Be on high alert for this scheme from the pit of hell!

I’m outing him.  I’m exposing one of Satan’s main strategies for tripping up wives and potentially destroying their marriages.  I can speak from experience because I got caught in this scheme.  Ugh.  Here it is.  The enemy will subtly lure you into a “friendship” with a man other than your husband.  It will start very innocently.  It may evolve very slowly.  But here’s what I know.  Once you start sharing your feelings, your troubles, and your hopes with a man, you start emotionally bonding with that man.   Once a man starts sharing his burdens and his feelings with you, you start to bond with that man.  Now you’re in treacherous water, and it’s only a matter of time before you get sucked into an actual affair.

I know some of you don’t believe me, but trust me, this has happened to countless women, including wonderful Christian ladies.  It happened to me at the end of my first marriage.  I never would have believed it could happen to me!  For me, it took over 10 years for Satan to build a strong enough emotional bond with the man for me to be ensnared, but apparently the devil is pretty patient.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Refuse to spend time alone with another man, even at a public location.  Refuse to discuss your marriage or your husband with another man, unless it’s a pastor or counselor.   God instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be self-controlled and alert because the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“.  Be smart.  Be alert.

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Turning your husband’s heart toward you!

We all want our husbands to cherish us and be drawn to us.  The question is: once we get married and the intoxication of new love wears off, how do we keep our men drawn to us?  Of course, we want to do what we can to stay attractive, and we know a robust sex life with him is super important, but here are 2 other simple things that will tend to draw your husband to you.

1)  Listen intently to him when he talks, especially when he talks about his hopes, his dreams, his plans, and the things he loves to do.  If you engage him in conversation about his dreams and passions in life, he will feel understood, accepted, and valued for who he is at his core. Valuing his hopes and dreams is a sign of respect, and Ephesians 5:33 says, “The wife must respect her husband.” This doesn’t mean that you necessarily agree with some of his more far-fetched dreams, but you can certainly explore with him why that specific dream or passion is exciting to him.  Perhaps you can even brainstorm ways to satisfy those longings in practical ways.

2)  Make plans for fun outings together and then make time in your schedule to have fun with him!  You used to do this when you were dating, and you need to keep connecting with him through fun activities and hobbies during your marriage.  Golf together. Bowl together.  Take dancing lessons.  Go to funny movies.  Take a hike.  Go sledding in the winter and kayaking in the summer.  Invite a fun couple to your house once a month to play table games.  Your husband will bond with you and be drawn to you when you have fun together.

Avoiding landmines in blended families!

Pretty much anyone who has entered the arena of blended families and step-parenting knows that it is like trying to walk across a field of landmines.  Typically, the biggest problem is that the step-parent thinks the step-child should love and respect them just like they would their biological parent.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way.

Here’s the best piece of advice I ever heard on this subject.  As the step-parent, take the time (perhaps years!) to sow nothing but love into the relationship with your new stepchild.  Resist the desire to step in as disciplinarian and let the biological parent handle that.  As a couple, talk with your spouse behind closed doors about how “situations” and discipline should be handled, but then let the biological parent actually carry it out.

The idea of sowing love into a person before expecting that person to love you in return is actually demonstrated by Jesus.  The Bible says “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  We need to model this as step-parents.  Your step-child needs to see you demonstrate love for a sustained period of time before believing you actually have their best interests at heart.  This may truly take years, especially if the child is over the age of about 5 when you first enter the new marriage.  Be patient.

Be on the alert for this destructive attitude!

We’ve all been betrayed and we’ve all betrayed others.  I can almost guarantee this is true for all of us, although we only seem to remember the times when we’ve been betrayed.  We conveniently “forget” the times we’ve betrayed others, in big and small ways.

Here’s the thing.  When we allow our focus to remain on the deeply hurtful things people have done to us, it’s as if we tie a heavy chain around our ankles and toss ourselves into a deep, dark lake.  We slowly sink deeper and deeper into murky darkness.  We’re starved for life-giving oxygen.  We slowly drown in self-pity.  We become enveloped by resentment and that resentment becomes a poison to us and everyone around us!

Cut the chains of bitterness and resentment!  Come up for air.  Drop the “victim” attitude.  The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:15 to “see to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many”.  Your choice to embrace and coddle your bitterness will surely be the death of your joy and the joy of those around you.

How can you get rid of this super destructive attitude of resentment? Here are some insights. Choose this day to be thankful for what you do have.  Make a choice to have compassion on your offender, realizing that you’re not perfect either!  If the resentment stems from current behavior, then seek godly counsel on establishing boundaries in that relationship.  Finally, ask God to redeem your painful experience in some kind of way.  He loves to do that!  Romans 8:28 promises us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose.”

One way you can gain deeper joy and fulfillment

I seem to bump into quite a few women who seem to either struggle with discouragement and mild depression or simply feel unfulfilled.  When it comes to both these conditions, there aren’t necessarily simple answers, but I do believe taking one particular step could bring significant help.  That step is to get outside yourself and begin serving those less fortunate!  Yes, really.

This is God’s instruction to us all.  In fact, He says in Isaiah 58 that the kind of “fasting” that he desires is not to look all religious by denying yourself food or pleasure.  Instead he desires us to “loose the chains of injustice…to share your food with the hungry…to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. He says “then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear” (Isaiah 58:8)

Is it time to stop focusing on what’s wrong with your circumstances and to look for opportunities to serve those in need all around you?  I can almost guarantee that you WILL become more fulfilled when you begin helping others.  Try it!

What wives need to know about expressing emotions!

Do you tend to get loud when you get upset?  Are you prone to big, dramatic displays of your emotions, whether joy, frustration or sadness?  Well you might not know this, but most men are really uncomfortable with big displays of emotion.  This isn’t true for ALL men, but for most men.

In other words, if you’re a drama queen….your husband will likely try to escape your presence!  He just doesn’t know what to do with your larger-than-life emotions.  Maybe this is why 1 Peter 3:4 advises wives to have the beauty that comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit“.

Most men much prefer that their wives discuss their emotions, fears, disappointments, frustrations, and joy in a calm manner.  Your husband will be much more likely to engage in a meaningful discussion with you if you can speak in a normal tone of voice, without waving around your arms.  Try it!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

One way to give your husband the respect he craves

All men crave respect, and husbands especially crave the respect of their wives.  In fact, the Bible even commands wives to respect their husbands!  You can find this instruction in Ephesians 5:33.  The question is:  How can you offer respect to your husband in a meaningful way?

Here is one way to show your husband honor and respect.  Ask his opinion about how he would like things to go in your home and in your marriage relationship, listen attentively, and actually carry out his requests that are within reason.  When you do this, you are showing him that he matters!  You are also carrying out another instruction to wives found in Ephesians 5:22 where God says “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord”.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.  Have you asked your husband how he likes you to dress or fix your hair?  Why not honor him by doing these things the way he likes?  Have you asked your husband what’s most important to him when he walks through the door at the end of his workday?  Would he like you and the kids to greet him at the door with kisses, or would he prefer to have 10 minutes of peace and quiet to unwind?  Have you asked your husband how many activities he thinks is ideal for the children?

Ask him, listen to his opinion, and begin incorporating his desires into your routine.  This will communicate respect, and when he feels your respect, your whole marriage relationship will likely improve!