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Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers – Part 2

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I am not going to have a lot of computer access this week. I will pop in when I can. Please feel free to discuss with one another and enjoy the fellowship, camaraderie, support, love and encouragement of one another.

For Part 1, please click here.

CHILDREN LEARN SUBMISSION TO GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY FROM THE WAY THEIR MOTHERS TREAT THEIR FATHERS

I was shocked. Our children IMMEDIATELY began to be so much more respectful to both of us. It scared me. I finally saw that they imitate my submission to Greg – my words, my tone of voice, my attitude – all of it. That is how they will treat any God-given authority. I am teaching them to either respect and submit to God-given authority or to disrespect and rebel against God-given authority now and in the future by my level of respect and submission to my husband. YIKES!

Eventually, Greg started backing me up, too. Our children obeyed SO MUCH MORE READILY! The respect level went up even more. My husband began to correct our children if they were disrespectful to me. It has been THE BEST THING EVER!!! We are truly a team now. We are united. It has DRASTICALLY impacted our children’s attitudes and behavior. AND – my husband slowly began to plug back into the family. Now – he is such a godly leader and loving dad and husband. He had all of that in him all those first 14+ years of our marriage – I just didn’t understand that I was sabotaging him and our marriage.

“BUT I’M RIGHT!”

What I believe we as wives are doing in situations like this – is I believe we are focusing on the little issue. We believe passionately that we are “right” about whatever this particular little decision is. And we inadvertently make the decision more important than the big picture. We focus so much on the outcome and wanting to do what we believe is best – that we don’t notice how we are sabotaging our marriages, sabotaging our children’s understanding of spiritual authority, wounding our husbands with disrespect.  (Submission is not about the husband always  being “right”)

Many wives today have never seen a wife respect her husband and honor his leadership – even in the church.

Disrespect for husbands, men and fathers is mainstream today.  Respect and biblical submission do not come intuitively to women, especially because we have been so poisoned by the worldly culture around us.  We are also all daughters of Eve.  We want control.  We think we know better than our husbands, and, ultimately – we think we know better than God.

WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH MY HUSBAND?

Whenever possible, speak to him respectfully in private.  It is wise generally not to contradict him in front of the children unless a child is in extreme danger.  As much as possible, bring up your concerns VERY respectfully away from the children.

Then, unless he is sinning against them or actually  seriously endangering them – please try to support his decision.

God may inspire my husband to do things that I may not understand at the time.  It is important for me to humbly pray for God to give my husband wisdom to lead us all. It will only be when I look back in hindsight in the future that I will see how God’s hand was leading the whole time.

THE MILITARY MODEL (by a Christian man)

The Captain/First Officer model speaks well to this. A good First Officer will always voice her opinions, suggestions and advice to the Captain, so long as it is appropriate and there is time. If he acts on them, great. Otherwise, she obeys and carries out his commands. But unless there is a reason not to voice her opinion, a First Officer should generally offer it in a respectful manner. The key is to be respectful.

I should probably point out that most serious discussions should be held away from children if possible, to maintain harmony. That is how the model works best in the military, and should work in marriage. Likewise, the Captain (husband) shouldn’t dress down his First Officer (wife) in front of their children, and she should never disrespect him or his authority in front of the children either.

Oh, and the same rules that apply to children apply to others outside the family/ship, like extended family or friends.

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT GOD IS LIKE PRIMARILY FROM THEIR FATHER

We as wives dramatically shape our children’s perception, understanding and love and respect for their fathers. AND – how children perceive their fathers POWERFULLY impacts their ability to love, respect and trust God. A child’s view of God is formed in the likeness of his dad.

We as women have INCREDIBLE power to either bless our husbands and children or to destroy our husbands, our marriages and our children’s future relationships in marriage, with their teachers, with government and police authorities, with church leaders, with their bosses, and with God.

WOW!!!!!!!!!

With this great power comes immense responsibility. I pray we will use our influence wisely!

PS:

If there are extreme circumstances – if your husband is actually abusing your children – please seek godly counsel.  If your husband is addicted to drugs/alcohol, has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is physically violent and causes injury to you or your children, please seek godly help ASAP.  Extreme situations like this go beyond the scope of my blog.

