I’ve been quite open about my own marriage on this blog. Josh and I come from two different spiritual backgrounds that made my road to understanding Scripture much easier than it was for him. I also have a four-year religion degree, when he spent his own college years studying engineering. I’m a reader; he’s learning to be. All of this stacks up to mean two very different ways of seeking God through the Word.
In our six years of marriage I have seen Josh’s faith grow by leaps and bounds and watched his knowledge of Scripture expand – what a delight to watch! And while he has gone about it differently than I do, it has led to just as much growth and understanding as my own methods have.
As Josh’s wife, a big part of my role is leading him closer to the Lord by example and encouragement. I can’t force him to seek God and I certainly can’t make him do so according to my own template. But I can pray for his heart to desire the Lord, keep open lines of communication about the state of his spiritual life, and encourage him in the ways that he best appreciates.
If you’re a wife wanting to encourage your own husband in his faith, first read this post and also this one. Watch this video if you think “spiritual leadership” means you have no part in encouraging your husband’s faith. Then, read on!
Diligently Pray for Him
This is the most underrated step in encouraging your husband’s faith. It’s easier to say words, but in 1 Corinthians 7 we see that a wife’s example has far more power to bringing a man to faith (or deeper into it!) than anything else. It’s tempting to remind and nag, but before a word rolls off our tongues we should ask, “Did I pray for my husband today?”
Stormie O’Martian has a book on praying for your husband that may be helpful if you’re getting started on this journey, and here are some of the things I pray for Josh:
- Pray for him to be surrounded by godly men who encourage him to seek God and inspire him to take interest in deeper things
- Pray for him to desire the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt. 22:37)
- Pray for him to make the Word a priority and to devote himself to learning from it (Psalm 119)
- Pray for him to have the eyes of his heart opened to the truth of the Word and to find it interesting and engaging
Customize your prayers to the needs, struggles and interests of your own husband, but I also recommend praying Scripture over him! I use Jodie Berndt’s “Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children” for my kids each day, and you can use the same concept when praying for your spouse.
Ask Him How You Can Help
Rather than remind your husband that “it’s been a while” or compare his devotional study to yours, ask him how you can best encourage him in his faith. Years ago I heard a sermon on respect that said husbands don’t all desire respect the same way; you have to ask him what expresses respect the most (same as using love languages to better express affection). I think this carries over into our spiritual lives. “Reminding” might be helpful to one man, and unhelpful to another, who may feel as if he’s failing with every remind. Have a conversation about how you can best encourage his faith and support him in going deeper with God.
I must add that this kind of conversation works best when you are communicating well on a daily basis. If you are not keeping clean lines of communication in general, talking about the state of someone’s spiritual life can feel accusatory or as if they “can’t do anything right”. If you’re struggling to communicate in a healthy way, find a biblical counselor or meet with your pastor/elders to get further wisdom and insight. And pray!
Explore Resources to Help Him Learn
If your husband is excited and open to the idea of studying in a deeper way (whether it’s new to him or he’s coming back to a regular routine after a while away), finding great resources to encourage his walk may be helpful! Josh has really enjoyed the Daily Grace Co. studies I got him for Christmas and reading plans we’ve participated in on YouVersion. My latest gift to him, though, is probably his favorite!
The He Reads Truth CSB Bible was my latest addition to his little stack. He loves it because it has notes, maps, commentary, and context built right into the text. It’s also beautiful (much like the She Reads Truth version!), hard cover, and will hold up much better than the soft cover NLT he has leftover from college.
A little about the He Reads Truth Bible and a coupon code for readers below:
The CSB He Reads Truth Bible is a unique men’s Bible that includes robust, well-crafted theological extras to draw the reader back to Scripture, increase biblical literacy, and foster a growing affection for God and His Word. This Bible is color coded by genre, and each book of the Bible features detailed book introductions, a reading plan with supplemental passages for deeper understanding, and full-color maps, charts, and timelines by the He Reads Truth team. In addition, the He Reads Truth Bible features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization. This Bible for men invites every man to count himself as part of the He Reads Truth community of “Men in the Word of God every day.”
The He Reads Truth Bible offers a rare combination of creativity and insight into Scripture for men to explore the beauty, goodness and truth of God’s Word. The result is that whether looking to pair this Bible for men with existing daily devotions or using it as an anchor resource to teach a class, the CSB He Reads Truth Bible could be the perfect option.
Features include 66 hand-lettered key verses, 17 full-color timelines, 21 maps, 122 charts (including infographics and lists), and 4 illustrations, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note taking.
The He Reads Truth Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.
If you’re thinking He Reads Truth would be a great choice for your husband or a man in your life, the code for 50% off will be HEREADS50, valid from 2/7-4/1 on any CSB He Reads Truth Bibles on LifeWay.com.