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The Blessing of Having a Husband Who Won't Pray with His Wife

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WHAT??!!!   Did you read that right?  Surely, I’ve GOT to be kidding!
Let me start by saying:
I believe that husbands SHOULD pray with their wives.  I believe it is their God-given responsibility to do so  – if they are believers in Christ.  I believe husbands will be accountable to God for their spiritual leadership – which I believe includes praying with their wives and children and teaching their families the Word of God as well as living out a godly example every day.
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But what is a wife to do if this is not happening?
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Hang with me, ladies.  This gets really good.
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REALITY IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM OUR EXPECTATIONS MANY TIMES
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I used to be REALLY upset about the fact that we didn’t pray together.  I longed for my husband to pray with me and resented every day that passed that he didn’t do it.  I wanted us to be close to each other and close to God.  What could be more beautiful, godly, intimate, holy, intoxicating and powerful than praying together as a couple?
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Unfortunately, MOST Christian husbands and wives don’t pray together.  I wish we all did. I think we all should.  But reality is that a lot of husbands can’t or won’t pray with their wives for a variety of reasons.
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Sometimes our husbands don’t pray with us because we intimidate them, criticize them, condemn them, judge their spirituality, act holier-than-thou, take over control of the marriage, disrespect them, rebel against their God-given leadership or react negatively when our men DO try to lead spiritually in some way.(For more about this – check out this post )
I CAN CONTROL ME.  I CAN’T CONTROL HIM.  I’M FINE WITH THAT NOW!
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I can ask my husband for what I want.  And I do – now – but sparingly, respectfully and with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.  I ask him to pray about specific needs with me a few times a month – and he is always willing now if I ask him. (Each marriage and stage in marriage will be different – so pray and seek God’s wisdom about if you ought to approach your husband at all, or how often)
When I first started learning respect and submission, I had to follow I Peter 3:1-2 and be silent about spiritual things, including prayer – after so many years of trying to MAKE my husband do what I wanted him to do.  He needed time to hear God’s voice for himself. I fully understand now that I can’t MAKE him do what I want him to do.  And that is actually a very good thing.  God gave us all a free will.  Part of being a strong leader is a man makes his own choices and decisions.
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He is not always going to do things my way.  Now, I know that is a huge blessing!.  His ways are often much better than my ways – it turns out!
He may not always do things God’s way – that is part of having a human, sinner as a leader.
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But I can still put all my hope, faith and trust in my Lord that He in His amazing sovereignty will work things out for my best and for His glory because I love Him and am called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28-29).  And I can respond in obedience to God’s Word for me regardless of my husband’s behavior.  Even if my husband sins or makes mistakes, my Lord is big enough, powerful enough and “sovereign enough” to turn those evil things into something good because I trust Him.
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AVOIDING BITTERNESS ABOUT A “PRAYERLESS” MARRIAGE
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  • Now, I have laid down my expectations.   I don’t expect my husband to pray with me.  I don’t demand that he pray with me.  I am thankful for what he gives to me in our relationship – and I graciously (by the power of God in me) accept when he does not do things I would like.
  • My goal is to be receptive to God’s Spirit, my husband’s leadership, to be a safe place for him to know that he won’t be criticized or judged and to make sure I am abiding in Christ and praying for my husband fervently and passionately myself.
  • It takes MANY years for a man to become a godly leader.  I must be patient for God to work in my husband and focus on what God wants to do in ME!
  • I also keep in mind that scripture never says, “Husbands must initiate prayer with their wives.”  I also can’t find a verse that commands husbands to pray with their wives.  I think it is clearly implied!  But I have to be very careful about my expectations and what I label as sin or about coming across as being spiritually superior, self-righteous or condemning and critical.  Nothing will turn off a husband faster to spiritual things than  catching a whiff of those prideful, self-righteous attributes.
  • I have prayer sisters!  I get to pray with my Christian prayer partners and watch God at work together.  It is AMAZING!  I would strongly recommend that wives pray about finding a godly mentor wife and prayer partner.
  • I am free to grow in Christ – I do not have to “wait for my husband.”  I am to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling and trust God to work in my husband.  The closer I am to Christ, the MORE respectful, kind, gracious and merciful I will be to my husband – and that will influence him to  draw nearer to God, too.
  • I now know that I can have total access to God’s will when I am trusting in my God.  My husband cannot thwart God’s plans for me.  My husband cannot take me out of the sovereignty of God.  God is powerful and sovereign and will accomplish His purposes in my life whether my husband prays with me or not.  My faith is in my Lord alone!
  • I also know that there are MANY aspects to spiritual leadership that go way beyond whether my husband is initiating prayer.  And many of those things – demonstrating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, obeying God’s Word, being filled with the Spirit of God – are MUCH more important and vital than whether he initiates prayer or not.  I believe a husband can be a strong, godly, spiritual leader as long as he is tuned into God HIMSELF.  Praying together would be great.  But it does not mean our husbands are spiritual failures if they don’t grab us by the hand and have a daily prayer time with us.  Check out my youtube video about this if you’d like! http://youtu.be/CgB9SiV9ZgI.
IT IS NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING FOR A HUSBAND TO PRAY WITH HIS WIFE
If he prays with the wrong motive or prays for the wrong reason(s) – that is sin – it is for wives, too, of course!
Ways that him praying with you could be sin:
– to please you
– to make you feel better
– to make himself look more spiritual than he really is
– to be heard by you
– to lecture you
– to manipulate you
– if his heart is not in it, if he is not actually intimate with God, it is hypocrisy
– doing it just because you want him to will not bring you satisfaction and it will not honor God
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If a husband is not praying to God on his own – he probably has no business praying to God with his wife.  He needs to have his own strong relationship with Christ independently first.
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I think that this particular issue is actually quite clear in Scripture – that when we pray to be seen or heard by people (if our motives are not pure) – God is NOT pleased and will NOT hear our prayers.
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Matthew 6:5-6 – And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, Who is unseen.  Then your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
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I don’t think this excludes praying together in small groups or as a couple or corporately.  But I think that our motives for prayer matter greatly to God.  If a husband only prays with his wife to placate her – but is not right in his relationship with God – it is a pretty useless activity.
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It can be a blessing for a godly wife when her ungodly husband (or a husband with ungodly motives at the time) won’t pray with her:
  • He would do more harm than good if he did.
  • She needs to learn to depend solely on Christ, not her husband.  This issue can sometimes reveal that a wife has her husband as an idol, or has his praying with her or his spirituality or his sinlessness as an idol in her heart.

