Don’t align with Satan in your marriage

Your enemy has plans to blow-up your marriage.  The Bible says in John 10:10 that Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy”, so make no mistake.  The devil is working diligently to take down both you and your husband.  He may relentlessly tempt your husband to view pornography, and your husband may cave into the temptation.  Your heart will definitely be bruised if your husband falls into that trap.  But Satan wants more than that.  The enemy will relentlessly tempt you to treat your husband with scorn and disgust so that your marriage implodes.

This is where you have a choice.  You can cooperate with the devil and give in to his temptations.  You can allow him to have the victory.  You can align yourself with his evil plans and watch your marriage get flushed down the toilet.  Or you can refuse to cooperate with the devil.  Even when your husband does something that seriously disappoints you, you can tell your husband that you are still “for him”…that you believe he has a good heart…that you are not giving up on him.

I remember the time several years ago that a friend of mine found out that her husband had slipped up and viewed porn after over a year of being free from pornography.  Of course, she was devastated, but she chose wisely in that moment.  She chose to speak words of life to her husband.  I’d love to share the text she sent me shortly after his confession:  “So thankful he was honest.  Still hurts.  But the enemy will not win!  My marriage is worth fighting for”.  What a fantastic attitude!  She refused to cooperate with the devil.  How about you?

Body image matters

We all know that women are greatly concerned about their body image….maybe even obsessed about it!  But did you know that men are also hyper-sensitive about one aspect of their body image?  Almost every man really wants to be perceived as strong and muscular.  This means your husband yearns for you to notice and appreciate his muscles!  He’s not going to tell you that, but he really wants to be perceived as strong!

Perhaps this is why the bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs continues to tell her groom over and over again how she values his strength and muscular body.  Here are some examples of what she tells him:  Song of Songs 2:8-9 “Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.”   Song of Songs 5:14-15 “His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.”

When’s the last time you verbally admired your husband’s strength?  When is the last time you noticed his biceps and made a little comment about how impressive they are?  Your husband craves those comments!  As you vocalize your appreciation for his physical strength, he will be drawn to you!

Husbands find this disrespectful

If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you may sound too much like a “mother” instead of a wife when talking to your husband, at least from time to time.  I still remember the time a few years ago that I caught myself sounding like my husband’s mother.  He was heading out the door and for some reason, I felt compelled to say, “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast before you go”.   Really?  Did I need to say that?!   Did my husband really need me to point out that he should remember to feed himself?  What?  Is he 3 years old or something?  Oh brother.

When we remind our husbands about things that would be obvious to any adult, we’re actually being disrespectful.  Ouch.  It’s as if we’re telling our husbands that we don’t think they’re capable of making basic, reasonable decisions.  We sound like we’re talking to a toddler!  “Don’t forget to take a coat.”…”Be careful that you don’t hurt yourself with that hammer”…”Let me explain to you how to do _________.”

Let’s keep in mind the Bible’s instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33, where God says “the wife must respect her husband”.  Men crave the respect of their wives just like women desire to be deeply cherished.  Don’t communicate disrespect to your husband by talking to him like he’s an ignorant or helpless child who needs a mother to guide him.

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!

God’s plan for a wife’s demeanor

1 Peter 3:4 instructs wives to have a gentle, quiet spirit.  Hmmm.  Why do so many wives rebel against that idea?  Well, I think it boils down to 2 things.

First, some wives fear that being quiet and gentle means they’re going to be controlled by their husband or become a weak doormat kind of wife!  Personally, in my marriage to Raul, I feared being controlled.  It’s because I was hurt by people who controlled me when I was young.  So, I rebelled at anything that even smelled like control!  But here’s what both you and I need to know.  Just because we allow our husbands to lead, does not mean that we are weak and have no voice.  It is something we get to CHOOSE to do to bring honor to God and honor to our husbands.  Also, you are not a doormat because you DO get to speak up respectfully and establish boundaries if your husband is sinning against you. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Second, some wives fear that if they strive for a gentle, quiet spirit that they’re going to have to change their personality!  But that’s just not true!  You can still be playful, joyful, and flirty with your husband.  You just don’t yell at him, argue with him about everything, boss him around, and demand your own way all the time.  🙂

God’s guidance for your marriage

If you’ve hit a rough patch in your marriage, and if you’re a believer, you’re likely dying to know what God wants you to do in this marriage challenge.  You desperately need his guidance and counsel!  The good news is that He loves it when his children seek his guidance.  He loves his people to inquire of him!

The question is how.  How do you receive his guidance for the issue in your marriage.  Well, the first and most obvious answer is to study God’s Word.  He has placed so many super helpful instructions on relationships in the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Secondly, it’s almost always helpful to consult a godly mentor or counselor or pastor.  Sometimes we need someone who can look at our marriage situation more objectively than we can, as well as someone who will remind us of God’s instructions for relationships.  Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

But thirdly, and often most importantly, we should seek guidance from the Holy Spirit because God is the only one who actually knows the future.  He’s the only one who knows if your husband is going to change.  He’s the only one who knows exactly what to do and when.  John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

So ask God specific questions about specific issues in your marriage.  Ask what He wants you to do and then strain to sense the nudges from the Holy Spirit.  You probably won’t hear God speak out loud, but Jesus does say his sheep will hear his voice.  John 10:27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  So pray, and then be quiet and listen for those nudges from the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants to guide you!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Marriage communication tip #1

You might recall the opening theme to the original Superman TV series.  The announcer proclaims that Superman is “faster than a speeding bullet”. Well, God has been showing me how a part of me is also faster than a speeding bullet….and can cause as much damage as a live round of ammunition.  That part of me is my mouth!

