AFFAIRCARE

…nouthetic, Christian care after an affair.


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When people say “God is my Husband” or “Jesus is Enough”

 Heart Puzzle

I was reading “Is Jesus Really Enough?” by Lilly Grace, and her blog really got me thinking.  In fact, it inspired me so much I wanted to write about it!  

My “blog sister” Lilly Grace is in a difficult marriage–her husband reminds me of Abigail’s first husband, Nabal.  He is not loving and gentle and kind toward her, but she doesn’t give up.  I would say I’m in a difficult marriage, but not because my husband is abusive or because our marriage is sexless!  Nope, my Dear Hubby who writes here often is a WONDERFUL man and a loving husband, but my Dear Hubby is very ill and so I do have many things I have to do “by myself” where others might have their spouse to support them.  And I’m sure that many of you here who read my blog can relate–if your spouse is committing adultery, whether it’s an emotional affair or a physical affair, your marriage is DIFFICULT.  It can feel very lonely.  You may not have your spouse there for you.  Your Disloyal Spouse is probably angry, abusive, deceptive, dishonest, and hurtful.  Chances are good that your sex life is suffering, and you miss the hugs and kisses and loving physical touches.  

But I still hate it when people say cliche kind of responses like these because they don’t really HELP. I don’t need some meaningless cliche–I need some understanding, sympathy or at least something that’s actually helpful! LOL I will say one thing about these sayings though: they aren’t utterly inaccurate.

To me, when I think of “God is my husband” what I truly, honestly think of in my head is that as a woman, I want a male person to treat me with love and kindness and gentleness, and God is not a male human in flesh and blood in front of me. But when I think about marriage, I think that it is an image of the way God wants to be with us…with ME. Marriage reflects the intimate knowledge of one male person to one female person–full, deep, true KNOWING and BEING KNOWN with covenant commitment to each other. This is what God wants: He wants me to fully, deeply, truly know Him and been known by Him.  He wants covenant commitment to each other. And in that sense, He is my Husband.  

Likewise, I think of “Jesus is enough” I think of Jesus, who is fully the Maker and Creator of the Universe, but who humbled Himself and took on flesh. He was fully GOD, but he experienced the hunger, tiredness, frustration, limitation and yes physical sexual hormones and everything that comes with a human body…and He voluntarily gave Himself to torture and death to atone for us! If He can endure that for us, then yes, I can endure what physical discomforts this short time here on earth  may give me, even if it’s being horny or without sex.  After all, the point of sex is not “to relieve my horny physical itch” but to physically share in the pleasure of my spouse and serve them!  My focus in sex is on intimacy and on my spouse.  

And the last thing I think of is actually adultery, and I think of that because so often we think of our little pain or our loneliness or our lack of sex and try to justify to ourselves “Well, God would want me to be happy” or some such nonsense.  But in real life, marriage is a mirror of our relationship to God (as the Bride of Christ)…and adultery is a mirror of our relationship to God before Christ!  He loved us, as a husband loves his bride, and we “cheated” on Him by loving other gods and chasing them rather than being faithful to Him.  We were rageful, hateful, deceptive, dishonest, and followed our lusts–and despite all that, God kept His covenant with us and sent Jesus to pay the price in our place.  

So at times, the frustration and loneliness and longing for just loving physical touch can feel overwhelming and be very hard to bear–but then I think of what marriage is, what a covenant commitment means, and how God loved me (His Bride) when I was committing adultery.  And with His help, I can endure this small trial here.  

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My Vows

Do you remember the vows you took on your wedding day?  Word for word?  I remember mine.  My Dear Hubby and I were not dewy-eyed youths when we got married, and we wrote vows to really express the covenant we were making.

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,     Dear Hubby    , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.–In the first sentence, I wanted the part in there about sharing with my Dear Hubby God’s plan for our lives, because I wanted to express that we weren’t just here to live for our happiness individually or “our” happiness as a couple, but rather, we were put together specifically to perform a plan that God had for us.  I was to do my wifely duties; he was to do his husbandly duties; and TOGETHER we were to do God’s plan for us…not our own!  Furthermore, that sentence ends with “together united in Christ” because we are both believers–so not only do Dear Hubby and I unite to each other…but we also unite in Christ.

