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Being a Good Follower

If you tend to be a controlling, contentious, “always right,” resentful, disrespectful wife – like I used to be – learning to follow your husband can be a big challenge.  You may not think he is leading at all, or that he can’t lead or won’t lead.  Or you may not like the way he is leading.

Here’s the deal.

Most men WILL lead if we get out of the way.   REALLY.  They are designed by God to be the leaders in marriage.  If we can step down, stop trying to control everything, embrace humility and acknowledge that we might not be right about everything, be still, be PATIENT (and willing to wait as long as it takes) and LISTEN – our husbands will lead. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:5, I Corinthians 11:3)

(If you have a husband who has an active addiction, active infidelity or serious mental health problem that is not being controlled or he is being physically abusive-  you may need outside help from a godly, experienced counsellor/pastor/mentoring couple.  In those situations, it may not be safe to follow your husband until he repents and shows fruit of repentance in his life.)

SOME FOLLOWING BASICS:

  • Don’t rush or push him to make decisions.  Give him as much time as he needs.  If there is a deadline on something, you may try handing him the paperwork and say, “I want to do X.  The deadline is September 15th.  Here’s the form.  I trust whatever you decide on this.  Thanks for handling it!”  And then don’t bring it up again.
  • I find it works better if I email my husband my ideas or things I want to do, or say them in passing and then leave him alone to think about it so that I am not sitting there impatiently like I used to – scowling and tapping my fingers, angry that he wasn’t answering faster.  So now, I just say, “Honey, I’d like to think about giving money to X charity.”  And then I leave it.  If he doesn’t bring it up – then it’s not God’s will for us right now.  I trust my husband and God to hash things out.
  • I don’t expect him to read my mind.  I tell him what I want and how I feel.  Then I trust him to make the best decision for our family, and I trust God to lead my husband.
  • When your husband is speaking to you – STOP what you are doing and listen carefully.  Act like what he is saying matters!  Whether it is about his work, or what he wants to do around the house – or something he is asking you to do or stop doing – give him ALL of your attention!  Your husband’s feelings and wisdom are important.  God may be trying to communicate to you through your husband – but you have to be willing to listen.  When he says things like, “That friend is taking up too much of our family time,” “I feel like I am not one of your top priorities,”  “I am feeling disrespected by you,” “I think we need to do X about the situation with our children” – HE IS trying to lead you spiritually.  If we can listen – we will hear the leadership.
  • Do not interrupt him or answer for him.  We do this sometimes and don’t even realize it.  But that is REALLY disrespectful.  We need to slow down and listen carefully.  Many times our husbands ARE TRYING TO LEAD US and we are not listening.
  • Do not assume the worst and have a whole conversation with him in your head and think you know what he will say.  Let him respond to you the way he wants to.  Try not to peg him in a hole and have him declared guilty of something before he even has a chance to have the conversation with you himself.
  • Watch your body language.  Men are not as verbal as we are – in general.  But they pay VERY close attention to our eyes, our facial expressions, our tone of voice, our crossed arms and the scowl on our faces.  It’s good to eliminate disrespect from our speech.  We must do that.  But we have to eliminate disrespect from our body language and our soul, too!  At first, you have to hold things in and not say what you want to say.  But as God changes your heart and renews your mind, you learn not to even think disrespectful thoughts anymore!  Concentrate on the good, don’t focus on the bad!
  • I don’t question my husband’s decision.  I don’t ask, “Why would you?”  “Why did you?”  “How could you…?”  Those questions may seem innocent to a woman, but to a man, they imply that he is incompetent and incapable.  That sounds very disrespectful to most men.  I can ask for clarification or say, “I’m confused about X” and I can tell him what I want and desire.  But then I allow him to make the final call.  (I would need to resist him only if he is asking me to sin or he wants me to condone sin – that is sin according to God’s Word not in my opinion!)
  • If he makes a mistake – that is OK!  Leaders are human.  They aren’t perfect.  I’m sure not perfect!  Especially when husbands are first learning, they may make mistakes.  The most important thing is NOT the mistake, it is how YOU handle his mistake.  You can crush him with your condemnation and criticisms or you can support him and show faith in him as a leader and communicate to him that you trust him to make it right, and you stand by him.  THAT will teach him to be a better leader much more than negativity ever could!
  • Men respond to praise, encouragement, respect and admiration.  That is where your power is as a follower – that is a special kind of power called influential power.  Use your words to build up your man!!!
  • It is easy to criticize.  But criticizing only paralyzes your husband and beats him down.  The foolish wife tears her home down with her own hands (and words).
  • Be full of grace, mercy and forgiveness towards him as Christ has for you!  Read the verses after the Lord’s prayer – if we don’t forgive those who sin against us, God will not forgive us!
  • Accept his compliments, gifts, time and efforts with GRACE and gratitude!  Husbands mean what they say when they give compliments.  It’s insulting and disrespectful to argue with anyone when they give you any kind of compliment.  At the MINIMUM – please smile graciously, and say, “Thank you very much!”  And if he takes you out to dinner – please do not criticize his gift, enjoy his thoughtfulness and generosity and THANK him.  He is showing you how valuable he thinks you are.  Don’t say, “You shouldn’t have.”  Say, “You’re the BEST!” If he buys you a gift, THANK him and do not criticize his taste, the color, the style… show gratitude and genuinely appreciate what he did to try to bring a smile to your face.  Your delight is your gift back to him!
  • Be excited about his ideas.  At least give him a chance.  Try to love his ideas for 10-15 minutes before you think of problems.  And if you do have concerns, try saying things like, “I’m confused about…”  “I don’t understand…” because those phrases don’t sound disrespectful to most men.
  • On the rare occasions when he decides to go against your desires – cooperate willingly, cheerfully and joyfully.  Tell him, “Thank you for hearing my heart and considering my perspective.  I trust you to do what is best for our family in God’s sight.  I know you are accountable to God for your decisions, not me.  Thank you for your leadership.”  This will help him feel the whole weight of his decision and the consequences – and helps him REALLY seek God’s voice and God’s will instead of his own.  Knowing all your faith and trust are in him helps him grow as a leader!  Then take your concerns to God and trust that God is big enough to work things out for your best and your family’s best even though the direction may not seem right to you at the time.  Thank God for His sovereignty.  Thank God for your husband’s leadership.  God can and does lead you through your husband (if your husband is not asking you to sin).  If you fight your husband, you may be fighting God!
  • Praise everything he does that you admire!
  • Be friendly – act like you like your man.  SMILE at him.

