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A Question for the Husbands

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Gentlemen,

 

We are talking about what it means to our husbands when we as their wives honor their leadership even in the “little things.” I’d like to invite you to share what it means to you when your wife willingly and joyfully follows your lead.

  • What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him  in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing. If you have a specific example, that would be exceptionally helpful!
  • What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
  • Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective? Maybe something that seemed small to your wife, a thoughtless comment, was crushing to your masculine spirit – or maybe a parenting decision that she didn’t agree with had far reaching consequences?
  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

You are welcome to share your responses. I may use them anonymously for a future post, or possibly, even for my book. Thank you so much!

76 thoughts on “A Question for the Husbands

  1. What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing?

    I received a great piece of marriage advice once from a man who had been married nearly sixty years. I think it applies to this question and works in both directions. He said that if your wife is truly passionate about a paint color for a room and you don’t have the same level of passion, then concede the color choice to her. He was saying that compromise and give up control in those moments that it doesn’t really matter. He said that both he and his wife have taken that approach to many things over their marriage.

    When my wife trusts me with the little things, then it helps improve the confidence that she will have my back on the big things. In my heart – it creates a different perspective in my heart. Her concession on a decision makes me want to consult with her more. It creates a sense of oneness. Aside from God’s word – nothing makes me feel stronger as a man than knowing that my wife has confidence in me.

    1. pco004,
      Thank you! I love the advice you received. I think that is very wise, loving and respectful for spouses to consider the feelings of the one who is most passionate about a subject, particularly a little decision.

      And I really appreciate your masculine perspective about this issue. Thank you so much! This is powerful!

    2. You know pco004, This is a very balanced view to things and i know many women are comforted to know that they are not the only ones making sacrifices for their husbands. God bless you!

  2. What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

    It quickly creates an environment where the husband can start to believe that he does not have much value in his wife’s life or their marriage. Two things that impact me the most:

    1) Not listening with I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings with her

    2) Unproductive comments that are meant to take a shot at me while I am taking ownership for something that has gone wrong.

    I remember a time recently when I have messed up. I was sharing where I felt like I had messed up, how I thought it impacted her and that I was sorry for how I handled the situation. As I was talking to here – she picked up her phone and started to look on her social media. I asked her if she would stop and listen to what I was trying to say. She told me that I was being controlling and high maintenance. I explained that I needed her to hear me out. She told me that I was being a baby.

    It becomes easy to believe that my thoughts and feelings are less important that her social media. And if I am showing emotion, then I risk being called names. So…why should I make the effort to take ownership if this was the response I was going to receive?

    1. pco004,
      Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it will give a lot of us something to really stop and think about. What messages are we sending to our husbands? We say we want them to be open, honest and to share their feelings and emotions. But are we a safe place for them to do this? Do we show that we really care? Are we willing to stop everything else and give all of our attention the way we would want our husbands to do for us?

      Thank you!

      1. I know that it might seem silly to create a safe place for husbands to communicate, but it does make a difference. I believe that I have always done a fairly good job with sharing my feelings; however that still doesn’t always make it easy to open up. I think that one of the greatest gifts that God gives us through marriage is the security that two people can create together. It is important that both spouses become intentional in their words and actions to create security. It starts and continues in the little moments.

        1. pco004,

          No! That is not silly at all! Wives desire a safe place to communicate and share their feelings. I think wives can appreciate that husbands want and need the same thing. Thank you!

        2. pco004,
          I would like to have your permission to quote some of your comments from this post anonymously in a book I am finishing up. Would that be ok with you, please, my brother? It would be such an honor to share your ideas, thoughts, and insights.

  3. Great post!

    Hmmm.

    •What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

    When this occurs, it makes me feel insignificant. I feel totally disrespected. It would be as if I was her child instead of husband. I’d start to ‘shut down.’ There would be no need for my input. I do think about what our children are gleaning from this if they see it occur.

    •Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

    This would feel like ‘quid pro quo.’ There would still not be any ‘respect’ felt because it would be contingent upon the size of the decision.

    1. Raphael,

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      I can’t help but think about how God feels if we are willing to submit to Him in the big things, but not what we would consider to be “the little things.” I believe he would feel very disrespected, as well. And if we decided to only submit to the traffic laws we felt were important, or only submit to our boss in the areas we thought were “big” or to only submit to the government on “important matters” – what would happen to our society? Total chaos.

