Skip to main content

Do Not Expect Outside Support

1167176_54598022

If you decide to obey God’s Word about respecting  your husband and honoring his God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33) – I believe your marriage will be greatly blessed.  I believe you will likely find much greater intimacy with your husband.   You will definitely find incredible intimacy with God as you submit completely to Jesus first and then want to obey Him in everything.  You will  find God’s joy, peace and abundant life as you walk this road.

It will be painful first – as you die to yourself and have to see your own huge sin and repent of all of that.  Digging out all the decades of lies, idols, pride, disrespect, controlling behavior/attitudes, unforgiveness, bitterness and misunderstanding about God and His design is HARD!  Then you begin to rebuild your life on Christ alone and His Word alone.  You throw out everything you thought you knew about femininity, masculinity, being a godly woman, being a godly wife, marriage and even being a Christian and understanding who God really is.   You begin to realize just how toxic our culture is and how very far we have strayed from God’s Word.

But as you follow Christ and obey Him – you discover that His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that you will have freedom, joy, peace and a huge weight off of your soul that you have never experienced before.   It is the most wonderful thing in the world to live in obedience to God and be full of His Spirit!

UNFORTUNATELY

Many wives quickly discover that when they talk about respecting their husbands,  they begin checking with their husbands before making decisions and they begin to live with their husbands’ authority/protection/provision/covering over them instead of trying to please all the other people in their lives – other people sometimes get really angry.  A turf war for control begins.

Many wives learned to be disrespectful and controlling wives by watching the dynamics in our own families growing up. (I think I learned it from being a dominant twin, my mom wasn’t controlling or disrespectful at all, interestingly!)  So our original families are where this new way of living will probably  receive the greatest amount of criticism.  The people I have seen who get the most angry with wives are controlling extended family members who suddenly find that they don’t have power over these women anymore.

To these family members, losing control over their loved one  is UNACCEPTABLE.  Many times, families begin to up the pressure, the guilt, the manipulation and attempts to control wives because that is what they have always done in that family and they cannot tolerate that this woman is no longer under their control.  For a controlling person to realize that he/she no longer “has control” over someone is the ultimate insult and nightmare.

Trying to control other people is idolatry of self – it is sin.  It is saying that we are sovereign and have to make everything work out right, not God.  It is saying that other people don’t have a free will but must do what we say.  This is how I lived for DECADES – trying to control others and be a people pleaser (which meant allowing others to control me).

We do not have to submit ourselves to that!  THANK GOD!  The only One Who is qualified and worthy to have control over me is God – when His Spirit fills and controls me, I have His joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self control! (Galatians 5:22-23).  I either am controlled by God’s Spirit or by my sinful nature.  Those are the choices.  If I give in to the controlling and manipulative tactics of other people, I am allowing my sin nature to be in control of me, not God.

It’s interesting to me that family members will say, “You are oppressed!  You don’t get to have a mind of your own anymore.  How dare you listen to your HUSBAND!?!?!”  – like that is the most heinous thing in the world.  “GASP!!!!  You are listening to your HUSBAND???????   How awful!!!!!!  There is no hope left  for you!”

But these same people are totally fine with being controlling themselves over these women  – even though that is wrong and the wives who are respecting their husbands are actually walking in obedience to God.  We like to call evil, “good” and good, “evil” in our society.  If the family exerts sinful control and the woman caves to them in an effort to be a people pleaser – that is labelled “good” in these families.  NO! NO!  People pleasing is sin – actually, the worst kind of sin – it is idolatry!!  We are to please God, not men. And God commands us to LEAVE our parents and all other human relationships behind as secondary and cleave to our husbands.  There should be clear boundaries around our marriages that well-meaning, loving family members cannot cross.  It’s time to let go of unhealthy boundaries and trying to control other people and erect healthy boundaries – that is better for everyone in the family!

We have a covenant with our HUSBANDS and with GOD.  Not with our parents, sisters, friends or coworkers.  I no longer answer to my parents as my God-given authority.  I answer to my husband as my God-given authority when I am married.  If we don’t get that straight, we are in for a lot of misery and possibly the destruction of our marriage.

Our family members/friends/coworkers need the freedom Jesus can bring, too!  We can pray for God to open their eyes to their sin and we can pray that God might use our example to draw them to Himself.  Being a controlling person is awful.  It is a stressful, frustrating, anxiety-producing, lonely life.  That is how most of us used to be.  PRAISE GOD, there is hope for change and a new life in Jesus!

