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“I Wish My Husband Would Quit Smoking Cigarettes!” a Guest Post

I appreciate a wife’s willingness to share her story of answered prayer with us. I pray it may be a blessing to those who are facing similar situations with a husband who may have an unhealthy habit. 

(NOTE – if you are dealing with a husband who has a mind-altering addiction to illegal drugs, prescription narcotics, or alcoholism  – those more serious issues may require a different approach at times, and possibly wise outside counsel as God leads. Of course, prayer should be our first method of approach with any destructive issue, even the really serious ones. May the Lord provide the resources each wife needs and the wisdom and discernment each one needs in her specific situation.)

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My husband continued to smoke for five years after he was saved.

It was a huge struggle for me! I had built up much resentment in my heart towards my husband over it. I complained and nagged and fought with him constantly. I offered little compassion.

One day after service at church, I was complaining to another wife about the situation. I was shocked with her response! She very bluntly rebuked me and told me that it was most likely because of me that my husband was not able to lay it down. She asked me how it would work for me if that was how someone handled me with an addiction like that. She told me that I needed to stop criticizing him and keep quiet. She told me that what I needed to do was to quietly pray for him and allow God to work on his heart.

I did not expect this reaction but it was effective! I was super convicted! So, I repented to God but decided to not say anything to my husband yet about what was said to me. I started praying diligently.

Would you believe that only THREE days later, my husband came home from work and told me that he was going to stop smoking! He said he was driving down the street watching people standing outside their places of employment smoking their cigarettes but literally freezing in the bitter cold! (This happened during the time that businesses started banning smoking inside their buildings so people had to go outside to smoke.)

He told me with a very serious face that he was repulsed at how ridiculous those people looked and he thought to himself,

“That is me; I look like an idiot like all those people standing outside shivering just so I can have my cigarette. I don’t want to look like that, too!”

He told me how convicted he was and that he made the decision that no matter how hard it was, he was going to stop! I could not believe it! It was such a lesson to me!

I was amazed at how fast the Lord was able to work as soon as I decided to get out of the way and let God be God! My discouragement really was causing my husband to stay bound.

When he stopped hearing my voice, he was able to hear God’s.

It was a real struggle when he stopped, but he never picked it back up again – and that was many years ago… over 25. He was literally sick on the couch while he dealt with the withdrawals, but he refused to give in. I took care of him and was able to offer him the support and encouragement he really needed and he was victorious. 🙂

It definitely was a very fast turn around and I wouldn’t want to end up actually bringing discouragement to anyone if the Lord chooses to not work as quickly on their behalf.  He works the way He works and that is all up to Him! Sometimes God works quickly and sometimes He delays. He knows best. If He acts fast, praise him. If He takes some time, then praise Him for that too because his timing us ALWAYS perfect.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE

We tend to think that our words are so powerful to motivate our men. But they often are not! Men don’t tend to be motivated by words. Especially negative words that sound like preaching, lecturing, or nagging. (Honestly, none of us are usually very motivated by that approach.)

If we are willing to take care of any sin in our own lives and come to the Lord in great faith, I think we would be amazed at the answers to prayer we may see as we humbly seek Him and ask Him to intervene. I also believe He can provide the resources wives need even in the most difficult of situations. He can change our hearts. He can change our husbands’ hearts. He can change circumstances.

May we be the helpmeets and prayer warriors God calls us to be and that our husbands need us to be. May we stop trying to make them do things in the power of our flesh. That won’t work. In fact, when we act in our flesh, we only make things worse. May we seek to use our godly influence, and more importantly, the power of prayer. God can reach our husbands in amazing ways that we simply cannot.

I pray for His clear wisdom and direction for each wife in each specific and unique situation. Every story won’t look the same. Every story certainly won’t only take 3 days – although, that was so amazing and encouraging! May we seek God wholeheartedly ourselves and may we seek His clear guidance to find deliverance and help in our times of need.

Also, it seems that the Lord was behind the author’s friend at church rebuking her. But that same rebuke may not apply to every wife in a similar situation. Each wife’s heart is different. If we have a friend come to us, let’s be certain and very prayerful that we are hearing God’s voice. Let’s only say what He clearly leads us to say. It may not be the exact same thing in every situation.

SHARE:

If you have a story about how God showed you how to stop trying to accomplish something in the flesh and the victory He brought to you or your family, we would love to hear about it!

ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT COLUMBIA, SC CONFERENCE MARCH 24th-25th:

Greg is planning to speak for about 30 minutes during the conference. He will share a bit of his side of our story and he plans to take questions. This has been a favorite part of the conference for many of the ladies at our past conferences. Don’t miss it! And bring your questions to share! 🙂

Tickets are $15-$25

RELATED:

When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God!

Portia’s Story – Winning Him without a Word

Why Do I Have to Change First?

I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This! – by a wife who can’t stop trying to control her husband

My Secret Idol – her husband’s salvation

I Felt My Husband Was Neglecting Me

Why Is the TV More Important to My Husband than I Am?

I Can’t Force My Personal Convictions on My Husband 

10 thoughts on ““I Wish My Husband Would Quit Smoking Cigarettes!” a Guest Post

  1. I am always grateful to be reminded to pray instead of trying to control, thank you. I try not to go on at my husband about my beliefs. However, occasionally my husband puts a question to me about faith and then off I go, using the moment to talk and talk instead of giving a simple answer to his question. God give me strength to stop doing this. Thank you for this article. God bless!

