You Can’t: How to Make Your Spouse…

Pray. Read the Bible. Listen. Communicate. Tithe. Save. Cook. Clean. Show affection. Initiate intimacy. Spend time. Be faithful. Stay.

Whew…It would seem that ‘making’ our spouse ‘do’ what we want requires a lot effort, doesn’t it? Not from their perspective, but from ours. It would seem we want to create this super-spouse more than they want to wear the cape.

And I know there are so-called sure-fire ways on how to make the opposite sex do we want, but let’s, together, hold off on magazines, books, advice from friends, and buying movie tickets. And let’s say openly, for just a moment or two, ‘I can’t.’

‘I can’t make my spouse pray.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse read the Bible.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse listen.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse communicate.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse tithe.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse save.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse cook.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse clean.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse show affection.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse initiate intimacy.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse spend time.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse be faithful.’ ‘I can’t make my spouse stay.’

‘I can’t.’

Now here’s when it truly becomes personal, becomes real. The moment you and I trust completely that God can. That God has a plan. And that God can change the heart of any woman or man. But guess what…you’re first. You’re going to be the first…to rely totally on God and His plans for YOU. Not your spouse.

But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger. (Esther 1:12)

The book of Esther begins with control issues, as King Xerxes realizes with all of his wealth, power, prestige, and palace living that he can’t make his beautiful wife Queen Vashti, as ordered, wear the royal crown and come to the feast. And as a result, the king acts in haste and punishes his queen. (Esther 1:15)

As Christians we tend to want to help God out in our marriages. Informing God on how He can better improve our relationship. ‘You know LORD if they just prayed, like I told them to, we would be alright.’ But I have to imagine God, with a Father’s chuckle replying, ‘Oh really.’ ‘That’s all it would take.’

And with 10 years of marriage I tend to have relapses and setbacks of my own, these ‘Oh really’ moments between me and the LORD. Times where He tells me, ‘You first Tahlitha, you first.’ Reestablishing where my faith should rest and in whom it relies.

But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made. (Esther 2:1)

I would suspect that was the time God started to slowly reveal to the king that he, himself couldn’t make his ‘new queen’ (Esther) submit without changing his own heart. Preparing and directing them both to be helpmates, God’s original and most successful plan for husbands and wives.

Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. (Esther 2:10)

I believe most marriages have room in where the doors could be opened to better honor the life-long commitment that was made. But the first doors God begins to open are the personal ones, the spouse He wants us to become. To trust God completely in the areas He wants His best light to shine, revealing the work He’s doing within us.

But Mordecai heard about the plot and gave the information to Queen Esther. She then told the king about it and gave Mordecai credit for the report. (Esther 2:22)

There are hurdles in marriages, no doubt. But they can all be overcome and won, in Christ. Whether it’s 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, any Christian marriage worth the commitment has to have God above it, between it, and all around it. And if the Christian marriage has a purpose, it has a desire; to not let the Devil win. Not let him tear down walls; disrupt the stability of teamwork, God’s plan within the marriage.

13Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14)

Marriage has never at any point in our history been about taking a firm stand than now. Christian wife, Christian husband, Christian singles (future marriages), prayer and studying our Bible personally, are vigilant and determined acts. Taking God at His word and in our marriage has the power of the Holy Spirit secured in us. Knowing what God says and wants is a Christians first priority.

Esther replied, “This is my request and deepest wish.” (Esther 5:7)

And having a personal relationship with God doesn’t exclude our relationships with our spouse and children. Having an open and honest prayer life includes every member of our household. I know for myself, in the morning and throughout the day, I pray to God for my husband’s safe travel, our children’s time in school, and for their safe return. And in the evening I thank Him for His grace. God is very aware and active in every area of our lives, especially the ones we include Him in.

…“For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?”(Esther 8:6)

To see the changes of God, we have to fight for our marriage. To give the honor and the victory to King Jesus at all times. Your genuine actions in Christ can determine your spouse’s response to everything God has in store for the both of you. Trust that God will show up and show off His very nature (power).

…because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants. (Esther 10:3)

So let’s go Christian husbands, wives and singles. Let’s agree to God ‘making’ us over…first!

Tahlitha Chadwick

Photo Credit: Fikra

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  1. Great message! It all turned on this dime for me:

    “Now here’s when it truly becomes personal, becomes real. The moment you and I trust completely that God can. That God has a plan. And that God can change the heart of any woman or man. But guess what…you’re first. You’re going to be the first…to rely totally on God and His plans for YOU. Not your spouse.”

    I can apply this lesson to my kids as well… or rather to ME first 🙂
    Thanks Tahlitha!

  2. Hi Vince, I hope you’re doing well. Thanks. This is/was God fine tuning in my heart to stop, as a wife, over suggesting (nagging) God’s plan to my husband and to just be prayerful and encouraging. Examining my own heart as a wife, personally. ‘I can’t’ truly becomes God’s ‘but I can’ in prayer.

  3. This is so good and helpful, Tahlitha. Thank you and God bless you! I remember reading a book that said her most important prayer became, “Lord change me.” 🙂 Instead of Lord change him. haha!

  4. Oh boy what a mistake to think you can change your spouse. What a waste of time and energy to think we have that much power. Only God can! In fact He makes it beautiful in his own time…when we step back… Let go and let God! Awesome post!

  5. Thanks Walter. In His own time, indeed.

  6. Thanks Debbie. I’m definately a continued work in Christ.

    I’m thankful for your poems, they’re an inspiration, filled with encouragement of God’s love.

  7. Wise post. Only God can change hearts.

  8. Planting Potatoes · ·

    I am blessed by your words today……and now I will remember: me first! 🙂

  9. Me too 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  10. Oh yeah. I hear God telling me a lot to get my nose out His business with my husband. 🙂 He’s nicer than that, of course, but I get the drift. “You first….” ain’t it the truth!

  11. In deed it is, Chrystal. If we wives could master (with God’s help of course) that we could master anything that God addresses within us, humbly!

    Have a lovely weekend.

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