“What do you do when you try to talk and give examples or help or advice or research for him to your husband relating to his health, habits, or kids and then he still doesn’t change? How do you actually genuinely encourage him when you flip-flop just wishing for him to leave and realizing you just want him to improve? He doesn’t get a lot of practice because he’s hardly home.”
This is such a great question and I feel your heart and the hurt that you carry within it.
You want things to change. You know your husband will be happier if he changes and yet, he won’t and you’re not sure why. Let’s go over some very practical steps to do NOW. ❤️
I’m Trying to Improve My Husband But He Won’t Listen
First, there are a couple things we, as women, have to realize…
We CANNOT change anyone else
You can try up and down and left to right for 50,000 years and you cannot change anyone else. All we can HOPE TO DO is plant a SEED for GOD to water.
We do our job by winning him over without a word, by the examples of our own lives.
This means, we STOP focusing on HIM and his sin or his shortcomings and only focus on our own.
I have a list on my computer…things I’m working on right now to become a more godly person.
That list changes day to day and week to week. Sometimes, I’ll ask God if there’s anything I can change to be a more godly person and He will show me and I’ll add it to my list.
I cross things off the list as I go and I usually choose ONE thing to work on fervently at a time while working on everything else as a “back burner” type of thing.
If my thoughts and my focus is on my OWN shortcomings, then I really do not have the TIME to focus on HIS!
I’ve dealt with this is a couple different relationships and I can tell you, that it ALWAYS works!
Where’s your list? What do you have on it? What can you focus on yourself to be a better Christian, better wife, better mother, better Proverbs 31 woman?
Focus on those things and don’t worry about his list.
In fact, in my own life, I’m so focused on my own shortcomings that I won’t even READ what a man is SUPPOSED to be like, in the Bible.
I want that FAR away from my thoughts because if I let it into my mind, it would just become a checklist type of thing. He’s not doing this or that or that other and my mind would become quickly consumed by HIS sin and failures and that doesn’t help anyone.
It doesn’t help you respect your husband by constantly thinking about his shortcomings (not saying you are in particular, but speaking in general here) and it doesn’t help our own godliness to focus on the sins of others either.
This leads me to my second point…
Is it sin?
Are the things that your husband is doing clear cut sin?
Many times we decide something is wrong or sin and it’s not. We tend to be little legalistic wives who go around thinking everything our husbands do is wrong and bad and it’s not.
For example, is he drinking?
Drinking is NOT sin. Getting DRUNK is sin. There’s a big difference.
If someone has alcoholism in their genes, they shouldn’t drink. It’s a temptation of being addicted. Or if someone drinks on occasion but is, in a pattern, getting drunk, they should stop drinking altogether because their drinking leads to getting drunk. They don’t have enough self-control.
On the other hand, if a husband has a drink every now and then, is not getting drunk, it’s okay. It’s not sin, according to the Bible.
So we can’t force our husbands to do something that is not sin.
Will those things make him a better man? Sure. But are they sin? Only you can answer that.
What does GOD say about it?
What HE says is most important because He may not even be concerned about what it is you are concerned about. Maybe He’s way more concerned about something else that you don’t even realize because you might be too focused on the wrong area. And this is common too because Satan loves to get our attention off the REAL issue and onto something else.
He loves to deceive us and he will never stop. So we have to align our thoughts and mind to Jesus Christ every day in order that we are thinking on the RIGHT things…the things that GOD wants us to think on. Are your thoughts aligned to God’s? Is your heart so in love with God that what makes Him sad, you cry over and what makes Him happy, you rejoice over?
We need to be at a place like that in our lives at all times. That’s the standard. That’s what we should shoot for. Every day, it’s a challenge. Some days are easier than others. But the goal is to line our lives, thoughts, and hearts up to Christ.
Are you laying your burdens at the feet of Jesus?
Next, if it IS sin, then pray about it. Listen, I will tell you very bluntly, you will get more action, more response, and more change by bringing your burdens to God than your husband!!!!
In fact, it’s such a REAL thing in my own life that I go to God FIRST, when I have a problem in my relationship instead of the other person. AFTER I’ve prayed about it for a while, and I see no change, THEN I go to the other person and talk to them.
Because it’s not MY job to play Holy Spirit. It’s not MY job to convict someone else. It’s just my job to love them and hope for the best for them. Do good to them all my life. (Proverbs 31:12)
It’s God’s job and what I see most often is that, there will be a sermon concerning what I prayed about, all the sudden. Or it’ll discuss the problem in a TV show we’re watching.
Somehow, what I prayed about, asking Him to take care of it, God DOES. He is NOT silent. He speaks to our hearts, He convicts, and when we let HIM lead, He does lead and guide us all.
So it makes my job a lot easier because I don’t have to worry about it. I know that God will do something to show him what He wants him to see and if he doesn’t, then I’ll talk with him about it and since I don’t go to him a TON, he DOES listen to me. Because when I DO go to him, he knows it’s serious and that I’m not running to him for every single little thing.
