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The Respect Dare – Day 19 – Order

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For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…. but everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.  I Corinthians 14:33,40

Nina Roesner – in The Respect Dare – encourages us to “run your home in an orderly way, keeping only what you truly need, and you will have less clutter and more peace!”

The verses above are about running meetings of the church in an orderly way.  But I do think that having an orderly home is an awesome idea, too, and I think this verse can definitely apply at home.  Order  glorifies God and makes life better for the whole family.

WARNING!!!!!!

It is VERY easy to go to one extreme or the other on this issue:

  • being SO concerned with order that we become perfectionists (that was me!) and are more concerned with order in the home than we are concerned with loving people.  It is easy to make perfection and total cleanliness into an idol if we are not careful.  If I do anything without love for God and people, it does not honor God.
  • being so unconcerned with order that the home is messy, nasty and NOT a sanctuary of peace, love and harmony.

ALLOW FOR DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE

If you have young children – your house will be a lot more messy than you would probably like it to be.  That is going to get better as they get older and learn to put away their toys.  Sometimes sleep is more important than no clutter.  SERIOUSLY!

If you work full time or even part time – you may not possibly be able to do  your job well at work, have an immaculate house, be at your best as a wife and mom and sleep as much as you need to.  Something has to give.  You may want to respectfully, pleasantly ask  your husband what he sees that you could cut out of your schedule and list of to-do items.  And you can politely, respectfully ask him to help you.  But don’t try to force him.  Be gracious if he does not help and pray for God’s wisdom!

If you are suffering from a chronic disease – you will have to give yourself TONS of slack and grace and be willing to let some things go and ask for help.  It is unrealistic and unhealthy to expect to be able to do things that you cannot do.  Ask your husband to help you determine your limits if necessary.

WHEN WORKING A LOT

My hours in the pharmacy where I work were cut suddenly from 12 per week to 3 per week about 3 months ago.  So now, I try to pick up relief shift work when I can.  This week, I worked 3 nine hour days Mon-Wed.  And Mon and Wed I had an hour commute each way.  I had to let a lot of stuff go that I usually would do.

  • laundry – I tried to catch up on Sunday, and I mostly let it go.  I usually do 2 loads most days.
  • sweeping the floors – nope.  I usually do that every day.
  • cleaning the bathrooms – did not do it and I’m totally fine with that.  I do our master bath and I have been teaching our children to each clean one bathroom on Tuesdays this summer.
  • changing the sheets – will do that tomorrow or over the weekend.  I usually do that on Mondays.
  • grocery shopping-  did not get done until this afternoon.  I usually do that on Mondays.
  • cooking – Greg handled that for me! Thanks, Honey!  It was delicious! 🙂

I REALLY, REALLY missed my time with my children this week!  I got to briefly hear about Bible School as I ate supper.  Then it was time to put my 6 year old daughter to bed.

I had blog posts ready all the way through Thursday so I wouldn’t need to spend much time on the computer.

WHAT DID I DO?

  • time with God – I CANNOT SKIP THAT!  It was a lot shorter than usual.  That made me sad.  But I did sing praise songs all the way to work and back.  LOVED that!
  • a quick run in the morning before I got ready for the day.
  • dishes – I did keep up with the dishes and dishwasher.
  • trash – I did get the trash out!  WOOHOOO!
  • lunches – I packed my husband’s lunch and my lunch each day.
  • time with Greg – cuddled and talked a lot each evening.

MY PERSONAL DREAM FOR ORDER

Ok, I am going to share my idea of utopia for our home.  It is probably very weird to most people.  So I do not force this idea on anyone else.  But I would personally love to sell about 1/2-3/4 of our possessions and completely declutter. I would also love to sell the tvs and video games – note I didn’t say – the computer!   I would get rid of the computer if it was clearly God’s will for us.  But I would definitely go into withdrawal! I would love to give to the poor and spend the time we usually spend on straightening all the clutter and organizing stuff – ministering to others.  But that is my little vision.  I trust God to lead us as He wants us to go and I trust my husband to hear God’s voice and His timing.

