This "Letter to a Husband" comes after counseling lots of young women. I don't counsel men unless Andy & I are counseling a couple. But this has been burning on my heart. Marriages are in trouble everywhere--low income, high income. Marriages with children, childless marriages. Couples who have been married 40 years and even newlyweds. Satan wants to destroy your marriage! So from someone who could be your sister or your mom, I'm writing to you husbands....
Dear Husband of my Friend,
Can I just say first of all, that I'm so glad God put you together? I can see that He has put you together to complete you both. Your strengths are your wife's weaknesses and vice versa. God had a good plan when He put you together. He knew that you could learn from one another.
The only problem is...Satan has fed your minds with animosity for one another's weaknesses. You've begun to resent her for that. And you've quit focusing on and appreciating her strengths. In fact, I daresay, you've both begun to work against one another instead of embracing one another and learning from the other.
What would I want you to understand about women...or your wife, in particular?
Every time you view pornography, you chip away at your marriage. You are viewing something which will never leave your mind and which will only open doors to other things. You are feeding a fantasy your wife will never be able to live up to. And the path you're on leads to death. Period. You've destroyed your wife's confidence. She knows she'll never live up to those expectations. When you've opened the door to pornography, trust has been broken. She doesn't trust who's calling you on your cell phone or who you've befriended on Facebook. She's afraid you want someone else. In fact, when you're late to dinner, she wonders if you are with someone else. Pornography destroys. But there is help and a way out!
When you get drunk, you demean yourself and your entire family. You also put lives at jeopardy. And once again, your drunkenness opens doors to other things. You do things you'd never do if you were sober. And most of the time, you never remember how mean, abusive, angry or stupid you were. I know you never meant to hurt your wife or your children, but you did. The words alone you threw around were bad enough...but it never stops there. I only wish there was a video camera so you could see yourself. You've scarred your wife and children with those words you screamed. And once you touch your wife or children in an abusive manner, a new door has been opened. But there is help and a way out!
When you spend money you don't have, you are telling your wife and children that what you want is much more important than the basic necessities of life that they have. The fact that your wife now has to hide your bank card should tell you how fearful she is. Others have had to feed your family, buy them clothes, pay for school lunches because you're not taking care of them. You're creating a monster with your appetite. And it's stripping your wife of dignity and making your children believe you don't love them. But there is help and a way out!
Spending all of your extra time with the guys tells your wife that she's not important. It could be golf, video games, drinking, hunting, sporting events or a hundred other things. Your entire family becomes insecure by becoming 2nd, 3rd, or 4th....after these other things which are more important to you. They don't just need a couple of minutes at dinner--they need quality time with you. They crave time with you--and they want to know they've been heard by you. It's called communication--and they need it with you! But there is help and a way out!
When you don't lead your family spiritually, they feel helpless, lost and confused. Oftentimes, your wife begins the job you were meant to do--and then you resent her for it. Your family wants you to lead. They want you to be a man of respect and honor, a leader, and someone they're proud of. I know men who are leading their families and it's a beautiful thing to see. A real leader loves his family and is more concerned about their well-being than his own.
There are so many other things we could talk about: Not taking your job seriously, stealing from your boss, causing a scene in a restaurant, disciplining in anger...all of these things demean your family. They really, really want to be proud of you. They want you to succeed. They want you to lead them.
The way out? The Word of God. All it takes is to be in the Word. The Word of God has the power to transform your mind and change your life. Read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, talk to others about it. I know that seems mighty simplistic---but I've actually seen lives transformed by it. Of course, the most basic thing is to know Jesus as your savior. And then, to repent of your sin and turn back to God. But after repenting, you must fill your heart and mind with something else to replace those bad activities--the Word of God. And if you can't do it on your own, there are so many good places to get help!
Your wife desires a soul mate. She desires someone she can honor and respect. She desires a best friend. Now she may not act like it all the time (Keep in mind--I've been counseling her. And we've been working on the areas of her life which need to change--I hope you've seen some of those changes!), but it's really what she wants. She wants YOU! She's been praying for you and hoping you'd choose her over these other things. She wants to know that you desire her above everything and everyone else. She needs you.
I'm praying for you, too. We all need you.
Your sister in Christ,