Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Help Your Husband Say No to Temptation

Leslie Basham: Bob Lepine reminds us how important it is for a man to be shown respect.

Bob Lepine: If he’s not getting it from his wife, who he longs to get it from, he’ll look for it somewhere else—a hobby, a club, a business . . . He’ll be more vulnerable to the lure of a woman who does admire or respect him.

Leslie: You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, June 9.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: At the True Woman conference this past March, women had an opportunity to choose from eight different breakout sessions. Brooke Ansel was at that conference, and she tells us about the session she attended.

Brooke Ansel: I really enjoyed Bob Lepine’s breakout session on “What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife.” That was really powerful. What a reminder to continue to minister to our husbands just in the everyday—the applicable Word of God in everyday living. That was really helpful.

Nancy: Brooke realized there were some specific changes that she needed to make.

Brooke: Not nagging. Just him feeling safe and . . . like a man. For me to question my husband on the things that he’s doing . . . I forget, in everyday life, that it steals his manhood. I certainly don’t want him to be esteemed by other women or someone in the work place when God has given me the job as his helper to do that. So that was a great reminder.

Nancy: Over the last couple of days, we’ve been hearing that breakout session from Bob Lepine. If you missed any of this important message, you can hear the whole thing at ReviveOurHearts.com.

As we listen to the final part of Bob’s message today, some of what we’re going to hear may not be suitable for young children. So if you have little ones around you, you may want to get them busy doing something else for the next few minutes.

Bob Lepine is the co-host of the radio program FamilyLife Today. He’s the author of a great book, The Christian Husband. He served along with me as emcee at the first True Woman conference this year. He’ll be at True Woman in Indianapolis this September and also in Ft. Worth this October.

Let’s listen to this final section of Bob’s message, “What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife.” And again, even if you’re not married, I think you’ll find some really practical counsel here. Let’s listen.

Bob: Robin McKelvey, who is a pastor’s wife in Nashville, speaks at our Weekend to Remember marriage conferences , and she was a cheerleader in high school. By her own admission, she was a cheerleader for a team that was pretty bad.

When the game was over, we gathered around the guys and affirmed them as our team. ‘Nice try, Guys. Way to go! You played your hearts out, out there.’ That’s what we did as cheerleaders.”

Then she turns to the women at our conferences and says, “Ladies, when you put on your wedding dress, it was a cheerleader’s outfit that you were putting on.”

That doesn’t mean you call something true that’s not true. You don’t go to your husband and say, “Oh, I thought you did that really well,” if he didn’t. But you can still cheer him on in a losing effort. Say, “You’ll get it next time.

I would tell you that every time I get done speaking anyplace, I’ll have people come up and say, “That was so helpful. Thanks!” That’s so nice; that’s fine, but I go straight to Mary Ann and say, “How did I do? How did I do?”

Mary Ann is great at offering helpful, constructive criticism, which I want and need; but she’s also great at saying, “You did great.” I don’t care what the rest of you think at all. [Laughter.]

I’m just telling you, Ladies, there’s power that you have in going to your husband and saying, “Sweetheart, that was awesome!” He just goes, “It was?”

One other quick story. There was one Saturday we had a broken bicycle out in the garage, and Mary Ann said, “Can you fix that bicycle?”

I said, “I don’t know, I’ll go look at it.”

It took me about two hours out in the garage. I’m not mechanically oriented. It was probably a five-minute repair, but it took me about two hours.

I was taking stuff apart and putting it all back together. I was sitting out there sweating, kind of going, “I hope this thing works when I get it all put back together.”

I got it put back together, and I was just going, “Alright, it works! Cool.” Mary Ann walked out, and she said, “How did you know how to do that? How did you know how to fix it?”

Here’s my wife admiring me! Ladies, that’s BIG! When you admire your husband . . . when he knows you admire him . . .

When she and I were dating, we went to a retreat together. We were leaders in an organization called Young Life, and we had a leadership retreat that we went off to for a weekend.

I’ll never forget being in the audience, listening. There was a couple that came to speak to us, a man and a woman. She spoke, and then he spoke.

I’ll never forget sitting in the audience, listening to the man speak after his wife had spoken. She was a pretty good speaker, but he, frankly, wasn’t so hot. I was starting to lose interest in what he was saying.

I wasn’t following it very well, so I’m kind of looking around. I look over at his wife, who’s right there in the front row. She is listening to him and nodding and paying attention.

I thought to myself, “Ma’am, you’re a decent communicator. You know he’s not that good, don’t you?” [Laughter.] That’s what I thought, right? That was my first thought.

Here was my second thought: “Boy, if I ever get married, I sure hope my wife is just sitting up there nodding and going, ‘Wow! That’s so good!’”

