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How Husbands Die to Self



I would be interested in learning more about what men go through when they are in that process of dying to self, and what it means for them.

From JAY DEE, a Christian husband and marriage blogger:

Alright, what do men go through:

1) We don’t get to make the decisions we want to make, we get to make the decisions that are correct. I control the finances, but that doesn’t mean I go out and buy every new gadget I want. It means I need to make sure there is enough food, enough money for clothes, enough for the mortgage, kids education, activities, babysitters, utilities, tithing, offering, medications, gas, car repairs, and on and on and on. About 50 line items in our household budget. More often than not, I spend less on myself so that we have more for other things that are more important.

2) We are ultimately responsible. For every decision we make, we have the responsibility to live with it for the rest of our lives. If our children leave the faith, it is our responsibility, because are the spiritual heads of the family. If they don’t get into school, it’s our responsibility, because we didn’t educate them well, or teach them about work ethics.

3) We have to be strong. Even when we don’t feel like it. Because we are the protectors, the one that holds up the family. When we’re scared, afraid, don’t know what to do, guess what? We don’t get to be. We give ourselves a shake, dust ourselves off and get to work, because that’s our job.

Our family used to be run by my wife, it’s now run by me. She has often said, she never wants the job back, it’s too much stress.

And it is a lot of stress, it’s the weight of, in my case 5 dependents, looking to me for guidance, for protection, for education, for spiritual leading. On top of that, I need to make sure I am growing fast enough to be ahead of them so that I can lead, because you can’t lead where you haven’t been.

So, does a part of the wife die when she sets aside her needs and submits? Yes, but often the husband will give it back to her, in the form of asking advice, considering her needs, loving her, etc.. When the husband sets aside his needs in regards for his family, there is no one to give them back. We must find contentment in that fact that we have done our job and hope that our family loves and respects us for it, because sometimes, they can get pretty upset that you’ve stood up for a greater good instead of doing what would be more fun and made a decision that is better for the long term goals than the short term comfort or entertainment.

And you know what? I love it. Not because of the power, or the control, or the perks, whatever those are, because they aren’t worth it. I love it, because I was designed to bear this, and I feel I am meeting God’s calling by being the leader. It’s not fun, it’s not a power trip, it’s so much more than that, it’s being in God’s will.

It’s a hard topic. I think the problem is our own pride gets in the way of us understanding the other role.

Wives COULD sit there and think, “He gets to make all the decisions, why does he get he wants all the time, and I always have to sacrifice and do as he says?!”
Husbands COULD sit there and think, “Lucky her, she gets to sit at home and do nothing while I go out every day and work to put food on the table. I’m the one who has to make the hard decisions, I’m the one who has to protect, when do I get a break? She gets to stay home and ‘play house’ all day long with the kids, while I have to carry all the responsibility.”

Or they could both realize they each have separate, IMPORTANT, roles to play and that neither would be as effective without the other.

But, that “dying to self” part is one of the three “impossible” tasks we are given as Christians (along with ‘Be content in all circumstances’, and ‘Let go and let God’). If we follow them, it’s heaven on earth, but it will take us more than a lifetime to master them.

Luckily, it’s not something that needs to be mastered in order to gain the benefit. Each step along way yields benefits to your life.

For those who are interested, I have a couple of posts on the topic that flesh out a few of my ideas on the subject:

15 thoughts on “How Husbands Die to Self

  1. Truth and expressed so vey well! Thank you..will check out other articles. Three impossible tasks that we can’t do on our own..yes, we need to be plugged in to Jesus.

  2. Thanks, Jay, for writing this. I’ve been struggling with how guilty I feel about the volume my husband has had to give up in order to deal with my struggles with control, pride, ADHD, … He is a very good, godly man & deserves so much. I have been the contentious woman for 17+ years & the damage is definitely difficult for both of us. I’m slowly turning the ship around, but it is not easy. It encourages me to stay on this path when I read information like this. I hope it encourages other women as well.

  3. April, thanks so much for asking this question for us. It has been very enlightening to see all the responses!

    Thank you, Gentlemen!

    1. I think, from now on, my husband is going to get a lot more appreciation for some things I didn’t even really notice before… And knowing that many men feel the way these ones described makes me want to be a better wife, and more willing to trust what is going on. Thanks again.

  4. Hi Jay-Dee!

    I enjoyed both of your blog posts immensely. 🙂 I just had a bit of a headache over the long and winding arguments of one of the men who “debated” with you in the Biblical submission post. 😛 The one where he was arguing that nowhere in the Bible did it say for husbands to lead….

