Skip to main content
IMG_5915

“I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More” – Part 2

IMG_5915

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, I believe it would be extremely helpful to check it out, as well. This is such a deep desire in so many of our hearts as wives – that our husbands would pray with us. Prayer is an incredible blessing and an unspeakable gift of God. Private prayer and joint prayer in marriage, families, and among believers is our lifeline to God. I am the biggest proponent ever of husbands and wives praying together if possible.

I shared the survey results from my poll questions last Saturday in Part 1. We also looked at Scripture to see what examples of husbands praying with their wives we might find – and, the surprising thing was – I can’t find any examples in Scripture of husbands praying with their wives or a specific command that husbands should pray with their wives. Wow. This may be reason enough for us to pause and examine our expectations of our husbands as spiritual leaders and to reconsider what God’s definition of spiritual leadership might be.

Perhaps we can release our husbands and ourselves of some of our preconceived expectations and allow them grace, understanding, and freedom to lead and pray in the ways they believe God desires them to?

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

How amazing is this?!?! The Holy Spirit prays in ways that go much deeper than words for us! 🙂

POLL RESULTS FROM THE MEN:

1. For the Men – do you ever pray without words? (39 men responded so far)

Yes = 67%    No = 28%

2. For the Men – do you prefer to pray privately or out loud? (40 men responded so far)

I prefer to pray privately = 78%   I prefer both equally = 23%   I prefer to pray out loud with others = 0%

 

A WIFE WHO PREFERS TO PRAY PRIVATELY SHARES HER THOUGHTS:

I had a Christian boyfriend in my early 20’s who loved the Lord very deeply. He was a great guy. He was very talkative though, and that wore me out. I didn’t understand temperament differences, and he probably didn’t either. I recharge when I’m quiet or alone. He was energized by interacting a lot. He questioned my love for God because I didn’t always want to pray out loud together. Sometimes in general, I just wished he didn’t talk so much because he tired me so. I wonder if some men just don’t feel the need to pray out loud because they don’t have a need to vocalize like a lot of women.

I can tell you it doesn’t feel good to be questioned about how dear the Lord is to you based on this issue.

For the women whose husbands don’t pray with them and they wished they did, or whose husbands are unbelievers – I see that as a tremendous opportunity and “God appointment” to learn firsthand the sufficiency of Christ. Rejoice and be thankful for God’s purposes through the pain and pray not to waste it.

Disappointment can be seen as a call to greater personal prayer too, using the disappointment as a reminder to pray for our husbands’ needs instead of focusing on what we wish we had. We already have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

FROM A WIFE ABOUT HER HUSBAND’S PRAYER LIFE:

My husband said there are times when he prays that he is so overloaded with emotion, and so overloaded with thoughts that his entire mind shuts down and he has no way to verbalize his prayers. He says in those moments he just lifts his hands and senses the Holy Spirit interceding. This is coming from a highly articulate man who sells and negotiates for a living. He also has Master’s Degrees from seminary, so it’s not that he doesn’t know what to pray. After knowing my man since 1984, THIS was truly enlightening!!! Wow. He clarified that he does use words when praying for every day issues.

FOR THOSE WHO MAY BE CURIOUS – SOME REASONS WHY HUSBANDS MAY NOT PRAY WITH THEIR WIVES:

  • Some wives have been very critical of their husbands in the past about their praying. I know of one husband whose wife criticized him and he quietly decided never to pray with her again. I am not saying he should have decided never to pray with his wife – but I don’t think we realize how toxic our words of criticism about our husbands’ spirituality might be.
  • Some husbands did not have any examples of someone praying out loud when they were growing up. It may not have been part of their family “culture.”
  • Some husbands prefer to pray in private because they don’t feel right about their motives if they pray in front of someone – it feels like “putting on a show.”
  • Some husbands are more introverted in personality and prefer silent praying.
  • Some husbands apparently don’t pray with words – so praying out loud may be particularly difficult or foreign-feeling.
  • Some husbands are too overwhelmed with emotions to be able to pray out loud.
  • Some husbands may feel intimidated by their wives’ praying and feel that their own praying “isn’t as good.”
  • Some husbands may not be right with God and if they prayed with their wives, their unconfessed sin would prevent their prayers from being heard anyway – and the whole thing would be an exercise in futility and hypocrisy.
  • Some husbands and wives have very different styles of praying that the other person doesn’t like.
  • Some husbands don’t agree theologically with their wives and praying together may cause more division and contention than unity.
  • Some wives preach at or nag their husbands in their prayers if they do pray together, which is disrespectful. (Some husbands do that, too, unfortunately, which would also be disrespectful.)
  • Some husbands are not believers or are deeply wounded spiritually and unable to pray because they don’t have God’s Spirit empowering them and are in dire need of healing in Christ themselves.
  • Some husbands feel too disrespected or controlled by their wives to be willing to pray with their wives.
  • Some husbands feel that their wives pressure them too much about praying together. Generally, men tend to react to pressure by pushing back against it and refusing to do whatever they feel pressured to do.
  • Some husbands feel their wives look down on them if they only want to pray privately – and that makes them even less inclined to pray with their wives. The really scary thing is that they may even begin to doubt themselves spiritually and may pull away from God privately the more they feel their wives condemn them.
  • Some husbands do not feel safe being totally vulnerable spiritually with their wives. They may know that they will not receive grace if they were to reveal any temptations or sin issues with which they struggle.
  • Some husbands don’t want to reveal anything that might be a reason for their wives to disrespect them or they may not trust their wives to keep their struggles/temptations/sin issues in confidence.
  • Some husbands see their wives’ refusal to honor the husbands’ God-given leadership and see no point in praying together.
  • Some husbands value private prayer much more than praying out loud with other people.

