Many Christian wives have asked me what they should expect from their husbands. In other words, what is godly behavior for a husband? Well, let’s look at what the Bible indicates about this.
Ephesians 5 includes one of the most comprehensive sets of instructions for husbands. It says in verses 25 through 31… “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Wow! That’s a pretty high standard! Yet God expects husbands to strive to imitate Christ’s selfless love for his bride, the church. My husband Raul was pretty amazing but he still had some flaws, and I bet your husband isn’t perfect either. However, the Christian husband should be seeking to become more like Jesus every day. This means a husband should look out for the best interest of his wife and act in ways that indicates he cherishes her!
That being said, NO Christian husband is as perfect as Jesus! Don’t expect your husband to model Christ’s behavior every single minute of every single day. Your husband is human, and he WILL make mistakes. He will stumble in his attempt to display godly behavior each day. So be thankful if you see him at least trying to follow and obey the Lord, even though he will fall short at times. As believers, we should ALL be seeking to honor and obey the Lord each day.
Do you ever feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Do your prayers seem ineffective? Well, could it be that you’ve fallen into a very common pattern of simply using your prayers to tell God what to do, when to do it, and how to do everything?! Hah! I know I’ve fallen into that pattern more times than I care to admit.
The truth is that God doesn’t need us to explain to Him what to do. If we’re being honest, we can acknowledge that we don’t always know the best thing to do. But Jesus does know! So maybe we should ask Him!
Here’s a mind-blowing fact. Jesus is actually praying (interceding) to the Father for YOU right now! Romans 8:34 says “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Another huge truth from the Bible is that our heavenly Father answer the prayers of people who are praying in line with His will. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Put these two truths together and it becomes clear that the key to powerful prayer is to ask Jesus how He is praying for us or the challenge we’re worried about, and then to pray in alignment with Him. When we start prayer that way, we know we are praying according to God’s will, and God answers those prayers!
If you’re wondering how to know what Jesus is praying, simply ask Him to tell you and then await a gentle nudge of your spirit….a quiet whisper to your heart….a word downloaded into your mind. Jesus says this in John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice…. So ask Him how he’s praying, await his direction, and then join him in that prayer. How powerful!!
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 could not do on my own. I don’t have any ability to change anyone’s heart, including a husband’s heart. I can set boundaries on certain behavior, but I can’t change a person’s 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 prayed these 2 verses for years on behalf of my husband, and I witnessed 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“.”
If you are a follower of Jesus, I’m sure you are so very grateful for his presence in your life and for the sacrifice He made so that you can be guaranteed a forever life in paradise with God. But don’t you want other people in your life to find the same rich relationship and promise for the future that you have discovered? You probably do, but aren’t quite sure how to share the Gospel message with relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Maybe you shrink back due to fear of what others will think. Perhaps you need help in becoming more confident and bold.
Allow me to share 5 Bible verses that can be somewhat of a guide as you consider sharing the Gospel message with others.
Ask God to show you who you are supposed to talk to about Jesus and invite to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God may be assigning you that job, or perhaps God has appointed someone else to be the person. So ask God! Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Ask God to show you the right time to present the Gospel. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
Ask God to give you confidence and boldness instead of fearing the person’s reaction! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
Study Bible verses that reveal the path to salvation, and also equip yourself with Bible verses that may address any objections or questions that person raises. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
In the end, rely on the Holy Spirit to give you the exact words to say to that specific person. Luke 21:14-15 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
Do you feel tempted to throw in the towel regarding your marriage? I know it can be tempting to just bail out, but please let me encourage you to do everything you can to fight FOR your marriage!
When you’re going through a serious challenge in your marriage, it seems right to choose the path where the pain can be quickly relieved. In a nutshell, it often seems best to choose divorce. But I’ve been through divorce, and I can honestly say that even though some of your pain will be relieved, you’ll be faced with a whole new set of problems and heartbreak.
So, maybe you should try something else. What if you were to seek outside counsel for your marriage? What if you were to spend time on your knees crying out to God on behalf of your marriage? What if you were to courageously, but respectfully, confront your husband if he is seriously out of line in some area? That could be the beginning of a turn-around in your marriage.
And also, please consider that other people are watching how you handle challenging times. Your children are watching how you handle this. Are you teaching them to bail out of situations and relationships when the going gets tough, or are you showing them how to persevere and do the hard work to restore the relationship? Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”
Yes, sometimes ending the marriage may be the right path, especially if there has been a pattern of affairs or abuse. But often, we choose to end a marriage because of resentment or unmet expectations or because “he’s not making me happy”. Please, please, please work to address the issues that are prompting you to consider divorce. There may be a way to develop a healthier perspective and a healthier relationship. This will likely take work, and the process could be painful, but often good things happen when we persevere through the pain!
If you’re like most women, you’re busy…REALLY busy. Most of us are multi-taskers to the max. We are trying to balance housekeeping, with nurturing children, with investing in our marriage, with maybe even working full-time outside the home. Oh, and you might be trying to help out at the local food bank or your church too! More than likely, you’re exhausted, stressed, and maybe even a bit cranky. Did I hit that nail on the head?
