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“Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?” – Part 1

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms. 🙂

I am praying for extra comfort, courage, strength, peace and joy for those battling infertility, those who long for children but can’t have them for some reason and those who have lost a child.

FROM A WIFE (with her permission):

Hi April,

I’ve been lurking on your blog for a couple months now and have learned a lot about being a Godly wife. I haven’t been able to get this post out of my head though and I would like to share my thoughts.

It’s the little things that are harder for me to handle.

I am fine with my husband having the final say in the big decisions. I understand that he will answer to God for the way he has led me. I see the purpose of having one person ultimately in charge. I know God has wisdom in making him my spiritual leader. I am completely willing follow him if he had a dream he wanted to pursue. I think it’s because I can see the purpose behind the sacrifice in all these situations. (I’m not saying it’s always easy to practice, but I am at peace with my role in these instances).

But where I struggle is matters of personal preference. It’s the where we sit in the theater or what color to paint the walls type of decisions that always trip me up.

I can’t seem to work out why he should automatically get his way in these situations based solely on his gender.

Honestly, in your example about the husband getting angry because his wife wanted to sit somewhere different than he did; he comes across to me as spoiled and demanding – like a child pouting because he didn’t get his way. I’m sure there is history there so I am not judging that specific couple. I am just saying I don’t see it the same way you do. (God help me, I am trying to though).

It is in the issue of personal preference where submitting to him can seem so dehumanizing at times. It seems like he is saying that all his wants and desires have more value than mine do. That “might (authority in this case) makes right”. Is it just the case of rank having its privileges?

I know that I shouldn’t have to understand in order to submit. But in my flesh I can’t see that this is a valid form of submission. It seems prideful of a husband to demand all his preferences above his wife’s. Will this not just feed his ego? (“Absolute power corrupts” and all?) I have such a hard time when I believe something is “unfair”.

What I have been spinning around in my head is that maybe it’s just about what works in marriage instead of what’s “fair.”  My husband is actually pretty good about taking my wants into account, when I’m not demanding my way, at least.

He told me once that it is his job to look out for me, but he can’t do that when I am looking out for myself – that I am taking his job away from him.

I know fighting and demanding my way doesn’t work. In the end, I always cave (because he is incapable of it) and he still gets his way but so much damage has been done in the process. If I submit, he is more willing to consider what I want and even if he says no initially, he may reconsider later if I don’t fight him. Oh, it hurts my flesh so much sometimes but it is healthier for both of us in the end.

So is it just a matter of practicality? Is it just the way we are wired and that I should set aside what is fair for what works? Or is it deeper than that. I feel like I am missing something.

Any insights would be appreciated.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

At the end there, you actually explained why God’s wisdom works best in marriage quite well. Nicely done!

It is the little things that get most of us tripped up. We can get so focused on the little issue and how “right” we believe we are about it, that we inadvertently make the tiny issue bigger than our obedience to God and bigger than the unity of our marriage.

FICTIONAL EXAMPLE (based on the couple I described in the post this reader is referring to):
If I want to sit in the front on the floor during a children’s play and my husband wants to sit closer to the back. I share what I want in a pleasant, polite, friendly, positive and kind way. He shares that he would still prefer to sit in the back. I know my husband well enough to know that for him to sit on the floor for a long time would really hurt his legs, back and hips. Maybe he shares why he doesn’t want to sit on the floor, maybe he doesn’t.

Now I have a choice.

  • I could make this into a big issue.
  • I could demand to sit in front on the floor.
  • I could try to force Greg to do what I want to do.
  • I could refuse to care about what he wants or prefers and force my way.
  • I could pitch a fit.
  • I could make a scene.
  • I could yell at him, humiliate him or make fun of him about what a baby he is being that he doesn’t want to sit on the floor in the front.
  • I could argue.
  • I could complain.
  • I could hammer him and hammer him until he does what I want him to do.
  • I could tell him, “Go sit in the back by yourself. I don’t care what you do. I’m sitting in the front on the floor with our daughter.”

Then when Greg caves in and sits uncomfortably on the floor with me, I have VICTORY, right?

