Tag Archives: Lord

Peeping, Prying and Private Investigations

peeping

Is snooping after an affair justified?  Is it right?  Wrong?

I was reading this post on Affair Advice “22 Months Later–A Setback” and it got me thinking about snooping and privacy in marriage.  Paraphrasing the post, the author is a recovering Disloyal Spouse, and he and his Loyal Spouse have been reconciling and doing fairly well in healing their marriage.  The event that precipitated this post, is that it has been 22 months since D-Day, and after a business trip, his wife went through his things looking for evidence, and she sort of freaked out because one evidence she was expecting to find was not there…and she took that to mean he had been lying. They had a set back in their recovery.

So on the one hand, Disloyal Spouses may feel like their Loyal Spouse is smothering them, giving them no privacy, and being their parent…telling them what to do, when to do it, and with whom they can do it.  On the other hand, the Loyal Spouses feel like their spouses were dishonest and covered things up so they could have their affair…and their trust in their spouse’s honesty was destroyed.  Now they just want to know what’s going on and be included rather than excluded.

Now I could tell you MY opinion and you know what it would be worth?   A hill of beans!  LOL  Instead, let’s see what the Bible has to say about peeping, prying and private investigations within a marriage.

One of the first mentions of marriage and this concept of privacy is in Genesis where it says that “Adam KNEW his wife Eve” (Genesis 4: 1, 17, & 25).  The Hebrew word used there is “yada” and people often associate this as “he had sex with…” but that is NOT all that “yada” means.  In these three verses, Adam shared himself and his life and his affection with his wife, Eve, and from that sharing of love, a child was conceived.  Yada/Knowing is sharing your thoughts and feelings so intimately with another person that your body follows along.  Yada is dedicating yourself to someone so that you can engage them in love and sharing.  BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!  “Yada” is also used in Prov. 12:10 where it says: “The righteous know [yada] the needs of their animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. ”  Put simply, a wise person understands the needs of those around him/her and meets those needs (even of the ANIMALS!), but a foolish person is so self-centered they not only are they unaware of the needs of those around him/her but they are CRUEL to them!!  Yada is acting in mercy to those around you and meeting THEIR NEEDS.  Amazingly there is still more!!  “Yada” is also used in Jeremiah 22:15-16, where it says: “But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know [yada] me?” says the Lord.”  In this verse, the prophet is giving a SCATHING rebuke to a king who had been selfish, corrupt, and exploited others, and he is telling the horrible king what it is like to truly KNOW (yada) the Lord.  See what it says?  Yada is doing justice, showing mercy to the poor and needy, and living a life that shows good character.  In other words, Yada is faithfully living our covenant relationship with the Lord in EVERY ASPECT of our lives.

So I like and echo what Warrior Princess says in her blog “After the Affair–Living Life in the Open“.  Speaking as a former Disloyal Spouse, I do remember feeling like I was being watched a little–especially at first–but I also remember feeling like I earned that because I had kept so much hidden!  I did long for the day that my spouse would trust my honesty again, but I knew that in order for him to have faith in my honesty, that meant I had to:

a) BE HONEST– for a long, long time!  My words and my actions HAD to match, for a while!  and

b) BE OPEN– I had to stop hiding when I was hurt or lonely or disappointed.  I had to stop being one person with him and another person at work.  I had to open up my thoughts and feelings to him and let him KNOW me.  For so long I had been hiding certain aspects of what I thought or did, thinking he’d get mad or freak out, and that is actually disrespectful; it’s saying “I don’t believe you have the moral fortitude to deal with this maturely.”  I had to take the risk!

But even more than that–living life in the open–look at YADA up above: “To Know.”  Did you notice anything?  Let me restate the bold parts: “Yada is dedicating yourself to someone so that you can engage them in love and sharing. ” ” Yada is acting in mercy to those around you and meeting THEIR NEEDS. ” and “Yada is faithfully living our covenant relationship with the Lord in EVERY ASPECT of our lives.”  Did you notice that YADA “To Know” is not about YOU?  When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about getting them to engage YOU in love and sharing…it is YOU taking the time and spending the energy to do that FOR THEM.  When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about getting your spouse to treat you with mercy and meet your needs…it is YOU practicing mercy on a daily basis, forgiving their imperfections, and learning what their needs are and actively meeting them!  When you are in a marriage, getting “To Know” your spouse is not about living your life to yourself or for yourself…it is about faithfully, day in and day out, living in a covenant relationship with GOD and expressing that covenant in everything you do in your life.

So what do you do when your spouse is peeping, prying and investigating your private life?  I say let them.  Let them be included in your life.  Include them in your activities.  Share your thoughts and feelings.  KNOW them, and let them KNOW you.

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Fathers…

Fathers Day

I’m reposting a blog I wrote for Father’s Day way back in June 2010!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

God has a lot to say about the fathers in our lives.  Before I go any further, let me share a few verses about fathers and children:

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  • “For the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.” (Proverbs 3:32)
  • “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)
  • “Honesty lives confident and carefree, but Shifty is sure to be exposed.” (Proverbs 10:9 MSG)
  • “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” (Proverbs 17:24)
  • “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)
  • “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)
  • “Don’t fail to correct your children. You won’t kill them by being firm, and it may even save their lives.”(Proverbs 23:13-14 CEV)
  • “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV)
  • “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” (Proverbs 17:27)
  • “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)

This day and age, the role of men in families is being undermined. With access to fairly easy divorce, for no declared reason other than “we aren’t happy” children today often have men that come and go in their lives. Men often think they don’t have just as much right to custody of their own children. But children very much NEED fathers in their lives!

A father may be the male person whose DNA you carry–your biological progenitor.  A father may be a man who stepped up and raised you when your real father left your mom.  A father may be a pastor or clergyman who ministered in your life.  A father may be the guy who hung out with you and taught you what being a man REALLY was.  Fathers can be anyone from the humble bread-truck driver to a busy executive CEO–but they are the guy who guides you, teaches you, never gives up on you, and shows compassion while spending time.  Today we honor our FATHERS.  So thank the man in your life who was your mentor, adviser and model.  Let him know that he meant something to you.

Happy Father’s Day!

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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:

Bible Verses to Save Your Marriage After an Affair

Romans 6:23   “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 10:4  “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 10:9-10  “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

If you really want to save your marriage after infidelity, the thing that will help the most is being a Christian.  Our nature is to be sinful people, and the “wages” of that sin–the consequence–is eternal separation from God.  We are spiritually dead.  If you want, you can envision drowned people in a huge sea.  The ocean is the sin that we are in, and since we are drowned, we are dead and powerless to help ourselves.  Thankfully, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the Law and take the punishment of our sin in our place.  The price has been paid!  Those whom He has chosen, He picks them up from the death of drowning in sin, and He breathes life into them so they are able to believe and profess with their mouth that they have been saved from death!  So start here … with these verses. 

  

Matthew 19:26  “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

It may seem hopeless, and it may feel futile and discouraging, to hold on to a marriage after infidelity, but there is hope.  God can change a person from the inside out.

Mark 10:6-9   “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

These verses give us some background that marriage was something ordained by God.  They also tell us a lot of facts about what God thinks about marriage.  They say we are to leave the authority of our father and mother’s home.  They say we are supposed to have a physical relationship.  They say husbands and wives are united … we are ONE.  And it says right there that man does not have the authority to tear marriage apart–only God has that authority.  So let’s keep in mind what God thinks about marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5  “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”.

These verses show us that moral sexuality is pleasing to God.  Please note, however, that our sexuality is not self-centered–to get what we need–but rather SPOUSE-centered.  We are told our bodies belong to each other -AND- that we should not go without sex because we help each other with sexual self-control.  Have you been withholding sex to control your spouse?

1 Corinthians 10:13  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

This is a promise.  God IS faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But note that it doesn’t say it will be easy or that you won’t be hurt.  It says that others have been tempted by the same stuff that is tempting you, and that God will give you a way to deal with it.

Galatians 6:9   “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Everyone gets tired…gets discouraged…feels dejected.  Do not give up.  Keep planting the seeds of doing good, even sometimes in the face of evil.  Do the right thing.

Ephesians 4:15  “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

This verse has to do with honesty and openness.  I’m sure you would LOVE it if your spouse or “soon-to-be-ex” was honest with you and openly let you into their life and heart.  But how honest are YOU with your spouse?  Do you “speak the truth” to them?  What about when you think they’ll get mad?  Do you lie to avoid their anger?  Speak the truth, lovingly.

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

If you had gotten from God what you deserve, you would be spiritually dead.  If your spouse got from you what they deserve for their affair, they might be on the curb with divorce papers.  But God forgave you and gave you a way to be saved–can you forgive your spouse and give them a way to rebuild (if they are truly repentant)?

Philippians 4:13   “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Oh this is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible.  It DOES NOT mean that you can do whatever you want and God with give you the strength to do it.  It means that the things that please Him are not always easy…in fact it’s hard to resist our nature and live like a Christian!  But not only does God call us to obey, He also gives us the strength to do the things He asks.

Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Believe the best of your spouse, and actively encourage them to do the right thing, obey God, and stop doing what they know is wrong.

Hebrews 13:4  “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

Just so you’re not believing those crazy justifications like “We were called together so we could serve in the Youth Group Ministry”–here’s a verse that says right out that God is not pleased with adultery.  So you’re not nuts.  God does not tell people to break their covenant and be unfaithful in order to serve Him–just the opposite really. 

James 1:19   “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Did you notice something interesting?  It doesn’t say “No matter what, don’t ever, Ever, EVER become angry.”  It can be righteous to be angry, and anger handled correctly is not sinful.  But the big message here, of course, is to listen a lot more than you speak, and when you listen don’t just be plotting your response.

2 Peter 3:9  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

The moment you sinned, God could have demanded the price from you immediately–He had the right.  But He was patient with your unfaithfulness to Him…and now you can model His behavior by being patient and giving your spouse every opportunity to do the right thing.

1 John 4:7-8  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Please do not be confused: Love is not the same as being a doormat.  Love does not mean “walk all over me.”  It means making the choice to act lovingly toward someone even with they are not acting too lovely, and it means doing what is in their best interests.  

Think of a parent who loves their child.  Does a loving parent just let their child steal a candybar in broad daylight from the grocery store?  OR does a loving parent see the theft and then let their child experience the repercussions of their action (taking the candy back, paying for it, being embarrassed) so that the child learns that stealing has painful ramifications?  If they let the child steal and just cover up the theft, the child will never learn the lesson!  

Same with adultery.  Being loving does not mean “pay no consequences”–it means that you will do what is loving and allow your adult spouse to live through the painful consequences to learn their lesson, but you don’t add vengeance and  spite.  Be loving–love them enough to do what is best for them.

“Through the eyes of Grace…”

 Day Twelve:

“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” ~Eph. 4:2

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge to encourage your husband is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise. Perhaps the problem is not with your husband. Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic
expectations (Prov. 13:12). It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it’s simply that we expect too much in some areas.

Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to others than to those in our own homes. Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace. Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.

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 

The posts of the past few days have caused a little stir, and I suspect today’s may also.  Today’s challenge is not so much an assignment we have to accomplish as it is a challenge to look at ourselves in the mirror as wives. Sometimes finding something about your husband to praise every day can be…well a challenge!  But sometimes the reason is not is not because of your husband, but rather because of you and your own heart and attitudes.  Today we face ourselves and consider Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  

Our culture right now teaches us unique and sort of weird things as women and wives.  The feminist movement tried to correct a real issue (namely: if a male and female with the same education and experience do the same work…the pay should be the same) and then somehow veered to the left and turned that into a view of “equality” that means women get the benefits of a relationship without holding themselves to the responsibilities.  And if a man does try to hold her to the responsibilities, that’s being a “chauvinist” or “sexist.”

Recently I posted Day 9 of the Husband Encouragement Challenge which was the day about listening to your husband.  The concept was not to let him boss you around or “you have to listen to what he says” like you have to listen to your parents–but rather a challenge to focus on what he is trying to share and then repeat it back to validate him and his thoughts.  He has just as much right to his thoughts and feelings as you do!  Plus as his wife it would seem natural that you might care about him.  That day, a male person posted a comment “Wow, with all the issues with marriages I don’t think I’ve heard any of it say to listen to the husband. This was kind of a neat post. Thanks.”  Does that strike anyone else as shocking–that with all the marriage advice and so-called “experts” out there, no one recommends listening to the male in the relationship?  I know for a fact we women expect our men to listen to us!  If it were TRUE equality, wouldn’t that hold us responsible to listen to them? That’s a kind of sad commentary!

Then today I noticed on my brother-in-law‘s blog–Word Around the Net–that he has a post about the “Obedient Wives Clubs” that are springing up in Southeast Asia and catching a few eyes.  Now make no mistake, my brother-in-law has never been married, so it seems to me that he (and the commenters on that post) would be a somewhat decent candidate for what the “average single guy” thinks about women and wives and such. Know what I saw?  That single men see that women apply “equality” when it means the man has to adapt or change to fit the woman, but do not see “equality” when it means looking at themselves and changing or adapting to fit their man!

And this all leads to today’s challenge.  COULD IT BE that part of the reason you have difficulty finding things to praise about your husband is because you expect him to change but don’t change for him?  COULD IT BE that you can’t find things to praise about him because you expect him to listen to you and validate you but you don’t listen to or validate him?  COULD IT BE  that you don’t apply the same “equal” rules to yourself that you expect of him?  If that is the case, please don’t be discouraged (or stiff-necked and stubborn).  Hey I have to admit I was the same way until I saw it!  If you realize this is you,  it’s okay we’ve all made mistakes–the difference is that those who are wise *learn* from their mistakes and stop doing them!  So look at your own self and if you are not looking at your husband through the eyes of Grace–start tonight.

“Respect my authoritay!”

Day Eleven:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Eph. 5:22

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands – especially by speaking evil of them to others – show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever!). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.</span?
If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder …nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership…”as to the Lord.”

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 

A lot has already been written about husbands, wives and submission.  All too often the wives resist it–and all too often the husbands sound like Cartman saying “You will respect my authoritay!”  Rather than rehash it all here, I hope to put it into a new perspective for this challenge.

It is crystal clear in the Bible that God has told wives to submit to their husbands.   Ephesians 5:22, Colossian 3:18, and I Peter 3:1 are all explicit so that there really is not a question of whether wives should or should not submit to their husbands.  It’s also clear that there are not prerequisites there, such as “Submit to your husband if he deserves it” or “Submit to your husband if you agree with him.”  Nope it’s not a suggestion–it’s a requirement.

In fact it is my understanding that the Greek word used for “submit” in all of those verses says it in an indicative tense.  That means that rather than it being an imperative (like “You Shall…”)  it is an indication of what already exists (like “You Are…”) .  Thus the verses don’t say “Wives…you are commanded to submit to your husbands and you have to actively choose to obey that commandment” but rather “Wives…you are in the state of being under the authority of your husband.  This is your state of being–submission.”  Thus, we can rebel against it all we want and stubbornly refuse, but we just are not the leaders in our homes–we ARE in submission to our husbands.  Whether he is good at it or bad at it, he is the federal head and we are not.

How does this relate to our challenge?  Well as a wife living day-in and day-out with a man when he is ill, when he is tired, when he is not at his best … all too often we can see that side and begin to lose respect for him.  Rather than seeing him as the man who helps others, works hard, attends church and studies God’s word, we begin to see him as the man who postpones chores he doesn’t like, who is short-tempered with the kids, or who leaves his jeans in the middle of the floor.

This challenge is a reminder to us to respect our husbands in two ways.  First, we need to remember his position.  He IS the federal head of our family and as such he is owed the respect of being the head.  Don’t forget his position!  Second, when we see him at his “less than finer” moments we need to remind ourselves of the things he does that are worthy of respect.  Don’t let those outside your family heap respect on your husband when he doesn’t get the same in his own home.  Take a moment today and remember the things he does and purposely remind yourself of those characteristics that are worthy of respect.

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!