We need a cheerleader. We need to know you’re on our team. We need to know you love us and you’re going to stay with us no matter what. We need to know that you want to be a part of the solution if there’s a problem; that you’re cheering us on; that you’re not there to point out what’s wrong, but you want to be a part of the solution. “How can I help?” We’re back to that.

We need you to give us grace and still love us when we make mistakes and fail.

In other words, we need you to do for us what God does for you. We need you to give us grace and still love us when we make mistakes and fail, because you married somebody who is going to make plenty of mistakes—he already has, and he’s going to make more.

If your response to his mistakes is to be critical, harsh, judgmental, it will shut him down. If you respond with grace, he will see Christ in you; he will be drawn to the Christ in you; he will grow more into Christ-likeness himself as he sees you modeling grace.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t tell the truth. You are to speak the truth in love. Let me explain what happens.

When a husband messes up (and he knows it), when you shame him and scold him and show him how displeased you are, and you get tight-lipped, and there’s a chill in the room, and you turn cold toward him, here’s what happens: Your husband thinks, “Well, I’m not going to try that again. I just won’t do that, because if I’ve got to run the risk of trying and failing and getting that, I’d rather not try.”

So if you want your husband to quit trying, just do that—be critical. Be harsh. Don’t give him grace. But if you want him to try again and get better, then give him some grace and forgive him.

Now, some of you think, “But if I don’t show him my displeasure, he won’t know he did anything wrong.” [Laughter.]

Well, let me suggest three things related to that. First, Proverbs 19:11 says it is a man’s glory to overlook an offense.

There are some times when your husband will do something and, frankly, you just need to overlook it. You don’t need to correct everything.

Secondly, Galatians 6:1 is a great verse to tell you that anytime you do need to correct . . . And there are times when it is appropriate for you to go to your husband and to say, “Sweetheart, can I share something with you, something that’s been on my heart that I just think might be helpful? I’m not here to be critical but to be helpful.”

Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if you see somebody who is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual go and restore such a one with a spirit of meekness, taking care that you don’t fall into sin yourself” (paraphrased).

So, Brothers—or I’ll say “Sisters” here—if you see your husband caught in a sin, you who are spiritual—that means you’ve got to be in the right spiritual frame of mind before you go and do any correcting. Most of you correct before you get spiritually focused.

So you’ve got to get in the right frame of mind. You’ve got to go to the Lord and say, “Lord, are there any logs in my eye that I don’t see? Lord, search my heart, know me, try me, see what’s going on. Help me. Are there any blind spots? Anything I need to do?” You need to be prayed up. “When’s the right time to do this?”

Then you go, you who are spiritual, go to restore. What are you going to do? You’re going to try to gently restore your husband; not to shame him, not to tear him down, but to restore him, to put him back where he ought to be, to take what was broken and fix it.

Restore such a one with what kind of a spirit? A spirit of meekness, or gentleness. That’s what the Scriptures call you to—meekness, or gentleness. Knowing that in that interaction, it will be easy for you to fall into sin with your tongue, with your attitude, or with your spirit even while you’re trying to restore your husband.

It’s appropriate to go, and your husband needs to hear it from you. But there’s got to be grace; there’s got to be humility in the midst of all of this.

Number next [laughter]: We would rather be respected, as men, than loved.

Shaunti Feldhan says that in her book For Men Only. She polled many men—I forget how many, thousands of men—and she asked this question. She said she was stunned by that response, that a man would rather be respected than loved.

Here’s why she was stunned: Because a woman would rather be loved than respected. You know, “As long as you love me, everything . . .” Well, for a guy, respect is the lifeblood for the male psyche; as long as you respect us, that’s so vital to us.

It’s why I believe, in Ephesians chapter 5 in that passage on marriage, the very last verse says, “The wife must respect her husband” (verse 33, NIV).

You say, “Well, I don’t agree with that.” Well, here’s the command of the Lord: Wives, see to it that you respect your husbands.

Some of you will say, “There are things about my husband that just make it hard for me to respect him.” Frankly, I don’t know your husbands, and I don’t know the situations, but it’s very possible for me to imagine that in this room, there are women who have got husbands who, if I met them, I wouldn’t have a lot of respect for.

But I’ll never forget what Elisabeth Elliot shared one time. It was a great illustration.

If I were wearing this shirt, and I put a pen in this pocket, and if that pen had leaked ink so that there was a big purple stain right here on my shirt, and you walked up to see me, where would your eyes go? Right to the stain—right there. It would be hard for you to take your eyes off that spot, and you would draw the conclusion that I was messy or not very well groomed, kind of a slobbish person because of the stain on my shirt.

Elisabeth Elliot said, “What percentage of the shirt has a stain on it?” Oh, three or four percent, right there. “What’s the condition of the rest of the shirt?” It’s clean, in good shape.

She said, “But we just can’t help sometimes focusing on the stain. It’s all we can think about—that stain. And we define you by that stain.”

So, Ladies, some of what you need to do is look a little broader at your husband and say, “Lord, show me; help me to make the list of things that are respectable and worthy in him so I can affirm him in those things.”

You ought to ask God, over a 30-day period, to help you make the longest list you can, and from time to time go to your husband and say, “I appreciate so much that you go to work every day without complaining, to provide for us. Thank you. There are a lot of men who don’t do that, and you do. Thank you.”

If a man is not feeling respected at home, I’m sorry to tell you, he will take the longing of his soul to be respected, and he will look for a place where it will happen.

Now, listen: I’m not excusing a husband who goes off looking for it from another woman; or, frankly, the man who neglects his family because he’s getting it from his job, so he’s made an idol out of his job. That’s no excuse, and I’m not excusing that.

I am saying the hunger in the heart of a man is such that if he gives in to his flesh, he’ll go try to find respect somewhere else. If he’s not getting it from his wife, who he longs to get it from, he’ll look for it somewhere else—a hobby, a club, a business . . .

He’ll be more vulnerable to the lure of a woman who does admire or respect him. If you’re not doing it, and some woman at work is saying, “You are so smart!” you just have to know, that is catnip for a husband who is at home going, “She thinks I’m stupid, but she thinks I’m smart. Boy, she looks prettier all the time!”

Which brings me to number eight—or whatever number: Sex is one of the most powerful ways to encourage and affirm and minister to your husband. Alright?

God made us as sexual beings, and He wants us both to be interested in and to desire and to enjoy the sexual relationship.

I have to share with you a verse that some of you need to hear. You need to know that this is in the Bible, and it’s talking to you. It is 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Here’s what it says:

“The wife’s body is not her own, but it belongs to her husband. The husband’s body is not his own, it belongs to his wife. Therefore, stop depriving one another,” a biblical command: “Stop depriving one another except for a season of fasting and prayer.”

Now, I’m guessing; I don’t know, but I’m guessing that there aren’t many couples who have said, “You know, let’s just take a season of fasting and prayer and do this.” If depriving is going on at your house, I’m guessing that . . .

In some cases it may be the husband depriving the wife. In more cases, it’s the wife depriving the husband. And you could list for me a litany of reasons: “I’m too tired. I’m too this. He’s too that . . .” I mean, you can go through the whole list of why the depriving is happening.

I would say to you, “Stop it. Stop depriving your husband.”

Here’s part of the reason why: We talk about a man needing respect and affirmation. Probably the most powerful way you affirm your husband and show respect to him is when you respond to him sexually.

Have you read in Proverbs 7 about the luring adulterous? How she waits on the corner, and how she says to the man, “I’ve sprinkled my bed with aloe, and it’s smelling sweet; do you want to come over?” (see verses 16-18)?

Now, listen; we read that and say, “That woman is shameful!” I would say, “Ladies, read that and think, ‘How about if I did that with my husband?’” Because what she’s doing to lure the man out of his marriage, if a wife was doing it, the husband would walk by and say, “I’ve got something better than you at home, Sweetie.”

It takes work. It takes effort. It takes energy. When we were dating, we thought, “That’s going to be the easy thing.” Right? “I mean, that’s going to be no problem.” Now we’re married, and we say, “This is harder than we thought!”

Are there days you don’t want to do the dishes? Yes. Do you do them? Why? Because you do them. Are there days you don’t want to do the wash, and you do it? You say, “No, I don’t.” Well, after a while the wash piles up and stinks, okay?

Number nine—or whatever: We need you to stop trying to control us, and we need you to stop trying to control things that are beyond your control. We need you to deal with your control issues, is what I’m saying. [Laughter.]

Okay, you come by it honestly. That’s what I was saying about Genesis 3: “Her desire will be for her husband.” I believe that hard wired into a woman is a great need for safety and security. She responds to that need for safety and security by saying, “I must be in control of everything in my environment at all times in order to be safe and secure, including my husband. I must be in control of him in order to be safe and secure.”

I’m here to tell you that (A) you can’t control him, and (B) you can’t control everything in your environment. You need to deal with your control issues and surrender to the One who has promised to never leave you or forsake you, to protect you and be your guide. You say, “But bad things happen if I do that.”

“All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (see Romans 8:28). I can’t promise you won’t suffer. I can promise you that God will take you through suffering.

And I can promise you that if you try to control your environment, you will be frustrated and angry, and the people around you will not want to hang around you. So deal with your control issues.