I like having no little dust-collecting figurines or clutter out on dressers, tables, counters, etc.   I would love to have a very simple life with most of the emphasis on eternal things instead of STUFF.  It would be MUCH easier to be organized if we didn’t have so much stuff.

For me, when the house is clutter-free – my brain is more clutter-free, too.  In fact, I used to have to clean our apartment that I shared with 3 other girls in college before I could study.  It was that bad!

MY HUSBAND

Of course, my husband would not think of minimalism as utopia.  You know, you always marry someone different from yourself, right?  He loves to go to the flea market EVERY Saturday with his dad.  They both love to get toys for the kids and bring home things I would appreciate.  He is SO VERY THOUGHTFUL and GENEROUS!   I used to feel SO STRESSED about that!  All I could think was, “WHERE am I going to put THIS!?!?!??!?!”  I like to get rid of stuff.  My husband likes to find stuff.  I get a rush from sending 20 bags of stuff to Goodwill.  My husband gets a rush from finding good deals and bringing them all home.

Right now, life without a tv is not on my husband’s radar.

Organization is not a big priority for my husband.  Our garage  is nothing like the Lowe’s Catalog garages with all the tools neatly organized and the beautiful floor without an oil spot.  Our messy garage used to make me want to hyperventilate.  But now – I am at peace with it.  I appreciate Greg’s incredible talent at being able to renovate any room and fix almost any mechanical, electrical, plumbing  or carpentry issue.  I focus on that and give him grace and freedom to keep his stuff however he wants to.

Greg doesn’t want his stuff all super organized in matching totes with perfect labels.  His priorities are different from mine.

🙂

That is ok.  I don’t stress anymore.  I trust God’s sovereignty and don’t try to force my way on anyone.  I don’t make an idol out of my personal agenda for order and perfection.  I work at keeping things orderly and neat (within reason) – but my husband would rather us be able to live in the house and enjoy it than have everything look perfect every moment and me be stressing out and stressing everyone else out about how things aren’t ever clean enough.  I actually appreciate his wisdom these days!

I seek God and desire to know Him, please Him and trust Him to lead me through my husband.  Even about this topic!

Every once in awhile, I go through all the pantry cabinets and get rid of the expired stuff and organize every shelf.  And I go through my closet and my children’s closet and find clothes that don’t fit or aren’t being worn and I give them away.  LOVE THAT!  I love empty space!  I know – I am probably weird.  Having major allergies to dust will do weird things to a person. 🙂  I try to have my children organize their toys.  If I try to organize all the toys – I want to donate 80% of them and only keep a little bit.  It is better for me to just not see most of the “stuff.”  I also encourage them to give a few toys away to needy children every so often.  I know the day will come before I know it when they have outgrown all their stuffed animals and toys – and I will be able to sell it or donate it then.

I also know – chances are huge that I will be a widow one day.  I may be able to have a super tidy, minimalist house then.

What is most important for me – is to remember to enjoy, savor and appreciate each moment with my husband and children.  Each day is a precious gift.  And I long to be a godly steward of all I have been given – in my relationship with God, my marriage and with my children – as well as with our home and possessions.  But God comes first.  Then people.  Then things.

IF THE HUSBAND IS MORE EXACTING

This can be quite a challenge for wives if it is the husband who wants the house spic and span and the wife doesn’t have cleaning as a big priority.  It can feel like a lot of pressure when it seems like you never “measure up” to your husband’s high standards.

Whenever possible, show your husband that you respect him by working to keep things the way he likes them.  Maybe you can ask him for his top 3 household chore priorities and really focus on those.  If you are also working, you may need to ask for some help with the chores.  Working full time AND doing all the chores and childcare when you are home is a recipe for total burnout for women and often a recipe for neglecting God, your husband and marriage.  NOT GOOD!

Lord,

Help us to be wise keepers of our homes.  Help us to create homes full of peace, harmony, love, joy and rest.  Help us use our time wisely and honor You and our husbands even in the way we care for our home. Help us to do it in love.  Help us to be humble and to know that as we serve our families, we are pleasing You.  Purify our motives.  Help us not to be resentful, but to be thankful that we have our husbands and children to care for.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

FOR SOME ORGANIZING AND CLEANING AND HOUSEWORK TIPS:

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35 thoughts on “The Respect Dare – Day 19 – Order

  1. I am the messy, hoarder type and my wife is a neat-nic. I cannot fathom the pain that I have inflicted on her by saving old mail, etc in an unorganized form. But I am trying to be better, by throwing stuff away the day it arrives, shreading old documents with personal data on them, and cleaning out the garage, one box at a time. I still have a long way to go, but God is helping me. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong, but about a better life for both of us. Thank you for bringing light to this problem.

    1. Brother Daryl,

      I am so proud of you for working on cleaning things up to make life better for your wife. That is very thoughtful and loving of you! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 God uses marriage to stretch us and make us more holy. I think that is why He puts people who are so different together.

  2. April,
    Are you spying on me???? I mean I could have written 95% of this. I have no allergies, and I too want to hyperventilate in our garage and office!!!
    So don’t feel so bad!
    When Nina asked us to organize one room in our house, I had a mini panic attack!!! I could I organize our office ??
    So I prayed, grumbled, got up and went in and made the task list Nina asked us to. Then I asked my husband if I could do this or would it upset him. He said I could, he would be grateful.
    So I am trying to do the office. THE DESK is the next item on the list and I will have to ask my husband to help me as most of those items are I unidentifiable to me.
    Thank you for teaching us not to make organization an idol.
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

  3. Hi April,

    Not on this day…but I have a few things to say I guess. Maybe when I come to Day 19 I can skip it.. 🙂 LOL!

    My hubby is a little bit more disorganized than I am, but he is so good about not leaving towels around, or his stuff…he has certain places that aren’t neat like his desk that doesn’t have drawers…(my desk accumulates a lot of stuff to inside it), the garage, the sunroom (where he is working on finishing up a new door, and his tinkering room downstairs)…I don’t mind that.

    I am an organized person. Love it. Thrive on it at times. Very very detailed oriented. Would love a job as a professioinal organizer…but just haven’t looked into it per say! Growing up as a child I would offer to pay my older brother and sister to clean their rooms because I hated the mess!..they might have made some good money! 🙂 But as much as I love to organize, there are healthy limitations for me. I do love orderly and clean house for guests. Would I be able to welcome uninvited guests into my house..yes. Do people consister my house messy…or dirty….organized…a safe refuge. All of them would be true to probably all my guests, but my hubby would probably say that our house TO HIM is not a safe refuge. Probably because of our conflicts and sometimes my nagging him about other stuff and our fights….but I am striiving to make it work. I love vacuuming. I LOVE IT! I love to see the floors orderly and clean. But previously when working 45-50 hours a week, I could do it once a month. Sometimes I am anal about getting everything perfect when I am cleaning or organizing. That drive me crazy! But in my perfectionist mindthought I need order.

    I too like you woulld get rid of things and love to go to Sally’s (Salvation Army) and get ride of things and I do. But sometimes if it is our stuff or Chris’ stuff I do ask him about it. Sometimes he says no I want to keep it and about 99.9 percent of the time i respect that. But when he says yes, I love it and am happy to take it.

    We both leave dishes a few days…which is something I never did when growing up. My parents are anal about dishes….can’t hit the sink. Hubby and I don’t care too much. And our small dining room table gets cluttered with a lot of mail. But overall, I have an orderly home. PTL!

    But my orderly home needs to also be accompanied with order in my heart. What are my motives? Do I do stuff just to get noticed or to seek Chris’ praise? Or do I think instead about cleaning for HIM and use it allegorically to work unto the Lord even when cleaning the bathroom, toliets and showers included.

    It is all about perspective. And serving others.

    Bottom line in my book.

    Attitudes are eveything.

    HEY I just passed Day 19 and haven’t even read it. Yeah…

    Thanks April.

    Missy Sue 722

    1. Missy Sue,

      Thank you for sharing!!! I love to hear your story. 🙂 And I love that at the end – “my orderly home needs to also be accompanied with order in my heart. What are my motives?” VERY GOOD!!!!!!! This is where the important stuff is.

      Yes, God judges the attitudes and motives of our heart.

      BEAUTIFUL!

