Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Things Not to Say to Your Husband

Please allow me to first say that I came up with this list of things not to say to your husband because I have said them all to my husband.

Here's what not to say to your beloved unbeliever:

1. "You should pray about it."

Yes. This is the answer to every conflict we encounter in our lives. You know that, I know that, even our husbands know that. But for our sweet unbelieving husbands, this is not the answer to their conflict. Men are natural born thinkers, and logic is sometimes the only answer they can accept. The act of prayer is a very vulnerable and very intimate thing. We pour our hearts, our hopes, our requests, our dreams, and our heartbreak to a God we cannot see or hear. We cry out seeking answers, yet the answer may not come right away. There is a lot of trust involved with prayer. And for a man who struggles with believing, let alone trusting, God, the idea of prayer may be extremely difficult.
Even Christian husbands may struggle with this answer when they come to you with an exposed heart. 

Say this instead: "I will pray for you." Let him know that you understand and that you hear what is on his heart, but rather than just telling him to pray, you will do it for him. There is something so comforting in knowing that somebody is praying for you. And, without giving him a command to do so, you have made him aware that praying is the right answer.

2. "Things happen for a reason"

My husband sees a lot of sad and horrifying things as a firefighter. He often comes home and tries to make sense of these things. I usually answered him with, "things happen for a reason." Thirteen years ago he lost his father to a heart attack, and it's still a daily struggle for him. I used to say, "things happen for a reason." Am I right to say that? I am. Of course I know that God has a plan for everything; however, I am able to put trust in that because I trust God. But my husband doesn't trust God yet. To my husband, when I say "things happen for a reason," it feels like I am brushing off his feelings, like "eh, things happen."

Our husbands are exposed to bad news every day. News broadcasts are filled with stories of daily heartbreak and evil. Our husbands, if they do not know God, may interpret our statement as cliche, something church-goers say to make themselves feel better about the bad things that happen. Your husband doesn't have trust in God or His plan like you do.

Say this instead: "I wish I knew why these things happen." It's true. We wish we knew. We wish we had some insight into God's plan. But we don't, and we aren't supposed to know. God tells us that our thoughts are not his thoughts, neither are our ways his ways (Isaiah 55:8). We aren't supposed to know. But sharing this statement with your husband allows him to see that you are trying to understand why things happen, it's not just him.

3. "Everyone was looking for you!"

Your husband wasn't at church, again. Some of the guys were asking about your husband: "where's your man? He still doesn't want to come out? How's he doing? Tell him I said hello." I find it so encouraging when someone asks me about my husband. It lets me know that they look forward to seeing him and that they are hoping (like me) that one day he will come to church. Well, this phrase is not exactly encouraging to a husband who doesn't regularly attend church. It sounds like we took attendance and everyone turned around to notice that he wasn't there...again. 

Say this instead: "[friend's name] asked how you've been doing, he said to say hello." Who doesn't love to know that someone asked about our wellbeing? It makes us feel loved...and who doesn't love that? 

4. "I assumed you wouldn't want to go"

Yikes. There was an event at church which I assumed my husband would not want to attend. It was being held on a Saturday night and was a banquet style dinner. I figured, "it's still church, he won't want to go."  So I didn't pay for him to attend. I was wrong. And he was so hurt that I didn't even think to ask him whether or not he would like to attend. I'm pretty sure I had that deer in the headlights look on my face because I was so confused. "I assumed you wouldn't want to go," I sheepishly admitted. 

General rule of thumb: don't ever assume. Anything. Ever. By assuming he doesn't want to attend church or a special event, it makes him feel as though you could care less whether or not he joined you. And, as I was told by my husband, it made him feel as though I didn't have a need for him, in addition to not feeling cosidered. 

Say this instead: "honey, I was wondering if you would like to join me..." Approaching him with this gentle consideration will make him feel loved, respected and wanted. Of course you want your husband to be with you, whether it's church or a social event. If you assume that his answer will automatically be "no," you miss out on the chance that he might say "yes." 

5. "God comes first"

As He should. But your husband doesn't understand that. The only thing he sees is someone (or something) taking over his spot in your life. Your husband wants to be your #1 priority. He doesn't want to share you or your time with anyone else. He wants all of your heart, all of your attention and all of your admiration. He doesn't understand that by keeping God as priority you will ultimately be making your husband your top priority, as well.

