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What Really Speaks Respect to My Husband



I know it must seem – to some – like I am some kind of expert (or like I must think I am some kind of expert – ha!) on the whole respecting our husbands thing. I have been studying this topic for over 6 years, yes. And I have been writing about it for almost 4 years. But I still have SO VERY MUCH to learn and thousands and thousands of miles to go on this road! Please don’t put me on any kind of pedestal. We are all learning on this journey together! Anything good I have learned is by God’s grace and I am thankful for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in my life and in yours, too. Every husband is unique and has his own particular preferences, his own leadership style, his own desires, his own personality, and his own needs. Respecting our husbands is not a one-size-fits-all thing. I have learned a lot about what husbands find respectful – in general. Now, I am doing a lot more honing to understand Greg’s needs and personality in particular.

What matters most is what our husbands need and that we are the wives God desires us to be to our particular husbands. It is ok that our marriages are unique from other people’s marriages.

God’s principles are always the same – but how we apply them and live them out will look different many times. We don’t have to compare our husbands to others. It is ok for our husbands to be themselves and not to fit into a specific mold in a blog post or a book. It’s ok for wives to be the women God calls us to be and we will not all be cookie cutters. πŸ™‚

What I am learning may not be what God has for you to learn. It will depend on the dynamics in your marriage and on the personalities of you and your husband whether what I am sharing today would apply to your marriage in any way.

GREG SHARED HIS HEART WITH ME (and I made sure to get his approval before sharing with y’all)

I was really surprised to learn a lot of new things about Greg a month or so ago. I would have thought that after 6 years of dating and almost 21 years of marriage, 6 of which I have been on this journey to become a godly wife – that I would know Greg and his preferences really well by now. I found out that some of his preferences have changed.


I had no idea that was a possibility with those particular issues. Most of them were small things. For instance – there are some things he likes but they are just not a huge deal to him. He often doesn’t want me to change anything just because he mentions, in passing, that he likes something. I had always tried to pay close attention to anything he mentioned because he says so little about his preferences, that I wanted to honor his preferences if he did actually say something!

The things he shared took me by surprise and threw me for a bit of a loop. It was good to find out that my husband’s preferences about some things may change at times or that some preferences are “minor” vs. “major” that I didn’t understand before – and to allow him the freedom to change without putting him “in a box.’ He doesn’t think in a black and white way nearly as much as I do. That is ok.

A few things I have been doing for Greg to bless him that really don’t do much for him:

  • Asking what he would like me to change once a week or once a month – He doesn’t really like change! So, that kind of stresses him out.
  • If I try “too hard” to be a good wife or mom – He feels that stresses out our family. And his definition of me trying too hard does not match my definition at all!
  • Asking him what I can do for him that week to bless him – Β He would rather I not ask him what I can do for him. I will trust him to let me know if he needs something.
  • Dressing up every day – He is fine if I do but it’s not a big deal to him if I don’t. He likes me to be comfortable. (I actually did the dressing up thing more for my own benefit than for his, but it was interesting to hear his take on it.)
  • Makeup every day – “If it makes sense to wear make up and you want to, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. But I don’t usually care if you wear make up or not.”

These are things that I know that many husbands do like. My husband doesn’t say much about what he likes – so I sometimes would just try to guess and try to do things that might bless him because I knew they blessed other husbands. But – if what I was doing to try to bless him really isn’t that big of a blessing to Greg, or it stresses him out – well, it’s time to revamp my ways of seeking to bless him!

So – I am still learning. In fact, I am sure that I will continue to still be in the learning phase for the rest of my life! Some of Greg’s preferences haven’t changed. He still loves my hair long – for example. I hope to have more conversations like this. I was thankful that Greg was willing to share these things with me because I WANT to know Greg more.

It was kind of unsettling to think that these things I thought I understood about my husband that I thought would bless him really weren’t that important to him.

I am wrapping my head around the concept that many times – with my particular husband – “less is more.” That is not how I think. I would like to shower my husband with lots of attention and DO many things for him to bless him. To me “more is more!” But that isn’t really what he wants. So, showing him respect means, in this case, that I back off. It’s weird because it can feel like I’m not “doing anything special” for him. Then I think things like, “How can I be a helper if I am not helping him in some way?”

  • Greg values me not being stressed.
  • He doesn’t want to burden me.
  • He doesn’t like to ask me to help him (which I can understand – I don’t like asking for help too much, myself!)
  • He doesn’t want to be demanding or tyrannical (not really a big danger for him with his particular personality, in my view).

Of course, I don’t see doing things for him as a burden. So it is an interesting time of transition while I try to take my foot off the gas pedal and slow down even more. I had already been going MUCH slower than ever before. Going slowly does NOT come naturally to me!

I found out that sometimes Greg hasn’t really wanted to share small preferences with me because I tend to abruptly change if he mentions something – and he doesn’t want me to change too much. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of girl. It is difficult for me to change things “slightly” or “barely” – or to just hear Greg share how he feels about something without feeling like, “Oh, I could easily change that thing just to bless him.” But apparently, what my husband would most appreciate would be tiny changes – occasionally – not big huge dramatic changes.

He feels that I “over-correct” or “over-steer” a lot of times. Hmm.. I can’t really argue with that observation.

I was thinking about my walk with Christ, too. About Mary vs. Martha. And how easy it is to get caught up DOING STUFF for God – important ministry stuff, even – and miss out on sitting with Him and just soaking in His presence and love.