RESOURCE:

Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas has a beautiful example of a wife handling a situation where her husband was too harsh in a very respectful and powerful way.

17 thoughts on “Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers – Part 2

  1. Too many of us want to do things our own way and continue to live in Canaan when we could be living in the “Promised Land” by walking in obedience to God and reaping the good that we are sowing. Even though His ways make no sense to the world, they are good, pure, and holy.

  2. “CHILDREN LEARN SUBMISSION TO GOD-GIVEN AUTHORITY FROM THE WAY THEIR MOTHERS TREAT THEIR FATHERS”

    April, this is absolutely true. Thinking back on my dad, although he was a very good man, he was not the absolute best. But my mom was without a doubt THE ABSOLUTE BEST. Because she so honored him every moment of their life together, we all did. We all still think of him as the best dad ever, and it is almost completely because of how my mother honored him continually.

    I still have very fond memories of our family time — we would sing the songs of his alma mater, and my mother would play them on the piano while my dad led the singing. It never got any better than that.

      1. Jim,
        Thank you for sharing about your parents, I want to honor my husband, just like your mother. Reading you comment was a blessing to me! Thank you and I hope your having a wonderful fathers day!

        1. Thank you very much, hopefuls!

          Yesterday my daughter gave me a box full of very nice shirts! And my son gave me a nice wallet!

          But by far, the best gift was the card my daughter gave me “For being there and for being you…Thanks, Dad.” Just hearing my daughter tell me how much she loves and appreciates me means more to me than any other gift.

          1. Jim,
            I love the positive tone to this comment! It’s good to hear you sounding hopeful, instead of bitter. Your mother sounds lovely.

            Blessings,
            Trixie

  3. I have tried several times to explain how she holds influence over our daughter’s attitudes/behavior toward me and she always just throws it back at me, that it is all my fault and they are just responding to me. She is the only person that sees whatever it is that is “wrong” with me but thinks the girls see it to. My father is a counselor and no one at church or work seems to see whatever it is she thinks is so off. I pray the Holy Spirit opens her eyes to how much I truly love her and I know when she is free it will transform my relationship with the girls as well.

    I have a question related to this topic of godly submission. Has anyone known of a wife having physical symptoms..sickness/infirmity that they think was the result of carrying the weight of trying to be the head of the family and was restored once she began to follow God’s design for family?

    1. Mr J,

      I pray for healing and God’s freedom for everyone in the family.

      That is a great question about a wife having illnesses due to carrying too much weight in the family… Yes! Absolutely I have seen that happen!

      I have a post you can search on my home page called “spiritual causes of anxiety and depression.”

      As a pharmacist, I know that when people are stressed, their bodies produce lots of cortisol and epinephrine. Having those hormones in high gear all the time can cause many health issues.

      We are blessed with God’s peace and joy when we walk in obedience to Him. When we sin and rebel, there are many consequences – spiritual separation from God, emotional weight, anxiety, depression and physical symptoms like decreased immune response, increased migraines, increased risk of stomach ulcers, increased weight gain around the abdomen, increased irritability, insomnia, increased blood pressure, etc…

      And yes, when wives begin to trust God, obey Him and live by faith, there are hormonal and physiologic changes and blessings.

      Also, I went to a continuing education as a pharmacist once where the topic was fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain, and the MD said they had found a correlation between bitterness/unforgiveness and increased pain. She said that chronic pain is often accompanied by bitterness, grudge holding, resentment, and that true forgiveness would improve a patient’s pain level.

      Interesting!

      1. April,
        Thank you so much! If you know of any other blogs or resources that touch on that correlation, I would greatly appreciate them.

        When I read your story and the testimonies of others on your blog and others of how God transformed and restored their marriages and families, it helps me keep my hope and faith alive. I am praying for a miracle…for His hand to move in a mighty way. At this point human reasoning has not helped a bit and may have actually made things worse in some areas. A short time ago when we had a very rare talk, my wife told me that men were not in any position of authority and that she had heard it from multiple pastors/teachers in recent months. They said that the scriptures that refer to husbands having authority over their wives and about women being their helpers were miss translated from the original language. That the bible should actually say we are completely equal. There were more things about it she mentioned but that gives you the flavor of it.

