Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sharing Our Faith in Marriage


Welcome to Marriage Monday!

How Marriage Works:
21 Secrets Every Couple Needs to Know

Secret #17: Christian husbands often express their faith through their actions rather than with words.

Q. Why doesn't my husband initiate prayer together more often?


My husband and I both believe in the Lord, and love Him. But, our way of expressing that love, and belief, are very different. I love going to church, singing in the choir, teaching, being involved in prayer groups, revivals, any type of church activity. My husband does not want to go to church, or when he does go to church, does not want to be involved in any way. All he does is warm the pew. I enjoy Bible studies, and devotions. He does not, and will not, participate in any type of Bible study. I love to pray, he will pray occasionally.Denise


A. Excellent question! We know intuitively that spirituality comes more naturally to women—or at least our brand of spirituality. As the verbal gender, women place greater emphasis on love, forgiveness, and relationships. So when we're born-again, the heavens open! Oh happy day! God loves us! When we fall head over heels in love with Jesus, we begin to walk the road of life with Him right by our side. Prayer, Bible study, witnessing, and intimate fellowship with other believers soon seem as easy as breathing.

However, many men struggle with “our way” as the only way to express faith. Factoring in our gender differences and our unique spiritual gifts, we should expect that some husbands will have a limited appetite for sharing their spiritual selves with their wives using words.

Faith Begins with God's Word
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. 
(Rom 110:17 NASB)

For some women, this is a tremendous source of frustration. Many of us want our husbands to be spiritually identical to us; ie. eager to pray; knowledgeable in Scripture; leading regular family devotions; attending church every Sunday; witnessing on the mission field; and maybe even making plans to enter full-time ministry.

Some of us are married to pastors who actually do all these things
(a major blessing),
and some of us are married to unbelievers. But I know that there are many, many times when our believing husbands are shouting that they love the Lord very loudly in their own language—by what they're doing. It's very easy to completely miss the good things they are trying to say to us about their faith walk.

Faith is Revealed by Good Works
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. (James 2:18 NIV)

For instance, when our children were small, I remember going through a particularly difficult period financially. The economy was down, and our small business was suffering. I of course, spent much time journalling, praying, and in Bible study, trying to assuage my fears and grow my faith in God's promises of provision.

To my great surprise, my husband—a strong believer—took a different tack. Mindful of his God-given responsibility to provide for our family, he buckled down and started working very long hours. Once in awhile, he would quote 1 Tim 5:8 to me: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household,
he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  Oh my! That's strong stuff!

At first I was perplexed. Aren't we saved by faith? And shouldn't e-Dad and I be banded together and down on our knees “storming the gates of heaven” a whole lot more? Eventually, I realized that working hard to be a successful provider was e-Dad's response to Jesus' free gift of salvation. Careful obedience to the truth as he understood it, was a sincere expression of his faith to me and to our family.
 

Loquatious Ladies Love to Pray

It’s no secret that women are more loquatious (verbal) than men. In fact, thanks to our chattiness, we’re on the receiving end of numerous bad jokes. (You’ve heard of the tel-e-phone? What do you do when you want to get the word out really fast? Tel-a-woman. Groan.) We’re often drawn to prayer—a verbal activity—much more than our husbands.

Another reason men don’t pray with their wives regularly is because they don’t like admitting their vulnerability. Few men relish the idea of climbing down from their white stallion to play the fallen hero. Most husbands need to feel very secure about their wife’s respect and acceptance before they’ll open up and admit their needs.

Praying in the Afterglow

So take heart, sister! Here's a little challenge for you. If you're frustrated by the infrequency of shared prayer in your marriage—and many women are—why don’t you suggest praying right after love-making? There’s a strong chance that in those special moments, your man will be feeling trusted, accepted, and quite open to sharing his spiritual feelings with God and with you.

Related
  1. What's Your God Language? Connecting with God through Your Unique Spiritual Temperament by Myra Perrine. Forward by Gary Thomas.
  2. Introverts in the Church. Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh


Photos: MoreGoodFoundation & edgeplot (Flickr)




It’s Marriage Monday! Please Join Us

Group Topic: "Faith in Marriage." You're free to tackle this subject whatever way the Spirit leads. I have not included any writing prompts this week, as I know you have a lot to share on this topic without my input!

Don't forget to leave a brief comment! BTW, you might have strong feelings about this post. As a courtesy to others, please refrain from expressing them here, especially for the sake of those who might be new. This is your chance to blog your heart out, Sister.

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If you're new at Chrysalis, welcome! Please accept my invitation to join our Marriage Monday community. You might want to read an introduction to this Blog Hop and find out how to
join the Marriage Monday Blog List.

Thanks for linking at Chrysalis today, sweet Sister.

Linky

10 Comments:

nice A said...

Happy to have this first topic for this year, e-Mom.

"Praying in the afterglow", I used that as a strategy before when hubby was yet in darkness. But it still feels good for both of us to do that this time although praying has already become easy for him.

Thanks for another encouraging post.

Beth said...

I'm so glad you've highlighted this, e-Mom. I do think we tend to view spiritual activities through female expectations and then feel disappointed when our husband's don't "act out their faith" like we do. I also love your challenge to suggest praying after love-making. Interesting idea! Thanks for hosting and for sharing your practical advice and perspective.

Faith said...

i totally forgot all about MM!!!!! are you on a certain schedule? is it still the first monday of the month??? i'm a bit confused...it seems to be more often now than a month. This was a good topic and I'd love to write on it but the school year is so hectic this year...and mondays are impossible. i'm on my laptop while an early dinner cooks and then it's off to grocery shop after dropping off my 14 yr old to her 2 ballet classes, then home to put away, then back out to pick her up at 8:30 pm. it's nuts here!!!! I'll try to write and link up by Wednesday but it might not happen this month! :) somehow I missed my reminder email :)

e-Mom said...

Faith: Not to worry... hopefully you can join us as your work schedule allows.

Yes, our MM schedule got out of snyc over the holidays--e.o. week is my goal.

Take it easy, my friend!

Hugs, e-Mom

e-Mom said...

NiceA: I loved your post today about how your husband came to faith after you were married. Amen and amen.

Beth: Thanks for stopping by! Your guest poster will be encouraging to many women.


Tami Boesiger said...

I like your reminder that men DO. They show their faith in what they DO.

I'm just getting in under the gun this Monday. I got caught off guard, but didn't want to miss it. Thanks for your direction, e-Mom.

Lisa Maria said...

Hi e-Mom

Happy New Year to you! I've been crazy busy myself and also missed the notification, but I'm up now...better late than never!

Congrats on the wonderful Christmas present your daughter and son-in law gave you ;-)

Thank you for a great post on the workings of faith in marriage.

God's blessings to you and yours!

e-Mom said...

Lisa Maria
Happy New Year to you too! And thanks for your congrats. We're super excited!

Miriam Pauline said...

Great post! I remember early in marriage someone telling me that if we weren't praying together we would not stay together. Such a devastating "advice" since neither of us are "pray aloud together" type people. Thankfully we found our own rhythm that works for us.

Sorry I'm so late to the game. Life happens. Happy New Year!

e-Mom said...

MiPa: I remember hearing the same well-meaning "advice." Thanks for linking up--better late than never!

 

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