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“Why Does She Get a Better Husband Than I Have?”

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From a precious sister in Christ regarding the issue of our husbands praying with us. I’m so thankful for her willingness to allow me to share her thoughts:

Just had one of those random thoughts regarding this issue, may have come from breathing chicken feathers while cleaning the hen house, lol!

I was thinking about why it bothers me so much when I hear of other women who have men who seem to fit the ideal image; you know – seriously godly man who takes his walk with Jesus seriously, would rather be found dead than put anything ahead of his Lord, takes discpling and leading his family very seriously, wants to lead his wife and seeks God daily for His direction is in the word, when he’s wrong or has sinned, promptly confesses and does what he can to make it right, etc. You know, the kind of man who is upheld as the male version of the Prov. 31 wife.

I think it triggers twin fears:
1. Another sister has been more loved and favored than I. Why her and not me?
2. And of course, the fear that I have somehow wound up with a “dud” and seriously messed up my life.

Of course both those things are still all focused on me.

Don’t know if this amounts to spiritual sibling rivalry or not, hee hee:) But I think that’s it; no one wants to feel that somehow they’ve missed out and they have something that is of far lesser quality than what others have. It’s said that comparison is the basis of feelings of inferiority and there is some truth to that one. It’s not just when I hear of a sister whose husband takes praying with his wife seriously, but when I hear of other sisters who have husbands who bring them flowers or plan romantic surprises or who put an “equal” [in a woman’s eyes] amount of effort into having a “real” relationship.

Such things touch deeply on root issues in my life that are painful, and on response patterns that probably have something to with what sorts of things continually crop up. And of course there is always the whole thing of wanting our sense of value and worth to come from other people instead of Christ. I realize that in a sense, writing this  –  it certainly gives away that I have some areas where even at the age of 50, it’s like I am still a hurt and jealous, insecure child watching what everyone else has to make sure that I am not getting ripped off somehow. Hardly makes me the sort of woman you’d come to for discipling and wisdom on how to be a mature woman of God.

But scripturally, I realize that this is one of those issues that is a trust in God issue at core. And its one of those places that affords the evil one convenient handles to grab onto and mess with us. Its only in Him that such soul snarls can get worked out. I was thinking of the scripture where one of the disciples asked Jesus about another disciple’s future and Jesus responded by saying, ”What is that to you? Come you after me”.

When I looked this scripture up online, I came across John Piper’s article on the Desiring God site about the same subject, which delighted me and I think may prove a blessing to us all : http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-that-to-you-you-follow-me.

FROM APRIL:

Verses about coveting/jealousy

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Facing Our Deepest Fears

Experiencing God’s Victory over Our Fears

The Snare of Comparing

The Roots of Insecurity

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Christ Is the Only Real Source of Security!

Godly Femininity

46 thoughts on ““Why Does She Get a Better Husband Than I Have?”

  1. My husband has loved and desired me from day one. He has worked hard all his life and given me everything I ever wanted. He waits on me hand and foot from morning to night. He lives only to love and serve me…..however he doesn’t know God and walks in the flesh and is not the spiritual head of our home…..appreciate any comments

    1. Are you a believer, Angie? If so, you are called to let your light so shine that your husband will see your goodness and glorify our Father in heaven. When your husband praises you, give God the credit for your goodness. If he will, read scripture with him.

      If he is just a naturally loving & serving person overall, that’s great, but I’d be careful. It’s possible he’s made an idol out of you. If I were you, I’d be careful not to encourage him in that. As glorious as it may feel, idolatry is sin, and you don’t want to cause him to stumble.

      I’ll say a prayer for you today, sister!

