I get asked a lot of questions, and sent a lot of prayer requests, and this one is one of the most common. It comes in different forms, but it comes back to women who desire for their husband to hunger for the Word, and passionately follow the Lord. I recruited my husband Jeremy for help with this post, because I knew he would have some great insight into things that we do as women that help, and things that don't.
This has to be the first thing on the list, because at the end of the day, it is not the things that we do that will help grow our husbands walk with the Lord. The work of sanctification is from the Holy Spirit alone. If you are anything like me, you know that prayer should be the first defense, but sometimes we get so frustrated with a situation that we are more prone to whine or be sad about it, then we are to genuinely lay it down in front of the Lord daily. Pray and don't stop praying for your husband. No matter where your husbands spiritual walk is, he needs your prayers. The biggest support we can give our husband is praying for him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Focus on your own walk with God
It is so easy to point out the shortcomings of others. If you wish your husband would be in the Word more, make sure that you are cultivating your own walk with God, and not just pointing out his weakness. Many women are frustrated with their husbands lack of time in the Word and prayer, but they also aren't cultivating their own time with God. I love I Peter 3:1 that says: "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives." Though this verse may be referring to an unbeliever, the principle holds true. Men (and really all people) are encouraged to do right much more from the encouragement and example of others than they are by being nagged or disrespected.
Share what God is teaching you. Not in a way that is judgmental or trying to guilt him. Share your heart and what you are learning in the Word. Don't be afraid to let him know about what God is convicting you about. Your humility will do more to encourage him, then you pretending that his sin or shortcomings are worse than your own. We all have different struggle, and their is something beautiful about the openness that we can share in marriage.
Don't expect your husbands walk with God to look just like yours. We are all different and our time with the Lord is going to look different. I could journal page after page, but my husband just doesn't enjoy journaling..and that is ok. There is no formula that works for everyone, or that is more spiritual than another. Don't judge your husbands spiritual life because it doesn't look just like yours.
You are not the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of believers to bring conviction and encouragement. But, you as the wife are not the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we think that we can say just the right thing or nag remind our husbands enough that it will make him want to spend time in the Word, but we are not our husband's Holy Spirit. When we think that our husband's need the Holy Spirit's, we should pray instead of trying to convict our husband with our own words.
Surround yourself with good friends I don't know why it is, but we often respond to the example and encouragement of our peers, more than from our spouses. Surround yourself with other couples who are passionate about the Lord. Your husband may start to thrive with the encouragement from another man who loves the Lord. If you don't have friends that would be this example...pray for them. Pray that the Lord would bring people into the life of your husband who would encourage Him to love and serve the Lord more.
For yourself, surround yourself with women who will encourage you to love, encourage, and respect your husband, and not those that will encourage you to nag or criticize your husband.
Many times when a man is struggling with spending time with the Lord, he knows it. I know that I am aware of the times in my life when I neglect to spend time with the Lord, and he is probably aware that this is something that he should be better at. If he has been open with you that this is a struggle...be a safe place for him to come too. Ask him what you can do to help, and then be ready to do it. Could you help him by making breakfast so that he has more time in the mornings? Can you watch the kids so that he can head to a coffee shop for a bit of alone time with the Lord? Could you make dinner a bit earlier so that there is time for family devotions? Would an audio Bible help him on a long commute? How would your husband react if instead of nagging him about all the things that he should be doing, you asked him how you could help him?
These are just a few ways to encourage your husbands walk with the Lord. I would love to hear your suggestions as well. Leave a comment here or over on instagram, and join the conversation.