      Thank you for sharing a husband’s masculine perspective. This is very helpful!

    2. Ladies,

      Here is a passage where God instructs us about honoring those in God-given authority over us:

      Romans 13
      Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

      6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

      God commands wives “Wives must respect their husbands.” Ephesians 5:33. He commands husbands to love their wives, too. Ephesians 5:22-33 is all about God’s commands for both husbands and wives, and they are unconditional commands, meaning, husbands are commanded to love no matter what the wife is doing and wives are commanded to respect and biblically submit (in the Lord) no matter what the husband is doing.

      God wants us as wives to respect and honor our husbands. We owe them respect because they are in the position of husband – which is a God-given position of authority. And even the husbands who are far from God can be reached for Christ by a wife’s obedience to God’s Word. PRAISE GOD! I Peter 3:1-6.

  4. I’m not a man, but I think that husbands and wives also have certain “domains” in marriage. I don’t really think it’s fair for the husband to have too many restricting opinions about the decorating. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have any say, but generally, women look forward to creating the home enviroment.
    There are also some areas of parenthood where I think the husband needs to let the wife primarilylead. Birth is a great example of this. It’s her body. Men weren’t even around birth for most of the world’s history. It’s just not in a man’s wheelhouse. I consider breastfeeding another area where the husband needs to take a few steps back and let the wife make the decisions. Some things are uniquely female and men need to largely stay out of those areas, just as they did from the beginning of time until the late 1800’s.

    1. Lisa…I know that we talked about breastfeeding, but I went with my wife’s feelings because she had the strongest feelings about it. I believe that simply being included in the decision process is often enough to create togetherness in a marriage. I don’t necessarily disagree with your perspective; however I am curious in these areas where you believe that husband should have input or how best to approach sharing his thoughts.

      1. Pco004,

        That’s a tough question! Ideally, the husband should handle these areas “wife style”. A husband should not make an executive decision that his wife must have a natural birth at home. He could bring up the merits of natural birth once or twice, but it is inappropriate for him to dictate what she must do, IMO. Same with nursing. Does a husband get to use his authority to force his wife to use a nursing supplement system and all the pumping, tube feeding, and washing that entails because he would really like to see his children nursed? Or disrupt the God designed breastfeeding relationship because he is turned off by leaky breasts? I think a comment or two from the husband stating his feelings is all that is appropriate in areas where women have, until recently, dominated.

        1. Lisa…thanks for sharing. I think that it is important for a husband and wife to recognize those areas in which God provide each with a particular perspective on things. I think that is what makes marriage both challenging and rewarding.

        2. I have not been a practicing submissive wife for long and had already given birth to our son before beginning this walk. With that being said, I did not balk at my husband’s wishes or input regarding the birth of our son nor the breastfeeding. He did not demand anything yet we did have conversations about the birthing plan and breastfeeding. I did respect his opinion and authority in this instance because this was his child as well. Again we agreed and/or he deferred to my wants, yet the above comments made me think that if it was “woman territory” then our husbands should defer to us and that feels against God’s instruction. I guess if my husband had refused to let me breastfeed, I may have a different view point. This comment only gives me more desire to bury my head in the word and continue to draw my heart closer to God so that I may not sin against Him (or my husband either). There are so many instances given here in this post / blog that make me cringe because my “guilty meter” is sounding sirens!! I pray that my actions are aligned with God’s will each moment! Thank you husbands and ladies for given me so much to think and pray on!

          1. I had our children before I began to understand about becoming a godly wife. But, Greg was really helpful when I was nursing our babies. When I was extremely sleep deprived and couldn’t think straight, he was able to help me trouble shoot and gave me a lot of very helpful ideas and advice. He was with me for the birthing classes and breastfeeding classes. Sometimes he was able to help me get things to work better and I was really thankful. I’m grateful that he was very supportive of me nursing our babies.

            It’s interesting to hear everyone’s ideas on these issues. 🙂

          2. The God given order would mean that the wife would submit to her husband even as far as having an unassisted birth at home (no doctor or midwife) or an elective c-section solely for the convenience of work scheduling. That being said, there are some things men will never fully understand and birth is one of them. I think it’s absolutely inappropriate for a wife to try control a husband’s job/career or a husband to try to control his wife’s physical relationship with their children (birth/nursing). Both are over reaching.

          3. My main point is that everything doesn’t need to be thoroughly discussed. Some areas are the mans “thing” and some areas are the woman’s. I would be really irritated with a husband who had a lot of paint color opinions. That’s why I married a guy! So I can be the woman! Obviously, not all couples fit into neat little stereotypical gender boxes, but it helps if you automatically relinquish certain areas to eachother based on individual preference, gender, or *something*. Everything should not be a long drawn out thing. “Do whatever you want” should be said quite a bit, IMO.

  5. What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?

    It’s funny that you asked this question about where we choose to sit while eating out. I consider it one of our first moments of togetherness. I ALWAYS had to sit with my back to the wall in a restaurant. I don’t know way. It was just what I had always done. I remember my wife taking “my” seat one night. We sat down. I was uncomfortable. She asked me why I felt like I needed to sit against the wall with everything in view. I really didn’t have a solid explanation. I asked her how she felt about it. She said that she always felt like I was spending time watching what was going on rather than being there with her. I realized that I didn’t truly have a need for that seat, but she did. I made a change that supported her feelings. She got that seat moving forward; and then one night she ask me to come sit next to her in the booth. She said that she felt like I made her important with making that change, so she thought it would be great if we sat next to each other. Yes…we have become one of those dorky couples sitting on the same side of the booth together.

    I think it is a great example of how submission is a two way street. Husbands submit to God loving their wives as He commands. Wives submit to their husbands in a way that helps both of you to create the oneness that marriage is supposed to be achieved.

    You’ve asked questions about submitting to the little things. Isn’t it the little things that mean the most in a marriage?

    1. pco004,
      Yes, I do believe that the little things often mean the most in marriage.

      I love to see husbands and wives both taking the other person’s feelings, needs, desires and perspective into account. That is beautiful!

    2. One of my first thoughts on this subject was the “where to sit” question. My husband and I both are former law enforcement, so he (we) probably focus more on safety. My husband has always wanted to face the door/people. He wants to see who’s coming in, who may be questionable, and what is going on from a safety perspective, not an entertainment perspective. I never questioned it because it makes me feel safe and protected.

      The other “little thing” is choosing a restaurant. Even when we’re doing the back and fourth questions of where do you want to go for dinner, and he’s giving me the choice I ALWAYS choose his favorite restaurant. Why not? I’m more focused on a couple hours with my husband than I am about the menu anyway. I like a little variety, but I also can go somewhere else with a girlfriend on another day.

      Just my two cents. 😉

  6. Dong and I were having a discussion on respect for husbands and he said :

    “DISRESPECTING ONE’S HUSBAND IS EQUIVALENT TO ABUSE. When a wife no longer respects her husband, she takes away the man’s very sense of self. It’s like castrating him and leaving him defenseless. Respect is what a man needs.”

    Not referring to me anymore, just to be clear. 🙂

    We were just discussing this, in light of some couples we are praying for who have it far worse than we had before.

    1. Wow. I know that Dong does not say that lightly – he has experienced the painful side of being disrespected as a husband. So has Greg. I can only begin to imagine the pain they experienced, and other husbands, as well.

      Thank you for sharing your husband’s heart!


  7. Note: I share this not to complain about my own situation, but to help others. I understand that I am equally accountable for creating my own situation.

    To be honest, and a conscious level, my primary concern in choosing a seat is having a plausible answer to the question to, “Why would you want to sit there?” Unconsciously, I’m sure my own personal comfort plays a role (I’m 6’5″, and wary about having to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time).

    I can’t claim that physical security plays heavily in my mind, at least at a conscious level. Again, this is probably luck/privilege of being 6’5″. I’m not really a “tough guy,” but bad guys don’t know that, so I and the people with me aren’t going to be the first choice of targets. Maybe I subconsciously choose spots where I can keep an eye on things, but I don’t find myself vigilantly scanning crowds for signs of danger.

    This is especially true at events (like church) that I value and wish my wife would value more. I want to make it a pleasant experience for her, and probably bend over backwards to a fault to make it so.

