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“Do I Say What I Want – or Not?”

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From a dear wife.  I love her heart to please God and honor her husband.  A big “thank you” to her for allowing me to share her questions. 🙂

Dear PeacefulWife,

Since I found your blog, I have been reading it and watching you on YouTube (channel = “April Cassidy”) as well. I have learned much and try to apply it to my marriage. I can say that though I am new at this, I am reaping fruits already and it is very exciting.

I’ve always wanted my husband to be a strong leader in our home, but I realized that often, for little things, I always tell him no. I figured, maybe if I often say no, he won’t know how to be a leader. The other day, he told me: “Go take a shower; we are leaving in half an hour”. I wanted to say: “No. I want to stay in bed longer. Anyways, I will be ready in time.”

But, this time, I paused, I looked at him and he looked at me. I was surprised, as I found myself saying, “Sure”. And at the end I said, “I want to be ready in half an hour, just like you asked me”. He didn’t say anything, but I know him well enough to know he was very pleased.

Yet, sometimes, I am not sure. Should I voice my opinion, like this woman who told her husband she didn’t want him to go to Vegas, or should I pray that (God) would change his mind and not say anything?

Here are 2 incidents that happen to me last weekend and I would like to have your take on these:

1. My husband said he wanted to buy me new shoes because my sneakers were almost dead. I agreed. When we went to the store, he pointed me to a pair that I didn’t like. I felt bad because he wanted to be nice to me and I wanted to be submissive. I said ok to the pair, but let’s just go see other styles. Finally he found another style, a much nicer one and so did I. So, my husband told me to pick between the 3 pairs of shoes. I picked the one I liked the most and asked him if it was ok with him. He said yes. My question is this. I want to do what he says, but, I felt awkward almost buying ugly shoes. I am happy it worked out, by the grace of God. But,

Is it ok to say: “I don’t want this pair of shoes”?

2. For an unknown reason to me, my husband hates to tip properly when we go to the restaurant. Last time we went, he ask me for a certain amount for the tip. I offered to give more. I don’t know if I was going against his leadership. I just know that I didn’t nag him, but in a sense, my actions were clearly saying: “You give too little, I will do better.” Is it ok? Should I just let him tip how much he wants and just pray about it? I do that with other thing in the house. I don’t talk or nag (any more). I just pray and hope. It’s hard, but makes me feel much better.

——————————————-

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

(I am not an expert, a psychologist, a counselor or a pastor. I am an ordinary Christian wife. I’m going to share my ideas and suggestions -for whatever they may be worth. Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God desires her to do in her unique situation.)

I LOVE how you didn’t argue with your husband when he asked you to get up and get ready. That was a blessing you gave to your husband to be cooperative instead of argumentative.

I think you bring up a very important point about whether to say what you want or not on different issues.  When we are first learning submission and respect, we sometimes swing too far one way, then over correct and swing too far the other way, and it can take some time to figure out where the right balance is.

Here are some of my suggestions to prayerfully consider.  This is not the only way to show respect. You don’t have to use my exact words.  But this will give wives a place to start and to get into the ballpark on the respect concept.

TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT/YOUR PREFERENCE

When your husband:

  • wants to do something for you, to make you happy (buy you something, take you out to eat, take you on a vacation, etc…) 
  • asks for your opinion.  It is totally fine to say what shoes you prefer and what you desire!  He is buying them for you – he wants you to enjoy them.
  •  if you have very strong feelings about something – especially something that involves you or your children, respectfully, calmly tell him what you want or don’t want. Usually just once.

Being submissive is not about having no opinions, preferences or desires.  It is important to say what you want and how you feel about things.  You can absolutely share your wants and feelings (without demanding what you want or trying to force your will) in a way that honors your husband’s God-given leadership. 

If he already bought a gift for you, try to show appreciation and gratitude for his thoughtfulness and generosity even if it is not your favorite color. Criticizing a gift he picked out may make him decide to quit being generous with you. And you may find that you end up enjoying what he picked out if you give it a chance. :)  But if he hasn’t bought the item and is asking what you like – tell him what you like.

