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Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always "Right"

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Ladies,

I would like to attempt to clarify a common misunderstanding about biblical submission.

For me to submit to someone in a position of God-given authority does NOT mean that person is “always right.”  No human is always right.  NOT EVEN ME!!!! 🙂  I know!  It is a shock, isn’t it?

There are many kinds of God-given authorities:

  • kings, presidents, government leaders
  • military – over the citizens
  • military officials over the officers under them
  • teachers, professors, principals, administrators
  • bosses, managers, supervisors
  • pastors, deacons, elders, church leaders, Bible teachers, older men in the church (younger men are supposed to submit to the older ones)
  • older Christian wives are to teach the younger (Titus 2:2-5)
  • parents (for children who are not adults yet)
  • husbands

When disciples of Christ do not submit to God-given authorities over them, the word of God is maligned (Titus 2, I Peter 2,3)

SUBMISSION AND AUTHORITY ARE EVERYWHERE

  • A bus driver has authority to drive his bus, the passengers do not have that authority.  They submit to his authority and trust and respect him to drive the bus.  They don’t push him out of the driver’s seat and take over.  If they do, that is called a “hijacking” and it is a criminal offense.
  • A nurse in a hospital has the authority to give medication to specific patients, other people don’t have that authority – even a nurse from another hospital in the same city does not have authority to give medication to patients unless she is given authority by the hospital administration.  Her patient must submit to her authority and she must submit to the doctor’s authority over her.  The nurse also submits to the Board of Nursing and the doctor submits to the Medical Board of his/her state.  The nurse and doctor also must submit to those in authority above them in the hospital in administration.  There is a line of authority in place to keep patients safe.
  • Only the licensed driver in the driver’s seat has authority to drive in a car.  The person in the passenger’s seat may be an awesome driver and have a license to drive, but it would be insanely dangerous for the person in the passenger’s seat to grab the wheel and try to drive.  They would likely wreck!  The only time it would be appropriate for the passenger to take control would be if the driver fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up quickly enough or was unconscious and the passenger was trying to get them to safety.

God put husbands in the “driver’s seat” in marriage.  1 Cor. 11:3  The husband cannot remove himself from this position as long as he is in the marriage. God holds him accountable. The wife cannot move him either.  God says, the husband IS the head of the wife as Christ IS the head of the church.  It is not that he “should be” or “could be” the head.  He IS.  God put him there.  If I try to grab the steering wheel from the passenger’s seat, I will most certainly wreck the marriage.

PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY ARE NOT PERFECT OR “BETTER THAN” OTHERS

  • All people are plenty capable of sin, mistakes and error. (Romans 3:23)
  • There is no human leader or person in an authority position who is always right or who is perfect. (Only God is good. Luke 18:19)
  • If a human authority asks us to clearly defy God, “We must obey God rather than men!”  Acts 5:29
  • Authority has NOTHING to do with a person’s value. All people have equal value in the sight of God (Galatians 3:28).  God created men and women in His image.
  • Authority is not earned – it is granted by God.  Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above.”  John 19:11

AUTHORITY AT WORK

I had a job as a pharmacy manager one time at a grocery store chain. My staff pharmacist, Tiffaney, was “under my authority.” She checked with me before making decisions because I was ultimately held responsible for the decisions in that pharmacy by my company and by the Board of Pharmacy in SC. I always listened to her great ideas and then tried to make the best decision I could.  She was a dear friend and a wise advisor.  I cherished her insights.  Many times I did what she suggested, sometimes I didn’t.  She wasn’t upset about that, she respected my authority as the manager.

A few years later, both of us were working for a different retail pharmacy chain. Tiffaney was the pharmacy manager and I was the staff pharmacist “under her authority” this time! So I always checked with her and did things the way she thought was best because she was the authority in that situation and I submitted to her authority.

  • Was one of us “better than” the other?  Nope.
  • Was one of us perfect or “always right?”  Nope.

The question was – who had been granted the position of authority by our company and  who carried the responsibility and accountability of being the manager?

(Unfortunately, there are sometimes leaders and people in positions of authority who abuse those who are under them and who mistreat those they are sworn to protect. That is not ok! God will repay those people. They will stand before Him and give an account and He will dispense justice unless their sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus. If a leader is abusing his/her authority, there are supposed to be be other leaders in place in the church, work environment, government who will discover this abuse and punish the guilty.)

I have heard many wives say,

“I can’t submit to my husband! He’s not always right!”

Your submission to his authority is not about him being right.  It is about trusting God and submitting to Him.

My understanding of Ephesians 5:22-33 is that a wife submits to her husband IN THE LORD.  The Bible teacher I studied under at my church teaches that it is a principle of the doctrine of spiritual authority in the Bible that if a spiritual authority attempts to force a believer to severely violate God’s commands, we are to obey God rather than men.   But, if we choose to obey God rather than men, we must be prepared for the consequences of our actions.  Some examples of this are Daniel, who refused to bow to the king’s idol, and faced the lion’s den and his three friends who refused to worship the king and were thrown into the fiery furnace.  The apostles all refused to stop preaching in the Name of Christ, and 11 of them were martyred, all of them we severely persecuted by the Jewish religious authorities.  Resisting our husband’s God-given authority does not mean we will experience capital punishment, thankfully.  But we had best be VERY sure that we are in line with scripture before we dare to go against our husbands.  I would certainly not personally resist my husband for something minor like whether we tithe or not.  I would personally have to believe my husband was asking me to commit very egregious sin for me to be willing to refuse to submit to him.  Such a situation has never happened in 5 years in our marriage since I have been practicing biblical  submission..

  • If your husband asks you to blatantly defy God’s Word and clearly sin – then my understanding is you must obey God.  Only God’s authority is absolute. (Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Saphira, she was killed by God, too, because she followed her husband into lying to the Holy Spirit.)  ie: if he says to kill, steal, commit idolatry, commit adultery, lie, do something illegal, molest children, cover up a crime for him, lust with him by watching porn, have a threesome, worship him as god … you would have to refuse and obey God instead.  This should only be in very rare cases where what he is asking you to do is very obvious sin.
  • If it is just that you don’t agree with him, or it is a difference of interpretation in Scripture you share your heart, your perspective and feelings and then trust God to lead him to make the best decision.  Just because I don’t agree with my husband does not necessarily mean he is wrong.  And if I don’t agree with him, that is not an excuse for me not to obey God’s Word to submit to my husband’s leadership.
  • Submission does not mean you must agree with him and change your mind and not have your own opinion.  If you always agreed – that wouldn’t be submission, now, would it?  You are your husband’s most important advisor, and he will likely cherish your ideas, feelings, insights and suggestions if you respect him and cooperate with him.
  • We as humans are not in a position to always be able to see clearly what decision “is right” at a given time.  Our wisdom and vision is flawed.  Only God can see the whole picture.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding  Proverbs 3:5

In God’s economy, exercising God-given authority is about:

  • responsibility for those precious people entrusted to the one in authority
  • accountability to God
  • seeking God’s wisdom
  • protecting God’s people
  • providing for God’s people
  • defending God’s people
  • providing order instead of chaos
  • accomplishing God’s purposes, His will and His glory

Biblical submission to any God-given human authority is primarily about respecting, reverencing, honoring and trusting God in His sovereignty and living in obedience and submission to Him.