  4. Oh April…I meant to say I try to vacuum once a week not once a month…! Wow..that was a mistake surely. 🙂 Plus we have a puggle who sheds…so once a week is great for me when working. 🙂

  5. What a beautiful post! My husband is very organized, think OCD organized and a minimalist. I am not. Early on in our marriage this caused for quite a bit of stress. While not organized, I am clean, and so the house was always clean and beyond passing as comfortable. It just wasn’t catalog organized : ) And while not clutter, I have a hard time getting rid of things, mostly because of sentimental value. Over the years with kids and life, we have found a system that worked for us. Things really mellowed out when I started working part time, and confessed in tears to not being able to keep up with everything and feeling so overwhelmed. To my surprise, he happily stepped in and started helping where he could, whereas before there was constant tension. Granted, its not always done the way I want, and sometimes he pitches things I would have liked to keep, but I am so grateful for his help that I am learning to just let it go. It got done, and its one less thing I have to worry about. So now I just try to show lots of gratitude for what he has done.

    Oh yes, you will be happy to know that I am becoming a minimalist and a little organized too!. The less stuff I have to take care, the more I am able to keep up with, and it makes the house just look tidy.

    1. Mel,

      I am so glad you shared your story! I love the way you approached your husband for help. That worked out really well… and I am glad you have grace for the times that he does things differently from you. Great example!!!!!

  6. I also don’t like clutter and we try to give things to Goodwill or other charities at least twice a year sometimes more. I’ve learned to live with an amount of clutter because my boys are young and time is fleeting. I know someday the toys won’t be here anymore. Just wanted to share that you’re not alone in that.

  7. I love that you shared what your priorities were this week and what you let go… for a long time, time with God and exercising were ‘bumped’ down quite often… now, they go on top. It was a hard change but I have found that when those two priorities go on top, other things fall in line easier and I am a happier girl. 🙂 Another thing that helps me feel not so stressed with the house is to walk through a do a 15 minute pick up every morning… even though I know it might need to be cleaned, if it is neat, I feel better and keeps me from going into full stressed out mode over the house not being perfect.

  8. My husband and I are exactly the same!
    He is my hoarder and I’d give everything away. And I do mean EVERYTHING!
    The trend of our friends at the moment is to sell everything, rent out the house, move into an rv and travel wherever God would have you.
    Sounds so dreamy to me.
    Even with 3 kids and homeschooling.
    He loves the idea, but says maybe we should just ADD an rv. Ha. Compromise, right?
    Loving your posts and it is reminding me that we are different and he has as much right to live how he feels comfortable as I do.
    God has softened my heart toward his clutter. 🙂

    1. Jennifer,

      I definitely relate!

      God has softened my heart, too. I realize what a gift each day is and how precious these moments are. It is not worth my making a big deal out of stuff that could be all burned up or blown away tomorrow. People are much more important than a super clean, perfect looking house.

      Thankfully, God has made women to adjust pretty easily to changes and He can give us hearts that bless our husbands no matter what our husbands’ particular preferences are.

  9. Wow! This is so true. Finding the right balance for me is very difficult. I know I can do a lot better with organization and decluttering:(. I have 4 little one’s ranging from 4-11 and do they make messes. I feel myself consistently cleaning, cooking, etc. but I’m learning how to find that balance and to get them more involved in helping to clean. God has also softened my hubby’s heart to where now he does all of the laundry washing and drying. I still have to do the folding but whereas in the past, he would not assist with any household work, this is a huge blessing for me. Laundry for all 6 of us can be monstrous lol

    1. Nekiwa,

      I am glad that you are involving the kids! That is good for you and for them. I have had my children cleaning bathrooms and sweeping and doing the dishes and helping me cook this summer – they are 6 and 11. I think it is some of the most important stuff I can teach them – other than spiritual truths about God and loving them with God’s love.

      I’m really glad that your husband is helping, too. Every little bit is a blessing!

      Much love!

