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My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 1

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Administrative Note:

I am taking an email vacation through January 6th.  You are welcome to comment on posts, but please hold emails for me until January 7th.  I appreciate your patience and understanding! 🙂

“I’M THE SPIRITUALLY MATURE ONE, I HAVE TO LEAD”

It is a VERY tough position to be in to want to be close to God, to want to obey God and to feel like you can’t follow your husband.

  • You may long for him to lead a family devotion time, or prayer time.
  • You may want him to be the one to tell the children why it’s important to go to church or to plan out character lessons to teach each child.
  • You may want him to work with the kids on memory verses.
  • You may wish that your husband spent more time with the family and not so much time at work.
  • You may feel like you HAVE to take over the leadership role because it doesn’t seem like he wants it.
  • You might be praying every single day for God to change your husband and cause him to be more like Christ.
  • You may feel like your husband isn’t as close to God as he should be.
  • Maybe you don’t see him praying.
  • Maybe you are in charge of the finances and working full time and keeping the house and taking care of the children and it seems like an unfair majority of the burden is on your shoulders.
  • Maybe you ask your husband to help you, but he just ignores you and keeps watching tv.
  • Maybe you tell him how unhappy you are and what you need and it feels like you are talking to a wall.
  • Maybe you try to draw near to him and tell him about your pain so he will see how much you hurt and fix it, and he gets REALLY angry and lashes out at you and begins talking about your faults.
  • Maybe you ask for your husband’s input or decision-making and he just never answers or says the dreaded, “I don’t know” phrase or he ignores you, or just tells you to do whatever you want and you feel like he doesn’t care and isn’t plugged in to the family and the marriage.

“GOD’S DESIGN WON’T WORK IN MY SITUATION”

If these things sound familiar to you – you are not alone! Many wives feel like this and struggle daily with these same issues. Yes, this situation is extremely discouraging and you may think that your husband just doesn’t love you anymore or that following your husband’s leadership just isn’t possible in your case. You might think he can’t lead the family. You might just write him off as not being able to ever “man-up” and take care of family responsibilities. You might be wondering why God isn’t answering your prayers? Why isn’t your husband changing? You are praying clearly for God’s will – a godly husband who is a strong, Christ-like leader for your family. Why on earth have your prayers gone unanswered for months or years or decades? Why doesn’t God hear?

Precious, beautiful wife, I obviously don’t know your situation. But God does! There is GREAT HOPE in Christ!!!!

There are several very central, CRITICAL truths I have learned as a Christian and as a wife that have changed my life and my marriage that I want to share (with my husband’s whole-hearted approval) with wives who might be in a similar place to where I was years ago:

  • GOD IS SOVEREIGN – EVEN OVER MY MARRIAGE, EVEN OVER MY HUSBAND, AND OVER MY LIFE.
  • I CANNOT CHANGE MY HUSBAND AND MAKE HIM MORE LIKE CHRIST. I can aggravate him, push him away from God, make him want to be far away from me and make us both miserable by trying to change him, make him dread being in the same room with me, but I cannot change him – not for the better! I am not the Holy Spirit!
  • GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CHANGE MY HUSBAND – HIS WAY AND HIS TIMING IS BEST.
  • MY JOB IS TO OBEY GOD ON MY END AND NOT WORRY ABOUT MY HUSBAND’S SIDE OF THE EQUATION, BUT TRUST GOD AND DO MY PART.
  • WHEN I DO OBEY GOD AS A WIFE, I OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO WORK IN MYSELF, MY MARRIAGE, MY HUSBAND AND OUR CHILDREN.
  • MY OBEDIENCE CAN REALLY SPEED UP THE PROCESS FOR GOD TO CHANGE MY HUSBAND.
  • MY DISOBEDIENCE CAN KEEP MY HUSBAND FROM HEARING GOD’S VOICE AND CAN PUSH MY HUSBAND AWAY FROM ME AND FROM GOD.
  • I HAVE A FOREST OF TREES IN MY OWN EYE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SPECK IN MY HUSBAND’S EYE.
  • I CAN DO NOTHING GOOD APART FROM CHRIST AND HIS POWER WORKING IN ME.
  • I AM UTTERLY SINFUL AND WRETCHED ON MY OWN.
  • I NEED TO LIVE IN HUMILITY WITH A VERY REAL AWARENESS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF MY OWN FAULTS AND HOW SMALL AND IMPOTENT I AM AND HOW HUGE, POWERFUL, SOVEREIGN, ALL-KNOWING, WISE, LOVING, MERCIFUL, FORGIVING AND HOLY GOD IS!

SELF EVALUATION TIME

Whew! This stuff is ugly. I don’t really enjoy this part, but unless we open up our own souls and allow God’s Word to shine in there to the darkest corners, we can’t move on to the great stuff.  This is where we learn to “die to self” and live for Christ. I would like for you to consider some things and whether or not these may be possibilities in your heart and in your marriage as we think about the issue of your husband’s leadership in your home. We are only going to look at ourselves as wives in this exercise and how we may be contributing to the success or failure of our husband’s leadership in our marriages. Please stop and pray and ask God to give you insight and wisdom into your own heart and life, as well as conviction wherever it is needed from His perspective. Please meditate and pray about how many of the following may apply to you and your marriage – many applied in mine, but not all –  (if you are dealing with an active addict, someone chronically unfaithful, a hardened criminal, or someone with an uncontrolled mental health disorder – please get godly, experienced help ASAP! Following a husband in these cases could be very dangerous. Safety for you and your children is the priority if you are in a physically abusive situation!!):

  • If I ask my husband to make a decision, and he doesn’t give me a “real” answer within 5-30 minutes, I get angry.
  • I yell at my husband, throw things at him, and call him horrible names.
  • I attack my husband’s character when we argue.
  • If my husband asks me to do something I don’t like or don’t agree with, I refuse to go along with him. I will only follow if he leads where I want to go.
  • If my husband comes up with an idea or plan, I find fault with his thinking and his solutions and tell him that his way won’t work, only my way will.
  • I criticize my husband’s opinions, preferences, tastes, wardrobe, hair style, hobbies, thoughts, suggestions, and plans.
  • I react negatively when my husband tries to help me. He just doesn’t load the dishwasher right, or change the baby’s diaper right, or fold the laundry right.He never hears me praise him and say, “Thank you SO much for the help!” He only hears me say, “I’m going to have to redo it all the RIGHT way!” Or “Why can’t you ever get it right?” or “That is C+ work, not A material.” Or “You’re not doing it right!”
  • If my husband tries to please me, what he does is never enough, I always want more than what he delivered.
  • I frown at my husband a lot.
  • I sound angry, frustrated, impatient, and like I am reprimanding and scolding a naughty little boy many times when I speak to my husband.
  • My facial expressions, my tone of voice, my words sound condemning of my husband often.
  • I act disrespectfully towards my husband to show him that he needs to pull his weight more and love me more and to show him how unhappy I am.
  • I withhold physical intimacy with my husband to punish him.
  • My husband often rejects me physically – it feels like I am pursuing him and it seems like he has lost his attraction for me.
  • My husband tends to ignore me a lot.
  • I feel very lonely, like the whole weight of the entire marriage and family is on my shoulders alone. I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done.
  • I have to take over leadership because my husband won’t lead.
  • I have very specific ideas about what a husband’s leadership should be and my husband is not meeting my standards.
  • I am always “right” and I make sure my husband knows that he is always wrong. My way is best. I know best what our family and marriage needs.
  • I don’t trust my husband’s ideas.
  • If I let my husband be in charge he’d destroy our lives.
  • I think my husband’s ideas are ridiculous.
  • I don’t think my husband can be an effective leader.
  • I think my husband is an overgrown boy.
  • I have to correct my husband when he is talking with other people or he gets things wrong.
  • I have to tell my husband what to do or he does nothing.
  • I’m very intelligent, strong-willed, perfectionistic, opinionated, and possibly some family members might say I could be “controlling.”
  • Thinking of yielding my control makes me have a panic attack. THE WORLD WILL FALL APART IF I AM NOT IN CHARGE!
  • I am exhausted from trying to take care of everything myself all the time. I don’t relax.
  • I resent my husband for relaxing and taking time for himself to recharge.
  • I cannot or will not forgive my husband for how he has hurt me in the past.

Tomorrow – we will continue this discussion! 🙂

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 2

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 3

45 thoughts on “My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 1

  1. Boy, you sure do like to go right for the soft spots don’t you! 🙂 Just kidding – direct and honest isn’t always painless but it is always best. As my daddy likes to say – “The truth will set you free but first it might make you miserable.”

    In my family, I have a pastor hubby who will not pray or do any kind of devotional with me. And it’s in large part my fault. When we were dating, we tried to have devotions together and he ended up preaching at me for 30 minutes. I literally did not get to say a thing. As a young 20 something who had NEVER seen respect demonstrated, I was blunt and rude and told him, “If you are simply looking for a congregation to practice on, we can stop the ‘devotions’ right now. I don’t want to be preached at.” Needless to say, that phrase is stuck in his brain more than 25 years later!