IN THE CHURCH

You can expect other people, even people who call themselves Christians, to say that you are “oppressed” or that you have “joined a cult” if you begin to respect your husband and honor his leadership.  Seriously.  Just saying that you trust your husband once or twice can get you labels like this.  That just blows my mind!

Even in the church – many people do NOT understand God’s design.  Our culture’s influence has poisoned the church, too.  There are so few women living as godly wives that it is extremely difficult in many places to find a godly wife as a mentor who actually obeys the Bible about marriage on even the most basic level.    This is a huge problem.

SUPPORT

Pray for a godly mentoring wife to talk to as you learn on this journey.  And you may always find support, prayer and encouragement here.

It is hard enough trying to learn to completely submit and yield to Christ and die to self and live with Christ as Lord and learn His design for marriage without opposition.  But I want you to be aware that you will likely face opposition.  There are many people you may not be able to talk with much about what you are learning.  That is ok!

THE BLESSING

Thankfully, God can take what other people mean for harm and use it for good.  I find that when people insult me, mock me, verbally attack me  (sometimes pretty viciously) –  it is a great reminder to me that I answer to God and I answer to my husband.  I do not answer to these other people.  God calls me to love them and to respond to them with prayer, kindness, respect, gentleness and goodness. But I am no longer a slave to pleasing other people.  I used to do that.  It is a form of idolatry – desiring to please people more than desiring to  please God.

  • People pleasing is OPPRESSIVE!
  • Having my sinful nature controlling me was oppressive.
  • Grieving God’s Spirit and not having His power filling me was oppressive.

Now, I am living to serve and honor and please God alone.  That is FREEDOM, joy and peace!  What a relief!  I don’t have to try to make everyone happy anymore.  That was an impossible and extremely stressful goal.  I love people, but I am not oppressed by them anymore.  I will stand before Jesus Christ to give an account one day – not to any friend, family member, coworker or someone who reads my message online.

When we stand for God’s Word and His truth – we will be hated by this world.  We will be persecuted to some degree.  And God says that we are blessed and to give thanks that we are counted worthy to suffer insult for the Name of Christ.  It is totally worth it to do things God’s way!  I am not ashamed of my Jesus AT ALL!  I thank God EVERY DAY for what He has done for me, my husband, our marriage and our family!  And I thank Him every day for all that He is doing in so many of YOUR marriages!

52 thoughts on “Do Not Expect Outside Support

  1. “Trying to control other people is idolatry of self” ~ so true!
    I was there for many years and did not even know it. I am so thankful the Lord woke me up, as I am sure my husband is also 🙂

  2. SJBeals,
    Thank you for the encouragement, prayers, love and support! Thank you for being a co-laborer in Christ with me! I can’t wait to hug your neck one day. 🙂

  3. I do not ever remember reading anything here that is demeaning to women. That would all be according to where your heart is. The scripture is very clear about our roles in marriage.
    We each have the right to choose the path we want to walk on. Obedience to the Word of God, or not.

  4. Hi April,

    I LOVED this post! And I LOVED your reply to Jean. Sometimes I just want to share everything I am learning because I want what is best for everyone I know, but as you have stated, that often backfires! Thank-you for being a shining example for all of us and for not being afraid to stand up and tell the truth with love.

    1. Many women do respond to the concept of respecting our husbands with anger. Usually the level of anger is in direct proportion to the amount of conviction – in my experience. And the concept of biblical submission brings out even more anger than respect in our culture. This is extremely counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. Our culture is soaked in feminism – so sometimes just saying that God wants us to “respect our husbands” creates hostility.

      Let me be clear – I don’t teach men. I only teach women. So I don’t talk about what men are supposed to do. But God’s Word does instruct them to love and cherish their wives and to lay down their lives for their wives. My focus is only on what God commands women to do.

      As you learn about disrespect, you begin to see it everywhere- in your coworkers and at church and on tv and in your extended family. It is HARD not to say something! If women approach you and ask about what you are learning – that is a great time to share. But unsolicited advice often will be met with contempt. Until God opens our eyes, these concepts don’t make sense to us.

      Thanks, Christine!

    2. Christine,
      Thanks for the comment. There will hopefully be some women you can share with – especially as they ask you questions about how you do things or ask your advice.

      Jean is precious to me – all of my readers are. I appreciate her willingness to tell me her thoughts.

      I NEVER, EVER intend to come across disrespectfully to anyone. I love all of my readers, and I love the people God has created and want nothing but His best for each of them. If I have been demeaning or disrespectful – I want to repent about that. I am not above needing to be corrected or rebuked.

