Monday, July 5, 2010

What If My Husband Isn't Into It?

Something is on my heart that I need to share. We'll be back next week with another Memorial Box Monday. I'm sorry for any inconvenience.



I've gotten literally dozens and dozens and dozens of letters from women asking something like this: What if my husband isn't into adoption? or What if my husband doesn't want anymore kids? or What if my husband thinks that we have enough kids but I feel God tugging my heart to adopt? All of the letters seem to close with this: Would you please pray for me? Would you pray for him? Would you pray for us? {I've even had some letters from husbands who ask me to pray for them because their wife just doesn't want to adopt.}


I have asked Dw to write a guest post in the days ahead {I know you guys love him!} about the calling on men to lead out for the orphan. But while we wait on that, I felt I needed to address the issue for women who are waiting. Women who are longing to adopt or longing to adopt more but their husband is not willing. {Someday I would love to talk about why it seems that women are leading in many arenas for the orphan, but that's for another day.}


Anyway, here's some thoughts on what to do if he's just not interested: First - God's heart is for the orphan. It is not a matter of "praying God's will"....His will is that there would be not one orphan in the world!! So you don't have to worry about praying to see if it is God's will. In fact that idea reminds me of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan didn't stop and say, "Hmmm, let me think about this. In fact I think I better spend some time in prayer, I need to see if it's God's will to help this man lying in the street dying." No! He just met the need. He showed his faith by his action!


I do not think God says "here is this need {orphans} now you pray about whether I want you to do anything." Not a chance. He says,



"See the need! Now what are you going to do about it?"



So the first thing I would say is start praying that God would soften your husband's heart. Find a prayer partner who also has a heart for the orphan and ask them to pray with you, agreeing together for your husband's heart to be moved/softened/changed.



Then I would begin to fast. I would fast regularly. Serious fasting. The kind that makes your belly hurt with hunger!! =) {If you seriously cannot fast for medical reasons, then I would give up something you love - chocolate, soda, chips, snacks, coffee....something that you love, love, love. I would give it up for a long period of time.
In fact can I "lay down some smack" for a minute? Forgive me, but I am pretty black and white on fasting. If you cannot fast for medical reasons, you can certainly give up chocolate {or your favorite treat} for a longer period of time than a person fasting from all food. Your commitment to giving up food or drink is your way of saying, "God I'm serious about this....I really, really want to see you move." Giving up Pepsi with your lunch for a day hardly seems to count as fasting or sacrificial, ya' know I mean? In fact scripture says in Matthew 6: When you fast....it doesn't say "if" but "when"....it's a given.....
I would fast often!! I know a young woman who is fasting once a week begging God to move on her husband's heart. I would spend my time while I was supposed to be eating {and preparing the meal} in earnest prayer. I would ask God to move the mountains in my husband's heart.
While fasting, I would do a serious gut-check. I am feeling that someone reading this needs to hear this, so here goes: Husbands are watching your response to the kids you have. If you are a chronic complainer about how the kids are "driving you nuts".....your husband is not going to be thinking that you need to be bringing home any kids that will certainly "drive you even more nuts". So for a gut-check....are you a chronic complainer about your kids, about your housework, about cleaning, cooking, messes left by the kids you do have? Is your home a disaster? Time to repent and ask God to make your heart a heart of thankfulness!!


Then start playing the thankful game. Play it all day. Memorize verses on thankfulness. Post verses around the house about thankfulness and beg God to break your complaining spirit and give you a true spirit of thankfulness. {It is His will that we all be thankful in all things, at all times!}


"In everything give thanks for this is the
will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes. 5:18


At the same time I would begin to post at least one picture of some orphans on your fridge. If you are brave, post more around your home. And start to pray for those kids needing families. Then at meal times I would include praying for the orphan in your meal time prayers. Get your kids involved share with them the needs around the world. Google some orphanages or click on the sidebar {down near the bottom} under "Special Places" Bill & Lynsay {China} or Bernie & Bennett {India}. Start praying for the children in their care. Your family will never be the same again. There is something miraculous that happens when we pray for a need!! God begins to change hearts, soften stubbornness and move mountains!!



Then I would see what you can do now for the orphan. A missions trip? Better yet: A family missions trip. Or a missions trip for you and your husband. How about a fundraiser for someone who is adopting? Helping with a fundraiser for someone who is adopting?? Do something! God is a creative God. He will give you ideas on how to help the orphans. Even start an adoption ministry at your church! Your husband will see your heart for the orphan...not just hearing about how much you care for the orphan, but watching you doing something!! Men are very visual! =) Do something!


Lastly, do not waste your time moaning and groaning about your husband not wanting to adopt! Get busy!! Care for the orphans from where you are.



How long will it take? I have absolutely no clue!! I have to say, it seems that God moves on some things very quickly. I know that other times, we must persevere in prayer {and fasting}. This could be one of those times when perseverance is a necessity - and if that be the case - wear your carpet out from being on your knees.



Some might say, "Is this manipulation?" I say, "Absolutely not!" God made women as influencers....we can either influence for good or for evil. I choose good. Loving and caring for the orphan is good!



And by the way....Never, Never, Ever, Ever tell your husband of your covert strategy! That would put pressure on him from you. No need to do that. Let the Holy Spirit gently move on your husband's heart. It's way more fun that way!!


If you are single and you want to or wish you could adopt, but aren't sure what God thinks of a single adopting....then you will love reading this.


And if your family isn't into adoption, then find some encouragement reading this!

31 Simply Sweet Words:

  1. this was great! I'm sure this will help so many! I remember feeling this way for a short (very short) while as God laid adoption on my heart first. So I started praying for God to put His desires for Jim and I into our hearts and for Him to work in Jim's heart concerning adoption...and that He did and now we have a two week old son we just adopted because of God leading us to adoption!

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  2. Another great post, filled with great words!!! I have to say that I have quietly prayed for years for God to change my hubby's heart for adopting a child with Down Syndrome. I knew it was NOT my place to manipulate or change his heart. It HAD to come from the Holy Spirit or it would not have worked the way our Father intended. It has been the most wonderful process as a wife to watch the transformation of my hubby saying yes to a child with DS knowing that it has all been led by the Holy Spirit because I chose to pray instead of nag or manipulate the situation. We would not have Gio right now had I wanted it my way instead of His way!!! Now we will have Gio and Gracie Mae!!!

    Love this post Linn! Love it!!!

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  3. This is a great post~and applies to every decision a couple must make. In our marriage, my prayer has always been that we be like-minded in our decisions concerning adding to our family, or making large purchases. God has not let us down yet...83 foster kids in the last 5 years! The prayer I had then was Lord, make us like-hearted. Then we know your will is with us. And fasting? That is some powerful stuff!

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  4. Thank you for these timely words of wisdom. They are just what I needed to hear. While adoption is something we feel is right for our family, I cannot distinguish where God would lead us to adopt from - international, foster care, etc. The desire is on our hearts, the direction is just not clear. I have often wondered myself why God has placed this desire first in myself. Now, I am realizing it is more common than I first thought.

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  5. Really enjoyed this post (and of course always enjoy your others too)!!

    Thanks for sharing once again from your heart.

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  6. love it, love it, love IT!!! :))

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  7. This post has got me thinking. Again. You see, I'm all for adoption and helping the orphans, but I'm only fifteen. And my parents (who happen to be divorced) tell me that it's wonderful that I have this passion. But I feel like I can't do anything about it. While I know that right now isn't a good time for either my mom or my dad and stepmom to have any more kids in the house, I feel like I should in some way be putting this on their hearts. Then again, I don't want to overstep my place and seem disrespectful or guilt them into feeling a certain way! I know that there are ways that I can get involved just myself, but I really want to involve my family in this!!! I would love it if you could email me any advice you have on the matter. My email address is savie(underscore)psycho(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  8. Love this post! Love your comparison to the Good Samaritan.

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  9. "I am feeling that someone reading this needs to hear this..."
    When you wrote the above sentence, I think that you were talking to me:) Thanks for telling me what I needed to hear.

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  10. I think the gut-check section was meant for me, even if not necessarily in the context of the rest of the post. Thank you for including it!

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  11. Such words of wisdom. Three years ago my husband agreed to one adoption. The first day he visited our son's orphanage on a mission trip he called home saying, "Start buying bunkbeds." I'm so grateful that my husband now shares my brokenness for orphans.

    Love the idea of posting the pics of orphans on the fridge. My hubby wouldn't have a chance. And amen regarding complaining about the children you already have!

    Tell Dw we can't wait to read his post!

    Much Love,
    Kathie

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  12. Linny
    Wow I've been praying for a confirmation today and I think I just got one.

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  13. This post could not have been more timely!

    The pastor of our church contacted me last week. We are meeting tomorrow along with another church leader.

    Why? He knows that I have a heart for orphans. He knows that I am a single mother of two - via adoption. He knows that I am a foster parent.

    He wants to learn more. He's working on a sermon on orphans!! (and on widows)

    Thanks for your post. Just the energy I needed for today.

    Now, to organize my thoughts.

    Some prayer on Wednesday afternoon at 330pm EDT would be great. His name is Eric.

    Oh...and can't wait to read your post on why 'women are more into orphan care then men.'

    Thanks again,
    K

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  14. So, through whom, or which agency, would you go for a family missions trip? We've never been on one, and our children are 10 and under. We would love to do this...just got back from Disney and we're feeling a lot of mixed emotions about that...but how do you do it with young kids? Have you ever blogged this?

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  15. Perfect!!! Needed this so much! Thank you for sharing, you hit many nails on my head. :o)
    Blessings
    Andrea

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  16. My husband and I are not on the same page at all regarding adoption - foreign or domestic.
    While I am praying for God's direction, I use much of my discretionary income to support other families' adoptions and orphanages - through support, fundraisers, etc.
    I feel like that is a good use of my resources until there are some heart changes in my home.
    Great post and awesome suggestions. Thanks for doing what you do.
    Emily from Texas

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  17. Preach it, sista. We have pictures of Betty plastered all over our house. Haha.
    And, funny thing. I was reading your post and realized I have never, not once, fasted and prayed that God would bring me a husband. DUH. Next up....
    Hey, I'm around all week. At work. Buzz me when you like.
    Love you

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  18. your blog is the only blog i read. because you bring it. and i LOVE it.

    and i love you!!!

