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If You Insist on Being “in Charge” – He Figures You Can Protect Yourself

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Many wives want to know why their husbands don’t protect them from his family or other extended family during conflicts. I know every situation is different, and I can’t begin to address every possible scenario and there can be many very complex factors involved.  So I will only be able to speak in generalities here – primarily about when a wife is being controlling.

(** If you are dealing with very serious situations – mental illness, drug/alcohol addictions, criminal activities, actual abuse, infidelity, etc… please don’t read my blog but seek godly, experienced one-on-one help.)

My understanding is that most men who are anywhere near healthy emotionally/spiritually/mentally are glad to provide for, protect and lead their wives and families, especially when they feel appreciated, trusted and respected.

God created men to want to be our heroes, to be the “good guys” we can trust, admire, be proud of and honor. Most husbands LOVE to see their wives happy. Really! If a husband knows it is actually possible to please his wife, he will usually want to try to please her. Many men measure their success as husbands/fathers/men by the happiness of their wives.  (I am not saying they should – I would rather they measure their success by God’s approval not our emotions, myself. But this is what many men do.)

If a wife disrespects her husband or tries to usurp his position of God-given authority (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, Genesis 2-3, Proverbs 31), the dynamics dramatically shift:

  • Now the wife is taking a stance of being in competition with her husband  instead of looking to him with admiration, honor, respect and cooperation to bless him as her teammate in the marriage. A man doesn’t generally try to protect, nurture, be affectionate toward, be gentle toward, fawn over or woo his competition.
  • If a wife takes the masculine stance of taking authority, the husband will generally either fight her for his position or will unplug and become passive and let her take over. If he is more prone to being passive, he may eventually just let her do her own thing and let her have the whole job of leading, providing and protecting herself since that is what she wanted. She is signaling to him to treat her like a man. He may even give up trying to be the leader, husband and father God calls him to be. At this point, many men sink into deep depression.
  • If she is going to take care of herself and she doesn’t want or need him to be her hero and she isn’t willing to follow his leadership, then he assumes she can protect herself and take care of everything herself. If she wants to act like a man, he will let her “be her own man.”
  • He married her to be with a woman who complements him and is his teammate, not someone who acts like his competition. He may feel like there is no role for him in the marriage if she tries to take the position God gave to him.
  • If a wife takes over and tries to control her husband and she disrespects her husband, he will be very busy trying to protect himself from his wife. She is coming at him like an enemy. So the one he is most concerned about protecting is himself. Why would he try to protect, nurture, adore and cherish someone who is doing everything in her power to undermine and hurt him?
  • In a man’s world, if someone takes an authoritarian role, that person doesn’t want or need others to protect him. Whoever is in charge does the protecting. And it would be disrespectful to the person in the position of authority for someone else to rush to protect him.
  • He may even feel like she is pretty scary. Those verbal attacks and outbursts of negative emotion, criticism, scolding, lecturing, bossing him around, criticizing him, blasting him, humiliating him, undermining him, arguing with him, complaining about him, telling everyone how little she thinks of him… do not draw a husband toward his wife. This is how “a foolish wife tears down her house with her own hands” Proverbs 14:1.
  • Wives have SUCH power to make a home a peaceful sanctuary filled with joy, safety, love, respect, honor, nurturing, blessing and comfort, or we can turn our homes into an all out war zone where no one is safe, everyone ducks for cover and it is “every man for himself.”
  • When a wife expects her husband to submit to her, she is asking him to emasculate himself and take on a wife’s position in marriage.   
  • If our husbands did everything we told them to do and catered to our every demand, we would actually not be satisfied even then, and we would also respect our husbands LESS, not more. I’m not sure we realize that. When a wife is dominant and the husband does decide to submit to her, the wife  lose all respect for her husband, he loses respect for himself and loses his ability to love her. Everyone loses.
  • Most husbands don’t want to be in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between their mothers or their wives. Yes, husbands should put their wives first. That is God’s design (Genesis 2:24). But husbands don’t want to have conflict with their mothers. They love their moms and don’t want to hurt them if at all possible. And it is also God’s command for us to honor our fathers and mothers (Exodus 20). Most husbands want to put their wives first and honor their parents as well. That is a good thing that honors God.
  • If a wife is being disrespectful to his family or the extended family, he will most likely let her fix the mess she made herself. She has stepped out from under his covering and protection if she is provoking discord and fights with family.
  • If a wife attacks his family members, the husband will feel a sense of duty to try to defend those he loves. This pits the wife and husband against each other. That is not the message we want to send to our men. If a wife determines to be enemies with his family, it puts him in a lose/lose situation. He loves his wife and his family.
  • If a wife tries to go into his family and change people’s personalities or tries to go against the unwritten “emotional rules” on his side of the family, it would be very difficult for him to support her.

If a husband has felt truly loved and genuinely respected for quite some time by his wife, and she is treating his family with respect – most husbands will, eventually, protect and stand up for their wives and their family IF they believe that there is a real threat against their wives and children. (Please note, husbands don’t always have the same definition of “threat” that we do as wives.)

 

I believe, as we obey and honor God’s Word for us as wives and as believers in Christ, we may be able to avoid a lot of conflicts so that they don’t even happen in the first place. That is my prayer. But if there is inevitable conflict, and a wife is placing herself under her husband’s authority, leadership, protection and covering – her husband will be most inspired and empowered to defend her  and their children if necessary.

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Please check out a husband’s comments in the comment section. Other husbands are welcome to comment, as well, I am sure a lot of wives would appreciate a masculine perspective on this issue. And, ladies, you are always welcome to comment any time. 🙂

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112 thoughts on “If You Insist on Being “in Charge” – He Figures You Can Protect Yourself

  1. FROM A HUSBAND:

    Since you asked for a guy’s perspective, here goes… I’ll address a few comments you made.
    You write: “If a woman takes the masculine stance of taking authority, her guy will generally either fight her for his God-given position (in marriage) or will unplug and become passive and let her take over. But he will not cooperate with her.”
    A counselor once saw me completely shut down during counseling with my wife at the time (she’s now my ex). He stopped her mid sentence and told her as much. That didn’t sit well with her, but it definitely nailed it for me.

    You write: “If she is going to take care of herself and she doesn’t want or need him to be her hero and she isn’t willing to follow his leadership, then he assumes she can protect herself and take care of everything herself. If she wants to act like a man, he will let her “be her own man.” He wants to be with a woman who complements him and is his teammate, not someone who acts like a man and acts like his competition. He may feel like there is no role for him if she tries to dominate him.”

    I couldn’t agree more! I may be thick-headed, but if she tells me numerous times “I don’t need you, I can do this myself!” I’ll finally get the message and leave her alone. Just don’t come back at me later and accuse me of not caring, of not pursuing, or not fighting for the relationship.

    You talk about the woman taking the leadership role and “emasculating” the man in the process. I concur with this as well. When that happens it’s very easy for the guy to either lash out or shut down (he may do both). It’s really a primal, psychological instinct to want to protect ourselves from real or perceived threats, and from injuries that are either physical or emotional. It’s like the injured dog that attacks, even though it is known to be otherwise quite gentle. At that point sane and logical conversations between the man and woman cannot take place because he is hurt and angry and all she is concerned about is being right.

    My encouragement to your audience is to sincerely take everything said in this blog to heart. There’s a lot of great advice and insight here that I firmly believe can help ladies in all their relationships, whether with their husbands, boyfriends or a good friend.

  2. Thank you so much for this post today!! I have been back and forth on this issue and have found myself to be very torn. I apologize in advance if this becomes rather lengthy, but this very topic is a huge issue for me. In a nutshell, for 12 years of our marriage, I feel as though I did respect my husband and his position in our marriage. He made major decisions, he was very responsible in taking care of me and our children, I spoke very highly of him to others, etc. After suffering PTSD, self medicating with alcohol, infidelity, a plethora of bad decisions resulting in the loss of a career, accidents, some legal problems, etc. I felt like I had NO CHOICE but to take over. (In my opinion at the time) He couldn’t be trusted to “lead” or be a “hero” because of all the things that happened. We made it though (or so I thought), after recovery, counseling, a lot of forgiveness and rebuilding trust, we have come another 8 years.

    Back in January, there was some questionable text messages that I discovered that opened a whole lot of healed wounds. At that time, he informs me that he “hasn’t been right” and needs time away (separation) to figure things out, etc. I was devastated x2. During this time, I have done a lot of self work. I turned towards God this time, instead of away, and discovered my sins. My control, my anger, my resentment, my need to handle everything and handle it perfectly, and so on. I have repented. I have begged God for forgiveness, I have repented to my husband, and although he admits my confession was important to him and meant a lot, he had more work to do.

    So, here I am. I have discovered my errors in this, I have read, studied, written in my journal, prayed, I read the bible and make time for God every day and I now see where I went horribly wrong…. BUT….. now I have NO CHOICE again but to lead, take control, handle it all, and do all of the things I am not designed by God to do because he left! He isn’t leading. He isn’t taking control. He isn’t being very responsible, he isn’t protecting us or providing for us because HE LEFT US!

    So, now what? Now I’ve been forced into the very position in this marriage and family that I never wanted years ago, and certainly do not want now. How can I show him we need him to be in God’s designed role and position for him when I can’t step back now? Please help. This is such a horrible position to be in!!

    1. Catherine, your words remind me of a friend who is a military wife. Her husband is a command man and she is quite gentle, naturally. However, she’s had to make some tough choices for herself and the children since he’s been deployed several times, especially when he comes back with a new episode of PTSD everytime and family is 8+ hours away. I believe your experience would fall under April’s category of ‘special circumstances’ where if the husband is experiencing mental illness, unrepentant sin, etc that her advice is to be taken with great discernment. I now see my wifely position also as one of understudy, for if my husband is ever unable to lead (d/t accident, death, sickness, addictions, etc.) I must be able to take over for the survival of the family…and then be ready to hand back the reigns when he is able to lead again. Reading “What’s Submission Got to Do With It’ really helped me see how that works.

