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Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers – Part 1

My husband and children at Legoland in historic Cypress Gardens
My husband and children at Legoland in historic Cypress Gardens 2012

Here is one husband’s response to this post earlier in the week:

Thank you for this post. Your advice is spot on!

The thing that I want from my wife is input and cooperation, not demands, domination, manipulation or deception.

The former draw me to her, the latter drive me away from her.

I want to reiterate what you say about wives not undermining or overruling their husbands with the children.

The scripture is pretty clear that children are to obey their parents. When my wife overrules or undermines a decision I have made or a command that I have given, she teaches our kids that I am not a competent father and that I should be ignored. Rather than bringing peace and unity to our home, it creates conflict and strife. When I react to her lack of respect, then she goes into attack mode condemning me for my reaction to her sin.

The long term effect this has had is that my children stop listening to me. They just tune me out. I become more and more disengaged and leave the parenting duties to her. Then, when a child is not listening to her, she demands that I support her with the child so that she can regain control with her. My response to my wife is, ‘Why should I do for you, what you never do for me?’ This just invites attack and condemnation.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I don’t think most wives realize the long term consequences of undermining our husbands’ spiritual authority in the family. I know I didn’t until God opened my eyes to all of my disrespect, pride, idolatry of self and being in control, self-righteousness, etc… in Dec 2008.

My husband had become very unplugged with me and our children. I was constantly asking him to do more with us.

I had NO CLUE why he had unplugged. I thought he was just unloving and cared about the TV too much.

Now I know, of course, that I had disrespected him and taken over control. Now I know that I wouldn’t listen to him and wouldn’t support his parenting and thought I always “knew best” since I had read more books about parenting. :( It’s heartbreaking to me now to realize how destructive my attitudes, words and actions were at times back then. In front of the TV, he was safe. With me, he was not very safe at times.

When I began to learn about respect and biblical submission. I seriously felt like I was trying to learn some VERY foreign language – without a teacher. That is how little it all made sense to me at first.  It took me over 2 years of constant study, prayer and journaling (for hours a day almost every day) to BEGIN to feel like I remotely had a clue what I was doing.

Soon into my journey into being a godly wife, I began to talk to our children (our son was 7 and our daughter was 2) and say things all throughout the day like:

– God made husbands/dads to be the leaders in the family.

– I was wrong to try to be in charge of things before.  I am so sorry.  I hurt you and I hurt Daddy by the way I treated Daddy.  I don’t want to do that anymore.

– Daddy is in charge now the way God’s Word says he is supposed to be. We will all treat him with respect.

– Please use a respectful tone of voice to Daddy and to me.  That wasn’t a respectful tone of voice.  Please try saying that again respectfully.

– That was a disrespectful attitude.  Please apologize for talking to Daddy/me like that.

– Obey Daddy and Mama because God commands you to obey your parents so that you can please God and you can have a long life.

– If one of us says no to something, don’t ask the other parent. It will be “no” from both of us.

– Your Daddy asked you not to jump on the couch. I know he’s not here right now – but we are going to honor him and obey him whether he is here or not.

– (If a child is slow to obey my husband) You heard what Daddy said. Please obey Daddy now.

– That decision is up to Daddy (for bigger decisions). We will honor whatever he decides. You  may ask for what you want respectfully, just one time, and then please accept whatever he decides is best.

We will continue this discussion in Part 2 tomorrow! 🙂

24 thoughts on “Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers – Part 1

  1. Your story is so similar to mine, April. I didn’t throw things, yell, lose my temper, etc., I just completely disrepected him by arguing with him ALL the time. He always felt that he had to walk on eggshells around me. I also finally sat my children down and told them how wrong I had been.

    1. Lori Alexander,

      I had no idea my husband didn’t agree with me about a lot of things, he just didn’t feel like it was worth arguing with me. I thought we were “on the same page” about 99% of things, but we weren’t. Greg just eventually didn’t share his ideas and his heart. Makes me so sad!
      Of course, if he did share, I argued nonstop.

      How old were your children when you talked with them about this, and what was their response, if you would like to share? 🙂

      1. They were teenagers, unfortunately! I think my oldest daughter was around 16. They accepted it graciously. They don’t remember us arguing which is amazing! We usually argued when we went on our walk together or drove in a car, rarely around them. My parents argued constantly when I was growing up so I guess I didn’t want to argue in front of them. The only time we were together, however, was on our walks and in the car. None of them ever argue! They all hate conflict and lean towards being peacemakers. They have noticed a HUGE difference in me, though. I no longer try to control everyone!

      2. I was wrong, My oldest was more like 24! She had already been away from home for awhile. I wanted to make sure she knew how wrong I had been as a wife so she wouldn’t do the same thing and she doesn’t! Yay!

        1. Lori and Eliza,
          I so appreciate your willingness to share your testimonies and how good God is. Women are often very afraid to trust God and yield full control to Hum. They think the sacrifice is too great with an “uncertain” reward.

          But, God’s way is not a sacrifice! The only thing we give up is our sin and our power to destroy and make ourselves and our families miserable. We gain untold spiritual blessings and miracles when we trust God. How I long for every wife to experience the abundant life Jesus has for those who completely submit to Him as Lord.

          Thank you for shining for Christ!!

          1. The most difficult part is to encourage women how amazing the benefits are to doing things God’s ways. Most women are so afraid to turn control over to their husbands and let them lead. I sure know I was but was finally convinced! Either keep trying to control your husband and have a miserable marriage, or give up ALL control and have a fabulous marriage!

          2. Lori, it’s miserable for the husband, too, when the wife tries to stay in control.

            Been there, ouch!

  2. I just wanted to comment that God really does beautiful things when we repent and do things His way in our marriage. (It may take time but it’s good to learn patience and be content as we wait on God!!) God has healed all my mistakes and given “beauty for ashes.” It was so painful to be convicted by God about all my disrespect and control! It was embarrassing and humiliating to have my eyes opened to my sin. I was literally sick over it. But God has brought healing between me and my husband and my kids. I would encourage women to press on through the difficult and painful stage of this journey when we may be in the reaping stage of our sin. The Lord has raised me up from a very low place to an incredible place of blessing. I have experienced such mercy and grace from God and my family. Living life God’s way has put more JOY and peace in my heart than I ever thought or imagined was possible. I am being given complete unconditional love from my husband. He is an entirely different man since I have repented and turned over the reigns to him. God has completely healed my relationships with all my kids. God is doing BEAUTIFUL things!! I know things don’t always turn out as we would hope, and our prayers aren’t always answered the way we would like, but we can trust God to work everything for good in our lives. I am experiencing so many blessings in my life now ~ it’s almost impossible to comprehend what God has accomplished! I know I am not worthy of the life I now have, but it has taught me how to extend the same love, grace, and forgiveness to others – learning this has completely changed my walk as a Christian. I know the grace I have been given has made me a new woman. I now only want to extend grace and mercy to others as well. I just praise God for the great work He has done in my life as well as the things He is accomplishing in the lives of the women I read about on this post. All glory to God for the wonderful things He does when we humbly repent and seek Him!! God Bless Everyone Here on this journey 🙂

  3. April, what was it that “opened your eyes” to your disrespect? And, why did Greg stick around? I’m just wondering from the perspective of the wives whose husbands left when they got fed up with the disrespect.

    I’ve also repented to my children, so to speak. I’ve told them how I was not the wife God wanted me to be, and I have to change before daddy will come back home. I love your advice to your children about respect, too.I’ll add those into our daily happenings.

    Much respect to you!

    1. My experience is a bit different than that described by April and others, but there are similarities.

      I was always very engaged with the kids; she was not. Therefore, her disrespect of me didn’t really register with the kids.

      Her disrespect of me was cloaked in her plastic smile and manipulative ways, and she was very good at it, so it may not have been that noticeable to others. (Some people noticed it and pointed it out to me.) She always held out the unspoken threat of “I’ll leave”, so I walked on eggshells till both kids had finished high school, knowing that the kids would be better off with both parents rather than with only one. But when I quit walking on eggshells, it wasn’t long till she left me then divorced me.

      I stayed for the kids, and because I feared God — I couldn’t see any scriptural justification for leaving. I did, however, move into the spare bedroom, just to get some peace in my life.

      1. Jim,
        This makes me so sad. 🙁

        Ladies,
        How I long for our families to see authenticity and the genuine love, peace and joy of God in us and that we as wives and moms might be a source of comfort, safety, blessing, healing and inspiration to our families.

        1. Thank you, April.

          I know that God will bless me with a loving, devoted, and GENUINE wife the second time around, because I was faithful to Him in spite of terrible situation the first time around.

          During my first marriage, I used to encourage myself that I was doing everything as unto the Lord, not as unto her. Also, this life isn’t really that long; soon we will be in paradise, in the presence of our Savior, for all eternity! And if He could carry all of my griefs and sorrows, surely I can bear this cross for a short time.

          Having said all of that, I DO want a better wife the 2nd time around!

