WWC5

                            
|Chapter 5                           |

Won Without a Word

 

 “In the same way [as Jesus] you wives

be submissive to your own husbands,

so that if any of them are disobedient to the word,

they may be won without a word…”

1Peter 3:1.

 

Many of us have faced the dilemma of our husbands blatantly or secretly being disobedient to the Word of God. It is not only worrisome but also quite frustrating. This is especially true if you have tried to reason or share your concerns for his well-being and the well-being of your family. However, in this lesson you will learn, through Scripture, that anything that you would like to say to your husband must instead be said to God.

In this lesson we will learn from God’s Word (and the many “bad fruits” of our actions) that since our husbands are our authority, our words are not only useless, but also potentially dangerous. We are told in the Word of God to win our husbands without a word and with an attitude of respectfulness, no matter what they are doing.

Shouldn’t I talk to my husband about my concerns?

Ask God to speak to your husband. We have just read that, when our husbands are disobedient to the Word, we must obey and determine to win them without a word. But, is there anything else we can do? Yes, we can go to the top; we can go to our Heavenly Father and appeal to Him. Ask God to have the Lord (who is directly over all men) speak to your husband about what is on your heart since this is the order of authority. “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1Cor. 11:3.

Have the proper attitude. “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Rom. 13:1.

Turn, through prayer alone, your husband’s direction to God. You must understand that you are not responsible for what your husband does or does not do; he is accountable to God for his actions. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” James 1:14.

Get out of his way. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners…But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” Ps. 1:1-2. Get out of your husband’s way; you are not his authority! The second line tells us what we are to do - meditate on His Word. Leave your husband to God; God must be the One to do the changing in your husband. Your husband can’t even change himself.

Get off his back and pray! You can help to heal your home by your prayers: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16.

Overcome all evil with good. Be careful how you react to evil when it occurs: “Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21. Again, troubles will occur! “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:3. Take this opportunity to pray a blessing over your husband. “…not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1Pet. 3:9.

Concentrate on loving the unlovable! When you love and respect your husband, even when he is unlovable and unkind, you are showing him unconditional love. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?” Matt. 5:46. Give God your hurts. He will help you love your husband.

The ministry of reconciliation. As children of God, we are to be ambassadors of God’s love and that will draw others to the Lord. “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ…and gave us the ministry of reconciliationnot counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the word of reconciliation.” 2Cor. 5:18-20. Are you counting your husband’s transgressions? Remember that God’s mercies are new every morning.

Our first mission field. You may ask yourself, “Why should I minister to my husband?” The Lord gives us our home as the first “mission field” before we can truly be effective with others. We, of course, want to rush ahead of God before we are truly ready. As young women, we are to minister at home. As our children grow, we then become the older women. “Older women likewise are to be…teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3.

God wants us to learn contentment before He’ll change our husbands. To prove the point further, we can look at Paul’s life: “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” He goes on to say the verse you hear so often: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:11-13.

You must battle in the proper way. Do what God says - it will work! Don’t try to defend yourself. “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1Pet. 3:8-9.

This is a spiritual battle. “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Matt. 26:53. Our Heavenly Father will call on the angels to battle on your behalf in the “heavens” where the “real battle” is waging. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12. Pray Psalm 91 over your family.

Your husband is not the enemy. “Do you not know when you present yourselves to someone as slaves of obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” Rom. 6:16. When a person is in sin, he is really just a slave of the devil. We may think the one who sins is awful, but so are we, if we continue to react with vengeance. Remember, that belongs to Him! “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” 2Cor. 10:4. Wouldn’t you rather get at the root cause, not just the symptom of your problems?

Be committed. Be committed regardless of the consequences and leave the results to God. “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Dan. 3:17. These boys believed that God would deliver them; but, regardless of the consequences, they had resolved to obey. Even if they should die in the furnace, they would do what they knew God wanted them to do and they left the results with God. The boys didn’t die, but the cords that bound them were removed through their walking in the fire. Do you have cords of sin or worry that are binding you? God will deliver you. It’s His battle! Call on the God of Hosts - He is the Warrior.

Preparing for War by Putting on Your Armor

The schemes of the devil. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Eph. 6:10-11. Remember who the real enemy is - Satan, not your husband.

The full armor of God. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day.” Eph. 6:12-13. You must resist the fear that causes you to run away or give up; having done everything, stand firm. Psalm 37 is good to pray if you are plagued with fear.

Stand firm. “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with Truth…” Eph. 6:14. People talk about “stepping out in faith.” Sometimes it may be better to stop moving and just stand firm! It may be the difference between trusting and tempting God. Sometimes we feel like we are taking a “step of faith,” but we are actually throwing ourselves off a cliff, as Satan told Jesus to do.

We must ask the Lord whether to take a “step” of faith or a “stand” in faith. Our convictions should enable us to “stand” for what is right. If we move, we could be falling off a cliff. If God brings adversity into our lives, our stand will be the testimony. Yet, as you will see later in this lesson, sometimes we are asked to step out and walk on water as Peter was asked to do. Discernment is needed here. One indicator that may help us discern God’s direction is the amount of urgency. Usually our “flesh” brings about urgency. God, however, usually says to wait.

His righteousness. “And having put on the breastplate of righteousness….” Eph. 6:14. God is talking about His righteousness, not ours. He tells us in His Word that our righteousness is nothing but “filthy rags.” (Is. 64:6)

Walk in peace. “And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace….” Eph. 6:15. It says in the Beatitudes (also known as the “Be-Attitudes”), “Blessed are the peacemakers!” In 1Peter 3:15 it says to “be prepared to give an account of the hope that is within you, yet with patience and gentleness.” We are to wait until the “door” is opened and then proceed with great gentleness and patience with each person.

The shield of faith. “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.” Eph. 6:16. You must have faith, not in yourself or someone else – faith in God, in Him alone! Circumstances have nothing to do with faith. Believe His Word alone for the Truth about your situation.

Helmet of salvation. “And take the helmet of salvation…” Eph. 6:17. You must be saved. You must be one of His children to really win a difficult spiritual battle. It’s as easy as talking to God right now. Just tell Him in your own words that you need Him.  Ask the Lord to make Himself real to you. Give Him your life, a life that is messed up, and ask the Lord to make it new. Tell Him that you will do whatever He asks, since He is now your Lord. Ask Him to “save you” from your situation and from the eternity that is waiting for all those who do not accept His gift of eternal life. Thank Him for His death on the cross, His shed blood and the death that He died for you. You can now believe that you will no longer live alone; God will always be with you and you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him!

Sword of the Spirit. “And the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Eph. 6:17. This is exactly what we have been teaching. Use His Word for a battle that will be won. When the battle is the Lord’s, the Victory is ours! Write down on 3x5 cards the Scriptures you need to help you in your battle. Keep them with you at all times in your purse. When you feel an attack coming on, like fear or the temptation to speak to your husband when you are commanded to remain quiet, you can read the verses that pertain to your predicament. Cry out to God. Stand firm in faith. “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Ps. 37:5.

Pray at all times. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit.” Eph. 6:18. Pray from deep in your Spirit. Have designated times of prayer, three times a day (as Daniel did). That was one of the reasons he was thrown into the lion’s den. And don’t worry if you are “in essence” thrown into the lion’s den; God will shut the mouths of the lions!

Be on the alert. “And with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Eph. 6:18. Each time fear overwhelms you, pray for another person who you know wrestles with fear or some other weakness. Pray this verse for them: “Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Phil 12:9-10. After you have prayed for someone, give them a call and lift them up.

Pray for those who persecute you. God also asks that we pray for someone else – our enemies. Every one of them. Pray for them and ask God to show you what He wants you to do to bless them. It wasn’t until after Job prayed for his so-called friends that God restored what Job had lost. “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.” Job. 42:10. “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” He goes on, telling you why: “in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:44-45.

After I read this verse when Dan was first gone, I asked the Lord to show me a way to bless him. The Lord brought to mind that, even though it was summer, he was wearing hot leather shoes. I stopped at a drug store and picked up a pair of 88¢ rubber sandals for him. When I gave them to him, his countenance (which had been quite cold) melted! It was a small gesture on my part, but it spoke volumes to his heart.

