Hello. My name is Debbie Chavez, and I’m a list-aholic. Yes, I admit it. I love being super- organized, and I love “accomplishing” a lot every day. It makes me feel good about myself. In fact, my compulsion to accomplish tons of stuff everyday is so bad…..if I do something that was not on my list, I actually add it onto my list so that I can scratch it out!
There is nothing wrong with completing many tasks each day, and there is certainly nothing wrong with being organized, but when we become a slave to our lists, we have a problem. How about you? Are you a list-acholic? Here’s what I’ve been noticing lately. When I become a slave to my to-do list, I am not a very peaceful wife. I become a driven person, and I’m not flexible enough to respond to new situations or needs in my family. Perhaps we need to meditate on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:40-42. Martha was busy bustling about with tasks, while Mary sat peacefully at the feet of Jesus. Jesus gently rebuked Martha in verse 42 saying, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better…”
So, maybe you and I should stop being neurotic about our lists! I am still making a list each day, but unless something on that list is absolutely critical, I’m allowing myself to skip some of the items in order to respond to my husband or children if I can see that they could use my help or encouragement. I believe this adjustment makes me more like the 1 Peter 3 wife. She is described as having a gentle, quiet spirit. I don’t think she could be quiet and peaceful if she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off! She obviously wasn’t a slave to a long to-do-list. The question is: Do you need to re-evaluate your lists?
Marriage is not one continuous fairy tale. Your husband is not perfect, and neither are you. Therefore, you will experience times of disappointment, frustration, and even heartbreak. The question is…what will you do during those “valley” times in your marriage? How will you rally yourself and stay in the game? Where can you find the motivation to fight for your marriage?
One powerful key to battling all the way through those valley times is to receive encouragement from other godly wives. You NEED encouragement! The enemy is going to be whispering discouragement to you. He wants you to leave your husband. He wants to destroy your family. In John 10:10, Jesus says the enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy“. But we can counteract the enemy’s schemes by asking godly friends to speak truth to us. Seek friendships with godly women who know the truth of God’s Word and who are encouragers. Be an encourager in their lives as well.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” I’m strongly encouraging you to be an encourager for other women and to purposely spend time with several godly, female friends who encourage you. You need encouragement to stay in the battle! It’s worth it. Jesus has a good plan for your marriage. He has come that you “may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
You’ve heard the expression “You are what you think”. Well it’s true, and unfortunately many women stay stuck in oppression, poverty, chaos, and loneliness because of the stinking thoughts the enemy has whispered to them repeatedly over the years. Often these women truly did suffer a wounding event in the past, but the enemy piles on by getting them to believe lies about their identity, their abilities, God’s ability, and their future.
These lies, that then become our “stinking thinking”, may sound something like this: “I’m unlovable”… “I can’t handle this”… “I’ll never get over this”… “I’m broken”… “I’m not able to”… “It’s hopeless”… “God doesn’t seem to care”… “I can never trust anyone”…
It’s time we start bossing around these thoughts! The minute you hear one of those thoughts in your head, remind yourself that the enemy of your soul WANTS you to embrace that stinking thinking so that he can keep you oppressed! Jesus WANTS you to have the opposite…a fulfilling life! John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Ladies, it’s time we take a stand and refuse to align our thoughts with the devil. The moment those negative, hopeless thoughts enter your mind, immediately coach your soul with the truth. Here are a couple of truths to get you started: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”-Philippians 4:13…”He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”-Psalm 40:2…..”If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”-Romans 8:31-32…”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight”-Proverbs 3:5-6
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE
None of us welcomes emotional pain and heartbreak. Yet, on this earth, we know we will encounter trials and pain. Often, that pain is experienced in our marriage. We can get really frustrated that God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayer to “fix” our marriage or husband! But Jesus never promised he would take away all our problems during our temporary stay on earth. In fact, he said in John 16:33 “in this world you will have trouble.” Fantastic.
However, if you look closely, you will discover two rays of sunshine in the midst of your darkest hours. First, Jesus finishes that verse in John 16:33 by saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world“. That is a great reminder that though we will have temporary troubles here, Jesus has prepared an eternal destination for us that will be completely free of heartbreak and suffering. It will be glorious beyond our imagination!
Secondly, and here’s the point I really wanted to make….it is at the time of our biggest heartbreak that we often experience God’s presence in a way we’ve never known before. When we choose to cry out to him and seek him during our time of grief and suffering, he promises to come close. Very close. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit“. If you’re in the middle of a really difficult time in your marriage, don’t miss the opportunity to draw close to God and encounter his love, compassion and comfort at a spectacular level!
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