In a recent prayer time, God gently confronted me. He asked me this simple question. Are you going to be a slave to your to-do-list today, or are you going to focus on bringing me glory? Another way of putting this is: Are you working tirelessly to bring yourself glory as the “perfect wife’, “perfect mother”, perfect Christian, etc, or are you releasing your day to God and asking him to show you what to do and what NOT to do in order to bring HIM glory?
Oh man! Busted. To be honest, I tend to drive myself to always do more and do it better, because I want to look good in other people’s eyes. I become exhausted and stressed in the process. The good news is that God didn’t design us to be people-pleasers. Yes, we are to love people, but our focus shouldn’t be on doing whatever they want. Our focus also shouldn’t be trying to look good in people’s eyes. The Bible reminds us in Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?”
I am confident that if you and I were both to release our days to God and ask Him to guide us, we would find much more peace! We would be free of performance-exhaustion. Instead, we would be free to follow God’s promptings, which will lead to greater joy and peace than we’ve ever known. In fact, if you listen for God’s voice, he might even tell you to take a nap or relax while listening to praise music! God’s Word promises that those who seek to follow Him (instead of following their own agenda) will enter peace! (Isaiah 57:2 says, “For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace.” And Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
We’re all going to encounter some tough times in our marriage. We’re all going to experience heartbreak and challenge in our lives in general. The question is this. Why are some people able to bounce back from adversity relatively quickly, and why do others seem to remain stuck?
At the risk of you hating me 🙂 …I’ll be honest and let you know that I tend to be very resilient. After an initial period of shock and grief, I’m usually able to quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward. After pondering this ability with God, allow me share a 3 word insight that might help you become more resilient too.
I trust God. Period. Three little words that mean everything! I have decided to believe that God is in control and that His ways are perfect. I have decided to believe that God can and will bring something good out of my hardship. This is what we learn at the end of Joseph’s painful story in Genesis, where Joseph proclaims in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” I also take heart from Romans 8:28, where God says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I can bounce back because I trust God and because He says He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do you truly trust God? It’s a decision you get to make, and it makes all the difference.
Proverbs 12:4 says “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Hmmm. Which kind of wife are you? Which kind of wife am I?
A crown sparkles and reflects light in a beautiful way. Are we a lovely reflection for our husbands in all we say and do? Think about it. The way you pray for your husband, the way you encourage him and help him, the way you take care of his home, the way you conduct yourself in public, even the way you respectfully confront any wrong behavior…all these things become like a crown to him. A crown is seen by others and causes others to treat that person with respect, honor, and admiration.
In contrast, a wife who demeans her husband, complains about her husband, doesn’t take care of herself or her home, enables sinful behavior by refusing to confront, and withholds physical affection….she becomes like rot in his bones. A person with rotten bones becomes stooped over and can’t carry his load anymore. He is crippled.
Let’s be the kind of wives who don’t cripple our men, but who so esteem them and help them that they become even mightier men of God. Then we will indeed become beautiful crowns! 🙂
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 means 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!
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”….
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!
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!
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE
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!
Many women lament the fact that their husbands won’t pray with them and their husbands aren’t really the spiritual leader….but, here’s something I’ve observed over the years that may shed some light on your predicament. If you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your family, you have to stop being the leader yourself! Sometimes women, including myself, can be so eager to bring spiritual disciplines into our family life that we leave no gap for our husbands to fill. Perhaps this is why God repeatedly instructs wives to be submissive! Titus 2:5 tells women to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands”.
In other words, instead of you jumping in and praying for the kids when they get tucked into bed at night, you could ask your husband for his help with that. If you would like the Bible to be read aloud after dinner, tell your husband you love the sound of his voice when he reads and ask him if he would read the Bible. After he has read the Bible passage, ask him what he thinks God is saying…and then listen attentively to his answer. When you’re not feeling well, you could tell him it would mean the world to you if he were to just lay a hand on your shoulder and say a simple prayer. Even a one-sentence prayer is fine. And when he does any of these things, be encouraging and thankful! Build him up.
When a woman takes over any area of leadership, many men will simply back off. So, if you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your home, you need to allow there to be a bit of a void in that area. Then ask him for his help. 🙂
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE