So how are you doing on being still? Pretty tough task, isn’t it? It’s definitely a difficult one for me at times. I have made many mistakes by allowing my tongue free range instead of just being still and allowing God to work. After some practice in this area, though, it does get easier. Your tongue will begin to heal (from all of the biting you are doing right now), and it will soon just become habit for you to let God be God instead of “helping” Him in his work.
Once you get the hang of being still, you can then move on to another practical suggestion that I have for you to do while you are waiting. This is one where you are able to be a lot more vocal about things! I would suggest that you find anything and everything positive that you can about your husband and begin building up those things in him.
Most men today are beat down and degraded by the women in their lives. Look at any American sitcom and you will see how men are viewed in today’s society. Look at shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond” or “Yes, Dear” or “King of Queens” (and those are the cleaner ones!). These shows portray an “ignorant” husband that the wife has to babysit, nag, and coddle in order for him to be worth anything. Men are not built up as the respected leaders in their homes that God has called them to be. Yet many women are aching for their husband to be the man of God that he was created to be in leading their home.
So what can you do while you are waiting for God to work in your husband’s life? First, continue to be still. Do not say anything negative about your husband and his abilities or lack of abilities. Rather, chose words that build him up. Strengthen him. Encourage him. Tell him that you believe in him. Most men just want to know that someone (namely their wife) believes that he can be or do what it is that he’s trying to do. He wants to know that if he takes the vulnerable step of leading, that someone will follow. He wants to know that if he makes a decision, that someone will back him in that choice. He wants to know that he is someone who you can put your trust in.
So take the step. Sit down somewhere quiet and write down everything that you can think of that is positive about your husband. Start with the easiest things and work your way deeper. Do you think he’s handsome? Is he strong and capable of working? Does he provide money or food for your family? What about emotionally for you? Does he listen well? Is he a good problem solver? Does he try to give you quiet time away from the kids? Then think spiritually. Does he lead your family at some points? Does he pray with you or the kids? Does he take you to meet with the church every week? Write down anything that comes to mind. Try not to allow any negative thoughts about what he isn’t doing to creep in. Stay focused on the positive.
At this point, I know I have to stop and address the question that has arisen many times in our counseling. “So what do I write down if I can’t find anything positive (or very little positive) about my husband?” I hate to hear of anyone being at this point, but trust me when I say that you are not alone. I’ve had many wives ask me this question. My answer? Go back to who God created your husband to be. God created him in His image (Gen. 1:27). He has been fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). He also has the same access to God’s promises that you have. Romans 8:1 says that he doesn’t have to be condemned any more from his past. He has been set free. (Isaiah 61:1-2). Your husband probably would do well to be reminded of these passages and promises. However, here is the key to this step working: You must not just remind him of these promises, but tell your husband that you believe that these promises are true about HIM. Tell him that you believe that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. Tell him that you are excited to see God’s image stamped into him. Go to Jeremiah 29:11 and tell your husband that you are looking forward to seeing what God will do through him.
Once you have your list of positives that you see in your husband, write him a note encouraging him in those things. Tell him that you are thankful for the things he is doing for your family. Build him up for the steps he is taking. Tell him that you believe he can do great things because of who God created him to be. (If your husband is unwilling to hear these types of comments and doesn’t believe in God at all, then share them with God. Tell God that you believe in the husband He created and that you trust Him!) If you get started on your note and have trouble with any of it and would like some help, feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help talk you through taking this very important step in your waiting.
I will close with two simple ideas to keep in mind when you are doing this. Remember to be still. This is not a time for you to manipulate your hidden agenda into who you want your husband to be, but rather to build him up for who he already is or what God is doing in him. Secondly, keep your hope in God. I know when your marriage is rocky and falling apart, being positive about the other person isn’t always easy. But remember that you are putting your trust in God and what HE is capable of doing in both you and your husband.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”