Know God’s Word

His Word will not come back void. You must know and learn God’s Word. You must set out to find the blessed promises of God. The principle is that when we speak His Word to Him by prayer, it will not come back void. This is His promise to you! “So shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void [empty], without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. His desire is for you to overcome the evils of this world. You must do what is guaranteed by God Himself - accept no imitations or counterfeits. Use His Word in prayer.

Seek understanding. God says that if you seek, you will find. God’s Word gives wisdom. Looking deeply into the meaning gives you a better understanding of the Truth. “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Luke 11:9. Once you know what to do, then you can apply it to your life. “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Prov. 24:3-4.

Read the Word with delight. Mark the special verses in your Bible.Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4. Take the time to mark these verses for quick reference in times of distress or when leading another person you meet to the Truth. What did Jesus answer when Satan was trying to tempt Him? “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written…It is written…for it is written…’ ” Luke 4:4, 8, 10. Use a yellow crayon or specific light colors for different promises. When the devil assaults you again, come against him with “It is written…It is written…For it is written…”!

Meditate day and night. Memorize the promises you find so that the blessed assurance of them may sink into your soul. You must learn and know God’s promises if you ever want to depend on Him alone. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Ps. 1:2. Use 3x5 cards and write out the verse. Keep this in your purse for the times when you are “waiting.”

Spiritual Warfare by Taking Your Thoughts Captive

Your battle will be won or lost in your mind. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” 2Cor. 10:5-6. Don’t play into the enemy’s hands. Don’t entertain evil thoughts; take your thoughts captive!

Overcome evil with good. Satan knows that if he can divide, he can conquer. Most of us play right into his hands, the hands of the enemy. Scripture tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21. This is so powerful!

No matter how bad things seem, God is in control. Our comfort is knowing that God is in control, not us and certainly not Satan. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32.

 Sifting. Jesus knew the outcome, yet Peter still had to go through the “sifting” to be ready for God’s calling on his life. Will you be ready when He calls you? “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4.

The Keys of Heaven

Jesus gave us the keys of heaven – do you use them? “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt. 16:19.

Remove the evil. You must first bind the “strong man” – that is, the spirit that has a hold on the person you are praying for. Search for a verse that you can pray that applies. “But no one can enter the strong man’s house…unless he first binds the strong man….” Mark 3:27.

Replace the evil with good. This is very important! “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” Luke 11:24-26.

If you fail to replace. If you fail to replace what you have removed, it will become worse than before you prayed. You must always replace evil with something good. This is one reason why so many who go on diets actually get fatter. They stop eating all the “bad foods,” or try not to eat at all, but they never replace them with something good like prayer, going for a walk, exercising, or eating nutritious foods. Another example might be someone with a very oily face. They scrub it with soap and maybe put alcohol on it to dry up the oil. Then after a few hours it’s greasier than ever! Dermatologists will tell you that you must replace the oil you have removed with a small dab of lotion.

Replace the lies with the Truth - the Truth which is found only in His Word. Unless what you hear, what you read, and what you are told matches up with a principle in God’s Word, IT IS A LIE!

Replace the “arm of the flesh” with the Lord. Replace trusting in “the arm of the flesh” (you, a friend, whoever) with trusting in the Lord. “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” Eph. 6:10.

Replace running away with running to Him! “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” Ps. 46:1. Run to the book of Psalms! Read the Psalms that correspond to the date plus 30 (30, 60, 90, etc.), then read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the date. (i.e., on the 5th of the month you would read the 5th, 35th, 65th, 95th, 125th Psalm and the 5th chapter of Proverbs). An easy way to remember is to write where to turn on the bottom of the Psalm (i.e. on the bottom of the 6th Psalm you would write 36, then on the bottom of the 36 you would write 66 and so on. When you get to 126 you would write Prov. 6.) Psalm 119 is reserved for the 31st day of the month.

Replace crying out to another with crying out to Him! He promises to hear you and to lift you up immediately! But you must cry out! Don’t think to yourself, “Well, God hasn’t helped me in the past!” If He didn’t help, it’s simply because you didn’t ask. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find.” Matt. 7:7. He is faithful!