  10. Hello April,

    I’m the cleanest and neat person in the other hand my boyfriend is too too messy to where when get get of work he take off his uniform in the living room etc he didn’t help unless I told him too abs its frustrating all the time to tell a man to clean up his mess lol god help me..one day he told me he wasn’t taught all things quality my mom and grandmother give me he will love too but he doesn’t have it in him.. I was raise were the man don’t wash dishes,cook if they choose too that’s fine but you don’t force it on them its a woman job..I love cleaning etc and don’t have a problem cooking but the one thing that get to me is how can a grown man come to a clean home and well organize and mess it up but when I tell him about him being messy sometime he get upset… But I’ve been trying not to get worked up over the house messiness I pray to god to help me handle it the right way and its working god is good sisters..

    1. Nyillah,

      Men often respond very well to friendly, pleasant requests. Many times, hanging things up and cleaning u is just not on their radar. But they do NOT like being told what to do, scolded, lectured, yelled at, fussed at or condemned as bad.

      You may want to just pick up his things this next week with a smile. Then next week, if he leaves things on the floor, try smiling and say in a friendly voice, “Honey, would you please hang that up? Thanks so much! You’re the best!” Then go do something in another part of the room or house so he doesn’t feel pressured. He may do it later, that is ok. If he doesn’t, you can hang it up and be glad you have him in your life.

      Is it possible to have a hook where it could be hung up in the hallway near the front door or the living room?

      And, when he comes home, give him a big smile, tell him welcome home, and give him a big hug! Act like y are glad to see him!

  11. I have to confess that I am a horrible house keeper. My husband and a I are just starting out. We both just recently finished college and I picked up very bad habbits. My priorities were sleep, school, study, and relax when i had the time. My dorm room was a disaster zone. Now that i’m not at school and no more homework or studying hanging over my head I finally feel like I have the spare time to do whatever I want. And what I want to do does not include house chores…. I almost say that I feel entitled to slack off now because I worked so hard for four years at University.

    1. Lynn,
      I am so glad to meet you!

      I pray God might give you a new perspective on how keeping an orderly, beautiful, peaceful home can greatly bless your husband and honor God. God loves for us to be good stewards with all of our resources. You might even find that you can relax more and have a less cluttered spirit when the house is neater. 🙂

      I like to play praise music or listen to podcasts or Youtube sermons by David Platt while I clean.

      Sometimes, having a schedule where you change the sheets on Mondays and go to the grocery store on a certain day and clean the bathroom on a certain day can help. 🙂

      Let me know how you do!

  12. This post was so timely. We recently downsized, but the clutter came with us. I have been completely overwhelmed with our kitchen. So much stuff! These past few weeks I have been reading your posts all the time and putting them into practice. Yesterday, I prayed to God telling him how “hopeless” I felt about our house. I would just go into our kitchen and stare at it, not knowing where to start. On Sunday evenings, my husband usually goes for a run. Last night he said, “I think I will stay home tonight. Can I help you with anything?” YES! I was so thankful my dear husband washed all our dishes. It was just the encouragement I needed and was able to completely clean the rest of the kitchen while he washed. God is so good. I didn’t have to nag my husband for help or let him know how “unhappy” I was and God completely worked it out. 😀 It is my desire to make my home a haven. Thank you for this website for helping me get closer to my desire. 🙂

  13. Hie April

    Well, I have a super neat-freak mother-in-law. And I don’t know how to handle her! I am not disorganized because my mom is a perfectionist and i love order. The problem is my mom-in-law. She is a control freak! 4 out of 5 times when she visits, she has to tell me how to do this, do that, what a proper wife/mother is supposed to do, how I should handle my son etc. She has even given my maid a day off without even consulting me! When she visits, its as if she looks for something “wrong”. It took me 3 lectures from her (on how I should run my home) before I realised that things have to be done her way or they are totally done wrong! She is controlling, period. Its a good thing (or is it a bad thing?) that we are Black Africans and as a wife, one is supposed to respect one’s in-laws to the point of even NOT disagreeing especially with one’s mother-in-law. I am ashamed to admit that I have talked back at her in my mind. Just the other day my father-in-law remarked to my mother-in-law saying “why do you have this need to control everyone, why do you have tell people what to do. Let them do things themselves”. I said, bravo, dad! In my mind again. Lol.

    Anyway, I am a very organised person. I love order and was called a neat freak in High School. But I am not as rigid as my mom-in-law. After giving birth to our son, I know its hard to keep a neat house and I do not have to keep everything “neat”. My husband is neat too, got some of his tendencies from his mom, I guess.