I don’t have the whole “relaxing” thing down. I like to serve. I like to DO things. Important things. Things that matter in light of eternity. But I think that God is using Greg to help balance me out and help stretch me in areas where I am not strong. I am peaceful. I have God’s peace every day. But I tend to push myself a lot. I don’t like to just “sit and do nothing.” This probably sounds weird but relaxing (well, certain definitions of relaxing) can be more stressful to me than doing things like studying, praying, reading the Bible, doing ministry, or even doing chores. I think I could sometimes miss the idea of resting that God talks about often in Scripture. So, thankfully, I do cuddle and rest with Greg many times.

I haven’t really counted a lot of things I do as being a blessing to Greg. Does that make sense? He counts some things as ways that I bless him that just haven’t been on my radar. I mean, I am really self motivated. I would keep the house clean, take care of the children, cook, do the shopping for the food, cuddle with Greg, and enjoy him without him asking me to. So it is hard for me to feel like those things would “count as a blessing” to him. It doesn’t seem like that is “enough” in my mind sometimes. But to Greg – those things are the things that bless him. He is content and really doesn’t want me to try to do a lot more. For me to pile on a bunch of more things to try to bless him that don’t actually feel like a blessing to him – would be a big waste of time and energy – and it can stress him out!

One of the things Greg values most is just me being there. He is happy to have my friendship, love, respect, and support. I don’t really have to DO anything for him. He just wants to be with me. He values my company, companionship, and friendship.

I asked Greg the other night when we went out to supper, “Doesn’t it get frustrating to you that I still am not really wrapping my mind around the things you shared with me last month and that I am trying to process all of it but I am not sure I am completely ‘getting it’ yet?”

He said, “No. It doesn’t bother me that it is hard for you to understand me. You wouldn’t have a ministry if understanding me was easy for you.”


Well, that’s true! πŸ™‚


I want to be very purposeful about slowing down and just being still before God, spending time listening to Him in silence, praying more, being in God’s Word even more. I want to stop rushing around DOING so much for Him, and actually enjoy Him and sit at His feet much more than I have been.

I also want to be very purposeful about slowing down and just enjoying Greg (and our children). I’m sure some husbands are different. Some husbands probably have a long list of things they want their wives to do – and many wives probably feel very overwhelmed by that. I’m extremely thankful that Greg is not demanding. He never raises his voice. He is the farthest thing from a tyrant. For some wives, what Greg talked about with me would be a super easy assignment – but for me, it is very hard and extremely counterintuitive! I am excited about God and Greg stretching me and helping me to slow down more and to enjoy both of them more.


What have you been learning in your walk with Christ or in your marriage? You are welcome to share!


Here is a peek into what Greg has been learning latelyΒ in our marriage – kind of eye-opening stuff, in my opinion!

58 thoughts on “What Really Speaks Respect to My Husband

  1. Wow. This is awesome. I have learned that when I stared this journey backing off is huge to my husband. He revealed that a while back. In my head I thought he hadn’t noticed but he did. I still have some more backing off to do. I tend to slip at times but I learn from every slip.

    The weird thing us that me backing off had relieved some stress for me. I used to nit pick about everything and that changed. Wow what a difference when I back off. Sometimes I think of saying something but I just dont. I’m learning that I can’t be all up on him as if I was his mom. He has to learn certain things on his own with God. We are two different people. That’s a big obstacle for me to understand that we think differently. It would sometimes frustrate me when he wouldnt think just like me. It’s a good thing he doesn’t. God knew what he was doing when he gave me my husband how he is.

    1. Kat,

      Absolutely, when we stop pushing ourselves so hard to use up a lot of energy unnecessarily – it does take stress and pressure off of us. That is good for us and for our husbands. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Yes – if only I had understood that we thought differently when we got married. I think that would have saved us a lot of frustration!!!!

      Much love to you!

  2. I love this post! It’s awesome! πŸ™‚

    To be honest, April, I asked my husband after I started reading your blog if he’d prefer me in skirts… he said no, and I said, “Whew!!!” I hardly EVER wear skirts; they drive me crazy and I definitely can’t imagine wearing ’em in the winter! We went shopping together for some pants and I noticed that he liked almost every pair of jeans I tried on, but was far less likely to say “yes” to slacks or any other kind of pants. I finally said, “You really like me in jeans, huh?” and he said, “Yeah, I do!” Then I thought back to how rarely I’d worn jeans (I wore whatever people gave me since our funds aren’t always the best… and the ones that fit me well just so happened not to be jeans) and thought, “Well that was an epic fail on my part.” LOL and then I made a mental note to wear more jeans.

    As far as Mary and Martha go, though, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum (even more so when pregnant and in my first trimester!) I have NO problem relaxing… but I’m not so good at the “keeping the house up” thing. I think part of it may also be due to the fact that I’ve been homeschooling my daughter (something I’m still praying about), so that diverts a bit of my energy and attention.

    I greatly appreciate your prayers as I learn and grow as well! Let’s continue lifting each other up! πŸ™‚

    1. blessedout,

      Greg was never adamant that I wear only skirts. I decided to do that for a number of reasons, and he was supportive. But it really wasn’t something he ever said I needed to do. Well, he did mention in college a few times that he wished I dressed up more. I know he likes skirts – especially ones that go about to the knee. He doesn’t want me to “look Amish.” I’m not sure that I will ever go back to wearing jeans. I used to wear them every day – but now – they are so uncomfortable!!! And – I don’t think I can forget the things I read about the temptation that jeans can cause for a lot of men. But – I will wear yoga pants around the house if we are not going anywhere. And I guess I will prayerfully consider some loose/flowy pants. Not sure yet!

