Refuse to cooperate with the devil’s schemes!

Your enemy has plans to blow-up your marriage.  The Bible says in John 10:10 that Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy”, so make no mistake.  The devil is working diligently to take down both you and your husband.  He may relentlessly tempt your husband to view pornography, and your husband may cave into the temptation.  Your heart will definitely be bruised if your husband falls into that trap.  But Satan wants more than that.  The enemy will relentlessly tempt you to treat your husband with scorn and disgust so that your marriage implodes.

This is where you have a choice.  You can cooperate with the devil and give in to his temptations.  You can allow him to have the victory.  You can align yourself with his evil plans and watch your marriage get flushed down the toilet.  Or you can refuse to cooperate with the devil.  Even when your husband does something that seriously disappoints you, you can tell your husband that you are still “for him”…that you believe he has a good heart…that you are not giving up on him.

A friend of mine recently found out that her husband had slipped up and viewed porn after over a year of being free from pornography.  Of course, she was devastated, but she chose wisely in that moment.  She chose to speak words of life to her husband.  I’d love to share the text she sent me shortly after his confession:  “So thankful he was honest.  Still hurts.  But the enemy will not win!  My marriage is worth fighting for”.  What a fantastic attitude!  She refused to cooperate with the devil.  How about you?

Marriage communication tip #3: Sounding like his mom

If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you may sound too much like a “mother” instead of a wife when talking to your husband, at least from time to time.  I caught myself sounding like my husband’s mother the other day.  He was heading out the door and for some reason, I felt compelled to say, “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast before you go”.   Really?  Did I need to say that?!   Did my husband really need me to point out that he should remember to feed himself?  What?  Is he 3 years old or something?  Oh brother.

When we remind our husbands about things that would be obvious to any adult, we’re actually being disrespectful.  Ouch.  It’s as if we’re telling our husbands that we don’t think they’re capable of making basic, reasonable decisions.  We sound like we’re talking to a toddler!  “Don’t forget to take a coat.”…”Be careful that you don’t hurt yourself with that hammer”…”Let me explain to you how to do _________.”

Let’s keep in mind the Bible’s instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33, where God says “the wife must respect her husband”.  Men crave the respect of their wives just like women crave chocolate. 🙂  Don’t communicate disrespect to your husband by talking to him like he’s an ignorant or helpless child who needs a mother to guide him.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

Tapping into a husband’s need to be a hero

Did you know most men really like to be needed?  I know.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.  Sometimes, it seems like it’s hard to get them to follow through on a task you asked them to handle.  But you know what?  Sometimes we pick inopportune times to ask.  Often we don’t have their full attention, or we mention the task along with five other things we discussed.  Remember, men don’t think the same way women do!  They usually focus on only one thing at a time.

Anyway, back to the “being needed” thing. 🙂 Surveys show most men really do want to be your hero. I believe it’s a way they feel respected, and we know that respect is so important for a man that God actually commands wives to respect their husbands in Ephesians 5:33!

This means our men want to lift a box that is kind of heavy for us.  They want to fix the leaky faucet and impress you with their “fix-it” skills.   They want to figure out a solution to your overloaded schedule problem.  They want to be our heroes.  The problem is this.  We often try to tackle everything ourselves….or when we do ask them to help with something, we either ask at a bad time, or we throw in the request amid a whole bunch of other “talk”.

Let’s try this week to ask for our husband’s help with something…at a convenient time, very clearly, and simply.  Then let’s show appreciation when he follows through.  I bet he will love being your hero.

Are you spreading a virus to your family?

Holy cow!  The saying really is true…”If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”!!   I found this out recently when I was having a super stressful, overwhelmingly busy day.  My husband was away from the house and he called to see if I had time to take care of a low priority task.  I responded by saying “I really don’t have time for that.  I am so busy I can hardly breathe.”   Well, as soon as he heard me say that, and as soon as he grasped my stress level, I could tell his own anxiety and stress level shot through the roof.  He got increasingly agitated on the phone.  It was then that I realized that a wife’s stress is contagious!  I was spreading the stress virus.

