Have your husband read this!

99.9 percent of my Bible-based insights are designed to help women personally and in their marriages. But I know that many husbands also read these messages, so I want to take a moment to give you an important insight about the woman in your life!  Ladies, if you’re the one reading this, perhaps you can tell your husband that I’m asking him to read this as well. 😊

God tells husbands in Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  And later, in verses 28-29, God says “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”.

So, God is calling you to love your wife in a self-sacrificing way…and to cherish her.  Please allow me to explain 3 key things that virtually every wife needs from you to feel loved and cherished:

  1. She longs to feel beautiful.  That means she needs you to notice her hair, her make-up, her outfit and tell her how beautiful she is…that she looks amazing today.  It also means that if she finds out you’ve been looking at pornography, she is deeply scarred.  The unspoken message she receives is that she is NOT attractive enough, that she doesn’t measure up, that every time you want to make love, you’re envisioning being with another woman who you view as more beautiful than her. That’s why I’m begging you to get help if you’re addicted to pornography.  Every time you look at porn, you’re slicing your wife’s heart.
  2. Every woman craves security. We’re just wired that way. She longs to feel financially secure and relationally-secure.  That’s why she gets freaked out when you talk about quitting your job or spending money on a new S-U-V.  She desperately needs to feel secure. 
  3. She needs you to be loving and gentle and involved with her children (whether those kids are your bio kids or step kids).  Nothing will break a wife’s heart quicker than to witness her husband being harsh or disrespectful or critical with her children.  That doesn’t mean that you need to be a push-over who doesn’t discipline the children, but she needs you to do so with love.  She needs to know that you deeply care about her children.

God’s guidance for your marriage

If you’ve hit a rough patch in your marriage, and if you’re a believer, you’re likely dying to know what God wants you to do in this marriage challenge.  You desperately need his guidance and counsel!  The good news is that He loves it when his children seek his guidance.  He loves his people to inquire of him!

The question is how.  How do you receive his guidance for the issue in your marriage.  Well, the first and most obvious answer is to study God’s Word.  He has placed so many super helpful instructions on relationships in the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Secondly, it’s almost always helpful to consult a godly mentor or counselor or pastor.  Sometimes we need someone who can look at our marriage situation more objectively than we can, as well as someone who will remind us of God’s instructions for relationships.  Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

But thirdly, and often most importantly, we should seek guidance from the Holy Spirit because God is the only one who actually knows the future.  He’s the only one who knows if your husband is going to change.  He’s the only one who knows exactly what to do and when.  John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

So ask God specific questions about specific issues in your marriage.  Ask what He wants you to do and then strain to sense the nudges from the Holy Spirit.  You probably won’t hear God speak out loud, but Jesus does say his sheep will hear his voice.  John 10:27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  So pray, and then be quiet and listen for those nudges from the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants to guide you!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Course-correcting your relationships

If you’re a follower of Jesus, you can expect that God is constantly transforming you to be more like his son Jesus.  His Holy Spirit is gently but consistently convicting us of both known sins and subtle sin patterns in our lives, and he’s urging us to turn from those patterns. He’s urging us to choose to be more Christ-like.  2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory    For me, he’s been slowly and gently convicting me and transforming me in the area of subtle self-focus.  And I know I’m not alone in this pattern!! 

We ALL tend to be subtly self-centered in our relationships.  We want and expect others to make us happy, do things our way, commend our wonderful deeds, make us feel valuable, always treat us fairly, make us feel loved, and on and on.   However, as we become more mature Christ-followers, God is urging us to be Christ-like in our relationships.  He’s asking us to do what’s best for others instead of focusing on how others should treat us better!  Take a moment to really absorb what God is saying to us in Philippians 2:3-7  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant…

What does this look like in your relationships?  How is God asking you to course-correct?  It might mean actually confronting a loved one caught in sin and discontinuing a conflict-avoider pattern where you’ve made it easy for that person to stay stuck in a destructive sin.  It may mean choosing to reflect Christ around your rude boss by being kind and humble no matter how he treats you.  It may mean using a respectful tone with your husband even when he has disappointed you.

Reflecting Christ in every relationship is challenging for sure, but the eternal rewards are worth it, AND, you may very well find when you get to heaven one day that your Christ-like interactions with others impacted people so much that they became true followers of Jesus as well!

** or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO BELOW

Top 10 Bible verses for wives

Believe it or not, God has better marriage advice than Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ellen Degeneres or Kim Kardashian. He created us, so he probably knows how to make relationships work!  He has provided profound relationship principles in the Bible…and when wives apply these principles, amazing things happen!  Broken marriages begin to heal and mediocre marriages begin to thrive.  Here are my Top Ten Bible verses for wives, in no particular order.  As you read these verses, ask God to show you the principle he wants you to apply in your marriage:

1)  Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone; I will create a helper suitable for him”

2)  1 Peter 3:4 tells wives to have “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight”

3)  Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”

4)  Titus 2:4-5 “Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children and to be self-controlled and pure”

5)  Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”

6)  Ephesians 5:33 “The wife must respect her husband”

7)  Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he still refuses to listen, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” 

8)  Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.”

9)  1 Corinthians 7:2-3 “Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

10)  Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord”

God’s big instruction for wives

Here’s something to ponder.  The Bible instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 to respect their husbands.  But what does that really mean?  Well, when I looked up the original Greek word for respect, it means “to be in awe of” or “to revere”.  Oh my!  I love my husband, but I confess I don’t usually treat him as if I “revere” him!

I wonder how my marriage would be impacted if I really sought to revere my husband?  Hmmm.  Well, first we need to better understand the word “revere”.  Webster’s dictionary says revere means to treat with deferential honor or regard as worthy of great honor.  Ok, I’m starting to get the picture. 

Here’s how I’m going to try to press into this Bible instruction this week.  I am going to strive to treat my husband as if everything he says is really worth my complete attention.  Yes, I’m going to actually pay attention when he speaks and treat his thoughts, feelings and ideas as very important.  That’s how a person should respond if they think someone is worthy of great honor.   Are you doing this with your husband?

I wonder how your marriage and my marriage would be impacted if we started showing respect to our husbands (whether we FEEL like it or not)?  I have a sneaking suspicion that our men would stand a little taller, feel more confident, enjoy emotional intimacy with us much more, and maybe even be more courageous in seeking to honor God!