Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day? Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”? That’s not very flattering! However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing. Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.” Uh-oh. Could that label belong to you?
I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug. So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel. What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband! No man wants to come home to that.
Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day? What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism. Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities. Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him. He will actually enjoy being around you! Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!
Most women are totally insecure about their bodies. Our thighs are too big. Our breasts are too small. The list of insecurities goes on and on. The problem only gets worse after we’ve had children! Stretch marks. The extra poof of your abdomen that never seems to go away. Sagging boobs after you’ve stopped breast feeding. You know what I’m talking about! It’s kind of difficult to feel sexy around your husband.
But I’m going to challenge you to change your outlook. Yes, we do need to do what we can to be attractive. If we need to drop 50 lbs, we need to work on that. If we need to exercise to tone up the flab, we need to work on that. However, once we make a reasonable effort to look our best, our attitude changes the rest! You’ve got to rock what you’ve got! Think sexy! View yourself as sexy when you’re with your husband. Be spunky and playful and maybe even a little bit sassy with him. Don’t be ashamed of your body. Your confidence in who you are will be very sexy to him! In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, when you start viewing yourself as sexy and attractive to your husband, you will become sexy and attractive to him!
Are you familiar with the actress Queen Latifah? She’s not thin at all. In fact, she’s probably carrying an extra 30 or 40 lbs. But she’s viewed as sexy because she has that feisty, confident attitude that basically says “I know I’m sexy”. You can do it too. Rock what you’ve got!
I wonder what would happen if we asked God to transform our character into His character and then we actually began striving to display His character in our marriages? I bet you tons of marriages would begin to thrive!
God describes His own character in Psalm 103:8, where the Bible says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Even just pressing into one of those 4 qualities could make a huge impact in your marriage. What if we started displaying grace toward our men? Grace simply means giving someone undeserved favor and loving kindness.
I’m not saying you should ignore destructive patterns of sin in your husband’s life. However, I am recommending that we work to extend kindness to our husbands even when they’ve annoyed us or disappointed us in small ways. In fact, what if you were to extend grace by choosing to believe that he didn’t mean to disappoint you? What if you were to give him the benefit of the doubt? Extending that kind of grace could change your whole attitude toward your husband…and could draw his heart toward you!
Perhaps, we could sum it up this way. The appreciated wife leaves a fragrance, not an odor!
You may have an “impossible” situation going on in your marriage, such as a husband who doesn’t believe in God, or who is an alcoholic who refuses to get help, or who is harsh and critical with the kids, or who is hooked on pornography. I would certainly recommend that you establish some serious boundaries and consequences if your husband is sinning against you or the kids, but here’s the thing you and I need to realize. Only God can change your husband’s heart. That’s where your prayers make a gigantic impact. Prayers that are offered in line with God’s will can accomplish the seemingly impossible!
That’s why praying actual Bible verses is so powerful! We know Bible verses are in line with God’s will. If your “impossible” situation involves your husband, let me point you to a list of suggested Bible verses to pray for your husband on the “Free Resources” tab at www.squadronofsisters.com. It’s a free PDF that you can print. I urge you to do so, and begin praying for your marriage, your husband, and your family. Your prayer offered in faith and trust in God is extremely powerful. Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
One more thing. Don’t grow weary in praying. Sometimes it takes months or years of praying before you see results. Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 to get inspired to press into sustained prayer for your “impossible” situation.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned after observing many Christian marriages over several decades, it’s that ANY two people can build a fantastic marriage IF they both are seeking to honor the Lord and seek his guidance on all things.
Think of it this way. Whoever you date is going to be imperfect, just like you also are imperfect. However, if both of you are regularly seeking God’s guidance in His Word and seeking to obey his guidance, God can then start smoothing out the rough edges! When a husband and wife are both striving to follow the Lord and his promptings, God can refine them day by day. He can heal their broken places. He can teach them new healthier ways to communicate and handle conflict.
It’s all about seeking God above all else! This reminds me of the verse that finishes the famous section of Scripture about worrying in Matthew 6. Jesus says stop worrying about everything and seek to follow him and he will take care of everything. Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Another verse also comes to mind. Proverbs 3:5-6 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 you path straight.
So what is the number one question to ask a person you’re starting to date? Here it is: What has God been teaching you lately? Then be quiet and listen. If the person has that “deer in the headlights” look, that’s probably a good indication that they really aren’t seriously seeking God and his guidance!
Many women get so discouraged about the lack of emotional connection with their husbands. Wives desperately desire their husbands to open up and share their deepest thoughts and feelings, but often it just doesn’t happen. Well, one of the things I’ve learned is that most men will do almost anything to avoid looking weak or being vulnerable to criticism. So, they don’t share their hearts. They don’t want to risk your scoffing or criticism. They’re like a turtle that tucks its head inside a protective shell.
