I recently heard a report that marriages in the U S are on the decline. And two of the reasons cited were that women have more career and financial options, and there is less financial stress to live together, than to be married. And then when you add to the mix tv shows like a Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, and other shows that depict single women living together as a family unit, you have an all out attack on traditional moral values and on traditional marriage.
As Christian women we know that our enemy Satan issued an all out attack on the family in the Garden of Eden and He is intensifying his strategy every single day. He knows if he can destroy the family unit of Mom, Dad, and children, he will destroy the church, and if he can destroy the church, he will destroy Christianity. The good news is, in Genesis 2, God performed the first marriage ceremony and marriage is still alive and well today. And in Matthew 16, Jesus Christ established the church and He announced to Satan and the world that "the gates of hell will not prevail" against His church. So as believers, we know that marriage itself is secure until Christ returns for His bride, and that the New Testament, Bible believing church will prevail. But......there is an attack on our moral and ethical fiber and while our enemy may not be able to destroy marriage and the church completely, he can still destroy individual families and local congregations. And all we have to do is look around and see that he is enjoying a measure of success.
If you are reading this and you are married, please do not take your marriage for granted; our enemy is out to destroy your marriage, too. And he uses small stuff to create big havoc in our homes. Your marriage is important to God. As long as you and your husband are living together in the bonds of holy matrimony, all of heaven is fighting for the survival of your marriage. David and I will be married 45 years this May and all of heaven is still fighting for us, because you see, it doesn't matter how long we are married, Satan never gives up trying to destroy us. There is so much more at stake here than David and me; we have 3 grown sons, 8 grandchildren, our sisters, brothers, friends, younger couples that look up to us, and a host of others that could easily be hurt or brought down if he can destroy our marriage. I am still shocked at the destruction of Stephan and Gigi Graham Tchividian's marriage; it hurt me because I admired her so much. I am still shocked at the destruction of the marriage of our friends who were married 40 plus years, and of the destruction of a 60 year marriage we heard of recently.
But praise God He has not left us defenseless. He has armed us with the supernatural power of His Holy Word, our God-given right as His child to pray, and the "gumption" as my Mama used to say, to get in there and fight; not just for ourselves, but we need to fight for our man. And we fight for him each time we go to the throne of grace on his behalf.
Here are 5 simple things your husband needs you to ask God to do in his life; he may not ask you to pray for him and these particular matters, he may not know he needs them, but he does. This is not a complete list by any means, but it will sure get you started. Keep a prayer journal and each time you see God's hand actively working in your husband's life, write it down; it will build your faith and encourage you to keep on keeping on.
Your husband needs you to pray for his:
1. Health and safety.
Men don't like to eat healthy. Please don't tell him I said so, but probably your husband is an all meat and potatoes kind of guy. But guess who does the cooking at my house? Me, unless it's chili. Pray that God will help you and your family to make healthier eating choices, then cook it! A man's work and travel can often be dangerous. Pray each day for his safety, pray that God will keep him healthy, and ask God to grant you many years of marriage to raise your kids and influence their lives.
2. His relationship with God.
Simply pray that your husband will read his Bible and pray. If he doesn't ask the blessing at meal time, suggest he start. If he isn't comfortable, suggest you take turns, including the kids. Ask him to read the kids their Bible story before bedtime. It's amazing how much biblical knowledge is in a child's Bible Story Book. They have some great ones at Life Way. Look for ways you can work in spiritual truth and biblical discussions in your private conversations. Take notes during the pastor's sermons, then share with him some of the things you got from the message. Always be positive about God, the Bible, prayer, church; he needs to know you really believe what you say you believe and he'll know it by how you talk (yes that's #1) and how you live.. Ask him to pray for a specific thing for you or the kids, and be sure and tell him how God is answering his prayer, it will elevate his trust and faith. It's amazing what your prayers for his spirituality will do for him, for you, your marriage, and your family. Everyone will reap the benefits of your prayer.
3. His relationship with you and your kids.
Ladies let's face it; often we're to blame when we don't receive what we need from our husbands. How many times have you heard him say, "I didn't know you wanted/needed that! Why didn't you tell me?" Whether it's a certain piece of jewelry for Valentine's Day or a little time to cry on his shoulder, if he doesn't give it, assume he doesn't know how, and tell him. He needs you, today, to pray for his relationship with you and the kids. Ask God specifically to develop a deeper love and understanding between you and him, and him and your kids. That is a prayer that is God's will and a prayer He has promised to answer.
(1 John:5:14,15) And if he isn't as involved with your children as you had hoped he would be, tell God, He'll listen. He is the One Who will move your husband's heart in that direction.
4. His morality and integrity.
Oh, ladies, you do not have enough time here to read all that is involved in a man's morals and his integrity. Morality and integrity are more a way of thinking than doing, and it is something that must be taught to our little boys during their morally formative years. If you have small sons, please, please, please, instill in their young minds and hearts spiritual principles that will shape how they think. And when our thinking is right, our doing will be right, too. Pray right now that God will draw your husband toward high moral standards of integrity in his thinking, then see to it that you feed those standards by your daily walk and talk. Don't criticize him for watching something on tv that is wrong while you are reading a trashy romance novel. (sorry, I don't mean to be so blunt) Make sure we as wives have the same standards we want for our husbands.
5. His sexuality.
I heard a statistic that men hear or see literally thousands of sexually explicit material every minute. (sorry I don't remember the exact number). Wherever he is, whatever he is doing, he needs you, right now, to pray for his purity; purity in his thoughts and his actions. There are women who are sending an invitation to your husband right now to "look at them", to "fantasize about them" and they don't know him and he doesn't know them. It can be an invitation as simple as passing each other in the Mall or watching a newscast with a female anchor who really needs to be wearing a jacket!!! And as you pray for his purity, pray for yours, as well. And pray that God will bless your intimacy with each other and strengthen your marriage. (it is not easy for me to write about this, I embarrass easily, lol, but I see how simple flirtations and "looks" between a man and woman can escalate to something else.) Protect your marriage, pray for his sexuality.
It may take time to see changes in his choice of tv shows, or his reading material. It may take time to see real spiritual growth, or see him become a more devoted Dad and husband, or the spiritual leader in your home that you need him to be, but please keep praying, God is faithful, He desires your success, He will help you.
My son is a pastor and he recently shared with me that he had been preaching a series of sermons on the home and marriage, and one of the men in his church who had experienced a time of difficulty in his marriage said this: "I decided it was more important to stay with my kids than to leave my wife."
Ladies, with the exception of the abuse of your children or yourself, (and that abuse can take on many forms)
I still believe every marriage can be saved, (call me a starry eyed optimist) every home can be a good home, and every child deserves a Mom and Dad who love God, love each other, love them, and who are committed to stay married to each other for a lifetime, and that includes better or worse, richer or poorer. Old fashioned, maybe. Politically correct, no. Right....with all my heart I believe YES!