Love Your Husband – Day One
by Deb Weakly
“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”
1. Call your prayer partner for your 10 Minute Prayer Call. Keep trying to connect until you are able to pray together. What a blessing it is to have someone who cares and can pray with you! Done:______
2.Read Philippians 2:1-11. For deeper, life impacting study, read the whole chapter. Write verses 3-5 in your journal. Take a moment to ponder the deep meaning of these verses. Drink them in as if you have been given an inside view into the exact heart of Christ: like you now have x-ray vision to examine the most inward part of your loving Savior, what He values and what is very important to Him. Ask God to speak specifically to your heart about Christ’s humility, and for the strength and grace to be like Jesus to your husband.
As I have been praying and asking God what to write to you about the topic of marriage, His answer is the same as in all of the other Bible Studies: the Word of God and Prayer. There is nothing more important in all of your life, and nothing that will help and bless your marriage like scripture and faithful prayer.
There are so many voices in the world that try to tell us how to fix our marriage, but when we read the Word of God faithfully, we hear the Voice of the One who gently calls to us each day in truth. He IS Truth, and is the One to whom we must make every effort to listen. This true Voice tells us to be humble and to love others deeply. He not only tells us, He shows us. Jesus shows us the way of love by His example and His life of love and humility. One look at today’s verses and we see the true picture of humility- Christ’s humility.
We are told in scripture to be like Jesus in every way, and especially to imitate Christ’s humility. He knows what’s best for us. When we choose daily to die to ourselves and love our husbands in humility, most of our problems will disappear. Pride is the number one reason and the root of all contention. (Conflict)
“Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.” Proverbs 13:10.
When we purpose each day to live in humility, change begins to occur. We argue less, and there is less competition, and the desire to be right is replaced with the desire to love, and to serve. We have God’s help, power, and wisdom to have a better marriage.
“He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way.” Psalm 25:9
Conversely, when we are prideful, God’s Word says that He opposes us!
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want God opposing me! I want to be humble and I need more of God’s help and grace.
Humility doesn’t come naturally, but it is possible to be humble supernaturally. When we pray and ask God to help us to be humble, He delights to help us, but if you’re like me, you have to pray this prayer every 10 minutes or so, simply because pride is so deeply ingrained in our very being. Change is hard!
The best analogy I have ever heard for trying to institute lasting change is to think of a new habit like playing the piano. You will never get good at the piano if you don’t practice- all the time! How many times have we fussed at our children because they forget to practice? This would happen from time-to-time in our home, and when it happened, all I could think about was all of the money spent and time invested. Luckily, my children would usually come to their senses and purpose to practice, and the result was always beautiful music playing in our home.
Practice is important for success!
We need to practice choosing humility. The more we choose to respond in humility, the easier it will become. Don’t get discouraged if you mess up at first, just keep trying! Be like Dori the fish in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”
Start today to ask God to help you to be humble in your life and your marriage. Keep asking over and over if you have to. Watch the change begin. You will be amazed!
3. Questions to ponder: Answer these questions in your journal. Done:______
-In what ways do you struggle with pride
-Do you long for things to be fair, do you want to have your way or be right
-How does this show up in your marriage?
4. Love Your Husband Faith Filled Idea #1- Done:______
Pray and ask God to help you to honor your husband and love him in humility.
-Listen to him. Don’t cut him off if he is repeating a story he has already told you before. Look him in the eyes! Really listen to him today.
- This week, do something he wants to do. Watch a movie that he wants to see. Go eat where he wants to eat or make his favorite meal that you don’t really care for.
- If a conflict occurs, really listen to his side and don’t automatically rush to defend yourself. Remember, when we are prideful and want to win, God is opposing us!
- Write the phrase, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” on 3 sticky notes, and place one at your kitchen sink, one on your bathroom mirror, and one in your car. Let them serve as a reminder to you to keep trying to choose to be like Jesus and imitate His humility. For extra accountability, tell you husband and children about your new commitment to try to be more humble.
Love Your Husband – Day Two
by Mari Jo Mast
“He who plants kindness, gathers love.” – St. Basil
1. Grab your Bible, your journal, pen, a candle, something delicious to drink, and go to the place where you meet with your Jesus. Ask the Lord to help you to drink deeply the love of Christ today and to share this wonderful love with your husband and family today.
2. Read Galatians 5:22-26. Done:______
(I really love these verses in The Living Bible translation). Highlight verses 22 & 23 and write them in your journal.
What I am going to share with you today is something that is close to my heart. Although it may seem to us that big, evil sins are the culprits that destroy a marriage, I want to shed a little light on KINDNESS, and the beautiful self-worth it brings to our husbands. The small, unnoticed little sins can get large over time and become the destroyer’s weapon that defeat great marriages.
Anyone can fulfill the daily duties of being a wife and mother, but being K I N D to our husbands while we are fulfilling those duties, take intentionality. How I know this to be true! My husband & I together share the responsibility of raising our 5 children who are yet at home. Our two oldest have now (within the last year) left our little nest and are beginning the wonderful journey of making their own.
A few years ago, I had an incident that led to a conversation with my husband about kindness that will always be highlighted in my memory.
It had been a rough day. I was irritable, so tired and simply worn out from trying to do everything there is to do in a big family. It seemed the duties never ended. Always more laundry, more nurturing, more cooking, more cleaning, and well, more of everything. A sick child, one in need of encouragement, yet another needing discipline. An unending cycle of servanthood, where it felt like the joy was being sucked right out of me. (I know all of you Moms can identify). But on this particular evening, I was being snappy with Kim (my husband), and then I realized that He was unusually quiet. He seemed distant and more discouraged than I had noticed before. A sadness filled his eyes. It made me sad just to look at him and I wondered what could be the matter? I am so glad I asked.
My dear husband said something like: “I know you have a lot on your plate, all the children to watch over and care for while I am at work, and you have an endless amount of chores and responsibility, but can you please at least be KIND to me?”
This pierced me to the heart. Really, how could I not have noticed!
Sadly I had slipped into a pattern of self-centeredness and complaining. A habit, so that I didn’t look at my husband with adoration like I had in our early married years. I hadn’t realized that my heart had grown cold towards him and I had forgotten how to respond kindly to my best friend.
This was not the legacy I wanted to leave behind.
That night I repented to my husband and to God. And slowly, with God’s help and perspective I began to turn the unkindness toward Kim around. I became more aware, more purposeful in my marriage, taking opportunities to be more intentional. It is something I still have to keep remembering and keep in the forefront of my heart and mind to stay fervent in.
Since my husband’s primary love language is physical touch, I now look for opportunities to kindly hug and kiss him, and I try to initiate intimacy when we are alone. I am also purposing to speak kind words instead of harsh ones, and spend more time with him. Slowly the love that had been hidden became more evident again, blossoming into something beautiful like a rose.
The light and joy returned in his eyes. We became more of a team, and better friends. I really do believe kindness saved our marriage in more ways than we know. Though we may have stayed together in our future, without this one change, our marriage would have been something we would have had to “endure”, rather than enjoy and treasure. It may have led to other “big” things that destroy a godly marriage and family.
Kindness matters. As small as it may seem, it gives worth and sends a BIG message to our husbands.
3. Questions to Ponder: Done:______
Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
- Have you too forgotten to be kind to your husband? What are some little acts of kindness you can show him today that could transform your marriage from bad or good to wonderful?
- What words of kindness can you speak that you want him to always remember? How can you kindly turn your child/children toward him?
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize where you’ve gone “off road” as a helper, and to give you strength and grace to get back on track. Repent and turn towards your husband by taking action in kindness, it really could save your marriage!
4. Faith-Filled Idea: Done:______
Pick a day this week, plan a date night for you and your husband. If money is tight, see if you can swap childcare with a friend. Remember, your date can be inexpensive.
Here are some great ideas:
-Go try a completely different drink at your favorite coffee haunt, then share 10 things that you love about each other.
-Go for a walk in a park, downtown, or anywhere that has beauty. Dream together about where you would like to go for your 25 wedding anniversary.
-Grab ice cream or frozen yogurt somewhere and reminisce about your wedding and honeymoon. Be sure to laugh at the blunders, and drink in the beautiful memories!
-You do you. This week, I will plan a date where me and my husband______________________________________________________.
Love Your Husband – Day Three
by Deb Weakly
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” – Corrie Ten Boom
1.Take some time this morning to meet with your precious Savior. Spend a moment praising Jesus for who He is and for His unfailing love and care. Ask Him to speak to your heart as you read His Word, and teach you about loving your husband well, and living by faith.
2. Read Hebrews 10:35-39. Write verse 38 in your journal. For deeper study, read the whole chapter. Done:______
It’s amazing what can trigger your faith. Today, I saw a beautiful picture of a wonderful woman of God and the man who God has brought to her. I have been praying for this amazing girl to find her husband for many years. Well, He did, and I can’t believe how much my faith has been strengthened because of it!
It’s so easy to get down and go to dark places in your mind and heart where all you think about are the things in your life that are broken. These are the prayers that you have prayed and prayed, but still God doesn’t answer; He seems silent, like He’s not there.
Marriage can be tough. We all have difficult areas in our marriages. Sometimes these difficulties can seem too much to bear; that there is no use of even trying anymore. You may have issues in your marriage that are unresolved, and the hurts may creep into your thoughts so much that the fire which once burned bright with love for you husband is now reduced to nothing more than an ember. You may even feel like giving up.
I am here to tell you to keep trying! Don’t give up. No matter how dim it seems, keep trying, keep praying, stay in faith and keep trusting God. What do you have to lose? Marriage matters to God and He will do all He can, (which is a LOT), to help you and your husband to stay married.
Begin today to pray for your husband and your marriage. Start to make a habit of gratitude where you thank God for one new thing each day about your husband. Guard your mind against toxic thoughts by praying and practicing gratitude.
I once heard of a woman who made a tape recording of the positive things that she loved about her husband and marriage, and played them each morning while getting ready. Her husband was also getting ready at the same time and heard these positive things said about him and their marriage. I am sure that he may have been cynical at first and doubted if she really meant the words that she spoke. Over time though, their marriage got better and began to heal.
God delights in answering the faithful prayers of His children!
Dear sister, isn’t your marriage worth doing whatever it takes to make it better? Praying, gratitude, and staying in faith are all investments with great returns! Commit today to stay in faith and pray for your marriage. Thank God for the man He gave to you and the opportunity to be married, and show your husband the love of Christ. Remember, when you are loving someone who is difficult to love and you are hurt, you are actually sharing in the sufferings of Christ; you are learning what it means to love another deeply, and to have the love that covers over a multitude of sins.
A young friend of mine recently brought up the fact that once we get to heaven we will no longer be able to share in the sufferings of Christ. Suffering is one of the great ways that we get to share something deeply with Christ, and see things from His perspective, and love how He loved. Don’t ever discount the impact on eternity that you will have when you choose to live by faith and love like Jesus.
3. Questions to Ponder: Answer these questions in your journal. Done:______
-Pray and ask God to show you areas of your life and marriage where you are not living by faith.
-Ask God for forgiveness, the strength to live by faith, and walk by faith, one day at a time.
4. Love your husband faith-filled idea #3 Done:______
-Make every effort to assume the best of your husband. Remember, most people will rise to what you think of them! “Love…hopes all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7.
-Act your way into a feeling. What you are thinking in your heart usually comes out of your mouth. Think kind and loving thoughts toward your husband as much as possible and your feelings will follow.