      What a beautiful wife you are that your heart seeks to honor the Lord and your wayward husband in even the hard times. You put up a good fight once and now the enemy is attacking all over again. That you are doing everything “right” while he is still away from his post perhaps feels extremely unfair and greatly unsettling. I am sorry for your pain. While you’ve found a community of support here, I’d encourage you to also find help closer to home (family, support groups for spouses of persons w/ PTSD and other disorders, Al-Anon, etc.). Continue to seek God’s healing for your heart but don’t try to do this all on your own. It is a very heavy load.

    2. Catherine,

      PTSD and alcoholism definitely fall into those special categories where a wife may have to handle things differently and will need special outside help to have wisdom about how best to proceed. And if a husband leaves – a wife has no choice but to take over and lead in the home, that is true.

      If a husband is mentally stable and is not actively involved in alcoholism, a wife may be able to seek to honor her husband’s leadership and direction as much as she can with him not being home. But in a situation like this, I do think you will need individual, godly, experienced, wise counsel in person.

      Praying for you both!!!!

      1. I guess I should clarify a few things, PTSD and depression have been diagnosed, and have been dealt with through counseling and medication. He has been sober for all of these eight years, and actually works in the drug treatment program as a compliance officer. I guess the biggest issue front and center, is trying to allow him to lead, allow him to protect and provide, respect him, honor him, love him, support him while he’s “dealing with his stuff”. I have to be in control, but do not want to be. I guess all I can do is pray that God gives our marriage another chance. Thanks for the words of wisdom and the support I find here.

  3. In my experience April, in all my last three pregnancies, for some reason that only God will be able to explain to me when I come Home to Him, on all those separate occasions (2008, 2010, 2012), three men ( superiors/bosses) put me in very upsetting situations, which always ended with me, resigning from my TV shows/place of work.

    One did not like a pregnant cohost; another was not paying me my dues for months on end; the last bullied me to sign a contract I was not happy with. 🙁 What’s with men and pregnant Nikka? 🙁

    Anyway, needless to say, these all happened during my most controlling years when I was really the self-proclaimed “leader” of our home. Dong was very withdrawn and passive during these times.

    Back then, in all three instances, Dong was extremely protective of me. In one instance, he even went to the boss’ office to make his presence felt and let that boss know his stand on not being “happy” with what he (the boss) did to me, his pregnant wife.

    In another instance, he nearly drove off in fury over my having gone home in tears, just to punch off the boss’ face! If I did not stop him from doing so, he really would have ended up in a fistfight with that superior! Oh, how bloody things would have gotten!

    In all three instances, Dong really showed how much he wanted to protect me from others, and that nobody could mess with me, his wife. It was in those instances that I really felt that he was really manly and “worthy of my respect”. I just don’t know how come I still did not see that his brave actions were his manifestation of unconditional LOVE for me, like Christ did for His Church — He gave up His Life for it…

    In a way as I see it now, and I am embarrassed to admit this, I saw his bravado as my “entitlement”. Like I “deserved” to be protected since, after all, it was I who was leading and primarily “providing” for the family! I did not see it as LOVE. I saw it as “That’s “expected” of you, because you are are “lucky” to be married to someone like me!!! Ugh! Gross thinking! Yuck, right?!? 🙁

    The point of my sharing is that even Mr. Steady’s like Dong, who are usually laid-back and cool, if they are godly and loving, are really more than willing to slay dragons too like the Mr. Command Men.

    I am ashamed of my wrong and self-righteous thinking back then. 🙁 I am glad the Lord convicted me of my many sins so I can now be the “perfect” help meet for my husband. “DIE TO SELF DAILY!!!” is my motto.

    Suffice to say, since I stepped down and submitted to the Lord, then to my husband, Dong has been leading me and our family so conscientiously and so selflessly that I find myself in awe of God, and more attracted to my husband! What a man! 😉 I now feel more feminine and so womanly, whereas I felt so “masculated” before due to my dominant, take-charge, and controlling personality. 🙁 So unattractive, really! I too am in constant Peace because I now rest in God’s sovereignty as I hide myself and live in Jesus Christ, daily. 🙂

    Just wanted to share that if Dong could protect me THEN, when I was most domineering and annoying, what more NOW that he finds my meek and gentle spirit so beautiful? 🙂

    Sigh. I pray that more wives will experience this, April. Thanks for being my mentor in this journey. 🙂

    <3 ,

    Nikka

    1. Nikka,
      Thanks so much for sharing! I love hearing how much Dong wanted to protect you! But I really love seeing all that God has been doing in the past 9 months in your life, Dong’s life and your marriage.

  4. I struggle with knowing what to let go of and knowing what to respectfully pursue. For example, my husband doesn’t normally wash the children when he bathes them. Their heads and ears will still be dirty. I’ve mentioned it before, but he forgets? Or maybe he doesn’t think they need to be washed? I’m not sure. Or what about when they wash the dishes and they are still dirty. I mean seriously dirty and need to be rewashed. It’s a waste of everyone’s time if the wife has to shower the husband with praise and then secretly redo what he did. I don’t micromanage, but some tasks are useless if they are not done correctly. Husbands seem to be so sensitive to any directive from wives when they feel like they are already stretching and helping. They wonder why we can’t just appreciate the job they did. The problem is that sometimes the job they did was less helpful than doing nothing at all.

    1. Lisa,
      How are things overall in the marriage?

      What happens if you ask him in a very non-pressuring, pleasant, friendly way, “Sweetheart, I am so thankful that you are bathing the kids tonight. It would be wonderful if you would please wash their hair and clean their ears. Thanks!”

      With the dishes, there are a few ways to approach it. If he is very sensitive to criticism, you could take a dish to him and say, “I wonder if something is wrong with the dishwasher? These dishes just aren’t getting clean.” That way he will see the problem and he is probably smart enough that he will figure out how to put the dishes in better so that they get cleaned more effectively. You could wash them later and say nothing. There are times that could be wise if things are very tense in the marriage still, for instance. Or you could pleasantly say, “I appreciate you doing the dishes, Honey! If you think of it, would you please have the bowls facing toward the center, I think they may get cleaned better that way. Thanks!”

      If any of the men have suggestions, we’d love to hear them!

      1. I just act like washing the baby’s ears is a novel idea each time and frame it in the context of “tonight”. “I think the little ones needs their heads and ears washed tonight”. Then he does it. We start over every time. I just redo the dishes.
        It’s confusing because I can’t figure out what he is not doing on purpose or what he is just forgetting. Obviously if he is purposely ignoring me, I need to forget it. It’s hard to tell what is going on. “Are you refusing to do ____?” Wouldn’t go over well.

        1. Lisa,

          Maybe washing the baby’s ears isn’t a big priority to him. I have to admit, I didn’t wash my baby’s ears unless they looked particularly dirty.

          Asking your husband specifically to do what you would like is a great approach. It sounds like he is happy to do things if you ask in detail. That is ok. I doubt he is purposely forgetting to wash their ears.

          I think you are handling it very well. 🙂

        2. Lisa,

          The fact that he does do what you ask if you specifically ask him to, tells me that doing that is a fantastic approach. Particularly, if you can do it without resentment, but just realize that he is not up you, and he is happy to help you when you specify what you would like.

          How is the rest of the marriage going? Are y’all doing well in other areas?

          Are you sleeping ok?

          How is your time with Christ going? I am sure that with a large family, that would be a challenge at times.

          Much love to you!
          April

          1. The Christ time varies. It depends on what happened the night before (children waking) and what time I have to be up in the AM. It definitely makes a difference, though! I only listen to praise and worship or sermons and that helps as well. I can’t always hear them, though, ;). It’s noisy.

          2. Lisa,
            I am sure it is a big challenge with a large family and young children. But the only power source we have is Jesus. Praying for you to be able to have the time you need to receive the spiritual nourishment you need my sweet sister!

    2. Sorry, Lisa — let me get this straight: your husband is happy to bathe the children (plural, right?) and to wash the dishes, and you’re asking what to let go of and what to respectfully pursue? Here’s a short, definitive answer: let go of both the bathing issue and the dishes issue — immediately, completely. And lose the attitude about husbands “seem[ing] to be so sensitive to any directive from wives when they feel like they are already stretching and helping.” Perhaps it would help for you to imagine some chore that is needed on a daily or other regular basis, that most husbands do and most wives don’t, and that would be a big load off your husband for you to do instead of him. Now imagine him nit-picking how you do it and making it clear that he will have no sympathy for you if you are at all sensitive to his “directives” about how you should be doing it. Does this help you not to struggle so much with this issue?

      Alternatively, how about if you pitch in and do the bathing and the dishwashing together with your husband, rather than re-doing it after him? Then you still have his help and you can make sure things are up to your standards, but you’re not showing him up by re-doing it after him. Plus, you have extra together time.

      Sorry if this isn’t expressed as nicely as PeacefulWife would do it.

      1. That perspective does not help. He doesn’t know I redo it. I would rather cheerfully do it myself or delegate it to an older child than think it is being done when it isn’t. Our children get really dirty. What is the point of a bath if they aren’t clean? I feel like a visible ring of dirt around a toddlers neck is more than nit picky. It is just hard to know if he needs to be dismissed from the task or not. He is more than happy to let me or an older child do it. A grown man should at least be as able to do certain jobs as well as an elementary school child, but it doesn’t happen like that here. I want to be respectful to him, though. Sometimes that means telling him that I have things under control. It’s just hard to know what to let go.

