We Don’t Fight or Argue Anymore!

My husband and me in June of this year

Our children haven’t seen us fight since before they can remember.

Let me say that “fighting” or arguing for us was pretty one-sided  before God opened my eyes to all that was truly involved with respect and biblical submission.

OUR OLD WAY OF DEALING WITH CONFLICT

(I really do not enjoy sharing the spiritual “before” pictures of myself. But I know that it must be done. I pray that God might use my awful sin from earlier in our marriage to bring great glory to Himself. He alone changed my heart, life and marriage. And I thank Him every day!)

I would tell my husband what to do and he would often ignore me.  Usually, I wanted him to do something about whatever the issue was RIGHT THEN. I was VERY impatient.

I knew I was “right”.  So I would insist on my way and demand that he do what I wanted… And he would ignore me more. Usually, he’d watch tv and just keep looking at it and act like I wasn’t even in the room. So I would increase the volume more and start to feel VERY angry. I would NOT drop the issue – EVER.

Sometimes I would wait for an answer – you know – all of 5 minutes. Then I would demand an answer. And he would continue to ignore me. I would emotionally and verbally blow up.

Sometimes I would wait up to 30 minutes – on my SUPER “godly” days – sitting there impatiently scowling at him the whole time, watching the minutes tick by on the clock, angry that he wouldn’t JUST TELL ME what his answer was! What was so hard about that? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HIM?????? He had no communication skills at all, right? I thought he would know what he thought immediately like I did. And if I had refused to answer someone after more than about 30 seconds, it would mean I was the most unloving person on the planet. So I was sure my husband was extremely unloving and really needed God to FIX him!

Then I would get REALLY ANGRY and say something about how ridiculous it was that he couldn’t even give me an answer to a simple question (in a scolding mama tone of voice) – and I had waited ALL THAT TIME. And I would storm off full of anger, baffled, hurt, confused and convinced that HE NEEDED TO CHANGE. Look at what an unloving, difficult man I had to live with! He was IMPOSSIBLE!

Then he would stay shut down and I would fume and the entire day would be ruined.

The whole time, my husband was protecting himself from and reacting to MY disrespect.  I didn’t see it at all.  It’s hard for me to fathom now how blind I was then.  But there is NO WAY I would treat my husband like that now that I can see the damage and destruction I was causing!  I also didn’t understand that my pressuring him made it more difficult for him to think and make a decision, that he doesn’t think just like me and that sometimes it takes him some time to process things.

—————————————————————————————————–

OUR SON ASKED US AN INTERESTING QUESTION TONIGHT

“Mom, why do siblings fight so much?”

And I said, “Well, they are around each other more than anyone else.”

And he said, “So… do married people fight a lot, too?”

And I said, “Have you ever seen me and your Daddy fight?” And our children just gave us a blank look.

They haven’t seen us fight or argue. Not since before they can remember.

I thank and praise God for that! It’s TOTALLY a God thing! How can I ever express enough gratitude to God for His Spirit working in us to create unity, oneness, love, respect, intimacy and a healthy, nurturing, amazing environment for our precious children!!?!?! I am in AWE of all God has done, is doing and will do.

WHAT WE DO NOW

I believe I am obligated to my husband to share my perspective, feelings and desires with him in a respectful way. He needs my input. I can’t just turn off my brain and force him to handle everything alone. That is not a godly marriage!

I don’t tell him everything I think like I used to. I used to constantly run a stream of dialogue about every thought in my head and everything I thought we needed to do and should do about every situation. It was all up to me to get things to work out properly, after all!

Where words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19

I have learned to prioritize and only tell him things that are truly important if there is a decision to be made. I give him more of my “bottom line” (maybe about 5% of what I used to say about issues and emotions). God taught me to restrain my tongue and have discretion and wisdom. I was sorely lacking in those areas in the past! I don’t drown him in an ocean of negative emotions or flood him with thousands of words (especially emotionally charged negative words) all at once for an hour or two at a time anymore.

I get to talk as much as I want to now. We have really deep discussions every single day.  Now, I don’t even THINK all those constant thoughts about what we really need to do about X,Y and Z or a lot of negative or disrespectful thoughts.  God has changed my heart.

I know that my husband is a man and I need to tailor my communication so that he can best hear me. And he actually hears my heart MUCH more clearly and cares about my feelings so much more than he did before.

Sometimes with men, less is more when it comes to communication. Less intensity, less negative emotions, less volume and a lesser quantity of words.

I am flexible and at peace now because I trust God and my husband to work things out for my good – even if my husband makes a mistake. I know I can’t lose! I know God is working through each situation in His sovereignty on my behalf for my benefit with wisdom far beyond my own. I know He knows what is ahead and I don’t. So I trust Him to use each decision my husband makes for my good and His glory.  I can have peace no matter how things turn out because I trust God’s sovereignty over my life, my husband and our family.

I do not get attached to the outcome of decisions. I do not make the issue the priority.  I cling to Jesus and to my husband, not to the issues.