You may have the same challenge as I did in my marriage to Raul.  Do you often get impatient when your husband is trying to express himself and end up finishing his sentences? I did.  Do you interrupt your husband when he pauses mid-sentence?  I did.  Do you sometimes jump in and tell him how he should handle something as he’s trying to explain a challenging situation?  I did.  Do you get frustrated with him and react with harsh, disrespectful words that you can’t take back?  Hmmm. 

Let’s pray that God would give us the ability to be good listeners, patient talkers, and respectful communicators!  This is definitely God’s will for us, as revealed in James 1:19:  “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”   The first step is to coach yourself at the beginning of a conversation with your husband.  Remind your soul…”I will honor the Lord and my husband by listening quietly and responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…(repeat as necessary!!).

What a godly wife should be like

If you want to please God, please your husband, and find true fulfillment in your role as a wife, then meditate and act upon the instructions God gives wives in the Bible.  That’s what many of us have been trying to do at Squadron of Sisters over the last 12 years, and all I can say is….it works!!

Here are 8 key verses that describe a godly wife and/or reveal the purpose of a wife:

Genesis 2:18 (a godly wife is a companion and helper for her husband)

Ephesians 5:33 (a godly wife shows respect and honor for her husband, whether she “feels” like it or not!)

Proverbs 31:25 (a godly wife carries herself with dignity so she is able to lovingly but firmly establish boundaries with her husband if he is sinning against her)

Proverbs 31:30 (a godly wife respects and obeys the Lord)

Colossians 3:18 (a godly wife submits to her husband’s leadership, as long as he is not leading her down an immoral or destructive path)

Proverbs 31:27 (a godly wife is diligent in taking care of her family and household)

1 Corinthians 7:4 (a godly wife builds a robust sex life with her husband)

1 Peter 3:4 (a godly wife has a gentle and peaceful demeanor with her husband)

Can any of us be perfect wives, as described in the Bible?  No way.  None of us is capable of performing to this incredibly high standard every day.  However, we are to earnestly seek to grow more and more like the Biblical model each day, and we all need to pray for Jesus to give us a willing heart to obey his instructions to us.  🙂

What I wish my mom had told me

I wish my mom had told me sooooo many things! 

  • I wish she would have warned me that high school age boys with raging hormones would pressure me to have sex and use the infamous line “If you love me, you will….”  
  • I wish she would have told me that following God’s ways, instead of the ways of the culture, leads to great blessing and peace.  Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
  • I wish I would have known that a marriage will never survive if your husband is sinning against you, and you avoid addressing the issue because of fear of conflict.
  • I wish I would have known that if you continue avoiding conflict, your heart will start to grow so hard and cold toward your husband that the devil will gain a huge foothold in your marriage, and you will likely spiral down into divorce.  Ephesians 4:26-27   “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
  • I wish my mom had told me that a Christian woman CAN and should set boundaries on sinful behavior of her husband, and perhaps even separate for a while if necessary.  (Matthew 18:15-17)
  • I wish my mom had told me that a marriage can be better than you ever imagined if both spouses follow the Lord, die to self, and strive to be a blessing to the other.  That is the secret sauce of marriage!  Galatians 5:13 says “serve one another humbly in love.”
  • I wish I would have known that even after your spouse is ripped away from you in death, that God is still good to those who trust in Him, and He can and will bring beauty from ashes.  Psalm 103:4-5  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

I may not be your mother, but now you know!!!

** view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO BELOW

Secret struggle for many women

We’re fearless at Squadron of Sisters!  We don’t shy away from tackling the big, hairy, sensitive challenges that impact marriages!! (Get your seatbelt fastened for yet another sensitive topic today!)  A few days ago, I wrote about common signs that a husband might have a serious problem with pornography, but the truth is many women also struggle with porn.  This is not just an issue for men.  If you are one of the many Christian women caught up in viewing pornography, there is hope for you to break free of the hold it has on you.

First, you need to know how important it is to break free from porn.  You probably already know that God tells us to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), but did you know there is a very practical side to this as well?  Just like men unintentionally condition themselves to only respond to masturbation as they view porn, women can have the same problem.  If you use your hand (or other sex toys) to stimulate yourself while viewing porn, you may start conditioning yourself to only respond to masturbation.  In other words, your husband may no longer be able to bring you to orgasm.

Fortunately, there are some great resources to help women who are struggling with a porn habit.  Here are some websites that may help you:

http://www.dirtygirlsministries.com

http://www.walkinginfreedom.net

http://www.porntopurity.com