V. A HUSBAND NEEDS QUALITY TIME TO BE ALONE WITH HIMSELF AND WITH THE LORD.
A. The emphasis of being alone is not for the purpose of separating himself from his wife, but the opportunity to concentrate his attentions upon the Lord. II Chronicles 26:5 states that a man’s success is based on the degree to which he seeks after the Lord.
- The deeper and richer a man’s fellowship is with God, the deeper and richer his fellowship will be with his wife. There is a DIRECT correlation. If he is out of fellowship with the Lord, he WILL be out of fellowship with his wife!
- A man’s love for the Lord will be reflected in his love for God’s Word and his desire to have fellowship with Him. This is a test of the genuineness of a person’s salvation. Can you say you love the Lord and not desire His Word?
- Pray for his spiritual needs and development. What is in his best spiritual interest is also in your best interest.
- Carrying burdens is a natural part of being a leader. However, God never gives us a responsibility that He doesn’t also prepare us to fulfill.
- A wife’s natural desire is to lighten the burdens her husband carries. However, she should be reminded that there is an important difference between carrying the burden and sharing the burden. Husbands complain about the burdens of leadership – wives should not pay much attention to this. But sharing the burdens is ok.
Use as much encouragement as needed to help your husband develop his time with the Lord. He needs a private place to meet with God.
FROM THE PEACEFULWIFE:
You may not have a man who is spiritual at all. If this is your situation, I feel your pain VERY acutely! You may be married to an unbeliever and have such a deep cry in your soul for his salvation. You may be married to a baby Christian or a carnal Christian. Or you may be married to a disobedient and rebellious son of God. This need of spending time alone with God is still a genuine need of his. But we cannot force him in spiritual matters.
We must be respectful and very careful here as we encourage our husband’s faith. Much of what we do will be behind the scenes in faithful prayer for our men. Our sincere respect and willingness to follow our husband’s leadership WILL motivate our men to feel the need to begin growing in their relationship with God.
Some practical things we can do:
- Offer to take the children somewhere for him to have a quiet time with God.
- Bring him a cup of coffee if he is a coffee-lover.
- Be cheerful about the time he is spending away from you to be with God, don’t begrudge him this time! It is a GIFT to your marriage!
- Make sure there is a cleared off table or desk free from clutter with all of his Bible study paraphenalia.
- Ask him what you could do to help him have the time he needs with God (unless things are very spiritually tense between you! CAREFUL with this one! It would be very easy to come across disrespectfully here if you aren’t extremely careful!)
- Be flexible and accept his style and what he is comfortable with and don’t try to force him to do things the way you do them.
- Be willing to go to the church and classes HE wants to go to! Let him lead!
You may respectfully ask your husband spiritual questions (not to trip him up), but to show him you look up to him as your primary spiritual authority – yes even if you are much more mature than he is! If he is not a believer, you may still ask him some spiritual questions at times, as long as you don’t follow him into sin. Knowing your full trust is in him is a powerful force that will encourage him to grow. Don’t shame, nag, humiliate or berate him! Don’t criticize him, please!!! Don’t act like you are closer to God than he is! That is the kiss of death to his spiritual leadership in your marriage.
But do occasionally (every few months or less often if things are very strained) say things like:
- It would mean so much to me if you would pray for the children tonight at bedtime. (smile, ask once, don’t punish him if he ignores you or declines)
- Would you please pray for me about X? (He can do it later, you don’t have to necessarily hear him pray out loud, even though I know that is what you would love!)
- I am praying daily for your leadership and for God to give you wisdom to guide our family.
IF there is any animosity or tension on his part about spiritual things, then you may not have the freedom to say these things. You may just have to show him a respectful, cooperative attitude and pray privately and maybe with a trusted female prayer partner while God works. The Christian life is very much about WAITING. We wait on God. We wait on our husbands. That’s ok! We don’t run ahead and try to make things happen our own way. We are patient by God’s powerful Spirit working within us!
Sometimes the truth is that our husbands DO try to lead us spiritually but we don’t listen. I know that earlier in our marriage, if my husband tried to lead me in a direction I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t budge. I would argue and try to make him change his mind to see I was “right.” Eventually, if he really insisted, I would cave to his way but I would pout, cry, and make a scene. It was not a godly picture of a wife submitting to her husband’s leadership in a biblical way.
Sometimes our husbands seem not to be leading, and we think we HAVE to take over because we are impatient. I thought if I didn’t get an answer within 30 minutes, that meant my husband wasn’t going to answer my question or do anything about a situation. So I felt i HAD to take over and do things myself. If I had been patient – patient enough to wait for days, weeks, months and sometimes years – I would have discovered that my husband is perfectly capable of leading.
Help us to bless our husbands spiritually. Let us set a godly example! Let us be found faithful to You and obedient to Your commands for wives. Let us respect, build up, and inspire our husbands to be the godly men You desire them to be. Help us not to take over being the Holy Spirit. Help us not get in Your way! Work on our own hearts and make us like Christ and let us be beautiful in Your eyes! Let our peaceful, gentle spirits not give way to fear and be of great beauty in Your sight and that of our husbands! Use us to change our marriages, our families, Your church and the world for Christ!
In Jesus’ Name,