(Well, I doubt Greg would cave in to that particular demand, and I certainly wouldn’t expect him to sit on the floor for all that time, knowing about the knee injuries he has had. It would be very selfish of me to try to make him sit somewhere that would be painful for him.)

The more likely thing that would have happened earlier in our marriage would have been that Greg would have refused to do what I was demanding for him to do, I would have gotten very angry and he would have shut down and unplugged even more.

What many wives don’t know is that when they demand their way, refuse to bend or cave on small issues, they can, at times, destroy the intimacy and unity of their marriages and set a very ungodly example for their children.  I pay dearly in intimacy and unity in our marriage when I become inflexible, completely determined to have “my way” no matter what the cost and I tenaciously “stick to my guns” on the smallest of issues.

My husband may think to himself, “Wow. If she won’t cooperate with me on something so insignificant, if she won’t follow me or trust me on this, if she won’t place any value at all on my needs, my desires or my opinion here – there is no way she will trust me or will be willing to follow me in bigger things that actually matter. I have no voice in this marriage. I feel insignificant. I don’t mind her sharing what she would like to do – but it is so humiliating for her to cause a scene in public like that when I have legitimate reasons for wanting to sit towards the back.”

(Gentlemen, you are welcome to comment and let us know what you believe would be going on in a husband’s mind in a situation like this.)

Not to mention, if I refuse to defer to my husband’s leadership, even on small things, Titus 2:5 says that I malign the gospel of Christ.

What could possibly be worth that?

What real difference does it make if we don’t paint the wall the color I like the most? What real difference does it make where we sit for the play?

Jesus instructs His followers:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20

– Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. I Corinthians 6

If those in authority are to be humble and servant hearted – wouldn’t the same words apply to those who are following? And if we can bring more glory to Christ by suffering or by being wronged – then isn’t that the more noble road to take, rather than pushing our own agenda and demanding what we want for ourselves?

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4

Why do I want what I want? Am I seeking God’s glory or my own glory? Am I being selfish (which is not of God) or am I seeking the kingdom’s greatest good?

Am I saying we have to be doormats? Not at all. It’s good for us and important for us to share our hearts, our needs and desires respectfully, humbly and with a sincerely friendly demeanor. And, for some couples, the husband may be fine with a compromise – he sits in back, she sits up front. But, if we do not get what we want, we must decide upon what our ultimate goal in this life is to be. There WILL be times we may need to gently, humbly, carefully, prayerfully, respectfully confront our husbands’ sin or harshness. Husbands are told in I Peter 3:7 that if they do not treat their wives with honor and understanding, their prayers will not be heard. Husbands obviously can sin, just as much as wives can. So, there will be times we must live out Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:16-18. But – there are also times to extend grace and there are times when the exact outcome of the decision just isn’t that important in the eternal scheme of things.

Rev. H. A. Weaver says:

The world’s definition of freedom is – the ability to do whatever I want.

God’s definition of freedom is – the power and ability to do God’s will.

 For Part 2, please click here.

67 thoughts on ““Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?” – Part 1

  1. Happy mothers day to all the moms!!!!!

    I was actually having this conversation with someone not to long ago. I think the small things matter because they reveal whats in the heart. Jesus said from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. We don’t do anything unless it first begins in our heart and that’s what God is concerned with my heart. Do I just say I’m submissive or do I truly have a submissive heart. That will always be revealed by what I think and do. I see it as every act of grace empowered submission to my husband in the small things are a blow to my flesh preparing and training me for submission to God in the huge things.

    1. Jessica,

      I agree! These little challenges offer great insights into our motives and priorities. Is my greatest goal to honor Christ and bless my husband, or is it to have my way as much as possible? God can and will use my wisdom and perspective to bless my husband. But am I willing to be cooperative, pleasant, joyful in Christ and able to rest in His love, peace and sovereignty even when I don’t get what I want?

