1. Pray for him daily.
2. Love him unconditionally.
3. Appreciate him.
4. Thank him verbally.
5. Respect him.
6. Speak the truth in love.
7. Never go to bed angry.
8. No disrespect allowed, verbal, cussing, hitting.
9. Let him help you in his way.
10. Be the woman God wants you to be.
1. Pray for him daily. The Bible says, “The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man (woman, implied) availeth much.” Take it to the Lord in prayer, He will hear and answer. You will see subtle changes in your man, this will not happen quickly. My husband was not close to the Lord when we married, but he did become the father and husband I knew he could be and he’s now a missionary. We have been married many years. Have faith, he will become the man you need him to be.
2. Love him unconditionally. This one’s harder, especially when you don’t want to love him. You don’t actually have the ability to do this, you need to call on God for this. “Lord, he’s not my favorite person right now, please give me Your love for him anyway!”
3. Appreciate him. Sometimes we feel unappreciated. You will be surprised to know the more we appreciate our men, the more they notice us and what we do. Plan a special dinner, buy a card, bake cookies, let them know you appreciate them as the head of the family.
4. Thank him verbally. Be cautious not to overdo this as it can seem insincere, but make a true effort to thank him. If he does something unexpected or a regular chore, be sure to say “Thank you for your hard work” or “That really helped me.” Or just thank him for going to work.
5. Respect him. I like to say, respect him when he doesn’t deserve your respect and he will meet your expectations. These steps work in concert, you have to keep praying for him daily, offering reverence as the man of the house, the “Lord” of the house, if you will. God has a very specific plan for families. The man is the “head” and the woman is the “heart.” That said, I can’t be his “Holy Spirit,” but I can be the spirit of the house. Respect your man.
6. Speak the truth, in love. It is so important how you say what you need or want with your man. He will never change if you nag him, or at best, he may change a little and resent you. For example, when we were first married, my husband, raised with one brother, never put the toilet seat down. After several episodes of near drowning, I mentioned that it would be helpful to me if he would try to put it down when he completed his task. I asked at a time when we were not engaged in anything too serious or complicated (timing is everything) and I didn’t keep reminding him. That was a small thing, but I needed him to know that that was important to me. Other small annoyances can be handled the same way. It is also helpful to use language they will understand, such as, “You are such a bear,” or “Strong men put toilet seats down.” When it’s something more serious, such as hurtful words or deeds, telling him, it was like a knife in your heart, or it made your mind ache, helps men visualize how you are hurting. Let me be clear, you are not a doormat or a slave. You have to speak up when something is wrong. Picking the right time and tone will make all of the difference in the outcomes, this is up to you.
7. Never go to bed angry. This is a great practice. You may miss some nights, but trying to take care of that disagreement before bed is always helpful. It helps you sleep better also!
8. Don’t allow disrespect. If you are experience physical abuse, this advice is not for you, you need to leave that situation. But verbal abuse and cursing is very dangerous also. When I say, don’t allow, that’s strong. But stand up and say “I don’t want to hear those words,” or “Please don’t use that language.” If it has been your custom to rinse and repeat, you have to stop using foul language before this will work. When he sees a change in you, he will respect that, eventually. God can help you with this.
9. Let him help you “in his way.” He’s not you and he can’t do what you do, exactly as you do it. If there is some habit he needs to change, refer to number 6, however, if he is keeping the children or washing the laundry, he is not you, and so just appreciate his help. My daughter is taking a trip and her husband will be left with their children. My advice to her was to make a list, in large print, with bullet points (not too complicated) with number 1, “I know you are not me!” Expectations are sometimes too rigid. Don’t expect him to be perfect when helping, thoughtful tips may be welcome though.
10. Most importantly, be the woman God wants you to be. You cannot do this in your own strength. You must call on Him every day. If you have trouble doing this, you may know about Him but you do not KNOW Him. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for your sin, He has this gift for you. Just turn from your sin and ask Jesus into your heart. You will start the journey that will save your family, I promise.
***I have a few footnotes to add to this list. First, if you are living with a man as a wife but you’re not married, God cannot hear or bless you until you make it right. If you cannot leave, I would suggest moving to a separate sleeping space and telling him you are going to live for God and cannot “pretend” to be married anymore. God will forgive you and if that man doesn’t understand or want to marry you, he should leave.
***About this list, be patient. Try not to preach or nag. Never say “you never” or “you always” when talking about changes that need to be made. And most of all, Trust God to do the changing both in you and your man!