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Topic : Balancing Marriage and Family

Number of Replies: 1244
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 05:00:43 pm
Author : dataimport
Adding a family means big changes in a marriage. Tell us how you've succeeded or struggled to manage both.

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October 19, 2005, 9:24 am CDT

I need advice!

Hi, I  am hoping that someone can relate to my story and help me out of a stressful situation.  Iam 24 years old and in a seriuos relationship.  My boyfriend and I just recently bought a house together last February and most likely are heading towards marriage.  We are a very happy couple and have a wonderful business together.  We work the same amount of hours on a daily basis and bring in the same amount of money.  This is fine with me because I really enjoy working and contributing in this respect to our family.  On top of working 9-5 I manage all of our money, pay our bills, clean the house, maintain our puppy, and basically do everything else.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing!  When we wake up in the morning I feed the dog, take her for a walk, clean up the house from the night before, make breakfast, cleanup breakfast, pack a lunch for both of us and get everything ready for a days work.  While I am doing this he is either sleeping or working out.  We then go our office and work from 9-5.  We do the same amount of work except on top of the work we do at the office I am also incharge of all of the admin work and monitoring our bank account and paying our bills.  At about 4:30 he leaves to play golf and me and the dog go home.  When I get home I begin cooking dinner, take the dog for a walk, go get groceries(if necessary) etc.  There are night when he may not show up for dinner eventhough he knows I'm cooking.  After dinner, he will sit on the internet while I clean up dinner, do laundry and complete whatever needs to be done around the house.  And then the next day, the cycle begins again.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing to this relationship!! He is like a tornado sweeping through our house.  He undresses while he walks in the door, leaving a trail of clothes behind him for me to clean up...and that is just the beginning.  He is an absolute slob and tells me that is who he is.  Someone please help me.  Should I continue to cleanup after him or is that just enabling him.  His motto is "I do what I want, when I want and that won't change"!  HELP
 
October 19, 2005, 12:42 pm CDT

Dont do it anymore

Quote From: mmerganser

Hi, I  am hoping that someone can relate to my story and help me out of a stressful situation.  Iam 24 years old and in a seriuos relationship.  My boyfriend and I just recently bought a house together last February and most likely are heading towards marriage.  We are a very happy couple and have a wonderful business together.  We work the same amount of hours on a daily basis and bring in the same amount of money.  This is fine with me because I really enjoy working and contributing in this respect to our family.  On top of working 9-5 I manage all of our money, pay our bills, clean the house, maintain our puppy, and basically do everything else.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing!  When we wake up in the morning I feed the dog, take her for a walk, clean up the house from the night before, make breakfast, cleanup breakfast, pack a lunch for both of us and get everything ready for a days work.  While I am doing this he is either sleeping or working out.  We then go our office and work from 9-5.  We do the same amount of work except on top of the work we do at the office I am also incharge of all of the admin work and monitoring our bank account and paying our bills.  At about 4:30 he leaves to play golf and me and the dog go home.  When I get home I begin cooking dinner, take the dog for a walk, go get groceries(if necessary) etc.  There are night when he may not show up for dinner eventhough he knows I'm cooking.  After dinner, he will sit on the internet while I clean up dinner, do laundry and complete whatever needs to be done around the house.  And then the next day, the cycle begins again.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing to this relationship!! He is like a tornado sweeping through our house.  He undresses while he walks in the door, leaving a trail of clothes behind him for me to clean up...and that is just the beginning.  He is an absolute slob and tells me that is who he is.  Someone please help me.  Should I continue to cleanup after him or is that just enabling him.  His motto is "I do what I want, when I want and that won't change"!  HELP

Don't do anything for him anymore.  Tell him at 4:30 when he is ready to leave to go golfing that you are going to happy hour having some drinks and won't be home until. let him know that dog needs to be taken out and also ran out of toliet paper.    And be on your merry little way.  When you get home and those things aren't done.  Take the dog out, let him know it;s his dog to and he needs to contribe to this too.  And DO NO>>>>do his laundry.  Do your own, that will make his mad but hey he doesn't do yours right?  50/50 here buddy!  And forget about his lunch.......he can make his own.....breakfast and dinner as well.  Don't be his maid or his cook.  You didn't sign up for that job.   

