Tag Archive | newlywed

Pray for Your Husband from Head to Toe

Pray for Your Husband from Head to Toe | free printable from Loving Life at HomeRuth Bell Graham advises wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well.

Of course, we needn’t wait until there is some problem or disagreement before beginning this practice. A wife can and should routinely intercede on her husband’s behalf. Prayer should be a habit of life, something we do continuously and “without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

There are many different daily, weekly or monthly plans available that can help make praying for your husband more systematic, but one of my favorites is praying for your spouse from head to toe. I heard about this concept several years ago. What follows is my own take on it, plus a free printable version you can use in your personal prayer time.

  • Pray for His Brain:
  • Ask that God would keep it sharp and focused and that his thoughts would not be conformed to this world, but would be transformed and renewed by the power of God. (Romans 12:2)

  • Pray for His Eyes:
  • Ask that he would guard them diligently and would set no worthless thing before them. (Psalm 101:3)

  • Pray for His Ears:
  • Ask that they’d be tuned to hear God’s still, small voice and that your husband would always remain attentive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. (1 Thessalonians 5:19; Isaiah 30:9)

  • Pray for His Mouth:
  • Ask that no unwholesome talk would proceed from it, but only what is good for building others up. Pray that your husband would always and only speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15, 29)

  • Pray for His Heart:
  • Ask that Christ would sit enthroned upon it, that your husband would love God with all his heart and soul and might, that he’d love his neighbor as himself. (Mark 12:30-31) Pray for his heart to remain soft toward you (Proverbs 5:18-19) and to be knitted to the hearts of his children. (Malachi 4:6)

  • Pray for His Arms:
  • Ask that God would strengthen them and make them firm. Pray that your husband would take delight in his labor and that God would bless the work of his hands. (Psalm 90:17, Ecclesiastes 3:22)

  • Pray for His Legs:
  • Ask that God would give him strength and stamina, that your husband might run with endurance the race that is set before him, without growing weary or fainting along the way (Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 12:1)

  • Pray for His Feet:
  • Ask that they’d be quick to flee from temptation, to turn away from evil, and to faithfully pursue wisdom, righteousness, peace, love, and truth. (2 Timothy 2:22; Psalm 34:14; Proverbs 4:5-7)

So that’s the whole plan. It takes only a few minutes to cover your husband in prayer from head to toe. Can you imagine the benefits you both will reap if you’ll make it a habit to pray this way for your spouse every day?


This post is excerpted from my book, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband. For more marriage encouragement, connect with me on Facebook.

If your husband would like a matching guide to use when praying for you, tell him to check out the one my husband posted on his blog: Praying for Your Wife from Head to Toe. And if either of you would like a similar guide to pray over your children, check out this post: Praying for You Children from Head to Toe.


Special offer for Valentine's Day: Discover God's Design for Love, Sex & Marriage

Enough with the Excuses

I don’t know who said it, but it’s true:

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Lots of wives have become experts at making up excuses to avoid something that’s extremely important to their husband. Don’t be one of them.

Enough with the Excuses copy

Not Tonight, Dear…

I’ve got a headache.
I’m too tired.
I’m having PMS.
I couldn’t think of making love when the house is such a mess.
The baby’s sick.
Your mother called.
I’ve got too much to do.
I think I’d rather cuddle — is that alright with you?

It’s freezing cold.
My back is sore.
I need to wash my hair.
The children have a soccer game, and I’ve no time to spare.
I’ve got to shop —
Our pantry’s bare.
The kids are still awake.
Besides, we had sex yesterday — tonight, I need a break.

Excuses, excuses! Some are valid, some are lame.
In the end, it matters not – the result is still the same.
We’d find a way, if sex were at the top of our to-do’s,
But since it’s not, we wrack our brains to dream up some excuse!

The toilet’s clogged.
It’s hot and muggy.
I’ll be late for work.
Forget it! I’m still mad at you — you know you’ve been a jerk.
My legs need shaving.
I feel fat.
I’m under too much stress.
We’ve barely finished dinner, Dear, let’s let our food digest.

You must be kidding.
I’m upset.
Just wait for Friday night.
The bills are due. We need a budget. Money’s getting tight.
I’ll miss my show.
Go take a shower.
Please don’t think me rude:
Sweetheart, it’s nothing personal — I’m just not in the mood!

Excuses, Excuses, to keep your man at bay—
The devil will supply them if you can’t think what to say.
When wives won’t give their husbands sex, then everybody loses,
But Heaven’s floodgates open when we stop making excuses!

find-a-way

The #1 Rule for Building a Happy Marriage

number-one-rule

Jesus spelled out our standard in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31)

Confucius taught a similar principle: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”

As did Buddha: “What is hateful to you, don’t do to others; what is delightful to you, do for others, too.”

And Muhammad: “Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself.”

In fact, every major religion promotes some version of The Golden Rule.

In marriage it boils down to this:

“Treat your spouse the way you wish to be treated.”