How about if we all intentionally slow down? What if you and I were to ask God in prayer for His direction on where we can cut something out of our busy lives? Is there a better way to divide responsibilities in our home? Should you cut out one of the kid’s activities?
Do you simply need to take 10 or 15 minutes twice a day to be still with God? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”. Maybe it’s time for us to carve out some time to be still for a few minutes each day, perhaps with a cup of lemonade sitting outside on a summer day or snuggled in a comfy chair listening to worships music. I have a feeling that we will find our stress drain away as we enter a time of stillness, and as we become less stressed, everyone around us will benefit! In fact, your husband may become the biggest fan of your “be still” time with God! You’ll probably be less cranky. Lol
And by the way, I believe God is calling us to be still in a different way as well. In Psalm 37:7, the Bible says “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” Perhaps God is asking you to calm down in the middle of a challenge, give your anxiety and fear to the Lord, and then wait patiently for Him to respond to your prayers before charging ahead! Maybe this is another way He is asking you to be still. Just a thought.
We all inevitably go through stretches in our marriages (or with kids, finances, health, etc!) that are pretty rough on our hearts. Yes, we can persevere, pray, and trust in God during those times, and all those things are super important. But sometimes, we just plain need comfort. We need to sit in the lap of our heavenly father and have Him hold us tight.
Here is what I have discovered. Reading the Psalms slowly and out loud is like a warm embrace from my heavenly Father. As those words roll off my lips, I can almost feel His love and compassion flow over me. I sense the tenderness of His heart toward me. I gain hope once again.
Try it for yourself. I would suggest some of these Psalms: Psalm 103, Psalm 91, Psalm 34, and Psalm 37. God longs to comfort you. He loves you. As Psalm 103 says, “Our Father is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.”
When we face a challenge, a dilemma, or even a crisis…we tend to search high and low for the easy answer. We cry out to God, asking him to give us the magic pill that will make it all go away! We call our mom or our girlfriends, and we whine and complain about the problem, hoping they will have the magical, painless answer to our situation. Well, here’s the thing. The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple. Seek God’s counsel and then actually pause to listen.
Proverbs 18:13 says “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame.” Yet, that is exactly what many of us do. We complain to God. We pray that he would magically fix our situation in the way that WE say is best, and yet, we don’t actually consult the Bible to see what guidance he has for us. We pray that God would tell us what to do about the problem, yet we don’t actually pause to listen for the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper of guidance.
The answer is simple. Dive into God’s Word. It will guide you. Psalm 119:105 says. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ask God to give you direction through a quiet whisper to your spirit from the Holy Spirit, who is our counselor. John 14:26 says (in the Amplified Bible), “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things.”
In any relationship, especially a marriage, there are going to be times when the two of you are in conflict. Perhaps your husband is breaking your heart through wrong behavior. At each of those times, we have to make really big decisions. Should I confront my husband on an issue where he appears to be out of line? Should I keep quiet and press into prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit to work in my husband’s heart? Should I compromise on an issue where we’ve been in conflict?
At these times, counsel from other godly women is very helpful, but honestly, my very best guidance comes from God himself. I just need to take a few moments to be quiet with Him and ask Him to speak direction into my mind and heart. Psalm 142:3 says “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way.” When I pause, close my eyes, and ask God in prayer to give me direction, I often sense a gentle nudge, or a prompting, or I feel like He’s speaking a word of direction into my mind in that moment. Unless the “prompting” goes against what the Bible would say, I trust that God has just spoken to me.
I did this recently on an issue between me and a close relative. I thought for sure I should make a certain decision, but once I spent just a few moments quieting myself and asking God to speak His counsel into my mind, I received guidance to go the exact opposite direction! He even allowed me to see why my original idea was flawed. Try this yourself. God is waiting at the door of your mind and heart. Open the door and let Him in.
I get asked quite often about boundaries in relationships. The subject of boundaries is a topic tossed around a lot, and women sort of instinctively know they need boundaries in relationships, but they don’t exactly know the how, what, when and whys of healthy boundaries!
First let me explain that there is a difference between asking your boyfriend or husband to change and setting a boundary. A boundary is not a request for the other person to change. A boundary is deciding what YOU will do to protect yourself physically, emotionally or mentally from the other person’s harmful or destructive behavior. A boundary basically says to that other person, “I can’t control your choices, but there are some things I CAN do to control how your choices affect me”.
Let me give some examples:
A husband refuses to stop looking at pornography and that choice wounds his wife’s heart. She makes a request for him to stop (and most likely to seek serious help for that addiction), but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary. She tells him if she continues to catch him looking at porn, she will move to a separate bedroom or even separate from him entirely until he gets serious help for his problem. That’s setting a boundary.
A husband is emotionally abusive and that wounds his wife. She makes a request for him to stop, but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary. She tells him if he screams obscenities at her or degrades her even one more time, she will immediately leave the room (or the house) because she won’t tolerate that kind of behavior. If the emotional abuse continues, she might set an even larger boundary and tell him she will need to separate until he seeks serious help. That’s setting a boundary.
By the way, boundaries are Biblical. Here’s an example from Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. And 1 Corinthians 5:11 I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.