51 thoughts on “Being a Good Follower

  1. Hey guys, A & G:
    I just responded to your email, in chrono reverse, my mistake. Anyway, let me hear from you guys and lets see what happens.
    be blessed

  2. Oh let me comment on your post here specifically because there is one point that I want to magnify…..btw they are all fantastic points.
    You use “why” as an example of questioning husbands decisions. Im interested if your husband agrees with me on what Im about to say
    If any husband has ever screwed up……mildly or horribly, from forgetting a date to having an affair, whole gamut, imagine the wife asking

    Why did you do it?

    Depending on the issue I guess, this question needs to be off limits. Ive dealt vicariously with this, and if you council others informally, maybe you have too.
    Person A has an affair/inappropriate talk/porn/whatever, across the spectrum of relational sins….could be either man or women but lets pick on man (gosh I hate doing that)

    Im using the extreme as it makes the point better

    man uses porn or has a physical affair

    wife demands WHY?

    Lets consider the utility of the answer.

    I was uh….well….horney
    I like naked women
    I wanted sex
    she (or those pics) are hotter than you
    you dont do it for me anymore
    Im evil
    Im not redeemable

    Whatever, but offer me an answer that would be honest, AND helpful to the marriage

    Now ratchet it down to regular things not affairs etc. The exact same dynamic exists. Unless he has an iron clad reason that is a valid legit excuse…..which you would already know from second number one…..demanding the WHY answer is irrational and unproductive.

    i would make that a specific thing not to dwell on. Sure, ask once……accept evasion, and move on. because unless you can imagine an excupatory answer, what the heck are you asking for?
    Likely you dont even realize it but what you want is for him to say he is a jerk, and you may even want other people to say that.

    heck I knew a man whose wife was so determined to belittle her husb. in front of a divorce mediator trying to get a why out of the husb., the mediator said Mrs ______, the state will not officially decalre your ex an a-hole, so stop trying!

  3. Another great thing to note. We all make mistakes, but when you do something and you realize it’s disrespectful an apology goes a LONG ways.

    It’s so much eaiser to forgive or grant grace when we get that reminder that just like us your human and make mistakes. That’s not who you are and how you want to be.

    1. Ryan,
      I appreciate your comment so much! It’s hard to apologize when we mess up – but this is a really critical skill that we all need to hone and have “at the ready” often! Thanks!

    1. Doris,
      Welcome!

      God’s ways are very different from our own. I invite you to take a look around.

      Ultimately, sin is what is damaging to women – and men. Disobeying God is damaging to us. I was a controlling, contentious, disrespectful wife for the first 14 years of our marriage. That was actually very oppressive to myself and to my husband. I was anxious all the time, afraid, lonely, worried and felt very unloved. My husband became passive and unplugged and was deeply wounded by me, although he never said anything about why he was so shut down.

      That was seriously damaging.

      When God showed me the wisdom of His design for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, Titus 2:3-5) – THAT was FREEDOM!

      Much love to you!

    2. Dorris,

      Let me clarify – if a husband is physically abusive, actively addicted to drugs, psychologically unstable or involved in infidelity – a wife may not be able to follow him and cooperate and honor his leadership until he is in his right mind.

      1. Please read The Feminine Mystique and Conversations with God. Read them with an open mind – I beg of you! You are leading women away from God under the guise of bringing them closer to God. We women are creative and creators.

        1. Dorris,
          Women are creative and have much to offer to the world and in their relationships.

          The Bible is the only authoritative source of truth. God’s design for marriage Ephesians 5, Titus 2, I Corinthians 11:3 is what I am promoting. I am leading women TO the God of the Bible, and away from the world’s wisdom, yes.

          With love,
          April

          1. Dorris,

            I’d love to ask you a few questions, please, ma’am. 🙂

            1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

            2. Who do you believe Jesus is?

            3. Who do you believe God is?

          2. The smiley face and “ma’am” are condescending, not very sisterly. Why did you not sign off this time “With Love”?

          3. Dorris,

            I don’t intend to be condescending – I actually use those terms and the smiley face often. Not at all intended to be condescending. It can be difficult to convey tone of voice online. I care very much about you – I do love you and am concerned for your relationship with Christ. I hope that you will be willing to be upfront about where you are coming from so that we can talk about how God can radically change your life and how Jesus can offer you His peace and joy and forgiveness now and life with God forever in heaven. That is my greatest desire for you.

            Much love to you my new friend,
            April

          4. Dear April,

            I am very concerned about your relationship with Christ as well. So much of what I am reading here sounds like entrapment and distinctly un-Christian. Your intentions seem wonderful and pure, but I need to give you feedback that there is an undertone of proselytism here that is dangerous and damaging. Please ask yourself “Do I really have the authority to interpret God’s word for others and then disseminate my beliefs as truth?”

            With Love,
            Dorris

          5. Dorris,

            Thank you for your concern. I often talk about the importance of people weighing everything I say against Scripture. God’s Word has authority. That is the only source of wisdom. Our culture, even in the church, has veered FAR AWAY from God’s Word and His design for us as believers and as men and women. The things God commands us to do as wives sound radical to our ears in our culture today. But, we are destroying ourselves by doing things our own way.

            Would you please share your beliefs so that I understand your background and where you are coming from?

            Thank you!

            With love,
            April

          6. Dorris,

            Let me clarify my relationship with Christ.

            I am a wretched sinner, as are all people according to God’s Word
            (Isaiah 66:4 – our best attempts at righteousness on our own are like filthy, bloody menstrual rags to God in His holiness.)
            Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

            On my own, I am only capable of evil. I cannot pay the great sin debt I owe to God. I owe him “billions” of sin dollars for my idolatry (putting things above Christ in my heart for decades of my life), PRIDE, selfishness, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, unbelief (I trusted SELF more than God for over 2 decades, thinking I was a strong Christian, but living in worry, fear and anxiety all the time because I actually trusted ME, not God), self-righteousness, etc.

            The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

            I deserve death and eternal separation from God, as we all do.

            But PRAISE GOD Jesus has made a way for me to be made right with God!

            I am totally dependent on the blood of Christ to cover my sins before God and to satisfy His just and righteous wrath against my sins.

            I accept His gift by faith. I trust His sacrifice on my behalf to make me right with God so that my debts to God have been “paid in full.” Now, when God looks at me, He sees Jesus. My sins are washed away as far as the east is from the west.

            So now, He is not just my Savior, but He is also my LORD. He is now my Master. This is what Jesus requires of all who follow Him, that we pick up our cross and follow Him, that we die to self, that we walk in obedience to Him. In fact, if I do not obey God’s Word, Jesus says I don’t love Him.

            23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” John 14

            So, I don’t obey Him to be saved and go to heaven.

            I am powerless to earn my way to heaven on my own. I must accept the free gift of forgiveness that God offers to me through Jesus.

            Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”

            So Jesus gave up His life for me, taking on my punishment and paying for my sins. Now, in gratitude, I lay down my life for Him every day. I am to be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2), a slave to Christ, a new creation. Now, the old has gone and the new has come. I have crucified my old sinful self, and have put on my new self in Christ. Now His Spirit empowers me to live a life of holiness and obedience to Him. Am I perfect? NO! But can I live in victory over sin by God’s power? YES!

            This is GREAT NEWS!

            Jesus calls His followers to make disciples of all nations. That is the great commission.

            That is what I am doing here.

            I pray that you might find the joy, peace and abundant life Christ has to offer to you! 🙂

            Much love,
            April

          7. My authority comes from Titus 2:3-5

            Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

            This is my purpose and calling – to teach the younger women what is good, to be godly women by the Bible’s standards, to honor their husbands’ leadership, to treat their husbands with kindness, to be self-controlled and pure, to love and respect their husbands.

            And, my husband asked me to share with other wives what I have learned – so I am acting under his authority, as well.

          8. I also act under the authority of Rev. Weaver at my church, who has been an ordained Southern Baptist minister of the gospel for over 45 years.

            His material is available here:

            “Spiritual Authority”
            “A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage”
            Also there is a series from his class “The Seven Basic Needs of a Wife and the Seven Basic Needs of a Husband” near the beginning of my blog timeline. There is a category for that series on the right hand column of my home page.

          9. Thank you for your wish that I live a joyful, peaceful and abundant life. I do indeed already. Jesus was and is a great teacher!

            I am concerned that you need me to clarify my relationship to God with to you. That is between me and the Lord and really should have no bearing here. As you have chosen to disseminate your views to the world through this blog and have opened your heart to comments at the bottom of each post, I feel I can speak freely with you and can learn from you in this discourse.

            The Bible is full of verses that are impossible to live out today. How do you reconcile which verses you and others should live by and which ones you can ignore? Where and how is that line drawn? For example, do you ensure separate use of furniture from your family, friends and co-workers during your menstruation? Do you not attend church while you bleed as that may taint the chair or pew?

            Leviticus 15:19-24 When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening.

          10. Dorris,

            Well, if you are going to tell me I have no authority to share God’s Word and to teach women about it and that I am leading women away from God and what I am doing is psychologically damaging to women – I do think that it is more than fair for me to know if you are a Christian or if you are an atheist or what your background is.

            The New Testament is the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood. We are no longer under the Law of the Old Testament. Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the Law on our behalf.

            If Jesus was only a great teacher, but not God – He was a liar, or crazy.

            If He was a great teacher, and He told the truth – then He is telling the truth about that He is the only way to God. If there is anyone in the universe who would have been able and willing to find another way for us to be made right with God – it was Jesus. He asked God for the crucifixion to be taken from Him, but submitted to God’s will because He loves the Father.

            I am going to assume that you are not a believer. That’s fine. We can start from there!

            With love,
            April

          11. Dorris,

            Here is what scripture has to say about all of us.
            – ”All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

            So, you and I are both sinners.

            – “For the wages (paycheck that is earned) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

            You and I both deserve condemnation before a holy God and we deserve hell. But God wants us to be with Him, to know Him and to be right with Him.

            – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works (good deeds), so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

            (God REALLY hates us boasting about how good we are. Jesus Himself said, only God is good. We can’t be good enough on our own. Only perfection will do. That’s why we need His incredible gift so desperately. Accepting Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and payment for our millions of dollars worth of sin debt creates gratitude and humility in our hearts – and those qualities are very beautiful in God’s sight.)

            – Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3

            Apart from what Jesus did for us, you and I have no hope of being with God, we will go to hell because of our sin.

            – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

            Jesus made a way for us to be with God. This is the BEST NEWS EVER! You can have abundant life in Christ. 🙂

            – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11

            We can have real LIFE here on earth, knowing God, loving God and we can be with Him in heaven forever if we put all of our faith and trust in Him and yield our lives to Him for Him to be our LORD.

            – And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. II Corinthians 5:15

            He gave all for me. Now I give all I am for Him.

            – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

            Jesus is calling to you today, Dorris. I pray that you will accept His gift of life and experience the forgiveness, grace, love, mercy, freedom, joy and peace that only He can give to you.

            With love,
            April

          12. April, I’m disappointed that your message which was decidedly pointed and accusatory, especially about my Christianity. You are brave to blog and for that I give you kudos but if you are offering yourself up in the role of advisor, then you must also accept its responsibilities and obligations, allowing clarification, questioning and discourse. Hyperbolic responses only delay the learning. Here is where I am confused: On the one hand your blog endorses Old Testament rules for a married women while on the other hand claiming that Christ’s sacrifice released women from those very rules. Please enlighten me.

          13. Dorris,

            A person who loves Jesus and lives with Him as Lord is not ashamed to say that, particularly here – and, would not call Him merely a great teacher. Since you won’t tell me your beliefs, I am left to infer. I am not that great at mind-reading, unfortunately.

            When you are willing to share your spiritual ideologies – who you believe God is, who you believe Jesus Christ is – then we can have an actual discussion.

            I’m more than happy to talk with you about anything.

            The commands of God about marriage I talk about in my blog are all New Testament commands. Much of the Old Testament is relevant – but the Laws are not how we have a relationship with Christ.

          14. I have already shared with you that I am a Christian. Christ endorsed love for everyone, no exceptions and as such I would expect you to practice inclusiveness regardless of where you feel I fall on the “spectrum” of belief.

            Here are a few New Testament questions that I am hoping you can shed some light on for me:

            “…the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

            Are we really not allowed to speak in church? Do you abide by this?

            “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of every woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God…. any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head …For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair …For a man ought not to cover his head; since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.)” 1 Corinthians 11:2-10

            Do you cover your head every time that you pray?

            “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; 10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.

            I can’t braid my hair or wear earrings?

            “….and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited…. Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect…” Titus 2:4-9

            We no longer endorse slavery, why do we endorse these expectations for wives?

            “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.” 1 Timothy 2:11-15

            How to resolve this issue in your work as a pharmacist? How does this affect female college professors?

          15. Dorris,

            I hope to be able to respond more in detail tomorrow,

            I do not recall you sharing that you were a Christian. So, thank you very much for clarifying that for me. 🙂

            I am able to love everyone with the love of Christ no matter their beliefs- but what I would say to someone would differ based on where they are spiritually and their understanding of scripture. I would not present the gospel in the exact same way to every person, but would tailor the discussion to that person’s particular situation.