        Didn’t you mention learning about stuff like that and how it had been brought into even the Church when you began to study biblical womanhood?

        Bless you, your family and ministry!!!

        Mr. J

        1. Mr. J.,
          The church has twisted God’s Word, unfortunately, many times today.

          It is the same thing that Satan did to Eve in the Garden… “Did God really say….?”

          Women and men ARE completely equal in value. Authority and marriage roles have nothing to do with a person’s worth and value at all. That is where so much confusion begins.

          I wish that she would be willing to listen to David Platt or John Piper or read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

          It is so convenient that we dismiss every verse in the New Testament as being “culturally irrelevant” and “mistranslated” that relates to a wife’s role in marriage and women in the church, isn’t it? How I pray God will open our eyes!

          Human reasoning will not help. God is the only one who can open spiritual eyes.

          Yes, the godless lies of the world have been brought into the church in the past century. The book that helped me really appreciate that was Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley. She gives a history of feminism over the past 200+ years and how it impacted the church and family. She was a feminist herself and studied women’s studies in college. Then Jesus brought her to Himself. Powerful book!

  4. I am curious…How would you respectfully confront your husband when he has sinned, which because of that sin resulted in making the children cry/scream?
    There has been times where he (I admit to doing it also.) yells at the children for something. After he does yell, the kids begin to scream/cry and we just can’t think straight. I tend to yell at him right then and there because he was a bit harsh for what he did, and it wasn’t that big of a deal to yell about anyway. Besides, I seem to be the one to have to try to make things better for everyone like a referee.
    There are times when I ask them to go into the other room so we can talk, and they either ignore me or begin crying. And, if we try to leave the room ourselves, they decide to follow us. We try to close the door, but they bang on it and/or cry at it. Leaving it difficult to discuss things. I know they are only 2 and 3, but they are very smart and know more than you think.

    1. Alicia,

      Yelling at him right then will only cause the issue to escalate. The book Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas has some amazing examples of godly wives approaching their husbands about this kind of issue.

      You can speak to him later – and say, “I know how frustrating it is sometimes when the kids are not listening. Thank you for being such an involved dad. Thank you for your influence in their lives. Thank you for handling that situation earlier. I wonder if we might try focusing on using a more gentle tone of voice if that might keep things more calm? I know I need to work on that, at least.”

      And you can pray for God to work in your husband’s heart. Is he a believer?

      Please be very cautious here, because if you yell at him and tell him he is wrong when he interacts with the kids and attempts to discipline them, he may eventually just unplug and let you handle everything. What does he do that you can support? What does he do as a dad that you do respect? Can you thank and appreciate him for those things? You may not always agree with him. You may feel he is being too harsh. You can wait and speak to him about that in private.

      You can say to the kids, “Mommy and Daddy need to talk for a minute. Please wait here.” And you can maybe give them something to do while y’all talk. Or you can have them each wait in their rooms or in their beds. Or, you can even have them in the car while y’all stand outside to seek to calmly discuss things. I am sure God can give you wisdom about how to best honor your husband as a father as you seek Him with all your heart. This is entirely possible in God’s power.

      As your husband feels more supported and respected by you, he probably won’t feel he needs to be as harsh. But – sometimes your husband may seem too harsh to you, but there are times when dads may believe that they need to be more harsh than moms. That is not always wrong, and it is not always sin. Sometimes it may be. Sometimes it may not be.

      I know wives who contradicted their husbands every time they thought the husbands were too harsh and now the children are grown and things are a nightmare. Some of these wives now wish they had not interfered so much with their husbands’ fathering.

      Praying for wisdom for you both!

      1. Thanks April. I was wondering, do you know of any other books that may be similar to that one? I cannot find it in audio cd version. Unless I am missing it.

        1. Alicia,

          Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller is very good, but I can’t recall that it had specific examples about parenting. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas is also very good. But Sacred Influence would be the best, in my view. 🙂

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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