MY HUSBAND HAS CHANGED SO MUCH!

It’s amazing what God has done with my faith in my husband.  He went from thinking a lot about his own desires and mostly what he wanted to seeing that I truly trust him completely to handle things and to make the best decisions in God’s sight. That puts a very interesting dynamic and pressure into play that wasn’t in our marriage before.

He ACUTELY feels the weight of his decisions infinitely more than he used to. And he has become a very selfless, loving, servant-hearted, Christ-like leader because he knows I am counting on him and that if he fails, we all go down with him. That pressure is good for him.  It forces him to really weigh his decisions carefully and to seek God’s will.

That kind of pressure was way too much weight for me. It made me anxious, depressed and completely overwhelmed when I tried to carry it. But now, I know my husband will answer to God for how he managed our family – not me. I will answer for how I obeyed God’s commands for me as a believer, a wife and a mother, but I am off the hook about the leadership of our family! That was a TON of weight off my shoulders. I feel so light and like I can breathe and even – gasp! – RELAX!

I leave the outcomes up to my husband and God and I know that they will do what is ultimately best for me and for God’s glory. That is enough for me. Yes, it was terrifying at first because it was new and unknown territory for me – but after I got the hang of it – it was the best thing I have ever done in my life!

I WOULD NOT FOLLOW IF…

The only thing that I would have to resist my husband about would be if he was asking me to sin or condone sin. But so far in the past 4 years – I can’t think of one time that has happened. Pretty amazing, I know! I am prepared to respectfully but firmly resist my husband if such a situation appears. But it hasn’t been an issue at all for us yet.

HE CAN HEAR GOD’S VOICE NOW

When I stopped all the negativity and began praising, encouraging, respecting and affirming my husband – he said this:

When you stopped the negative stuff, it stopped the static that was keeping me from hearing God’s voice well. And then when you added the praise and encouragement, it was like an amplifier that made God’s voice even more clear and obvious.

Wow! My role as a godly wife is CRITICAL. And if I don’t get it right, my husband suffers, his spirituality and relationship with God suffer, our marriage suffers, our children suffer, I suffer and the gospel of Christ suffers.

If we don’t get marriage right – which is the picture of the very great mystery between Christ and His church – we have nothing of eternal value to offer the world as believers.

THINGS ARE SO MUCH BETTER FOR BOTH OF US NOW!

My husband hears my heart now. He cares about my feelings now. He loves to see me happy. He actually does what I prefer most of the time.  I “get my way” WAY more now than I ever did before.  But if my husband decides to do something other than what I prefer, I support his decision and accept his “no” gracefully and cheerfully, even. He knows I will cooperate with him. He doesn’t feel like he has to defend himself from my verbal attacks. He can reveal his heart to me. He feels safe with me. And I can tell he really listens to God’s voice now in ways he never did before.  I don’t fight his decisions anymore – because I trust God is leading him. And now I know that if I fight him, I may be fighting what God is trying to do in our family.

So I feel heard, loved, protected, well-provided for, cherished and adored. And I am the woman I always wanted to be – living without regrets in my marriage and my faith in Christ. I don’t have to repent of my outbursts, yelling, hateful words, resentment, un-forgiveness, anger, pride, control and disrespect any more. As soon as I see the SMALLEST hint of sin, I am on my knees repenting to God immediately and repenting to my husband.

My husband feels respected, trusted, honored and he knows I have all my faith in him (and that I believe God is leading him) in every decision he makes. That makes him a better man. It is truly a WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN for God, my husband, me, our children and everyone around us!

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58 Comments on “We Don’t Fight or Argue Anymore!”

  1. Rockie
    August 4, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Great post!

    This really has me thinking, on so many levels. Well you already know my situation is a little different. I look to Him, my PRESENT help in the time of need. As hard as this is, I have to realize that my situation will change…soon.

    Thank you April

  2. Rockie
    August 4, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I’m currently reading Love and Respect. Very good so far!

  3. Anna Popescu
    August 4, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Thank you for sharing your heart about the difficult topic of Biblical submission in marriage. It took me a couple of years to get it, too, but the rewards are literally out of this world! I truly believe the more we respect and uplift our husbands, the more they go out of their way to love and honor us wives. It’s a win-win, no matter how you look at it. :D

    Blessings!
    ~Anna

    • peacefulwife
      August 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

      Anna,
      I am thrilled that God has shown you His path toward abundant life and blessings in your marriage! If yu are interested in sharing your story and journey, let me know! I might just have you write a guest post for me. No pressure! Thank you for the comments and for sharing your heart!

      Aprilc@sc.rr.com

      • TK
        February 24, 2014 at 8:28 am #

        It all begins with the foundation, rock or sand…well done piece!

