and your husband is bound to frustrate you, annoy you, or fail to meet your expectations from time to time. The question is: How can you keep from being seriously discouraged or resentful during those times? I have found 4 things to be really helpful:
1) Clearly communicate your expectations and desires! Our men are not mind-readers, yet often we expect our husbands to “just know”! So, think about the areas in which you’ve been frustrated or disappointed. Then calmly and clearly tell your husband what you desire or need, as well as how much you’d appreciate him making an effort to meet those needs and desires.
2) Be grateful for what he does right! Isn’t it strange how we tend to gravitate to focusing on what our husband is doing wrong, but barely give a second thought to what he’s doing right?! Stop right now and ask God to help you see the many good things about your husband and the positive things he does. This is the essence of Philippians 4:8… “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.”
3) If your husband is actually sinning against you, it’s time to stop wringing your hands and it may be time to take action! In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus instructs us to confront the person who sins against us, and to even get others involved if necessary.
4) Pray, and never give up! Prayer truly can move mountains, and Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1 that we “should always pray and not give up“. So go to battle in prayer, and ask God to reveal His love to your husband and to mold and shape your husband’s heart.
Yes, there are a lot of temptations facing your husband every day. He will likely see beautiful women, either at work, at the espresso stand, or at the sandwich shop on any given day. If you have television or Netflix, he will certainly view gorgeous women there. There’s just no getting around it. But there’s one thing he won’t regularly encounter with those women. They’re not waiting at home for him with a passionate kiss at the end of his exhausting day!
The way to ensure your husband is thinking about you during his day is to take a moment before he leaves for work and whisper into his ear some of the “plans” you have for him that evening! The bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs models this for us! Here is just one excerpt of the arousing words she spoke to her groom in anticipation of them coming together intimately… “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (Song of Songs 4:10)
So, what erotic thing could you whisper to your husband as he heads off to work? You might say something like this: “I’m getting a sitter for the kids tonight and I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen, wearing an apron and nothing else.” Be creative. Of course, you can’t do this every day. However, if you do it every few weeks, he’ll be dreaming of the next time you have a pleasant surprise waiting for him. He will be thinking of you!
We often feel stuck in unhealthy patterns of behavior or unhealthy beliefs about ourselves, don’t we? Here’s a thought. Instead of staying stuck there, how about if we dig down to discover the root of the dysfunction so that we can dig it up and be free?! After all, God intends us to be free. John 8:36 says. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
I’ve found this simple exercise to be very helpful in finding freedom from unhealthy old thinking and old ways. Think of the main negative emotion you’re experiencing lately. It could be worry, fear, anger, sadness, insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, resentment, shame, etc. Now ask God to help you remember the very, very first time you ever remember experiencing the same emotion. Many women can trace that emotion back to their toddler years or grade school years! Now take a moment to consider the event that prompted that emotion. Did someone say something to you? Did a situation cause that feeling?
Once you’ve identified the event that prompted this feeling, ask God to reveal whether you began believing a lie about yourself or other people as a result of that event. Remember, Satan is described by Jesus in John 8:44 as “the father of lies“, and he likely whispered a lie in your ear about that event.
For me personally, I have wrestled all my life with the dysfunctional tendency to avoid conflict and ignore serious problems in relationships. So, I tried this exercise. I realized my main negative emotion is fear. As I pondered this with God, I realized I first started feeling that emotion as a toddler in a home where there was tons of yelling and verbal abuse. God helped me see that the lie I believed back then was that somehow I needed to find a way to make the yelling stop, and that keeping everyone “happy” was my responsibility so that things didn’t spiral way out of control. But that thinking was a lie! It wasn’t my responsibility then and it isn’t my responsibility now!
Have you been believing a lie all these years? Has it affected your decisions? Has it resulted in dysfunction in your life? Ask God to reveal the truth about who you are. Ask God to give you right beliefs to overcome the lies of the enemy!
I’ve realized the most interesting thing! The other day, I was really frustrated, as in the kind of frustrating day where you desperately want the cathartic release of smashing china dishes against the wall! Am I the only one who has ever felt that way? 🙂
Anyway, my husband walked into the house to discover a wife who was steaming from everything that had gone wrong that day. Then something strange happened. He got visibly agitated over my state of frustration. It really bothered him that I was upset. It reminded me that our husbands really do want us to be content. They desire a peaceful wife. In fact 1 Peter 3 tells wives to strive for the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. Hmmm. Interesting. So, how do we get this peacefulness, even in frustrating circumstances? The Bible tells us contentment comes when we trust in God, lean into God, and ask for His power to carry us! Philippians 4:13 says ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
And interestingly, when I choose to trust God to carry me during those frustrating moments in life, not only do I become peaceful and content, but I enjoy the unexpected benefit of my husband and kids becoming more peaceful too!