My. My. I guess I’m reminded once again about the power of our words. A few days ago, I wrote a devotional about the power of pausing during a heated conversation with our men so that we refrain from responding with words that are harsh or mean….something we’ll likely regret later. Well, today I was reminded of another reason to pause. As women, we need to pause before we offer casual bits of advice or “wisdom” to our husbands.
I don’t think we realize how our guys are greatly influenced by us! We might think they aren’t really paying that much attention to a casual suggestion we toss out, but often they are. In fact, many husbands in the Bible were greatly influenced by something their wives said, and the wives rarely had good advice! I think especially of Sarah telling Abraham to sleep with her servant in order for him to have a son, since she was getting impatient waiting for God to fulfill his promise to give her children! Read the story in Genesis 16:1-4 and you will find out Sarah’s decision didn’t turn out so well!
So, let’s think twice before we offer a morsel of our brilliant counsel during a conversation with our men. I did this recently, and my husband acted upon it. I hadn’t really even thought it through, let alone prayed about it. Thankfully, there was no harm done, but it got me to thinking about the need to really pause and pray about any suggestions or counsel I decide to pass on to my husband. How about you?
You want to know a sure fire way to soften your husband’s heart toward you? Be humble and quick to apologize when you have been disrespectful toward him! I say “when” instead of “if” you are disrespectful because ALL wives gravitate toward being disrespectful from time to time! Much of the time, we don’t even recognize that we’re being disrespectful.
Let me give some examples. You roll your eyes when he forgets to do something. You sigh dramatically and shake your head about his “cluelessness” when he doesn’t meet your expectations. You ask his opinion about something but then point out the flaws in his thinking. You might even be disrespectful by giving him the silent treatment when he fails to eagerly pitch in to help with the household chores.
When a wife acts disrespectfully toward her husband, he often hardens his heart toward her as a means of self-protection. So, if you would like to soften your husband’s heart toward you, ask God to help you catch yourself the minute you say or do something that communicates disrespect. Then, be quick to sincerely and humbly apologize. A powerful apology contains these words: “I was wrong to ….” and “please forgive me”. Your humility will go a long way in softening your man’s heart. Humility is a virtue we need to intentionally put on every morning. Colossians 3:12 puts it this way, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Sometimes, men are so hard to understand! When we first see our husbands at the end of our work day, whether working away from home or inside the home, we LOVE to talk about how the day has gone. We eagerly await our husband’s arrival so that we can share the details about the children, the crazy thing the neighbors did today, the weird stuff that happened at work, etc. We LOVE to verbally process the day with our husbands. But guess what? Most men loathe communicating with their wives as soon as they walk in the door. They long to spend some time in their “nothing box”. Huh?
It’s hard for women to understand a man’s need for his “nothing box” because most women don’t even know what one is! I’ve had a few men explain it to me, and here’s the basic idea. After a long day at work, most men need to enjoy either quiet or mindless activity in order to decompress from their day. This means your husband probably doesn’t want to hear the fascinating details of your day as soon as he walks in the door and he probably doesn’t want to talk about his day either…at least not for a while.
So, give your husband some space when he first walks in the door. Greet him with a smile and a kiss and then allow him some time in his “nothing box”. You will become more beautiful to him. God says this to wives in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…”
Does your husband wrestle with a destructive addiction? Is your husband carrying way too much stress from his job? Does your husband seem depressed? Is your man uninterested in pursuing God? It’s easy for you to sink into despair, but instead, I challenge you to pray for him continually, and with total faith in our powerful God!
I’m not saying that prayer is the only thing you should do, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do for your man. Yet, often we tend to do more whining to our girlfriends than praying for our men. We often spend too much time drowning in a pool of self-pity instead of saturating our days with earnest prayer.
Seek godly counsel from a pastor or wise female mentor to gain insights into whether you need to take specific action with your husband. Those actions may include establishing boundaries and imposing consequences. Perhaps you will be directed to see a counselor yourself. Maybe your pastor will schedule a talk with your husband to see if he can help. However, your main job as your husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) is to pray for him. Pray for him throughout the day. God says in James 5:16 that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective“. So get on your knees and get busy praying. I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in response to earnest, continual prayer.
Revealing what a wife should expect of her husband is a tricky thing! Yes, we should expect our husbands to love us, and even to sacrifice their interests for ours. The Bible says so. It’s in Ephesians 5, in case you want to look it up for yourself 🙂 It says in verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
The tricky thing is that no husband can perfectly live up to that expectation. Therein lies the challenge. As wives, we yearn for a perfect husband who cherishes us, adores us, romances us, sacrifices himself for us, shares his feelings with us, courageously protects us, diligently provides for us, tenderly raises children with us, spiritually leads us, and on and on. Whew! That’s a long list! Frankly, only Jesus could hit the mark on all those expectations, and guess what? Your husband isn’t Jesus.
So, back to the original question. What should we expect of our husbands? I believe we should expect our husbands to strive to be the kind of husband described in Ephesians 5:25, while at the same time we need to realize that he will fall short of that mark because he’s human. That’s where we need to take on the character of Christ ourselves, striving to be “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE
Many of us come into marriage with broken sexuality. You may have been sexually abused as a child. You may have slept with some prior boyfriends. Your husband may have been sexually molested as a child or slept around before making a commitment to you. All of that stuff from the past can cause us to be somewhat broken or scarred when it comes to our sexuality.
However, God is in the business of redeeming and restoring! If you or your husband are haunted by the memories of former lovers or pornographic images, confess that to each other, and, prior to making love, pray together for Jesus to heal you. Jesus can and will heal your broken sexuality. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
If you or your husband are sexually scarred due to past sexual abuse, pray together before making love and ask Jesus to heal you sexually. Ask him to restore your innocence. Ask him to allow you to totally delight in physical intimacy with your spouse. Jesus is the great healer. Claim Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds, we are healed“
I hear quite a few stories of women, both married and unmarried, who tell me how arguments get heated in their relationships. Their husband says something critical, and they dish it right back at him. Their boyfriend says something unkind, and they lash right back at him. In both cases, arguments quickly evolve into a really ugly war because neither one paused before responding. Pausing is one of the most important moments in any relationship! It is the KEY moment!
The Bible says in Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” It is SO important to pause instead of reacting with reckless words! So the next time you feel your temper about to erupt, pause for 5 or 10 seconds. Ask God to show you in that moment how He wants you to respond. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what will likely happen if you say what you feel like saying in this tense moment! (Usually, the Holy Spirit will show me that those words I was about to say will cause some serious damage in the relationship!) You may even need to leave the room during this pause.
By the way, if you’re texting back and forth with your guy, you may need to put down your cell phone and pray before you text back!! Remember, once those words have been voiced in person or typed in on your text, you can’t take them back. “Pausing” is one of your best friends in any relationship!