    When problems come, I ache to pray with him over the situation but it never happens. He even recently admitted that the only thing he prays for on a daily basis is his ministry at the church. The kids and I make it into his prayers two to three times a week. That hurts but I’m keeping my mouth shut about it. I’m trying to find a way to respectfully let him know that the act of praying together or discussing God’s word together makes me feel more connected to him. Just need to make sure the timing is right and my words are over-the-top respectful.

    1. Please honey don’t take this the wrong way, but my husband isn’t a Christian and I think you are really lucky that he prays for you and your kids 2 or 3 times a week, that’s loads! If you look at it from a different perspective, you may see that your hubby is a sweetheart, I would give anything for my dear husband to give his life to Jesus (let alone be a pastor!) and to pray for me just once. He is currently ignoring me as I don’t agree with his opinion of my daughter (step-daughter) so I’m feeling a bit sad. I would give your hubby a big hug and just thank him that he believes. He leads a congregation which is a big responsibility, he probably likes to have a bit of a break…just a thought, I hope my messages doesn’t offend as I know everyone’s hurts, hurt the same. Much love to you…

    2. moj8668,

      Yes, there can be pain at first with truth. I do try to be as loving as possible – knowing that not sharing the truth keeps us stuck. 🙂

      Wow. Isn’t it amazing how one comment can impact your relationship for decades?

      I’m glad that you are allowing him to work out his praying with God and not pressuring him. My husband doesn’t like praying out loud either. I ask him to pray with me sometimes, but not too often. He will pray with me if I ask him to now. But – he prefers to pray in private with God. He didn’t used to do much praying at all – so I am super thankful that he does pray now. I don’t ask him about it. I just put my hand on him and pray over him at night before we go to sleep and thank God for him and pray for God’s wisdom for his leadership, his job, his ministry and his family.

      Sending you a huge hug my precious sister!

      1. As a husband/man, I will tell you that until your husband becomes comfortable in his prayers (out loud), use the KISS (keep it short and simple) principle with your prayers in front of him. Just in the same way you as a female can verbally overwhelm your man in a conversation, you can totally blow him away with your beautiful, wordy prayers. I am a man who prays in front of large groups often and am very comfortable in my ability to pray but I still hear a woman pray from time to time that is amazing. Women have a way with words, especially when it comes to emotional, relationship oriented things. I’m saying this in a respectful way…bring your prayers down to his level and allow him to grow in it.

        1. J,
          This is super helpful advice!! Thank you!

          I actually don’t pray out loud at all in front of my husband generally anymore. If I ask him to pray, I just silently pray along with him. I am not sure if this is best, but it is my hope that he won’t feel intimidated.

  2. What I found to be true is that situations come and go in life and it is our hearts choice to trust and obey God is in charge of our lives, especially through the husband he ordained to the family. And as April has said many times, it is all about her heart, faith and trust in God, which gives her the peace to follow her broken, sinful husband. Let’s not forget God established man as the head of the home already knowing he is broken. Keep up the good work !

    1. Wow I’m in tears as I read this post. I’m 21 years old and my husband is 22. We are definitely newly weds so we can use all the godly advice that we can get. Our one year anniversary is coming up on March 22 so as you can see we don’t have a lot of experience but we’re very open to advice. Last night my husband and I decided that it was time for us to sit down and talk about why we’ve been growning distant from each other and why we argue so much.So over course me being me I let him have it! I told him all the things that he does to make me mad and he told me all the things that I do to push him away. One thing that stood out to me was that he thinks I’m disrespectful towards him when we argue. This really cut deep and just running into this made me see that I have a lot of repenting to do! I was saved in 2007 so it’s been a challenge being under the authority of a new believer. But God had definitely used this to show me the error of my ways and to trust him at all times even if my husband is not yet in total conformity to the image of Christ. I have to learn to love him more and to be patient and God does wonders in his heart. Thank you so much! Praise GOD for using you to touch other women with your posts! I look forward to reading more of your work.

      1. Jenny Dut,

        Now you are going to have me in tears!
        I can relate to you so much! Greg was 22 and I was 21 when we married. Our first summer was the most difficult experience of my life. Many things went wrong. I reacted with disrespect. Greg shut down. I took over. I had no one to talk to and no godly mentors. I felt so lost and alone. How I WISH that someone had taken me by the hand back then and taught me this stuff! But God opened my eyes 14.5 years into my marriage and I thank Him for that every day!