      2. I assume you don’t have a large family. If 2 people are bathing small children then who would be with the other children? That’s a good solution for a small family, not a large one.

  5. It is so helpful to have that male perspective. It’s very contrary to what our culture tells women is true. Laura Doyl’s book The Surrendered Wife was the first time I’d ever heard that a woman has to learn how to turn off the control that is rewarded out in the workplace when she comes home. I didn’t know there was a difference and no one told me there was one. It’s like having to learn two languages. Some years ago, I remember asking my husband when it came to work and religious matters, “Didn’t you marry me because I could also think for myself and contribute something worthwhile?” He said ‘no’. I didn’t realize all that I considered cooperative at the time was usurping his authority. No clue, especially for my particular husband.

    Some of the very things I was groomed to believe were my greatest assets are what have been destructive in my marriage. My husband needs me to be resilient and strong. But the world’s definition of what that looks like hasn’t worked for us. Also, I find that women indeed begin to show some of the same symptoms and needs the men have under their workload. If the men need appreciation for their work, so do we. If the men are tired from that day’s grind, well, so are we. But it’s really hard for either mate to give when they are both mentally exhausted and fatigued. Something has to give.

    It’s nice to see my husband standing tall again. And it’s so freeing to finally have an understanding of what I owe my husband, myself and my God.

    1. Refined,

      I so understand your statement, “Some of the very things I was groomed to believe were my greatest assets are what have been destructive in my marriage.” I did not understand how not turning off the control that has been very rewarding at work (and consequently provided the financial stability and wealth we currently enjoy) was causing so much damage within my marriage. Thankfully, I have realised this early in our marriage! By the grace of God, I will prevent any further damage and will relinquish the control to my husband and God!

      1. I also learned I can overwhelm my husband with the reigns! I backed off of some things well before I learned my role with helping to release pressure or giving grace for the learning curve. Who knew? I was not trained for this! No church I knew of (Protestant or Catholic) was teaching its women how to build up their men.

        But his feeling overwhelmed is part of the territory of this leadership and he’d rather have the weight and my trust than forego the responsibility. He will choose honor over happiness in this scenario. I had to learn this was ok and reframe my place in his life. I felt bad seeing him struggle with things and wanted to rescue because I thought I should be making him happy. My saving him in even the small things just looked like I didn’t trust him.

        Soooo thankful for the education on this site. My best efforts helped to get us into the near separation we were facing a year ago. Praise God for a new mind of Christ. Thank you April! Ladies, I totally get goosebumps hearing how God has changed our marriages.

        1. Refined,
          I love this! No, almost none of us were told about this in church. We were taught in the world and in church that we can charge ahead, make our own decisions, do what we think is best, be in control… We absorbed so many toxic messages from the world, even in church – and then we had no idea what happened when things went so very wrong. Obviously, it was all our husbands’ faults!

          I praise God for what He has done and is doing and will do in your life! WOOHOO!

          Much love!

    2. Refined,

      I so agree with what you are saying. The things that made me so successful in school and college and at work were the things I used to begin to destroy my marriage. I had no idea!

      I’m so glad to hear how God has healed your marriage. When we do things God’s way, there are so many blessings! Thank you for sharing!

      1. I have found this to be SO true as well. I had a dad that raised me to be independent….to take care of myself….and never depend on a man for anything. I realize he was trying to make sure I would survive in a tough world….and I have not only survived, I have thrived in my career. It never dawned on me that I should shut that off at home. My mother ruled my childhood home….to the point of bullying my dad to get her way…..and he always gave in to her to keep the peace. That was how I grew up thinking it should be. It was A LOT of pressure and stress to always make the right decision. Since I started this journey last fall and have been giving up control at home, I have felt such a relief…..and I seriously question how I went for so long trying desperately to maintain that control over everything, especially my husbands thoughts and actions. There is something that has been coming up in those Elevation Church podcasts that I have been listening to…..”Frustration is the gap between expectation and experience”. That simple sentence has really helped me take so much pressure off of myself! If I expect my husband to be perfect and do everything to make me happy, I will be frustrated every time! Giving my husband the grace to be a flawed human being ( as I am also a flawed human being ) and turning to God in those moments of disappointment has been a sanity saver. Humans will always let us down…..God NEVER will. He is bigger and more powerful than any person or circumstance….and I am SO thankful for that!

        1. NW girl,
          Thank you so much for sharing! I know that many women get angry at first, thinking that if they obey God they will have no “power” and no “voice.” But the opposite is true. We gain the power of God in our lives and we gain peace, joy, a firm identity in Christ and we get to become our very best selves by God’s power working in us. That is not oppression, it is freedom and a priceless treasure!!!!

          I am so excited about what God is doing in your life.

    3. “Didn’t you marry me because I could also think for myself and contribute something worthwhile?” He said ‘no’.” Hilarious, revealing, and true.

  6. April,

    My wife insists she is not controlling or trying to be controlling. She also insists very emphatically that we are equals as children of God in Christ, and I agree to that point. Where the line gets blurred for us is in my role as a leader.

    We have been seeing our pastor in counseling for a few months now and while he affirms my role as leader, he also affirms her equality in Christ. Again, these are both good things, but…I feel my wife places great emphasis on the equality and cannot see the nature of Godly submission in Christ. I feel she honestly does not understand what that looks like and so she defaults to her own impression of submission and is not willing to go down that road. Discussions about the topic are volatile to say the least. I do not want to be her “dictator”, just as Christ is not my dictator.

    While I am not perfect, the way that submit to Christ is way I am looking for her to submit to me. Does this sound like a reasonable assessment of what a husband should expect to see from a “surrendered wife”?

    1. Jerry,

      This is such a frustrating situation for all involved.

      Most likely your wife doesn’t realize she is being controlling. And maybe she didn’t have godly examples of what it looks like for a wife to respect her husband and biblically submit to him. There are many, many wives – the vast majority – who have never even seen a godly example of marriage.

      My mom actually was quite respectful and biblically submissive. But, I still didn’t get it. I emulated myself after my dad – I was his “son” until my little brother was old enough to take over that role. I was the dominant twin. I made all As and got full scholarships to college. I became a pharmacist. In all of these areas, I was in control and I made my own decisions and I was the leader.

      I had no idea what it meant to be a team player or to follow someone in authority. I thought I was respecting my husband because I didn’t yell, cuss, throw things or ever threaten divorce. And I thought I was being submissive because the few times Greg insisted on something, I would eventually (after much arguing, and me explaining to him how wrong he was and how right I was and how my way was so much more biblical than his) cave and reluctantly do what he decided. Of course, I did it begrudgingly and with bitterness and resentment in my heart. But I did it. Eventually. If he really put his foot down.

      My definitions of respect and biblical submission were sorely lacking.

      This may be something that a wife may be able to learn more easily from other women (Titus 2:3-5). If there is a godly mentoring wife in the church she could talk with, that would be ideal. But I am aware that these kinds of wives are extremely rare today.

      Ultimately, a wife’s respect for and biblical submission to her husband is a tangible reflection of her reverence for and submission to Christ as Lord. If she is having issues with respecting you and honoring your leadership, she is probably treating God the same way. She may be trusting self more than God. At least, that is what I have seen over and over. It is only when a wife truly yields herself completely to Christ as Lord that she can begin to have the understanding, wisdom and power to live out being a godly wife.

      Praying for wisdom and healing for you both!

      1. Jerry,

        I can understand your wife side and my comment is to reinforce April’s comment. I a 1 year and 1/2 in this journey and so many times, I still realize I am controlling afterwards and blew it out. Like April I have a strong character but didn’t have a chance to see what respect is being raised by my mum after my dad’s death.

        I start to learn little bit about submission through this blog. This morning as I was spending time with God he told me I still don’t really practice submission. When my husband takes a decision – and many times he even ask me what I think- I try to accept it but I never realized it was like in a passive way.

        The Lord showed me this morning that I didn’t have joy doing it and I should knowing God put my husband as an authority over me and even if my husband takes a decision that will be the worst for my viewpoint, I should trust God that no matter what, He ‘ll turn things right for me and some good will get out.

        I don’t know what’s your wife story but sometimes, it is so hard to practice something you still don’t grasp totally and haven’t seen demonstrate. It is really like learning another language. Hope it helps

        1. Sonadewonderful,
          Thanks so much for sharing!

          You know what? I haven’t talked specifically about the joy that submission brings – but you are absolutely right. As we submit to Christ, we have joy, knowing we are in the center of His will. And as I submit to my husband, I have joy, even when I don’t understand because I am so excited to see what God will do and how He will lead me through my husband. There is also so much freedom and lightness of heart and weightlessness and peace that I never had when I tried to carry the responsibility of the family on my shoulders.

          I love what God showed you! That is beautiful. Can’t wait to see what will happen in the coming weeks!

        2. Wow that is exactly how I get it wrong I do understand to let my husband lead even when we first got married and with the example of a dominant mother, but I often do not do it willingly even doing as I please when he is not around altnough I know he would not like the way I do it.
          I have now followed this blog for over a year trying to understand it from the point of vieuw from a submissive wive but still getting it wrong.
          I am not leading but I am not helping either, I do not show my husband happy faces because I am down depressed often.
          For some days now I have worked on noticing him, sit down and listen to what he has to say and that helped me feel differently. I have pleaded and begged with God to change me this year, often, seeing my sin here but not being able to deal with it. I have been telling myself for some weeks now. I have to change I really have to change.

