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 refusing to enable a continuing pattern of sin. 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. I have even seen the Lord change a husband’s heart! Yes, God can change a person’s heart. Read Ezekiel 36:26.
Each weekday, I offer a devotional intended to help wives. Yet, I have a funny feeling that some of you might be questioning why I’m always urging wives to change their behavior, look for ways to bless their husbands, and be more selfless in their marriage. I can almost hear you asking, “What about him? Am I the only one who’s supposed to work on this marriage?”
Well, here’s a news flash for all of us. We can’t change our husbands! Only God can change a man’s heart. We can establish boundaries. We can encourage our men and offer wise counsel to them, but at the end of the day, we can’t control them. We can only control us! However, by changing the way we interact with our men, we can dramatically and positively impact them. It’s the amazing power of one person to make a difference!
So, let’s all commit to working on ourselves. Let’s look for ways to encourage our men, help our men, respect our men, and serve our men. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of sin against you or your kids, commit to respectfully and lovingly setting boundaries on that behavior. As you continue doing this week after week and month after month, I bet you’ll see a change in your husband and an improvement in your relationship.
Don’t give up. Don’t be pessimistic. Press on. Meditate on this wonderful promise found in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
If you were to regularly pray 3 specific Bible verses on behalf of your husband, I believe you would see your man and your marriage and your whole family reap amazing benefits! Here are the 3 Bible verses: Ephesians 3:17-19, Proverbs 3:5-6, and James 4:7. These verses ask God to reveal his love to your husband at a deep level, ask God to cause your husband to have a deep trust in God, and ask God to prompt your husband to submit himself to God. When those 3 things happen, your man is completely transformed!
Here’s what this looks like:
Ephesians 3:17-19 “I pray that Jesus would come and dwell in ___________’s heart by faith, and that _____________, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that ___________ would know this love that surpasses knowledge, that _________ would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “I pray that you would work in _____________’s heart so that he would trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding. In all his ways, I pray that ____________ would acknowledge you Lord, so that you make his path straight.”
James 4:7-8 “I pray that you convict ______________ of the need to fully submit himself to you, God, and I pray that you would show _____________ how to resist the devil, so that the devil flees from _______________.
Does your husband have a destructive addiction? Do you have a serious problem with self-control yourself? Are you and your husband arguing so much that you’re not sure your marriage will survive? There are some practical things you can do about all the above scenarios, but more than likely, what you really need is a miracle. You need God to supernaturally intervene to change hearts, expose schemes of the enemy, and fill both of you with the Holy Spirit so that you are radically changed. The good news is He can do all that!
Your part in all this is to pray…earnestly, without ceasing, and with total faith in the power of Jesus Christ to perform a miracle! It really is critical for you to trust in the power of God to do the impossible! In fact, when Jesus walked this earth, he was unable to do miracles of healing in towns where there was too much unbelief! (Mark 6:5-6)
I have seen God perform modern-day miracles, and I know he can do a miracle in your marriage, your finances, your health, etc. I have seen him change the heart of a husband who was dead set on divorcing his wife, and now they are still married 5 years later and better than they were before! I have seen God miraculously provide financial provision at the last minute, and in a totally unusual way! I have seen God heal a man who doctors said would be brain dead, but he is functioning totally normally years later.
Here are 2 verses that may encourage you to pray with great faith. Matthew 21:22 says “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” And in Matthew 9:29, as Jesus is about to heal some blind men, He says, “According to your faith, will it be done to you.”
You may be a wife like me…a wife who is stunned when her husband does or says something that isn’t exactly kind and loving. To be honest, at some subconscious level, I guess I expected my husband to always make me happy and do the right thing. In short, I rather expected him to be like Jesus. I mean, after all, he is a Christian, for heaven’s sake!
