For Men

MY PURPOSE

I write this blog specifically for women – that is my calling.  I believe God’s Word gives me the authority as an “older woman” (I am 40 now, and have been married 19 years this May 2013))  to teach other women to be godly wives and to understand and live out respect and biblical submission in their marriages in Titus 2:2-5.  These are not things that can be forced or coerced, they must be freely given out of a wife’s desire to obey God.  I desire to help women learn to completely submit to and reverence Christ and live with Him as Lord.

I do not intend to teach men or to set myself up as any kind of authority over men.  However, men are welcome, respected and honored here – as are women.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A WIFE TO BECOME GODLY, RESPECTFUL AND COOPERATIVE WITH HER HUSBAND’S LEADERSHIP ONCE SHE SEES THE PROBLEM?

From the day God opened my eyes to my disrespect in December of 2008, It took me over 2 years of constant daily prayer and hours of study of over 30 books and hundreds of conversations with my husband to really understand respect, biblical submission, godly femininity and God’s design for women and marriage.  This is a long process – it is like learning a new language.  Wives can’t suddenly understand it all overnight.  We are wretched sinners, just like men are,  in desperate need of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ and of our husbands.  This is a total overhaul of everything we think we know about God, ourselves, godly femininity, godly masculinity, God’s design for marriage and being a wife.

It usually takes many months or years for wives to really “get” all of this stuff and for it to become normal – she HAS to have the power of God working in her and it is extremely counterintuitive and countercultural – so it takes time to tear down the ungodly structures in her soul and to rebuild.  Some wives take many years to understand and work through this process.

I have an outline of how this process usually goes here.

WHAT CAN A HUSBAND DO TO HELP EXPEDITE THIS PROCESS?

  • Praise her when she does show respect and tries to give up control, even when she doesn’t do it perfectly at first.
  • Have patience. mercy and grace – she wants to learn to meet your needs, but this is a slow process.
  • Give lots of verbal reassurance of your love and support.
  • Pray with her – this helps wives feel so much more secure and safe in following their husbands’ leadership.
  • Research how VASTLY different men and women are.
  • Tell her gently, if she is ok with it, when she comes across disrespectfully.  I like Dr. Eggerichs’ method “Honey, that felt disrespectful, did I just come across unlovingly?”
  • Realize that almost all of her disrespect is unintentional and that she actually really does not intend to hurt you.
  • See that when she seems disrespectful, she is probably feeling unloved, overwhelmed, afraid, insecure and has taken her eyes of of Christ.
  • Focus on the concept of God’s sovereignty and where a person’s responsibility ends and God’s sovereignty begins.  That is usually a concept that is totally foreign to a controlling wife.  She seriously probably believes, and has since childhood, that everything depends on her making it all happen or it will be a disaster on the order of the Apocalypse.
  • Know that your most powerful tool to help her grow in spiritual maturity is your own spiritual growth and being Spirit-filled yourself.  It is the fruit of God’s Spirit in you – your love, tenderness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, kindness, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, mercy, grace, goodness, joy, faith in Christ and self-control that will make it as easy as possible for her to respect you and honor your leadership.
  • Understand that respect and submission go completely against a woman’s own feelings and wisdom and against her sinful nature.  Submitting to someone else is TERRIFYING at first.  It has nothing to do with your abilities to lead or your character – and everything to do with her ability to trust God and put her faith totally in Him to lead her through you.
  • Be willing to describe your perspective and to tell her the things that hurt you and the things that build you up.  She may be more receptive if you say you feel “unloved” or “hurt” instead of “disrespected.”  Disrespect doesn’t really compute for wives.
  • Please don’t try to force her into submission or respect.  These are gifts she must give freely out of her obedience to God.

