In my current Bible reading, I’ve been struck with how many times God used women to take a bold, courageous, and wise stand against the enemy. There are so many occasions where a woman steps out to lead or help God’s people when the enemy is attacking. Here are some of the examples: Abigail (in 1 Samuel 25) acts wisely when her husband did not. Rahab (Joshua 2) hides God’s people from the enemy. Deborah (Judges 4) courageously leads the people of God into war against the enemy. Esther (Esther 4 & 5) boldly intercedes for God’s people even though it was dangerous for her to do so. The wise woman (2 Samuel 20) reasoned with an enemy who was about to destroy her city and her wisdom saved the city.
What can we learn from these women? They were all very alert to the enemy’s schemes and they all boldly chose to take action against the enemy, trusting in God for the outcome. So here is the question for you: Do you see the enemy attacking your husband, your marriage, your family, or individual children? If you do, are you going to just wring your hands in despair, or are you going to take action? Hopefully, you will become a courageous woman of action! What does God want you to do? Do you need to relentlessly pray for God to intervene? Do you need to boldly confront an issue? Do you need to get wise counsel from a godly woman? Do you need to establish firm boundaries in a relationship? Do you need to ask others to pray with you?
Most women love words. We love to talk. We love to communicate. Thus, for most women, praying to God comes fairly easily. After all, prayer is communication.
On the other hand, most men don’t enjoy talking as much as women, and many men find it challenging to express their deepest thoughts and feelings. As a result, when a husband hears his wife praying an articulate, expressive, lengthy prayer…he can end up feeling intimidated. The wife doesn’t mean to intimidate her husband spiritually, but she ends up doing just that!
If this could be the case for your man, seriously consider shortening up your prayers and using simple words. Don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT saying your husband is stupid. I’m simply saying that women need to be careful that we’re not “showing off” our vocabulary as we pray! This reminds me of something Jesus said in Luke 20:47. He had harsh words for people who “for show make lengthy prayers”. So, let’s be super humble and pray concise, simple, heart-felt prayers. You may find that your man is more eager to pray with you in the future.
Many Christians are familiar with the verses in Matthew 22:37-38 where Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
Well, I’ve been asked lately about how to develop this actual love for God. You see, it’s very difficult to truly love someone you’ve never experienced. You and I must experience the Lord’s power and love for ourselves in order to truly fall in love with Him. Otherwise, we have head knowledge from the Bible, but no heart knowledge!
Looking back at my own journey with Christ, I realized that I’ve grown to truly love Him as I earnestly sought His help through prayer and then saw Him answer those prayers in loving and powerful ways. I experienced God!
So I urge you to begin seeking the Lord with your whole heart. Come to Him with your deepest needs, but make sure you’ve done your best to obey Him first. After all, God says in James 5:16 that the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. So, in other words, God powerfully responds to the person who truly seeks to obey His commands and follow His promptings. After you’ve done all you can do to obey the Lord, pray earnestly for His help. When He shows up, take notice! God just connected with you and allowed you to experience His love, power and help! Now, you have heart knowledge of the Lord!
Does your husband wrestle with a destructive addiction? Is your husband carrying way too much stress from his job? Does your husband seem depressed? Is your man uninterested in pursuing God? It’s easy for you to sink into despair, but instead, I challenge you to pray for him continually, and with total faith in our powerful God!
I’m not saying that prayer is the only thing you should do, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do for your man. Yet, often we tend to do more whining to our girlfriends than praying for our men. We often spend too much time drowning in a pool of self-pity instead of saturating our days with earnest prayer.
Seek godly counsel from a pastor or wise female mentor to gain insights into whether you need to take specific action with your husband. Those actions may include establishing boundaries and imposing consequences. Perhaps you will be directed to see a counselor yourself. Maybe your pastor will schedule a talk with your husband to see if he can help. However, your main job as your husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) is to pray for him. Pray for him throughout the day. God says in James 5:16 that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective“. So get on your knees and get busy praying.