        I am very happy to walk beside you on this road my precious sister. You don’t have to do this alone. You have God, which is the main thing. But I can walk with you and point you to Christ. Let me know if you need anything! We will talk! 🙂

        1. Dear fellow wife
          Wow and to think I had it all figured out!! Even though my husband is a new believer he definitely possess more of the fruit of the spirit then me. He also corrects me with spiritual wisdom now when I think back on the ways he has dealt with me. He’s very gentle and tries his best to avoid arguing and I thought it was because he didn’t care but he finally told me it’s because he cares so much that he’s willing to bite his tongue and swallow is pride just so he won’t add more fuel to the fire. I had it all backwords even though he’s a new believe he was leading me in more ways then I knew but I had a specific image in my head that I wanted him to live up to and boy are my eyes opened!! Thank you for your comment it really touched my heart to have other Christian women to learn from!!

        2. April,
          14.5 years!! I cannot image my marriage being in the same state as it was two weeks ago for fourteen more years! That is why I am so thankful that God is using you in a such a way to help and to reach out young wives such and myself(matter of fact, many wives out there) I’m so blessed to be on this journey at such a young age and so privilege that God is showing all this things so early in my marriage. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of marriage is to glorify God and not just to make us happy.
          Thank you!

        1. Thank you I just finished reading the other posts and I’m just Glad to have ran into your blog. It has been a total blessing because like you mentioned I don’t have any mentors or Godly women to teach me these things either. You are doing a great job. And ever since I’ve been following your blog God has definitely been doing wonders in my heart and to tell you the truth my marriage is benefiting from all this because even my husband told me he’s noticed a change in me and all I can say is Glory be to God!

      2. Hi, Jenny!

        I want to share with you something that I have learned about being married to someone who is not as spiritually advanced in years as you are. I got saved about 5-7 years before my husband and study a lot. So in some ways I have more knowledge stored on bible history, etc. BUT I have learned that does not, in any way, make me a more mature Christian. My husband amazes me with his spiritual maturity. There are times I sin and he can correct me with such spiritual wisdom. It can work out. 🙂 He can actually be very in tune with God’s spirit, even if he doesn’t read or study a lot. (I don’t know how, exactly. I struggle if I miss a day!)

        But it can be okay, sweet wife.

        I think it is wonderful that your husband shared he finds some of your behavior disrespectful so you know and can work on that. A lot of husbands never verbalize that and wives are left in the dark. (I was).

        Blessings to you!

        A fellow wife

        1. A fellow wife,
          So true!
          In fact, I even know of unbelieving husbands God has used to rebuke believing wives and to teach them spiritual truth.

          I thought my husband was so spiritually immature compared to me for those first 14 years of our marriage. But then I realized – he was peaceful, he was forgiving, he didn’t hold grudges, he didn’t raise his voice, he was patient, he was gentle… He had a lot more fruit of the Spirit going on than I did! That was humbling to realize!

          It helped me to realize that God is SO sovereign, that He is able to speak to me when He wants to through my imperfect husband. How amazing is that!?!?

          I also agree, what a blessing that your husband told you the issues he is having. Greg didn’t tell me, and I continued on in ignorance for many, many years. 🙁

          Much love to you!

      3. Jenny,

        Just a thought here, I am also a new believer. I sort of had this misconception that my husband (being what I thought was a believer) all of his life is really also a new believer. He didn’t really do much with his faith until recently. I know some really mature Christian husbands (and wives) that really walk the talk. However, I don’t think even they have reached “total conformity to the image of Christ”. Now this is just my simple minded opinion but I think that’s a tall order.

        I love David’s comment where he asks us not to forget that God established man as the head of the home already knowing he is broken. I actually wrote that down because that knowledge will help me in giving my husband more grace than I might have otherwise. I think arguing is never productive. Arguing is disrespectful just by its very meaning. Arguing tends to be more about a power struggle and being right. Most of the time it’s over silly little stuff that isn’t worth arguing about.

        Also, keep in mind that sometimes new believers see things through different eyes. We often are confused about things we are learning but on the other hand we are not bogged down by doctrine that is ingrained in us which could be right or wrong. I know for myself my brain is like a sponge and I love to learn all I can. However, it seems like getting what I learn in my brain to my heart takes a lot longer. Sometimes we are like children in this respect. I totally understand how that can frustrate a more mature Christian. But it’s not always a bad thing because sometimes our naivety or newness creates a situation where even the most mature of Christians learn something they did not realize before or have forgotten. So, be patient with baby Christians and just be really diligent in the example of Christianity that you are setting for them. I’m so thankful for all of my mentors in this area.

