This article is a companion to How to Protect Your Wife
Mac and I were once on our way to a camping holiday. I became nervous as we went down a mountain pass, as we were towing a heavy camping ‘bushwacker’. Instead of getting irritated with me, my husband realised that I was worried about the trailer and immediately slowed down. Our son asked why he was doing that, as I was being silly and I should know my husband is a good and responsible driver. Mac responded by explaining to him that marriage is like a team sport. In order for me to honour and submit well, he needs to love me well. In that moment, he explained that to love me is to be considerate and allow me to gain confidence as we tow the trailer.
You are an instrument in the Lord’s hand for the Lord’s glory in your husband’s life.
Marriage is a team sport. We all start marriage with ‘till death do us part’. When you are young and you say these words, you may not quite understand the weight and the depth of them. Proverbs 31:11,12 tells us what this means for a wife, ‘She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life’. When I read this Scripture, I soberly ponder whether my husband experiences the fulfilment of this verse in our marriage.
In many instances, whenever I observe women, I notice a tendency in them to want to serve others. They have a compulsion to help organise things or to help others by giving them advice. I am designed as a helper. I am the one he can lean on, rely on and trust. God designed me as a woman with the ability to submit and respect my husband and to be his very best helper! I carry something of God’s DNA in my being by being the woman He created me to be. I can protect my husband by being what God has called me to be.
Ways to Protect Your Husband
If you want to protect your husband, you should consider the following things:
1. Put God First
One of the first things that I learned in marriage was to give grace to my husband and not to rely on him for my fulfilment. I need to seek the Lord first and find fulfilment in Him, and my marriage will benefit from this. My husband cannot satisfy my deepest needs and desires, only Jesus can. The best way I can encourage my husband is by building my relationship with God.
2. Stay Connected
There was a time in our marriage where we worked too hard and saw very little of each other, so a disconnect happened between us. It was a time where everything else and everyone else became more important. When there is a disconnect, it is a good time to seek the Lord to evaluate where you are at. When there is a disconnect, we become irritated with each other and desperately need to reinstate God’s ways as our ways. We should not just pray that we will be connected again, but we have to be humble enough to go to our husbands and acknowledge where we have neglected him.
One way to protect your husband’s heart is to not physically withhold yourself. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 is a good standard to uphold as a necessary boundary of protection. Scriptures like these are great reminders during times when you may feel tempted to withhold your body from your spouse.
3. Use Gentle, Honouring Words
My husband needs to be safe when in my presence. His heart needs to be safe with me. His heart cannot be safe when he cannot trust me or if he is worried I will degrade him. Proverbs 31:26 says that our words need to be encouraging and respectful towards our husbands.
Take a moment to think over the conversations your friends have with you. An elderly lady once shared with me that when I say negative things about my husband to my friends that I am actually committing emotional adultery. That was quite radical, but it helped me to always weigh up what I say about my husband or how I speak to my friends about their husbands. Proverbs 20:19 (NIV) says that ‘gossip betrays confidence, so avoid a person that talks too much’. This verse is intended for all relationships, but how much more so for a marriage covenant relationship. This sacred bond has to be celebrated and protected! Do not fall into the trap of gossiping about your husband. Choose your friends wisely. Choose friends who will honour your marriage and speak respectfully of their own husbands too.
Take stock of what is in your heart, because we shower our husbands with the overflow of our hearts.
When he does everything right, it is easy to apply Proverbs 31:26. How much more important that we still apply the principle of this Scripture when he falters. My husband needs to know that I am on his side. When you want to use harsh words, take a moment and think of everything he actually does right. I remind myself that harsh words speak of a hardened heart. We need to speak kind words to our husbands if we want to protect them. Take stock of what is in your heart, because we shower our husbands with the overflow of our hearts.
4. Forgive Quickly
We need to be forgiving toward our husbands. If you still remind him of words spoken fifteen years ago that devastated your soul, you most probably haven’t forgiven him. Your husband’s heart cannot be safe with you and you cannot protect him if you haven’t forgiven him. You need to be kind and compassionate to him, forgiving him, just as Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:23). Forgive his grievances. You cannot protect your husband if you constantly remind him of everything he has done wrong. Your husband cannot trust you if you keep nit-picking his character. No ‘silent treatment’ or ‘guilt trip’ is justified in any relationship! If your marriage is under strain, be the first to turn to Jesus.
5. Build Wisely
Proverbs 1:14 says, ‘…a wise woman builds her home but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands’. We, as women, need to build in a godly way, not in a self-centred or materialistic way. I need to build in such a way that my husband knows and sees that I greatly enrich his life. You build a house by wisdom, and by understanding it is established (Proverbs 24:3). A husband trusts fully when he knows his wife is capable and wise in building their home!
Be a woman who builds, not destroys – whether by your actions, words, attitude or body language.
We need to build our husbands up emotionally and use our words carefully. Be a woman who builds, not destroys – whether by your actions, words, attitude or body language. Be a careful woman, not a careless one – a woman with discernment, integrity, thoughtfulness and patience. Think of how Jesus built His kingdom and served those around Him.
6. Draw Close to Your Husband During Hard Times
It is easy to feel close to each other when everything is going well, but when stress and hardship creeps in, it is important to recognise that my husband is not the enemy. Often both parties withdraw when they (or one party) carry high stress and lots of pressure. Make time to be together. You remain a team. When you work for an organisation or company and it goes through a hard time, no-one just does their own thing – they pull together and jump in to do whatever is needed to save the day. Likewise, in marriage we are a team, so when your husband needs your support or attention, jump in wherever you can. You are on his team!
He remains first and foremost the Lord’s possession, on loan to you for this lifetime only.
In closing, consider the fact that your husband is God’s gift to you, just as you are God’s gift to him. Yet he remains the property of God and you have been given stewardship of him by God. He remains first and foremost the Lord’s possession, on loan to you for this lifetime only. You are an instrument in the Lord’s hand for the Lord’s glory in your husband’s life. As you are his first mission field, so too is he your first and foremost mission field – to the honour, glory and worship of Jesus Christ.