I was at a prayer meeting in my area one time. Many people prayed out loud individually. One man in particular prayed such a passionate, godly, Spirit-filled, powerful, humble, broken prayer. I could completely feel and hear the presence of God in him. Afterwards, I thanked him for praying when we were all leaving. He thanked me for praying, too.
And then, he said something that made me sad, “My wife says I pray too long.”
And he shook his head and said, “That’s what wives are for – to tell you when you are doing something wrong.”
RESPECTING OUR HUSBANDS SPIRITUALLY
If my husband has the courage to pray out loud with me – and it can be a VERY scary thing for a husband to do this – I pray that my reaction would be total gratitude, appreciation and respect.
I don’t have any survey numbers available – but my guess is that the VAST majority of Christian husbands (even ministers, deacons and Sunday School teachers) probably do NOT pray out loud with their wives (except possibly a blessing for a meal).
I desire to see that change. I want to see all believing husbands pray with their wives. But we have to be SO careful here. If we DEMAND or try to force our husbands to pray with us – it is probably not going to happen. If we really want our husbands to pray with us, we are going to have to have a very humble attitude.
Any pride., bossiness or holier-than-thou vibes will keep our men from praying with us. I think we can occasionally ask our husbands, “Would you please pray for/with me?” But in many respects, this is something we will need to patiently wait for. We can ask God to work in this area. This is part of I Peter 3 – we will need to approach this issue in silence, I believe – if our husbands are far from God, especially. Our words will often make things worse.
If your husband can’t/won’t pray with you, please do not condemn him.
Try just laying your hand on him at night and praying over him, asking God to empower him with God’s wisdom to lead the family and to protect him from evil and temptation and to fill him with the Holy Spirit. And trust God to work in his Spirit as you seek God’s face in your own life with all your heart.
MY HUSBAND DOESN’T NEED MY CRITICISMS OF HIS PRAYER:
- the theological content
- how biblical his prayer is
- what he prays about or doesn’t pray about
- the length
- the words he uses
- the volume of his voice
- nervous habits or words like “um”
- clearing his throat
- how often he prays
- that he doesn’t pray with me out loud
No one in spiritual authority needs this kind of criticism. It would be completely inappropriate and disrespectful if I criticized my pastor or Sunday School teacher or deacon for his prayers – and it is completely disrespectful and inappropriate for me to criticize my husband’s prayers.
I used to be extremely critical of my pastors and teachers at church – and my husband. Someone with a critical, prideful, judgmental spirit tends to be critical about ALL God-given authority.
Criticism is EASY. Supporting our leaders, building them up, praising what they do right, respecting them, cooperating with them, praying for them and trusting God to work through them is HARD. But that is exactly what God calls us to do!
If my husband is way off base theologically or biblically, I don’t need to endorse or support false teaching. I may prayerfully consider addressing the issue respectfully later to try to clarify my understanding and to gently ask questions or gently, respectfully share Scripture if he is open to it.
If I decide to criticize my husband’s prayers, I will probably get some of the following results:
- he is NOT going to want to pray with me again.
- he will NOT feel comfortable being vulnerable with me.
- his spiritual confidence may be shaken (not a good thing for the spiritual leader in the family and maybe even in the church).
- his spirit may be crushed.
- he will likely resent me.
- our spiritual unity and intimacy will be broken.
- our emotional intimacy will be disconnected.
- he may feel defeated and like a failure spiritually.
- he may be discouraged from praying independently, too.
- Satan may get a foothold in our marriage.
- I will be guilty of disrespecting my husband – and that is sin.
- He may even back away from God.
This is NOT the kind of message to send our husbands!!
I lift up all of our marriages to Your throne room in heaven! I pray that You might convict our hearts as wives where we have failed our husbands in this area and where we have disrespected them and You. Help us to repent and seek to build up and honor our husbands, pastors, teachers, deacons and church leaders. Use us to breathe life into these people who labor on our behalf for our good. Use us to make their job and responsibility a joy instead of a burden!
In the Name and power of Christ,
A PEACEFULWIFE VIDEO