          1. I do not clearly understand what you mean with my walk with christ. I am easily addicted and do not step up to my responsebilities than I get mad at myself I pray God for help with that and study the bible, just now I feel I have been given grace for I do feel better and manage withouth getting raged or give up feeling wich to me is wow.
            I can even feel joy. Kind a stable sort. It is like a knowing God is in control even though I am still a mess.
            I guess a film helped I saw some days ago about a boy that went to heaven. It changed strong believe more in kind of knowing. God is real, so I can trust him.

          2. Hi Tabitha,

            I know what it is to really want to change and then blow it up and feel mad at ourselves. As April said, the strength comes from God but we have to choose daily, moment by moment by taking new decisions and little by little, we will see and feel the change. I am still processing all these things and don’t pretend to get it fully.

            I know what you feel when you said you know you can trust God more know. Actually, I had quite a breakthrough few weeks ago feeling I can trust God cause this is Him that guides me through my husband and not only my husband. I just decided to focus more on God by proclaiming he loves me, he is truthworthy…. to overcome my fears and this way, being able to release control on my husband. I am going to write few bible verses that help me to overcome my fears. Hope it helps a bit.

          3. Wow thanks, getting off topic here but I do appreciate what you are saying. You are right it has to do with focus on Gods trustworthyness. I strongly believed in God but seemed not able to also trust in Him. For a couple of days now when I wake up I do not feel resentment for yet another day but can thank God and trust Him to stand by me, it is different as if something changed inside.

          4. That’s great Tabitha and this is just the beginning. God is going to do greater things in your life. Sometimes, we have so much wounds from the past that try to prevent us from trusting God. God had to heal us to be able to really deep down rely it go and trust Him. But he is faithful

          5. Tabitha,

            Ok, let’s talk about this, because it is key! 🙂

            What is your relationship with God? Did you ever have a point in your life when you decided to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord? How do you believe you can be right with Him?

            What are your greatest fears?

            What are your highest purposes in life, your biggest goals?

            I am excited about what God is doing in your heart!
            Much love!

          6. I guess I am not off topic here after all.
            Am I saved? I meet silence in my thoughts. Why?
            Ahh I fear? Fear what? That I am not saved.
            So am I saved?
            Well I believe in God, I repented yes, I believe Jesus died for me and He rose on the third day.
            I understand that sin is to break Gods law either in deed or in thought. So i understand I am guilty and in need of Gods offer of salvation.
            Yes I repent every time I see that I sinned. I ask God in my live for I need Him for I will mess up if left to myself.
            So if I do not let God lead I will be left to my own wisdom and I will more or less mess upp.
            So I want to become what God wants me to be, I want his will for my live, and I want Him to help me to become a wife as He meant me to be. I am turning away from almost everything this past year, books and films, for they somehow start to hurt me I cannot read them or look at them withouth getting disgusted or uppset. I curse less and less and hearing other people curse hurts. There was a time I did not think twice about that and it was like a habbit. My values are chanching and I am becoming more and more convinced I need to chanche.
            But still I fall in sin.
            How do you walk with Christ?
            I read about Abraham and Enoch who walked with God. That is what I want.
            I want to be right with Him but I cannot break my own sin.
            I am turning in a conservative christian and somtimes that is frightening, what do i leave sometimes I look back and wonder if I am right, do I hurt others with this? Is it worth it? Should I go on going to church, well this church is apostate actually, well who am I to judge I come from a far worse place than they.
            But I cannot stop I need God, I really do.

          7. Tabitha,

            I would love for you to listen to some of David Platt’s sermons if you can. And to read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. He does a fantastic job of explaining how we can truly understand that we are dead to our old sinful self and to the world and that we are now alive with a new spirit in Christ and that it has to be His power working through us, not our own power. It is GOOD that you know that you can’t overcome sin in your own. Only Christ living in you can live in victory, but He has already provided all that we need in the cross and in His resurrection.

            I LOVE that you desire Christ more than anything and want to walk with God. If you seek Him with all your heart, He will be found by you. He gives us that promise in Jeremiah 29.

            What we all need is not to be a certain type of Christian, but to be genuine Christ followers who walk in obedience to Him by His Spirit empowering us. 🙂

            I can’t wait to see what God is about to do in you!!!!! Much love!

          8. This theme is a strong one. If I am incharge my husbands backs off and I find myself struggling alone. If I am in charge God cannot guide me and I find myself helpless messing upp.
            It is sure good to know I am forgiven. But I do need to learn how to be a follower. I will read what you pointed to. Hope to find peace and learn to trust. I really admire what you have accomplished. I am not a dominant wife, but really stuborn and convinced I know best. Let go and trust. In relation to my husband and God. Knowing is nog doing yet

          9. Tabitha:

            Based on what you have said, I believe you are saved.

            You are right to be concerned about sin in your life. Let me tell you the two ways that God has provided for you to overcome sin:

            1) To overcome the consequences of sin. God provides mercy to you. In other words, He will forgive you for your sin if you sincerely ask Him to. In Luke 18:13-14, we read of a tax collector who said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus said that he was forgiven of his sin. Also see Matthew 18:21-22. If Peter was commanded to forgive his brother seventy times seven, so will Jesus forgive us.

            2) To overcome the bondage of sin. A big reason Jesus died for you and me was so that we could become new creatures, born again. In other words, free from the bondage of sin. Sometimes the grip of sin is instantly broken in our lives; however, sometimes it takes a while to overcome one sin or another. The important thing is that if you sin, you keep getting back up and trying again, and keep trusting in the love and mercy of God to forgive you.

            It is always amazing to me to read that the great king David, a man after God’s own heart, struggled with sin. Read the Psalms, and you will see examples of this. Some examples are Psalm 38 and 41.

            Lots of Christian men struggle with a porn addiction. They want to be free, but it’s very difficult for them. I guarantee you that this is a constant grief to them, because they know that it is a sin, yet they can’t shake it out of their lives. But they have to keep getting back up and trying again. I struggled for many years with a porn addiction. I went for years struggling with it. Then I went for years free from it. Then I struggled again for years. I am now free from it. During the years I struggled, I learned to receive the mercy and forgiveness of God; I forced myself to accept it, because I had no other choice, and because I was determined to be free. Now that I am free, I am determined to stay free, so I ask God every day to help me to stay free. According to Hebrews 4:14-16, we can come boldly to the throne of grace to ask for help with temptation, BECAUSE JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST, WAS TEMPTED IN ALL POINTS AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN!!!!

            Don’t ever give up. Keep trying. And keep asking for God’s forgiveness if you sin. One of these days you WILL overcome.

          10. Thanks Jim, I needed that, fell in sin today. Had to fight it all day was able though to pull back but the need for lust kept coming, with my husband away some days, it is much harder. Also got frustrated and raged my other big issue. Sometimes I fear I will never be able to come out of this. Maybe with my praying for forgiveness and healing I need to focus on let go of my shame. Sure helps to know others struggled here as well.

          11. Tabitha: Can I recommend that you check out Celebrate Recovery? (http://www.celebraterecovery.com/)

            Celebrate Recovery is a safe place that you can go to confidentially talk about the sins that you struggle with, as well as any other hurts or issues that you may have. It is very encouraging to see a whole bunch of other people who each are struggling with something.

            Celebrate Recovery is my favorite place to be!

            I don’t know how many women struggle with lust, but I can tell you that a huge number of men do. It’s extremely difficult to get out of your life, if you struggle with it, because it’s so easy to indulge in, and because it feels so good.

            The problem is, once you indulge, you feel terrible about it. Then, when you’re down, the devil tempts you once again with the quick-fix of lust, so that you’ll feel better. It’s a vicious circle.

            DON’T EVER LET THE DEVIL TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE ALONE! YOU AREN’T! LOTS OF PEOPLE ALL AROUND YOU ARE JUST LIKE YOU!

            God bless you richly as you seek to do God’s will.

            Jim

    2. Jerry:

      May I make a comment here?

      In my view, the Bible states that the husband is to set the direction for the family. He is to lead. However, nowhere does the Bible tell the husband to make his wife submit. It tells him only to love his wife as Christ loved the church. I believe that this means, among other things, that your attitude toward your wife should be that you are continually washing her feet, as Christ washed the feet of his disciples. But not necessarily physically washing her feet, but rather the attitude that you have toward her.

      Here’s an example of what happened to me once:

      I felt that we should change churches. My wife didn’t agree. I had to either follow her, or she had to follow me. I was certain that we should change churches, so I switched to the other church. But she wouldn’t follow me there. I told her that she had my blessing to go to any church she wanted to go to.

      It was my responsibility to choose the family church, and switch if I believed that that was God’s will. But it was not my responsibility to make her come with me. That was between her and God.

      She didn’t like that we went to different churches. She told me so. I told her that she was welcome to come with me, but that she could go wherever she wanted, with my blessing.

      She was disobeying God by not submitting. But that was between her and God, not between her and me.

      If, on the other hand, I had wanted us to attend a cult, then it still would have been on her whether or not to follow me. In my opinion, she should obey God rather than me if I ask her to join a cult with me.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Jim

      1. Jim and Jerry,

        I will try to be extremely careful here because I realize that the Bible doesn’t give a woman authority to teach men.

        I don’t know much about Jerry’s situation or where his wife is spiritually.

        I wonder about leading a wife but then saying, “you can go to another church with my blessing.”

        As a wife, that would be really confusing to me.

        I like it best when my husband gives me clear directions and clear leadership. i.e.”I believe what would most honor God is for our family to go to X church.”

        I would appreciate very much him allowing me to share my heart, desires, feelings and concerns I may have. But, if he is the leader, and what he says just sound like suggestions – I am probably going to miss some directions he is trying to give to me. And then, if he actually encourages me to go somewhere else with his blessing, other than the place he believes we should go, I am going to be very confused.