  

Sorry girl but marriage isn't looking pretty if this is all on you.  You can't run a household alone when there is someone right next to you that is pushing you away.  That is what he is doing.  Marriage should not even been on your mind at this point.  Better to find out now, rather than later.  What if you get married and have children.  You would never sleep.   

 
October 20, 2005, 4:39 pm CDT

Lazy Husband/Father

I have been married for 6 years. We have a 5 yr old and 20 mo old, both boys. My problem is my husband doesn't seem interested in our kids or me anymore. He rarely does anything with the boys or with me. When I work and he is watching them, he just watches tv. I strongly feel as if he is kinda neglecting them. I try to encourage him to do things with them but he shrugs it off. And when it comes to me, the only time he shows interest in me, is when he wants to have sex. (I have a very low sex drive due to this). And when ever I need or want him to do something, it doesn't get done for days or weeks. BUT whenever his family needs or wants something, it gets done asap. Now he has not always been like this. Just within the last 1 1/2 - 2 years. I honestly feel like there is no hope here sometimes. It really hurts me that he is not being how a father should be. Attentive. I have thought of threatning divorce but I am afraid even that won't help. And yes, I have talked, not nagged, about this and he gets upset and accuses me of thinking he is a bad father. I really need help.
 
October 21, 2005, 6:01 am CDT

Balancing Marriage and Family

 Hello.  My husband is a wonderful man and I love him very much.  Here's the problem:  We both grew up in Mennonite homes (but are no longer mennonite).  In that setting, the wife stays home and keeps the house clean, looks after the kids, cooks supper, and never works outside of the home, especially after having kids. (My mom had a job because we needed the money, and a it was very frowned on, one lady even talked to her about it).
Because of how we grew up, I feel like I can never get out of it.  Steve won't touch the kitchen, except for when he rarely makes scrambled eggs for breakfast.  He never cleans up or does laundry.  Right now I am a stay at home mom, and he is a truck driver, gone for a few days at a time, so I don't expect him to help me at this point.  I just would like to know that he is willing to .  When we had Nicole, our 13m old daughter,  I think once, after I really nagged him, he woke up to change her diaper and feed her.  He always told me he needed to get his sleep because he had to work.  Once, I tried to make him change her dirty diaper, and he literally ran to the bathroom and almost threw up.
Please guys, don't get me wrong, he is the most wonderful and doting father, helps me with discipline when he's around, and he's not scared to watch her while I go away, even when she was very young (unlike some father's I've heard of).  And he loves me very much, he just tends to show me that more in the bedroom than the anywhere else in the house.
I just feel like he thinks I should be more like his mom, who is a wonderful person who loved staying home and doing all the "stepford wife" stuff.




 
October 21, 2005, 7:49 am CDT

Keeping Christ In The Center

Before anyone smacks their lips and go ... "oh no a religious nut" ... hear me out.  I just married a man July 9 with 4 kids.  I am 36.  I've never had children.  Two of those children (9 and 12 both girls) live with us.  I never lived with them prior to marriage.  It was an interesting blending.  I am used to structure, they are not.  Their father was accustomed to catering to them.  I wasn't doing it.  But prior to marriage, my husband and I made a commitment to seek God on how we were going to blend our family.  We went through 6 months of pre-marital counseling and I bought all the books I could on marriage and blended families.  They all say the same thing and I see personally how it works.  My marriage relationship comes first.  If my husband and I are properly nurturing our marriage and walking in the oneness that the Bible commands us to, we are better able to raise our children.  My role is to respect my husband.  His role is to love me the way Christ loved the church ... Christ died for the church.  As my husband and I walk in our roles, we become more and more one and function as a team.  I'm not saying that we don't have challenges.  But I see that when we apply God's Word to our marriage, our marriage flourishes.  Not only that, we set a godly example before our children.  Being one with my husband enables us to have a united front in front of the children.  They can't play us when we stand together.  We "MAKE" time for one another.  Every Saturday is date night with just me and my husband.  Every Friday night is family night/Bible Study.  We have a weekly routine.  Though my husband and I have God-given roles, we don't assign task.  We both cook.  We both help the kids with homework.  We both attend school functions.  We both take out the trash.  We are a team.  When we don't walk as a team, we see the confusion it causes.  We don't take on more than we can handle, and anything that steals time away from the family gets "kicked to the curb".  How do we keep all of this going without getting stressed or frustrated? .... PRAYER!  I tell my girls, I can't work an 8-hr job, come home and cook dinner and help with homework then make love with my husband without talking to the Lord.  It won't happen successfully if I don't keep God in the center.  He gives my husband and I strength to do what "needs" to be done. 
 
