As Christian women we want to be married to Godly men. Men who know the Lord and who know how to love, really love and who put God first. Men who know how to lead their home and be the man they are called to. Maybe you are married already to a Christian man, but he hasn’t yet risen to his potential in Christ. Maybe you are with a man who is okay with the idea of you being a Christian but churchy stuff isn’t for him. If you desire more for your husband, this article is for you. Encourage your hubby without pushing him further away. 10 steps for empowering your husband to be a man of God.
1. Pull the gold out
You married that man for a reason, what is it? What do you love about him? What makes him amazing and wonderful and unique? Why did you marry him?
Remember when you first met, when you fell in love, when you had fun together. Remind yourself of the day, the moment you knew he was the one. You feel in love with him for a reason. There is something special about him, something he brought to the table that no one else did and that is why you married him. Remind him of that with love. Tell him the good things you love about him and why you are grateful God gave you a man who________: fill in the blank.
2. Call it like you want it
Call things that are not as though they are. Declare! This is one of my favorite biblical principles. The Shunammite Woman is a great example here. Read her story. Her son was dead. Yet she went to get the man of God, Elisha, and when asked what was going on, she replied “all is well”. She knew, trusted and believed that all would be well and she was careful with her words, which are powerful. She declared the thing she was believing for. Are declaring “all is well” with your household?
This is not a lie or a falsehood. This is not wishful thinking. This is not denial. This is using your God given authority, the power of your words to create your world. You can create your world with your words. Use them wisely.
Call him what you want him to be. Pull the gold out. Praise him as the potential you see, and leave off the tempting criticism at the end.
When we were making a decision about our household or our finances or how to deal with a situation with our children, I would often look at my husband and say, “Okay man of God what should we do?” “Priest in my home, what do you think?” *Warning – I was careful NOT to say this with a condescending tone. This was not sarcastic. This was not in any way belittling. The point was not to call him out on what he was not doing but to call him up to what he was created to do.
I was reminding him, with love and praise that he is the leader of our home, a man of God who could make the decisions. It was not all my job. We had also had a talk about this beforehand. We communicated and agreed that he could be more hands on with family matters and decisions and that it was important for our children to see him modeling leadership in our home. Because we had talked about this first, he knew I was calling him out in love.
Elisha and the Shunammite Woman 2 Kings 4:8-37
3. Love every time
He’ll mess up. He will. But you are not called to be his alarm. You are his partner. You have to decide what kind of marriage you want too. Do you want a marriage where you are correcting him like a child? Do you want to be the alarm? Then don’t be.
It is tempting to feel like you should sound the alarm, point out mistakes or even nag about the necessary changes you want to see. But this method will backfire. I have never met one woman that this worked for – not one. No one say “I finally nagged him so much that now he is the perfect husband.” Doesn’t happen because it is not effective.
Love is effective. Love him every time. Because that is what Jesus does, for you too - even when you don’t deserve it. Even when you make the same mistake you have made before. (*I am referencing mistakes like not helping out at home for leaving a mess in the bathroom or not paying a bill on time, these types of things. I am not talking about abuse or infidelity. These are deeper serious issues and should be handled differently.)
There are ways to deal with these types of mistakes. What works for your relationship? It is different for everyone. “Please respect our home by putting things away after you use them. Our home is a blessing and I appreciate it when we can keep it feeling clean and welcoming.” Maybe this is how you feel. It is how I feel. So be truly honest with your feelings. The underlining feelings. Not the complaints or the irritants. Say what is on your heart with love and move on.
4. Be a Godly woman
If you want a Godly husband, be a Godly wife. That means loving first. That means watching your mouth. That means leading by example. He should see something incredible in you. Something that makes you shine brighter than people he knows who are not godly.
Rule #1 guard your mouth. I think women have a tendency to need to vent and men generally do not. I do. And unfortunately my husband has gotten an earful over the years. Not a good idea. You especially do not want to vent about “church people”. Because that makes church less appealing.
Do people get hurt at church? Of course. I don’t know why this is so shocking. Here we have a group of people who admit they are flawed and in need of a savoir and are “working” on being like Christ. Working on something implies immediately that we have not perfected it; therefore we are working on it. So here we admit we are flawed and trying. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to hurt others unintentionally, (and sometimes intentionally if I’m being honest). We know it happens. Christians should be trying harder, sure. But we are all just people who are trying.
It is actually our calling to have patience not to expect perfection. So when we complain about a hurt or a flaw in someone else we are actually showing our own flaws and lack of patience. (And yes – I even stepped on my own toes as I wrote that… ) Be a Godly woman by showing that love and patience to those who don’t deserve it. None of us deserve it – but Jesus gave, so we do too AKA Chrst-like.
"It is actually our calling to have patience not to expect perfection."
5. Cast your vision
– marriage, family, ministry
What are your dreams and desires for your family? We all want men who work with us or take the lead.
Maybe you want to go to church but he doesn’t. Then you go. Hopefully he will follow. Hopefully he will see the joy you have when you return home. Hopefully he will want to enjoy that time with you. But one thing is for certain he cannot follow you if you are not there. *Again, nagging rarely works. And if it does it won’t have the outcome you are hoping for. It is not a testimony I have heard… “My wife nagged so persistently I finally came with her to church and I was so glad I was here I opened up and the spirit moved and I gave my life to Christ.”