    2. Angie,

      Your husband is already a godly husband in so many ways, by treating you tenderly, as he would his own body, and by providing and caring for you sacrificially, as Christ does the congregation. Without realizing the source, perhaps, he is already living like a Christian in many ways. I think respecting the timing of things would help you find real peace with this issue. My husband is a wonderful Christian man, but rarely prays with me and doesn’t read the Bible with me personally, yet we both discuss everything we do or want to do in the light of what God’s will for us might be, etc. We have both had very negative religious experiences in the past and are not steeped in the trappings of formal religion now, even though we worship with others at a local church and host a Bible study in our home. My point is this: to be a true Christian, a man does not have to pray with you, do devotions before bedtime, etc. It’s how your husband LIVES that means something to God, and that speaks volumes of his love for you. Waiting for him lovingly and patiently to find God in a formal sense makes perfect sense. In the meantime, don’t lose heart, for God reads your husband’s heart and knows him intimately, and you can rest in perfect peace knowing that. With love and best wishes, Elizabeth

    3. angiecliffordskitchinAngie,

      God can and will use your husband to lead you in many ways. I have seen unbelieving husbands confront their believing wives about sin and I have seen God use that to bring about repentance in the believing wife. God can turn the heart of a king or president to accomplish His will – even pagan kings – as you can see in the Old and New Testaments. He can use unbelieving husbands to accomplish His will and lead their wives who trust Him. Of course, if he tries to lead you into sin or something against God’s clear Word, you would have to refuse him in order to obey Christ.

      It sounds like he is a really great guy! Let’s pray together for God to bring him to Christ. You can be part of that as you obey I Peter 3:1-6 in the power of God’s Spirit living in you. 🙂 And as you pray for him and seek to bless him and love him with God’s love.

      The post Refined is talking about is here. I love her suggestions, as well. 🙂

      Much love to you!

  2. April has a post about how husbands lead spiritually in ways we may not notice. That one may be helpful to you. For a lot of guys though, if they didn’t grow up in church, the dynamics of ‘religion’ and all the human foibles that come with corporate worship is offputting. Some have seen too much religion and wolves in sheep’s clothing that keep them away from church. It sounds like you have a wonderful platform to shine Christ well and be used to support your husband’s leadership when he’s able to hear God’s call to step in. Perhaps you could share how he reflects Christ to you by how he treats you or let him know what a blessing he is to you…then respect your man’s timing. He’s not a failure because he doesn’t know God, he’s just lost…like we all were prior and sometimes still occasionally get stuck in the brushes. Honestly, I can’t help but think of how well he already serves God by loving you the way he does. It’s tempting to look at those church couples and wish for whatever icing we think might top our cake. I hear you.

    1. I’ve said it before, but perhaps it is worth repeating. Sometimes the problem is finding the RIGHT religion. A man, and in particular a good man, one with a strong sense of morality and justice will often have a hard time with a formal religion if they see things within the religion that are immoral, unjust, or not in line with biblical teaching.

      When we first married, my wife was a staunchly entrenched in her denomination (not saying which one, because I don’t want to offend) and tried getting me to attend. The services were highly ritualized, and nowhere during the service did anyone open a bible; the doctrines they were teaching did not match the bible; every service felt like all they wanted was your money; and the members were very hypocritical. I couldn’t stomach it, so I didn’t keep going.

      10 years later, we found a church who’s teachings are absolutely in line with, and supported by, the bible; whose members are not hypocritical; who advocate personal study and deep love for Jehovah God and his son Christ Jesus. Since then, she has been baptized I am studying to reach the point of baptism as our our children, we study and pray together as a family, and in general we are able to live for God and love him fully without reservation.

      My point is this, there are a lot of churches, but only one truth, and that truth belongs to God. Men with strong moral fiber can not follow something they know to be untrue, and that is an admirable trait. if your husband is not willing to go to church with you or pray/study/be the spiritual head, chance are it is because he does not believe whatever your church is teaching, either that, or he just feels that everything else is more important, which is a real issue for a man that wants to please his wife(particularly if the wife is very demanding materially).

    1. Funny how relevant that commandment is considering how society has turned into one of “keeping up with the Jonses”…..God’s wisdom is never out of date.

