Today’s post is by my dear friend and prayer partner, Kayla, from www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com God has given her such a gift with words and a way of explaining things that is just SO relatable! I know many of you will be richly blessed. Thanks for sharing, Kayla! This post is SO BEAUTIFUL!
I’m going to share with you today what I believe to be the number one fear of women when it comes to “respecting their husband and being submissive.”
There are LOTS of fears and reservations!!
– I’ll be a doormat!
– He doesn’t deserve it!
– I’ll never get what I want!
– I’ll have to pretend to be happy over things I’m not.
– I’ll lose my voice in the marriage.
– He’ll run us into debt!
– He’ll get to do whatever he wants whenever he wants!
Clearly this isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea, and let’s be real… you already know what all your own reservations are or were!
I think at the end of the day though, one fear trumps them all and comes back around AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN – even while putting some new habits and actions in progress.
And this is what it is –
If I respect my husband, he’ll think he’s doing everything perfect and then he’ll never see that he needs to change as well.
Some times we say it in different forms, but it all comes back to the fear that we’re going to change and they aren’t going to mirror the actions.
First of all – what I’m going to say next IS HARD TO ACCEPT! I Love God with my whole heart, but I’m not going to pretend like it just comes easy in this fleshly body to follow scripture …. but the truth is, we don’t respect our husband’s because they deserve it. We respect our husbands because God calls us to do so as a godly wife. When we are surrendered to God’s will, we respect our husband’s out of love and submission to God and God alone – NOT because our husbands deserve it. Because they are sinners too, and they actually don’t deserve it. (But it is a two-way street – no matter how “respectful you usually are” you’re still a sinner too and you don’t automatically deserve the love he’s called to give you as a godly husband.)
Again, let me say, I agree that it isn’t easy to accept that they may not change and they will never magically deserve the respect we are called to give them. Scripture doesn’t paint a picture though for us of an easy life. That EASY part comes when we are reunited with the lover of our souls for all eternity. Heaven will be easy with no more sin or death (or fears, or frustrations, or struggles, or temptations, or wants, or needs, or any of the other limitations we face on earth!)
What I can promise you though with a 100% guarantee, is a closer relationship with the Lord through obedience in submission and respect of your husband, and THAT will give you a new vision.
Once your vision changes…. some of the tough stuff will fade. Even if your husband never changes. God’s power will be at work in you and your changes and fellowship with Him will fulfill some of those crazy needs that you’re so passionately expecting to come from your husband’s actions in a way you never realized was possible.
For the vast majority though…. your husband will change. You have to remember to be VERY patient! When most of us make these changes, they are so vastly different that our husband’s are in shock and don’t know what to do with it.
- They might throw all kinds of “bait” (talked about in Laura Doyle’s book “The Surrendered Wife”) at you to get you to act like you normally would.
- They might ignore the changes thinking they aren’t real.
- They might jump on board and show more love, and then back off if you slip up a bit and wonder if the changes were really here to stay.
- They might be really hurt and need a lot of time to heal from some of the major wounds of disrespect in the past.
- They might be stuck thinking that there is no pleasing you, so they aren’t ready to try yet.
Whatever the case may be, KEEP PRESSING ON! For most of us, our changes happened literally OVER NIGHT!! It might have taken months to get everything practiced and in place… but the reality of our sin and the instant change in understanding happened in the snap of a finger. And because of that, we want that to happen to them too. It probably won’t.
Let me give you the two things you’re looking for:
He doesn’t deserve your respect. You are doing so much for him and he might not be doing much of anything to meet your needs right now. You’re doing awesome making changes, keep it up!
It is VERY unlikely that with time and practice that you won’t see a single change in your marriage. I’ll go so far as to say, unless you are in an abusive situation or your husband is completely immersed in an addictive and habitual sin (which you need to seek IMMEDIATE help) you won’t be able to go more than one full year without seeing SOME change in SOME area! Keep your eyes open, and remember to look for ways that HE is serving you, not necessarily a limited vision or check list of things that you think he HAS to do, or you won’t be happy.
Let me leave you with a thought.
If you have a best friend, and you one day receive a card in the mail that says “You’re so great. I couldn’t have gotten through this last year without your friendship. Thanks for your listening ear and advice. I’m so blessed to call you a friend.”
What will be your reaction? Will you think, “Well, I don’t need to change a thing. In fact, I can back off and stop even doing as much because clearly, I’m perfect and I’m the best friend in the whole world”? Or are you more likely to think, “Aww, that was SO sweet! I’m going to send her a card back or ask if she wants to go shopping this weekend. She’s an awesome friend.” ?
The same goes for our husbands. When we’re affirming areas where they are doing awesome, and giving them respect in areas where they are showing leadership, they aren’t going to think “hmm, I’m practically perfect in every way. I’m not even going to keep doing that stuff, I can just back off and do less.” He’s going to think, “Wow, that was easy to make her happy and that feels good to be respected” and he’ll be inspired to continue to serve and do more to get those loving and respectful reactions out of you!
Practical Application –
Find a friend (or comment to me, I’m happy to chat) if you need some refreshing hope that what you’re doing IS going to make a difference. Some men take longer to heal and be ready to risk taking a chance with the “new you” and that can be trying on your spirit and hard to keep pressing on. It’s OK to lean on a friend for support! That’s why we’re called to walk out life together! JUST MAKE SURE (and this is CRUCIAL!!!!!) that your friend is a respectful wife and submissive to her husband so she can encourage you and give you godly counsel. DO NOT GO TO AN UNSAVED PERSON or someone who opposes submission in marriage for support!
Keep pressing on!
If you are having questions, concerns, frustrations, let me know. 🙂
Much love to you, my precious sisters in Christ!
WHAT IS A HUSBAND’S DEEPEST FEAR ABOUT LOVING HIS WIFE?
My husband says that it’s the fear that he won’t be “good enough” in her eyes. And if he is already feeling disrespected, he is not going to try to work harder because in his mind, he knows he will just get more rejection and condemnation.
A husband needs to know that it is actually POSSIBLE to please his wife and to impress her and be able to meet her approval. THEN he will try much more to please her. But only when he sees that it is safe for him to try and that he has a chance of success.