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Women Living Well Blog: Waiting For Your Husband To Change

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waiting For Your Husband To Change

I have received emails from wives who have been changed by the power of God. They have heard God's commands within marriage and are ready to change and obey them. They are beginning to respect and honor their husbands. They are trying to be mindful of their words and of their husband's needs. But now they wonder. When will my husband change?

I am reminded of Mary the mother of Jesus. The angel appeared to her telling her that she was to bear a child, the Son of God. Joseph wasn't with her when the angel appeared and it appears from the story that initially he may not have believed her as he made plans to quietly divorce her (Matthew 1:19) We do not see in the scripture Mary trying to convince Joseph that what God said to her was true.

I think it's easy for us as wives to feel God speaking to us and then take it upon ourselves to tell our husbands how they should be behaving. We feel it is our responsibility to get them to see this great truth. Often times this pushes men further away from doing what the Lord wants them to do.

Because Mary loved and trusted God deeply and was a woman who pondered things in her heart, she waited and trusted in the Lord. In God's timing God revealed the same truths to Joseph. Soon, God sent an angel to Joseph who gave Joseph the same word as Mary. Joseph believed what God revealed to him and was changed!

But first, Mary had to wait. I imagine this was not easy as it felt that her world around her was falling apart. But she trusted and in God's good timing God moved.

We wives are nurturers by God's design but sometimes we take our nurturing ways and twist it into trying to fix our husbands. Sometimes we want everything fixed right now! But God wants us to wait on him. We must let God have a chance to work in the hearts and lives of our husbands just as he did in our lives.

D. Gordon, says in his book Quiet Talks on Prayer "Waiting means steadfastness, that is, holding on; patience, which means holding back; expectancy, which means holding the face up; obedience, holding oneself in readiness to go or to do; listening, holding quiet and still so as to hear."

And God says in Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

If you are struggling with wanting to see a change in your husband today. I want to encourage you to cover your husband with prayer and wait. Continue to do what is right, be strong, take heart and wait on God to change your husband. Look at the photo of the Lion. Jesus is the Lion of Judah - powerful! He is the lamb of God - the one who takes away the sins of the world! He changes people! God is more powerful than you - let go and let God! Do not under estimate the power of prayer. God is faithful.

Walk with the King!



Anonymous Sandra said...

My husband and I will be married 29 yrs this Saturday. I am still waiting. My eyes started opening in 1990. You notice that I said "started". My walk has been very gradual but I am waiting on God to do a mighty work in my husband and open his eyes, also. I wait in faith and anticipation for the glorious day.

August 23, 2010 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger RSMacias said...

Thanks so much Courtney! I've been dealing with something and that was just the answer I needed : )

August 23, 2010 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

What a special post for me. I accepted Christ in the first years of our marriage. My husband would not become a believer until several years later. I was so passionate in my new walk that I sooo wanted him to know the source of my joy and, in fact, to know my joy himself. And so, though well intentioned, I began a dialogue with him one day about accepting Christ that left him angry and me even more angry and in major tears. It was one of the worst arguments of our marriage (we have few). And it was over Jesus. :(

That night, as I followed along in my Women's Devotional Bible, I was directed to read 1 Peter 3:1-7. When I read verse one, I literally got goosebumps. God had spoken directly and clearly to me for the second time (the first being when I accepted Jesus, of course). I was so comforted by knowing that He understood my desire, and gave me the words I needed to prevent future strain in my marriage over matters of faith. I couldn't do the changing in my husband's heart. But God could. And I could be an example while He worked. WOW!

Courtney, this post took me right back to that moment when I heard my Father's voice, LOUD and CLEAR, regarding God's work in my husband's heart.

August 23, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger The Nunnallys said...

This is so true!!! When I first got back into going to church my husband didn't want to go. I was the typical nagging wife and would be so ugly to him on Sundays when he didn't want to get out of bed. After several months and lots of prayer I realized I needed to stop bothering him about it & pray for him and me. Soon he was coming to church every week and we have both really turned our lives back over to God. So if you just wait and pray God will work it out in his time!!!

August 23, 2010 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

Thank you so much for this post Courtney. My sister and brother-in-law are in a very bad place right now, neither are believers and she's pushing him out because 'he's not good enough...' My husband and I are praying together for their marriage and their salvation, although we haven't seen much of a change. I am definitely sending this post her way.

Thank you!

August 23, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Wonderful post Courtney! I have never thought about that story of Mary in Joseph quite like that before, but it is so appropriate here! Psalm 27:14 is a personal favorite of mine and one I silently repeat to myself often! Thanks!