I am a much better wife when I am connected to God. I wouldn't call myself the best wife, but I'm definitely a much-improved version when I'm close to God. My husband used to tempt me with promised shopping sprees after breakfast...if I didn't go to church. He used to get angry as I would get ready for church, making snide comments and withholding love from me. I used to fight back and say things like "God comes first" with total attitude. With that remark, my husband began to build resentment towards God and church.

Say this instead: "I am a better wife when I'm close to God." Amen - your husband will be like, 'honey, let me walk you to the car, don't forget your bible!' There is a big difference in saying "God comes first" (he hears "you are not as important") and "I want to be a better wife for you" (he feels important). Our men don't yet understand that by keeping God our top priority we are called higher as women, as wives, as mothers, as sisters, daughters and friends. Helping him to understand one of the reasons God needs to be number one in your life is to be a better wife for him will help him appreciate God and what God is doing in both of your lives.


I've said enough of the wrong things to make a list of the top 100 things not to say to your husband. Our words need to be filled with the love, respect and patience for our husbands. They may know about God, but they only see Him through us.

In other words, use the right words.


Saturday, July 25, 2015


My 11 year old daughter came to me and said, "Mom, I wrote something I'd like for you to hear." She may look nothing like me, but her desire to journal and write out her thoughts is one hundred percent me. She proceeded to read her journal entry to me. As she read it to me, I realized a couple of things:

1) wow. This is her heart, right now, as a preteen preparing to enter middle school, and she has many good points that are applicable to my own adult life.
2) she is gaining true knowledge and she is building her own convictions!
3) she is beautiful..

Without further delay, please allow me to (proudly) introduce my daughter, Ms. Amanda, and her first blog entry:


Being a preteen or a teen can be hard and rough at times, but having God by our side really helps. Temptation, as all you girls know, is at every school. There is always that one girl or group of girls that is popular and thinks that they are better then everyone else (which they're not). In fact, no one is better then anyone because we are better in our own way. It's called being yourself/unique. So anyways, about temptation, who cares if someone makes fun of you! Just don't take it personally and leave/walk away, you don't need to change your personality just because someone made fun of you.

Anyway, God throws us tests of faith thats why when we go through times like this we have to trust God and pray about it, but Satan can also join in on this test and try to pull us away from God, he tries to make us fail the test, which is why during temptation we have to trust God. During temptation, like people dealing you drugs or making fun of you because you wont do drugs, or something else, we have a choice. God has a path for us but so does life, we have a choice because God gave us free will. now we have to make the choice.

~ Ms. Amanda


Know what I thought as she read this to me? "Me, too." 

What choices do I make when faced with temptation? In my adult life I'm not exactly being offered drugs, but I have been verbally persecuted for my faith ("church-goer," "boring," "no fun," "dont judge me," etc). I've been offered more alcohol while at dinner or a social setting; slander and gossip swirl around me, even society in general ("you aren't going to watch '50 Shades' or 'Magic Mike?!'") greets me with temptation.

So what choices do I make? Do I give in to peer pressure or do I stand firm in my faith in God? My daughter has been nervous about starting middle school; she is fearful of having multiple teachers and trying to find her way around campus. But she is most fearful of peer pressure and temptation. And although I'm an adult, I completely understand. It's what I fear, as well. "What will people think of me, are they going to make fun of me, will they still like me?"  If we're being honest, even the most confident woman in the world occasionally suffers these same thoughts. 

We have a choice to make in every situation. Stand firm in God or fall into temptation. God loves us enough to give us free will; He allows us to live our lives they way in which we prefer. He has a plan for each of us, but we have to be willing to seek out that plan and follow His word. 

You have the freedom of choice...
What choice will you make?


Friday, July 17, 2015

Deep Waters

What do you do when your sin is bigger than you?
What do you do when your sin is against your husband?
What do you do when your husband is not a believer?

Do you beat yourself up time and time again? Do you tell yourself that you aren't worthy of grace or forgiveness? Do you make yourself believe that you are now alone? Do you convince yourself that your husband will never become a Christian because of you?

