Sunday, November 29, 2009

Marriage Monday - 11/30/2009

Wow - I can't believe I've missed two weeks of my Marriage Monday Posts! Where has the time gone? I apologize for slacking off in this area, it's definitely been on my mind - I just haven't taken the focused time and effort needed to get my posts done.

So, this week, we're going to cover a couple topics, His Affection and His Temptations because they are pretty short chapters.

His Affection

I'm just going to touch on a few key points that I found in this chapter. One of the big ones is that men often view sex and affection as the same thing, so they can feel like as long as the sex life is good, then so is affection. But as women, we know that affection is totally different - it can be holding hands, an unexpected hug, stroking your hair - for most men, stuff like that doesn't come naturally. But, Stormie quotes this scripture "Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:3.

So, it's definitely in God's plan that our husbands are affectionate towards us - but I truly think most of the time they need some "help" in this area. So, since this is Power of a Praying Wife - this chapter talks about praying for our husbands in this area so that the power of the Holy Spirit can begin working on their hearts and ours so that when the time comes to talk about affection, it can be a conversation that is received well, rather than appearing to be just something else we are nagging them about. With my husband and I, my communication to him about affection is usually very playful because that's my husband's personality I'll come in to the "Man Room" (aka the den) after all the girls are in bed, and sit down with him on the couch and say something like "Oh, what did you say? You wanted to give me a massage? How nice of you!" And then I plop myself down on the floor in front of him. We both chuckle, and he knows that I could use a massage - and he's happy to do it. He does the same thing with me - "Oh, you wanted to scratch my head? That's so sweet!".

So that way of communicating works for us. What would NOT work for us is me coming to him all the time saying "Why don't you ever give me a massage? Why don't you hug me more?". Confrontation like that usually never works for us. So, if your hubby is not affectionate or you would like him to be more affectionate, try praying for God to show you some effective ways that you can communicate that to him.

His Temptations

Now this is an area that I have more personal application with my ex-husband. My ex-husband was a compulsive gambler, and it seemed no matter how hard I prayed - and I prayed HARD and OFTEN - things never seemed to get better. When I finally filed for divorce, I felt like I had failed in my marriage - like I didn't pray hard enough, I wasn't strong enough, I should've done more. So, I was encouraged when I read this sentence on p.75 "But a heart that refuses to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit will not change, no matter how hard you pray." And I think that was truly the case with my first marriage - he just was not willing to change at that time in his life, and it cost him his family.

This chapter encourages us to pray in advance regarding any temptations that may come our husband's way, and to ask that they would be strong enough to withstand those temptations. It talks about temptations coming in all shapes and sizes: alcohol, drugs, money, power, food, pornography, etc. The bible says "blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12). There are many other verses in the Bible that tell us that temptations WILL come, it's just a matter of when, and how we will respond. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us "God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I can personally attest to that - when I was about 20 years old, I ended up in a very bad situation with a guy I had just met. He had his plans for how he wanted the night to work out, and I felt somewhat trapped. I didn't know what else to do, so I went to the bathroom, and just prayed and asked God to please help me find the way out. Seriously, minutes later, I started throwing up EVERYWHERE, and he left me alone and I got out and went home. I know it's gross - but I know that was my way out that God provided for me.

I've been very fortunate in my marriage to Aaron, I haven't seen too many temptations in his life, other than "the need for speed" - but this too can definitely be an issue - one that landed him in the hospital for a week last year with a lacerated liver. I don't know that I prayed specifically about that as a 'temptation' but I know I prayed that he would be more careful and realize what he had at stake. And I have seen him reign himself in and be more cautious when he rides his dirtbike, since he knows he has a family at home that needs him.

No matter what our husbands temptations may be, our prayers can be very effective in helping them resist those temptations. In Stormie's example prayer, she says to pray for a wall of protection to be around our husband, that he will have the self-control to resist anything or anyone that becomes a lure, and to give him the courage to reject tempting situations.

I pray that today's Marriage Monday post will find its way to those who needed to hear some of these things today, and that we will all put prayer for our husbands as a top priority in our lives - as it will not only benefit them, but will ultimately benefit us and our family. I know sometimes all the things we have to pray for can seem overwhelming - I could probably pray for hours on end just to get out all of the things that I want to pray about. But God knows what is on our hearts, He just desires for us to be in relationship with him - so don't think your prayers have to be a certain length, or that you have to pray them all at once. I find that I get my most prayer time in on my way to and from work in the car - in fact I rarely listen to the radio anymore because I know that I will have uninterrupted time on my drive. Once I get home, I won't get time to myself again until my children are in bed...hehe :) So, whether it's finding time when your kids are at school, or when they are taking a nap, or when your making your daily commute - you may have to sacrifice something else (for me it was giving up listening to music on the way to work - which I really liked to do), I guarantee that you won't regret having that alone time with God.

Next week I think I'll do 2 chapters again so I can get caught up - His Mind and His Fears.

Happy Monday!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What you say at the end about praying--such a good reminder. Mom prayers are short and on the run too often, but they totally count.
I used to pray about my husband's temptation. Then I prayed that he'd just stop drinking for almsot 10 years. It took me years to realize what I needed to pray for--for him to see what drinking did--what price would it cost? A DUI. So I began to pray for him to get one--I was v. specific--double the legal limit, when he was out with friends, nobody gets hurt. He was pulled over a few months later--speeding. He blew double the legal limit, I was out of town with the boys and he GOT it--ticket, rehab, the works. He no longer drinks like he used to. I learned a lot about prayer during that entire experience.

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Copyright © 2009 said...

I love this post..a beautiful reminder of loving versus making feel bad. I love how you approach your husband with the massages, versus why don't good..I'm so grateful to God for this have no idea!!!
God bless you!

Faith Imagined said...

What great advice! I agree with Teresa that how you approach your hubby with massages is fantastic! I am going to try that one with my hubby tonight!