I am SO glad God gave me time to learn to depend on Him alone!

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OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF A HUSBAND’S SINFUL PRAYERS
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Besides his prayers being fruitless, not honoring to God and not be heard by God – when a husband is not right with God and is living in his own flesh:
  • he may use prayer as an opportunity to try to humiliate his wife before God
  • he may use prayer to criticize his wife’s faults and flaws
  • he may pridefully brag about himself before God and his wife, bringing God’s opposition against him
  • he may use prayer to try to manipulate his wife into doing what he selfishly wants
  • he may claim something is “God’s will” just to try to get her to go along with it when it really is not God’s will at all
  • he may be cruel, critical and belittling to his wife as he “speaks to God”  because he is not full of God’s Spirit
  • he may be arrogant and try to make himself look better and more spiritual than his wife

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Something that is much worse than having a husband who won’t pray with you is having a carnal/sinful husband who WILL pray with you in ways that dishonor God and seek to control, disrespect and manipulate you.

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OUR REAL DESIRE GOES MUCH DEEPER THAN GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
What we as wives want – is for our husbands to be strong men of God, thriving and growing and vibrant in their walks with Him. We want them to pray in private by themselves and come from a place of spiritual strength and to be filled with God’s Spirit – and then to pray with us.  Not praying to go through the motions or to look spiritual, but husbands who are genuinely living with Christ as Lord and totally submitted and yielded to Him.
This desires we have for our husbands  to be close to God and to be spiritually one with us are God-given desires.  And they are God’s will.  So we can pray and know that God will cause these prayers to be answered in His time, in His way, by His power and for His glory –  when we are praying with proper respect and reverence for God, our husband’s authority and proper motives.
And we can speed the answers along a bit by our obedience to respect our husbands and cooperate with their God-given leadership.  But it may be YEARS before we see our prayers answered.   There are going to be times, if we believe our husbands are far from God and acting in disobedience, that we practice I Peter 3:1-2.  That is what will bring them closer to God.
I pray for God’s wisdom for each of us about approaching our husbands about praying together. There are times when I believe it is good and important for us to ask for what we desire, “Honey, I have an idea. I want us to start praying together every day. Would now be a good time?” There are also times when God will prompt us to be quiet and pray and wait. I pray for each of us to be sensitive to God’s leading and prompting!
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http://peacefulwife.com/2012/09/03/being-a-good-follower/
http://peacefulwife.com/2012/06/28/im-the-spiritually-mature-one-in-this-marriage/
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MY HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE ON HOW HARD IT IS FOR HUSBANDS TO PRAY WITH THEIR WIVES SOMETIMES – http://respectedhusband.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/praying-with-your-wife/
ANOTHER RESOURCE
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/11/hes-just-not-a-spiritual-leade.html?utm_source=hermeneutics&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=12202499&utm_content=145747842&utm_campaign=2012#.UMpCmqYlwVE.email