If you do, you're in company because I just described me. 

The entire story behind my bigger than life sin is long and lengthy, filled with years of sin, years of tried repentance and months of repetitive offenses. I've cried enough to solve the drought problem in California. I've entertained depression, I've shut down, and I've told myself I'm not worthy of love. 

And as if that weren't bad enough, it was a sin that directly affected my husband. My husband who looks to me for Christ like examples was the one having to repeatedly show me Christ like grace. 

I know you're wondering, "what the heck did she do??" I did not have an affair, there is nobody else involved. But what I did is equally as damaging to a marriage.  I was heavily buried in financial deceit.  Like anything that remains hidden from truth, it didn't start off big, but it snowballed and grew until it avalanched and came crashing down.

All while I'm claiming to be a woman of faith. 
And my husband knew that.

What picture did I paint for my husband? A perfect hypocrite. Say one thing, but do another. How can that be inspirational or lead my husband towards God?  It can't. And it won't. 

As wives, spiritually single or not, integrity and follow through are two of the most important things we can offer to our husbands, which are results of loving and respecting our husbands daily.

When my sin was revealed to my husband, he immediately did not feel loved, and he definitely did not feel respected. He was faced with knowing that his wife had been deliberately deceiving him for a long time. And aside from the shock of being made aware that there was financial sin happening, his heart and his mind then wandered towards, "if you lied to me about this, what else are you capable of? Would you cheat on me?"  Of course, I know in my heart I would never even dare to entertain that thought, but you know what? By hiding sin from him, I proved to him that I am, in fact, capable of doing something like that.

Is there something in your life that you are keeping from your husband? Does he know the truth about everything? Are there "little white lies" that you assume will do no harm? 

My "little white lies," which I (wrongfully) justified as "keeping peace and not wanting to cause a ripple in our daily living," were not filled with malicious intent. My heart hurt, my mind knew I needed to be truthful, but I convinced myself that I was protecting our family. And that's where the enemy wants us to feel safe with our sin. If we can tell ourselves that we're hiding our sin to avoid arguments or keep the house happy, the enemy wins because he has deceived you.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

God's word doesn't say that some things flow from our hearts, He says that everything flows from it. So what's in your heart? God? Or the enemy? Who takes up the most space?

You may think I'm crazy, you may be saying, "I would never let the enemy in my heart! There's only room for God in there," and I certainly hope that's true...but have you ever told your husband, "oh I've had this for so long," about a blouse you bought just last week? Or "look what I got today, honey! It was on sale," but it wasn't? Maybe it has nothing to do with money. Did you tell your husband that your ex-boyfriend contacted you through social media? Does your husband know that you check his email?  You get the idea...

From the smallest "little white lie" to the outrageous deceit, it's all the same. 

So what do we do about it?

1. Confess

Ugh. Who wants to do that, right? This is the whole thing we were trying to avoid. "I don't want to tell anyone. I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed. He's going to be so mad. It's going to ruin everything." 
True, it might ruin that ripple-less home you've been secretly creating, but that conflict-free atmosphere you've been shaping is false. The only thing you've been doing is pretending your sin is ok. 

Here's what I love about God (and what I sometimes don't appreciate)...He gives us the chance to confess our sins. You know those times when you've felt that prompt, "now is the time, tell him," and you ignored it? That was your chance. That was God prompting you to confess. Oh, but you didn't confess? Phew - got out of that one, right? So wrong. God will try again and again. Until one day He will reveal it himself. 

Which would be better for your husband? To hear your words in truth? Or to find out because you couldn't control it?

There is so much relief in the confessing of your sin. Sure, it won't be pretty at first, but once that sin is out, you are instantly closer to God...because our sin is the only thing that can separate us from Him. 
And He wants to rescue us from our sin:

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9

Confess. It will be ok. Let God deliver you from unrighteousness.

2. Seek Advice

"Now I gotta tell someone else about what I did?" Yep. And again, it won't be pretty. It will hurt. If it's a righteous man, woman, or a couple, that you are seeking advice from, it should hurt. Because they will be truthful using God's word and His expectations of us as Christians. 

But that's what is needed. When we are cut to the heart, it allows the opportunity for God and His word to sink deep inside and begin the healing process. 