THE TRUTH IS:

  • No human being is always right.
  • God alone is always right.

Those little details and individual little decisions often aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes we try to make little issues more important than the marriage, or more important than honoring and obeying Christ.

Submission and God’s Sovereignty:

  • Submitting to our husbands in a biblical way is the biggest test of our faith in Christ, in my view, as godly wives.
  • Do I really trust God’s sovereignty enough that I believe that He is able to lead me through my human husband? Even if he messes up? Even if he sins?
  • My goal is not “to have my way” or to prove how “right” I am anymore.  It is all about Jesus.  Life is not about me anymore.  It is not about what I want.  It is about Him.

***  I am not called to follow my husband into clear sin that expressly violates God’s Word. We are to submit to our husbands “in the Lord.”  If a husband is committing major sin, infidelity, has an active alcohol/drug addiction, has an untreated mental disorder, is physically abusive – those serious issues go WAY beyond the scope of my blog.  PLEASE seek godly, experienced help ASAP!

MY HUSBAND WILL SIN AND MAKE MISTAKES AT TIMES AND GUESS WHAT?  I WILL BE WRONG AND MAKE MISTAKES AT TIMES, TOO!!  WE ARE BOTH HUMAN.

We will both need lots of grace, forgiveness and mercy from one another.

It takes TIME for a man to learn to be a godly leader. One  decision is not a true measure of my husband’s leadership.  Learning to be a godly leader is a long process – just like learning to be a godly follower is.

He will mess up sometimes.  (We BOTH will!)  That is going to have to be ok. God will help him learn from those things and he will grow as a leader – especially if I can continue to support him even in those difficult times. If I turn on him, give him the 3rd degree, and heap contempt upon him – he may just become paralyzed and stop trying to lead.

MY RESPONSE when my husband’s decision doesn’t turn out the way he had hoped is CRITICAL to him learning to become a better and more godly leader. If I can support him, respect the good in him, stand with him, show faith in him, continue to trust him, and not take over – my husband will probably get back up and learn and become a stronger and stronger man of God and grow in wisdom. It is REALLY important that I DO NOT TAKE OVER but show him that I know HE can do this.

Sometimes my husband will be right and I will be wrong!!!!!!!    But I may not be able to see that until later.  This is part of trusting God’s sovereignty.

FIRST I AM SUBMITTED TO CHRIST

Every disciple of Christ is called and commanded by God to submit their lives 100% to Christ first. We are to die to ourselves (THIS REALLY HURTS!), and our old nature. We are to put on our “new man in Christ.” We are not to be controlled by the sinful nature any longer, but by the Spirit of God. (Galatians 5:19-23)

Because I have died to my old self – I am dead to what I want, my will, my rights, my goals, my dreams, my plans, my priorities, my wisdom. That is all nailed to the cross. Now, I live as a living sacrifice for Jesus. I am alive to His Spirit, His will, His wisdom, His goals, His dreams, His plans, His priorities.

My only purpose in this world as a disciple of Christ is to honor Him and bring Him glory.

My life is not about what I want. It is about what Jesus wants. That is what it means that He is not just my Savior, but He is my LORD. I do not say “no” to my Lord.   He is my Master now.  My whole life is about Him. More than that…

Jesus IS my Life.

Nothing else matters.

RELATED POSTS:

Biblical Submission

A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission

Submission is not slavery.

When She Surrendered – my husband’s take on how my respect and submission directly affected his attitude towards me, God and his leadership

How a Wife’s Submission Inspired Her Husband and made him a better man

A Wife’s Great Faith and and Old Truck (God worked little miracles in this situation)

My Husband Wants to Go Where?? (AWESOME example of real life biblical submission and how God intervened and changed a husband’s heart and plans!)

0 thoughts on “Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always "Right"

  1. How can I get in contact with you.. Your videos are great.. I’m in the process to my man please I need your help..

  2. I am sorry I somehow misplaced your last message to me, and I really need someone to talk to.

    At the moment I’m extremely emotional and feel like I’m not coping at all. I don’t know if you remember my story, but my husband quit his job right when I got unfairly retrenched, we lost our home and had to move in with a family member, and I was a year unemployed before finally getting a job.

    In the mean time my husband and I had marital issues to sort out with the financial problem cropping up AGAIN, just making things more tense.

    Ever since I discovered and realised what disrespect towards my husband meant, and my husband at the same time (God works in mysterious ways) discovered and admitted to being very arrogant and hurtful towards me for the past 10 years, our attitudes towards each other have dramatically improved.

    I however, am struggling a lot at the moment. My husband recently got sponsored by a friend to study computer programming with the hope of acquiring a job once certified. He recently had a temp job for about 5 months, in which time we decided to put my youngest in a creche for exposure to friends. She’s four. When 2 months ago the temp job dried up, we decided to take her out of school, take my other kids out of after care (they are in primary school and had to go to aftercare for my husband to do the temp job) and for him to look after them. The plan was that he would look after them, make sure homework is done, and look after the young one.

    But now he get so caught up in his study work that he seldom checks their homework, leading to teachers phoning and saying their work is not up to par, my girl walks around like a tramp (she’s scatter brained and extremely untidy unless someone tells her to tie up her hair, she’ll go days without even noticing that it needs a brush.) Our family member paid for house cleaning services which ended 4 months ago, but with me working full time, I hardly get to the chores that should be done, and asked my husband (respectfully) a few times to assist me in this.

    He agreed, but rarely does so, since he’s “too busy studying”. I followed your suggestion of reminding him (with his permission) but it feels like its increasing my workload since I am now micromanaging whether everything gets done at home while im trying to cope at work too. My salary isn’t enough to cover all the bills, and barely gets us through a month with enough food. Last month the last week we had only some porridge and rice left to feed everyone with. Not even butter or sauce of any kind to at least flavor it, and my kids were hungry.

    I feel burnt out being the only provider, having to figure out how to make that money last by inventing new food dishes, rushing home each evening only to find the home in a bigger mess, the kids not done their chores because dad didn’t check up on them, and then inbetween rushing to do dinner (at least he did the dishes, guess I should be thankful for that?) I try to get them through the bath, pick up the mess, get some washing done, and then frustratingly flop down on a couch just to get my thoughts together.

    I try my best not to blame him, and try to keep in mind that he needs lots of time to concentrate and study, and that he’s doing it for our benefit, but its not the first time i have to fend alone. Other times there were other excuses (it feels to me like excuses).

    Sometimes I feel I’m being unfair to feel so unthankful, since he gets them ready in the mornings for school, and takes them. Even this got to me – right after I lost my job, I felt so worthless. When finally the school started up again, I mustered energy to try and stand up early to get my kids ready, figuring well, at least I still have that job. He told me why do I bother standing up, I’m not needed now, I don’t have a job anymore. I know he meant I can rest now, but up till today, it feels like he said I’m even incompetent as a mother.

    This is a fact my mom likes to emphasize each time I see her. My home is never clean enough. My kids not dressed properly enough.

    Thats what triggered this letter today. She came to fetch my son to visit her 4 days ago, posted some pictures the past few days of him on facebook where “he’s having fun” without even a phone call or a text message confirming all’s ok, and only started talking to me via text messages 4 days after fetching him. Her first words? You better make sure that your girl’s stuff is packed better, because his clothing was atrocious.

    I just feel so burnt out. I can’t live up to her standards, and she constantly blames me for it. And its always such a rush to try and get the house decent when she’s on her way. She doesn’t knock, she just storms in, and starts peering into each and every room to see what else is not in order, disapprovingly shaking her head at every little thing she notices. She never sits down for coffee, never says she’s glad to see me. Yet she is almost every day visiting my sister who happens to be filthy rich, will sit down with her, heck will even take her shopping.

    I can’t talk to her about my fears and troubles, because she just find it more reason to see my husband as incompetent and a lazy bum, and her negative view of him always rubs off on me. I try very hard not to discuss anything relating my husband with her, because they can’t stand him, and will find any excuse to say “Oh, so he can’t provide? He’s as useless as we thought”. I’m tired from keeping up this facade. I’m tired from never having enough. And its not even luxuries. My 4y old has got 2 bad teeth I can’t afford to fix. My other two is wearing hand-me-down school clothes they dug out of the storage closet for them at school, and its torn. My mom is an avid tailor, but I don’t dare ask her to fix it because then she’d look down on my husband again for not providing enough to buy them better clothing. I don’t have anything to fix it myself with.

    If there’s anyone willing to pray with me, because its so hard keeping my attitude humble and submissive towards my husband in all this. I sometimes can’t help but blame him for not working. He hasn’t been that seriously looking for work. Granted, with his non-qualifications and his age he won’t easily find something that pays. He’s always had dreams of his own business… tried it a few times quitting a full time job to do so, leaving me as sole provider when it didn’t work out. He did gain more wisdom, but now its hard to find decent employment again. But sometimes I can’t help but blame him for not trying harder.

    At the same time, i feel so guilty and frustrated at not being able to be home for my kids when I feel I’m needed, to tell my girl to comb her hair, to look at their homework, to make sure the house is … well, a house. So much so that its affecting my job. I don’t feel motivated to work at all.

    I work 6 days a week and after rushing through dinner, I barely have enough energy left to face the pile of laundry that was thrown down by dear husband from the table onto the floor.

    Now my mom’s on her way tomorrow to bring back my son, and I told her after her rude comment, that she should rather postpone visit with my girl, since I would need time to sort her stuff so her clothing is more appropriate according to her standards. (Yes I was a bit snarky). And I feel completely overwhelmed, my husband went on a spotaneous fishing trip with a friend and neglected to tell me it will be an all nighter.

    I wish I knew how to feel more thankful in all this.

    Regards Carina

    1. Carina,

      My sweet sister!!!!!! How I wish I could hug your neck!!!!!

      It is SO STRESSFUL when a wife is the sole provider. I know of many marriages where this is the situation – and I have not personally seen where this is a viable arrangement for very long. Husbands tend to get really depressed. Wives tend to get extremely stressed and overwhelmed trying to handle the housework and children and jobs and almost always seem to resent their husbands.

      It IS possible to learn to respect your husband in this situation – but it is much more difficult in these circumstances. THANKFULLY – with God all things are possible!

      In my view – the biggest priority right now needs to be your time with God. Do you have a lunch break or any time that you could have 15-20 minutes with God alone in quiet?
      You cannot be the wife He wants you to be in your own power. And you will have to very consciously ask Him to forgive you and remove all the resentment that will easily build up daily against your husband and your mom.

      About your mother –

      She is no longer an authority over you. She was an authority over you until you were an adult. But you no longer answer to her. You are free from having to please her. God commands us to love others. And He commands us to honor our parents. But you do not have to obey her or please her or make her approval something that is important to you. You are free!

      Your primary goal is to please Christ. And then your next goal is to please your husband and learn to respect and honor him.

      What are some things you admire about your husband?

      It sounds like he is very intelligent. And it sounds like he is responsible with getting the children to school. Do you have any time for each other? What are your interactions like?

      Would your husband be willing to handle your mom?

      I think you are wise not to talk much about your husband or your struggles to your mom.

      Do you have any godly friends to talk with or pray with? Do you have a church family?

      Is your job stressful? Is there something else you would rather do that might be better?

      What does your husband say he would like you to do to lower your stress level?

      Much love to you!

      Lord,

      I lift up Carina and her husband and family to You. They are struggling. She is so worn out and emotionally/spiritually/physically spent. I pray that You might give her husband wisdom to lead the family. I pray that You might allow him to provide for his family. I pray that Carina might be able to have the time she needs with You and be able to have time with her children. I pray You might give this couple unity and teamwork and that they might both come towards You and eachother. Heal the hurt. Bring a spirit of oneness. Empower her by Your Spirit to be the wife and mom You desire her to be for Your glory. Use her to greatly bless her husband and children and to shine brightly for You!

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

  3. I am struggling a bit with this today.

    We need to replace our older car, which has over 200,000 miles on it. Our mechanic has told us it’s not worth fixing at this point My husband asked me what he should do. I told him that I’d respect his decision.

    So, he went car shopping and came home with an idea that will really strain our budget and put us in considerable debt. I shared my worries with him.

    He figured out our monthly budget on a piece of paper and showed me how we could squeeze a car payment in. Yes, we can do it, but it would leave us with very little room to save anything and little wiggle room for any financial emergency that might come up.

    I told him that I would trust him to make the right decision. So, he went forward with his idea of buying a new car.

    Verbally, I’ve told him that I trust him. But, internally, I’m a wreck thinking he made a bad decision. In other words, I’ve submitted to his authority, but I’m struggling to trust his leadership.

    I don’t know how to get to the point where I can just submit and not worry about any possible consequences of his decisions.

    1. Lisa,

      It is good to say, “I want to stay in a certain budget, please.” Or “I would like to have more of a cushion for extra, unexpected expenses.”

      It is important that you respectfully voice your concerns then you can tell him you trust him to make the best decision for your family.

      Or, if you are really struggling with trusting, just voice your concerns and let him mull them over for awhile. Probably just telling him your concerns and priorities once is usually adequate.

      What do you think?

      1. Oh!

        And you can also say, “That is a really nice car. it would be fun to drive. i can see why you like it. For me, I personally would be able to sleep better at night if we didn’t have such a high monthly car payment.”

  4. Peaceful Wife,

    Thanks. Those are good suggestions. I’ve shared my concerns and after reading all of your advice about not nagging I don’t feel it would be helpful to rehash them.

    He plans to buy the car and do the paperwork tomorrow so there’s still time for God to change his mind. If not, I guess I’ll just have to work harder on my trust issues.