        Praying for all the best things in your new marriage.. When I see young people on here, I have to say it really makes me believe that our next generation will be ok. I forget that sometimes.

        Gail W.

        1. Yes Gail,
          You are so right!! and believe me I too wrote that comment down by David. And thank you for the advice I totally appreciate it. It helps me to look at things from different perspective.

      1. April,

        See now, when put on the spot to actually come up with an example of his ridiculous ideas I can only come up with one.. So, I’ll have to own up to the fact that his ideas are not ridiculous on the days that I like him the most.. They are only ridiculous when he’s on my last nerve.. 🙂

        So in short I will have to retract my earlier statement because some of the idea’s he has come up with are actually pretty good and generally he suggests them so that we spend quality time together. Like suggesting we take dancing lessons because he likes to dance and I don’t know how.

        The only one I can think of that is ridiculous is that he would like us to have a baby. I’m 45 years old and we are grandparents. It feels to me like he’s having empty nest sadness or like he wants a do over. He got married the first time because they were having a baby. Now I think this time he wants a baby that he planned. Plus, you tend to look back at the parenting mistakes you made and wonder who your kids would be today if they had different parents.. 🙂 I would never deny him a baby (within my control at this age) if in his heart he really wanted a baby. I just don’t think its a good idea and I think he’s far to needy for me to work, be his everything and take care of a baby.

        I think the bigger issue we run into is that he does not like to make decisions and rightfully so because he’s not a good decision maker. He’s not even comfortable with it most of the time. I make decisions all day at work and tend to be a quick thinker and can make decisions very well under fire..

        Heres the issue at home though. I can make decisions here too if it’s in my area of knowledge. Sometimes I either don’t have a clue which decision is best, such as if it relates to our cars, the house or sometimes the kids. Or I don’t care which decision is made such as what we are going to do tonight, what movie we watch, what we have for dinner or where we go on vacation. These are things that I don’t really want to have a 30 min to an hour long discussion about the pro’s and con’s of each choice. I just want him to decide because it’s not exactly things that require us to be “beer sure, job sure or life sure” that we are making the correct decision. And when I say I don’t have a preference there is no hidden agenda. I really don’t have a preference. And if I do get pressured into making that decision it goes down in the “We always do what Gail wants” category of his memory bank. So, something as simple as “What do you want to watch?” is a trap.. And my brain screams at me the entire time that it’s a trap. Even though I always respond first with, “What’s my choices?”… See, thinking oh if he provides the choices it will no longer be a trap. Nope, doesn’t work.

        Now for life impacting things like quitting his job; that would have been nice to at least been in the loop on prior to it happening. But even that wasn’t disasterous, it just had a ripple effect. Also, just my opinion here, If he tells me, “You go ahead and make the decision either way is fine”.. Especially if it’s a major decision.. What I don’t want to hear afterwards is for him to say, “You handled that wrong or I would have made a different decision”.. Because if he told me to decide AND he did not provide input or state a preference AND I also had no preference or it wasn’t something I needed to be “life sure” about, I probably flipped a coin to make that decision because it was low impact. If it was a high impact/risk decision then I probably went with the best option I had at my disposal. I know, I know.. It’s a contradiction to say his ideas are ridiculous and then complain if he didn’t give me any ideas. But there are things that require collaboration.

        Disagreement is another area of contention for us.. (sort of a redundant statement I know) We do fight when we disagree on something. I’ll tell him, I don’t agree with you but I’ll go along with it. Especially if there is no real right or wrong on it. Or if it’s not my decision to make. But I have went along with him where the consequences of doing so have not been so great. I’m not talking about him asking me to do something blantantly wrong or sinful. I mean like things where our idea’s don’t match up or if we just have different opinions about something. He says he’s ok if we agree to disagree but he uses some bully tactics to try to get me to agree. I don’t mind if he uses persuation and I will listen to why he holds the opinion he does. Sometimes I’ll change my view and sometimes I won’t.

        I’ll give you an example: He did not want to go and get his kids for the Christmas break. This is the first year that we did not have them over Christmas and it hurt their feelings. I did not agree with that but it’s one of those things that I cannot interfere with. He wanted me to tell them! So, I told him that I didn’t agree with it, the kids were looking forward to it and that I missed them too but it was his decision. I also told him that I didn’t understand his reasons so I would not be the best person to deliver the news. He did get a little upset but he did have the conversation with them.

