How are you in the “praise” department? Are you known for seeing the best in people and encouraging them? Do you find it easy to brag on God and what He has done for you? Or do you find yourself focusing on the “issues” in people and “what if ’s” with God?
Praise is vital to your relationship with God. As we praise Him, we acknowledge that He is worthy of honor. We salute Him as the One who ranks higher than all people, things, and dreams. No one is worthy of being celebrated as much as God is, because God Himself gives every good gift that we enjoy (James 1:17).
When you married Mr. Right, you received a gift of indescribable value. Your husband is an original. He’s God’s unique expression of love, power, and creativity. There will never be another man created like the one you’ve married. This man is an unrepeatable miracle.
A person’s value has everything to do with God, the Creator, and very little to do with individual successes and failures. God’s love and favor do not hinge on a person’s goodness:
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made (Psalm 145:9).
For He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil (Luke 6:35).
Your husband belongs to God. If he were the only person alive, God would have allowed Jesus to leave the perfection of heaven to die just for him. God delights in your man — regardless. Regardless of his mistakes, bad manners, failed attempts to remember what is important to you, or lack of interest in your family, God celebrates him.
Will you join God in that celebration of your beloved? Will you praise God for the gift of __________?
You have committed to love, honor, and cherish God’s masterpiece from now until death separates you from him. God, your gentle shepherd, will guide you and empower you to see what He sees in your husband. All you have to do is keep your eyes on God. You can praise God today because He is a faithful God and His faithfulness is applied to helping you cherish your husband.
Keep in mind that you are not the only person in this marriage fighting a spiritual battle. Your husband, who is commissioned to love you as Christ loved the Church, is most certainly a target in the sites of the deceiver. He will attempt to entice your husband to compete with God in some way. He will take advantage of opportunities to discourage your husband from relying on God for wisdom and strength to lead your family.
And what if the enemy chose to use your mouth to bring your husband down? Would he use the tactic of comparison? Would he suggest to you that your husband was less than some other man you’ve noticed or maybe even less capable than you? Or would he list for you every mistake your husband had made, hoping you would verbally bash your husband for all to hear?
Bashing your husband is taking a shot at God, the One who created him.
And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
My best advice, friend, is to fill your mouth with the greatness of God so you do not have the space and time in your life to offend God in this way.
With your life focused on the greatness of God, you will enjoy His creation of your husband, regardless of the circumstances. God will empower you to praise Him for the gift of your spouse. He will give you courage to see in faith what He sees in this spiritual realm. He will employ your mouth to speak blessings over your husband (Proverbs 18:21).
Praise is our first line of defense in spiritual battle.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, we learn that King Jehoshaphat faced a battle against three armies at the same time. He recognized his need for God’s intervention and called for a day of prayer and fasting. The Lord’s answer was unlike any battle plan a warrior could imagine. He told them where to go, and to merely “stand firm.” He explained that He was fighting for them and they would not have to do the fighting.
With faith in God’s promise, Jehoshaphat arranged a choir to lead them, singing praises to God along the way to their God-given destination. The victory cheers preceded the victory. Why? Because they knew God could be trusted. This is such a beautiful example of faith in action.
How will you apply this to your marriage?
Look at the forces that threaten marriages — health, finances, addiction, communication, and more. Can you praise Him now for what He will do for you and __________? Will you let God fight the battles for you?
Can you celebrate in advance of the victory God will bring? Will you act in faith because you KNOW God will move on your behalf and accomplish more than you could dare to ask or dream?
Will you praise Him no matter what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears?
Amazing God, I want Jehoshaphat’s faith! Grant me a deep and abiding trust in You so that I will seek Your face for wisdom and power. Fill my mind with thoughts of You. Inject my soul with the steadfast desire to praise You regardless of our circumstances (1 Corinthians 2:5; Daniel 2:20; Isaiah 26:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
God, I praise You for Your amazing creative power. You created my husband, __________, with as much attention to detail as every other person in this world. You marked him with Your very own image. He is one of Your completely unique masterpieces (Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 64:8).
Your plan for him included his parents. Thank You for using his mother, __________, and father, __________, to bring __________ into the world. You knew I would be his wife before he was even born. Thank You for every influence in his life that You have used to shape his personality and his passions (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 1:11).
I confess to You the times when I have desired that __________ change to be something different. I have wished that he were __________, __________, and __________ (1 John 1:9).
Purify my mind, Lord. Transform my thoughts by the power of Your Word. Show me where and when my thoughts about __________ do not agree with Your thoughts. Ignite in me an unquenchable desire to see him as You see him. Let Your Holy Spirit be my husband-appreciating coach, pointing out to me his noble and praiseworthy attributes (2 Corinthians 7:1; Romans 12:2; John 14:26; Philippians 4:8).
Thank you for the influence You have given me in __________’s life. Use me to affirm him, his purpose in Your kingdom, and the gifts You have given him. When he looks into my eyes, I want him to experience Your love and compassion. When he hears my voice calling his name, let him hear Your voice delighting in him. When he hears me talk about him, confirm for him the value of his life as Your creation (1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:1, 33; Zephaniah 3:17).
Your plans for __________ are good. The gifts You have given him are many. I celebrate the gifts of __________, __________, __________, and __________ You have woven into him. Thank You, Lord, for Your unlimited wealth of resources, wisdom, and strength available to __________. With Your gifts, Your leadership, and Your power, __________ will fulfill the purposes You brought him to life to accomplish (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 12:6– 8; 1 Peter 4:10; Psalm 50:10; Ecclesiastes 5:19; James 1:5; Ephesians 2:10, 3:16).
Thank You for making me one with this man, Your unique work of art (Matthew 19:5–6; Ephesians 2:10).
Jennifer O. White is the author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding Dress and Marriage Armor for the #PrayingBride. Jennifer is a natural encourager who offers hope from the truths from God’s Word at her blog,Prayerfully Speaking. With every blog post, Jennifer is exalts the one true God who can empower us to do more than we can ask or imagine.
Jennifer O. White, Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding Dress New Leaf Press, ©2015. Used by permission. http://www.nlpg.com. Jennifer is offering Chapter 15 of Prayers for New Brides – Seeing Your Spouse through God’s Eyes as a free download. It is one of the most important lesson I’ve learned as David’s wife. Click here to get your copy.