My husband and I have been together almost 7 years.
And if I got a penny for every time I tried to force him to change, I would be a millionaire.
There were several times when I created an image of how I wanted him to be, and did everything in my power to put the picture together piece by piece.
In my mind, I thought I was being a good wife as I stuffed my selfish attempts down his throat.
I even believed doing so nominated me for the “Best Wife” award, hands down.
Boy, was I so wrong.
It was wrong of me to make my husband believe that he needed to play catch up as I allowed God to change my life in different ways.
All I could think was;
“God is doing so many radical things in my life. Why doesn’t he want the same?”
“How can I get him on the same page as me?”
“I’ll just send him YouTube videos that will constantly hint what I want him to do/ how I want him to be.”
Yep…all of my attempts were in such vain, and it tore down my husband in the process.
Luckily, God got a hold of my heart, by helping me change my perspective.
But to be completely honest, I got really tired of repeating myself to my husband, and finally turned towards the Lord with my hands up in defeat.
What Actually Works
Motivating your husband to change isn’t a crime.
In fact, wives are called to be their husbands helpmeet. Genesis 2:18
But nowhere in the Bible does it say that we should seek to change our husband in order to fit the picture we created of them in our head.
Because God created that man, remember?
So, lets cease the vain attempts as a way to honor God.
Many things that we want to see bear fruit requires time, dedication, and work.
But, to be completely blunt, I didn’t begin to witness the wonderful changes in my husband until I loosened my “control freak grip” and released him to the Lord.
As I share what has worked for me, I’m hoping you will receive the same outcome;
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Pray For Him
What about your husband do you wish to see a change in?
Is it his eating habits?
Do you desire for him to notice you more?
Is he a heavy drinker?
Or do you simply just want him to grow – mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, and become a better leader?
Whatever it is, take your requests to the Lord and leave them there.
Because God is able to do more than we ever can in a lifetime.
HINT: Nagging does not work. At all.
Prayer is strong. Stronger than we give credit for.
So pray fervently for your husband daily, and ask God to work in his life.
For myself personally, I used a woman’s battle plan which helped me refocus my intentions, and pray (strategically) for my husband the way I’m supposed to as his wife.
Some prayers took years for me to witness fruit, some didn’t take as long, and there are some I’m believing to come to fruition.
Having faith and being patient is key.
Ask God to Show You Your Heart
I never witnessed how much marriage shows you about yourself until we were close to our 1 year anniversary.
Before that realization, I would swear up and down that the reason my husband and I weren’t in the season I wished us to be in was because of his slower rate of growth.
I never looked at my own learned habitual behavior.
That is, until God placed a mirror dead in front of my face.
Something about my prayers (and many church sermons) made me turn my focus from my husband to myself.
Those areas that I swore up and down about began to point to my impatience, judgment, and wrong intentions.
I’m saying this to encourage you to look at things from a different point of view.
For example: Let’s say – hypothetically, of course – your husband never does the dishes when he says he will.
And the fact that it doesn’t get done at the time you asked him to do it, makes you mad and annoyed with him.
It even makes you believe that he is lazy and a procrastinator.
(Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced this exact scenario or one similar.)
I’m right there with you, sis, but it’s time for us to change our perspective.
In a very similar situation as the one I mentioned above, God showed me how impatient and controlling I was.
He made me realize that things don’t always have to happen in my own timing.
Yes, maybe my husband could’ve done the dishes when I asked him to, but what right do I have to secretly judge him just because it didn’t get done when I wanted it to?
Sounds a little selfish, doesn’t it?
I say that to say this;
Many times, it’s not always him that needs to change. A lot of times it comes down to our own heart.
Is it filled with selfishness, impatience, greed, ignorance, judgment, pettiness? (I hate this word, but I feel it needs to be included.)
Or do you have a case of the “My way or the high way?” syndrome?
All of these things need to be taken into consideration (quietly with the Lord), especially when it comes to seeing a change in your husband.
Grace, sis, Grace
So, maybe you have prayed for your husband and had a change of heart, but still haven’t seen any fruit yet.
This is the perfect time to introduce grace into your marriage; along with patience and endurance.
He may not change overnight (even though it could definitely happen) but don’t lose faith or give up hope.
Instead of knocking him for not doing things in a way you wish he would or on your timetable, speak fruition over him anyway.
Speak to him as if he is already that man you know God called him to be.
In my marriage, I have seen the most change in my husband once I stopped paying so much attention to his “flaws” and praise him for what he does right instead.
By doing that, he feels supported by his wife, and not constantly scrutinized.
And plus, being his cheerleader gives him the motivation to keep making progress without me even suggesting it!
It’s all possible
As wives, we are called to have a gentle and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4
I believe this scripture is a perfect reminder and guide to go by while we wait on God.
A change in anyone’s character outside of our own isn’t up to us. It’s completely up to that individual.
Keep that in mind as you pray for your husband, position your own heart, and show him grace.
With God, ALL things are possible.