From a wife, I am so thankful she has allowed me to share the beginning of her journey with y’all! I know it will bless you (If you have a story you believe God would like you to share here as a post, you may leave it in the comments, I may be able to use it!):
OMG! It has been six glorious days! Wow! I am so thankful to God and the Peacefulwife and I know that my husband is even happier!
So, what has been going on! Well, here are some comments that my husband has made:
- · ” I don’t quite know how to take this change.” ( As in, it is a shock in a great way!)
- · “I was always so angry and now I am just happy!”
- · “God has really heard my heart on my marriage.”
- · ” You really do love me huh?”
- · “Our relationship is really moving in a positive direction.”
- · ” I can see a change in your heart and that can’t be faked.”
- · “I know there are things that I need to do also.”
- · After viewing a post from the site (list of respect vs disrespect actions): “Are you really willing to do all of this? Any man would be crazy not to be in love with a woman who does all of that!”
Okay so that’s pretty great for a guy who doesn’t actually do a lot of talking right?
It has also been funny because he is just so baffled by my change in attitude. The other day I asked him if he wouldn’t mind dropping me off at the front of the store before parking because it was so cold outside. And he said “What if I say no? Would you be angry?” We both just laughed after the comment because it was so obvious that he has been kind of anticipating “the other shoe to drop”.
So, I have been really focusing on being committed to being a Peacefulwife and I want to share my Peacefulwife Plan to make it practical to others as well as share my experiences. April, you have mentioned that this is a journey that should be from the heart and really it is a commitment that you make to Jesus ultimately. I totally agree with that for so many reasons, such as:
1. My disrespectful actions have become a habit and mindset. I need God, the Holy Spirit and the Word to free me from those fleshy attitudes and perspectives.
2. The attitude of respect, submission and humility should be directed to the feet of Jesus first or it can be easy for these attributes to be a form of manipulation and idolatry for your husband.
3. The new respectful me operates in the Fruit of the Spirit and I need God’s grace to flow in that daily.
4. Lastly, the purpose that God has for the relationship of the husband and wife being a metaphor for Christ (husband) and the Church (wife) requires that I learn to respect my husband just as I would Christ (metaphorically) and vice versa to the point that I am learning more about one relationship through the other relationship.
So again, practically speaking this is my Peacefulwife Journey/Plan:
- Spend more time with God meditating on the Peacefulwife scriptures from the Word as well as meditate on submitting and respecting Christ in my life! (April mentioned removing everything from my “life-scape” and start with Christ then add from there).
- I am working on encouraging my husband to take the lead again. I am reading about letting go of control and fear. This helps me to stop the criticizing, the “why’s”, dictating and frustration. This concept helps me release the habit of usurping leadership and exhibiting disrespect with guilting and manipulation, etc.
- I am focusing on meditating on the unique ways in which my husband shows leadership and expresses his love. That involves me examining my expectations and really releasing most of them in order to clearly see the many things that he is already doing to love, protect and honor me (keeping the car immaculate, laundry, picking up items that I need from the grocery store, running errands, being on time to pick me up from work, being at home to be present with the family, being supportive of my career, etc). When I meditate on these things it opens my heart to him and equips me with the words and the attitude to encourage him to be my hero and show gratitude.
- I am also working on my humility. I definitely had a “I am waaayyy smarter than a fifth grader” attitude (Network Engineer by trade) and I would look down on my husband like “Why the heck don’t you know this or that!” Now I am trying to see his unique perspectives and wisdom. Also, I am working on using my knowledge as a complement to the team and understanding that we are all foolish compared to God’s knowledge. I am just a mere human and we all need God’s wisdom to live a meaningful life and He is able to equip anyone and anything with absolute genius!
- Seeing my husband as “Superman” instead of “Clark Kent” as a form of empowerment for him and our family. I have had to take this attitude with Christ many times also. I have had to “make God bigger than my circumstances” to help me comprehend that I have a powerful God and He can handle everything that Satan, my flesh, and my circumstances bring to me. Now, I want to be the mirror for my husband that defeats any self conscious, self defeating and doubting messages that satan wants to throw at him by reflecting back to him confidence, faith, trust, adoration and love. I am working on doing this by really listening to his plans and goals for his life and our family and expressing cooperation and agreement with his agenda.
We just worked through a situation regarding our finances last night where I really wanted to spend money on some things that I have been waiting on purchasing for some time. At the same time he had an agenda for our finances that involved obtaining stability for our family (a newer car, savings, etc.). So I presented to him a “wish list” (via email) and asked him to let me know when I would be able to make any of those purchases. I can tell it put a little pressure on him but less than usual because I formed the request as a “wish list”, a question and via email. So, later that evening he was able to express himself and say “ I just need you to be patient and as money comes in and I assess the situation, I will let you know how and when your purchases can be made.”. He said it calmly, I can tell he didn’t feel like I was disrespecting him like in many times before where he would get frustrated and angry because he didn’t feel like I was willing to cooperate. Also, he explained exactly what his plan was and I repeated what he said to acknowledge that I heard him and agreed with him. This really helped because when he explained his plan it wasn’t laid out in “bullet point” fashion so to speak. So I had to draw from the conversation and organize it for myself.
- The last thing that I am working on at the time is exuding more femininity and desire for intimacy. Well, let me add being more domestic also. – (there is so much to do.)
Anyway, I feel good that I can finally make a long list for someone who will do it and benefit from it and that someone is ME!
So, for femininity, I am working on smiling, using a softer tone of voice, looking at him more (I am directing this at my sons also). Also, exercising, getting sleep and focusing on my appearance more.
There it is, these are the primary things that I will be working on for a while (I guess the next month or so) to help me make a significant and lasting change in my behavior, heart, spirit and attitude.
Thank you so much, April, for making this commitment to your husband and choosing to share your path with us. You are making such a difference. I am glad that you did it just for me let alone all of the other marriages, wives and families that have benefited. When I see people criticize you and your husband on the site it almost brings me to tears (after anger – lol) but then I remember that these people are actually assaulting Christ unknowingly and He is able to defend Himself. I just hope to encourage you and other to please keep sharing. YOU ARE HELPING, YOU ARE DEFEATING THE PLANS OF THE ENEMY! We overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our Testimony. God bless you!
You may use any of this message to benefit the Peacefulwife mission through sharing, posting, etc.
This wife is off to a great start! Her husband is very receptive, which is not always the case. Sometimes husbands are much more skeptical. The less disrespectful a wife has been, the less controlling she has been, the closer she is to God and the closer her husband is to God can make this journey less difficult and less painful. Things can happen a lot faster in situations like this, especially if the wife completely submits herself to Christ and really “gets” that. Some couples stay in this honeymoon phase. Some go through some more valleys. Each story is unique and the timing of what will happen will be different for each couple. That is why I want to share many wives’ stories. Tomorrow, I will be sharing a wife’s story who remained peaceful through her husband separating from her on this journey.
- The key thing here is GOD, not us and not our husbands’ responses.
There is usually a bit of a pattern that this journey follows…
1. A wife’s epiphany.
2. Her repentance to God and to her husband.
3. She sees her sin but doesn’t really know how to stop it all the sudden and how to change so much at one time. She may feel very overwhelmed for awhile.
4. She realizes that she can’t do this. That is actually a really good thing – because we have to understand we can only do this through the power of God’s Spirit, not on our own.
5. There is sometimes a honeymoon phase for both the husband and wife.
6. The wife messes up in some way. Husbands can get really scared when this happens sometimes, they think it means she has not really changed. It doesn’t usually mean that at all. This is more like a baby learning to walk. She can’t sprint or run a marathon immediately. This is a LONG, SLOW process of learning. SHE WILL FALL sometimes. At first, she will fall a lot. This is the process of sanctification, where God makes us more and more like Christ. We have to learn to truly die to self and truly submit to Christ. Sometimes we will fall. Then we just have to get right back up and keep learning. I pray for husbands to have patience because it takes many, many months before most wives begin to feel like this stuff all comes “naturally.” It is not an overnight thing to completely throw out everything you think you know about marriage, being a woman and following Christ and rebuilding it all from scratch. There are warped ideas and bad habits that have been engrained for decades that have to be removed. If a wife stumbles and falls, she can repent to God and to her husband, learn from her mistake and keep going.
7. Sometimes when a wife makes some mistakes and sins again, some husbands get REALY upset and shut down again even more than before. They may think that they had a chance at Paradise but now it has all been lost. It has NOT! But it is much more difficult than most husbands realize for a wife to lay down all her pride, lay down her warped ideas about herself knowing best, begin to understand and accept and trust God’s sovereignty, begin to know what actually is disrespectful/respectful and to understand what on earth it means to honor her husband’s leadership. She is going totally against her sinful nature, the culture, the enemy’s lies, her intuition and all of the bad habits she has built up over the years.
Sometimes husbands may seem more upset than before after their wives begin this journey. Here is a post about that.
8. The wife will probably go through a long “Frustrating Quiet Phase” where she almost stops talking because she realizes if she talks, sin is going to come out of her mouth. At first, we have to try to hold back all of our sinful ocean of thoughts. It is REALLY HARD! Especially when we are used to spewing our negativity, pride, self-righteousness, disrespect and control everywhere. This is the beginning of learning true, godly wisdom. We will learn to take every thought captive during this time and combat the lies we are telling ourselves with the truth of God’s Word until God begins to change our hearts, our minds and our souls. He will give us new desires and new power to obey Him that we never had before.
9. Then we will begin to learn to use our words for GOOD, and begin to add respectful things. At first what we do and say will feel fake, awkward and foreign. We may have never seen anyone do any of these things. We may not have ever said these kinds of words before. That is ok! We will learn and it will eventually become a new habit – very much like learning a new language. Here are some things several husbands said feel respectful to them that we may want to add.
10. Then we will usually notice that our husbands aren’t “changing” like we want them to. We may get resentful. We may start to think we are doing all of this extremely hard work “for nothing.” This stage is REALLY IMPORTANT because it is during this stage and this long time that our husbands are waiting to see if this is for real and they are still standing back a good bit from us, that we will learn to purify our motives and ONLY do these things because we want to love and obey Christ and please Him, NOT to change our husbands. If our husbands did change quickly, we might continue to cling to our idols of self, control and our husbands. God will not allow that to happen. The fact that it usually takes such a long time for husbands to really feel safe again with us gives us a lot of time to refine our motives and to become more and more Christlike. We learn to do this for God, not because of what we will “get” from our husbands. We “get” that this is ALL about us and Jesus.
Husbands have their own stages they go through, too! This is a big learning curve for them as well as God changes us so radically.
I have some posts about these things :
For Husbands, “So Your Wife Wants to Be a Peacefulwife?”