Having a rough time in your marriage? Do you wish you’d never married your husband? Our society makes it very easy to throw in the towel and divorce. Divorce might seem very tempting, but let me tell you from personal experience; it’s really hard on your children. Actually, it’s devastating for them. Yes, God can heal them over time, but your children will always carry a deep emotional scar. Whoever started the rumor that kids can bounce back from divorce was lying!
I’m not saying that a woman should never divorce her husband. The Bible certainly gives a clear allowance for divorce in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus says “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Jesus clearly states that when a spouse has cheated on you sexually, divorce is permissible. After many years of studying the Bible, I also believe God permits a woman to divorce her husband when he grossly sins against his wife through continuing physical or emotional abuse. After all, God instructs us in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life“. After years of severe emotional or physical abuse, a woman can become a mere shell of a human being. I don’t believe that is God’s will for anyone. Throughout the Bible, we see that God is more concerned with mercy than merely following rules.
All this being said, please do everything you can to fight for your marriage. Don’t give up easily. Don’t let bitterness grow. Work to resolve issues before your heart grows so cold that you don’t feel like working to save your marriage. You may possibly need to separate from your husband in order to bring his attention to the seriousness of the problem, but your goal should be reconciliation and restoration of your marriage. Find a good counselor. Get a mentor couple. Read the Bible. Pray continually. Don’t give up on your marriage too easily. If for no other reason, fight for your marriage on behalf of your children.
Here are three things I’ve learned about becoming a beautiful wife in the eyes of my husband (and it’s HIS opinion that really counts!).
1) I need to put effort into looking my best for my husband, just like I did when I was dating him! There are many healthy decisions I must choose to make on a daily basis so that I can look my best. For instance, build into your schedule a 30 minute walking or bike-riding time perhaps 4 days a week. Even if you have young children, there is a way to make this work. Put the kids in a stroller or have them ride their bike with you.
2) I need to shed insecurity and choose to have a confident attitude about my appearance and value. My husband says a woman’s confidence is VERY attractive to men. Flirt with your husband. Give him some playful, sexy, sass! He will find that quite attractive!
3) I really need to embrace 1 Peter 3:4 which tells wives their beauty comes from a “gentle and quiet spirit”. When I asked my husband what this verse means, he said it means that a wife is FOR her husband and not fighting him every step of the way. It means she creates a peaceful home where her husband is treated with respect.
We all want to be beautiful wives. So, let’s ask God to grow us in self-control, confidence, peacefulness, and respect for our men.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get pretty grumpy when events become challenging in my day. When the internet goes down while I’m trying to work on my computer, I get super frustrated. When I accidentally drop a bunch of flour on the floor while baking, I get grouchy. When I get an unanticipated bill in the mail, I get really irritated. Unfortunately, if my husband happens to walk by at that particular moment, I inflict collateral damage! Collateral damage is a military term where civilians, who were minding their own business, are injured unintentionally by a military strike. Hmmm. Yes, my husband is sometimes that innocent civilian who is injured by the bullets coming from my mouth and the darts shooting from my eyes during moments of irritability!
How can you and I prevent this collateral damage? Here are two possible remedies:
1) Pause before you react! Before a word comes out of your mouth, pause. During this pause, remember who your enemy is. Your enemy is NOT your husband…or your children. Your enemy is Satan and he is TRYING to provoke you! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”
2) Claim two specific Bible promises and pray that God would fulfill those promises for you in this moment…Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon forged against me will prevail” and Romans 8:28 “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose“.
I bet you are checking this out because you think I’m talking about your husband’s laziness…but I’m not. I’m actually talking about our own tendency to become lazy in terms of putting effort and intentionality into our marriages.
Laziness is kind of like lighting a really long fuse. You don’t really notice anything for the longest time….that is, until the explosion! Many a wife has been burned, ending up with a husband who seeks attention from other women or who even ends up divorcing her. We can’t afford to be sluggards in our marriages! The Bible has lots to say about sluggards. Proverbs 13:4 says “A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” This can be applied to your marriage! Only when you are diligent in investing in your marriage are you likely to have the kind of marriage you desire.