The core issues I believe are often at the root of a wife’s disrespect and control are:

  •  She disrespects God and tries to control Him. She has usually several idols: being in control herself, feeling loved (by her husband), making God and her husband and everyone around her do what she believes is best.   A wife’s respect for her husband and her level of honoring his God-given leadership has almost NOTHING to do with him and almost everything to do with her respect  for and submission to Christ.
  • She truly believes she knows best – better than her husband and better than everyone on the planet – and that her way is the only “right way.”  This is MASSIVE pride.  Often, as women, we even believe we know “better than God.”  We often live as if WE are sovereign, not God – and we truly think that we are responsible for things that actually belong to God.  It is extremely stressful to live like this and to try to MAKE everything work out “right.”    We often think we are the exception to God’s design for marriage and that we “have to take over” because our husbands “can’t” or “won’t” lead.
  • Because of her pride and because she believes she rarely sins and because she has herself set up as an idol – she tends to hold on to unforgiveness, bitterness and grudges.  Bitterness, resentment and contempt can destroy any marriage and cannot coexist with respect for our husbands.  This is a HUGE sin, that many women don’t even notice in ourselves – but we can’t live in God’s power when we are cherishing sin in our hearts.  This is why we don’t have the fruit of God’s Spirit.  This is why we are usually anxious, fearful, stressed, overwhelmed and lonely.  Our control and disrespect repel our husbands and loved ones and keep us from the very love and intimacy we want the most.
  • FEAR – big time FEAR.  The more her husband obeys Christ and is a safe place for her – the easier it is to overcome her fear.

Each wife needs God’s Spirit to open her eyes to her sin.  People cannot open other people’s spiritual eyes.  I do think it is important for husbands to gently, humbly, prayerfully address their wives’ sins at times, but ultimately it takes conviction from God’s Spirit to work real change in people.

Check out my husband’s post So Your Wife Has Decided to Become a Peacefulwife

PRAYER

You are welcome to ask for prayer  in the comments.

RESOURCES

1.  “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  2. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

3. “For Men Only” by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn  (“For Women Only” is an extremely helpful book for wives to be able to understand a masculine perspective.)

4. You may also like my husband’s blog, www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com

10 Comments on “For Men”

  1. Ted C
    April 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    “Each wife needs God’s Spirit to open her eyes to her sin.” This is so important for me to remember!I cant force her to change, I can only make it easier for her to change.

  2. Tim Shey
    May 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    You have a great blog. Men need to love their wives like Jesus loves the church—this is a sacrificial love and it is very powerful. I am not only talking about wives, but also sisters in Christ.

    Example: I met this young lady years ago; she was dating my roommate; she was a young Christian. As I got to know her, I perceived an independent, feminist spirit in her. I later found out that her late father was an alcoholic and did not support her in anything that she did.

    I began to praise her and tell her that she was very beautiful; I encouraged her in her pursuit of a college degree. She and her boyfriend asked me to pray over her sinuses (she had gone to a doctor and the doctor told her that she would need surgery), so I prayed in tongues and her faith healed her. We had great fellowship. Then she started calling me daddy, because I gave her the father’s love that she never had.

    They got married and she is a wonderfully submissive wife and mother. Praise the Lord!

    If a man really seeks the Lord with all of his heart, I believe that this is one of the best ways to be a strong, spiritual covering for your wife.

    • peacefulwife
      May 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Tim,

      AMEN!!!!! Yes, as each spouse seeks God first, even if only one spouse does, God unleashes His power and transforms and heals the marriage! Thank you for sharing!

  3. K
    June 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Hello,
    I am having a very difficult time in my marriage, and we have taken the steps to begin counseling. I feel like having my wife read your blog would greatly improve our situation, for many of the things you speak about are directly happening in our relationship.

    I am concerned about how I might direct her to this website without making her feel put upon or insulted…she usually has no interest in reading things like this that might go against her feelings of pride and self-respect…I feel guilty even now because I wish she would follow all of your helpful pointers….and she might think I specifically sought out an opinion that matched mine.

    There is no respect in our marriage, I make no decisions because when I do they are questioned and battered until they don’t exist any more. There is constant nagging, constant pressure to do things her way and in her time, and she shuts down completely when I begin to make good points or ask questions that might derail her current line of thinking….I need help please.