As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.–This sentence is all about one thing: being married is not about “what’s in it for me?” but it’s all about “What am I going to voluntarily and willingly give TO YOU?”  As a married person, my job and my focus are on studying my husband and learning how to be the best wife I am able to be.  When you become focused only on yourself and your own happiness, rather than focusing on your spouse and on doing what pleases God–that’s when marriages can be torn apart!

It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.–This part of my vows was my way of acknowledge the authority in my new marriage and the role I saw myself playing, namely that my husband would be the head, that I would willingly submit to him, and that I saw my role as being not just “his helper” but someone who would be fit to help him grow and assist him in his work.

Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.–Boy, I bet when everyone says this part of their vows they THINK they mean it, but wow…life can really throw some zingers at you!  For example, this part of the vows means: “I will not threaten to leave when your ex-spouse is a hassle and tries to interfere in our marriage.”  It also means “When your ex stops paying child support and the kids are living at our house all the time, I will stay with you and work it out.”  It also means “When we hit menopause and our sex drives change up, I won’t just leave because I’m not happy.”  It also means “When you get a chronic, life-long illness I won’t just up and leave you when you are too ill to meet my needs.”  It also means “When you lose your job and feel like the dirt on a worm’s shoe, I’ll be the one standing by you.”  It also means “When you parents die and you close up to deal with it, I will patiently wait for you.”  DO NOT take this part lightly, because it means that through every trial and tribulation of life, you promise to turn TOWARD your spouse.

Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.–Yep you see it there–that scary “obey” word.  To me, this sentence is once again stating what I see as the role in the marriage.  It’s not my job to make sure the marriage steers in the right spiritual direction.  That’s my Dear Hubby’s job.  When I’m standing up there before God, He’s not going to put the responsibility of directing the family on me–He’s going to ask me “Did you respect your husband’s authority?”  If I did, that would be fulfilling my place in our home.

“Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.–Ah the conclusion.  I’ve always liked the story of Ruth.  I love how she was originally from Moab–grew up outside the covenant and just happened to marry a guy who was an Israelite but who was disobeying God.  So she learned about I AM from her husband and she “got it”… through God’s gift of faith, she understood!  Then when her husband died, her mother-in-law says “Hey you’re young yet.  You go to your own family and have a good life and I’m heading back to Israel” but what does Ruth say?   She says THIS VERSE, because she knows that her duty is to help take care of her mother-in-law, and she knows that her mother-in-law’s God is The One God!  She does the honorable thing, pleasing God, and as the rest of the story progresses, she ends up meeting Boaz, they get married and is the grandmother of King David and in the lineage of Christ.  So yeah I love her.  She was an “outsider” and God loved her and added her to His elect.

So there you have it!  My vows:

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,      Dear Hubby     , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.   As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.   It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.  Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.   Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.   “Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Do you remember your vows? If you do, post them in a comment and let’s talk about them.

This is post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Tuesdays I also join this Godly Link-up:


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Top Ten Marriage Sites to help your Christian marriage grow

Obviously we think our own site is the bomb.  We specifically help people keep their marriage affair-free, or if there is an affair, to recover after the affair.  We do help anyone who comes and asks for it, but we do primarily focus on Christians and we definitely have a nouthetic approach.

Thus, this list is very focused on Christian marriage and that’s because we do believe that to REALLY recover after infidelity, a person has to turn their life over to God.  The priority isn’t the marriage but rather doing what pleases God.  Thus we are in the trenches with several other folks in our industry who are  helping couples build stronger, healthier, more loving, godly marriages.  We want to toot their horns!

#10 Christian Nymphos – Don’t let the name throw you (although is sort-of threw me at first)!  I like this site because they identify first as Christian women who belong to God and have a saving faith in Christ‘s work.  Then they go on to say that they “… submit all of (their) sexual desires to His authority so that (their) expressions of passion with (their) husbands are healthy and appropriate.”  The mission to teach Christian women how to spice it up in a godly way is right on the mark.  Thanks Nymphos!