      My desire is to hold everything but Jesus very loosely and to allow God to give and take away as He sees fit. My goal is to seek His will and His wisdom above my own. I bring all of my strengths, personality, gifts, talents, intelligence, encouragement, support, love, respect, admiration, loyalty, blessing, emotions and desires to our marriage. I share my heart, my ideas, my feelings and desires. But, I also desire to be able to be flexible to bend and accommodate God’s sovereignty and His changes to my plans and I desire to be able to yield to my husband’s preferences when needed without being resentful or bitter.

      My experience has been that when my husband feels honored and respected, he cares very deeply about making me happy. He listens to me. I have not lost my voice at all, but instead have a much greater influence now that my husband feels safe and respected by me.

      Ultimately, my submission begins with submission to Christ. That is really the issue here. Each little situation is an opportunity to bring honor, glory and pleasure to Christ. 🙂

      1. April, I love your statement, “God can and will use my wisdom and perspective to bless my husband.” I think a lot of wives who feel that being submissive means being a doormat don’t realize that NOT being a doormat is a blessing! My opinions can bless my husband for a multitude of reasons. It’s a concept that some women don’t consider, and you put it very succinctly in that one sentence.

        1. M,
          We tend to veer to extremes as sinful humans – either we tend to be dominating, controlling, disrespectful wives (like I was), or weak, voiceless, spineless wives who completely give up our influence authority and our God-given place in marriage to bring blessing.

          No godly, healthy husband wants a wife with no opinions, no thoughts of her own, no personality, no vibrancy and life. What makes biblical submission powerful is that it takes a STRONG woman to bring all of that strength that is hers and to keep it under God’s control. Submission is not a position of weakness, but a position of meekness – bridled strength. Think of a stallion that has been “broken” and responds to his trainer. All that strength is still there – but now he uses it all for the purposes of his trainer. That is what we do as we submit first to Christ and then to our husbands.

          I’m glad that was helpful. 🙂

          I probably don’t talk enough about not being doormats, because that was not my issue in the past. But, maybe we need to talk about it a bit more.

      1. April i was looking over old postings for encouragement and just saw this comment. Of course!!! How is your book going? I cant wait to read it!!!!

  2. Happy Mother’s Day!!!

    So much easier to consider submitting in the small things now because I’ve learned that just because he can’t tell me his reason for preferring something different doesn’t mean there’s not a good reason. It’s taken me awhile to put that one together.

    Actually, this is a lot like what I learned about the Bible years ago (I didn’t know it could apply to my husband). If the Bible seemed to contradict itself or if I couldn’t find the answers I wanted, it just meant I didn’t understand the Bible. Not that the Bible was wrong or couldn’t be trusted.

    1. Refined,
      I love this! Greg wasn’t always able to explain or verbalize why he wanted to do something differently from what I thought we should do. I used to think that meant he didn’t have a reason. Now I know he does have reasons, valid ones, even if he does not fully articulate them. Now, I trust his heart. It is very similar to the way I have learned to trust God and His heart, too, even if I don’t understand the reasons why God is asking me to do something. 🙂

  3. Happy Mother’s Day!

    I think the biggest problem when it comes to the little things is the lack of an explanation. For example when a man picks a seat in the theater, is he just thinking about how much he will enjoy himself or what his lady will enjoy? Well here’s another angle for you ladies; when you pick a place to sit do you consider security? Do you wonder what would happen in case of a fire or some madman walking in? I’m sure some of you do an it’s stressful. Men do this all the time. When on the street and at home. Watch where he sits at home, in the theater and what side of the street he picks to walk on while with you.

    Security is a serious concern for a men all day everyday. As a man you don’t get to choose when to care and when not to. When with love ones men even drive slower, they pay more attention to surroundings. Part of the reason I don’t stop to ask for directions is safety concerns. Do you ladies wonder about your husbands safety? I’m really curious about that.

    Ultimately it all boils down to trust. Do you trust your man enough to go with decisions you don’t get? Believe me sometimes what we do is instinctive and so can’t really be explained. It’s like the decisions you make concerning your children.

    But the most important thing is; do you value your way more than your husband? Would you rather have your husband or this other thing?

    Lastly try and ask your man why he chose something. It might turn out to be very interesting. Men die everyday to save their loved ones and the media ignores it, columbine and the movie theater shootings being an example.
    A lot of men die standing between their loved one and danger and they do it without thinking.

    1. Nick,
      thanks so much for your perspective! I especially appreciate you bringing up things that we as women may miss, how a man may be trying to think about security, for instance. This is very helpful.

      1. I talked with Greg about this, how husbands may be thinking about security and safety issues, and he completely agreed. It is interesting… When I am by myself, I am much more conscious about my safety. But when I am with Greg, I don’t really worry about my safety nearly as much, I guess because he is with me. But, I hadn’t really thought about how much bought he puts into my safety and our children’s safety. Very thought provoking! I sure do appreciate that Greg is thinking about our safety. That is very loving of him!

    2. I notice when we’re walking through a parking lot, my husband will always make sure I’m on the inside away from moving cars. When in a restaurant, he always wants to sit facing the room so that he has better vision of our surroundings. I find it incredibly chivalrous and it makes me feel so very protected and safe.

  4. Wow!

    The husband hit ‘the nail on the head’ when he said

    “He told me once that it is his job to look out for me, but he can’t do that when I am looking out for myself – that I am taking his job away from him.”

    We are all sinners or sinners saved by grace. Genesis 3:16 comes to mind in these situations. I guess men can go overboard with this verse if they know it (and even if they don’t). Many men don’t really get true leadership (which was given by example by the Lord). We all have be inundated with the worlds method and a few might have been blessed to see Godly leadership when growing up. To put it into practice in marriage is hard even for the godly.

    Saying that, I have my insecurities and my flesh would say ‘hmm, why is she fighting me? Does she think I am incapable? Does she want to ‘mother’ me?

    We have to continue to take every thought captive. It is a daily struggle -but we already have the victory.

    1. Raphael,
      You bring up some very important points, too…

      Many men, most men, have not had a godly example of how to lead in their marriages, sadly.

      And men do deal with insecurities, so if a wife fights her husband on things, even little things, often – he may eventually feel it is pointless to try to lead because she won’t follow anyway.

  5. God bless all the mother hearts out there! <3

    April, something you said in one of your posts or videos (I'm sorry, I can't recall which right now) really stuck with me. It was definitely an a-ha moment for me.

    The marriage example I grew up under with my parents was a dominant father and submissive mother. In the big things, it seemed they always made wise decisions. My father is very knowledgeable and capable and my mother is very trusting of him.

    But, it's the small things that I remember the most. My father always demanded and got his way and I don't recall my mother ever sharing her desires. I do recall my father belittling the way my mother did things if it wasn't the way he thought they should be done and blaming her if his way ended up going wrong. I could never understand how my mother could tolerate his pride. I guess she was able to let go of the little things and bring any hurt she had to God.

    Unfortunately, I emulated my father more than my mother. I had the attitude that you describe, April, of feeling like I'm helping others and looking out for them because I think my way is the best way. Sadly, the very thing that bothered me most about my father, I took on in my own personality. And I'm sure it's even less lovely in a woman!

    But something you said, April, was a totally new concept to me. You said that when you let others have their way, that can be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that I didn't have to have my way! I grew up with my father always demanding and getting his way and my mother seemingly never getting hers. I don't even know if she ever had an opinion about what her way was! I guess I didn't want to be like that, walked over and belittled. But in taking the other path, I ended up being much worse — the one who is walking over and belittling others.

    What a totally new concept it was to me that I don't have to have my way! It's actually freeing!!! I don't have to push and fight to have things my way and if things go my husband's or someone else's way, I like being able to think of that as my gift to them. I'm not losing my power, I'm using it to make a choice for love and peace instead of pride.

    And, April, your encouragement to really focus on understanding God's sovereignty has been a huge help in this, too. I, too, lacked this. But as I have come to understand what God's sovereignty means in my life on a daily basis, I have come to realize I can share my desires with others, then sit back and trust God to do what is best for me whether it goes my way or not. There is so much more peace and freedom in this! His way, after all, is so much higher and better, I don't even want my way anymore. It certainly has brought me or others peace.

    1. Wow, Cat!!!!

      I love this! Thanks so much for sharing!

      This example makes me so sad. That is not God’s beautiful design for marriage. I can’t imagine Jesus demanding His way on every little thing and not caring about the needs of His people. And a wife with no thoughts, ideas, feelings, desires or opinions is not what God calls us to be as wives, either. He gives us a powerful position of influence that we can use with incredible strength to bless our husbands and families. I don’t want to see any wife just lay down her personality, strengths, abilities, wisdom, insights,perspective, feelings, desires and needs.

      From my perspective, it seems that as sinners, we tend to go to one extreme or the other as husbands or wives. Too dominant or too submissive. But what God calls us to do is to soar on the wings of His Spirit working in us in this narrow path far above the extremes in the center of His will.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about how “walked over” a wife is. I don’t know their situation, but I do know mine. I would never disagree with my Hubby’s decision in front of others, & I hope if we ever decide to have children that I would especially not do it infront of them! So it may look to others that Hubby makes all decisions, but in reality we have more than likely talked about in private already. Just another way of “judging” a submissive wife 🙂

        1. Great point about not judging a submissive wife, krystlew3. I should clarify about my parents’ marriage because it probably sounded pretty harsh from my snapshot description.

          They don’t have a relationship that makes me sad. They actually have a very good relationship and are very happy together and a great team. They are both believers and have obviously figured out a way to make their marriage work for them as they are going on 25 years. They never disagreed in front of my brothers and I. They always presented a united front and I never remember them fighting in any way. Maybe a disagreement here and there wouldn’t have been a bad thing — I could probably have benefited from learning how to do that properly instead of shutting down and avoiding conflict — but overall, they have presented a good picture of a healthy happy marriage.

          My father’s personality and his attitude toward everyone, not just his wife, is that he is always right. And, I must admit, he often is. He is very knowledge and capable and thorough in taking all aspects of a situation into consideration when making a decision. No wonder my mother has happily gone along with his way of doing things! Maybe she learned early on that he was a good leader and I think her personality is to be more of a follower, so they make a good team.

          The problem is probably more my sinful nature. My own pride balked at my father’s pride, especially in my teen years. I remember one time angrily confronting him about his “attitude” toward my mother and then shortly after apologizing as I knew I was out of line. I knew I could not assume things about their relationship that I was not privy to and it was wrong of me to judge and to be disrespectful to my father.

          I know I absorbed messages from my family and culture that have been harmful — sometimes the message itself was wrong and sometimes it was my interpretation, which may have been more the case with my parents’ marriage. Thankfully, God has allowed my eyes to be opened and now I am trying to rework my understanding of who I am in Christ and who He wants me to be as a wife, mother, daughter. This is not an easy task!

          What I am learning, in the small amount I have shared with my parents, is that they are more gracious and understanding and less judgmental and demanding than I had thought all these years. When I shared some concerns, my father actually admitted and apologized for his “stubbornness” and how it has impacted me. He even asked me to let him know if there were any other areas he needed to needed to change! This may be more the side of my father that my mother has known all these years and I, in my own pride, have never allowed myself to see or get to know because I was just as stubborn as him in having my own way that we never communicated honestly with one another like that before.

    2. ..”when you let others have their way, that can be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that I didn’t have to have my way”

      This is such a good concept. I have been starting to wonder lately why I have been so attached to having my way all the time. I am beginning to see the freedom in letting others have their way too. I like that you pointed out that it is not a loss of power. I am seeing it as a way to learn and grow.

      When you pointed out that submitting to our husbands can be our gift to them it made me think about seeing my husbands leadership as his gift to me. I have always seen authority in such a negative light in the past. I am going to spend some time thinking about this.

      1. Victoria,

        Bingo! It IS his gift to you when he seeks to lead you and love you in a godly way! And it is delicious to feel so protected, loved, cherished, adored and so feminine with a masculine man taking charge. When we follow God’s design with pure hearts and His power, we become the best version of ourselves and everyone wins. The only “self” we lose is our old sinful selves. But that is not a sacrifice, that is freedom!