  4. Making Cents Count
    August 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Great post, thank you. :)

  5. Lisa
    August 5, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Hi, I’m new to your blog, I find it interesting. I am a Christian wife who has always been kind of submissive. My Mom and sister on the other hand are very domineering in their homes. I wonder if I can ask your opinion on something. My family has never been very respectful or nice to my husband b/c he doesn’t just do what they tell him to when we are there. They are actually very rude to him a lot of the time. He is getting tired of this after 20+ years and wants to visit less and less. We were arguing about his, I wanted to go out of feelings of guilt. “Let’s just go now, we will be off the hook for another few months.” This spring I got tired of fighting. I just left it up to him whether we go and I feel happier. I certianly don’t miss the anxiety I experience before a visit. My family is not happy but my home is peaceful. Am I doing an injustice to my family? I’d love to hear your thoughts

    • peacefulwife
      August 5, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      Lisa,
      This is a really important question!

      In-law relationships can be some of the MOST difficult. When it is your own parents and family, you have a long history with them and you are familiar with your family’s particular “culture.” But your spouse doesn’t have that history and may not fit into the family’s patterns and expectations.

      Quite honestly, I am proud of your husband for not just caving in and doing what they tell him to do – especially if they are being disrespectful to him. That means you have a man with a back bone and convictions and a man who won’t be manipulated. Those are very admirable traits!

      When you marry, you agree to become one with your husband. You have a covenant with your husband that you do not have with your family. The Bible does command us to honor our parents, but when we are no longer children, we are not required to obey our parents. As a wife, you are required to “submit” to your husband – which means that he is the God-given authority and leader in the home and he answers to God for how he manages things there. So your primary responsibility here is to your husband, not your family.

      A controlling mother and sister can be extremely difficult to deal with. Controlling people have a TON of pride that makes it very hard to be around them and makes them so prickly you want to stay far away. They probably don’t realize what they are doing. If you want to, you could certainly respectfully ask them to please show respect for your husband. But if they refuse, then I really don’t blame your husband for not wanting to go there.

      It puts you in a difficult position. You can send emails to your family or call them if your husband doesn’t mind that. You can send them pictures to let them feel more included in your life.

      I believe that you are doing the right thing. Peace in your marriage is more important than peace with your mom and sister.

      I would pray for the relationships and ask God to help there be reconciliation to Him and with you. And I would recommend being respectful toward your mom and sister when you talk with them. But you are allowed to say that they are not treating your husband with enough respect, and that is unacceptable. If they can treat him with respect (no yelling, bossing him around, criticizing, demanding he do things, belittling him, negativity towards him) then possibly you might be able to visit again. Then the responsibility for your visiting will be on them. Your husband may have had enough and decide he doesn’t trust them to change. I wouldn’t blame him for that. You can also say, “I love you Mom and sis, but I don’t appreciate the way you treat my husband so rudely. That is why we aren’t coming.” or “When you commit to treating my husband with respect, then he may think about allowing us to visit again. My husband doesn’t deserve the disrespect you use with him.”

      The Bible does call us to live in peace as far as it depends on us. There are situations where peace is not possible with certain people at certain times.
      Does that help at all?
      Let me know if you have further questions or concerns!

  6. Glen Gaugh
    August 5, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    That stream of thoughts that runs through our heads sometimes… With the temper building up with each passing second- I can sure identify with that!

    When you have the peace of God in marriage like you write about, you can stop that steady stream of unhelpful thoughts. And if it’s something that does linger in your mind, you can pray about how to address it respectfully and tactfully, because you’re right- wives have a lot of concerns from time to time, and you can’t just be asleep in the passenger seat. I know I need my wife to help keep the ship on-course!

    Thanks a lot for this post!

    • peacefulwife
      August 5, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      Glen,
      Thank you for your comments and insights! I appreciate them so much.

  7. Liz
    August 5, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Have recently started following your posts & can’t say enough how much I appreciate them. As a wife of 25 years I can only say I wish I had seen these things more clearly sooner. God has led me to much of what you say in your post & amazingly these are the best years of our marriage ~ I can’t believe I thought at times how miserable I was & that he was the main culprit~ I had a too large hand in making my own misery & the root was not trusting my Father fully to love & protect me & to use all for my good.Thank you for your continual encouragement to persevere in truth.

    • peacefulwife
      August 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      Liz,
      Thanks so much for your insights and sharing a bit of your story! If you are interested in writing a post to give some examples of submission and respect, let me know! aprilc@sc.rr.com

      I think that so many times, the women with all the drama are the ones that do all the talking, and the women who have learned God’s ways and His wisdom tend to be silent. I understand that is part of wisdom. But I think that other women could benefit greatly from the experience and wisdom that God has given.

      If you decide to write something, I would love most of all to hear how you handle conflict now (specific examples are the best!) and the blessings of submission and respect for you and your marriage.

      I am SO thrilled for you! Praise God for all He has done in your life and marriage!

  8. Angela
    August 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Oh dear. :-( I completely see myself in your “before” description. Praying that I can someday become an “after” by God’s grace!

    • peacefulwife
      August 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Let me know how you are doing, Angela! May God empower you to be the wife He desires you to be!