#9 Trench Diggers – This group is the brainchild of my dear friend, Courtnee Scott.  She wants to put together a directory of REAL help for REAL people…Christians who are willing to jump in the trenches with you and address the real issues that we so often “pretend” are not part of The Church.  Rather than turning a blind eye, let’s help our brothers and sisters out of the trenches.

*8 Generous Wife/Generous Husband – I have made these two one entry because Generous Wife writes from the lady’s point of view for other ladies…and Generous Husband for the men!  But the ministry and encouragement is very similar–namely to help women learn to be better wives and lovers and to help men learn to be better husbands and romancers!

#7 The Hero’s Spouse–MLC Marriage Advocate – I have not been working with Kenda Ruth very long, but I am SO impressed with the little community she has.  Yes it’s true she takes an approach that is more into the psychology (whereas we focus on nouthetic help) but learning all you can about what happens and why can be VERY helpful to both the person having the MLC and the spouse who’s standing for their marriage.  Thank you for this great site!

#6 Intimacy in Marriage - One of the biggest issues I hear, over and over again, is one spouse that says, “Well we’re married now and I am not that interested in sex, so you’re cut off and I expect you to stay faithful to me”  Thankfully we have Julie to speak plainly and openly and help couples come into a more godly view of what sex IS (it is intimacy shared in many ways, not just physically) and IS NOT  (it is not just for *your* pleasure…but your spouse’s!).  Thank you Julie for speaking the truth in a very biblical way.

#5 Black and Married with Kids – What can I say about Lamar and Ronnie Tyler?  First, they are a normal couple just like you or I or anyone else–but second, they make the effort to paint marriage in a POSITIVE light.  Their site is updated daily and addresses the special issues faced by black couples, specifically the positives of being a man, father and husband.  They are a DYNAMO of positive PR for marriage and they are the founders of #MarriageChat on Twitter, every Wednesday night at 9pm ET (6pm PT).  Join us and you’ll see…this week’s topic is “Infidelity!”

#4 Romantic Vineyard–Okay I admit it.  I am utterly in love with the romance of how this site is set up–I mean seriously!  It’s like a walk through a vineyard!  But even beyond that wonderfully inventive ambiance, this site has sound, biblical advice for both men and women and is written in a gentle, loving voice that stays true.  This day and age, that is unusual and so I pick them fourth on my list.

#3 Stupendous Marriage–Again, I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Stu and Lisa, for back in the day, when I was first getting Affaircare off the ground, I got to know them on Facebook and Twitter and they’ve been mentors ever since.  Stu started with “The Marry Blogger” and told his story, gradually, and over time introduced his Beautiful Wife ™ to us all.   Now the two of them have joined forced to bring this ministry even further, and it is a personal but modest way of addressing the damage that porn can create in a marriage…but the encouraging part is that they tell you how to stop.  So catch their show–listen to the podcasts–read the blogs–sift through the resources–and get real help from someone who has “been there, done that” and offers compassionate, godly help for your marriage!

My top two sites for helping your Christian marriage are sort of hard to describe, mainly because neither site focuses only on Christian marriage, but rather both sites focus on Biblically correct admonition FIRST and on renewing our minds which then results in pleasing God and a better marriage.  So while the sites are my number two and number one TOP sites for helping Christian marriages…the better marriages that you’ll find here are a result of reading God’s Word and obeying Him–sort of a by-product, if you will!  So without further adieu:

#2 IBCD “How to Love Your Spouse”–IBCD stands for The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship and they specifically train people to become Nouthetic Counselors.  The thrust of what is taught is not a particular denominational doctrine, but rather it is focused 100% on Scripture.  What does the SCRIPTURE say?  Not on science…not on admired preachers/teachers…not on worldly wisdom…but purely what does the BIBLE say?  The training for Nouthetic Counseling does include many common counseling issues, but the specific ‘marriage’ area includes topics like “How do I change my husband/wife?”, the Biblical directive for marriage, solving common marital problems (like conflict resolution), and sex!  The reason this is my number two site is that always, Always, ALWAYS the focus is on the Bible and what God says.  So check out their whole site but listen to the MP3’s on marriage!

