Nurturing Your Marriage
By Pam Farrel
I have seen some great power in this “sistering” to help one another in learning how to to love our husbands wiser, better, stronger, and more faithfully. You might be braver if you have some accountability: a friend, a sister, or a mentor to walk the path together. Of course, you will need to guard your privacy and not “kiss and tell” but you can share your hopes, dreams, fears, frustrations, and cheer each other forward as you all seek to nurture your marriages.
Last year, I spoke to 800 wives at one of American’s mega churches on 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband. I challenged them, “Ask God. Pray about who might be willing to go on this journey toward being a more loving wife with you.” Trek together towards learning to better love your men. (At our Love-Wise.com website you can get a small group discussion guide for 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband. Studies say that 76 percent of those with an accountability partner achieve their goals. All year I have been receiving emails and social media posts on marriages that have been rescued—and a few grateful husbands have even taken the time to write a thank you! While this encourages me, I know the REAL POWER is when a wife teams with God and a few friends to encourage each other to keep on loving, even on days when their husband might not be acting all that loveable!
A friend recently called to connect me to one of these powerful “sistering” love stories. We have a book called Red Hot Monogamy, which is an eight-week study guide to turn up the temperature behind bedroom doors. It’s made for a couple to read together. There is hands-on homework (pun completely intended—it’s homework you WANT to do!) Included in it are 200 “red hot” ideas.” One reader just looking for a few ideas to add some sizzle to an already good marriage read it and applied many of the creative ideas and her marriage went from good to great. She was leading a discussion with a small group of women and they were talking about marriage, and afterward, one woman came up to her in tears. It seems her marriage was unraveling and it had been a long time since she and her husband had enjoyed “red hot monogamy.” So one friend gave her the book.
The friend in tears packed the book and took it on a family reunion trip her husband was unable to attend because of his work .She prayed that in its pages she would learn something—anything—that might rescue her marriage and bring their love back. Reflecting on the moment she lamented, “My marriage was not only lacking the ‘red ho’" part, but we were also losing ground as friends as well.” Life’s responsibilities, daily pressures, time apart for work, the kids—all the typical daily pressures were pulling them apart. Like many women, she was frightened the isolation, loneliness, and lack-luster of their marriage would erode to the point they might lose the love they both had highly valued at one point. As she began to read, her heart warmed toward her husband. While on her trip she went to a chapel that they had visited as a couple in their early marriage. She knelt at the feet of a statue of Jesus and cried out in prayer her confession of hurt, anger, pain, and fear. As she left, her anger and resentment disappeared and there was an ember of optimism that was fanned.
So this hopeful wife began to call home, and each night, she would read aloud portions of Red Hot Monogamy over the phone to her husband. Meanwhile, during the days she was away for work, her husband deep cleaned the entire house, repainted their bedroom, and did his best to spruce up their “love nest.” When she entered eight days later and saw the tangible acts of love and desire on his part, she was impressed. “When I came home, my husband had painted our room, gotten new pillows, had (and keeps) fresh flowers in a vase, framed favorite love poems and a picture of where he proposed. He said, “I'm getting the castle ready for my queen to return.” We've been walking, journaling, doing devotions, and praying together. I have my husband back!”