  9. amariemarton
    August 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Oh dear :-( I completely recognize myself in your “before” description. Praying that, by God’s grace, I can someday become an “after.”

  10. Lisa
    August 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Thanks for your thoughts, yes it helps a lot. We just a wonderful visit with some members of my husband’s family . It was so refreshing! I will pray on the relationship!

    Lisa

  11. Amanda
    August 7, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    My husband is a Christian but most of the time his decision making is made out of anger or how he’s feeling at TE moment not rational at all…so I feel he’s not seeking God for those things and Is making unwise decisions…so it’s hard for me to respect and follow him..but lately he’s been asking “all I want you to do is respect me” how do I respect him
    When I feel he makes foolish decisions that aren’t best for our family…Iike if he gets offended at church he gets mad and says “I’m not going back” do I follow him with that decision? Knowing God isn’t telling him that and he’s just mad?

    • Amanda
      August 7, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Also he’s so jealous of the close relationship I have with my family..especially my dad and tells me all the time you would choose your to make tour dad happy over me any day, and I know that’s wrong to do but in my mind my dad has always been there for me and treats me so good when on the other hand my husband is just verbally abusive I love him so much but he just doesn’t treat me like a woman should be treated..so ofcourse I want to make my dad proud bc I feel he loves me… What’s wrong with me lol! One more thing, now he’s not wanting to be around my family hardly at all, but they arent rude to him at all, he just ” doesn’t want to” pretty much all i do is tell him how wrong he is for being like that afterall they do for us, and he tells me I always choose them over him :/

      • peacefulwife
        August 7, 2012 at 9:39 am #

        Amanda,
        YIKES! Your husband has HUGE REASONS to have an issue with you if you are going to your dad for approval and love and respecting your dad but not him. There are two main commands in scripture about marriage. One is to leave your father and mother, forsake all others and cleave to each other. And then the commands about wives respecting and submitting and husbands loving.
        MARRIAGE DOES NOT WORK WHEN WE GO AGAINST GOD’S DESIGN!
        In my view, you have sinned against God and your husband and you owe him a HUGE apology for putting your parents above him. You have a covenant relationship with your husband now, not your family. You owe HIM your highest respect and loyalty, not your dad.
        If your husband is being verbally abusive, there is a HUGE chance that it is largely because he is reacting in anger to the major disrespect he is seeing from you.

        In my view, it’s time to say something like:
        “Honey, I just realized how much I have sinned against God and against you. I have not been following your leadership. I have been trying to take over and be in control myself. That’s not right. I have not been respecting you as I should. I was wrong. And I have been putting my parents above you, and that is a sin, too. I apologize for hurting you, not trusting you, not obeying God and failing to meet your legitimate need for respect as the leader of our family. If you don’t want to go to our church anymore, I will abide by your decision. If you don’t want to be around my family, I will honor your request. You are more important to me than our church. You are more important to me than my family. I am going to follow your leadership now and not question you. I trust God to lead me through you. I know you will do what is best for our family.”

        If your family has been giving you and your husband money or a place to live or something – that is a situation that needs to be remedied as soon as possible. That set up DOES NOT WORK!

        You may also need to sit your family down and say, “I haven’t been obeying God’s commands for marriage. I haven’t properly ‘left’ my parents and haven’t been cleaving to my husband like God says I should do. That is a sin against God and against my husband. I can’t continue to do this. I love y’all VERY much, and I will be as available as I can. But I have to focus on my marriage now and obeying God’s Word. I have to start showing real respect for my husband as the leader of our marriage.” And then you may have to back off of communication and keep it to a level that your husband is comfortable with. That is the right thing to do in God’s eyes and your husband’s eyes. Your family may be upset. That is ok. They will adjust to the healthier boundaries. Your primary responsibilities are to God and your husband.

        You have a LOT of work to do here. But, I am completely confident that if you are willing to obey God and seek His face and genuinely repent – He will empower you to do this and your marriage will improve DRAMATICALLY.

        You have the ability to work WITH God to help your husband become a stronger leader and to help him learn wisdom. But you will have to stop sabotaging him. And as your husband sees your respect and that you are following him, he will very likely begin to give you the love you have always wanted.

        Your motivation, though, has to be to obey God. If you do this to MAKE him love you, that won’t work. This can be completely turned around – but you’ll have to be patient with your husband. If you have been sinning against him like this for years, he will need to see months and months of real respect from you before he might be convinced that this is for real. The longer things have been in this dismal condition, the longer it will probably take to heal. But this is the path to God’s abundant life for you and your husband!

        Please let me know if you have more questions, concerns or troublesome feelings that you need help with. I’m here!