And number ten: Make it your goal to fulfill the “one anothers” of the Bible in your relationship with your husband. The next time you’re reading through the Bible and you come across a thing that says, “one another,” you underline that and ask the question, “Am I being like that with my husband?”

For so many years I read the “one anothers” in the Bible. I would read a passage that talks about, “Do this for one another; do that for one another,” and I would think, “Well, that’s how I should treat people at church.” I never thought, “How about my wife?” Someday I’m going to write a book about this, but let me just read to you. Here are some of the “one anothers”:

“Be devoted to one another” (Romans 12:10). Are you devoted to your husband, hopelessly devoted to him?

“Honor each other” (Romans 12:2).

“Serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

“Love each other” (Romans 13:9).

“Forgive each other” (Colossians 3:13).

“Speak the truth to one another” (Zechariah 8:16).

“Live in harmony with each other” (Romans 12:16).

“Do not pass judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13).

“Comfort one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

“Agree with one another” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

“Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

“Be kind to each other” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Encourage each other” (Hebrews 10:25).

“Spur one another on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

“Don’t slander one another” (James 4:11).

“Be humble toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5).

I could go on from there, but you get the picture, right? Now, some of you are saying, “Well, it says ‘one another,’ so he’s supposed to be that to me too, right?”

Okay, I’ll tell you what. Here’s my promise to you: When I go to a men’s conference, and I have this talk with men, I’ll tell them to be that to you. But I’m not at a men’s conference. I’m at a woman’s conference. I’m talking to you. You do what God calls you to do, and let God work out the rest.

Men I know would say, “To be married to the woman you just described there? Doing all that? Yeah!”

Hey, last thing, and we’re done. The danger of a message like this is, I give you all of this stuff to do, you read over the list, and you go, “Okay, I need to start doing this. I need to start doing that. I need to start doing this.”

If you want to fail, go from this place and make a resolution to try to do some of this stuff on your own. If you want to fail, as soon as you do that, Satan says, “I got one!”

Here’s what you need to do: You need to go from this place and say, “Lord, I need to receive from You grace and mercy so I can be a channel of these things to my husband in the ways we’ve talked about here.”

You go and draw from the Lord the strength and grace, and start to see how that can flow through some of these areas. It’s not a case of you trying to buckle up your bootstraps and go out there and live this out.

It’s a case of you receiving from the Lord and then being a channel of His grace, because frankly, when God said, “I’m going to send another Helper,” and then He calls you a helper, what He really wants to do is to work through you to get to your husband.

The question is, are you His vessel, or are you still in the garden hanging onto the fruit, saying, “I’d rather try it my way”? Be open, and let the Spirit of God work through you to love your husband.

Father, thanks for the time with these ladies. Thanks for the good, candid conversation we’ve been able to have. Make these women a blessing to their husbands. That’s what they want, I know. That’s what You want; so, Lord, make it happen. When they go home, I pray that their husbands a week from now would ask, “What did they talk to you about at that conference?” And these women can just smile and say, “They talked about Jesus.” Amen.

God bless you, Ladies!

Nancy: That’s Bob Lepine from the True Woman conference earlier this year. The conference included eight breakout sessions, and women had time to choose a couple of them.

Bob’s session was called “What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife.” I can tell you, there was standing room only in that session. If you missed any of this helpful message, I hope you’ll listen to it or order the CD at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Earlier in the program, we heard from Brooke Ansel, who attended Bob’s breakout session. She has one final word for us about the True Woman conference.

Brooke: I would definitely say, if you have the opportunity, there’s nothing more worthy of sacrifice than investing in discipleship for your own marriage and family life.

Nancy: And right now we’re making that investment even easier. When you sign up as a group leader, you and each person in your group can save on your registrations. And when your group reaches ten members, you’ll receive an additional registration at no cost.

A woman named Christy is helping to organize a group in her area. She wrote us from Arkansas and said, “I am so humbled by the power of God in our church.” She’s from a really small church, yet when she wrote us, the signup sheet for True Woman was already at 15 people and growing. Christy wrote, “I am praying for our King to open the floodgates so that it will be standing room only.”

I’m so thankful for Christy and all the other women putting groups together. At fifteen members, her group is going to get a substantial discount, along with one free registration, since they already have more than ten members.

For all the details on getting a group code and enjoying the discounts, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. For the greatest discount, register your group by June 25.

Tomorrow, we’ll hear a message from a woman who has made a significant mark on my life and on countless other women for more than fifty years.

Woman 1: She’s had a huge impact on me.

Woman 2: I made sure I heard her radio program every day.

Woman 3: . . .and that impacted me just in how I lived my life every day

Woman 4: . . . and pointing me toward just instant obedience

Woman 5: Listening to that woman of God has always been an encouragement to me.

Nancy: We’ll hear from this highly influential woman tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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