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The Voice in His Head – from the Archives

by my husband, Greg.  You can find his blog for husbands at www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com.

On Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 April ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accused her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between us. April then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them:

  • “You don’t have what it takes to do ……”
  • “You are a failure at …..”
  • “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”
  • “You are not good enough.”

Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the April has explained to me about how she had an internal voice accusing me and justifying her disrespect and need for control almost constantly earlier in our marriage.

Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find April with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response. Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt. AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage.”

IS THIS NORMAL?

Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. A voice in my head started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.” So, the April posted the question on the Peacefulwife Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.

Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”

A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him.  He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he let a weakness be revealed.

Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way. Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan (and/or the sinful nature of men and women) attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.

So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.

And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel. But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities. I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.

But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough. I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.

One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley, www.corycopeland.net

A WIFE’S ROLE

A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons/voices that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well?  Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:

But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificient power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.

And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.

Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.

Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing. Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be. Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along. And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.

http://greatdatespot.com/2010/05/21/a-husbands-insecurity-from-10-things-men-wish-their-wives-knew-about-men/

Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager. When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy.   That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.

But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.” Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment thim. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:

Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows. The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault. You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well…

But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices. I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.”

Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.

When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.  But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will.  WOW!  This is POWERFUL stuff!  May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife

24 thoughts on “The Voice in His Head – from the Archives

  1. Another confirmation of what we truly fight against – not flesh and blood but the dark powers in the spiritual realm that “appear” as giants in our minds, or as Pastor Jentzen Franklin calls them – the pythons in our spirits – that are there to constrict and suffocate who God has created us to be – his designed plan and purpose for our lives and our marriages. We are in a constant battle but it is so worth it because we are assured of the victory when we walk in obedience to God’s Word, his perfect order and plan and allow the Holy Spirit full access in guiding us into all Truth – then walking the road to application of all we learn. It is a time tested plan that is full of rewards even in our failures and battle scars. Weapons are formed, they may even hit and bruise – but God promises they will not take root and prosper when we line up with his Word. And we all will fall short at times, that is how we get back up and keep on learning – leaning – trusting. I just love God’s plan and direction. It never – never fails!

    1. Wanda,

      So true! Our battle is not against our husbands. They are not the enemy.

      10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6

      May God grant us the grace to see the true enemy and may we greatly bless our husbands and inspire them to become the men God desires them to be by our faithfulness to Christ and obedience to God’s Word, our reverence, encouragement, faith and admiration in what is good in them. May we squarely plant ourselves on our husbands’ team and put all of our strength, courage, power, blessing, honor, love and respect behind our men in support of them and of all that God desires to do in their lives.

      1. Yes indeed Daniella and Amen to your prayer April. I shared some time back that my husband felt his season was over at a church that we had been attending for over 10 years (the church I grew up in). It was very difficult to step away from things I thought were so very important to my spiritual “me”. I asked my husband to allow me time to finish out the year in my leadership positions and if he still felt the same indeed we would search for the place God had for us together as one. I missed worship with him, he is indeed my helpmeet and I his. Well last Sunday my Pastor gave me a blessing because in these past few months, God has shown me that he is going to use me in the “go and tell” and he has a work for me outside the walls of churches and denominations. So many need to understand and know the Holy Spirit and that is what I am to share – the love of God with his words. Yesterday was so full, standing by my husband in Praise and Worship of our Heavenly Father. That was indeed my place in God’s order and he blessed beyond measure. Such peace – such abiding grace. I am excited and scared spitless (lol) at the same time. Leaving a place of comfort and establishment to step out on Faith can indeed be a little shaky in my flesh, but my spirit soars knowing I am indeed walking in God’s will for my life as a wife and a voice for the Father, even if just living my life by example. And yes, I did get some slack in my decision to step away, alot of tears from dear friends but in it all they understand I have to follow God first and my husband comes in the next order. So I am not just holding his arms up – we are holding each others up trusting God full to lead us. Its better than an Indiana Jones adventure movies :). My hope as I step out is in Ephesians 6:19 as Paul instructs that I pray every time I open my mouth, words will be given until me to fearlessly proclaim the truth of the gospel. And then God sweetened the deal with Exodus 33:14 when he reminded Moses, I will go with you personally, I will give you rest, it will be ok – that is his promise to me also. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, and flow and flow.