    • peacefulwife
      August 7, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Amanda,

      I totally feel you here. It’s scary to follow a guy whose decisions don’t appear to be wise to you. But here’s the deal. He will continue making unwise decisions as long as you are trying to be in charge. The thing that will teach him to make wise decisions is for you to follow him. THEN he will start to feel all the weight of the decisions on his shoulders, and HE ALONE will be responsible for the consequences. That will make him start seeking God’s face a lot more fervently.
      Plus, if you are constantly telling him that he’s making bad decisions, that he’s irrational, that he’s inept and incompetent – which IS what he hears – then you are telling him he is a failure – and HE WILL BELIEVE YOU. It will be a “spouse-fulfilling prophecy.” I believe Gary Thomas in Sacred Influence describes that a husband believes what he sees when he looks into his “wife mirror.” If he sees reflected back in your eyes, your expressions, your words and your tone of voice that he is a failure – that is what he will be. If he sees your faith in him, your trust, your acceptance, and your confidence that he will do well – he will step up his game and become a much more godly man and leader.
      YOU are the one with the controls here- but your power is in following him. He may mess up. That’s ok. If he is not asking you to sin, you follow him.
      So yes, if he says “I’m not going back!” You say something like, “I want to keep going there. But if you think that is what is best for our family, I trust you and I will support you.” THAT is what will really help him make the best decisions, knowing you are leaving it up to him and the buck stops there.

    • peacefulwife
      August 7, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Oh! And I have dozens and dozens of posts about respect and very practical “how tos” – You may want to scroll through the archives!

      • Amanda
        August 7, 2012 at 11:54 am #

        Thank you much for your speedy reply! You have been such a help..last question (for now) what truly does respect mean.? Do everything he says? Without attitude? Not saying my opinion?

        • peacefulwife
          August 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

          I have dozens and dozens of posts about this topic. It is MUCH more involved than most women would ever imagine!

          But a brief definition would be:

          CUT OUT THE NEGATIVITY – STOP all criticism, lecturing, bossing, trying to control him, belittling him, condemning him, finding fault in him, focusing on his weaknesses and sins, teasing him, putting him down in private and in front of others, undermining his authority, undermining his decisions as a father, questioning his decisions, blaming him for your upset feelings, looking down on him, thinking you are better than he is, being holier than thou, arguing with him, asking him to do something and then not letting him say no, trying to MAKE him do what you want him to do, sighing in frustration, rolling your eyes, treating him like a naughty little boy, yelling, nagging, calling him names, using a hateful tone of voice, acting like he’s irresponsible and incompetent… this is not an exhaustive list!

          BEGIN POSITIVES – praise him for everything you see him do well, tell him what you admire in him (one or two things a day is usually good), trust his decision making, tell him you trust him to do what is best, waiting on him to decide on things, speaking highly of him to him and about him to others, checking with him before you make medium-big decisions, sticking to the budget he sets, not hiding things from him, assuming the best about him instead of the worst, using a pleasant tone of voice, having a friendly expression on your face, smiling at him, acknowledging that he is the God-given leader and authority in the marriage, thanking him for all he does to provide for the family (even if you work, too), thanking him for ANY time or effort he gives you, appreciating the responsibility of his role and cooperating with his leadership even when you disagree, being friendly, being kind, supporting his decisions with the children, requiring your children to do what their daddy asked them to do even when he’s not there…

          OK -for your questions

          You get to say what you feel and want. BUT – you communicate that respectfully, briefly and without blaming him. You have an obligation to tell him your feelings if you have an opinion about something. I use a gentle, calm, pleasant tone of voice, unless I am sad. Then I cry! But I use the following kinds of statements (from Laura Doyle “The Surrendered Wife”):
          -I feel sad
          -I feel scared
          -I feel upset
          -I feel nervous
          -I feel angry
          -I feel lonely
          And I also tell him when I feel happy, excited, respectful, loving, and good things, too!
          And I tell him what I need (BUT, he is free to help me or not – and I react with grace and poise no matter what he decides to do)

          So instead of saying, “YOU never spend any time with me! You are a horrible husband! You’re selfish and impossible to live with! How dare you work late AGAIN tonight!”
          I would say, “I am feeling lonely. Would you sit with me and hold me for a few minutes, please?”

          So, you can say what your feelings are – briefly and keep them very simple. He is not going to be able to hear you if you send him a 3000 word email berating him and telling him what a horrible husband he is. He will shut down.

          You can ask him to do something by saying what you want:
          “I want X”
          “I don’t want Y.”
          You tell him once.
          You leave it with him and don’t pressure him for an answer. Give him the time he needs and let him bring it up again. If there is a time limit for a decision, you can give him the paperwork about it and say something like, “The school needs a decision about X by August 20th. Here’s the form. I want to do X, but I trust you do make the best decision for us. Thanks so much for handling that for us!”

          Then you graciously accept his decision if he believes your family should do something else and you trust that God will use him to lead you.

          When my husband decides something that is against what I believe is best, I say something like, “I really want to do X, but I trust that God will lead me through you and I respect your leadership and that you will answer to God for this decision, not me. So I trust you to do what is best for us.”