  5. April!

    I love this post so much. I think we can all agree that people pleasing is the most oppressive lifestyle out there. No one is more quick to attempt pleasing everyone than the housewife! It’s a lost cause.

    Respecting our husbands is a foreign concept these days, and perhaps that is why your message (from scripture, which is God’s message) ruffles feathers.

    I guess I can see what Jean is referring to in the posts, but to me it’s a call to action. It’s a warning. A wake up call.

    If a person saw people in danger, doing something that was daily deteriorating their marriages and families, (and their relationships with God) perhaps a measure of alarm is warranted.

    I myself used to relate so personally to my flawed perspectives on the feminine and a woman’s God-given roll in the family, that these messages would have rubbed me the wrong way too. But no more.

    But good is good, bad is bad. That’s never going to change. Readers who will allow themselves to detach from the concepts and judge them against God’s word will find that they are 100% accurate whether or not you like the tone or presentation.

    Women everywhere need to know:
    It’s okay to change who you are, especially if it means being happy for once. You can be bitter or you can be better. These principles can bless your lives as well as future generations. Give them a chance!

  6. Thanks, Dave!

    I appreciate husbands sharing their perspectives. I think it is important for other wives to hear how much pain husbands often silently carry in marriage.

    I always thought that if my husband was hurting, he would tell me. I certainly told him when I was feeling unloved, lonely, hurt, etc. But my husband never told me he was hurt. Ever. He never told me I was disrespectful. He wasn’t able to voice his pain. I am thankful for husbands who are willing to share their hearts here – because I believe that other wives might be able to understand their own husbands’ perspectives better.

    Trying to lead someone who refuses to follow would be extremely frustrating. That was my husband’s experience with me, too, and he gave up quickly because I was “always right.” I have been amazed over the past four years at the godly leader my husband has become since God has opened my eyes to His design. He is truly ABLE!

    I will continue to pray for you and your marriage. And that is my prayer exactly – that EVERY church of Christ around the world would have at least one couple who could teach godly marriage to the others in the church. I would like many more than one couple, but that is my first prayer!

  7. Joseph,
    Thanks for the comment and perspective.
    I truly believed my husband was my enemy and was purposely out to “get me” the first summer we were married. That is a very vivid word picture – I think women need to hear husbands’ hearts about this! The real problem for me all those years ago was that I didn’t understand how vastly different he was from me and thought we were the same. I assumed evil motives where in reality, there were none. I know now that my husband never stopped loving me. How I wish I had this information in 1994! What a completely different marriage we would have had those first 14.5 years.

    BUT – God is sovereign – and He is using my years of sin and misunderstanding and unknowing disrespect and control to bring hundreds of women to Himself now. So – it is not wasted at all.

    I answer to God – you are right. We all do.
    Thank you for your insights!

  8. i just want you to know, i read your blog almost every day. i only comment occasionally, but i want you to know your articles have really helped me. i am currently going through the very painful part, but i know to the very depth of my soul that God will create a beautiful marriage if i lean on Him & persevere. thank you for caring enough to put yourself in the line of fire to share those hard truths.

  9. Hi April, im so blessed by your posts. Its been hard for me but by reading your posts ive come to understand what respecting my husband really does to marriage. God bless you. Pleasse say something to me. Lol

    1. Vhailsham,
      Thank you for your encouragement! This is stuff I wish so much that I had seen many years ago. But I thank and praise God for His wisdom and His beautiful design! Yes, when you have faith in our huge God, He can and will do miracles! Not always what we expect! But always for His glory!! 🙂

  10. Thank you April for allowing God use you to bless so many lives. Ive been so blessed by your posts. My marriage is just 2years old. Our first year was really horrible but by ready your posts ive come to understand what respect really does in my marriage. With the help of God,there has been so many changes.

  11. I thank God first, and, you all for this ministry. I am new here, and your Godly words are so comforting to me, and most importantly helping me to see Jesus’s way of how I am to be as a wife, Godly women. I relate to all your past experiences to the letter, and I am excited to see there is HOPE only in the LORD!!!! Psalms:25:5: Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

    1. Meg,
      It’s wonderful to meet you! Thank you for your comment. I love that verse! I look forward to hearing more about your journey with Christ and learning to be the woman of His dreams!

  12. Amen!
    Dear April, thanks for always sharing. The thoughts shared on this blog are hard truths, and as such will not be palatable to all, even christians.
    Be encouraged and stay focussed. I pray that one day Jean and many other women will be more broken to the truth of the Word.
    Stay strong and blessed.

