On a sunny May day almost 16 years ago, I put on my dream dress, walked down the aisle and exchanged the vows I had written with my groom. That's my wedding story and you have yours.
As wives, we have a unique opportunity & responsibility to pray for our husbands.
As my husband's wife, I have the responsibility and privilege to give him the wifely submission, respect & love that he was designed to need (1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5). Together he and I are responsible to nurture & tend our relationship and our marriage.
No one knows my husband as well as I do. I know more about his successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses than anyone else on the planet. And that puts me at a distinct advantage to pray for him. You can't pray for my husband the way that I can. And I can't pray for your husband with the insight that you have about him.
What a privilege we have to pray for our husbands! Let's be faithful to hold them up to a kind, gracious God whose sovereign hand controls the universe yet still guides the smallest, most mundane details of our lives.
I have purposed to set aside February as a time of focused prayer for my husband. Maybe you'd like to do the same? You might even like to partner with a friend, teaming up to pray intentionally for your husbands, holding each other accountable and encouraging each other in your marriages.
Today I want to discuss praying for our husbands.
At first glance it might not seem like a very important word, that little for.
But can I tell you that it is a huge little word!
I want to make sure that I'm praying for my husband, not just about him. At times it can be tempting to pray only about my husband. To turn my prayer times into complaining sessions about him and all the flaws I perceive him to have & all the ways that he is failing to live up to my ideals.
Let me be clear: I believe that there is a place for Godly complaining - lamenting - in our prayer life. A few minutes spent reading the Psalms shows that there is a Godly way to complain that is righteous. Marriage is hard. There are seasons in marriage that break our hearts. And sometimes a lament may be exactly what you need to pour out your heart to God. But I want to be careful to do more than just vent to God about my husband. I want to be able to come to God without a self- serving agenda (God, please make ME happy by fixing HIM ). Instead I want to come to God with a heart that supports my husband by praying for him.
There are a lot of ideas out there of ways to pray for our husbands. A quick online search produces lists of ideas, verses of scripture to use, etc. If you're not quite sure where to start, let me share a few of my favorites:
- This article details 5 different areas you can focus on as you pray for your husband
- A couple of years ago, my friend Sarah created this prayer journal, Very Great & Precious Promises: 31 days of Praying Scripture Over Your Husband
Sarah also included lined journal pages with each day so that as I pray through the book I can write thoughts or specific ways the scripture applies to my prayers at that time. Sarah is in the process of publishing the journal, so if you're interested in purchasing one let me know and I can give you the details.
- I also like this resource which includes free printable cards. I found the topics for each day to be thoughtful and well-expressed.
Whether you use an existing resource or make your own prayer list, the important thing is that you and I are regularly, purposefully supporting our hubbies in prayer.
The saying is that prayer changes things.... though, really, prayer changes me.
When I pray, I learn humility because I am so needy, so incomplete. I learn reliance on God to do things I cannot do. I learn patience as I wait for Him to move on my behalf. Prayer changes me.... which is good because I have learned that creating haven in my marriage requires a lot of change on my part.
I've been thinking a lot lately about praying for my husband. It's something I would like to do a better job of; be more purposeful about. Pray for your husband may seem like a simple statement, but I have been profoundly challenged as I have unpacked and pondered these few, simple words.
You've probably seen the saying, "Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?" That's more than a nice sentiment. And no where is it more true than in our marriages. As tempting as it is to fret about my husband's flaws, have mental conversations with him, hound him (subtle hints, cool manipulation, downright nagging - pick your poison), or complain about him to a friend, none of those things has effectively create haven in my marriage relationship. And none of them has - or will ever - effect lasting change in my husband.
Let's face it, our husbands are not perfect. Which is good because if they were they probably wouldn't want to put up with all of our imperfections as wives. We all have areas that we need to change. Yet only One has the power to change hearts. And it's not us, wives!
I have found over the course of my marriage that change in my husband has never resulted from my talking. The times when my husband has experienced growth & change in some area of his life have been times when I have stopped
The Love month is just around the corner. Whether you boycott Valentines Day as a Hallmark plot to extort money from harassed couples :-) or you do mushy things like giving your hubby 14 Days of Valentines, you can't escape the extra focus that February puts on love, romance and all things heart-shaped.
So I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of the things I'm thinking about as I pursue my goal of making my marriage a haven.
Research has shown that, "the universal complaint of men is that their wives criticize, complain, nag, rarely compliment or express appreciation, are difficult to satisfy, and basically are not as nice to them as they'd be to a stranger ringing their doorbell at 3:00 a.m." Source
I don't know about you, but I don't want that sentence to describe how my husband feels in our marriage! And I think that, if we are not intentional as wives, we can easily slip into patterns that make our marriage relationships anything but restful sanctuaries.
The book of Proverbs says, "A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." (Proverbs 14:1) I aspire to be like that wise woman and to do everything in my power to make my marriage a place of refuge.
Whether you have a strong marriage that already has an atmosphere of 'haven' or you find yourself struggling through a difficult season where your marriage is anything but safe and restful, there are things that each of us can do to nurture a sense of refuge, sanctuary & rest with our husbands. These things have little to do with our husbands' behavior and everything to do with living out our identities as Daughters of God.
More thoughts to come...