God can use you to sculpt your husband

If you and your husband are followers of Jesus, then you are both being sculpted.  The Bible says in Isaiah 64:8  “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  God is molding and shaping us each and every day.

God uses many tools to shape us.  He sometimes allows us to make foolish decisions and then experience the natural consequences of those decisions.  Hopefully, we learn something valuable from those painful lessons!  But when it comes to your husband, God has another powerful tool in his tool belt…you!  As a wife, you have the unique ability to encourage your man.  You can choose to be the voice that points out his good qualities.  When you do that, most husbands seem to grow 2 inches taller.  Your words of encouragement often become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy for your man.  As you affirm his good character qualities, talents, and spiritual gifts, he feels emboldened to step into those things with more confidence and vigor.

God may even want to use you as a tool to lovingly but firmly confront your husband if he is entrenched in a pattern of sin.  You know your husband better than anyone else, so you’re the one who will likely notice if he is caught in a sinful pattern.  Pray and ask God if he wants you to have a loving conversation with your husband about that sin pattern.  Does God want you to request your husband see a counselor, attend a 12-step group, meet with the pastor, join a men’s ministry?  Does the Lord want you to draw a firm boundary with your husband, thereby putting pressure on him to do whatever it takes to get free from this sin?  (Read Matthew 18:15-17 for more guidance on this)

Will you be a tool in God’s tool belt?  Pray and ask the Lord to show you if and how he wants you to be a tool!

4 keys to becoming a mature wife

We all want to be viewed as mature, but how does a wife actually go about becoming mature?    The Bible gives us some hints.  In short, the Bible indicates that maturity comes from persevering, from disciplining yourself to discern between good and evil choices, from speaking the truth in love, and by receiving wisdom from the Word of God.

Here are the verses that reveal these 4 means of becoming mature.  James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

By the way, the very best way for you to receive wisdom is by spending time reading God’s Word!  By that, I don’t mean simply reading one verse per day from a daily devotional.  I mean reading ALL of God’s Word.  It might take you two years to make your way all the way through it, but it will be totally worth it.  You will find so much of value along the journey 🙂

A question for high-achiever women

Hello.  My name is Debbie Chavez, and I’m a list-aholic.  Yes, I admit it.  I love being super- organized, and I love “accomplishing” a lot every day.  It makes me feel good about myself.  In fact, my compulsion to accomplish tons of stuff everyday is so bad…..if I do something that was not on my list, I actually add it onto my list so that I can scratch it out! 

There is nothing wrong with completing many tasks each day, and there is certainly nothing wrong with being organized, but when we become a slave to our lists, we have a problem.  How about you?  Are you a list-acholic?  Here’s what I’ve been noticing lately.  When I become a slave to my to-do list, I am not a very peaceful wife.  I become a driven person, and I’m not flexible enough to respond to new situations or needs in my family.  Perhaps we need to meditate on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:40-42.  Martha was busy bustling about with tasks, while Mary sat peacefully at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus gently rebuked Martha in verse 42 saying, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better…”

So, maybe you and I should stop being neurotic about our lists!  I am still making a list each day, but unless something on that list is absolutely critical, I’m allowing myself to skip some of the items in order to respond to my husband or children if I can see that they could use my help or encouragement.  I believe this adjustment makes me more like the 1 Peter 3 wife.  She is described as having a gentle, quiet spirit.  I don’t think she could be quiet and peaceful if she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off!  She obviously wasn’t a slave to a long to-do-list.   The question is:  Do you need to re-evaluate your lists?

Do this before offering your husband advice

My. My.  I guess I’m reminded once again about the power of our words.  A few days ago, I wrote a devotional about the power of pausing during a heated conversation with our men so that we refrain from responding with words that are harsh or mean….something we’ll likely regret later.  Well, today I was reminded of another reason to pause.  As women, we need to pause before we offer casual bits of advice or “wisdom” to our husbands.

I don’t think we realize how our guys are greatly influenced by us!   We might think they aren’t really paying that much attention to a casual suggestion we toss out, but often they are.  In fact, many husbands in the Bible were greatly influenced by something their wives said, and the wives rarely had good advice!  I think especially of Sarah telling Abraham to sleep with her servant in order for him to have a son, since she was getting impatient waiting for God to fulfill his promise to give her children! Read the story in Genesis 16:1-4 and you will find out Sarah’s decision didn’t turn out so well!

So, let’s think twice before we offer a morsel of our brilliant counsel during a conversation with our men.  I did this recently, and my husband acted upon it.  I hadn’t really even thought it through, let alone prayed about it. Thankfully, there was no harm done, but it got me to thinking about the need to really pause and pray about any suggestions or counsel I decide to pass on to my husband.  How about you?

6 Bible verses for anxiety attacks

So many of us struggle with fear and anxiety, and sometimes that struggle escalates to a full-blown anxiety attack.  We know that God does not intend for us to live in debilitating fear, but how do we break free?

