Change your husband – is that even possible?
Recently, I came across an article, written by a man, about what it means to be a good husband.
I longed for my husband to read the words I was reading. To see what I was seeing and feel what I felt. I wanted him to experience the truth and conviction pouring from this online shepherd of men.
He would be transformed, I thought to myself. If only he listens, tags along and takes note.
But my husband. He is not easily impressed. He does not keep up with everything I send to his email inbox because he is busy and selective.
It used to make me uncomfortable, our different approaches to learning. Not being on the same page over how and when to grow was disconcerting.
I constantly wondered about his growth, worried that he couldn’t grow without input from men that shepherd other men in public places.
But that day, as I read the life-giving, heart-bursting, soul-convicting words from a popular online blogger who spoke truth from the spirit, I smiled. In place of worry and anxiety, I smiled.
Eight years of marriage, a lot of holding to Jesus (and being held) has changed me.
Now I know that it is okay for my husband not to graze where I graze. It is okay because, in the end, we are both grazing in the field of our Father.
My father, our Father will get him the spiritual food He needs over there in his corner of the pasture.
God has proven that though my husband and I learn differently, we do learn. And change.
Please note: Today’s post is geared towards wives in mostly healthy relationships, experiencing typical growth pains. If you are in a situation where abuse or abandonment are present, you might want to read this post.
Dear friend, you might be starting the year worried about the spiritual state of your husband.
Or his work. Or relationships. You agonize over missed opportunities, the distance he could have traveled last year had he done this or done that. And it vexes you. Worries you. Makes you mad.
Remember this: God has your man. Yes, he does. Might seem like he doesn’t sometimes, but He does. As I type this I am staring at a big wall hanging, a Christmas gift from friends, with the Scripture “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
You don’t have to understand how God will work in your husband for God to work in him.
Your part in marriage is not run or control your spouse. It is to do what God tells you to do. And friend, the God-do always starts with prayer. It starts with you on your knees or face-on-the-floor before God, asking Him to do a deep work in you, and your man.
Generally though, your heart towards your husband is revealed through the words you lift up to God on his behalf. If your lips have been silent? Or posturing? Well, something needs to change inside you.
As we start the year and start to look at all the growth “opportunities” your husband is missing, remember it might be about your growth too, not just his.
That’s ” how change your husband ” work begins: It starts with you. And maybe this year you need to focus on what you can do too, not just what your sweet man should.
In my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in The Early Years, I write
“In our early days of marriage, my husband and I would give each other the cold shoulder for days. I felt lost, forgotten, afraid, unloved. He felt alone, misunderstood, like a complete failure as a husband. Marriage was hard. But it was hard because we held on to our selfishness and refused to change..”
After months of turmoil, I began to listen to God and my prayers changed from “change him, Lord” to “change me first!”
“It is important to do the hard work of changing on the inside. Be ready to pray “God, it hurts so bad right now but do your perfect will in me. Align my heart to your will”
What changes do you need to make in your life today? Pray more? Talk less? Or maybe speak up more? Commit to weekly fellowship with other believers (even if your husband won’t go?) Prioritize your home?
Quit competing and keeping scores? Cut off unhealthy friendships? Confess secret sin and get help?
Now, God is interested in your husband’s growth too.
But first, you. Healed spouses heal marriages.
A wife who has learned to do business with God is a powerhouse of influence. Not because she manipulates or sulks or throws tantrums. But because she stills her heart before her Maker and taps into His grace, courage and wisdom.
Listen to John 15:5, 7, 8
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
A great marriage proceeds out of personal depth and intimacy with God.
Now let’s talk about how to change your husband aka practical tips to influencing your husband to growth!
When to stop trying to influence your husband
When you are emotional and riled up.
When you feel like you can’t live without his change: if he has to change for you to be happy. Remember, happiness is something you control. Of course, it matters how your husband treats you. But you own your reactions and choices and if your husband has to change for you to have joy, then you are giving him too much control over your life.
When you are more concerned with his growth than yours.
When he’s resisting it, and you are cramming it down his throat (you can’t force change.)
When comparison with other men is the main instigator.
When you are trying to get back at him – he wants you to change in an area, and you are keeping scores, won’t’ change unless he does.
When your sole motivation is personal insecurities and fears.
When to start influencing:
After you have been with God in prayer.
And you have peace.
When you are focused on your own growth as well.
When your conversation is framed with love, spoken in a familiar love language.
When you can treat him as an adult, not a child.
If you are willing to wait for the change (change doesn’t happen overnight.)
What to do when he resists growth.
Stay in prayer.
Accept he might never change and adjust your expectations. Focus on other areas where he’s grown.
Involve others. Follow this pattern as prescribed in the Bible.
Matthew 18:15 – 17
If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”
Still wondering how to change your husband? Tired of the fussing, fighting and distance? Want to restore joy, healing and happiness to your marriage? Or maybe you just want to love better, create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way. My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years will set you on that road. Buy it here Amazon I Barnes & Noble I PDF
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