Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Power Of A Praying Wife – His Temptations

“Temptation is everywhere today and we’re fools if we think we or our husbands can’t be lured by it in some form or another. The Bible says, “They eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20). If that’s true, temptation is always a possibility and we must be ever watchful. Certain people are tempted by alcohol and drugs; others have a lust for money and power. Still others find food addictions, pornography, or sexual immorality to be irresistible lures  The enemy of our souls knows where our flesh is the weakest and he will put temptations in our paths at our most vulnerable points. The question is not whether there will be temptations, it’s how we will handle them when they arise. I recommend praying through them. While prayer may not be able to stop a man from doing something he is determined to do, it CAN diminish the voices of temptation and strengthen his resolve. it can pave the way for him to make right choices.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, page 76)

 

After talking with my husband about this, I realized that the things men struggle with or consider temptations are very different than what I think women (or at least myself) struggle with. I think Lust tops the list for men. God created men to be visually stimulated and since so many women lack modesty, this can be a huge temptation for them. It doesn’t work that way for most women so it’s not something we think about much. For myself, I think about this often because I know my husband stands on stage every week leading worship at church and he has mentioned to me how distracting it is when there are women wearing inappropriate clothes to church.

I’ve heard so many women say that it’s not their problem and that guys just need to get over it. It doesn’t work that way!!! Our husbands have a choice as to whether they are going to give a woman a second look, but  Satan (and their flesh) can plant thoughts in their minds with the innocent first look. My heart is so heavy for our husbands! I know my husband is faithful; he does everything he can to avoid temptation, but IT IS EVERYWHERE! We need to be in constant prayer for our husbands!

If you husband is struggling with a particular temptation and he tells you about it, please resist the urge to be angry at him. He obviously doesn’t want the temptation and he trusts you enough to tell you he is struggling. Become his partner in fighting it! Talk about it, pray about it together and let the Lord work to strengthen your husband to avoid the temptation! If he has fallen to the particular temptation, continue to pray. Stormie writes,

 

“I know several couples who have experienced adultery in their marriages, but because in each case there was a wife who was willing to pray and a husband open to allowing God to change and restore him, the marriages are still intact and successful today. Only prayer, a submitted heart, and the transforming power of the Hold Spirit can work those kinds of miracles.”(The Power Of A Praying Wife, page 75)

 

If you feel overwhelmed by your husband’s fall, you don’t have to pray alone. Please talk with your pastor’s wife or another godly woman. It may also be necessary for you and your husband to go to counseling together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Lord can work miracles in your marriage. Keep praying!

 

Stormie also writes, “The best time to start praying about this is BEFORE anything happens. Jesus instructed his disciples to ‘pray that you may not ever into temptation’ (Luke 22:40). He said be watchful because ‘the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’ (Mark 14:38). If your husband struggles in a certain area, pray that he will want to have godly prayer partners with whom he can share openly, be accountable, and receive prayer.” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, pages 76,77)

 

This is awesome advice! Pray, pray, pray!

And because we can’t really ever pray for our husbands without examining ourselves also, I’d like to touch on a few things we should consider. While I was reading this chapter, I was reminded of the Esther study I went through a couple years ago by Beth Moore. There was a particular part of the study when she talks about mean girls. The video below is the segment I am talking about. Take a few minutes to watch it and then jump below for the rest of my thoughts.

Now, when I was younger, there was a time when I would have been considered a mean girl. I dressed in a way that would put men’s attention on me. I didn’t really care if the men had girlfriends or wives; I enjoyed the attention dressing immodestly brought me. I was longing to be loved and this was how I was able (in my mind) to attain it. This was a dark time in my life. And guess what? I was a Christian! I loved Jesus, but I was hurting and not trusting Him to be everything I needed to be loved.

Beth Moore is right when she says we know exactly what we are doing when we dress to get men’s attention. Knowing my husband struggles with this area (pretty much ALL men do, married or not), I have become passionate about modesty! When I put my clothes on in the morning (or afternoon! LOL…mom of a toddler here!), I look in the mirror and evaluate my outfit. I know I will be bending over to help my son about a million times a day. Do my breasts show when I bend over? I evaluate the fit of my clothes. Tight-fitting clothes, even when breasts are covered up, can trigger the same arousal in men. Is my skirt too short? If I feel particularly sexy in an outfit, I will change. I can save those outfits for dinner dates at home with my husband. Some woman may say I am over-reacting. I vehemently disagree! Our bodies are for our husbands alone. We all want to feel attractive, and that’s just fine, but when we know our outfit may cause a man other than our husband to possibly think sexual thoughts, that’s a big problem! Imagine if all women felt the way I (and so many of us modesty enthusiasts) felt. There would be a lot less tempted husbands out there.