Hmmm. On the other hand, the Bible makes it clear that no human being is perfect. Psalm 14:3 says, “there is no one who does good, not even one“. So, perhaps it’s time for both you and me to take our husbands off the hook. I’m not saying that we should give them a free pass on blatant, destructive sin. Jesus makes it clear we should confront someone who is truly sinning against us. You can read his instructions about that in Matthew 18:15-17.
However, I do believe it’s time we started being gracious to our husbands in terms of looking beyond their minor faults and annoying quirks. Does he sometimes drive more aggressively than you would like? Maybe we can be gracious about that (while praying for safety!). Does he often have a hard time sharing his deep thoughts and feelings? We can be gracious about that too. Does he sometimes snap at you when he’s stressed. That makes him human! Let’s remember he is a flawed person, just like us! We’re all a work in progress…in the master’s hands.
Do you have a continuing issue with your husband? Does he lack a certain desirable character quality? Prayer can make all the difference!
I have seen persistent prayer accomplish what I cannot do on my own. I don’t have any ability to change my husband’s heart. I can set boundaries on certain behavior, but I can’t change his heart. Only God can do that, and praise the Lord, he DOES do that! In Ezekiel 36, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” Awesome!
If you’re wondering where to start in terms of praying for a change in your husband’s heart, I would suggest inserting your husband’s name in 2 specific Bible verses as you pray. I’ve been praying these 2 verses for quite some time now, and I’ve seen God slowly molding and shaping my husband’s heart. Here are the verses, with your husband’s name inserted. Psalm 51:10 “Create in _____________ a clean heart and renew a right spirit within _____________.” Psalm 103:8 Mold ____________ to be like you…”compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love”.
In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior. However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.
If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do! Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy. Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”. Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child. Don’t roll your eyes.
Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage. A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him. A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful. The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband. Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge. Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities. If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.
Oh, and one more tip. To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….” When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you!
I have seen so many women wither and die emotionally in their marriages because their husband is engaged in disrespectful or sinful behavior and the wife gives up too easily in terms of confrontation. (I should know because I was one of those women in my first marriage!) So why would a wife give up? I believe it boils down to one main fear.
The wife fears that if she continues to confront the issue, or heaven forbid, draw a serious boundary, her husband may decide to leave her…and in her mind, she will lose what’s supposed to make her happy and secure. But this is faulty thinking! Your husband is not a reliable source of happiness. God is the only one we can depend on for unconditional love, compassion, and security. If your husband were to leave after you draw a line in the sand, I believe God is big enough to take care of you financially. I know He is. Do you trust Him? Do you believe what He says in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”?
Trust in the One who will never leave your side. Trust in the One who can provide innovative ways to take care of your financial needs. Trust in the One who can bring supportive people into your life to stand by you as you draw boundaries. That One is Jesus.
Are you and your husband at odds? Are you discouraged in your marriage? Pray. Are you longing for more intimacy and love in your marriage? Pray. Are you concerned about the choices your husband or children are making? Pray. Prayer really can change everything! It can produce a miracle! James 5:16 says “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.”
I have witnessed God do absolutely amazing things when I have prayed with total faith in His mighty power. I have witnessed miraculous healings. I have seen God soften my husband’s heart in areas. I have witnessed loved ones turn to Christ for the very first time. I have witnessed God supernaturally supplying much needed financial help in the nick of time. I have even seen God “heal” completely broken computerized equipment in our sound studio!
Here’s the thing. I don’t have the power to do any of those miracles. I especially don’t have the power to change my husband’s heart or my children’s hearts….but God can and does change hearts! In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Awesome! So, seek God in prayer. Be persistent in your prayers for your husband and children. Your situation might seem impossible, but nothing is too hard for God. He can even change hearts.
We all go through challenging days in our marriages and in our lives in general. It’s at those times; we tend to feel so alone. We desperately need to know that God notices our distress. We need to know that He is with us and that He cares.
Well, despite what Satan is whispering in your ear…that nobody cares…that you’re all alone…that your broken heart will never get better…the Bible tells a different story! I find so much comfort in these verses:
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
You are the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:2-4