Some days when my husband asks how my day has been going, I can only list the negative things. I completely forget the positives, or I tack them on as an aside at the end of my list of what went wrong. Do you do that?
I've been doing it too much lately and for too long.
Yesterday's lesson was a wide open one. (Remember I said it was a 45 minute a day commitment? Not so much. Just 15 minutes. I'm getting old and have cobwebs in my ears!) The first day of lesson 2 went back to what we opened with: praying for our husbands with a pure heart.
As ladies who talk, we stayed on that topic for a while. Remember Condemnation v. Conviction? So who is trying to tell us we aren't good enough, pure enough and deserving enough to talk to God about our husbands? Satan. That's who.
The conclusion I came to from our discussion was that if we are aware of our attitude/resentment/un-forgiveness, we need only turn it over to God. It's a process, so only when you start really talking to God with all those hidden emotions can you begin to let go of those things. It's a process so beginning the conversation with God with, "Hi, God. I know I've been wrong" can open His ears to hear our prayers. He already knows what is going on with us, but WE need to really understand and discuss with Him what we've been doing and why. I included the "why" because I think sometimes as women, we don't really figure out where the problem in our marriage began. We are too easily ruled by our emotions, and I am guilty of saying, "But that's just how I feel." As children of God, we need to remember that God made us and He thought it was GOOD. The good came before the sin.
So on to the rest of the lesson.
Paul tells us, "Love never fails," in that famous wedding passage from 1 Corinthians. But we have to make a conscious decision each day to CHOOSE to love our husbands. It is work. Not because he makes it hard, but the world makes it hard. Satan makes it hard. Does satan want your marriage in Christ to succeed? NO. Does satan want you to pray for your husband? NO. Does satan want you and your husband to grow closer through your faith in God? NO. You have to choose to love your husband on a daily basis. I have felt the pull of satan to pull back and put a wall up between my husband and me. It is real. I have to choose EVERY MORNING not to believe the lies whispered in my ears.
So what else? We start by praying for our husband's work. Besides work being one of the places your husband spends a majority of his time and energy, it is a place where he reaps a large amount of his self-worth. His feelings of success and failure stem from the ability to provide for his wife and family.
Moses prayed for his people to find work from the Lord. He says, "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:17)
Folks, Moses prayed it twice right there in scripture. How many times should we pray it for our husbands? Pray for fruitfulness in his work. Pray for meaning in his work. Pray for accomplishment in his work. Pray for him to be appreciated, encouraged, and to find a sense of worth through his work. Pray for his eyes to be opened to see what God's will is in his work. Pray for God to establish the work of his hands. Not a salary. Not health benefits. Not power. Not prestige. Not a place to get away from his family. Pray for your husband to find the work that he should do according to his talents, so he will be fulfilled and fulfilling God's will for his life.
And if you also are working, go ahead and pray all these things for yourself, too while you're at it! Stormie said it was OK. Because our greatest gift we can give to our husbands is our own wholeness. EVEN IF YOU ARE WORKING AS A STAY AT HOME MOM, PRAY THIS FOR YOURSELF! You've got an important job!
If you are blessed enough to have a husband who has found God's work for his life, pray for the Lord's presence in his work.
Pray for your husband's priorities to be aligned with what God says our priorities should be.
- God (Mark 12:30)
- Spouse (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19; Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18)
- Family (Genesis 1:27-28)
- Work (Genesis 2:15; Deuteronomy 28:11-13; Psalm 104:23; and so many more!)
Ask yourself: what is driving my husband?
If you don't like the answer, pray for him to find the right priorities.
On the flip side, pray for your husband to have times of rest and enjoyment. Let him go golfing. Let him go play poker with the guys (wink, wink, and a smile). He needs a reprieve from his hard work.
Think of the Proverbs 31 woman. Yea, doesn't she just make you smile? Let's look at verse 11 and 23 regarding her husband. Does she just get a respected husband? Does he value her for no reason? What is she doing that helps him be respected? What is she doing that makes him value her? Hmmmmm.
It doesn't just happen. And that's why we need to pray.
We also talked about praying for his finances, integrity and reputation, but not in depth. Next week we are praying for his manhood and the memory verse is Psalm 34:8.