    1. Guess what, Lisa?

      We were in a similar situation 6 years ago. We were buying a bigger house. My husband wanted to build a new house. The cost was more than I really wanted. I told him that but told him I trusted him if he thought that was the best decision. Then I prayed. We signed the papers for the building to begin. That night, my husband read the 50 pages of HOA rules and decided he couldn’t live like that. He didn’t sleep all night. He called the salesman the next morning and stopped the paperwork. That night, we found an older house in a neighborhood we wanted. It was going to cost about $100,000 less. We bought that house.

      Praying about it is an awesome idea!

      And if your budget gets crunched. Your husband will see that and he can take the car back or rearrange the budget. There are solutions to be had! 🙂

      Much love!

  5. I understand that submission is part of being a godly wife, but my question is this and I ALWAYS have a very hard time dealing with this. My husband reacts first and then later thinks about what he has done with the children. He is a control freak and if I don’t “agree” with his line of thinking then I am the cause of the children’s misbehavior. He is stepfather to my 3 children and we have one together. My children cannot stand him and that breaks my heart. They have begged me to divorce him but I have stood by him. He is not abusive physically and is a very hard worker. We have been married for 16 years and my son is 17 years old. He is in a lot of trouble with the law because of rebelling against my husband who does not think before Screaming at him or throwing out crazy punishments. How do I submit to that? How do I continue to watch my husband destroy my family. He is a christian man, but he doesn’t behave in a christian manner when it comes to my son. Just my son. From the time he was a toddler my husband has always been irritated with him. Sneaking and grabbing his shoulders in a hurtful way and hiding it from me. (now that my son is older he won’t risk touching him in a harmful way, my son now has very bad anger issues) I submitted to his authority for many many years and this is what it has led to. Now, when I feel I can’t watch any longer and step in to help.. it has turned us against each other. This is not the full extent but in this situation, I cannot tolerate my husband not listening to my opinion or respecting me. He blames me for my son’s behavior and while he doesn’t tell me the word submit, he says I am not respecting him because I try to voice my opinion. We have nearly divorce many times because of this. But god continues to tell me to be strong, hang in there. My husband and I are fine when the children aren’t involved. They went to live with their dad for a bit because of my husband but that didn’t work out. While they were in another state, my husband was wonderful. I don’t know how to deal with this or how to accept his authority over my children when I feel he is wrong. I don’t disagree with him on everything, just the way he screams and tries to get his point across. We have tried counseling. We have prayed and prayed. We go to church all the time.. the children hate our church because they say it changed him and he is a religious fanatic now. I am trusting in god in this. Otherwise I would have taken my children and moved out a long time ago.

    1. Meg,

      Having a blended family brings EXTREME pressure to a marriage. It is often the case that step parents and step children clash and often a mom puts her children above her new husband – which is very destructive to the marriage. But the new husband doesn’t have the same emotional investment in her children that she has. It is very, very difficult.

      I believe that part of the reason God says he hates divorce in Malachi 3 – citing that He wants godly offspring – is that it is nearly impossible to raise godly children in these kinds of situations, where they still have their biological dad, but he isn’t really in charge. The step dad isn’t respected as dad. There is no unity among all of the parents. It can be such a disaster. 🙁

      As much as possible, I believe a wife must honor her husband’s parenting. If he is abusing the children physically or sexually, I think she needs to leave with the children to a safe place. That is me talking. But any wife in that situation must listen to God and find godly counsel – because Sometimes leaving is the most dangerous thing to do. So I cannot give specific advice about such situations, and I have not been in a situation like that.

      If the husband is being harsh, I would advise the wife to approach him in private afterwards, but she must be careful in how she approaches him. If he is feeling respected in general, he will probably be open to her concerns if she approaches gently and respectfully. Ie: “Honey, I am so glad that you are actively involved in disciplining our son. I know that he needs a godly father’s discipline and instruction. I am concerned that a harsh approach might embitter him. I know I am not a man, and I know that sometimes children need more firm discipline than a mother wants to give. It would mean so much to me if you might consider using the lowest volume needed for him to get your message. Thank you for your leadership in our home. Thank you for loving our son and wanting the best for him.”

      Maybe God will give you different words than these, but this is a possible idea. I pray God might be greatly glorified in your home!

  6. Wow! This is such an awesome posting! I was reading through some of the comments and my husband and I have went through most of the things I see other women have commented on. I’ve experienced being the sole provider and vice versa. We have a blended family where my hubby has two children prior to our marriage whereas the mother will not allow us to see them. We’ve dealt with child support. Adultery. Job loss. Eviction. Lack of finances. Hurt and wounds by Christians and church leader. Homelessness. Being the outcast of both of our families at times and others. Being lied on by others.You name it. My hubby and I have experienced it and I was bitter about a lot of things for years and so was my hubby. While reading this post, it encourages me to keep going on my journey of godly femininity. It helps me to be thankful for my husband, our children, my home, housework, cleaning and everything that God has placed in my life and under my responsibility. I am thankful to God for His grace. Its because of His grace and mercy that He’s allowed my marriage to continue to be and stand. I MUST work daily on trying to walk in the Holy Spirit and allow Him to help and guide my every move, thought, turn, word….everything.

    Thank you April for continuing to write inspiring posts that motivates and ignites fire in my spirit.

    1. Nekiwa,

      Wow!

      You know what? When I read what you and your husband have gone through – what hits me is – God has something amazing planned for them!

      I can just imagine the ways God might use you to minister to so many other wives who are suffering and hurting in the future. So many times, those places that have been the greatest sources of our pain are exactly the things God transforms into something beautiful for His greatest glory.

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE your sweet spirit and the way you desire to know God more and honor and please Him. I am so glad you see that you can only do this by His power.

      This journey is about a complete and total change of EVERYTHING in your life. It is about truly becoming a disciple of Christ and living with Him as LORD. it is such an adventure.

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

  7. Hey! I noticed in your article above that tithing was a small issue that is not a big deal to your family, I have been taught that it is disrespectful not to tithe because the Lord provides us and we should give our first 10% back to him to show our gratitude and reverence. I have heard so many stories about debt and job losses when families had the perspective of earning their money apart from God, and so many stories of rebuilt families, lives, and rebuilt relationships with the Lord when the attitude towards money changed from “mine” to “His”. I was wondering if you’ve been taught differently or what your perspective is on this issue? I have it in my head that this is a HUGE issue so it quite shocked me to read and see another angle.
    -Thank you for all you share and express, it has been helping me in this journey

    1. Aubrey,

      Tithing is very important to me! When I gave the finances to my husband, I was afraid he wouldn’t keep tithing as I meticulously had for the first 16 years of our marriage. He did tithe, without me saying anything.

      My point here is that if a husband doesn’t want to tithe, a wife can say she would like to tithe, but it is probably not wise to try to force her husband to tithe if he doesn’t want to. It has to be something he wants to do on his own, not that he feels coerced or pressured into.

      I have seen many wives stop pressuring their husbands and just let God work in their husbands’ hearts and months later, the husband suddenly begins to give more on his own.

      Tithing is a great thing when our motives are right. But if we are disrespecting our husbands in order to try to tithe, I think we have a problem.

      Before I learned about respect and biblical submission, I was tempted to give money myself to charities and missions without telling Greg thinking that would honor God. Now I know that I need to honor Greg and cooperate with him on this issue and if God wants us to give more, He is plenty capable of changing Greg’s heart.

      I hope that clarifies things a bit. 🙂

  8. I want to show respect as I know God calls for it. I just find it SO hard. Is it any different if you have an unbelieving husband?
    This is where I struggle, he makes worldly decisions and things for him first and thinks of me and the kids after. Its hard to respect that….

    1. Unhappywife,

      That is where almost all wives find themselves at the beginning of the journey. it IS so hard. It is impossible, really, without the power of God working through us.

      1. BUT- with His power, we CAN learn to do this. It is like learning a new language, and it takes time and great humility and a willingness to allow God to change anything in US He wants to change.

  9. Hi! I found your blog because Biblical Gender Roles posted one of your commentaries on his blog. Have you read his postings on gender roles? I suggest you take some time and read some his postings. They are very disturbing to me and a lot of people reading his posts. I would like to know, what you think about his belief, practice, and teaching that man was created in God’s image, and women were created in the image of man to serve and glorify man. Also, he teaches that women are subordinate and inferior to man, and a it’s wife’s role to serve her husband, as a secretary serves her boss; a wife should always be working throught the day, for example: work, take care of the kids, buy groceries, cook, and clean, and pay bills on the allowance he gives her. A wife should give all of her earnings to her husband, and he should only give her an allowance. If she refuses sex, then he has a right to despline his wife by shaming her in church, taking away allowences ($), vacations, or help her with anything around the house, until she submits herself to him sexually. He teaches that a wife cannot diciline a husband for misusing their money because she has not authourit over her husband. It’s ok for husband’s to look at younger women and get an erection from it, and it’s ok for a husband to receive brief touches from these younger women because it’s just normal. He teaches that a husband connot manipulate a wife, like an emplyee because a wife is subordinate to her husband, unlike an emplyee. I would like for you to read some of his postings on his blog, and I would like your imput on his mentallity and teachings. Thank you

    1. Rosie,

      I have not read what he teaches. But goodness, if it is anything like what you are describing – I think I am getting a headache already. Thanks for letting me know.

      Thank you so much!

    2. Rosie,

      So I can’t read all of this man’s posts, my time is just too limited, but I will address some of the issues you are bringing up:

      1. Man and woman were created in God’s image according to Genesis 2.

      2. Man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man according to I Corinthians 11. But we were all created to bring glory to God, to love Him, to know Him, to serve and obey Him, and to enjoy Him. And we were all created to love others. (The 2 greatest commandments according to Christ, and a number of other Scripture references which I can pull for you if you need them.)

      3. Women and men have equal value in the eyes of God according to Galatians 3:28 and Genesis 2. I Peter 3:7 says that husbands are not to be harsh with their wives but to treat them with honor because they are the weaker vessel. But that does not mean women are worth less in God’s eyes.

      4. God does command husbands to take the position of spiritual authority in marriage – but it is to be in humility, selflessness, godliness, sacrifice, and unconditional love – loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:22-33). Wives are commanded by God to honor their husbands’ leadership (biblical submission) – but this is not a king/slave relationship, as I mentioned earlier. It is with the wife acting as her husband’s most trusted advisor and partner. He is to look out for her ultimate best interests and he knows he is accountable to God for every sinful thought, word, and deed – and that he is supposed to nurture and care for his wife well, as God would desire him to. The husband is to represent Christ in the marriage relationship and the wife is to represent the church – so that their relationship is a living parable of the relationship between Jesus and the church. Not that the husband is actually a god, of course. It is to be a picture of the love, intimacy, trust, respect, and honor that takes place between Christ and His Bride, the church.

      5. All believers in Christ are to serve one another – in and out of marriage. We are all to die to self and to have the heart of a servant, especially those who are in leadership positions according to Christ in Matthew 20:25-28. Jesus says that His disciples are not to lord authority over anyone but that whoever wants to be the greatest among you must be the servant of all. We are all to fully submit ourselves to Christ as our Lord. There is no absolute submission to anyone but Christ for Christians. Yes, we are to honor God-given authority – parents, the government, church leaders, husbands, bosses – but ultimately we obey Christ alone. If a human authority asks us to clearly sin or to condone sin or they are not in their right minds, etc… we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:28-29). For more on this, please see this post.

      Yes, wives are to submit to their husbands – meaning, they voluntarily choose to honor their husbands’ leadership and have a disposition to desire to cooperate with their husbands’ leadership. But this is not absolute submission, as if the husband were deity. And it does not mean slavery, like the world thinks of the word submission. It is a decision that a wife makes out of reverence for Christ to honor her husband as being in the God-given position of leadership. But she is not required to follow him into sin, in fact, she is responsible NOT to do that – as evidenced by the wife in Acts who agreed to lie to the church and to the Holy Spirit about the land they sold, and she died, too, (just like her husband did) for cooperating with her husband’s sin. This is really about a wife trusting the sovereign God of the universe to lead her through her husband – so it is actually primarily about submission to Christ as Lord.

      Yes, wives are commanded in Titus 2:4-5 to love their husbands and children, 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.

      There is no mention of exactly how finances are to be handled in marriage that I am aware of in Scripture. And there is no mention of the exact division of labor in a marriage – although Proverbs 31 gives a beautiful example of a virtuous wife and she does stay very busy managing her household, her children, and servant girls, as well as helping to bring in profit for the home. She even buys and sells property at times.

      6. Husbands and wives are both commanded not to withhold sex from one another in I Corinthians 7:1-5. There is no mention in Scripture of husbands disciplining their wives in a particular way, that I am aware of. If a husband or a wife is living in unrepentant sin, the spouse does have the responsibility to confront the person about his/her sin, particularly if it is a believer in Christ who is sinning. We also have Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17 to help us when we are being sinned against as believers. I am sure that if a spouse continues in unrepentant sin after the other spouse follows Matthew 7 and 18, there may have to be consequences given and boundaries set by the offended spouse in some cases depending on the particular sin.

      7. A wife can confront her husband about irresponsibility or sin. And she can share her needs, concerns, desires, feelings, and her perspective. Neither the husband nor the wife have the right to control a spouse. God gives all adults free-will. He does not take that from us. And we don’t have the right to control or force others to do what we want – whether we are husbands or wives. But we will all be accountable to God for our sin or rebellion against Him and against His Word and others.

      8. I really hope I am misunderstanding the thing about lust and brief touches. That is just not making sense to me at all. Jesus says that lust is sin – that it is adultery that is committed in the heart. Here is a list of Bible verses about the topic of lust. This is what I teach and believe.

      9. A wife is subordinate – meaning what exactly? And an employee is not a subordinate? I don’t think I am following this.

      What is your relationship with Christ, please?

      Much love to you!

      1. The best summary of biblical teaching on marriage – and a wife’s and husband’s biblical responsibilities – in my view – is the Danvers Statement. You can find it here.

        Some fantastic resources, in my view, for husbands and wives to learn what real biblical manhood and womanhood are supposed to be would be:

        Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem (free download available at this site http://www.cbmw.org/resources/

        David Platt’s Secret Church series – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (on Youtube, or at http://www.radical.net)

        John Piper’s sermons at http://www.desiringgod.org.