One of the Beautiful Mysteries that God Reveals to Us through Marriage

939233_84038141I LOVE LOVE LOVE how God designed marriage to be a small-scale representation of the profound mystery of Christ and His church.  One of my favorite classes we took about 2 years ago was about the tabernacle in the Old Testament – how God lived with His people, His bride.  He led them.  He fed them.  He provided for them.  He protected them from harm.  He shared His wisdom with them.  He desired a deep, intimate spiritual relationship with them.  But they had to do it on His terms, not their own – with reverence and respect for His holiness and obedience to His Word. Of course, husbands are not deity – they are imperfect humans.  But God’s purpose in marriage is for the husband to represent Christ’s servant leadership and selfless, sacrificial love and for the wife to represent the respect, adoration and submission of the church to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33).  I LOVE learning about how everything in the tabernacle pointed to Christ and His relationship with us.  (I may have to share some of those posts sometime.)

God created marriage for many reasons, but what we experience in marriage, the hardships and the joys point us to Christ and teach us to understand the mysteries of His love for us in ways we just may not fully understand apart from marriage.

AN EXAMPLE:

This is an email from a wife.  She explains this so well – I can’t wait to share!  God definitely revealed this message to me earlier in my journey – and this is a message that God intends to communicate to you through your marriage, as well.  It is a profound truth.  Be prayerful and open your heart to what God wants to speak to you in this moment!  A HUGE THANK YOU to the wife who allowed me to share her story and her intimate conversation with our amazing God.

I take the kids to school and head to my appointment… still kind of stewing over (a situation that morning with my husband).  Then I start feeling sorry for myself because he thinks of self so much and I am aggravated that he hasn’t put the (stuff) up I asked him to put up and I am upset because I have asked him to do other things he has not done…. and I have been telling him that I want to go on a date and that I want to go away and it hasn’t happened!  I convince myself he does not want to be alone with me and am really making myself sad and reflecting on how he must not place the importance on being with me that I do with him.  I am really having a nice pity party…. and then God crashed it
 
As I am praying, in a waiting room, this is what I am internally telling God….”God, you know I love him and I want to be with him.  I want him to want to be with ME.  I want him to spend time with me not because he has to or to make me happy but because he wants to be alone with me and treasures his time with me.”
 
And this is God’s reply… “I want you to want to be with ME.”
 
Me to God:  “God, I do spend time with you.  I do my best to read my bible every day and pray.”
 
God to me: “I want you to WANT to be with me.  Not as something you need to do daily, something you WANT to do daily.  Spend time with me because you want to be with Me.  Enjoy your time with me… how you feel neglected when your husband doesn’t show excitement at being alone with you is how I feel when you don’t feel excitement in being alone with Me.”
 
And I got that.  But I wasn’t quite ready to give in to God yet.  Yes, I am stubborn.
 
Me to God. “It isn’t the same.  I want to just be with my husband!  To be in his arms!  To enjoy holding his hand.  Just the pleasure of time with him.”
 
God to me: “I can hold your hand.  I can hold you in my arms.”
 
And I start to cry.  In the waiting room while waiting for a test.  It sinks in.  God doesn’t want to be an obligation on my to do list.  And he certainly doesn’t want to be my number 5 task of the day.  He wants me to WANT to be with him.  To look FORWARD to my time with him!  Not to only be with him so that I can mark ‘do devotional’ off of my list for the day.  To enjoy our relationship.  What a moment and what a lesson.  Like I have told my husband, “If I have to tell you what to say or do, it doesn’t count! I want you to want to say or do ____ because you want to, not because you have to.”  God feels the same.
 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
Lord,
How I pray that You might speak to our hearts.  Help us to understand the intimacy You long to share with us – how You long for us to be ONE SPIRIT with you.  Help us to be willing to open our souls to you, to ask You to fill us, to enjoy Your holy presence, to repent of any sin that might grieve Your heart, and to be fully surrendered to You every day, savoring You.  Let us praise You continually, and hunger for Your Word.  Let our souls thirst for you as a deer pants for water.  Let us put you squarely on the throne of our lives and exalt You alone.  Let us tear down any desires we have been placing as a higher priority than the desire to know and love You.  Let us seek Your face above all else.  Let us seek Your will.  Let us lay down our lives, our will and all that we have on the altar each day in total, joyful surrender to You.  Give each of us a thriving, living, powerful, intimacy with You, Jesus!  Let us live with you as our LORD, not just our Savior.
In the Name and power of Christ,
Amen!
 
