Praying the Right Thing for Your Husband

Praying for Your Husband the Right Way

Many of us have long weekends this weekend, and so I thought I would just leave you with a thought, and a round-up of other posts that speak to that thought.

One of the biggest things that we can learn in marriage is that we can’t change someone else; we can only ever change ourselves, and how we react to things. And as we start to realize that–that our job is to focus on ourselves–it becomes easier to give our husbands over to God.

What our husbands really need is to become the men that God wants them to be, not that man that we want them to be. After all, we don’t know what is coming down the line. We don’t know what God has to prepare him for. And quite often our impulse about what we want from our husbands isn’t always 100% correct either, because we ourselves have unrealistic expectations, and can’t see with God’s eyes.

So today, let’s focus on praying that God will help your husband to listen to Him, to learn form Him, to be transformed to look like Jesus (Romans 8:29).

And here are some posts that speak to that in specific ways:

Posts on this General Theme:

Revive Your Attitude: How to Let Go of Expectations
Marital Success if a Matter of Attitude
The Right Attitude for Improving a Marriage
The Root of Marriage Problems–Selfishness
When Conflicts Don’t End
How Do Marriages Change?
Are You a Spouse or an Enabler? (sometimes praying for God’s will in your husband’s life also requires you to take concrete steps when significant sin is involved)
Help for Those in Hurting Marriages

Posts on Specific Areas of Conflict:

When You Disagree About Parenting

Help! My Husband is Gross (about personal hygiene)

Books That Can Help:

To Love, Honor and Vacuum (my book on how to change you, not him)
Power of a Praying Wife
Praying God’s Word for Your Husband

Have a wonderful long weekend, for those who get one! And for everyone else, have a great Monday!

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  1. This is exactly what I need right now, Sheila. I’m going to read the linked posts too. Thank you.
    Jenny recently posted…no woman no cryMy Profile

    • Sheila, I read the posts you linked to. Do you think that I need to get leaders from a church involved? He won’t go to AA. He doesn’t want to stop drinking. I’m pretty sure he’s still lying to me about various things that are hurting our relationship, like the porn and the people he has “talked” to online – how did he meet these people, anyway? A dating website? I just don’t know, and he won’t talk about it, he isn’t forthcoming or honest about it, and he contradicts himself and says things that don’t add up. And then the abuse. Things are slightly better at the moment, yes. But things always get better for short periods of time, and then get worse and worse again until there’s a violent explosion. The cycle of violence. Which is why I refuse to move back in with him this time. He still denies the cycle of violence in our relationship, and it won’t change until he recognizes it and works to stop it. But then there’s also the trauma from his past, the childhood abuse he endured, that he needs to deal with.

      Moving out hasn’t worked. I’ve spent most of our marriage “moved out.” I’ve done everything I can think of, except for going to leaders of a church. We don’t have a church, so I don’t know where I would go. Or what I would say. There are so many issues. I wish we had the easy issues that most couples consider irritating, rather than what we deal with. Add to that that I am rapidly cycling between hypomanic and severely depressed right now and it just makes things harder to deal with.
      Jenny recently posted…no woman no cryMy Profile

      • Jenny, from this comment and others that you’ve left, I know that you have tried really hard. But the thing is that you can’t change another person. I think getting leaders of a church involved is a must if he belongs to one, but if your husband doesn’t go, I don’t know if it would help. I think an intervention, with people that he respects, telling him to man up, would likely be a good idea, but if he doesn’t have people like that in his life, then that wouldn’t work either. What he needs is for people to come around him and make him set boundaries and reach goals. But you can’t do that for him; it should be the community–his family, his friends, his church community–doing that for him.

        If there isn’t a natural community, then what I would say is that you need to take a step back and let God do His work. Your husband can still reject God; it doesn’t mean that things will turn out as you want them to. Your husband does have free will. But your husband also has to start experiencing the consequences of his actions. I think you working on getting yourself strong, on leaning on God, on nurturing your own friendships, will help you to be able to deal with whatever is coming around the bend with your husband.

        I’m not saying close the door on your marriage; you can always say to him, “Once you have gone to AA for x amount of time, and you have gotten counseling for your abuse and trauma, and you are forthright about the porn and what you are doing, and you have an accountability partner, we can start talking about beginning to date again (not moving in together again; that needs to wait until he has completely rebuilt trust). But until you have taken these steps, I need to keep arm’s length away from you for my own protection.”

        You can still pray for him, but I wouldn’t be trying to put the relationship back together because you can’t fix it. He needs to take responsibility for what he has done and find true healing.

        And so, the short answer to your question would be if there is a natural community of people that he respects, then yes, going to one or two people and asking them to sit down and talk bluntly with your husband is likely a good idea. But if there isn’t such a community, I would tell him that he needs to take responsibility, and then I would concentrate my emotional energy on seeking God, building friendships, and building up my own strength in Him.

        I hope that helps, and I am truly sorry for all the pain that you are going through. I know that it is immense, especially combined with all your other issues that you struggle with. That’s where getting a good support system in place for YOU is so vital, too.

        • Hard to hear, but true. What does this mean I should do about our combined finances and sex?