What can you do to strengthen your marriage? Do you need to get a babysitter and go on more dates with your husband? Do you need to find out his love language and start speaking that language more often? Would your marriage be strengthened if you looked for ways to encourage your husband every day and show him respect?
My question for you today has to do with the way you kiss your husband!! Do you kiss him in a way that communicates to him that he is wanted and desired? If so, you are a wise woman who is breathing life into her marriage. On the other hand, do you kiss your husband reluctantly or in a passionless way? If so, you could be contributing to the slow death of your marriage.
Your husband needs to feel desired by you. He wants to be your sexual hero. Your response to his kisses tells your man a lot. When you press into the kiss with passion, he feels wanted and becomes a more confident man. The bride in the Song of Songs understood this. She made sure her groom knew how much she loved his kisses. In Song of Songs 1:2 she says “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is more delightful than wine.”
So, this week I challenge you to kiss your husband deeply, as in more than one second!! Press into the kiss with passion. Not only will this be a blessing to him, but I bet you will reap some benefits as well. As he revels in your love, he will likely be more attentive toward you. 🙂 In fact, you might want to intoxicate him with your love, as the Bible mentions in Proverbs 5:18-19. A husband who is intoxicated with his wife does not stray!
It’s so easy for a married couple to become more like roommates than lovers! Once the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon fade away, the everyday stresses like finances, children, housework, etc. can start to suck that warm and fuzzy feeling right out of your marriage! Well, here are 3 things that will help to rekindle that loving feeling:
1) Start to do the things you used to do when you were dating. In the Bible’s book of Revelation, the church in Ephesus received this rebuke, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” That church needed to get back to doing the things that kept them in close fellowship with Christ, and we need to do the same things in our marriage. Did you go to the movies? Did you go out to dinner once a week? Did you go snowboarding in the winter or hiking in the summer? Then, carve out some time to have that kind of fun with your husband now!
2) Kiss your husband with passion (like you used to)! Seriously. Give it a try and see if some sparks start to fly.
3) List at least 7 good things about your husband. Philippians 4:8 says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” So, think of as many positive things about your husband as you can. Write them down. Look at that list every day. As you do so, your heart will become warmer toward him.
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!
Do you feel tempted to throw in the towel regarding your marriage? I know it can be tempting to just bail out, but please let me encourage you to do everything you can to fight FOR your marriage!
When you’re going through a serious challenge in your marriage, it seems right to choose the path where the pain can be quickly relieved. In a nutshell, it often seems best to choose divorce. But I’ve been through divorce, and I can honestly say that even though some of your pain will be relieved, you’ll be faced with a whole new set of problems and heartbreak.
So, maybe you should try something else. What if you were to seek outside counsel for your marriage? What if you were to spend time on your knees crying out to God on behalf of your marriage? What if you were to courageously, but respectfully, confront your husband if he is seriously out of line in some area? That could be the beginning of a turn-around in your marriage.
And also, please consider that other people are watching how you handle challenging times. Your children are watching how you handle this. Are you teaching them to bail out of situations and relationships when the going gets tough, or are you showing them how to persevere and do the hard work to restore the relationship? Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”
Won’t your husband be surprised when you….flirt with him?! It will be a pleasant surprise, I’m sure! C’mon ladies. Why do we greet our children, our dog, our cat, or our gerbil with more excitement than we greet our husband? Why are we more concerned with getting our girlfriends to really like us than our own husbands? Did we even notice the slow and subtle decline of affection and flirtation in our marriage?
Let’s start revving up the romance and excitement of our marriages once again. Maybe we should take a clue from the bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs. For instance, in chapter 7, she flirts with her man and tells him what she has planned for him sexually! “Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded….there will I give you my love.”
Start flirting with your husband, and do it at least once every day. It could be a pinch on his tush, or a playful lifting of your shoulder, or a sassy smile that says I’m looking forward to being intimate with you later, or even a wink at him across the lobby at church. The simple act of flirting with your husband on a regular basis will help to rekindle romance, excitement, and his interest in you! What do you have to lose?