 WEDNESDAYS are a special day of prayer here.  If you would like my prayer team and I to pray for you – you may leave a comment on this post.  Gentlemen, I welcome your prayer requests, too.  Thank you for your understanding.

Prayer for My Husband

***  Pic of my husband and our daughter at our church ***

Wives, maybe you’d like to join me by adapting this prayer or a similar prayer for your husband.  There is SO MUCH POWER when we pray in total faith in our incredible God!

Lord,

Thank You for being the Creator of the universe, King of kings, Lord of lords, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the only Sovereign One, the Great I AM and the Author of life.  I praise You for Your great and unsearchable wisdom and for Your design for marriage and families.  I thank and praise You for creating marriage to be a living parable of the very great mystery of the relationship between Christ and His church.

Forgive me for my sins.  Cleanse me of every trace of pride, resentment, bitterness, anger, jealousy, rebellion against you, disrespect for you or my husband and for thinking I know best.  Forgive me for trying to take control over things that belong to You alone and for trying to control my husband.  Help me release my grip on him so that he can serve You in freedom – that I might not disrupt the communication between You and my husband.  Show me any sin I am cherishing in my heart that grieves Your Spirit.  Show me where I am filled with fear and not trusting You.  Help me to see that You are more than big enough to handle my deepest fears and that I can trust You and not be afraid.  Help me to find my trust muscles and to yield everything in my life to You.  I surrender my will.  I have died to sin.  You crucified my sinful nature.  Let me live for You – giving up my desires, my will, my plans and my wisdom to embrace Your desires, Your will, Your plans and Your wisdom.  The things I was holding onto were trash.  Help me to see that any “sacrifices” I make for You will be turned to pure joy – and I really am not sacrificing anything of worth to do things Your way.  Help me to remember that the cost of disobedience is always greater than the cost of obedience.  Give me a willing heart to hear and follow Your voice!  I give myself fully to You.  I am completely available to You to use in any way You desire.

Let me be a godly wife and mother by Your standards, Your definition and Your power.  I don’t have the strength to be a godly woman on my own.  I am weak, but You are so strong.  I invite Your Spirit to completely fill and overtake me, empowering me to be a godly woman who has great beauty in Your sight – that gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear.  Let me put all my trust in You – not myself, not my wisdom, not my husband, not marriage, not my job, not my abilities, not money or the government.  Open my eyes to any idols that I am worshipping and serving and sacrificing to instead of You and let me tear them all out by the root and only put all my faith and trust in You alone!  I need to decrease that You might increase.  Your wisdom is so much higher than mine!  I reject my own wisdom and what seems right in my eyes and I embrace Your wisdom, Your Word and Your will for my life.  Let me hunger and thirst for Your Word.  Let me seek You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  Let me love You with all that I am.  I hold nothing back from You.  I trust You with all things.  And I know that You will work all things for my good because I love You and am called according to Your purpose.  So I have no reason to fear!  I can’t lose!  No matter what happens, You will cause it to be a blessing and bring good to me and glory to Your Name.  So I can rest in Your love and trust You without any fear.  Empower me to give my husband respect in ways that touch the deepest parts of his masculine soul.  Teach me to stand behind his leadership in our marriage – he is the God-given spiritual authority in our family, not me.  Help me to be a godly follower.  Give me strength and wisdom to resist should he ask me to sin or go against Your Word.  But give me the grace, wisdom, courage and power to put my faith in him – knowing my faith is really in You to lead him – so that he might see I trust him and I trust You.

I lift up my precious husband to Your throne room in heaven.  Thank You for his leadership.  Thank You for giving him to me to protect, teach and guide me.  Thank You for him carrying that heavy weight that is too much for me.  I trust You to give him Your wisdom to take me and our family where You desire us to go.  I don’t know the way – but You do.  And I trust that You are powerful enough to lead me through my imperfect husband.  Thank You that You are strong enough and powerful enough to use even his mistakes and sins for Your glory and my good – so I have no reason to fear.  I know You will work things out for the best for my family, even if we suffer along the way.  I will trust You even in the painful times.  I seek Your glory more than my comfort.  I pray that You might draw my husband close to You.  I pray that You might allow him to be a man after Your own heart.  Convict him of every sin and anything that offends You.  Let him have Your priorities and be filled to overflowing with Your Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.  Let the fruit of Your Spirit be very evident in his life and our marriage daily.  Use him in whatever way seems best to You to bring the greatest possible glory and honor to Christ.  Let him daily take up the full armor of God.  Let him be mature and complete, lacking nothing, because of Your Spirit at work in his life.  Let him wisely handle the Word of God.  Use him to combat Satan in Your name – protecting our family from evil, temptation and harm.  Let him be alert and well-prepared, able to provide for us, protect us and lead us in Your narrow path that leads to life.  Use him to bring many to Your kingdom.