Talk about it. Express your hopes that you would love to go to church as a family and that is your dream someday. Let him know he is always welcome to come with you. When you get home share the good things that happened or was said or the upcoming events. Then move on. Peak his interest without nagging – resist the temptation.
Maybe you both already go to church. Maybe he is already a Christian, he just hasn’t risen to the position you know God wants for him. Perhaps you want him to participate in a ministry with you. Ministering side by side can be a wonderful thing. Perhaps it is your dream to teach children’s church together or lead a feed the homeless outreach with his help. Don’t assume he isn’t interested. Talk about it. Explain how you would love his help doing something that makes you feel like you have a purpose. Be open about why this is important to you and what your goals are for ministry in the future. Share your heart. Even if he isn’t on board today, you are planting a seed that will likely grow.
6. Pray together, call on him to lead
Do you believe that prayer works? Do you believe the word of God? It is too easy for people to say they believe in God. But the truth is that while they believe in him, they do not believe him. *OUCH
The word tells us that prayer works, that God answers prayer. No, it is not like a gumball machine. You do not put your prayer quarter in and a gumball pops out. Sometimes we don’t get things answered like we’d planned and sometimes (usually) we do not get our answers when we’d like. But believing in God is not enough. You have to believe him, that is to trust him. When you get a hold of that as truth for yourself, you will KNOW that prayer does work. Pray is communicating with God. It is always relationship building to communicate with anyone – God especially.
It is not enough to pray for your husband. Pray with him. Pray together every night before bed. In my house we do not always go to bed at the same time. But we pray together before we do.
I ask my husband to pray for me. In this way I am showing confidence in his God walk and in his faith. When I am having a tough time, a sickness, or just a loss of energy I ask him to pray for me. And I often do this in front of our children. I want them to know that their dad is a man of God and I want my sons to be men of God and my daughter to marry a Godly man. But most importantly I want my husband to know that I count on his prayers. Often he will lead our prayers at dinner or after a family meeting/discussion. Because he is leading our family by example.
7. Lead until he takes the reins
In all honesty, that was not always the case. He didn’t always lead by example. He never prayed out loud. He wasn’t comfortable with that. But I was. I am the preacher’s daughter and I have more stage presence. I naturally took the leadership in these things when we got married. I know the scriptures well and I love to teach a class or reach for the microphone and I have never had a problem sharing to a room of 2 or 200 and I am anxious for the day I’ll share with thousands. Not my hubby. He is quiet and supportive. He let me lead for years. Until one day when we realized that was not okay anymore. We had a conversation. We talked about his role as the “priest in our home”. We have two sons and it was important that he shed his comfort zone and arose to be the example he was being called to. It did not happen overnight. But when it happened, I gave up the power I once had, and handed him the reins that were his by design.
Someone has to lead. If your husband is not ready to be the leader, it is up to you. It is not wise to simply sit back hoping and waiting that someone will lead the family. Arise and take the position. Teach your children the truth of God’s word and what love looks like, all while praying and encouraging your husband to one day take the lead.
8. Give up the reins
Nothing ever happens fast enough for me. I like to get things done and move on to the next exciting thing or accomplishment. I am often in a hurry. I am trying to slow down, I am learning. That being said, when what I want happens, I have to make the necessary changes in myself too.
When my husband began to take the reins in our home, I had to let go. There is a part of me that would like to say that it wasn’t easy. Because I know that there are many wives that it may not be easy for. I want to relate and say it isn’t easy, but you can do. But for me, it was easy. I trust him.
We had more than a few talks about the vision for our family and though things did not happen as fast as I would like, they happened. As he came into his authority, I had to give up some of mine. Now don’t get me wrong… we make decisions together. We are a team. And I am truly blessed as we rarely disagree. However, if we do he wins. That is just the way it is. That is what a Godly wife looks like. I have to trust him. I trust that he is seeking God. That whatever decision he makes is for our best. I have to recognize his gifts and know that between him and God, everything will be fine. I have to let go and trust.
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. James 1:19
9.Praise the change
Why is it that we are so quick to see the flaws? The areas that need changed. Why do we see these so much faster and clearer than the good or the well done? Perhaps that is why the Word instructs “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 Take a moment to evaluate, process, look for the best in the situation, then speak. This is the truest wisdom there is.
When we are slow to speak, perhaps we won’t see the improvements that still need to be made. Hopefully we recognize the accomplishments instead. Words do matter. Use your words to build your husband up. Support and honor the effort he has made. In this way, you are being a Godly woman and encouraging him to keep on growing. Be love.
10. Be Love and grow together
He’s still working on me… to make me what I ought to be… It is a song I sang growing up. A childhood chorus, but it still rings true. He is still working on me. I am not perfect. I need to keep growing too. We need to grow together. Read the Word of God daily. Hide it in your heart, know it and treasure it. And apply it. Take it line by line as you become all that you were created for and your husband joins you.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)