Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Being A Real Wife

"For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."  Ephesians 5:23-24

I don't talk much on this blog about relational issues between husbands and wives.  A big reason for that is because those things can be very personal.  But another reason for that is that there are so many Bible blogs out there devoted to women, and they almost always are posting things about being a good wife to their husband.  There are zillions of books out there devoted to the subject, and they take many different stances and directions too.  But what does the Bible say?  Even that gets spun and twisted and conveniently molded to fit certain ideals.   But lately, during my prayer time, I've found that my usual prayers for my husband have intensified, pretty much on their own.  That tells me that the Holy Spirit is alive and well within me, and knows that my husband could use some extra prayers, and he usually can this time of year when he is not working his regular job.

I went and read these verses in Ephesians this morning to see if they had anything new to say to me.  This is one of those controversial verses, because there are so many women who see these verses as an attack on women in general, telling us that we are to submit to our husbands in everything.  But do you know what I see?  I see something completely different.  I see a charge to women to stay on our praying toes.  And it's really quite simple.  If I see my husband as the spiritual head of our family and our home, my most important job is to pray for him in that role.  My job is to pray that he stays on the straight and narrow, that he finds the time to spend in his Bible and that he finds the quiet time to spend talking to God.  If I am to submit to my husbands authority, he better very well be in the right place spiritually.  He better be resisting temptations, and he better be seeking God's Will in every direction and decision.  He better be.  And it's my job to pray that he is there at all times.  If I fail in my job at praying for my husband, then I deserve whatever happens, since I have submitted to his spiritual authority.

This time of year I find myself praying for peace for my husband's heart more than anything.

  "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."  Colossians 3:15

Every year when he is not working his regular job, the devil likes to take the opportunity to lie to him.  He likes to tell him that he's failing in his role as provider for this family, and that can really be effectual if it is not prayed against.  This year it seems those whispers have been loud shouts, because it's been an especially difficult year.  I have this peace in my heart that God will work all things out, because God's just  like that.  I can read account after account in the Bible of God's provision and I am encouraged and emboldened to get through another day.  But sometimes that peace is only in my heart, and not in my husbands.  It is very important that I pray that for him, to give him hope and peace, and to silence the voice of the devil who is trying to tell him otherwise.

And I need to pray especially that my husband will continue to walk by faith, no matter how difficult it may be.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."  2 Corinthians 5:7

It's too easy to look at what is going on in the natural and physical around us and be discouraged.  It's difficult to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and what He would have for us.  Each and every day, the devil tries to get us to focus on our lack instead of all the blessings that abound.  More than once over the past weeks I got really discouraged as I would read about the mountains of gifts that people were wrapping to give to their children, and here we sat with a very small pile of gifts for our own children.   For my husband, whose heart holds the love language of gift giving, it was even more discouraging.  And so I found myself praying that he would find great joy in giving the gifts we were able to give, and to not be discouraged by not being able to give a lot this year.  I have also been praying that God would give my husband understanding, as to why things have been so difficult for us- what are we to be learning from, what are we to take with us as we move forward, and what are we to discard completely from our lives and leave behind.

A real wife is the wife that the Bible so often talks about.  A real wife is the wife who recognizes when her husband is hurting, and rather than try to offer trite advice or counsel, simply prays.  She prays for the right people to speak encouragement into her husband at the right moments.  She prays for her own mouth to be shut when it needs to be shut, and opened when it needs to be opened.  A real wife is not a wife on a pedestal who does absolutely everything perfectly and by the book.  A real wife may have her own failings to deal with, and her own struggles, but no matter what comes her way, she still puts the prayer needs of others before her own.  That right there is a huge secret to overcoming struggles.  I find when I pray for others, instead of praying for myself and focusing on my own needs, I find that my struggles seem to not be quite so mountainous- they seem just a bit smaller, and little easier to navigate. 

And that starts at home first.  Ladies, our number one role in marriage should be to pray for our husbands.  I pray for my husband daily, and quite honestly, most often it centers around God keeping him safe.  There's been far too many accidents that he has been either part of or witness too, and I pray daily that the angels around him will beef up their security detail, as God has great things for my husband to do with his life- but those require him to be intact and alive.  Sometimes though, he needs prayers in a more spiritual direction along with the protection prayers, and this is one of those times of year for us.  Just as important, we also need to be modeling these prayers with our children.  Every day when we start school, the kids and I pray together, and we always, always pray for Daddy, regardless of what his plans for the day are.  Someday, my daughter will be able to use what she has learned to pray for her own husband.  And someday, my son can take comfort and courage in knowing that his wife is at home praying for him when he has a difficult day at work. 

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."  1 John 1:7

I pray that my husband will always walk in the light, and that we will always do so together.   Ladies, take the time to pray for your husbands today and everyday.  I wholeheartedly believe that one of the keys to a strong and successful marriage is to pray for one another.  God gave us each other just for that purpose- so that we could lift one another in prayer and be an encouragement to one another. 

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