  2. We have to pass this on to our younger sisters in Christ! Its a pity nobody taught me any of these things, neither in the church or home i grew up. How often i brought discouragement into my husbands life where it was in the power of my tongue to bring encouragement instead…but praise to God its not to late to start! You are an incredible encouragement to me!

    1. Daniella,

      I know! How different things could have been if we had understood our men and their needs and how we could inspire them instead of wound them more deeply. I pray that God will use us to share this information and bless those who come behind us!

  3. This post really hits home! My wife’s disrespect and dishonor manifests itself in her opposing, undermining, disagreeing, blaming, shaming, criticizing, ridiculing, condemning, interfering and lecturing me. These behaviors suck the life from my soul and reinforce the message of being a failure in my head. The result is that I pull away and keep my head down and avoid engaging her in meaningful conversation. Why would I invite this treatment by stepping up and leading when she will sabotage my efforts and further crush my soul? She sees how her domineering nature effects our children but doesn’t see how it effects me. It really feels like a no win situation.

  4. Lately my husband and I have been talking a lot about the voices in my head that tell me to do things that I know I shouldn’t do- when the voices tell me to “sleep in- I deserve the rest” when I know I should get up and have my quiet time with God… or when they tell me to “Buy that- you work hard and deserve to spend some money on yourself” when I know it is not in our budget. I have identified this voice to my husband as the devil. After several times of me saying “the devil is trying to…”, he said “You have said that a lot lately- that the devil is telling you this or that. Why are you saying that?”. The discussion that continued was about how I have figured out that the voice in my inner being that tells me to do something that I KNOW IS WRONG FOR ME HOWEVER NICE IT MIGHT BE TO DO IT is the devil. It is that simple, I told him. Why would my very rational brain think such irrational thoughts (to spend money we don’t have, sleep in when I know my days are better when started in prayer, watch a show when I know dinner needs to be made etc…)? It had to be the devil.

    I stunned my husband.

    I don’t think he has ever thought about the negative voices in his head being the devil. He sees these thoughts as his pessimism or maybe even his inner battle between being a kid and succumbing to childish ways and being an adult and making adult decisions.

    I asked him if he believed in the devil. My exact question was (quoting the St. Michael prayer we say after each Mass as a congregation) “Do you believe there is a spirit that wanders the world seeking the ruin of souls?” Again he did not answer. I wonder if many men see this voice as the devil. I know when I identified it as the devil (only recently), I was able to stop beating myself up for having such thoughts and say “GET BEHIND ME SATAN”. I could push these thoughts out of my head because I realized they were not MY THOUGHTS. It was the voice of Satan. And, just as I turn off the TV or music when it is not to my liking (not questioning why I don’t like it… just know it does not appeal to me), I can turn off Satan’s voice in my head.

    In knowing this, when I succumb to Satan when he tells me to sleep in, over spend etc… then I know I have sinned. It is clear. Rational me would never do that… I did it because I chose to sin and seek repentance as necessary.

    This also includes negative self talk (“you are so ugly, why would your husband want to be with you” etc…) When these thoughts enter my brain, they are Satan. I say “Get behind me Satan! Stop interfering in my marriage”. Again, this has only been a recent revelation. However, when I actively speak to the devil and command him to get behind me, the thoughts disappear from my head and I am not tempted.

    Reading your post made me realize I allow myself to be the instrument of the devil when I gossip, gripe, badger or nag my husband. I allow my words to embolden his thoughts that grow into the only choice or voice he hears.

