I have been studying the masculine world of respect, authority and leadership for the past few years and how a wife can learn to speak her husband’s language of respect and appreciate his strengths and meet the deepest masculine needs of his soul by cutting out disrespect and infusing her marriage with her respect for her husband. There is so much power in a wife being a godly woman, a woman of character, and a woman who understands her husband’s point of view and knows how to meet his needs.
I’m extremely excited about a new book I started reading this week by Gary Thomas called, “Sacred Influence.” The subtitle is, “How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands.” I wanted to share a few things that have stood out to me so far.
– Men are most influenced by people THEY respect. I hadn’t really thought about it like this before. But if a man’s wife is critical, demeaning, disrespectful, angry, contemptuous, unforgiving, cruel, cold, bossy, arrogant, demanding and controlling- that man is going to have a very low opinion of her. Conversely, if a wife is weak, fearful, incredibly needy, unable to stand on her own two feet, cowardly, extremely emotional most of the time- a husband will also likely not find much to respect in her. A husband responds best to the influence of a strong, loving, respectful, godly wife- a wife of noble character, someone he respects. REMEMBER- we cannot ever CHANGE a man, but we can influence him for good! God has given us a lot of extremely powerful ways to influence and shape our husbands- but it must be done out of love, respect, unselfishness and the power of God at work in OUR OWN LIVES FIRST. We must be willing, as Jesus mentioned, to take the beam out of our own eye, then we will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from our husbands’ eyes. (Luke 6:41-42)
-“You can’t control another human being. But you can ‘deserve’ sucess. You can act in such a way that transformation is most likely.”
– “What if your husband’s faults are God’s tools to shape you? What if the very thing that most bugs you about your man constitutes God’s plan to teach you something new? Are you willing to accept that your marriage makeover – the process of moving a man- might begin with you?”
– “Nothing compares to being married to a godly woman – nothing. And nothing gets more tiresome more quickly than living with a narcissist or a weak wife or a fearful one.”
– “When you dream something in a positive way, you offer yourself to God as an instrument of love, change and spiritual transformation. When you demand that someone change for your sake, you’re literally trying to bend the world around your comfort, your needs, and your happiness. That’s pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness- and God will never bless that.”
– “You and God are in this together. He knew, even before He created you, who you’d marry. And he will continue to give you the tools you need to become the person He’s called you to be and do the work He’s created you to do within your current relationship. God would never leave you alone in any situation.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
– “You may have picked up this book simply to find out how you can motivate or even transform your husband. I’m here to tell you that as noble as this cause may be, it’s too small for you. God made you to remake the world. Your home is where it starts.”
– Widows from 9-11 were interviewed one year after the attacks. An interviewer asked the women, “What has changed most about your perspective in the past year?” “The first widow to respond said, ‘The thing I can’t stand is when I hear wives complain about their husbands.’ Every woman nodded her head, and then another widow added, ‘It would make my day if I walked into the master bathroom and saw the toilet seat left up.'”
– We easily lose sight of all that our husbands ARE doing for us and only focus on what they are NOT doing. Gary Thomas describes a wife who is miffed with her husband for spending the whole previous weekend watching golf on tv and not doing any projects around the house. But that Monday, he did batting practice with their son, took their daughters to a movie and called to see if his wife needed anything from the store on his way home. She could not see any of the blessings her husband gave her until Gary Thomas asked her, “Do you have any idea what a single mom would say if, for just one day, a man came over and took her son out for some ‘guy time,’ teaching him how to hit a baseball, or if he gave her a break by taking her daughters out in the afternoon and then called to see if he could pick up anything for her at the store on the way home? She’d feel like she had died and gone to heaven! She’d go to bed praying, ‘Thank You, Lord, for one day when it wasn’t all on my shoulders.'” It is SO easy for us to take our wonderful, strong, and yes-imperfect- husbands for granted.
-“To move a man, you have to learn to appreciate him for who he is and for what he has done.”
-Leslie Vernick, author of How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong, asked a man in counseling “what he would most like from his wife. He responded, ‘There was a guy at work who was clumsy and never did the job quite right. None of us guys thought much of him, but when his wife came in one day, she looked at him like he could do no wrong. All of us guys were jealous of him from then on, because we knew he wasn’t perfect, but his wife treated him like he was. I would love for my wife to look at me like that.'”
-“Without feeling appreciated, admired and genuinely respected, your husband probably will never change.”
“Even if your husband never changes…- then for your own spiritual health, you need to learn how to love this man as he is… Your first step – the primary one- is to love, accept, and even honor your imperfect husband.”
Help us to become students of our husband’s needs and help us to appreciate all that they do for us. Please take off the blinders from our eyes and help us to see from their perspective. What are they seeing when they look at us? Acceptance or condemnation? Help us learn to joyfully respect our husbands and find the things there are to honor, admire, esteem and affirm. Let us use our incredible verbal skills to build up our husbands and help us commit by Your power to stop using our words to attack and tear down our men. Use us to empower our husband’s leadership, talents and ability. Help us look sincerely with a look of awe, admiration and adoration into our husbands’ eyes each day. Let us become godly women of character that our husbands can respect. Use us to influence our men for Your purposes by Your power and in Your way. Renew our minds by the power of Your Word. Transform us into a revolutionary generation of women who know the power of godliness, respect, following our husbands’ leadership and appreciating our husbands’ God-given authority in our homes. Use us to build up godly children and strong, impenetrable families and marriages. Use us to create heros and strong leaders of our men by our godly feminine influence and use our men to rise up and change the world with Your love!