      Pregnancy can be so hard! I know many women who are completely exhausted – that first trimester can be rough!

      I think that homeschooling would definitely divert your attention and energy a lot from house-keeping. And when children are home, why is it that if you clean up everything, it all gets messed up again in about 2 minutes? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing! I’m glad that you are discovering what your husband likes and I am so excited about what you are learning in Christ!

      Much love!

  3. Hi April, What did you mean by “If I try β€œtoo hard” to be a good wife or mom” and that his definition is different to yours? What does it mean to Greg for you to “try too hard”? It sounded like for you, trying too hard means doing too much “good stuff” and ministry and not resting in God…?

    1. Tjwithersryan,

      If I keep the house “too clean” (and get OCD about it, in his view), or try to restrict the kids’ screen time “too much,” or talk about a much healthier diet (getting rid of preservatives, chemicals, sugar, food coloring, etc)… That stresses Greg out and he feels it stresses the kids out. I believe that is the kind of thing he means about me “trying too hard.”

      To me, some of those things could be very good things. But I am going to rest in Greg’s decision and trust God to give us both wisdom about each issue. πŸ™‚

      1. Oh wow, that’s really interesting! Thanks, that kind of lines up with what my husband says about how if I try to keep things super-clean (which I unfortunately have to because of severe dust allergies). We still haven’t worked out a good solution for weekends where we both get to spend time relaxing and also get the place clean. Working on it πŸ™‚

        1. Tjwithersryan,
          I have major dust allergies myself and chronic sinusitis and tons of environmental allergies. So, I feel you on that!! I like having as little clutter as possible so that dusting is as quick and easy as possible. We can’t have carpet or heavy drapes. Can’t run the heat at night in the winter. Yep. Severe allergies can make things a lot more complicated.

          I have learned to let things go sometimes and to focus on family rather than things being clean. I really learned to have a lot of patience during the 3.5 years of constant renovations Greg and his dad did on the old house we bought when our 8 year old was a baby. Dry wall dust is not my friend!!! I had to learn to accept a lot of chaos and disorder for a very, very long time. But, I am thankful not to be as OCD as I was and I try to remind myself that my family is much more precious and important than a clean house. I try to keep it fairly clean. But I don’t stress over it like I used to. So freeing!

          Praying for wisdom for the right balance for you and your husband! πŸ™‚ Relaxing and resting is important, too. Even if I have not mastered those concepts yet!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi April. Thank you for all the work you and Greg are doing in this ministry while raising a busy family AND being employed. I know just two of those things can be a huge undertaking but I so appreciate the sacrifices made for this blog!!

    We met last October when you were down at my church for the ladies retreat and I wanted to update you on my marriage stuff. I’m the one with the husband living and working up north while I’m down here in Florida taking care of my mom. I did write a letter to my husband at your suggestion and asked him to come up with a way to be able to spend some more time with him without abandoning my mom. While he didn’t get all super elated about the letter (at least not outwardly) he did tell me months later that he ‘re-reads that letter frequently because it made him feel so good that I still want to be close to him despite our current living arrangement.

    One thing I would never say to him years back when he decided to accept a job up north even though my pastor was so incredulous abou it, is pointing out to him that he chose this living arrangement. It was not thrust upon him by God, nor was it born out of any necessity. It was something he chose due to him not wanting to live in FL any longer and his definition of success being the larger paycheck. (That’s over simplifying it a bit, but those were the two biggest factors.) I just did NOT feel that it was my job to convict him that way, it was the job of the Holy Spirit.

    So recently when having a very painful family discussion with our son and his wife about their definition of how they need us to treat them more like adults, my son actually tearfully told my husband, “Dad, you basically left us when I was 16. I still needed a dad around and you left and moved up north for a job.” The response from my husband was not a huge revelation by any means, BUT I was encouraged to see that the HS is using our son to bring my husband along on this journey.

    I don’t know how this will all turn out but immediately following that trip God has brought some things into our lives here in FL that has caused my mom and I to make a huge change in our living situation that seems pleasing to my husband because my unhealthy hold of the house and property here is being reduced and simplified and in a few months time will allow me to visit back and forth a little more frequently with my husband.

    All that to say that even though our husbands may not be able or willing to articulate their respect needs, God is so faithful if we are patient to wait and see how He sets our path. Love and hugs to you April!!

    1. FLgirl,
      I am so excited to hear from you!!!

      I’m glad that you showed your husband you were willing to follow his lead about how to make things work. And I am also glad that you didn’t try to convict your husband, but allowed the Holy Spirit to work in him. After this winter, I would imagine lots of people living up north might be ready to move to FL!!! πŸ™‚

      I’m glad that your son was honest with your husband. Goodness, how painful!!!!!

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and your husband and for His clear leading and direction, my beautiful sister!!!! I loved getting to meet you!

  5. Interesting post, April! My husband is very similar to yours (although he is an unbeliever). I kind of picked up earlier on that he would not want me to be probing him about specifics and trying to change too much for him. As a matter of fact, we went through that “stage” sometime last year and it just felt….weird and not very comfortable. I think in one sense, it can also give kind of a false impression to a husband that we don’t have our own personalities and that we want to be controlled by them. During that stage, there were times that my husband started being slightly controlling about little things that I knew that he didn’t really care much about. I think he was confused as to his role in the marriage (so was I) and since then, we have found more balance. Something I thought of as I read this post was that our husbands really do just want us to be the women they fell in love with. So, when we are in good balance with each other, I am respecting him, but still really letting my personality show through, I’m at ease with who I am and we joke and tease each other much more than when I’m too worried about getting my every move right around him. Also, I think that asking my husband too many questions about what he wants done today or trying too hard to bless him stresses him out a little – he doesn’t want to have to think in those ways. He’s a simple guy and is happy if I would just do the basics like be happy, have the laundry room clean, bed made with nothing on top, simple dinner and calm with the kids. And yes, my stressing about the way we eat and media time seems to do nothing positive for our family. :/ Those areas are a continual struggle for me to learn to give those areas up to God rather than cause unnecessary tension and discord in our home.