Husbands are not mind readers!  Most of them greatly appreciate knowing our perspective.  Our input helps them make the best decisions for our families.  It is not necessary for us to give up our voice.  We are going to change our approach (to suggestions and requests instead of orders and demands) and change our response when there is a conflict to show our faith in God to lead us through our husbands.  

Then, if he decides against what you want, then graciously accept his, “No” and trust God’s sovereignty.

***   If he is asking you to blatantly sin or condone sin, you must refuse. God’s authority and the authority of God’s Word trumps your husband’s God-given authority. So if he asks you to have a threesome, you can’t do that!  Or if he asked you to lie for him, or cheat on your taxes, abuse drugs or disown Jesus… You would have to firmly refuse. ***

THE TIPPING ISSUE

If your husband is feeling pretty well-respected and the two of you are relating well, you may say something sometime, when you are not at a restaurant, about

  • “You know, it means a lot to me when we tip 15%. I really love it when we can do that.”
  • “I really appreciate it when you tip 15%. I respect/admire a generous tipper.”

Then maybe drop it and don’t mention it again. And pray and allow God to speak to his heart.   Let God and your husband carry the weight of the consequences.

If your husband is paying, just thank him, and maybe don’t look at what he is tipping! Let that be between him, God and the waiter. You are not responsible to make him tip properly. He is a grown adult and he can make that decision himself.

By the way, if a wife approaches her husband by saying, “Do you know…” Or “Don’t you know…” Or “Why would you…” That can feel disrespectful to a lot of men.

 

WHEN TO NOT SAY WHAT YOU THINK:

(These are my suggestions to prayerfully consider – these are not rules and my words are not the gospel!)

– If your husband  has a decision to make for himself, let him ask you for your opinion before you share it.  It is best many times to show faith in his ability to come up with solutions to his issues at work or the frustrating handyman project.  Men often interpret unsolicited advice as disrespect.

Let him choose how he uses his time, how he relaxes, what he watches, how he eats, how he takes care of his health, what he wears, what time he leaves for work.  Let him make his own choices about his life.  He is a grown adult.  If you try to control his decisions, you will seem like an angry mother.  Men are NOT attracted to their mothers!  Allow him the freedom to be an adult.   He will face the consequences of his choices.  You will live with the consequences of your choices. (If he has an uncontrolled mental health issue, an addiction, issues with violence or is involved in infidelity, please seek godly help ASAP!!!!  I am not addressing those kinds of serious issues in this post or in this blog.)

– If he asks your opinion, then offer him suggestions, but show him you trust him to make a great decision.  ie: “Hmm… I wonder if X or Y might work.  I’m sure that you will definitely make the right decision.”   “Maybe X could be something to think about.  I’m not exactly sure what the answer is, but I have total confidence that you will figure it out.”   Offer your ideas as potential things to consider, not “the only right way” to do things.

– If your opinion is going to be full of negativity, criticism, pride, self-righteousness, condemnation and/or disrespect – those things do not need to be shared!  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom to share respectfully and to be very wise and to have discernment about what is actually important to share and what would be destructive.

If you have already shared your perspective about a decision, it is usually wise not to share it again… Unless you realize you left out very critical information the first time.  In that case, it may be wise to say something like, “Honey, I just realized that there were some important things I forgot to share about the decision we were discussing.  I’d like to mention these things, too, if that would be ok.”

If your husband has already listened to you and made a decision, explaining yourself more and questioning him will probably feel pretty disrespectful to him.

– If your husband asks the children to do something, please try not to contradict him in front of them!  If you disagree, talk to him respectfully and briefly in private.  Undermining his authority in front of the kids is very disrespectful to him and it teaches the children not to respect Dad’s God-given authority – or any God-given authority.  NOT GOOD!  Be very purposeful about trying to support what your husband says to your children unless there is sin involved or very serious and real danger.  Then approach him privately about your concern.  And thank your husband when he supports what you say to your children, too.  When you are united in front of the children, they will usually be much more respectful and obedient.  They know they cannot “divide and conquer” the two of you.

IN GENERAL

Say what you want respectfully, simply and usually briefly – without blame, manipulation, pressure, guilt or condemnation and then allow him the freedom to make his own decisions.

  • You are accountable to honor, respect and biblically submit to your husband.
  • He is accountable to God for the decisions he makes.
  • He will answer to God for his tipping habits, his obedience to God, his sin and his decisions.
  • You will answer for your obedience to God, your sin and your decisions.

It is actually a huge relief to realize that my husband will bear the responsibility for the decisions in our family, not me!

 

My husband is totally responsible to God for the decision he makes for our family, not me.  I tell him what I want and how I feel, then I have done my part.  He bears accountability for the rest.

What a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders!!!!!

I almost always say what I want (if it is a decision that involves me) – unless it is something I truly don’t care about.  But I usually only say it once.  I don’t pressure, coerce or try to verbally force my way anymore.  And – I don’t seek “my way” now, I desire to seek God’s way and His glory.

FROM A CHRISTIAN MAN (I love this!!!!):

The Captain/First Officer model speaks well to this. A good First Officer will always voice her opinions, suggestions and advice to the Captain, so long as it is appropriate and there is time. If he acts on them, great. Otherwise, she obeys and carries out his commands. But unless there is a reason not to voice her opinion, a First Officer should generally offer it in a respectful manner. The key is to be respectful.

RELATED:

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

Control and Boundaries

Won’t I Lose My Voice if I Respect My Husband and Submit to Him?  Youtube video

Why Using Guilt to Motivate other People is Destructive

How to Ask Your Husband for Things So that He Wants to Say “Yes.” –  A Peacefulwife Youtube Video – MOTIVES are KEY in this approach.  If we are doing this to manipulate our husbands to get what we want, that dishonors Christ.  Our motives must ultimately be to honor Jesus and please Him.  I give some practical examples of asking for things respectfully.  But then we respond graciously if our husband says “no” and we don’t try to force or coerce our husbands to do things our way.  Our marriage and obedience to God are much more important than whether we get what we want on a particular issue.

34 thoughts on ““Do I Say What I Want – or Not?”

  1. Great post! It is a MAJOR relief knowing our husbands are responsible to God for the leading of our family. I am responsible for my part, alone. I don’t have to worry about carrying his part. Too many years were wasted trying to control his leading. For the most part, I have given his leadership over to God and have began to really trust God with our marriage. Our husbands have to work out their salvation on their own. We only push them farther from The Lord when we try to be their Holy Spirit. Genuine and lasting change will only happen when God is doing the convicting not us.

    1. Ashley
      I used to try to carry the weight of God’s responsibility, my husband’s responsibility and other people’s responsibility, too – YUCK!!!!!! It is TOO MUCH! I am not made to carry that weight because God doesn’t ask me to carry that weight. In fact, I am not supposed to even try to carry those things. No wonder I was completely stressed out, anxious, afraid, upset and insecure! I thought it all depended on ME to turn out “right.”

      Yes. It is SUCH FREEDOM not to carry all of that unnecessary weight anymore. Jesus’ burden is easy and His yoke is light. He gives us the power to do what He asks us to do when we are willing to obey Him and seek Him above all else. He sets us free from sin and our prisons we have made for ourselves.

      And you are so right – we cannot be the Holy Spirit to our husbands. I definitely pushed my husband much farther from God and from myself when I tried to do that.

      God is SOVEREIGN. He is totally capable and competent and powerful enough to get our husbands’ attention without our interference.

      Much love to you!

  2. Some women would say I was blessed because my husband is a HUGE communicator. He wants me to tell him everything, he is always asking my opinion. He says I am in tune with God better and so he likes my intuition. After I speak my mind I always add something like “but your the head of the household, you must make the final decision”. If I don’t talk to him about what I think, want, don’t want, he thinks I don’t love him. So for him communicating is a way I show love to him. That is really hard for me because I am not a big talker, I like to write.

    The last time my husband wanted me to get a new pair of shoes, and with most things, he gives me a price limit and then I pick out what I want. Then he shows me all the shoes he likes and wants me to tell him if I think they are nice, but he always tries to make the cheapest work and I have to talk to him about which are more comfortable. Our tastes are very different, he tends to dress up more and I am more of a country girl, so its hard for us to agree on clothing and shoes, but we don’t let that become an issue.

