My mentor had me do an interesting exercise that involved writing a one page letter to my wife. The contents of the letter were me expressing to my wife what it is to be a Christian husband. I was to write what it should look like for me, Mark – not you, a pastor, a preacher, or anyone else – to be a Christian husband.
The letter was a very fruitful exercise, but it was more than an exercise. I had to take a long, hard, prayerful look at what I had been, versus what Scripture says I should have been, and should be, as a Christian husband.
I got on my knees and got to work. The result was wonderful! Before I share the result I will share some tips for writing your own letter.
The main ingredients you’ll need is a place to kneel (knee pads optional), the Bible, prayer (lots), humility (lots), and a teachable spirit (mix with the humility). If you have a hard time coming up with specific areas to include consider using Bible study tools to help. Of course, feel free to add to the ingredients – it’s your letter.
You may or may not want to give your letter a title; I did. Consider opening the letter with a short explanation of why you are writing, to whom you are writing , and your motives for writing. Express your heartfelt desired biblical outcome.
For the body of the letter, consider the places Scripture speaks of husbands, such as Eph. 5:25 & 28, Col. 3:19 and 1 Pt. 3:7. Also, consider how Christians are to treat and love one another in general. A foundational place to start may be with the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5. In light of these biblical descriptions, think carefully about the different areas of your marriage that needs the most help.
As you decide on which areas of life to include in your letter consider topics like prayer, love, joy, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and giving yourself up for your wife. Describe what life is going to look like in those keys areas going forward.
Prayer, for example, is a good topic to include. What kind of personal prayer time do you have now? With your wife? How often do you have prayer and devotions together? Do you know what your wife’s personal prayer life is like? Do you know with what spiritual issues your wife dealing? Prayerfully work through similar questions of your own.
Take the answers to those questions and explain what those areas of prayer should look like. Commit to what they will look like. For example, express the number of prayer/devotion times you will set aside each week, how they will be structured, etc.
Conclude the letter however you like. Some of you may think of your letter as promises to your wife so conclude as such. Or you may finish with an important concluding key area that ends the letter well.
Finally, the pay-off. Read the letter to your wife. Don’t tell her about it – surprise her!
My result was my wife absolutely loved it. Our letter is so special that we decided not to share it with anyone – sorry, you can’t read it. The letter works well as a great tool to gauge the spiritual progress in your marriage.
Husbands, the challenge is to write your letter sooner rather than later, if you’re going to. Write it now!
For the Kingdom…
P.S. Don’t write your letter, read it to your wife and file it away. Give her a copy of her own and keep yours handy so you can reference it and read it to your wife from time to time.
P.P.S. Please come back and share the results of your letter writing to encourage others in their marriage.