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?
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.
Are you in a season within your marriage where you’re feeling battle-weary? Do you feel like you’ve done everything you can, you’ve prayed with everything you’ve got…and still, your husband is making choices that are extremely disappointing? First, I want to say my heart goes out to you. You are definitely in a desert place. But I want to encourage you to take a different perspective.
You see, my husband and I were talking recently about the ripple effect of our lives. We may work and work to make a difference with a specific person (such as your husband), and feel greatly discouraged if we see no change. But here’s the thing, OTHER people are watching how you’re handling this challenge in your marriage. Perhaps you have children, and they are watching. Maybe your mother-in-law is watching. It could be that one of your friends is being affected by how you are dealing with this situation. As you strive to reflect Jesus in your marriage, others are drawn to Christ. This is the essence of Matthew 5:16 which says “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I know it’s tempting to feel defeated, but please realize that you ARE making a difference in the lives around you. If you are respectfully, but firmly, drawing a line on immoral behavior in your marriage, you are blessing your children by providing a great role model for how a wife should act. If your mother-in-law is an unbeliever, she may be attracted to the “Jesus” she sees in you. Your efforts to be a shining light for Jesus do have a ripple effect….and that’s worth it!
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 out loud 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“.
Some women bottle up their frustrations in marriage and in life in general. These women are uncomfortable working through conflict and try to ignore the problem, defaulting to a cold war or silent treatment. However, some women find themselves at the other extreme. When they get irritated or frustrated with their husband, they let him have it! They often speak critical, bitter words to their men, and those words cut their men deeply. The wound is especially deep because a man is wired to crave respect. That’s why the Bible instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 “The wife must respect her husband“.
So, what can you do if you’ve tried to stop spewing mean, harsh, bitter words, and your attempts seem to fail most of the time? Well, the Bible gives us a big clue on what you need to do. Luke 6:45 says “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” The cure for a quick temper or critical tongue is to pray for God to change your heart! Ask God to fill your heart with love and compassion and patience for your husband. Pray this daily.
P.S. In addition to praying for a heart of love, make sure you don’t have major unaddressed issues with your husband. If you hang onto resentment over unresolved conflict, that’s like covering a skillet of oil with a tight lid, setting it to simmer and then walking away expecting it to stay at a calm simmer. Without a vent, it will eventually explode, splattering the scalding oil everywhere! If you have unresolved conflict with your man, decide to respectfully and gently confront these issues so your simmering heart doesn’t explode through your mouth!
We all want our husbands to cherish us and be drawn to us. The question is: once we get married and the intoxication of new love wears off, how do we keep our men drawn to us? Of course, we want to do what we can to stay attractive, and we know a robust sex life with him is super important, but here are 2 other simple things that will tend to draw your husband to you.
1) Listen intently to him when he talks, especially when he talks about his hopes, his dreams, his plans, and the things he loves to do. If you engage him in conversation about his dreams and passions in life, he will feel understood, accepted, and valued for who he is at his core. Valuing his hopes and dreams is a sign of respect, and Ephesians 5:33 says, “The wife must respect her husband.” This doesn’t mean that you necessarily agree with some of his more far-fetched dreams, but you can certainly explore with him why that specific dream or passion is exciting to him. Perhaps you can even brainstorm ways to satisfy those longings in practical ways.
2) Make plans for fun outings together and then make time in your schedule to have fun with him! You used to do this when you were dating, and you need to keep connecting with him through fun activities and hobbies during your marriage. Golf together. Bowl together. Take dancing lessons. Go to funny movies. Take a hike. Go sledding in the winter and kayaking in the summer. Invite a fun couple to your house once a month to play table games. Your husband will bond with you and be drawn to you when you have fun together.