Madison Avenue discovered long ago that three words can help to sell a product; "new and improved." There is something in us that wants the newest, the finest, the fastest and the latest model of anything.
Unfortunately, this line of thinking has entered the realm of marriage as well. On your wedding day, you meant every word of your vows, and that person was the love of your life. You vowed to be the best husband that ever was. You would dedicate your life to making this person happy. But you neglected the maintenance of your marriage. You didn't keep it "tuned up." It began looking more like a "junker." Then that "new model" caught your eye-that sensitive guy who actually listened to what you had to say, or that young girl who thinks that you have "hung the moon." So you decide to trade in the your "old" model for the "new" one. That is not the way it has to be.
Today I want to talk to wives about "how to get a new husband." I do not mean leaving him for another man, but helping him become a "new man!"
Christian Wives and Unbelieving Husbands
Sometimes Christian women who are married to none- believers will meet wonderful godly men at church. In time, they may think the Lord is leading them to leave their husbands and remarry. But this is not what scripture teaches.
Scripture says, "1Co 7:12-13,16: But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (13)And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (16) " 1Co 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"
The Keys to Change Your Man
Before you can help to turn your husband in to a new man, perhaps you need to think about becoming a new woman -specifically, a virtuous woman. This entails understanding what you should and should not be.
1. What a Woman Should Not Be ( The World's Model )
Read 1 Peter 3:1-6
In this passage, Peter warns women against majoring on "externals" while ignoring the inside. The Greek word for "adorning" in verse three is "cosmos," where we get the English word, "cosmetic." The practice of Roman woman at the time of this writing was to wear "towering hairdo's, with nets of gold and expensive combs in it. They dye their hair in outlandish colors, then place golden rings and bracelets around the arms, ankles and neck. When speaking of the "putting on of fine apparel," Peter was referring to the frequent change of clothing with the purpose of impressing people.
While God does not condemn a woman for dressing herself attractively, He does say that she should not be preoccupied with it. Remember the words of Jesus: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? " (Matthew 6:25).
Women who consume themselves with their outward appearance alone will wind up shallow and empty.
2. What A Woman Should Be ( God's Model )
Read Proverbs 31:11-31
King Lemuel, the author of this Proverb, gives us the model of the woman "after God's own heart."
This passage describes a woman who is growing mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. She is maturing, becoming a deeper woman of God each and every day. Yet she is also extremely practical.
She is virtuous. "Who can find a virtuous wife?" (v.10)
The word "virtuous" in this text means "a woman of force, strength." This is a woman of influence and strength, yet she is very feminine. She is a spiritually, morally, mentally and physically strong.
She is trustworthy. " Pr 31:11-12 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
Truth is such an important virtue in the successful marriage. This is one of the reasons why adultery can be so devastating. The trust factor is dramatically damaged because a pattern of lying has usually proceeded it. Yet this woman has her husband's complete trust. The husband knows that she will always be supportive of him, no matter what. He also knows his money , resources and possessions are safe in her care.
Here is something worth remembering in a Christian Marriage: never criticize your mate to others or in a public setting. If you want to correct or disagree with him, do it privately. Publicly, however, always support him. Let people know that you and your husband are "one."
- She does her work eagerly and diligently.
"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Pr 31:13"
Not only does this woman keep her family well-clothed, but she goes out of her way to find the finest, freshest ingredients for their meals. This requires good planning and management.
- She is a good businesswoman
Vs. 16 " Pr 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. "
The feminist movement has tried to prove that a woman who stays at home is really not working. However, anyone who has ever tended to a household knows that it is constant work. It is no nine-to-five job. It is basically 18 hours a day (and often more!). This passage does not advocate that every woman needs to work out of her home. Its underlying theme is that this woman is resourceful, and she carefully manages her money.
- She keeps, herself in good physical shape.
"She girdeth her loins with strength,." (v17)
Needless to say, because of the constant manual labor required at this time, trips to the gym were not needed. In our time, however, we may need to make exercise a discipline of our life.
Scripture tells us, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things,..." (Timothy 4:8a). The pursuit of godliness is more important than the pursuit of a slim waist and trim figure. On the other hand, Scripture does not forbid you from presenting yourself in an attractive way. Being sloppy and unkempt is not a virtue. The godly woman will find that balance between the spiritual and the physical in her life.
We have to work with what God has given us and do our best to be as physically to our mate as we can, without neglecting our spiritual character in the presses.
- She is submissive to her husband.
"Be submissive to your own husbands..." (1Peter 3:1a)
The wife may protest, "My husband is failing to love me as Christ loves the Church; therefore, I am not required to submit to him." But that is not what the bible teaches!
First of all, one needs a biblical understanding of what submission is and is not.. It clearly does not mean that a wife is to have no opinion of her own. On the other hand, does it mean that she should think of herself and her fulfillment first? - before submitting to her husband?
3. Principles for Effective Reaching Your Husband for Christ
In God's ideal order, each partner would be living and thinking about the other more than themselves. Yet, in less than ideal situations, Peter tells us how a believing wife can effectively reach a non-believing husband for Jesus Christ-or motivate a complacent husband to greater spirituality.
A. Be a Silent Persuader. Peter tells the wife that you can effectively reach your husband "with out a word". Your husband will not be won to the Lord by "telling" him what to do, but by "showing" him what to do. Your actions speak louder than words. You live the godly life, and God will do the saving.
- Avoid the temptation to manipulate.
The word "manipulate" means "to manage or to influence by artful or devious skill; to change something to suit one's purpose or advantage." Manipulation will never be a lasting change. If someone is manipulated into doing something ,they he can also be manipulated out of doing it.
- Avoid the temptation to nag.
A woman will usually resort to this when she feels that her husband is not paying attention to her. King Solomon wrote, "A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. " (Proverbs 19:13). He also said, "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." (Proverbs 21:19). Nagging will only drive a husband away, not draw him in. Remember to notice what he has done- and not what he has not done.
- Watch what you do and say.
Proverbs 12:18 say's "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health."
B. Cultivate the Peace of God in Your Life.
Peter tells women to not let their adornments be merely outward, but to let it be "the hidden man of the heart" (v.4)
Wives, if you follow these biblical principles, you will help to "break the ground" of a hardened heart.