            I have done a lot of studying on all of these scriptures. The most important thing is what God’s Word says, of course, not what I say. But it is my desire to obey Him in everything.

            Going to bed right now. Working in the morning. But will answer when I have time.

            Great questions!

            Thanks!

            With love,
            April

          16. Dorris,

            I am going to make some assumptions because you are a Christian since I need a starting place to begin this discussion. I am going to assume that you are a Christian by Jesus’ definition. So, I am going to assume that:

            – You desire to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength. This is the greatest commandment according to Christ.

            – You believe the Bible is the Word of God and has authority in your life and that you embrace it as the only source of absolute truth.

            – You purpose to be filled with God’s Spirit and to die to self.

            – You are no longer friends with the world, but friends with God. You know that you cannot be friends with the world and God, that you have to choose one or the other, and that to be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God. You recognize worldly and ungodly teachings and purge them from your life – i.e.: teachings of atheists and those who say that Jesus is not God and those who disparage the Word of God. (You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:4)

            – You want to see all people come to Christ and you are bold about sharing your faith with others in obedience to the Great Commission to make disciples. (Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28)

            – You don’t want to malign the gospel, but live a life that draws people to Christ. (Titus 2:4-5 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.)

            – You know that Jesus is the only way to God – John 14:6, as I had shared earlier.

            – 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” John 14:22-24

            – You are no longer controlled by your sinful nature, Galatians 5:19-21, but are filled with the Spirit of God and experience His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control on an increasing basis every day.

            – You spend time daily in God’s Word and prayer, seeking to yield your life fully to Him, to allow Him to have control and to allow Him to use you to minister to the world.

            Since Jesus is your Lord, and you desire to love Him above all else and to love Him means that you must obey Him, then, that puts these passages that concern you in a whole new light. No one who lives for Christ as Lord can say, “No, Lord. I refuse to do what You are asking me to do.” We owe Him so MUCH that all we can do is say, “Yes, Lord! I will do whatever You ask me to, no matter what the personal cost is to me! Only let me serve You and please You!”

            1. Women keeping silent in the churches. I would suggest reading different translations and also finding out what the original language means. My understanding when I did this is that the word “silent” was not the word for total quiet all the time, but rather, that a woman didn’t address the group the way that a teacher would or put herself above the men as an authority.

            I had been writing posts for men a year and a half ago, and came across these verses, wrestled with them to try to understand them, and repented to the men, took my posts down and determined to obey God to the best of my ability on this passage. I don’t see a command that says women cannot speak to their brothers in Christ ever, but I am careful not to speak at church as a teacher. And, I usually do not answer questions during Bible study. Not to try to be legalistic, but to seek to obey God’s Word.

            2. I do cover my head any time I can when I pray. I carry a scarf with me. Here is a post.

            3. Our beauty is to be internal, modest and humble, not flashy – this was how the temple prostitutes dressed. We are not to have our hair or clothing in elaborate, expensive styles that draw much attention to ourselves. We don’t adorn ourselves by outward, showy, worldly things, but we adorn ourselves internally.

            4. There were slaves at that time. God made provisions to treat slaves well and for slaves to witness most powerfully for Christ. The Bible also says that if the slave can find freedom, for them to do so. This does not mean that slavery was right. It is to help believers determine how to live in the conditions in which they found themselves.

            God designed marriage. God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than our own. God has the authority and right to give us whatever commands He wants to about marriage. His ways are good.

            5. Women are not to teach or have authority over men in the church. These are not instructions for the work place.

            With love,
            April

          17. Dorris,

            I posted all that stuff below after reading only a few of the back and forth posts. Now I’ve read them all and I had to post one more. Keep in mind, I am a “say what you mean, mean what you say” kind of woman. As a new Christian I fall a little short of the “love everyone like Jesus did”. I do try to love everyone, but even Jesus called it like he saw it. I’m fixin to call it like I see it right here..

            I think you have a misguided concern for women. You offered (in all of your posts) no solutions, suggestions, methods or techniques for women to approach communication issues, respect issues, affection issues, pride issues, ego issues, control issues, impulse issues, etc, etc in their marriages. All real common issues in both Christian and non-Christian marriages. You’ve also offered no specific example of words that were said, advice that was given or beliefs that were shared that would even remotely substantiate the concept that “women are being harmed psychologically” by anything in this blog. In fact, your view of Christian women appears so low that YOU think women are so ignorant that they would not be able to decipher for themselves and decide what would work and what would not work in their own marriages. The more I think about what you posted, I’m actually offended.

            I spent 22 years as a hard core atheist and most of my friends at this point are still atheist. Love them as much as my new Christian friends. But hear me when I say this, YOU Doris, speak and argue exactly like a hard core atheist. This is a favorite past time of atheists to go on Christian blogs and try to stir up strife. Seriously, I’ve done it and I know other atheists who still do it. Same stuff like you post. The arguments never change. The tactics never change. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you are just a seriously misguided Christian who picks thru the bible and wants to play God and decide what is real and what means what and what gets thrown out. But I don’t think I’m wrong. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck .. It’s a duck.

