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One Wife's Obedience to God Radically Changed Her Marriage

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An email from a wife:

As for my husband, he is happier than ever! He is constantly saying how he is the luckiest man alive. He texts me sweet nothings from work. He is so sweet at home.

It’s like, while I refused to submit (to honor his God-given leadership), we were locked in this power struggle. Like two people arm wrestling. He had to resist me and fight against me, because I was fighting him. But now that the power is firmly in his lap, there is no reason for a struggle. He knows that he has the final word, no matter what.

So he can allow me to have my way on many things, but because he is fully in charge, it’s an affirmation of his power, not a concession of it. That is the key I didn’t understand before. Someone is going to be the head of your marriage. One of you must lead. One must have the final say. If we are fighting for that role all the time, jockeying for that position of strength, then you spend half your time fighting for control, and the other half defending that control. Either way you are fighting all the time!

Once you surrender and say, “okay, I give, you win”, and you really mean it, then your man is free to let you make some choices, and it’s not an insult or a threat to him or his position. Crazy as it sounds, I actually get my way MORE now than before, lol, because we both know neither of us has anything to prove. He is allowed to be an imperfect human, he doesn’t have to explain or justify himself, he is the head, nothing will ever challenge that. We can give each other grace now, because we aren’t competing. We are more of a team than ever!

So, thanks for reading my novel, lol. I just wish that more women could understand this! How much happier would they be!

Blessed by submission,
Another peaceful wife

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I was SO in charge of things the first 15 years of our marriage.  I demanded that my husband do things my way.  I actually expected him to submit to me – not consciously.  But I expected to have my way – and nothing was going to stop me. 🙁   I ended up with a husband who didn’t want to do ANYTHING I wanted to do.   He just unplugged and went silent.  And I was lonely, worried, anxious, afraid, overwhelmed, stressed and far from God – but I didn’t even realize it.

I had the same thing happen in my marriage that this wife did – I get what I want SO MUCH MORE now than I ever did before.  My husband loves to see me happy.  He actually gives me a lot of freedom.  I do almost anything I want.  But if he sees me doing something that might get me in over my head, he will ask me to slow down the pace, or ask me to get more rest.  He takes great care of me.  Any time he does ask me to change something (which is quite rarely) – it is always for my good and my benefit.  He makes this REALLY easy for me.   I am extremely blessed.

Many women think that if they let their husband lead – they won’t have a voice and won’t get what they want.  That is usually not a problem – not when a man is feeling respected.

** There are some men, men with active  addictions, men who have uncontrolled mental health disorders, men who are currently involved in infidelity, men who physically abuse their wives, men who ask their wives to sin – who wives cannot submit to.  God does not ask us to submit to sin.  He does not ask us to respect sin.  Thankfully, there are usually other things we can cooperate with and other things we can respect.  But the authority of His Word trumps our husbands’ God-given authority.  If you are in a serious situation like this – you need godly, experienced help ASAP.  Your situation goes way beyond the scope of this post or this blog.

I am primarily submitting myself to Christ and because I love and respect Him, I cooperate with my husband’s leadership and respect my husband – so I desire to seek God’s will above my own.  It’s not about what I want anymore.  It’s about what will bring glory and honor to Jesus.

Still, when I take the emphasis off of getting my way – and I do things God’s way – I paradoxically end up getting “my way” much more often than I did when my way was my primary goal.

I hope that makes sense!

Thanks to this wife for sharing her story!

THIS IS A PROCESS

Each wife will have a different timetable, a different learning process, a different journey.  Each wife will learn things at her own pace and each couple has their own unique struggles, personalities and obstacles.  For me, it took about 2 years before the new ways became “normal.”   And I was extremely determined to learn this stuff – and studied for several hours a day most days during those two years.  I also had a very stable childhood with parents with an intact marriage and not a lot of baggage from the past.  Some wives take many more years than that – the rate of learning and growth depends on a host of factors.  I messed up a lot during the time I was trying to learn and didn’t understand, and was desperately looking for resources and trying to figure things out without many godly examples or  a mentor.  But I had God!  And His Word.  And He brought resources to me over time.  Thankfully, my husband was very patient with me as I stumbled through this stuff.  It is much like learning a brand new language – learning to be a godly wife, an obedient believer, a Spirit-filled woman.

Our job is to seek God with all our hearts, to desire Him above everything else, to hunger for His Word, to fill our hearts with His praises, to allow Him to show us all our sin and remove it.  Our job is to want to learn all that He has to teach us and to be totally yielded and available for Him to use in any way He desires.

He doesn’t guarantee us that our husbands will change.   God guarantees that WE will change when we submit to Him!  Our motives can’t be to learn to respect and submit so that our husbands will change.  That doesn’t work!  Our motives must be pure in God’s sight – to honor Him, to obey Him, to know Him more, to be filled with His Spirit, to bring Him glory and seek His will and His wisdom.

Then God is in charge of the timing, the results, the changing – for us and our husbands.

But when God is your partner in your marriage and life – each day is an amazing adventure.  It is SO worth it to do things His way!

Much love to you, my precious sisters in Christ!

