Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: You know your money grows when you invest it. Do you know your love for your husband grows when you invest in marriage? Here’s Nancy Cobb.

Nancy Cobb: What you invest in, you treasure. What you treasure, you love. And it also quickens my love relationship for him.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Thursday, July 31.

Here’s Nancy in a series called The Politically Incorrect Wife.

 Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In case you’re joining us for the first time this week on Revive Our Hearts, I’ll warn you we’re talking about some concepts and ways of thinking that really go against the current, against the tide of what is popular, not only in our culture but even in our Christian subculture.

We’re talking this week with Connie Grigsby and Nancy Cobb. Connie and Nancy, welcome back to Revive Our Hearts.

Connie Grigsby: Thank you. It’s great to be back.

Nancy Cobb: It sure is.

Nancy: You have co-authored two books that really would be, for some people in our culture today, like waving a red flag in front of a bull. One of them is called The Politically Incorrect Wife. What you say is incredibly "incorrect." And then, How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You.

I think one of the most challenging and culturarlly controversial points that you make in both of these books is this whole matter of learning to show respect and then that word reverence for your husbands.

Nancy, is this just something that came naturally in your own marriage, or is it something you had to learn how to do?

Nancy Cobb: It’s something I had to learn how to do. I didn’t have a Bible until I was 41, so I didn’t know that God had a plan for wives. When I wanted to know Him better, I realized that obedience was the key.

So I began to explore what the Bible had to say about being a wife. One of the things that I had neglected and one of the things that the Lord had demanded was that I respect my husband.

First Peter 3:2 in the Amplified Bible says this, and it goes on and on about how we are to respect:

You are to feel for [your husband] all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love and enjoy your husband.

I thought, “I have got my work cut out for me,” not realizing that the Holy Spirit working in me would equip me to do this.

The first thing that I chose to do was to reintroduce respect and admiration into my marriage because I knew that if I didn’t act in a respectful way or if I didn’t respect my husband, would the children? I knew that they wouldn’t.

So I began to respect him and to admire him. If women don’t think that their husbands are hungry for admiration, say to him tonight, “There’s something that I admire about you,” and see how his interest piques.

So I decided to explore this a little bit. I went with the physical first because men like to be admired physically. I was looking at my husband and I noticed—he was raised on a ranch in Texas and grew up sort of as a cowboy and he had very strong arms. So it had been a long time since I had said anything about his body to him.

So I said to Ray, “You know, your arms are really strong. Let me feel your muscle.” Well, he was so happy to oblige. I felt his muscle. Then he made a muscle with the other arm.

Then he walked out onto the deck because we were going to have a barbecue party that night. He was walking back and forth showing me his muscles. He loved that.

So that has been one of the things that I’m able to do now to encourage him. I show him admiration all the time, and he is so blessed by that.

I think that’s one of the reasons that he now calls me “precious.”

Nancy: Nancy, I can hear some women saying, “Get a life. Why should I go to the trouble and the effort of expressing those kinds of things to my husband? He doesn’t do that to me. Why should I have to be the one to show that kind of admiration to him?”

Nancy Cobb: I would say that it’s our responsibility, it’s 100% our responsibility to respond to God’s Word in obedience. When we do our job 100%, there is somebody watching. There is somebody applauding. There is somebody approving.

It may not be your husband. He may not even notice this. But God is watching. Your children are watching. And something happens in your own heart.

What happened in my own heart floored me because the more I did this, the more I fell in love with my own husband.

Nancy: So by obeying God and beginning to show respect and admiration for your husband, God changed your heart and began to give that love and that intimacy and that oneness that you’d really been seeking for.

Nancy Cobb: Absolutely.

Connie: So many times, Nancy, women will say, “If my husband doesn’t love me, I won’t respect him.” They truly think that their respect for him depends on whether or not he’s loving them. But see, God’s Word doesn’t say that.

I used to think that. I thought, “Until you do your job, I’m not going to do mine.” I knew what the verse said, but I thought, “You’re the leader of the home. God has called the man to be the leader. So until you pick up your role, I won’t pick up mine.”

That’s errant thinking. The other thing that I would share with the listeners is:

  • Do you want a passionate, vibrant relationship with the Lord?
  • Do you want joy overflowing?
  • Do you want that abiding lifestyle?
  • Do you want to be thrilled beyond belief?

If you do, ask yourself—is the way you’re living now giving you that? Are all your thought processes and “A+B=B+C”. . . You’re trying to figure it out. Are you receiving that vibrant relationship with the Lord?

I wasn’t. I was so tired of living in mediocrity. So I heard the Word of God. I heard Nancy share, “Women, it’s your role to pick it up. You’re called to be a helper. You’re called to do this. You’re called to do that.” I was so tired of living in mediocrity.

I said, “I’ll do anything.” I began to pick that role up. And the blessings that God pours forth when a woman does that, apart from her husband’s response, is absolutely indescribable. It’s the most magnificent thing that’s ever happened in my life.

Nancy: Connie, what was your marriage like before you began to live out those principles?

Connie: I married a wonderful guy. His name is Wes. We were married for a couple of years. I was madly in love and my husband wasn’t much of a nurturer or a toucher or a feeler. He’s more Type A.

So for a couple of years I kept just doing, doing, doing, and thought, “I know that eventually he’s going to turn into me (warm, touchy, happy, fuzzy).” But he didn’t.

So I hung in there. About year four, we had twin daughters. Those were the most adorable girls. I just loved them, and they loved me back. So I believe I had, at that point, my focus changed from trying to please and delight Wes.

Wes was in medical school and in residency. He was working inordinate hours. He was exhausted. But I thought that that didn’t really weigh in with me.

So now I had these twin girls and I turned my love to them. A distance and a coolness began to develop between Wes and me. At that point it didn’t really matter to me that much because in my mind I had tried.

So this continued on for a few years until about our 10th year of marriage. It had just grown so cold and distant. In fact, I remember about that time—our girls were probably five or six—we were in a restaurant and sitting together eating and we saw a couple near us having fun and laughing.

Wes said, “I wonder if that couple is married.”

Our little girls, one of them said, “No, they’re not married, Daddy.”

He said, “How do you know?”

And she said, “Because they’re having too much fun to be married.”

That pierced my heart, but I still thought it was Wes’s fault.

So a few years later as we realized our girls were getting older, we tried to shore things up as best we could. But we didn’t have that intimate relationship with the Lord. We were Christians. We were going to go to heaven, but we didn’t know what it was like to please God.

So we had a cold, distant marriage. He kind of blamed me. I kind of blamed him. We didn’t think there was anything we could do.

Then a few years after that I got into Nancy’s class that she was teaching on a wife’s role. For the first time instead of asking the Lord to change Wes, I said, “Lord, would You change me?”

That’s the most profound prayer. He’s always there. You go to the Lord and He’s always there. If you’re willing to be the one to change, He’ll change you in ways you never dreamed.

Often the result of that is your husband will be changed as well, because there’s something about wanting to serve the Lord and love the Lord that causes the attention of another.

So now we have a warm, wonderful marriage that I couldn’t even have dreamed of would be there ten years ago. In fact, Wes said at a coffee shop a few weeks ago to a couple we’re mentoring, “I’m happier now than I ever dreamed I could possibly be in our marriage.”

So, thanks be to God!

Nancy: Admiration, learning to admire your husband, learning to respect, to show respect and reverence for him has been a real key in that turnaround.

Connie: It has been key.

I was with a friend not long ago and I commented that her 17-year-old daughter reminded me of her husband. My friend kind of chuckled sardonically and said, “Well, at least my daughter has a brain. I don’t see how you can see any similarity at all.”

Just that disrespect in front of her daughter.

Nancy: She meant it humorously, I assume?

Connie: No. They say there’s a little truth in all humor. There was a pointedness toward her husband. Her husband is a fabulous guy. But I think as a culture of women, that’s become our norm. It’s the exception to hear a woman that sticks up for her husband, that lauds him, that invests in his stock.

What man is going to want to be close with a woman he doesn’t feel safe with and maybe is derided by?

So yes, that respect, that admiration, but more than that, that wanting to please the Lord with my life and realizing there was something bigger than whether or not I felt happy at the moment. That changed my life.

Nancy Cobb: One of the things that is so politically incorrect in reverencing and appreciating and prizing your husband is treating your husband with kindnesses. Women tend to roll their eyes when I say that one of the things that I do for my husband to show him that I love him—and in essence it’s a bit of a servant’s act—I take him a carafe of coffee to his bed, to his side of the bed. I kiss him good morning. I welcome him into his morning. He loves that.

Well, who wouldn’t love that?

When he comes down, I often lightheartedly say, “Welcome to your day.” So he’s feeling appreciated. He’s feeling prized. He’s feeling reverenced. He’s feeling respected.

When our children come to visit, they notice this. I’m hoping they’ll incorporate that into their own marriage.

But what it does for me is, what you invest in, you treasure. What you treasure, you love. And it also quickens my love relationship for him, for Ray.

One of the ways that I can express my love for him and my respect for him is knowing that he’s a food guy. He loves when I make something special. So when I was coming here, I made a banana pudding for him, which is an old Texas recipe that his mother gave me, and some barbecue pork. He loves that.

When I called him last night, telling him we were a little bit delayed in the airport, he said, “Hi, precious. I’m so sorry that you’re late and that you’re going to be a little bit behind schedule. I’ll call the hotel for you. But I have my banana pudding here, and I have my pork here.”

You know it was different. If I had left him nothing, I don’t know that he would have responded. Women tend to be more relational; God made us more relational, generally speaking, and made men a little more task-oriented.

So we have that ability through Christ to express our reverence and our love, our appreciation and our admiration in ways we know that our husbands enjoy. So I have studied my husband like I’ve taken a class. I know him. I know his football teams. I know the football players. I know what he loves. I have joined him in that.

Those little things have meant the world to Ray and I think have ministered to him.

Nancy: You’re really investing in his stock.

Nancy Cobb: I sure am.

Nancy: And he’s responding to that.

Nancy Cobb: Big time.

Connie: I’m sure there are many listeners out there saying, “But you don’t know my husband,” because, Nancy, I have heard hundreds of stories about harsh husbands, critical husbands. Ray sounds like a gem, and he is a gem. They don’t think we can relate to them.

But God’s Scriptures don’t say, “Women, for you with husbands like this you do this, and women, for you with husbands like this you do something else and we’ll wait on your husband to catch up with these husbands.”

It’s not like that. He doesn’t gauge it like we do. So the call is still the same, regardless of the kind of husband you’re married to. You’re called to respect your husband.

If you say, “There’s not one thing that I can respect,” well, you’re called to respect his title of husband. You can know in doing that, you bring honor to God and you open the doors for Him to shower blessings in your life.

A woman is never going to be held accountable for her husband’s actions. She’s never going to be held accountable for whether he loved her. She’s going to be held accountable for her own actions. Did she respect her husband? Did she treat him in a godly manner?

When I began to realize that, and when I began to realize that treating my husband was as though I was treating the Lord the same way, in the same manner, it took the burden of thinking, “Does Wes deserve this? Is he doing his part? He’s not even noticing.” That almost became a moot point.

The point was God was noticing, and I wanted to please God.

So if you’re in a difficult marriage, Nancy’s and my marriages were cold and difficult and not much fun. But we picked up the role that God gave us and we began to change. And by the grace of God, our husbands’ hearts softened and they began to change as well.

So it doesn’t matter. You know it’s not, “But X, Y, and Z.” Scripture is Scripture. Truth is truth.

Nancy: Isn’t it amazing in any relationship how a dose of gratitude, of appreciation, softens our hearts. I’m wearing a particular dress and three people that day tell me how nice that dress looks. I want to wear that dress every day. I respond. We all do. Our hearts are softened by that.

But I think oftentimes a woman thinks, “Because my husband’s heart is hard, he’s not responsive. He’s not engaged in this marriage.” Or worse, he’s harsh or really not enjoyable to live with. “I have to wait until he pours that into my life.”

And you’re saying, “No, you start. You be the one who’s willing to make the investment.”

Connie: One of the things that we see happening over and over is women are investing in their children. And Dad is just left, the husband is just left on his own. He’s almost a non-issue in some homes. He’s almost derided in many homes.

But they’ve turned their appreciation and their praise. They’ve showered on their children but their husbands are starving for one kind word. That’s not the way God intended it to be.

That was a real wake-up call for me because there were times I didn’t think Wes deserved it. In my cold heart I felt like he deserved to be treated the way I treated him. But of course, my children deserved everything.

There’s a lot of wrong thinking that we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking that we need to correct, especially if we want to grow closer to the Lord and please Him. We need to get all those ducks in a row and just go for it.

Nancy Cobb: I think we felt so self-righteous. We felt that we were loving. We felt that we were good. But when it came right down to it, when we examined our own hearts, we were the ones who needed to be changed.

I was the one who needed to be loving. I was the one who needed to respect my husband, love him, and admire him. I was the one who was off course.

When the Lord showed me that, when I first became a Christian I thought, “God, I want to know You. I will do anything to have the kind of relationship that I see in the woman who is teaching the class that I am a part of.”

What does it cost? It costs obedience. Was I willing to pay the price? Yes. Was I going to have the power to do it? Not on my own, because I hadn’t done it in 23 years. But He gave me the power and He corrected me.

Nancy: That’s so important. I’m glad you keep bringing that up, Nancy, because we’re not talking about a self-improvement class here.

We’re talking about allowing Jesus to be Jesus in you and the power of His Holy Spirit to love and respect and admire that man who may not, at this moment, be lovable or respectable, but out of obedience to God as serving Christ you’re saying you’re going to serve your husband in that way.

Connie: That’s where you really begin to live. That’s where you begin to experience life. That’s where you begin to experience God.

You think, “I can’t do that. I’m risking all this. I don’t know about the unknown and all of that.” But that’s where vibrancy, passion, a whole life awaits you when you become willing to take that step.

Nancy: I think gratitude, the attitude of gratitude, is such a powerful, transforming power in any relationship. It transforms us. It transforms the people that we show it to when we show gratitude.

You talk in your books about how expressing appreciation, showing gratitude, verbalizing thankfulness is really a way of a wife showing respect and reverence for her husband.

Nancy Cobb: One of the things my husband loves is yard work. He likes it when I come out and notice that the lawn is beautifully done. So I often go outside and I’ll say, “I love the pattern that you’ve mowed the grass in. It almost looks like the Masters” (you know, the famous golf course in Augusta, Georgia). “It’s beautiful.”

I take him out a cold drink of water and we’re talking and commenting on the flowers that are growing. This means a lot to him. Since the yard means a lot to him, I want it to mean a lot to me as well because Ray means everything to me.

Connie: On appreciation—that is what motivates a man. Love and nurturing motivates a woman. But do you know what motivates a man? It’s appreciation. So many women wonder why their husbands aren’t doing more around the house. The fact is that until you appreciate what they’re already doing, they’re not going to do more because appreciation motivates a man like nothing you can imagine.

Nancy: The fact is, if he goes and does some helping around the house for a widow lady down the street, she’s going to fall over herself thanking him, expressing appreciation. If he does it at home, what does he hear?

“It’s about time.”

Connie: Or, “You should have done it this way.”

On a side note, Nancy, that’s a great thing to bring up. There are women in our husband’s offices and in their lives who are appreciating them, who are admiring them. There are Christian women, even, that I’m aware of that are waiting for an opportunity to woo a man to herself that maybe she set her eyes on .

So I think as wives we need to remember they need to hear those words from us. They shouldn’t be so hungry and so starved for an appreciative, thankful wife that their heart melts when they hear it from someone else.

We need to wake up to that and realize again that our true source is to honor God and to glorify Him.

Nancy: If you’ve been listening to Revive Our Hearts for any length of time, you know that I love giving 30-day challenges because if you do something for 30 days, you can start a new habit.

One of the 30 day challenges I’ve given to women many times over the years is twofold: there’s a negative side and a positive side. Here’s the challenge.

  • I want to challenge you every day for the next 30 days to commit yourself that you will not say one negative thing about your husband to him or to anyone else about him—not to your mother, not to your children, not one negative thing.

You may think, “I don’t think I can survive 30 days of not saying one negative thing about my husband to him or to anyone else.” If you’ve gotten into that bad habit, this is a good chance to break it. But here’s the other side of that.

  • Every day for the next 30 days, I want to challenge you to say something that you appreciate about your husband to him and to someone else about him.

You may be thinking, “I can’t think of 30 things I appreciate about my husband.” Well, think of one and say it every day for the next 30 days. But express to him—it may be the fact that he brought a paycheck home. It may be the way he mowed the lawn that made it look really nice. But something he has done or something about him that you appreciate that you’re grateful for, say it to him. And say it to someone else about him.

You say, “What will be different in 30 days? Will my husband change?” I can’t make any guarantees about that because that’s not our job. That’s not our responsibility. But I can tell you as women have told me over the years, you will change. You will see your husband through different eyes. You’ll be investing in his stock.

As Nancy has reminded us, what you invest in, you come to cherish, to treasure, and to love. That’s what you want to do with a husband that God has given you.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been offering hope to women in tough marriages. Our guests Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby have been offering practical advice, as well, on how to communicate with your husband and invest in your marriage.

If you’ve missed any of this helpful material, you can order the conversation on CD by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. Look for the series The Politically Incorrect Wife.

If you’re more of a book learner, I hope you’ll get a copy of the book our guests wrote. It’s called How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. This is a wonderful resource on developing true communication with your spouse. We’ll provide you a copy when you make a donation to Revive Our Hearts.

There are women across the country and in your community who not only listen to Revive Our Hearts, they also give. That makes the program possible and it makes ministry possible in real homes and marriages.

One Revive Our Hearts listener wrote us to explain how the program has been affecting her marriage. She said:

Everyone can see the difference in how I treat my husband. Even when he does things that really upset me, I’m able to respond in love versus anger. God is good.

Did you know your donation will help make more stories like that possible? When you call us to donate by phone, make sure to ask for the book we’ve been hearing about today. It’s called How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You.

We’ll send it as our thanks for your donation when you call 1-800-569-5959 or donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com. We’ll still send the book. Just follow the instructions at the site.

You know forgiveness plays a huge role in a marriage. Hear why tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

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

 

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