“If I wouldn’t listen to my wife, God was saying He wouldn’t listen to me.”
Have you ever felt God isn’t listening to your prayers? Have you ever felt weak?
Dr. Tom Elliff reveals some surprising truths this week on The Noble Man Podcast as we discuss how The Noble Man Cherishes His Wife.
“My relationship with my wife had everything to do with whether my prayers were effective or whether they were hindered.”
1 Peter 3:7 instructs, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” ESV
What Does it Mean to Cherish?
To cherish your wife is to live with her in an understanding way and show honor to her, and in doing so, your prayers will not be hindered. But how can you understand if you don’t make every effort to listen to her heart? What is her heart seeking to communicate? When we cherish someone or something, it becomes the focus of our attention. We are determined to protect it, and we want to know everything we can about it.
We can’t understand anyone unless we listen to them.
He suggests a list of 10 questions to ask her every year to gain true understanding. It begins with planned, uninterrupted time together, and it continues throughout the year as you put into action the feedback she gives.
This may sound simple, but could be a challenge for a lot of guys.
Summon the Courage to Take Action
Nothing deepens love like being an open book.
Secrets become divisive in the marriage relationship. They drive a wedge, and Satan takes up residence in every fissure he can get into.
There can be no hidden areas of life you have not allowed your spouse to invade.
“Your spouse should have the privilege of walking up and down every corridor, opening every door, pulling out every drawer, looking behind every object in our life to see what’s really there. They deserve that privilege.”
Whether you use Dr. Elliff’s list of questions or come up with your own, invest that time in understanding your wife. Listen to her answers, write them down, and go over them. Write a letter to her expressing your desire to change these things by God’s grace. Each year, as you go over the list and ask new questions, you will be gaining understanding.
Efforts ring hollow if you are not prepared to put them into action. “It’s good for couples to be accountable to God, other men, but we must be accountable to our mate in life.”
“Men need men, and men who think they don’t are the weakest of all men, not the strongest.”
Find mentors and other men who help hold you accountable. Being forced into some level of isolation doesn’t mean you can’t be connected. We need it more than we ever have.
We are familiar with Proverbs 17:7, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” but for iron to sharpen, you have to have abrasion. A knife has to be sharp to be valuable. Who are you sharpening, and who is sharpening you? If someone grinds on you, sparks are gonna fly, there will be heat and it will be uncomfortable, but we need those guys in our lives.
According to Dr. Elliff, we never graduate out of needing accountability. He willingly shares that at 78 years old, his own mentor recently charged him not to celebrate too early.
“How many football games are lost because players celebrate too early. Don’t celebrate too early. That is what heaven is for. Keep your head down, keep digging, don’t look back, cross the finish line, and we will celebrate together in heaven.”
For young men, this begins before the altar. Make sure you cherish Jesus above everything else. Keep your heart before God so the devil does not have an opportunity to gain ground. Marriage is a “cherished” time. Determine to protect it, focus your attention on her, and get to know everything you can about her.
Access Dr. Elliff’s Marriage Workshop on The Noble Man Richmond Virtual Conference HERE.