I am thankful we can talk about these important issues together, share our hearts, share our insights, learn together, seek God’s truth together and love God and our husbands together. I love being on this journey with each of you. I am just a woman, saved by God’s grace, who desires to become the woman God wants me to be. I want to share what I have learned and what others have learned from God, but most of all, I want to exalt Christ and His Word. I am not a marriage counselor, psychologist, pastor or therapist. I don’t have all the answers. I am not perfect. How I pray God will greatly increase and I will decrease and that He would only allow you to hear His truth from me, nothing of my own human wisdom. Apart from Christ there is no good in me whatsoever. I’m just a woman God dramatically changed and I long to see every woman experience knowing God and His healing and abundant life.
I didn’t have a mentor on my journey, and it took me 2.5 years to begin to have a clue what it meant to respect Greg and to begin to have any idea what biblical submission meant. My prayer is that God might use me to connect the dots closer for those who come behind me than they were for me. I may get you in the ballpark, but you will still have to wrestle prayerfully and seek to understand God, His Word and your husband to apply these things in your own life. I don’t have a magic formula – but I do have ideas and suggestions to prayerfully consider. They may not all apply to everyone.
I took down the posts by Thankfulhusband. He and I both agreed that there were just too many misunderstandings and too much division. My apologies to each wife who may have been upset/confused by these posts. He decided to bow out. This makes me really sad.
I am going to take a few days to pray and regroup. But first, I would like to address a few issues, hopefully for the sake of clarification:
- God’s Word is absolute truth.
- I am a fallible, sinful human being. Please weigh everything I say (or any guest blogger or commenter) against God’s Word. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. I John 4:1a
- My slant is always going to be from the perspective of a wife who was controlling and disrespectful with a passive husband. That is the only experience I have. My particular slant is not helpful for everyone. I totally understand that. My blog is not for everyone.
- My understanding of spiritual authority is best articulated in “Spiritual Authority” by Rev. Weaver. Please see that post for the notes from our class at church.
- I am entering new territory with the level of comments I am receiving on posts. I need a lot of wisdom – and maybe a full time secretary 🙂 – to manage and moderate all of these comments. I may not be able to respond to every single comment, and every person’s comment may not be theologically sound. I cannot be responsible for the theological soundness of 200 + comments per day. I just don’t have that much time each day. I will do my best, but I am sure I will fail at times. So, please weigh everything anyone says against God’s Word.
- No one answers to me for her obedience to God. We will all answer to Him alone.
- Husbands are not “off the hook” with God just because I don’t teach husbands here. They are completely accountable for every thought, careless word and action just like we are. God requires husbands to be godly husbands and to be fully submitted to Christ, as well.
- No one, not even a person in a position of spiritual authority, has authority from God to sin or to demand that someone else sin!!!!
- God’s authority is absolute. The authority of His Word is absolute. The authority of His Spirit is absolute. Humans who are in positions of God-given authority are accountable to God and are not in absolute authority equal to God. Romans 13, I Corinthians 11, the story of Nebuchadnezzar, Isaiah, Jeremiah…
- Love, respect, leadership and submission will look a bit different in each marriage. Not all husbands feel respected by the same things. That is okay! Not all husbands lead the same way. Not all wives follow the same way. Everyone has unique personalities. That is a good thing. I talk in generalities here because I can’t write individual emails to 1000+ people per day. And, even if I could, I don’t have God’s wisdom about what each wife should always do in every situation. That is what the Holy Spirit is for. My hope is to talk about God’s Word, biblical principles, ideas for practical application, His commands for us as women and wives and to point us to Christ and to walking in the power of His Spirit and in obedience to Him.
- Please ALWAYS listen to the Holy Spirit over me. If you believe I am saying or endorsing something unscriptural please let me know so I can carefully and prayerfully consider your concerns.
- Different people have different histories, cultures, paradigms, world views, perspectives, wounds and slants. We may misunderstand each other, or we may not hear each other accurately at times. Sometimes we may have to agree to disagree. I am ok with that. The only thing I don’t want to compromise is the Bible.
- My hope is to give wives as many tools as I can to help in this journey of becoming a godly wife. I still have thousands of miles to go on this journey myself. I have not learned everything.
- I try to often say that wives whose husbands are dealing with uncontrolled mental disorders, active addictions, infidelity, physical abuse or who have severe scars from the past or major sin issues in their marriage may not benefit from my blog. We can all benefit from God’s Word. But I don’t personally have training or experience in these issues and cannot write for women in such situations. In fact, my blog may be worse than just “not a good fit” for some women. There are some women who think they hear me say things that I am not saying and hear me say they should “shut up, be quiet and never say anything” and just take abuse or just accept and addiction or infidelity. That is NOT what I am saying at all! Ever. But somehow, it seems that some women hear me say these things, even though I don’t. This is particularly frustrating for me because I don’t say these things. And I am not sure how to communicate this message more effectively. Women in severe situations need godly, experienced, trustworthy one on one help that I cannot offer. My blog is probably not a good resource for these precious sisters of mine.
- I completely endorse God’s Word and a wife submitting to her husband. However, if a husband is not in his right mind or is deeply involved in serious unrepentant sin or a wife/child is in actual danger, there may be times it is not safe or wise for her to submit. I am not in any kind of position to tell wives when to submit or not to submit. Submission starts with each of us submitting fully to Christ. Then we submit to and respect our husbands out of our love, honor and reverence for Christ. God is able to speak His wisdom to us through His Spirit in each situation. Your submission to your husband and any act of obedience or disobedience in your life is between you and God. You will have to make the decision about how to obey God and honor Him and that will take great sensitivity to God’s Spirit in many difficult situations. You are welcome to refer to the notes from one of the ministers at my church about this issue in the post “Spiritual Authority.”
- I try to share as many ideas as possible about how to respect our husbands and what speaks disrespect to husbands, not because every husband will feel respected by every idea I share, but just to try to give wives a wide range of options to choose from, especially if they don’t really know what respect is and their husbands are not able to articulate these things at this time. If your husband feels disrespected by things I talk about being respectful or if other things feel respectful to him that I haven’t mentioned, I would love to hear about it so I can add those things to the lists I have.
- I hope to encourage wives to live wholeheartedly for God in total submission to the Lordship of Christ and in the power of His Spirit. That is my ultimate goal for each of us.
- I don’t encourage wives to “pretend,” “lie” or be “fake.” If you have concerns about something, share your concerns with your husband – after checking your own heart and motives and after careful prayer and seeking God’s will above your own. That is part of your responsibility, to be in a role of a wise, loving, respectful, trusted advisor. I endorse wives being honest, but being honest respectfully. There is a big difference between saying, “You are the biggest idiot in the world! Your idea is so dumb!” And saying, “I have some concerns about this idea that I would like to share with you and maybe we can talk I about these things in a day or two.” It is entirely possible to communicate truth in love and with respect to our husbands without sinning against them as God empowers us.
- I am not teaching, “Shut up, smile and have no opinions, thoughts, feelings or ideas.” I have many posts where I talk about that going to that extreme is ungodly and unhealthy, too. I am saying, let’s repent of the sinful, destructive use of our words and let’s seek to use our words and actions to bless, encourage, benefit, build up, honor and love our husbands in a godly way.
- I talk about not arguing or complaining because that is God’s command to all believers in Philippians 2:14-16. But that does not mean you have to agree with your husband. You will disagree at times. It is important to have healthy, respectful discussions about things you disagree about at times. Disagreements are fine. Discussions are great. We can do these things in God’s power without sinning. Your voice is important. Your perspective is critical and necessary. I want all wives to feel loved, cherished and heard.
- There will be times when you may have to confront your husband about his sin. Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:16-18 describe how to do this. But, I Peter 3:1-6 also gives wives a very powerful way to “win our husbands” to Christ if they are disobedient to the Word. I don’t talk a lot about confronting our husbands’ sin. There are times when a wife may need to say something. There are times when it would be more destructive if she says something. What she says and how she says it are very important and will depend on her husband (and where he currently is spiritually) and on what God is prompting her to do. This requires great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and may even require much prayer and fasting on the part of a wife. (My notes from our minister at church on Spiritual Authority go into this issue as well.) There are times a wife may need to say, “This is wrong. It’s not ok.” You may need to say more than that. God is able to prompt our hearts – I cannot begin to know what each wife should do in every situation and I don’t want to write anything that would confuse or hurt wives.
- Sometimes you will feel angry or sad or afraid or upset. It’s usually ok to share that with your husband – but the key is – as much as possible – do it in a constructive way, not a blaming, destructive way. If your husband is very emotionally distant, then he may not be open to hearing about your feelings. But as he feels increasingly respected, most husbands care more and more about their wives’ feelings.
- The Frustrating Quiet Phase is a phase. It is not forever. Most wives over correct toward too much silence at first when they are learning to stop disrespect and control, then they may over correct the other way to too much talking, then they keep correcting and correcting until they find the right balance. I don’t believe wives should have no opinions, say nothing, contribute nothing and be mindless, emotionless wallflowers! What we are not saying anymore are the sinful things – lecturing, nagging, criticizing, blaming, yelling, cussing, humiliating, berating, mocking, using biting sarcasm, verbally emasculating, verbally attacking, etc… Those things need to go because we are dead to our sinful nature if we are in Christ. Now we can use our words for good. There are countless things we can say and that we can talk about even if we get rid of sinful speech and sinful motives. I believe we are to bring all of our intelligence, gifts, talents, abilities, feelings, passion, strength and personalities to our marriage and put our strength behind our husbands. I don’t know a healthy husband who wants a doormat for a wife. God gives us a position of incredible power, influence and responsibility in our marriages and our families and I want us to use our position for His greatest glory and the good of our husbands and families.
- There may be cultural differences that I am unaware of – so, some wives may need to adjust examples I give or the ways to show respect or what is disrespectful based on their particular culture.
- Ultimately, we can only be godly wives if we are abiding in Christ. If you are not spending time in God’s Word and in fervent prayer, if you are not filled with His Spirit, this whole being a godly wife thing will be completely impossible.