Although I hate the phrase “Shut up” (It has always been a no no in our home growing up and currently), I completely get where Stormie is going with this! There are definitely times when it is better to remain quiet about an issue and pray your heart out than to speak your mind and make matters worse. This is something I struggle with often.
“There is a time to speak and a time NOT to speak, and happy is the man whose wife can discern between the two….A wife has the ability to hurt her husband more deeply than anyone else can, and he can do the same to her. No matter how much apology, the words can not be erased. They can only be forgiven and that is not always easy. Sometimes anything we say will only hinder the flow of what God wants to do, so it’s best to, well, shut up and pray.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, Page 32)
Did you catch that last sentence? Really take it in. ” Sometimes anything we say will only hinder the flow of what God wants to do, so it’s better to, well, shut up and pray.”
This is where I struggle. Have you ever had these thoughts?
“Well, I’m only trying to help!”
“If I don’t tell him what he’s doing wrong, how will he know?”
“Maybe he doesn’t understand what I’m saying; I better tell him for the 100th time.”
Oh, sweet sister, he understands what you’re saying and he’s getting fed up hearing it a bunch of times! How do I know? My husband’s told me this many times! I’m guilty of arguing for hours and saying the same thing over and over again. I am sure the Lord would be able to work in the situation if I would just keep my mouth closed and pray the prayer from yesterday’s reading!
There are also times when we aren’t in an argument that I should still keep my mouth shut; times when I’ve asked my husband to do something and after a few days (or weeks), it isn’t done.
“It took me a number of years to learn what millions of women have learned over the centuries. NAGGING DOESN’T WORK! Criticizing doesn’t work. Sometimes, just plain talking doesn’t accomplish anything either. I’ve found that prayer is the only thing that ALWAYS works. The safe guard you have with prayer is that you have to go through God to do it. This means you can’t get away with a bad attitude, wrong thinking, or incorrect motives. When you pray, God reveals anything is your personality that is resistant to His order of things.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, Pages 32,33)
Can you relate to this? I can! She says that prayer is the only thing that works. When I first read that I was thinking, “I’ve prayed before that Mike would do things and he still has not done them! Prayer doesn’t always work!” Well, prayer doesn’t always work the way I want it to. She clarifies by saying that since we have to Go through God to pray, He straightens everything out. Maybe we are praying with a bad attitude or with wrong motives; it is possible that we are praying with right motives, but our prayer just doesn’t align with God’s plan.
“My husband will not do something he doesn’t want to do. And if he ends up doing something he doesn’t want to do, his immediate family members will pay for it. If there is anything I really want him to do, I’ve learned to pray about it until I have God’s peace in my heart BEFORE I ask. Sometimes God changes my heart about it, or shows me a different way so I don’t have to say anything. If I do need to say something, I try not to just blurt it out. I pray first for God’s leading.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, Page 33)
When I read that last paragraph, I started to get angry. She talks about how when her husband is pressured into doing something he doesn’t want to do, his family suffers. I can relate. I’ve pressured my husband into doing things and he finally does them and he isn’t happy about it and I know it. He can have a bad attitude about it or be distant. That isn’t right! But you know what I learned this week? I can not control him. It’s not my job! (Though sometimes I feel like it is….God is working on my heart!) I can’t control his actions or words or attitudes. I can control mine though! And that is what is required of me. The Lord will work on my husband’s heart. I need to let Him work on mine and continue to pray for my husband.
I’ll leave you with this today:
“While honesty is a requirement for a successful marriage, telling your husband everything that is wrong with him is not only ill-advised, it probably doesn’t reveal the complete truth. The total truth is from God’s perspective and He, undoubtedly, doesn’t have the same problem with some of your husband’s actions as you do. Our goal must not be to get our husbands to do what WE want, but rather release them to God so He can get them to do what HE wants…If you DO have to say words that are hard to hear, ask God to help you discern when your husband would be most open to hearing them. Pray for the right words and for his heart to be totally receptive. I know that’s difficult to do if you have a few choice words you’re dying to let loose. But hard as it may seem, it’s best to let God hear them first so He can temper them with His Spirit.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, Pages 34,35)