    My husband very much likes for me to just relax and hang out with him. I remember even before really starting my respect journey that the whole idea of just watching tv with him or sleeping in with him on a Saturday while the kids were already up and watching tv was hard for me. God showed me that it was respecting my husband to give in to those preferences and so as much as I can, I do.

    I just thought of something my husband said to me last week. We were going to one of our children’s practices or games and I had mentioned bringing a book and then said, “No, I don’t need to bring a book to read, I have you there.” to which he replied, “Yeah! I’m your book, read me!”. I thought that was so interesting that he expressed in those words this idea of getting to know him, reading him. He said those right around the time I had read some information about really listening to our husbands as they talk to hear the ideas behind what they’re saying, to hear the man they really are. They don’t talk and lay out every emotion and feeling for us like we women do naturally, but if you listen as they talk, you can “hear” that they do indeed run just as deep as we do. πŸ™‚ Last night, I realized how very little I have done of this in our marriage – really trying to understand who he is and his desires, his feelings, etc. Well, I have wanted those things, but I have wanted them to be done in the way that I was familiar with (that laying everything out in a long emotional talk kind of way that is not who our husbands are!) And, I have been hurt that he hasn’t probed deep with me. Something seems to be shifting in me regarding this – just laying aside my desires to be heard and understood and giving that instead to my husband. The verse “Do unto others as you would have them done unto you” really rings true here. I believe God showed me several months back that whatever need I am most feeling strongly about (wanting to be heard, understood, valued, physical affection, etc.) is something that my husband needs as well and I can do unto him these things that I am wanting. “The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served.” And, while the motivation should not ever be for results, it’s true that if you meet that need in your husband, many times your desires and needs will be met by your husband in reciprocation.

    Sorry for my long post. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your honesty, April, about your struggles and where you are.

    We know that marriage mirrors our relationship with God – it seems like God is definitely showing you that both He and Greg just love to be around you without having to “do” anything. Beautiful. Enjoy the process.

    1. Jennifer,

      I love this!! I think you have shared some really valuable insights here. I am going to re-read your thoughts and really meditate on them later today. Thank you! I love how we can bless and encourage each other and how we can learn from one another.

      Much love to you!

      1. Much love to you, too! One thing I would probably add to my comment is the fact that when we try to take the focus off our need and decide to meet it in another person we should obviously do it in a way that is tailored to them, not necessarily the way we would want that need met personally for us.

        Love this blog, it’s obviously a huge blessing to so many of us. And you are such a passionate person, it’s so fun to read your posts and the way you write. πŸ™‚

        1. Jennifer,

          You know – this is so important! I used to read The Golden Rule and think, “I AM doing for Greg what I would want him to do for me.” I was showing love the way I wanted to receive it. But I had to mentally rewrite the golden rule to be “Meet Greg’s particular needs like you would like him to meet your particular needs.” Me trying to love him in ways that were meaningless, or worse, to him – was not a blessing. But as I get to know him and his particular needs, his heart, his mind, and his personality – I can meet some of his needs in the ways that really matter to him. Of course, I cannot meet all of his deepest needs. He cannot meet all of my deepest needs. Ultimately, only Christ can do that! But we can learn to bless one another in meaningful ways.

          So much fun to get to know you and the other ladies here. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get to heaven and to get to hear everyone’s stories and all the behind the scenes details about what God was doing and how He weaves our stories together for His glory.

          Much love!

    2. Jennifer,

      So much meat here. I really love your comment so much! I wonder if you might allow me to share some of your comment in a post, as well, please, ma’am? πŸ™‚

      1. April, yes, you are welcome to share with others what has been freely given to me. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait for heaven, either! It’s going to be so amazing…

    3. Wow!! What a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in what you wrote <3

      Thank you and April for your honesty and ability to articulate your journey so well that we can learn.

      I heard a fab sermon on the prodigal son a few weeks ago which started me thinking about how much I do and how little I rest! I am like the son who stayed at home working diligently but never understanding the Father's love. It's so interesting to read this blog entry which further enforces what I've been learning- that there is a time to just rest and let God lavish His love on you.


  6. This was so good to read – thank you for sharing! I’m still a new wife (coming up to our first year here! πŸ™‚ and this is one of the topics I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Growing up in a strong Christian community and reading a fair bit about marriage before hand made me impose some ‘good but not accurate’ ideas of what my husband would like and what would bless him. It caused a little confusion on my part when I would follow things that I had heard or read about and it just won’t seem as if it was really making the big difference others said that it would. πŸ™‚ I like to have clear, conscise lists to follow but am learning more and more that I am called to bless and serve *my* husband – and to expect that it will probably be different and unique! What’s fun is that often it’s things that I don’t even think of that would be a blessing that he likes and enjoys the most. πŸ™‚

    And on a separate note , your ministry truly has been a God-send into my life. God had been revealing lack of respect on my part – but I felt so absolutely helpless and didn’t know what to do or if it was too late or any hope for change. I know it is a process but even over the last few days God has been doing such a work in my life – convicting of sins, idols and fears – providing much time alone with Him and already the change is much more peace and joy in our little household! Thank you so much for your time that you’ve invested into this ministry! May God continue to richly bless you πŸ™‚

    1. Nicole,

      I love that – “good but not accurate.”