            I’ve seen you waddle, I’ve heard you quack and I think you’re a duck. Sorry if this offends you but I’m not a baker and I am not good at sugar coating things. You speak 100% like an atheist. I know the atheist mantra like the back of my hand. I know when I see it. I’m not just beer sure about it. Not just job sure about it. I’m life sure about it. I don’t say that lightly.

            You can believe all the things you want to believe. Free will is a beautiful thing and you are responsible for your own eternal future. But you are not asking things or offering things in a spirit of collaboration or learning or teaching. You ma’am have a specific goal of creating a contentious situation, no matter how anyone responds to you. And yes, I meant the ma’am to sound condescending. and heres the smiley face…. 🙂

            I think you are a pot stirring atheist. Plain and simple. Prove me wrong or don’t prove me wrong. I don’t care. But know that I don’t buy your fake concern for women. I don’t buy your pretense of being a Christian. And I hope nobody else who reads this blog buys it either. There is nothing nobel about your motives. There is no truth in what you speak. Have you ever converted a Christian away from Christ? It so rarely happens it’s really not worth the effort. You can create a little doubt in a scripture here and there but it never lasts. You can whisper to a Christian like Satan did to Eve.. “Did God REALLY say that.. Did he REALLY say don’t eat that fruit”.. It might cause a little crisis of faith for some.. For a short time. But God doesn’t give up easily and generally sends some intervention. He’s way more powerful than a mere mortal atheist.

            Trust me, I know this. How do you think I became a Christian? It wasn’t because someone threw a bible at me or read me some scripture or because I fell into a tub of holy water and it burned. It’s because God really IS God! He really is that powerful. He really is all that the bible tells us he is. You can believe it or you can not believe it. But as for me, nobody will ever, ever convince me otherwise. Never again. I will serve God first and foremost for the rest of my life. If it means I would lose my house, my career, my family, my legs, my dog, my car or my life.. whatever. And I love all of those! I don’t care if the entire world stops believing in God. I know what I know and I will not.

            I’m not going to do the quid pro quo with scripture with you. There is nothing genuine about your approach. But I will say that the bible tells us not to throw pearls after swine. Yes, I went there. Your biggest tell was how you started mocking how April signs her posts. With Love. When she does it, it’s because it’s genuine and true to who she is a person. When you do it, it’s meant in jest as a snide remark. It shows your true motives. So, I’m calling you out on it. That’s biblical too I’m sure of it. 🙂

            All the best,
            Gail W.

          18. Wow. You are in dire need of education and thanks for throwing another Christian woman to the wolves simply for her desire to know more and seek a deeper understanding of the world around her. As long as you continue to be exclusive to opinions or questions that are challenging, then you are promoting a Country Club version of Christianity and are acting decidedly un-Christian. Wake up Ladies! WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!!!!

  4. Ok this is a test post.. I can’t seem to get my comment to post on this blog only and as such I thought I would do a little test.. This is only a test. If this had been an actual post from ME it would be much, much longer…

    1. Ok that one went.. I’m going to post my response to this in two blog posts just incase there’s some limit.. 🙂

      Doris / April,

      I hope ya’ll don’t mind me “cutting in”. Please realize the below are just my beliefs and what I take from my own studying of the bible, asking questions of my Christian mentors and my pastor and such. And I really trust my Christian mentors. Keep in mind, I’m a baby Christian with 22 years of being a hard core non-believing atheist in my recent past. Until, as you all know, “the incident” happened… 🙂 So I ask a lot of questions, voice a lot of opinions and do a lot researching especially when I think doctrine or something I hear from a mature Christian doesn’t sit right with me or if I don’t agree with something. Believe me when I say, God scares me a bit “after the incident” so I want to get the rest of my life right. It’s really important to me. But I don’t want to believe something just because someone said it. Or believe something is wrong. I also want to get my marriage right because I love my husband. I want us both to be happy and well treated.

      First I am going to say that I don’t agree with every detail in ever post or every position stated on this blog. Not a shocker to anyone here I know. 🙂 But I do see that it’s not written to have ALL things said in ALL posts applied to ALL women and ALL marriages. There are many people sharing different beliefs. Many women with different issues in their marriages and many different situations. I do think that April has done a good job pointing that fact out on almost every blog post. I also think that she has done a pretty good job of making sure that discussions around different beliefs and different marriage situations are facilitated. I loved seeing posts and blogs about respecting your husband meaning different things to different marriages. And the blog about yes you can go overboard with submitting to your husband. And that who leads what in each marriage is really up that unique marriage. If I let my husband lead on certian things he would become frustrated and think I was passing the buck. We are trying to work according to each others strengths and weaknesses. Where we are both strong in an area, I let him lead it. Where we are both weak in an area, I let him lead there too but that really is passing the buck.. 🙂 .. I didn’t say I could be good ALL the time..

