The replay button in marriage!

Do you keep replaying your husband’s past mistakes over and over again in your mind?  Do you find yourself dwelling on how he’s disappointed you in the past?  Let it go!  Thoughts like that become toxic…to you and your marriage.  Hebrews 12:15 makes this point:  “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.”  If you keep rehearsing your husband’s past failures, you will end up growing more and more resentful of your husband.  The resulting bitterness acts like poison to your own heart.  You become a dried up, miserable woman.

 Even more damage is caused when you verbalize those past mistakes to your husband.  Yet many wives do that.  They repeatedly bring up their man’s past mistakes and almost wield them as a weapon against their husband.  His heart gets sliced and diced in the process.  His heart becomes poisoned against his wife as well.

It’s time to decide to release your husband from his past failures. The Bible is pretty clear about your need to release bitterness and resentment. Ephesians 4:31 says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…”  So choose to exercise the same grace God has given you!!  News flash:  You’re not perfect either.  By the way, releasing your man from his past mistakes doesn’t mean you should ignore current sin.  If he is currently sinning against you, determine to respectfully confront him and work through the problem, perhaps with the help of a counselor or pastor.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

Who does your husband tend to encounter?

Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day?  Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”?  That’s not very flattering!  However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing.  Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.”  Uh-oh.  Could that label belong to you?

I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug.  So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel.   What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband!  No man wants to come home to that.

Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day?  What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism.  Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities.  Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him.  He will actually enjoy being around you!  Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!

Rock what you’ve got, ladies!!

Most women are totally insecure about their bodies.  Our thighs are too big.  Our breasts are too small.  The list of insecurities goes on and on.  The problem only gets worse after we’ve had children!  Stretch marks.  The extra poof of your abdomen that never seems to go away.  Sagging boobs after you’ve stopped breast feeding.  You know what I’m talking about!  It’s kind of difficult to feel sexy around your husband.

But I’m going to challenge you to change your outlook.  Yes, we do need to do what we can to be attractive.  If we need to drop 50 lbs, we need to work on that. If we need to exercise to tone up the flab, we need to work on that.  However, once we make a reasonable effort to look our best, our attitude changes the rest!  You’ve got to rock what you’ve got!  Think sexy!  View yourself as sexy when you’re with your husband.  Be spunky and playful and maybe even a little bit sassy with him.  Don’t be ashamed of your body.  Your confidence in who you are will be very sexy to him!  In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  In other words, when you start viewing yourself as sexy and attractive to your husband, you will become sexy and attractive to him!

Are you familiar with the actress Queen Latifah?  She’s not thin at all.  In fact, she’s probably carrying an extra 30 or 40 lbs.  But she’s viewed as sexy because she has that feisty, confident attitude that basically says “I know I’m sexy”.  You can do it too.  Rock what you’ve got!

Beware of this subtle trap for wives and moms

I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife.  One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside.  In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself.  It’s my kids who really need my attention.”  Not good thinking!

Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them.  However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols.  When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god.  One of the big 10 commandments addresses this!  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

 One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands.  The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children.  Even more important than that, spend quality time with God.  He must truly be your number one focus in life!

How to pray for an “impossible” situation

You may have an “impossible” situation going on in your marriage, such as a husband who doesn’t believe in God, or who is an alcoholic who refuses to get help, or who is harsh and critical with the kids, or who is hooked on pornography.  I would certainly recommend that you establish some serious boundaries and consequences if your husband is sinning against you or the kids, but here’s the thing you and I need to realize.  Only God can change your husband’s heart.  That’s where your prayers make a gigantic impact.  Prayers that are offered in line with God’s will can accomplish the seemingly impossible!

That’s why praying actual Bible verses is so powerful!  We know Bible verses are in line with God’s will.  If your “impossible” situation involves your husband, let me point you to a list of suggested Bible verses to pray for your husband on the “Free Resources” tab at www.squadronofsisters.com.   It’s a free PDF that you can print.  I urge you to do so, and begin praying for your marriage, your husband, and your family.  Your prayer offered in faith and trust in God is extremely powerful.  Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” 

One more thing.  Don’t grow weary in praying.  Sometimes it takes months or years of praying before you see results.  Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 to get inspired to press into sustained prayer for your “impossible” situation.

This one choice could change your marriage

I wonder what would happen if we asked God to transform our character into His character and then we actually began striving to display His character in our marriages?  I bet you tons of marriages would begin to thrive!

God describes His own character in Psalm 103:8, where the Bible says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”   Even just pressing into one of those 4 qualities could make a huge impact in your marriage.  What if we started displaying grace toward our men?  Grace simply means giving someone undeserved favor and loving kindness.

I’m not saying you should ignore destructive patterns of sin in your husband’s life.  However, I am recommending that we work to extend kindness to our husbands even when they’ve annoyed us or disappointed us in small ways.  In fact, what if you were to extend grace by choosing to believe that he didn’t mean to disappoint you?  What if you were to give him the benefit of the doubt?  Extending that kind of grace could change your whole attitude toward your husband…and could draw his heart toward you!

Perhaps, we could sum it up this way. The appreciated wife leaves a fragrance, not an odor!.

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Creating emotional intimacy with your husband

Many women get so discouraged about the lack of emotional connection with their husbands.  Wives desperately desire their husbands to open up and share their deepest thoughts and feelings, but often it just doesn’t happen.  Well, one of the things I’ve learned is that most men will do almost anything to avoid looking weak or being vulnerable to criticism.  So, they don’t share their hearts.  They don’t want to risk your scoffing or criticism.  They’re like a turtle that tucks its head inside a protective shell.

But there is a way to prompt your husband to take the risk of sharing his heart with you.  You need to be a safe place for him to share his heart!  What do I mean by that?  Well, I’ll tell you what it looks like if you’re NOT a safe place.  Do you roll your eyes at his ideas?  Do you explain why he’s wrong when he shares his thoughts, beliefs, or ideas?  Do you criticize him or complain all the time?  Those kinds of words and actions don’t exactly make him feel safe in terms of opening up his heart at the deepest level!

God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 “the wife must respect her husband.”, and if you consistently show that respect…day after day…and month after month….your husband may start feeling it’s safe to risk opening up his heart to you.  Starting today, try looking for ways to encourage your husband.  Listen attentively to what he talks about.  Look directly at him when he is talking.  Smile at him.  Affirm him in any way you can.  You might find that he will enjoy talking to you a whole lot more!  And that turtle just might poke his head out from underneath the shell.