    1. Michelle,

      Ooh! You made a really important point here! Yes, when your husband does ask questions about faith, I think you are right about that a simple answer would probably be best for an unbelieving husband in most cases.

      So glad that this was a blessing. 🙂

      Much love!

  2. Praising God for His power in your husbands life to quit smoking. This popped up in my email literally hours after having a very hurtful episode with my husband caused by this addiction. We had just spent a wonderful vacation in Puerto Vallarta and were on the last leg of our flights home. He had not been able to smoke for hours and we had not had dinner and were tired from travel all day. I casually commented that our flight was overbooked and they were offering $300 to take a bump. He snapped at me and said he was going home and it was time. The comment was said in anger and frustration and because of the addiction to cigarettes. (He admitted this to me later.) I was very hurt and upset. I have been praying for him to give up this habit for years!!!! He quit once and said he’d never go through that again. But on a hunting trip he had just one and now it’s a pack a day habit again. I have changed my prayers to give God complete control and know that He can. I wait in faith for His work.

    1. Kathy,

      Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you both. I know this is not an easy thing at all for a wife to deal with. But I am very encouraged to hear how you are seeking God and wanting to yield control to Him.

      Much love!

  3. This is such an inspiring post and I know I need to maybe stop trying to control my husband and let him stop by himself, but sometimes I find it hard. i try to tell him I love his natural smell, to maybe encourage him and inspire him.

    I have a question Peacefulwife, I read your posts on how men process emotions in 4 parts, and I know my husband definitely stonewalls or goes quiet when I have sometimes even in the most respectful way told him I was feeling or my need for emotional intimacy, and I know when i kind of talk to him in that moment to make him feel better, he does it more and then also tells me he doesn’t want to say anything because it might be wrong or hurt me more.
    But, in that moment i do feel more unloved, hurt, and abused. I am trying to stop, as in leave him alone, let him process emotions himself and just sleep, but I hate allowing himself to go to sleep like that, with tension and hurt built inside him. In the past, I have managed to talk to him, and tried explaining myself or apologized and tried to make him smile and it’s worked, other times it hasn’t, he just gets too stubborn and won’t budge or move for a hug or for me to talk, and then those moments the tension lingers the next day?
    What do i do?

    Thanks

    1. jtz,

      This would be hard. I personally am quite allergic to cigarette smoke. I know it would be very challenging on my end if my husband started smoking. As a pharmacist, I also am well aware of just how addictive nicotine is and that it is one of the most difficult addictions to break.

      I love that you seek to encourage and inspire your husband instead of nagging or lecturing him.

      My husband takes time to process things, especially negative emotions. I think you will find that as God continues to change you and as you learn to get rid of any unintentional or intentional disrespect and as you learn to approach him respectfully, there will be less hurt feelings and it will get easier and easier to overcome the times when feelings do get hurt.

      I would probably not want to use the word “abuse” for this issue, because, even though it feels unloving to us as wives, “abuse” is a really harsh word. I’d rather reserve that for much more serious things.

      It is easier for me to think of it as giving him some time and space to process things is a gift to him. I may apologize if I need to. But then, if he needs some time to process things because that is how he is wired, okay. I can give him that time.

      The absolute best thing is to take everything to God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom about exactly what to do and say and when to approach your husband or when to give space. Repent to the Lord and to your husband if you need to. Pray for God’s healing for your husband. Wait on God and His timing and prompting. And be content in your marriage knowing your husband loves you and that y’all will work it out the next day. Even better, rest in God’s love and sovereignty and thank Him and trust Him for working in the situation for His glory.

      You can certainly try to work through things to resolve them if you believe it is productive and God is leading you to do that. But if he resists, respect that he is resisting and needs time to think and deal with his emotions. And give him space respectfully. Not in a cold shoulder way, but as a blessing to him.

      Does that help?

      Much love to you!

  4. My H has smoked for 35 years. I’ve had to stop saying anything and just let it go. I have to accept the possibility he may never quit. I may have to provide nursing care years earlier than if he were otherwise healthy. He may die and leave me a widow for decades longer than otherwise if he were healthy. My only job is to trust that if that happens the Lord will give me the graces necessary to carry the burden.

    1. Lisa,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is HARD to watch our husbands do something we know is unhealthy. And we know we may have to pay a heavy price, too. But I love the you are seeking to trust the Lord to give you the grace you will need whatever may come.

      Much love!

  5. That`s one I find frustrating. I`ve been addicted myself although I quit when I was at a pack a day . So its not that I have no understanding of what addiction is like or what the cravings feel like. But it really bugs me that my husband feels entitled to smoke a pack a day whether we can afford it or not and will spend our last tiny bit of cash to make sure he doesn`t go without his cigs. He fully expects me to help support his habit, which I resent because when we were dating I got a big spiel about how seriously he wanted to pursue God and change his lifestyle and how he wanted to quit etc. I am thankful that he has kept his word that he doesn`t smoke in the house. There is no way I could live with him if he did that.I wouldn`t be willing to be continually covered in smoke and breathing it in when I quit for a reason; I was hacking up black foul tasting gooey tar. Smoke from the unfiltered end of a cigarette has some pretty toxic chemicals in it. He does smoke in the car and denies that its affecting me because as he puts it, he has rolled down the window and “it goes out the window“. So apparently I am not able to tell if I am breathing smoke or if my hair smells like smoke. At this point its a sore spot and an aggravation. Yet at the same time, I realize that no matter how “right“ I am in my perspective, my disgust and judgement over the whole thing is not producing change in him or helping me.

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. :)

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