I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in response to earnest, continual prayer. He can even change your husband’s heart! (Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart)
Many of us come into marriage with broken sexuality. You may have been sexually abused as a child. You may have slept with some prior boyfriends. Your husband may have been sexually molested as a child or slept around before making a commitment to you. All of that stuff from the past can cause us to be somewhat broken or scarred when it comes to our sexuality.
However, God is in the business of redeeming and restoring! If you or your husband are haunted by the memories of former lovers or pornographic images, confess that to each other, and, prior to making love, pray together for Jesus to heal you. Jesus can and will heal your broken sexuality. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
If you or your husband are sexually scarred due to past sexual abuse, pray together before making love and ask Jesus to heal you sexually. Ask him to restore your innocence. Ask him to allow you to totally delight in physical intimacy with your spouse. Jesus is the great healer. Claim Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds, we are healed”
And one additional benefit of praying together before making love is that it is one of the most intimate things you can do! Beautiful spiritual and emotional intimacy occurs when you open your heart before your spouse and pray for God to enter into broken places.
If you were to regularly pray 3 specific Bible verses on behalf of your husband, I believe you would see your man and your marriage and your whole family reap amazing benefits! Here are the 3 Bible verses: Ephesians 3:17-19, Proverbs 3:5-6, and James 4:7. These verses ask God to reveal his love to your husband at a deep level, ask God to cause your husband to have a deep trust in God, and ask God to prompt your husband to submit himself to God. When those 3 things happen, your man is completely transformed!
Here’s what this looks like:
Ephesians 3:17-19 “I pray that Jesus would come and dwell in ___________’s heart by faith, and that _____________, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that ___________ would know this love that surpasses knowledge, that _________ would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “I pray that you would work in _____________’s heart so that he would trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding. In all his ways, I pray that ____________ would acknowledge you Lord, so that you make his path straight.”
James 4:7-8 “I pray that you convict ______________ of the need to fully submit himself to you, God, and I pray that you would show _____________ how to resist the devil, so that the devil flees from _______________.
Does your husband have a destructive addiction? Do you have a serious problem with self-control yourself? Are you and your husband arguing so much that you’re not sure your marriage will survive? There are some practical things you can do about all the above scenarios, but more than likely, what you really need is a miracle. You need God to supernaturally intervene to change hearts, expose schemes of the enemy, and fill both of you with the Holy Spirit so that you are radically changed. The good news is He can do all that!
Your part in all this is to pray…earnestly, without ceasing, and with total faith in the power of Jesus Christ to perform a miracle! It really is critical for you to trust in the power of God to do the impossible! In fact, when Jesus walked this earth, he was unable to do miracles of healing in towns where there was too much unbelief! (Mark 6:5-6)
I have seen God perform modern-day miracles, and I know he can do a miracle in your marriage. Here are 2 verses that may encourage you to pray with great faith. Matthew 21:22 says “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” And in Matthew 9:29, as Jesus is about to heal some blind men, He says, “According to your faith, will it be done to you.”
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 cannot do on my own. I don’t have any ability to change my husband’s heart. I can set boundaries on certain behavior, but I can’t change his 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’ve been praying these 2 verses for quite some time now, and I’ve seen 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”.
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 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.”
Sometimes, we will notice a trend in our husband’s behavior or reactions that are concerning. He might not be engaged in something hugely sinful, but you are concerned about the harsh way he’s interacting with the kids or the resentment that he holds toward his boss, etc. In other words, you fear that if he continues down that path, significant damage will be the result. Hmmm. What’s a wife to do in those moments where she senses her husband is headed the wrong way?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but let me share two things that have been effective in my own relationship. 1) Pray earnestly that God will convict your husband through his Holy Spirit so that your husband will see that he needs to make some changes. Jesus makes it clear that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to convict people when they are off track. Jesus says of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8 “when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
2) If you feel like God is nudging you to talk to your husband about your observations, quietly come to your husband, take a humble posture by perhaps kneeling beside him while he’s sitting, and gently tell him of your concerns. Take this opportunity to speak words of life to him. Tell him about the good qualities you see in him. Remind him that God is transforming him into a man who has Christ’s character, which is “gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). Tell him you’re proud of him for seeking to become more like Christ and for allowing God to mold and shape him.