Seeking advice not only allows us to hear the effects of our sin, but it provides us with someone to guide us back onto the path of righteousness. Accountability is huge. If there is nobody to check in on you, your repentance and your walk with God, how do you really think you'd do? How quickly would you go back to the mindset of "nobody needs to know?" I am willing to bet that you would quickly return to old habits.

This whole journey is not meant to be done alone. Not only can we prosper with accountability, we can have prayer warriors on our side...and we know the power behind prayer. 

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

God doesn't expect you to fight this battle on your own. He instructs us to confess to each other...and look at the reason why: so that we can be healed.


Sin is sin. Yours is no different than mine, and mine is no different than yours. Whether we intend it or not, our sin and our choices directly effect our husbands and our families, even if we think we're protecting them. The truth is, by keeping sin hidden, we are exposing them. We are not protecting them at all. We are leaving them wide open....and welcoming the enemy into our home. 

There is healing in confession, power in prayer and comfort in knowing that God is with you every step of the way. He tells us, 

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned...For I am The Lord your are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you..." Isaiah 43:2-4

You are loved. I am loved. Let the healing begin.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

He knows, but he "no's"

My husband knows exactly how to get under my skin.  He is a firefighter and he sees a lot of bad things happening to seemingly good people. Often, while sitting at the dinner table, he’ll start asking me questions:


“So, if your God is so good, why does He let these things happen?”

“If God is in control, why does He create evil people?”

“If God knows everything, why did He let that family cross paths with that drunk driver?”


I used to enter battle with my husband over these questions. I strapped on my suit of armor and I went full force defending my God. The only thing it did was create a war within my house and then silence as we went to bed.


Finally, I stopped arguing. Now I give him the only answer I am sure of: “I don’t know.” Because I truly don’t know.


God tells us: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9)


In short: I have no idea why things happen as they do, and I’m not supposed to know. God tells us that we can’t even imagine what He has planned. But I would argue with my husband the justifications behind God’s plan, as though God let me have a peek in His calendar of events.


And although I’ve come to the realization that I just simply don’t have an answer, my husband is convinced that he knows “the real God.”


The “real” God is not loving. Nor is He forgiving. The “real” God wouldn’t allow bad things to happen. Therefore, the “real” God is nothing but a phony.


My husband “no’s” God.


The danger in my husband “no-ing” God is that it can create moments of doubt in my own heart. Of course I know that “things happen for a reason,” and when bad things happen it’s all a part of God’s plan, but do I really believe that? How strong is my conviction in what God says about His thoughts and ways?


It can be difficult to stay faithful during moments of doubt. Every once in a while, those thoughts slip into our minds: “really, God? Really? Why this? Why now? Don’t you love me? Are you listening to me? Are you even there?


It’s in those moments of doubt that we need to rely heavily, and only, on God’s word. When doubt enters our heart, our enemy finds that foothold and climbs in with the intention to build on the doubt and eventually push God out of our hearts.


But if we fill our hearts with God and His promises, there’s no room for the enemy to build.


Here are some practicals for staying faithful during moments of doubt:


1) Pray.  Seems obvious, right?  In moments of doubt, it can be the most difficult thing to do. But praying and talking to God will bring Him close to us“The Lord is near to all who call on him,” Psalm 145:17


2) Read. Another thing that is difficult to do in times of doubt. But spending time in God’s word reminds you of His love and His promises: For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4


3) Remember. I know you have seen God work in amazing ways in your life. Even if it’s as simple as hitting every green light when you’re running late to church. He has answered your prayers. Write them down. Write a list of all the ways you have seen God work in your life, from the greatest blessing to the smallest victory. Remind yourself of God’s presence in your life. Being able to recall God’s presence in your life will kick that enemy right out of your heart.


4) Be faithful. God is with you. He will never leave you. Your trials and your doubt are meant to bring you closer to God because only He can reassure your heart. Be faithful and trust God.


So many people think they know God, when in reality, they only “no” God. Don’t let their doubt dig a foothold for the enemy in your heart. Instead, use their doubt to strengthen God’s presence in your soul!



(This article was originally written by Jennifer Osler and was featured as a guest blog post for