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a pic I took of a "wedding cake topper at Wal-mart

A “Drill Sergeant” Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach

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A “Humorous Wedding Cake Topper” at Wal-Mart.

Definitely not the picture of godly femininity we are going for!

And not humorous at all, in my view.

Warning:

Please do not attempt any of the things I talk about on my blog without the Holy Spirit’s counsel. John 16:14: “and He will give you a Counselor to help you and be with you forever.”   The Holy Spirit has wisdom that is infinitely higher than any human wisdom for our marriages and every other aspect of life. Jesus alone is Real Love and Real Life, and the way He gives us that abundant spiritual life is through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts. God will give the Holy Spirit to you if you belong to Him and ask Him to fill you. (If you don’t have the power of God’s Spirit in your life, it could be that His Spirit is being quenched by sin or that you may need more time in God’s Word and prayer – or it could mean you do not yet belong to Christ.)

That is what we all need more than anything, to let the Holy Spirit lead us as to how we should proceed in our life and relationships. Be sensitive to His Word and His promptings. What God has to say is always infinitely more important than anything I or any other human might advise. I seek to point women to Christ and the Bible. But each of us desperately need much time in God’s Word and in fervent prayer daily – seeking God and His righteousness and His kingdom far above anything else. 

———

There is a book that has a free download “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. One of the statements in chapter 1 is very helpful, in my view:

“THE MORE PERSONAL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THE LESS A WOMAN OUGHT TO RELY ON DIRECTIVES TO GUIDE HIM.”

Sometimes the reason why our husbands seem to ignore us, shut down, or fight against us – may be as simple as they way we approach them – particularly our choice of words and our tone of voice. Of course, there can be a lot more going on than just this. Our motives, what we are asking for, the wounds our husbands have, our own scars, whether we are filled with God’s Spirit, where our husbands are spiritually, and a lot of other things contribute to communication issues, as well. But lets look at directives today.

A directive is a command:

  • Do this.
  • Go there.
  • Don’t do that.
  • You better …
  • Get in here!/ Come here!
  • Stop that.
  • You need to…
  • You should…
  • You shouldn’t…
  • You have to…
  • You must…
  • Give me that.

There is no relationship that is more personal than the marriage relationship. We may not even realize that we are using directives and commands in our communication with our husbands. I know I had never thought about that earlier in our marriage. Honestly, I don’t think many women or even older children would appreciate an authoritarian approach, either. I know I am glad that Greg doesn’t talk to me this way.

My giving someone directives is a great way to create resentment and bitterness in others.

There are times that directives are appropriate – if someone is about to walk into the street in front of traffic, I will want to scream, “STOP!!! Don’t walk into the street!” But most of the time, directives are unnecessarily forceful and they can be insulting. If I give a directive to someone, I am implying that I have the right to tell that person what to do (or to control him/her) rather than honoring that person’s God-given free will.

We can communicate effectively without ordering people around, thankfully!

A woman can communicate her desires, needs, and feelings with her husband by using respectful persuasive language, suggestions, or requests. It is important that if we use these approaches, we do them sincerely and honestly. I’m not saying to lie to your husband or manipulate him!

For those of you who tend to be overly quiet, “too respectful, “too submissive” or “passive” wives – the ideas below may give you some ideas about how to find the courage and the way to open up more and to begin to share more of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. You are a person, too. Your ideas, wants, perspective, wisdom, and concerns are important and it is your responsibility to share yourself with your husband, to be authentic and vulnerable. It is important to use your God-given influence in marriage for God’s glory.

We can respect our husbands for being men by approaching them in a way that honors their God-given masculinity and value as grown adults:

  • I would really appreciate it if you would please…
  • Would you be able to…?
  • I need to get X done by tomorrow. How do you think we could accomplish this goal?
  • What ideas do you have?
  • What are your concerns?
  • Here are some of my concerns…
  • What is important to you about this decision?
  • Some things that are really important to me are…
  • I was thinking about this project. I really want to do X with it.
  • Would you please…?
  • I’m not sure I completely understand. Would you please share more of your perspective with me?
  • I need X, please.
  • I’m having a problem with …
  • I could use some help with …
  • It would mean a lot to me if we could…
  • Would you consider…?
  • What if we…?
  • Here are a few of my ideas… what do you think?
  • Would you please take care of X for me? Thank you very much.
  • I really appreciate how you handled Y.
  • Thank you for taking care of that. You really did such a great job!
  • I knew I could count on you.
  • You’re my hero!!! Thank you!
  • I’d like to try…

