As the king instructs his son of the woman he should seek for a wife, he has this to say about a woman worthy of marriage: Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11 Whether you are single or married, I challenge you to this question: are you a woman who can give her husband full confidence in you? The woman who would give her husband no room for doubt or distrust? What would that look like?
Another month, and another area of prayer focus for our husbands. If you are just joining us, we are committing to chose an area of focus and key scripture to pray over our husbands each and every day for a month at a time. This series is for single women, engaged women, and married women alike. If you would like to go back to the beginning of this series, you are welcome to start here. Also, if you want to pick from a list of prayers we have done so far, check here (though they won’t be in order). It is not necessary to start anywhere specific. If you would like to you can start right here today, and continue to follow along by email (I’ll talk about that later). The most popular prayer for our husbands so far, (in traffic, in Facebook posts, Twitter, Pinterest and by Google search) is Praying Over Your Husband’s Career and Work Ethic. We’ve transitioned away from praying over this area, but I strongly feel it’s time to visit it again with a new focus.
If you are reading this right now, it’s likely because you want a better relationship with your mother-in-law. And not only that, you want to love her better. I commend you. God’s heart is that we would love and honor our mother and father. And once we marry and husband and wife become one, then this crosses over to our in-laws too. For this, you deserve recognition. God bless you for wanting to be obedient to God, and love her better. Often as we mature in both wisdom and age, we learn that loving others better often means that love is not always returned. I pray this is not your particular case, but if it is, then don’t lose hope. Even if your mother-and-law and you never become BFFs, you can still love her deeply. Here are five truths to embrace to love her better.
A family’s structure can be weakened by a husband who, although he may be of godly character, lacks full trust that it is God who is providing for His family and not merely his own independent actions. Likewise, when our husband’s confidence of the Lord’s hand in making sure he provides for his family is unshakable, the entire family structure is strengthened. It sounds so easy, but in reality this world is full of unemployment, rising healthcare costs, cars that break down, clothes that wear out and homes that must be kept up. A man’s role as provider for his family can be the number one stressor in his life if he lets it. “Let go and trust God” is much easier said than done most of the time. So what is a wife to do to ease his burden?
A calm house? Yeah, right. I can hear it now. We all want a calm house all the time, right? If we have a child (or multiple children), then we know this is not always possible. I get that. The key here is to make it calm when he comes home. And there are some tricks to help you with this.
A husband is the head of his family. It doesn’t matter how old he is or how mature, this is the position the Lord gives him. Some husbands are ready for this role. Life has molded them into leaders. They have been given opportunities to lead—growing up in their family, at school, at church, at work. Perhaps they have had as many failures as they have successes, but they have had experience. Stepping into a leadership role once married may be a thrill or it may be awkward—but it isn’t their first rodeo. Other men perhaps have shied away from leading. It may not be because they are “bad” at it, but perhaps they have just preferred to stay “under the radar.” It’s entirely possible that men who have natural leading skills have simply been too shy, humble, or even busy to take on leadership abilities.
Compassion is sometimes a less understood attribute. Kindness, gentleness, or even a smile could all be mistaken for compassion. Even the tendency to keep one’s mouth shut during a negative conversation could also be an act that causes someone to be labeled as compassionate. While all of these things could stem from compassion, they could all also come from a person who is not compassionate at all. Kindness, gentleness, smiling, and keeping quiet can all be automatic learned responses. It is very possible for a person who exhibits all of these responses to be quite uncompassionate. How then, would we define compassion and why would it be desirable in a husband?
Sometimes life is messy. At times, being an adult is also messy. Being married is no different. Eventually we all have a messy episode. And sometimes the messy events happen again, and even start to happen more frequently. They last longer. Perhaps there even comes a point when the episode becomes the marriage. There are no longer episodes. Instead, the entire marriage has become a mess. What is a wife to do when the fantasy has disappeared?
Friends, if you’re just joining us, I want to welcome you to our journey. We’re encouraging every single, betrothed, and married woman to devote a part of every day to pray for your husband. We’ve picked 12 key areas to focus on this year, and we’re alternating his earthly physical needs with his relational needs with Christ each month. (You can go here to start at the beginning if you’d like, or join us this month.) This month we’re praying over his evangelism. Have you been with us for the journey? If you have, I can imagine that you (or someone else) is seeing a change and/or strength in your husband. Keep up the fight, warrior women–you’re strengthening your men for their daily battles.
If it’s happened to you, I pray you are leaning on the Lord and that He is healing you even at this very moment. And if it hasn’t happened to you, then I pray you will never know the pain, the struggle, and the sometimes hopelessness that goes along with losing a child. Such overwhelming grief and sorrow in a parent’s life will cause a disruption of “normal” life. The disruption can lead to dropping out of school, a change in job status, a change in social (and church) involvement, and a change in the role (and relationships) at home. A woman who grieves leans on her husband to help her through. A man who grieves has a wife to confide in. But what happens when both grieve—often differently—for the same loss, at the same time? I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say this is an easy process. The loss of a child tears through the heart of a family. And the truth is, many relationships do not endure the pain, guilt, and anger that are left.