The Power of a Praying Wife: Chapter 1 – His Wife

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks find, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  ~Matthew 7:7-8

This is a continuing Bible study.  Please feel free to join in at any time.  You can find all of the posts pertaining to this study here.

This chapter was by far the longest chapter in the book, and it was so clear that I had a, “Duh!” moment reading it.  Early in the chapter, Stormie says, “When you pray for your husband, especially in the hopes of changing him, you can surely expect some changes.  But the first changes won’t be in him.  They’ll be in you…God sees things we don’t.  He knows where we have room for improvement.  He doesn’t have to search long to uncover attitudes and habits that are outside His perfect will for us.”

I have spent the last year seeking out every area in my life that I can find where I might be out of God’s will for my life.  I’ve prayed for God to show them to me, prayed for help in fixing them, sought ways to bring my life ever closer to God.  Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”  Iniquity is sin.  Harboring any kind of unforgiveness, anger, hatred, self-pity, lovelessness, and revenge in our hearts are sins.

I mentioned last week that there was a time in my marriage when I pulled away from God.  I’m sure now that I see this whole big picture, I can see that I was harboring a lot of unforgiveness and anger (and not a little bit of self pity) in my heart, which separated me from God.  As I corrected that, as I removed those things from my life, I was able to return back to the presence of God, as if a physical barrier had been removed from between us.

Even when we feel healthy with God, when we don’t feel removed or divided, I think that the prayer example Stormie used in this chapter to seek out any hidden areas in our heart that may be harboring sin is a healthy, constructive prayer to pray on a regular basis.

As I read further into the chapter, I was reminded of the Bible study I did here a few months ago from Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal: The Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother.  So many points made by Mahaney have been touched on here in this chapter: submission, respect, an orderly home.  At first as I read it, it made sense to me coming from an inter-marital relationship to provide to my husband submission to his Godly authority in the home, respect as his heart was geared to receive, and an orderly home to create a peaceable environment for him.  But the more I studied the words and the more I prayed about it, it occurred to me that while all of these things would benefit my husband, what they do beyond that is that they put me right with God.  And when I’m right with God, there are no barriers between Him and I.

We are coming from so many different places in our lives in this Bible study.  We have engaged women who are preempting problems by learning to pray before marriage, we have newlyweds who are still riding high on love who can’t fathom ever being irritated by dirty socks on the bedroom floor, we have wives who are seeking something out of this study as a last resort to every other thing failing to fix their marriage, we have high school sweethearts who have been married twenty years whose hearts still skip a beat when they see their husbands, and we have everything in between.  But regardless of who we are as wives, we need to remember always to go to God as women seeking His will for us, making sure that we stay true to His word in our lives.

If you haven’t already done so, read chapter 1 and consider the following discussion questions.  The comments are turned off for this chapter, and the discussions will take place at the forum, Hallee’s Daily Brew, by following this link.

1.  My husband has always said that anger is a direct result of your expectations not being met.  When someone makes you angry, that means you expected something, some behavior, some decision, to be different that what happened.    When someone doesn’t meet your expectations, it leads to disappointment, which results in anger.  In this chapter, “I think if I could help a new wife in any area, it would be to discourage her from coming into her marriage with a  big list of expectations and then being upset when her husband doesn’t live up to them.”  Do you agree or disagree with this thought process?  Are your expectations for your spouse reasonable, or are they causing a barrier in your relationship?
2.  Within this chapter and under the heading “Creating a Home,” Stormie says, “I don’t care how liberated you are, when you are married there will always be two areas that will ultimately be your responsibility: home and children…On top of this, you will also be expected to be sexually appealing, a good cook, a great mother, and physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit.  It’s overwhelming to most women, but the good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own.  You can seek God’s help.”  What is your opinion on this?  Is this something for which you strive, want to strive, struggle with, or reject?

3.  In this chapter, Stormie says, “Talking to God about your husband is an act of love.  Prayer gives rise to love, love begets more prayer, which in turn gives rise to love.”  Do you have any experience that would agree with this?  Have you begun praying for your husband since starting this book?  Do you feel more love for him as you journey into praying for him?

4.  Stormie says, “When you are praying for yourself – his wife – remember this model of a good wife from the Bible…This is an amazing woman, the kind of woman we can become only through God’s enablement and our own surrendering.  The bottom line is that she is a good woman whose husband trusts her because ‘she does him good and not evil all the days of her life.'”  Read Proverbs 31:10-31.  Ask yourself the following questions, without expecting perfection:

Are you a trustworthy wife?
____yes  ____need improvement

Are you an asset to your husband?
____yes  ____need improvement

Do you work diligently to make a home in which he can be comfortable and happy?
____yes  ____need improvement

Are you careful and wise with money?
____yes  ____need improvement

Do you take care of your physical health and appearance?
____yes  ____need improvement

Are you a giving person?
____yes  ____need improvement

Are you prepared for the future?
____yes  ____need improvement

Do you make sure your family members have their needs met?
____yes  ____need improvement

Do you generally move in wisdom?
____yes  ____need improvement

Are you always loving and kind?
____yes  ____need improvement

Is your relationship with the Lord alive, intimate, growing, and strong?
____yes  ____need improvement

5.  In this chapter, Stormie says, “There is a time for everything, it says in the Bible.  And it is never more true than in a marriage, especially when it comes to the words we say.  There is a time to speak and a time not to speak, and happy is the man whose wife can discern between the two.”  Read Galations 5:22-23.  Do you have any habitually negative ways of responding to your husband that need to be changed?  Ask God to give you a revelation about this.  Write down next to them which fruit of the Spirit you need in order to eliminate the negative mindset and habits of response.

6.  Pray out the prayer on pages 44-46.  On a separate piece of paper, include all of the specific needs, desires, and hopes from your own heart and include them in the prayer.

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