Gentlemen, if  you know of other reasons why husbands may not pray with their wives at times, you are welcome to share.

ADVANTAGES I HAVE DISCOVERED OF PRAYING ALONE (you are welcome to share more benefits if you would like):

  • It forces me to depend completely on Christ, not my husband. I personally really need to have to depend on Christ alone – not anyone or anything else. The minute I start to put some of my trust in someone or something other than Christ, I tend to trip and fall.
  • I find that I can go much deeper spiritually when I pray and study God’s Word privately.
  • I can be more honest and open with God when I am alone.
  • I hear God’s voice much more clearly in private than when I am praying with others.
  • There are times when one or both spouses have wrong motives when praying together would be sinful and unproductive.
  • When I pray alone, I have to tear out the idol of praying with my husband if that is an issue for me and allow God to refine my motives so that I am praying just for Him.
  • If my husband does pray with me daily, that does not guarantee that I will feel spiritually/emotionally connected to my husband or that our marriage will necessarily be stronger than if we don’t pray together daily.
  • Prayer is not primarily about connecting with my husband, it is about connecting and being one spiritually with God.
  • Private prayer and private Bible study is the most important part of our spiritual nourishment from what I see in Scripture.

It is easy to try to judge the “success” or “strength” of our marriage and our husbands by measuring how often we pray together. We want so much to be able to “check the box” – that yes, we prayed together – so we have a “good Christian marriage” and our husbands are “good Christian leaders.” But maybe that is not an accurate measure in God’s eyes?

REPENTANCE:

Lord,

Some of us have bought into the idea that our husbands “should” pray with us – that if they don’t pray with us, they are unspiritual and far from You.  We love You. We love prayer. We love our husbands. We greatly value our marriages. We want to be close to You. We want to have godly marriages. We want to be strong spiritually as women and also as married couples. We acknowledge that prayer is a wonderful thing and that for couples to pray together willingly with pure motives is a beautiful and powerful spiritual act of unity. But help us not to place joint prayer in too lofty of a position in our hearts and minds. Help us not to judge our husbands’ spirituality if they don’t pray with us, realizing that You know their hearts in ways we can never begin to know them. We may not be able to judge accurately.

For many of us, myself included, it has been very eye opening to realize that Scripture doesn’t really talk about any husband or wife praying together specifically or give a particular command for husbands to pray with their wives. Help us to process this information by the power of Your Spirit. Help us to be willing to release our husbands of our expectations for them to lead in specific ways. Give us courage to repent if we have wrongly pressured our husbands to pray with us rather than encouraged them to pray in the ways that are best for them. Help us to extend grace, mercy, understanding, freedom, and blessing to our husbands in this area if there has been tension and strife over whether or not we pray together or have Bible studies together. Help us see the enemy’s strategy to bring division, contention, strife, and arguments through the issue of prayer (and many other issues). Empower us to stand firm against his plans to steal, kill, and destroy in our spiritual lives, our marriages, and our families. Let us see who the real enemy is and let us be completely and thoroughly equipped for the spiritual battle we all face daily that is raging around us. Thank you for the freedom You give us and our husbands in Christ! Thank You for taking this heavy weight off of our shoulders.

Let us become women of fervent prayer. Let us cherish our time with You alone in prayer and in Your Word. Let us abide in You and let Your Word abide richly in us. Transform us by the power of Your Spirit to become the women You command and desire us to be. Let us know You more and more. Let us discover the sufficiency of Christ. Let us tear out any idols or things we have set above You in our hearts. Cleanse us and make us holy in Your sight by the precious  blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Let us submit fully to You in all things. Increase our trust and faith greatly. Let us love You with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Use us to bless, honor, and love our husbands and children and those around us for Your glory. Draw our husbands and children to Yourself and let them also become people of fervent prayer and ever deepening faith in Christ. We trust each of them, these people we so dearly love, to Your sovereign, loving, holy hands.