Now, I realize sometimes it’s hard to find modest clothes that are still cute. Designers make clothes that will sell. Sex sells. But there are some great solutions for this problem. I love love love that longer shorts and capris are back in style now! I also love a good maxi dress. Cardigans are my favorite piece of clothing to keep my shoulders covered up. I also buy camis from a company called http://www.modesty4me.com. You can receive $3 off your first order with this discount code: SS445. Check them out!

Let’s continue to pray for our husbands and do everything we can to avoid being a temptations for other women’s husbands. Amen?

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The Power Of A Praying Wife – His Affection

In this chapter, Stormie tells a story about a man, Tom and his wife, Patti. Neither grew up in a home where affection was given to them and this was affecting the way they related with each other in marriage. Tom didn’t show Patti affection because of his upbringing, and Patti desperately needed affection because of her upbringing. The lack of affection from Tom was affecting Patti so much that she feared the issue would lead to divorce.

“Finally, Patti’s misery forced her to take the problem to her prayer partners. They diligently covered it in prayer every week and as they prayed, God worked on Patti. He spoke to her about obeying Him in the area of eating right and getting proper exercise – an area where she had always been in rebellion. When she totally submitted to God regarding this and started doing the things He had been telling her to do, she began to feel better about herself and realized that she deserved to be treated affectionately by her husband. She didn’t have to feel guilty about wanting affection because the Lord wanted that for her too.” (The Power of A Praying Wife, Pages 69, 70)

Although my story isn’t just like Patti’s, I’ve experienced a lack of affection from my husband at times. It also affected me so much that I did take it to the Lord in prayer and He showed me some things about myself that I wasn’t expecting. One thing He showed me was that I was preventing my husband from being affectionate. My husband would try to be affectionate, but I would be so self conscious about my body that anytime his hands ran over a “trouble spot” I would retreat. He could feel me tense up and eventually give up. I would be so upset because I truly wanted the affection from him, I just didn’t know how to get past the discomfort of him possibly thinking I was fat. Another thing the Lord showed me was that I needed to start eating right and exercising. This all happened after I gave birth to my son. My husband was already feeling left out and then I would shy away from his affection thinking he wanted more than I could give at the time. As I started eating better and walking for exercise, I started feeling better about myself and welcomed his affection more. My body didn’t change all that much for the first few months, but my attitude and mindset did. As I welcomed his affection, he became more affectionate. He didn’t feel so left out, and because I was able to steer the affection to a more sexual nature when my body was ready, my husband was a very happy man. His affection didn’t need to always lead to sex and both of us got what we ultimately longed for and needed.

Fast forward a year and a half. I have lost about 40 pounds and I feel so much better about my body that I welcome his affection – except when I’m exhausted from taking care of our toddler all day – which is every day! My husband gets home late from work and some days we just kind of say hello like we are room mates. We are working on this. He knows that at the end of a hard day I need affection, but sometimes I’m in too much pain to receive it. My husband has constantly studied me and knows how to hold me to give me affection without causing more pain.  I am working on receiving his affection even though it might cause me pain. The Lord is always at work in our marriage and I am so thankful! It is amazing how much better I feel when my husband is affectionate. I know he has really long days too and he just wants to relax, but I will continue to pray that his affection is continually poured out on me. I am so glad the Lord cares about things like this!

The Power Of A Praying Wife – His Sexuality (Want Great Sex?)

Do you want to have a great sex life? Who doesn’t, right?

Author and speaker, Shelia Wray Gregoire, has a series on her blog called 29 Days to Great Sex. I have found it to be a great resource on all things marriage and sex. I am planning on going through this series, starting today and ending in, well, 29 days. 🙂

Here is the link if you would like to take the journey too. I’m sure your hubby would be thrilled!

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/02/29-days-to-great-sex-day-1-the-act-of-marriage/

Budgeting and The Envelope System

A few years ago, my husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It completely changed the way we handled our money. I am convinced that if we had not started a budget and stuck to it, that we would not be where we are today. We have very little debt, we live below our means and put money into our savings account every month. The Lord has blessed us, and we have everything we need and most of what we want, and for the other things we want, we are saving to afford them.

