“Mom, you should have a shop. You could sell oils and Jesus stuff and coffee, and I’ll be the baker,” my 8 year old, entrepreneurial daughter tells me.
This is just one idea out of hundreds my kids have come up with over the years to secure employment for me. (Our 7 year old son also thinks Daddy should own a bowling alley rather than “go to the office” because what could be cooler than owning a bowling alley?) It makes me laugh and slightly furious that they think I need a full-time job to keep me busy… Like being their cook, teacher, taxi driver, laundry service, maid, and full time secretary, referee, and counselor is not enough.
I’m sort of tapped out y’all, but thanks anyway.
My husband and I decided 13 years ago, when our first child was born, that I would stay home and we would sacrifice what we needed to live on one income. And let me be clear, at the time, that income was extremely limited and uncertain. The babies came much faster than the raises did but the hard roads of those years and the sacred treasures we found along the way deserve their own space.
I don’t own a shop. I don’t sell a thing. I bring no financial value to the household. I doubt you’ll find a harder worker than me — the hats I wear are endless, as every SAHM knows, and my husband assures me I’d be “expensive to replace” (um, thanks?). I have plenty of work but no pay. But let me tell you about my J-O-B.
More specifically, it’s prayer for favor over my husband’s job.
That is my contribution and I believe it is every bit as valuable as any bottom line you want to show me.
It’s February which means the twinkling lights of Christmas have been replaced (or not, whatever, don’t judge me, I like them) with hearts and ads for over-priced roses. My hubs and I aren’t great at it, though he has always been a better gift giver than me. But the way to my heart will forever be a cheese plate, hotel stay, and spa visit and that is a little hard to come by on a Wednesday night in the middle of basketball practices and little league try-outs.
So what I’ll give him this year is the same thing I give him everyday. It may not be sexy but I know it is effective and powerful. As he goes out into the work force to provide for our family, I pray for him like it is my job.
Do you know the story of Obed-Edom from 2 Samuel 6? It’s crazy and a little scary but I have a point here so stay with me.
David has just been crowned King of Israel and, after a couple of key victories in battle, he decides it is time to bring the Ark of the Covenant to its permanent dwelling place in Jerusalem. The Ark was more than just a sacred symbol to the Israelites. It was the place the actual glory and presence of God rested. Things were different before Jesus (understatement)! The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament days was selective and temporary, meaning that it wasn’t available to everyone all the time. David wanted the Ark near because he wanted God’s presence near. But there were ancient rules about transporting the Ark. Only the priests could carry it on poles and everyone else was supposed to stay about a thousand yards away. These laws were a sobering reminder of God’s holiness in light of the Israelite’s sinfulness.
But high on victory and anticipation of a new reign, David and his men decided the rules did not apply to them. They put the Ark on a cart pulled by oxen and headed to Jerusalem. When the oxen stumbled along the way a good ‘ole boy named Uzzah reached out to steady it.
AND WAS STRUCK DEAD.
God is not messing around.
It says in 2 Samuel 6:8 that David was, “angry because of the Lord’s wrath,” and in verse 9 that he was “afraid of the the Lord that day.”
So, he decides the trip stops there. Too risky, I guess. Or too much trouble to follow the rules. 2 Samuel 6:10 reads, “He was not willing to take the Ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.”
And watch what happens…
“The Ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.”
The Lord blew the doors off of Obed-Edom’s life with blessing. He blessed his wife and kids and extended family, his work, flocks and crops, his entire household. In fact, the blessing of the Lord was so obvious and profound that word got back to King David and he decided that following the rules and risking the wrath of God was worth it. He went back to Obed’s home and did what he had to do to bring the ark to Jerusalem. Why? He wanted the blessing!
Let me ask you? What had Obed-Edom done to deserve the blessing and favor of the Lord?
All he did was live in the same house with the Ark, where the presence and glory of God resided.
Ladies, this Valentine’s Day, just call your man “Obed-Edom.”
You see, after Jesus came and then ascended, He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell in each of His followers. In John 14:16-17 Jesus says, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.” We also read in 1 Corinthians 6:19′ “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? “
Now we are the place the presence and glory of God dwells. We carry it with us wherever we go. Just as Obed-Edom was blessed by the Ark of the Covenant dwelling in his home, your husband, his work and his company can be blessed by the nearness of God’s presence through you.
So we pray. We pray for favor over our husband’s lives and health and work. We don’t look for formulas, we express faith. Learn about prayer, read about it, study different forms of prayer, by all means get a pretty prayer journal… but never let any of that take the place of actually PRAYING. There are no guarantees. Prayer will always carry with it an essence of mystery. It cannot be more about results than relationship. But I will tell you, God is faithful. My husband has been granted favor and opportunities his degree and experience should not have afforded him. He works with people of high integrity in a slimy world. We have always had what we needed. And best of all, he loves his job and his people. Maybe all of that is coincidental, maybe it’s all luck and hard work. But maybe it’s God listening to a wife’s prayers for favor over her man and his career. It’s not my job to figure it all out… it is my J-O-B to obey and pray.
So today I am giving you two tools I hope will be helpful as you pray favor over your man like it is your J-O-B. First, I have put some of my favorite scriptures to pray over my hubs in prayer form. Praying Scripture is POWERFUL (I will never stop beating this drum) but sometimes we skip over treasures because the language feels strange. I hope these cards will make the verses more accessible as you “Ark of the Covenant” of your own Obed-Edom.Next I have put the same verses in note form for you to give to your husband this Valentine’s Day and for the days to come. I believe it is a gift for them to know they are being lifted in prayer by their wives. I believe they will have a new confidence knowing the blessing you are calling down over them as they head out to the office or bowling alley. Stick them to his mirror, in his wallet, on his dash, by his coffee mug… You house the Spirit and presence of the Living God and your man is blessed by it!So whether you are a SAHM like me, or pound the pavement of the workforce right next to your man, the one thing you can bring to the table is prayer. Get after it like it is your J-O-B.
Happy Valentine’s Day from my Obed and me to you and yours!