Monday – That he will continue to grow as the leader of our family, and that God would be glorified in our marriage. (Ephesians 5:25-29) Craig really desires us to have an equal partnership but he also knows that there is a need for him to be the leader for as Pastor Jerry said last weekend, “leadership means taking initiative.” Wives need “protection and affection” and Craig does his best to help me to feel like he will be the leader I need. Ephesians 5:21 says to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It does not say that the man should dominate but rather he should love with an agape (unconditional) love, much as Christ loves us.
- Lord, the greatest gift a husband and wife can give to one another in marriage is the gift of mutual submission. Help me to honor and respect my husband as he takes the initiative to become the leader of our family. Help us to love one another as you have loved us by sending your only son to die for us. Help us as we put each other’s needs above our own, Lord, as you put our needs above yours. Amen
Tuesday – That he would have a teachable spirit and a servant’s heart, and that he will listen to God and desire to do His will. (Proverbs 15:33) We should always act with a servant’s heart. Long ago I was taught to remember the word J.O.Y. and to use it as an acronym for God’s will. He says to put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. This does not mean that we should neglect ourselves but rather that we should go about our lives with the ability to rely on God’s love for us and have a desire to do His will in the world above our own selfish desires. Daily I see Craig operate with selfless joy and I know that he is a servant after God’s own heart.
- Heavenly Father, I ask you today to help my husband to always seek out your guidance and to study your word so that he may have a servant’s heart and a desire to do your will. Each day we are pushed by our own selfish desires at the expense of others. Help us to see the bigger picture, Lord, and to put your desires over our own. Help us to enter into each day with the JOY attitude you so much deserve. Amen.
Wednesday – That he would always look to the way of escape from any kind of temptation, and that he would rely on God to remain faithful to our marriage, and to God. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God is faithful. When we are tempted He will provide a way out. Verse 11 talks about how things have been written down for us so we can learn from these examples. When we pursue a relationship with God by reading His word He provides us with the knowledge we need to make wise decisions, especially when faced with temptation. There is much wisdom to be gained from a relationship with those who encourage us to remain true to our promises. We should always look to nurture friendships that hold us accountable and encourage us in our faith.
- Lord Jesus, we desire your will in our lives. We desire a pure heart and a faithful marriage. Help us to achieve our goals and to brush off temptation. We know that every day we are confronted with images that seduce us and easy access to the path that leads to sin. Help us to follow your path and remain in you and your will. Help me to encourage my husband to always seek the good in a situation. Amen
Thursday – That he would safeguard his heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex, and this heart would pure and undivided in his commitment to me and to our marriage. (Proverbs 6:23-25) A pastor of mine once talked about how he wouldn’t even ride in a car alone with the opposite sex. Doesn’t that seem a bit extreme? Well it shouldn’t. That statement spoke volumes about how much he cared for his wife that he didn’t want to even get close to the ability for someone else to accuse him of wrongdoing even if he knew he was doing right. How easy is it for us to develop relationships with the opposite sex; how easy is it for us to silently slip down the path of temptation. Safeguarding our heart means allowing God’s word to be a light for our path. Our commitment to our marriage means we will choose appropriate behaviors that build up and do not break down.
- Lord, how easy is it for us to fall into temptation. Forgive us of our sins, Lord, as we are to forgive others. Help us to choose right paths guided by your light. Your word is truth and your way is life. Lord, help me to encourage my husband to hold fast to his relationship with you that it might be a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. I ask that you help me show him such love that he may not feel the need to seek it elsewhere. Help us to work together for your good. Amen.
Friday – That he would continue to be able to provide for our family, and that he will not become discouraged by doing work he does not enjoy. (1 Timothy 5:8) The bible talks in a way that may seem quite archaic to us in this modern world. Many people read passages about the man as head and the woman as body and assume that it is God’s will to have women as servants to our master. Instead, Christ asks us to mutually submit to one another. For how could a head neglect the body when he needs the respect and how could the body neglect the head when she needs the leadership. The head of the family should seek out the ability to provide and the desire to do work he enjoys so he remains happy in his work. As long as the woman is the carrier of the child and must go through labor, delivery, and primary parenting (at least in the early months) it is the husband’s responsibility to provide for the family while she is occupied with these tasks. Therefore, he should find work he enjoys so he can continue to provide for his family throughout the various stages in life.
- Today’s world can make it seem like a negative to be in a household with the husband as a primary provider. Let us always remember that God commands this action out of love for us. Lord, I ask that you help my husband to understand the importance of providing for his family, not as a tool of domination but, as a source of support. I ask that you help my husband to not be discouraged by finances and to always pursue your kingdom and the understanding and love that you will always provide. Amen.
Saturday - That money would never become a source of discord in our family, and that we would be wise in handling finances and in stewardship. (Luke 16:13) As I had just mentioned, some people use finances as a source of domination instead of understanding the will of God and the opportunity to provide for the family. This passage in Luke discusses how no one can have two masters. We cannot allow money to drive our activities and control our desires. When money becomes the source of discontent in a marriage it is because someone has placed it’s importance above their relationship with the Lord. When Christ is our Lord we choose His ways. You cannot choose His ways and remain selfish. When we loose our selfish desires and focus only on Christ we seek out the good and our marriage prospers.
- Lord Jesus, it is so easy for us to become mislead by the trappings of this world. Help us to seek first your kingdom and its righteousness. Lord, I ask that you help my husband to guard against the selfish nature that seeks to place material wealth above the work of your kingdom. Help me to encourage diligence and adherence to a solid budget. Help my husband to desire wise handling in our finances and help us to create harmony in our home through good stewardship of all that we’ve been given. Amen.
Sunday – That the words he speaks will build our family, and reflect a heart of love. (Proverbs 18:21) This passage in Proverbs shows how words can destroy or words can give life and how it is our choice which option we take. I have read in many books on relationships how what you speak can ultimately come true. If you are constantly bad-mouthing your husband he may live to fulfill your prophecies. Pastor Jerry just spoke on relationships and he reiterated something I’ve heard before. His example was that when he was a new Pastor he had to work many long hours and would come home late and his wife would be upset. Little by little he started working later and realized that it had much to do with his avoidance of the discontent at home. Suddenly one evening his wife didn’t complain but rather asked him about his day and surrounded him with kindness. Each day he would come home to a loving and attentive wife and he started having the desire to come home earlier and earlier. His wife had a choice, she could continue to complain about the way things were or she could actively pursue a better way for them both. She chose the latter path. She chose to surround him with love and support so that he would desire more of his family life and therefore plug back into their relationship.
- Lord, help me to be a source of love and support for my husband. Help me to feed him words of encouragement and love. In turn, help my husband to always speak well of our family and desire our relationship above others. Help my husband to speak words of love and encouragement as we mutually submit to one another out of reverence to you, Lord. Help us to maintain a pure heart and to remember that our words can either be the fruit of life or the poison of death and that it is our choice to speak only out of love. Amen.