Some things to avoid:

  • insulting him
  • criticizing his character
  • mothering him (treating him like he is an incompetent little boy)
  • degrading sarcasm
  • a hateful tone of voice
  • yelling
  • scolding
  • purposely trying to wound him
  • rolling your eyes to imply he is an idiot
  • acting superior to him, being condescending or patronizing
  • gossiping to him or about him

Some ways to bless him:

  • use a gentle approach
  • use a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression whenever appropriate
  • show appreciation for his gifts, talents, abilities, and work
  • be genuinely friendly
  • be generally receptive to considering his ideas and to find the good in his ideas
  • acknowledge, especially in your heart, that you are both equally precious before God, equally fearfully and wonderfully made, equally image bearers of God, and of equal worth and dignity
  • respect God, respect him, and respect yourself

This same approach is going to be a way that we can respectfully express our needs, desires, and thoughts with just about everyone in our lives. It is good for us to share our needs, desires, and ideas and we can share them in a way that honors our own femininity and that honors the personhood of those around us.

Something to prayerfully consider:

  • How might these same kinds of things apply in our relationship to God?
  • Is it appropriate for us to give God directives?

Respect is part of the love God commands all believers to show to all other people. It involves using good manners, being polite, having true humility, and seeking to show honor to other people:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a

SHARE:

What are some effective ways you have discovered of approaching your husband and sharing your needs, desires, and feelings respectfully without directives?

If you are a man, how do you believe men feel when their wives use directives to communicate with them? What approaches do you believe would be more effective?

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Signs Your Husband Feels Disrespected (and Unloved)

My Beliefs 

NOTE:

If your husband is particularly controlling or abusive in some way, please seek godly, one-on-one, experienced biblical counsel from a trusted pastor or Christian counselor. I am not able to write for wives facing severe issues here, and strongly encourage you to seek appropriate help for your situation. I don’t want anyone to be unsafe.

The Salvation Army may be a good resource if you are dealing with true abuse, active addictions, or severe situations.

Celebrate Recovery is a Christian program to help people find sobriety from drugs/alcohol/addictions.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

49 thoughts on “A “Drill Sergeant” Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach

  1. Its uncanny that you posted this today. As I laid in bed, I had a thought about how to relate to my husband. (Keep I mind that I am hurt and frustrated, so its not necessarily a “good” thought). But sometimes its like hes a wild animal. If I approach too fast, too loud, too aggressive, too this, too that- then he just runs away or snarls at me. If im gentle, then he may stay, he may respond, he may even let me get close. Its SOOOOOO frustrating. It doesn’t feel natural, and it can be so easy to just give up. I keep trying to convince myself not to give up, but its hard not to give in to the reasons to leave. At this point im gentle more than aggressive, but he doesnt give me the benedit of the doubt, he doesnt understand if ive been stressed, he just shuts down, and I feel like I have to start all over again. It is very discouraging. A lit of tears are shes. A lot of prayers are prayed. I really dont want to be tip-toeing around him the rest of my life.a

    1. MHMC,

      Hello, my friend! It’s great to hear from you! Your husband is still an unbeliever, right?

      Have you ever had dogs or cats as pets? If you have, I’m sure you know that the way you approach a dog is different from how you would approach a cat. Dogs have one nature. Cats have another. It’s not that one is better than the other, they are just different.

      We have an 11 month old cat at our house, and our 8 year old daughter wants to just run up to him quickly, pick him up, squeeze him really tightly, cuddle with him for a long time, and kiss him… She LOVES Silver. She wants to be affectionate with him. I totally get that. I love him, too. But cats want to cuddle when they want to cuddle. They don’t like it when people rush up to them and scoop them up. They prefer to be the one to approach the human for affection, many times. Silver tries to communicate to our daughter that he wants to be put down. Sometimes she does not respect what he is trying to communicate, then she ends up getting scratched. I can’t count how many thousands of times we have talked about how to pet a cat and how to approach a cat, but she wants to approach Silver her way without respecting his nature as a cat. Then she gets hurt. Then she thinks Silver “doesn’t love her.” Sigh.

      Men have a bit of a different nature than women. We are all humans, of course. But men and women are not exactly the same. Men have all of that testosterone and generally bigger muscles, but they also have a totally different way of looking at the world than we do as women. I tend to picture men being more like cats – or maybe tigers or lions. As Bob Grant said in one of his books (I am remembering from memory here), “A lion tamer knows not to pull a lion’s whiskers or yank its tail. The lions are trained but they are still lions. They still have a wild nature. The lion tamer treats them with respect.” He talked about that the way a wife approaches her husband would be similar. She would keep in mind that he is a man, and that he has a strong, powerful, masculine nature that she doesn’t want to try to disrespect or test. It’s not that you have to walk on eggshells, although it can sure feel like it at first. It’s that we have to have an understanding of masculinity vs. femininity – and then an understanding of your own individual personality and preferences vs. your husband’s individual personality and preferences. Yes, there are right ways to approach men and there are wrong ways. The same holds true for women, as well, of course. It may not feel natural to you to approach your husband the way he needs to be approached, but it is what he needs. It will feel more and more natural over time as you have practice and as the Holy Spirit continues to change your heart, mind, and soul to be more and more the woman God calls you to be.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my sweet sister? That is your power source.

      I do understand that this is frustrating and feels so foreign and awkward. It took me 2.5 YEARS into this journey before I began to feel like I had any clue what respect or biblical submission meant. And it took a long time after that for it to feel “natural” and “normal.” Thankfully, God is able to change us and empower us to do what He asks us to do. Then it is a win for us, for God, and for our husbands.

      Praying for you today!

      1. Its more than that. An example: yesterday, we went out to dinner in celebration of our 15th anniversary. He wasnt very enthusiastic, but ive gotten used to that. When we got to the restaurant, he parked the car, handed me the keys, then rushed out of the car and into the restaurant while im still getting myself out of the car. I got into the restaurant, and he was already being seated by the waiter. I felt invisible, and worthless. This is the norm. I say nothing, I smile, the conversations are all about him, and his achievements. I do NOT feel cherished or loved. We have not been together intimately in 11 months. No hugs or kisses. We are going to counseling, but he doea not follow through on the assignments. I feel I cant express my concerns or dislikes in our marriage or how he treats our children. Our best conversations are by text. We dont talk. But he is pleasant and polite when we text. I just feel so worthless. And so, I try to be as gentle and understanding as I can. But sometimes, you just walk away from a wild animal, and hope they change their mind and come back. I have backed off, given him plenty of space, and instead of getting closer, he gets more distant. So why do I still wait? Sometimes it would be so much easier to walk away. My love for him keeps me here, but do I stay when I may never be loved in return?

        1. MHMC,

          Goodness, that would be extremely frustrating, for him to just leave and go on ahead like that. And I hate that you are not feeling cherished or loved. 🙁 I’m so very sorry!

          I know you have shared a good bit in the past, and you have a pretty difficult situation. Can you please remind me if you are dealing with mental illness or addictions?

          What does your counselor suggest that you do?

          Does the counselor know about the lack of intimacy? And about your husband not doing his assignments?

          How is your walk with Christ going?

          What is God prompting you to do? Are you able to hear His Spirit’s voice?

          1. No addictions or mental illness that I know of. The counselor wants us to spend 3 hours a week of alone time together. 20 min a day of catching up, and do a devotional together a few times a week. He has not followed through on the 3 hrs a week- many times he just says he doeant “feel” like doing anything. He also says hes willing to do a devotional, but anytime I bring it up, he says, “not now”.

            The counselor explained to him last time that he needs to make obvious effort to show me love. She explained that no signs or gestures of love makes a woman feel unloved. He bought me flowers for our anniversary that next week, and let me hug him, but that is the most ive gotten out of him in months. He recently started backing me up with the kids, which I appreciate. And he actually admitted to thw counselor that he has made sxhool and work a priority over the marriage and the family. (That was a huge sign of progress for me). It is heartbreaking to go through this. Our daughter is failing school and the counselor warned that it is a sign that thia is affecting the kids. I agreed, but my husband didnt want to admit they were connected. He is showing small signs of seeing the consequences of his choices, but I know we have a long way to go. His pride is a huge barrier, and ive been carefully trying chip away at it. Sometimes, I chip too hard, and he runs. Small chips at a time and he bears with ut.

          2. MHMC,
            I’m sure that you know – only God can open your husband’s eyes to his sin. He may prompt you to speak things or do things at times that may help. But we can’t force conviction of sin in others. I’m sure the pain runs very deep for both of you and for your children.

            I’m glad that you are going to counseling.

            What does she suggest for you to do?

            How is your time with God going and your walk with Christ?

            Much love and a HUGE hug to you!