  3. Hi April,
    Great thoughts, as a side note, I’ve been reading a book about Suzannah Wesleys life by Ray Comfort and Trish Ramos. Suzannah’s husband, Samuel Wesley wrote that he blessed to have her as his wife as she was , despite him dealing very harshly with her, was always sweet and QUICK to serve him. He had such a fiery temper that he abandoned her for a year because she refused to say amen to his payer for the King of England. Suzannah did not believe he should be king. But out of all her letters, you rarely hear a complaint from her, only praise, advice and encouragement. What a beautiful example she was of submission. If anyone had anything to complain about, she did. Praying that we wives can keep our eyes on Christ, not compare husbands and find the hero in our men!
    Much love,
    Megan

      1. She was the youngest of 26 children. She married Samuel, 6 years her senior and together they had 19 children, 10 of whom survived into adulthood. Samuel was bad with money and as a result they were very poor. Samuel was jailed 8 times during his life for unpaid debts, yet Suzannah kept the farm running. Samuel had a very hot temper. And as I mentioned abandoned his wife and children for a year. 9 of their children died in infancy, one because a nanny rolled onto the child while she slept. After Samuel died, Suzannah herself was jailed in her husbands place for his debts. Her son John had to scrape the merger amount together to pay the debt and get her out of jail. She was too poor to live on her own, instead she stayed with some of her children, finishing with John just before her death. I don’t know if he changed. But she certainly made an impact hundreds of years after her death. Samuel isn’t heard of much. John and Charles are responsible for writing many of our hymns. They had a LOT of respect for their mother. I just love her story! Worth looking into if you have the time. 😀

        1. Megan,

          I wondered if she was related to John and Charles Wesley. WOW!!!! What an incredible story. What a difficult, tragic life – and yet – what a powerful impact God allowed this wife/mom to make on the world through her faithfulness to Himself. God used her sons to bring revival to England. So amazing!

          THANK YOU!

  4. I think it would help to remember what we already know, that what appears to be so good in another woman’s husband may not be true at all. I read of Bill Cosby’s confessions to womanizing and worse over a period of decades and felt so heartbroken for his wife and children, and for all who looked up to him as a shining example of a good husband and father. He even admonished other men publicly to step up and be responsible family men. What a sham he turned out to be! This makes me more determined than ever to appreciate my husband’s faithfulness, hard work, and love in action.

    1. “Expectations are pre-meditated dissappointment.” People set Cosby up on a pedastal that he never should have been on, and in the end, they were dissappointed. Because of that dissappointment, in their eyes one character flaw negates all the good that he actually did. (AndI am fairly certain that is womanizing came AFTER his children were grown and out of the house.) Why would we expect him to not be human with human flaws?

    2. Elizabeth,

      I think it can be easy to take our husbands’ faithfulness, hard work, and love for granted – until we don’t have those things anymore. May we all show appreciation for our husbands when they are loyal, faithful, loving, and hard-working to bless us and to please God.

      I pray for healing and for God to somehow make something beautiful from this awful mess in the Cosby family.

  5. It can be challenging not comparing ourselves to others. There is that old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the septic system.” Often what we see on the surface is not whole story.

    My husband used to try to compare me to other people’s wives, and in his defense he really was just trying to communicate what he wanted, but still it annoyed me. About ten years into our marriage he realized that every one of his friends was now divorced. All those men who he had originally thought had better marriages than us, had more cooperative wives, turned out not to have what they appeared to have on the surface.

  6. Dear April,

    I am always encouraged by this word: “be content in Christ alone”. It’s very encouraging and so true because only our Lord knows the depth of my heart and what I truly need. Many times I just wished I would stop looking with my own eyes and only see with the Holy Spirit. It would be so much easier. Am I complaining right now? No, I don’t want to…sorry

    I decided yesterday trying not to wait for my husband to go back to the Lord for healing. If you remember (the man with the spirit of evangelism, who suffers now schizophrenia).

    The situation just looks like he won’t stand up again… He refuses to get spiritual help, while I believe and he himself knows that only the power of God can heal him.
    He can’t do anything and just sits at home enjoying DVDs or sleeping. It is so frustrating because I know that my beautiful and capable man is still in this vessel…

    I want to live for the Gospel and God´s will. If my Hubby won’t, it is between him and the Lord. I can’t carry it anymore, I’m exhausted…

    Your little sister Estelle

    1. Estelle,

      My precious sister!!