Thank you for my husband’s strengths! He is such a precious gift to me.  Thank You for opening my eyes to the treasure he is and for healing our marriage!

  • He loves You
  • He wants to take us to a Bible-teaching church
  • He is so patient, kind, forgiving and full of mercy and grace
  • He can see the bigger picture when I can’t
  • He is so emotionally and spiritually stable
  • He is a man of his word and of integrity
  • He loves his wife dearly
  • He loves his children and provides well for us emotionally/spiritually/financially/physically
  • He has godly wisdom
  • He is careful to make the best choices – he doesn’t rush into things foolishly
  • He is gentle, selfless and loving towards me – portraying the love of Christ in such a powerful way
  • He never lords his authority over me
  • I am safe with him and can trust him
  • He is faithful to his marriage vows and considers our marriage a covenant before God
  • He has a very strong work ethic
  • He is a talented DIY-er
  • He is wonderful at finding good deals and he is responsible with money
  • He is trustworthy and responsible
  • He has such a refreshing sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously
  • He is affectionate towards me and our children
  • He is such a visionary – able to turn an old run-down house into my dream home
  • He is awesome with technology
  • He has a passion for marriage and for desiring to share God’s wisdom with other husbands and wives

Use my husband and me to be a godly example of faith and marriage to our children.  Let us represent Christ and His church well by Your Spirit at work in us.  Let them see that we are united – and nothing can divide us.  Let them see a beautiful example in us that they will always carry with them in their hearts and that they can use as a template to build their own healthy, godly marriages and families upon one day.

Keep us all from temptation and evil.  Thank You that You are not done with any of us, but that You are making us more and more set apart for Your use.  Make us holy as You are holy.  Let us be one with You.  Let us be one with each other.  Let our marriage draw many people to Christ and honor You in every possible way!

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

"MY Man Doesn’t Deserve my Respect!!!!"

If this is how you feel about God’s concept of respecting your husband – YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! You know, probably just about every wife on the planet feels this way at some point in her marriage (or every day in some cases!) And it’s a legitimate statement that husbands don’t always deserve respect from their wives. There is no perfect man on earth. I won’t argue with that one lick! Husbands struggle just as much with the command of God to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. They also think, “You don’t know MY wife! No man on earth could love HER! She’s impossible to please! She’s impossible to understand! She HATES me and doesn’t respect me as a man.” And husbands are absolutely right, too! There is no wife who always deserves love. There is no perfect woman on earth either.

So we are at a terrible stalemate. It kind of sounds like marriage is a recipe for total disaster and torture. Husbands don’t always deserve respect. Wives don’t always deserve love. Men really aren’t made to give selfless love naturally. And women aren’t really designed to give respect naturally. We are all miserably sinful people. When two sinners are married, they will deeply wound one another, misunderstand each other, think the worst of one another, and may eventually declare an all out war on each other – destroying themselves and their children, but not knowing what else to do.

THE SHOCKING TRUTH:

Husbands don’t deserve respect – but THEY NEED IT DESPERATELY!

Wives don’t deserve love – but THEY NEED IT DESPERATELY!

Sometimes when we as women least deserve our husbands’ love is when we most need it. Sometimes when men least deserve our respect as their wives is when it is most critical for us to give it.

IT ONLY WORKS GOD’S WAY

God designed marriage. God gave us commands in marriage – and they aren’t random or extraneous. The commands God gave us are THE ONLY WAY that marriage works!

  • Sex is only for inside the marriage relationship – there is NEVER, EVER an exception.
  • A husband and wife must forsake every other relationship, including their parents, and cling to each other.
  • A husband must love his wife selflessly, putting her needs and interests ahead of his own.
  • A husband IS the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church.
  • A wife must respect her husband.
  • A wife must acknowledge her husband’s God-given authority and headship (leadership) in the marriage and family and cooperate voluntarily with his leadership (unless he asks her to do something wrong).