  • Would you like for your husband to be patient and understanding? Then extend an extra measure of patience and understanding towards him. (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Do you want him to honor you as a respected colleague? Then be faithful and deliberate in the way you communicate respect to him. (1 Peter 2:17)
  • Do you hope he’ll be quick to forgive and forget when you’ve done something to offend him? Then don’t harbor grudges against him. Give no place to bitterness or resentment in your heart. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Would you like for him to show appreciation for the many things you do to make his life more pleasant? Then always make a point to say thank you to him. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, and don’t take your man for granted. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Do you prefer kind, encouraging words over angry tirades? Then remain positive and upbeat yourself and resist the urge to nag or quarrel. (Proverbs 15:1)
  • Do you want him to prioritize things that are important to you? Then don’t make excuses to avoid what’s important to him. (Philippians 2:3-4)
  • Would you like for him to take notice of you and compliment your appearance? Then show him the same courtesy. Admire him and praise his manliness. Your husband wants to know that you still find him attractive. (Song of Solomon 1:16)

So that’s the key: Treat your spouse as you wish to be treated if you want a built-to-last, happily-ever-after sort of marriage.

The Golden Rule is a great principle to live by. How will you put it into practice, starting today?


Check Out My Book

Lesson #4: Perfectionism is a Trap

Perfectionism is a TrapMy father was a general contractor. He was also a perfectionist — not a perfectionist about everything, mind you, but certainly a perfectionist about his work.

When Daddy did a job, he did it right. When he built something, he built it to last. If you hired my father to do a project, he’d deliver beautiful results… but it would take him forever and a day to finish it.

That’s because perfectionism is often at odds with productivity. In fact, sometimes perfectionism can be downright paralyzing.

I didn’t understand that fact when I first married. Back then, perfectionism seemed to me a good thing. Why, I wanted to do everything perfectly.

And that included ironing.

My goal: to keep my husband’s closet stocked with painstakingly-pressed, wrinkle-free clothes, so that anything he needed would always be clean and ready to wear.

My reality: I’d spend a full hour at the ironing board and have only two shirts to show for it. Doug would wear the first, the second would hang in an otherwise empty closet, and the rest of his wardrobe would languish in the bottom of a laundry basket awaiting my next regularly scheduled ironing day.

This frustratingly inefficient pattern continued until my husband convinced me to change my technique.

“You can’t spend thirty minutes ironing a single shirt,” he insisted. “Spend three minutes max. I’d rather have ten shirts with the biggest wrinkles ironed out than one that’s pressed to perfection and nine more that look like I’ve slept in them.”

That sounded reasonable enough. So I tried it his way, and — guess what? — it worked.

But old habits die hard, and I’ve needed (and received) more than a few reminders over the years — and not only as the principle pertains to ironing.

I am grateful for my husband’s balancing influence. He has a no-nonsense approach to most chores, and his tactics have forced me to rethink a lot of the myths I had carried into marriage with me.

Maybe it’s time for you to rethink them, too:

  • Myth #1: “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”

    Au contraire. Some jobs are important enough (and time is short enough) that we must settle for doing them half-way. When my toddler eats a chocolate donut on the way to church and smears icing in her hair and on her dress, she might benefit from a full bath and a change of clothes, but circumstances dictate that I clean her up with a wet wipe instead.

    Of course, the donut itself was a compromise. “Doing the job right” would mean serving my family a well-balanced, home-cooked breakfast every day, wouldn’t it? But when we’re pressed for time, grabbing a donut on the go is better than letting them starve (though some of you hard-core nutritionists might disagree with me on that).

    This same principle applies to spiritual food as well as physical. Beginning each day with an uninterrupted hour of Bible study and prayer is a great goal, but on mornings when that plan doesn’t pan out, meditating on memory verses and praying while you work sure beats skipping your quiet time altogether.

  • Myth #2: “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

    There’s a big difference between procrastinating and prioritizing. Sometimes putting something off for another day (or even another season of life) is the most prudent course of action we can take.

    There are only so many hours in a day and only so much one person can (or should) accomplish in that time period. We must invest that time and energy in the things that matter most.

    The trick is in discerning what truly matters. “Important” doesn’t always mean “big.” In God’s economy — and especially for those of us with young children still at home — the things that matter most are often quite small.

  • Myth #3: “If you want a job done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.”

    Just because you are capable of doing a job and doing it right does not make you the person to do it. Our time, again, is limited. There is no shame in acquiring help, expert or otherwise (which is why we now send my husband’s dress shirts out to be laundered).

    Moreover, it is of vital importance that our children develop a strong work ethic. A competent mother who insists on doing every job herself to make sure it’s done right is effectively robbing her children of the opportunity to develop life skills that will serve them well in the future.

    Our children’s work may not meet up to our standards initially, but it is important that we recognize and appreciate their efforts, nonetheless, and provide them with ample opportunity for improvement.

  • Myth #4: “The important thing is to always do your best.”

    Doing our best in one area will often mean neglecting another. That can cause problems, especially when the thing we are presently doing is not as important as the thing we should be doing or need to do next.

