Skip to main content

BlessedOut Shares a Bit of Her Journey

IMG_4307

A precious sister in the Lord, BlessedOut, has allowed me to share her response to a woman who commented on one of my posts:

One of the things you said made me curious: “…then we can go about having (men) understand that it’s much more about their perceptions than actually being disrespected…”

I have been raised in a very feminist environment, and when I read your statement, I interpreted it as, “Their feelings don’t matter, and now I can show them that.” I have felt the very same way in the past. However, can you see how unfair that is? How would you feel if you were in a relationship with a man and he didn’t care when you got hurt by his unloving behavior? If he thought you were overreacting, merely because you’re different than he is?

If I loved someone (truly love someone), I would think I’d be considerate of their feelings, even if I can’t understand why they feel that way. I read a quote earlier that said,

“The way we love people we disagree with is the best evidence of what we really believe.”

I used to expect my husband to behave exactly as I do… to be just like me in how he processes information, speaks to me, and shows me his love. But I didn’t marry myself, nor would I ever want to! My husband has insights that I would never think of, just as I have insights he wouldn’t think of. We complement each other, and we can’t do that by being carbon copies of one another.

My husband has never laid a hand on me for any reason either than to comfort/caress me. He is an amazing man and I’m very grateful to have him in my life. Is he a typical husband? In a lot of ways, probably not. However, I’m also striving not to be a typical wife. You mentioned abuse toward women, and that’s true. Some women do suffer abuse, and of course, that’s never OK. However, men are suffering on a continual basis as well, but don’t even feel like they’re able to express it. We poison our husbands with our words and sour looks. We cut their hearts out with our complete disdain for them and the way God created them. We wield our weapons far more than they wield theirs, because it’s socially acceptable to do so.

Even children’s shows make light of a husband’s role as head of the household. I couldn’t watch “Fairly Odd Parents” the other day, because Wanda was constantly calling her husband an idiot.

Of course, I can’t speak for everyone. I know there are women who are being abused and I know that’s not their fault. God needs to work on the man in that situation while healing the woman of the hurt she’s experienced. She needs godly, experienced help, and if kids are involved, it is certainly her responsibility as their caregiver to move them out of the dangerous situation. My heart breaks for women in those situations and I pray that they will get the help they need.

I’m not speaking from that point of view, though: I’m speaking as a woman who has a wonderful husband and didn’t fully appreciate him in the beginning of our marriage. I’m speaking as a woman who was being influenced by the world, even when I thought I was honoring God. I finally learned I need to accept the whole truth of God’s Word, and that means respecting my husband no matter what. (1 Peter 3:1-2 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”)

I can respectfully disagree, of course, but I needn’t make him understand by being rude or hurtful in my tone and expression. That phrase “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” has a lot of truth to it. I don’t know about you, but when a man is being unloving toward me, it’s certainly never makes me want to be respectful to him. It’s the same way with men: Our disrespect will not motivate him to love us, or “show him how much he hurt us”. It will only lead him farther away from us… and then, (perhaps when it’s too late), we’ll wonder what happened to what used to be a beautiful relationship.

I have been practicing being respectful to my husband, and let me assure you: I don’t feel oppressed in the least. I feel freer than I’ve ever felt in my life. I feel like my husband and I now have a deeper understanding because I’ve come to realize that his desires are important as well as mine. I find our relationship much more fulfilling now, and the ugly feelings I used to have of jealousy, comparison, unmet expectations, having to “know it all” and “do it all” are all but gone. There’s a reason April chose “PeacefulWife” as her blog name… there truly is a ton of peace that goes into this. My husband didn’t point this blog out to me; I looked for it of my own accord. I read “Love and Respect” of my own accord: he didn’t even know what I was doing!

Showing respect is actually pretty awesome, and I’ve found that the opposite of your scenario happened with me: He was MORE loving with me after I started showing respect, not less loving. In response to another one of the things you said, yes, the male ego is very fragile… just as fragile as our sense of how loved we are is. We desire that need to be handled with care, so it’s not unreasonable for us to also treat their needs with care. 🙂

The truth is, no one can force a woman to respect her husband, in the same way that no one can force him to love her. It has to be of our own free will.

RELATED:

Do I Condone Abuse?

Why I Don’t Write for Women with Abusive Husbands

When She Surrendered –  by my husband

Motives Matter with Respect

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity

Stages of This Journey

FAQs

Do I Have a Right to Punish My Husband?

Why Do I Have to Change First?

Non-Verbal Disrespect – VIDEO

 

69 thoughts on “BlessedOut Shares a Bit of Her Journey

  1. Our precious family has endured a series of unfortunate events. Death, suicide attempt, lung surgeries, situational depression, cancer, mental illness in a loved one, Alzheimer’s, children going off to college, chronic pain, disease etc. my husband endured such stress as well as myself and our family caring for parents and each other. Being retired from the military strangely put us in a new environment that I never knew. I had been a military brat. We coped individually and I felt a distance growing between us I couldn pinpoint. I needed the arms of my husband more than ever but, they were not there. I grew resentful, sad, angry. I was merely reacting to what I saw. I wasn’t seeing his pain. I thought of my pain.

    We both lost our fathers months apart. What followed afterwards could not of been more horrible to this Christian family. Wave after wave of events pounded our family. My husband gave up on life, our family, and was giving way to dark depression. I was not respecting him. Tearfully, I found messages to divorced single women that had been married a fraction of the time we have been. My husband was closing down. I missed him so very much! Over a year we fought as I slowly discovered a trail of money problems and a life I never knew. I’ve always practiced submission since our wedding day. The weight of our unfortunate events lead my eyes elsewhere. I merely reacted. It is my great sorrow. My hope is in God. My eyes are open. I will become a peaceful wife and mother. I wait for for the light in my husband’s eyes to return. My heart aches for my husband. Forgive me father! Forgive me my husband! I have sinned.

    1. Vickie G.,
      Wow! Goodness, what y’all have been through. I cannot begin to fathom the attacks and fiery trials you have been facing.

      I am thankful that Jesus will never leave you and never forsake you. How I pray that He will draw you both (and your whole family) into His arms and that you might take each ungodly thought captive for Him. How I pray for healing for you. I pray you will turn to Him and cling to Him alone as your greatest Treasure and only Source of Power. I pray for healing individually for each of you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. And I pray for healing for your marriage and family for God’s glory!

      Thank you for sharing.

      Sisters, please join me in lifting up this broken brother and sister of ours to God in prayer!

      1. Vickie G,

        I will be praying for you as well, friend. Thank you for sharing your incredibly difficult journey. What you said about the light in your husband’s eyes… I’d just thought of that myself: how the light fades from their eyes over time as we disrespect them, and how much we long to get that back once it’s gone.

        Blessings to you and your family!

        1. Thank you dear friends for your kind words. I pray my efforts will not be useless. God deliver me of fear. May I honor God with my little faith. May His strength sustain me. “May the Lord make your love increase for each other….May he strengthen your hearts so you will be blameless and Holy in the presence of God…I Thessalomians 3:12-13

          1. Vickie G.,

            You have been through such a time of trial. I pray for God to grow your faith and to heal your heart and soul. I pray for you to find the sufficiency of Christ. And that you might find the love of God here surrounding you with open arms. 🙂

          2. Vickie G,

            I don’t believe any effort to follow the word of God could be useless. It may not always end in the results we hope for, but as Isaiah 55:11 says, “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” As long as you are willing, He will find it in His power to use you. 🙂 What a blessing, to have the opportunity to be the instrument of the Lord! 😀

            I am praying with you, that He will strengthen your heart and sustain you, delivering you from any fear. “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, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

            One thing I found interesting is that a wife doesn’t have to agree with everything her husband says and does in order to be respectful. If a husband is in sin, it is far better for her to respectfully disagree than to follow him into that sin (I’m thinking about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5).