    I remember reading a plaque somewhere which said. “pick up your child before you pick up the toys” or something like that. So I value people, not things. But i do really need help on handling my mother-in-law. She is a respected Christian Elder at church and in her community. We get along quite well except when it comes to her “trying to run our lives”. (I know you are not familiar with the African Culture but please HELP)

    1. Paida,

      What does your husband say about his mom?

      I am not at all familiar with African culture. 🙁 So, I am not sure if what I would suggest would be disrespectful in your culture.

      But – it seems to me that it may be wise to defer her questions to your husband and allow him to be the one who primarily speaks with her.

      I am SO GLAD your father-in-law said something!

      It is MISERABLE being a controlling wife/mother. Your MIL is imprisoned in her controlling ways and doesn’t know any other way to be. Maybe she needs to read my blog! 🙂

      I don’t believe it is any of her business what you do. She is not in a position of spiritual authority over you from what a biblical standpoint. You answer to your husband, not to her. And she is not in spiritual authority over him now that he is grown. We are to honor our parents, but we are not required to obey them once we are adults.

      Check out the post at the top of my home page about Spiritual Authority for more clarity on that. 🙂

      I can’t believe she gave your maid a day off. Wow.

      If you lived in the West, I would suggest saying something like, “Thank you for the suggestion. I will prayerfully consider it.” or “Thank you for caring enough to share. I will consider what you have said.”

      It is so stressful having a MIL that is controlling. 🙁

      I have a few posts about similar topics:

      Why Won’t My Husband Protect Me From His Family?

      and

      A Couple Handles a Controlling Mother as a Team

      I suggest not trying to explain yourself or justify yourself or tell her about your decisions. Kindly thank her for her suggestions, then do what you believe honors God and your husband. The more you try to explain or talk about it, the more she will try to control.

      I love your priorities. 🙂

      Much love!

      1. Thank you April.
        Unfortunately my husband doesn’t know about his mom telling me what to do. She lectures me when he is not around or she asks me to go for a walk with her or she asks me to go into our son’s room with her. I am very emotional therefore I know that if I try telling my husband I will end up in tears, which would upset him plus i do not want to create tension between him and his mom (he is the only son). I really thought I could handle her on my own but I have come to the realisation that i can’t.

        It is stressful! Do you think I should tell my husband? How do I tell him without coming across as accusing/derailing his mom?

        I will read the posts you mentioned, thank you.

        1. Paida,

          How is your relationship with your husband?

          He doesn’t know any of what she has been saying?

          You can certainly try to just say, “Thanks for sharing, I’ll take your ideas into prayerful consideration.” Or you can say, “I’ll mention that to my husband and see what he thinks.”

          But ultimately, you are commanded by God to submit to your husband, not to your MIL. You can treat her with honor and respect. But that doesn’t mean she has the right to dictate what you must do.

          Has she been this way towards your husband as well?

          Check out the posts:

          Boundaries and Control
          Manipulation by Guilt
          The Snare of People Pleasing

          And

          Bitterness

          Praying for wisdom for you!!!!! 🙂

          Much love!
          April

          1. My husband and I are best friends and we tell each other everything (well, I just dont tell him about his mom). He is quite close to his mom and being the only son, I felt that me telling him about her would somehow come across as complaining or trying to ruin their relationship. I don’t know if I am making sense. Though lately, I have been wondering if i made the right choices by not telling him. And to tell him now? What would the implications be? I really don’t know #sigh

            So yes, my husband doesn’t have even the slightest inkling of what his mother says to me. He says that he likes that we get along so well!

            Towards my husband, my MIL is not controlling. He actually respects her own son the same way she respects her husband. She consults them (both her son & husband) on decisions and normally says to people “I will ask my husband”. Lol, funny that, hey. Coming from someone who tries to run other people’s lives!

            When she lectures me, mostly its all about being a good wife/mother, which, according to her, she has great experience in. She says I should appreciate that she is “teaching” me because as my MIL she is not supposed to do that.

            Thank you again April my sister, for your words of advise. and for more referral posts. God bless u.