#1 Institute for Nouthetic Studies blog (by Jay Adams)–Dr. Adams is the man commonly credited with “founding” Nouthetic Counseling.  Of course, we know that God is the actual founder, since He is the one who wrote the Bible and is the Great Counselor, and yet Dr. Adams is the one who coined the phrase.  And over the course of the years, Dr. Adams has written numerous books that ultimately point us to the best way to help your Christian marriage: namely to let GOD do the work and let GOD do the changing!  We are all sinners, and guess what?  Your spouse is too!  And whilst we may observe how this “issue” or that “problem” has certain commonalities, in the end our job as a counselor is to point the person to what the Bible tells them to do, give them the tools to struggle with it, and let the Holy Spirit actually do His work in them.  It’s not us and not necessarily “medication” that will cure someone by transforming them, but the Holy Spirit!  So take it from Dr. Adams…help your Christian marriage by turning to the Bible for “admonishing, correction and instruction.”

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Here’s the Affaircare “Hot Marriage Site” award!

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…and here’s the coding if you want to put it on your site:

<a border=”0″ href=”http://www.affaircare.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh76/FaithfulWifeCJ/affaircare/kewl_flame_heart-1-1.jpg&#8221; /></a>


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“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” ~Luke 6:45

Day Twenty-two:

“Let your speech always be with grace…” Col. 4:6a

Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: “If all my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I’ve said about him, what would they think of my husband?” Do you need to change the filter?

Do you talk positively about your husband to others… or do you complain and criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Cor. 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never “rejoice in iniquity” (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband’s faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area – be wary of sharing barbed “prayer requests.”

Remember, “Love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a “good word” for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him – and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.

Don’t forget: you are always criticizing – or encouraging – before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com


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My computer beat me at checkers, but I sure beat it at kickboxing.

Day Eighteen:

“You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy…Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” Ps. 16:11a; 144:15b
“A merry heart does good like medicine…” Prov. 17:22a

It’s hard to criticize others when we are enjoying their company. Instead of speaking negatively to your husband today, enjoy him! Encourage him! As you experience fullness of joy with God, share some of that joy with your husband.

Does your husband have a playful side? A great sense of humor? Is there a “little boy” that wants to escape from time to time, reflecting the joy in his heart?

This is a wonderful part of who he is, and a great strength. Let him know that you
appreciate his joyfulness and his playful spirit. Find opportunities to join him in positive play times.

If your husband can sometimes be overly serious, coax him out occasionally for some play times. It will help him relieve stress and relax.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

Having a sense of humor is so important in a long-term relationship, and considering that marriage is for the rest of your life–it’s time to let our hair down and laugh!  No I’m not joking!  How often do we take life’s moments–that are wonderful, precious and FUNNY–and turn them into “serious issues”?  How often has your husband wanted to play–be silly–joke around–have fun and you’ve been the downer responsible one and made him talk about bills.  BLECH!

If you have a husband who works hard and provides for the family, but has a silly sense of humor, the next time he tickles or plays or tells one of those GROOOOANER jokes of his, don’t roll your eyes.  Laugh!  Let your hair down, kick up your heels a little, and play back with him.  Tickle him.  Giggle.  Play wrestle until you collapse into each others’ arms laughing and then kiss!  Or better yet, when the kids say something adorable (but mildly embarrassing) right in front of the pastor or gramma–LAUGH!  They are so cute at that age and it is a gift to TREASURE!

If you find that you (or your husband) are just a little too “on the serious side” I suggest that you purposely plan a weekend alone–just the two of you–and go do something fun.  Making love all weekend *can* be fun but that’s not what I mean.  You know how you always drive by that amusement park and say “Wow I would love to go there but with the kids and appointments blah blah blah?”  Yeah–go do THAT.  GO to the muscle car show, horse pull, sci-fi convention or weekend doing nothing by the beach that you have always wanted to do!  Remind yourselves how fun it is to just hang out and be together…how much you really LIKE each other.  Then work on keeping your sense of humor alive when you get back home!