    After 17 years, we have really worked out what is important to put more emphasis on, and most of that would include how it looks or treatment of others.

    As for that tipping issue, we don’t have a problem with that. I know those waitresses don’t make much because they do get tips, and they pretty much do live on tips and depending on the restaurant, they have to share with the “buss boy” and they usually only make $2-3 an hour.

    But for us, when there is an issue and I want to discuss it with my husband, I always find information on what I want to discuss with him and I will send him a link in an email or print it out and he will read it on his lunch hour or when he is resting outside in the back yard. For example, I found this blog and the respected husband blog 🙂 because I did a search on feeling unloved, and I sent the article in an email to my husband and he read it and we discussed how I have been feeling a bit unloved lately by him and our children. It mostly stemmed from me feeling unappreciated for all the work I do around here and was not being rewarded. But anyways, finding information for him to read works for us because my husband knows I am not a big talker and this helps us get the conversation going. He will come to me and say lets talk, but then he is the communicator of the family, but I am learning to communicate more also. I really use to take that “meek and quiet” verse to extremes.

    Can you tell I like to write!

    Blessings and happy I could share this though I am sure I didn’t cover everything. This was a good post with so much great information. I have only been learning to be a submissive wife for about 10 years and I have so much to learn still.

    1. Niki,

      Thank you for sharing the way you do things in your marriage! I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!

      I know you will bless many other wives by giving them a little glimpse into what respect, love and biblical submission looks like in your home. 🙂

  3. Thank you for this post. Your advice is spot on! The thing that I want from my wife is input and cooperation, not demands, domination, manipulation or deception. The former draw me to her, the latter drive me away from her.

    I want to reiterate what you say about wives not undermining or overruling their husbands with the children. The scripture is pretty clear that children are to obey their parents. When my wife overrules or undermines a decision I have made or a command that I have given, she teaches our kids that I am not a competent father and that I should be ignored. Rather than bringing peace and unity to our home, it creates conflict and strife. When I react to her lack of respect, then she goes into attack mode condemning me for my reaction to her sin.

    The long term effect this has had is that my children stop listening to me. They just tune me out. I become more and more disengaged and leave the parenting duties to her. Then, when a child is not listening to her, she demands that I support her with the child so that she can regain control with her. My response to my wife is, ‘Why should I do for you, what you never do for me?’ This just invites attack and condemnation.

    I thank the Lord for this blog. I wish my wife would read it and take the message to heart. Even though she doesn’t. you give me the confidence to call her out on her sin with a biblical argument.

    1. Joe,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      I would love to anonymously share it in a post about supporting our husbands as fathers. I have written posts on this topic in the past. But I would love to share your perspective as a husband. (Respecting our Husbands as Fathers)

      I don’t think most wives realize the long term consequences of undermining our husbands’ spiritual authority in the family. I know I didn’t until God opened my eyes to all of my disrespect, pride, idolatry of self and being in control, self-righteousness, etc… about 5 years ago.

      My husband had become very unplugged with me and our children. I was constantly asking him to do more with our children. I had NO CLUE why he had unplugged. I thought he was just unloving. Now I know, of course, that I had disrespected him and taken over control. Now I know I wouldn’t listen to him and wouldn’t support his parenting and thought I always “knew best” since I had read more books about parenting. 🙁 It’s heartbreaking to me now to realize how destructive my attitudes, words and actions were back then.

      When I began to learn about respect and biblical submission. I seriously felt like I was trying to learn Chinese or something – without a teacher. That is how little it all made sense to me at first. But I began to talk to our children (our son was 7 and our daughter was 2) and say things all throughout the day like:
      – God made husbands/dads to be the leaders in the family.
      – Mama was wrong to try to be in charge of things before.
      – Daddy is in charge now. We will treat him with respect.
      – You will use a respectful tone of voice to Dad and Mom.
      – You will obey Daddy and Mama because God commands you to obey your parents so that you can please God and you can have a long life.
      – Mama is going to cooperate with Daddy and honor his leadership from now on.
      – If one of us says no to something, don’t ask the other parent. It will be “no” from both of us.
      – Your Daddy asked you not to jump on the couch. I know he’s not here right now – but we are going to honor him and obey him whether he is here or not.
      – You heard what Daddy said. Please obey Daddy now.
      – That decision is up to Daddy. We will honor whatever he decides. We can ask for what we want respectfully, but then we will accept whatever he decides is best.