          3. The counselor has told us both to watch our attitudes around each other. She basically just told me that if I want to see progress im going to have to live in much grace, daily letting go of the hurts, and showing grace in my attitude and actions. I definitely cant do that in my own power.

            Im attending church every week, participating in small groups, and visiting with other women who have experienced the same hurts and neglect in thwir marriage but have learned to cope. One of these women has been married 25 years, another has been married 40 years. Both have been a huge encouragement to me.Im learning to get afaffection and encouragement from friends when I cant get it from him. Its not the same but at least it lessens the physicsl Pain of being untouched for so long.

          4. MHMC,

            That sounds like wise counsel she is giving to you. The book Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Kimmel may be very helpful.

            The things you are doing with other women sound very good. That is awesome!

            My greatest concern is how is your personal walk with Christ? Are you being filled with His Spirit? What are you learning? Are you drawing power from Him? What are you praying about? Are you growing?

          5. I am struggling to get close to God. Not because I dont want to, but that i am so emotionally and physically exhausted. I pray for myself and my husband to get closer to Christ. I pray that God would draw my husband close to Him, give home truth about our marriage, and help him see his sin. I pray the same for myself. Though my husband is open to going to church, I question whether or not he is “saved”. I keep my mouth shut, and dont push him and if he comes to church im happy- if not, I say nothing. I have the good grace filled marriage. I am currently reading adevotional called Come away my beloved, and also 15 minute devotions for couples. I do not devote myself to reading the Bible everyday, though I do want to and will read my Bible when im in bed alone. Im doing better emotionally then I was a year ago, and God is mostly using my job to teach me how to stop enabling, and let go of control when dealing with others. Im learning to stop doing the power struggles, and allow others to make their own choices, even when it causes them to fail. It has helped a lot with how I relate to both my husband and my kids. I just keep praying for strength, patience, and love. 1 cor 13 is hanging up in my room, and I remind myself everyday what love IS- and what it IS NOT. Thanks dor all your wisdom and sharing. It helps so much.

          6. MHMC,

            My beautiful, precious sister… I can definitely understand about the emotional and physical exhaustion. I have just finished 4 weeks of that myself. And there were many years of that in my past, and I am sure much to come in my future, too!

            But here is one thing I know – your ONLY power is Christ. Your only ability to do this is God’s Spirit. If you starve yourself spiritually – and you do not have a generous amount of time in God’s Word, seeking His face, allowing Him to restore your soul and give you His rest and to fill you with His power – you will crash and burn a lot. I would. I would right now today. I cannot possibly go a day without getting into God’s Word. The days that I skimp – and only spend 15-30 minutes – I am in big trouble. BIG trouble. I cannot afford to starve myself spiritually. I doubt you can afford that, either. This has to be your greatest priority in the world. It is ALL about your walk with Christ, my beautiful sister.

            I’m glad to hear that you are learning. I’m glad you are surrounding yourself with Scripture. But please – spend time before God seeking Him, devouring His Word, asking Him to change you and to help you deepen your faith and trust in Him. He is Real Love and Real Life. Without Him, you have nothing. If you are not abiding in Him, you are a branch that is falling off of the tree, not firmly connected to the trunk, and not receiving all of the nourishment, power, and Life you need.

            How I pray that you will do whatever it takes to put God first and to carve out sacred time with Him.

  2. I found that when I try t explain my thoughts or feelings, I use a very humble approach and use my own mistakes and how I overcame them to set my example. I never try to use his mistakes because then it looks like I am criticizing or telling him how he should feel, react, handle things or do. Then I let him have time to mull things over. He will take what he needs from my explanation, but it also helps to let him know how I feel on stuff. It has helped to de-escilate exposed nerves or touchy subjects.

  3. Hello April
    I am struggling with something that is weighing very heavy on my heart, and I really don’t know what to do.. My parents are really good parents. They love me and my siblings more than anything! They also love each other and have been married 22 years. I have never had to feel as a child that my parents were going to split up, it was never a fear of mine and never will be thank God! But the closer I come to God and the more I put these practices in my own marriage and watch it prosper the more it is so hard for me to even be around them!!

    I can’t believe I grew up with it my whole life and now really see where my aggressive behavior was coming from earlier in my marriage. My mother is VERY demanding, and even tho she would never think so bc she loves my father, she is VERY disrespectful! She is demeaning and treats my dad like a child. Always needs her way. And my father allows this. I would say he’s more passive but sometimes will snap, then she acts like why are you so mean to me? Then they are over it and hugging the next minute and then right back at the screaming, it’s not like screaming fighting it’s like “where are you???!! Hurry up!!! Why did you go that way why are you doing this??? Shut up, why did you wear that??” On and on.

    I am no where close to where I want to be with God and will be working out my salvation until the last day of my life! But I feel I truly seek the Lord. I was blessed to marry a man who seeks Him to the fullest as well and we are in God’s Word all the time. Praying together, speaking about Jesus and his grace a day long, letting Him lead our lives, striving to be better for him and grow close to him and we mess up daily!!! But we repent to the Lord and only he brings us back together, softening our hearts, without Jesus in my marriage, it would be completely broken, but bc of His love, me and my husband have learned to love each other and he has radically transformed us.

    I don’t see this in my parents lives and while I always thought I grew up in a Christian home, I see I really didn’t. We all disrespected each other by talking down to one another being so selfish and yelling all the time, oh but we went to church. We fought there and we fought home but at least we sat in church.. 😑 I have moved to another state with my husband… And don’t see them as often but when I come visit it is like a war zone most of the time and drives me crazy!!

    It’s hard for me to be the spiritual example I need to be bc it drives me nuts and half the time I’m coming in between my parents or my sister who still lives with them to calm someone down. Sometimes when I try to have talks about Jesus and what he did for us, I get a sense of they really don’t get it… I am judging here of course but something my dad said recently has really really bothered me… We were talking about how you don’t have to stand up in school anymore to do the pledge and he said… Well I can see not pushing religion on people.. Not pushing Jesus on people but giving them the freedom of religion but you have an allegiance to this country!! You better stand up and pledge to your country!!

    He is very political and they love to talk and debate political things and will get so passionate but then will not be like that about God?!? My dad can recite any verse in the bible. I mean that. Back and forth, in his sleep. He was made to read it over and over when he was a child. But he doesn’t put anything he knows into practice.. My parents still don’t understand why ” bad things happen to good people” and I’ve tried to explain to them Gods sovereignty and his ways are higher and begged them to ask God for wisdom and understanding but they just don’t have it.

    Sometimes I feel made fun of a little for my faith around here.. I feel like they are just waiting for the next godly thing to come out of my mouth and the only thing they like to hear are worldly things… But then they will listen to a great message at church and say that was so great! But then go right back to living the way they do. Bound and in chains and I know satan has them fooled but they won’t listen to me. They don’t think there is a spiritual world out there, well they say they believe it but then when I talk about how to battle it they look at me like that’s not real.. They are so jaded from this world I feel like. . I have tried to talk to them here and here but never like sat them down and said I am worried about them, I believe they are saved but will never find rest in Jesus this side of earth bc of the way they live, themselves first, not willing to sacrifice anything for him.. I am worried they will really find me judgmental and be offended if I say all this to them but I’m kinda wondering if I should.. I’m trying to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit but sometimes I think I should approach them and “help teach” them and sometimes I feel like well I’ve tried that a few times they don’t listen I just need to continue in prayer for them!!

    It pains me they don’t see Jesus the way I do and will even poke fun at me and my husband at times like oh is that Christian like you guys??? You are so godly aren’t you??.. My husband’s parents love the lord with all their heart! And I would rather be around them.. But my parents will get jealous if I don’t spend as much time with them..
    Idk I would just love to hear your opinion on what to do, and what to say to loved ones who just don’t get it..

    .
    I have also referred my mom to your blog but she hasn’t read it or maybe has and hasn’t taken it into consideration… I just know when I read it for the first time I cried for hours about the disrespectful wife i had been and repented to God and wanted to change immediately..:( I don’t know how she couldn’t, and sometimes I think if my mom just became this godly wife, my dad would change! But then I think if my dad would just become to spiritual leader he needs to be my mom would change! But in reality their worldly ways are weighing them both down and bringing each other down…

    Sorry for the long comment!
    Thanks for listening April. And thank you for this post, it has blessed me

    1. Learning Wife,

      It can be really painful to realize that what you thought was a godly example from your parents wasn’t as godly as you once believed. I can definitely feel the pain in your words. Your pain for your parents and for the destruction you see in their marriage, and your pain from learning that example and absorbing it and having to unlearn it. I can feel your pain as you want to share such good news, freedom, joy, peace, and spiritual life with your parents, but they just can’t see yet.

      Before I comment, I would be interested to know – what does your husband say about this situation?

      I am praying for you today, my precious sister! And for your parents!

