While we were visiting the States, I felt a strong urging from the Lord to think about my husband, and what my life would be like if he wasn’t as present in my life. He surrounded me with women, and testimonies of women that were choosing to give up their rights to their husbands. There are seasons we go through in our lives as well as in our marriages. There have been seasons in my life where I felt like a single mother because my husband was working several jobs to provide for us. All of the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our daughter were my sole responsibility and it was exhausting. Looking back I can see that I did not deal with that season in the best way. I was angry and resentful that my husband chose to be away from us, but that is the completely wrong way to feel about these kinds of situations. He was not choosing to be away from me and our child, he was providing so we would have a place to live and food on the table. Bitterness does not lend itself to common sense. Being angry at our spouse is counter productive and satan knows that. What better way to discourage our husbands than to fight with them when they do have time off?
Frustrated With The Situation
If I was looking at this from a worldy approach I might say something like, “Obviously it is counter productive to be angry at your husband, but it is fine to be frustrated with the situation.” But that isn’t how the bible tells us to deal with things. It doesn’t say, “And thou shall sit around and think about all the ways you wish your life was different.” It tells us to bring our thoughts into captivity. Let’s take a look at 2 Corinthians 10:4-5…
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
We are in a spiritual battle every single second. That means that we need to consider how God would have us deal with each individual situation. We do know that God has a plan and a hope for our future and our husband’s future. Let’s hold onto to that promise when we are going through difficult times and trials.
Those Lazy Jerks
I know that there are men out there (and women as well) that are lazy. That reminds me, I need to start the dishwasher, be right back… Ok, now my family will have clean dishes to eat off of later. I have seen first hand how some people will not provide, or support their spouses in any way. They won’t work, they won’t watch the kids, they don’t clean anything, and they will not lead their families spiritually. This is a huge problem and in the Bible we see that God is also very upset about this type of behavior. There are many verses about the “sluggard” in Proverbs, but my favorite verse about laziness is Proverbs 10:5,
“He who gathers in the summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”
Another verse that further illuminates this situation is Proverbs 21:25 which says,
“The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.”
I could go on and on about the sinfulness of laziness and the other sins it leads to, but that is not the main point of this article. You get the idea, laziness is a sinful and destructive behavior.
Dealing With True Neglect
I know that often there are instances of true neglect. Our husbands become consumed with work, hobbies, or serving at church. We often see that neglect starts in our families when our husbands neglect the word of God. In these cases I would urge you to pray for your husband. Ask God to help you see your husband the way God sees him, as a most beloved son that is struggling. Speak to your husband in love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13, love hopes all things. Have sincere hope that your husband will seek after God and be convicted and repentant of sin. Encourage your husband to spend time with another godly man. Men usually get distant when they are experiencing discouragement and talking to another man about it can help immensely. If God is putting it on your heart to challenge your husband, do it in a loving way without bitterness. Be honest and communicate in a way he can understand. Pray for wisdom about how to share what is on your heart.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Find sisters that will encourage you in your walk and give you biblical advice in your situation with your husband. You can also email me, I would love to pray with you through your situation!
If you can’t tell if your husband is neglecting you, or making a sacrifice to serve others outside of your family in addition to serving your family, ask yourself this question,
“What is my husband’s motivation in doing these things?”
Hopefully this will help you to better evaluate your situation.
Changing My Perspective
As I felt God pulling at my heart, preparing me to spend less time with my husband and more time doing things on my own, I watched women around me that have busy husbands. The main thing God showed me was that in each situation, the husband had a particular calling from God to do something, and the wife was willing to share her husband with others in order for her husband to be used by God. I kept hearing things like, “I have given up my alone time with my husband for now so we can minister to x group of people.” But a lot of times, the examples I have seen do not require any conversation. I can see it in the women, that God is their sustainer, and that they are happy in the season that God has for them. I have to admit to you, I have been one of those wives that condemned husbands of others because I thought they were neglecting their wives, even though the wife never complained about being neglected. But once I started watching more closely, I realized they were both making a sacrifice so that the husband could be used more mightily by the Lord.
Choosing To Sacrifice
I realized that the Lord was asking me, “Would you sacrifice time with your husband for My perfect will in his life? You have the right to want to be with him, after all I gave him to you. But will you sacrifice this for My kingdom?” This question broke my heart in a good way. My Heavenly Father is asking me to make a sacrifice, again. Every time God asks me to sacrifice something, I see His Spirit pouring into me, and His hand providing in new and abundant ways. I have seen that when I sacrifice something, it is not a sacrifice at all because the blessings I receive are abundantly more than I could have imagined. God gives us a choice. He doesn’t force us to do things. When He asks for more of our husbands’ time, He will fulfill our spiritual and emotional needs. But we have to do it willingly.
A Bitter and Contentious Wife
In Proverbs 31 we see all the qualities that God wants us to have as a wife. Throughout the rest of Proverbs we also see all the qualities a wife may possess that will cause her husband grief and pain.
“It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” -Proverbs 25:24
We also see that we are to pursue peace with all people, and yes that includes our husbands.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefuly lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;” -Hebrews 12:14-15
The way we deal with our husbands’ calling in life will directly effect his calling. I have personally witnessed women insisting on their right to their husband in such a way, that his call to ministry was never fulfilled. Ministry is not just for pastors or missionaries. Let me be clear. Your husband’s ministry is anything God has called him to do. This includes working to provide for your family, spending time with your children, spending time with unbelievers so that they can see Jesus in your husband, helping friends, helping strangers, being available to people, counseling people. Jesus is all about people!! There are people that God has called your husband to minister to, including you. As wives we can make ministering to others difficult for our husbands with our bitterness and annoyance. Let’s make an effort to make ministering easier for them. Let’s support our husbands by encouraging them to do God’s will, and not guilting them into doing what we want them to do.
What Our Children See – A Matter of the Heart
Over the summer I read “Distant Fields,” by Jed Gourley about the life of George Markey. Let me tell you, that book has been instrumental as God has taken me through this recent journey of learning to give up my rights to my husband. In that book we see that George’s children did not feel neglected by their father even though he was constantly busy ministering while they were growing up. I think a huge part of that happening was that George’s wife, Pamela Markey, had a positive attitude about how God was using her husband. She valued what her husband was doing for God’s kingdom and she supported her husband. George also made sure his children knew how much he loved them. Let me just take a second to encourage you to read the book, I promise you will be profoundly blessed and even more challenged to live your life to win people for Jesus Christ. I think that our children often act as mirrors of our attitudes and choices. They see everything we do and are amazing at mimicking our hearts. Pretending with them doesn’t work, and they see right through our attempts to cover up sin. As mothers and daughters of the Lord, our responsibility is to have the correct heart before the Lord and our children, so that when our children imitate us, they are imitating Jesus Christ. Talk about pressure! Yes it is a lot of pressure to be like Jesus, but that is what we are called to, and Jesus doesn’t model bitterness for us in any way. When Jesus was on earth He was all about His Father’s Kingdom. When our kids see that we are irritated at our husbands for something they did (or didn’t) do, their hearts are polluted by our sin. And when we do have legitimate concerns that need to be brought up to our husbands, that needs to happen in private, not in front of the kids.
I know I have covered a lot today, but let me leave you with this challenge. Is God tugging at your heart to be more supportive of your husband’s calling? Are you willing to let God pick up the slack in your life? Go have a conversation with the Lord about it today!