If we insist on going our own way, we will destroy our marriages and families with our own hands and words. We have much power in our marriages to build each other up and make our spouse’s life heaven, or to devastate and kill our relationship and experience spiritual/emotional/sexual death at our own hands. Doing things by our wisdom and what we or the world think is best or think is right is a guaranteed ticket to pain, loneliness, anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred and suffering for all involved.

If we follow all of these patterns in the way that God prescribes, we will experience marriage to the fullest sexually, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is a process. It won’t happen overnight, necessarily. God’s way is narrow and hard to accept. His way is VERY UNPOPULAR. But God’s narrow, difficult path leads us to holiness and to the most joyful, peaceful, blessed marriage relationship possible between every husband and wife! IT DOESN’T WORK ANY OTHER WAY! God’s way is the only way that leads to real intimacy and a healthy, thriving, beautiful marriage. And His way is the only way that produces godly children and prepares our children for healthy marriages, themselves.

First we have to die to ourselves, our desires, our plans, our thoughts, our wisdom. We need the power of God’s Spirit at work in us. We must humble ourselves before God and seek His face, acknowledging that He knows much better than we do. I must be willing to examine MY OWN contribution to the marriage and I must be willing to repent of every sin on my end. I have to stop looking at my husband’s laundry list of sins and only look at mine. I have to give up my MASSIVE pride and thinking I know best. I must become a diligent student of God’s Word and of what God says my husband needs and not focus on my own needs. I can look to God to meet my needs, and trust Him that He is going to take me and my marriage somewhere beautiful beyond description if I will commit to yielding myself to Him. EVEN IF MY HUSBAND CHANGES NOTHING ABOUT HIMSELF – God will change me, my husband and our marriage and family even if I am the only one who starts out on the path of obedience to God’s Word. Our God is a God of miracles and wonders! He is the loving, all-knowing Creator of the Universe and Designer of marriage. He alone holds the keys to abundant life in marriage.

God is concerned much more with using marriage to make me holy and more Christ-like than He is about my happiness. This is not a popular message in our culture of wanting everything instantly and where our own happiness is ultimate goal. I must be willing to lay down every idol that I have put before God in my life: my pride, my dreams, my goals, my happiness, my wants, my feelings, my money, my career, my health, my resentment, my anger, my bitterness, my grudge-holding, my refusal to forgive, my critical spirit. I must be willing to give up all of that and stop cherishing those things in my heart. And I must be willing to FORGIVE my husband LAVISHLY just as in Christ, God forgave me – or I will not be forgiven myself! I must be willing to embrace humility. I must be willing to give up MY rights. I must be willing to look out for the best for my husband instead of only looking out for myself. I must be willing to be the more spiritually mature one. I must be willing to live out the example of Christ’s love for my husband WITHOUT NAGGING OR PREACHING AT HIM! As I Peter 3 says, I can win my husband “without a word” by the reverence and purity and behavior of my life.

WITHOUT A WORD:

To a woman, there is no more difficult command than NOT TO TALK to our husbands about our faith, God and the Bible when we think our husbands aren’t right with God. (Our insight into our husband’s exact location in his faith can be very faulty, by the way!) The amazing thing is – our behavior is MUCH MORE POWERFUL than our words to our men! Our words, lectures, sermons, preaching, nagging, etc… just push our men away from us AND from God! If my husband believes that I hold contempt for him as a man and don’t respect him spiritually at all, my attitude will likely force him away from God, never to return again. But when my husband sees me serving him and God joyfully without mentioning his faults at all, and he sees me cheerfully accepting his decisions even when I strongly disagree with him, and he sees me putting all my trust in God and in him to work things out for my best… he is going to be DUMBFOUNDED. He will be confused. He will be intrigued. He will marvel at the Holy Spirit working in me to empower me to be pleasant, smiling, friendly, kind, and to admire him in spite of his faults. His own faults will be clearer and clearer to him without my constant rambling about it. Eventually, and it may take many years, he will want what I have! God can use the godly, Spirit-filled, respectful, peaceful, joyful character of a wife to draw a man to Himself. But our silence is pretty important! Our words about God/faith/the Bible must die and leave a respectful, quiet space for our men to hear themselves think and to be able to hear God’s still, small voice.

Precious wife, I know the struggle and the terror of realizing that I was not obeying God about respecting and submitting to my husband. I hurt our marriage deeply with my lack of respect (that I didn’t even notice!) and by me taking over and controlling things that were not rightfully mine to control. I am not speaking from some platform of perfection. But the GREAT NEWS that I want to share with you is that if you are willing to move in faith to obey God in spite of your fears, God can take you to the same beautiful place He has brought me! YOU can be a joyful, peaceful woman with a gentle and quiet spirit that does not give way to fear. YOU can learn to respect your husband – no matter who he is! REALLY!! You can learn to follow your husband and trust God to lead you and your family through this imperfect, sinful man.

