Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Journey: Trust and Marriage

Scripture meditation/memory verses for this weeks: The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life. ~ Prov. 31:11-12

Welcome to week seven in our Proverbs 31 Journey as we continue to explore marriage and the Proverbs 31 woman. We have looked at the Proverb 31 woman's role in being noble, or virtuous, and we have looked at being a submissive women and giving your man the gift of leading. This week we are looking at the affects of trust in a marriage.

Is trust assumed or is it earned? Does it come naturally when one falls in love or is it something that must be worked at? What are key components behind trust in a marriage?

Trust is foundational in holding a marriage together. We learn at an early age that we can trust someone because they do what they say they are going to do and/or because they say what they mean and mean what they say. We fall in love and we learn or assume trust in the same manner. As you walk into your marriage, your mate is trustworthy and so are you.

When you look up on the internet or pull books off the shelf on this subject of trust in a marriage, every thing tends to be about what destroys trust. We know that don't we? Some of us have lived that through a lie, a deception, in unfaithfulness, though dishonesty, or from an inconsiderate word or action. We are well familiar with what tears down trust. So lets take a different approach and look at what influences trust. Here are a few things God laid on my heart as I write this.

You have heard it said that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? Its true but what if I was to quote
Becky Freeman and say "a way to a mans heart is through your ears" ? She wrote a chapter with this title in her book "Chocolate Chili Pepper Love: Stories that prove opposites attract"....yes, it is a Christian book! It is a fun read and I find this concept-that a way to a mans heart is through your ears-is a vital component to building your mans trust.

Becky referenced an evening where she was alone with her husband and she gifted him with listening. She describes her husband as a reserved man and that evening she gave him room to express his thoughts and dreams. She gave him her attention. She writes:
"..I didn't interrupt or interject my own thoughts, as is so often my habit. Oh, occasionally I threw in a piggyback question or encouraging comment, but mostly I gently batted the conversation ball back into his court. Amazing. Like a bud opening to flower, I sat in that cozy atmosphere and observed my husband come to life...I realized how happy he seemed at the moment, how starved he'd probably been for the listening ear of a wife who, of late, had been far too preoccupied with herself. I also realized another truth: Men don't stop talking because the aren't talkers by nature. They stop talking because we stop really listening. "
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. ~ James 1:19

Can we give our man the gift of listening? I believe this to be a Proverb 31 woman's strength in building trust in her marriage or her relationship with her God.

"Be still, and know that I am God". ~ Psalm 46:10

Another key component to building your mans trust lies in your they build your husband up or do they tear him down? Do your words praise and adore him? Do they support him and give him strength, especially when he is feeling weak? Remember our memory verse...
She rewards him with good and not evil all the days of her life....

We will not be perfect every day. Our hormones may prevail against our better judgment and throw out some words we may later regret. I know there have been times when my husband needed my words of affirmation and in my anger or frustration selfishly I have not given them. Our man will not be perfect and we need to have the mercy and grace to accept that as God does with us. Sometimes forgiveness and letting go of a touchy matter of the heart is the best thing we can do for our matter who is "right" in that situation.

If satan is throwing negative remarks about your man to your head and to your heart such as "he doesn't appreciate me like he should" or "he didn't even care about my thoughts on this one", we can we counteract that with positive thoughts such as "he works so hard to support us"..."he has such a strong heart for the things of God". Positive can always trump the negative!

A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. ~ Proverbs 19:13

I have found the most valuable thing I can do when I am not "feeling the love" towards my man in a difficult situation is to pray "Lord, change my heart and my mind to match yours with this situation". Sometime I have to pray this over and over but the affect is the same...God responds...He changes me. His peace covers me every time and that affects my husband (and me) in a very good way.

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. ~ Proverbs 21:19
Another key component to trust is action. Does your body language support what you are saying? When you tell him you love him are you buried into something else and brush away his attempts at a kiss? do you acknowledge his heart for God but are quick to correct him on a spiritual matter? Maybe those extra pounds or the long hours with those busy kids prevent you from sharing yourself to him?

Do your actions speak love? When we talk about components of trust in a marriage, above all else...there is the need for love. Look back at your wedding pictures. Where was your heart, your mind, your soul when you looked into his eyes then? Scripture so eloquently list the characteristic of love from 1 Cor 13...
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

Does your husband trust you with everything...finances...secrets...weaknesses...
your love...your spirituality?
Be trustworthy.

"A kindhearted woman gains honor..."~Proverbs 11:16

As we approach Valentines day and think about what we can gift our husband with. I encourage you take a verse a day from the 1 Cor 13 passage above and pray it for your man, for your marriage, and for yourself (I have listed an example below). Meditate on each of the verses for that day and watch in amazement at what God will do!!

Monday: pray for your love to be long suffering and kind-to be bountiful in mercy and grace towards your husband. Pray that God will protect you both form envy and that your words and action will be void of any pride.

Tuesday: pray that your words and actions and the words and actions of your husband does not behave rudely, is void of any selfishness, and that God will cover you and rule this day, preventing you or your husband from satan and his attacks. Pray for all evil to be blocked by God before it reaches your home, or the eyes and heart of your husband or yourself.

Wednesday: pray that you both are full of compassion for each other and others around you and that you both can live this day rejoicing in God's truth. Ask God to show Himself and His truths . Ask God for a rebirth of your love and passion for each other.

Thursday: ask God to help you bears all things, believe in all things from Him, hope all things, endure through all things. Lay out your concerns of your heart related to your man, your marriage and your role with both. Ask God to help you love your man as he loves your man.

Friday: Ask God to give you both ears to listen, words to affirm, actions that speak love, and a love that never fails. Paln a quiet event or time for pillow talk where you can practice listening to your man in a new and special way.

And don't forget to take a walk down memory lane this week and look at those wedding pictures and videos together.

See you next week when we look at what it means to be called "blessed".

Believing Him~Pamela


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Excellent teaching, Pam. I especially liked the thoughts of giving the gift of listening! I need to practice that more, as well as all the other things you mentioned. Oh, and I loved the focus for everyday, even though I'm getting to them late. They'll carry over into next week, right?!

Prayers for your father.


Anonymous said...

What do you do when your husband doesn't trust you & as the wife you've done nothing to betray the trust? Comments are constantly made & subjects are often tip toed around for fear of the husband's reaction.