      I have taken the time to read most of the blog posts on here at least once. Not everything, in every blog post do I agree with but I find that I agree with most of it. Teaching women how to show respect to their husbands (in many different ways) is a very good thing. For believers and non-believers. It’s a key roadblock to good communication. And I can see where it could apply to some wives I know. Women have a reputation for being nags and gossips. I know a lot of women and they really did earn that reputation. It’s not right on a human level and it’s not right from a biblical perspective. So, whether someone is a non-believer or a believer it’s still wrong. I also see a lot of blog posts on here that really just provides some practical examples of how to approach disagreement in marriage. Those principals are the same outside of marriage.. Let me give you an example from this blog post:

      April wrote: Men respond to praise, encouragement, respect and admiration. That is where your power is as a follower – that is a special kind of power called influential power. Use your words to build up your man!!

      The bible says: Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

      Napoleon Said: “If I had enough ribbon and medal we could march to America”. He also said, “A man will fight long and hard for a peice of yellow ribbon”.. He also said, “A man does not get himself killed for a half a pence a day. You must speak to the soul to electrify him”

      All the same thing. April is not sharing some long lost secret about the importance of respect and admiration in a man’s life. This is old stuff that women would be wise to recognize if they would like to have happy marriages. Respect is critical in God’s design for marriage because God knows men. He created them! And thru time, in many areas of life, this has held true with regard to men. There’s no denying that fact. God has many, many commands for men as to how to treat their wives with love and not be harsh with them. But Aprils blog is not speaking to men. Her’s is speaking to women. She can’t help husbands change themselves. She’s not a husband. Gregs blog helps men. I don’t always understand Greg’s blog because I’m not a husband either. I don’t even think I have commented on it even though I have read it. Some of it, I’m like oh, I’m so glad he told me that. Other things, I am thinking I have no clue what he’s talking about it’s gotta be a guy thing.. 🙂

      To Be Continued on next post…

      1. Or apparently 3 posts.. I seriously need to learn how to do like twitter.

        Now, I see some things differently in studying the bible than some of the most mature Christians around do. For example. I hear many very mature Christians tell me that Ephesians 5 and 6 are all the proof one needs to show that God says that our spouses needs should come before our childrens. I really don’t see where it says it or implies it. Now I could be totally off my rocker on what I believe and why I believe it. OR I could be looking at it with different, newly Christianized eyes. (is that a word?.. 🙂 ) Meaning, maybe some Christians hear what’s doctrine or what their particular circle of Christian friends believe for so long they haven’t looked it in such detail to study it for awhile. I know one of my best Christian mentor friends is very knowledgable. But he says I make him think, really think thru stuff all the time when we talk and he learns new stuff too.

        I also don’t believe that disagreeing with our husbands makes us “contentious women”. A true contentious woman is someone who “excessively” argues for the sake of arguing. I’ve see April post many times about how to approach disagreement. My opinion, those ARE absolutely how God commands us and Jesus showed us how to handle disagreement. Especially with those who have authority in our lives. I don’t believe that God intends for our husbands to be the boss of us. I do think God intends our husband’s to be the spiritual leaders of our house and if things go wrong in that area, God’s going to them first. I wouldn’t want that job..

        I can find several examples in the bible where women disagreed with men or bucked authority in other areas and God did not tell the man to go put his woman in her place. Nope he said do as she says or showed favor to that woman. Abraham and sarah.. Esther… Both Deborah and Jael are strong independent women as well. But that belief was confirmed by something that April wrote in one of the blogs. And then I went and researched it some more and talked it through with one of my personal mentors in this area. And I happen to agree with all of her blogs on how to handle disagreement. I wish all people knew how to properly disagree. Especially as a leader at work! There would be less contentiousness everywhere if people applied some of these things to life in general. Loved the video of how to ask for things. It cracked me up. I preach that stuff to the kids all the time. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Or ask in this case.

        Now you may not like this Doris. But I think Betty Friedan is absolutely an example of a true bitter, contentious woman in the most negative sense of the word. I don’t agree with her on much. I happen to think she’s a fraud. Harsh, I know. I would not model my life based on her life or her beliefs. Not even when I was an atheist and especially not as a Christian. I understand where she got her views, how she was raised, when she was raised, etc, etc. She had an abusive mother in the true sense of abusive. And she was bullied in school a lot about not being pretty like her sister. But in my opinion, I think she did more to harm and stereotype women than help them. Especially for intelligent, professional women in leadership roles in society. Her theories about women are junk science. That junk has nothing to do with biblical principals, in fact I think she stated many times that she did not believe in God. But I am so thankful that this particular blog does not spout any of her junk. Sorry if you love the woman’s stuff but I not only disagree with it, I have always found it revolting. Even as a non-believer..

