There is a promise in Galatians that will help you pray and be patient as God does his great work in your husband. It reads: For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5). Paul’s emphasis in that verse is on how God’s grace, not our own efforts, changes us and makes us holy. In other words, righteousness is not something you can achieve, it is something that you can only receive. There are four prominent nouns in Galatians 5:5—Spirit, faith, hope and righteousness. There is only one verb—waiting. As God makes us holy, we have to wait and depend on him through faith to do his work in us.
Now apply this verse to your husband. As you pray for him to become more like Christ, this verse tells you exactly what’s required for your husband to change:
- The Holy Spirit—Only he can produce change in your man’s life
- Faith—You have to believe God’s promise to answer your prayers and to work in your man
- Hope—Your prayers and the promises of God’s Word will produce great hope in you for your husband
- Righteousness—Holiness and righteousness are the goal of the Spirit’s work in your man’s life
- Waiting—Time is required for real life-change to occur
I hope you will talk to the Lord every day about your husband, and I hope you’ll do it with the language of Galatians 5:5.
- Tell God that you trust the Holy Spirit to accomplish his great work in your man’s life. Submit in prayer to the Spirit’s agenda, not your own, for your husband.
- Tell God you believe his Word and that you know he will come through for you and your man.
- Ask God to increase your hope for your husband and your marriage. Pray that your hope of God’s work in your man will equip you to remain faithful and obedient to Jesus in the potentially difficult days of change that lie ahead.
- Pray that your husband will hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness (see Matthew 5:6).
- Ask God for the strength and grace to wait patiently for the Spirit to complete his work in your husband. Tell God that you will give him all the time necessary to complete his work in your husband.
Ladies, if your husband isn’t yet the Christian that you want him to be or think he needs to be, I want to encourage you to wait for him and to not bail out on the process. Please don’t try to manipulate the outcome and don’t give God a deadline. Your husband can change. Please be as patient in waiting for your man to mature as Christ has been in waiting for you. Don’t be judgmental, don’t become bitter, and don’t start thinking that you deserve better. Remember that you are married first and foremost to Jesus. Draw your comfort and strength from him as he works to make your husband a mighty man of God.
Finally, I want you to know that I’ve seen countless examples of God answering the pinpoint prayers of praying wives. I’ve seen men who were completely uninterested in the things of God become praying, serving, worshiping and godly followers of Christ. And, behind every one of those dramatic changes was a praying, faithful patient woman. Pray for your husband. God will answer your prayers.