          So, “I want to home school the children, Honey. I am worried about the ungodly influences they are experiencing at school.” Then I leave him with that thought and let him think about it. I don’t bring it back up. I accept that he will tell me if he decides to do that and that if he decides not to, then it must not be of God right now for me to do that. If he tells me now, I communicate that I know he is the God-given leader and I will cooperate with his decision. And my REAL trust is in my HUGE God to lead my husband. I know God can and will change my husband’s mind to accomplish His purposes for our family. I have peace no matter what decision my husband makes because I know God will lead my husband and I want what God wants – and I don’t know what God wants – so I accept that what my husband decides will lead me to what God wants.

          You can ask as many questions as you want!!!

          Does that help at all?

          This is HUGE. It is a lot to absorb. I’m REALLY, REALLY, REALLY proud of you for wanting to obey God even when it is scary. I will give you all the support I can!

      • Amanda
        August 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

        Yes! So much help!!! Thank you:)

        • peacefulwife
          August 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

          Amanda,
          You are very welcome! How I WISH someone had been able to tell me this stuff 4 years ago when I felt VERY much like you did and didn’t understand what disrespect or respect were. You may also want to check out my peacefulwife blog Facebook page. I posted a summary from Laura doule’s The Surrendered Wife that is extremely concise and helpful, too. May God richly bless your marriage! I am here anytime you need anything!

  12. Lisa
    August 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Hi again, I’m enjoying your blog so much……I thought I was “weird” for respecting my husband and refusing to belittle him in front of others and not wanting to go against him. My family, although Christian, would definatelty disagree with the ideas you express…but I’m happy to see that I am correct in putting my hubby first!

    thanks for all your insights,
    Lisa

    • peacefulwife
      August 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

      Lisa,
      Sadly, what I write about, although completely biblical, is foreign and radical even for most Christians today. We have been so saturated by ungodly ideas, we don’t even realize how far we are from God’s design and plan. Those who do choose to obey God are WEIRD. We are so counter cultural that many will take offense. Christ, His message and His wisdom have always drawn some to God and abundant life- and offended the majority. If we obey Christ and His Word, we will offend many. And we will be far from the mainstream. I praise God you choose to obey Him! Your marriage will be blessed for it, and the gospel will be exalted!

  13. Lisa
    August 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Yes, it is sad that we’ve become so far from God’s design, even in the Christian community. It is really sad that people think if you let your husband lead you are scared of him and he lords it over you. I’m sure my family thinks this about me….I’m so NOT scared of my husband…..he is the sweetest!

  14. Wendy
    August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I know many women reading this may find points to disagree with because living this way can be hard to understand from a wife’s perspective. I know most of what you write on a daily basis is true, including this post. I appreciate your writing. And that you take the time to answer in detail. It is challenging because much is totally antithetical to society’s perspective on marriage, and how it should work.But worth it in long run to make the effort. Blessings to you

    • peacefulwife
      August 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Wendy,

      This way of living is DEFINITELY counter cultural and counter-intuitive for women. It doesn’t make sense to us from our paradigm and way of looking at life and what we have learned in our culture. But it works! The key thing is that we really can’t live this life of obedience to God’s Word in our own power. we HAVE to have God’s Spirit empowering us to live Ike this.. And when we are full of resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness and pride, we can’t have God’s Spirit. Once God helps us see our own sin, and cleans all of that away, then we are ready for Him to empower us. It is an adventure every day!!!

      Thanks for the comments!

  15. kaylagulick
    August 25, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    April,

    I’d like to use this on my blog. Are you up for letting me copy/paste this entry… or would you like to re-word and write a guest blog?

    I love the depiction of your before as I think there are a huge majority of women who can relate exactly to your old way of doing things (in fact I love your before & after page) although I’d like to stick to the most common, and completely unobvious to most women at first, forms of disrespect (which I think you high-light very well in this post.)

    Thanks again for all you’re doing. May God richly bless this ministry tool in your life!

    Kayla

  16. Lisa Goncalves
    December 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I am so happy to have stumbled across your blog right now. I am currently the wife you were ‘before’ and sadly I have just seen myself in a terrible light. It explains why my husband has become so withdrawn and miserable in our marriage. Starting right now I am going to take all of your advice so that I may make our marriage a happy one and not the war zone it has become. It is my way or no way and I control and boss him around and get angry and negative over every small thing whilst he is always kind and gentle and forgiving. Up until recently he toleratedmy behaviour but he has had enough now and he has shut down. I hope it is not too late to repair the damage I have done.
    Thank you for this timely advice.
    Lisa

    • peacefulwife
      December 17, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Lisa,
      What a pleasure it is to meet you! I am happy to walk with you on this journey. It is a long process of learning. I wish you could flip a switch and be the most godly wife ever by tomorrow- but there are so many ingrained mindsets and ways of thinking about yourself and God and life that it takes some time to dig down and get rid of all the trash and replace it all with the truth of God’s Word.

      I would NEVER have considered myself a feminist before 4 years ago – but feminist thoughts and concepts and definitions of femininity, marriage, family, career and life are so deeply ingrained in all of us that we swallow the poison and don’t even realize it.

