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The marriage in the home is like the foundation of the home. We need to work hard to make it stable and firm.
If you’re like me, you see cycles of ups and downs when you look back on your marriage and home life. You see times when you put more energy and effort into making your husband happy and building a great marriage. Times when you listened closer to God. When God prompts us as wives, we need to respond with a readiness to do what He says. And if that is to work harder on our marriage, then we’d better listen and do it!
I was talking to a younger mom today about marriage. She had a very teachable spirit. She’s a good wife, wanting to be a better one. The longer I live, the more marriages that I’ve observed over many years, the more I KNOW that every marriage has things that they have to work through. No two people are perfect or get along perfectly. Every couple has to learn to put up with the idiosyncrasies of the person they live with. Every husband and wife drive each other crazy sometimes. They have to learn to get along with each other if they’ve been married for many years. They have to learn to ask forgiveness and forgive. That really great marriage was worked hard on for years. It didn’t just happen. And you wouldn’t suddenly have a great marriage if you were married to someone else, because you’d still be you!
Here are Twenty Tips (some for those of you with Passive Husbands) from someone who really doesn’t know anything, and is such a terrible example, but has learned a lot through her mistakes, and still is learning (did I mention that I’ve been married for 33 years? A lot of years for a patient God to let me learn from my mistakes!).
(One suggestion, though: Don’t try to do these all at once.)
- If you want your husband to lead more, follow what he’s already said. Even if he doesn’t say much of anything, you already know things that he wants you to do, that you’re not doing. Do them.
- Practice saying, “Great idea!” “Yes!” “I love it!” and shaking your head in affirmation to what he’s saying.
- Don’t think of him as just one more person (besides all your friends) to ask for advice and their opinion. Go to him and really intend to do whatever he says. Allow him to lead. Be patient if he says, “I don’t care;” he’s not used to your actually listening.
- The slightest suggestion that he makes: Do it.
- Learn what his love language is, and speak it.
- Study your husband, and know what he’s like and what pleases him.
- How you respond to him, is how your children (especially teens) will respond to you. (Impatient, condescending, disrespectful?) If your words and actions don’t match up, they’ll copy your actions.
- You don’t have to say a word for your husband to know if you respect him or not. Your non-verbals say it all.
- Think respectful thoughts. Then your non-verbals will be more respectful! Work on YOU, and let the Holy Spirit work on him.
- If your husband suddenly did all the things that you think he should do so that you can have a Godly family, you still wouldn’t have one, because your attitude would still be haughty, and proud of all the things that you were doing, and you’d think that it was the things that you were doing, and not the Lord, that made you Godly. Do righteousness, but out of love for God, and trust God, not your own righteousness.
- It is O-N-L-Y by the grace of God that an individual can be holy, or do right or seek after God. It is only Him drawing your husband or your children to Himself that causes them to draw near to Him. Pray more, speak less.
- Humble yourself and repent of your sins. Be quick to ask forgiveness.
- Focus on your own faults.
- Trust that your prayers are making a difference, because you’re speaking to Almighty God. Pray Biblically.
- Your husband wants your respect more than he wants your love. Respect brings love. But give him unconditional respect.
- Wake up thanking God for your husband, and think daily about all the things that you can thank God for in him.
- Put your respect to your husband in writing. (Especially if his love language is “Words of Affirmation.”) Sign it, “With all my respect.” (Idea from Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.)
- Tell him you respect him for going out every day and providing for you and your children (sincerely). Tell him how much you admire him for doing that! (What’s the first thing two men ask each other: “What do you do?”)
- Be grateful. Sincere gratitude is very attractive to men. (Many a man has left his gorgeous ungrateful wife to run off with his dumpy grateful secretary.)
- Know that he would literally lay down his life for you and your children, if need be.
God says that, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
I’m linked up today with the Homemaking Linkup at Raising Homemakers–Please join me!
Thanks for reading Faith’s Firm Foundation!