In the Name of Christ,

Amen!

We will look at spiritual leadership in Scripture in the next post. I couldn’t fit it all in this one. 🙂

PS:

If you long for someone to pray with you – you are always welcome to pray here with me! You can search my home page for “pray” and “prayer” and find many posts about prayer and many prayers to pray for yourself and your husband, as well as for the Body of Christ. My desire is to do a good bit of emphasis on prayer this summer.

 

59 thoughts on ““I Wish My Husband Would Pray with Me More” – Part 2

  1. Great part 2 discussion. I am one of those husbands who sometimes struggles being honest with my wife in prayer. I was pleasantly surprised recently when I was vulnerable with her about an issue, and she was very understanding ! That really tore my wall down, and helped me respect her more spiritually. Prayer is so important in our communion with God. We have to be close to God personally before we will step out and pray with our wives and kids. It’s so rewarding to take steps like described in the article to pray more with our spouse. Thanks ! Archie

    1. Archie,

      I LOVE THIS! Thank you very much for sharing the importance of a wife’s ability to give grace to promote a husband’s willingness to share spiritually. Such a critical point, my brother!

      And I agree! We do have to be close to God ourselves before we can pray with others.

      Great stuff!

  2. April,

    I love when you lead us in prayer! Thank you for this series, too. It’s been so interesting to think about.

    1. Julie,

      I want to do a lot of focusing on prayer this summer – so I am glad that you like it! 🙂

      This series has blessed me greatly – I am so thankful God has shown me these things. I had no idea just a week ago what God had in store for me to learn this week and for the freedom it would bring in my own life, too. 🙂

      1. Amen to freedom in Christ and to passing that freedom on to our husbands, releasing them from our expectations and pressures. ; )

        I look forward to what God will further teach us on praying!

  3. Wow! This has been sooo helpful! The list really opened my eyes and made me think! This has been a real blessing to me. I’ve been one to try and put pressure on hubby to pray and do devotionals with me and have these unreasonable expectations on him, without knowing all those reasons you listed. It has put me at peace with the situation seeing it from this perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this helpful info! God bless u!

    1. Angela,

      I believe God is going to give so much peace to many, many wives who read this series. I know He has done quite a work in my heart just this week. I’m so thankful for what He showed me and so thankful for the freedom and peace it brings and for the way it empowers us as wives to extend grace to our husbands on this issue in ways we may not have understood before.

      I praise God for the way He used this post to bless you and to strengthen your marriage and your understanding of your husband.

      Much love to you!

  4. God is so amazing! I am the wife who has been praying for my husband to initiate prayer for many years. I haven’t nagged him, but I have asked him a few times in and out of bed if we can pray, and he pretty much said no, he was too tired. I never thought it was because he wasn’t spiritual enough or anything like that, but I have been scared that somehow our teenagers aren’t going to 1) have a saving faith 2) stay pure 3) marry Godly 4) etc.. that if we don’t pray “together” that our kids and marriage is doomed! I have heard lots of stats about couples who pray together have a 2% chance of divorce. So, basically the enemy has used our lack of praying “together” as a way to torment me with fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt (ie: sin).

    So all this being said, the 1st article spoke to me, and gave me lots of new revelations. I found peace over our lack of praying together, and I saw a whole new significance to my time a lone in prayer with the Lord. I felt free!

    So, last night we are in bed, we had kissed good night, and closed our eyes, and then my husband tapped me, and told me he wanted to pray!!! He said an amazing prayer for our marriage, and children, and I just listened in AWE of our LORD!! HE IS SO GOOD!!! There is nothing HE can not do and HIS timing is always perfect!

    1. Gwen,

      WOW! This story brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you haven’t nagged your husband. That is a GOOD thing! I think your point about your fears is so critical. We tend to think, “If we don’t follow these rules, things won’t turn out right,” rather than trusting God with the outcome and depending on His sovereignty. You articulated these fears and your mindset very well – I have a feeling you speak for many, many wives in this first paragraph.

      How I praise God that you were set free to just enjoy Christ alone! That is AWESOME!

      And then – what timing!?!? Such a total God thing. What a beautiful moment you and your husband shared.

      Thank you so much for this! 🙂

  5. you are right, we do need to learn to pray alone, but often, I will pray alone, and I won’t actually talk, I tend to feel more like I’m talking to the wall/ceiling, and feel silly doing that, so I direct my thoughts toward God in prayer.

