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A Young Wife Discovers God’s Design for Her Marriage

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April,

thank you so much for this blog! I stumbled upon it just last week and have been reading your posts ever since.

I have been married almost for a year now and dealing with all the issues you talk about myself. For some time I have regretted the fact I do not have any experienced Christian wives to turn to who could teach me to be a good wife to my husband as the Bible encourages us to do.

Reading your testimony I was amazed to discover how much I am like you. I have an identical twin sister myself, I have always been a straight-A-student, top of my class in the university, always self-sufficient and reliable, becoming a teacher and attending church since I was ten.

Naturally, all the traits of my personality and habits from maiden life came with me to my marriage. I did not intend to disrespect or overrule my husband but I did it anyway for I never knew a better way. I have always made more money than him, and being very responsible with those matters (as he generously admits) I felt obligated to keep my eye on (read: have control over) our finances. I tended to remind him things when I thought he was about to forget something important. I never told him to spend time with me or skip his activities but often cried and pouted when he went out anyway knowing I did not want him to go. And so on. Needless to say what a burden it was on my shoulders.

I never understood his angry reactions to some of my comments or questions that seemed absolutely innocent to me. And it seemed to me he never understood my desire to be number one in his life after God. He always told me that I was but it was difficult for me to believe it for his actions spoke differently to me. Falling pregnant with our son right after we got married did not help things along, so our first year has been quite rocky.

I had been reading a lot about marriage and shared my thoughts with my husband, too. Fortunately he is eager to make a change for the better. But I had done it with wrong purpose and attitude – I always thought he was wrong and I wanted to change him. You can guess if it was successful or not.

Only when I started to read your blog did I see how mistaken I have been trying to lead him instead of him leading me. Though he might not be as educated as me and only a young Christian, he is entitled to do that for God has made it that way. I am the luckiest girl on earth to have a husband who loves God more than he loves me.

Now that I am beginning to understand what it means to respect my husband and to be a submissive and godly wife and started to act accordingly, I have seen such a difference in our lives. The biggest change has taken place in my own heart as I trust my husband and also God so much more. I also shared my thoughts with my husband and apologized to him for disrespecting him for so long. Surprisingly I have seen changes in his behavior, too. He has been more caring of my feelings and thoughts recently and really making an effort to love and please me. What a joy for both of us!

So thank you again so much for this honest blog of yours! It has been such a blessing for me already, though I have only read a few of the entries. I am glad I have finally found a godly wife to learn from even if she is on the other side of the world.

May God bless you and your family abundantly!

 

29 thoughts on “A Young Wife Discovers God’s Design for Her Marriage

  1. What a wonderful story!! Being under your husband is being under Gods protection. Praying that you will continue to strengthen your trust muscles for God first then your husband. Some days and in some situations it’s going to be incredibly hard to let go of the control we are used to having. Some days it will take everything in you to just refrain from questions (which often show a lack of trust) and simply yield to him,trusting that God is sovereign over your life!!

    I have also noticed too that God will take you through deeper trust Levels. When simply trusting him to go right instead of left was hard, im now trusting him with bigger things. I also feel like through that God is getting to the core of some of my fears. Im releasing them to Him and with every fiber in me I’m trusting in God!!!
    Praying you will learn to cling to Jesus more and more as you walk in this new freedom of submitting to your husband!

  2. What a blessing to learn biblical submission and headship so early in the journey of marriage! I’m praising our Great God for leading you to The Peaceful Wife!

    1. I agree. I, too, wish I had learned these truths about 10 years ago when I was first married. Oh, the mistakes I could have avoided and the hurts I would have saved my husband from having.

  3. Such a great testimony! I’m glad this young wife is on the journey with us. It excites my faith to read others’ testimonies of stepping out on the waters of submission and becoming a godly wife, and it strengthens my determination to trust God through thick and thin, honoring my husband no matter what. Also an academic (self-sufficient), responsible (controlling), careful (untrusting) woman without a role model, I really benefit from everyone’s input here. Thank you, Peacefulwife and friends!

  4. I have been wanting to write for sometime. This respect issue – although I understand it in my head and heart – I am failing at putting it into pratice. I have been married for 19 years and we have 3 children.
    I thought things were good until several years ago. My husband was diagnosised with ADD and some depression. He started getting treatment (both medication and therapy) but during this healing time his business started to decline. He has come to realize that his current work situation ( working alone with numbers and details) is adding to his feeling on low self worth. This decrease in income has caused me to increase my hours at work. As a physician, I am able to pick up the slack BUT my attitude toward my husband has suffered because of this.
    My husband is awesome. Despite working reduced hours, he is out looking for a new job, repairing items at our home, doing our laundry, cooking dinner and helping with “kid duty”. Nothing he is doing is cause for my lack of respect.
    He wrote me a poem this week.

    i feel the shame of my inadequacy as it envelopes my being
    it stays with me every where i go
    it speaks to me when no one is listening
    it says i am not worthy according to those closest to me
    i can not look in others eyes for fear they will see my shame,
    that they will know i am not respected
    even by the one person who knows me best
    my soulmate
    who shares my intimacies then rejects me so quickly
    i am tossed about by a rough sea of instability
    i am lured in as the waves of insincerity crash against me
    as i try to right myself, i am buffeted yet more with denial and blame.
    my shame drives deeper into depths known only to my maker.
    i am alone,
    i pray i am being shaped for His glorious will
    Amen

    I had no idea how my lack of respect was affecting him. How sad I was to read these words.
    Where do I go from here?
    I am prideful. I dont’ want to hand over the reins – but when I reflect back to those few time I did – how wonderful it was.
    My prideful nature causes me to think…
    I am the only one working
    I am the only one focused around here
    He has so much free time
    We need more income

    Then I start the disrepect. When I look back – the disrepect has probably been in our marriage for some time. I grieve to think that our daughter has not had the opportunity to see a marriage in its FULL glory. I grieve because I think … Will it ever be the marriage God had planned?

    1. Bonnie,
      How my heart breaks for you both!

      I’m so glad you wrote to me! I’d love to walk with you in this journey and pray for you and encourage you.

      Have you read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission?

      Are you aware of the ways you are disrespecting your husband?

      Check out the post “my Demon” – you can search for it on my home page. Then read the one my husband wrote “The Voice in His Head.”

      What does your husband need most from you?
      Being the sole provider is very fertile ground for a wife to become disrespectful. It will be harder than normal to learn respect in this situation, but with God, all things are possible.

      I am willing to help you and give you ideas and do all that I can to help you turn around and stop the disrespect and begin genuine respect!

      Have you apologized genuinely for your disrespect without explanation? Have you thanked him for all he is doing well?

      I wish I could hug your neck!!!

      My email is aprilc@sc.rr.com

    2. Bonnie,

      I was at work today and didn’t have the opportunity to say all that I wanted to say earlier…

      You and your husband have been on my heart all day.

      I am amazed at how articulately he is able to verbalize how disrespect makes him feel. Wow. His poem blows me away. And makes me want to just cry for him – and for the hundreds of thousands of Christian husbands who feel just like he does.

      As a pharmacist, I was the primary breadwinner for the first 16 years of our marriage. I was also in charge of the finances. I wanted to work less. I resented my husband so much any time he would buy something I thought was unnecessary. There is definitely a huge correlation between women making more than their husbands and women disrespecting their husbands. When a husband is the sole provider – it gives a huge respect factor for the wife. Women are made to be in debt to their husbands financially – but men are not built by God to be in debt financially to their wives. I believe this is because marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church with the husband representing Christ and the wife representing the church. I think when the wife is the primary or sole breadwinner, it turns the roles upside-down and creates so many opportunities for a wife to lose respect. Thankfully, your husband is helping so much at home. MANY wives I have talked with in your position have husbands who do NOTHING around the house with the chores and expect the wife to take care of the kids every second when she is home. It sounds like you have such an amazing man!

      One thing that GREATLY helped me was to give the finances to my husband. Then I wasn’t “telling him” what to do and how to spend and what not to spend. Especially after my hours were suddenly cut.