            Much love!

          2. Paida,

            How about this…. you can ask your husband about the suggestions she has given and whether he would appreciate you doing those things differently, without sharing who gave you the suggestions and then go with what your husband would most appreciate.

            I think it is possible to just kindly and respectfully accept what she is trying to “teach” you as her way of showing love – but that doesn’t mean you must do what she says.

            What you are saying DOES make sense! I can absolutely understand.

            It is also possible that you could say, “Honey, here are some things your mother has suggested, what are your thoughts on these things? I want to do what honors you most.” You can say that without a resentful or bitter tone of voice and then I don’t think he would feel that you are attacking his mother.

            It will be important not to allow bitterness to creep in. There may be a point at which you might need to say, “I am so thankful you love us. I know you want to help teach me to be a godly wife. Thank you for that. I would appreciate a bit of freedom to learn some of these things on my own, please.” Or “I plan to honor what my husband desires me to do about that.”
            I would probably not share many details about your marriage or children with her. But just say “thank you” when she shares.

            There may be a time when you have to ask her to stop sharing – but I think there are other steps you can try first. 🙂

            How often do you see her?

            Much love!
            April

          3. Paida,

            Oh! And, as much as possible, I suggest that you try to stay near your husband or in the room with your husband when you are with his parents. 🙂

          4. Paida,

            And when she says she is not supposed to teach you because she is your mother in law, you may be able to say something like, “Yes, it can be difficult for wives to learn these things from their mothers in law.”

          5. Paida,
            You can also say, “I will check with my husband and do what will most honor him about this, thanks for your concern.” Then that is the end of your discussion about it. If she keeps insisting on something, just keep repeating that you will check with your husband.

          6. Dear April,
            Thank you so much April! I will try as much as possible to say “I am so thankful you love us. I know you want to help teach me to be a godly wife. Thank you for that. I would appreciate a bit of freedom to learn some of these things on my own, please.” Or “I plan to honor what my husband desires me to do about that.” That is a great suggestion!

            What i have come to realise though, is that it is more about her than anything else. Not even to “teach” as she says. I think she believes she is perfect (most people say she is) and therefore she wants me to be “perfect” like her. She mostly says things like: (when she tells me what kind of clothes to wear – YES SHE DOES! Or what clothes our son should wear), she says, “when people see you they see X’s daughter-in-law or X’s grandson so you need to look great so that people won’t say X’s daughter-in-law or X’s grandson doesn’t dress so well”. Can you believe that?? She is like 30 years older than therefore her sense of fashion and mine are worlds apart! I don’t want to look like like a grandmother when i’m only 25!

            Just this past Friday, after I had told you about this problem, my husband and I passed by my in-laws’ house after work. I (and other young wives) had been asked to cook the following Saturday at Church for a Leaders’ Meeting. I told my MIL this and guess what?? She said I should nice decent clothes – because people will be looking at X’s DIL as i serve them, also she told me that the last I cooked at Church she had been EMBARASSED by the way i had put on my doek (head-wrap). She said I had tied the doek/head-wrap it round my head in an ugly way! She then went on to tell me how she wants me to tie my doek/head-wrap this time around! I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! If I had your phone number, I would have called you soon after! Lol (Its funny now but eish… I will soon be at the end of my tether!)

            We live in a very small town and go to the same church. So i see my in-laws more than twice a week – there is no running away from her 🙁

            I will say to my husband (as you suggested): “Honey, here are some things your mother has suggested, what are your thoughts on these things? I want to do what honors you most.” I can say that without a resentful or bitter tone of voice so he wont feel that I am attacking his mother.

            I love this your suggestion: And when she says she is not supposed to teach you because she is your mother in law, you may be able to say something like, “Yes, it can be difficult for wives to learn these things from their mothers in law.”

            And being the ONLY DIL, its tough for me. I don’t have a fellow sister-in-law to share these woes with, comparing notes etc 😀

            You have been so much help April. Be Blessed.

            Much love!
            Paida

  14. Great reminder not to stress.I Iike my house very clean and get upset when something is out of place. My chest gets tight etc. I need to give my sweet lil girl a break. Her room gets messy shes more relaxed than I.

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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