    1. pray4lovelaugh,
      Some people prefer to pray silently or to write their prayers. Whatever you prefer sounds good to me! As long as we are praying, that is the main thing. 🙂

  6. I think some husbands may feel put on the spot when we ask them to pray. A few years ago we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time. A few days ahead of time I asked my husband if he wanted to ask the blessing or if he wanted me to ask my dad to do it. (My dad always had in the past.). He thought for a second and said he wanted to. I’m
    Not sure if he would’ve been a

    1. Sorry…hit post too soon. Anyway I’m not sure if he would’ve been as comfortable if I had waited until everyone was gathered around the table & said, “Honey would you please ask the blessing?” Maybe if we DO ask our husbands to pray we could give them a bit of warning? I’d love to hear another man’s thoughts on this. Maybe during dinner something like, “I’d really like for us to pray together before bed tonight. Would you mind to lead us?”

  7. Oh the joy and freedom of not feeling guilty and afraid any more about not praying together! April, this is such a revelation! Thank you.

  8. I think I would love for a husband to read the bible with me and we have a deep discussion afterwards. (So I would have to work on not making this an issues if he didn’t want to read with me)

    I’m not a fan of long prayers lol I stop listening after a few lines and I start asking God to please make it stop.

    I love the little prayers I do all day long.

  9. Thanks April for searching the scripture and for the time you took to help us focus on God’s Truth, and desire Him more than anything! At first I was like “wow, it’s zero?” for “prefer to pray out loud”, but then I thought “Oh, that’s good actually” because it’s probably good for all to prefer our alone time with God. He is the One who satisfies our soul. Also reading your post reminded me of a times where I may have said a prayer with my husband with wrong motives… maybe I was hoping he would hear something and change. I need to continually ask God to make my motives pure. Also I like how you talked about idols. In the last couple of weeks, the Lord told me that a ministry that I follow was becoming an idol. So I repented and quit going the website for awhile. It’s interesting that anything can become an idol~ even a good thing. So I’ve been asking Him to remove my idols and it may be more than I had realized. Always transforming. Always growing. I’m thankful for your ministry that the Lord is using to help sanctify me. What a powerful prayer in your post. Amen to that!! 😀

    1. Amber,
      I’m so glad God is using these posts to bless you. And I am also glad that you are hearing God’s prompting about idols – that is so important! I pray God might continue to richly bless your walk and take you much deeper with Him!

  10. I guess what I struggle with is this:
    He asked me to pray for him out loud in the mornings many years ago, so I have done this. However, he didn’t do it for me… Yet he prays for his patients out loud. ( They are all thrilled to have a doctor who prays with them…) He prays at church and on mission trips out loud…. When I got suicidal, he finally started praying out loud, but now that I am better it has stopped again. When I am the only one praying out loud, it makes me feel almost like he is leaning on my spiritual support and I have to have it all together. It makes me feel so safe and protected when he prays for me.. Yes, I’ve mentioned that once or twice during all of those year.. I haven’t mentioned it since he stopped again.. I guess I could understand it if he wasn’t comfortable praying out loud with other people. But it makes me feel like he values his patients and other people over me… Maybe if I didn’t have to pray out loud then it wouldn’t feel so bad either.. I’m trying to lay this at the feet of the Lord.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Maybe your husband wants to pray with you – but maybe he has one of the reasons earlier in the post as to why he isn’t comfortable praying in front of you? I don’t know his heart. I would urge great caution in making assumptions about his motives – that he values other people more than you. We tend to not be able to judge hidden motives very well. I know that Greg felt intimidated by my praying many times. I know that there are a lot of reasons why people might not be comfortable praying out loud in front of someone. If your husband ever felt criticized by you – it could be that. It is MUCH easier for a lot of men to pray with strangers than with their wives. I don’t know your husband’s particular reasoning. But – I vote to not assume that you know why – but just to be thankful for the times he asked you to pray out loud with him. I am also excited that you are seeking to lay this down. I think it will be freeing and healing, my precious sister!

      Much love to you!

      1. I have NEVER EVER criticized him about anything EVER!!!! Also, I didn’t say that HE felt that way. i said that is the way it makes ME feel. I have absolutely no idea what his motivation is. I did work up the courage to ask him once and he said that he prays for me each day in his quiet time. I thanked him. But the truth is that it hurts me very deeply that all of his patients from church come up to me and tell me how it ministers to them for them to have a doctor who prays with them…. I just don’t understand the disconnect. It would make me feel ministered to as well. If he wasn’t comfortable praying then that would be one thing, but he is giving the best of himself to everyone else and collapsing at home with nothing left to give… Oh well, I just continue to support and pray….It has been that way for 25 years and I have another 30 years of it so I might as well get used to it.