      Another thing about this situation is that men who have lost their jobs lose a HUGE part of their identity as a man. Most men think of themselves in terms of their career and their primary way of showing love to their family is to provide financially. Many men handle terminal cancer better than unemployment. That is how difficult this situation can be. A man who has lost his job needs to know his wife has faith in his ability to provide and that she trust him and believes in him. Husbands who stay home with their kids as stay-at-home dads have much higher levels of depression and even heart attacks.

      And moms who work as the sole breadwinner also have tons of increased stress-related health issues. In fact, one physician wife I was talking with last fall who just had her 2nd baby and was going back to work last winter as the sole provider for her family suffered a series of strokes in January and I am not sure if she will be able to practice medicine again. The stress was SO great on her. And her husband didn’t help and didn’t do chores. She was so overwhelmed. 🙁

      I would love to see God change this situation.

      But most of all I would love to see Him change your heart. He definitely can! Yes, these circumstances are not ideal conditions for a wife’s respect to grow – BUT – God is able to empower you to do this and to be a source of encouragement, inspiration, faith and blessing to your husband.

      I’d love for you to consider praying about whether your husband might allow me to anonymously post his poem. I have never seen a husband who could express his feelings so well. My husband NEVER told me I had hurt him with my disrespect and control. NEVER. Not the whole 14.5 years that I was disrespecting and controlling him. I believe if he had told me, I would have repented and tried to understand how to be a respectful wife.

      You are in the right place. I will hook you up with every resource I know of. Anything you need!

      Sending you a HUGE hug my precious sister,

      April

      aprilc@sc.rr.com

      1. Thank you for emailing me back. It is so nice to finally put on paper -the feelings and sadness I have. I will read your suggested postings. I have been reading your blog since April . I also got the Respect Dare – slowly making it thru it. Also read “love and respect”.

        My main struggle is this… I am acutely aware of what disrespect is BUT I am having a hard time figuring out what respect ( in action ) is.

        I was relieved to hear that you were the bread winner in your family too. It is very difficult for others to relate. After reading your blog in July – I turned over the finances to my husband. Talk about difficult.

        As for sharing his poem… I did not tell him I was emailing you. So, as touching and painful the poem is, I think it is best not to share yet.

        If you can suggest a reference to help me understand what respect is ( instead of what disrespect) I would appreciate it.

        Sent from my iPhone

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        1. Look up “A Real Life Example of Respect and Submission” on my home page.

          And “A Wife’s Great Faith and an Old Truck”. And “My Husband Wants to Go Where?”

          And “Biblical Submission and a Minivan”

          If you would like to give me a few situations, I can give you suggestions about ways to handle things respectfully

          Also search “What Is Respect in Marriage”

          1. Bonnie,
            How big of an issue is control for you? Do you feel you have to make things work out right or it will all be a disaster? Do you have a very keen awareness of God’s sovereignty and where your responsibility stops? Do you try to verbally make your husband draw closer to God – or try to be his Holy Spirit? Are you a perfectionist? Are you a people pleaser? Do you believe you really know better than your husband? Are you “always right” in your own eyes?

          2. I would say that control is my middle name. If my husband or kids are not acting or doing as I think – I get irritable, feel powerless and even get palpitations! It is truly a gut wrenching feeling. I self talk – saying that my way is the best and if we don’t do it xyz way then it will fail. I keep thinking if only my husband started working -then my respect would be evident. That is until today…. I realized as I was praying for my husband to find a job that the real prayer should be … Free me from the need to be on control. Please pray that I keep my focus off him and on Him. That he will set me free. Thanks for the reading suggestions. I am making my way thur them.

            Sent from my iPhone

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          3. Bonnie,

            Yikes. You have a bad case of wanting to be in control! Kind of reminds me of myself. Seriously – being in the medical profession does NOT help! It is so easy to let pride become so big when you feel like you know so much about medical things. And, if you are like I was, you probably also researched constantly all the latest expert baby-care advice and child-rearing advice. And, if you are like I was, you know your husband didn’t read all the expert’s opinions so obviously – he has nothing of value to offer and no wisdom worth listening to, right? Well… that was how I was, at least.

            This is going to be scary. If you are like I was – you may have felt that you “had” to be in control since you were a child. I misunderstood some things that happened when I was 5 and 8 years old and because of those events, I developed a severely warped view of God and an extremely warped view of myself that was NEVER corrected – until 5 years ago. I grew up thinking I was WAY more responsible for other people than I actually am. I also developed a tiny, wimpy, impotent image of God and a huge, powerful, sovereign image of myself.

            I had to humble myself thousands of notches, maybe more. I had to really study who God actually is and who I actually am. For the first time, I came face to face with the fact that I am a wretched sinner. Not just a sinner. A WRETCHED sinner. I was in total shock! I had accepted Christ when I was 5. I thought I was the best Christian ever growing up. I made all As. I was super active in church. I helped people constantly. In the pharmacy, I got lots of customer service awards. I was a perfectionist and a people pleaser. I believed, sincerely, that I was always right.

            It turns out that perfectionismis a form of idolatry. I put trying to be perfect above desiring to please and know Jesus. I could even justify to myself that I could treat others unkindly and disrspectfully if they were getting in the way of doing things “perfectly” in my view.

            People pleasing is also a form of idolatry -where I seek to please people more than I seek to please God. NOT GOOD. I also fear people more than I fear God. That is HUGE SIN.

            Trying to be in control of everything is also BIG TIME idolatry. It is actually an illusion that I thought I had control. I did not actually have control over much. I just thought I did. And, in the process. I alienated my husband, my sister, my family and friends. Because I was so prideful. I was totally blind to all of my sin. I genuinely lived as if I was sovereign instead of God. I trusted SELF much more than I trusted God. I put myself higher than God because I didn’t think I should have to forgive people. But if the sovereign, holy GOd of the universe is able to forgive sinners – who on earth am I to say that I don’t have to forgive other people????

            I also expected my husband to be responsible for my happiness. If I wasn’t happy, it was his fault, and he needed to fix it and fix it NOW. God showed me that I was expecting Greg to meet needs in my soul that only Jesus could meet. I had my husband as an idol. 🙁 And He showed me I am responsible for my own happiness. I am responsible for my emotions, for my sin, for my obedience, for my thoughts, for my words, for my attitudes, for my motives. I am not responsible for Greg in those areas. That was actually empowering and freeing. Empowering to see something I could actually control! ME! Well – I need GOd’s power to do it, I can’t even control myself on my own!

            I was full of anxiety, stress, fear, worry and I was lonely a lot. I repelled God with my MOUNTAIN of sin. I was committing idolatry in many forms every waking moment of every day for decades. What sin is worse than idolatry? That was breaking the 1st commandment. 🙁 How do you calucalate that kind of debt I owed GOd? I began to understand that I have been forgiven MUCH. And as I understood that, I was able to accept God’s grace and then God empowered me to be able to love much and to give grace, too. That was new. I didn’t have grace for myself. And if I couldnt’ give myself grace, how could I extend it to others? If I didn’t acknowledge how much grace Jesus gave to me, I had no reserve of grace to draw from to give to other people.

            It was VERY helpful for me to study God’s sovereignty, especially in the Old Testament and to realize how in control He is. I had to exalt Him a million notches above where I had Him before. And I had to humble myself and realize that I am but dust and I am a big time sinner. I had as much or more pride than Satan. I was an idolator for decades and didn’t even notice it. I didn’t trust God – the sin of unbelief. HUGE sin. I didn’t forgive. Unforgiveness is such a big sin that God won’t forgive me if I don’t forgive others. I held on to resentment and bitterness and gave the enemy a MASSIVE stronghold in my soul.

            It is only when God helps us to see our sin very clearly – that we are ready to begin this journey. It is PAINFUL at first. It’s terrifying to learn to trust GOd and our husbands and stop trusting only self. We have to face our deepest fears and wrestle with God about whether we can really trust Him and believe Him or not.

            This will require allowing God to completely renovate your heart, mind and soul.

            It turns out – God’s wisdom is INFINITELY higher than mine. AND, my husband actually has a lot of wisdom to offer me that has spared my sanity many times and made my life much better than if we had done things my way!

            There is every reason for hope!

            I’m so glad to walk beside you my precious sister. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I’m always glad to pray with you and encourage you.

          4. Bonnie,

            I have been praying for you daily. I hope I haven’t drowned you with too much at once. I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart. Sending you a huge hug!