            At any rate, whether we are to respectfully submit or respectfully disagree, we need the power of the Lord to do so. It’s important to lean on Him daily for strength and renewed energy. 🙂

            God bless you,

            BlessedOut

          3. Love this, BlessedOut!

            I have heard so many wives say, “Obeying God is a waste of my time” because their husbands aren’t doing what they want – but I am in complete agreement with you – obedience to God is NEVER a waste of time!

            Thank you so very much for encouraging our sister.

            And yes, some people believe that respect and biblical submission means that wives must agree with their husbands. Nope. That is not what either of those things mean. We can disagree and still respect and submit. There are times, like you talked about with Ananias and Sapphira, that we must choose to submit to Christ and not follow our husbands into clear sin. But if a husband is not clearly asking us to commit or condone sin, He can lead us through our husbands. (If a husband is not in his right mind due to mental health issues, alcohol/drug addiction, abuse, etc… a wife would need to seek godly, experienced counsel ASAP, there are times in those situations that a wife may not be able to submit).

            Yes! The power of the Lord is all we need for this journey. 🙂

  2. “I’m speaking as a woman who has a wonderful husband and didn’t fully appreciate him in the beginning of our marriage. I’m speaking as a woman who was being influenced by the world, even when I thought I was honoring God”

    This statement struck a chord and explains perfectly who I was before embarking on this journey. It has not been easy. Many times I have WILLFULLY gone back to my old ways of nagging and being overtly disrespectful because it just seemed easier to do 🙁

    Thank God for God and his Holy Spirit. The conviction I would have during and after my “episodes” left me with such a sickening feeling I had no other option than to seek and plead for forgiveness from my husband. And God.

    Now it’s a process of taking thoughts captive. Waiting to speak. Learning submission. And staying away from TV, music and things which trigger thoughts or words which may affect how i treat my husband.

    But again, it has not and is not easy but the ‘rewards’ are amazing. I feel better. I am a better wife. I am starting to love my role as a wife. My husband responds to me. Our home is not fraught with tension (following a disagreement. Prior, you could feel the coldness!) I am literally making a conscious decision every moment i speak to, speak about, think about my husband to be respectful. He needs to know that even in his absence, his reputation and his dignity and standing as a man, my husband and our children is safe with me. His WIFE.

    It’s pretty AWESOME!

    1. Lebo,

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart! WOOHOO! What a blessing you are and what a blessing it is to watch God at work in your life and in your marriage. Thank you very much for sharing!

    2. Thank you for your comment, Lebo! And for allowing God to speak to you (as He has me) time and time again when we fail to treat our husbands with respect. 🙂

      Doesn’t it feel great, though? I mean, it’s nice just knowing I don’t have to be “right” all the time… that I don’t have to say every little thing that pops into my head just for the sake of saying it! I want to speak MEANINGFUL things! 😀

      God bless you!

  3. “My husband didn’t point this blog out to me; I looked for it of my own accord. I read “Love and Respect” of my own accord: he didn’t even know what I was doing!”

    I have had to do many, many things on my own as a wife, make decisions apart from him, mainly because he does not want to be bothered. So many things I ask him his answer is always no. If I always “obeyed” when he said no, I would be nothing, have nothing, do nothing.
    He prefers lots of alone time with his computer, tv, books, whereas I prefer outdoor activity, biking, riding horses, being outside. In fact, when he does come outside, he somehow always hurts himself, falls down, gets stung by a bee, knocked over by a dog, pulls a muscle— it is amazing what happens.
    As Christians, we have had to work within these parameters and for me to be a “submissive wife” always seeking his guidance or input for every thing I do or want to do, would just be more irritating to him.

    1. Esbee,

      Being a submissive wife doesn’t mean you have to ask your husband “permission” for every single choice you make. Thankfully! And yes, each couple has their own boundaries and parameters. For instance, some wives might spend up to $200 on purchases before checking with their husbands – because they have an agreement about that. And the husband may do the same with his wife. Some couples, it may be $1000. Some couples, it might be #30.

      If your husband is very introverted, he may find that he is most energized by being alone. Sometimes, that can be challenging for a more extroverted wife. And some husbands don’t enjoy the outdoors, some do. I doubt that your husband wants you to sit at home in silence beside him all the time if you enjoy being outside. He may not always want to be outside with you – but I am sure you have freedom to do many things on your own.

      But when it comes to decisions that greatly affect you both – where to spend Christmas, how to organize the budget, big financial decisions, big parenting decisions, decisions about where to go to church, etc… I would imagine he may want to be able to contribute to those discussions.

      Does he get upset if you do some things without checking with him? Then that would be an area to begin to check in with him about, probably.

      If you do ask, and he says no – I would want to be super careful and prayerful before purposely going against him.

      Praying for wisdom for you both and for God’s greatest glory in your marriage and in your walk with Christ.

    2. Dear Esbee,
      Although it may not be clear to you now, there were a few clues in your post that show how you are contributing to your marital distress more than you may realize. Your husband’s behavior is of a classic shut down mode. “Does not want to be bothered, ” “always says no,” “prefers a lot of alone time”..those are the signs of a man who is tired of fighting, tired of trying to make headway. And there are subtle but unmistakable tones of the contempt you hold for him… “he somehow always hurts himself,” “knocked over by a dog,” “falls down,”…it’s almost as if you are painting a picture of your husband as a buffoon! Whenever a person uses the words Always, any counselor worth his/her salt would point out that’s a red flag. Here is how I know and can see all these things: I was there too. Many of us lurking on this site were there too. Painful to be ignored! Painful to do many, many things alone! Painful to have a husband who prefers the computer! What I can say to you, if you are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, you can be changed and your marriage can become more what you wish it to be. I would encourage you to spend time in the archived postings and read, reflect, and pray on what you learn. I think you will find The Better Way. In love,

      1. Marked Wife,

        My husband is introverted – but when he felt very disrespected by me – he went into total shut down mode for a long, long time. Didn’t want to listen to me. Wouldn’t look at me. Didn’t want to touch me. Watched lots of TV or worked on projects. I felt ignored,very unloved and unimportant. And, of course, when I was feeling unloved, I responded very disrespectfully – which made my husband just shut me out even more.

        I have a post about signs husbands may be feeling disrespected that can be helpful sometimes.

        There are some husbands who are just very introverted and really don’t like being outside. Sometimes it is a personality thing.

        But it could be worth looking into whether a husband may also be feeling disrespected. When a husband feels more respected and safe, he will tend to be more open to doing things, even if they may not be his favorite.

        I am not sure what the situation may be for Esbee at this point.

        But it is very painful to feel like you are alone in your marriage- whatever the reason. I have absolutely been there myself.

        Now, my husband does still like to watch a lot of TV or do projects, but he is open to me having conversations and open to my ideas, my feelings, my desires, and my suggestions. The dynamics are so much better than they were before God woke me up to all of my control and disrespect.

        Thanks for sharing a bit of your story, Marked Wife. And thanks for reaching out to Esbee with encouragement, ideas to consider, and love.

        Esbee, we all give you a BIG hug, our sweet sister!

      2. 39 years of accidents, hurting himself? Being sick A LOT? allergic to nearly everything? one thing after another? We tried the wifely submissive thing (our church followed Gothard teachings) Neither of us liked it. He said he did not marry that kind of girl. He wanted me to be me.

        And after a one on one encounter with God (after a 3 day fast, not wanting food or water) God said the same thing. We went through years of “God will get you if you do not submit to your husband”. A vengeful God, not the one in the bible. I got PTSD after 2 tornados in 3 years thinking it was God’s punishment for not being a submissive wife. In fact, I thought everything bad that happened was God punishing me for every little fault — I had the guilt trip big time from Gothard teachings, deacons, preachers, women who like being women (dresses, children, house keeping, make-up, etc) had all tried to “help” me with being a better wife… that finally meeting head on with God Himself was a relief. He told me my sin was not living by faith the life He had given me and the personality He had given me, talents, desires, faults and all.

        I could go on and i do appreciate all your help and suggestions. If I follow or live a life according to how you live it or say I should live it, I will only be following what you say and not what God says is His plan for my life.

        Yes, the husband may be depressed, perhaps because of me, perhaps for reasons other than me, perhaps many things. I tell him he is a saint to have survived 39 years of marriage to an Italian.

        1. Esbee,

          Obviously, we don’t know much at all about you or your husband or your marriage. As someone who is allergic to the SUN and allergic to allergy shots – I understand the limitations of having lots of allergies. I can also understand that if he has had tons of accidents, maybe he doesn’t want to go outside. Sounds like there is a lot going on.

          It is absolutely possible to turn biblical submission or respecting your husband into something that is oppressive and legalistic. That is not healthy for anyone. I appreciate you sharing your story. I do believe God’s Word applies to all of us. But I also trust Him to give you and your husband wisdom about how to implement His principles in your marriage and in your home. Our opinions don’t matter one bit – only God, His Word, His Spirit, and His truth do. I know that God is able to empower you to be the woman and wife He desires you to be by His Spirit and that He is able to lead you through His Word.

          Much love to you and your husband. May God be greatly glorified in your lives. 🙂 Congratulations on your 39 years of marriage! That is wonderful!!!

        2. Ah, yes, Esbee — the old trump card, “God spoke to me and said this was okay,” even though what He supposedly told you is contrary to the real revelation from God to you (and to all of us) — the Bible. Now you don’t have to study the Word and determine whether your attitude and behavior conform to it, nor do you have to pay any attention to the wise women on this site who are attempting to help you from their own experience and Bible study, nor do you have to pay attention to any other authority — church, pastor, etc. You asked God to speak to you directly, apart from His written Word, and — surprise! — “He told you” exactly what you wanted to hear. You traded Gothard’s extra-biblical teachings for your own. That’s merely a lateral move; it’s not an improvement. The improvement would be to treat the Bible as your authority on this subject.

          April, please excuse this non-diplomatic reply, but I think it needed to be said, and I’m willing to be the non-diplomatic bad guy on this. Thanks.

          1. David J.,

            Yes, God’s Word does always apply to all of us. And we will all be accountable to Him for obeying His Word. Particularly the things He clearly commands us to do. And a wife respecting and biblically submitting to her husband’s leadership is a command in several places.

            Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:23-24

            I don’t know all that is going on with Esbee and her husband. If there are serious issues like mental health problems, addictions, etc… then biblical submission and respect are still God’s commands, but there may be times when a husband is not in his right mind when a wife may not be able to submit to what he says at times – please see “Spiritual Authority” by Rev. Weaver.

            If he is in his right mind, then, that is a different story. I don’t know all of the specifics in this situation. But – I do know that when we love God, we will want to obey Him and that His Word does apply to all of us as believers.

            There is a lot of confusion about what respecting and submitting to a husband means for many women today – that is why I have so many posts on the topic. Some great places to start, ladies, would be at the top of my home page.

            I’m praying for God to give Esbee and her husband His wisdom about applying His Word, even if there are some challenges in the marriage.

            I’m so thankful for the truth of God’s Word, obeying Him saved and healed my marriage. But even if it had not – I would want to walk in obedience to God because obeying Him is a reward in itself.

            Ephesians 5:22-33
            I Peter 3:1-6
            I Corinthians 11:3
            I Corinthians 13:4-8
            Titus 2:3-5

            God’s ways are so opposite of our own human wisdom and the world’s ways. But walking in the power of His Spirit and in obedience to His Word is the best place to be! Not out of legalism, but out of joy and thankfulness for all He has done for us. 🙂 I have a post about doing this in God’s power not in our own power here.

          2. David J.,
            I actually really do appreciate your comment. It did sound like, in an earlier comment of Esbee’s, that she was saying she was exempt from God’s commands for wives. I am not sure that is what she meant. Maybe she will want to clarify about that so that we are all on the same page. It seems to me that she may be talking about not having to submit in the way that a legalistic church described?

            I don’t want to back down from the Word of God. I don’t want to endorse people’s experiences over God’s Word. And I am afraid it may have looked that way with the way I handled this situation. I apologize to all for that. Please pray that God might give me wisdom to speak His truth and His Word boldly with His love at all times. I also want to be sensitive to times when there may be a lot of misunderstandings in people’s hearts, or just the way people are sharing things. In this case, I think I don’t really have the full picture yet to understand exactly what is going on.

            Thank you, my brother!

          3. I immediately was blessed by the male comment above. My husband has endured illness from his military service. God helped through this in submission. Allowing my husband to lead in the midst of the storm was important to his recovery even if a few bad decisions were made! In patience, (I, too can be hurried as a wife), I found him having hope and health. In fact, reach abundant blessings and peace! I thought these were dark days. The dark days came when I had multiple health problems in my children, our parents, and my husband. The demands were complex. I was leading youth group, altering band uniforms, and on and on. It was in this midst of these attacks that this slow quiet horrible deteriorating began. Please, my sisters, take note from my failure and protect what is most precious. Your marriage bed and the leadership of your husband is most important. The devil came to rob, kill, and destroy. Please Father restore and heal in Christ’s name.

          4. Thank you so much for sharing this, Vickie G.!

            There is a book called “What’s Submission Got to Do with It?” about how wives in various difficult circumstances (from matriarchal families, with husbands who have chronic illness, etc) can apply the principle of biblical submission. I can definitely understand why your husband did better in the leadership position because when a wife takes over (like I did for over 14 years), a husband’s depression can be exacerbated when he feels that his feelings, decisions, needs, and leadership are undervalued or unvalued.

            Much love to you!

          5. I really do not need to defend what God told me but my husband tells me people often overreact to things I do or say and often jump to wrong conclusions about what I meant by those actions or words.

            To clarify I was on the verge of a break down due to 2 tornados in 3 years, a husband always sick, in a legalistic church and being told that everything I did was wrong.

            After 3 days of no food or water with my nose in the Bible, God asked me what was my sin. I replied– I have horses and cats, I am an artist, I do not want children, I do not like to keep house or wear dresses, not feminine, etc. God again asked me what was my sin. I repeated the same things.

            God told me those were not sins. He told me even if I had children, kept house, wore feminine clothing, make-up, even if I was a missionary in foreign places, I would not be pleasing to him because I had no faith. I would have been doing those things as works.

            He said, I made you! I gave you your desires, wants, likes and dislikes, I EVEN GAVE YOU YOUR FAULTS FOR MY PURPOSES! You will be able to reach people for Me that others cannot.” I had to trust HIM for all aspects of my life, even when dealing with my faults, which were not what I thought they were.

            I am taking it by faith that God said He had made me a certain way and that it was Him I talked to that day.

            At this same time a very wise woman whose husband had been shot several times (innocent bystander) in a store robbery and had to endure the aftermath of losing everything, his long recovery and their walk of faith, etc told me that God does not make cookie cutter Christians. She said ask your husband what he wants you to be for him. I did and he said “be yourself, I married you and like you the way you are.”

            When the pastor in one church where my husband was music, youth and ed minister accused me of being wayward he was reacting to my personality and the things on the outward. (like riding my horse to church). They were used to wives of ministers fitting into a certain mold. Even my husband could not understand why I was being judged for outward appearances.

            Here’s the thing—Most women act a certain way because they like to—that is their desire…most women like girl stuff—make-up, dresses, babies. hair-dos, etc. I got none of those “desires” in my personality. (My mom wanted a little girl she could dress up and give dolls to because she never had those things. She got me instead.) When the pastor of the church told me the first day on the job what I was to wear (dresses at all times) and hinted to get rid of our 2 cats, I felt like I was in the Stepford Wives movie.

            After we left that church we moved back to another church in Ark. There was a revival and the preacher directed us to think/pray about those we might have offended and go ask their forgiveness. I closed my eyes and searched my heart to find out what God would reveal. When I opened them I was surrounded by several of the women of the church. En masse they asked me to forgive them for judging me, that they could not understand someone like me because I was so different but as they got to know me they knew my heart was after God and His work and that horses and cats and wearing pants were just part of my life.