      1. Well I try not to talk to him too much about it.. He has gotten into conversations with my parents and I know he sees it too.. He will mention little things to me like your parents don’t understand this or that… And I will politely agree but then say something good about them that he will then agree with.. And we won’t go any further. I have not gone to him about what I’ve been seeing lately and how I feel because I don’t want him to not want to be around them.. :/ but I know he sees it too.. He just doesn’t say much about it bc he doesn’t want to upset me I’m sure bc he knows it hurts me

    2. My parents fought all the time when I was growing up and treated each other terribly. They love Jesus and went to church every Sunday but I never saw them read their Bible. Your mom was never taught how to be a godly woman just like I wasn’t until I read Debil Pearl’s book. After I read it, I began sharing with my mom what I was learning and living it out in front of her. There is NOTHING like the power of a transformed life to convict and change others! This may be all you can do but it is powerful. My suggestion would be to love them to Jesus and His ways. Overcome evil with good and pray daily for them. We can’t change anyone but we know Who can!

  4. This is so true our approach matters greatly.

    My husband is constantly reminding the chldren and me at times that its often not what we say but how we say it. My Husband is a “command man” and used to be a bit harsh when i was controlling and disrespectful. i smiled when i read your examples because i struggle with saying “you need to…” to my husband alot and he will usually respond by raising his eyebrows and jokingly saying ” I need to?” it took me a long time to learn how to approach my husband without him becoming angry or feeling as though i wanted to control or change him. It also took the power of the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and give me a heart that desired my husbands good above my own.

    God, through the Aposle Paul, exhorts us to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This was what changed my marriage. When i laid down my desire to have my husband act a certain way and began to seek how i could love him and encourage him and meet his needs. This was and – at times still is- a struggle for me. But when i approach my husband like a drill sergeant its mostly because i want something really bad that im not getting and im not living out Philippians 2:3-4 which i believe describes the mind of Christ that we are to let be in us.”3 In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others( your husband) more than yourselves. 4 Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others( your husband) too.

    A lot of times we feel justified in the way we speak to our husbands thinking thoughts like. .. “he needs to do this” “God wants him to change in this area and its my job to let him know, if i dont he will think this behavior is o.k.” “Why do i always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.” These thoughts do not come from Christ, He doesnt think like that.

    He wants to use our bodies to love our husbands with His love, and if that is our goal to love our husbands, our approach will glorify God. I remember one time God helped me to approach my husband in a femine way that he still mentions at times. I spent many years trying to be my husband’s Holy Spirit, I would see things that “I” felt needed to be changed or did not meet “my” standard of what a godly man is and tell him what he needed to do. I thought I was practicing galations 6:1 which says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

    My problem was that I skipped over the gently and humbly part and you know what – I fell into sin big time and usually we ended up in a huge argument. I would walk away thinking, “See, he just can’t take correction”. The truth was my approach was not godly – it was self rightoues and I had deceived myself, just like the next verses say (Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.) I was fooling myself.

    So after God revealed this to me, I begged him to help me – and He did. The time I mentioned earlier where God helped me we were laying in bed and I looked over at him and asked ” Baby, may I have your permission to speak into your life?” He grabbed my hands and literaly almost cried. He responded, “Of course, Baby, the way you just asked me – I am open to hear whatever you have to say.” He said He felt respected. Then I proceeded to tell Him what I felt the Lord had showed me and he recieved it. I knew this was God and I went to sleep with a joyful praise to Him in my heart.

    If we ask god for wisdom on how to approach our Husbands He will give it to us. We just must be open and humble to obey God when He speaks and be led by His Spirit. From my experience, Gods ways work – and usually (not all the time) if you go to approach your hubby and it ends up in an argument, you are trying to get a result using the means of the flesh instead of the Spirit.

    I think a good and very godly and femine example to study is Esther when she came before the King. She didnt demand that he not kill her people, she sought the Lord and approached her husband in a way that allowed God to move on Hs heart. She didnt have to rely on her flesh using manipulative tactics, she trusted God. And when she approached the King it was with honor and respect. She said “If it pleases the king….” And He responded by offering her half the Kingdom. This is God’s way a wife is to be gentle and meek this is precious in the sight of God. It doesnt mean that you are a doormat, it means you are wise and if we feel that our husband doesnt deserve to be talked to this way, than it is our heart that need changing.

    Sorry this is so long it’s just that as I began typing I felt God reminding me and convicting me and I really needed to get it out.

    1. Jessica,

      Wow.

