Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2 Things For Wives to Remember

A couple by a lake Stock Photo - 7207008

He leaves our home at 7:00 AM and returns at 7:00 PM. A lifetime is lived in the hours he's gone, or so it seems.

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I forget my husband. Yes, you read that right.

I forget him.

I'm with him so little each day and so much life is lived without him, that it's easy to forget. I'm grateful for him and I love him fiercely, but I think I expect him to take care of himself, mostly.

Now don't get me wrong. I do make sure he has clean socks and underwear and something neat and clean to put on, and I cook every night for him, though he sometimes cooks on the weekends.

The Lord spoke to me recently about this forgetting my husband. It's a sin of omission. I'm supposed to be his helpmate, not take him for granted.

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

God didn't want Adam to be alone. There are men like the Apostle Paul who have the gift of singleness, but this is rare. God decided Adam would need fellowship, help, and love, in addition to what God himself provides. A wife is the other half of her husband. Not the better half, but the missing half, and vice versa. 

Where your husband is weak, you are strong. Where you are weak, your husband is strong. He was uniquely chosen for you and you for him.

In the first years after marriage, couples usually remain close. But that season doesn't last forever and the married-with-children season presents multiple challenges to what God designed, especially in this modern culture with male and female roles terribly skewed.

Stress and hard work at home can pull us apart, especially in the absence of community and extended family. If we're somehow disappointed with our husband--every wife is at some point in a long marriage--we need to remember that a hardened heart is sin. It's a wife's responsibility to keep her heart soft toward her husband.

Love keeps no record of wrongs and it endures all things. It hopes. A hardened heart is not hope, but a sign of defeat. A sign that Satan is gaining ground.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

My marriage is not in shambles and yours probably isn't either, but in this new year, let's evaluate our role as wives. How are we doing? Do we take that role as seriously as our motherly role? Do we meet our children's needs but neglect our husband's? 

If you have a lot of children or if you have young, still-needy children, chances are there's not enough of you to go around, especially during cold and flu season.

It may seem like your husband only wants physical relations with you, but in truth, he wants more. That's just what gets voiced first. That's the need that screams loudest in his life.

Let's stop committing sins of omission in our role as wife. Let's remember our husbands starting with two simple steps. 

1. Pray for Him

Let's pray for our husbands throughout the day, using a sticky note as reminder if necessary. Praying is a powerful way to mend a broken relationship and strengthen a healthy one. 

Most importantly, when we pray our own sins surface. Our hardened heart is revealed. God first wants us right with Him, and then with our fellow man. We don't pray for people just because they need it. This heart stance lacks humility and goes before our fall. Pride goeth before the fall. 

We pray first because we need it, and then because everyone else needs it. We are first a child of God, then a wife and mother, etc.

Pray that your husband:

~  will grow closer to God by studying the Bible and praying.

~ will have a mature Christian male influence in his life for accountability.

~ will take his role as spiritual leader seriously (if he didn't have a father like this himself, he especially needs a Christian male in his life to teach him and encourage him).

~ will love you as Christ loved the church.

~ will recognize spiritual and emotional emptiness in his soul and fill it up with God, not with the world.

~ will recognize the Satanic snare of pornography and other sexual sin. This is rampant in our culture and without our prayers, our husbands will fall. This article describes how this is sin, not disorder, and that it must be recognized as sin for deliverance to come. Our culture accepts that men are visual and makes excuses for them, but the truth is, if sexual sin is not confessed and no repentance (turning away) comes, the Kingdom of heaven is not available for these men. Continued sin is a sign of an unrepentant, unsaved heart. Satan tells men, "This is normal!" "You are just being normal." The truth is, it's deadly.

2. Be Available

Let's be there for him physically so that sexual need doesn't scream so loudly in his life. Doing this even once a week can be difficult with little children around, but if we commit to remembering our husbands, we can avoid a sin of omission here. Start with a once-a-week commitment to be there.

Physical relations help keep our hearts soft--both ours toward him and his toward us. Neglecting this is the beginning of trouble.

Two things to do as wives in 2013, faithfully. We can remember two things, yes? 

Pray for him. 

Be available.

Note: If things are going poorly in your marriage right now, don't think of these two things as gifts to your husband, as much as acts of worship before God. Acts of obedience are acts of worship. You may feel that your husband doesn't deserve much right now, but God does deserve much. In time you will be doing these things both for God and for your husband, because God will heal the brokenness in your marriage. 

Remember, love hopes

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