Experiencing the joy and blessing of placing myself under my husband’s leadership, authority, protection and provision has been really simple to implement once I learned the ropes! Now, my husband serves as a very useful compass for my life – a gift from God just for me! Today I share with you some powerful phrases a wife can use when someone outside the marriage is asking her for her time, her effort, her commitment, her money or is pressuring her for something:
- “Let me check with my husband and get back with you.”
- “I need to talk to my husband about that.”
- “I’ll ask my husband.”
IN THE GARDEN
Imagine if Eve had used one of these phrases when Satan was giving her the offer of a lifetime in the Garden? Wow! Things would have turned out very differently – on that occasion at least!
That’s one of the reasons God has put husbands as the leaders of marriages and families – to protect women. We don’t really like reading that “the woman was deceived first” and it can seem unfair that just because Eve was deceived before Adam that all women are being lumped into that category with her. But God’s Word is trustworthy and true. And if God says I need protection – then I am smart enough these days not to argue with Him about that like I used to – back when I was so deceived earlier in our marriage!
HOW USING THESE TYPES OF PHRASES PROTECT ME
When a salesman, a cult missionary, a neighbor, a friend, a family member, a church member or anyone asks me to commit my time, money or effort to something, I use these phrases because:
- I buy myself time so that I don’t make a rash commitment or decision. Left on my own, I can easily cave in to pressure and end up committing myself to something that I don’t even want to do – just because I feel guilty, or because I make a decision too quickly without enough thought going into the long term ramifications and consequences. Giving yourself time is a good idea even if you only say, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” Making rash decisions can lead to big problems and can result in unwise choices!
- I get my husband’s input and he weighs the proposition with different eyes, and a different perspective than I do. He can see if something is ultimately in my best interest and the best interest of our family. God gave him wisdom that He did not give to me. (Of course, God gave me a unique feminine perspective and wisdom that He did not give to my husband, too. So my input is hugely valuable to my hubby when he is making decisions. He needs to know my perspective, my desires and my feelings so that he can make a completely informed decision. And most of the time, he’ll do whatever will make me happy – he lays down his life for me and is very selfless. But he knows that he is responsible to God for making the decisions and doing what is best for our whole family. And I appreciate that he desires to do what is best and to honor God above catering to my feelings when he believes it is necessary. His leadership is a safeguard that protects me and our family – and I am THANKFUL for God’s wisdom in setting this authority structure into place in our marriage.)
- My husband can easily see when I am getting overloaded or stressed and have too much on my plate and he has no problem saying, “No, that’s too much for you to do.” I love it because then I can say, “I talked to my husband and he doesn’t want me to do X.” (That is another very powerful wife phrase!) And then I can say no without any guilt and he can be the “bad guy.” It doesn’t bother him at all if he hurts people’s feelings in order to maintain my sanity and our proper priorities in our family.
- Checking with my man first allows me to avoid making decisions that my husband may disagree with and have a problem with later. If a vacuum salesman comes to the door and I end up being so impressed by his demonstration that I decide to buy a $1200 vacuum cleaner without checking with my husband – there might be a conflict later. Especially when we are talking about large sums of money. We’ve always agreed that anything over $200 we would discuss together before either of us made that purchase. That is a mutually respectful way to handle things – to include one another on big decisions. Other couples may have other arrangements – and as long as both husband and wife are aware of those agreements, that is fine! The key is to communicate expectations ahead of time to prevent problems.
- My taking the time to run things by him tells him that I respect him and his leadership and builds his confidence in his decision-making. He feels more trusted. AND he knows he can trust me more, too!There may be some small things that he doesn’t need me to check with him about. But being able to take bigger things to him allows HIM to carry the weight of responsibility instead of ME all the time now. I used to carry that weight. It was HEAVY! What freedom to not have to carry all the responsibility anymore. I still have a great deal of responsibility in the family, but knowing he is the head and leader helps me have peace that I didn’t have earlier in our marriage when I tried to think through every possible scenario for every decision and wear myself out trying to MAKE things happen as I thought they should.
- I show my husband that I recognize that we are ONE, not two. I am promoting the unity in our marriage by keeping him in the loop and allowing him to be involved in my world.
- We end up with better decisions. When I used to make more decisions on my own, there were a lot more regrets (for both of us), misunderstandings, and way too many overcommitments for me that caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. I love the teamwork of being able to come to my husband, knowing he has my best interests at heart, and being able to talk through ideas with him and have a clear sense of wisdom and direction before jumping into something unwisely.
My husband says that when I check with him first, “It gives me an opportunity to stop you from committing yourself to something that won’t serve our family well.” So true! Thank you, Honey!
CHECKING WITH MY HUSBAND FIRST DOESN’T MAKE ME A SLAVE, IT MAKES ME FREE!
I LOVE checking with my husband before I commit to things now. I have SO much less unnecessary stuff on my schedule and can keep focused on the things that are truly our higher priorities. I have more time for myself. I have more time for my husband. I have more time for my children. I have more time for God. And I have no weight of guilt for saying “No.”
SAYING “NO” TO PEOPLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HARD FOR ME
Sadly, I was quite the people pleaser. I didn’t like upsetting people or making them mad. I would do almost anything rather than hurt someone’s feelings. But that wasn’t healthy for me or my relationships! So I’d usually have to choose between two awful feelings that I hated.
- Feeling guilty for saying no to a request
- Feeling resentful for saying yes to something I didn’t actually want to do
It was a lose/lose situation. Now, when my husband says something is not a good idea for me – I happily say “no” without the slightest remorse. But if he thinks it’s a good idea, I have a green light that this direction is a wise one.
SOME “JUST SAY NO” SECRETS
Of course, I have also figured out a few secrets to saying no even on my own! Thank You, God!
- Now, I say, “I can’t.” If there is something that I REALLY know I don’t want to do or would stretch me too thin. And when pressured, I stick with my answer and repeat myself, ad nauseum, “I’m so sorry – but I can’t”
- I DO NOT EXPLAIN WHY I can’t. I just say, “I can’t.” THIS IS CRITICAL! Explanations just give people a way to shoot down your reasons and explain to you why you could do something. When you give no reasons, there is nothing to shoot down.
- I also realize now that when I say “Yes” to someone’s request for my time, effort or money, I am saying “no” to my family’s request for my time, effort or money. That perspective helps me realize that I have to say “no” to someone – and is this request REALLY worth me saying “no” to my family?