        I have no problem with my husband saying things like:
        – “This is what I believe is best for our family at this time. Please come with me.”
        – “I have carefully and prayerfully considered your concerns, but I believe God desires us to go here. I am counting on you to support my decision.”
        – “I know this isn’t your preference, but I am ultimately accountable to God for this decision. I don’t want our family to go to different churches. I want us all to go to X church together.”
        – “Sometimes leaders must make unpopular and difficult decisions. I appreciate you sharing your heart and your concerns. I have been praying about this and I believe that going to X church is what God is calling us to do right now. I want you to go with me and to support me, please.”

        A husband cannot force his wife to submit, true. We had quite a discussion about that a few weeks ago, didn’t we, Jim?

        But a husband can verbally insist that his wife submit. He can ask her to cooperate with his decision. He can ask for her support of his leadership. He can call her out on her sin if he is in right standing before God and his motives are right before God (Matthew 7:1-5), then he can ask her to obey God in this way and to honor his God-given authority – hopefully in a humble and godly way.

        Then if she will not cooperate with his leadership, that sin is on her head. She will stand accountable to God for not respecting and submitting to her husband if he was not asking her to clearly sin.

        1. April:

          I left out a lot of details when I said that. (I was talking to a guy! We get to the bottom line!)

          Hopefully more information will clarify what actually happened.

          I let my wife know that I believed that God was leading us to another church. I told her that we would make the complete switch in six months, but in the meantime, we would go to one Sunday service per month, to ease the transition for her. She agreed to do that.

          As we got close to the complete switch, she informed me that she didn’t want to go to that church. I extended the transition time one month.

          Again, she informed me that she wasn’t going to go to the new church. I then went through the following phases:

          1. “If you don’t go with me, I’ll pray that God takes His hand off of your ministry.” (She preaches sometimes in different churches.) I didn’t tell her this, but I thought it.

          2. I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t take such a stance as that. So I asked her to come with me one service per week, and she could pick the service. She said that she couldn’t do it, because she was two busy with the other two churches she was involved in!

          3. I then had to make a choice: do I try to make her submit, or do I leave it between her and God? I decided that if she is in church somewhere, that is better than not being in church anywhere, so at that point I told her that she could go anywhere she wanted, with my blessing. Since I knew that she wasn’t going to follow me, I made the best of the situation.

          I don’t believe that it is the husband’s job to try to make his wife submit; but it is her job to submit, unless he asks her to do something sinful. In that case, she needs to disobey her husband, but do it in a way that is respectful, and where she disobeys only on the sinful point, not in general.

          Jim

          1. Jim,

            Hmmm… Your wife is a preacher. Goodness, that makes things infinitely more difficult. I have a good friend online who has a blog http://www.joyfullysubmitted.com who was a preacher, but God convicted her about that and she stepped down from being a preacher. Interesting story. You can find it on her blog under “They Called Me Pastor.”

            The New Testament clearly teaches that women are not to have authority over men in the church. This is one thing that the first wave of feminism attacked in the 1800s, women demanded to have equal access to leadership positions in the church along with the right to vote in government elections. Several of the women who led the feminist movement very purposely denied God, denied the authority of the Bible and denied God’s authority structure for the church and home.

            If a woman is given authority to lead a congregation, why would she have to submit to her husband? Things get sticky when we start deciding to leave out parts of the Bible that we don’t like. A woman pastor would “feel more qualified” to lead at home, too if she is leading at church. After all, she is “the more spiritual one.” Of course, I believed I was “the more spiritual one” all those years in our marriage and I was not a pastor. I can’t imagine the levels of pride I could have reached if I was officially a pastor. If a woman is fine with disobeying God’s Word about not having authority over men in the church, it is not a stretch to disobey God’s Word to honor her husband’s authority at home.

            How would a husband lead a wife who has authority over him at church? It just doesn’t make sense.

            That clears a lot of things up for me, Jim. Thanks for the extra detail.

          2. April:

            Sorry for the late reply; I was out of pocket for a couple of days.

            My ex wife was never in a position of authority in any church, but she was a Bible teacher. I personally don’t see what she did as being in authority over men, but rather simply teaching the Bible.

            There were prophetesses in the Old Testament; God gave them authoritative words for men. But they didn’t have authoritative positions over men. The only time their words had authority was when it was “thus saith the Lord.”

            I personally try not to be too dogmatic on this particular issue, because good people have some disagreement on it. I have seen God use women in great ways in the church. (In my opinion, God was using them.) But there are lines that we should not cross, and a woman having an official authoritative position over adult men would be one of those lines.

            I in no way mean to contradict you on this issue. I’m simply stating my thoughts on the matter.

            Jim

  7. As always, this post is very timely!

    My husband and I separated on our first year anniversary last February. It’s been a very rocky 3-4 months, but God has shown me my disrespect and control and how it has caused the trouble that lead to our separation. My ‘pushiness/bossiness’ made my husband shutdown by self medicating with alcohol. If that’s not a huge realization of the power of the influence a wife has over her husband, I don’t know what is! What an awful person I am to cause a God fearing man to resort to alcohol! (Note: I know and understand that my husband has to address his own brokenness and will leave that to God who can do it much better than I).

    It is so very humbling to see one’s sins hurt someone else. It is so very humbling to know that God can redeem any situation, which He is doing. I have apologized and repented to my husband, and by the grace of God, he has forgiven me and we are restoring our relationship! I NEVER want to go back to how I was, and by the grace of God I will be the respectful, submissive, loving wife my husband needs me to be! My husband is a much better man than I could ever be!

  8. This post describes many of the dynamics of my marriage and how I think and feel. I could write a paragraph about most of the bullet points about my experiences with my oppositional, controlling wife. Suffice it to say, my wife has felt like my opponent and my boss for our entire marriage. It often feels like she is intentionally trying to drive me away from her and our kids. This behavior has been emasculating and has led to several severe bouts of depression. I married her to be my life partner not my life opponent.

    The frustrating thing is that she sees how her domineering nature has caused our boys to be either very passive or defiant. It breaks her heart and she wants to change. However, it doesn’t occur to her, even when I tell her, that she has the same effect on me.

    1. Joe,

      This makes me so sad! I know that many wives do NOT realize what they are doing. They usually don’t have any idea how to act differently from how they are when they are being controlling and disrespectful. This usually stems from fear and – for me and many wives I know – a lack of understanding of God, His sovereignty and where our responsibilities end. It often involves trusting self over God and feeling that we are carrying the weight of God’s sovereignty on ourselves. It is a miserable place to live – the rewards are loneliness, worry, anxiety, fear, depression and feeling overwhelmed. It is also a miserable situation for the husband and family involved.

      Praying for God to open her eyes and to give you wisdom as you seek to love and lead your family and honor God.

      The changes that will be required are extremely foundational changes that require a radical overhaul of the entire soul, mind and heart. This is not just a quick fix thing. It is terrifying and scary. And most women have no one who can explain the process to them or who can model being a godly wife for them. That makes it extremely difficult for most women to figure out what they need to do.

      1. Wives control because they believe they have to. They believe everything will fall apart if they don’t. The fear that fuels us to control is massive. It is a prison.

        How I pray that every sister in Christ might find that Jesus has opened the dungeon door and has broken our shackles and that we can run into His glorious freedom, joy, peace, light and abundant life! We don’t have to stay in this awful place anymore! PRAISE GOD!

        1. You said it, April: FEARS! For me this is the big thing. I want to be submissive and stop controlling but when my husband make a decision that I feel as a threat, my first reaction is to control due it insecurity and fears. I have been Christian for a long time and I have trust God through so many situations, countries, trials…. But being dependant or choosing to be dependant of one man, sinner as me, to lead my life is the scariest thing I’ve ever do. I need a daily reminder that this is God who controls my life through my husband and not only him. But it is still scary at times.

    2. This is exactly where I was not so long ago, I knew I was missing something and my heart hurt and yearned to find the missing piece!! The day I stumbled on this page and the blog about how to know you’re disrespecting your husband, changed my life forever!!! But oh the conviction was painful, but very, very needed!! Maybe she’s ready to receive because after the conviction and acceptance to let go and let God take over, is a peace like nothing she will ever know!!! Of course, that’s just my two cents and I have a lot of pennies, but if she already wants to change, you’re halfway there!

  9. “If a wife takes the masculine stance of taking authority, the husband will generally either fight her for his position or will unplug and become passive and let her take over.”

    > In my case, I just hunkered down for my protection. But I always kept my eye open for an opportunity to take the lead. When I finally became more assertive, she left and divorced me.

    “If she is going to take care of herself and she doesn’t want or need him to be her hero and she isn’t willing to follow his leadership, then he assumes she can protect herself and take care of everything herself.”

    > So true. She hated that I wouldn’t protect her, but I had no motivation to when she was so strong herself, and when she would correct me and make me pay when I failed to fulfill her expectations.

    “If a wife takes over and tries to control her husband and she disrespects her husband, he will be very busy trying to protect himself from his wife. She is coming at him like an enemy. So the one he is most concerned about protecting is himself. Why would he try to protect, nurture, adore and cherish someone who is doing everything in her power to undermine and hurt him?”

    > Ouch! April, did you have a video camera in my house?

    “When a wife expects her husband to submit to her, she is asking him to emasculate himself and take on a wife’s position in marriage.”

    > She treated me like her puppet, bullying and intimidating me to carry on the charade of being the leader, when in fact she and I knew that she was the one calling the shots. I knew that if I didn’t play-act like I was the leader, I would pay a heavy price. Ladies, if you want to humiliate your husband, there is no more effective way than that.

    1. Jim,
      Thank you very much for sharing.

      I think that it is necessary for us as wives to hear a masculine perspective on these issues so that we can begin to understand our men much better. That is a critical step in us learning to become the women and wives God desires us to be.