            I was so surprised at this unexpected turn of events. I gladly forgave them and said something off the top of my head. “Because you accepted me even though I am different, one day a long haired man is going to walk into this church and get saved because you will accept him as he is.”

            JUST TWO WEEKS LATER— I was told that a long haired man attended that church with his long haired son and got saved. He said to the congregation he accepted Jesus because he felt loved and accepted and not judged from the moment he walked in. When that story got back to me I was speechless.

            These events happened almost 40 years ago. My husband and I no longer attend church due to how he was mistreated. (another story of church legalism). That does not mean we do not seek God nor does that mean in seeking God our faults will automatically go away.

            That is why I like this site and keep returning to read. PW does not judge and keeps to the crux of the matter (spiritual growth). She has wisdom far beyond her years. The fact that she likes skirts is just part of her personality.

            I have found that God’s truths are able to be followed anywhere on earth and in any time period. How we dress, things we like to do or have or what we eat pertain to the time period and culture we live in and have changed/will change over time.

            And I sometimes need a place where I can vent about struggles. Thanks allowing me to share here.

          6. Esbee,

            It makes me really sad that you would ever think that having animals, dressing exactly a certain way, being an artist, riding horses, or conforming to make-up, certain hairstyles, etc… were sinful things. I’m glad that your husband likes you the way you are and doesn’t want you to conform to legalism. Are those things the things that you define as “being submissive?” It doesn’t sound like your husband cares about that stuff. Of course, if he is saying “no” to something specific, then, that would be something to really carefully look at and to seek to honor him whenever possible.

            I wear skirts to celebrate my femininity, to be modest, and to remind myself that my husband is the head of our home, not me, as I began this journey. I don’t see where Scripture specifically forbids pants. Of course, we are to dress modestly – and that is a heart issue that each of us must wrestle through with God and our own husbands. The heart is the main issue here – not the exact clothing or the exact hair length.

            I am sad about the damage that a very legalistic church may have caused to you, your husband, and your marriage.
            I’m not sure that we are all on the same page in our definitions. Maybe you would like to clarify what you believe it means to submit to your husband? I have a feeling that we are not all talking about the same thing somehow.

            I pray that you might be able to experience the abundant life that Christ died to provide for you and the joy of living in obedience as you walk in the Spirit’s power, not focused on man-made rules, but on the truth of Scripture. I pray for healing for you and your husband.

            You are certainly welcome to share here.

            Much love!
            April

          7. again I did not explain myself clearly—deacons and preachers and Gothard teachings put forth the rules on how I was to act and dress as a wife. Because i did not want to do those things I got the idea that they were sin and I was rebellious for not following my authorities. My husband never put any rules on me of what he liked/disliked. He loves animals and he was the first one to get a pet cat when we were first married.

          8. Esbee,

            So, it was the specific rules that the church had that you objected to, not the leadership of your husband – am I understanding correctly? 🙂 Do you associate the word “submission” with doing all the things that church said you had to do?

            You had also mentioned about your husband saying no to things. And that had been a problem.

            I just want to be careful to be sure I understand correctly. 🙂

          9. yes…I wanted him to lead but he never wanted to make any decisions…I had to do make decisions without him, thinking I was being rebellious.

          10. Esbee,

            There are times when a husband refuses to make decisions. If this is a constant thing that goes on for extended periods of time – it can be extremely difficult for a wife. I think there is a big difference between a wife making a decision out of eventual desperation because a husband will not make a decision, or a wife going against something her husband has explicitly said. In some cases, there may be emergencies, like the tornado thing, where, a wife must make a decision or there is danger if her husband will not make a decision.

            I know that many husbands who have been very shut down and unplugged can take quite awhile to begin to step up and make decisions. I have a number of posts from husbands about this. In the cases of the men I am aware of, they often felt so criticized when they did make decisions and their wives were so uncooperative for so long, that they gave up trying to make any decisions. I have no idea if that is the case with your husband or if he suffers from mental illness or what is going on with him.

            I know that my own husband was so wounded by my control and disrespect that it took a long time of me “stepping down” before he felt safe enough and supported enough to begin to make decisions. But as I continued to wait and not take over, he did begin to lead very slowly.

            May God give you wisdom, my sister! 🙂

          11. For wives whose husbands seem incapable of leading, I would suggest searching my home page search bar for a few terms, maybe these posts might be a blessing to someone?

            – lead
            – leader
            – husband distant

          12. Oh! And, there are situations where there are major learning disabilities, cognitive problems, neurological problems, Alzheimer’s and other medical issues that may put a wife in a situation where she may need to lead in some ways. This would be more of the exception than the norm. But, obviously, if a husband is actually unable to make decisions, a wife may need to respectfully, gently take over but only as much as necessary. I hope that makes sense.

          13. Esbee, if I misread or misunderstood your first comment above, I apologize. And, to be clear, it sounds as if you were right to reject the silly legalism in the church(es) you described. The portion of your first comment that prompted my concern was this: “I have had to do many, many things on my own as a wife, make decisions apart from him, mainly because he does not want to be bothered. So many things I ask him his answer is always no. If I always “obeyed” when he said no, I would be nothing, have nothing, do nothing.”

            If the decisions you made apart from him were because he delegated those decisions to you, that’s not a problem. Otherwise, it usually is a problem because it becomes an unhealthy cycle — you think he’s taking too long to make a decision so you make it for yourself, which cause him to be even less likely to make the next decision.

            I have a hard time understanding your other statement in any way other than that on multiple occasions you’re deliberately choosing not to obey/submit and to do the opposite of what your husband wants you to do because you don’t like what you think would be the result of his “no.” That’s just flat contrary to the biblical instructions about submission and, as April has described beautifully in other posts, it’s ultimately a failure to trust/respect God. That biblical instruction is one that is able to be followed anywhere on earth and in any time period.

          14. I really appreciate your input. In fact, I have been discussing what you all have written here with my husband. His first reaction was “I told you I do not like you going to those blogs.” (the religious ones) so at that point, according to the opinions here, I was to quit reading this blog because he said so or be considered rebellious if I continued to read this blog. That is where I have a problem with the word submission and what it has been interpreted as.

            What my husband really meant is that he does not care what I read on these blogs but to keep it to myself. He does not want to get into an emotional discussion with me over the 40 year “problem” of my “submission” to him. He did not like me discussing Gothard’s theology with him from my visits to Recovering Grace, where I found out that submission to husbands had been severely misintertpreted.

            These are my struggles, not his. His struggle is dealing with a wife who has these struggles. Not my actual submitting or not submitting but the inference that the state of our marriage is on my shoulders according to how I act if I do not follow what is considered to be a submissive wife. In other words, my husband’s problems are because I did not submit or obey.

            It is a good thing God has given us a sense of humor to deal with it. When I one time apologized to him about my complaining and moaning, saying it was hormones, he snapped…” It’s her moans about this and her moans about that!”

            I know that you all would say, just do as he says. But to comply would not make me “submissive”. I would be no more than a child only doing what my husband says and nothing else. It just makes a person who can make decisions on their own a prisoner of a scripture that someone else has interpreted to mean a certain thing.

            There is the practical everyday minute by minute living…he says one thing and then up comes something in my active mind that would have me “disobey” him.

            Well, I am you only see a rebellious wife insisting on having her own way instead of someone working out their salvation.

          15. Esbee,

            It seems to me that your husband may be trying to protect you and prevent you from having unnecessary emotional turmoil. That is very sweet of him in my book.

            I would like to honor your husband’s request myself.

            This issue has been greatly misunderstood by you in the past. He wants to keep you from more harm.

            Sounds like some godly leadership to me.

            Much love to you. I pray for God to richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage. 🙂

    3. Esbee – my husband is similar to yours. I have had to learn to be still. I remember April saying she went through a time when she had to just be still until God or Greg asked her to move. I went through that time too. Its very difficult for us fast moving girls.

      You know that old saying, “Don’t run any faster than your guardian angel can fly”? In a similar sense, we can never be protected by our husbands if they can’t keep up with us. For mine, that made him feel disrespected when I chose to willingly put myself outside of his protection.

      I have found that the things he prefers not to be bothered with are things he would generally prefer I (our family) not bother with. And looking back, there are definitely things I thought were very necessary that were actually not.

      In Christ, it is impossible to have nothing, be nothing, do nothing. But I know exactly what you are saying. I have had to sacrifice much of my old adventurous active self to put on the new and become the wife I have been called to be. Its painful to “die to self” but worth it.

      I’d like to encourage you to slow down and wait for him to lead. His snail’s pace may be awkward for a bit. . But the roadrunner’s wives have their own set of problems.😉. I’m saying a prayer for you today, sister.

      1. Free Indeed!
        Thank you so much for sharing with Esbee!

        Yes, I had a LONG, LONG, insanely LONG period of waiting and being still and doing nothing. I was used to running way ahead of God and way ahead of Greg. I hated sitting still. HATED it. I was possibly the most impatient person on the planet. I wanted to go 100 mph. But, turns out, for a long, long time, I was going that fast but in the wrong direction. Not good.

        If I do ask my husband something now and he says no – I honor his request. I am free to share my concerns, desires, thoughts, feelings, needs, opinions, etc… But I do so very briefly and respectfully. I usually give my husband time to think. I give him a request or idea casually as I walk through the room and then let him think about it for hours or days or whatever amount of time he needs for that decision. He makes decisions infinitely more slowly than I do many times. BUT – he has saved me from destroying myself or making rash unwise decisions multiple times just this past year. It is HARD for me still sometimes to be still and wait. But I know that I can trust God to lead me through my husband and I know that God will reveal His will and wisdom to my husband – so I wait.

        If I share my perspective and desires with my husband and he still says no – then I honor his decision and I submit to Christ by obeying His Word. Many times, looking back, I am able to see the wisdom of his decision and am so thankful that he said no to certain things. Check out “Submitting Under Protest,” “Submitting to God and My Husband Is a HUGE Blessing,‘ and “Submitting in the Small Things.”

        I LOVE what you said “In Christ, it is impossible to have nothing, be nothing, do nothing.” WHAT A BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL TRUTH!

        My focus had to become my walk with Christ and allowing God to radically change me. THEN, in time, He began to change my husband and our marriage, too. It has been a very slow process. But it has been the most amazing journey of my life – these past 6 years.

        Thanks so much for sharing the wisdom you have learned the hard way, too, my sweet sister!

        1. “I know that I can trust God to lead me through my husband and I know that God will reveal His will and wisdom to my husband – so I wait.”

          That sentence right there is brilliant and one that has been key in my journey. It is still beneficial for me to remind myself of that every day!

        2. It would be nice to be still but when you tell your husband there is a tornado on the ground and heading our way and he says “no, there isn’t!” is a good thing I had 2 strong friends to help carry him to the shelter!!! it hit our house point blank! (he had just come out of the hospital for kidney stones). Glass flew through out the house!

          1. Esbee,

            Oh wow! I thought you were giving a fictitious example, but nope! Although, as a pharmacist, I have seen a lot of people with kidney stones – the pain is one of the worst kinds of pain most people say they have ever had, and if he was on a lot of high powered narcotics, he may not have been thinking clearly. Hopefully that particular decision making situation was not representative of normal! 🙂

            I’m so thankful that you had help! Praise God y’all were ok.

          2. Yikes! I would fault him for that, but I have been where he is and I can’t see him for my plank. . .Have you ever, esbee, been so intent that you are right that you refuse to listen to wise counsel and disaster hits you head on? I have. It’s an awful place to be. But a more awful place would be to then have the person I vowed my life to say, “I told you so”. I hope you haven’t done that, espee.

            Fact is, our husbands are human. And they make mistakes – some much bigger than others. Some of us have husbands who’ve made mistakes that have cost them their lives. And for me, I think my husband had been so numb to the general urgency of my daily life and personality that I may have been able to yell “tornado” and he may have reacted slowly or even in disbelief.

            I guess you have two choices. 1) You can keep looking at him as an ignorant man who refuses to listen to you – (even during a tornado!) 2) Or you can quiet down and wait till you hear him.

            Depending how long it’s been this way, it can take a LONG, LONG, LONG time to get your man back. Start now sister, it IS possible. I will pray specific for you to have the strength in the next couple of days. It IS possible.

          3. My husband didn’t think our son’s anaphylactic reaction was a big deal 9 years ago because I was so freaked out and upset all the time – he really thought I was just overreacting again. He responded very slowly to what was actually an emergency. Of course, then we finally got to the ER and they waited an HOUR to give our son an Epi-Pen. Thankfully, he was ok! But whew! I did not enjoy that experience. Not any part of it.

            It took me about 3.5 years of being on this journey before my husband let down his walls with me and felt safe with me again. That was how much I had wounded him and how much he felt he couldn’t trust me. I had to decide, I was going to do this thing God’s way no matter how long it took, even if Greg never changed.

            Yes, husbands are human and yes, they do make mistakes sometimes. And yes, sometimes those mistakes cost them a lot. Our mistakes cost us a lot, too, at times. I personally almost destroyed my marriage, for instance, with my 14.5 years of mistakes.

            Thankfully, I have seen God change hundreds of hundreds of wives – and most of the time, eventually, husbands begin to heal, and marriages begin to heal, too. Such a blessing to see God working in people’s lives! That is my favorite thing. It never gets old.

          4. Hey Sb,
            I was wondering, do you and your husband get to do things together? From what I am seeing, it seems as if you don’t much, You mentioned that you love to be outside, but he doesn’t much…

          5. From Alicia…

            Hey SB,

            I was wondering, do you and your husband get to do things together? From what I am reading, it seems as if you don’t very much. If that is true, is there a way that you guys can make a compromise on both sides? For instance, you mentioned that you love to be outside, and he loves to read…. Do you have a screened in porch or gazebo or something like that? If so, maybe you could ask your husband to read to you outside in that area. That way he would feel, in a sense, that he is inside/protected from bees. He may also feel like you care about him not being stung; just by you suggesting doing it there. (Which may seem like a small thing to you…it will most likely be a big thing to him.) Pick a book that you both may like, one that he is enjoying at the time, one about or with animals, or even read the Bible together. At least you both would be spending time with one another and enjoying in a sense what the other likes to do. My husband and I have done similar things, but at times he picks the books. They could be books I have never wanted to read in my entire life, but ended up liking it because it was his way of wanting to share time with me (and they were actually good ones too!). And, when we read the Bible together, he or I can ask questions or make comments. He gets the feeling that he is teaching (leading) me . (That part kind of fits because he is a teacher after all.) 😀

            I don’t know if this will help with anything…I just know that when I have tried to take part in the silliest and smallest things my husband likes, he gets an ego boost in a sense. He starts to feel like he can do more things without criticism and begins to pick up the reins once again in other areas of our lives.

          6. About the only things we do together is watch tv, (sci-fi) he is sick a lot and even when he is well, computers and tv and books is what he likes to do. We are on a strict budget so $ to travel is out, we have cats and I have horses.

            I do share with him what goes on in my life including what i write and read on this blog…so if peaceful wife thinks I should not write on here because my hubby mentioned it and she want to honor it, I will not write on here…btw, after telling my hubby he did not agree with that either…so darned if you do, darned if you don’t!

          7. Esbee,

            I’m so sorry your husband is sick so much.

            You are welcome here – I just don’t want to create more angst or confusion for you, my precious sister.

            Much love to you!

  4. This was a very helpful post! I hurt my husband’s feelings last night when I was expressing some frustration but it was linked to something very kind he had just done for our daughter. I truly, sadly often forget how fragile he is. I certainly don’t mean to hurt his feelings (and maybe he would not put it in those terms, he may have felt disrespected). I also feel that if I go to him to apologize, it is met with an attitude of “She’ll never change”. That is discouraging to me. I need to remember I am accountable to God even before my husband and if an apology is warranted, I must obey even if it isn’t received the way I would desire. Thank you April for continuing to feed our souls and point us in the right direction!

    1. Thanks, Kayce!

      I can understand what you mean about the “she’ll never change” thing. I have felt that before from my husband as well, and as you said, it can be really discouraging. However, God’s word says this: “a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again”. Remember that! 😀 The Lord will help you get back up, and the more you get back up, the harder it is for the enemy to knock you back down again. 🙂 As with all things, this takes practice. If you practice, however, you will find how “worth it” it is. And I pray that, over time, as your husband sees how you’ve changed, his response will no longer be a resigned attitude that expects you to fail again, but that he will respond graciously and with the assurance that he knows you’re improving. 🙂

      Have a wonderful day!

    2. Kayce,

      Yes, most husbands are very skeptical of their wives at the beginning of this journey. They have no idea all that is involved with a wife learning to stop disrespect and start respect. They think it should just make total sense to us in about 1 hour and that we should just change 100% in a flip of a switch. It doesn’t work that way most of the time. This is a long process and a total heart, mind, and soul transformation.

      Sometimes husbands think that if a wife messes up a little, it means she isn’t changing. That isn’t true! Not when a wife is truly seeking God. But it can take many months, sometimes longer, before husbands really start to feel sure that this is a permanent thing. Some husbands will even purposely test their wives and try to get them to be disrespectful to prove that their wives can’t do it – maybe to keep from getting their own hopes up? Or maybe because they are feeling so wounded themselves?

      The good thing is – this lag time when husbands are skeptical and don’t believe that we are really changing forces us as wives to refine our motives and do this purely for Christ, not to get our husbands to change. Praying for you! Much love!

  5. Hi April,
    I love you blog so much! It has been very helpful to me in trying to be a better wife…thank you! I had a question about the TV, where you said your husband likes to watch it a lot. I have always had problems with my husband watching TV because of the immodesty and so much skin and exploitation of women. I have become very jealous and mean at times over this…have you ever experienced jealousy of the scantily clothed females onscreen?

    1. Kay,

      My husband doesn’t watch a lot of scantily clad women. He mostly watches football, cooking shows, science shows, singing competitions. Of course, some of the women on some of these shows are dressed immodestly – it is almost impossible to avoid that. I don’t get jealous. He never makes comments about them. I sometimes will make a comment to our 13 year old son not to look or to our 8 year old daughter not to look. But – I trust my husband to handle his own temptations. I am there and willing to listen if he wants to talk about it. But I don’t get upset. I know that he loves only me and that he loves my body. I know that men do face great temptation – including my husband. I pray for him. And I am willing to support him, encourage him, and bless him in any way I can.

      I have seen wives destroy their marriages over stuff like this. If a wife becomes super insecure, needy, resentful of the TV, angry, condemning, blaming, and controlling – that kind of hateful behavior repels husbands. I don’t see where anyone wins when a wife takes that approach.

      Does your husband give you reason to be extra concerned? Is he watching porn or watching sex scenes? Is he talking about these women and talking about fantasizing about them?

      How is your walk with Christ going, my precious sister?

      Have you ever read Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, For Women Only? That book helped me understand men so much better. I don’t want my husband to sin. But I don’t try to be his Holy Spirit or his conscience. I don’t dictate to him what he should do. Now, if he was watching rated X stuff or sex scenes, I would probably have to say, “I am not ok with watching this stuff. I would rather we not have this on in our home, please.” But then I would need to leave it in his hands and pray for God to work in his heart. The more a wife pressures and tries to force her will on her husband, the more he will resist her. But when she shares her heart in a respectful, honoring way and seeks to treat him well and is a safe place for him to share his heart and temptations, he is much more likely to hear God’s voice of conviction.

      Praying for wisdom for you! 🙂

      Much love,
      April

  6. Thank you April! Your response is so true and I know I should not try to dictate what my husband watches. I believe the Lord is truly using you to help us wives who sincerely want to be helped…bless you for your time and effort. I know you must pray much about your posts and your answers…your blogs have helped me!

    Yes, in the past there have been episodes of rented porn and also online porn (and, to my shame I admit to watching with him). It seemed, at the time, to bring us closer because of more shared intimacy that resulted from these terrible videos. I see now how I was an enabler and my part in this addiction. My husband says he was called to preach in his teens and has preached throughout most of our over 30 year marriage. He was into porn magazines before our marriage and then the videos, etc. later in our marriage. All during this time he still believes he was called by God to preach and continued to whenever he was asked. The porn problem was not going on during this whole time…just during a two/three year period off and on.

    I had a hard time with his preaching and knowing his past life and things he had done during our marriage. I gave him a hard time over this quite often and questioned his call to preach…I know that was wrong of me. It is just hard for me to understand how God would call a young man who was having premarital sex and looking at porn, but I suppose it is possible. Anyway, to sum up this last post…I am trying now to trust and to be the wife I should be. I fail miserably with the respect (at times I have just have not been able to respect him) but I am asking God to help me and also reading your posts and gleaning from them. Please continue to pray for me! Thanks April and God bless you 🙂

    1. Kay,

      A man can be called to preach and then mess up and get himself stuck in sin. That doesn’t mean that God has removed his calling. But, yes, God does want him to walk in obedience and not in sin. The problem is, you know all the details of his sin, and that makes it really hard to respect him as a preacher, understandably. A teacher or pastor is called to a higher standard, certainly. Unfortunately, many, many of them fall. 🙁

      There is spiritual warfare going on here. The enemy wants to keep your husband ensnared in sin. God wants your husband to walk in the victory that Jesus has already provided over sin. You can be very instrumental in encouraging your husband, blessing him, praying for him, praying with him (if he is open to that), supporting him in his walk with Christ, and seeking to be a godly example to him. You cannot be the Holy Spirit. You cannot convict him of his sin. And the position of accuser is already taken – is it not?

      Please check out this prayer for those who are addicted to porn.

      And, please check out this post for ministers’ wives. 🙂

      And here is a post written by a pastor that may be interesting – Pastors Are Human, Too
      Praying for your walk with Christ and for your husband’s to bring great glory to God. That is only possible for any of us when we allow His Spirit to do the work and the empowering. We will fail every time when we try to do this on our own.

      Much love to you!

  7. I also get frustrated when I stumble and fall into old patterns of disrespect. It hurts when my husband says certain things along the lines of “You’ll never change.” It is in different words, but the meaning is the same.

    I recently had to recheck my motives because I was drowning in sadness that my husband may never change and I was so tired of praying for his deliverence from his sins. His sins were comsuming me and causing me to create exponential amounts of sinful thoughts, fears, and worry.

  8. ^^my own sinful thoughts and worry. I was not honoring God. I am still struggling, yet God blesses me daily. I am thankful I am convicted and know my heart has been seeking the wrong motives .

    1. Thinking of you prayingwife79!!! “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13. You are wise to catch yourself before drowning in that spiral of sadness that so many of us have been on. Take heart!

  9. Another great story! Thanks for sharing these, April!

    It’s so HARD to start the journey, ya know? It’s painful for me to get over the fact that I feel that I can’t really share my true feelings or emotions. I’ve learned that those are sinful thoughts or feelings and need to get them under control. My need for controlling things and becoming defensive….or getting annoyed when he can’t gather a simple concept (and I mean obvious) or ask silly questions (in my mind) when it’s totally serious to him…. THAT’S HARD TO DEAL WITH! I assume it’ll get easier.

    Always encouraging to hear these stories from other women! Thank you again!

    1. Liz McC.,

      So many wives say, “I want to be able to be myself around my husband! I should be able to share all my thoughts and feelings and say anything I want to.”

      But here is the thing to keep in mind. You CAN be yourself around him, but it should be your NEW self that is in Christ. Your Holy-Spirit filled self. What most women want to let loose around their husbands is their old sinful self. That is dangerous and destructive! Our old sinful selves, when we allow them full reign, will destroy our marriages, ourselves, our walk with God, our witness, our husbands, our children, and everyone around us.

      The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

      It seems oppressive at first to have to contain that big ocean of negative, sinful thoughts and emotions. Yes. But then God begins the gutting-out process of the renovation – pointing to all of the things that need to be torn out of our souls. Essentially, I had to tear out all of my understanding and wisdom about femininity, masculinity, marriage, and living for Christ and I had to dig down until all I had was Christ and His Word and then build from scratch from there. When He gets rid of the sin – eventually, we won’t have all of those sinful thoughts any more. It is a process. Similar to a baby growing up into adulthood. But it is so amazing not to have my mind filled with sinful thoughts but to have it filled with heavenly things, peaceful, lovely, beautiful, powerful, godly things. Now, I realize that the things God asked me to get rid of were garbage – so that I would have room for the treasures of heaven He wanted to give me.

      God’s Spirit can give you wisdom, discretion, patience, self-control… THANKFULLY!

      I am so excited about what God has begun to do in you, my precious sister! 🙂

  10. BlessedOut

    I have a question and advice i want to ask of you.. do you have a personal email i can contact you through? I really loved this post..

    Thank you!!
    Hope to talk to you soon 🙂

  11. Hi April

    You’ve often spoken about the needs of wives to express to our husbands our desires, ideas, personalities, influence, feelings and needs, in order to build marital intimacy. Would you consider writing a whole blog with some examples of what to say? Not knowing what to actually say can be a real challenge and few writers seem to offer examples as powerful and honouring as yours – I believe God has really skilled you in that area, which could help other wives. My own experience in using your suggestions has been transformative and stress / resentment / anxiety-busting.

    For example you’ve mentioned how a wife (for example when her husband gets angry with her for disagreeing with him) can calmly, briefly, respectfully, gently, humbly say things like. ““I’m simply sharing my concerns with you. I plan to honour your leadership. I realize you are ultimately accountable to God for this decision, not me. Thanks so much for listening to my ideas/concerns. It means a lot to me that you would consider how I feel when we are facing a decision.” Or “Please don’t yell at me. I want to hear what you are saying, but I can’t hear your message when you yell/raise your voice at me.” I’ve often gone back and forth through your posts to find suggestions, hence why I wondered if you would pull some suggestions of what to say in one blog.

    As I’ve experimented with some of your suggested wording in my mind, prayed over it and eventually spoken it to my husband, I’ve found that it’s been very empowering to both of us. Sometimes I’ve used examples at different times than originally planned, as if simply mulling over the words in prayer puts God straight to work. And because your examples are written with consideration (full of recognition for our husband’s position, and lovingly expressing our own comments / feelings / concerns), you can’t really express them insincerely.

    My husband has been noticeably pleasantly surprised – even thanking me for the approach – when I used your examples; and I’ve been blessed to feel heard, helpful and that I’ve spoken my best. It is definitely a virtuous cycle that increases the confidence and trust of us both in how we communicate i.e. speaking with and listening to each other, bringing up important subjects, managing our reactions, and even reflecting / sharing with each other as we review our conversations (what’s improved, needs more work etc). And using the suggested wording for challenging / confronting situations goes hand in hand with the important need to use positive words to encourage, admire and celebrate my husband too whenever there’s an opportunity.

    Clearly I’m not suggesting that your examples should be followed parrot fashion (we and our husbands are all unique individuals anyhow), but if you have the time to suggest a range of other verbal examples to use in a range of situations, I’m sure that would be great and a real blessing to us women and wives out there. Will leave it with you for consideration / prayer.

    Thank you for the blog and everything you’re doing under the guidance of our Lord Jesus.

    God bless
    M

    1. Mich,

      I will plan to do a post about this. 🙂

      These are the kinds of things I needed desperately when I was first learning respect. Concrete examples. Then, I could pray about them and ask God to help me decide what to say.

      Of course, every example won’t fit every husband – so that is why the praying and being sensitive to God’s Spirit is so very necessary.

      Are there specific issues you would like me to give suggestions for?

      Thanks for letting me know that this has been helpful!

      Much love,
      April

  12. Hi April,

    I am a 37 year old male from South Africa. I stumbled across your Youtube videos. I am Christian, confessing the third day risen Jesus Christ, the son of YHWH. I have been on a spiritual journey and try my absolute best to keep Christ as my personal Teacher to be taught with ‘things of the Spirit’ by virtue of RELATIONSHIP.

    I have a few things that I would like to say. First of all, I want to encourage you by saying that as a man I am thrilled that there are women out there who are trying to teach other women what they have learned through their ordeal. It gives me courage to pursue Godliness and the FRUITS of the Spirit. The Fruits of the Spirit manifest so beautifully in a woman. A Christian male has serious needs to be exposed to the fruits of the Spirit on a woman and with those fruits she has an incredible power (an responsibility) to lead men to his Creator, not herself.

    I did not go through all your material but I noticed that your reasoning includes psychological causes for evil traits within women. While I agree with you, especially about paternal sources as being the problem, there are severe spiritual sources also.

    I have been waiting on my destined partner now for 15 years. I met her by divine appointment when I was 23. I have been waiting since. During this time I have grown up a bit, however I had to face some serious truths, and questions. Through the wait, I have been taught the ‘Principles of Agape”. When I met her, I was told clearly, “You will learn a great lesson in your wife”, and what I have learned so far has been overwhelming. I would like to share this with you because it is very rare that I find women who are so determined to speak openly and to share what you have.

    Thank you.

    The BIGGEST PROBLEM in BOTH SEXES is indeed the very same roots of evil that manifested in the Garden of Eden. The CORE SOLUTION to the three roots are within the TREE OF LIFE, i.e. Agape Love, the Spirit of YHWH. The three roots are LUST, FEAR and PRIDE.

    These are the three foundations for any act of manipulation and control within any gender.

    I asked the Lord one day to please teach me what a Jezebel spirit is. I then went through a cycle of events in my life that exposed Jezebel to me.

    I first was exposed to a male friend who had marital problems with his beautiful wife. Both of them are retail store managers. The husband worked for a sports retailer and she worked for a women’s clothing retailer. They have two beautiful children. He was covering the home bond/loan, and she covered groceries. The husband also housed his parents behind the house in their own cottage. They had no pension scheme. Out of the blue the wife wanted a separation because ‘there was no more romance’ and because the ‘parents were always around’. I comforted the husband for a year through his ordeal in trying to save his marriage, and eventually I gave her the opportunity to speak to me because it would be unfair to lend my ear to one side only. She proceeded with a full divorce simply because she was not getting what she wanted. I prophetically told him that she would come back, and she did, however he had moved on. Her name is ‘Andrea’. She split that family because of SELFISH REASONS. Whenever I visited she would hide in the room and be by herself, isolated.

    Then I met an Italian man called Andrea. He was a technician at a IT Company I joined. He was controlling, dominating, territorial and outright mean. Day in and day out I would gently greet him and get no response. He would reprimand me over insignificant, if not irrelevant things only when I was alone with him. He would try intimidate me and put fear into me. I was pulled aside by an older woman in the business and told to be patient as Andrea is territorial. I then left that Company because I could not take it anymore, and I told him on email that he must be careful of how he treats people because he might answer to them one day and that I know that I never caused him harm in any way.

    I then started my own path of being an independent consultant and having won a cornerstone contract to start my business I was on top of the world. I got on very well with my client’s office manageress. In fact, so well that I thought that this woman could be the best female friend I could ever have. She was sweet, understanding, open, fair, lovely, etc. She was however extremely appealing, sexually. One day she called me to say that she was in an accident and needed my help. I drove to the crash site and took her to hospital and the police, etc. I dropped her off at home and she did not even offer me a drink. She stood in a pose as if to say, “Okay soldier, your work is done you can leave now”. After that day, she changed her colors like a chameleon and became CONTROLLING. I would visit her to help her as her hand was broken. She would order me around like her little slave. She was manipulative and extremely sexually appealing. She would lie to me. Her superiors questioned her about our relationship and she did not tell me about it. She encouraged an on-the-business-floor friendship and said that her superiors were fine with it. I was not. I tried to keep my distance. When she was at home healing, her superiors questioned me. I told her that the friendship was offline on the business floor and she could not handle that. She turned on me viciously. I still wondered what was going on, and why the color change. She proceeded to bastardize me to her superiors sowing the seed that I can not be trusted with their IT systems. They called me in and threatened with the police if I tried anything. I cancelled my contract with them and left there with a LOST BUSINESS.

    I was then spoken to by the Lord who told me, “I have exposed you to the problems of three Andrea’s. A Female Brunette, an Italian Man, and a Female Blonde. You asked Me to teach you what the Jezebel spirit is, and this is how I chose to answer you. Jezebel manifests through many faces. The face of Jezebel manifests in a man and a woman, a blonde and brunette. Jezebel, one the one side is MANIPULATING, SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED, PLAYS THE VICTIM AND DRAWS ATTENTION TO HERSELF BY PLAYING ON YOUR EMOTIONS TO FEEL SORRY FOR HER. SHE WILL ISOLATE HERSELF WITH THE INTENTION TO HAVE EVERYONE RUN AFTER HER. On the other side she is SWEET, CONTROLLING, SEXUALLY APPEALING, HATES MEN AND AUTHORITY, AND SHE IS EXTREMELY PERSUASIVE AS SHE CONFORMS TO EVERY MAN’S NEED, HOWEVER RUNNING CIRCLES AROUND THEM FOR SELFISH PURPOSES. In the middle, the STRONG MAN operates, the dominating, territorial mean strong-headed face. In total, Jezebel has many faces.”

    I then started to work for a Company called RAM. I was employed as the Technical Manager and had a Support Desk submitting to my technical leadership. The supervisor of that team started with political tactics to undermine me. His name is Stanley. My boss’ name was Lance. I had a serious issue there as Stanley would do almost anything to discredit me because he felt entitled to my position having been there two years longer than myself. He developed an alliance and long story short, he got it right to have me drawn into a hearing. After a while I left because I did not have the support of my superiors. There was no way I could win. Jezebel was manifesting in this man too.

    I was then spoken to by the Lord and told, “I exposed you to the RAM who poked you with his Stanley knife daily, and finally he used his Lance to stab you”

    All of this was being taught to me while I have been waiting for my wife in faith. In that respect I was being taught the difference between AGAPE SPIRIT LOVE and JEZEBEL.

    Now, let’s get back to Eden shall we? What appealed to Eve’s senses when tempted? She was told she could “be like God” and under that spell/witchcraft she sacrificed everything she had to be able to ‘be like God’ not having to submit to his authority. Now if one reads the book of Genesis carefully they will notice that a woman was required to be ‘ruled’ by her husband AFTER THE FALL. Before the fall she was required to simply be a ‘help-meet’. She also had to tend the Garden but she was in submission to God, to multiply.

    However, after the fall she was to be ‘ruled’. There is a difference between being a partner help-meet and submit to an authority together, or to be ruled by a man. Many clueless Christian men do not see this. Many Christian women do not see it either.

    What Eve and Adam had in the Garden was 100% Agape’ SELFLESS HEART LOVE. That is what they knew. When they departed from the Tree of Life (Agape’ Love) they submitted to the FRUIT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE. One is head food. The other is heart food. However, the Agape’ fed the spirit, while the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge feeds the soul (mind and emotions). They were infiltrated by FEAR, LUST AND PRIDE. Their perceptions of Agape’ was twisted, and where they had SELFLESS LOVE, it was replaced with a perversion, a SOULISH COUNTERFEIT that is focused on feelings, selfish desire, etc. This is what we call ‘Eros’, but it is deeper. It is LUST. Lust not only in a sexual way, but also greed and selfishness, the total opposite to Agape’ Selfless Love.

    When I ask women why it is so important for them to have a male in their lives they say, “I need someone to take care of me”, or they say, “I need someone to make me feel good”. Almost all their answers are of a selfish nature. It is all about THEM, what they can gain, what they “deserve”, etc.

    I have realized that we have a perverted sense of LOVE. We operate from the SOUL (Mind + Emotions). Men ‘lust’ what is good for them! They LOVE the trophy, the good looker, the sexy fashionable girl who will consistently pleasure them…… selfish isn’t it?

    We can see how those three spirits operate. We lust, and out of fear of loss, we manipulate and control. We are prideful, so we get self-righteous and through our selfishness we generally slam our cups on the table and demand the opposite sex to fill those cups! This is how we are!

    Have you noticed how selfish children are, and how they DEMAND attention? Us boys appeal to that in little girls and along with their fathers we pamper them and we give them power to manipulate and control us.

    Adam was not bewitched, and he ate of the fruit knowing full well the circumstances. He traded his authority for the beauty of a woman. He allowed her beauty to seduce her, however with the presence of those three spirits within her soul, she had a SELFISH REASON to offer the fruit. She KNEW what it would do to him.

    Now do not get me wrong. I am in no way suggesting that the problem is gender centric. The problem manifests in different ways in different genders and personality types.

    The core is this. Humans are BY DEFAULT fallen. We are selfish, lustful, prideful and outright WRONG. We want to CONTROL and MANIPULATE out of selfishness, out of lust, out of fear and pride.

    This problem within us all has to be overridden by the infiltration of the Spirit of Agape’ as the perfect Agape of the Lord casts out all fear, as it does with LUST AND PRIDE.

    We are not able to overcome this alone. We are all prone to fall to selfishness.

    Now, I was told something interesting. The selfishness manifesting in women is a manifestation of what is manifesting in the Lord’s Bride in the making. It is representative of how we go before Him for selfish purposes and we try and control Him and manipulate Him. With me? Sometimes it is so severe that our ‘religion’ becomes selfish…. and all about MY SALVATION. It keeps a person enslaved in FEAR OF CONDEMNATION never really understanding the selfless salvation of the Lord, how the WORK IS FINISHED and how we are now called to LIVE IN CHRIST, or LIVE IN SELFLESS AGAPE’.

    I find that many of your posts saying, “why do women do this, or that” is simply because of one thing. JEZEBEL. That same spirit operates through men, and when you put an Eros Lover with an Agape lover, the Eros Lover is the Master who takes full selfish advantage of the AGAPE lover. If the AGAPE LOVER is a male, she WILL manipulate and control him. We give women the power to manipulate us when we are not strong in the Love of YHWH. We don’t even realize it, and in that weakness, a demonically enabled manipulator in a woman can actually destroy his soul. The opposite is also true. The Agape Lover of a woman can lead a man’s soul to Christ, so the scripture is true that a woman can change a man ‘just by her conduct’ and until such time that women like you stand up and SPEAK OPENLY to other women, and do your part, men will be bewitched and they will go to hell because they are not led to Agape’ Love Himself and the Light of that Love who is Christ. Thank YOU for being obedient to the Lord and CONTINUE to keep HIS PERSON AND GOSPEL in focus, while keeping everything out of focus because by keeping HIM in focus, you will feed all those around you! KEEP IT UP SISTER!

    1. Young Rookie,

      It is a pleasure to meet you, brother. 🙂

      Yes, I do talk about some reasons that encourage sin in women (reasons that women tend to feel justified about) – but then I also talk about that regardless of reasons why we may feel justified, sin is still sin. And we are still accountable to God for our sin. In the power of the sinful nature, the results will always be the same – Galatains 5:18-21. But when we are fully submitted to Christ, then He gives us the power of His Spirit to walk in obedience and in holiness and we will always have the same results – Galatians 5:22-23.

      Yes, ultimately, we have a sin problem. I hope that is very clear in my presentations – and that Jesus is the only solution to our sin problem. I also hope to help women see that our sins, though possibly socially acceptable, are still sin in the eyes of God and they are filthy and repulsive to Him. We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross in desperate need of the blood of Jesus. He is our greatest need. And He is the greatest treasure.

      Thanks for sharing your explanation about the Jezebel spirit. I will certainly prayerfully consider all that you have shared.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ for His highest glory.

  13. I wanted to put in a plug for a book that the Lord used to change me and very likely save my marriage..It is called “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace.

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.

%d bloggers like this: