Skip to main content
1428932_89378184

“I MUST HAVE THAT HOUSE!”

1428932_89378184

This post is inspired by a real estate commercial that shows a wife attempting to pressure and force her husband into a quick decision about a house that the couple may not be able to responsibly afford.

Some things to observe in this brief conversation:

  • the wife’s facial expressions
  • her tone of voice
  • the husband’s body language and facial expressions
  • how the wife responds to her husband’s legitimate concerns
  • the level of verbal and non-verbal pressure she uses
  • the way the wife is having this conversation “in front of the real estate agent” and the husband may feel “ganged up on”

This is listed on Youtube as “The Nastiest Wife on Television” – I do not agree that she is the nastiest wife on TV.  There are plenty of things that are more blatantly disrespectful, in my view.  But this IS a great example of disrespect and control.  What this wife is doing is what MANY wives do and it is easy for us not to realize how disrespectful and controlling we are being.  I think if we had to see ourselves on camera, we might much more readily recognize our behavior as being destructive.

Here is the 31 second commercial if you  haven’t seen it:

HOW COULD A WIFE HANDLE THIS  KIND OF SITUATION IN A MORE GODLY WAY?

(I only write for women, so I am not going to talk about ways the husband could have handled things better here.)

Here are some suggestions to prayerfully consider – these would apply to MANY situations, not just buying an expensive, fancy house:

  • I believe a wife can and should share her feelings, desires and ideas with her husband.  It is entirely possible to do this in a respectful way without trying to force our husbands to “submit to us.”  A wife can casually say IN PRIVATE to her husband in a pleasant tone of voice with a smile on her face, “Honey, I LOVE that house we saw yesterday.  I can’t stop thinking about it!  It is my dream house.  And the schools in that area are the best.  I’d love for our children to go to those schools.”
  • Then – change the topic or even go to another room to do some chores or check on the kids.  The key is – don’t sit there tapping your fingers expecting him to give you his final answer in 10 seconds.
  • Most husbands will need TIME (days or weeks) to think, analyze, weigh options and come to peace with what they believe is best in a major decision after they examine ALL of the variables.  That is a GOOD THING that many husbands don’t want to rush hastily into a huge commitment of finances and into a massive debt.
  • If a wife can share her desires in a non-pressuring kind of way, and then release her husband to think – I believe the couple will be able to make INFINITELY better decisions than if she demands an immediate answer.
  • Big decisions need to be made by the husband and wife together without anyone else being present, in my view.  And then I love the idea of the HUSBAND telling the realtor or salesperson what the final decision is and allowing him to negotiate the financial arrangements whenever possible.
  • Keep in mind that ultimately God has given your husband the leadership role in the marriage (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:2-5, Genesis 2 and 3.)  So HE will be the one who will stand accountable to God one day when this life is over for every decision he made.  That is a heavy weight on his shoulders.  It is freedom for you – that you don’t have to bear that responsibility.  But since he will be the one who must face God about every aspect of his stewardship and leadership – he deserves to be able to have the time he needs to make the best decision possible from his perspective based on what He believes is right (as long as he is not clearly asking the wife to sin or condone sin).

WHAT IF HE SAYS, “NO”?

The thing about a wife submitting biblically to her husband is that he will say no to her desires, requests and ideas at times.  That is inevitable!

I believe most wives who honor their husbands’ leadership and respect them will eventually find that their husbands truly do want to see their wives happy.  So when a husband who feels very admired and respected (and has felt that way for a significant period of time) says, “I don’t think this is a good idea for us right now” – he is usually seeking the ultimate best interests of the whole family.

But even if he is making a mistake (as long as he is not asking her to clearly sin) – God is able to use the husband’s leadership to lead the family and to accomplish His will.  Sometimes husbands will make mistakes.  That is a great chance for us to show grace, faith, support and teamwork so that our husbands can learn to be better leaders.  Sometimes one mistake can teach a man what nothing else can.

It is also possible that the husband isn’t making a mistake and that the wife will see the wisdom of his decision in the future looking back in hindsight that she may not see in the moment.  That has happened with me MANY TIMES.  Then I THANK GOD and my husband for my husband’s “no.”  In hindsight, I am able to see that was God speaking to my husband – even though I couldn’t see it at the time.

It is important that a wife allow her husband to be able to say, “No.”  Sometimes leaders have to make tough and unpopular decisions.

A godly wife can understand that God is leading her through her husband (if her husband is not asking her to clearly sin) and that she can trust God’s sovereignty in this situation and that God has some other plan in mind that must be better in some way in His wisdom.  That is how we can rest in God’s peace and continue on with joy and be gracious in accepting our husband’s “no” or “wait” answers when we don’t get what we think we want at the time.

My husband’s feelings, opinions, concerns and ideas are equally as important as mine.