        We also go thru this process with buying his kids gifts. In the past, I would just do it because he would put it off. Now, he either needs to do it, be part of it or it doesn’t get done. He doesn’t like that but we agreed early on that we would not have the blended family situation whereas me and his ex wife are raising the kids together. If he asked me to help him pick a gift for his daughter, of course I would because he may need ideas. He would be out of his mind to have me pick a gift for his son because I wouldn’t have a clue.

        So, what I have been doing lately is this:

        If a decision doesn’t have dire consequences if nobody acts on it, I don’t make it. And by dire I mean something major not like we pay a penalty or we get inconvenienced or something like that. I let it sit until he has no choice but to do something about it. Generally that happens when it becomes an emergency or it has cost us money. Inside that is killing me because procrastination is like nails on a chalk board for me. But I know if I open my “pie hole” I will own it again. The most recent one was he procrastinated on getting his car renewal and inspection done. He got a ticket. He waited to get it done still for 10 days. He had to get it inspected, renewed and pay the ticket. That kind of stuff.

        That’s where the line gets blurred for me here. Am I really being disrespectful or am I avoiding the controlling trap of doing things for him that he should do for himself? It’s like this fine line between being a productive member of our marriage and disrespect. I’m also not sure where the line is if my husband is making a decision that is very much not in the best interest of me or the family. Or if it’s to a member of our families detrimate. Such as, don’t go to the doctor because we will have to pay a copay and then it turns out later to be something huge. That example was with my granddaughter. He didn’t think her initial inability to properly nurse was a doctor type issue. I didn’t listen to him. Turns out she was tongue tied and they had to do a proceedure to fix it. that would have impacted her ability to nurse and speak if we hadn’t seen the doctor right away. I was life sure about my decision to override his decision there.

        I’m sure he felt bad because as luck turned out circumstances beyond anyone’s control ended up with him having to take my daughter and granddaughter in for that proceedure and it was more horrifying for us than it was for her. He came back shaken. But a decision he made just not to spend $50 in a copay? I have us set up on a Health Savings account anyway. No dime out of our bank account is ever spent on medical bills. So it wasn’t even a valid reason for his decision. But me having her set up that ENT doctor appointment caused us an argument.

        But where’s that line between I can submit to what you decide and no I can’t because the impact of your decision has consequences that hurt others in a huge way. If I had not done it anyway I would have medically neglected that baby.

        Gail W.

        1. Gail,

          Hmm… I can understand not wanting to have a baby at 45! I am 40, and that would be a struggle for me, too. Maybe you can listen a bit more about why he wants to have a baby and focus on the root need that is involved? You can certainly share your concerns and why you do not want to try to have a baby now – when he is in a better frame of mind.

          Some husbands may need to take on one new area of responsibility at a time. That will be a Holy Spirit led thing to figure out what to give up and when exactly and how. But he needs to know it is safe for him to make mistakes, that you will support him even if he messes up and that you still have faith in him, that you don’t shame him if he makes mistakes.

          I think you handled the kids at Christmas thing very well. I agree that it was his job to tell them since it was his decision.

          It is important to share your wisdom, viewpoint, desires and feelings, especially if the results of the decision are extremely important. Generally, if he is not asking you to clearly sin, he would make the final call. But you should feel heard and be able to give all of the information necessary for him to make an informed decision.

          Check out the post at the top of my home page Spiritual Authority. There is part of the notes that talk about “making an appeal.”

          You can go against him if you are willing to answer to God for usurping Mark’s authority and you are willing to suffer any consequences for going against him. Ie: the way Esther was prepared to face the consequences of going before her husband, the king, without being invited, in order to save her people. And the way Daniel refused to obey the king’s God-given authority by bowing to the idol (which would be very clear sin against God)and was prepared to accept the consequences.

    1. April,

      Yes, I think the baby conversation will need to happen. We don’t use birth control because it would upset him or be like me saying absolutely not to a baby. I don’t think the choice is in our hands anyway. He see’s our best friends who had their first baby at 47 and now having another one at 51. Yes there’s a lot of joy in that but there was much pain for them over a lot of years to get that point. I have taken him with me to the grocery store when we need to get things like diapers, wipes or other things for the grandbabies. I want the sticker shock to set it in a little. Plus we just experienced the out of pocket costs after insurance of paying for both daughters having their babies. It is not like when he had his kids or I had my daughter. The cost of things are vastly difference.

      I’ve been thinking about this and I do think I’m going to take him with me to my doctor appointment on Jan 8th. I would like him to be part of that risk factor discussion so that he fully understands the difference between having a baby at 45 vs 25. I’m well aware of those because I’m a woman, he probably has no clue or maybe doesn’t understand the medical side of things.

      Plus, before we make a decision around that I have to make sure that what is going on with him isn’t something clinical. I’m still figuring out how to approach that one. I have some faith based facility and counseling services I am going to call to get some ideas on how to handle it. I’m not a big fan of psychotropic drugs because I happen to think that many doctors over prescribe them. But I do understand that there are real conditions that are beyond a persons control that could require them in order to live a normal, healthy and happy life. I just don’t know how to approach that one yet. I pray about that one a lot. I’ve never had to approach something like that and I’m completely out of my league there. What I don’t want to do is broach the subject at the wrong time or in the wrong way. I thought about talking to our Pastor but he’s a new pastor and my husband is already unsettled about the change.

      I need to read the making an appeal. I will do that later this evening. Good point about Esther and Daniel. Just re-read that. I wouldn’t always choose to do something contrary to what Mark decides. There are some consequences that that while they are negative consequences happen for a reason. Such as personal or spiritual growth. I’m alright with mistakes. Life is a lot of trial and error especially for parents. Mark is harder on himself for a mistake. He self deprecates. I’m learning to be more patient with that. I am more of a pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on kind of person whereas he takes mistakes much harder. Both of our dads handled mistakes their kids made in very different manners. My dad was a person that you could completely mess up, fix it and he would tell you how amazing you were for how you fixed it. Never mentioning that you actually made the mess in the first place. His dad was more critical in that if you made a mistake even if you fix it you still made a mistake.

      There have been times when Mark has clearly asked me to sin. Without a doubt. I don’t think it was intentional on his part. I think he is still learning. I’m learning that even though he’s been a Christian all his life, he’s been an inactive Christian. One who believes that God exists but has not taken any steps to study or learn about what to do with that. It’s only recently that something clicked in him. And even more recently that he started to experience all that internal chaos he’s going through. I pray about that too. That is definitely out of my hands. I have no way of knowing if things are being shaken in loose in him like they were with me. I know when that was happening to me and in me, there really wasn’t anything that anyone else could do.

      I think the other thing with us is that even though I change my responses to Mark. He really pushes to go back to the old familiar way of things. It’s frustrating to him at first when that doesn’t happen. He doesn’t really want that, it’s just more familiar. What do they say, it takes 40 days (??) to build a habit.. Something like that. I’m confident, absolutely confident that he will adjust to being met with love and kindness instead of me fighting back. You have to have someone to argue with to keep it going. In theory anyway, last week I did see how that theory didn’t work the absolute best but eventually he turned around. 🙂

      I have an off topic question that came to mind when I was re-reading the story of Esther. I notice in the bible a lot of times praying about something is accompanied by fasting. Why is that and what does it mean? I’m totally in the dark on that one.

      Have a great new years. Our goal this year is to just stay awake until midnight..

      Gail W.

  3. Sometimes I wish we’d have devotions and prayer together, but I’ve grown to learn that we are still in the stage in our life where private devotion is better for us right now.
    Lately, I’ve noticed something. I have grown disrespectful because I felt he wasn’t doing enough. I felt he wasn’t being sympathetic of my morning sickness (which left me unable to move much except from couch to toilet). I felt that he was being unreasonable and not understanding my pain. I recently came to the realization that he has never seen me so sickly before! He goes to a full time job to have to come home, cook for himself, clean, and take care of his wife who is ill. I thought he wasn’t caring or leading when all he could say was “I don’t know”. Truth is, he doesn’t! I don’t have answers and neither does he. Frankly, I’m teaching myself that, it’s okay. I’m letting God show me that we may not be perfect right now, but we are doing the best that we can with what we have.

    Sure. It would be fantastic if he had more answers. I would love if he could make me feel better and knew what to do. But hey. He loves me. He cares for me. He’s happy when I manage to eat good meals. Like this morning, I ate part of my eggs and bagel. He was ecstatic and was okay with me not eating it all. Why? I ate! I was getting food and holding it down. That was enough for him.

    Thank you for this post. I still have more respect to learn, but the Lord is showing me my husband’s perspective more and more. It’s really opening my eyes and helping me to appreciate him more and more. <3

    1. Mrs. Anaya,

      I think you are on to something big!