      1. April, I’m always glad to contribute. But let me tell you, you already have an excellent understanding of the masculine perspective. I can tell that you have put a lot of time into this.

  10. Thanks for the reminder! It can be tough not to revert back to controlling when our husbands don’t respond as we’d hoped to our initial attempts at submission and giving! I love my wonderful husband, but life has been stressful since I’ve needed temporary help for medical reasons. I immediately saw he was drowning, so I hired part time help for babysitting, driving kids, and have done my best to minimize grocery and errand requests. Yet, he is complaining, and this pressures me to be back in the saddle sooner than the Dr. recommends. I was already planning my confrontation, but I’ve decided to keep trying a positive attitude and encouragement instead. When I had to watch our 2 babies by myself this morning, rather than tell him he needs to step up, I told him I was quite worn out after only 2 hours, so what would I do without him right now? (Very true). Who knows? Maybe this is a test I’m called to endure for God’s purposes? And, maybe to teach me not to walk in fear? If we need milk, or a child has an appointment, or if I’m exhausted, so be it. It’s not for me to shield him from these needs because that’s also an attempt to control him! I can respectfully tell him, and I’m not responsible for his reaction, only mine. It’s a time to be still and know that God is God!

    1. H31:

      You’re doing great! Keep going on the path you are on now!

      If your husband doesn’t get some things done, maybe it is because he is unaware of them, or because doing those things is new to him. It can be overwhelming for a guy to pick up that new load, especially if it the first time in his life that he has done anything like that. Perhaps you can simply let him know what needs to be done, just to make him aware of it, but not to push him to do it.

      Hang in there! You’re doing great!

      Jim

      1. Let him know you understand how stressful it is for him to have to do your work and his. Tell him you have to deal with these things all day every day, so you understand. Not only will you be giving him a word of encouragement and letting him know you understand, but also you will subtly let him know what you go through every day.

        But be sure to say it as a word of encouragement and understanding!

    2. H31,
      I think you have a great approach! Congratulations on your new baby!!!!!

      I’m sure your husband will figure out how to get things done if you can’t do them. I am praying for healing for you! And for wisdom for you both. Yes, you are only responsible for yourself.

  11. This makes absolute sense!

    Several years ago, I told my husband I wanted to feel nurtured, cherished, guided, protected and led by him. I was nervous admitting this at first because it didn’t sound very modern or enlightened, lol. To my surprise, he was all up for it so we figured out a way to give each other what we need most. It’s a cyclic thing and it works beautifully. Along the way, we stumbled upon biblical submission (thank you, Martha Peace!) and couldn’t be happier. Even now our disagreements are productive (rather than hurtful) and we have harmony. Mainly, we’re finally on the same page. 🙂

    1. Elena,
      Wow!

      Ok, I want to hear more about how y’all figured this out on your own. I’m so excited for you and I praise God for what He has been doing in your marriage. So beautiful!

  12. I am impressed by the title, and then of course the content, of your post.

    Allow me to add a nuance, a significant and important nuance.

    When someone else is in charge, a man sees the act of rushing to protect that person as DISRESPECTFUL.

    I’m pretty sure that you see that when you rush to ‘protect’ your husband, it can look disrespectful, that you don’t trust him.

    It’s the same thing.

    1. Ah! so true!

      It emasculates the man. It can be very condescendig. I toally ‘get’ how a woman can allow fear to fuel her to want to control the situation. Sigh 🙁 , Communication is HUGE!!! ‘Letting go’ is hard and ‘taking the reigns’ is hard. We need to encourage one another. Telling each other our needs make us vulnerable -but that is exactly where growth will occur. We are broken vessels joined together for God to create something more wonderful than the sum of it’s parts (although, the parts can stand on their own with God:D ). I am so thankful for this blog. The TRUTH is being exposed and lives are being changed for God’s glory.
      Depending on a man’s personality, the wedge of disrepect might grow at a slow burn rate or it might just explode instantaniously. Either way – a wedge has been formed. Sometimes guys might not see an ‘issue’ as an issue and the wife might think that the man isn’t leading or protecting her. I ‘guess’ I am a Mr. Steady (but I haven’t read the character traits of the different type of men…yet). We may just handle the ‘issue’ differently (maybe SLOWER) than what the wife may expect – but we will handle the issue. Hopefully, any ‘issue’ can be brought to the table in a sound manner before it escalates in either mates view.

  13. April,
    Your blog is very eye-opening to me! I have been lurking on here for a few weeks now. I commented once early on after my husband and I had a fight and you gave me the best advice anyone has ever given me, including counselors. I really appreciate the time you took to comment to me personally. I love reading about all the real life examples and how people handle things. Most marriage advice doesn’t get that specific. I read Laura Doyle’s book and that was amazing.

    The one issue I have is about handing over the family finances. I was wondering if you at some point could do a post about this? I am a stay at home mom and my husband says he has no time to pay the bills or go through the mail. He says he would forget to pay things and loose bills. My personality is more organized and I actually enjoy keeping the books! So is this disrespectful? He makes all the major decisions about stocks, car purchases and investments and I trust all of his decisions there without question. It is just paying the cable, electric, mortgage, etc. that I handle on a monthly basis. I would appreciate your opinion if you have the time! I would also welcome anyone else’s opinion as well.

    I really think my marriage has improved so much in the past few weeks due. It almost feels like a light switch went on in my mind.

    Thank you so much!
    Amy

    1. Amy,

      I am so glad to hear from you! And I praise God for what He is doing in your life and marriage. WOOHOOO!!!!!!

      I have a few posts about dealing with finances. The one that will be most helpful for you is the one where a wife talks about her husband wanting her to handle the finances.

      What I (Peacefulwife) did
      Kayla’s Approach
      Being the Secretary when the Husband Wants His Wife to Handle the Logistics of the Finances
      How Fellow Wife and Her Husband Decided to Handle the Finances
      Another Wife Shares about Finances and Trust

      Sometime, I would love to hear what triggered the switch for you. 🙂

      Much love!

      1. Thank you!!!!! I will enjoy my reading tonight. I would have to say I am still in the process of “switching” now, but would be happy to tell you anything. It has been so eye opening that marriage counseling was actually harmful in our case. While reading several posts I actually felt my mind expand with understanding.

        I felt so superior to my husband. I would complain about him to my girlfriend’s often. (this is still hard because it is such a habit and my girlfriends and I seem to bond over this.) We would have horrific fights usually over the most ridiculous things like dishes in the sink, or not locking the car or when I felt he wasn’t helping me with the kids and chores. Literally screaming at each other I am ashamed to say. We fought on every family trip.

        I have been trying your “peaceful wife” method for only a few weeks. Sometimes I feel like an actress when I thank him for “soaking the dishes” when I just feel like saying “It only takes 3 seconds to actually place them in the dishwasher” but now I hold my tongue. When I came home late and found my kids were not bathed and still awake playing video games and the mess on the kitchen table was still there, I said “Thank you for so happily letting me go out with my girlfriends for book club.” I really was angry, but hid it. I want to repair the damage I have done to my marriage. After 15 years, I know it will take longer than 3 weeks.
        Sorry so long. I hope I am not boring you all! I would be happy to PM you April if you have any questions.

        Amy

        1. Hi Amy! 🙂

          Just wanted to encourage you, sister, in this submission and respect journey. I myself got convicted and changed by our Lord on September 1, 2013…

          Initially, since old habits die hard and I was so afraid to open up my mouth lest I sin against God and my husband and others, I really had to “detoxify” my mind and my heart so to speak.

          I withdrew from everybody, deactivated my Facebook for good, kept quiet a lot just reading the Word or keeping to my thoughts, and doing a lot of apologizing to people, foremost of which was my husband Dong. I did all of these AFTER I repented to God.

          Initially, I too, felt like a fake, a pretentious woman/actress performing her Oscar award-worthy “godly wife” role. Even my new thoughts when the Lord had changed me, seemed surprising/odd even to me! But I continued to hold thoughts captive for Jesus and unlearned the disrespectful, unchristian behavior I used to have. Suffice to say, I thought I was a “good Christian” before my conviction! Imagine, my horror when the Lord showed me for who I truly was, along with my mountains of sin! I was humbled and humiliated. But, I was thankful too to God for the no-holds barred revelation. How else could I have repented if I felt no need for repentance? 🙁

          As you learn new habits and new ways of thinking, it will really feel awkward, alien, foreign and fake.
          But as the new normal becomes normal, you will find yourself becoming more and more confident in your abilities to tackle situations where before you were convicted, you would “normally” get mad or say hurtful words, but now that your eyes have been spiritually opened, you would already just dismiss or pray over. 🙂 It will be Christ Who will continually strengthen you. This is a battle with the sinful flesh daily. You have to die to yourself constantly at first, and will have to continue to do so afterwards, although maybe not without the extreme struggles from the initial “death”, but still hard nonetheless without God’s Help.

          It’s a lot of “faking it” till you make it, without really being fake at it at all (it just feels like it). For this journey to really lead us to the Destination, we have to be 100% genuine and committed to focusing only on Jesus as God conforms us more and more to His Son.

          2 Cor 5:17
          “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

          Welcome to the NEW NORMAL, Amy! The best is yet to come! 🙂

          <3 ,

          Nikka

        2. Amy,

          Oh goodness, I relate to you so much! I complained about my husband to my family, friends, coworkers… 🙁 That is how we bonded – you are exactly right. In fact, I was more “bonded” emotionally with all those other people than I was with my husband. 🙁 How sad is that!