      Let me know if you have questions. Your willing, humble heart is SO beautiful! Keep in mind that husbands need to see respect and cooperation over many months, sometimes years before they begin to feel safe. I’m right here if you have questions – I will do my best to point you to Christ and to give godly suggestions.

      Much love to you! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you and your marriage! :)

  17. Jordan
    December 20, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    After reading many of your blogs, just today- (I have been searching for exactly this) I feel relieved!! This blog has opened my eyes to what I as a life long Christian have searched for. My husband and I are still new in our marriage and I have been searching for more, plainly put, guidance. I desire to learn from wisdom rather than experience in our life together. We understand that marriage is to make us holy- and we have just hit so many struggles in our first few months: ex’s, a miscarriage, and just misunderstanding. We share a desire & passion to become better together. I am and have been your “before” in this post- I pray to become the after! I feel enlightened with each paragraph read!! Thank you so much for sharing your life & posting your findings, I look forward to reading more!!
    -Jordan

    • peacefulwife
      December 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      Jordan,

      That is a huge answer to prayer for me! This is the kind of guidance I believe I needed 18.5 years ago when I was a newlywed and things went TERRIBLY wrong 1 week into our marriage and neither of us had any clue what to do. What we did do was the exact opposite of what would have been helpful, and we both caused each other infinitely more pain – and we had no where to go or to find guidance from. We were believers. We wanted to obey God. We thought we were obeying God! But we were LOST about marriage. We had been way too tainted by the culture and our own sin.

      Please know that you are welcome to ask whenever you have questions or concerns. I am always glad to hear from you and walk beside you on this journey. It is a lifetime commitment, to decide to submit to Christ and do marriage His way no matter what your husband does or does not do. It is a process that takes time. But the earlier you start, the faster you will be able to learn – especially if you allow your heart to be wide open to Jesus and you are willing to get rid of anything He doesn’t like and you are willing to cooperate with what He asks even if it doesn’t “feel right,” doesn’t match “your intuition and feelings and your own understanding” and is counter-cultural.

      You may also email me if you would like to go into more detail thepeacefulwife@gmail.com. Please accept my deepest sympathy about your miscarriage. If there are ex-spouses, that also adds a much more difficult layer to the whole marriage equation.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage for His greatest glory!

  18. Sian Baensch
    January 25, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    April, this is such an encouraging read. I have found your insights on respect so helpful. I’m not married yet, but my boyfriend and I are at an exciting stage of discussing this, in the meantime, I am just trying to prepare myself to be the wife God has called me to be, and how to best help him be all God intends, because I had been feeling somewhat insecure about some things (the demon post also very helpful!) and I found your blog! Early on my boyfriend and I discovered that sarcastic remarks to each other would lead us in the wrong direction but I hadn’t attributed this to disrespect and what he so deeply needed. It was also really helpful what you said about trusting God to lead you through your husband. I had not thought of that. What a blessing you are to marriages! Thank you :)

  19. Suzanne
    January 29, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your blog, & sharing your experiences and wisdom. 1st marriage-24 yrs. 2nd marriage is 13 plus. See myself here, critical, disrespectful lots of times. Grew up with 2 brothers, lots of teasing everyday. Parents were cruel with beatings. As children, we teased, laughed to avoid the pain. My husband loves humorous stories, and shows like “Everybody Likes Raymond.” He thinks Doris and Deborah are funny. If I use any criticism, he can explode. My criticism has never been to attack character, etc but he interprets it as “he cannot do anything right, that he is slow as Christmas, etc” He has ADD and can move from one sphere to the other in an instant. We find ourselves spending less & less time together, growing apart. After he explodes, I walk on egg shells to not agitate him. By the way, I praise him very often. But I haven’t asked God to help me be more respectful.

    • peacefulwife
      January 29, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      Suzanne,

      It is a pleasure to meet you!!!! Thanks for writing and sharing your story. :)
      You may want to check 3 posts at the top of my home page – one about what husbands find to be respectful, one about what they feel is disrespectful and one about biblical submission. For me, after learning those things, a great place to start was to write down all the sin/disrespect I had committed against my husband – and repent of that to God and my husband. Then I would suggest writing a list of all the things you respect about your husband.

      I also have a number of videos on Youtube. One is about apologizing for our disrespect. You can find it here:

      Please let me know if you need anything or have any concerns! I pray that you might become the woman of God’s dreams by His power! And I pray for healing for your marriage. thepeacefulwife@gmail.com is my email. :)

    • peacefulwife
      January 29, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Oh! And here is a more recent post about things husbands find to be respectful

  20. peacefulwife
    February 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Empathologism,

    I love your questions, you know I do. But you just want to argue with me. So the answer shall have to remain a mystery.