1.  Tell jokes about your own self!  You are super funny (and looks aren’t everything).

2.  Make up a silly habit to break up crabby moods…like breaking into Monty Python‘s silly walk.

3. Exaggerate problems.  I mean turn them into universal chaos and the end of mankind if that song isn’t turned down RIGHT AWAY!

4. Ask people about one funny thing that happened today.  Amazingly this will get you thinking about something funny that happened during your day and you’ll be aware of little funny things.

5. Laugh.  Every day.  Right now.  Come one–a real one.  Not a slight giggle.  If you can’t belly laugh, put on “Naked Gun” or “Airplane” right now!

6. Finally just acknowledge that “Some mornings it just isn’t worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. ”  (Thanks Emo for the encouragement!)


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“I hear ya!”

DAY NINE:

“…be swift to hear, slow to speak…” James 1:19b

We are often so busy speaking that we don’t take time to listen. We are so quick to offer a comment – negative or positive – that we don’t really “hear” our husband‘s heart.  Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more!

As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord’s admonition today: “Be swift to hear.”

If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but also to him.

One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about
something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it’s an area of personal
familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn’t know, then tell him, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.

Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

Did you know there are three ways to “listen” to someone?  Listening is not just “hearing” because you can hear a noise and completely tune it out or ignore it.  Nope listening is when one person decides to communicate and chooses the “code” they’re going to use to indicate that message/idea…and the listener receives the “code”…decodes it…and interprets it to try to understand.  It’s effective when the person doing the listening interprets the code in the same way that the communicator intended it.  And as I mentioned there are three ways to listen to someone:

1) Active Listening–this is the one we are talking about and aiming for today.  When you are active listening, you are looking at the person who’s talking, you are thinking about what they are saying, and you are trying to understand their idea–catch their excitement–or share what they are sharing.  In this listening both parties are active and verify that they have heard the right thing.

2) Passive Listening–oh we’ve all had this one done to us!  This is when you are talking and someone is looking at the TV or computer screen sort of “half-listening”–their mind is elsewhere.  Passive listening can also be when the listener thinks, “Oh I’ve heard this before!” and rather than verifying the message, they assume it’s the same ol’ message they’ve heard in the past.

3) Competitive Listening–unfortunately we’ve all done this one too.  This form of listening is when we are so interested in our own ideas and pushing our own agenda that we don’t really “listen” at all!  Instead, while the other person is talking, we’re thinking of our response or looking for flaws or weaknesses to attack.  We basically just pretend to pay attention while we look for openings to jump in and take over.

So that’s our challenge today.  LOOK at how you listen to your husband.  Is it more like #3 or #2 than #1?  Are you looking for your chance to butt in and give YOUR opinion or say how much worse YOUR day was than his?  If so, take the day today and really try to listen to him.  Hear his words and then ask him, “So what you’re trying to say is…” and summarize what you think you heard him say.  You will probably be surprised how often you assume you know what he means and assume incorrectly!  Today…give him the gift of being HEARD.


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Banknote, bankroll, bills, bread, bucks, coin, dough–in other words: Money!

It’s Day Seven of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about money!

Day Seven:

“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!…for riches certainly make themselves wings…” Prov. 23:4-5 

“That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.”Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord. Ask yourself, “Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?” Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area. Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely? Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles? Does he have a budget? Does he make wise decisions about purchases -checking many sources before he buys? Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord? Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters.

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make. Perhaps you can help him, if he’s open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance. Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.

Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

All too often in marriages, the finances cause a host of problems and friction between a husband and a wife.  Maybe one is a generous spender and one is frugal.  Maybe one has a PERFECT credit rating and one has past credit problems they are trying to keep secret.  Maybe one likes to wear designer clothing and the other shops at Goodwill.  Maybe one believes in living on a cash basis and one wants to live by credit and borrowing.

To me it’s really hard to write about money because it seems so obvious and clear!  If you earn $3000 a month (either with one working or both) that means you have that amount available to you to pay for your home, your utilities, your food and anything else the family may need such as clothing or supplies.  I know some people take a financial view they consider more “advanced” and borrow and then have their minimum payments add up to $3000 a month…but I believe if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it yet so save up!  That way, once you own something it is yours and is an asset and not a debt.

Nevertheless the Bible has plenty to say about money, finances and the economy, and this challenge today is not so much about “which financial approach is correct” as it is about challenging us to look at our husbands in a new light.  Some men work very, VERY hard for what they can provide for their family and then are godly stewards of the wealth God has given to them, using finances to not only provide for his own family but to also graciously give to those in need.  If you look at your husband with fresh eyes and realize you have THIS kind of husband–thank God that He has given you this blessing and thank your husband…lavishly!!

If your husband works very hard to contribute and is wise with every penny but doesn’t earn a lot and money is a little tight–thank God that He has provided for you and thank your husband for all his effort.  Learn to be grateful for the things you do have and be content.  After all God has given to you what He has determined is best for you.   Also just a note to the wives here in the USA: we are so used to “being rich” here that we tend to think that “luxuries” are “necessities.”  For example, did you know that you can live perfectly well without cable TV, or Nordstrom jeans, or a brand new Wii?  Yep, learn to do without, save, and take care of whatever God brings into life!

On the other hand, if your husband tends to over-spend, can not stick to a budget, or just will not work to earn–thank God for the chance He has given you to minister to your husband and help him grow and become a better man.  Remember two things though: 1) it is not our job to “teach” our husband or “make” him do things–however God can use our strengths to support his weaknesses and 2) even if we do show him some tips and tricks and help, we are told in Eph. 5:33 ” “… let the wife see that she respects her husband” and that is not a suggestion!  We are commanded to RESPECT our husband.  So change your own attitude about him, and when it comes to the family finances, be on his side–not his challenger!


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You mean I should be thankful for that tinkering in the garage?

It’s Day Six of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about manly creativity and how sometimes power tools are involved.

DAY SIX

“…whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband‘s creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the “creative” type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special “knack” he has? Affirm him for his handiwork – a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn’t measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his “creative side,” understand that men’s creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work…and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day…Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

When wives think about creativity, what do we think of?  Knitting or crocheting?  Singing or playing an instrument?  Maybe painting or dancing?  As women our idea of being artistic may even extend into the kitchen and the way we create or serve meals.  But when it comes to our husbands, all too often we fail to notice their manly attempts at ingenuity, or if we do notice it, we belittle the attempt because it doesn’t seem creative to us or it’s not up our standard.

Men can obviously also knit, crochet, sing, play a musical instrument, paint or dance too.  When was the last time your husband tried to dance with you and danced in front of you and you laughed at him?  How about the last time he tried to paint or draw?  Did you encourage the attempt–or tell it was a waste of time because he’s not Picasso?  When your husband makes the effort to try to do something

In addition to the ways we women think of creativity, men also have “Manly Men” ways of expressing inspiration that often we female types just don’t recognize!  For example men often express innovation and originality when they are using power tools.  The way that they build or woodwork is creativity.  Making the car run perfectly is artistry.  Adding a room to the house is a way of increasing the beauty and pleasure of his family via carpentry skill.  Growing fresh vegetables to feed the family or preparing a new recipe with the latest kitchen gadgetry is one method of expressing imagination and talent.  But when was the last time you looked at a perfect, polished carburetor and thought “Wow that is beautiful!” or considered how much automotive mastery that demonstrates?

So to quote Tim, the Toolman Taylor:

  • Al:  Didn’t you study the manual at all?
  • Tim:  A real man doesn’t need a manual.
That’s right–they don’t.  They create it all in their head and then build it.  And today our goal is to praise our husbands for their ingenious, inventive, imaginative side.  Hey honey–that song was BEAUTIFUL!


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But I need someone to commiserate with–don’t I?

It’s Day Five of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about your husband and the words you speak about him to others.