I’ve personally found much relief by applying these 6 Bible verses:

  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ”. This means when fear-based, hopeless, defeatist thoughts enter my mind, I need to examine them and ask whether this is something God would say!
  • 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober-minded and alert. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”  This means when I notice my thoughts are becoming hopeless or fearful, I need to recognize the devil is whispering those thoughts to me!  I must take a stand and refuse to align my thoughts with the devil!  Sometimes I even hold out my hand and shout “NO”.
  • Isaiah 41:10 “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  This means I remind myself that I am not walking through my challenges and worries alone.  Jesus is right there beside me all the time and all the way.
  • Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love him”  This means that I remind myself that even if my worst fear comes to pass, God can still bring something good out of that situation.  That brings me comfort.
  • Psalm 139:16 “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  This means that when fear-based thoughts enter my mind, I choose to remind myself that God already knows my future and my kid’s future.  Nothing that happens to me or my kids will take God by surprise!  He knows the future.  He’s already there.
  • James 4:8 “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you”  This means I choose to pivot from the fear and turn toward God in a very deliberate way.  When I do that, He comforts me!  “Drawing near to God” could mean everything from turning on a worship song, to reading the Bible, to calling a faith-filled friend, to hugging my actual Bible as I lay down to go to sleep at night.

— or view this topic as a 5 min VIDEO HERE

A huge way you can impact your husband

Does your husband wrestle with a destructive addiction?  Is your husband carrying way too much stress from his job?  Does your husband seem depressed?  Is your man uninterested in pursuing God?  It’s easy for you to sink into despair, but instead, I challenge you to pray for him continually, and with total faith in our powerful God!

I’m not saying that prayer is the only thing you should do, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do for your man.   Yet, often we tend to do more whining to our girlfriends than praying for our men.  We often spend too much time drowning in a pool of self-pity instead of saturating our days with earnest prayer.

Seek godly counsel from a pastor or wise female mentor to gain insights into whether you need to take specific action with your husband.  Those actions may include establishing boundaries and imposing consequences. Perhaps you will be directed to see a counselor yourself.  Maybe your pastor will schedule a talk with your husband to see if he can help.  However, your main job as your husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) is to pray for him.  Pray for him throughout the day.  God says in James 5:16 that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective“.  So get on your knees and get busy praying.

I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in response to earnest, continual prayer.  He can even change your husband’s heart!  (Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart)

What to expect of your husband

Revealing what a wife should expect of her husband is a tricky thing!  Yes, we should expect our husbands to love us, and even to sacrifice their interests for ours.  The Bible says so.  It’s in Ephesians 5, in case you want to look it up for yourself 🙂  It says in verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

The tricky thing is that no husband can perfectly live up to that expectation.  Therein lies the challenge.  As wives, we yearn for a perfect husband who cherishes us, adores us, romances us, sacrifices himself for us, shares his feelings with us, courageously protects us, diligently provides for us, tenderly raises children with us, spiritually leads us, and on and on.  Whew! That’s a long list!  Frankly, only Jesus could hit the mark on all those expectations, and guess what?  Your husband isn’t Jesus.

So, back to the original question.  What should we expect of our husbands?  I believe we should expect our husbands to strive to be the kind of husband described in Ephesians 5:25, while at the same time we need to realize that he will fall short of that mark because he’s human.  That’s where we need to take on the character of Christ ourselves, striving to be “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)

3 ways to get your joy back

Sometimes, life just gets plain hard.  You forget to pay a bill on time and get hit with a giant “late fee”.  You catch your husband looking at pornography.  You teenager lies to you.  Your child accidentally drops an entire jog of milk on the kitchen floor.  Ugh!

At times like these, it’s easy to feel weighed down.  It’s so common for us to give into despair and depression.  But instead of conceding defeat, we can regain our joy by practicing 3 things:

1) Recognize this is a scheme of the enemy to TRY to steal, kill or destroy your joy  (John 10:10 “the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy”).  Don’t allow him to take you down!

2)  Remind your soul of the enemy’s inability against our mighty God (1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”)  *Sometimes I even laugh at Satan’s pitiful attempts to drag me down!  I like putting him back in his place!

3) Trust that God will carry you through this challenge and even redeem the circumstances so that something good comes about in the long run. God is an expert at turning lemons into lemonade! (Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”)

Are you suffering needlessly?

Even though you may have accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you and I will still encounter trials and hardships in this life here on earth.  They are inevitable.  In fact Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33..”In this world you will have trouble.”   Sometimes, the trouble is inside our marriage, and when that’s the case, we often find the need to practice great patience, endurance and “longsuffering”.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:2 that we should act “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” (KJV).  Other translations use the word “patience” in the place of longsuffering.

However, the Bible doesn’t always advise us to just sit on our hands and settle into a long season of quiet endurance and longsuffering.   Jesus says in Matthew 18:15-17 that we’re supposed to confront someone who is sinning against us.  We always need to be respectful, compassionate and loving, yet he tells us to confront that person.

So yes, there is a place for patience and longsuffering in relationships.  However, it occurs to me that perhaps the best time for longsuffering is when you’ve already confronted the person sinning against you and they are working to turn away from that pattern of sin.  I guess my question to you is this:  Have you lovingly and firmly confronted your husband if he is sinning against you or your children?    Have you drawn clear boundaries on what you will accept and have you followed through with appropriate consequences when necessary?  If you haven’t, then there’s a chance you are longsuffering outside of God’s will.  There’s a possibility you are suffering needlessly. Pray about it and see what God reveals.

2 benefits from refusing to wear a mask

Before you slam me, please understand that I’m not advocating defying the government order to wear a face mask during the pandemic.  I’m talking about the invisible “mask” that many of us wear around others, in order to keep them from truly knowing us!

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 rip off my “mask” and 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!