        1. Hi! Thank you so very much for your quick redponse to my questions. I cut and paste these two paragraphs from “What Does The Bible Say About Lust,” from Biblical Gender Roles. I agree with a lot of what you post, but I just would appreciate you input on this please. I can’t cut and paste all of it, so I just cut and paste these short verses.

          “Thank you Rosie B.The Biblical answer to all these questions is – it is NOT A SIN for man to be sexually aroused by the scent, touch or sight of a woman, whether he is married to her or not.But just as men and women both hunger for, and receive pleasure from eating food, so to men have a natural hunger for, and receive pleasure from the sight, scent and brief touches of beautiful women, whether they are complete strangers or women they know, it makes absolutely no difference. It is absolutely by God’s design, and no man should ever feel shame for this.”

          1. Rosie Berlanga,

            So, I am not a man – and haven’t been inside of a man’s mind or body. But it is my understanding that there can be an almost automatic response of a feeling of attraction or an awareness that a woman is beautiful and attractive before a man is even conscious about what he is thinking. I don’t think that something like that is sin. For a man to automatically notice that a woman is beautiful or to find a woman attractive – is a different thing than lust in my understanding.

            I can tell that a woman is beautiful – for instance – but that doesn’t mean I am lusting after her. I can also tell when a man is attractive – I notice that he is handsome or even charming – but that doesn’t mean I am imagining having sex with him or that I am going to allow myself to “daydream” about being with him. If I realize my thoughts are beginning to go in that direction – the second I realize that, I need to take my thoughts captive for Christ and stop that train of thought with the help of God’s Spirit. The question is, what does a man (or woman) do with those feelings once he realizes what is happening? If he chooses to dwell on this woman and imagine being with her, how he is going to get her for himself, or willfully and voluntarily feeds and fuels his imagination about having sex with her – it is my understanding that would be lust, which is sin.

            The “brief touches” thing – I am going to assume he is talking about incidental and unintentional touching that may happen – i.e.: walking past someone in a crowded area or having to sit really close to other people on a crowded subway or something.

            So I think there is a difference between noticing another person’s attractiveness, or having a fleeting tempting thought of sexual desire (that is quickly nipped in the bud) – and actual lust.

            Here are two posts about what lust means that I believe may be helpful:

            http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-lust.html

            http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/articles/spiritualformation/understanding-lust.html?start=1

            I hope this might be helpful. 🙂

            Much love to you!

  10. I have one last question. You are a pharmacist and earn a lot of money. If your husband earned minimum wage, would you give him all of your money and watch him mispend it and NOT say anything because he is your aurhority?

    1. Rosie,

      It’s great to meet you! 🙂

      If you read many of my posts, you will see that I talk A LOT about the responsibility a wife has to share her ideas, her concerns, her suggestions, her priorities, her desires, her feelings, etc… Biblical submission isn’t slavery. It is honoring our husband’s leadership. But it is not a king/slave girl relationship. It is a king/queen relationship. The wife is to be her husband’s most trusted advisor.

      If a husband is not in his right mind – has a mental illness, is being extremely irresponsible, is asking his wife to sin or to condone clear sin – there are times a wife may decide not to submit to her husband and seek outside help. For more on this, please check out “Spiritual Authority” and “Submission Is Not Passivity.

      Much love to you!

  11. Well, submission means the husband isn’t always right, but it certainly means the husband always WINS. What’s the point of arguing or stating your position since he can ignore it, even if you’re an expert and he’s illiterate.

    1. karenjo12,

      That is a great point. The purpose of God designing marriage this way isn’t really for the “husband to always win.” Most husbands actually feel like they “win” when their wives are happiest. But a husband’s responsibility before God is that he obey and please God – more than that he please his wife. He is to be faithful to Christ. And he will answer for his leadership. When a husband is a remotely decent man, he will care about his wife’s feelings and her happiness. But he will also try to do what is right in God’s eyes. That is really the goal.

      The purpose of marriage is not “to be right.” That is not the purpose of this life God has given us, either. God’s main goals for us as individuals are that we might love Him wholeheartedly and that we might love others with His love. His I Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love.

      The goal of a wife honoring her husband’s leadership and the husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church – is not for the couple or so that either of them “win” in an earthly sense or in the sense of human wisdom. It is so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be exalted and so that God might be greatly glorified. That is the real purpose of marriage. To follow Christ means that we take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Him. There is self-sacrifice involved for husbands and wives – and for every true believer. We will be repaid in heaven. Then we will “win.” The trophy is for Christ to say to each of us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” and for Him to invite us to share in His glory.

      Much love to you!

      1. PS,

        Biblical submission always starts with our full submission to Christ – Jesus calls all of His followers to that. The awesome thing is – it is really not about our trust in our men, but about our trust in God’s sovereignty and His ability to lead us through our men in spite of their imperfections. Sometimes what we are sure is the right course of action would lead to disaster. Sometimes God prompts our men to do things we don’t understand at the time. Sometimes they make mistakes – and yet, God uses all of that for our ultimate good and His glory. That is His promise to those who are His in Romans 8:28-29.

        Much love!

        1. I’ve just disrespected my husband he says in front of our teenage boys. He says I’m always doing it.
          Past yes. I recognise when I’m upset,frustrated, and he has not completed task when he his home all day I may lash out and then regret my behaviour.
          Tonight I feel I’ve lost my husband.

          1. Sylvia,

            It sounds like you haven’t purposely done something disrespectful, but maybe he still felt disrespected? Do you know what it was that he felt was hurtful? I know I was inadvertently disrespectful so many times. I had no idea all the ways a man could feel disrespected. Took me some time to learn to understand the language of masculine respect (like over 2.5 years of studying and praying, actually).

            I’d be glad to talk through it with you, my dear sister. 🙂

            I don’t think this necessarily means you have lost your husband. In Christ there is every reason for hope! He is able to change us and He is able to heal broken relationships and other people who are broken.

            Praying for healing for you both!!

            Much love!

  12. I recently had a spat with my husband about diving. He did not want me to type because of our current financial situation, but I feel that we should based off of doing what’s right in the eyes of God. Now that I have read your article it seems that I was wrong and tithing when he asked me not to. Does this mean that in certain biblical situations that are outside of, say, the Ten Commandments that if my husband current want to follow it that I should just follow suit?

    1. Anew Christian,

      It is wonderful to meet you, my new sister! 🙂

      An argument about “tithing,” I am guessing?

      Is your husband a believer in Christ?

      You can say, “I really want to tithe, Honey. I think this would be honoring to God.” But then, yes, he does need to be on board. You can’t make him tithe against his will. “God loves a cheerful giver.” And the New Testament says that God doesn’t want us to give because we are forced to but because we freely want to on our own. You can tell God, “I really want to tithe in order to honor You and give of myself to You to show that I am giving you all of myself and all that I have. I trust You to work in my husband’s heart in Your timing to make this happen. I will wait patiently so that I honor you and my husband.”