      I was shocked. Our children IMMEDIATELY began to be so much more respectful to both of us. It scared me. I finally saw that they imitate my submission to Greg – my words, my tone of voice, my attitude – all of it. That is how they will treat any God-given authority. I am teaching them to either respect and submit to God-given authority or to disrespect and rebel against God-given authority now and in the future by my level of respect and submission to my husband. YIKES!

      Eventually, Greg started backing me up, too. Our children obeyed SO MUCH MORE READILY! The respect level went up even more. My husband began to correct our children if they were disrespectful to me. It has been THE BEST THING EVER!!! We are truly a team now. We are united. It has DRASTICALLY impacted our children’s attitudes and behavior. AND – my husband slowly began to plug back into the family. Now – he is such a godly leader and loving dad and husband. He had all of that in him all those first 14+ years of our marriage – I just didn’t understand that I was sabotaging him and our marriage.

      Thank you for sharing. I pray that God will give you His love and wisdom to lead wisely in your family. I pray for Him to open your wife’s eyes to His design for marriage and family and that He might be greatly glorified in all of you. 🙂

      1. I added a link to the post I had written in the past on this topic.

        But I wanted to also mention –

        We as wives dramatically shape our children’s perception, understanding and love and respect for their fathers. AND – how children perceive their fathers POWERFULLY impacts their ability to love, respect and trust God. A child’s view of God is formed in the likeness of his dad.

        We as women have INCREDIBLE power to either bless our husbands and children or to destroy our husbands, our marriages and our children’s future relationships in marriage, with their teachers, with government and police authorities, with church leaders, with their bosses, and with God.

        WOW!!!!!!!!!

        With this great power comes immense responsibility. I pray we will use our influence wisely!

        1. Joe,
          One more insight I have had as I have talked with hundreds of wives in the past year and a half or so…

          What I believe we as wives are doing in situations like this – is I believe we are focusing on the little issue. We believe passionately that we are “right” about whatever this particular little decision is. And we inadvertently make the decision more important than the big picture. We focus so much on the outcome and wanting to do what we believe is best – that we don’t notice how we are sabotaging our marriages, sabotaging our children’s understanding of spiritual authority, wounding our husbands with disrespect.

          Most wives today have never seen a wife respect her husband and honor his leadership – even in the church.

          Disrespect for husbands, men and fathers is mainstream.

          This stuff does not come intuitively to women, especially because we have been so poisoned by the worldly culture around us.

          1. We also, often, are trusting self instead of God. And we do not actually believe that God is big enough and “sovereign enough” to lead us through our husbands. It is really an issue of our lack of faith in God.

      2. Thank you for your reply. Feel free to use anything that I have said in a post. My wife does not believe in cause and effect. Her behavior ruined my relationship with my oldest child. I will not allow her undermining and opposition to me ruin my relationship with my other children.

        1. Joe,

          So – I contacted Promise Keepers last night and asked if they would be interested in doing a program for wives collaboratively. It is a HUGE long shot. I totally understand that. But – everything I believe God wants me to do in ministering to women is going to have to be a GOD thing, not an April thing. So – I would greatly appreciate your prayers that if this is of God, He might miraculously open the door.

          We are also trying to make some difficult decisions about how to publish the book I am finishing up – so – I would greatly appreciate your prayers about that, too! 🙂

        2. Joe,
          I am finishing up my book, and collecting permission for all the stories I want to use for my publisher. Would you please allow me to use your comment earlier for this post as an anonymous story in my book, please? I would be honored.

