When Aaron and I first got married Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Wife was very popular. As you already learned, we had plenty of resources at our disposal, so I read through that book within weeks of saying, “I do.” As a dedicated newlywed, I was determined to not just be A praying wife. I was going to be THE praying wife! Sure, there were things Aaron did that frustrated me, but I was going to *insert gentle, gracious voice here* lovingly bring these things before the throne of grace and trust God to work on Aaron Himself. After all, my engagement counselor taught me that I needed to accept Aaron as he was and trust God with the rest, and danggit, I was going to be my counselor’s dream student.
I think that lasted a month. Maybe a week, if I’m realistic.
I mean, *insert annoyed, impatient, whiny voice here* did Mrs. Omartian have nothing better to do all day than to just pray for her husband for hours and hours? And, sure, I trusted God to work on Aaron’s rough edges, but isn’t that why He gave ME to Aaron? I feel like there’s a scripture in the Bible somewhere about what a great gift I am to my husband….
Welp, 15 years later, I’m not much better, but I hope I am a bit wiser. I totally missed the point of sweet Stormie’s book and much of my engagement counseling. Accepting Aaron as he was and is isn’t about keeping a list of all of the faults and failures I’m enduring for his sake. God just wants me to love Aaron as God loves me- in the middle of my mess, seeing the beauty through the brokenness.
SO- what’s a wife to do?? Well, I don’t think this is a comprehensive list, but I think it’s a start:
1. Be His cheerleader.
Let’s be honest- your husband will have enough critics in his life. Do you REALLY want your name at the top of that list? I spent way too much time keeping track of Aaron’s faults, and I am so grateful that he did not return the favor. We have all been around wives who are “the dripping faucets” the Bible talks about- nagging and nitpicking, belittling their husbands in front of others, bossing their husbands around like he is one of the kids. These women exhaust ME! I never want to be part of that crowd. Loving someone means seeing the best in them and helping to draw that out. Cheer your husband on! I joke with Aaron about getting a real set of pom poms so that he’ll know I’m enthusiastically behind him.
2. Be his biggest fan.
Cheering is about how we talk to our husbands. Being a raving fan is how we talk about our husbands. Wives, we get the distinct honor of being our husbands’ biggest fans. Think of that new lipstick you love or that restaurant you tell everyone about. THAT is what being a fan is all about. Brag on your husband! Tell people how awesome he is. When he gets a promotion or excels at work or just does something great at home, broadcast it to the world!! If you can brag more about your favorite TV show or clothing store than your husband, you’ve stopped studying him. Remember the layers- there will ALWAYS be more to learn about your best friend. Dedicate yourself to being his greatest student and biggest fan. It’s important to remember, that if you are not your husband’s biggest fan, another woman will be. This isn’t something to live in fear of, but it should serve as motivation to not let anyone shout louder, hold higher or talk more positively about our husbands than we do.
3. Be his girlfriend.