MOTIVE CHECK

If there is something I believe I MUST HAVE in order to be happy and fulfilled in life – and that thing is not Jesus Christ – I may well be dealing with an idol in my heart.

God is MUCH more concerned with our attitudes and the condition of our souls than He is about us having a big, fancy house.

We can make idols out of almost anything!

How I can tell if I may have an idol or I may be cherishing sin in my heart:

  • I am willing to do ANYTHING to have my way and to have what I want
  • I am willing to sin to achieve my goal
  • I don’t have God’s peace and joy in my heart daily
  • I am full of anxiety, fear and worry trying to FORCE things to happen “the right way” and I think it will be a “disaster” if I don’t get what I want
  • I am not content in Christ alone
  • I am not filled up with His Spirit’s power
  • I am being greedy/selfish
  • I am looking at what I want – not at what God’s will may be
  • I am unwilling to accept any possibility except for the one I desire
  • I am willing to try to take control from my husband to make him do what I want
  • I am willing to steamroll other people to try to have my idol
  • I am willing to make any sacrifice of time, money, relationships and effort to have my idol

HERE IS SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT IDOLATRY

  • It is breaking the greatest commandment God gives us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength.
  • It will never satisfy.   God will NEVER allow us to find contentment in other things/people apart from Christ alone.

MOTIVES THAT PLEASE GOD

I must be willing to

  • die to self
  • seek God’s will far above my own will
  • accept the Lordship of Christ and accept His leadership through His Word and through those in places of God-given authority in my life
  • cooperate with my husband/my boss/my church leaders/the government/the police/etc… unless they are clearly asking me to sin.  God can and will use those in authority over me to reveal His will and plan for me in my life.
  • recognize that if I am fighting my husband or another God-given authority (who is not asking me to CLEARLY sin) – I may well be fighting God Himself.
  • seek only to please Christ
  • seek to bless others with God’s love
  • give up my dreams and my will and lay them on the altar before Jesus – accepting His will instead
  • understand that God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than my own and He is already in the future and knows what is truly best for me and our whole family

“NO” IS OFTEN A HUGE BLESSING AND GIFT.  PRAISE GOD FOR HIS “NO” ANSWERS!

God knows what we need much better than we do.  How do I know if God might be sparing us from something awful by directing my husband away from a particular decision?  I don’t!

  • Maybe taking on too much debt to buy a huge, fancy, expensive house is going to force us into bankruptcy or foreclosure in the future due to a job loss or hours being cut in the future that we don’t know about.
  • Maybe that house will still be available later and if it is God’s will, my husband will have peace about it, too and it is just something we need to wait on for awhile.
  • Maybe if we buy a very expensive house, we won’t have as much money for medical expenses in the future that we are going to need to pay for.
  • Maybe buying an expensive house will keep us from giving generously to those in great need – which would grieve the heart of God.
  • Maybe the financial strain and stress of a huge mortgage and debt will destroy our marriage over time.
  • Maybe we are going to have a baby in the future and I am going to want to be home all the time or most of the time and we won’t have the income we have right now and it would be very unwise to plan on our income staying the same.
  • Maybe we can live BELOW our means for a few years and save up and have a big down payment ready so that we can move to that school district when our children are ready to start school and maybe God has a house in mind for us that will not leave us financially strapped.
  • Maybe the schools in our district where we live now aren’t really a problem.
  • Maybe I will want to home school in the future and it is unnecessary to even consider what the schools are like in a certain area and we can have an equally nice house somewhere that is less expensive and has lower taxes.
  • Maybe there is something else in the future that God knows about that I don’t know about and God is leading my husband a particular way for His reasons.

BOTTOM LINE

Life for me as a believer in Christ is not ultimately about what I want.  It is ultimately about bringing glory and honor to Christ and about His will.  My husband has important concerns, ideas and feelings, too.   God can and will use my husband to lead me and our family in His will when I am walking in the power of His Spirit and walking in obedience to Him.

The key is to hold onto everything but Jesus LOOSELY and to be content in Christ alone no matter what my circumstances may be.

SHARE:

If you have a story about how  your husband’s “no” or God’s “no” was a blessing to you – I’d love to hear it!

If this is an area of struggle for you – let’s talk about it together. 🙂

20 thoughts on ““I MUST HAVE THAT HOUSE!”

  1. I confess–I just want to smack the wife, but then I also get very impatient with people who try to pressure anyone. I like the post–very wise words, my dear, thank you.

  2. Now I realize this advertisement is a work of fiction, but an additional item to consider is the pain a man feels when he is not in a position to give his woman what she wants.

    The aloof jerk will just say no, walk out and go have a beer with his buddies, leaving her home alone to fume.

    It is amazing how many people (husbands, wives, parents) will make bad decisions for the temporary peace or to create a moment of joy in the person they are trying to please. I have a close family friend who nearly went broke cosigning for their child’s mortgage, which later went into foreclosure. This child completely manipulated the parents into it.

    1. Jack,

      That is such a great point – about how much husbands really do want to be able to please their wives.

      I also appreciate your explanation about how a truly loving, godly husband would not be able to enjoy something that he bought if he knew his wife was really against it. Very well done!

      Would you consider allowing me to use your comments in answering a single girl on PSG who is having a lot of trouble accepting biblical submission? And possibly in a post?

      Thanks so much!

      1. Of course. Love and respect are two-way functions, in fact, leadership requires a higher standard of love and respect because they set the tone.

        A rebellious wife who has a cruel or selfish husband is not in the same situation as a rebellious wife who is -herself- the cruel or selfish one.

        Sometimes the husband is the more obvious conduit of sin and strife, and sometimes the wife is.

  3. One other element – I am not sure I could get joy out of something that made my wife uncomfortable or unhappy.

    If I wanted to buy a brand new $25,000 Harley, and she felt we were not in a position to do so, how could I enjoy riding around on it, even if she acquiesced to the decision?

    Who or what do you love most? To whom or what are you most committed? Where are your loyalties pledged?

    Let’s take a less extreme example:

    Suppose I want to spend $200 on a new tool for the home or yard, and we have the money, but cash has been tighter than normal. As the head of the household, am I required to justify the decision to my wife? In the strictest sense, no – I make a decision, and she should submit to that. However, this gets into the “lawful vs. expedient” issue that the apostle Paul discussed. If I do not have her support on the decision, then maybe it should wait.

    But who makes that decision? I do, but it is a decision made out of love and respect for her, rather than following her orders.

    Really, as Christ said when He said to love God first and love others as yourself, that it summed up the law and the prophets, He provided all the guidance a spirit-filled person needs to have successful relationships.

    Every day should be a fight against self-oriented thinking, for all of us.

  4. Crucial also to this point is that it is not really possible for the wife to instruct her husband on this point.
    I might be possible to phrase it as such “why is is possible for you to want to do something that makes me worry or hurts me?”

    Of course, I could be wrong on that as an effective delivery. Again, though, submission does not equal silence.

    1. Jack,

      I believe a wife can talk about her feelings/desires/needs respectfully and calmly. And she can absolutely say if something hurts her or makes her concerned/upset/nervous.

      Let’s say the husband wanted to buy the expensive house and the wife didn’t agree. I believe she can and should share her perspective:

      – Honey, that IS a wonderful house. I can definitely see why you’d love to have it. I want very much to be able to support your desire to buy that house – but I have these reservations about it- X, Y and Z. I am not sure I am going to be able to sleep at night if we stretch ourselves that thin. It would mean a lot to me if we could take a bit more time and pray about it and think about it more before we sign anything.”

    2. And if the husband is the one who spends money unwisely, doesn’t see all the problems with the local public school, promises to “pray” about issues a wife brings up respectfully but then never comes to the table on those issues again… then what? I think you can “hear” my frustration. I try so hard but I feel terribly discouraged most of the time.

      1. Brooke,

        I have prayed often about Christian schools or home schooling. My husband wanted our children in public schools. I told him, “Here are my concerns about public school… I would rather that they be homeschooled or in a Christian school – but I trust that God will lead us through you and I trust your decision and I will support you.”

        Our children are 11 and 6.

        Thankfully – God is sovereign – even in public schools. 🙂 So far – things have gone really well for both of our children.

        Would you be willing to give me an example of the husband spending unwisely?

        How is the marriage going generally?

        How long have you been married?

        Are you both believers in Christ?

        Any major issues -addictions, infidelity, mental disorders, history of abuse going on?

        I wish I could hug your neck, sweet girl!

        I’d be glad to talk through these important issues with you. 🙂

  5. There have been so many times when his “no” has been a blessing. I am just beginning the journey of submission, and sometimes I forget to let him lead and argue. Thankfully, he is not backing down and tells me I will learn. He is a truly good man and I hope I will become a truly good wife for him.

    One “no” that I am struggling with is my husband telling me not to contact my long-time male friend. I miss my friend and feel like I am doing wrong by just “dropping” him. I know I am to let my husband lead, but I am still struggling with this. I have told my husband my concerns, but he is firm about this telling me my friend is a negative influence and not a fitting friend. I have absolutely NO feelings aside from friendship for this man, I love my husband.

    1. Maria,

      Hopefully, you will remember sooner and sooner as you practice being a gracious follower and supporter. 🙂 I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart! And what a supportive man you have!!! THAT IS AWESOME!