      He Is taking great care of you. Right now, getting you some food and keeping it down is a big deal. Time to scale back expectations and appreciate all the things that your new hubby is doing. He won’t automatically know what to do. He has never been an expectant dad before. Things are new for you, too. So, rest. Trust in God’s love. Trust your husband’s love. Breathe. Take care of your body. Realize that you are both on a learning curve and that is ok. 🙂

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am sending you a huge hug!!

  4. Hey Gail

    Thanks for your email offline. I really appreciate it and will respond back,

    Thought I’d add a comment in response to yours above. I get the question about submitting and respecting when it could cause danger. I couldn’t say for sure how I would have acted in your very real situation. Thank God your granddaughter received treatment. My thoughts are:

    1. In a way it was striking that your husband returned from the hospital shaken up. Could you use the incident to look for the lessons learned and discuss how you (plural) make decisions in the future, underpinned by love (by him), respect (by you) and godly motivations?

    2. As hard as it is to accept especially when you’re dealing with the life of a loved one, God doesn’t tell us only to submit to our husbands only if the decisions they make turn out to be right. I will have my own challenges I’m sure with this in my own marriage, but I am reminding my self of this. Because sometimes I’m quick to tell my husband the James scripture about we all stumble all the time, when I ask for his grace. But that does means he has to be allowed to stumble too.

    3. If we confess our sins, God is a faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I guess this isn’t a pass or licence not to submit, but it’s worth remembering that God there for us when we struggle to submit – bring it all to him.

    4. As April reminds us often, we can respectfully refuse to submit if it means sinning.

    Happy New Year. 3.5 hours away here in the UK!

  5. Mich,

    Happy New years to you as well. It was my pleasure on the email. You know it’s interesting. I no longer believe in coincidences. The things that happened that created the situation where Mark was the only person available to drive my daughter and granddaughter to the appointment for the proceedure were indeed odd things that were so out of the norm of happenings. Like a series of unfortunate events that left him being the only person who could literally take her.

    When Mark holds our granddaughter she just stares up him and smiles. He’s so big and one of his hands is as big as she is. I can tell he feels all protective and she just has this look of security and love on her face. It’s really sweet. I think he felt a little helpless at the proceedure and from what my daughter tells me it was really hard for him to be part of it because he couldn’t comfort her. He came home shaken but was saying, well it had to be done and now she’s going to recover from it. Somebody had to do it and you would not have handled that well. He’s right, I would have been very upset especially seeing my daughter more upset than the baby. I would have no doubt have turned into a crazy woman.

    I’m ok with my husband stumbling. In fact, I’m more ok with it than he is. He’s a self depricator (is that a word even?). It’s hard to cheer up a self depricator. I have to do things that are out of my comfort zone like hug him.. (only half kidding, I’m not a natural hugger but hugging doesn’t repel me or anything).

    The grandkids are sort of a grey area for us. I totally understand my husband’s feeling that we did not make a decision to have babies we could not afford. His daughter and my daughter did so both this year. Accidental pregnacies but I would not have wanted them to make any other choice. I’m ok with helping them as long as they understand that they have to make sacrafices too. They have to make good choices and frankly speaking they need to be moving forward to gain independence from us. I don’t want Mark’s daughter to give up her dreams of going to college for example. But money that we would normally spend on them getting pedicures or stuff like that now gets spent on diapers and baby stuff.

    I used to have an issue with taking things back off the cross after repenting and accepting forgiveness. I don’t do it anymore. I really feel like the enemy uses other people to do it now. I refuse to do that to Mark as well. I have no idea what he prays about, asks for forgiveness for or anything. But if he makes a mistake I don’t require him to say hes’ sorry to me in order to forgive him. I know he’s sorry, I can see it in his face and I can feel it when he’s disappointed in himself. He needs to get to a place where he can fully forgive himself for things or accept that forgiveness for what it is.

    I have done some horrible things in my life and I am so thankful for grace and forgiveness. I’m thankful that I get to move forward and do better.

    Gail

  6. The mother of my kids would always say that to me, ‘you’re no spiritual leader’. I would think, I pray with the kids every night, and I love them and constantly show them love. The bullet list at the end of this post describes her in almost detail. Constantly frowning and just being a jerk basically. Finally she kicked me out of the house because I would not conform to her image whatever the heck that is. After that, I got a non evangelical girl friend. The difference between her and the mother of my kids is night and day. She smiles constantly at me, encourages me and just enjoys being with me. The word Satan means adversary. I realize that I had been married to an adversary.

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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