    I want to state here on April’s site, not yours (I am afraid of being debated with too or have to come up with Hebrew or Greek words:) that in my submitting to my husband, I am giving way so God can work in my husband’s heart into leading me and our family. Whatever the outcome will be, I will accept it wholeheartedly. I trust that in following my husband, I am in effect, following God’s Will for me too, even if he is imperfect and flawed,like I am. I do not know what my purpose is to have stepped aside only to NOT be led at all. It just doesn’t make sense… By submitting, I become a FOLLOWER. If my husband doesn’t lead, who am I to follow? 🙁

    Anyway, back to the Peaceful Wife blog. Hehe. 🙂

    Thank your for coming up with such an insightful and enlightening explanation of dying to self from the husband’s viewpoint. It just allows us wives to see the whole picture.

    God bless you and keep on doing what you do. 🙂



  5. When I first started down the path of becoming the leader in my marriage, I sat down with my wife and explained what i intended for us. Early in , I also realized I needed to serve her and the children without drawing attention to myself. That would have been glorifying myself, not my Lord. I think many husbands prefer to do this rather than seem like self-seeking “martyrs” for their wives.This is something I still struggle with. I want to say, “See how much i do for you?”, rather than having the heart of an unworthy servant, who has only done what is required of him.There is so much more to this that I have real trouble expressing, I suppose for much the same reason.I don’t want to blow my own horn, even though my flesh desperately want to seek recognition. I struggle to keep the attitude of “Woe to me If don’t do these things.”

    1. Ted,
      I appreciate your willingness to share, and your humility. Wives definitely struggle with that, too – wanting affirmation and praise. We all like to feel appreciated. These kinds of glimpses into a husband’s heart can be very eye opening for many wives.

  6. I’m still single but follow this blog and others like it diligently. I think one of the most important points we need to remember if we are to understand how men die to self is what we are called to do.

    As a child growing up in Africa it dawned on me what my dad’s role in my family was: One night, robbers came to my neighborhood. This was a common occurrence but had never happened to us. Because the police would only come to collect bodies in the morning, it was up to the men in the neighborhood to protect their families. So whenever the alarm was raised the men would simply pick up their machetes and walk out. Yes just like that including my dad.

    Usually, the robbers would escape once they realized there lots of men in the neighborhood and sometimes my dad and the other men would kill someone. I never thought too much of it until I became a man. I started asking myself if I was ready to give my life to protect a woman I loved. It dawned on me that men do this everyday and without thinking. I also realized that even the women who get this free service rarely show gratitude for it!

    Ladies, have you ever seen your husband as a bodyguard who in case you’re attacked would die for you without even giving it a second thought? Now am sure some of you think that your relationship is so bad that he wouldn’t but believe me, it’s instinctive. Men from Afghanistan to Toronto are all like this (well most healthy men are). Do you think you deserve such a person?

    1. Nick,

      Wow! What an incredible pictures of selfless, sacrificial, protective love the men in your neighborhood portrayed. Thank you so much for sharing this! Yes, this is absolutely something for us to be thankful for – the kind of love a man has that would cause him to be willing to risk his life to protect us and our children and others.

  7. Okay, I have one. In our 7 months of marriage, I have gotten to a place where I refuse to talk about any problems or arguments that happened. I just try to ignore it, hoping it will go away, hoping my husband will just sweep it under the rug as well. The reason why is every time we try to talk, it starts with him belittling me, my feelings, or my attitude towards whatever happened. According to him, what I feel is wrong, what I say is wrong, the way I think about a situation is wrong. I want to discuss and find solutions, but not if it will always end up ” You are the problem and you did this, and you did that.” Then I feel defensive, and one or two things- I react back or withdraw. Either action will end with him saying “We should of just stayed friends..or…Fine! I’ll never talk to you again!” and both of us miserable for the next few days, sleeping separately.

    I know he wants to resolve issues, and be respected at the same time. I tried apologizing immediately, but he likes to provoke to keep the argument going. So what are the perfect words to say we he starts pointing out all my flaws at the beginning of a discussion without disrespecting him or upsetting him even more? Please help because this is a weekly thing.


    1. Txstargazer,

      You do both need to feel safe and respected. It doesn’t sound like that is happening. So, let’s talk about what you can do. 🙂

      Would you please give me a specific example of a conversation, and we can walk through it together what he said, what you said, and then I can give you some suggestions of other ways to respond that might show respect but also allow you to share your desires and feelings as well? What do you say to him when he hurts you? How do you respond she you feel attacked and unloved?

      I want to see you both heal and not feel attacked and working as a team. 🙂

      Do both of you have a relationship with Christ?

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