If your husband seems selfish and self-centered…

When a husband is clearly sinning against you through something like verbal abuse or an affair with another woman, it seems pretty clear that you should take a stand, draw boundaries, and maybe even have a time of separation.  However, the Christian wife isn’t always as certain about how to handle a husband who simply seems to be selfish.  This is the kind of husband who almost always does exactly what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, with little regard for the desires of his wife or children.   What’s a wife to do?

First, realize that your husband’s selfishness is not okay with God, and thus, it shouldn’t be okay with you.  In the famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible says love is notself-seeking“, and in Philippians 2:4, the Bible says “each of you should look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others.”

Second, you must realize that nothing is likely to change unless you sit down with your husband and bring the problem to his attention.  It’s time to gently and calmly tell your husband the truth about how you are being negatively impacted by his focus on doing what he wants without regard to your wishes.  Ephesians 4:15 says we should “speak the truth in love“, so gently explain the problem. Then directly ask him if he is willing to begin considering your desires when the two of you don’t agree on something.  Ask him if he is willing to work with you to forge a compromise the next time you disagree.  Hopefully, by bringing the problem to his attention, he will begin considering your interests.  If he doesn’t, it’s probably time to ask him to go with you to meet with a pastor or counselor.

Something supermoms & superwives need to know!

Most women have extremely busy schedules these days.  I don’t know if life has always been so chaotic for women, but it sure is that way in 2019!  If you’re a wife and a mom, you’re likely running around like crazy trying to take care of the kids and your man and the household and maybe even a full-time job.  Whew.  I get stressed out just listing all your roles.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  None of us is Super Woman.  You have limited time and physical energy.  You also have only so much you can give mentally, emotionally and spiritually before you’re completely drained.  That’s why it’s vital for you and me to take a break during each and every day to refresh ourselves.  We do NOT need to feel guilty about this.  Even Jesus “often withdrew to desolate places” (Luke 5:16) to take a break from the demands of people and refresh his soul.  We also need to step out of the desert and onto a lush oasis for a half hour or so in order to rehydrate our souls.  We just need to make sure we choose a healthy oasis.

What is your oasis?  What recharges your batteries?  What refreshes your soul?  Reading a good novel?  Puttering around in your flower garden?  Taking a prayer walk with the Lord? Drinking a cup of coffee while writing in your journal?  Baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies?  Taking a bubble bath?  Scrapbooking?  Listening to worship music while sitting in the sun?  Checking out tasty recipes on Pinterest?  Dancing to music in your living room while no one is watching?

–or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Help for a wife with past sexual abuse

Unfortunately, there’s a high likelihood that many wives reading this devotional have experienced past sexual abuse, either in childhood or due to a forced sexual situation as an adult woman.  I can relate to this myself.  I was sexually abused by several men over many years of my childhood.  As you probably know, this can cause real problems for you in terms of desiring to be sexually active with your husband.  Yet, it’s so vitally important to build a vibrant sex life with your husband.  What’s a wife to do?

Here are 5 things that have helped me along my journey:

1) Determine in your heart and mind that you will not let evil steal from you yet again.  Evil stole your innocence once before, but decide that you will not cooperate with Satan’s plan to steal the sex life from your marriage.

2) Coach your soul.  The psalmist David often talked to his soul and reminded his soul of truth.  We can do the same thing.  Remind your soul that your husband cares for you….that he will not hurt you…that you are not being forced…that you will actually enjoy loving touch from your husband….that you can relax in your husband’s arms.

3) Ask your husband if he will allow you to be the one who initiates sex.  That way, you will not feel like someone is suddenly forcing himself on you.  (However, you do need to initiate then!)

4) Ask your husband to progress slowly, giving you plenty of time to truly warm to his touch.  In other words, you might need extra time before transitioning from kissing to touching of breasts, etc.  Also, ask him to stop for a moment if you say stop.  You need to know that, unlike your childhood experience where you had no control, this time you have control over your body.

5) Decide not to dwell on the past, but choose to focus on what is good and right and pure in your husband and in your marriage.  This is what Philippians 4:8 tells us:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Handling fear of setting boundaries with husband

Have you ever caved in when you should have set boundaries in a relationship because of the “what if” questions?  What if he leaves me?  What if he leaves me and I won’t be able to take care of myself?  What if he gets really upset if I confront him?  What if….?

When you find yourself paralyzed with fear because of the “what if” questions, it usually means one of three things.  Either you don’t really trust God when he says in Hebrews 13:5 that he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Or it means you have allowed the spirit of fear to dominate your thoughts.  Or it could mean that you have become your own worst enemy and convinced yourself you’ll never be able to set boundaries and stick to them.  In other words, you’ve pummeled yourself with negative self-talk!

You CAN overcome these paralyzing fears.  How about choosing to trust God’s promise to never leave your side (Hebrews 13:5)?  Maybe it’s time to command the spirit of fear to leave you, in the name of Jesus (2 Timothy 1:7).  Perhaps you need to stop telling yourself that you’ll fall to pieces if you respectfully draw a firm boundary. Coach your soul just like King David did throughout the Psalms.  Tell yourself you will not crumble.  Remind yourself you will not fall apart.  Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”  With Jesus by your side, you have all you need.

Harnessing the “power of one” in your marriage

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.”

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?

Choosing your battles wisely in marriage!

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Although the primary message of this saying is that mom’s attitude affects the whole family, I think a secondary message is just as significant.  If a wife conveys to her husband through her constant complaints and criticisms that she’s not happy, her husband begins to feel like a failure and starts to close his heart to her.

Unfortunately, many wives get stuck in this dynamic.  We tend to point out one disappointment after another to our husbands.  We remind him that we notice he forgot to take out the garbage.  We point out that he hasn’t communicated in our love language recently.  We remind him that he hasn’t played with the kids in a while.  In short, we can’t seem to resist pointing out his flaws.  Adding insult to injury, we then get really upset that he seems emotionally withdrawn from us!

Perhaps it’s time to pick our battles more carefully.  Maybe we should let the small stuff slide.  Proverbs 12:16 says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.”  Let’s ask God to help us affirm what our husbands do right, overlook the small imperfections, and only confront our husbands if they are truly sinning against us and/or the children. I think EVERYBODY in the family will be happier!

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE