It was nearly midnight when I got back to my hotel room, at the close of the women’s conference. My phone died before I could check on things at home, but when it charged, I had this voicemail:
“Hey, Babe, everything’s good here. Give me a call when you can. I’ll pray for you now in case you aren’t able to call back tonight . . .”
There was a time in our marriage when receiving a message like this would’ve been unimaginable—when my husband seemed more like my enemy than a friend. During the first decade of our marriage, I developed a negative and critical attitude toward him that stifled his desire to be my spiritual leader or even pray with me. But for several years now, without fail, LeRoy has prayed over me nightly, interceding for specific needs and struggles. He makes requests with faith and vision for how God can be glorified through our lives.
My heart changed and God transformed the atmosphere in our home.
You may be in a dark and lonely place right now. You and your husband may operate more like distant roommates than friends. Maybe you’re functioning in “survival mode” trying to hold things intact only for the sake of your children. Today I want to offer you some practical suggestions for cultivating a heart change that can transform the atmosphere in your home.
♥ Cry Out
Go to God. First confess to God your resentment toward your husband and ask forgiveness for any anger or bitterness you have. We can’t begin to intercede for our husbands if we’re filled with toxic garbage (Hebrews 12:15). Lay out some specifics in prayer concerning your marriage relationship. Instead of ranting about your husband’s failures, ask God how you can inspire your man to be the godly leader he was created to be!
♥ Break Down Barriers
If you recognize ways you’ve demeaned your husband or stifled his leadership, ask his forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most powerful component for breaking down isolating barriers in your relationship. Offer to him the same forgiveness that you’ve received (Ephesians 4:32).
♥ Honestly Communicate
We don’t have to use words to communicate when we’re frustrated—most husbands can tell! Don’t let little resentments simmer underneath the surface. Those can lead to big explosions or silent walls of bitterness. Prayerfully consider the timing and words to communicate to your husband your specific concerns or desires. Enter the conversation with grace and humility. Love should be your motive, not the selfish desire to “fix things” more to your liking (Ephesians 4:29).
♥ Let Go
There is a natural tendency to try to “re-make” our men rather than to let go of the little stuff. Before you sling out a demeaning criticism, challenge yourself with heart-searching questions: “Am I trying to control my husband? Am I willing to accept his differences and love him, even though he doesn’t do things the way I would?” Offer him the same love and acceptance you’ve been shown by Christ (Romans 15:1–7).
♥ Be a Friend
If your husband is blindly captured by sin, don’t enable him in that sin. Proverbs says that a friend’s wounds demonstrate faithfulness. Humbly come alongside your husband and graciously confront him on the basis of your love and desire for him to be set free (Proverbs 27:5–6; Galatians 6:1–2).
If you’re discouraged, depend on God’s grace to apply these principles. Move from despair to hope by trusting God’s ability to transform the atmosphere in your home!
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