    Thank you for showing me this! I am more committed than ever to use my words wisely.

    1. Sara,

      Sometimes I think that the voices that say such things are our sinful nature. Whether it is a temptation from the enemy or our own sinful nature dragging us away – these ungodly voices have to go. We must take each thought captive for Christ!

      I would suggest not talking to your husband about Satan if that seems to turn him off. But you can take responsibility for yourself and stop listening to that destructive influence and seek to listen to the voice of God’s Word instead. 🙂

      Yes, that self talk that is so awful and accusing, that is not of God, for sure!!!!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and your marriage!

      1. Immediately, when I realized my husband was not ready to have the conversation about the devil, I changed the subject. He did seem turned off. It was very unlike me to be talking about the devil. I didn’t do it knowingly or to evangelize. When I realized that it was not a conversation he was ready to have, I let it go. SOOOOOO different from the old me. The old me would have MADE.HIM.UNDERSTAND!! At all costs… I would have hounded the idea into his very soul…. Oh my how I have changed.

  5. This is probably one of your best posts ever!This is one of those truths that,as a man never dawned on me.I know this is written mostly for wives, but it is important for all of us to remember Satan’s greatest means of attacking marriage is to divide and conquer.It never dawned on me those self-doubts that I had as a Christian, were simply demons whispering to me.

  6. I believe it. Accuser of the brethren. This is why we must cast very lie down which exalts itself above and he Lord. Gird our minds

    1. Miryam2012,

      So true. We let way too many ungodly thoughts into our minds, and then we let them fester and grow and stew. It is important for us to recognize if we are hearing God’s voice and truth or not and to kick out any thought that does not honor and please Christ.

      1. You have been a huge blessing in my life I know it is God who has lead me to your blogs. Thank you so much for all your writing 🙂

  7. I needed this right now. My mind was thinKing of how he rarely does the dishes in a timely manner. It’s his job. I always feel so upset. Instead I’m going to offer to help him Today so he feels appreciated and loved. It’s a job we both hate, so I can help.

    Wow. Satan sucks. Thank you for this post. You saved my day. Glory to God

  8. Once again, April, you are writing what I need to hear, just when I need to hear it. My husband has been sharing with me how he feels less than at work, home, with his extended family, etc. I have never quite understood why he would say these things because he is a loving father, an excellent provider & protector, amazing at his job, etc. Now I have a clearer picture of the voices in his head & how my lack of submission just turns up the volume on those voices. Praying for God to change my desires as I learn to walk in obedience to God’s plan for my life which in turn will give my husband the opportunity to turn off the voices in his head.

  9. April, this is a long post but I feel that it might contribute some helpful thoughts to a very serious and important issue. I hope I’m not repeating myself, as usual edit away as you see fit.

    The discussion about the thoughts in our heads is one that hits home with me, as its very true that we are dealing with spiritual warfare. I’ve heard what I’d term as spiritual voices in my mind since I was a little girl. I didn’t come from a Christian family but I did come from one that had all kinds of rotten stuff happen to it and that also sought entertainment and spiritual power/thrills from playing with the occult. I did not know what the voices were but one thing was for certain, they were nasty and unkind voices full of accusation and condemnation. I’ve heard the same kinds of voices attacking and accusing my husband and drawing comparisons between him and bad people I’ve known in my life. I think the enemy hoped to fish around in the pool of sinful and hurt responses in hopes of recreating former evil.