    This (partly) explains why I am such a slow and sporadic blogger. As much as I enjoy writing and feel compelled to do so, my responsibilities as a wife and mother trump my aspirations as a writer. And so, during this season of training little ones and homeschooling our eight children still at home, I try to keep book projects and blog posts on the back burner during their wakeful hours.

    That’s the sentiment behind the poem, “Rocking My Baby.” We could clean house all day and still find corners that need attention (or post and pin and share and tweet every spare minute, but still find more to say). Dust and cobwebs (and social media) we’ll always have with us, but our babies will eventually grow up and leave home. We must redeem the time we’ve been given with them wisely.

So what does all this mean? Rather than always striving to do our best, or to do everything ourselves, or to do it all now, perhaps we should focus instead on maintaining balance. Diligently do the things that matter most with excellence, then tend to less significant duties with due (but not undue) care and consistency.

That’s my goal. Won’t you join me?

And if you’ve debunked any other myths in your search for balance, be sure to share those, as well.

Go To >>Life Lesson #5

They Won’t Know It Till You Show It


Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, from my home to yours…. As you count your blessings today, take time to tell those living, breathing blessings in your life how much you appreciate them!

Lesson #2: Laughter is Good Medicine


If you had asked me before I married what I wanted in a husband, “a good sense of humor” would not have been the first thing that sprang to mind. No, I was looking for a smart, solid Christian who loved kids, wanted a bunch of them, and was open to homeschooling. Being “tall, dark, and handsome” was not essential, but would be a much-appreciated bonus (especially the “tall” part, as I’m 5’11” myself). That I should try to find “an animated storyteller with an infectious laugh” never even occurred to me.

Fortunately, God ignored that oversight and gave me a man who was not only everything I dreamed of, but was witty, playful, and spontaneous, too. My husband knows how to make me laugh! A slight tilt of his head or a knowing wink can instantly bring an amused smile to my face. A cleverly turned phrase or droll observation will get me to giggling. But when Doug tells a story, he uses his whole body to act it out, sending our entire family into hysterics with deep, uproarious laughter that leaves our sides aching afterwards. How dull and dreary my life might have been without all that!

It is with good reason the Bible tells us to “rejoice always.” (1 Thess. 5:16, Phil. 4:4). Science has demonstrated time and again that our attitudes and dispositions have a profound effect upon our immune function. Joyous, mirthful laughter really is good medicine. (see Prov. 17:22) Here are just a few of the many great things a good belly-laugh does for you:

  • Improves Health – laughter boosts your immunity and wards off disease by increasing killer cell activity
  • Brightens Mood – laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in our brains
  • Relieves Tension – laughter reduces stress, fear, and anxiety while relaxing muscles throughout the body
  • Increases Energy – laughter helps us to recharge and refocus, to work harder and accomplish more
  • Defuses Conflict – laughter keeps disagreements and disputes from becoming dirty or divisive
  • Provides Perspective – laughter makes both minor inconveniences and major adversities more bearable
  • Promotes Humility – the ability and willingness to laugh at oneself is an invaluable character trait

I’m convinced that all the laughing my husband and I have done over the past 25 years has not only helped our bodies stay healthy, but has kept our marriage healthy, as well. We laugh at silly songs and corny poems we’ve been making up since we first met. We laugh at funny movies, like Princess Bride and Dan in Real Life. We laugh about our children’s antics, like the toddler who decided just before party guests arrived to completely re-paper our bathroom in maxi-pads. We laugh over embarrassing mistakes, like the time my husband used his cell phone to video our baby toddling around the bathroom, then showed it to a couple dozen coworkers before realizing he’d inadvertently captured me in the background, sitting on the toilet with my pants around my knees. (At least he hadn’t posted it on YouTube!)

What has gotten the biggest laugh out of you recently? We’d love for you to share it, so the rest of us can laugh along 🙂

Go to LIFE LESSON #3 >>

If you’d like to read further on this fascinating topic, check out the following articles and resources:

Health Benefits of
Humor and Laughter

The Healing Power
of Laughter

Feeling Good
is Good for You

How Laughter
Works


Check Out My Book

7 Reasons to Prioritize Sex in Marriage

Here’s a handy chart that details just a few of the myriad benefits available to couples who choose not to neglect marital intimacy. I’ve addressed these remarks to wives because (1) I am writing to women in the spirit of Titus 2:3-5 and (2) when evaluating the importance of sex in marriage, women have historically required a little more convincing then men.

Of course, there are exceptions to almost every rule, so if you’re dealing with a disinterested husband, show this list to him, since rekindling that fire will benefit him as much as it will you.

It should also be noted that when sex is pursued outside the context of marriage, many of these benefits are negated or even reversed. Promiscuity and infidelity increase your susceptibility to disease, cause premature aging, erode trust and stability in marriage, and promote unhealthy attitudes towards sex and marriage in children, to name just a few.

You’ll find details on all the studies cited above (and more!) in my book, LOVE YOUR HUSBAND/ LOVE YOURSELF.

Which of the seven benefits mentioned in this infographic do you find most appealing? Most convicting?


Check Out My Book