    • peacefulwife
      June 5, 2013 at 7:04 am #

      K,

      It is wonderful to meet you!
      I changed your name to your initial, in case your wife does decide to read. :)

      We will pray that God might open her eyes. That is the most critical factor. Only God can open her eyes to her sin.
      I do think it is necessary for us as believers in Christ to lovingly, gently, humbly confront sin at times. But if she cannot hear right now – it will take God working in her heart to give her the eyes to see her sin.

      One great way to start on this journey is to suggest reading Love and Respect together by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. It is a very fair and balanced book about how wives need love and husbands need respect. Then you can show her your willingness to learn to love her better and she will have the opportunity to hear someone talk about biblical principles of marriage – but in a balanced way that is not targeted only at her.

      There are posts on my website that are about people pleasing, spiritual causes of anxiety and depression, healthy boundaries, and many topics that might be a good lead-in, that may not make her feel that you are being confrontational with her.

      I also have a Youtube channel “April Cassidy” with over 40 videos on various topics. Some of them are pretty neutral topics, that might be a good way to introduce her to me.

      Lord,
      I pray for K, and his wife. I pray that You might give him wisdom to lead his family according to Your will and for Your glory. I pray that You might empower him by Your Spirit to bless his wife and to love her as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. I pray that You might open his wife’s eyes to see how wounded her husband is by her disrespect, and that You might show her your design for marriage and give K favor in her eyes. I pray for healing for this marriage, that this couple might shine brightly for Christ in a dark world.

      IN the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

      Only God can change her. But if you are able to lay down any resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, and any sin in your life – then God’s Spirit can fill you and give you the power to be the husband He desires you to be. Then He becomes your partner to breathe life into this marriage. My husband has a post about a husband whose wife was controlling and disrespectful, and he prayed about it earnestly – the results were amazing. His site is http://www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com It was a post in February, I believe.

      Let me know if you need me to pull it up for you.

      I am also here and am glad to pray with you and offer any insights I can.

    • peacefulwife
      June 5, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      K,
      Have you gently but firmly told her that you feel disrespected/unloved/hurt?

      Wives don’t always click with the term “disrespected” but if you are able to talk about the specifics of what she does that hurt you, that may click more with her. “I want to share my heart and my ideas with you, but it does not seem to be safe for me to do that.” “I have feelings, too. When you question me, doubt me, argue with me – it hurts.” “I want to hear your perspective. Your feelings are very important to me. But God is holding me accountable for this decision (I Cor. 11:3), so I need you to also hear my perspective, too, please. I want to be sure I am honoring God in this decision.”

      My husband also has a number of posts about passivity and how that fuels a wife’s disrespect. It does put husbands in a difficult situation.

    • peacefulwife
      June 5, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      K,
      One husband printed the post at the top of my home page about things that feel disrespectful to husband and handed it to his wife. He didn’t say a word. She read it and came to him in tears of repentance several minutes later.

      • K
        June 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

        Her response was one of anger, that she didn’t need to read them and then continued to list all of my faults…and that she was done. She says she has tried for too long to make this work, and it’s too late.

        • peacefulwife
          June 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

          K,
          Was that this week?

          We will pray that God will work. Many people respond in anger when confronted for their sin. I pray you might do all you can to walk in God’s power, and we will ask God to work in her heart.

          He may still use this to open her eyes. Some wives see immediately. Some rebel openly against God and their husbands for awhile.

          You cannot control her. But if you repent of your own sin and ask God to love her through you, that love may break through her hardened heart.

          I pray you might be calm, at peace in Christ, unshaken and able to see each step God has for you.

          It’s good to admit your faults and repent of them if you have not already.

          But it is important that she knows you and the marriage have been hurt by her disrespect.

          Now you have confronted her sin. It will be in God’s hands the results and timing.

          Romans 12 may be helpful right now!

          I am here and willing to pray with you any time.

        • peacefulwife
          June 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

          You may email my husband and me at aprilc@sc.rr.com

You are welcome to leave constructive, edifying, respectful comments or sincere questions. I do have some restrictions on what comments I am able to accept, you may find my comment policy at the top of my home page.

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