  4. I really enjoy your site, its been a huge help to me as Im very disrespectful. Its just that whole husband buying me shoes thing. I buy my own shoes. I have my own money. I would never ever want to be under somebodys thumb like that to wear I had to be bought shoes for. I dont think its good to be financially dependent on your husband. Your an adult. I would feel like a child in his eyes if I didnt have my own money. If I was a stay at home mom I would be sure to have a saveings for myself before I leave my job and have kids. SHould that being home stint turn into years I would need to have an allowance built into our budget for personal needs so I would never be in a position that my husband would see me wearing ratty shoes, feel sorry for me, and want to buy me shoes.Its important for me to feel like an adult in the relationship. Otherwise Id feel demeaned and child like to him. What do you think about this?

    1. Dee,

      I’d like to see if you are able to change your perspective a bit.

      This husband wanted to buy his wife shoes because he loves her and cherishes her and wanted to give her something wonderful. A wife in this position would likely feel loved, cared for, cherished and adored.

      The world thinks that biblical submission is oppression, loss of freedom and slavery.

      Interestingly, when we obey God – He brings us freedom, joy, peace and lightness of heart. 🙂

      Marriage is to be a picture of Christ and His relationship with the Church. The church is totally dependent on Jesus for EVERYTHING. The church does not provide for Jesus’ needs. Jesus has no needs that we must meet. We can bring Him great joy by being in intimate fellowship with Him and by our faith and trust in Him. But Jesus is not dependent on the church. The church is not independent of Jesus.

      If the church needs something, we pray. Jesus is the Provider.

      Different couples handle finances in many different ways. There is not one specific “right way.”

      I personally love for finances to be combined because it shows, in my view, a much greater level of trust and oneness.

      But there are couples who work out the wife having a certain amount of money to spend – there’s nothing wrong with that.

      My biggest concern is why you would feel demeaned if your husband provided for you?

      The only advantage I see to being financially independent – is that you could be ready to leave the marriage quickly.

      God hates divorce. Marriage is a covenant in His eyes.

      His view of marriage is found in Ephesians 5:22-33. It is all about oneness and being interdependent. Not about being individuals and being independent. The husband and wife are to leave all other relationships and cleave to each other. The two become one flesh – but the are also united in spirit and mind as well. What God has joined together, let not man separate.

      You can absolutely be an adult, not a child – in a godly marriage. But there are many deeper levels of trust and oneness that are such blessings that many wives who insist on being financially independent miss out on.

      The more respected and trusted your husband feels – the more he will desire to love, serve and protect you. Unless he is addicted to drugs or alcohol or has some huge sin going on in his life or has an uncontrolled mental health problem.

      I’m glad you shared your perspective. I know this is kind of a lot to absorb and think about. All I ask is that you prayerfully consider another viewpoint and see a husband being the protector, covering and provider as a blessing and a gift.

      Much love to you!!!

  5. I definitely agree with the idea of being submissive. In fact, I wish I had learned that from day one!
    I also LOVE joint finances and think that is the way it should be in a marriage. Our financial life is a huge part of everything else in our lives, and to separate that would be too subtract a LARGE part of intimacy from a marriage. It is essential to the “oneness” that should be the core of a marriage. However, I do see Dee’s perspective, and I must admit that I relate to it, to an extent.
    In the above post, I thought it was nice for the husband to see that his wife needed new shoes and take her to buy it. I would love that for myself! I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, maybe the shoes did not even seem that bad to the wife and her husband saying so, makes her feel cared for. I would!
    Even in other relationships — I can see that a friend or cousin with a tattered bag and offer to buy it for her out of love for her as my friend or cousin. It does not mean that I “control” her; neither does it means he could not buy it for herself.
    On the other hand however, I certainly agree that I should be able to purchase a pair of shoe for myself, and doing so should not make me feel as if I am not submissive. I would not want to have my husband buy every single thing for me. I want to be able to take care of myself as well, and I think that is what Dee means when she says she is not a child. I do not want to be independent, but I certainly want to be capable. We take care of our children as mothers, but they also need to do some things to take care of themselves.
    I want to emphasize, that I believe in the need for wives to submit to their husbands – it is God’s words –so it cannot be wrong! God’s design for marriages work.
    On one side of things, some people take submissiveness to mean being controlled (I myself use to think that, when I did not understand the Christian perspective)
    On the other side, some people take submissiveness to mean that a wife cannot take care of herself at all, and needs her husband to do everything.
    I believe we should make sure that we do not take the meaning out of context and lean wrongly on either side.

    1. Prayinglikehannah,

      It is definitely possible to take respect or submission to extremes that are not God-honoring.

      I don’t think most husbands would want a wife that is helpless and can’t make a decision or handle things on her own at times.

      There are some husbands who are extremely controlling who may demand a wife not buy shoes for herself and attempts to control every single cent and every thing the wife does. I don’t believe that kind of relationship honors Christ at all. Yes, there are ungodly extremes on both sides of all of these concepts. And there is this beautiful place in the middle – I think of it as a tightrope, HIGH above any human ability. It takes living in the power of God’s Spirit to walk that tightrope. When we are controlled by our sinful nature – we always end up in one unhealthy extreme or another. But God can empower us to obey Him and live in that place of perfect balance and beauty. 🙂

  6. This is an interesting topic. I wouldnt mind my husband wanting to buy me shoes if it was a gift but not if he was haveing to take me to the store and buy me a pair of shoes like I do with our child . My husband has a job. I dont want him to have to take care of me too like I take care of our child. Im raiseing our child to be able to care for his own personal needs so that my job as parent can end someday, as it should. Not being able to buy my own shoes is like going backwards in maturity. Im capable of careing for my personal needs. I would never put that on my husband. He can show his love and careing for me in many many ways. That wouldnt be one of them though. We relate adult to adult. Its never good to relate adult to child in a relationship and takeing over control over careing for someones personal needs that they can do for themselves is unhealthy emotionally. I would feel demeaned because Im being treated like a dependent child and not a competent adult. It doesnt mean Im prepareing for a divorce, it simply means Im an adult who can care for my personal grooming and dressing myself. Thats it.

    1. Marie,

      If a wife had zero ability to buy anything for herself and the husband was very controlling and dominating and tyrannical – that would be awful.

      Thankfully – that wasn’t the case in this particular situation. Although I am aware of a number of marriages where husbands try to force their wives to “submit” and respect them and the husbands don’t love their wives as Christ loves the church. Those marriages do not honor Christ and are not at all what God designed marriage to be – sadly.

      I don’t think any wife would want to be treated like that.

      If you like buying your own clothes – there is certainly nothing wrong with that at all.
      If your husband likes to buy things as a gift to show you he loves you – there is nothing wrong with that at all either.

      Thanks for your comments! 🙂

  7. I just wanted to add a little something here for the wife that wrote this. I am the one who wrote about the Vegas situation, and I can very much relate to your questions about when you should or shouldn’t share your opinion. It can be sooo hard! I love April’s response here, because over time I have found that everything she is suggested is so true and helpful, but I know how hard it is to navigate certain situations even when you have the best motives.

    When my husband shared with me that he wanted to go to Vegas I was really dumbfounded how to respond, and actually I’ve been in situations like your shoe one where you are confused about the proper way to say something, or even if you should in the first place. I’ve noticed that over time God gives you little tests that teach you how to navigate these little occurrences, and with each test you sort of figure out a little more and more. I’ve also noticed that often times God puts this feeling in me… I guess it’s sort of hard to explain, but it feels like a burning fire in my chest when he is prompting me to give my opinion with my husband. Usually it happens when I try not to say something, but I should. Anyone else experience this?

    Anyway, I am sending my prayers to you and all the readers who have their heart in the right place, and are still learning. I am most definitely one of these people, too. I pray God equips us and gives us wisdom for submission and respect. 🙂 God bless you.

  8. Dear Peaceful Wife, Your blogs are great. The part that especially spoke to me in this one is saying something only once. I also liked the part about not being his angry mother. Too often I’ve fallen into that role. I am working on a book about marriage and would love to include some quotes from you. God bless you in this ministry.

    1. Eleanecreasman,

      Yes. Less is more when we speak to our husbands! 🙂

      I used to be the angry mother quite a lot. 🙁 That did not draw my husband to me. Not at all!

      You are welcome to quote me.

      I am excited about what God is doing in you!