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  19. Linny,

    I love this post and I so agree with everything you have said. I also LOVED that you put the part in there that we ALL can do something now..while we are waiting for God to give our family direction. There are children EVERYWHERE who need to be loved on. Find a need in your area of the world and start doing something!

    During our adoption process we started an adoption and orphan care ministry. God has taken it in directions that we did not really have in mind for it at first. But we are so humble to be a part of serving His children. We have recently started a blog at www.lovinggodschildren.blogspot.com

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  20. i really needed to hear this today. thank you for speaking God's heart for the orphan. your encouraging words are uplifting for the single women. xoxo

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  21. Thanks so much for this post! It's good to know that I am not alone in this "wife's burdened, hubby isn't" stage of things. :D

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  22. Go Linny!!! This was so awesome!! My daughter is a walking true story of how very powerful prayer is:O) We wouldn't have her without my knees being worn out!! God moved mighty mountains on her behalf and our lives are forever changed. He awoke the passion for missions in my husbands heart again and zeroed in on our exact calling within missions...orphan care. We desire that one day the Lord will plant us in Indonesia to care for the orphans that can't be adopted. To teach them life skills, and to show them what family looks like and share Jesus with them. Then one day they will get married and have babies and teach their babies about Jesus, and so on and so on!!! Isn't God awesome!!

    Lots of love to you,
    jenn

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  23. I Loved this post-and it couldn't be more true. I was one of those women who had the strong desire to adopt, but my husband was completly against it. For years, I tried to talk him into it, with no success. About a year ago, I decided to quit bothering him about it and just pray (and fast).

    I'm soooo happy to say that we are well on our way to our little Asian Princess. Our home study is complete and things are moving along. My husband mentioned to me the other day that he could quite possibly see us doing this again. My husband's heart was changed in a BIG way!

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  24. Linny- your email thru outlook will not work for me--would you please contact me.

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  25. woot! woot!!

    i love this, linny!!! so very much. i'll be posting a link to it on my blog and my twitter. i'm also going to be praying and implementing some of your God-ordained words here. love you bunches, friend.

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  26. Wonderful post today. My husband had agreed last week, somewhat reluctantly, to a third adoption. I prayed today that God would give him peace about the decision. We have a special little boy from China in mind but were waiting on an updated orphanage report before locking in his file. Tonight my husband came home and said a little bird had told him we should lock in his file now. We have quite a bit of information on him but I did not want to pressure my husband. I want him to be comfortable with this adoption. Anyway, I am sure that little bird was the holy spirit and my husband seemed to be much more enthusiastic about the adoption tonight. I can't wait to hear more about those reluctant husbands.

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  27. Hi!

    I am one of those ladies praying, praying, praying for my hubby. We have adopted once--twice really, but one of them unconventionally, long story. But my passion is to adopt more!!! Anyway, my husband is a godly man, and wants to do God's will. I asked him to just pray about adopting again, and to keep an open mind about what God might say, and he said he would, and he was continuing to do so. But then he kept telling me that he just did not feel like God wanted us to do it right now, if ever. Well, I was thinking. "WHY NOT??!" Why wouldn't He want us to? I even had a child laying so heavy on my heart, I could not stop thinking about him. So I prayed that God would either change my heart or my hubby's.

    Well, not long after our last conversation about that, our youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer, and I realized that this would have been the worst time to start the adoption process. Also...the boy I felt so strongly that God was laying on my heart...found his family.

    So, I started thinking about the whole God's will thing. Sometimes it is just not God's timing and we need to be patient. Also, do you ever think it might sometimes be His will for us to help orphans in a different way? Like using the $20,000+ to give to orphan care in other ways, maybe potentially helping many more orphans, instead of adopting ONE. Do you see what I'm saying? Do you ever think it could be God's will for us to help orphans in other ways and maybe not adopt more ourselves. Maybe you could address this in another post? I'm just trying to give these seemingly heartless dads the benefit of the doubt...

    Thank you!

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  28. Thank You Linny,

    I needed this reminder and a kick in the pants to get back on my knees! It has been months since I fasted!

    My disappointment in no change in my husbands willingness to adopt tends to make me (occassionally) grumbly for lack of a better word! I need to remember my role as influencer and step up my game again :)

    On a postive note we have also talked about foster care and just yesterday he gave me the go ahead to get licensed and we had a family discussion about it! Yippee Jesus - this is a move in the right direction! After reading this post, I thought about what an influence this could have on him as our three treasures and I are so excited to love on little ones in our home!

    Love, Lisa K. (Whidbey Island)

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  29. I was drawn to your blog by the title! Love it! I'm reading a book called the Freedom of Simplicity. Anyway, I have a question about this post. Is it possible that God is using the husband to lead the family in another direction, one that He has also ordained? God's will is that none should perish, but that doesn't mean everyone is called to full-time missions or the pastorate. Thanks in advance for your time in answering my question. Blessings, Jennifer

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