– Peacefulwife

14 thoughts on “One Wife's Obedience to God Radically Changed Her Marriage

  1. I love this. Really. I just remember going through this at a women’s study. Being that I am young and unmarried still I always worried about this submission thing. I never really understood what it meant. It’s still a struggle in my mind, but I am trying to learn now what it means to submit by submitting my life completely to Christ. In that I am also trying to let my boyfriend start making decisions. Some people may not agree with that, but I figured that if I can trust him now to make godly decisions then we’ll just be in better shape for later. I would rather test his god-fearing abilities now rather than later anyway.

    I love this so much, and I am glad I found this blog. It really does help me see from a light of what I want to be in my future marriage (and even now as a single woman). Thanks.

    1. Brittany Lee,

      I’m so glad to hear from you! And I completely agree that you can’t take charge when you are dating and be in control of everything and then suddenly the day you get married just stop and dump everything on him and expect that to work!

      I have several posts on this on my site for single women http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com.

      How I WISH I had understood or at least began to try to understand these concepts before we were married! You are not commanded by God to submit to your boyfriend since you are not married. BUT, my recommendation would be to share your ideas, your desires, your thoughts and feelings – and then allow him to make the call if you don’t agree with each other. You don’t have to cooperate with his leadership if you strongly disagree. But your general attitude should be a cooperative one that trust his abilities to lead even when you are dating. If you can’t trust him to lead and don’t respect him now – that spells big trouble later. Learning to follow and not take charge is HARD for most women. I’m glad you are thinking about that now. 🙂

  2. God bless the wife who sent you this e-mail. The arm-wrestling metaphor is very good — I knew that feeling well. It is very defeating/frustrating for the husband and ruins the marriage.

    One suggested clarification: I understand and agree with almost all of the caveat that you include (marked with “**”), but I know my ex-wife would have seized on the phrase “men with addictions” as her excuse for completely disregarding everything else you say. She would point to my previous pornography use, describe it as an addiction, and say that as a result she would never be able to trust me (while at the same time professing to have forgiven me). Perhaps it would be more accurate to say “men with active addictions” to at least distinguish men who have repented and who are dealing with their sin from men who are continuing in their addiction.

    Thanks.

    1. Ironically – most women do NOT realize that trying to be in control – trying to control God, trying to control others – is an addiction, too. A horrible sin addiction and idolatry.

  3. More so than trusting her husband it is about trusting God.
    Her heart might have said “husband I am not sure if I can surrender to you because I can’t safely trust you to take care of me and not to abuse your power to still honor me as your wife and not to become a tyrant”…..

    Another side to that coin is do I really believe God that if I will do what he says and obey my husband He will take care of me and will not leave me desolate?

    Suppose her husband never acted so gratuitously would she still trust God and remain faithful to what he called her to do no matter how much suffering it may bring?

    1. Simone,
      Beautiful points!

      I hope I am communicating these truths in my posts.

      It is ultimately about submitting to Christ! Exactly!

      And whether our husbands change or not, we are accountable to obey God. He can definitely lead us no matter what our husbands are or are not doing, and even if the is suffering, God promises to use it for our ultimate good and His glory.

      Maybe I need to focus a bit more on this. There are some wives who obey God and don’t see improvements in their marriages. Thankfully, that is fairly rare, but it does happen.

      But our obedience will be rewarded in heaven, and God will still lead and reward us here in many ways, as well, even if our husbands choose to disobey God, we can trust Him, follow Him and obey Him by His power.

      Wonderful points,

  4. Wow, isn’t is amazing to see how it can radically change a marriage when the wife submits? I’ve seen this in my parents’ lives and it’s a beautiful thing to see how their marriage is practically 100% better than it was before. I shudder to think of how many Christian couples don’t understand this before going into marriage and esp. those who believe in “Mutual Submission” (which is a lie and not God ordained order at all). They don’t see that Satan loves for couples to think that way and get away from the Biblically ordained and Holy order.

    1. Thank you for sharing!!! I appreciate hearing about your parents’ story! 🙂 Unfortunately, I have seen many couples talk about mutual submission – but it seems to me that it often turns into the husband submitting to the controlling wife in a lot of cases. Me submitting to my husband and respecting him has been out of love and reverence for Christ has been the hardest and BEST thing in our marriage.

  5. I know this post was written over a year ago, but your message is timeless. Thank you so much for writing this! I have been married for 15 years and our journey has at times been easy, and others a challenge, as all marriages are. However, I have been struggled with the very same issues described by the woman who wrote that incredible letter, and yourself. My own parents did not have a good marriage and it ended when I was teenager. I no longer talk to my mother about my marriage because her answer is divorce, which neither my husband or myself believe in. My husband is a good man, but I have not been a good wife. We have never been unfaithful to one another or anything like that, but I have been disrespectful in my actions and felt that I should be in charge of our marriage. I have a very strong personality and at first we did respect and love one another, but I made the mistake of not showing my husband how much I admire, love, and respect him when life became busy with children and careers. I took over everything and took advantage of his desire for me to be happy! Thank you for showing a way for me to begin to repair my mistakes and for sharing such a powerful letter. I have so much to learn. You mentioned that you studied for two years, can you please share what you studied? Passages in the bible or books that helped you understand how to be a better wife? Thank you again!

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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