          • Jenny, I can’t tell you exactly what to do, because I don’t know the whole situation. I think you really need someone in real life to guide you through this. But I will say this: if your husband needs a wake up call, how will he get that if he’s still getting all the benefits of marriage? People rarely change until they feel the need to. That’s why God said, “you reap what you sow.” It’s God’s natural way of teaching us things. But when we stand in the gap and prevent people from reaping what they sow, then we can prolong the negative behaviour. So I’d sit down with someone wise in real life who can walk through this with you and who can advise you and pray with you. I know that’s a tough one, but it sounds like your husband really needs to get right with God before he can get right with you, you know?

          • Yeh. Those have always been the two things that keep me from doing a real separation. Money and sex. And those are the two things that always draw me back in. If I could just figure out the finances issue….I don’t know how to handle that.

          • But you’re right, I really need someone in real life who can help me. I just can’t afford counseling and what everyone in my life suggests doing isn’t realistic.

          • If you believe the bible, I suggest you get in contact with this woman …

          • I read the first few entries in her blog, and they just don’t have anything whatsoever to do with my situation. Never disagree with your husband – even if he’s abusive? Some men never have looked at porn? No. But thanks.

          • Oh wow, lol, and she commands women that we are all as women commanded by God to have children. No. Way off base there. No point in looking into it any further.
            Jenny recently posted…I hate menMy Profile

  2. Thanks Sheila, lovely and positive as always. Have a great long weekend! I’ll get busy on reading some of these other posts now.

    Grace Pamer recently posted…Love is Like Playing a Piano QuoteMy Profile

  3. Thanks for leaving me so many things to read this afternoon. I see the attitude and expectations issues as HUGE in most people I talk to … and it’s epidemic. So many other issues supplement those, but I see them as the Top Two.

    Thank you again for some review material, and some new learning.
    Amy recently posted…Serious Side-Effects of Being Married to MeMy Profile

  4. It started with a need to but Power of a Praying Wife; then I was invited to this event; then Sunday’s sermon on prayer at a brand new church a friend invited me to; and now your post. God is driving this one home for me. :) Thanks for the multitude of resources! I also enjoy Dr Kevin Leeman’s Have a New Husband by Friday and Things He Won’t Tell You, But You Need To Know.

  5. Love this! Love praying for our husbands! Thanks for sharing, Shelia!

  6. You know what. I prayed for years and years that God would form and shape my husband into a man that pleases Him (God) in every word, thought, and deed. Which is kind of impossible, but that was my prayer. I prayed that my husband would please God. It was slightly selfish, I know, because if he pleased God, he would show Christ’s love towards me.

    Well. You know what. My husband is an alcoholic. He looks at porn. He talks to other people “romantically” online. He is emotionally, verbally, and even physically abusive at times – with the exception of the honeymoon phases (such as right now). Which I’m not stupid enough to fall for anymore. At least not stupid enough to move back in with him.

    He claims he’s changing, maybe he is, he’s going to have to prove it over a long period of time before I believe it.

    I have also prayed the same prayer for myself, for years. That I would please God in every word, thought, and deed. That didn’t work either.

    I think we’re both too entirely human. And I think it’s impossible. And I think we’re impossible. And I think misery is on the menu for all eternity. And I hope when eternity comes, that there isn’t anything at all. Because I would rather not be. I would rather not be at all. What is the point of any of it. Death come, and bring me nothingness.
    Jenny recently posted…I hate menMy Profile

    • 1 Peter 2:18 – 3:6. Pay special attention to the word “likewise”.
      Your husband may be 99% of the problem, but you will still need to let go the rebellion that remains in order to find the peace you seek.

      I still recommend emailing Lori. Making a quick judgement based on a few articles that may have triggered deep emotional wounds will not solve anything. At least taking a chance on a genuine conversation might.

      • At the time of that post rebellion wasn’t quite the issue and who has done this or that wasn’t really the issue either. The issue was that I was suicidal and depressed.

        And I generally can’t talk to fundamentalists. I usually wind up getting judged.

    • Jenny, it sounds like you’re going through one of your dark times, and I wish I could be there to hug you.

      I know things look bleak, and I know things are miserable for you. And you’re right–we never will be perfect. We will always sin.

      But God is there, even in the dark times. And He knows that sin has really tainted this world, and brought with it illness, and addictions, and all the things that you’re dealing with.

      One day, though, the veil will lift and things will be clear and not murky. And there won’t be any more ugliness. I know it’s hard to see that, but just because this world is ugly does not mean that God is ugly or that He ever intended that.

      I know you know that, and I know that right now the feelings are just overwhelming. I just want to remind you that God doesn’t get upset at us when we’re upset; He understands, and He just asks us to let Him carry us through those dark times.

      • I’m so sorry, I was/am going through one of my dark times. Thanks for not being mad that I was so upset. I almost feel at times like I need to be in the hospital. Fortunately my husband is being understanding because he too is dealing with mental illness – that’s one reason that I think he may be changing, because he is more understanding of things like this. Just sometimes things look so bleak and hopeless, and other times it’s like they couldn’t be better. All my reference points are gone. I know that events are happening, and I’m in a certain situation, but the way my brain is processing everything is….very confusing and hellish.

        That’s not what this post is about, I’m sorry.

  7. Talk about perfect timing! Thank you for this article. This was written for me.
    Much appreciated.


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