      No, you can’t carry the weight of your husband. I am so sorry things are so very hard right now! I pray with you that God might reach him. I pray for His wisdom for you. How is your time with God going? What do you believe God desires you to do at this point?

      Do you have any prayer partners?

      Much love to you and the biggest hug!

      1. April,

        Thank you so much for your prayers, your love touches my heart… I also want to keep praying for my hero (without complaining!)

        Yesterday I went to Bible Study at my university and we heard about Philippians 4 from verse 10! It was amazing, as if our Lord wanted to engrave this message in my heart and the most wonderful was that I heard His voice again in my spirit encouraging me that my walk with Christ has nothing to do with my husband’s walk. I can also serve the Lord (pray, evangelize, be a light, bringing others to Christ, learn true obedience to God etc…)

        I understood that God wants us just to decide to live for Him and His will. When we make this decision then we become so free and peaceful and happy 🙂

        No, I don’t have prayer partners and mostly pray alone, but I know that the elders in Church also are praying for us even if they don’t do it in my presence,..

        I will start the respect Dare…

        Your little sis Estelle

        1. Estelle,

          There is SO MUCH MEAT in Philippians 4! If we could just absorb every drop of truth from that one chapter of Scripture – can you imagine the difference there would be in our lives and in our churches!?!? 🙂

          I am so thankful for you to see that your walk with Christ is your own. Your husband can’t hold you back. You are in God’s sovereign hands no matter what is going on with your husband!

          Much love to you!!!!! 🙂 I love your heart for Christ and for your husband!

  7. Thanks for the post, April. It’s helpful when you return to these topics from time to time, to give vital information for those new to your site and to give reinforcements to others who follow regularly. This is an issue that I often had trouble with. If I could recommend: The first comment could be very much a trigger for many women, perhaps a trigger alert could be added to the end of your post? On the other hand, it could be a great opportunity to practice what has just been learned!
    The next part is very long and I apologize but I think it has some important insights on the topic. As far as comparing, I would reiterate again: You really don’t know what goes on in other people’s houses. Some families are very committed to “image management.” So… a story to tell about that…There was a man in our church, he was an elder, and he was the perfect husband that we all wanted. He was attentive to his wife’s every need, even writing her parents a thank you note every year on her birthday. He constantly complimented her in front of others, he always considered her “perfect, a gem, a jewel.” He always held her hand. He bragged that they had never spent a night alone from each other in 30 years. Neither one attended women’s retreats or men’s weekends – they had no need for anyone other than each other. They were 100% complete with each other. They prayed together every morning. He wrote an article for the church newsletter Praying with my two best friends; S. and Jesus”. One year at New Year’s, he gave his wife a notepad and asked her to make a list of ways that he could improve as a husband.
    We were ALL horribly jealous! Our poor husbands! Who could compare to that!
    Then shockingly, it turned out he was having an affair with one of his best friend’s wife, another couple in our church. The woman was in an unhappy marriage and he had lots of good intel because the husband considered this man one of his dearest friends. He pursued this woman, showered her with attention, escalated his shows of affection, and had a torrid affair. He simply could not give her up. Then a lot of things came out. The man was a functional alcoholic. The wife had an affair earlier in their marriage. They were not the perfect couple after all!
    I learned a lot of good lessons from that event. One interesting lesson was that he said/wrote the same exact things to his affair partner as he did to his wife – “you are perfect, a gem, a jewel.” I found that very interesting. His wife positively glowed because of his words, yet he used the same exact words on the next woman? The woman he had an affair with positively glowed when he said those words as well. Who wouldn’t?
    To add to the original post: Another sister has been more loved and favored than I. Why her and not me?– I think another fear is because SHE earned it. SHE is more desirable, SHE is more beautiful, SHE is more gracious and kind, SHE WON the prize because of who SHE is… what I came to learn from the story above is — it really had nothing to do with his wife (her beauty, etc.) that he said those words — that was just the way he was with a woman. With any woman. That was HIS style. He was the kind of guy who was very attentive, very quick with words of flattery, a guy who noticed details, and that was his style. How wonderful to bask in that kind of attention, but those men are always at risk of being caught up in the dynamic with someone else. I am quite sure he was the same way with the girlfriends before his wife that he was with his wife! And he was with the same way with his girlfriends after his wife, that he was with his wife! She didn’t EARN it all. It is simply HIS style, not her beauty, her grace, her loveliness.
    Therefore, if MY husband does not tell me what a gem and jewel I am… It does not mean that I lack wonderful qualities or that he does not see them in me. It means my husband’s style is different. He is a man of few words. He is a man’s man. And he would be like that with any woman. He would be like that with any girlfriends before me, he would be like that with any woman he married, and he would be like that with his next wife. It not that he finds me unlovely that he does not say I am lovely. He could be married to a supermodel and he would not say she’s lovely because it is his style, and not the woman. I am not lacking. I simply have a husband with a different style.
    So many times, I would look at that couple and be jealous – why does SHE get to hear all the compliments that so feeds a woman’s heart? Now I don’t say that anymore. Now one could say, why does SHE get to have a man who was unable to be faithful, that took his words of flattery from her and used them on another vulnerable person and crushed both women’s lives. Both his wife and his affair partner believed his words. Both thought she EARNED them. But it was simply the way he was with a girl.
    Angie’s words were a trigger to me (no offense Angie!): “My husband has loved and desired me from day one. He has worked hard all his life and given me everything I ever wanted. He waits on me hand and foot from morning to night. He lives only to love and serve me.”
    BUT–I can let it go, because the lesson above taught me that this is the gentleman’s style. My husband has his own style which is how God has made him. I can look to see what all the other husbands are doing right and be so busy looking elsewhere that I miss what is in my own home. I could miss my husband’s quiet faithfulness. His frank masculinity might keep him from complimenting my hair, but it also keeps him from being a player.
    So these are just some thoughts on comparing. Again, no offense, Angie, but your comment brought up a teachable moment for some of us who are in different circumstances.

  8. It strikes me that one of the characteristics of comparison is a lack of humility–as if any of us deserve anything good. It’s so easy to forget that.

    With a God who is completely deserving of all things good, and with the knowledge of His sovereignty over the details of our lives, we should be filled with thanksgiving, not with sadness that someone else has good things that we don’t have.

    This does not diminish any pain we might receive from less than perfect husbands, but our consolation isn’t that others have it worse than what we see. (I say this as a reminder to myself.) We have a high calling to live righteously no matter what, and that is our joy in life. Difficult circumstances, even within marriage, can be tools to show the power of God as we walk obediently. There is just as much power at our disposal to honor Christ and to live for Him when our marriages are less than ideal, as they would be if we married that “perfect” man seen in fairy tales. In fact, difficult husbands could even be thought of as a high calling in our lives. What a blessing we can be to other hurting sisters when we display God’s graces in our attitudes while having challenging husbands.

    To Megan, thank you for reminding me about the life of Suzannah Wesley. How inspiring is her example!

    1. J,
      LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!!! Thank you for reminding us that we don’t deserve anything good – but that everything God gives us is good and that we can be thankful even in the trials (James 1, Hebrews 12, Job 1, I Peter). Thank you for reminding us to seek to live righteously no matter what and that Christ is our joy!

      So beautiful! I wonder if I might share this on my FB, please? Thank you very much for this! 🙂

  9. Just a thought about the humility angle. The happiest i have ever been was when I realized that I wasn’t worthy or entitled to anything and got a grasp of my actual place in the universe. How precious that wonderful taste of humility and reality at Jesus’ feet was. Every day was a gift to me. When you don’t feel as though you are entitled or owed a thing, then every little grace of life is a gift and that terrible discontent and inner empty striving is gone. It’s something I need to get in touch with again, and am seeking God for . Even the ability to repent or think a right thought about God is not from ourselves but of Him.

  10. If I may, I’d like to share an encouragement that was brought to mind as I read this post:

    Psalm 84:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

    11
    For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor.
    No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.

    Did you catch that, ladies? No good thing does he withhold…(we’ll touch on the rest of that sentence in a moment.)

    Wait a minute. I have the testimony that I have, the current life he’s blessed me with (including my particular husband) and He has withheld NOTHING good from me.

    Is He faithful? Is His word true? Is He who He says He is and does He do what He says he does?

    Then, where is my confidence (Proverbs 3:26)? In what my eyes see? In what I think would be good for me?

    There is a condition – we do have a part to play, so to speak, in this. The rest of the verse reads, ” from those who walk uprightly.” No the Lord doesn’t expect perfection, He remembers we’re made of dust. But, oh the freedom brought when we, as those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, do the (sometimes hard) work of turning away from sin.

    Then, woohoo! I am forgiven! I am redeemed! I am my Beloved’s and He is Mine!

    And, as if that weren’t enough… He will withhold No good thing from… me!

    This was originally shared with me by a dear sister in the Lord who had unexpectedly became a widow after a 30+ marriage and within 6 months lost her ministry (it was tied to her marriage – her husband was a pastor, the new pastor and wife now tend the ministry).

    She didn’t ask for it. She didn’t want it. She certainly wouldn’t have planned it. But,(over time and with many many tears and prayers and grace bestowed upon her from the Lord) she accepted it. She received the promise and walks in it.

    No good thing will He withhold.

    Dear sisters, when we seek Him first, He takes care of the rest.

    Woohoo! 🙂

    1. Amber,

      How I love this! YES!!! God’s Word is true! And YES! We can trust Him and He is faithful!!!! What incredible promises He gives us to cling to even in the painful times. He is good. He withholds no good thing from us.

      Amen!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Keep me humbly submissive Lord and help all of us to see the good things You provide daily thru our spouses.Help us to be faithful and cheerfully give of ourselves to the work You have given to us wives.
    To see that it is a privilege to be married and cared for by another.To never take it for granted that we have someone with whom we can share our lives.Help us to care for our marriages and never give room for bitterness or sin.But to be rooted and grounded in the love of Jesus Christ!In Jesus name Amen!

  12. I think it is so great to bring it up cause I asked the Lord many times “why you didn’t stop me to marry my husband , I wanted to do your will, why you let me marry him and marry him 3 times in 3 different places and 2 different countries (we are a multicultural couple)! I do think I was supposed to marry him but he has a lot of things to deal with and his emotional suitcase is full of things to deal from his parents relationships and past. I do have some but the Lord has already worked a lot on me during these last 3 years of marriage. The worst is that I was regretting sometimes not to have married my Canadian boy friend that drop me off or worse, starting to look at one of my single friend husband that have all the things I prayed for: he is sweet, gentle, nice, considerate…. All the contrary of my husband. But as someone wrote ” What if God put us in a family to make us holy and not happy!” I do suffer a lot right now in my marriage but as this sister said, I have to carry my own cross without looking around and compare myself. Hopefully my hubby will change but if not, I want to hear from the Lord at the end of the road “Well done my sweet daughter. You suffered a lot in your marriage but now here your reward, come and share my joy”

    1. sonadewonderful,

      I am praying for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister. Things have been VERY difficult these past 3 years for you both. I wrote to you on another post that I believe it is way past time to seek godly counseling and to prayerfully consider if separation may be necessary if you are not safe. I am concerned for your safety in your particular situation.

      Sending you the biggest hug! My heart aches for you!

  13. I’m 38 and God told me I would get a husband but, I struggle with watching other young women get an attractive godly husband. They got their beautiful wedding at an early age and I won’t I have zero family no one. Why has God kept me alone so long? I feel like I’m just a pile of s*** to him like my desires don’t matter to him. What girl wants to get married at around 40? I don’t! My dream was to get married at a young age early thirties. I just feel like God cares more about his other daughters then he does me.

    1. Liz,

      It’s wonderful to meet you! I think there are many women in your situation who have similar questions. And, actually, there are many married women with similar questions, too. If it is okay with you, I’d love to ask you some questions to get to understand where you are a bit better. I would love to point you to the hope there is in Christ for you, my precious sister!

      Would you please share a bit more about your walk with Christ?

      What do you believe you need to do to be right with God?

      What are your greatest fears?

      What do you need to be happy in life?

      What do you believe about God’s character?

      Do you believe you may be bitter against God?

      Much love to you!

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.

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