          I had to back way off from everyone in my life for a LONG, LONG time and just focus on God and getting myself right with Him, repenting, learning at His feet, yielding fully to Him and allowing Him to do open heart surgery to take out my old filthy nasty sinful nature to crucify it with Christ. Then He gave me a new heart, new mind and new spirit. He got rid of my old desires and priorities, and gave me His mind and His priorities and desires.

          I don’t know that I would use the words “fake” or “acting.” But, for me it was very much like learning a new language- something extremely difficult like Chinese that didn’t even use the same alphabet I know. I felt a lot like I was trying to learn it without a teacher. It was SO FRUSTRATING! I felt like I was having to reinvent the wheel to figure out what it meant to be a godly woman and a godly wife.

          I am so glad that you are not fighting. Those fights were so not worth it! You paid dearly in intimacy if you make these tiny issues more important than the unity of the marriage covenant, your intimacy with your husband and your obedience to God.

          As you get better at figuring out how to say things respectfully, you will be able to politely, pleasantly also say, “Honey, I would love it if you would please wash the dishes and put them in the dish washer if you get a chance. Thanks!” or “I’m so glad you spent time with the kids and let me go out with the girls. I appreciate it so much! Would you mind helping me get the kids bathed and the kitchen table cleaned up? That would be great.”

          You are not boring me! This is my calling!!!:)

          It is ok to ask for what you need – the key is to ask respectfully and in a genuinely friendly way. Ask for what you need clearly. But don’t make demands or try to force him to do what you want.

          Yes, this does take longer than 3 weeks!

          But I am very encouraged about what you are doing so far – and I can’t wait to see all that God has in store!

          Much love to you!

          1. I like April’s explanation better — “like trying to learn a new language with no teacher”. 🙂 That hits the nail on the head far better than seeming “fake”, which could be misconstrued as not really a genuine biblical submissiveness but just an exterior respectfulness.

            Just to not be misunderstood, especially for those new to this journey… when I say “it feels fake”, I just mean, it feels “odd, unnatural and abnormal”. After all, what was ‘normal’ before was disrespectful, self-righteous, condescending behavior. What is the NEW NORMAL is respectful, compassionate, understanding behavior, which leaves much room for grace. 🙂

            Thanks for that metaphor, April! <3

          2. Yes,
            It DOES feel foreign, awkward, weird, strange. Yep.

            One lady here is an acting teacher. She says that all actors know that if you act like you feel a certain way, the genuine feelings will follow. I think that is interesting! I think we can seek to please God and bless our husbands and say things we know will bless them and then as we practice and pray and ask God to empower us, it does become more and more natural to our new nature.

            Some women think I am saying they need to pretend and be fake and manipulative all the time. No!!! The goal is total heart change. But at first, we do stumble a lot. It takes complete spiritual and emotional contortion for awhile. But as God changes us, we realize we don’t ever want to go back to our old ways. What we are losing is our sinful nature and power to destroy our husbands, ourselves and others and we are gaining the power to obey God and please Him.

            It is an exciting, terrifying, frustrating, mysterious, beautiful journey. I love being on it with y’all!

          3. I too find it feels fake and very awkward. I have a little different slant on the awkwardness. I tend to be on the quiet side. So rather than trying to stop a barrage of words in order to say the right thing, I have to crawl out of my quietness to say words I’ve never said. Not only is it frightful, it’s embarrassing too. As embarrassing as being a shy girl in a school play. I definitely need a script, though, because I have trouble expressing myself–especially on the spur of the moment.

          4. Hi PCW! 🙂

            Yes, you are definitely my opposite in the speaking department, but I believe you when you say it is “frightful” and “embarrassing” to speak up your mind when you’ve been so used to keeping your thoughts to yourself.

            It’s great to hear that you are speaking up now. 🙂 I encourage you to speak the truth in love more often, then. Our husbands need our words of encouragement and love too, as much as they need our silence when it’s also necessary. It’s a matter of listening to the Spirit to direct us when to be quiet and when to be outspoken.

            Maybe some of the pieces of advice offered her in the Peaceful Wife blog, as well as the suggestions of the sisters here, could be used for your “script”, as you learn and re-learn new patterns of behavior. 🙂

            God bless you in your own journey.
            <3 ,

            Nikka

  14. Thanks so much for your encouragement ladies! It means more to me than you will know. If I were to be completely honest, the first few times I bit my tongue totally felt like acting to me. Those first few thank you’s were not genuine at all. My mind was in a different angry place. I almost wondered how my husband couldn’t tell. But after seeing his reactions to my thank yous, my feelings started to change. The benefits came instantly. I think sometimes you have to put actions before feelings. I just wanted to be honest in case others feel the same way.

    1. Yes, Amy! Exactly. In fact, love is not a feeling, it is an action. The same way with forgiveness, you may not feel like forgiving a person, but if you want to honor God, you forgive those who’ve erred against you… The feelings may come after the act or after the fact.

      I actually get what you are going through! That’s why I used the words “acting” and “fake”.:) Be encouraged, sister! 🙂 As you practice respectful behavior more and more each day towards your husband, you’d be amazed at how the old thinking has been replaced with the new ones, and the old behavior has been replaced too by new behavior. The key is to focus on Jesus, as we continue to follow His commandments for us.

      The Bible verse that spoke volumes to me and which I still live by now aside from Ephesians 5:22-33, of course, is 1 Peter 3:1-5 —

      1 Peter 3:1-5

      3 “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over WITHOUT WORDS by the BEHAVIOR of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands”

      For a talkative, opinionated person like myself, I had to re-wire my thinking to not only stop the negative talk, but also to be peacefully and prayerfully silent (not seething in anger silence) so I can win over my husband.

      I think it was Ms. Lori Alexander who said that a transformed life lived in front of one’s husband, as we obey God, is the greatest witnessing there is. 🙂

      Excited for you, Amy! 😀 Looking forward to more and more of the surprising and wonderful reactions from your husband that you may want to share with us in the next few weeks. 🙂

      <3 ,

      Nikka

    2. Great job, Amy, and keep up the good work! Husbands can’t read our minds and this can be a blessing during times when we are submitting, even though we don’t feel like it.

      A friend of mine taught me many years ago that one of the best disciplines we can learn in life is to “Act your way into feeling instead of trying to feel your way into acting.” Emotions are fickle and dependent upon many things besides the truth often times, so it is best to do what is right and allow our desires to follow. Proud of you, girl!

      1. Thejoyfilledwife,

        I love that! One husband in Shaunti Feldhahn’s new book described this as “bossing your emotions around.” We tend to allow our emotions to be dictators to us. Emotions are important, but they are not always accurate or godly. We can use them as indicators to check our motives and ask God to examine our hearts. But then we can decide to obey God and trust Him even when our feelings don’t like it. Our emotions cannot be our greatest goal. Being happy isn’t the goal for us as believers. Being holy and pleasing to God and knowing Him is our goal.

        Great discussion, ladies!

    3. Amy,
      Oh!!! And, in time, you eventually won’t even think the disrespectful, resentful, angry things. Your mind will be flooded with God’s peace and joy. And you will focus on Philippians 4:8 things all the time until it becomes habit. God’s peace is so addictive!!!!!

  15. Excellent, April. “He may even feel like she is pretty scary. Those verbal attacks and outbursts of negative emotion, criticism, scolding, lecturing, bossing him around, criticizing him, blasting him, humiliating him, undermining him, arguing with him, complaining about him, telling everyone how little she thinks of him.” If wives doubt that this behavior is “scary” to a man, they need to realize that if the husband acts this way toward his wife it’s (rightly) called abuse.

    1. David J,
      Thanks for your comment. That is true, we would not appreciate our husbands doing these things to us. Something that may help women to visualize how scary an angry woman can be is to picture their mother-in-law doing these things to them and think about how they would feel about that.

  16. I am loving the comments on this post! So many wonderful ideas and new ways of thinking. I can sympathize with all of the new women on this journey. I have stumbled, tripped, slipped and fallen flat on my face during this transformation. I have found that buy changing a negative into a positive although difficult, has definitely been the turning point for me. As odd as this sounds, I am almost enjoying the challenge of searching for the good.

    One example, is my husband’s job is very demanding and requires him to be available at all times of the day or night. If he was late for a child’s game or activity, or had to run out early I would be SO angry and take it SO personally, but I’ve found that I truly am so grateful that he made it AT ALL! Yesterday was a great example, my daughter had an awards assembly. He didn’t think he could come because of a prior work engagement. Well, he made it! He surprised us both. Instead of being angry he was late, I simply told him how very happy we were that he was able to be there. “Me too” was his response.

    This may not seem like a big deal to many of you that don’t know the details of my situation, but prior to my changes, I would have been angry for hours he was late, or even contemplated missing this event. Hours? Probably days! A similar thing happened when he had to leave a game early. I simply texted him later and thanked him for being there. These tiny little things have actually been MONUMENTAL.

    Keep on keeping on sisters! Praise God I found this blog when I did. It still may be too late to save the disaster I created, but I feel so fulfilled in God and peace now, I may just survive. 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine! 🙂

      I love your new godly reaction! 🙂 That’s the Spirit working in you and your heart. 🙂 May you continue to in this beautiful and fulfilling journey as we die to self and go totally against what our flesh would want to do, and instead follow what Jesus commands for us to do. 🙂 It’s exciting what is up ahead for you and your marriage. May you not just “survive”, but thrive as well. 🙂

      <3 ,

      Nikka

      1. Thank you Nikka, your insight along with April’s has made such a huge difference in my life. It’s so much easier to follow God’s lead. I haven’t been this calm in my life in years. Finally! Peace! I so wish I knew these things 20 years ago, but have decided that there’s a reason for this season and I’m just grateful it’s happening AT ALL, rather than focusing on what ifs…. bless you all.

    2. Catherine:

      Thank you for your honest comments.