August 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Mrs. K said...

This was a blessing to me today, my husband is a believer but not the spiritual leader of our house. I have decided instead of nagging and begging and crying (all of which I have done in the past), I will just keep taking it to the feet of Jesus and wait for His timing. I know He is going to do something miraculous and my husband will be an even better spiritual leader than he ever could have been if he just did it for me.

God revealed something to me last week when I took a list of complaints to him. He prompted me to think about what I can be doing while I wait. For example, one of my complaints is that it seems my husband wants to work longer and longer hours each week. God said "Is you home someplace cozy and safe that he WANTS to come home to?" No, my house is chaotic and in disorder. So while I'm waiting on God to change my husband's heart I am setting about to make the house a haven for my husband. There was a list of three or four things and God provided a task for me in each area. He's changing me while I'm waiting on Him to change him.

August 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

I appreciate this post, Courtney. Waiting on the Lord is a spiritual lesson He's brought to my attention over the past year or so, and I still have much to learn in this area. I've learned that waiting on the Lord is tied to meekness, to having the gentle and quiet spirit talked about in 1 Peter. It's a matter of trusting the Lord and quieting our hearts before Him, of finding our portion in Him and having "peaceful freedom from fretful anger," as John Piper puts it.

It's not because we trust that God will make circumstances turn out in our favor. It's not because we KNOW God will one day change our husbands. It's because we know God, and we find Him to be sufficient in meeting all of our needs even when our husbands don't measure up.

I've been blessed with a wonderful husband who is the spiritual leader of our home, loving and responsible in many areas. But he is human and at times he sins against me and still more often he does things differently than I would like him to (little things). So this post was a great reminder to me to WAIT on the Lord instead of opening my mouth, to find my contentment in Him instead of seeking to perfect my husband.

Sorry for the long comment!

August 23, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I havie been waiting for you to blog about this very subject. Thanks!. It seems the only thing I am doing wrong is I am not praying enough for my husband. I have prayed for patience and God answered that for me a few years ago when I was at my breaking point desparetly wanting my marriage to end but somehow could not find that it was God's will to divorce. God has told me that divorce was not and never will be an option. Instead he told me to wait and taught me how to love and forgive. I will say, things have changed very much since then and I have learned to trust the Lord. But there are days when I see my husband is reverting back to his ugly abusive ways and my patience and forgiveness abilitys are being put to the test. My husband has so many issues. Issues that I know only God has the power to change. I understand that but God's clock really scares me. What if the change comes on someones death bed....what if it happens and it's just too late?
Can prayer prevent that? I can't mess with His timing. Lucky for Mary, Joseph changed before Jesus was born. I just don't feel so lucky. I've been married 20 years and will probably stay married for 20 more.
I remain Hopeful for what every new day will bring but our kids are almost grown and I just feel like time so running out......It's a very frustrating place to be.

August 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

Wise words. Thank you so much for sharing them this morning.

August 23, 2010 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger The Working Home Keeper said...

Thank you for these wise words Courtney!

Mary Ellen

August 23, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Anonymous heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

I also lean into Lamentations 3:24 in seasons of waiting...

"I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

It's important to remember that no human relationship will ever meet every need and expectation we have - we can only totally depend on the Lord to fullfill our deepest longings.

With that in mind, God does have a particular plan for how husbands/wives ought to interact with and love and serve each other and I can understand how frustrating it would be to feel as though one spouse is making more of an effort in their role because they are growing in the Lord and following His teachings while the other spouse is oblivious and not making the same would be very disheartening.

For this wife, I'd highly recommend "The Power of a Praying Wife"

My mother prayed for a change of heart for my father for years - waiting quietly in the Lord, slowly but surely he's been softening and it's evident her gentle/quiet spirit has been an ecouragement on his journey.

August 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Becky T said...

Awesome Courtney! As a woman who has waited on the change in my husband, I truly appreciate this reminder to leave it with the Lord. Amazing how our Lord knows what we need even before we ask :-)

August 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

AMEN. thank you courtney for being such a bright light in this world for women/wives like me. god used you and this post to speak to my heart at just the right time. :) praying for you and your awesome work on this blog!!!

August 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! This is such good and Biblical advice. And you know I know that wives are not supposed to use their words to try and change their husbands (1 Peter 3:1) but I never thought about how Mary didn't try and convince Joseph about what was going on.--She trusted God to take care of it and of her. (o:

August 23, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Carly said...

