When you think of the curses placed on Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden apple, you probably think of Adam having to toil to bring food to the table and you likely think of Eve having to endure pain in childbirth. However, there is another curse placed on Eve that may have escaped your notice. It’s found in Genesis 3:16 where God says “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you“. Oh my. This explains a lot!
Almost all women struggle with almost an insane desire to secure a man. In fact, I was observing my 2 year-old granddaughter yesterday. Even at that tender age, she gravitates to men and boys. She likes her female cousins, but oh boy, she practically worships her boy cousins. She wants to hug them. When my husband and I walk in the room, she might glance at me but she runs to my husband Raul. Hmmm.
My point is this. If we recognize this curse, we will be more able to deal with it. The curse may explain why it’s so difficult for most women to establish and enforce boundaries with their husbands when their men are sinning against them by using pornography, drinking excessively, gambling large sums of money, spending time with other women, etc. If we do indeed have a deep instinctive desire (curse) to desperately hang onto our guy, we believe we can’t do anything to threaten our grip! This explains a lot, doesn’t it?
Knowledge is the beginning of understanding. Ask Jesus to give you clarity about how your thoughts and actions are being affected by the curse. Then ask Him to give you courage and strength to make wise decisions. Tip: When you stop making a man the most important thing in your life and make Jesus your main relationship, then you will have the courage and confidence to set wise boundaries in your marriage (or dating relationships)!
Do you sometimes get really frustrated with your husband when he doesn’t see the need to tackle a project quickly? Do you get exasperated when he doesn’t seem to have a clue how you feel or why you feel the way you do? Well, here’s a news bulletin. He doesn’t understand how you think and feel because he’s not a woman! In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded that God created two distinctly different kinds of people…. “male and female he created them.” Your man doesn’t think or emote like you because God created him to be different than you!
Men don’t generally sense an urgency to get the kid’s schedule figured out or the house vacuumed. But you do. Men don’t usually like to sit and talk about their concerns regarding the children or their job. You might need to do that, but men generally check out by entering the “nothing box” in their head!
I guess what I’m saying is…don’t be surprised that your husband doesn’t seem to understand you. He won’t understand you all the time because you’re a woman and he is not. This makes it all the more important for you to have good female friendships. Make it a point to spend some time with other women, in person or on the phone, at least twice a week. You need someone to understand and validate your thoughts, fears, hopes, and frustrations. (Just one caution though. Don’t bad-mouth your husband in the process.)
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. That’s the self-fulfilling prophecy repeated over and over again by the little train in the well-known children’s story. The train faced an up-hill battle, but it encouraged itself by stating positive thoughts out loud. In the end, the little engine’s encouraging words to itself spurred it on to successfully climb the hill.
Your husband and my husband are both like that little train. They face an uphill battle. The world tells our men they are failures, that they don’t measure up, that they’re not good enough. Satan constantly whispers words of discouragement to our guys. As a result, our men often stop attempting to grow spiritually. They often stop taking courageous steps forward in leading their families. Instead of boldly fighting for justice and integrity, many choose to check out through alcohol, drugs, video games, gambling or pornography. But WE can be that voice speaking encouragement to our men! We can say, “I think you can”. “I know you can”. “I believe in you”. “I’m praying for you.” “God’s going to give you the strength”. Hebrews 3:13 is a good reminder to us. It says “Encourage one another daily as long as it is called ‘Today’ so that no one is hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
We can help our husbands move from defeat and retreat to a place of exciting victory simply by our words of encouragement. Will you help your husband be the little engine that could? I think you can. I think you can. I think you can.
Good grief! Just when I think I’m finally growing a little more like Christ, my tongue trips me up yet once again! In our marriages and in our friendships, what comes out of our mouths often tends to gravitate toward criticism, complaints, sarcasm, etc. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to turn the corner on this problem! How about you?
Chances are good that your tongue also gets you into trouble. That’s because we have a common enemy. Satan keeps subtly prompting us to spew negative, hateful, disrespectful, angry words. Thank goodness, there is One who has the power to tame our tongues! Jesus is stronger than the enemy. 1 John 4:4 says “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” Hallelujah!
So, this morning I surrendered my tongue to Jesus and asked Him to control my tongue today. I asked him to help me remember to pause before I speak to my husband, especially when I’m angry or frustrated! I asked God to remind me during that pause to speak words that are kind and loving, even if I’m asking my husband to stop a certain behavior or trying to explain my frustration. I know this is a prayer the Lord will answer because God tells us several times in the Bible to speak gracious words. Ecclesiastes 10:12 “Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.”
Will you join me in praying for God to help us catch ourselves the minute we’re about to say something disrespectful, sarcastic, negative, critical, or arrogant toward our husbands?
Recently, I asked my husband what one thing most husbands really wish their wife would understand. Here is what he said. Most men long for their wife to notice something good about them and to tell them what they see! It could be a positive character quality he displays. It could be the fact that he works hard to provide for the family. It could be a talent he has. It could be the way you notice him submitting himself to God.
According to my husband, men desperately need this validation because they feel like a failure much of the time. In fact, my husband described men as being a bit like dry bones in a desert, in desperate need of water. Your words can provide water for those dry bones and breathe life back into your man! Proverbs 16:24 puts it this way, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Will you commit to finding something to affirm about your husband every day for the next 7 days? Will you commit to actually telling him about the good you see? He will soak up those words like a sponge, and it will bring life back into the dry bones of his spirit.
My husband and I have had some interesting conversations lately. One of things he mentioned several times is how devastating it is for a man to hear his wife criticize him or make fun of him in front of other people. Even if she is trying to be funny, and even if he seems to be laughing along with everyone else, most men are quite offended by this and feel disrespected by the one person who is supposed to be for them…their wife!
So, this is just a brief reminder for all of us to be ever so careful with our men’s fragile hearts. Even though I think my husband’s little quirks are funny, it’s probably not a brilliant idea for me to share those quirks with other people. Even though I thought one of his blunders was hilarious, he’s going to feel disrespected if I share that funny story with others. Let’s all be vigilant in protecting our men’s hearts. They so desire our respect, especially in public. Maybe we all need to quote Ephesians 5:33 every morning before we start our day. It very simply says, “The wife must respect her husband.”
Marriage is not one continuous fairy tale. Your husband is not perfect, and neither are you. Therefore, you will experience times of disappointment, frustration, and even heartbreak. The question is…what will you do during those “valley” times in your marriage? How will you rally yourself and stay in the game? Where can you find the motivation to fight for your marriage?
One powerful key to battling all the way through those valley times is to receive encouragement from other godly wives. You NEED encouragement! You NEED fellowship with other Jesus-seeking women.
The enemy is constantly whispering discouragement to you. He wants you to leave your husband. He wants to destroy your family. In John 10:10, Jesus says the enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy“. But we can counteract the enemy’s schemes by asking godly friends to speak truth to us. Seek friendships with godly women who know the truth of God’s Word and who are encouragers. Be an encourager in their lives as well. You might have to be the one to initiate this time together, but it’s worth it! Ask a woman to coffee. Ask another woman to be your prayer partner and make an appointment to pray weekly for each other over the phone or in person.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” You need encouragement to stay in the battle! It’s worth it. Jesus has a good plan for your marriage. He has come that you “may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Have you ever caved in when you should have set boundaries in a relationship because of the “what if” questions? What if he leaves me? What if he leaves me and I won’t be able to take care of myself? What if he gets really upset if I confront him? What if….?
When you find yourself paralyzed with fear because of the “what if” questions, it usually means one of three things. Either you don’t really trust God when he says in Hebrews 13:5 that he will “never leave you nor forsake you”. Or it means you have allowed the spirit of fear to dominate your thoughts. Or it could mean that you have become your own worst enemy and convinced yourself you’ll never be able to set boundaries and stick to them. In other words, you’ve pummeled yourself with negative self-talk!
You CAN overcome these paralyzing fears. How about choosing to trust God’s promise to never leave your side (Hebrews 13:5)? Maybe it’s time to command the spirit of fear to leave you, in the name of Jesus (2 Timothy 1:7). Perhaps you need to stop telling yourself that you’ll fall to pieces if you respectfully draw a firm boundary. Coach your soul just like King David did throughout the Psalms. Tell yourself you will not crumble. Remind yourself you will not fall apart. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” With Jesus by your side, you have all you need. You’re not doing this alone!
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?
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)