What “condition” is needed to be heard?

Your desires with His will. There is a condition that must be met before we get what we want. “If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7. When your heart rests in Jesus alone and your will is centered in His will, you have made Him Lord of your life. To know His will you must know His Word. It is His will that your marriage be healed. He hates divorce and tells us that we are to be reconciled, but He has conditions.

The condition for the blessing. Each promise given by God has a condition for that blessing. Many will claim the blessing portion of the Scripture and omit the condition. You cannot claim the Scripture and choose to ignore the condition.

Condition - “Believe on the Lord Jesus…

            Promise - and you shall be saved.” Acts 16:31.

Condition - “Delight yourself in the LORD…

            Promise - And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4.

Condition - “Train up a child in the way he should go…

            Promise - Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6.

Promise - “…God causes all things to work together for good…

            Condition - “to those who love God…”

                   “…to those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.

Called by My name. “…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14. Once you cry out to Him, you will be called by Christ’s name. A Christian is a “follower of Christ.” Remember, you must be one of His children. Talk to Jesus right now. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins and to be your Savior.

Humble yourself. “…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14. Self-willed, haughty people sometimes understand the Word without the Spirit, but to know the mind of God we need to wait humbly on God’s Spirit.

Humility will be tested. “…He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deut. 8:2.

Humility will save you. “When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence and the humble person He will save.” Job 22:29.

Humility will strengthen your heart. “O Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; Thou wilt strengthen their heart, Thou wilt incline Thine ear….” Ps. 10:17.

He teaches and leads the humble. “He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.” Ps. 25:9.

Only the humble will inherit the land. “But the humble will inherit the land….” Ps. 37:11.

The humble will be exalted. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble.” Luke 1:52.

Only the humble will be given grace. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’…Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6, 10.

Humility is rooted in the spirit. “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit….” 1Pet. 3:8.

Walk in the Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit will enable you to walk in the Spirit, not in sin and fleshly desires. Many churches are enthusiastically “Spirit-filled.” In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 “love” is said to be superior to having the gift of tongues. Any talent or blessing we receive sometimes can cause us to become prideful. When you judge another’s importance or measure their spirituality by whether or not they are Spirit-filled, you set yourself up for the fall of pride. “And do not judge and you will not be judged….” Luke 6:37.

 “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezek. 36:27.

 “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Gal. 5:16.

Pray. “…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14. At a Restore Ministries’ Home Fellowship, women prayed that the wombs of the “alien women” their husbands were with would be “closed.” All were closed, except one. God used this child as the tool to mend this family. We can always trust God to bring about everything for our good if “…we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.

Wait. Many times the battle will continue to rage on your behalf. Also, you must remember that there may be many “battles” that must be fought (and won) in the war against your marriage. Just remember, When the battle is the Lord’s, the victory is ours! (1Sam. 17:47) Just like with all real wars, not all the battles are won by the same side, so do not be discouraged if you have fallen short and made mistakes. We have comfort to know that He hears us immediately - but, there is a battle being waged. In the book of Daniel, an angel spoke to him and gave us these insights: “…from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days.” Dan. 10:12-13. It may take some time to win the battles; do not become weary. “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2Ths. 3:13.

His timing. One thing you must understand: God seems to work on one thing at a time. We must work with Him in His timing. This does not mean we need to wait to pray; it only means we need to wait for God to change the situation at the proper time. Thank God that He doesn’t dump (through conviction) all my sins on top of me all at once! Just use the time while you’re waiting to pray. If you don’t understand this very important point you may become weary and unable to overcome. “He that overcomes shall inherit all things.” Rev. 21:7.

 Two or three gathered. Find two other women who will pray with you. “But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sunset…when Moses held his hand up, then Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down Amalek (the enemy) prevailed.” Ex. 17:11-12. Find two other women to hold you up so you won’t become too weary. Pray and ask God to help you find two others who are like-minded.

The power of three. “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Eccl. 4:12.

To lift the other up.Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Eccl. 4:9-10.