Dave Ramsey recommends using his 7 baby steps. Step one is to get $1000 in the bank to start an emergency fund. It’s to only be used for unexpected evens in life you can’t plan for. This has come in handy for us when I have needed dental work and when my husband doesn’t get his salary in the summer since he’s a teacher. We have consistently kept this $1000 in the bank for about 4 years, except at the end of summer when we have used a chunk to pay our bills waiting for his first school pay check. Then I hustle and get the balance up to $1000 again.

The second baby step is what he calls the debt snowball. You make a list of your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first. We are in the midst of doing this now. When we found out our son had a cat allergy at 6 months old, we knew we needed to replace the old carpet in our home. The balance on that card is finally below $1000! Praise God! The second credit card we have is for my emergency dental work. We didn’t have the $800 to pay for the work, but I was in so much pain, the credit card was the only option. Other than this debt, we have a car payment and a loan from my husband grandma for his college and the down payment for our home. We pay her $50 a month (and will probably do so for the rest of our lives!), so I don’t count that into the debt snow ball. Once the credit cards are paid off, we can up our payment to her. (Thank you Grandma!!!)

The third baby step is 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings. This step is to come after the debt snow ball. At one time, we had paid off all of our debt and started doing baby step 3. We will get back there soon!!

I can’t really comment on the last four steps because we aren’t there yet, but if you are, here is the link to Dave Ramsey’s website.

http://www.daveramsey.com/new/baby-steps/

The only way we were able to even get started on baby step 1 was to start a budget. We had never really budgeted before, we just tried to spend wisely and pray there was enough. The Lord always provided, but I hated the stress of managing our money that way. Enter: THE BUDGET. Now, I know some people are opposed to budgeting, thinking that it all works out on paper, but life happens and practically it doesn’t work in real life. I felt this way when we first started, but now I am a believer. The budget will work if you are consistent, plan well and have self control. We spend every penny we earn on paper before the month starts, so we know exactly where our money is going. We control our money, our money does not control us. It provides such peace of mind!

We use Dave Ramsey’s Monthly Cash Flow Plan for our budget. Here is the link: http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/

It’s incredibly simple to use (exactly what I need!) and I print out a new one every month and fill it out before we get paid. It’s great because you can figure out what you spend on gifts a year, and divide that into 12 months and know exactly how much to save each month. This is also really helpful with car repairs and licence and taxes.

The second tool we use to stay on budget is the envelope system.

I can not recommend this enough!!!  When we get paid I pull out cash to spend for the following categories:

  • Groceries
  • Out to Eat
  • Household Items
  • Baby Stuff
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Hair Care/Beauty Items
  • Doctor Co-pays/Medications
  • Home Repairs
  • Car Repairs
  • Licence and Taxes (registration, smog, licence renewal)
  • Vacation
  • Blow Money (money my hubby and I can spend without having to check with the other person)

Now because we don’t bring home enough to fill all the envelopes at once, I split it into two withdrawals. I know that I pick up my monthly prescription toward the end of the month so that can come out of the 15th of the month, I know I won’t be using the licence and taxes money but twice a year, so that can come out of the 15th. I pull out 1/2 of the grocery money and 1/2 of the baby stuff month on the 1st. You will need to find out what works for you. Maybe you have enough at the beginning of the month to fill all of them. That’s awesome!

Now comes the hard part. I only spend the money in the envelopes; I don’t use my debit card (except for gas). Once the money is gone in a particular envelope, it is gone. It takes self control and discipline, but I can tell you, I don’t overspend. And that’s the point, right? Now if something comes up and my son needs something, but all the cash is gone from the baby stuff envelope, I might take money out of my hair care envelope. I don’t ever pull money from the car repairs envelope or home repair envelopes. Those are too important and something always comes up where I need that money. But I can give up dying my hair for another month (if you feel that’s impossible for you, maybe you can give up your weekly coffee run). The cool thing is that you are pulling from other envelopes and not your checking account. You still don’t overspend.

Now I can hear you asking, is it worth it? I can absolutely tell you that, yes, it’s worth sacrificing a little now for a bigger reward later. I don’t worry about money. I know that if there was an emergency, more than likely our emergency fund would cover it. I know that when I need new tires, the money is in the envelope. I also love when Christmas rolls around, I don’t have to stress about where we are going to get the money to buy gifts, it’s right there in the envelope!

If you don’t currently have a budget, I recommend instead of setting a budget right away, sit down at the computer and look at your checking account, print out the budget form and write down how much you are currently spending and fill it in that way. You will see if you are over spending and in which category. Then you can make the next month’s budget based off of the information you have and see where you can cut back.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll reply! 🙂