Now, I’m not saying that you or I should try to hide our stress from our husbands or pretend it doesn’t exist, but I did get to thinking that my husband’s anxiety and stress is directly tied to mine.  So, I believe what I need to do is re-examine my schedule and my priorities.  Perhaps I need to cut some things out of my schedule so that my stress level drops. God wants us to live a peaceful life where we actually have time to spend refreshing moments with him.  This reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10.  Jesus comes to the home of these two sisters and Martha is stressed out trying to take care of the hospitality details, while Mary sits quietly at the feet of Jesus.  Martha complains to Jesus about her sister, but Jesus says this in verses 41 and 42:  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better…”

Maybe it’s time for us to re-examine our busy schedules.  Maybe it’s time to cut back on our activities or the kid’s activities.  For me….it will not only be good for my health, but also for my husband’s health.  How about you?  Are you stressed out a lot?  Do you need to take a hard look at your schedule?

3 ways to start to regain your joy

Sometimes, life just gets plain hard.  You forget to pay a bill on time and get hit with a giant “late fee”.  You catch your husband looking at pornography.  You teenager lies to you.  Your child accidentally drops an entire jog of milk on the kitchen floor.  Ugh!

At times like these, it’s easy to feel weighed down.  It’s so common for us to give into despair and depression.  But instead of conceding defeat, we can regain our joy by practicing 3 things:

1) Recognize this is a scheme of the enemy to try to steal, kill or destroy your joy  (John 10:10 “the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy”)

2)  Remind your soul of the enemy’s inability against our mighty God (1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”)  *Sometimes I even laugh at Satan’s pitiful attempts to drag me down!  I like putting him back in his place!

3) Trust that God will carry you through this challenge and even redeem the circumstances so that something good comes about in the long run. God is an expert at turning lemons into lemonade! (Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”)

Are you stuck in suffering even though God has a better plan?

Even though you may have accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you and I will still encounter trials and hardships in this life here on earth.  They are inevitable.  In fact Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33..”In this world you will have trouble.”   Sometimes, the trouble is inside our marriage, and when that’s the case, we often find the need to practice great patience, endurance and “longsuffering”.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:2 that we should act “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” (KJV).  Other translations use the word “patience” in the place of longsuffering.

However, the Bible doesn’t always advise us to just sit on our hands and settle into a long season of quiet endurance and longsuffering.   Jesus says in Matthew 18:15-17 that we’re supposed to confront someone who is sinning against us.  We always need to be respectful and loving, yet he tells us to confront that person.

So yes, there is a place for patience and longsuffering in relationships.  However, it occurs to me that perhaps the best time for longsuffering is when you’ve already confronted the person sinning against you and they are working to turn away from that pattern of sin.  I guess my question to you is this:  Have you lovingly and firmly confronted your husband if he is sinning against you or your children?    Have you drawn clear boundaries on what you will accept and have you followed through with appropriate consequences when necessary?  If you haven’t, then there’s a chance you are longsuffering outside of God’s will.  Pray about it and see what God reveals.

One way your husband could help you

I tend to constantly pick at a dysfunctional relationship in my life.  It drives me a little crazy that I am estranged from some relatives.  I keep on feeling like I need to “fix it”.  This has been going on for years!  And I think Satan has my number on this.  Just when I think I’ve sorted through my responsibility in the situation and come to the conclusion that I’ve done everything I should, Satan whispers into my ear once again “this is your fault”…”you aren’t handling this correctly as a Christian”…blah, blah, blah.  And the cycle repeats itself every few months…for years!

I was feeling this way again last night, and I rehashed that fractured relationship once again with my husband.  Bless his heart!  I’m so thankful that he can actually be patient with me as I talk through that situation over and over again every few months.  Anyway, he quickly reminded me that I have done everything I can.  He helped me to see the situation objectively.  Where I was consumed with emotions and doubt, he could see more clearly.  As Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

Sometimes, you and I really do need our husbands counsel.  Often, they are less emotional than we are.  Many times, they can see the situation much more objectively and correctly assess how it should be handled.  Plus, our husbands love it when we come to them for advice, because it signifies that we actually respect their opinion.  Is it time to seek your husband’s counsel on a situation in your life?  Two are often better than one!