In this way, I gain his trust (Proverbs 31:11). He can clearly see that I want his best and I’m not trying to control him or fight for my own rights but that I’m letting God handle it. Because believe me, God has a LOT more power than I do!
If you’re helping him, researching things for him, etc. and he’s not listening, then he doesn’t want to and that’s his choice. It may not be a good choice or a right choice, but it is his choice.
Trust God with the things you’re struggling with. Go to God. Let HIM handle these things. You just focus on what YOU’RE supposed to do. At the end of the day, you must let all the things go that are not sin.
If you don’t, it will only cause strife and a wedge between you in your relationship as you hold onto them.
As women, we all hold onto stuff and we have to learn to let it go. Let God deal with it, if He wants to. Give everything over to God and let Him handle it, either way.
Why? For the sake of unity. If it’s not clear-cut sin, for the sake of unity, put the issues aside. You have to. Otherwise, it’ll lead to separation, divorce, never being close. It will destroy you both.
If you’re flip-flopping between just wanting him to leave and realizing you just want him to improve, you need to take a look at the Bible and what it says. Is your husband having a physical affair? Has he left you? If he’s not done either of those two things, you are called as a Christian to remain married to him, so there’s no flip-flopping at all.
You’re married. You chose to marry him, you chose to be with him, this is the man that God wants you to be with. Will life be perfect, NO! It’s never perfect and I understand how truly hurtful things can be. I’ve been through the same thing a couple different times. I get it. But the answer is NOT divorce. NOT flip-flopping.
The answer is making a 100% resolve to be with your husband and love him NO…MATTER….WHAT!!!
Is that not what God does with us?
Imagine if God says today, “Hey, you know, you’re just not obeying me. Get out of my sight, I never wanna see you again.”
Then the next day He loves us again.
Like God, we must be consistent with our husband. We must show him that we love him no matter what evil he’s doing. On the good days and the bad days, whether he changes or not, no matter what the situation (unless he’s had a physical affair or left you), you are HIS. You belong to him. He belongs to you. You belong to each other. You are married. There is no alternative choice and you really need to cement that in your mind because when we start entertaining other ideas, contrary to the Bible, they have a way of being fed.
One day you’re just THINKING about flip-flopping, a couple months down the line YOU’RE having an affair.
Think it can’t happen? It can!
Sin is a battle and it starts in the MIND!!!!
Make a clear resolve right now that you will take your marriage seriously, no matter what. Promise God. Make a serious commitment. Because if you don’t, you chance losing your husband. I won’t beat around the bush, not when it’s something so important like this.
Do not let the devil gain a foothold in your marriage. Shut those thoughts down immediately, repent, and tell God how you feel. You’ve been trying, it’s not working, and lay everything at His feet and let God respond.
Focus on the things you can do, focus on your children, on your health, win him without a word (1 Peter 3:1) and just let him be. If he’s not listening, there’s a reason and the best thing you can do is to pray about it and focus on what God wants YOU to do.
Don’t try to “fix” your husband. Only he can have the desire to want to grow. Ask God to give him the desire to grow and change and be better. But that desire has to come from your husband, not from you or anyone else.
If he’s hardly home
See now that part of the email strikes me the hardest. He’s hardly home. If I can be VERY honest with you, this is your BIGGEST problem of all.
Either, he is working a lot of hours because you really do need the money to survive and he’s a good husband for providing for the family….OR….
He doesn’t want to be home and in his mind, he’s already left.
When a man doesn’t want to be with his family, it’s a massive red flag and you have to be very discerning because the husband will say something like, “I’m just working the extra hours to support us.” But the truth is, he doesn’t want to be home.
Does he not want to be home because the wife is constantly bickering and upsetting him? The house is not peaceful and it’s a war zone, so he’d rather be at work then be in the middle of a war zone?
Sometimes, that is the case. We as women, need to make sure that the environment in which our husbands live is PEACEFUL, calm, and relaxing. If it’s better for him to be at work, he will be.
We need to make sure our homes, our attitudes, our hearts are welcoming and that he has time to rest.
Think about it, he’s torn in two every single day he works. He goes to work, works his job, comes home and takes care of the family. It’s two very SEPARATE, distinct worlds, and the grave truth is that each and every day you are competing for his heart.
His heart that it won’t be given away to working. But that YOU’LL have his heart. So we have to be better to him than the competition: his JOB!!!!
This is why, it is better if a man works from home, but if he is not able to or if it’s not his personality to do so, then the wife has to make sure that his heart is always choosing HER.
It IS a competition and we are foolish to think it’s not.
Fight for your husband. Fight for his heart. Make SURE that he would RATHER be with YOU and your family than at his job.
How can you do that?
Make your home a peaceful haven to him. Love on him. He needs to see adoring children. Give him the things he wants, the things he needs. Every man’s needs are different, but if YOU are meeting his needs, his job WON’T be!
It is war, but not war against your husband, it’s war against the world who wants to entangle him and draw him away from you and he’s stuck in the middle of it every day because he has to work and make a living.
Make sure he picks right.
Make sure he picks YOU!
Fight for him!!!! Every day, fight for him.