          5. Thank you for the prayers and email. I have gone almost a week – keeping my thoughts and prayers focused on my need for change and NOT my husbands need. I have asked him every day or two if I have said or been disrespectful. He says – no. And he is grateful. Tomorrow he has a job interview and tonight my prayer is that I remain focused on respect. And only respect. God knows… All. Thank you for your prayers. BG

            Sent from my iPhone

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          6. Bonnie,

            WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!

            I am so glad that this week is going well. Praying for him with his job interview and for you to be able to focus on becoming the woman of God’s dreams. 🙂

          7. Thank you for continuing to touch base with me. First the interview… He was asked back for another interview. If you are able – pray for him this Wednesday 8:30am florida time. I keep telling myself to not focus on his job but my respect. Today was a bit of a challenge. He did not sleep well and we had to get up early for a kids sporting event. I kept feeling ” picked on” but instead of back firing and getting verbal -I remained quite. Amazing how silence can heal whereas the nagging would have just fed the fire. The blog about the “demon” is so true. Never realized that all the negative thoughts were victories for the devil. Thank you for blessing us all.

            Sent from my iPhone

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          8. Bonnie,

            I will pray!!!! 🙂

            I’m so glad you didn’t fire back. It’s much better to put water on a fire than to add gasoline. 🙂
            You have GOT to read the post I have coming out tomorrow. I promise you will be blessed!!!!!!

            Much love my precious sister in Christ!

          9. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I wanted to give you an update. My husband received a job offer today!! God is good. I continue my respect journey, look forward to reading your blog and thank Jesus for being my savior. Bonnie

            Sent from my iPhone

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          10. Bonnie

            I have been thinking about you and praying for you! I have another physician wife who hopes to talk with me soon in this same situation. I wonder if we should start an email support group for wives who are sole breadwinners/primary breadwinners? if that would interest you, please let me know. 🙂

            THANK YOU GOD for the job offer!!!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

          11. I am very interested in sharing and learning from others in my shoes. I am one of 5 children -we are all best of friends but none of my siblings really understand where I am. It would be nice to have someone who ” wears the same shoe”( like you). Count me in.

            Sent from my iPhone

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      2. Peacefulwife, it’s very helpful to see someone else putting my story in print. Traumatic events during childhood really can have a lasting impact. From my parents’ divorce, I “learned” that I couldn’t completely trust other people to make the best decisions for me and that I would have to be self-sufficient and in control to be safe, and I also thought if I was “nice enough”/”good enough” that people would like me and that I could earn their love and avoid rejection. I also developed a victim mentality and pridefully thought I was smarter and more responsible than my parents (and most other people). I’m still in the stage where I’m facing my sins and slowly accepting the gravity of them before God. I was always a “good” kid. I tried to be the “perfect” kid even, and many people believed the masks I was wearing were real… But God saw through all that to the hurt and fear and pride I’ve been carrying around for so long. There are no more excuses for me! There is hope for all of us if we will humble ourselves and let God in. Pride is a huge enemy. It is painful to be honest with ourselves but so worth it. My marriage has improved very much in a very short time of applying God’s principles of being submitted to my husband and slower to speak, even though I do these imperfectly and even while I’m still blind to my faults in many, many ways. Thanks again, and much encouragement to Bonnie and the other wives here!

        1. Growing up spiritually

          My parents didn’t divorce, and had a pretty strong marriage. But I “learned” some of the exact same things – that I was smarter and more responsible than my parents, that I was in control more than my parents or God. Those are DESTRUCTIVE mindsets!

          It is painful to see the truth of our sinfulness – but it is the pathway to healing and abundant life. 🙂

          I’m so excited about what God is doing in you!!!!!!

  5. With regard to the chicken or the egg question about whether the wife should submit first or the husband should lead first, I think this post helps answer it.

    It is not the husband’s job to try and remove a wife from a position of leadership which she occupies, regardless of whether he helped put her there or she put herself there on her own.

    The husband is not the enforcer, he is the leader. Until she willingly submits, he must wait for the leadership chair to be vacant.

    In fact, God himself does not go around kicking us off the pedestals we have climbed upon, He waits until we either climb down on our own, or until we fall off due to our own errors.

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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