    I do think that the enemy accuses, insinuates and slanders. That’s his nature. But what interests me also is what the bible says about the flesh, how it cannot please God and in fact, is at enmity with him. Enmity is hatred. So if we have a fleshly nature that hates God, then we have a nature that is in league with the devil, who is the main hater of God. Its hard to tell, when a stream of thought goes through my mind that is suggesting something that seems eminently reasonable and eminently justifiable, but that contradicts scripture, whether that thought/voice is coming from the depravity within me or from the enemy . Is it satan appealing to that side of me or does that side of me have a voice all its own? Its a good question. Sometimes those voices sound like significant family members. Hard to say whether its a familiar spirit using its knowledge of my life to attack me in a familiar form, or its actually the way the flesh, with its depravity, interacts with the experiences we have, the way it latches onto something and turns it over and over and then does something with it that isn’t very healthy or godly. In the end though, even if it is a familiar spirit using what it knows of say, abusive family members in my past, in the final analysis, the demon is looking for the sinful response to give it access; a stronghold of resentfully held hurt, unforgiveness wrapped in layers of righteous victimhood, you name it .

    But I’m not sure if the answer really matters a whole lot. Does it matter if the voice is the devil or if the voice is our flesh with its lusts, rebellion and self willed depravity? Is the issue the SOURCE or the response? Whether the voice telling me to rob a bank or despise my husband comes from the devil or from me, the response we are commanded to have is to take captive every thought or high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. To ask ” Is this thing getting in between me and God and leading to hatred or disobedience or towards greater godliness and love of Christ? Its interesting that when it IS the enemy at work he often speaks in the first person, as if the thought is ours; I suspect this is because he knows the affinity we have for ourselves and the tendency we have to give ourselves more credence and authority than God. In other words he knows that often our functional God is ourselves so if the temptation appears to be spoken in the name of the “king” on our particular throne, there’s a good chance we will obey it.

    When you think about it, the things that God asks us to do, such as crucifying the flesh, putting to death the deeds of the sinful nature, taking thoughts captive, tearing down strongholds, denying self, are really a request that we put to death what remains of our loyalty to satan’s kingdom, from which we have been saved and that we demonstrate our new loyalty to God’s kingdom by ousting the pockets of enemy resistance that still have hiding places in our lives.

    When Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan, they chose to have a share in his nature and agenda and they, in effect, bowed to him, though the bait was not presented that way. It never is. Paul says that he noticed that though he wanted to do good he found himself doing evil and that it was SIN within him that was doing it, not the devil. I think its probably better theology to recognize that the devil is present only to appeal to what is within us that he hopes to make use of or that gives place to him. He tends to hit us where he knows we are weak or where he has held ground before (strongholds).

    The issue is always in the end, us and God, not us and satan. Its interesting that when David sinned and stole Uriah’s wife and then killed him God did not say to David ‘ You have listened to satan. He said ” You have despised ME”. In another section of scripture, satan is said to have incited David to number Israel’s warriors which was forbidden to do; yet when the consequences of David’s actions came home, it was David that God held responsible, not satan, and David whom God dealt with. Satan is not even mentioned in the discourse between David and God, after David’s sinful act, as if he is not the significant player there. Its also very interesting that when Jesus was led into the desert to suffer being tempted and tested, He remarked that “the prince of this world approaches, but he has nothing in Me”. There was nothing of satan himself or his kingdom resident within Christ. No hatred, discord, jealously , insecurity, fear, rebellion, unforgiveness, bitterness, sedition, laziness, cowardice, lust, perversion, adultery, idolatry or disobedience of any kind. I think we are right to recognize that something sinful presenting itself is IN LEAGUE with the enemy and to refuse it. I wish I had a definitive answer as to what is what in all cases but I don’t. I suspect that the truth is that the enemy appeals to sin within us, not that the enemy is the cause of the sin. The good news is that Jesus is on our side, and wants us to win and has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness that we may do so, including defeating satan and stripping him of authority.

    1. Woolly Sheep,

      I agree – the source of the voices is not nearly as important as what we do with the voices. There absolutely is spiritual warfare. And we absolutely do have a sinful nature that is in enmity against God as well. We are ultimately responsible for taking our thoughts captive and for obeying God, and not sinning, even in our thoughts, as we allow God’s Spirit to empower us and illuminate and transform our hearts and minds and souls.

      LOVE your insights. Thank you so much for sharing! This is so helpful! 🙂

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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