      It can be so confusing because sometimes our husbands aren’t able to articulate what is disrespectful or respectful to them – and sometimes we just don’t hear them when they do try to explain it. I know both of those things have been true in our marriage many times.

      I’m glad you are seeing already that it is not about what a book or blog post or what other husbands like – but what your particular husband likes that is important – and what will most please God. πŸ™‚

      I totally relate to realizing you had been disrespectful but not knowing what to do or how on earth to change. That was me! How I praise God for what He is doing in your life. I’m so honored and blessed that God allows me to be a little part of His work in so many women’s lives. It is the greatest joy and a way that God allows me to “repay” Him a bit – of course, I can never ever repay Him – but I love that He is willing to pour through me to heal and bless others. I’m also thankful that Greg is very supportive of me doing this ministry. Otherwise, it couldn’t happen!

      Much love!

  7. Thank you so much for this post April. My DH has been saying things similar to what Greg said for so long. I just have not been able to truly hear him, to wrap my head fully around those words and what they really mean. Like you, I am a doer, an all-or-nothing type personality, and I want to jump right to the end of this journey and just be 100% the godly wife I am supposed to be. So for me to learn to be patient and study my husband over a period of time is difficult for my proud spirit.

    I have tried serving with actions like cleaning, cooking, and dressing up, but to no avail because those aren’t the things that my husband sees as showing respectful, and he is indifferent to them. Being relaxed and joyful around him is what he appreciates most, but stressing myself out with all of the doing is stealing that relaxed wife from him and therefore disrespecting him. It sounds so simple when put together into a sentence or two, but it’s taken me more than 3 years to start to grasp this concept!

    Your words in this post just clicked with me, and I think I understand a little bit more about where my DH is coming from. You are a blessing to me, and I love your heart for learning and understanding God’s will for us as wives.

    1. LifeofGrace,

      I so relate to you! I can totally understand wanting to just skip a bunch of steps and get to the end of the journey. Of course, the process is necessary and we will always be learning. So, it is pretty pointless to imagine we don’t have to go through the whole maturing process. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you sharing so much!

      Yep. I should probably have figured this stuff out a long time ago, but I just couldn’t understand. But I am thankful God turned some lightbulbs on for me now. πŸ™‚

      Much love to you! You are a treasure and a blessing to me, as well. I’m so thankful we can share together!

  8. “Plus I always fear that my struggles will cause another sister to stumble, and I don’t want to do that, ever.”

    I understand exactly your fear on this! But if you don’t mind my two cents: I am learning that being real and sharing our struggles and temptations with one another can be vital to spreading the love of Christ. If we never reveal our shortcomings, how can Christ be shown in our lives? We’d only come across as perfect people who have it all together when we most definitely don’t. That said, I believe there needs to be discernment with who and when we share our hearts, but don’t be afraid to show your true self at a time and place when help can be obtained and encouragement shared. I relate so much to your whole comment, thank you for sharing.

  9. April, I laughed throughout this entire post. Besides the fact that I’m not married, what goes on in your head so close to what goes on in mine. It’s funny I was just having a conversation with my bf today and he said that he doesn’t like you mention his preferences or voice his decisions to me all the time because he feels like I make 180 degree turn and move towards those things like a rocket when it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place. At first I was I couldn’t understand why he would verbalize something, but not take action on it. To me, knowing I want something, but then having no movement behind that thought or idea drives me nuts!
    But now here I am reading your blog and understanding this whole ‘slow down and take life easy’ thing a little bit more. Praising God for all these new revalations. πŸ™‚

    1. Julie,

      Ha!!! That is so funny! It really does stretch us to learn to understand how differently our men think. Glad this was a blessing!! Maybe it will save you both a lot of frustration. πŸ™‚

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your relationship. πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you for this post, April, for your humility and for sharing your heart. I like what Greg said: if you knew him so well, you would not have a ministry! Neither would either of us, as being a wife is a ministry! I have been meditating lately on becoming more of a student of my husband, meaning being more intentional about knowing him. I confess I have not been too good of a student in that respect and that is something to work on. It really is a lifetime task!

    Ironically, sometimes I get so caught up in the doing that I forget of just being. Even if I am doing something for those I love, sometimes I feel I am missing out on spending time with them. I have not found that balance but am taking baby steps towards it. At times I want to do everything at once and can get so frustrated… God is teaching me some patience and endurance, and I know He is guiding me.

    Thank you again for this post and for the encouragement!

    1. Aixa M.,

      This seems to be a common theme for many of us wives and moms. It seems that we must be very purposeful about just being and enjoying God and our husbands and children rather than being so busy doing things all the time. Could be easy to miss what is really most important if we are not careful!

      Love this!!

  11. April,
    I do love your posts. My husband has told me several times (I’ve only been on this journey for several months) that he feels like I am a “yes” woman and doesn’t necessarily believe me. He believes in Christ, but thinks its unattractive for me to talk about Him. I am just sort of curious as to how I can let him into this part of my journet with Christ without pushing him away. He comes to mass with our family every Sunday and we even pray together (sometimes, he doesn’t feel too comfortable with it so I try to be brief and I forget sometimes too) In his family growng up, the most they did was go to mass together. I just want to make sure I include him enough without pushing him away I guess without me playing Holy Spirit (I’ve tried that before, Now i know better) πŸ™‚

    Thanks if you can offer any advice,

    1. LMD,

      Such an important issue!! I actually have a number of posts in winning a husband without a word (under categories on the right side of my home page.)

