True confession: I sometimes find myself wanting to jump in and “fix things” for my husband. Sometimes, I do this because I fear his mood will grow ugly if I don’t take steps to improve his circumstances. Sometimes, I do this because I fear that his ministry could stumble if he doesn’t do things the “correct” way. Sometimes, I do this because I fear he isn’t handling a relationship correctly and needs me to run interference for him. Sometimes, I do this because I fear…..
Hmmm. When it comes right down to it, fear is the common feeling behind all of the times I jump in to act as my husband’s savior or try to fix him. Unfortunately, fear usually causes us to act unwisely. Proverbs 29:25 says “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
You and I need to know that every time we jump in to “fix” things for our husbands, we actually prevent our men from turning to God for help. Every time we try to prevent our husbands from feeling any discomfort or pain, we might be preventing them from digging down deep roots into God’s nourishment for their souls. Resist the urge to be your husband’s savior. There is only one perfect savior anyway. His name is Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”. Oh my. Consider how many words a woman usually speaks in just one day, and you can see the potential for disaster!
It took me a couple decades to really understand this fact. The words spoken by a wife to her husband can either build him up and give him confidence to step up and be an even better man…or her words can tear him down to the point that he emotionally withdraws from her and doesn’t try to accomplish much of anything because he believes he’s a failure.
What kind of words are you speaking to your husband? Are you his biggest cheerleader? Do you intentionally encourage him every single day, or do you give in to the temptation to point out his many flaws on a regular basis? He NEEDS you to believe in him and encourage him. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold him accountable or put boundaries in place if he is actively sinning against you. However, even then, you can address sinful behavior with an attitude that is loving and hopeful. You can still let your husband know that you see something good in him.
I was convicted the other day when I heard my husband tell some other men that he sometimes does things for me that he doesn’t feel like doing…just because he knows I will appreciate it. This was news to me! I hadn’t thought about it that way. I thought he WANTED to do those things! For instance, my husband gives my feet a little massage every night before I go to sleep. I thought he enjoyed doing that! He also runs a lot of the errands that need to be done for us. I thought he liked to run errands! He also makes sure there’s always a fresh toilet paper roll waiting for me in the bathroom just in case the current one runs out. Nice!
Here’s the thing. We often take for granted our husbands. Could it be that your husband is doing things he doesn’t really want to do just to please you? Could he be acting selflessly and you just didn’t realize it? Is he more noble than you thought? Hmmm. Could your husband be doing kind things for you that you didn’t even realize were a sacrifice for him? For instance….if he comes home from work exhausted and yet takes time to play with the kids or help you with some chores, that’s something to truly appreciate! Think about it and ask God to show you ways that your husband may be more noble than you thought.
Bottom line: Maybe your husband is really doing a pretty good job fulfilling God’s command to husbands in Ephesians 5:25 where he tells men to “love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. The question is: How are YOU doing in fulfilling God’s command to wives in Ephesians 5:33 where he tells women “the wife must respect her husband”?
Believe it or not, God has better marriage advice than Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ellen Degeneres or Kim Kardashian. He created us, so he probably knows how to make relationships work! He has provided profound relationship principles in the Bible…and when wives apply these principles, amazing things happen! Broken marriages begin to heal and mediocre marriages begin to thrive. Here are my Top Ten Bible verses for wives, in no particular order. As you read these verses, ask God to show you the principle he wants you to apply in your marriage:
1) Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone; I will create a helper suitable for him”
2) 1 Peter 3:4 tells wives to have “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight”
3) Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”
4) Titus 2:4-5 “Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children and to be self-controlled and pure”
5) Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”
6) Ephesians 5:33 “The wife must respect her husband”
7) Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he still refuses to listen, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
8) Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.”
9) 1 Corinthians 7:2-3 “Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”
10) Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord”
Ladies, I’ve followed these 5 Bible-based principles for 7 years now and have lost weight and felt so much better! I enjoy really satisfying meals and “healthy” cookies while staying trim!
Determine to change your approach to eating for the rest of your life! Each day, decide to eat food that will make you healthy so that you can live the abundant, fruitful life God intends! Instead of thinking about what you can get away with eating (the unhealthy stuff), choose to eat foods that will MAKE YOU HEALTHY and eliminate foods that make you unhealthy. P.S. I cut almost all refined sugar and flour out of my diet 7 years ago and this was transformational! And the cool thing is, I don’t even crave it anymore at all!
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
Get back to eating food the way that God created it, without adding refined sugar, stripping out healthy fiber or adding chemicals we can’t pronounce! Humans continue to think they’re smarter than God! We take the food God created and we mess with it! Cut out processed foods and refined foods. Start eating whole foods as much as possible.
1 Corinthians 1:19-20: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
The minute you catch yourself thinking about eating something unhealthy, realize that’s the enemy trying to destroy you again and reject him with a smile of victory on your face!
2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
Be proactive and have healthy snacks prepared in advance for those times when the devil tempts you to snack when you’re bored or looking for comfort.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Take care of your body by getting moving!! God didn’t design Adam and Eve to sit at a desk 8 hours a day and on a couch for another 8 hours a day! Determine to exercise 4- 5 days a week.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
I have interviewed quite a few men who are marriage conference speakers and they all say the same thing…a man deeply needs his wife to be interested in a robust sex life with him. They agree that a husband feels more like a man, has a more positive attitude, and accomplishes more in life when his wife fosters an active sex life.
Conversely, when a wife neglects her husband sexually or makes it clear she’s barely tolerating sex…then Satan has a huge opening to begin tempting your husband to satisfy his desires with porn or another woman. 1 Corinthians 7:5 makes this clear when it says “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Most women don’t need frequent sex with their spouse the same way that a man does. It’s one of the many ways we’re wired differently. But if you want your husband to feel like a man, to be bonded to you, and to be so pumped up that he can go out and slay dragons, then you need to think about building a healthy, robust sex life with him. I know you have 101 other things you need to do, but can you leave some dirty dishes in the sink or wait to tidy up the house until the morning? Your husband needs you tonight!
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26 – 27, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Well….I almost gave the devil just such a foothold in my marriage the other day. My husband had acted in a way that really bothered me. I was steaming for hours and couldn’t even bring myself to talk to him about it because I feared we’d get embroiled in a huge conflict. So, I went to bed early, by myself.
I am so thankful the Holy Spirit prompted me to get out of bed and go speak with my husband. I sensed that I was giving the devil a “foothold” in my marriage through me stuffing the issue and letting resentment grow. So, I went and found my husband in the living room, knelt by his side as he was sitting on the couch and told him that I truly do see so many good qualities in him. I also told him why his behavior had bothered me.
I know you’re thinking he agreed with my assessment, but he didn’t! However, a good thing did happen. We calmly acknowledged our difference of opinion and I was able to go to sleep in peace. There was no wedge between me and my husband. Don’t allow the enemy to gain a foothold in your marriage. Resist the temptation to go to sleep with simmering anger and resentment.
Selfishness. It’s such an unattractive character quality, right?! I’ve always thought most men are pretty selfish, and perhaps many are. However, God’s been convicting me of my own selfishness! Ugh. It can be a very subtle thing for women. In fact, selfishness is often found in a woman’s thought-life. She may think things like this: My husband should be more romantic toward me. How can I convince my husband that my way is right? My husband isn’t really making me happy anymore. I married him because he’s supposed to make me happy! And the thoughts go on and on.
I’m becoming convicted neither wives nor husbands will find much joy in marriage when we only look out for what we want and what we think will make us “happy”. Actually, true joy comes from serving others and thinking of how we can bless them. It is so counter-intuitive! However, it is also so Biblical. Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” Maybe you should try to look at life from your husband’s perspective this week and really try to understand his point of view during disagreements. Maybe you could intentionally build him up each day and voice your appreciation for big and small things he does. How could you bless him this week?
P.S. I know some of you are thinking, “Why should I be the only one doing this? What about my husband?” Well, how about if you clean up your side of the street first? I have a strong hunch that your entire marriage will improve and your husband’s heart will be drawn to you. Are you willing to give it a try?
Prayer really is powerful! You might be concerned about your husband’s actions or decisions. You may be distressed about his lack of attention or affection toward you or the children. If the offense is serious enough, you may need to establish boundaries, but at the end of the day, the truth is…you can’t CHANGE your husband. However, the good news is that God DOES have the power to change your husband’s heart! Ezekiel 36:26 lets me know God can change your man’s heart because that verse says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you”. I love to encourage wives to pray that verse for their husbands if their men appear to be off course in some area of their life. Then, we have to be patient while we wait for God to answer our prayers for our men. We also have to be intentionally watchful or we may even miss the answer to our prayer.
I was just thinking back about prayers I lifted to God several years ago regarding my husband. Just recently, I suddenly realized that God had actually answered those prayers! The changes happened so slowly and over such a long period of time that I hadn’t really noticed! Hmmm. It’s a good reminder to pray persistently, as Jesus instructs us to do in Luke 18, and then be watchful and alert for his answers. Colossians 4:2 says “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” So, don’t let an answered prayer slip by unnoticed. We don’t want to miss out on thanking God and rejoicing in His faithfulness.
Looking back, can you see God making slow changes in your marriage, in you, or in your husband as a result of your long-time prayers?
You probably think I’m going to give fashion advice, but you would be incorrect. I’m certainly no fashionista! The kind of “clothing” I’m talking about is not material. It’s our attitude, character and behavior. The Bible has a lot to say about how we “clothe” ourselves in that regard!
Colossians 3:18 tells us what we should put on every morning: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Wow! Think about how attractive you would be to your husband (and your children, and your friends, and your mother-in-law and your co-workers) if you were to put on these qualities every morning as you start your day.
Think about it. How would your marriage be changed if you decided to be gentle and humble and kind and compassionate toward your husband? I bet he would truly look forward to coming home to you each night! Even if you need to broach tough subjects with your husband, he will be much more likely to listen if you clothe yourself with humility and gentleness and compassion. Try it. Humility…compassion…gentleness…kindness. These are fashion accessories that never go out of style!