        1. Elizabeth,

          I am glad you didn’t criticize him. How my heart breaks to hear that you were suicidal. 🙁 I am so thankful you are doing better.

          Have you ever asked him to pray for you out loud and told him how much it would mean to you?

          1. Yes, I did that is why he started praying. He didn’t want to lose me and I scared him pretty badly. But now that I seem to be strong again, he seems to think it isn’t needed. I just don’t want to be strong anymore.

          2. Elizabeth,

            My dear sister… My heart just aches for you.

            How I long for you to experience the peace, joy, and strength of Christ. It still seems to me that you are imprisoned somehow. I pray for these things for you. Jesus has already provided them, they are already yours in Christ. No one can take them from you!

            You don’t have to be strong. Jesus is strong. His power is made perfect in our weakness. Let Him fill you up and flood your soul. 🙂

            Even if you are not suicidal, and even if you are content in Christ, you can ask your husband to pray for you. You can tell him how much it means to you for him to pray for you. It is ok to ask for things, my beautiful sister. 🙂

            Much love to you!

          3. Elizabeth,
            How wonderful it is that your husband prays with patients! Could I just share some insight with you? A doctor or a nurse, nurse-practitioner, etc., has a very particular relationship with a patient, which is Healer-Receiver. This is a very well-defined relationship and should have strong boundaries. It would not be appropriate for a patient to become too familiar with a doctor, such as calling him Bob, instead of Dr. Smith. And vice-versa, a doctor should not be sharing personal topics, such as marriage troubles, with a patient. There needs to be distance between them so that the doctor can function somewhat objectively and not have his clinical decisions clouded by emotions.
            However, you and your husband have a very different relationship, more of equals, more of sinner-sinner, just struggling along as fellow travelers. Your husband comes home and collapses because home is a place where it is safe for him to show weakness, a place where he no longer has to be the guy with all the answers. In a sense, there is much more intimacy between you and your husband than he and his patients, because with you, he can be himself, a man with feet of clay, more vulnerable and exposed. Likely you also know all of his dirt. Perhaps that is why he may be able to pray with his patients and not with you. With the patients, he has a protected image. With you, he may feel more hypocritical, or something similar, when he prays.
            I think it is a beautiful thing for you to know that your husband regularly brings you and your needs to the Lord. I hope what I have explained helps you to appreciate why things are different between his patients and you, and why this is a good thing! Blessings.

          4. Marked Wife,

            Yes that is VERY helpful. I know that I should appreciate the fact that my husband shares EVERYTHING with me. So many wives long for that. But I miss the man that was happy, with a strong sense of purpose that made me laugh all of the time. His patients and people at church get that person. I get the defeated, discouraged and completely exhausted man. Neither of us are sleeping particularly well. Last night I woke up probably 20 times, but each time I prayed prayers of thankfulness for what he does and prayers that this long period of discouragement would end for him. He’s been battling burn out for nearly a decade and now this health problem on top of it. ( which is probably the result of stress) But thank you Marked Wife, now I can understand why it is easier to pray with others and doesn’t make me feel like I am somewhat defective.

          5. Elizabeth,
            I am praying for you both – I know the stress and pressure has been very intense in the past year or so. How I pray you will both get the rest you need!

          6. Marked Wife,

            I wrote a response, but it disappeared. Weird. Thank you. That is very helpful. It is just hard. Everyone else gets the confident, happy joking man and I am left with the discouraged and emotionally/physically spent man. I would like to see the happy man and not feel like I have to be strong for him all of the time. I know that most wives would be thrilled for their husbands to share their struggles, but after nearly a decade of burnout and various struggles and now his serious health issue, I’m tired. I wish I wasn’t the only one he relied on. I know that Jesus is there for me, but I cannot FEEL him. . He cannot put His arm around me and tell me everything will be ok and right now neither can my husband.

          7. Elizabeth,

            So sorry! There has been a glitch that sends real comments to my spam folder sometimes – ever since October of last year. It is rather unpredictable. But I fish out the comments every day. 🙂

  11. VERY interesting post. Denominations have been blasted for praying in silence or for using repetition that teaches a respectful approach towards God. Some would say those denominations weren’t spiritual, that is, emotional enough in their prayers. Thank you so much for demonstrating such diversity in prayer and our faith. Thank you for pointing out how theological differences can inhibit effectual prayer and that we must strive towards unity with pure hearts. What a wake up call! Additionally, in a weird way, this reminds me of another private topic- that of physical intimacy. I am inclined to reconsider the how often and in what way of sex with men who lead firmly but not expressively. Both sex and corporate prayer are important and good but the expectations around them need not be the barometer for authentic connection. For this girl, that is soooo freeing. I made a big leap there but I hope that makes sense.

