Help-Meet,  Marriage,  Your Letters

8 Ways to Cultivate Inner Beauty

Dear Darlene,

Your post [Men Are From Mars] was so great! I think the advice you offered Jessica was right on.

It is SO tough for a man to lose his job. My husband was so upset when this happened to him. He told me later that when he was told he was being laid off, he couldn’t stop picturing Tyler and me playing in the living room. He said it was so difficult for him not to cry in front of his boss.

He told me this later though, AFTER about a week of sulking and being impossible. You’re right–he was emotionally drained, and he just didn’t know what to do.
Many times, he goes to my father for advice because his own father passed away seven years ago. In this case, he was embarrassed to even talk to my dad because he felt like he wasn’t taking care of me.

I didn’t know what to do, either. I prayed about it a lot, and there were a lot of tears. Finally, I suggested we sit down after Tyler went to sleep and I just told him all of the reasons I love him and believe in him. I told him I was holding on just as hard as he was. He needed to hear that – he felt like such a failure even though he wasn’t saying so – his frustration was coming out of a lack of knowing what next step to take. He kicked the job search into high gear the next morning and got moving around the house until he could start the job he got, but more than that, his attitude changed. He got a little of his masculine confidence back because he could at least know that his wife was his biggest fan.

On the practical, helping-around-the-house side, he was also sort of lost, because he was used to me doing most of it and he just didn’t know what he was doing. I asked him to take over the laundry, something he doesn’t hate doing, and I showed him how to fold clothes properly. I asked him also to unload the dishwasher in the morning. Then I made a huge deal over the good job he did and thanked him a million times. Consequently, he felt good about helping, and did more without me asking him. Now that he is working again, he still does most of the laundry and says he doesn’t mind doing it. Since I work, too, I appreciate that very much.

Anyway, I never thought it would work out this way, but his time of unemployment actually ended up strengthening our marriage. Since he had to take a lower paying job and I am continuing to work for a while he works toward a job that can provide for the family alone, we are still growing in our relationship – working hard together does great things for a marriage.

Hope you’re doing well and your dad is feeling better every day.



I asked Ashley if I could share this letter with you today because I love the way she handled the situation and the steps she took to joyfully serve as his helpmeet at a time when he needed it most. I think that most of us can take a page from her notebook as we nurture our inner beauty, with a keen desire to grow. Let’s look at 8 ways she did that:

  • She prayed for him—a lot.
  • She suggested they talk. Not insisted, suggested.
  • She reassured him that she loves him.
  • She empathized with his situation by sharing his pain.
  • She made an effort to understand things from his perspective.
  • She showed him how he could help.
  • She praised the work he was doing.
  • She values the growth that times of testing bring to their marriage.

Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind
that God delights in. The holy women of old were
beautiful before God that way, and were good,
loyal wives to their husbands.
Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham,
would address him as “my dear husband.”
You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same,
unanxious and unintimidated.
~ 1 Peter 3:4-6, The Message

You are loved by an almighty God,


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