A Tender Heart
This is the fourth essay in a five-part series on Marriage Advice
from 1 Peter 3:8.
...have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
A Tender Heart
So, in Greek, eusplagchnos, means good intestines. We now talk about our “heart” as our center of love and affection. Many translations mark it as well compassioned.
Good ole Webster explains it like this:
Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it.
Seriously, I am so crazy about that definition. Pain and regret by itself doesn't move anyone to action. But stir some love in… and you have compassion.
It seems that most men don't love talking about the painful parts of their lives… but that doesn't mean we, as wives, can pray for them and support them through their struggles… that we can have compassion on what is going on in their hearts and minds. Here are five areas of his inner workings to pray about. In doing so, beg God to give you compassion for your husband.
All of us have scars from past decisions, personality traits, and life disappointments. Pray that God will meet your husband in those bruised places… that He will be the balm of the secret wounds. Pray that you will be sensitive to those tender spots and will not use them against your husband. Pray that God will open your eyes to ways you can encourage your husband.
Pray that God will work through your husband's relationships. Pray that pride, self-salvation, and self-glory will diminish so that both people will be able to lean towards God. Pray for open doors of communication and servant-hood. Pray that you and your husband will both be peace-makers. Pray that you will not meddle nor gossip. Pray that God will give you the right words and will help you know when to keep your mouth shut.
Pray that God will help you see how He is working through your husband. Pray that you will share the load of his heart… but more importantly, that he will not try to rely on his own strength, but will submit to our generous, helpful God. Pray that God will overwhelm him with His love and faithfulness. Pray that God will give you wisdom of how -and if-and when- to reach in and ease his burdens.
Pray that your husband will seek God alone as his comfort and strength. Pray that his time and heart are full of God's Word and prayer. Pray that you will not nag, judge, or get frustrated by what relaxes him… knowing that you, too, spend more time on Pinterest, Facebook, or in a good book than you'd like. Pray that video games, sports, or flipping channels will not consume him but that both of you will seek time with the Lord.
Pray that God will give him good friends. Pray that he will have godly men who speak into his life. Pray that their laughter, sportsmanship, and honesty lead each other to God's throne. Pray that you will make room in your life for his friendships and not begrudge him.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.