    1. Refined,

      I appreciate you sharing your insights. I think that it can be very freeing to realize when we have expectations that are not rooted in Scripture in any area. If we can lay down those rigid expectations, we can then extend grace and understanding to our husbands and other believers, as well.

      I am so thankful God used this to bless you. It has been such a blessing to me already, too. 🙂

  12. This is purely an FYI post if you’re interested.

    Most protestants use Bibles that removed Canonical books during the reformation, but Catholics retained the Bible established by the Early Church. One of those books is Tobit, and one of the readings recently at Mass had an example of a husband & wife in prayer, but not a command to pray together. It’s purely coincidental that I discovered this, I’m not a Biblical scholar or anything!

    Tobit 8: 4-8

  13. I just have to say a huge THANK YOU for this! The question of praying together has been in the back of my mind for several months now. This blog (and part 1) helped me to realize that I’ve been clinging to an unrealistic expectation of what prayer should look like within my marriage. Your list of reasons why men may not pray with their wives was also eye-opening. I can already tell this will help me to extend grace to my husband and appreciate his differences rather than be frustrated. Thank you again!! 🙂

    1. Dena,

      You are most welcome. I am so thankful to God for these insights myself! Very freeing. Isn’t it Wewsome to be able to extend grace to our husbadns about this!?! 🙂

  14. I just finished reading this article. It spoke volumes to me! Almost all if not all of those comments and questions were everything I have been struggling with lately and I almost confronted my husband on it and ask why he hasn’t been wanting to pray with me and I think I read this at the right time! God’s timing is always perfect.

    About 6 months ago or maybe less I was crying out to God about my husbands spiritual role as being the “head of the house” and how he would stay up late on Saturday nights knowing we had church the next morning and how he would sleep in and either not go or say he needed to stay home and do homework only to find out that he slept the whole time anyway. I was crying out to God ” I don’t even know where my husband is spiritually. how messed up is that? me, his own wife I don’t even know” so I said to him one day that I wanted us to start praying together again like we did when we were first married (we were married Jan of 2012) and his response was “well I don’t want to pray together just to pray together, we need to be praying on own time and focusing on our own relationships with God” now when he first said all that I took it as another excuse of him just not wanting to.

    I decided a couple days later to just start setting aside time alone in the morning to praying for our marriage to grow closer and decided to reread my “Power of a Praying Wife” book each day (theres 30 chapters; one for each day) and devoting time to praying for him. I had even fasted a certain time a day for him for a week. I realized later on in the month that he was right. I had been slacking on reading the word because the business of life got to me things took up my time.

    had I read this blog before I probably wouldn’t have suggested it. However I am glad I read it tonight before I started another discussion that was gonna let me down. I still pray for him daily and in my quiet time/prayer closet. My prayer for him in this area is Restoration and Growth. He hasn’t been to his men’s weekly Bible study in a long time. I have recently suggested or asked if was going to go this week but he just says no and most likely ends up watching tv or playing a video game with friends. At church his leader or mentor will ask if hes going to come and he says yea I will try to this week but then wont. I was feeling upset because I don’t visually see him reading the bible but I believe his in the word daily. I’m trusting God that he is. I wish he would show alittle more effort in wanting to get closer to God. (that’s how im seeing it.)

    I was planning on suggesting that we see the upcoming movie called “War Room” the end of this month. Do you think that would be wise?

    again, thank you for this article. it definitely puts thing sin perspective for me and I have released all resentment and bitterness that I felt when he told me no.

    1. Liz D.,

      The enemy would love to use this issue to tear you and your husband apart. If we are not careful – we can allow our desire for good and even godly things to bring us to resentment and bitterness. Those things are toxic to our souls!

      I’m so glad that you are focusing on your own spiritual growth and are praying for him humbly and lovingly and respectfully. I pray God might draw each of you closer to Himself and that you will give Him room to change your husband in His timing.

      You could respectfully request that you would love to see that movie – casually, with a calm, pleasant tone of voice and facial expression. Enjoy it if you get to go. Be gracious if he decides he doesn’t want to.

      Much love to you!

      1. Peaceful wife,

        Thank you for responding back. It’s hard to have to wait but I know God knows us better than we know ourselves and knows the future. But I know things will get better and I just have to remain faithful in my prayers and quiet time.

    2. Liz D.,

      I got your comment about the details about your husband.

      I can understand your frustration with the beer drinking and the vape pen. I would’t like those things either. Not at all.

      But – here is the thing…

      If you come across like an angry mama – you will repel your husband. No one likes being told what to do. Men especially hate that. The more you demand that he not drink beer and not use the vape pen – the more he probably will do it just to show you that you can’t tell him what to do.

