I have a few pet peeves. Well, probably more than a few. And if I tried to list them, there is one that would make the top five. Maybe the top three.
I'm not talking about good natured teasing. I'm talking about the tendency for women to gather for lunch or an evening out and spend a significant portion of their time airing their husband's faults and weaknesses, usually to a receptive and appreciative audience who can't wait for their turn to do the same.
It's like fingernails on the chalkboard.
Or talking during a movie.
Or book reviews that give away the entire plot making it pointless for me to read the book.
I'm not implying that women should never say anything negative about their spouse. Relationships are hard work. And sometimes, a little advice from a carefully chosen person can help you see things in a new light.
But it shouldn't be in a group of twenty in the middle of a crowded restaurant at full volume.
We live in a society that heaps pressure on men and then mocks them in movies and television commercials. Regardless of whether they succeed or fail, they can't win.
So what's a wife, friend, sister, mom, to do?
Sure, we can affirm them. We can try to love them the way they want to be loved. We can make their favorite meal and be sensitive to pressures at work. We can encourage them to develop and maintain friendships, get enough exercise, and eat right.
But there is something else.
Something so much better that it could revolutionize our relationships and revitalize the men we love. Something so simple, we often overlook or minimize its importance.
We could pray for them.
I'm sure many of you do. But what if there was a resource that could help you pray for your husbands using the Word of God, tailored to specific seasons in their lives?
Praying God's Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp is just such a book. She spends the first few chapters talking about why this type of prayer is so effective, gives tips for establishing a routine, and shares suggestions for ways to partner with other women who also have a desire to pray faithfully for their husbands.
In the remainder of the book, each chapter focuses on a particular topic (Employment, Finances, His Relationship with Others, His Relationship with You, Parenting, Health, etc.) and while there is a little bit of narrative, the bulk of the chapters is made up of specific Scriptures, followed by sample prayers based on those verses.
It is a fabulous resource. You can pray through the different topics on a rotation, or use it to specifically address areas where your husband is struggling at the moment.
While this book is written for wives praying for their husbands, I think it's also a great resource for moms who want to pray for their adults sons, sisters who want to pray for their brothers, and daughters who want to pray for their fathers.
This book has earned a permanent spot in my "quiet time" stack (along with my Bible, my gratitude journal, and my copy of Jesus Calling).
I highly recommend Praying God's Word for Your Husband.
Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
The fine print: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review. Opinions are my own.