October 21, 2005, 8:17 am CDT

Serving with Joy

Quote From: ruby21

 Hello.  My husband is a wonderful man and I love him very much.  Here's the problem:  We both grew up in Mennonite homes (but are no longer mennonite).  In that setting, the wife stays home and keeps the house clean, looks after the kids, cooks supper, and never works outside of the home, especially after having kids. (My mom had a job because we needed the money, and a it was very frowned on, one lady even talked to her about it).
Because of how we grew up, I feel like I can never get out of it.  Steve won't touch the kitchen, except for when he rarely makes scrambled eggs for breakfast.  He never cleans up or does laundry.  Right now I am a stay at home mom, and he is a truck driver, gone for a few days at a time, so I don't expect him to help me at this point.  I just would like to know that he is willing to .  When we had Nicole, our 13m old daughter,  I think once, after I really nagged him, he woke up to change her diaper and feed her.  He always told me he needed to get his sleep because he had to work.  Once, I tried to make him change her dirty diaper, and he literally ran to the bathroom and almost threw up.
Please guys, don't get me wrong, he is the most wonderful and doting father, helps me with discipline when he's around, and he's not scared to watch her while I go away, even when she was very young (unlike some father's I've heard of).  And he loves me very much, he just tends to show me that more in the bedroom than the anywhere else in the house.
I just feel like he thinks I should be more like his mom, who is a wonderful person who loved staying home and doing all the "stepford wife" stuff.




Ruby, you face the challenge that many wives face.  And, our upbringings and religious beliefs play a major role in that.  I don't know what the Mennonites teach but I can tell you from a Christian standpoint that 1 Peter 3 is powerful.  It speaks of a "quite and gentle spirit that is very pleasing in God's sight".  Through much prayer, God is teaching me how to "love" my husband.  It is done not based on the world's definition of love which is based on feelings and moods.  It is love based on 1 Cor 13.  Love is patient, kind, doesn't keep account of wrong doings, unselfish, not rude, bears with and endures, etc.  As I learn to love my husband God's way, I find "pleasure" in serving my husband.  I don't see serving him as a chore but I love pleasing him.  When I make life easy for him by serving him AND respecting, he does something in return.  But the key is, I don't do what I do to get something in return.  I don't know what your belief is today and it is wonderful that you can say that your husband is wonderful, but I encourage you to pray that God teaches you to serve your husband with "love and RESPECT".  I don't emphasize respect to say you aren't doing it.  I emphasize it because God tell women to respect their husbands because as we as women feed off of love, men feed off of respect.  Take time to tell your husband how much you respect how hard he works to provide for the family.  Tell him how you respect the wonderful father that he is.  Highlight the positive things that you see in him.  Praise God you have a "bedroom" relationship.  You would be surprised how many husband's won't even touch their wives.  You can be his wife without being his mom.  Most of it is about your mindset.  Trust me, I have to fight certain thoughts that have the potential of causing me to resent my husband if he doesn't do things "my way".  But through Christ and God's Word, I pull those thoughts down and I talk to God, I'm able to get back in there and serve my husband.  Your role as a wife and mother are a blessing.  Learn to enjoy them because it pleases God.  Joy is contagious.  Plus, a quiet and gentle spirit brings out a beauty in a woman that makeup and a new hairdo will never do.  (Although, it always helps to look good for your man.)    Philippians 2:14 says to "do all things without complaining or grumbling."  This doesn't just speak of words spoken but also thoughts.  Ruby, change your mindset.  I'm sure you love your husband and you want to please him.  It's valid to want some assistance.  But changing your mindset will change your attitude about how and why you do what you do and it will reflect in your level of joy and the excellence you put into your daily task .... taking care of daughter, home and husband.  Let it become a ministry ... a true act of servanthood.  We live in a world where woman want to compete with men.    My daughters are 9 and 12 (inherited through marriage) and are in school so I don't have to be home. I have an 8-hr job but when I get pregnant, I'm going home to "serve" my family full time.  And I can do it because I'm trusting God to strengthen, encourage and empower me.  I'm sure there will be days when my flesh will rise up and try to convince me that I'm tired and "he doesn't do enough", but when I cast those thoughts down and begin to thank God for my husband by focusing on his wonderful traits, there is no room to complain about him.  Like I said earlier, I don't know what your beliefs are now, but I hope this encourages you in some way.
 
