Ladies, it's a myth that you can't change your husband. You absolutely can. Or, more accurately, God can, but He can use you to help do it. 😉 Here's how you can change your husband:
1. Change your husband by affirming him.
Your husband will become what you tell him he is. EVERY TIME. If you tell your husband what a rat he is, he will become… you guessed it. A rat. On the other hand, if you tell him:
- what a great husband and lover he is;
- how you appreciate his leadership;
- how much you appreciate his walk with the Lord (or any budding signs of spirituality, such as praying with you for the first time);
- how much you enjoy his company;
- and how kind and loving he is…
- HE WILL BECOME ALL THOSE THINGS.
Your words have creative power. Spirit-led affirmation is what the world calls basic psychology. Affirmation brings an increase in the affirmed activity. Every time. So when he takes out the garbage… THANK HIM! When he prays with you… THANK HIM and tell him how much that meant to you! You empower whatever you focus on. So if you want to empower his loving behavior, start focusing on it!
Related: The Power of Encouragement
2. Don't make demands.
When your husband prays with you for the first time, takes out the garbage, or spends extra time with the kids, and you want to see that happen all the time…
Do not tell him that “It would be great if you could do that all the time.” Or even worse, “I don't know why you don't do that all the time.”
Ugh. How awful is that! If you're even tempted to say that, go away from him and make yourself be quiet until the temptation passes.
Don't make demands. Demands feel contentious; they're a breeding ground for fights and arguments. Making demands will get you the opposite of what you want; your demands put pressure on him to perform, and THAT WILL FREAK HIM OUT. So don't do it.
Just truthfully let him know how much you love him and how much you appreciate the positive thing he did. (See Rule #1.)
3. Respect him.
Hey, um… ladies? Men need respect more than they need sex. Any good marriage book will tell you that based on lots of survey data that I don't have time to repeat here. So use your imagination and start to understand JUST HOW IMPORTANT RESPECT IS to your husband.
Do you respect your husband? Do you respect his intelligence, his physical strength, his talents, his character strengths, his calling, and his growth? And even if you can't see those things in him, do you respect him just because he is your husband? And do you convey that respect in your daily actions?
If not, you need to start. Respect will get you everywhere. Respect = love in your husband's eyes. RESPECT your husband and act like you do! ‘Nuff said.
4. Follow him.
Following your husband doesn't mean following him around, always walking two steps behind him. Give me a break with all that doormat submission stuff. That's not what Biblical submission means. But submission is Biblical, and you need to follow your husband.
“Following him” means when Husband insists that you guys go shopping this afternoon, you go, even if you want to stay home. Or, if he insists that you stay home, you stay home, even if you wanted to go out with your girlfriends.
“Following him” means that you follow his leadership. You pray for him without ceasing so that his leadership will be godly, but you follow his leadership. The only exception happens if your husband wants to lead you into sin (for example, if he wants you to view pornography together). If he tries to lead you into sin, don't follow him; your first obligation is to God. But if a thing is not sinful, and your husband insists, follow his lead. (Side note: Read my friend Sam's guest post about pornography here and my story about pornography for women here.)
Following his lead, to him, equals respect. (See point #3.) And respect equals love. Respect also equals affirmation for his leadership. (See point #1.)
5. Pray for him.
The most impactful thing you can do to change your husband is to pray for him.
Don't pray witchcraft prayers, either. “Dear God, please make my husband do what I want” is a witchcraft prayer. That won't get you anywhere except caught in sin yourself.
No, the way to pray for your husband is like this:
Father, I pray that Jesus will receive the full reward of his suffering in my husband. Let my husband fully perform your purpose for his life.
Lord, fill my husband with your Holy Spirit. Fill him with your love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, meekness, and self-control.
Give him a spirit of valor so he will know how to lead our family with strength, even in difficult situations. Give him wisdom and favor everywhere he goes. I pray you would bless the work of his hands. Let everything he touches turn to gold.
Lord, teach me how to respect, love, and submit to my husband. Teach my husband how to love me as Christ loves the Church. I pray you would make us both humble before You and before each other.
Father, bless my husband today. Protect him from sin, temptation, and harm. Let him abide in Jesus today and feel how much You love him. Let him know how proud you are of him, and make him the man that you created him to be. In Jesus' Name, amen!”
Pray for your husband in agreement with God's purposes for his life–not just because you want Husband to do X, Y, or Z. Praying God's purposes will get your prayers answered 100% of the time.
What other godly ways can you think of to change your husband? And men… do you agree with these ways your wife can change you? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Related: I'm into equal-opportunity changing, so read my post about how men can also change their wives here!