      Please don’t apologize! I would love to use this for a post, if you might allow me the honor. I need some wives’ examples who have “command men” type husbands. I don’t have that background, and I think your example is definitely one God would love to use here. Of course, the approach God gave you to use with your husband – sounds to me like one that would be a blessing to any man.

      THANK YOU so much for sharing! This is beautiful and powerful!

  5. Awesome post,
    I’m a nurse and I supervise CNAs. I use many directives because they don’t respond well to me asking them To do something. I’m working on a better approach this post helps.

    1. Shy,
      As a supervisor, you are in a position of being able to give directives if necessary. But there may be less forceful ways that might be effective and that might increase camaraderie, as well. I’m glad this post may be a blessing.

    2. Of course you can use this April it is my constant prayer that God would use all things in my life even my mistakes for His glory

  6. I have just been asking for God’s direction on this. I can’t seem to find an approach that expresses what I need to say and doesn’t produce defensiveness. After praying, I feel I’ve reached a place of new understanding. In my unique situation, I’m going to try to do two things to improve our communication:
    1- Speak right from my own perspective, like a child does. Even a child speaking to a respected adult will say, “I don’t like that” or “No, I don’t want to”, or “I need (this or that)”. Just simple, just me. He may still get defensive, but those words stand on their own.
    2- I’m going to start taking his requests of me seriously. Really think about what he has asked for me to do or change. I’m either going to put a plan in place to make it happen, or let him know why what he has asked can’t be done. Ex: I cannot get the kids to ALWAYS pick up perfectly. They’re still learning. I can only keep teaching them and working on it.
    So in other words, I will use pure, unassuming language and practice the Golden Rule. 🙂

    1. H31,
      I really like your plan! I think that when you really try to honor his requests of you – that will speak VOLUMES to him about your respect for him. I would expect that to greatly impact him and to help soften his heart toward you. But no matter what he does – I know it will honor Christ, and that is AWESOME!

      Praying for wisdom for you and for God to draw your husband to Himself. Praying for God to continue to regenerate you to be more and more like Christ, my precious sister!

  7. I’m enjoying reading your blog; thank you for your ministry! My husband and I have years of negative, backwards communication. I dictate and nag and I shut him down a lot. I have realized it and I am praying and I want to try to change but I keep falling in to old Habits. He tends to want me to tell him what to do , etc… Just old
    Habits.again – what we’re used to. It’s hard to even talk to him about changing our communication and relationship on purpose. Any other good reading you can suggest? I believe I need to show consistent change in myself to convince him I want things to be different. It’s like way hard though 🙂 any prayers or advice are greatly appreciated!

    1. Heather,

      You know what? The awesome thing is, you don’t have to talk to him about changing your communication. Just change what God wants you to change, and God can work in your husband’s heart. I promise! Are both of you believers in Christ?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What was his parents’ relationship like?
      What was your parents’ marriage like?

      How long have you been married?

      I have TONS and TONS of posts that address this. Some topics you can search for on my home page:

      – idol
      – idolatry
      – control
      – passive
      – lead
      – leader
      – husband emotions
      – interview
      – when I shut up, my husband heard God
      – fear
      – bitterness
      – security
      – godly femininity

      I think this might get you started. Much love to you!

      1. Thanks so much for your reply. I’ve been adding your blog to my Bible study time along with Nancy DeMoss “Biblical Portrait of Womanhood’… and I’ll search on these key words you’ve suggested to look back through your archives. We are both believers – which is awesome and amazing because I was not walking with the Lord when we started dating so God knew just the right person for me even when I wasn’t seeking Him wholly in every way. Both of our parents sets are ‘normal’. Stayed married, Have ups and downs, but both of us came from families where the women ran the family pretty much… We’ve been together 14 years (wow) and married 8. I work full time outside the home. Its not possible that I give up my job (health insurance and retirement plan) so sometimes I feel a lot of bitterness about having to be out there fighting the corporate world and then come home and be gentle and feminine – and a lot of times that transition just doesn’t really happen so easily… We have two boys ages 4 and 2 and I want them to see God’s love demonstrated in our home. i want them to see a healthy happy relationship demonstrated in our home so they’ll know what that looks like when they’re looking for their wives some day and of course, I just want to enjoy a healthy and balanced relationship with my hubby! Thanks again!

  8. I really can rely to this post but this my husband- who is BTW a command man- who is always telling me and ordering me to do this or that. Sometimes I got frustrated and tell him I’m not a child but it is not always easy to not react or react kindly.