        Conversations with God however could be motivational but it’s not something I would say is outstanding. Just ok in part. I think the market is just so over saturated with that stuff that it’s almost numbing. Not saying it’s bad or revolting like Betty Friedan’s stuff is. I’m just saying it’s not one of my greats.

        I believe (Me, GAIL) that there is a reason why the commands, to a man on how to treat his wife, are different than a woman to her husband. Because God knows we are made differently. Look at any number of examples in the bible where Jesus spoke to men vs women. Especially in speaking about their sin or correcting or teaching them something. He could be harsh with men (not always but sometimes) but never was he harsh with women. I can’t find an incident where he was. And I looked for 7 hours one day. Maybe as a baby Christian I read to much into that and it’s a coincidence but it’s obvious when you read the words he spoke to people.

        To be continued on next post…. 🙂

          1. I agree about the translations. And comparing old testament with the new. I also look at everything in context. What was law for the Jews vs what was written about the gentiles. I look at the history of the bible. I look at whether God said it or whether it was inspired by God but said by someone else. I study with the knowledge that we live in a state of grace. I also consider when I read this blog what it’s “core message” actually is. I don’t assume everything applies across the board to all marriages and all situations. Above all, when I’m learning something I keep an open mind and an open heart. But I do NOT become a mindless sponge that just absorbs what other people say and eat it up like it’s candy. I research further if I have questions.

            I don’t believe this is messing up women “psychologically”. Much of what is discussed here is what marriage counselors talk about all the time. If you take out the biblical references of course. Same ideas. Same communication tips. Same issues. I would also note tht most of the women that read, write and respond to this blog are “A type” personalities that have issues with being too controlling and too stubborn for their own good. Nope, I don’t think this is going to damage those stone wall exteriors or those made of steel egos. I think most women on here will become mindless drones who can’t think for themselves. Read what they post.. It’s not likely going to happen.

            I didn’t have time to proofread, so ya’ll be kind when responding..:-)

            Gail

          2. Gail,

            I think your 3-part answer is longer than April’s blog post! 🙂

            Just one minor proofreading correction.

            “I think most women on here will become mindless drones who can’t think for themselves. Read what they post..”, should read “I don’t think…”, I think. 🙂

            Thanks for enlightening us on many issues. You are a delight to read. May God bless all of the women here.

    2. Dorris,

      It wouldn’t do any good for me to “pretend” like I believed that you simply had a desire to know more or seek a deeper understanding of the world around you. Were that the case, your questions would have been relevant and your own position stated very clearly. There wasn’t anything challenging about your questions. They weren’t even purpose driven questions. You were not questioning specific advice given here. You picked at random, various scriptures and questioned them. Not in a way that you wanted to understand what different people believe, why they believe it or how they apply it to their lives.. But rather in a way to do a wee bit of pot stirring. In MY very honest and direct opinion.

      You also offered no “specific” opinions or beliefs of your own. Just vague assumptions about what others believe. Not even an example of how your own Godly marriage works.

      So how do you and your husband manage to obtain God’s perfect plan for marriage?

      What do you believe God’s plan for marriage is?

      How do you show your husband respect in your marriage?

      Do you let him lead spiritually? Financially? In any area?

      How do you handle submitting to or being subject to any type of authority?

      What types of authority do you see yourself as being required to submit to? How do you accomplish that?

      You say Jesus was and is a “great teacher”. Do you believe he was the son of God, born of a virgin, died for our sins and rose again? Or do you simply believe he was a good man? Who do you believe he is?

      You see, in order for anyone to decide whether or not they actually agreed or disagreed with your beliefs, you would have to actually state them first. Then it could provoke a thoughtful dialogue about what everyone else believes. Only then can you make a judgement about whether or not someone is “excluding” your beliefs or dismissing them.

      There are many people on here that believe some core things that are the same but with differences. I’m sure some people are Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran or non-Denomational. Core beliefs the same but differences when it comes to doctrine. Some may have disagreements on whether we are sprinkled or dunked. About how we receive communion or divorce issues. How we discipline children or raise them. Or whether the man should be the sole provider or not. Or who should maintain the finances. We probably even have differences in how we pray. But not WHO we pray to.

      But you are not stating your beliefs on those things. “Country Club version of Christianity” is cute. Another “buzz phrase” atheists throw out there. That actually used to be one of my favorites back in the day. Because you can always find some group of Christian women who fit that stereotype.

      I still believe you are either an atheist or an agnostic. No difference really other than semantics. And that’s fine with me. I’ve seen other non-believers asking quesions about how to handle things in their marriages. But you are not asking about that are you?

      You may think that I am un-Christian like. That doesn’t concern me. You have said nothing to this point that even identifies your view of Christianity. I do not bend my knees to Dorris at night and hold myself accountable to her. I bend my knees to God and hold myself accountable to him. And I will not lie and tell you I believe you when I do not. But I will say this, I did not “throw you to the wolves”, I simply came out and said very directly what I believe you are and why I believe it. There’s a huge difference. Try not to read into it what’s not there.

      All the best,
      Gail

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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