October 21, 2005, 8:36 am CDT

Red Flag vs Hind Sight

Quote From: mmerganser

Hi, I  am hoping that someone can relate to my story and help me out of a stressful situation.  Iam 24 years old and in a seriuos relationship.  My boyfriend and I just recently bought a house together last February and most likely are heading towards marriage.  We are a very happy couple and have a wonderful business together.  We work the same amount of hours on a daily basis and bring in the same amount of money.  This is fine with me because I really enjoy working and contributing in this respect to our family.  On top of working 9-5 I manage all of our money, pay our bills, clean the house, maintain our puppy, and basically do everything else.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing!  When we wake up in the morning I feed the dog, take her for a walk, clean up the house from the night before, make breakfast, cleanup breakfast, pack a lunch for both of us and get everything ready for a days work.  While I am doing this he is either sleeping or working out.  We then go our office and work from 9-5.  We do the same amount of work except on top of the work we do at the office I am also incharge of all of the admin work and monitoring our bank account and paying our bills.  At about 4:30 he leaves to play golf and me and the dog go home.  When I get home I begin cooking dinner, take the dog for a walk, go get groceries(if necessary) etc.  There are night when he may not show up for dinner eventhough he knows I'm cooking.  After dinner, he will sit on the internet while I clean up dinner, do laundry and complete whatever needs to be done around the house.  And then the next day, the cycle begins again.  My boyfriend contributes absolutely nothing to this relationship!! He is like a tornado sweeping through our house.  He undresses while he walks in the door, leaving a trail of clothes behind him for me to clean up...and that is just the beginning.  He is an absolute slob and tells me that is who he is.  Someone please help me.  Should I continue to cleanup after him or is that just enabling him.  His motto is "I do what I want, when I want and that won't change"!  HELP

Hind Sight is when you've learned something as a result of something you've already gone through.  Red flags are warnings that you should pay attention too to keep you out of situations that eventually become hind sight IF you learn something.  Unfortunately, many people don't pay attention to red flags.   

  

You have MAJOR red flags here.  I don't encourage anyone to buy a home with someone they are not married to.  You're not balancing marriage and a family.  You are living in what is called a "False Covenant".  I'm not going to go through the lengths of explaining that because it is based on my Christian beliefs and I'm not writing to preach to you. 

  

Anyway, pay attention to these red flags.  This is what you will marry.  Is this what you want?  Can you live with this for the rest of your life?  Can you accept these things about him without complaining AND without trying to change him?  He is honestly showing you who he is.  If you answer no to any of these questions, you need to make some major adjustments in your relationship because if you move forward into marriage you are going to be resentful, frustrated and stressed as you currently are.  This is a mixture for divorce.  Starting a marriage that is already headed for divorce is not way to start a marriage. 

  

Please think carefully.  If this relationship doesn't work and you wind up not getting married, PLEASE use hind sight.  Also, please pay attention to the red flags BEFORE you get married before a failed marriage give you the wrong impression about marriage. 

 
October 21, 2005, 9:07 am CDT

Question!?

Quote From: milwife2

My situation is that we recently moved to a new area, close to his family for his job. Well he works 15 hr days most days and usually only has enough time to eat and sleep when he gets home and one day off. There went family or couple time. Im lonenly because the area we moved to is a huge city with uncareing people, too big to care, un personable you know? Case in point we've been here 6 months and no neighbors have come to say welcome.  And Im basically a single parent of my kidsbecause he's always at work which makes me tired because being a stay at home mom is a 24 hr job. And did I mention my kids listen to my husband but not me. Thta bothers me. My weekends we'll those are shot to s---, his family always want to do something, they want us to come over or they show up here. I dont like it, they love all over him and ignore me. But I try to not mention it directly because he freaks out, he thinks his family is gold and in no way like to talk bad about them for any reason. Is it too much to ask to get some alone timewithout him flipping out because alone time means dissing his family?, They're his family, but so are me and his kids.  This whole mama's boy crap is working my last nerve. Too many things to stress me, invasive in-laws, new house/city/state, loneliness, full time single parent, constant bickering,absent spouse, no romance.....Anyone else out there like this, any suggestions?
What was this man like before you married him?  Did you see any signs beforehand?  I ask those questions because I strongly believe that precedences are set in the dating period.  My husband and I dated and were engaged for a total of 3 years and 5 months.  It was in that time that I allowed him to see the real me, and the real me exposed him.  You can't hide your true self but for so long.  And if the real me can sometimes be irritating, he couldn't hold back the real him ... the irritated one. hahahaha!  But it was a wonderful learning and growth period.  There we established what we wouldn't deal with and we held to it.  When he begin to become a workaholic while we were dating, I let him know that if that was his intention after we were married, don't bother to propose and if he tried to fool me, he wouldn't enjoy marriage.  He stopped working overtime.  Now we are married, he comes to me and "we" discuss what hours he should work.  I even had to deal with the "mama's boy thing".  We dealt with it before marriage.  He can leave his mama and cleave to me or he can stay single with his mama forever.  Before we married, I asked alot of questions, I prayed alot and I observed alot.  The first time he wanted to propose I wasn't hearing it.  It took 2 years and 4 months for me to be satisfied enough with what I observed about him to say yes to his proposal.  Within that 1-year engagement I was still observing.  How does he act under pressure?  Does he handle his business?  How does he treat other people?  Did he have a relationship with God?  I wasn't so caught up in love and romance that I didn't pay attention to red flags.  Six months of Biblically-based pre-marital counseling was a wonderful help.  I know it isn't that simply for many marriages but I have to admit, Christ is the center of our marriage and we believe in the Biblical teachings about the roles of husbands and wives.  When walked out in the proper way, you see success.  Some of the things I didn't like about him before we married I still see.  It gets on my nerves sometimes and I'm tempted to fuss.  But when I stood at the altar, I made a vow and accepted him just as he was.  I married him knowing what his imperfections were.  If anything truly needs to be changed, that's God's job.  We can't change the man.  I just pray for my husband.  My husband is the "head" of our home and I respect him and make sure our children respect him.  But he is not a dictator because he understands that his role is a GREAT responsibility not a dictatorship and he has to answer to God.  So, my opinion counts.  And when I voice it, it is in love and respect.  If I don't know how to voice it in love and respect, I pray.  If I disrespect him with my words or actions, I have to repent to God and apologize to my husband.  It's not always easy.  But,  God always seems to work it out.  I can't really give you any advice on how to deal with your situation because I don't know what your beliefs are.  I can only share what has made my relationship successful, and that is having Christ at the center of my life and my marriage.  I personally couldn't do it without Him (Christ).
 
October 21, 2005, 9:37 am CDT

Thank you for your reply

Quote From: lsterling

Ruby, you face the challenge that many wives face.  And, our upbringings and religious beliefs play a major role in that.  I don't know what the Mennonites teach but I can tell you from a Christian standpoint that 1 Peter 3 is powerful.  It speaks of a "quite and gentle spirit that is very pleasing in God's sight".  Through much prayer, God is teaching me how to "love" my husband.  It is done not based on the world's definition of love which is based on feelings and moods.  It is love based on 1 Cor 13.  Love is patient, kind, doesn't keep account of wrong doings, unselfish, not rude, bears with and endures, etc.  As I learn to love my husband God's way, I find "pleasure" in serving my husband.  I don't see serving him as a chore but I love pleasing him.  When I make life easy for him by serving him AND respecting, he does something in return.  But the key is, I don't do what I do to get something in return.  I don't know what your belief is today and it is wonderful that you can say that your husband is wonderful, but I encourage you to pray that God teaches you to serve your husband with "love and RESPECT".  I don't emphasize respect to say you aren't doing it.  I emphasize it because God tell women to respect their husbands because as we as women feed off of love, men feed off of respect.  Take time to tell your husband how much you respect how hard he works to provide for the family.  Tell him how you respect the wonderful father that he is.  Highlight the positive things that you see in him.  Praise God you have a "bedroom" relationship.  You would be surprised how many husband's won't even touch their wives.  You can be his wife without being his mom.  Most of it is about your mindset.  Trust me, I have to fight certain thoughts that have the potential of causing me to resent my husband if he doesn't do things "my way".  But through Christ and God's Word, I pull those thoughts down and I talk to God, I'm able to get back in there and serve my husband.  Your role as a wife and mother are a blessing.  Learn to enjoy them because it pleases God.  Joy is contagious.  Plus, a quiet and gentle spirit brings out a beauty in a woman that makeup and a new hairdo will never do.  (Although, it always helps to look good for your man.)    Philippians 2:14 says to "do all things without complaining or grumbling."  This doesn't just speak of words spoken but also thoughts.  Ruby, change your mindset.  I'm sure you love your husband and you want to please him.  It's valid to want some assistance.  But changing your mindset will change your attitude about how and why you do what you do and it will reflect in your level of joy and the excellence you put into your daily task .... taking care of daughter, home and husband.  Let it become a ministry ... a true act of servanthood.  We live in a world where woman want to compete with men.    My daughters are 9 and 12 (inherited through marriage) and are in school so I don't have to be home. I have an 8-hr job but when I get pregnant, I'm going home to "serve" my family full time.  And I can do it because I'm trusting God to strengthen, encourage and empower me.  I'm sure there will be days when my flesh will rise up and try to convince me that I'm tired and "he doesn't do enough", but when I cast those thoughts down and begin to thank God for my husband by focusing on his wonderful traits, there is no room to complain about him.  Like I said earlier, I don't know what your beliefs are now, but I hope this encourages you in some way.
 Thank you for your reply.  You really encouraged me by what you have to say.  I am still a Christian, though it is a lot easier said than done.  Since I have been married, I really struggle with it.  My husband is a Christian as well, though I often wonder if we are on the same page.  He has a lot of bitterness from his childhood, which is a whole other issue.
I know that I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and daughter.  I just often struggle with where I am in life, and wonder if he really appreciates what I do.  Also, when I look at his mom with a perfectly tidy house, and loves to cook "meat and taters" every night for supper, I feel like I don't measure up.  (His mom is a wonderful person, and I have shared my concerns with her.  She is very supportive of me and my relationship with her son.)
So, thank you for your encouragement.  It was nice to get the load off my chest, and wonderful to here your response.
Ruby
 
October 21, 2005, 1:02 pm CDT

Good Books

Quote From: ruby21

 Thank you for your reply.  You really encouraged me by what you have to say.  I am still a Christian, though it is a lot easier said than done.  Since I have been married, I really struggle with it.  My husband is a Christian as well, though I often wonder if we are on the same page.  He has a lot of bitterness from his childhood, which is a whole other issue.
I know that I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and daughter.  I just often struggle with where I am in life, and wonder if he really appreciates what I do.  Also, when I look at his mom with a perfectly tidy house, and loves to cook "meat and taters" every night for supper, I feel like I don't measure up.  (His mom is a wonderful person, and I have shared my concerns with her.  She is very supportive of me and my relationship with her son.)
So, thank you for your encouragement.  It was nice to get the load off my chest, and wonderful to here your response.
Ruby