      He knows your feelings on these things. He knows that you respected his concerns with the sodas. You hammering him over and over is not going to draw him to you. It is going to make him feel like you are trying to control him.

      What about if you lay these things in God’s hands and we pray together for God to reach your husband? God is the one who convicts people. We cannot. We can’t change anyone. But God can.

      If the drinking is to the point that you suspect an addiction, then you may want to reach out to Celebrate Recovery for resources.

      The vape pen – is not smoking. I don’t think that is worth getting worked up about – especially if it is the stuff that is just scented water vapor.

      My greater concern is your husband’s spiritual state. I Peter 3:1-6 contains God’s instructions for wives with husbands who are disobedient to the Word. Drinking a beer or two is not a sin. Getting drunk is. Smoking a vape pipe is not a sin. Being addicted to something is.

      Check out this post about personal convictions.

      How is your spiritual walk going with Christ?

      What does God desire to do in your heart?

      How might He desire you to honor your husband? Not that you will honor the drinking or bad habits. But what good things are there in your husband that you can respect, build up, and encourage?

      Are you willing to lay down the issues of the beer and vape pipe – unless the beer drinking turns to alcoholism?

      Much love to you!!!

  15. Peaceful wife,
    Thank you for writing back. I read your post about personal convictions. I’ve been emotional and crying as I read your responses. I feel bad for the way I approached him and part of me feels like I’ve just blown it. I don’t know if I’m willing to just be ok with it. I feel like he’s been influenced by these guys to do it. It’s not something he would just decide to do. If none of them were doing it or maybe only one of them did. I don’t think he would have wanted to do it. Even the beer. (It’s not to a point where I need to reach out to a recovery resource; praise God, but I don’t even want it to get to that point.) he’s old me before that he knows his limit but that was also when he would only have 2 and that slowly became more. I can’t explain why it bothers me about the vape pen. Like I don’t know how to put it in words. And I asked myself this question , if I was single and I got invited to hang out with my brothers and his friends and a single guy (my husband) was there and I noticed him drinking and vaping, would I be attracted to that? I’d probly see him and think wow he’s very good looking but he does this and this, bummer. Am I horrible for saying that? That’s what makes it hard. I love my husband and am in love with him but I don’t like the things he’s picked up and tolerated. Am I willing to lay down the issues of the beer and vaping? I don’t know. 😖 I want to but idk of I can.
    What if I see him doing it again and I get angry or upset again?
    Should I apologize to him for how as what I said the other day? Will he take that as a yes go ahead I don’t care if u do it? Would I then get even more upset, because despite my true deep feelings on it he still chooses to?

    My husband is a good father. We have 1 child. He’s a sweet guy and always has been. He and I are a lot alike in the sense that if something bothers us we tend to hold it in. Him more so than me. He puts up walls sometimes. We’ve gotten better tho. He makes me laugh. He loves his family and loves mine. He likes to help people out and all around a nice person to everyone.

    My spiritual walk is going good. I have been a Christian all my life. I go to church every Sunday morning and evening. I am part of a ministry. Lately I have been making sure I set aside time to being in the word. I pray through out the day and in the spirit if I’m not are what to say. I recently when I had the quiet time away from everyone I will sit in my closet and intercede and pray mostly in the spirit cuz God knows what needs to happen.
    I know God desires for me to fully trust in Him, especially with regard to my husband. I will say to God in my quiet times “I lay this situation at your feet” but then I guess I tend to try to take control again. But if God can take away my anger and upset with those things my husband is doing I am willing to lay down these issues that I have with it for God, my husband and myself. It’s extremely hard to admit that and do but I love my husband and I don’t want to be the one to cause hurt or destruction to our marriage or cause him to drink himself drunk because of how I acted. Please pray for me. And thank you for your encouragement.

    1. Liz D.,

      I would not be at all attracted to those behaviors either. Believe me!!

      And you can share that those things are turn offs for you, respectfully. And not frequently.

      But you don’t have the right to dictate to him what his decisions will be. That is for him to decide.

      Search my home page for:

      – the idol of control
      – control and boundaries
      – but, I’m right!

      You are in the right place, my sister! There is healing in Christ available here! Focus on the things he does RIGHT, the things you really respect him for, his work ethic, his integrity with certain areas, his talents, his strengths, his abilities as a husband and father that make you proud. Your admiration and respect will do much more to motivate him to desire to please you than your condemnation or attempts to control him.

      You have the right to have your opinions against beer drinking and vapor pipes. Where you must be careful is – if he doesn’t do what you want, if he doesn’t “submit to your will” are you willing to sin against him and against God to try to make him do your will?

      And, if what he is doing is not actually sin, do you have the right to resent him if he doesn’t do what you want him to do?