  21. Donna Freeman
    March 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on My Ashes for His Beauty and commented:
    What incredible things I have to look forward to as I continue to seek God, focusing on my own spiritual walk with Him and how I can be the Godly Wife & Woman my husband needs! I reblogged this from the Peacefulwife’s Blog, as it is a beautiful testimony of what can happen when a woman & wife chooses to focus on her own heart and walk with the Lord.

    • peacefulwife
      March 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Thanks, Donna! May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage!

  22. Andrew
    March 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Peaceful wife, I stumbled onto your blog, and in particular this post, when I was looking for some sort of help to keep my wife and I from fighting all the time.

    I read your personal description (pre-Christ-like humility) and almost cried. It was me all over. But at the same time I was your husband as I would easily “shut down” at an inkling of conflict.

    In real life I am the husband but because of my impatience I refuse to wait and see the thought out actions of my wife, that are often thought out for me. I’ve honestly looked at myself and thanked God that I can steer us to the Kingdom because I am lots of ways better and more selfless than my wife.

    Thank you so much for exposing yourself in this post. You have helped to open my eyes. I have misguided myself. I have isolated myself from God and removed him from my marriage.

    I know where to go from here now. Many thanks.

    • peacefulwife
      March 12, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Andrew,

      I’m so glad that God has used this to work in your heart.

      I’m looking forward to all that God has planned for you and your marriage! Praying for His wisdom and power and love for you to be the man God desires you to be in this marriage for His glory. :)

  23. Matt
    April 11, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    On the one hand, I’m very happy that you two don’t fight!

    On the other hand, I’m confused as to why this is surprising. Is it supposed to be surprising? I mean, if you willingly allow someone else to make every decision for you, and you “never” have to get your way, *never*, then what is there to fight about, really?

    I mean, total surrender on everything.. .sure, that’s one solution to conflict, I suppose…

    • peacefulwife
      April 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      Matt,
      Thanks for your comment! Great question. :)

      As a believer in Christ – I am primarily surrendered totally to Christ. So I seek His will, not my own. So does my husband. That is His desire for every Christian – to truly live with Christ as Lord.

      Because of that, I do honor my husband’s leadership. But, he cares very much about my feelings and desires. So I make sure to tell him what I want, how I feel and what I think. I do have a voice – and actually, most of the time, my husband supports the things I want to do. He loves to delight me and see me be happy. I honestly get what I want much more now than i ever did when I was trying to force my way in the past.

      But if we disagree – then he is responsible before God to make the final call about a decision and to do what is ultimately best for our family. He actually doesn’t make many selfish decisions. He truly desires to do what is best for us and to honor God with his decisions. Many times, he does not get “his way” either – but chooses what he believes will most honor God. Sometimes that costs my husband.

      If he asked me to sin or violate God’s Word – I would have to resist him and I am prepared to do so.

      Thanks for reading!

      • inneedofasavior2014
        June 28, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

        I’ve looked through your blog in hopes to send you a personal email but was unable to find your email address. My husband and I are currently separated. It pains my heart to even type that. We have 3 kids and one on the way, and our marriage needs God. We both are Christians, but its like we forget that when we are together. My husband struggles with lust, and for the first part of our marriage was having a hard time letting go of his ex. I tried to stay positive, but after many blows I became a cold, disrespectful, bitter, and severely angry wife. Things I said I would never do in front of my children (yelling) I have done. I feel like I can no longer hear my Fathers voice and that is my biggest heart ache. I miss the Lord, and the only thing I feel Him telling me since the beginning of our marriage is to cease trying. I made the decision to separate in order to get the toxicity of our fights away from our children. I haven’t heard from my husband since. Am I honoring God by separating? The fights turned physical and I feel like that is where the line has to be drawn. I know I need time to heal, and so does hear from my words, but my fear is that will never come, and this is it for our marriage. I am physically trying to not give in to our toxicity, but it is def. hard with a 3 year old, 6mo. old twins, and being pregnant and the only one providing right now. My faith in God is strong, but my faith in my ability to change is not. I feel like I will never over come this anger…sometimes I wonder if it is my thorn in my side, but I don’t even know where to begin to stop letting it control me. I need to take the idol of my husband out of my heart, but its hard to know in his heart I am last (his words.) Why do I care so much? Why can I not just focus on pleasing my savior? I want to be better for God. I do. Hope to hear from you. Your words have helped me many times. Thank you. Blessings.

        • peacefulwife
          July 1, 2014 at 8:03 am #

          inneedofasavior2014,

          I am so heartbroken to hear what a painful situation you are all in. I am lifting you up to Christ today! Please seek godly, wise counsel to help you work through these issues. It is not ok for fights to turn physical. My greatest prayer for both of you is that you would fully submit to Christ and seek to love, honor and obey Him and allow His Spirit to fill you and heal you and empower you to become the people God desires you to be. I pray for healing for all of you, especially your children.

          If God is telling you to cease trying in the marriage, my thoughts would be that it would be to stop trying in your own strength, and to learn to allow His Spirit to fill you and to let Him do the work as you abide in Him.

          Much love to you!

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