He is there with you. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” Matt. 18:20. “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he responded and said to his high officials, ‘Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘Certainly, O king.’ He answered and said, ‘Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!’ ” Dan. 3:24. You are never alone!

Agreement. “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 18:19. When you are wrestling to obtain peace about something, call someone who is standing with you and pray in agreement.

Standing in the gap. “And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” Ezek. 22:30.

Pray for one another. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16. Confessing to a like-minded woman is the best method for obtaining a pure heart.

Make your confession. Ezra knew what to do when praying. “Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God….” Ezra 10:1.

Seek My Face. “…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14.

 “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Ps. 34:5.

 “Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.” 1Chr. 16:11.

 “…seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” Hosea 5:15.

Turn from your wicked ways. “…and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chr. 7:14. Scriptures are not only for the head; they are for the heart and the will. To get the real impact of Scripture, we must surrender our lives and our wills to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must be willing to be made over.

Whom does the Lord hear? Whom does the Lord deliver? “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” Ps. 34:15. “The righteous cry and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Ps. 34:17.

Whom will He not answer? When you are in sin, He will not answer, even if you do cry out to God. “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time, because they have practiced evil deeds.” Micah 3:4.

We all have sinned. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but God sent His Son. “For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” Acts 3:26.

To obey is better than sacrifice. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1Sam. 15:22. Do you know the right thing to do, yet you do not do it? Obey! “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17.

Begin by praying Psalm 51:2-4. “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge.”

When do you give up praying? Never! We have a wonderful example of the fact that God does not always mean “no” when we don’t have answered prayer. Read Matt. 15:22 to see how the Canaanite woman continued to beg Jesus for her daughter’s healing. The result of her faith: “…Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once.”

Keep on. When we pray for something that we are certain is in God’s will and it seems He has not heard us or He has said what we think is “No,” God may simply mean for us to keep on asking, waiting, pleading, fasting, believing, weeping, laying ourselves and our souls prostrate before Him!

The battle for his soul. Are you unequally yoked? Wives, is the real battle in your home the battle for your husband’s soul? Are you unequally yoked? Listen to this quote taken from the book Prayer, Asking and Receiving by John Rice. “If a Christian wife is out-and-out for God…she can win her husband more quickly than anyone else. Pray this simple prayer of confession. Mean it from your very soul. Acknowledge in these words, your failure, your barrenness, your shallowness as a Christian, your lack of fruit-bearing. Pray it now in your heart. I beseech you today, go beg for it, plead for it, with confession, with tears, with travail of soul, until God answers from Heaven.” Remember you have the promise that “…you will be saved, you and all your household.” Acts 11:14. Remember, a husband is sanctified through his wife. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife…For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?” 1Cor. 7:14-17.

Tears, crying out, wailing. Below are some Scriptures that will help you understand the heartfelt sincerity needed when we cry out to God (especially for our husbands’ salvation or for a broken or troubled marriage). As you read through them, mark those that move your heart and memorize them during your prayer time on your knees before the Lord. We are told to pray and to cry out to God.

 “I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears.” Ps. 6:6.

 “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long… ”  Ps. 42:3.

 “Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book?” Ps. 56:8.

 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” Ps. 126:5.

Her tears. Mary Magdalene was commended by Jesus because of her tears. “…and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head…‘she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair.’ ” Luke 7:38, 44.

 Call for the mourning women. Women were actually called, in time of distress, so that they would cry out to God on another’s behalf! “Thus says the LORD of hosts…call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the wailing women…teach your daughters wailing…” Jer. 9:17-20.“ ‘Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning….’ ” Joel 2:12.

To whom do we cry? Men seem to hate our tears. Sometimes, they keep their distance because they don’t know what to do when a woman cries, or because the female has used tears to manipulate them. But the fact that God is a jealous God and those tears belong to Him could be the reason, at times, for our husbands’ indifference to our tears. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ ” Isa. 58:9. “Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us….” 1Sam. 7:8. It may take a long time before you see victory manifested in the flesh, but you must continue to hope in things unseen. Have faith in God. Cry to Him alone. He has the power to change things.

Faith. Read about different difficult situations in the Bible and identify your situation with them. To learn of His great power read how Jesus stilled the waves of the sea. To know that He can do so much with very little, read how He fed the five thousand with the five barley loaves and two small fish. So you will never doubt His mercy for you and your situation, read how Jesus cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind and forgave the fallen woman. Let’s look at a couple of faithful men who showed great endurance in their testing and trials.

Peter, an example of faith. Read the account of Peter in Matthew 14 starting at verse 22. Jesus asked Peter to walk on water. If He is asking you to walk on water, are you going to get out of the boat? Watch: when Peter cries out to Jesus, it is always followed by the word immediately. Immediately, Jesus spoke to them and told them to take courage. And then later when Peter began to sink, he cried out to the Lord, and “immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him!” Matt. 14:31.

Fear. A question we must ask ourselves is, “Why did Peter sink?” “But seeing the wind, he became afraid.” Matt. 14:30. If you look at your situation and at the battle that is raging against you, you will sink! Peter took his eyes off the Lord and the result was fear! It says “he became afraid.” If you take your eyes off the Lord, you, too, will become fearful.

Your testimony. How did the others in the boat react? (Did you forget that there were others who didn’t get out of the boat?) It says, “And those who were in the boat worshiped Him saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’ ” Matt. 14:33. Are you willing to allow God to use you to show His goodness, His loving kindness, His protection, to draw others to Him? There is a great reward! This is evangelism. Others will come to you when they are having trouble because they have seen your peace, despite your circumstances.

The wind stopped. “And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped.” Matt. 14:32. Your battle will not go on forever. This test was needed to make Peter strong enough to be the “rock” of which Jesus had spoken. Satan (and others working for him) will tell you that you will stay in the trial unless you run away, give in or give up. God never intended for us to remain “In the valley of the shadow of death.” In Psalm 23:4 it says that we go “through the valley of the shadow of death.” Satan wants us to think that God wants us to live there! He wants to paint a “hopeless” picture! God is our hope. And hope is our faith in His Word that has been sown in our hearts.

Abraham. A second example is when Abraham was about 90 years old and still without the child God had promised him, “He hoped against hope.” Rom. 4:18. Isn’t that good? Even when all hope was gone, he continued to believe God and take Him at His Word. We must do the same.

If you lack faith. If you lack faith, you should ask God. There is a battle even for your faith. “Fight the good fight of faith….” 1Tim. 6:12. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith….” 2Tim. 4:7. Without the people’s faith, even Jesus had less power. “And He (Jesus) could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.” Mark 6:5. Act on the faith that you have. “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ ” Matt. 17:20.

Imitators of faith. We would do well to imitate those in Scripture who exhibited faith (you can find the Hall of Faith in Hebrews, chapter 11). We need to act on God’s promises by being “…imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb. 6:12. There are many women who have followed the principles found in this workbook who have had victory in troubled or even broken marriages. Some of their testimonies are at the end of the lessons to encourage you in your faith. As the song says, “What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you!”

Double-minded or doubting. You must not be double-minded. Your mind must not waver or doubt God. “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8. “I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Thy law.” Ps. 119:13. If you have trouble with double-mindedness you need to read and meditate on God’s Word (the Truth). Separate yourself from those who tell you something contrary to your stand. And speak the “Truth” always.

Faith without works. “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ ” James 2:18. Show others that you have faith by your actions. If you believe that your husband will be the spiritual leader and priest of your home, then act like it. If you believe he is going to be a good provider, then speak that way to him and about him. “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” James 2:20. If you believe that what you are praying for is going to happen, start treating that person as if they were changed! If you believe your husband will become a Christian, act like it.

Things not seen. Many may ask you if you see any change. Share these Scriptures with them. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. “…for we walk by faith, not by sight….” 2Cor. 5:7. Stay firm in your faith. Remind yourself of those who overcame and received the abundant life God promised. “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” 1Pet. 5:9.