      2. It is a great concept, isn’t it? It truly never occurred to me that I didn’t have to have things my way. It actually didn’t even ever occur to me that I was so stuck on doing things my way, I just wanted them done the “right” way (which, of course, was my way). It’s so freeing to just let things go, to be gracious to others in letting them have their way — it’s a powerful gift to offer others, isn’t it? I like your thought about our husbands’ leadership being their gift. That’s a great concept, too! You’re right that authority is always portrayed in such a negative light. And submission is a dirty word. I’m so sad that I didn’t understand this sooner and so thankful that I have the opportunity to teach my children differently.

        On Sun, May 18, 2014 at 2:15 AM, Peacefulwife’s Blog wrote:

        > Victoria commented: “..”when you let others have their way, that can > be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that > I didn’t have to have my way” This is such a good concept. I have been > starting to wonder lately why I have been so attached to” >

  6. Something that confuses me about this situation is why the husband and wife had to sit together? If it was my husband he would say, it is fine for you to sit up front but I am going to sit in a chair. Wouldn’t it be alright for the wife to ask her husband if he minded if she sat upfront?

    My husband and I actually had a conversation similar to this once. His response was “You can do what you like and it will be perfectly fine but don’t try to force me to do it too.”

    1. Daisymae,
      Great point!
      Different husbands and wives will have different views on this. Some husbands would be fine with their wives sitting up front with out them, I think the key things are a wife’s approach, motives and attitude.

      Regarding the couple I witnessed at the children’s theater, the wife was clearly trying to tell her husband to sit where she was. And he very clearly didn’t want to sit on the floor.

      I think your husband’s point is important – don’t try to force your man into something. It’s usually fine with most husbands, that I know of, if a wife shares that she wants to do something, the problem often starts when she tries to make her husband do things her way, too.

  7. As a new wife and newly on a journey towards respecting my husband better, I’m finding the “small stuff” is good practise for the big stuff. I never realised how poorly I listen and how easy I find it to think “I know he said XXXX, but he obviously hasn’t thought about Y and he doesn’t know Z so his opinion/decision/suggestion isn’t correct. I know better.” The last week I’ve managed to start practising listening more and following his lead rather than questioning or ignoring it. It is an eye-opener! I know he is a very intelligent and immensely practical man, but for some reason (because he doesn’t think and act in the same way I do) I ignore his opinions a huge amount. Not good.

    1. JustMe,
      That is really interesting. I can totally relate. I believe I thought in a very similar way earlier in our marriage. It is interesting when we start listening and begin to appreciate our husbands’ wisdom. Sometimes, it is as we show them that even the “small things” are important to us that they begin to gain confidence as leaders. I think it helps them to see that we want to trust them and hear what matters to them and honor them even in small things. It sets the stage for the bigger things, in my view.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. My husband did things like this for years when we were in public because he wanted to protect his family. He would wear sun glasses inside buildings just so he could watch people without them being able to see him watching them. He would have to sit in a seat in a restaurant facing the door so he could watch people coming in and out. And he would always choose a seat in public place near an exit so we could exit quickly if necessary. He did many things like this with no explanation, so I finally asked why he did them. (For some reason, men seem to want to just be trusted; they don’t feel they need to give explanations for everything. But I have seen that if I ask for an explanation, he doesn’t mind giving one at all.) And then he explained that he was doing it for mine and the kids’ protection. Now his sons do the very same things with their wives!! He taught them to be good protectors of their families. At first I thought these things were odd, but when I found out his reason, I thought it was a very beautiful thing. I don’t think women understand the natural need of a man to protect his family. It is a God-given desire ~ it is something they feel they just have to do!! My husband has always also encouraged me to give people the benefit of the doubt and to think the best case scenario. So, if I don’t understand something, I’ve learned to ask for an explanation without assuming the worst.

    1. Eliza,
      I love this! Thank you very much for sharing. I think that we as wives do better if we can understand the “why” behind our husbands’ decision. I love that when you asked in a respectful way, he was glad to explain his reasoning. It’s actually a beautiful thing that he wanted to protect all of you.

  9. Happy Mothers’ Day, peaceful moms! 🙂

    I am still recovering from my weird bout with a virus and am not yet 100%, but praying I will be soon.

    It is in letting go of the little things do we learn to let go of the big things. In life, it’s a whole lot of the LITTLE THINGS, and not much of the BIG THINGS.

    Luke 16:10

    “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

    P.S. Eliza, can I also share about your journey in my blog? 🙂

    1. Nikka,
      Praying for healing for you, my sweet friend!

      Love that verse! That definitely applies here. Thank you so much, Nikka!

      Sending you a big “get well” hug.

      Much love,
      April

      1. I am new to this journey and right now I love taking directions with the small things because it shows that my husband is a natural leader and it’s much easier for me to submit. I am less stressed because I have time to focus on other things and he is less stressed. So it’s win win!

    2. ….and….I don’t know if other women would think this is a “small” thing or a “big” thing, but in all our years of marriage (31 this month), my husband has always done all the driving. Even though he is a Mr. Steady, he made it known from day one that he would be doing all the driving. So, whenever we go somewhere, I always sit in the passenger seat. My husband gets very stressed if he isn’t the one driving because, once again, he believes it’s his responsibility to protect his family, so he wants the responsibility when his family is on the road if he is in the car. (I’m kinda curious whether other women would consider this a small or a big preference!

      Hi, Nikka! Yes, that would be great!

      1. My Hubby has always driven when we are together, but I also don’t really like to drive & he knows that… So for me it isn’t a big thing because I didn’t want to do it anyway. I do know anytime we are going somewhere with his mom, he wants her to drive because she questions every decision he makes if he drives 🙁 So it is nice to know he feels comfortable driving for me 🙂

      2. My husband typically drives, and I don’t like to, but there are times when he needs to make work phone calls, or if he isn’t feeling well, that he will ask me to drive, and I will gladly do so for him.

      3. I like it when my husband drives. I like to be able to relax and not have to watch the road all the time. In the beginning of our marriage there were times when I would drive us but he would always point out how I was driving incorrectly. One day I was so frazzled by it I told him I would never drive him anywhere again. He was actually fine with it and so now, he always drives and neither of us get upset. I do drive on long car trips but I make sure he drives first so he can sleep when I drive 🙂

  10. The way I see this issue is that what a “small” thing is verses a “big” thing is can be subjective. I think God wants us to be faithful/servants/defer to others’ preferences in ALL circumstances. Plus, there are so many more seemingly “little” things that come up day to day…so many opportunities to fight for our own preferences, and therefore so many more opportunities to fight. Jesus wants us to be unified. Die to self and experience the (eventual) peace that comes from that!

    1. I completely agree! For instance when we were deciding what color to paint our house, I felt like it was a huge thing & didn’t like his suggestions & kept rehashing & rear giving for my way 🙁 I did get my way… & we painted just the front of the house & still haven’t gotten around to painting the rest (even though we did buy all the paint). He has recently confided in me that he hates the color & that’s why he hasn’t been in any hurry to paint the rest… I feel terrible because I know we don’t have the $ to get different paint & waste all the paint we already bought… At the time it seemed like such a huge issue, but now it just seems ridiculous 🙁

  11. This reminds me of ~~years ago~~ when we were young. One day when we came home from who knows where, husband asked me to go shut a shed door that had been left open. Not a shed I use by the way. I thought nothing of it at the time and went and shut the door. (Wasn’t I the sweet little wifey?)

    Well, when I got back to where he was, he said, “I just wondered if you would do anything that I asked you to do.

    Burst my bubble. Hmmm. How many times had I hurt him that evening? I still have no idea what that was all about.

    1. Sharon,

      That is interesting! Sounds like a little test.

      My husband was watching a cooking competition show on the Food Network last night. Maybe it was “Best Home Cooks in America”? Something like that. There were contestants that had Food Network star chefs as their coaches. One woman last night took her dish out of the oven where the eggs were cooking in little foil bowls on top of the rest of the dish. She panicked because the eggs were still raw and she only had 10 minutes left. Michael, her coach (and Iron Chef), told her to put the eggs back in the oven like he had instructed her to do before. She wouldn’t. She started to put the eggs in a pan to cook them separately. He was so frustrated! “I’ve been cooking for 30 years! Put the eggs back in the oven like they were!” She was not sure. He said, “She doesn’t trust me. When she trusts me. Then things are going to work. But right now, she trusts herself over my experience.” Eventually, she did what he told her to do, and the dish turned out well. She said she would always trust him from then on.

      We listen to people we trust. Husbands love to know we trust them. That doesn’t mean they are always right. But – it means so much to them. (Of course, if a wife is seriously not safe, or there are severe issues like drug/alcohol addictions, or an uncontrolled mental disorder, or a husband is involved in infidelity, she may not be able to trust him at that point until he repents and trust is rebuilt.) But, generally, as we show trust in our husbands, they become more trustworthy.

      1. When a wife makes it clear that she trusts you the next time you make a decision you try to not gamble on it. You make sure it’s the best decision. You make sure to reward her trust. It’s really that simple for most men.

  12. “My husband may think to himself, “Wow. If she won’t cooperate with me on something so insignificant, if she won’t follow me or trust me on this, if she won’t place any value at all on my needs, my desires or my opinion here – there is no way she will trust me or will be willing to follow me in bigger things that actually matter. I have no voice in this marriage. I feel insignificant.”

    ———————————————————————–

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. When my wife is continually disrespectful in little things I don’t feel like bringing up larger subjects like finances or family plans. I just know that if I get railed over something simple that I am going to get railed on the big things too. Not only that, but it can end up putting us in a bigger bind because problems that need resolutions don’t get resolved because we don’t discuss them.

    When my wife started her job we tried (tried….) to discuss plans for how we could use some of her additional income to pay off some of our debts. She got very upset at my suggestions and, instead of offering her own, she just yelled and told me that she wouldn’t be giving me ANY of her money. Knowing this is her attitude I have absolutely no desire to discuss finances with her.

    Trust is something that takes time to build, but can be lost in a few moments. A husband has to be able to trust his wife is on board with him in his plans to protect and provide for his family. It makes life so much easier and less stressful for BOTH. When a wife takes little things and blows them up into full fledged rebellion it chips away at that trust until, finally, her husband wants no part of her input and will either just start doing his own thing or will just let her make all the decisions, willingly giving up his God given position and responsibility.

  13. Victoria,

    That is a great question!!!!!

    Hmm… I may need to do a post or video on that. Some of it will be dependent on a husband’s personality and perspective.

    I do have posts about:
    Sharing vs. Complaining

    Spiritual Authority – has a section about making an appeal to someone in authority over us (which is VERY different from arguing – it is definitely worth checking that one out)

    I think a big point is that if he has already made his decision and you are still explaining, or if you are repeating yourself, that is probably “arguing.” But also, if you are just determined to change his mind and you think that if you “explain enough” that he will see how “right you are” and “how wrong he is” – that is probably arguing. Man. I used to do that a lot!

    1. “Explaining enough” Oh boy do I do that! My husband has said “Why do you think repeating yourself will get me to change my mind.” And “It’s not that I don’t understand what you are saying, it’s that I don’t agree with you”

      It sounds like a heart thing. If I am more focused on getting my way than anything else then there are problems. I know I have gone into many conversations intent on winning but thinking I am not arguing. Ugh it’s amazing how blind I can be at times.

      1. Victoria,
        Exactly. It is a heart thing! If you go into any discussion with your husband focusing primarily on getting your way – your motives are probably sinful.

        God wants to purge us of our sinful motives. Our only motives really should be to love, honor, please and obey God and to bless and love others with the love of Christ.

        If you are seeking to honor God and bless your husband and seeking God’s will and His glory as you go into a conversation, you will probably not argue with your husband.

        Would you please allow me to use these comments about this issue anonymously in my FB page and maybe in a post, please? This is really important! Thank you for bringing up this issue!

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