    One event I recall that was especially devastating as my daughter’s swim meet.

    Note: This story probably makes me look better, and my wife look worse, than is truly reality.

    I arrived early with my daughter and all of our gear. I was scheduled to “work” at the swim meet, so I would be putting our stuff down to claim a spot my wife would sit during the meet.

    Now, I had to figure out, where should I put it? What was most important? To be close to where our daughters would be with the team? To be next to her friends that she could talk to? To be in the shade? To not have a long walk to leave?

    I chose based on what I thought was the proper balance of these concerns, and apparently got it wrong, since my wife laid into me about how thoughtless I was in choosing the spot.

    Now, I could take criticism for making the wrong choice. But the idea that I was “thoughtless” about something I had invested a a great deal of time and worry into was particularly devastating.

    Again, this is a dynamic that I had a significant part in creating, and this story is probably not a fair representation of our marriage.

    But I think it paints a vivid picture of the impact the manner in which we discuss these “little things” can have.

    1. johnmcg,

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective so humbly. I do pray that we as wives might be careful before we label our husbands “thoughtless” or “unloving” or assume they have evil motives towards us. We can’t see their hearts and don’t know all the time and effort they spent making decisions. This is very helpful.

      1. Wow how many times have I done this exact thing and then blamed my husband for overreacting when he became angry. I really praise God for this insight

    2. Thank you johnmcg. I know I have at times truly felt that my husband did something on purpose, or without any real thought. You gave me something to think about.

    3. And I guess the impacts on me:

      1.) It leads me to dread/avoid future occasions like this where I will have to make a decisions my wife will have to live with.

      2.) It leads me to not want to invest much thought and consideration into these future decisions. If I’m going to get clobbered anyway, why bother? In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      I’m not claiming these are the best/healthiest responses, but we are human.

    4. What I’m taking from this, is that we need to put thought into our responses especially when negative emotions turn into gear. It is very possible that your wife didnt mean to communicate the soul crushing word “thoughtless” but carelessly used the words that rushed to her in the heat of the moment. I’m also taking from this, the need to submit ourselves to the radical transformation of the Holy Spirit to rebuild our vocabulary generally. Some words should not exist even in our sub-consciousness.

      I think what April brought to focus on a past article, marriage is a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church. The question I try to ask myself is, “would i do this to Jesus”?

  8. A question for the husbands… My husband asked me to take care of our bills, so I manage the budget and I know what we have (or don’t). It works because I’m the more financially savvy of us, but it doesn’t because he bristles if I say we don’t have money budgeted and he refuses to actually stay within what we agreed to spend. I feel like I’m in a losing battle. How can I deal with this respectfully? We tried him paying the bills and that simply didn’t work. They weren’t paid on time because he’s forgetful.

    1. The fragile male ego…I’ve been there. Perhaps more communication about where you stand financially? Not sure if he feels (rightfully or unrightfully) he is getting a rude surprise when you say we can’t afford it? If he knew more in advance do you think that would help?

    2. I agree with Wayne, It’s more of a communication dynamic than financial. I believe presenting him with options (that you already know will help him the the fact) will be helpful. For example, saying he brings up a project you didnt plan for, you can simply say “where do you suggest we cut down from our plan, so we can accommodate this new request. It’s a little difficult for me to decide on this alone”

  9. I asked my husband these questions and he commented on a few…
    What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing.
    My husband said this means the world to him. He feels that i trust his judgement which causes him to really want to make the best decision so it causes him to really rely on the Lord for guidance because my trust is something he does not want to lose. It makes him feel more competent and confident.

    What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
    He said especially at church and some other places its not really about the why? but because he feels God led him to be the one to choose where we sit to be an outward picture of a spiritual reality. When out to restaurants or the movies he said that he chooses a seat based on what he feels would be best for the kids and myself.Also whenever we are walking outside (going for a walk or just in a parking lot) He always asks me to be on the inside and him toward the street or traffic. He said He does this because He is called to be my protector, which is also why when we are seated next to each other he wants me on the inside of a booth or pew.

    Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?
    His answer for this one surprised me because he named an example when we first began dating 8 years ago i couldnt believe he remembered( so it must have been painful) We were in a health food store and he was picking a protein for his workout(he used to be a pro boxer). The sales attendant asked him what protein he would like He chose one and then i said why dont you get this one and pointed to another protein. I thought nothing of it. He said it upset Him because number one i had no idea what i was talking about but wanted to direct him, my suggestion was not even helpful. And it made Him feel as though he couldnt think for himself. And the icing on the cake was that the sales attendant was a man.

    What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
    He said this makes you feel like you cant do anything right and not only does your wife not trust your judgement but you begin to second guess yourself and become paralyzed in your leadership or extremely angry.He said when i use to behave like this he would feel that he wasnt needed and that he wasnt man enough or strong enough for me and maybe he wasnt the man for me.( i never knew i was doing this much damage i actually made him doubt himself as a man and feel like a failure and that he couldnt please me)

    At the conclusion of our conversation he said something very interesting. He said i married a woman if a wife is constantly fighting for the position as head even over small things he said it feels very competitive and like being married to a man ( YIKES!!!!!! that definitely is blaspheming the word of God).

    1. Jessica,
      Wow!

      I am so thankful that you asked your husband these questions and that you are able to share his answers with us. I believe your husband’s answers will help many wives understand their own husbands better – and understand God’s commands for us as wives better and begin to see the wisdom in God’s design for marriage more clearly.

      Thank you so much!

  10. “What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing”

    For me it helps build my confidence in myself to allow me to make wise decisions for all the matters I take care of.

    “What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?”

    Small town living so it’s mostly about what would make my wife most comfortable.

    “Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?”

    Nothing comes to mind…sorry.

    “What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?”

    In my first marriage this was a problem. Knowing how good my marriage is now, lets me know that the needless arguing made me doubt most of my decisions and had me apologizing for those things that were not my fault.

    :Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?”

    Obviously its more important to cooperate on big decisions then the little ones. But not cooperating on little items may get tiring and diminish anyone’s confidence after time.

    1. Wayne,
      Thank you so much for sharing your masculine perspective and insights. I appreciate your time so much and I believe many wives will benefit from what you have shared.

  11. Help! I need advice about how to handle situations when I feel like my husband blames me for things that are not my fault. This is off topic I know but I really would like some suggestions. I Really get mad when he doesn’t take responsibility. It is usually with small things like leaving oven on or garage door open etc….but I start an argument. How would you handle this?? I hate being blamed for things that are not my fault!!! Thank you for your blog. I have a long way to go but am trying!

  12. He usually twists it so if only I had reminded him or not put something away…etc he would not have made the mistake. This infuriates me so I basically tell him it is not my fault. He gets angry and then we fight over the craziest little things. If he could just admit it when he is wrong I wouldn’t even be annoyed at all.

    1. Amy,

      What if you diffuse the situation by asking calmly and respectfully, “If you would like me to remind you about things, I would be glad to.”

      If you defend yourself, things can go downhill quickly, because he can perceive it as an attack on him.

      check out “Defending Myself No More”

      Your husband will sin against you sometimes. Maybe he should admit he is wrong. But you can’t make him do that.

      I’d highly recommend the book “Grace Filled Marriage” by Dr. Tim Keller.

      Much love!

  13. Thank you for taking the time to give such a thoughtful reply. It is going to be so hard to refrain from defending myself and responding in anger since that has been my way for so long. But I will look into the readings you suggested. I am motivated because obviously I can only change myself and the way I have been handling things only makes us both feel awful. Thank you again!

    1. Amy,
      You’re welcome. You can’t control your husband – but you are responsible to be filled with God’s Spirit yourself, which includes being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. It also includes being gentle and having self-control.
      As you cling to Christ and seek to allow Him to transform you to be more and more like Him, He can give you the power to respond in His Spirit instead of in your flesh. Then you both win! 🙂

  14. Cloud and Townsend give detail on conflict in marriage in their excellent book, Boundaries in Marriage.

    In the participants’ guide (p. 99), they list six common marital conflicts: the sin of one spouse, the immaturity or brokenness of one person, hurt feelings that are no one’s fault, conflicting desires, desires of one person versus the needs of the relationship, and known versus unknown problems (when the spouse knows you better than you know yourself).

    The restaurant question might be “conflicting desires.” They give great advice on handling these different types of conflict. They also are very clear about the perils of having one spouse be passive. I recommend the book!

  15. I believe my wife and I most of the time can come to an agreeable decision on issues. Sometimes we will do it her way and other times it will be my way, it just depends on the issue and the circumstances involved. There are times when we can’t agree but I think we both see the importance of being peacemakers and believe that it’s important to not always demand your way in every little thing. Even though it says for the wife to submit to her husband in all things, it’s also important for me, the husband to be understanding with her, as the weaker vessel and be willing to be a servant as Christ was to us, that can go a long way in helping her trust you, so I’m learning 🙂

    If it’s a big issue that I feel strongly about, like Church, when it concerns my family, when my wife willingly and joyfully follows me it means so much to me, its helps build my confidence and trust in her, knowing that I have her support and help, which at times I desperately need, it empowers me to be a good responsible leader knowing that God has entrusted me to my families welfare.

    When I don’t have her support and she argues and contends with me it’s soul crushing, almost debilitating and it breaks down my trust and confidence in myself and in her. I think it’s more important for me to have her support in big decisions over the little ones. I try not to sweat the small stuff so much.

  16. hello again. The other day I asked my wife not to scold me for letting our 21 year old go hang out at the mall (where he can be tempted with drugs again). I asked nicely and she looked at me as though I just talked back to the boss! She then said, “no, I’ll scold you when I feel like it!!” As she tried to walk away, I repeated myself. Then, 2 nights later, I blew. Not loud, I just told her I was tired of the disrespect and fabricated accusations against me- (that I was too mean to our autistic son)- and that sex was limited because I was unloving. I felt like the conversation was patented. I got my words in but she claimed I was electing myself dictator. She also said that for years I put myself down and presented a low self esteem and that it was my fault if she looked down on me. I reminded her that from the time I lost my professional job (cop) she had taken over and decisions in everything (yes, sex too). I said that biblically I blew it by allowing her to take over. But now I’m back.
    anyway, we slept she apologized the next morning and we promised each other we would talk about these things. we will.

  17. As to respecting me in “small things”, I have to assume you mean things that aren’t all that important. My first thought is, that if it isn’t all that important, why not? I don’t always know why, I prefer one thing, over another.In asking me to justify my choice, it does show lack of trust, but more importantly, it makes me feel like I defensive. Can’t I just have a preference? Do I really need a reason?

    As to choosing where we sit anytime we’re out, my wife always asks, where I would like to sit, and I always take into consideration her needs, that particular day, convenience, in some situations I suppose security, does come into play, but this is something we are both extremely flexible on.
    Something that is an extremely big deal to me, that seems to be a small thing to my wife is our sex life. This is an issue we still struggle with. It’s not so much a matter of frequency, or quality, but the fact that it IS a small thing to her.Her desire for intimacy, to me at least, a barometer of her level of respect for me.

    When my wife argues with me about small things, it makes it much harder for me to be loving towards her. It’s true that I ought to be considerate of her, and I’m commanded to love her, that does not mean I should cater to her every whim. In fact, it may be more loving, to not allow her to have her way, in much the same way as parents, we don’t allow our children to have their own way. I know many women will bristle at being compared to children, but when a wife insists on her own way in things that aren’t that big of a deal, she is in fact, being childish.

    Not cooperating in “small things” is the equivalent of the dripping water talked about in Proverbs. It just wears you down over time, and feels like that is why they do it. To wear you down, to the point where, you don’t want to make a decision about anything, big or small. So then, they HAVE to take control.

    Hope my answers were helpful.

    1. TC,
      YES! Your answers were very helpful.

      And I think that is a critical point – that what a wife considers to be a “small” issue may be vastly different from what a husband considers to be a “small” issue. So, what may seem small to her may be extremely important to him. That is all the more reason why I believe we most honor Christ and our husbands when we are willing to submit to our husbands’ leadership in everything. 🙂

      Thank you so much!

  18. Hi April, I couldn’t figure out how to send you an email, but just wanted to tell you what a huge encouragement this blog has been to me. I love that I have a trustworthy and godly resource to go to when I am struggling in my marriage. It reminds me of my sin, and asks me to examine my own heart before I look at my husband. God has already been revealing so much to me through this blog. I am realizing what an idol I’ve made of my husband and the perfect marriage. But Christ must meet those needs that I have been forcing on my husband. I’m so grateful that your blog is available, and covered in Scripture. You have a wonderful ministry and I have been sharing this website with other friends as well. Thank you for speaking truth and helping wives look to Christ! I’m so grateful!

    1. Rachel,

      What an incredible answer to my prayers! It is my deepest desire that Christ be exalted here and God’s Word. And it is my passion to help women focus on our walk with Christ and our own obedience to God, our sin, our salvation, our sanctification so that we can experience the abundant life God has for us in Christ. Most of us have never truly seen the depth of our sin. I hadn’t! And I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, accepted Christ when I was 5 and was one of the “strongest Christians” I knew. 🙁

      I know that a lot of what we talk about here is painful at first. Seeing and tearing out idols is EXCRUCIATING! But – the rewards are well worth it – intimacy and fellowship with Christ!

      Thank you for the encouragement. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and for each reader here. My prayer is that God might use me to “connect the dots” closer for the woman coming behind me than they were for me as I began this journey. Thank you for sharing with your friends. Please pray that God might empower me to be faithful and that He might accomplish His holy purposes and receive much glory here. 🙂

  19. I keep wanting to write something here about how I feel on the subject, but I am so frustrated about it I cant. I have typed out everything from a few short sentences to paragraphs, but cant bring myself to click “post”. I guess the simplest thing to say is this:

    A woman who disrespects her husband pours out hate upon him. It wont be long until he is broken.

    A woman who respects her husband pours out love upon him. It wont be long until he is trying to conquer the world for her.

      1. I believe my time for sharing is about done. It’s been two years since her affair and I found out that she is still considering leaving me once the kids are grown up and out of the house. Apparently I don’t provide enough stuff like jewelry, clothes and hair appointments. Her paramour is now her new standard for a man, and since he is gone she is stuck with me – the door prize. For two years I have read and studied Christian marriage blogs and I think I’m about done. After the affair I poured myself into her and she has rejected me. I’m tired of being disrespected. I’m tired of putting in and getting no response. I’m tired of being tired. At least now I know why my attempts to fix our relationship have been stonewalled – I guess she never intended for us to remain married unless I could bring home more of that money. Maybe ignoring her will work? I know it’s a sour thought, and I pray the Lord keep me from bitterness, but it’s difficult to continue to love when her ‘love’ is apparently a façade, and she is simply biding her time. I don’t know. I’m tired…..

        1. I sense that you may be depressed right now, Anonymous Me. I am sorry to hear about what is happening between you and your wife. 🙁

          But though the future looks bleak, I encourage you to hang in there. Cling on the Lord. She may be blinded by her desire to have a “better life” not knowing that her life with you, is already a blessing and poses so much promise. Focus on your side of the equation, that is to love her, even though it seems that she does not fulfill her side of the equation.

          God can work miracles in our hearts. Please do not lose hope.

          Praying for you, brother.
          Nikka

        2. AnonymousMe,

          How my heart breaks for the pain you are experiencing. Thank you for researching and giving this marriage covenant all you have and for seeking to honor God and love your wife even after an affair. I know our God can bring healing! How I pray He might heal you both.

          Your story makes me think of Hosea. I always felt like he got the worst deal of all the prophets. And yet, he loved his wife with the same love that God loves His wayward, unfaithful people – us. What a powerful illustration of the love of God.

          I pray that God might reach her. Only He can open people’s eyes. I pray that He might draw you nearer to Himself in this fiery trial. I pray for healing for your heart, rest for your soul, godly support around you both, and for God to somehow bring beauty from the ashes here and joy from mourning. I pray that you may renew your strength in Christ and mount up on wings like an eagle, that in Him, you might run and not grow weary and walk and not faint. I pray for God to use you in a mighty way, and your wife, for His kingdom and His glory.