But there is a way to prompt your husband to take the risk of sharing his heart with you. You need to be a safe place for him to share his heart! What do I mean by that? Well, I’ll tell you what it looks like if you’re NOT a safe place. Do you roll your eyes at his ideas? Do you explain why he’s wrong when he shares his thoughts, beliefs, or ideas? Do you criticize him or complain all the time? Those kinds of words and actions don’t exactly make him feel safe in terms of opening up his heart at the deepest level!
God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 “the wife must respect her husband.”, and if you consistently show that respect…day after day…and month after month….your husband may start feeling it’s safe to risk opening up his heart to you. Starting today, try looking for ways to encourage your husband. Listen attentively to what he talks about. Look directly at him when he is talking. Smile at him. Affirm him in any way you can. You might find that he will enjoy talking to you a whole lot more! And that turtle just might poke his head out from underneath the shell.
When we first pledge our love to each other on our wedding day, we never think either one of us could possibly end up having an affair years later. Tragically, it happens quite frequently, and even among Christian couples. We can’t be ignorant of Satan’s mission revealed by Jesus in John 10:10 where He says Satan is out to “kill, steal, and destroy”. Satan would like nothing better than to rip apart your marriage. He is always plotting ways to get you or your spouse connected with someone of the opposite sex. That’s why we have to be vigilant from day one!
James 4:7 advises us…”Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” One of the ways we can resist the devil’s schemes to destroy our marriages is to talk with our husbands about rules we will both follow relating to the opposite sex. Agree that you will never spend time alone with another man and your husband will never spend time alone with another woman. If your job requires you to be in a one-on-one meeting with someone of the opposite sex, agree that the door will always be left open. Agree that you will never share anything personal about your marriage with a member of the opposite sex. If at all possible, agree to never work as a two-person team with a member of the opposite sex on a project or at your job. That feeling of being a “team” is extremely bonding!
Safeguard your marriage. You may think you don’t need all these strict rules, but I know from personal experience that you do. Many solid Christians have fallen into Satan’s trap by failing to follow these safeguards. Don’t let your marriage be another notch in the devil’s belt.
I’m an expert conflict avoider. How about you? I grew up in a household where there was a lot of yelling and rage and verbal abuse. As a result, everything within me tries desperately to avoid anything in my marriage that could result in tension, raised voices, or anything remotely resembling conflict.
However, avoiding conflict is a recipe for disaster in a marriage. I learned that the hard way in my first marriage, which failed. Here’s the thing. If you don’t address the things that are really bothering you about your husband or your marriage, a seed of bitterness is planted in your heart. That seed slowly takes root and grows, and after months and years go by, you will most likely grow to despise your husband and want a divorce! Not good.
So, let’s commit to respectfully, lovingly, and diligently address the things that are bothering us within our marriages. Hebrews 12:15 warns us not to let “any bitter root grow up among you to cause trouble…” So, ask God to give you the courage to gently and respectfully discuss your concerns with your husband. Ask God to give you the courage to express your needs and desires to your husband. Do not become invisible. When you start stuffing your feelings and immediately cave in during disagreements, toxic resentment will start to grow inside you. Don’t let that happen!
Many women lament the fact that their husbands won’t pray with them and their husbands aren’t really the spiritual leader….but, here’s something I’ve observed over the years that may shed some light on your predicament. If you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your family, you have to stop being the leader yourself! Sometimes women, including myself, can be so eager to bring spiritual disciplines into our family life that we leave no gap for our husbands to fill. Perhaps this is why God repeatedly instructs wives to be submissive! Titus 2:5 tells women to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands”.
In other words, instead of you jumping in and praying for the kids when they get tucked into bed at night, you could ask your husband for his help with that. If you would like the Bible to be read aloud after dinner, tell your husband you love the sound of his voice when he reads and ask him if he would read the Bible. After he has read the Bible passage, ask him what he thinks God is saying…and then listen attentively to his answer. When you’re not feeling well, you could tell him it would mean the world to you if he were to just lay a hand on your shoulder and say a simple prayer. Even a one-sentence prayer is fine. And when he does any of these things, be encouraging and thankful! Build him up.
When a woman takes over any area of leadership, many men will simply back off. So, if you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your home, you need to allow there to be a bit of a void in that area. Then ask him for his help. 🙂
I was reflecting recently about how many affairs happen between people who work closely together. The boss has an affair with his long-time female assistant. The female newscaster has an affair with the male newscaster who works in the same studio every day. The pastor has an affair with his long-time secretary. I realized something profound. These people ended up having an affair because a super strong emotional bond was created as they worked together as a team over many years.
There is great bonding power when a man and woman work side by side as a team toward a common goal. As they fight together through challenges and adversity, they bond. As they work side-by-side over many years, they develop a history of shared experiences and memories that only they know about…and that creates a special bond. The power of team is highlighted in the well-known verse in Ecclesiastes Chapter 4: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Thought for you: How can you take this knowledge of the “power of team” and use it to foster an even deeper bond between you and your husband? Can you intentionally begin working together on some common projects or goals? Think about it…because the “power of team” can create a super strong glue for your marriage.