Wow I really needed this today. I have had a rough first year of marriage because of my fears of my husband not changing things that I knew I didn't like even before we were engaged. I have known I needed to pray more and not try to take matters into my own hands but between this post and all the comments I have a renewed energy to keep trying. I have been at many "lowest points" knowing divorce is not an option but not knowing how I will do this the rest of my life. I have a lot of things to be thankful for in my husband but unfortunately my fears of the ones I can't stand have ruled our first year. I know it affects how I choose to serve God through serving my husband and it greatly affects my husband's self esteem and desire to serve me. Thanks again.

August 23, 2010 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger momstheword said...

I imagine you've heard that old saying that a man goes into a marriage praying "I hope she never changes" and a woman goes into it praying "I hope he changes!"

I love the verse in Proverbs that talks about a wise woman builds her house and a foolish one tears hers down with her own hands.

We tear our marriages down when we attempt to make our husbands over into what WE think they should be, instead of letting God make the changes that He wants in His timing and in His way.

Thanks for the great reminder and thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

August 23, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

My husband-already not the leader of our home-I loved Courtney's reply of "he's leading by abdication" because that's absolutely it-is not even sort of the spiritual leader of our home. He went from an incredible believer to being...disgusted by the whole thing, is the best way I can put it. He has had pastors that he believed with his whole heart, only to find that they were wrong, and preaching to their personal agenda. He does not want to hear that they are merely men and therefore fallible, and not God. I don't witness to him ever, except to point out things that absolutely can't be explained otherwise. God has saved my life, not my soul mind you, my body-three times. He has a purpose for me that I'm not quite sharp enough to see, yet. Part of my morning quiet time is to tell Him that "You have my attention, I get it, there's a reason..but I need to buy a vowel, because I can't see it." My husband shines that on too.

I decided when my oldest was about 7 or so, that while I could tell the child everything he needs to know, I needed to lead by example. Sometimes that makes me a single mom with three boys, one of them 6 years older than me, but if I continue to do what's right, and keep praying for him to be a partner in all things, if that's God's desire for me, then it will happen when He is ready.

August 23, 2010 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger american girl primitives said...

Thank you Courtney I had been reading a book and stopped because I was so frustrated about my husband and then I realized I needed to continue to pray for him. He needs me to do that. Things happen on God's time not when we want it to.

Great post!

August 23, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

This is a question I think many wives ask, and I love the scriptural example you used to illustrate God's heart in how wives respond. We can get so caught up in thinking about Mary as Jesus' mother that we forget that she was also a wife. I'm so glad you shared this today and linked up to Marriage Monday!

~ Julie@comehaveapeace

August 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Rosario said...

Thank you for this word of encouragement. I have been praying for 13 years for husband.

August 23, 2010 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi Courtney.. that is a great post.
and all too true.. and I have been known to do that same thing myself.
But God is teaching me, and I am slowly learning that my husband is responsible to God , not me for my husband..
I wake up every morning and CHOOSE to (with Gods help) to try and be a good mom, and wife..
and i can only control my own thoughts actions and emotions..
and to try and tell my husband how to live is not my place. i am not his creator..I am his help mate.. to quietly guide him and pray for him
Great post..

August 23, 2010 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Stam House said...

so true, what a great inspiring post!

August 24, 2010 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Yama said...

What a wonderful post! So very true.

My husband and I have been married 8yrs. We'd gone through some pretty tough times after a couple years of marriage. Times that really knocked us down. I started turning back to Him more openly before my husband did. It was a slow process ... and I was frustrated and impatient with my husband ... but I learned to back off. And let Him work on him.

And it's been amazing to watch, honestly. The past 2 weeks, my husband has just been ON FIRE for him again. Getting the house the Lord gave him back into shape left and right. Just warms my heart. I can't help but walk around with a HUGE smile on my face these days lol

August 24, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Penny Tackett said...

Thanks, Courtney. I really needed that. I've been married 24 years and my husband still frustrates me so much sometimes especailly this week. I'm going to copy it off and review it often. God bless you!
P.S. This is the first time I've been on your blog!! Amazing how God gives us what we need!

August 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I am so thankful to have found your blog. This post on waiting for God to bring about the changes is right where I am now. I have something on my heart, but my husband doesn't. I am not praying for "my way", but for us to be in agreement with His will. I have seen God move in my husband, and I know He can move again, if this is truly from him. So for now I will discipline myself, not nag and present my case over and over to my husband, and wait in prayer. Thank you for your encouraging words.

May 17, 2011 at 10:11 PM  

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