Excerpt from "Winning Him Without A Word: Learning to live with and love an unbelieving husband." by Stephane Singletary
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous,”
1 Peter 3:8
My husband and I were struggling in our marriage. I was struggling with his lack of faith and he was struggling with my faith. There was constant tension in our home because I had faith and he had none. He was always worried about our household finances. He saw the glass half empty. I saw the glass half full. I believed that God could move mountains and provide all our needs. He saw only the low balances in our checking account and the numerous bills that came each month. He saw no way out except through hard work and cutting expenses. This created a constant battle in our marriage.
One day, during a prayer group I belonged to I poured out my heart to my fellow sisters. I told them of the struggle we were having and asked for prayer, not only for myself but for my husband as well. One of my sisters took my hand and said, “Make what is important to him important to you.” She explained that our husbands, no matter where they are in life, need us to recognize what is important to them, and we, as Christian wives need to respect whatever that may be.
Her words cut me to the core. I knew that finances were important to my husband. All our years of marriage, the majority of our arguments came from the issues of money and bills. My husband was raised to be a provider in the home, to take care of his family. It had been ingrained into his very being. I needed to make finances important to me, because they were the one thing that was most important to him.
Peter tells us that we are to be of one mind with our husbands. Being in one mind with our husband’s means that we recognize what is important to them, and we make it important to us. What is important to your husband? Is it finances? Is it his career? Whatever it is, we must, as Christian wives, align ourselves with them and make what is important to them important to us. I never took the time to sit down with my husband and do our finances. My glass half full attitude only made his half- empty attitude clash. He saw negative, I saw Jehovah Jirah, the God who provided all our needs when it came to our finances. It was not until I aligned myself with his thinking that I was able to understand his reasoning in regards to the importance he put on every dime spent in our home.
Paul affirms to us in Philippians 2:3 about making what is important to them important to us. We are to “let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.” We are to esteem our husbands better than ourselves. This means that we are going to have to let go of what we want and pick up what they desire. This means that we are going to have to let go of the struggle to be right. Your husband needs to see Jesus. He needs to see the light of the gospel of grace in his life. When we allow our wants and our needs get in the way of his, we block out the light of Jesus. I am not saying that you have to give up being you, but we have to make the choice to sacrifice just as Jesus made the choice to sacrifice for you.
Jesus laid down all that He had for you, and for your husband. He was willing to put on sinful flesh because you were important to Him. Your husband needs to see that example lived through you. You may not agree with the way he sees the household finances, you may be a glass half full and he may be a glass half empty personality, but there has to be a change if we are to be of one mind with them. When we desire a situation to be resolved or to be better, as we have already discussed, we have to be the first ones willing to change. This is hard to do. Take it from someone who understands and has walked this way before. It won’t be easy.
Paul tells us that we are to esteem others better than ourselves. What he is saying is that we are to hold up above our own desires the desires and dreams of others. When I began to lay down my ideas and opinions of our household finances and took my husband’s ideas and opinions to heart, there began to be a change. He saw that I no longer wanted to change him to my way of thinking, and he began to see that I respected his opinions and we were able to talk about the budget without getting into a huge argument. I no longer looked down on his thoughts, but now I began to lift them up and align myself with them. I no longer tried to change him, but was willing to change to make it work. This also allowed him the room he needed to change. Instead of me trying to make him change, he began to allow God to work in his heart and change how he saw our finances.
This does not mean that you are not entitled to your opinions, nor does it mean that you must become a door mat for his dreams. What Peter is telling us, and what Paul is telling us is that we are to consider one another. We are to be like Christ towards our husbands. Christ thought of you above all others when He laid His life upon that cross. He was willing to die for you. All He asks is that we be willing to do the same for our husbands. Make what is important to your husband important to you. Be of one mind with him, united as one in whatever it is that he asks of you.
Paul goes on to say in Philippians 2:4 that we should not look out only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. You may think your husband’s dreams are silly, but to him they are his dreams. Christ was willing to sacrifice it all because He thought so highly of you. Be like Christ to your husband. Make what is important to him, important to you. Be united in the same mind, and let the Lord God shine through your heart to his. Your dreams are not silly to Christ, don’t belittle your husband’s dreams just because you don’t agree with them.
We also must see that Peter is not telling us that we should align ourselves with our husbands in their sins, but in their hopes and dreams. A Christian wife is called to come alongside her husband, to be his help-meet, to encourage him, love him and respect him. We cannot be a help-meet to them if we do not have the same mind with them. If you go all the way back to Genesis 2:24 the Lord God speaks to us and tells us that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” We are one with our husbands, we are united to them in marriage and our minds should be united with them in life.
Being of one mind means that we no longer fight against them, but we now agree to fight alongside them. Your unbelieving husband needs to see and experience Christ Jesus for himself. He needs to see the sacrifice of Christ, and it all begins with you. Esteem him, love him, and respect his desires and dreams. They are a part of who he is, and you are a part of him. Make what is important to him, important to you. You don’t have to agree with it, but he does deserve your respect.
Pray and ask the Lord to align your mind with your husband. Pray and ask for His strength as you walk this next step out before your husband. Give thanks to God for the man he has placed in your life, and ask for the Lord to reveal his heart to you so that you may lift him up and be the wife that God has called you to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.Winning Him Without A Word: Learning to Live and Love and Unbelieving Husband- available in paperback and Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Him-Without-Word-unbelieving/dp/1494724146/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388438729&sr=8-2&keywords=winning+him+without+a+word