      I Peter 3:1-6 contains God’s commands for wives in this situation. Husbands do not usually respond to a wife’s words about God and spiritual things. They are much more prone to respond to a wife’s godly attitude, Grace, humility, forgiveness, respect for him, and cooperation with his leadership.

      I suggest that you not talk wtih your husband about God and not try to get him to pray with you. If he goes to mass, thank him with a big smile and tell him you appreciate him going.

      We will pray together that God draws your husband to Himself and opens his eyes.

      Much love!!!!

      1. Thank you, April!!! I will check out those posts too!
        I was away this weekend and he took our son to church without me even being there. πŸ™‚

  12. This was so good to read and has been something that God has been revealing to me over the past couple of months. I’m still a new wife (just ten months! πŸ™‚ and at first it was a little confusing to me when I tried to do things that I heard bless husbands. . .that didn’t really bless mine. Or when he would compliment me on something that was opposite of what I had heard or read! πŸ™‚ I’m learning more and more that God has called me to serve and bless this man – and I get to learn how to do it specifically! πŸ™‚

    And I just wanted to thank you too for all that you have invested into this ministry. It has been such a blessing and a strength in my life. Just a few days before finding your website, the Lord convicted me of a lack of respect and submission. I was so horrified to see that in my life, and honestly didn’t know what to do or where to turn. So thankful for Jesus knows when we don’t! It seemed so hopeless – I wasn’t sure if anyone had ever made the same mistakes and how to see change in this area. And I found your website off a random google search! In just the few days that I have known about it, I have learned so much and been so encouraged. Already, there is fruit of peace and joy in my life and marriage. I know it will continue to be a process – but I know God has grace for that! Blessings to you and your family!

  13. Some things I have learned about my husband in the past year, since working on respect:

    * Complaining stresses him out. Even if it is about something he can’t control (like the weather), he really just can’t take negatives! His work life is all the stress he can handle.

    * When he comes home, he needs to be greeted and feel relaxed, because he comes home to de-stress. Lists or the kids’ schedules are stressful.

    * I have learned to email him our kids’ sports schedules and not talk about the schedules. This way, our conversations don’t have to be centered on driving/schedules/etc.

    * He likes being around me more when I am quiet and peaceful. (sense a theme here?)

    * He now sees his friends less (because I am more of a friend to him now, not a needy, complaining wife) and takes me out more and spends more time with me.

    * He calls me “Babe” now & is much more romantic with me…since he feels more relaxed and respected around me, I am much more appealing to him.

    How does my husband reflect Christ to me?

    * My husband wants me to trust him in everything.

    * My husband wants me to be thankful for all the good in our lives, and not complain about the bad.

    * My husband wants me to just be with him, not just asking for things.

    * My husband hates worrying and fearfulness.

    * My husband truly does love me and wants the best for me.

    * My husband’s timeline is not my timeline. I need to trust his timeline.

    What have I learned about myself?

    * When I try to “do everything” to “help,” I’m actually trying to control everything…which makes my husband and children resentful.

    * I can let go of control, and the sun still shines…and I’m a whole lot happier and less stressed.

    * When I was seeking perfection, I was not happy, and neither was anyone else…even though I thought I was doing everything for the family’s “common good.”

    * The more in love with Christ I fall, the more peaceful and joy-filled I am.

    * Being gentle and quiet and waiting is not weakness or laziness. I am actually a better witness when I am “resting” in Christ…a breeze kisses, whereas a tornado disturbs and destroys. Lord, make me a gentle breeze.

    1. Renee,
      How I love this!!!!

      I wonder if you might allow me the honor of sharing this as a post? I believe God will use it to bless many, many women and marriages. πŸ™‚

      So beautiful and powerful!!! Love it!!!

      1. Yes, of course! God continue to bless and guide you, April…I love to know that you are still learning – I feel the same way – each day is a new day. Thank you for saying “yes” to God and ministering to so many marriages.

        1. Thank you so much, Renee! Would you like me to use your first name, or would you prefer to be anonymous? I’m so grateful for all that God laid on your heart to share!

  14. Free Indeed,
    I think I need to include something about this in the book!! Maybe some of the reason Greg didn’t articulate all the things that were respectful to him was that he didn’t have a long list of things that would show respect to him. Maybe it is a lot more about attitude and not using our words to cause harm, and maybe it is a lot more about very simple things than we sometimes imagine.

    I am going to continue chewing on this. I definitely think it is a very important post and information for wives on this journey. πŸ™‚ and I think it will help take a lot of the pressure off that we may put on ourselves. I don’t believe most husbands expect their wives to be perfect or super mom. I know Greg often talked about he doesn’t expect me to be perfect and that he has plenty of grace to give to me. Such a blessing.

    Thank you for sharing! I think this is a really important discussion! Can’t wait to see what else we will all learn together!

  15. Love, love, love everything I read on here! You and your husband sound so much like my husband and me in your personalities and preferences.
    Yesterday I was reading my daily devotional and felt like part of it was to encourage you. It’s from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers: “True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God.”
    You’ve done an amazing job of surrendering and teaching us how to surrender as wives with the help of the Holy Spirit. May you be encouraged that you don’t need to understand the “why” to embrace the “do”.
    Praying for you, April!

  16. I am very much like this, and it also stresses my husband out. He is not quite as easy going as youre husband, and is much more the command man type that wants certain things done a certain way, but for everything else he really could care less, but I asume he wants me to do the rest in a specific way and get caught up in it. I want so much to be a good wife that I try too hard and make it worse.
    My husband who is not much for revealing feelings, let me know a while back that his biggest goal is to make me happy. That everything he does is for that reason, even when I might think its something for him. This really touched me and made me realize that the most important thing I can do to make him happy is to be hapoy, content, not complain etc. I think when I start trying too hard it makes me seem discontented with things just as they are. I definitly just need to relax and stop trying to do do do to make things”better”, and be thankful and happy with where things are.
    I think my biggest struggle is perfectionism. I want so much to be the perfect wife, that I kind of lose track of being the wkfe I am, if that mskes sense.
    I do this with God too. I heard a quote that brought tears to my eyes recently. “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less” so somple, but something I need a reminder of often.

    1. Sarah,

      I understand struggling with perfectionism. I have some posts about it because it has been a struggle for me, too!

      It is absolutely possible to focus so much on being a “perfect wife” that we miss the things that are most important in life and in our marriages. It is easy to make our definition of “perfection” into an idol or to make it more important than Christ or more important than our husbands and marriages. It is easy to make it more important than loving people.

      So sweet about what your husband shared. I think my husband would say the same thing.

      So excited about what God is teaching us all! πŸ™‚

      Much love to you!

  17. April,

    I enjoyed this thought-provoking post very much, and it brought back such powerful memories of life at home with my mother.

    Mom was a perfectionist, and insisted that everything she–and we–did be done absolutely right. However, after my dad left our family when I was ten, we lost the easy-going, charismatic parent I had loved so much, the parent that loved having friends over for a meal and making music together afterwards. People stopped dropping in and coming over for dinner on Sunday, and when I got a little older I began to understand why. My dad had known how to make people comfortable by simply enjoying them. Although he loved to cook a turkey and make a huge pan of dressing, he never let the physical details of a dinner distract him from paying attention to our guests themselves, and simply enjoying their company.

    My mother, however, would follow a strict regiment of what she considered necessary to have a “successful” meal. She began by taking everyone’s wrap and hanging in in the closet. If someone wanted to just put a coat or sweater on the back of their chair, she said no, that won’t feel good on your back, etc. Next, she inquired whether they were too cold or too hot, and assured them she could turn the thermostat up or down to make them comfortable. Next, she explained that she had laid food out a certain way on the kitchen counter (buffet style), and that the man and his wife should go first, and that the children should wait, and that the children should sit in the “hard” chairs and give the softer chairs to the adults because that was respecting their elders, etc. She would watch over the guests serving themselves to see if she had forgotten to lay anything out they might need, etc., and at the end of the meal she hovered to see that when they helped clean up that none of the flatware accidentally got scraped into the garbage with the trash. If they offered to help with dishes she insisted that they wash on the right drain board, rinse in the middle, and let dishes drain in the rack because it was more sanitary. She would run over and wipe up a bit of food immediately if anything fell to the floor, etc., and comment that anytime she fed such a large family it almost had to be run like the army, and then she would laugh nervously. People rarely returned.

    I know my mom meant well and truly did love people, but all this embarrassed me so much. She never understood how to ENJOY someone. For her, love meant doing something for them absolutely “right.” But it was, and is, more important to listen to people, interact with them in a relaxed way, and stop worrying about “doing” everything exactly right. In our house, this created an atmosphere of constant tension, and I think in a marriage in can do the same.

    Trying to maintain the right balance in my own life and home has been difficult because my mother is in me–but so is my father. I want so much to be a wonderful wife, hostess, etc., but must keep remembering that this means loving my husband and family FIRST by simply spending time with them and not “sweating the small stuff.” Thanks for a wonderful post, April, and for letting me share my story. Much love to you and my sisters here! Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth,

      Thank you so much for sharing!!! I think this is very powerful! Sometimes when we see perfectionism in someone else, it helps us to see that perfectionism is not really the best way to love others with God’s love. It makes the event or everything being “right” by our definition, more important than people. That is stressful for our families and those we love!

      I have seen women who are so intent on getting the meal together and then cleaning up afterward, that they don’t enjoy their family and guests and the rest of the people there feel more like an inconvenience than a blessing. I don’t want to go there anymore! I know that I could go there if I am not careful and not listening to God’s Spirit of love.

      I love how you shared about your dad and how he could get the meal ready but also enjoy people – and what fun to have music afterward together!

      We went to my twin sister’s house yesterday – my parents, my brother and his family, me and my family – and my sister and her husband did such an amazing job of getting the meal ready, but not making that the most important thing. They enjoyed all of us. Many of us helped with the cleaning up, too. But it was relaxed and we were able to talk and enjoy each other. I love that! I don’t want the details or having to have things be a certain way to come before loving people.

      I do know that this is an area where I have to be vigilant. I want to do better at making sure my husband and children (and others) know I love and enjoy them. Not in a perfectionistic way!!!! But in a relaxed, loving, Spirit-filled way. I’m so thankful God is so gracious in allowing us to learn more and more and in allowing us to grow together. πŸ™‚

      I think your story is going to be such a blessing to many other women. I know it is a blessing to me!

      Much love, my precious sister!!! πŸ™‚

  18. Excellent post again, April! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

    I think the hardest thing for me is giving up my independence and letting him do thing for me, even though I want and like to do things all by myself…almost all the time. I tell him I WILL ask for help when I need it…but he tells me I never ask (which isn’t true). I believe that I just don’t ask ENOUGH for him. That is probably the hardest thing for me.

    What irks me is when you feel like your having this “outer body experience” where you see yourself behaving in a specific manner, and then you’re like… UGH, I WANT TO STOP…I’m acting like a child…you’re making him upset. And then you don’t stop… and then you feel horrible. Ya know? It’s that pulling between selfishness and selfLESSness.


    Thanks for your encouragement and this blog!

  19. This article is totally me! I try so hard to anticipate his wants and needs, making things “perfect”, and doing it all so I don’t have to burden him,(he works ten to twelve hrs a day. Six sometimes ,seven days a week.) That I end up stressed and grumpy.

  20. Your husband sounds very much like my man-love. He concerns himself with his discipline in mind and behavior and treats me like a Queen. Unlike you, this easily lures me into being slothful. I do much better at managing the house with the help of who does call it blessing our homes.
    My journey is only beginning but I am so excited to gradually learn to be the wife who meets my husband’s desires.
    It is very easy to respect him tho, because of who he is, it is the natural response to him. For that I am thankful and blessed.

    1. Tena,

      I love the flylady! She is wonderful. πŸ™‚

      I”m excited about all that God is showing you and His plans for your life and your marriage. πŸ™‚

  21. I joined not even a month ago, but since I am disabled I have a lot of time to spend learning.

    I think I would have to say my husband won me back to faith without a word. His steadfast mind and actions reflecting Christ to me.
    Now I want to discuss things with him all the time but restrain myself.

    I showed him the “disrespectul list” and he said he got a visual of our neighbors. I knew of one time in the recent past that I disrespected him & apologized. I don’t think I am blameless but we did already have a foundation of mutual respect. He did not offer me any pointers from that list.

    Then I showed him the respectful list and he said I already did those things. I HAVE been working on areas that I know I may be weak in due to my past.

    I am celebrating the solid foundation!

    I told him how always in my past I felt so lonely in my parents must have thought it a phase, The husband/father of my children hated it, I was a religious fanatic and he wanted a party life.

    I reminded him that from the very beginning that we agreed there must be 3 in a marriage.

    We agreed upon watching an online sermon together each day..which leads to discussion. Sharing openly and learning more of each other and sometimes touching base on things we hadn’t talked out for a long while…all while snuggling on the couch.

    He did not care for John Piper at all.So I questioned his beliefs to try to find a denomination that fits him better.
    He preferred a Methodist pastor but I am asking him to bear with me for the manhood/womanhood series by Rev Piper anyway. I found the Methodist pastor for him as a trial run and he liked that Pastor. He did a great piece on modesty that we have been talking about, a compassionate perspective and I put that in the 30 day challenge.

    He says that perhaps much of the overdone beauty thing is likely a compensation for insecurity because we do not believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. A lot of food for thought there.

    These last 2 weeks have shown me that if we open the door, Christ is ready to come in and bless us wherever we are.

  22. Last evening, I was praising my husband. He told me to not put him on such a high pedestal as he would surely fall. I know I idealize him, I am an idealistic type of person. But do I make idols of him and of marriage?

    FWIW, we are talking a lot more, sharing and learning about each other. We started doing a daily devotional together.

    I was too ill to do much housework for an extended period of time and realized yesterday that this IS God’s assigned work to me. helps immeasurably.

    I have a chronic condition, so please pray for me that I can get the house pulled together as blessings for both of us.

    1. Tena,

      I know I am prone to make my husband and marriage into idols. I did that for many years, unknowingly. It is possible to respect our husbands too much. You may search my home page for:

      – idol
      – idols
      – idolatry

      for posts about this important issue!

      Praying for God’s wisdom and strength for you!!

  23. Recently, my husband told me that he thinks that I don’t enjoy being a mom. He said that I don’t seem happy with what I do. It kinda blew me out of the water because I love being a mom but I feel like I do everything and he doesn’t help around the house. The reason why I am saying this is because I like to stress out about everything and apparently that means that I don’t enjoy life. And it affects him. As a people pleaser, that makes me try harder. It frustrates me because I want to make him happy but then he doesn’t help out around the house or helps our taking care of our 21 month old. This even goes with cooking dinner. It seems like he has never been happy with anything that I cook. I try to include him when I put the menu together but then he says he don’t care. When I do try to come up with something I think he would like, he doesn’t seem happy with what I make. I then get frustrated and then he gets annoyed. So the point I am trying to make, is how do you respect someone that you really want to respect but he doesn’t help or give me any ideas even when I ask.

    1. aprogressor,

      If you are up for it, maybe we can hash through this a bit together? πŸ™‚ I would like to get a better understanding of what is going on. I have some ideas for you about your question at the end – but I think there may be some even more foundational things that would be super helpful to address first. How does that sound?

      Much love!

  24. This post has been very helpful to me! As I have recently started on this journey, I find it awkward as I am trying to “make up” for all of the years that I disrespected my husband. And as I think about so many things with my eyes now wide open, I see things in my husband that I want to compliment him for, or I find I need to apologize if I mess up. I’m sure it’s overwhelming for him to go from feeling like I didn’t care about his needs, to hearing apologies, compliments.. I just want him to know this is for real, yet I don’t want to embarrass him or make him uncomfortable either.

    my husband is a very simple guy and I don’t want to push him to feel uncomfortable and end up pushing him away. Things have been going beautifully and I don’t want to try too hard and turn it into me trying to control again by forcing him to deal with things on my terms and not his. This is such a delicate balance to find! I will have to keep praying for God to show me what the right balance is, that I can bless and show respect to my husband yet not overwhelm him and make him feel like I am just trying to manipulate him into what I want again!

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