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BlessedOut Shares a Bit of Her Journey

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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

 

31 thoughts on “BlessedOut Shares a Bit of Her Journey

  1. “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!

  2. 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!

  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. “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. 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…

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. ^^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!

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

  9. 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

    1. 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. 🙂

  10. 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

    1. 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.

  11. 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! 🙂

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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