      Sometimes my husband asks me to drop certain male commenters if they begin to cross lines on my blogs. So I always seek to honor his request. But – it is hard for me to just drop communication with anyone. I would rather EXPLAIN things. But – I can understand why he asks me to do that in these situations. There have also been women who have consumed HUGE quantities of my time but who are not interested in actually allowing God to change them. There is a point at which my husband asks me not to correspond anymore. I’m thankful that he looks out for me, my sanity and my time. He is protecting me.

      I am so glad you are honoring your husband. I’m glad that you don’t have romantic feelings for this man. It is SO EASY for friendships with the opposite sex to turn into something more. It also sounds like your husband discerns additional concerns about this man.

      Might be a good thing to thank him for his godly leadership. I know this part can be really hard. But – sometimes it can be necessary.

      It is wonderful to hear from you! 🙂

  6. As a man, I have to say that I would be more than willing to forgo any friendships with female friends unless it was only on occasion, and with my wife present.

    I would stop short of insisting that my wife not keep male friends, but I would be very clear that it is coming at a cost, namely respect and trust.

    What friendship is worth risking marriage, which should be the strongest friendship of them all?

    1. I agree with you, Jack! It’s better to be sure of putting boundaries and walls this clear. There should be an extent that being friends with the opposite sex is fine but it should be very guarded and should have a lot of limits.

      1. Thank you for commenting on this Jack and Christine. And thank you for your reply April.

        Perhaps I should explain that my friends have always been male. I was ruthlessly bullied by girls all throughout my school years and boys just felt safer and easier to be friends with. My husband was one of these friends before. It has taken me years to be able to have female friends and see there is no reason to fear other women.

        I totally agree with you that nothing, nothing, is worth risking my marriage. And that is why I have stopped contact with this friend.

        April: I hope that I will remember sooner too. I am determined to learn. You are right that he is an awesome man. And it might be that this friend thing is one of those instances where he sees clearer than I do.

        Just yesterday I thanked him for his leadership, like you suggested. It felt really good, and I think I will be doing that more often. (Not that I haven’t before, but still.) I too am excited to see God working in my heart.

        Thank you again for your help.

        1. Marie,
          I am so proud of you!! 🙂

          I used to have mostly guy friends in middle and high school, too. Girls were often much more difficult for me to relate to then. So I definitely understand where you are coming from.

          But I am very glad you are willing to make your husband and marriage your first human priority. 🙂

          Much love!

  7. You want to know something sad? I remember seeing this commercial multiple times and never saw anything wrong with it. Not. One. Thing.

    My parents’ relationship was stormy. Fighting about money and parenting was constant.

    I will admit, even though it shames me, that I learned how to get what I wanted by wearing my parents down and constantly making my case for whatever it was I wanted. I never learned this was wrong. I thought I was clever with my arguments. Oh how wrong I see I was.

    Like this lady, I thought I knew best. A decade of single parenthood reinforced this misconception that I know best. I kept us from homelessness by my hard work. I made choices that improved our circumstances. I made my bed and I had to lay in it. If I didn’t make the right choice then our life would fall apart.

    On top of this, I had been raped about a year before falling pregnant. I have been sexually assaulted on two other occassions as well. My trust in people has been damaged as much as I want to think it hasn’t. My experiences have warped me.

    There is so much conflict inside of me that needs to be corrected. My desire to be a housewife/sahm is very strong. I would give up so much to be able to continue staying home. My greatest confidence are my domestic skills. I WANT to be a Godly wife. But my experiences have taught me I have to fend for myself. Scenes like this commercial have played out in my marriage multiple times.

    I am upset that our culture has turned God’s natural order on it’s head. I am angry that I have had to go through what I have at the hands of men with evil intent. I am so mad at myself for all the hurt I have caused. No wonder my husband fears having a child with me. 😥

    Oh April, this is such a big knot! 😥 We are starting counselling with the minister at the Baptist church we’ve been to twice. He recommended reading Love and Respect and so I know his advice should be sound.

    Can anyone point me toward some scripture that I can fall on when I am so overwhelmed by this process? I don’t even have my Bible because I foolishly packed it in our shipment that went to storage when we moved from Germany and I won’t have it again until we buy a house. Surfing for scripture isn’t as natural to me as perusing the Bible in hand.

    1. Lively writer,

      Check out the scriptures that J posted on today’s post my precious girl! I completely understand why you are where you are. Where else could you be after all the experiences you have had?

      Praise. God, He is able to heal you, transform you and give you a hope and a future.

      Your story is not rare. I wish it was! I wish every woman had a very godly home growing up and never faced abuse or molestation or rape. I wish we all had learned godly wisdom from our surroundings instead of lies and falsehoods. But God is able to give us the power to overcome this!!!!!

      Praying for you! Please comment any time. You will find a lot of love, encouragement and support here. 🙂

      Much love!
      April

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.

%d bloggers like this: