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Respecting Your Husband around Extended Family


Some suggestions  to consider for honoring your husband at family get-togethers (you are welcome to share tips on these issues that work in your marriage!):

– Smile and look at your husband when he is talking and listen to him with interest.

– Don’t interrupt him.

– Don’t correct his story-telling.

– Don’t tell him how to drive unless he specifically asks for you to be the navigator.  But even then, please don’t critique his driving skills.

– Let him decide what to eat and don’t lecture him or give him THE LOOK!

– Allow him the freedom to go talk with the men if he wants to or to watch the football game he is interested in.  You can ask for what you want, “I’d love for you to sit with us in the other room for awhile, please” with a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.  But then be gracious no matter what he chooses to do.

– If you feel that people are getting nosy and asking things you don’t want to answer and you feel stressed out, “When are you having a baby?  Are you ever going to get pregnant?”  or other personal questions – smile and look at your husband and let him field those questions (especially if it is his family that is asking, there is tension or if you are feeling pressured).  If he’s not there, or you don’t mind answering, then smile and say something to deflect the question, “Children are a blessing, aren’t they?”  ”We’ll be sure to let everyone know if we have any news.”  And change the topic sweetly.

– Praise him genuinely in front of others (not constantly – but a few sentences during the day would be great).

– If there are people who verbally attack you in the extended family, stay in the same room as your husband.  Most likely, these people will only attack you if they can get you alone so that there are no witnesses.

– Do not criticize him, speak negatively of him or use non-verbal disrespect (eye rolling, sighing, looking impatient, scowling, daggers in your eyes).

– Do not join in with other wives bashing their husbands!!!!  Even if your husband never knows about it, putting your man down in front of other people is extremely disrespectful and it will taint your ability to respect your husband.  And – it is sin in the eyes of God.  If the women won’t change the topic off of husband bashing or gossip, go in and join the men!  Or go play with all the children.

– If people want you to commit your family to something, check with your husband first, or if he is there, look at him, smile and let him answer.

– Uphold your husband’s parenting decisions (ESPECIALLY in front of others!).

– Smile and enjoy the blessing of being with your husband and family.

– Do not complain or argue – that ruins your witness for Christ and it can ruin the whole atmosphere for everyone (Philippians 2:14-16a This is a command from God for all of us as believers so that we may shine for Christ!  Great passage to memorize.).

– If a particular family member refuses to allow your husband to come to his/her house – I believe it would be best if you don’t go either.  No need to create a big fuss.  Just simply say, “Ok, I understand.  But if my husband isn’t welcome, then my children and I are not going to be able to come.”   That is all you have to say.  If they try to engage in an argument, refuse to engage.  Just repeat, “You are free to make any decision you like.  I love you and I really would like us all to be together.  But none of us will be able to come if my husband is not welcome and treated with respect.”  Family is important!  I want you to be able to be with all of your family and to love and enjoy them.  But, if you have to choose – you have a covenant with your husband that you do not have with your family.  Honor your husband first.  Honor your marriage covenant before God first.  Your husband needs to know that he comes before your family – and your family needs to know that, too!  If you do not properly “leave” your family and cleave to your husband, your family will almost always gladly overstep their bounds and become too involved in your life.  They will expect you to put them first.  That is not right.  Your husband is to be your first human priority.

– If a family member of yours disrespects your husband, I would suggest gently but firmly saying, “Please do not disrespect my husband.” Or “Please do not speak to/about my husband like that.”

– If a family member of your husband’s disrespects him – I believe it may be best for him to handle that situation and for you to trust him to handle his own family dynamics.

– Do not be a martyr!  Ask for help if you need it!  If you can’t make a certain dish without feeling resentful – don’t make it!

– Don’t correct his manners.

– Don’t correct his pronunciation.

– Don’t insinuate he doesn’t make enough money.

– Be content with him and what you have.

– Find your strength, joy, identity and purpose in Christ!!

– Don’t try to force your husband (or anyone that is an adult) into doing something they don’t want to do.

– Make sure there will be some of your husband’s favorite dishes if possible.

– If possible, go where your husband wants to go when he wants to go there.  Of course, say what your preferences and desires are – in a friendly, non-pressuring way.  But, it would be awesome if he could have the final say if you can’t agree on the plans.

Remember, ladies, WE have the power to set the emotional temperature for our families.  Let’s use that power constructively to make Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations pleasant, harmonious and peaceful!  It is our choice to make.

37 thoughts on “Respecting Your Husband around Extended Family

  1. Ugh, I needed this post 🙂
    I would like to ask about your opinion on one case:
    My husband believes that his brother-in-law tried to ridicule him by sending e-mails from their friends account (it was pretending that he was interested in God and the bible, so my husband was glad to explain any questions but the question were more and more silly, making clear that someone is making a joke of my hubby). We have no proof that it was him, it is just a suspicion based of how well my husband knows his family. Now his sister invited us for their son’s birthday party. Actually she is sending messages only to me even she wants to tell something to my husband. It’s weird. I feel very uncomfortable in this situation. I would like to make at least a courtesy visit to our nephew’s party. But my husband refuses and doesn’t want me to go either. So it is almost like point 15 from the list above but a little reversed. We only have suspicions of his brother-in-law&sister fault (and the history of his sister ever talking to us only when she is in need…) on the one hand and nice people inviting us to the family party for whom we would look like we are isolating from them of nowhere, on the other hand. And I am in the middle of it, because only I get the prompts about the party and probably would be responsible to first telling we won’t attend! I am one of the peacemaker kinds and if it would be for me I would just go, be nice and leave early… meh :/ halp! Any suggestions or uplifting words appreciated :>

    1. Lilli,

      Yuck. None of us like situations like this!

      My suggestion is to say, “I really want to take our son to the party. I don’t want there to be tension between us and your family.”

      Then if he insists, say, “it makes me really sad, but I trust you to do what is best for our family and for your relationship with your brother and his wife. I will honor your decision.”

      Then respectfully decline the invitation. “I am so sorry, we are not able to come. Thank you so much for inviting us.”

      Don’t get into details about why you are not going. If the SIL presses you, you can refer her to your husband.

      I pray God will give you wisdom! Please let me know how you are doing. 🙂

      1. Lilli,

        You could also say, “Honey, I will honor your decision for us not to go. But will you please be the one to tell your SIL. It stresses me out to feel like I am in the middle of this issue.”

      2. Thank you April!

        I have prayed soon after listing this question and I gained courage to talk to my husband gently about SIL and he BY HIMSELF proposed that “I guess it won’t hurt of we go just for a while.” YAY! I <3 u God!

        So many times I don't know how to approach issues. I guess I'm in the quiet phase by default, your ideas of right word to say are brilliant for wives like me. Thank you for this blog and thank God for your change. God bless you <3

  2. This is an amazing post! Thank you! I feel very sad that this day and age this instruction can be very much needed to balance your husband and your family. The disrespect of husbands and men in general in today’s culture is too much a “norm” for too many woman!! And I sadly participated in the past! I am so glad that my Savior redeems and has changed my heart to honor my husband !! He is a great man that takes care of our family and I am happy to hear of the suggestion to genuinely praise my husband in front of others. I have caught myself doing this more these last few months ! It is becoming more natural than a direct thought. Thank you again for your relevant posts !!!

    1. prayingwife79,
      You are more than welcome. For those wives who haven’t had godly examples to follow, it is specific examples in these kinds of practical situations that can be very helpful.

      Let me know how things go! 🙂

  3. I too have a question:
    I have been married for 10 years and we have 3 children. My husband’s family is verbally abusive to me and my children when we are all together as a family. My children and I have left more than once in tears. His father has even made sexual advances towards me in private, which my husband knows about and has forgiven his father for. My husband is a wonderful, God fearing man but alters his attitude and personality to fit and gain approval from his parents. (long story of childhood abuse that he hasn’t gotten away from). When I calmly try to explain my feelings of anxiety, and apprehension about a family gathering he becomes angry, belittles me and my feelings. I always take part in family events in order to keep the peace but since my children were directly involved at the last gathering and victims of verbal abuse I am feeling all the more like I need to stay away and allow my husband to go alone. How do you suggest I handle this situation?

    Your blog is so encouraging. I have directed several friends to join in. There is such a need for today’s young wives to have this type of encouragement and guidance our society suggests such the opposite of what God has designed for marriage.
    Thank you for your time and your work!

    1. Anita,

      How is your marriage going generally? Does your husband usually feel respected and confident in his decisions? Is he generally loving and selfless toward you and your children?

      What a toxic situation with his family. Goodness! I can see why you don’t want to go.

      What was said to you and your children last time?

      I think your feelings are really important. I think your concerns for your children are important. I think it would be important to say, “I know that going to your family’s for Christmas is important to you, and I want to be able to go and support you and it would be great if we could all be together. I am feeling pretty nervous/scared about going because of what happened last time. I’m not sure what to do about it. Do you have any suggestions for me and for our kids?”

      Ideally, you would stay under your husband’s protection and covering if you do have to go. I would try to stay in the same room with him. In-laws are much more likely to target you if they get you alone.

      If they do say something hateful/hurtful – hopefully you are near your husband and can look to him and allow him to handle it. If you need to, maybe you can take the children outside or on a walk. If your husband does not do anything, you may need to say, “That was really hurtful. I need to take the children and leave now.” or just tell your husband, “I can’t take this. It upsets me too much. I want to leave now, please.”

      Has your husband ever said anything to stand up to his family for himself?

      Much love,

      1. Thank you for your responses. I went back and read the post you suggested. It seems these relationships happen often and more people struggle with them than I suspected. It helps to know I am not alone. I really connected with one post about the FIL spanking the child and leaving a red place. I have had to stand up to my FIL and be the “momma bear” on two occasions similar with my children. I saw him spank my son while my husband and I were both there and my husband would not stand up to his dad so I stepped in and handled it myself. So, the next time my FIL put his hands on my child in anger I automatically took control because I felt my husband did not have the courage or desire to do it himself because of the abuse he received as a child.

        To answer your questions….I have just started on the respectful wife journey about 6 months ago and like I said we have been married for 10 years so I have a lot of past hurts and disrespects to get through. So, I would say: No, my husband does not have full confidence in my respect and submission at this point. He is not generally loving and selfless with the children and I at home, just at times. He has struggles and his own journey to take where that is concerned. He had a very hard childhood. He has made a tremendous effort to let God take over his heart and he has very much improved over the years. We are both clay in our Potter’s hands.

        The very last time we were together with his family my husband’s aunt was upset about a relationship that was going on between my daughter and another child that she knew. Apparently the child my daughter had chosen to befriend had also been a friend to my husband’s aunts daughter and they had an argument and parted ways. The aunt cornered my daughter (literally backed her up in a corner of the room) and proceeded to berate her about her relationship with this other girl. My husband and I were both outside at this time and unaware of these events. After the aunt was done with my daughter she came to where I was outside and started to do the same with me. Things like ” what kind of mother are you to allow your child to have a relationship with that kind of person?”, ” I thought you were homeschooling now to keep her away from trash like that?”, “That girl talks bad about my daughter, family is more important.” etc. Now, I am not one for confrontation! I get all shaky, scared and I don’t know how to handle it. (I was raised in a strict Christian home where no yelling was ever done and no one was ever gossiping or talking bad about others.) I tried to defuse the situation with patience and asking her why she felt the way she did because I did genuinely want to know if there was something legitimately toxic about the girl and maybe I should sever the relationship she was beginning with my daughter. The aunt became so upset with me I ended up walking away, there was no talking with her she was so out of control by this point. My daughter then comes to me with tears in her eyes, face all red and proceeds to tell me what had happened with her. I left my daughter with my SIL in the bathroom to clean up and went to find my husband. I told him what was said and he dismissed the situation and myself. I went to confront the aunt and let her know she crossed the line when cornering my child and confronting her about things without her dad or I present but the aunt had taken off for home because she was so angry.

        I have never heard my husband stand up to anyone in his family about anything at all. I do not know why this is. My husband is normally very in control of things, is good at making decisions and he is easy to follow when he is away from his family because he has no problem taking the lead and exerting his control. With his family it is completely different, he changes into a person I do not recognize. He is controlled rather than controlling, indecisive rather than decisive and weak minded rather than confident.

        Thank you for all the suggestions in your previous reply. I think this is a wonderful statement I will most likely use. (I know that going to your family’s for Christmas is important to you, and I want to be able to go and support you and it would be great if we could all be together. I am feeling pretty nervous/scared about going because of what happened last time. I’m not sure what to do about it. Do you have any suggestions for me and for our kids?”)

        Then I will take the suggestions, pray for guidance and trust in God and my husband.

        Thank you again

        1. Anita,

          It will take time for your husband to learn to stand up for himself first. If he is not standing up for himself, he is not going to stand up for anyone else, most likely.

          But, as you support and encourage his leadership and he begins to be more confident in himself as a leader, in time, I believe he may develop the strength to stand up against his family when necessary. This will take time.

          Sometimes husbands will try to avoid conflict – especially with a group of angry women.

          If you are acting with respect toward his family members, and honoring his requests of how to treat his family, and you stay under his covering and protection, he may eventually be willing to set boundaries and limits with his family.

          It’s fine to say, “This really hurts me. I don’t know what do to. I don’t want our daughter to feel upset. I don’t like this situation at all.”

          If the same kind of thing continues to happen, you may need to say, “I don’t want to go to X’s house.”

          But – if you stay in the same room as your husband, and have your children stay in the same room with him, too – most likely – his family members will not attack you or your children with your husband present. Family members like that usually try to get you isolated before they do that, so that there are no witnesses.

          If you do go, stay in the room with your husband whenever possible and see if things don’t improve dramatically. 🙂

  4. Wow! Was logging on to let you know that I’m beginning the respect dare tomorrow & want to request prayer as God breaks down my old selfish walls and helps me to better let my light so shine. . . didn’t expect to deal with this particular expectation tonight. . . . In my humble opinion your husbands assessment of this frustrating situation is BRILLIANT!!! I sooooooo wish I would’ve had that perspective 15 years ago . . .man, the power struggles that never would’ve been!! Of course (!) we have to fall under our husbands umbrella of protection before he can protect us . . . makes total sense NOW . . .Love your additional information too. . . .you guys are right on target here. . . A big THANK YOU from me AND my MIL! This post just made Thanksgiving a whole lot easier 🙂 LOL!

    1. Referring to his comment in your previous post about why husbands won’t protect us from their families. . .

  5. I am going to need this so much for the holidays. I think I will print it out and read it daily, to make sure I have everything covered. May God help us!

  6. Some of this post bugs me a little bit. Around friends I’d agree there needs to be a certain ‘front’ but this sounds like you’re advising couples to prepare the same show for the family. It’s a shame if that is necessary. I mean, letting him answer all the questions? Really?

    1. uncherisheddaughter,

      If there is tension in the family, or the family tends to be hateful toward the wife – I would then suggest allowing him to handle his family and answer the questions. That is the scenario I am talking about. If there is no tension, and everyone gets along – that wouldn’t be necessary, thankfully! 🙂

      If family begins to pressure the wife into answering questions she doesn’t want to answer, pushing to know things she prefers to keep to herself – she could allow her husband to field those questions – particularly if it is his family.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. My husband never ever stands up for me. He has a grown daughter and son. No matter what they say or do to me, he does not defend me. He and I have been married for 4 years. It has been like this the whole time. It is very hurtful.
    My husband recently traveled to stay 2 weeks with his daughter and grandchildren.. I was told to stay because I needed to work. It was the hardest thing in the world to hear about their fun family times with me being left behind.
    My husbands first priority is his children and grandchildren. My concerns or problems do not bother him at all. But their problems are of great concern.
    By the way my husband is a pastor.
    His wayward son has actually stolen from me several times. But there is still no concern for me. Or the fact that I work very hard for my money. His son is still welcomed back to our home.
    I’m pretty sure this all means the man I married feels no love for me what soever. I can not make him love or defend me.
    I actually thought God brought us together. I was so sure of it.

    1. Sheila,

      I am so sorry for your pain!! 🙁

      Your husband may not have his priorities right in your marriage, but that does not mean he doesn’t love you at all. True, you cannot make him love or defend you. You can only control you. And you can allow God to control you – and at that point, God may use you to influence your husband. Or God may convict your husband of error and sin and wrong priorities.

      Have you told him that you feel sad that you don’t get to go?

      What does he say he wants in the marriage? How is your relationship going other than the issue with his children?

      What do you say and what do you do when you feel slighted and unloved? What words do you use? What tone of voice? What facial expressions?

      Does your husband know you respect him and honor his ministry and spiritual leadership in the marriage?

      If you haven’t read them, check out the posts at the top of my home page about respect and disrespect.

      My greatest concern is your walk with Christ, your obedience to Him and you becoming the godly wife God desires you to be.

      I am glad to walk beside you on this journey, to pray with you, to pray for your husband and for God’s greatest glory in your life!

      1. My husband is a great pastor. I brag on his sermons and praise his ministry on a regular basis. But I find it hard sometimes to hear these sermons when I feel mistreated. When I feel slighted I do confront him. I do it in a gentle manner but it always turns into a fight. He wants me to be quiet and never complain.
        I have a very hard time just staying silent when I feel mistreated. When he and his daughter talk on the phone he is careful to not bring my name up at all. She will not mention me either. This is extremely painful. There is no respect for me. Its as if Im a ghost.
        I often feel used. I supply him with health insurance, retirement, and my home. I give him my paycheck to pay the bills. His income is very little right now. But Its never acknowledged that there is anything good about me.
        But my weakness is I bring up these hurtful situations and it makes him angry. You can not argue with a pastor. They throw every verse in the Bible at you. It just makes me angrier.

        1. Sheila,

          Husbands want to feel like they are doing a great job and their wives trust and respect them. Sometimes, if we confront them, even gently, they feel like failures.

          It is not wrong to share your feelings when you feel mistreated. I believe it is important to share your feelings, but to do so in a way that doesn’t blame or condemn him.

          When a wife is the primary breadwinner, it almost always breeds serious disrespect in her for her husband and often makes a husband feel emasculated.

          Respect for him is going to be even more important in your situation!

          What are the big issues that make you feel mistreated?

          Is it just the not talking about you on the phone with his daughter?

          What does he ask from you?

          What does he say he needs from you?

          How to you approach him when you confront him?

          Let’s hash through this together. 🙂

          1. Ok where are your counseling credentials? I want to see your degree in psychology. Where do you get off saying that “When the wife is the breadwinner it almost always breeds serious disrespect in her for her husband”? You are full of absolute bull! That is NOT “almost always” the case! Just because a woman is making more money than a man? If he feels imasculated, then they need to have a discussion and figure out why. It is not automatically the fault of the wife and having a higher paying job is not the cause of disrespect for her husband. You need to wake up and stop teaching women that we are inferior to men! You are causing so much harm to wine and encouraging them to stay in abusinve relationships. Not only that, but you are encouraging the abuse itself. You are telling them that their husband is right when he makes her feel inferior to him. You are despicable and I hope women everywhere stop listening to you. If your husband is abusing you, don’t encourage other women to endure it! Get help, get out, and help other women to get out! Greg, I really hope you get some help too.

            1. Kathleen,

              Wow. That is a ton of anger you have. If I believed that I was teaching what you think I am teaching, I would be really angry, too. I think you are mishearing and misunderstanding me pretty dramatically which makes me really sad.

              I am happy to change the wording to, “in my experience,” because it was true for me and for the vast majority of the women in a breadwinner’s support online group that I moderated a few years ago. It is extra challenging to respect a husband – for many wives I have known – when the wife makes most or all of the money.

              There is actually research that backs this up – that the dynamics shift in destructive ways when the wife earns even a bit more than her husband in many cases. The post below describes what often happens: She begins to feel resentful. She is often handling most of the chores, as well. She is overwhelmed. She is exhausted. He is more likely to cheat on her. It is tougher many times for a woman to respect a man who is not pulling his weight or as much weight financially in the marriage, and who is not doing as much of the housework and child care. She begins to feel like he is a burden and a free-loader. The divorce rates increase noticeably. This is secular research. You are welcome to take a look. (Thankfully, all of these things did not play out in our marriage. But I was certainly prideful, self-righteous, resentful, bitter, disrespectful, controlling, and condescending. My husband became more and more passive because he was not safe with me. I wish he had confronted me about my sin. But he never did.)


              Here is a post that talks about the resentment that breadwinner wives tend to feel in the Huffington Post.

              Resentment and bitterness – over anything – destroys relationships.

              It is not the actual amount of money that each spouse makes that is the issue. It is the expectations and relationship dynamics and how they are impacted that creates the strain. Yes, it is possible for a wife to earn more and for a couple to be happily married, but after over 6 million views and over 50,0000 comments on my site and discussions with hundreds of wives (and dozens of husbands) in similar situations, and even after my asking for happily married wives in this reversed dynamic to come forward and share how they make it work, I have not found many couples where the dynamics are healthy in this scenario. I would love to find a few. That would be amazing! 🙂

              I agree that it is not automatically the wife’s fault if a husband feels emasculated. That is actually not the primary issue to which I am referring here. I am primarily referring to a wife’s resentment of her husband because she is feeling that she is carrying too much weight and he is not carrying enough in the marriage. Ideally, yes! They should talk together about why she is feeling resentful, if she is, and why he is feeling emasculated, if he is, and then work together to create a win/win they can both enjoy.

            2. Kathleen,
              I do take great issue with you accusing me of teaching that women are inferior to men and that women should be abused. I have written dozens of posts against both of those issues and I am just as passionate as you are that women should be treated well, with honor, dignity, respect, and love, and that no one should be abused or sinned against at all. I am happy to share the links of some of the posts if you would like to see them.

              I also take great issue with you accusing Greg of abusing me. My husband has NEVER abused me. He is the most gentle, patient, soft-spoken man I know. He bends over backwards to love and treat me well and to make sure my needs and desires are met. He doesn’t demand anything of me. He doesn’t force anything on me. He cares about my feelings and concerns. He listens and values my opinions and intelligence.

              I was the abusive one in the marriage for over 14 years. I was emotionally and verbally abusive to Greg. I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to what I was doing and how I was sabotaging our marriage.

              I am happy to have a respectful discussion with you about these important issues that are so critical to all women. But if you continue to misconstrue, attack, and completely misunderstand, we may have to end the conversation.

              With much love. I pray you will find the hope and healing that is available in Christ Jesus. 🙂

    2. Sheila, you are not the problem here, no matter what anyone says. Your husband’s behavior is the problem. If you can, you should try to talk to him and tell him exactly how you feel. Remind him that a marriage is an equal partnership and he does not get to have the final vote on what happens in your life. It sounds to me like his beliefs are completely skewed. You are his equal, not his subordinate. You are not inferior to him. You could also try couples counseling to help get him to understand how harmful his behavior is to your marriage and how unloved he makes you feel.

  8. I still feel very ashamed that I allowed my mother to abuse my wife, for years, before I finally put a stop to it. Previously, virtually every phone-call, my mother would criticize my wife. First it was her weight. We got her to stop.So, she criticized my wife’s debt. Then her job. There was always something. No advice given. Just going on and on about it. I grew up receiving this kind of abuse, so I didn’t realize it was very wrong. My wife would almost be in tears every time we were about to call and all I would say was ‘fight back’ which she didn’t know how to do. Finally, my parents stopped living together and I kicked my mother out of our lives for 3 years. My wife endured far too much abuse that I could have prevented. We’ve both had therapy and I’m a lot stronger now. My mother is also much more civil with us. Grand-children help of course. However, I still feel ashamed that I allowed it for so long.

    1. Eric V,

      You know what? I understand why you didn’t see the depth of the issue at first, considering you were so used to that kind of treatment. But I am so impressed and thankful for the godly leadership that you have shown in recent years. THANK YOU for standing up for your wife and for protecting her from your mom. I am sure that was the most difficult thing you have probably ever had to do. But it was a blessing to your marriage and I am sure has brought much needed healing and unity to your marriage.

      I’m so thankful that you are stronger now. I am thankful that you put an end to that toxic influence in your family. And I believe it was a huge blessing to your mother that you stopped tolerating her sinful behavior because it forced her to have to see her sin.

      This is a happy ending because of your willingness to lead in a godly way.

      If we all knew years ago what we know now, we wouldn’t make so many mistakes, but part if life is that we don’t know everything and we learn as we go.

      Jesus’ blood is more than adequate to cover your handling of the situation between your wife and mother years ago. God is able to forgive you. And if Jesus’ blood is sufficient for God to be able to forgive you, then you are certainly in a position where you can forgive yourself – for you are not above God. 🙂

      I am sure that you apologized to your wife. And then you protected her and were the man God desired you to be.

      That is success, my brother!

      You learned from the situation. You corrected it – and everyone benefited. GREAT JOB!

      How I wish every marriage had a husband who was willing to protect the marriage at all costs. 🙂

      1. Eric V.,


        When I first saw my 14+ years of disrespect, pride, idolatry of self, control and how much I had hurt my husband – I was mortified. I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life and never face another person. I had to come face to face with the fact that I am a wretched sinner. I wanted to erase all my sin. I couldn’t imagine how God could do anything good with that.

        But here I am today. God is using my 14+ years of sin to draw thousands of women around the world to Himself.

        Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.

        Maybe he will use you to inspire other husbands to lead in a godly way? I don’t know. But I do know our God – and He is able to use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose – even our sin and failures and mistakes.

        How AMAZING is that!?!?!

  9. Explain to me why I need to let my husband “field those questions” and why I always have to look to him before I answer. I am a person and an EQUAL PARTNER in our marriage. We rely on each other and we help each other. We work together as partners. He is not above me and I am not above him. I am not a lesser being because I was born a woman.

    1. Kathleen,

      If family members are grating in a wife’s nerves wtih nosy questions, she may decide to let her husband handle those questions because if those questions upset a woman, and her husband isn’t upset by dealing with stuff like that, why not let him handle it? For some women, those kinds of questions can ruin a whole weekend. If she doesn’t mind answering and it doesn’t phase her, of course she may answer.

      We are equal in worth and value in God’s eyes. Gen. 1:27 and Gal. 3:28. And we are equal partners. One is not more valuable than the other. One is not inferior to the other at all. We are joint heirsof Christ.

      But we do not have exactly the same roles in God’s design for marriage. The husband is to lead, not dominate, but humbly, sacrificially, lovingly lead. He is to lay down his life for her as Jesus laid down his life for the church. The wife is to honor her husband and respect him. Both are to live in total submission to Christ as Lord. It is all to be about honoring Him and embracing His wisdom over human wisdom.

      What is your relationship to Christ, please? And what do you believe about the authority of the Bible?

      Much love!

  10. My calling is Titus 2:3-5 and I will answer to God, Himself, for every word I share here. It is an honor and privilege I do not take lightly. My goal is to uphold God’s Word and to handle the Bible rightly so that He will be pleased and His kingdom’s purposes might be advanced.

    Anyone who is interested, you are welcome to search my home page for terms like:

    – abuse
    – disclaimers
    – spiritual authority
    – a husband’s and a wife’s authority in marriage
    – biblical submission is not passivity
    – doormats don’t glorify God either
    – 25 ways to respect myself
    – God’s design for marriage
    – godly femininity
    – confronting our husbands about sin
    – should I stay or should I go?
    – hatred, rage, and violence

    When a couple honors God’s design and His wisdom – which is always very different from human wisdom – it is kind of like the beauty that happens with couples ice skating in the Olympics. They don’t both pick each other up. They don’t both get thrown up into the air. Each skater has equal value and worth. Each equally represents his/her country. But the man has one role and the woman another because of their unique build and strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly, as the man does the heavy lifting and the woman is spinning in the air gracefully – all eyes are on her. She is the one who receives the most attention and glory, even though their roles are not exactly the same at every point in the routine. The goal is ultimately to bring great honor to themselves as a team, to their coach, and to their country as they each play their unique role for which they have trained. It is the same with believers in Christ. As we live out the roles God gives us by His Spirit’s power filling us, our marriage is healthy, we portray the relationship between Christ and the church to our children, they are blessed, the church is blessed, and Christ is honored and glorified.

    This won’t make sense to those who don’t know Christ personally. The things God asks us to do are things the world hates:
    – forgive
    – embrace humility
    – die to self
    – not seek the approval of men
    – give in secret
    – pray in secret
    – not care about fame, power, or $
    – love those who hate us
    – pray for those who mistreat us
    – bless those who curse us
    – honor those in positions of God-given authority – like in the government, at work, in the home, and at church
    – reverence the Bible as the source of absolute authority
    – etc…

    I lift up Kathleen to You. You know her heart. You love her deeply and have prepared such great spiritual riches and treasures for her. I can’t open her eyes to Your truth and beauty. I can’t make her understand your ways. I couldn’t even open my own eyes! How I thank You that You opened my eyes to my personal mountain of sin 7.5 years ago and for the ways You have so dramatically transformed my heart, my desires, and my soul. I pray for Kathleen to experience the same kind of healing and transformation by Your power whether she is currently a child of Yours or not. She is not my enemy. The battle is not against flesh and blood. Thank You for this opportunity to love Kathleen and to pray for Your blessing on her life and marriage and that Your glory might be manifested in all that she does. Set her free from any lies of the enemy. Let her taste Your goodness and let her love You and Your Word. Empower her to become a godly woman who accomplishes mighty things in Your kingdom.

    In the Name and power of Christ,

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