          Jim

          1. Thanks Jim and every one for the comments. I need help. My hubby is a great guy,loving and committed to us. but has a problem with keeping promises, especially financial. He has borrowed money from my salary to pay off business debts with the promise to return after a specified period of time (i dont demand for the promises, he does them himself). unfortunately, on several occassions, he has not honored the promise. when i ask him, he gets defensive and angry at me. Yesterday, i asked him about some money he took from my savings a month ago. I just told him that i was concerned about the unfulfilled promise s and all am asking is that he gives me the chance to trust him fully with finances. He is now angry and withdrawn from me. what do i do?should i leave him to do as he wishes? how do i handle this respectively? I just need to know that i can take him at his word.

            Liz

          2. Hi, Liz.

            Sorry about the financial difficulties you are having.

            When you say that he borrowed money from your salary, I understand this to mean that he paid you less than your normal paycheck so that he could use the money for business debt. I also understand you to say that you don’t mind him doing this, but it bothers you when he promises to pay it back and doesn’t.

            Perhaps you could ask him to just take the money and not promise anything, because after all, you both are in the business together, and you both want it to succeed.

            Are you in on any of the decision making with regard to the business? Do you advise your husband about the finances of the company? Perhaps you could ask him to include you in the “advice” part of the finances (with him making the final decision), so that you could have some input into how the business debt will be paid. If your job description included your having an advisory role like that, then it would make everything a whole lot more comfortable for both of you when discussing financial matters. And you may very well come up with a better plan than he has as to how to pay off the business debt.

            I hope this helps!

            Jim

          3. Thanks Jim,
            We came up with a budget that guide our monthly spending. i do take care of groceries and general running of the home, while he takes rent, electricity,water bills and the business. Since the business is not yet strong, he withdraws rent from my salary. This time, he hadn’t paid the rent for the business, so he asked i give him some cash from my allocation to off set then he returns after a few days. He didnt. Besides, when he went to withdraw, he withdrew plus some savings we had. I haven’t lacked money, but am concerned that he is using promises to get the cash and trivialize the commitment after that. He is a great husband and i trust him with many things, but when it comes to finances, am struggling now. when i asked him (calmly) he has not spoken to me since yesterday.
            I guess i may have to do without promises. I am involved in the business but of course he makes majority of the decisions. My problem is that we put down principles to guide our finances so that we are able to save , he breaks them and lives like he never promised. Am i being too hard?

          4. Hi, Liz.

            May I make a suggestion: I believe that it would be best if you and your husband combined your money in as many ways as possible, and then spent together from the common pool of money. This would be better than you paying certain things from your check and him paying other things from his check.

            When I was married, my wife refused to combine our money. She also refused to work together on a family budget. As a result, “my” money went to pay for household expenses, and “her” money went to special items, such as house repair and tuition for the kids’ school. My contributions were always considered mandatory and obligatory, whereas her contributions were always up to her; they were not considered mandatory or obligatory. As a result, I always felt like I got the short end of the stick, and she always argued when I asked her for money to make up a shortfall.

            When I get remarried, EVERYTHING will be community, not separate. Not only the money coming in, but how it is spent. We will both be in on everything. If we absolutely can’t agree on an issue, and that issue must be decided, I will decide the issue. But I believe that we should both contribute and provide input on everything.

            I believe that you and your husband would be well served to at least consider this approach. Hopefully you can come to an agreement about whether to do this, or how much of it to implement in your situation.

            As far as your business, you are not being too hard. It is difficult when you are in the role of the follower, not the leader, and you are trying to provide some influence and direction in a situation.

            But I believe that you could utilize a better approach to the whole thing, which may get better results. If you were “officially” involved in the company’s finances, then you would be officially empowered to have input. It seems to me that your involvement is merely “unofficial”, and therefore you have to tread lightly on the subject. As a result, you aren’t able to have the influence that you need to have to get the desired result. I’m guessing that you don’t speak with confidence on these matters, and so you don’t have enough assertiveness when you talk. But if your job description were to include participating in financial decisions, then you would speak with more confidence and therefore achieve a better result.

            Hang in there. We’re all pulling for you.

            Jim

          5. Jim, thanks for the response. I have been away from internet connection for some weeks now. but am back. will consider your suggestion and see how far and well it goes. No giving up

    2. Standing forever,
      You can read my story on my “about page” and you can search my home page search bar for “interview with my husband” where I asked him that question last year and he answered. 🙂

  4. Thank you April for the practical side of things. I really liked hearing what you said to your children. I needed to hear things that I should say to point my children to respect. This article was so very good for me today. Thank you for the bottom of my heart for teaching me. So many women don’t have godly examples to follow or be encouraged on the path of righteousness. Thanks for being willing.

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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