      My job sometimes requires me to keep odd hours. I have no choice in the matter, if I want to keep the job. But my wife was sometimes impatient with me, because I wasn’t with her when I had to be on the computer for my job. (It never occurred to her that she could have come sit with me while I was at the computer, I would have greatly appreciated her doing that.)

      For a man, perhaps the most important thing in the core of his being is that he be a good provider for his family. When he is doing that, and his wife is fighting him every step of the way, it is as if he has to choose between the job and her, because that is the box that his wife has put him in.

      It is a miserable place to be for a good man.

      I am really happy for you (and for him!) that you are now working with him instead of against him, and that you have come to appreciate the good man that you have.

      Jim

  17. I have a dilemma today that I could use some godly wife’s advice on…
    My husband is currently having some viscous troubles at work. His boss is basically creating a hostile work environment to push my husband to quit. This began when my husband was put on light duty and now his human resources rep and immediate supervisor have conspired and are making my husband out to be the bad guy when he is honestly trying to do his job.

    My husband suffers from anxiety. This is crushing him. He isn’t sleeping, and stressed out and now he has “turned on” me.
    I am listening and I’m hurt that he is hurting. He says I don’t understand, I don’t care. He also says that prayers don’t work 🙁

    I believe he is angry with me because I haven’t said “it is okay if you quit your job”. He said almost as much this morning. I told him today I will stand by him no matter what he does. He can find a solution. He is currently angry and hostile to me. I don’t know exactly how to show respect and compassion that my husband understands right now. Any advice would be helpful?! I am praying all day.

    1. Prayingwife79:

      I can speak from a man’s perspective as to what would be helpful.

      First of all, it’s a bad situation. He is going to have anxiety. Therefore, you can try to minimize his anxiety on the home front. Make his life as pleasant as you can at home. Do your best to cater to him during this very stressful time. Cook his favorite food. Stay out of his way if that is what he wants (don’t take it personal, that’s just the way some men deal with these things), or give him a back rub if he wants. Give him intimacy. And let him know that you highly respect him as a man, and therefore you know that he will figure out a way to deal with this. That one assurance from you will probably do more for him than anything else, because all men want to be thought of as real men, that they are fulfilling their responsibilities as a man, especially by their wives.

      By making his life very pleasant at home, and by fully supporting him during this terrible time, when he does finally come out of it, he will deeply appreciate what you have done for him during this time.

        1. Prayingwife79,

          I am not sure I can add anything more helpful to what Nikka and Jim have shared. It is hard when our husbands are stressed and upset. Praying for God to show you just how to bless him, pray for him and encourage him, and maybe, not take things too personally right now.

          Sending you a huge hug!

    2. Hi prayingwife79!

      If he is out looking for “signs” or “hints” from you that you are in favor of him resigning, I believe it would be okay to say it out loud if that is how you really feel. Something in the lines of:

      “I empathize with you honey. I believe this is really a stressful time at work and it is unfortunate that your coworkers seem to be “ganging up” on you… Whatever you feel is best for you and our family, I am all for it, even if that would mean quitting your job right now. But should you want to stay it out, despite the stress and anxiety, know that I am just here. I am watching your back. Whatever you decide on, we are in this together. I am with you on this.”

      Afterwards, maybe you can follow it up with:

      “How do you think I could help you somehow alleviate the stress you are going through right now? How can I be a blessing to you? Just let me know and I would be most happy to do it.”

      If he is not responsive, and is even saying that “Prayers don’t work!” (Proof that he is in a bad place and far from God at the moment.) our prescription for this kind of husband is 1 Peter 3:1-5

      1 Peter 3:1-5

      3 “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands”

      … We will win them over WITHOUT A WORD, with the purity and reverence in our lives. You and I know and all of us here know — that PRAYER WORKS. It’s our LIFELINE to God.

      Praying for you sister. May God direct your path as you encourage your discouraged husband, and may he also find enlightenment in discerning what to do next.

      <3 ,

      Nikka

      1. Thank you Nikka, April and Jim ! I just needed some reassurance. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. My old sinful self would have responded in a hurt and sinful way and my heart was screaming to hold tight to God’s word. I did not act perfectly this morning but I did respond to his anger and hurt with kindness, humility and compassion. Him saying prayers don’t work let me know a lot about where his heart is. That hurts my heart so. I did tell him I would stand beside him no matter the decision. I told him I am hurting because he is hurting. I am being quiet and trying to bless him where I can and not trying to take it personal (but it’s all very personal, isn’t it? when our husbands are hurting…) again thank you ! I am with you Nikka. I know that we all know that prayer works! I pray for him daily. I pray for his strength and that he would look to God when he stumbles. This is an amazing community of practicing Christians that look to God’s word to stand and live this life to glorify God. I am on shaky ground with my husband and don’t want to move backwards. I want to tread within God’s will. God bless this ministry and readers!

        1. PrayingWife:

          I fully concur with Nikka in what she said.

          Please, do not take anything personal that your husband says or does. The number one frustration in your husband’s life right now is the job; it is not you.

          By making his home life a paradise, you will give him more than enough strength to deal with his job situation, and you will have completely won his heart when this trial is finally over.

          Hang in there!

          Jim

          1. I’d just like to add that I think guys are often groomed to think that a “real man” can take it endlessly and so quitting can never be an option unless he wants to be a wimp. I think he’s really asking ” will you think I’m a quitter or I wimped out if I leave this job? Will it cost me your respect?” And sometimes our reasons for possibly trying to block our husbands from resigning are really based on fears for our financial security. Unless running when the going gets tough or being a complainer who can’t keep a job is a life time pattern, we ought to give them the benefit of the doubt.

            My mother told me this story about my grandparents that occurred during the depression. They had six kids to feed and most men couldn’t find jobs because work was scarce, but my grandfather had found one unloading cargo ships. Well the boss was a mean sucker with a penchant for tormenting the men he had authority over; he delighted in absolutely humiliating them. He figured that because these men had families to support and work was almost non existent, he had them over a barrel and they could do nothing about it. Now my grandparents were so poor that my grandfather was going to work with newspaper and rags stuffed in his boots because they couldn’t afford to buy warm work socks, so you can imagine how much importance this pay check held for them. Grandpa stuck it out under this sadistic commandant as long as he could, enduring endless humiliation and abuse. One day he came home early; he’d quit. He was terrified to face my grandmother, thinking she’d be so upset and disappointed in him. But he just couldn’t take it anymore. So he walked in the door and told her. But instead of shaming him or berating him, she studied his face for a second and then put her arms around him and said ” I understand. It’s okay, Dan. We’ll get by somehow”. She wasn’t a Christian but she got it right that day and said exactly what he needed to hear, at a moment when he was utterly crushed with defeat and desperation. Guess what. Nobody starved, died or lost their home. All six of the kids in my mom’s family grew up to pursue trades or degrees. If God in his mercy provided for a family of unbelievers with six kids to feed, during the Depression, then we ought not to be afraid to trust that God will provide if our husband DOES feel leaving is the necessary thing to do. I realize that is easy to say but not always easy to do, but then, its a leap of faith.

  18. April … I love this blog and so very informative and helpful and respect and appreciate reading both perspectives of men and women on this topic. Lisa… Had a thought ? Does your husband feel comfortable or confident in cleaning the ears of your children ? It’s great that he cares to help out with bathing the children. Food for thought 😊

  19. As usual, you are exactly right. As a husband, I am much more likely to defend my wife when she has been respectful and honoring.
    You sound like a great wife. I wish you could be my wife’s friend and encourage her to act biblically as you do. This isn’t meant to puff you up, rather to encourage you to keep it up. It makes me proud to know there are women like you out there to marry my sons.

    1. Dan,

      God has radically changed me in the past 5.5 years. I used to be quite controlling and disrespectful. I undermined my husband as a father and he shut down and became very passive. 🙁 But – God opened my eyes to my sin and it was a long, painful, excruciatingly slow process of allowing Him to completely transform my heart, mind and soul. But it has been so well worth it! Any good in me is definitely a God thing, not an April thing.

      My prayer is that God might use me now to hold up His light and truth to my precious sisters who have been led far astray from God’s narrow path by our godless culture so that many may turn away from the world’s ways and back to Christ. I am seeing Him change hundreds of wives all over the world – it is the most incredible experience of my life. All I can do is thank Him and praise Him for His power and His willingness to reach down and make something beautiful out of so many broken lives.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

      Your wife is certainly welcome here. 🙂

  20. I remember reading on the respectful husbands post that you read a life changing book, what was the book called again? Somethinf like “the submitted wife”? My wife is receptive to changing her ways and I wanted to find this book for her. Thank you, and also I ask for prayers of deliverance for both of us.. God bless

    1. Charlie,
      The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.

      BUT – it is not a biblically based book. 🙁 Sadly. Which is why I write this blog and why I just finished writing my first book!

      There is much in that book that must be sifted out and trashed. But there are also some very helpful parts.

      You can also check out my post “My Favorite Marriage Books”

  21. Hi April,
    I am re reading through this article since its not a one off sort of read 🙂 I was wondering what is meant by trying to change the personalities of the husband’s family members and would love an example if you will 🙂 Sorry if that’s a dense question 🙂

    1. Patricia,

      I actually used to do this, so I can answer this one.

      I tried to change and control people in my family and my husband’s family and tried to make them agree with me and see that I was right. For example: I thought they should believe the same thing I did about every theological point. I thought they should agree with me about political issues, convictions, race issues… And if they didn’t agree with me, I made it my business to try to make them change their minds. I also expected them to handle conflict the way I thought they should and to change the family dynamics to match what I thought was best.

      I was prideful, arrogant, self-righteous and controlling. 🙁

      I hope that might make sense. 🙂

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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