      It is not as simple as “situations that are outside of the Ten Commandments,” but perhaps this post about spiritual authority may be helpful. And you may also want to check out the first chapter, especially, of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

      Much love to you!

  13. Hi. I just stumbled on your blog and I can’t stop reading and praying about my situation. I know in my heart that submitting to my husband is the right thing to do, but I feel like my husband is an exception to the rule. I feel he will take my submission and run with it as some kind of power grab and I will be even more miserable than I am now!

    My husband is a recovered alcoholic and addict and is now a pastor. He is a good, godly man, very intelligent, a pastor at our church and he is currently in seminary. We do have some things in common and glimmers of good times, but his years of drinking and drugging have put a spirit of selfishness and need to control in him. He’s abrupt, rude, interrupts me, I have to explain my every move. Prior to getting married, I was an independent woman with a career and money of my own. He was unemployed and newly sober. We have been married for almost 7 years and have 3 children, plus my daughter from a previous relationship.

    My problem is this: I want to have a good Christian marriage, I want my husband to lead me and our children. But his selfishness and controlling personality give me so much anxiety that I don’t even want to be around him. I don’t entirely trust him or his judgement, as sometimes he lacks common sense. Every day is a minefield of moodiness with him. I am constantly second guessing myself and he is rarely pleased with me. All I do is walk on eggshells in my own home. Because he is a pastor, I have to keep all of this private and publicly stand by him, otherwise our livelihood is at risk. I have no one I can talk to, except a Christian therapist occasionally, but I feel even she is exasperated from what I share with her about him and I don’t ever get any real advice.

    I’m not expecting too much of a response, I read where you cannot provide replies to everyone. If any of your readers have ideas for me that would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Maria,

      It is wonderful to meet you! I would be glad to do all I can to point you to the healing that is available to you, your husband, and your marriage in Christ. 🙂

      Does your husband have any discipling or mentoring with a godly man?

      Would you say your husband’s personality is a bit of maybe “a command man”?

      Are you aware of any mental health issues or other addictions going on with him?

      What are some of the worst things that have happened when he gets upset (in general – i.e.: screaming, hitting, throwing things, threats, etc…)?

      How do you usually respond to his attempts to lead?

      What is your definition of “submission” at this point?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What do you want in your relationship with Christ?

      I have changed your name to give you a bit more anonymity with this sensitive issue.

      Much love to you!

      April

      1. Thank you April. Here are some answers to your questions:

        Does your husband have any discipling or mentoring with a godly man? Our pastor is his mentor, but also his boss. I don’t feel my husband shares completely or openly with him, as that might require him to admit he is not falling in line with his 1 Timothy 3 responsibilities of being a leader in our church.

        Would you say your husband’s personality is a bit of maybe “a command man”? Yes, he commands for sure, very type A. I go back and forth between whether or not he’s just a take charge type or a manipulating sociopath. I think he’s got good intentions most of the time, but he also will try to manipulate situations so that he personally isn’t the least bit inconvenienced or disturbed, even to the detriment of others.

        Are you aware of any mental health issues or other addictions going on with him? No other addictions, he’s very careful about that. But I do think he’s on the spectrum of some type of undiagnosed personality disorder.

        What are some of the worst things that have happened when he gets upset (in general – i.e.: screaming, hitting, throwing things, threats, etc…)? Usually he yells and throws insults. The worst thing he’s done is throw objects in my direction or drive erratically and blast rock music while I’m in the car. Sounds kind of stupid, but I have severe anxiety and he knows this makes me feel trapped.

        How do you usually respond to his attempts to lead? I’m usually on board because I don’t want a fight. But if something doesn’t make sense to me, I tell him what I think, he takes it personally and then gets angry. I do not allow him to raise my daughter from a previous relationship at all because his judgement is clouded by anger for her biological father and his need to control me and her. In nearly all instances, he doesn’t lead gently and in love, he tries to lead in a fundamentalit view of the bible, all while he doesn’t hold himself to that standard.

        What is your definition of “submission” at this point? Giving my will over to him. I can’t do it, because I fear he will make a mess of my life.

        How is your walk with Christ going? Not good. I behave in a holy manner in most ways, but I rarely read my bible or want to participate in my church life. I’m annoyed and bitter toward my church because my husband behaves one way as a pastor in public and another way at home. I do pray some.

        What do you want in your relationship with Christ? To feel free and like I am capable to handle my life.

        1. Maria,

          Thank you for sharing, that is helpful for me to have a better understanding. Do you believe you are physically safe with him? Do you believe he intends to hurt you?

          Would you like to share how you share your thoughts when you disagree? We could talk about some ways to approach him that might be most effective if you would like. 🙂

          How old is your daughter that you will not allow your husband to parent? Is her biological father still in her life?

          I do not believe that your definition and God’s definition of submitting to your husband are completely matching up right now. I would love for you to do a bit of studying on the concept of biblical submission. I don’t believe that you have to totally give your will over to any imperfect human. God does call us to do that with Him, yes. We are called to absolute submission to Christ as Lord. We are not called to absolute submission to humans with God-given authority. Do you believe you are holding back anything from God? Or are you fully yielded to Him in surrender? 🙂

          Would you please consider reading Spiritual Authority , Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority, A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage and the Pendulum Effect and let me know what God might speak to your heart?

          And, my greatest concern is your walk with Christ.

          When you say you want to feel free – what do you want to feel free from? Your husband’s control, abuse, fear, sin, God?

          And when you say you want to feel like you are capable to handle your life – do you mean you want to be capable to handle it without your husband’s authority or without God?

          What do you believe you need to be happy and content in life?

          What are your greatest fears?

          In what or whom is your trust primarily?

          Let’s do a spiritual check up on you, if you are ready. Until you are firmly rooted in Christ, receiving lots of nourishment from Him each day, and filled to overflowing with His Spirit’s power, it is impossible to do this godly wife thing. Our own power can’t do it. We need His power and His wisdom and His Spirit or it is much like trying to push a car 3000 miles across the country by foot. There are tons of resources here that I believe God may use to heal and bless you and get you back on track if you are willing.

          A few more assignments, if you are ready to find healing in Jesus for yourself:

          A Spiritual Check-Up
          I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
          How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
          Submitting to Christ As Lord

          Much love to you! 🙂 There is MUCH hope in Christ if you are willing to receive it. I am praying for God to bring the breakthroughs you need to find His abundant life for you, my precious sister!

          1. Thank you for your response again April. I apologize for the lag time, we just had our 3rd baby in March and she’s a preemie, so I’ve been preoccupied!
            Thank you for sharing, that

            Do you believe you are physically safe with him? Do you believe he intends to hurt you? No, I don’t fear him in that way.

            Would you like to share how you share your thoughts when you disagree? I try to calmly tell him that I don’t agree, and that it’s my opinion. I have to throw that last part in there because he forgets that I’m a person entitled to one!

            How old is your daughter that you will not allow your husband to parent? Is her biological father still in her life? She is 17, almost 18. Graduating high school this year and starting college in the fall. Her biological father is and has been in the picture.

            Do you believe you are holding back anything from God? Or are you fully yielded to Him in surrender? I think I’m yielded to God in all things except my marriage. I think this is because my husband is a former addict, he is a godly man and is very in tune with God spiritually, but I don’t believe he has my best interests all the time. I believe he thinks of himself first in most things.

            Would you please consider reading Spiritual Authority , Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority, A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage and the Pendulum Effect and let me know what God might speak to your heart? Yes.

            When you say you want to feel free – what do you want to feel free from? Your husband’s control, abuse, fear, sin, God? Free from my husband’s control yes, and also my thoughts where I anticipate his reaction to everything. I cannot be myself. Not sure who I am half the time because he has me so wrapped up in him, what he’s thinking, feeling, etc.

            And when you say you want to feel like you are capable to handle your life – do you mean you want to be capable to handle it without your husband’s authority or without God? Neither. I want to be confident that I know who I am in the Lord and that my husband knows and respects who I am in the Lord. In addition to his selfishness, he has quite an ego. Because he’s older, he thinks he has more common sense than I do (nevermind that I was a single parent and supported myself for many years.) Or because he went and goes to college, he’s smarter than me.

            What do you believe you need to be happy and content in life? A trusting and loving spouse all the time, not just in public. I do not wish to be a downtrodden ministry wife.

            What are your greatest fears? I have severe anxiety and intruding thoughts. I fear someone close to me will die, I fear I will die and my kids won’t be taken care of. Apart from that, I fear that I don’t live a life that’s pleasing to God.

            In what or whom is your trust primarily? I do trust God above all. I’ve learned I don’t trust many people at all.

            Let’s do a spiritual check up on you, if you are ready. Ok

            A few more assignments, if you are ready to find healing in Jesus for yourself….ok, I will read these.

            A Spiritual Check-Up
            I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
            How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
            Submitting to Christ As Lord

          2. Maria,

            What does your husband want regarding his place in your daughter’s life and how to negotiate that together in the marriage?

            Have you ever read any of Leslie Vernick’s material? http://www.leslievernick.com is about emotionally abusive spouses and relationships. (Of course, please weigh anything she or anyone else, including myself, say about anything!)

            Do you believe you and your husband feel safe to share your needs with each other?

            Here are a few more posts, if you are interested, that may be a blessing, my precious sister:

            – finding victory over fear
            – biblical submission does not = the husband is always right
            – content
            – security
            – 25 ways to respect myself

            Much love to you! 🙂

          3. Hi April,
            After reading and reflecting on many of your blog posts and comparing notes, I have realized that I may be dealing with borderline personality disorder in my husband with some perfectionism, splitting and anxiety thrown in. This doesn’t make me feel that my disrespect is justified, but I do feel I need to conduct myself with stronger boundaries and my adjust my reactions accordingly. So I’m thinking submitting to his sinful behavior toward me is not the route I need or want to take. Any thoughts?

            Maria

          4. Maria,

            If you truly believe you are dealing with mental illness, please seek help from a trusted doctor and godly, experienced counselor, my precious sister. You can focus on your walk with Christ and allowing God to transform your heart, mind, and soul. You can work on becoming a godly wife as you allow God’s power to fill you, but you may need some additional outside help to navigate this if there are such serious issues going on.

            Praying for God’s wisdom for you! And healing for you both.

    2. Maria, it’s so good to meet you. You sound so scared. Do you feel safe with him? It sounds like your husband has overcome some big struggles in his life. It’s wonderful that he feels connected to God now…lots of hope. How is YOUR walk with Christ?

      I stumbled onto April’s blog a year ago in January after my angry, controlling, emotionally husband asked for a divorce. I was lost. After I read the list about ways men feel disrespected, and realized I did like 95% of those things…my life changed. I realized why my husband felt the way he does. It changed me to see just how disrespectful I was being. But not only to my husband, my kids, parents, boss, coworkers etc. I had a horrible attitude and I didn’t even know it. I thought I was a good person.

      Through reading just about EVERYTHING on April’s blog and seeking a personal relationship with God of my own, I am so much better over 1 year later.

      I still struggle with 3 big areas myself: control, perfectionism and pride. I had to learn how I was trying to make my husband my god and the things in life I loved more than God, more than my husband….idols. my priorities were not in order at all.

      I will be honest, I still have a controling, selfish husband, but it doesn’t effect me like before. I am stronger, more resilient yet loving and kind in real ways.

      April’s advice is sound, but everyday, it needs to be confirmed by God. The Holy Spirit inside you…think of it as your conscience, guides you if you stop to listen. Every case is unique and April is great at helping you with everyday, real life ways to discover you and your journey to health.

      It sounds to me, from what I can tell, is that your husband is scared too. He doesn’t want to slip into mistakes of the past, but maybe your mistrust, and disrespect is a constant punch in the gut for him too. Inside each of us is a victim and a bully. We each have the power to hurt in a phenomenal way. And to be hurt. If we get in the vicious circle of “feel hurt-react in a hurtful way-hurt our spouse-he reacts hurtfuly. Etc.” Then it never ends. April suggests a book called Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich, it is excellent at explaining the psychology of people and marriage and how so many mess it up and how to approach things differently. It is a wake up call.

      No matter how much you may want advice on how you can change your husband, any you get is rubbish. This is a journey about YOU. You won’t get anywhere by yelling, teaching lessons, being angry, hurt, guilt, manipulation, sneakiness and independance. You need God’s help…plain and simple. Without it, you will become discouraged and exhausted trying to save your marriage on your own. You can only control you….your reactions, words, thoughts, actions and mind. You cannot conrol a single other persons.

      We are commanded in scripture to love others as ourselves. We are not commanded to trust others as our selces. Trust takes time to build. But can you look honestly at yourself and ask some hard questions? Just you and God? My big question was “am I hurting others with my words and actions?” It was a huge YES when I was honest about it. Excuses don’t count. I had to stop blaming others for my hurtful and angry responses. I had to learn to love him EVEN IF HE DIDN’T DESERVE IT in my mind. God loves him too.

      Now that you are here, you have support. I suggest a tag name for respect of privacy, but that’s up to you. You need help, you need women who can help guide you to see the other side of feelings.

      “You cannot remove the speck of dust ftom your brothers eye until you remove the log from your own.” This is where you can start. You already feel the pull to start to learn to be more respectful. Here is the cool thing. No matter what happens between you and your husband, you will become a much better person. You will have healthier thoughts and learn to find peace, love and acceptance as you learn how God is a part of it all. It is not easy. There will be tears, and frustration. It feels a bit like flinging yourself off a cliff to let God have control of your life, but it is soooo worth it.

      I pray that you follow where God is leading you and start to draw closer to Him. I pray that you grow your desire to become who God wants you to be and learn how respect in a martiage is not giving up your voice. It is a journey, it won’t happen over night, but He is THE way, the truth and the light.

      I pray for you, my dear sister that you can learn to hear where the Holy Spirit is leading you. Many hugs and prayers…LMS daily 115

      1. LMSdaily115,
        Thank you so much for reaching out to our precious sister and sharing some of the treasures God has been working out in your life in the past year. 🙂

        Such a blessing!

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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