I don't know if you're a reader, but can I suggest a few good books that help me tremendously to let God develop me into the "helpmeet" my husband needs to encourage him and propel him into God's calling on his life.  "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian, "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace, "Love and Respect" by Emerson Etheridge (not sure on last name) and "Liberated Through Submission" by PB Wilson are all wonderful resources for wives.  Non-Christian wives may have a hard time following these books because they focus on submission to God to be able to submit to your husband.  In today's world, it is difficult for women to understand because of the "liberated woman theory", abusive men and the misunderstanding of what submission truly means.  We must first submit to God.  When we submit to God FIRST, then we are able to submit to our husbands.  Submission means to come under.  We come under the covering of our husbands.  If he is weak, we don't tear them down, we pray for them.  Please understand Ruby that it isn't about works.  It's about the heart and mental attitude.  As you and I both know, we can do the right "act" with the wrong attitude.   

  

I'm glad you have a good relationship with your mother-in-law.  Don't compete with her, not even in your heart.  You don't have to measure up.  Just be the wonderful woman, mother and wife God has called you, Ruby, to be.  I also encourage you to set the atmosphere in your home.  Get  you some good worship music and play it daily.  It will encourage your soul.  I've got an arsenol of worship music from Michael W. Smith to Martha Munizzi.  Also, pray for your husband daily.  Bitterness stunts our spiritual growth.  It wouldn't matter how much he prayed, how much he went to church, or how many spiritual books he read.  The Bible tells us the bitterness is like rot to the bone.  Remember your role as the "helpmeet".  Help meet your husbands needs.  Know the difference between what you can do for your husband and what "only" God can do.  Our battles for our families are won mainly in the prayer closet, so get you some knee pads. hahahahaha!  Allow God to cleanse your heart so that your motives for praying for your husband will be for God's will for his life and not how you think he ough to change.  As wives we can pray some selfish prayers.  Smile! So we must always check our motives before God. (Search me o God, know my heart, try me, know my anxieties, see if there be wicked ways in me and lead me into the way that is right ... Psalm 139:23,24)   

  

Ruby, I'm believing God for great things for you, your husband, your marriage and your family.  I encourage you to speak highly of your husband to his face and behind his back.   

  

Let me share with you one of the subtle plans of the enemy.  It's to destroy your family.  The enemy knows that there is power in oneness which is why he'll bring criminals together for destruction and bring confusion to separate marriages or other groups of purpose.  Right now he could be using your husbands bitterness against your husband.  You see, according to the book of James, letting the sun go down on your anger leaves a foothole for the enemy.  In your husbands case, that foothole has been open since childhood.  That is a long time and a lot of damage.  As a result, your husband may be missing some things spiritually.  Maybe he doesn't know the magnitude of how this bitterness is effecting his life as a whole.  Because he lacks certain things, it effects you.  If you're not walking in close relationship with the Lord, the enemy will entice you to complain and grumble which leads to discontentment.  Discontentment will lead to nagging which ALWAYS pushes a man away.  It will start with little things such as your husband not helping a whole lot around the house.  Doesn't the enemy know where to hit us?  I know because that is one of the tactics that he uses on me.  I watch my mother til this day continue to work and come home and clean up behind my father and adult brother while they do very little to help.  I get mad.  I have to fight to not bring that attitude into my home or I'll be on my husbands case when he doesn't help.  That is when I have to remind myself that it is an honor to serve my husband.  I'm not that good.  It's the grace of God that gets me to that place.   

  

I can assure you without knowing your husband that he appreciates you.  His bitterness may be hindering him from showing it "effectively".  So, once again, pray that the Lord will soften the stony places of your husbands heart.  Stand before God and petition for your husbands emotional and spiritual freedom.  Ask God to show you how you can be apart of your husbands spiritual growth.  As a child of God you have the right through Christ to make your request (godly request) known to God.  Be blessed and encouraged. 

 
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