  9. I have a hard time with this. Our whole married life I have shouldered the responsibility for everything. When a bill didn’t get paid whether it had my name on it or not, I got stuck paying it. If the kids needed medical care, I had to do it or arrange for him to do it and then ask him to do it. If he needed to go to the doctor, I needed to arrange it and then tell him to get there. If he had medicine to take, I had to remind him. If there was something that needed to be done around the house, car, or homeschooling I needed to either arrange for it to be done myself or do it myself, and pay for it. He is deaf and almost all communication between him and the children or him and anyone else ends up coming through my interpretation at some point in time. Going to church, the interpretation comes through me. The list goes on and on.
    In the blog you said, “It is actually a huge relief to realize that my husband will bear the responsibility for the decisions in our family, not me!” This has never been true in our lives. When he drives too fast on the road he doesn’t get a ticket and brags to the kids how he got out of a ticket. This has happened over and over in many situations. I have not followed the speed sign to stay in a certain lane if going slower than a certain speed, fully intending to move over when there was an opportunity, and got pulled over and reprimanded. I admitted to the kids what needed to be done and how it should have been done, but please note I still got pulled over and had to admit my mistake. My husband gets pulled over multiple times and brags to the kids about getting out of it. I have mentioned to him it is too much for me to work full time and do all the things he expects of me at home and I will get sick not getting enough rest. I have been sick for almost 8 weeks and he says he still wants me to do these things. I do not trust that he has our best interest in mind.
    We have debt that he, and to some degree I, have racked up. I had a plan for paying it off. Suddenly, he decided to take a job where he is gone all of the time for a week at a time and I should just figure out how to make everything work. He would admit that he wasn’t helping much before, but at least I had some fraction of help when he was here. He thinks that our teenagers should do whatever needs doing. So, now that he is gone all of the time, I mentioned to him as respectfully as possible that I was concerned that I would get sick doing all the things that need doing. I asked him what things he thought were the bare bones things to get done and that is what I would do so I didn’t get sick. I told him I was sick from not enough rest and he told me that I was doing the minimum now and there was nothing less I could do.

    1. Needing Support and Suggestions,

      You have a very interesting situation. With you having to be the interpreter for your husband – it kind of forces you into more of a leadership role many times. It will take a lot more effort to get things balanced in a godly way, I would imagine. But with God – this is definitely possible!

      Are you both disciples of Christ?

      What is your relationship with Jesus like?

      Does the marriage have any history of mental health issues, addictions, history of violence, infidelity or serious problems?

      When I talk about the husband bearing the responsibility for the family decisions… I am talking about in heaven when he stands before God after he dies. God will hold him accountable and responsible at that time for the authority God gave him as husband. (I Cor. 11:3 The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church). All God-given authorities will stand accountable before God one day.

      Part of the fall of men and women is that:
      1. Women tend to want to take over marriages and try to have control over their husbands. (Genesis 3)
      2. Men tend to want to shirk their responsibilities and not lead well, but just unplug and let their wives handle everything.

      I have MANY posts about empowering our husbands’ spiritual leadership. You can look through my Blog Timeline at the top of my home page. There are several at the end of Aug 12 and beginning of Sep 12. Or you can search “husband leader” or “husband lead” on my home page.

      When a wife really wants to stop handling everything and stop leading and really wants her husband to begin leading – the scariest thing is – she needs to step down. Eventually, he will probably step up. It may take time. It is not really until a man feels the weight of responsibility on his shoulders that he usually will begin to lead. Most men will not wrestle control from their wives.

      There are a lot of things to pray about and read and consider carefully before stepping down, in my view. I am glad to walk this road with you, pray for you, encourage you and point you to Christ and His Word.

      The first place I would suggest starting is on my home page. Please check out the posts about disrespect, respect and biblical submission.

      When you are ready, let’s talk about the next steps. 🙂 aprilc@sc.rr.com

  10. From Donalgraeme (I love this!):
    The Captain/First Officer model speaks well to this. A good First Officer will always voice her opinions, suggestions and advice to the Captain, so long as it is appropriate and there is time. If he acts on them, great. Otherwise, she obeys and carries out his commands. But unless there is a reason not to voice her opinion, a First Officer should generally offer it in a respectful manner. The key is to be respectful.

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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