The following are quotes from various resources For Married Women. We pray it will minister to your marriage.
• As a woman, as a wife, you stand on an exclusive platform. Your presence and voice have the power to cause a ripple of goodness throughout your husband’s soul. ..Yes. You are the melody God has chosen to play on the foreground of your husband’s world. (Jennifer J. Roos)
• Women take note of this. Warning: another human being can’t meet all your needs. The only person who can meet all our needs is the Lord, and He had to die first! (Sandra Aldrich)
• Women: Don’t be joined at the hip in everything your husband does.
You need to have your own identity also. Develop your own personal spiritual life that’s strong and real. We need to realize it’s not up to us as a wife, to make our husband happy. It’s also not up to our husband to be our “all-in-all” either. (Sandra Aldrich)
• Often when we contemplate marriage, we worry about losing our autonomy and individuality. But “becoming one” doesn’t mean losing who we are as individuals. It means we are using who we are as individuals to strengthen the marriage. Marriage is about two unique individuals working together as one. A husband and wife are like two strands of rope, twined together for greater strength and more useful service. As Solomon said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). (Karol Ladd)
• Give each other breathing space.
According to behavioral researcher, the healthiest marriages and those with the highest sexual voltage are those that “breathe” —relationships that move from a time of closeness and tenderness to a more distant posture and then come together for another reunion as the cycle concludes. This is why it’s not always advantageous for a husband and wife to work together or to concentrate exclusively on one another in the absence of friends and colleagues outside the family. There’s something about the diversity of interests and activities by each that breathes life into a marriage. (Dr James Dobson from the book, “Home with a Heart”)
• A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12)
• Most women are willing to show respect to their husbands. The problem comes when they want the man to act respectable first. They are willing to show respect, but want their men to be worthy of it. If a woman will learn to risk respecting her man when he is not perfect, he will open his heart to her and will become pliable to change. A man needs respect to feel safe enough to open up. When he feels he is being looked up to as the “head” in a relationship, he will automatically allow his wife to become the neck —she will be able to point her man in the right direction!
Women generally have no idea how much sway they have over a man. The ancient Jewish proverb says, “The wise woman builds her house,” but “a disgraceful wife is like decay to his bones.” A wife is either building up or tearing him down her husband. (Mark Gungor)
• Speak positively to him and about him.
When it comes to speaking positively to my husband, I try to keep Ephesians 4:29 at the forefront of my mind. The verse reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” As wives, we need to make sure that the words we speak to our husbands are beneficial! If they aren’t —then they don’t need to be spoken!
We must also make sure that we are speaking positively about our husbands to our friends, his parents, our parents, and especially our children! It is vital that we build our husbands up to everyone. There is a huge distinction between speaking positively and not speaking negatively about our husbands. I don’t want to merely avoid bashing my husband; I want to be active in building him up. In my choice of words, my desire is to set the stage for my husband to be the hero of our home.
An example is when my children ask, “Where’s daddy?” I don’t simply reply that he is at work; instead I tell the children how daddy is at work doing what God created him to do and so he can provide for our family. I brag to our children for several minutes about how hard their daddy works. I don’t just avoid speaking negatively. Also, I speak positively about him… All. Day. Long. The challenging part of this is to do so at all times, with all audiences, regardless of emotion. But, the benefits of controlling one’s tongue are immeasurable. (Darby Dugger, from the Darbydugger.com article, “Married With Children)
• Build his reputation.
You know those things you can do to ruin your husband’s reputation, right? (like talking bad about him behind his back or acting like you expect him to be thoughtless or lazy) Well, there are things that you can do to build his reputation. How you act toward him says a lot to others. What you say about him and and what you expect of him also speaks loudly. (-Lori, To read the rest of this short insight, which we encourage, please click onto “The Generous Wife” link to read, Build His Reputation.)
• To admire your husband is one of the most powerful things you can do for him.
Most men prefer to be admired to being loved. If you doubt this tell your husband that you love him and study his reaction. Then after prayerful consideration, think of something you admire about him. Say to him, “There is something about you that I truly admire.” Watch his attentiveness. You will be amazed at how powerful words of admiration are to your husband. Would you consider saying to your husband tonight, “There is something about you I truly admire”? Then share it with him. Lay your discomfort aside. Swallow your pride if you need to. Ask God for a spirit of humility and sincerity. Then step out in faith and tell your husband you admire him. You can do it! And God will bless you in your efforts. (Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby)
• “Admiration not only motivates, it rewards the husband’s existing achievements. When a wife tells her husband that she appreciates him for what he has done, it gives him more satisfaction than he receives from his paycheck. A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what he already is, not for what he could become, if he lived up to her standards. For some men—those with fragile self-images—admiration also helps them believe in themselves. Without it these men seem inherently more defensive about their shortcomings.
“Often they hate to see a counselor, because they do not want someone to be critical of them. They often come to me in the guise of ‘helping their wives with their emotional problems.’ While criticism causes men to become defensive, admiration energizes and motivates them. A man expects—and needs—his wife to be his most enthusiastic fan. He draws confidence from her support and can usually achieve far more with her encouragement.” (Willard F. Harley, Jr. – from “His Needs Her Needs”)
FOR MARRIED WOMEN:
“Some men just aren’t comfortable with ‘hearts and flowers’ but show their love in very practical ways such as responding to your concern about a wall that needs painting, a lawn that needs mowing, a squeaky gate that needs oiling … get the picture! He loves you and this is his way of romancing!” (Dolley Carlson)
• Being a provider appears to be at the core of a man’s identity as a male and as a person of worth:
To be a man, he feels, means to be a provider. …In other words, being the provider isn’t just a burden, but a highly desirable goal. Men feel powerful when they provide. And they want to be depended on. The ability to take care of those they feel responsible for lies at the very center of their sense of personal significance. …for a man bringing home a paycheck is love talk, pure and simple. He has something to prove (“I can take care of you, I am worthy of you”) and he wants to deliver.
Even more pointedly, in a man’s mind, providing for his wife is a central way of expressing his love. As one young man told me, “My job is to worry about providing so that my wife doesn’t have to. That’s one way I show her I love you.” It’s ironic that we may complain about our man’s work habits, not realizing that he thinks he is saying “I love you” —and we are complaining about it! This dynamic is both confusing and distressing for men. (Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only)
Feeling Like a Failure
• If the worst happens and the family encounters financial problems, the man feels like a failure. Even if the financial problems have nothing to do with him (say, for example, his biggest client went out of business), if the end result is that you have to adjust your lifestyle, can’t buy the children the birthday presents they asked for, or have trouble paying the mortgage, the man suffers emotional torture. One man, whose business is currently in a very difficult season, described it this way: “Every day, with every step I take, I feel like my skin is being flayed off.”
Every day, providers can feel a strange tension between wanting to be depended on and feeling trapped by that responsibility. The vast majority of men who put in long hours do so not just because they want to get ahead, but because they believe, as several men told me, “there is no other option.” And they get frustrated when we don’t understand that —particularly when they feel we are the source of some of the pressure. (Shaunti Feldhahn)
• Say thanks.
If you find it hard to come up with ways to encourage your husband, saying thanks is a great place to start. If things are rocky just now and you don’t feel particularly thankful for your husband (believe me, this happens!), start small. Thank him for holding open a door, picking up the newspaper after he’s finished, or tucking your kids into bed.
Many women hold back grateful affirmations because they think, Why should I thank him for things he should do anyway?! The first reason to do it is because you’ve signed up for this gig (being his wife). The second is that your positive words pave the way for your husband to do more of the same. (Annette LaPlaca, from Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Stand by Your Man”)
• How can we be emotionally supportive when we need support?
Having gone through a difficult financial season with my husband, I can say that the answer is to cast our cares for provision on the Lord rather than on our men. In the end, it is His job to carry the burden. In the awe-inspiring conclusion to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, when the hero is completely exhausted from carrying his terrible burden, his best friend lifts him to his shoulders, crying, “I can’t carry it for you—but I can carry you!” By praying for our husbands and looking to the Lord rather than to our circumstances, we trust Him to carry both our husband and his burden. Then from the overflow of our hearts, we can give back to and encourage our men.
One man gave a great summation of what a man needs most, whether a couple is “in plenty or in want.” “Thank him regularly for providing. He forgets quickly.” Most of us want to support our men, and in this case being a support means understanding them, appreciating them, and helping to relieve the pressure they feel rather than adding to it. One husband put it this way: “Make sure he knows your pleasure in any financial progress so he knows all his obsessive hard work was worth it. And when he comes in really late from an extra long day at the office, surprise him with a thank-you gift. Use your imagination.” (Shaunti Feldhahn)
• The Bible says:
“A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1). Please hear this. Nothing tears down a marriage or family like criticism. Yet, nothing builds and restores it like words of praise and encouragement. H. Jackson Brown Jr. provides wise advise when he says: “Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” (Dr Steve Stephens, The Wounded Woman)
• The one essential, foundational principle for being a great wife doesn’t have anything to do with the husband. …The most important ingredient in the recipe for a great wife is God-centeredness (not husband-centeredness). First and foremost, a great wife is a godly woman —not necessarily a church lady or a Bible-study attendee or even a prayer-circle leader. All of these are good things to be, but a godly woman has the distinct characteristic of having a deep and vibrant love relationship with God. She is a woman who loves the Lord, her God, with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. (Karol Ladd, The Power of a Positive Wife)
• Men tend to communicate side by side, rather than face to face.
They like talking while they’re doing something. They don’t tend to like just sitting around and talking face to face, the way we women do. So the more you can find things to do, the more you’ll likely communicate. And if you start laughing and finding things to do together, he’ll probably want to be with you more. So rather than tell him that you want him home more, try to find things that he enjoys doing that you can do with him, even if you have to stetch yourself or go outside of your comfort zone. The best thing that you can do for your relationship is just to learn to be friends again, so try that out! (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “My Husband Doesn’t Spend Any Time with Me”)
• Marlae Gritter, the national director for Moms in Touch International, encourages women to plan ahead for occasional “DAWG days” (Day Alone With God). It’s a day when you schedule time with Him. It might be two hours, a full morning, or a complete day when you spend time alone with God. The location might be in your own home or at a park, retreat center, or library. (From: Becoming a Woman of Influence -by Carol Kent)
• Realize that your husband isn’t going to be everything you want him to be.
Also know that you aren’t going to be everything he would like you to be. When you reached the point of accepting each other as imperfect people who will sometimes disappoint, it brings healing to both. (Karla Downing, 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages)
• Understanding that Christ is the only One who can fully meet all our needs is essential for having a healthy, biblical perspective on marriage. At the beginning of my marriage, I was constantly frustrated with my husband’s inability to meet my needs. I thought he was the problem until God broke through my self-centered attitude with the truth that He never intended my husband to meet them in the first place. God created us with a void that only He can fill. For me to think that my husband should even try to do this is impossible.
As I began to seek Jesus, allowing Him to fill me with His love, I was eventually transformed into the wife my husband needed and deserved. I’m only his bride for a short time on earth. One day, however, I will be united to my heavenly Bridegroom and He will take my hand in an eternal marriage. (Lysa Terkeurst, from Proverbs31.org article, A Biblical Perspective on Marriage)
• While men are often accused of being shallow, they are actually the opposite.
They are like deep, deep wells. When you ask them a question, they consider it seriously and “go to the well” for the answer. First he’ll tell you what’s on the surface. Then he’ll pause, which means the first bucket is empty. If you wait and give him a chance to draw up another bucket, you will get to hear what is beneath the surface. With each bucket, his answer will get more detailed, complex or emotional. When he’s said everything he wants to on a subject, he’ll announce, “That’s all I have to say about that” or something like that.
The key to intimate conversation with men is giving him the time to draw up that next bucket. The way to do this is by practicing the “30-second Rule.”This means that when he pauses, instead of jumping in with your opinion or asking for a clarification or rephrasing your question, count to 30 silently while listening with continued interest. Try it! (Alison Armstrong from “Morsels” at Understandmen.com)
• Some Christian wives incorrectly believe their husband is [not admirable] in not behaving like their outgoing pastor, or like another man they admire who more naturally embraces an out-front leadership role.Specifically, these women have a narrow view of spiritual leadership out of line with what we find in the Bible. Not everyone is called to be a preacher —that takes particular skills. And not everyone is a skilled teacher. Some are outgoing like the apostles Peter and Paul; the spiritual leadership of others is more under-stated, behind the scenes. Don’t try to stuff your husband into an unfair and unwarranted leadership model; it won’t help your marriage, and it’s likely to send him underground. (Paul and Sandy Coughlin, from the book, Married But Not Engaged)
• What if your husband can’t or won’t love you the way Jesus Christ loved the church?
What if you don’t have any love to respond to? Or what if you can’t feel any respect for your husband because he’s not respectable? The Bible has one comprehensive answer to these hard questions: In such situations, your husband cannot control your behavior. Live and relate to him in a manner that pleases God. Commit the results to Him. Do this just as the Lord Jesus had to endure hard things, but committed it all to the Father who judges rightly. In other words, go on loving him in all the scriptural ways. Respond to the Lord’s love by obeying Him in this manner. Respond this way even if your husband offers little that you can positively respond to. This is a true saying: Living as a Christian does not depend on anyone else!
For example, if your husband is not a respectable man, you may not be able to feel respectful toward him, but God requires you to show him respect. The Greek word for “adapt,” used in the opening of 1 Peter 3, literally means to be under authority. As Jay Adams explains, Christians must respect the uniform with which God clothed husbands, even if they poorly fit it. The respect is directed toward God and His authority, not fundamentally toward the man in whom it is invested. When a wife speaks disrespectfully toward her husband, she really speaks in a manner that disregards God. That is serious. (From the book, “The First Years of Forever” by Dr Ed Wheat)
• How can you say that you love Christ and not love your spouse?
We’re told to love even our enemies. The profile of a winning wife is being a partner who supports (see Genesis 2:18). In being a “helper suitable for him” it means to be a partner who fills in his “gaps.” It doesn’t mean being a doormat, or being someone who has no opinion. It does mean to work with him, beside him, bringing your gifts, talents, and passions to complete our total beings.
This is not a lesser role —just like with a skating dance team, the woman is not less important just because she doesn’t lead. We’re their partner in life who supports them. “The woman was formed out of man —not out of his head to rule over him; not out of his feet to be trod upon by him; but out of his side to be his equal, from beneath his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be loved.” (Matthew Henry) It’s bringing your strengths to the table —you’re not his boss —you’re his partner and friend. (Carla Butcher)
• We’re all familiar with the idea that we are Christ’s body on earth—His hands, His feet.
It is through us that He reaches out to the world. But it’s easy to forget that we are Christ’s hands and feet to our husbands. That’s why seeing your marriage as ministry may require an intentional shift of perspective from that of just a wife to that of a woman with a specific ministry to a specific man.
Actually, in God’s eyes, ministering to our husbands is not optional. Our families are the only mission field we can be absolutely sure God has called us to. It’s earth shattering when you think about it: I am God’s appointed lover of my husband’s soul. I am the only one on earth, the one and only person God made to love my husband in a way that mirrors Christ’s love. I wasn’t given to my husband so that I could change him or manipulate him into meeting my needs-but to minister to him. (Deb Kalmbach and Heather Kopp)
• Perhaps your husband is distant toward you and you are battling resignation and discouragement. Perhaps your husband is outright cold or mean-spirited or frequently puts you down. It is especially important for you to serve your husband “as unto the Lord” during those times and not slip back into believing that your husband’s response determines your actions. This doesn’t mean your feelings of hurt or rejection will automatically disappear —they won’t. It means that you are choosing to serve God regardless of your husband’s behavior. Fervently seek God during those times and ask Him to heal your wounds. (Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby)
• Whatever you do for your husband, whether it is something kind you say, a chore you do, or a sacrifice you make, go about it as if you are doing it not just for him, but for Jesus; then you will be able to do it with a thankful heart. (A paraphrase of Colossians 3:17, from the book, Because I Said Forever, by Deb Kalmbach and Heather Kopp)
• I serve and love my Lord through what I do for my husband Frank. Frank just happens to be the benefactor of all I do for the Lord as I give sacrificially of myself to my husband. (Bunny Wilson)
Being a True Partner
• When a man partakes in an activity with his wife that she engages in with a joyful spirit, his heart leaps toward her. She grows in stature; his emotions soar. Not only do I have a lover, he thinks, I have a friend, a true partner. When she does it condescendingly or bitterly, he wants to both run away and push her away; she’s insulted him and belittled his enjoyment. (Paul and Sandy Coughlin)
• As you set out to bless your husband, keep in mind that it should always feel good to you to bless your husband. If not, check your motives. You don’t bless him because he’s earned it. You bless him because of a radical decision on your part to reverse the dynamics of opposition or hostility your husband may be introducing into your home and marriage. (From the book, Because I Said Forever, by Deb Kalmbach and Heather Kopp)
• Is your marriage in need of change?
Perhaps it has been so cold for so long that it seems hopelessly frozen. But it’s not! Can you begin to see that, regardless of how you’ve conducted yourself in your marriage before, it’s time to conduct yourself “as unto the Lord?” Perhaps this is disheartening news to you. You may not be ready to treat your husband in this manner, yet you can no longer justify your current treatment of him. What are you called to do in such a case? You are called to be obedient to God’s Word, regardless of your feelings toward your husband.
No doubt, your husband has made mistakes many times. Perhaps he has hurt your feelings, made an error in judgment, or been unduly harsh with you or the children. When this happens, it’s natural to feel that he doesn’t deserve to be treated well. Your tendency might be to withdraw or lash out at him. But the real issue isn’t how your husband deserves to be treated, but how Jesus deserves to be treated. This makes it so simple! And it is motivating as well.
Different Perspective to Consider:
When you treat your husband coldly, it’s as if Jesus Christ is there with you, and you’re treating Him coldly too. This puts things in a completely different perspective. The way you’re serving Christ right now—today is a direct reflection of the way you’re serving your husband. In fact, it’s been said that your present relationship with your husband is a spiritual barometer of your relationship with Christ. The Lord notices your efforts and promises a reward for your faithfulness. (Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby)
• Pointing out ominous problems doesn’t make you a nag.
It’s how you point out marital trouble that makes all the difference. The key: Avoid the extremes. (Sandy Coughlin, from the book, Married But Not Engaged)
• “Personally I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught” (Winston Churchill). The application I’ve learned in this is that men CAN learn —even if they aren’t always willing, but they don’t always like being “taught” by their wives. Not ALL men are this way but this is true with a lot of men (and in all fairness, many women as well). There are various reasons why this is true. But I’ve also learned something that might help other women. There are ways you can approach a situation and help your husband to learn something without appearing to “teach.” It takes discernment and applying wisdom.
We’re told in the Bible in James 1:
“If any of you lacks wisdom” we should ask God, “who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given.” If I perceive that my husband needs to learn something, and yet he’s resistant to being taught, and I believe God would have me “help” him to learn, then I should ask God to give me the wisdom to know how to do this. And then I should apply that wisdom with my actions. We can resist this whole process by rationalizing in our minds that our husbands SHOULDN’T be resistant to being taught. But that isn’t the point. Do we want the better end result or do we want to fight the process that will bring about that better result? You can sometimes win the battle but lose the war.
The Bible says in Proverbs 3, “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” You may find that your own wisdom will lead you astray. “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction … A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction” (Proverbs 16:20, 21, 23). If your spouse isn’t open to following the instruction you may be giving, it doesn’t mean you have to follow in that folly by being “wise” in your own eyes and neglect a wiser approach. (Cindy Wright, Marriage Missions)
• Lord, help me to see what you’re doing in my husband’s heart so I can be a part of it.
• A wife’s relationship with her husband is to allegorize the church’s submission to Christ (Ephesians 5:22 -24). Submitting to your husband is an act of faith. (Jan Schrader)
– I can’t love my husband as I should, but God can love through me when I allow Him to. (Cindy Wright)
• When you yield to your husband, you actually give God the room to work upon your behalf. (Bunny Wilson)
• You’re to submit to your husband’s leadership and he’s to submit to oneness in the relationship. (God will fight for us in our silence if we surrender what they need to do in the Lord.) (Steve Arteburn)
– Submission is ducking low enough to let God fix your husband. (Cynthia Heald)
• God didn’t design a man’s world. God’s design is for the world was man and woman to work together in peaceful harmony. They are to build one another up, promoting each other to good works. The goal is that others observe the fruits of our lives and give glory to God. We women lost it when we failed to recognize our own unique power. Instead we got locked into a power struggle that never existed from God’s vantage point. Struggling to get the credit for something I still can’t figure out, we put man on the defensive. And that put us on the defensive. Now with everyone defending themselves, we’re all losing ground. (Michelle McKinney Hammond from the book, “The Power of Femininity”)
• The world has definite ideas about what power looks like, but God’s view of power is very different.
For example, He says that ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ (Psalm 37:11). Meekness is actually strength under control. It is strength that keeps it’s cool and doesn’t show out. (Michelle McKinney Hammond)
• Man doesn’t do well without woman. God has given each of us specific gifts in order to equip us to be a specific man’s helper. (You need to examine and know the gifts you have as a woman.) So what exactly do you bring to the party? INFLUENCE, for one thing. While man has been given the mandate of authority, woman has been given the mantle of influence. Quiet as it’s kept, INFLUENCE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN AUTHORITY. Never underestimate your power of influence. With little or no effort, you can get your man to do things no one else can. It’s a function of your simply being who you are. BESIDES INFLUENCE, YOU ALSO HAVE INTUITION. You have the ability to be spiritually sensitive, to read the fine print in a given situation. (Michelle McKinney Hammond)
• The gift of influence is the invisible power that women overlook. (Michelle McKinney Hammond)
• Femininity is strength under control.
Femininity is strength wrapped in a velvet glove. It doesn’t insist on its own way, but most of the time it gets it. (Michelle McKinney Hammond)
• A quiet and gentle spirit disarms men. (Dr Charles Swindoll) This is in reference to the scripture that says, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:1-2 and 4).
• As women, we lose what we ultimately want while skirmishing over the reward of recognition. (Michele McKinney Hammond from: The Power of Femininity)
• Deborah (the prophetess) was perfectly willing to let a man be a man. She was a wife first before she was a judge. She was a woman first before she was a leader. She was under submission first to God, and then to her husband. Some Christian women get this confused and then wonder why their husbands want nothing to do with God or the church. I’ll tell you why, plain and simple. No man will ever embrace something with which he feels he’s in competition. If you’re making the man in your life feel that he has to compete with Jesus or your pastor, you need to repent about this.
The presence of God in your life should make you a better wife to that man.
Stop treating the pastor better than you treat your husband. For the most part, when a man feels that God is his ally, he’ll be open to the concept of drawing closer to Him. It’s your job to be the bridge between the two. (Michelle McKinney Hammond from the book, “The Power of Femininity”)
• Women, when your husband isn’t talking, God can supply the information he’s leaving out. At the end of the day, your relationship with your mate is only as good as your relationship with God. He is the bridge between the two of our lives. (Michelle McKinney Hammond from the book, “The Power of Femininity”)
• I’ve known times when I didn’t feel like loving my husband. But in the middle of horrifying emptiness, I discovered that love is renewable. It’s strictly a matter of choice. Countless times, I’ve chosen to love when I thought I had every reason not to respond or care. I’ve often dropped to my knees, asking the God of love to fill me with enough for my most human husband. When I relinquished my rights in prayer, when I forgave my husband for his inconsideration or misunderstanding, when I focused on his positive qualities, when I asked the Lord for special power, then I could love again. (Karen Burton Mains)
• How can we experience more joy every day with our spouse?
I experienced more joy in my marriage when I began to recognize my unrealistic expectations about Dave. Women in particular desire and expect their husbands to read their minds. We expect men to notice when we’re a little down, and desire comfort. Yet men don’t notice it at all. They’re just not wired like women. We can walk around mad and hurt all day because our spouse didn’t give us what we expected. In reality though, they really they didn’t know we needed something or expected it in the first place.
Recently I told Dave, “It would be nice if you’d buy me a present once in a while.” He replied, “What’s the point? You’re not going to like it, and you’ll take it back anyway.” We’ve had to learn that even if I have to take it all back, I still need him to go get it. He does that now, but we’ve been married almost 40 years and it took him 37 years to realize it!
The other thing that was a huge help for me was understanding that Dave and I have different temperaments.
I’ve got a strong, take-charge, “type-A” personality, and Dave is laid-back. His main need in life is peace, where mine is accomplishment. When I realized God created him this way, I stopped judging him. I stopped trying to change him and expecting him to be more like me. I learned that a lot of life is about adapting. In Romans 12:16 Paul tells us we’re to strive to have peace, and that we’re to adapt ourselves to people. That verse became life-changing to me because previously I didn’t want to adapt to anybody. I wanted everyone to adapt to me. And when I started adapting, my peace level changed and my joy increased. (Joyce Meyer)
• The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)
• A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:11)
• A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.(Proverbs 27:15-16)
• Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(Proverbs 25:24)
• Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.(Proverbs 21:19)
• What if you live next door to a “Martha Stewart?”
This is a woman who is a personification of grace in decorating and entertainment? How about when you sit next to the woman in a Bible study group who knows the Bible better than Ruth Graham? There are many wonderful, positively positive women who inspire and compel us to do better. But when we move beyond “admire” to “compare,” then we can run into trouble. Comparing myself negatively to others can turn the weather of my soul gray and drizzly pretty fast. Sure, I wish I were as impeccable as Martha Stewart, as successful as Oprah Winfrey, as saintly as Mother Teresa. These women and many more inspire me. But I’ve learned that it’s important to choose my role models very carefully.
If I choose too high an ideal, then I’ll focus on my inability to measure up.
When it comes to role models, I ask two questions. What does this woman have in common with me? (Can I relate to her on a personal level?) Does she demonstrate godly character —most especially, does she have a servant’s heart? (Annie Chapman, from her book, “Running on Empty and Looking for the Nearest Exit”)
• If you are a woman who loves “to do,” then prioritizing your yeses is one way to reserve time to take care of yourself. For instance, before saying yes to another project or agreeing to work more hours at the office, try to delay your answer. First, answer the following questions: • How will this activity affect my family? • How will I feel about my decision in two weeks? – What is my motivation for saying yes? • Has God equipped me to do this? – Will saying yes make God smile? • Can I take on this new task and still have time to be the person God wants me to be? (The Walk Out Woman – by Dr Steve Stephens and Alice Gray)
• As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I have chosen a new lifetime motto: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” (Annie Chapman)
• I’ve come to realize that almost every day I have interruptions that are actually God-appointments in disguise. I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed in the past because I saw only the interruption. (Carole Kent)
• I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.(Isaiah 48:17-18)