    1. Thank you, Nana! They are very hard truths – I agree. And we are not hearing them in our churches and in many marriage books – so it can be a bit of a shock when we first hear them. I definitely understand that. Thanks for your prayers! I hope you are well. 🙂

  13. Oh I love this blog! To the commenter Jean, who was reading a negative or demeaning tone, I’m not clear where you got that. But it does require us to put ego aside!! And so do successful relationships. I say do what works! I guess its the kind of thing, once you know what you really want, you do what it takes. This blog is really beautiful, I love the tone of empowerment for men, women, and all God’s children.

  14. Yes, you are exactly right, most people, even believers, are not supportive of a wife honoring her husband’s leadership today.

    I personally took a few steps back from everyone emotionally when I was learning the first year or two because I had been too emotionally entangled with others and did not have healthy boundaries. Then I learned to have discretion and wisdom and to look to God primarily and then my husband for spiritual guidance. Most things I don’t talk about – in our marriage. Well, I talk about some things on the blog. But that is for the purpose of encouraging and instructing other wives.

    But I don’t go to my parents for advice or counsel or to friends. I go to my husband. You are right, we are rebels against the world. And they won’t agree, but their opinions are not actually that important.

    Here is a post on people pleasing

    Handling external pressure

    THank them for their love and concern, don’t go into details, change the subject, or say something like, “I’ll talk with my husband about that.” or “I trust God and my husband to handle this.” Or “I’m praying about that. You are welcome to pray for us to have God’s wisdom.”

    Let me know if you need more ideas!

    Much love,

  15. Thanks Peaceful wife; I know what you mean; I am afraid that although I thought I’d repented of my past life and thought myself also quite the Christian wife, I’m far from it. At least God has shown me that I know little of His ways and need to learn. I’m sure all the pride, insecurity, me first arrogance and rebellion is not very attractive to anyone and certainly not much adornment for the gospel either. My husband protected my from his family by moving us away from their location which has helped but because of sin in both our lives, he has a hard time standing up for me or wanting to. I’m slowly making the same journey you have. I do appreciate the encouragement that caring for my husband and home IS enough in the kingdom.

  16. Thank you so much for your advice. I’ve enjoyed reading your story and relating to it on a certain level. It’s good to be surrounded by people with correct view on life. When I started reading it I felt almost depressed with where I am at in my own mind before even thinking about my relationship with others. Having to change so much was overwhelming! But I was encouraged as I read on because God is with me and I have my husband to support me. As Gods children we forget so unbelievably often of the power that is living in us! Thank you and God bless you!

    1. Inna,

      Yes, it is very overwhelming at first. I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life and never talk to anyone again when I saw my sin and how sinful my thoughts and motives were! But, God can and will transform your heart, mind and soul as You give Him access and seek to honor, please and obey Him in everything. You can’t do this. But He is totally able to do the work that is required in your life. THANKFULLY!

      Lean on God and His Spirit and allow His Living Water to well up in your soul and be full force in your life. If you are seeking Him and willing for Him to change anything He wants to change – He will do it!

      Much love!

  17. This blog is truly anointed. I am so so so beyond grateful how much I am becoming aware of how HUGE God is just by what He is revealing to me through your blogs. I feel like I have been born again- again with all this understanding I am gaining. Thank you so much April for being obedient to God and producing such great fruit in this ministry our Lord has entrusted you with. You are a beautiful woman both in mind and spirit. God is so Good!!!!!!

    1. Amanda Chandler,

      I am so thankful for what God is doing in you! That is exactly how I feel about what God has done for me, too! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my dear sister!

  18. I have read and re-read this post. I have a wonderful christian woman,who was divorced long ago, help me in my walk with the Lord over the past 2 years. She has helped me understand my need for His word, and how to study it. But now… now it seems she just keeps telling me to “put my foot down”. We have beenarrived for almost I years and have 3 lovely children and my husband has checked out. Unless other people are around to see him helping. My issue is I don’t see her advice to be Godly in this situation at all. And seeing as she is divorced and if it was as simple as putting my foot down my marriage would never have any problems. Because in my self I have no issue doing that. How do I distance myself and my married life from her without completely breaking that tie? We are away from family and she has adopted me like a daughter. Just in the sense of marriage advice it’s just not biblical. I’ve tried not talking about it but she asks how things are going and then I like word vomit it up,and then I feel horrible because I shouldn’t have said anything. If you could just pray for guidance about how to handle this with love for me as I pray and seek the Lord in this too.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: