Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Nancy Cobb says forgiveness is a decision.

Nancy Cobb: Your feelings may not be there. They might not have yet caught up with the choice you have made to forgive. But when the Lord says “Forgive,” it’s a command. He tells us to do it for our own well being.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, August 1.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I think one of the things that many women wrestle with is coming to understand: What is their purpose in life? What is their identity? Why are they here? When it comes to marriage and family, what is their part in all of this?

We have two women with us today, on Revive Our Hearts, who are going to help us answer some of those questions. Connie Grigsby and Nancy Cobb, new friends to me and to our listeners as well. Welcome back to Revive Our Hearts.

Connie Grigsby: Thanks so much, Nancy.

Nancy Cobb: Thank you, Nancy.

Nancy: I’ve so enjoyed talking with you all this week, and thank you, for writing this book: The Politically Incorrect Wife, because you’ve said some things that are tough to say today, some things that really are counter-cultural. Yet, in your own lives, you’ve experienced that the key to having the intimate, loving, godly marriage that you wanted for years is found in living out the principles of God’s Word in your marriage.

I know for you, Connie, that as you began to discover these counter-cultural principles of what God’s Word says about a woman’s responsibilities in marriage, that really was eye-opening to you.

Connie: Right. It was a wake-up call. I’d been married for 15 years, when I attended a class Nancy was teaching. One of the first things she said was “A woman was created to be a helper to her husband.” Talk about politically incorrect! My first thought was, “If a helper is to be involved, I want to have the helper, I don’t want to be the helper.” That’s what I truly thought.

I went home that afternoon, and I looked in every version of the Bible I could find. I had the Revised Standard Version from when I was nine, and the King James, and I may have called my mother—the Good News for Modern Man, I knew she had a copy. . .

Nancy: Looking for a different translation.

Connie: I was looking for another word—just another word. I wanted a little wiggle room—because I didn’t think it was a high and holy calling to be a helper to your husband, unless he deserved it, and I didn’t think my husband deserved it all the time.

But then Nancy had gone on to share that a helper is a title God uses of Himself. It’s a precious title. He says over and over again in Scripture that He’s our Helper. I also heard someone say helper is only used four times in the Bible and it’s in regard to God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and woman as a wife.

I began to look to look at that word differently because I thought to myself, “If helper is a title that’s good enough for God, isn’t it a title that’s good enough for me?” I asked the Lord to help me pick up my role, and I actually began to embrace the role. Rather than resist the role, I began to embrace it. I began to do things in my marriage and for my husband that I hadn’t done in a very long time.

Nancy had also said something in the class that just haunted me.

Nancy Cobb: And it comes right from Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” And the question that we asked was, “Is your husband lonely?” I think that is one of the most piercing questions in all of Scripture, because it is not good, God says. Women have a tendency, as we’ve said a little bit before, to have husbands central in their thinking and relationship until children come along.

Then they almost become orphans, so to speak, when children become involved in the wife’s love, because a wife pours herself into the children to the detriment of the husband. Many husbands are shocked to know that that is not the way it is supposed to be—it’s not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not good for man to be alone.

We have some suggestions for wives, if they want to jump start a lonely husband’s life and add something to it, they can begin today by doing two things we call “Blast-off and Re-entry.” Blast-off is how you depart from each other in the morning.

I now work at Christ Community Church in Omaha, and I leave before Ray. So now I seek Ray out and give him a kiss goodbye and tell him that I’ll miss him and so forth, but before that, I often fix his breakfast. I know women are probably rolling their eyes and thinking, “I have no time for breakfast; I have no time for myself.”

My breakfast for Ray is quite simple. I get out a tray. I put a plate down on it. I put out a bowl, put cereal in it, cut up a banana, give him a glass of orange juice, and maybe lay out some vitamins for him. He knows I’m thinking about him. That takes about a minute and a half.

The other things I do for him in the morning, so he’ll have a successful Blast-off, is I actually get his towel for him, his wash cloth, and his fresh underwear. That takes me 20 seconds. So we’re talking about a total investment here of about two minutes. Does he not deserve two minutes? He doesn’t feel lonely when he’s going to work.

It’s been stated that men who have a good Blast-off, or a good entry into their day are much less likely to have an accident on the way to work and probably much less likely to be tempted by another woman.

Connie: Whether your Blast-off involves what Nancy’s does . . . One young bride tried her “just fix breakfast” for her new husband for three weeks, when he finally got the courage to say, “I don’t like breakfast, I don’t want breakfast. Get me something besides breakfast; how about dinner?”

Whether you do breakfast and get his underwear—I don’t get my husband’s breakfast or underwear. He doesn’t eat breakfast, and he gets his own underwear, and he prefers it that way, but there are other things I do. Think about what it is that would mean something to your husband.

I asked Wes, “Honey, are there times in our marriage where you felt alone?” And he looked at me, and without blinking an eye, he said, “Connie, there have been times in our marriage where I’ve felt more alone when I was with you, than when I was actually by myself.” Blast-off is a great way to cause your husband not to feel alone anymore.

In addition to that, there’s Re-entry. Re-entry is when you come together again at the end of the day. Research shows that the first five minutes of that initial meeting sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Re-entry is simply either welcoming your husband back, if you’re already home, or finding him, if you come home second.

It’s just letting him know, “Hello, Darling. I’m glad you’re home. I’m glad to be with you. How was your day?” Stop what you’re doing—don’t continue to stir the spaghetti sauce, or continue to give your attention to the kids or the dog or whatever. We’re talking two or three minutes where you walk over, you warmly embrace him, you say a few tender words to him, perhaps you take him a cold drink.

Your husband may be stunned like mine was, because it had been years and years and years since I had done this. But he loved it, and it caused him to see me in a fresh way. I believe when we treat our husbands in the way God calls us to treat them, it opens them up. It frees them up to love us in the way God intended them to love us, in a sense.

Nancy: You’re really talking about treating your husband with kindness, with thoughtfulness.

Connie: Right.

Nancy: It’d be easy to say, “Look, I need some help. I want to be served. I’m tired, too. I’ve got my job, and why isn’t he bringing me breakfast in the morning and putting out the towel for me?” But you’re saying, “I’m willing to take this pathway to humility and to be a servant.”

We’re never more like Jesus than when we have a towel draped over our arm and we take the place of the servant. It was Jesus stooping to wash the feel of the disciples that is our model, and we’re saying, “I’m willing to take that role, to be a helper, to serve, to give, to express the kindness of Christ in my marriage,” and that pays rich dividends.

Nancy Cobb: That’s so true. Humility is when I find I am at a crossroad and I want to go there. When I want to dig my heels in, I really step back and ask the Lord to show me what’s on my heart, and it’s usually pride. I’m not willing to take the humble path. Humility is where the Lord begins to work in my heart to draw me not only closer to my husband, but ultimately closer to Him.

It’s through that humble heart that He weaves His heart with us in a way that will never happen when we stay in our prideful state. Scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5, NKJV).

I want to know God’s grace at its fullest. I don’t want to keep living on my own power and strength. I want to know God and the power of His resurrection. I want to know all about that, and it requires a humble heart to do that, and that, these days, is politically incorrect, but it’s the only way to go.

Nancy: Help a wife who isn’t there and doesn’t know how to start and is just—she’s in the frustrated level, the tense level, the Blast off and Re-entries are anything but positive in her home. They’re picking at each other and barking at each other, and destroying each other, and she’s saying, “How do I change this? Where do I start?”

Connie: We would suggest to a woman, that she look at Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,” and verse 24 says, “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (NKJV). As we’re doing this for our husbands, picturing it as doing it for Christ makes all the difference in the world, because Christ receives that as though you’re doing it for Him.

If you look at Matthew 25, it says, “When you gave someone a drink of water in My name, when you gave somebody food in My name, you did it for Me” (verse 45, paraphrase). It takes the pressure off. You aspire higher because you’re doing it for Jesus and not for man.

Then the Lord rekindles in your own heart a love for your husband. Turning points can be so small and so insignificant you can almost miss them. To begin today, to have a Blast-off or a Re-entry for your husband could be the turning point in your marriage. That is the turning point in mine.

Leslie: We’ll pick that conversation back up in a minute.

Nancy Cobb has been calling wives to worship God by serving in their homes. She and Connie Grigsby have been talking with our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss about their book, How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. It’s full of wise advice on how to navigate the differences between men and women and how to improve communication in your marriage.

When you donate to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, we’ll send a copy of How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. You do need to ask for it, though, when you call 1-800-569-5959, or donate at ReviveOurHearts.com and follow the directions there on getting a copy of the book.

Now let’s get back to Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about this book.

Nancy: I’d like to ask both of you, if you’d just jump in here and pick off—what are some of the very practical principles that you get into that will help facilitate and enhance communication in a marriage? Connie, get us started. What is one that comes to your mind?

Connie: Okay, one of my favorites is: “If I have to ask, it doesn’t count.” So often, we expect our husbands to do those things that a friend might do, or a sister might do, but they don’t. They come in, and they see the newspaper, and we’re buzzing around kitchen. They’ll sit and read the sports page, and then we’re mad and we’re steaming, and in a few minutes we’ll say, “Do--you--think--you--could--help--me--make--lunches?” We say it in that tone.

I remember saying that once to my husband, years ago, of course, and he looked at me and said, “Honey, if you want me to help, all you have to do is ask,” and I said the infamous words, “If I have to ask, it doesn’t count.” That is just silly thinking. I wanted him to come in, see the scenario, and jump in and help like Nancy would, or like my sisters would, or my mother would, or my daughters would, but see, he’s a man and he didn’t do that. Stop thinking, “If I have to ask, it doesn’t count.” If you need help—ask, and it still counts.

Another great one is: develop thicker skin. Developing thicker skin—it’s worth the price of the book. We as women are so sensitive to what our husbands are saying that we sometimes drive them away from speaking at all because we are so sensitive to the truth. For instance, we had a friend who was wearing a green dress. She had bought it for a formal ball. She came down the stairs just feeling quite gorgeous, and her husband said, “You look like Kermit the Frog.”

Nancy: Wrong!

Connie: Well, instead of just thinking, “Well, isn’t that just the funniest thing I ever heard,” her feelings were hurt, and she probably didn’t even want to go to the ball. Get thicker skin. If your husband says something off the top of his head, that’s what a guy would say to another guy and they’d both fall down laughing. Don’t be offended by the way your husband presents things to you.

Nancy Cobb: The interesting thing is that friend said, “How do I look?” and he said, “Like Kermit the Frog.” Often times we set our husband up with a question. They give their truthful response, and then we’re angry at their response. In fact, we found that was the number one reason—we surveyed over 300 men and discovered that husbands aren’t speaking to their wives because she takes it too personal. “I say the wrong thing; her feelings get hurt; and then I suffer for answering a question that she asked.” Those are a couple of great quick tips.

Another one that’s really meaningful to a man, and I think as women, we really need to work hard to understanding this, is: what’s your life like in the bedroom? Sexual fulfillment, some studies show, is the number one need in a man’s life—sexual fulfillment. Not sex, but sexual fulfillment, and that involves your involvement in that.

I would challenge the listeners to take a look at that in their own lives. Sex and sexual intimacy is a big deal to a man. Often times it’s not a big deal to a woman. It needs to be because that’s one way men feel loved, and that’s also something God has called us to do.

Our bodies are not our own. They belong to our husbands, and we need to give our bodies to our husbands and let them know we’re available and that we desire it. They need to know we think they’re wonderful lovers. That’s one of the big areas women have really dropped in our culture today. “If you’re not meeting my needs, buddy, I’m not going to meet yours. You can just suffer.” That’s a wrong response.

Nancy: We keep coming back to humility and love, don’t we?

Nancy Cobb: That’s right.

Nancy: If we’re clothed in humility and clothed with love, it makes all these issues take on a different perspective.

Nancy Cobb: On a lighter note, we encourage women to smile, to look at their faces in the mirror as though they were looking at their husband. What does your countenance look like? I remember Connie said she was trying this out and she looked at the mirror as she would look at her daughters, and it was just wreathed in smiles. Then she looked as though she was looking at her husband, and it was quite a prune face, as she referred to it. Look and see what you’re doing. If you’re not smiling, start smiling.

Another one is: try to understand his familial patter. That’s the kind of language that your family spoke that he doesn’t quite understand—like, if I’m warm, and I would say to my sister, “Isn’t it cozy in here?” She would say, “Well, darling, you must be burning up. Let me turn on the air conditioner.”

My husband would say, “Cozy is nice.” We need to understand that they had a language developed in their home just as we had a language developed in our home, not expecting him to read your mind, because some of this familial patter that is so complicated, it can barely be explained to the family.

Connie: Encourage your husband. So often we encourage everyone else. I loved to encourage my daughters, my friends, everyone, and then I looked at how often I encourage Wes. Our husbands need our encouragement. We think sometimes that they get it at the office, they get it on the golf course, but the fact is often they don’t. They need to hear their wives encourage them. They need to hear them say, “You’re doing great. I’m so proud of you.”

Nancy: That can really put the wind back in his sails, can’t it?

Connie: That puts the wind in their sails. There’s a wonderful verse in Hebrews 3 that says, “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (verse 13). If you want to protect your husbands from the hardness of sin, encourage him, because that verse gives us a promise that none of us will be hardened. It seems that the encourager and the encouraged are protected a bit from sin’s deceitfulness.

Nancy: Yes. What’s the difference between nagging and reminding? At what point does reminding become a negative, nagging quality in a marriage?

Connie: Well, I think that nagging is in the attitude—how you are presenting it to your husband, and once you present it, do you let it drop, or do you just stay on him? You cannot force your husband to do anything. You can sweetly ask him to do something and then let it go.

One of the things that is helpful for me is that if I ask Wes to do something and he doesn’t do it—he’s forgetful in some of these kinds of things, and he may forget—when I ask him again, I need to ask with the same gentleness and sweetness. The third time, I may ask with the same gentleness and sweetness, and he will frequently say, “I am so sorry you’ve asked me to do that a couple of times.” Stay off the nagging. It does nothing to bring closeness between a husband and a wife.

Nancy: One of the other things you mentioned that also does not help develop closeness in a marriage, is when you make a project out of your husband—try and make him over. You shared how that can really be a frustration to a husband, rather than a source of motivation to him.

Nancy Cobb: No man wants to be a project, and it’s a very unhappy situation when you make your husband a project. There were times, early in our marriage, when I thought I could handle situations better, such as talking to a teacher. If he was going to talk to a teacher, I would approach him behind the scenes and say, “This is what you say and how you present it.”

I can remember listening to phone calls he was making to our children and saying, “You need to say it this way and don’t say that and be very careful about this.” It gets to the point where he doesn’t want to talk to a teacher or he doesn’t want to talk to the children.

Nancy: Or maybe he doesn’t want to talk to you.

Nancy Cobb: Right. He then doesn’t want to talk to me, so stop that.

Connie: We say, “If you want a project, take up knitting, but leave your husband alone.”

Nancy: That’s great.

There are lots of other practical tools and resources and tips that you have in this book, How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You, and we’re not talking here about manipulating, but about putting on those qualities of grace and kindness and humility and genuine love and a servant’s heart that will help your marriage to become the intimate relationship that God intended for it to be.

As we wrap up here today, I just want to focus on what is probably the central foundational issue in any marriage, and that is to make sure that Christ is that center of that marriage.

Connie: That is so dear to us, and one of the things that we encourage women to do, and one of the things that we have done ourselves. We noticed in John 2 that Jesus accepts wedding invitations. I realized that I had never invited Him into our marriage. I had invited Him into my heart, but I chose purposefully to invite Him into my marriage because I knew at Cana, He filled what they had run out of, and it was better than if they hadn’t run out of it.

He could fill what I had run out of in my marriage, and He has filled for many women whom we’ve taught this principle to, those aspects of their marriage that weren’t good, weren’t godly, and He’s made them fuller. He’s made them fly. It’s been wonderful to watch.

Leslie: Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby have been offering practical steps on improving the communication in your home. Our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back with our guests to pray.

Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby offer all these practical tips in their book How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. If you’ve ever been dissatisfied about the level of communication at your house, I hope you’ll get a copy.

When you donate to Revive Our Hearts, we’ll send you a copy of How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. Ask for it when you call with your donation at 1-800-569-5959, or make your donation online. When you do, you’ll be able to let us know you’d like the book as well.

Today wraps up a series with Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby called The Politically Incorrect Wife. If you missed any of it, you can read or hear it online, at ReviveOurHearts.com, or ask for the CD series, The Politically Incorrect Wife when you call 1-800-569-5959.

What’s the difference between being a foolish woman and a woman of discretion? Well, it’s a fascinating study from Proverbs. I hope you learn a lot at your church this Sunday, then I hope you’ll be back to learn from Nancy as she gives us, Becoming a Woman of Discretion on Monday.

Now, let’s pray with Nancy.

Nancy: Lord, we do thank You, for Nancy and Connie and the wisdom that You’ve given them in so many practical areas, as they have sought to invite You into their marriage, and what a difference Your presence has made in their homes.

Right now, we want to join together in lifting up to you those who are listening to us today, knowing that their marriage needs a fresh infusion of Your grace, Your power, Your resources. Lord, just reading textbooks and trying to reform ourselves isn’t what will make a good marriage.

What makes a good marriage is when You’re there, so I do pray, Lord, that women who are listening right now would just stop and lift their hearts to heaven and say, “Lord Jesus, please come into my marriage in a fresh way. We want You to be the honored guest in our home. We want Your presence to be that which fills every need and lack that we have.”

Lord, how I pray, especially, for those marriages that are really on the brink, those who are hurting, those that are frazzled, how I pray that as You visited that wedding there in Cana so many years ago, that today, You would come in Your grace and Your mercy and You would visit the marriages and the homes of many, many women across this nation.

I pray that You would be glorified, and that people would be able to see in our marriages here on earth, a picture of the relationship between the Lord Jesus and His Bride, the Church, and that our lives would bring glory to Him. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

 Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

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