One of the hardest things for many women to do is to entrust God with their husbands. As their wives, we often have a close-up view into their deepest struggles and character issues. We consider ourselves their partners in life and their helpmeets. When you’re struggling with how your husband is growing (or not), it is important to honor God and His Word concerning your marriage. Trusting God to mold your man, if you cooperate with Him, can be one of the greatest acts of faith, and reward, in your lifetime.
Many women I meet and have the privilege to talk with are not “bad wives”. They love God, their husband, and their children. They want the best for their families and are often frustrated because they sense that God wants to do so much more with them than they feel their families are willing to do. A wife looks to her husband to lead because that is what he is called to do according to scripture. She becomes discouraged or frustrated when he doesn’t seem to show the kind of leadership she believes he should. And sometimes, she might even be 100% right. And most women know that it is okay to speak to your husband about your concerns and even to disagree with him from time to time, but it isn’t okay to try to mold him into who you think he should be. So, what’s a gal to do?
How do we trust God with the development of our man? How do we ‘help’ our husbands without crossing spiritual boundaries clearly outlined in the scriptures?
The very first step is to establish trust– between you and God. That’s right. YOU need to trust God concerning your husband. I don’t want those words to fall so lightly off the tongue, because, the truth is- if you cannot bring yourself to trust God completely with your husband, then you won’t be led by Him for your husband’s benefit. If your husband’s not saved, you’ll try to manufacture ways that he can ‘get saved’. If your husband doesn’t have godly character, or is immature in certain areas, you’ll find yourself wanting to “teach” him a thing or two. If your husband is making wrong decisions, you’ll want to be the one correcting him. But if it is one thing I have learned over the course of 20 years of marriage, it is that God is the only one who can bring about true heart change in anyone.
Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.“
Your husband is God’s work, not yours. The only way you will ever see the the character of Christ in your husband is if God is allowed to be the master builder in his life. Now this doesn’t mean God won’t ever use you to speak to your husband, He will. But it must be by His direction and not from your frustration or fear. Let God do the work and ask Him what you role is supposed to be in that process.
Next, in order to keep trusting God to mold your husband, you must be willing to pray for him… FOR him, not about him. If you are truly committed to praying for your husband in faith, I’d like to challenge you to also commit to being nearly silent about what you are praying. In other words, don’t talk to your husband about how you are praying for him unless it is simply to encourage him that you are on his side. Let your prayer for your husband be a dialogue between you and the Lord. Let the Lord speak to you about your role as your husband’s wife and how you can stand in faith for whatever you are believing for your husband.
Many times, God will speak to us in prayer things that WE need to change in order to see the fruit we desire grow in our marriage. He may ask you to withhold criticism and increase the kindness of your words toward him. God may show you that your husband needs you to make breakfast for him every morning as an act of love. He may want you to be available at the end of the day to be a listening ear to him and to show him that he is a priority to you. Be open to God showing you such things.
Begin learning how to submit to your husband, both in actions and in heart.
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”
There is no way around the submission issue in marriage. An interesting thing to consider is verse six of this passage- “They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” If you think about the times you do not want to submit to your husband or God’s Word, it is often the root of fear that is keeping you from doing so. Fear will tell you that you can’t submit because if you do things won’t turn out well. But faith will tell you that you can submit and God will cover you despite the outcome. (DISCLAIMER: Submission is NEVER required in instances of abuse. If you are in this situation, seek professional help)
Finally, watch your words about your husband. Think of it this way: Your prayers are good seed being sown into and for your marriage. Your words have the power to nourish or uproot those prayers.It is so very important that we wives control our tongues. Line your words up with His Word and what you are praying for your husband. If you must complain or vent, choose to do so in your time with God and no one else- talk with Him honestly about your feelings and concerns and allow Him to speak to you about your situation. He is a good Father, and He understands your hurts. If you find that you are bitter or are carrying offense toward your husband, ask God to help you forgive and to heal you. He absolutely can do so.
Trusting God to mold your man isn’t always easy, but it IS always possible.
Women who trust God to work in their husbands hearts are often rewarded with peace and given surprising benefits along the way. May He give you the courage to step into faith for your husband and may He bless your marriage like never before!