At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends? In other words, he should not be a “friend” of any of your own girlfriends! I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman. We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends. He should not spend time with her without you. He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes. Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him. Danger lies ahead!
There are a lot of dangers for a wife who gives into the temptation to look backward. Allow me to reveal two specific ways in which we tend to look backward, as well as the resulting danger.
1) Since almost the beginning of creation, we’ve had a tendency to want to look back at our past. I think of Lot’s wife who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah and suffered for that decision by being turned into a pillar of salt! God may have asked us to move forward in serving him, or perhaps we’ve entered a new relationship, but we tend to look back with longing at how things used to be. In modern day, many wives are tempted to “look back” at their old high school boyfriend by checking them out on Facebook. But that is dangerous. It opens the door to make a connection that can slowly develop into something that pulls you away from your husband.
2) As wives, we also tend to “look back” at the past failures or sins of our husbands. We often replay the hurtful incident over and over again, even 10 or 20 years later! That always ends badly. Resentment rises up again and causes continuing damage in the relationship. We need to have a forward gaze. Philippians 3:13-14 says, ” Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Deal with any sinful behavior going on today, but let’s decide to leave the past in the past.
Yes, there are a lot of temptations facing your husband every day. He will likely see beautiful women, either at work, at the espresso stand, or at the sandwich shop on any given day. If you have television or Netflix, he will certainly view gorgeous women there. There’s just no getting around it. But there’s one thing he won’t regularly encounter with those women. They’re not waiting at home for him with a passionate kiss at the end of his exhausting day!
The way to ensure your husband is thinking about you during his day is to take a moment before he leaves for work and whisper into his ear some of the “plans” you have for him that evening! The bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs models this for us! Here is just one excerpt of the arousing words she spoke to her groom in anticipation of them coming together intimately… “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (Song of Songs 4:10)
So, what erotic thing could you whisper to your husband as he heads off to work? You might say something like this: “I’m getting a sitter for the kids tonight and I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen, wearing an apron and nothing else.” Be creative. Of course, you can’t do this every day. However, if you do it every few weeks, he’ll be dreaming of the next time you have a pleasant surprise waiting for him. He will be thinking of you!
I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife. One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside. In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself. It’s my kids who really need my attention.” Not good thinking!
Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them. However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols. When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god. One of the big 10 commandments addresses this! Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands. The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other. Don’t let this happen to you. Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children. Even more important than that, spend quality time with God. He must truly be your number one focus in life!
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!
The thrill I’m talking about is that little rush women get when we draw the attention of a man. It feels SO good! This all completely fine as long as the man is your husband, but often we go out in public dressed in such a way that other men are tempted to lust over our bodies.
When we wear skin tight clothes, cleavage-displaying shirts, extremely short skirts or midriff-baring tops, we are leading other men downhill. The attention might feel good, but do you really want to lead these men into the sin of lust? In Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.” Also, 1 Corinthians 10:32 says “Do not cause anyone to stumble“.
Let’s pledge to dress modestly instead of provocatively around our male co-workers, men at the store, and men at church. Let’s not be the downfall of the men around us. Think of it this way. Would you like it if another woman was dressing provocatively in front of your husband?
If you love your children, one of the MOST important things you can do for them is to keep your marriage healthy and intact! Not to scare you, but the research regarding children from divorced families is alarming. Perhaps this is one reason the Bible says in Malachi 2:16, “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce”. God knows the devastating impact of divorce on children’s lives.
Research by Focus on the Family has found that teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families. Also, kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile. Plus, research from the Heritage Foundation found that children of divorced parents perform more poorly at school and have higher drop-out rates.
Yes, God can heal a child’s heart following a divorce, but the scars will remain. So, work hard to keep your marriage healthy and strong. Pray every day for your husband and pray daily for marriage guidance from the Lord. See a counselor if you guys are fighting a lot or if you are growing increasingly resentful. Don’t let your heart grow hard. Fight for your marriage. Your kids will thank you!