Don’t confide in your relatives

I’ve learned something pivotal over my many years of helping women navigate marriage problems.  In general, don’t share your husband’s faults and failures with your family of origin!  The reason is simple.  Your parents, siblings and grandparents not only love you, but are often overly-protective when it comes to you.   They can’t stand the thought of anyone wounding a member of their family.  Now don’t get me wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  However, their allegiance to you can often turn into the vilification of your husband!

Allow me to explain.  Once a wife openly shares the faults, failures or sins of her husband with her relatives, he may be forever stained in their eyes.  Many parents and siblings will begin treating the husband as the enemy.  Sometimes, those relatives develop deep resentment toward the husband.  Once those strong feelings have developed, it’s often hard to turn that ship around, even if the husband has repented of wrong-doing!  He will always have a black mark next to his name.

This is what I would suggest doing.  You definitely SHOULD seek advice and wise counsel as you’re working through difficult seasons in your marriage, but, in general, avoid confiding in your relatives.  If you sense that your relatives are quick to forgive and refuse to hold onto resentment, perhaps you can safely confide in them.  Otherwise, seek counsel elsewhere, such as a women’s ministry leader, Christian counselor, or wise older Christian woman in your life.  You need the kind of wisdom described in James 3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Unmask yourself!!

Have you ever felt trapped in a dysfunctional part of your marriage?  Do you struggle with feeling hopeless about something in your marriage?  Well, over the years, I’ve learned that I begin to break free from that hopelessness and oppression when I drag the problem into the light!  Here’s what I mean by that.  I mean doing something extremely courageous by revealing the problem to a godly friend or counselor.  This means, not only revealing what your husband is doing, but also bravely revealing your own part in the dysfunction. 

Proverbs 28:13 says this:  “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”   This is a wonderful verse to live by!  You will most likely find that as you begin to drop your “everything is just fine at our house” mask, that other women will begin dropping their masks as well.  You will find it comforting to realize you’re not the only one struggling with issues.

You will also find that dropping the mask means you will be more open to receiving godly wisdom and direction.  Instead of pretending that everything’s great, you’ll be in a position for God to speak counsel into your life, through both the Bible and wise people.  This doesn’t mean you go around telling everyone about your husband’s faults!  It means getting real with a few trusted, wise, godly women or a trained counselor who can help you apply Biblical principles to your marriage challenges.  You will also receive encouragement, prayer support, and hope in the process!

Easy boost for emotional intimacy

I wish I had known about the blessings of a fire pit a long time ago!  I had no idea that a fire pit could pave the way to more intimate, deep conversations than we routinely have in marriage.  But I’ve discovered it’s true!  There’s something bonding and safe about sharing your deepest thoughts, feelings and dreams in the flickering light coming from your backyard fire pit.  Maybe it’s because it’s quiet and peaceful at night and, when sitting in front of the fire, we tend to talk in soft voices.  Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft answer turns away wrath…”  Well, maybe it’s that soft conversation in front of a fire that breaks down our defenses and helps us to open up.

We’ve built a fire pit in our backyard at our last 2 homes.  They cost less than $100.  We thought a fire pit would be fun for the grandchildren to toast marshmallows and roast hot dogs.  But it turned out that my husband and I enjoyed it just as much…for different reasons than the grandkids!    As the sun went down, we lit the fire, and then my husband asked what the topic of the night should be.  Sometimes, we talked about our dreams for ministry.  Some nights, we talked about our concerns for our children and we prayed for them.  Other nights, we talked about our dream vacation ideas.  Try building a fire pit.  You may be pleasantly surprised by the emotional intimacy you gain as a result!

5 verses to help you be bold!

If you are a follower of Jesus, I’m sure you are so very grateful for his presence in your life and for the sacrifice He made so that you can be guaranteed a forever life in paradise with God.  But don’t you want other people in your life to find the same rich relationship and promise for the future that you have discovered?  You probably do, but aren’t quite sure how to share the Gospel message with relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Maybe you shrink back due to fear of what others will think.  Perhaps you need help in becoming more confident and bold.

Allow me to share 5 Bible verses that can be somewhat of a guide as you consider sharing the Gospel message with others.

  1.  Ask God to show you who you are supposed to talk to about Jesus and invite to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  God may be assigning you that job, or perhaps God has appointed someone else to be the person.  So ask God!  Psalm 32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
  2.  Ask God to show you the right time to present the Gospel.  Ecclesiastes 3:1  There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
  3. Ask God to give you confidence and boldness instead of fearing the person’s reaction!  Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
  4.  Study Bible verses that reveal the path to salvation, and also equip yourself with Bible verses that may address any objections or questions that person raises.  2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
  5. In the end, rely on the Holy Spirit to give you the exact words to say to that specific person.  Luke 21:14-15 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

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