Ep. 83 Dear Wife: Build Up Your Husband

RMlogo Ep. 83 Dear Wife_ Build Up Your Husband

Shows Main Idea – I hear so much about men and how many times they’re not connected or “all in”. However, what I hear from most of my friends and contemporaries is the wife gives most of her time to everything and everyone but the husband. Can you comment or write on this topic?

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Show Notes

This podcast (and article) is only for women who need to do a better job submitting to and respecting their husbands. If you need additional help for your marriage, please go here.

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The heart of the husband trusts in her (Proverbs 31:11).

God looked upon Adam and said it was not good for him to be alone. The Lord did not explain why it was not good for Adam to be alone, but only that it was not good.

Through the centuries theologians have thought and written much as to why it was not good for man to be alone. Many of their thoughts have been helpful. I’m not totally sure of all the implications as to why God came to that conclusion, but He did. The Lord made Adam a woman to complement him. (Genesis 2:18-25).

Enter Eve

God put Adam to sleep and went to work. When Adam awoke from his deep sleep, he saw the most beautiful creation that God had made. Adam was smitten and rightfully so. Every man who has ever fallen in love understands–to a degree–what Adam felt that day.

A good wife is a good thing, and when a man finds a good wife, he has found a great treasure (Proverbs 18:22). Adam was in love.

When a Man Loves a Woman

Adam accompanied his love for his wife with faith and hope: (1) faith that the relationship would last and (2) hope that the relationship would be a mutually benefiting love affair.

When I first met Lucia, I decided that I wanted to “fall in love” with her. I, like Adam, was smitten. Part of the reason I loved her was because I believed (faith) God had put us together. I believed God did not want me to be alone for the rest of my life and that He was leading me to someone He had chosen her for me. The more I dated Lucia, the more my faith in what God was doing grew.

Faith in God’s leading and love for another person should grow proportionally. The more I believed God’s providential guidance in my life, the more willing I became to take the “risk of love.” As time progressed, I began to experience the hope that is found in a mutually benefiting relationship.

We were two people who desired to glorify God with our lives. We started to think that maybe God wanted us to do that together. But for me to embrace a covenantal-one-flesh-forever-union, I knew I would have to relinquish my independence and become vulnerable to the ups and downs of our soon-to-be marital relationship.

To Love Is to Be Vulnerable

To love someone is to become vulnerable to the other person in the relationship. The reason for this is because you are no longer an independent person beholden to no one.

To be single and independent does not call for this kind of dependent vulnerability to another human. But for a married couple, both the man and the woman must relinquish all of their desires for the benefits of singleness and independence, and seek to serve each other for the glory of God.

Being vulnerable is not unusual for partnerships. All relationships call for a certain amount of vulnerability between the partners for them to move forward into what they have been called to become.

The heart of the husband trusts in her. – Proverbs 31:11

As it pertains to a husband, he must step out by faith and place his heart in the hands of the woman he is going to commit his life to. Though he is the leader, he is humbly submitting to God by becoming vulnerable to his future wife.

Even though I am the leader of our marriage and family, I cannot be what God wants me to be without my wife. Yes, I am her head, but I am also vulnerable to her. I am beholding to her.

The truth is that my wife wields a particular amount of God-ordained power over me. I do not see her strength over me as a bad thing. Sadly, in Adam’s marriage, we saw the worst case scenario played out in the garden of Eden as it pertained to the power that his wife used sinfully.

Eve, like Adam, was an independent creature who had to make her decision as to whether she was going to follow God’s plan or exercise her autonomous free will by doing what she wanted to do. And we know the rest of the story.

I do sometimes wonder if women know what kind of power they have over their husbands. I wonder if they know how to harness that power for the mutual benefit of the marriage and for the purpose of making God’s name great through their marriage.

  1. Do you know what kind of power you have over your husband?
  2. How do you use your power over your husband?
  3. Do you respect him by bringing your power into biblical submission?
  4. Do you honor God by bringing your independent spirit into subjection for the greater good of the marriage?
  5. Self-control is having power over your power. Ask your husband how well you are doing in this area of self-control.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. – Proverbs 31:10-12 & 26

I have often said, though I do not think it is original to me, that a wife can be the best thing that ever happens to a man or she can be the worst thing to ever happen to him. She can contribute to his strength and make him better than he ever could be or she could gradually weaken him until he is a shell of what he used to be.

The most completed men you’ll ever find are those who are truly one flesh in every imaginable way in their marriage. It is not a man’s portfolio that makes him fantastic or complete. His job, house, or car do not fill the bill either. A man with a humble and loving wife who knows how to use her strength to help him become a man of God is a complete.

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Dear Wife,

The Bible is full of references that talk about your power. You are an amazing woman who can be used mightily by God. It’s like the gospel. Though many perceive the gospel as weak and foolish, God calls it His wisdom and power (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). You are in a similar role.

Our culture looks down on the Christian woman as though she is helpless and weak. That would not be the testimony of Scripture. It would not be the testimony of scores of men that I have counseled whose wives have just left them. Wives have power! Here are a few verses that talk about the power of the wife, particularly in how she uses her tongue.

  • Death is in the power of the tongue – Prov. 18:21
  • A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; – Proverbs 27:15
  • It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. – Proverbs 21:9
  • There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18
  • If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. – James 1:26
  • A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. – Proverbs 15:4
  • A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver – Proverbs 25:11
  • Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. – Proverbs 16:24
  • Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

There are a warning and encouragement for all of us in these verses but I am mainly addressing the wives. They have power, and they are called to use that power redemptively. The following is a case study of a lady who used her power to help destroy her marriage.

The Spear You Sharpen May Stab You In The Heart

Shari is a bitter and insecure lady. Her life has gone from one broken relationship to another. Five years ago she met Kennon, and they had a whirlwind dating relationship. They were impure in their relationship but rationalized what they were doing by hastily marrying.

Though friends had reservations about Kennon and Shari getting married, no one spoke into their lives because the couple kept themselves at arm’s length from helpful and caring relationships. It felt as though the marriage would not survive.

Shari’s criticalness and insecurity fed into Kennon’s cravings for respect and affirmation. After four years of marriage, Kennon began a flirtatious relationship with a woman at work. Within six months, Kennon was in adultery.

Kennon’s sins were numerous, and he is entirely responsible for how he decided to sin against God and his wife. The good news was that through counseling he admitted his various sins and repented. He sought to walk out his repentance by addressing his sins, even those that predated his relationship with Shari, as well as the ones he committed in their marriage. His humility and repentance have been inspiring to others.

Shari, on the other hand, is not repentant at all. She is angry, accusative, and divisive. The anger toward Kennon and the hurt Shari received from Kennon blind her to how she has been an accomplice in his sin. The spear she has been sharpening for years is now stabbing her in the heart. That spear is her wicked tongue.

Shari has a nagging, critical, and condemning tongue. Her craving for approval and acceptance chokes the life out of her relationships. No one, not even Kennon, could endure a relationship with her.

She cannot see how her attitude helped push her husband out the door and into the arms of another woman. She pushes everyone away from her. No one familiar with this story condones what Kennon did, but it is quite obvious that it took two people to destroy their marriage.

Unfortunately, the pain that Shari now feels was in part self-afflicted. It is even sadder that she will not see her sin. If she could, she would be well on the road to restoring her soul to God. She might even be able to repair her marriage. As she pillows her head each evening, she must feel the sting of guilt on her conscience.

Even in my most justifiable rants, the Spirit of God softly speaks to my conscience to remind me that I am not squeaky clean. It is in those moments of hearing the “still small voice” that I have to decide if I’m going to continue to stew in anger or will I humble myself before God.

There is an element of stubbornness in me when I persist in my innocence (and ignorance), while clearly articulating the sin of another. Shari cannot be that deceived. Sadly, the pain she feels blinds her to her role in destroying the marriage.

She wielded a lot of power in her marriage but never sought to use it redemptively. Perhaps this is a wake-up call to some Christian women. If so, I pray you heed that call by setting aside your personal hurt–like the Savior–and begin using the power that God has given you for His glory and your marriage.

Call to Action

  1. Are you more prone to criticize your husband or encourage him?
  2. Are you more apt to condemn your husband or forgive him?
  3. Do you treat your husband the way God treats you?
  4. Ask your children (or friends) their honest assessment of how you treat your husband. What did they say?
  5. Can you be trusted to hold your husband’s heart in your hands? Why or why not?
  6. Do you regularly confess your sin to your husband and seek his forgiveness?
  7. How has your walk with God positively impacted your husband’s life? Ask him to answer this question.
  8. How would he characterize you: a complainer/grumbler or an encourager/motivator?
  9. Do you see yourself as a bigger sinner than your husband? (See Matthew 7:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:15)
  10. Write out a prayer of thanksgiving for your husband, listing the top five reasons you praise God for him. Will you show it to him today?
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