DAY FIVE

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29 

Another way to describe the positive side of this “30-Day Encouragement Challenge” is by using the word “edify,” which means, “to build up.” Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build. Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members. Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband’s mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him – in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com 

As wives we live with our husbands day-in and day-out and see their personal foibles and flaws–their peculiar habits and hidden struggles.  Yet so often we fall into the trap of finding a girlfriend or a group of girlfriends to whom we turn to “tell our troubles to.”  We’ll go to that friend, or that women’s group, and say things like, “Well you won’t believe what he did THIS week…” and the juicy gossip and criticism begins.  We point out his every mistake.  We turn to a sister who has “been there done that” and tell her every single time he hurts our feelings or doesn’t behave well.  We tell ourselves we need someone who understands how we feel…

Or sometimes we ARE that friend.  All our lady friends turn to us and tell us all their woes: “He did THIS and he did THAT…” and we sit and listen.  In an attempt to be “supportive” we might say “Oh you deserve better!” or “You are so right not to take that from him!”  Not only do we encourage our friend to “talk to us about it” we also encourage her in talking badly about her husband and in acting against him, but them at odds with each other rather than on the same team!  [FYI: a true friend would tell her "You need to speak with your husband about this, not me" and would encourage her to be a husband lover (Titus 2:4) and be united with him...not against him!]

Our words come from our heart–our innermost being, our thoughts.  If our words about our husbands concentrate on his shortcomings and focus on his mistakes, that means our hearts  will be see everything that’s wrong with him too.  But our tongue CAN be mastered, and changing what you say out loud can have an effect on your thoughts.  If, instead of speaking your husband’s flaws aloud, you spoke about his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would affect the way you THINK about him and the way you see him.  In addition, if you were speaking with your girlfriends or your mom and sisters, and you were telling them his GOOD qualities and what you love about him and the GOOD thing he just did yesterday…it would change the way THEY see him too!

So practice today.  Look at yourself honestly and admit where you’ve spoken and torn your husband down…and today make a complete 180 and build him up with your words.

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Work, work, work–all he does is WORK!

It’s Day Four of our Husband Encouragement Challenge, and today’s challenge is all about your husband and his career:

Day Four

“…let him labor, working with his hands what is good…” Eph. 4:28

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here’s a suggestion that touches the core of your husband’s world.  Some women take their husband’s career for granted, and they show it in many ways.  Do you “dump” on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others. If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you’ll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career – such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses
require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com

To refresh your memory…here’s the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge…for the next 30 days:
* You can’t say anything negative about your husband …to your husband…or to anyone else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband…to your husband…and to someone else, about your husband!

Today’s challenge specifically faces one of the biggest challenges faced by married couples: work.  So often I hear wives say “All he ever does is work!” and husbands say “She wanted a new car and new clothes from the department store and this and that for the kids–the only way I could get those things for her was to work longer hours!”  So today’s challenge is not just about saying “Oh honey thank you for working so hard. ”  Today’s challenge is about looking into your own heart and asking yourself if you are grateful for the way another human being has worked to make your comfort and your desires a priority.

If you want him to work less, do you welcome him home and make home a place that he would prefer to be rather than the office? Is home a haven for him–a place to relax and recharge?  Or is he grilled the moment he steps through the door?  If you’ve had a rough day do you dump your troubles on him and expect him to care about YOUR day without caring about his?  If you want him to work less, are you willing to give up the Nordstrom clothes and trips, and instead delight in Target and camping with more time together?

On the other hand, if your husband works hard and is a professional at what he does–whether that’s a bread-truck driver or a CEO–are you grateful for the characteristics that make him a good worker? Diligence? Self-control? Organization?  Do you look at the possessions you have in your home with gratitude and realize that someone else’s labor was given for you to enjoy these things?  Is your life easier, better, and more comfortable because you do not have to worry where the next meal is coming from or where you and your children will sleep tonight?

It’s the other side of the coin.  His work is often his way of saying, “I care about you so much that I’m willing to tire myself to make your life easier.”  If that is your husband, oh my goodness learn to be grateful for his efforts and thank him today.

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