      Even if what he did was sin, does that justify you sinning in response? Does God ever give us a free pass to sin, even if we are being sinned against? Or does God command us to live holy, obedient lives in the power of His Spirit whether we are sinned against or not?

      How did Jesus respond to sin against Him?

      Bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness are much more toxic to your soul and your marraige than a few beers or a vapor pipe.

      Please also search my home page for:

      Bitterness
      Forgiveness
      Righteous anger

      Much love!!!! Sending you the biggest hug! 🙂

      1. Peaceful wife, thank you again. I will look those other topics up. I wrote out a big apology to my husband. I’m the type of person that when I try to share my feelings I tend to get emotional and cry and then can’t be understood cause I get worked up. I let him read what I wrote and say there next to him while praying in the spirit. His response was a simple thank you and then I left him alone. I was so nervous but now that I have shared my sincere apology and asked for his forgiveness. I feel better. I’m still kind of emotional but I’m praying this begins our process of restoration and growth, in me, in him, in our marriage. Thank you for your kind words and support through this vulnerable and difficult time. God bless you

  16. On the subject of praying with my wife more;
    I have attempted to do so several times. I get kids to bed and wait. Usually she has retired to upstairs to sit on the bed covers and connect with friends on Facebook for prayer requests and claims her only connection to the outside world is through the several Christian Facebook sites. In some instances, we sat down and I wanted to divide the list so we could pray out loud and get our requests out for the Lord…30 minutes later, I was fatigued and sleepy. She was often doing teary eyed and emotional prayers, promising me later that God would come through. God has not. All our adult kids are either living immorally, on drugs or one is missing-constantly. The 3 smaller ones are better, but mostly special needs. So, prayer wears me out with her. Dinner prayer is even worse. At dinner, it is highly informal and the smaller kids attempt to do long prayers thanking God for the dogs and so on. In other words there is no uniformity, all is chaos.
    So, my wife and I rarely pray and she considers me as the greater sinner. (perhaps because I can be rougher and not as nice when household tasks need to be done) she assumes all the high ground on self righteous living and judgmental attitudes.
    Really, I don’t want to pray with her for two reasons at this time (I may change my belief later)
    One: she thinks I may possibly NOT be a Christian.
    Two: is sobbing during prayer and takes a long, long, long time to get done, but at times she is tired and has me do ALL the praying which, really, I could do alone and fatigues me.

    1. Jeff,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, I can see how a husband in that situation would be discouraged and not too excited about prayer. But how I pray that God might bring spiritual and financial deliverance and healing for you both, my dear brother!

  17. I suggested to my wife that we go for a week of intense marital counseling, (with a hefty price tag) her response was ,”I thought about it, prayed about it, and decided that you will be asked to pray regularly to strengthen our marriage, and since I know you won’t do that, I’m going to say no”. (This was for a Focus On the Family Marriage seminar with a 86percent success rate) I pointed out that she threw in the words “I prayed about it” and asked her how she knew for sure this was all true? Her controlling attitude takes over, she does not answer and manipulatively changes the subject.

    So why would I want to pray with someone who is controlling while I am passive?

    Having my personal relationship with God, questioned by my lack of open prayer, does not help our marriage.

    I look forward to sharing your article with my wife, counselor, and men’s group.

    1. Patrick,

      Many wives believe that praying together is a sign of a strong, godly marriage. I believed that for a long time. In my paradigm, I couldn’t imagine why my Christian husband could possibly not want to pray out loud with me. I often concluded he didn’t really love God and he didn’t really love me. The problem was that I didn’t see his perspective. He wasn’t able to articulate it. I wasn’t able to guess how he was thinking and feeling. My assumptions were wrong and only added to the problems.

      We have had a number of discussions about this topic in the 21 years of our marriage. And I have learned that, in my case, I need to let this dream go. Private prayer is the most important thing. Jesus greatly values private prayer. If my husband is concerned that his motives might shift in a sinful way if he prays out loud with me – that he may try to pray to impress me rather than praying to God – I can respect that. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray together. To me, there is nothing more intimate in the world than to pray passionately and fervently to God with other believers. But – I no longer try to pressure my husband into praying with me.

      I am trusting that this issue is between Greg and God and that they will handle it. I don’t look down on him spiritually anymore because of this issue. It is my prayer that other wives might be able to better understand their husbands and might extend grace – even though this is something that almost all believing wives deeply long for with their husbands. To many of us, it is as intimate or more intimate to pray with our husbands as it is to be physically intimate together.

      But I would like for us to seek to understand our husbands and their concerns and perspectives on this important issue and to respect where our husbands are and to trust this to God and our men.

      I appreciate your perspective. I pray for God’s healing for each of you individually and for your marriage, my brother.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

%d bloggers like this: