Mentoring

Hard Hearts, Bad; Soft Hearts, Good

Lately, I have been asked this question by many women:  What do you do when you have a hard-hearted husband and God told you to stay in your marriage? That’s quite a loaded question and a very tough one to answer.  And while the answer is simple, it is awfully difficult to stomach. Pray. We’ve trained ourselves to look for answers that we can touch.  We would like a 3-point message that will tell us how to change a person.  Unfortunately, even the greatest speakers and orators can’t give such a speech. I don’t remember the day or the person who shared this passage with me or even where I was, for that matter.  But I do remember the passage.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:26
So, for years now, I’ve been praying for people whose hearts seem to be a little on the hard side.  For those people who seem to think they’ve got it all together and actually do no wrong, I pray for brokenness.  For those people who still love their sin, I pray they develop a hatred for it.  For those who have turned from their faith in God, I pray for a return. I pray that God will give them a new heart and a new spirit and remove their hard heart and give them one that is pliable to the Master’s touch. I’ve seen remarkable results in doing this.  And quite frankly, am still waiting to see many hearts softened…even after praying for over a decade.  Truth is, I may never see a transformation in some, but I still pray.  I still believe. My God is the creator of the possible.

13 thoughts on “Hard Hearts, Bad; Soft Hearts, Good”

  1. Thank you. I pray for brokenness and a soft heart not only for my husband – but for the areas that God wants to work in me also.

  2. I thought I’d chime in with a man’s perspective. I totally believe in prayer and how that is a great first step in getting you and God on the same page to start something good. I would like however to encourage women that this is just the first step in a battle. Not against your husband, but against the enemy that seeks to destroy your marriage.

    Women, you did not marry a hairy version of yourself, but a different species. It is up to both men and women to become knowledgeable in the other sex. Get your Phd in men!

    Here’s a good start;
    http://christianranter.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/stop-that-weddin-pt-3/

    Want to know when is a good time to talk about connectedness with your husband? Then do some research on men, testosterone and oxytocin.

    Get into some counseling. Read books, talk with friends, get into a women’s group where you can form battle plans.

    The point is, don’t stay on your knees! A commander of an army will pray before battle, but still needs to send his troops into harms way.

    Satan’s greatest asset is ignorant men and women when it comes to marriage. It’s time to defeat this foe and it can only happen by taking action.

  3. Thank you. I am praying for soft hearts and hatred of sin…for my husband AND for the areas where I know God wants to work in me.

  4. Not related to marriage, but still a hard heart: I’ve been praying for my Uncle for YEARS! I still do and we talk about stuff, but until he is ready to surrender, well, I’ve done what I can.

  5. Cindy, so thankful u r addressing this!! If our hearts r closed to our husbands, it’s probably closed to God.
    We need to be on our knees asking God for His love to pour out of every pore into all those we r closed to. If not, it’s just an opportunity for the enemy to steal your joy, your life, to distract you from what really matters.

    Let the thief steal no more!

  6. A great post!

    Although prayer is very important, I agree with Des to gather information from others to understand the oppostie sex even better. The informed we are the better equipped we are to battle the evil one! By information I just don’t mean books and people, but truly being silent and listening for the will of the Lord and read the Word of God and again listen to Him whipser sweetly to us the action plan He would like us to take. Ask the Lord to send Godly brothers and sisters in Christ to come along side you and pray as well and be listeners and advice givers when we ourselves are not thinking in our right mind because anger has overcome us.

  7. Hi Cindy,

    It is so vital that we pray, isn’t it? I wish I didn’t have to say, “But….” yet, I do. So many times wives simply stop at praying…never going further. They pray that God changes their circumstances, or makes their husband behave better, or stop doing this, that or something else. But the wives very often never confront their husband, about their sin! Many fear doing so…and others simply don’t feel like it’s their job, often using Scripture…(out of context) to justify their silence.

    I personally have learned that boundaries need to be set in marriage and consequences given if the boundaries are overstepped. I would expect the same if I were behaving unbiblically. This is exactly what God does with us…and so it can be applied to parenting, marriage and any other relationship.

    A wife can be surrendered to Jesus and submissive to her husband all while telling her husband the truth, in love, with gentleness.

    I also agree with the other posters that becoming educated and learning Christ helps us to walk in the role of wife. Reading the Word, listening to solid Bible teaching, reading topic specific, Biblically based books…all of this has helped me to overcome sin in my husband’s life…as well as my own. (Emphasis on “my own sin” and that’s part of the process of boundary setting, understanding that I am a sinner too and deeply in need of grace, just as much as my husband.)

    Two books, excellent resources are Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp and Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Both books describe the process of learning how to set Biblical boundaries in marriage, how to encourage our spouse in the truth…and how to make sure our own heart is focused on Jesus, rather than on self.

  8. Wow. This actually answered a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for some time….and no, it’s not the original question, however the answer still applies. And deep down, I knew the answer. It’s just nice to have someone you respect back it up as well. 😉

  9. great post, cindy. i used to be the hard one…and i’m convinced that the ONLY place a person can live is in a constant state of brokenness.

    beautifully said.

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