God does not ask us to follow our men into sin. He does not ask us to respect what is sinful or unworthy of respect in our men. He does not leave us alone to learn to follow our husbands – this is about my trust in MY BIG GOD. I am ultimately not trusting my husband to lead me, I am trusting God to lead me through the spiritual authority of my husband over me. I believe this is my biggest test of faith as a woman of God! Do I trust God enough to allow Him to lead me through my husband?

Look for things in your husband that you can respect. Talk about those things. Build him up with your words. Give up the criticism, nagging, complaining, whining, correcting, instructing and overwhelming avalanche of negativity – which looks like hatred and contempt to your guy. Smile at your man. Praise him whenever you see him doing something you admire. Look at him with real adoration in your eyes again. Step back and follow his leadership even if and especially when you don’t agree. See what happens. He’ll start taking his decision-making much more seriously. He’ll feel all the weight of responsibility on him, and he will likely seek your opinion. Watch him stand taller as he becomes more confident in his leadership abilities. Watch what God does with his career and with his abilities as a dad and as a husband. God intends to use our respect and admiration to shape our husbands into the godly men God wants them to be! WOW! See if God doesn’t do some MIND BLOWING MIRACLES in your marriage like He has in mine!

Lord,

Help us to be willing to surrender to Your wisdom and Your plan. Help us to commit to obey You even when we don’t agree, can’t understand and are terrified. Give us the faith to live the way You want to. Cleanse us of our own hideous sin and make us godly wives who can bless, build up, encourage and bring joy to our husbands! Let us model godly femininity for our children. Let us model a godly marriage for our children. Empower us by Your Spirit! Let us find the grace, mercy and strength we need at the foot of the cross of Jesus to become the women of Your dreams! Use us to change our homes, our husbands and our nations to honor You and to restore stability, joy, peace and strength to marriages in our homes and in Your church across America and around the world! Let these precious women discover Your adventure for them. Give them courage to step out and follow You in faith! Use them to shine brightly for Christ and to change the world for Your glory – starting with each of our own marriages.

Amen.


Prayer 2-15-2012

Lord,

Thank You for the gift of this glorious day!  Help us to be still before You and lift up our heads to see Your holiness, Your power, Your sovereignty over the universe.  You alone are God!  There is no other.  You alone are worthy of our praise and worship.  You are the King of kings and Lord of lords!  You are our Refuge, our Strong Tower.  You spread Your wings over us to cover and protect us.  You are the Great Physician Who is able to heal all of our diseases.  You are the Lamb of God, Jesus, Who takes away the sins of the world!  You are the One Who designed us and Who alone can meet the deepest needs of our souls.  You  are the Creator.  You call each star by name.  You designed nature in all of Your wisdom and the world, the universe runs at Your command.  Day after day, creation pours forth speech, night after night all creation declares Your glory alone!

We praise and thank You for our health, strength, and life.  We thank You for Your precious Word.  We thank You for Your great Comforter – the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for opening the storehouses of heaven to provide for those who love and trust You.  We thank You for bringing us to faith in Christ.  Thank You that it all depends on You, not on us.  We are so sinful, wretched and dead on our own.  Raise us to the new life that You desire us to have in Jesus!  Thank You for the blessing of this new day.  Let us use our time wisely to praise You continually, to be thankful in all things, to listen carefully for Your voice.  Let us love You with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength!  Let us live lives of faith and love that honor You!  Let us set godly examples of faith, speech, character, marriage and attitude in front of our spouses, children, friends, coworkers, families and all those around us.  We praise and thank You for Your love!  Help us to see how enormous Your love is for us!  Our understanding is much too small.  Our field of vision only lets us see a tiny fraction of Your power and Who You really are.  Open our eyes!  Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your Spirit!  Let us worship You in spirit and in truth and truly bless Your Name and bless Your heart with our worship, reverence, obedience and love for You!

