In Ephesians 5:33, the apostle Paul wrote, “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
As God does not command things that are unnecessary, we can then infer that a woman has a need to feel loved (which no one ever disputes); but in the same token, we must then conclude that a man has a need to feel respected. And of course, the man’s need for respect has been largely glossed over by many throughout history, including in the church.
That’s why it was extremely refreshing to hear recently from a pastor who was beginning to connect the dots between scripture’s command to respect the husband and the God in whose image all men are created:
How do I ask my husband if he prays for me? Or should I not ask and hope he does?
When a wife asks her husband, “Did you pray for me?” often times she does so in such a way that her husband hears a potential “gotcha” behind this question. Many are leery of why she asks, since he knows he prays less than she does; and he is also very aware of how often he forgets to pray at all, let alone pray for his wife specifically.
But if he remains silent to his wife’s inquiry, he anticipates hearing, “If you did not pray for me, and I don’t think you did, which is why I am asking, this just proves how little you think of me or care about my concerns.”
So now that you know what is going through your husband’s mind when you ask him about if he prays for you, what can you do? You don’t want to be the nagging wife, but you certainly also have a right to expect that he as the spiritual leader of the family is advocating for you through prayer to our heavenly Father.
Can you relate at all with the following scenario?
A husband says to himself early in the marriage, “I’ll pray with her and we can be in a Bible study together with other couples.”
As the months pass, he experiences something that de-energizes him: Immediately after one of their regular prayer times together, his wife comments, “You forgot to pray for my mother who isn’t feeling well.” After another prayer time a short time later, she accused him, “You didn’t pray for me. Do you ever pray for me?” Then a couple weeks later, after their couples Bible study one night she says to her husband, “I can’t believe you said what you did to Mary about her son swinging from the rafters at church and needing a time-out. She is struggling as a mother. That was insensitive.”
It doesn’t take long for the husband to pull back from his wife spiritually. As a result, he stops offering to pray with her and grows quiet at the Bible study.