I believe in marriage! I believe that today we have more cultural things fighting against marriages than ever before, so if we want to have healthy, happy marriages, we have to fight harder than ever before. Fortunately, for those who will look, there are myriad resources and opportunities to help. And (Here’s the truth) it will probably fall on the wife to start the ball rolling.
Four really inspiring bloggers (Sheila at To Love Honor and Vacuum, Courtney at Women Living Well, Jennifer at The Unveiled Wife, and Darlene at Time-Warp Wife) invited all the rest of us to join them in the “Revive your marriage” challenge every Monday in September. Mr X and I attended a Family Life “Weekend to Remember” marriage seminar, and it was so eye-opening. While there, we were introduced to the “at-home” version of it, called “The Art of Marriage,” and we are facilitating an Art of Marriage event at our church in October. (See if you can find one in your area; if not, call Family Life and HOST ONE!)
For today, the challenge is REVIVE YOUR PRAYERS.
Think about how to pray for your husband. I’ve decided to pray for all the roles that he fills, all aspects of his life. Remember that the enemy would like nothing better than to destroy your marriage. He hates any godly thing, and the more visibly Christian you are, the more he rejoices in the failure of a marriage, because it gives the world one more excuse not to believe.
As a Christian: (John 13:35) If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.
The Christian life is hard for us mortals! Commandments to love and forgive go so against the grain of our selfish human nature. Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen your husband, and to keep his heart soft and obedient. I think this can be particularly hard for men, who are also by nature, leaders and providers.
Father, help my husband show Your love to his coworkers and everyone he comes in contact with today. Help him lead the people in his sphere of influence TOWARD and not AWAY from you.
As a man and husband (1 Cor 16:13) Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong.
(Col 3:19) Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Try to see the world for a minute how your husband sees it. TV shows and modern culture paint him as a buffoon to completely unnecessary. Marriage is ridiculed. Biblical marriage, where the husband leads the home, is portrayed as abusive and barbaric! Sexual temptations are literally everywhere he looks. Network, prime time TV? Watch the commercials. Youtube? Look at the sidebars. Newspaper and radio websites? Many have teasers to visit the “NFL Cheerleaders” gallery or worse. Here’s the truth: “men are visual,” means that they like to look. They are so wired to look (I believe it’s part of the survival instinct) that they have to fight not to. **Disclaimer: Skip to the prayer if I gave birth to you!** Be sure you are filling his head with appropriate images (that would be of YOU, so he will have some to fight the inappropriate ones! You are the only one God allows him to look at, and if you’re uncomfortable with that thought, read Song of Solomon, pray about it, and get counsel from a wise, godly woman who has a great marriage!
Lord, help my husband be a godly husband, one who stays close to You, who shows Your wisdom in every decision, who leads with Your servant heart and love. Help me to follow his leadership and to be easy to love. Please protect him from the temptation that surrounds him.
As a father (Eph 6:4) …Raise your children with Christian discipline and instruction. (Psalm 103:13) As a father is kind to his children…
I’ve read some statistics about children who are brought to church by dads or by moms. When Mom takes them and Dad stays home, 3% end up attending church regularly, but when Dad takes the lead, that percentage shoots up to 33% (See “Influence of men on church attendance”) His role as a dad is so very important to so many aspects of development in a child’s life, from spiritual to academic to social.
Heavenly Father, help my husband remember that as an earthly father, he is Your representative to our children. Strengthen him to teach by example and by words. Help him temper his instruction and discipline with compassion and kindness.
As a church leader (1 Tim 3:2-5) A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; he must not be a drunkard or a violent man, but gentle and peaceful; he must not love money; he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect.
Right up there with ruining Christian marriages, I believe that our enemy cackles with glee when a church leader falls publicly. I believe that the more visible, or the higher “up” in church hierarchy a person gets, the bigger the bull’s-eye on their back becomes. We need to pray always for all our church leaders.
Heavenly Father, help my husband to remain faithful to you always. Speak to him when he needs direction; strengthen him when he is tempted; comfort him when he is weak. Keep his knees bent and his heart broken for you.
As a worker (Col 3:23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
I love reading Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk from the 15th century, writing about Practicing the Presence of God. (It’s available for free here). He said, “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen… I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.” It can be so hard for a smart man to do work that, many times, seems pointless or inefficient.
Lord, keep the mind of Christ in my husband’s mind. Many times at work we feel unappreciated or frustrated. Help my husband remember that he is working for you, and that he is Your vessel at work.
As a provider (1 Tim 5:8) But if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.
Until Mr X graduated from college 17 years ago (13 years into our marriage), he was a carpenter/contractor. There were periods of days or occasionally weeks, where he didn’t work because of the weather, or having no jobs. He always kept busy at home, and at that time he wasn’t a big “let me tell you how I feel about this” kind of man, but I got some insight into how he felt when an older man told me, “When a man isn’t working he feels like less than nothing!” I believe God wired men to take care of things. When they aren’t working, for whatever reason, they feel like failures.
Father, please bless my husband as he works for our family. Help him to work well, to honor you, and to receive the recognition and compensation that he earns. Lord, I know many families are out of work now. I ask your grace and mercy to carry them through this period. Help their wives to minister to their husbands who many times won’t say how bad they feel. Show us where we can help care for those who need our financial help.
Also, look for a “life verse” for your husband. In 1995, I found Psalm 1:1-3.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers: but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and on His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf does not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
And since we’re asking God to revive our marriages, find a marriage life verse too: I like Matt 19:5.
…For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
Openbible.info is a great resource for finding Scriptures for particular topics.