The Word. How can we gain faith, or increase our faith? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Rom. 10:17. Read His Word and the testimonies of others. Surround yourself with faithful women who can stand with you. Those who have stood for what the Scriptures say in the midst of adversity will teach you and hold you up. The best thing to do when you feel like you are almost out of faith is to give away what little you have left. Call someone who you sense needs encouragement and give her the rest of your faith. You will hang up the phone rejoicing because God will fill you full of faith.

Obedience. Don’t forget that obedience to God is paramount to victory. Don’t forget what Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ” Matt. 7:21, 23.

In God’s will. If your heart convicts you that you are not in God’s will, that you do not keep His commandments and that you do not ask for things according to His will, then, of course, you will have no confidence, no faith to receive your request from the Lord. Ask God to direct your paths and to change your will to His will. “…yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.” Mark 14:36.   

Prayer and fasting. Jesus told His apostles, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matt. 17:21. If you have been praying fervently and have purified your ways, then fasting may be called for. There are different lengths of fasts.      

Three-day fast. Esther fasted “for favor” from her husband, the king. She fasted 3 days “for favor.” “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way.” Esth. 4:16. This fast (or the 7-day fast) has another benefit. Those who are contentious or who can never stop talking will become too weak to speak. Therefore, you will learn not to argue and you will become more quiet.

One-day fast. The day fast begins in the evening after your evening meal. You drink only water until the 24-hour period is complete; then you eat the next day’s evening meal. You fast and pray during this time for your petition. This fast can be done a couple of times a week.

Seven-day fast. There is a fast that lasts for 7 days. Seven days seems to represent completion. “Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Neh. 1:4. Usually it will be during great sorrow that you are “called” to fast for seven days. When you are hungry or weak, use that time for prayer and reading His Word. “My knees are weak from fasting; And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.” Ps. 109:24.

A gloomy face. Keep as quiet about your fast as possible. During the fast, you are to be silent, never complaining or drawing attention to yourself. “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Matt. 6:16-18.

The Lord will fight this battle. Stand and see! Once you know that you have prayed according to what we have been reading throughout Scripture, then do as it says – “You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.” 2Chron. 20:17.

No one should boast. God says we are a stubborn people. When a battle is won or when the war is over, let us only boast in Him. Let us remain humble. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9. “Do not say in your heart…‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but because of the wickedness…that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these…for you are a stubborn people…you have been rebellious against the LORD.” Deut. 9:4-7. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so let us remember that when the battle is won, our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags.

Intensity of your trials is a sign that you are close to victory. Your trials may intensify when you are close to gaining the victory. “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” Rev. 12:12. Let’s begin our commitment by praying His Word…

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I enter into my prayer closet and, now that I have shut the door, I pray to you, My Father, in secret. As you see me here in secret you will reward me openly. It is written that ‘all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul longs for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Lord there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O Lord, Thou art my God; let not man prevail against Thee. Your eyes, Lord, move to and fro throughout the whole earth that you may strongly support those hearts who are completely Yours. Search my heart.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, You have readiness to revenge all disobedience when Your obedience is fulfilled.

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous. I shall not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. My heart is established; I shall not be afraid, until I see my desire come upon the enemy. Let my husband’s fountain be blessed and let him rejoice with the wife of his youth. Let me, dear Lord, be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let me have the hidden imperishable quality in my heart of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in your sight. For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord and he watches all his paths.

Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. I ask you, Heavenly Father, to rebuke and to bind Satan in the name and through the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. Hedge up his way with thorns, and build a wall against him so that he cannot find his paths. Then you will say to me, dear Lord, ‘Go again, love a man who is loved by his wife.’ Therefore I will speak kindly to him. A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall be one flesh.

Abraham hoped against hope, believed in hope, and was not weak in faith; he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. He was fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able to perform. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He will strengthen thine heart, yes, wait on the Lord. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what He hath prepared for Him who waiteth for Him. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.”

Personal commitment: To pray to our Father rather than to quickly speak to our husbands. “Based on what I have learned from God's Word, I commit to allowing God to change my husband through His Holy Spirit. I will instead ‘bathe all my desires and concerns in prayer’ by praying Scripture. I acknowledge that the only way to win my husband to righteousness is ‘without a word’ and with my respectful and humble spirit.”

 

Date: ____________ Signed: ___________________________________________________