Please, out of Your great kindness and mercy, show us our sin.  Convict us of every trace of sin and reveal to us every stronghold of Satan that is destroying us.  Give us godly sorrow to repent and to allow Your Spirit into our hearts to change us, to renew our minds by the power of Your Word.  Let us be still and pliable in Your holy hands.  Remove PRIDE, resentment, stubbornness, disobedience, greed, lust, malice, ungodliness, idolatry, self-worship, love of pleasure, apathy, violence, rage, impatience, selfishness, dishonesty, evil, irresponsibility, hatred, lack of love, un-forgiveness, disregard for Your Word, grieving Your Spirit…  All the good we are able to do on our own is nothing to You but bloody, filthy, dirty rags.  Apart from You we can do nothing, Jesus!  Keep us bound to You.  Let us remain in You that we can receive the nourishment and power of Your Spirit into our lives.  Make us useful to Your kingdom.  Continue to sanctify us and make us more and more like Christ.  We trust our lives and our spirits into Your hands.

Bring Your church and our nation to our knees in repentance.  We desperately need You, Jesus!  Our nation needs You!  Your church needs You!  We have been so rebellious, stubborn and steeped in sin.  Open our eyes to our spiritual poverty, our spiritual sickness – we are near death as a church and as a nation.  Revive us!  Cleanse us of our sin and restore us to the holy beauty that is fitting and proper for Your bride!  Let us each begin with repenting ourselves, and draw us to Your heart.  Let us forsake the world and all of its promises, comforts and pleasures.  Let us whole-heartedly seek You alone and Your will alone.

Give our church and government leaders Your wisdom to lead this large nation and Your church.  Keep them close to You!  Let them not fall to scandal and temptation!  Let them bring honor to Your Name and lead us in Your ways.  Keep our pastors, deacons, teachers, ministers and all those in authority in Your church pure, undefiled, uncontaminated by the world.  Let them set godly examples to us and to our children.  Never let them fall and expose Your Name to disgrace!  Give them strong marriages and keep them humbly seeking Your face, don’t let them fall to greedy, worldly desires!

Strengthen our men, husbands, and fathers!  We desperately need this generation of men to rise up and stand in the gap for Your church, their wives and children.  Create godly leaders and a massive godly army across the nation and Your church of our men.  Break them free from pornography, lust, greed, apathy, carnality and complacency!  Help them see with Your eyes the very real spiritual warfare that is being waged every moment against our nation, Your church, and their families.  Let them be men of faith, prayer and who know Your Word and use it well.  Let our men see how critical their leadership is and help them find the training and support they need to become the heroes for Christ that You designed them to be!  Give them supportive, encouraging, joyful wives who will pray along with them and empower their leadership at home and in Your church and in the world.  Use the men in Your church to snatch our children from the snares of Satan!!!  Use them to see where Your people have gone astray and to bring us back to Your narrow path that leads to life!   Give them courage to stand against the tide of our culture and to create homes based on Your design and order no matter what others may say is politically correct.  Let them courageously represent the love of Christ to their wives, children and other believers and the world.  Let our marriages and families be healthy, whole, godly and Spirit-filled and draw many to You!  Give our men wisdom to protect, provide for and guide us as wives, as families and as Your precious church!  Let this generation radically change the world for Christ!

Strengthen our women, wives and mothers!  Let this generation of women rise up to become a godly women who see clearly what is at stake in America, in Your church and in our families.    Let us get to work becoming the women You desire us to be even if the world cannot understand Your design and the beauty of marriage and family life the way that You prescribe it to be.  Let us do good towards our husbands and never harm them.  Let us build up our men with our words, attitudes and actions.  Let us remove every negative attitude and pride from our hearts and lips and only use our words to bless and edify those around us.  Remove gossip, criticism, bitterness, resentment, grudges from our souls.  Let us be humble before You and before our husbands and families.  Use us to continually pour out Your love and Spirit and healing words into our families.  Help us be able to be free to be with our children as much as they need us.  Cleanse us of the world’s messages about women, femininity, marriage and family.  Let us embrace Your wisdom, plan, purpose and roles joyfully and cheerfully.  Use us to change femininity in Your church and our nation and let us bring great glory to You!

Give us wisdom to raise our children in Your ways.  Let us teach them Your Word and Your wisdom carefully.  Use us to set godly examples for them.  Use us and our children to bring many people to Your Kingdom, Jesus!  Use to to protect them from evil and to equip them to know Your Word and to love You with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.  Give our children godly friends and godly spouses.  Let us be found faithful that they might have healthy, godly marriages and families themselves in the future.  Keep them and us from being contaminated by the world!

Use us to boldly speak Your Word and to proclaim Christ to the world around us.  Let Your Spirit have free reign to work through us for Your Kingdom.  Open our eyes to each opportunity and let us be faithful and obedient to all You desire us to do today.  Use this group to change the world for Christ!

In the Name of Christ Jesus – we seek Your will not our own!

Amen.

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