          Sometimes a husband or a wife can do everything right. And sometimes a spouse does not respond. I am thankful that God will reward you for your obedience and faithfulness no matter what your wife does. I pray that instead of measuring your success by your wife’s happiness or response to you that you might measure your success in God’s eyes knowing you will answer to Him and He knows every sacrifice you made and every pain you suffered and how you desired to love your wife with God’s love. I pray that God might work powerfully in you and protect you from temptation and evil and that you might allow His Spirit to have full control and that His good purposes might be accomplished in you. I am thankful that your wife cannot take you out of God’s sovereign, loving hands and that God’s will cannot be thwarted in your life as you seek Him with all your heart.

          In Him,
          April

  20. Excellent topic! It has been said that your opinion only carries value when it is asked for. I would consider this forum as a viable outlet for just that. From the perspective of a Christian man, married and divorced 4 times at 41 years old comes this:
    Bear with me here, every marriage I ever had ended as a direct result of inability to follow the biblical plan for marriage. What the proper submission of a wife looks like to this man and what it means is pure heaven on earth. I don’t know that I have ever personally had such a thing in marriage. For sure, during courtship but not marriage. Men, if you have been blessed with a true biblical wife you better love her, REALLY love her. They are a most rare prize and a direct gift from God. Now, off my soap box and on to answer the topic.

    1.) Trust in small things? What it means is that she REALLY trusts him. I have never had that experience so perhaps I am not qualified to give you a response on this. I can tell you that when she doesn’t , it will break the marriage. (I am an EXPERT on that). If you don’t show your trust to follow him , he will doubt his ability to lead. The last thing you want is for your leader to wavier when things get hot.

    2.) Where to sit? As in a public setting? Easy enough. I have served in war zones and tons of third world countries. Access to cover, ease of use for others (Think elderly and handicap), my ability to see the doors, access to my firearm if needed. I have a friend who’s family is alive today because he was able to cover them during a grenade attack in a south African church. Take a look at the photos of the early church in America, men on the outside women and children in the middle.

    3.)Small to her, big deal with me? Another softball. My oldest daughter refused to listen to me at two years old, after many “Time outs” I spanked her for not responding to my call in an immediate fashion (Run, fast to the door. We are late! Hurry!) She walked to the door nonchalant fashion. I spanked her for it and her mother called CPS and reported me. Three months later my daughter and I were in Mexico, I noticed the street getting VERY quite. I knew something was REALLY wrong, I yelled for her to run to me. She dropped her toys and ran like crazy to me. We went to the hotel lobby just as a narco hosed the street and taxi stand down with 9mm. Her mother had already filed for divorce so it was a non issue to her.

    4.)What does it do to me / the marriage when your wife argues with you about everything? Simple, destroys it. Just save yourself the time and trouble. Start preparing for raising your children in a “State approved parenting plan”. Most women today don’t really care about divorce. It’s the new normal. Not that big of a deal. It’s more important for them to be right. Ask any man, you argue with him and get your way. Next argument is a non issue, he’ll just give in. Eventually you castrate him and now he is the dog on the front porch that won’t hunt. Same end, “shared parenting plan”. Is it really worth it? Try talking, communicating, not arguing.

    5.) Would I feel loved and respected if my wife submitted in the big things but not the little? Would it be ok if I just made out with my secretary but didn’t have sex? It’s just a kiss after all , right?

    1. Boycotting marriage,

      Goodness, your story breaks my heart. 🙁 You are my age! I can’t begin to imagine the pain and just the spiritual, emotional, financial, mental toll that this would take on everyone involved.

      I greatly appreciate your willingness to share your answers. I think they are very helpful.

      I actually have some posts about how important “being right” becomes to us as wives and how we can end up putting little issues ahead of our marriages and obedience to God. That is a big problem, I was guilty of that line of thinking for a long time.

      Christian femininity is in very critical condition today. Most don’t realize the poison we have swallowed. I am praying fervently for my sisters who are hurting and imprisoned by worldly ways of thinking (and so many hurting brothers) and am so thankful to see God working in many women’s lives here, drawing them to Himself and to obedience to His Word for us as women and wives. Praying for this Great Awakening to continue and spread around the world.

      1. I am famous! Peaceful wife answered me! Crazy that so many women today ask where all the good men have gone? ……. Hiding from Jezebel! It’s happened before! 1 Kings 19. If you’re alone, read this then Ruth. Ask yourself whiich you most exemplify. Praise God for women like peaceful wife. she restores my faith in women.

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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