  9. MHMC..I saw your comment… I hope you read my comment!!
    Very good biblical advice, April!!
    I would like to add a request for you to share with your readers. I believe it is a beautiful compliment to your blog! It is a book called Love and Respect. Perhaps you have heard of it. I highly recommend you and your husband read it if you haven’t . It saved our marriage! It us sooo helpful to be able to go back and reread and have as a resource for husband AND wife!! 🙂 the point is husbands need respect and when they get it thy love their wives and when they don’t they withdraw or get angry; on the flip side wives need love and when it’s lacking, they go after their husbands and demand it/ disrespect them–what a crazy cycle! One spouse needs to start loving/ respecting and it motivates the other to love/respect! What an energizing cycle!! This book is especially helpful in helping husbands understand why some wives get aggressive or disrespectful ., and what they are craving ….some are just so love starved, it triggers disrespect. In our marriage we didn’t have so much ‘respect’ issues (my husbands opinion!!) so much as we had ‘show love’ issues , and this book is very insightful! It was sent by God!!!

  10. Very biblical advice, April!
    I definitely recommend the book Love and Respect for your readers! It gives beautiful insight as to what both a husband and a wife need in a marriage! God sent! Saved thousands of marriages!

    1. Husbands absolutely NEED reapect–god made them that way, but sometimes us wove don’t really know what we NEED(love) or rather how I communicate it! I most definitely believe husband need to be informed just as much as wives need I be informed on how the other sex is wired ! It saves lots of unnecessary hurting !
      This book Love and Respect is bible based and works for EVERY marriage- guaranteed bc it’s based on the Bible!!
      If you haven’t read it, PLEASE do!! It’s approx $12 on Amazon, super cheap marriage investment!!

  11. I’m confused as to who you are speaking to when you say to beg God for the Holy Spirit. Are you saying that to believers or unbelievers? Because a believer already has the Holy Spirit and if anyone doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, then he doesn’t belong to God. Romans 8:9b says, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Also, you referred to Luke 11:5-13. Jesus is speaking to his disciples before Pentecost. Believers today are not to pray for the Holy Spirit because this prayer of the disciples (for the Holy Spirit) was answered on the day of Pentecost when He sent His Spirit to indwell believers. The Holy Spirit is given to a person at the moment of salvation when they repent and turn to God by believing on Christ alone for salvation. Ephesians 1:13 says, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” So, an unbeliever needs to receive Jesus Christ as Savior in order to be sealed with the Holy Spirit, and a believer already has the Holy Spirit. Can you please explain what you mean by instructing your readers to “beg for the Holy Spirit?”

    1. Eliza,

      Great comment!

      A wife on my prayer team shared that paragraph with me about begging for the Holy Spirit. I understand it to mean, begging, or asking God, to fill us with His Spirit, we do have His Spirit if we are believers. Yes. If we don’t have His Spirit, we have either quenched His Spirit, grieved His Spirit, or we are not His. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, and we can ask God to fill us or to show us anything in our lives that may be suppressing His Spirit. I will change the wording to more accurately reflect Scripture.

      Thank you! I hope that I have worded things more clearly now.

      1. I do not believe I know of any Scripture that instructs a believer to ask/beg God for His Spirit or even to be filled with His Spirit. We can certainly suppress/grieve His Spirit within us, but a believer is not instructed to ask/beg for His Spirit. To be filled, we need to yield and be in fellowship with Him. I do not believe it is Scripturally accurate to say that if we quench or grieve the Spirit we do not have the Spirit so we have to ask/beg for the Spirit again. If we are not filled with His Spirit, that means we are not controlled by Him, but we definitely do still have the Spirit. Possessing the Spirit of God indicates salvation, not fellowship – so this really is a serious doctrinal issue. If you know of any Scriptural instruction to support this, please share it!

        1. Eliza,

          I believe that the wife who shared was thinking of the passage about asking, seeking, and knocking – as well as just having a spirit of total desperation and hunger of God above all things. But – I have changed the paragraph at the beginning. I appreciate your correction. Thank you so much!

          There is a command in Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit. And God does talk multiple times in the Bible about seeking Him with all our hearts and we will be found by Him.

          But I agree -if we are believers and we have quenched the Spirit, we must repent of our sin so that we can have fellowship with the Spirit again. If we are believers, we do have the Spirit – even if we quench or suppress Him. If we are not believers, we cannot have the Spirit.

          Thank you so much for catching this important issue!

          Mcuh love!!

  12. There are huge doctrinal issues when it comes to the Holy Spirit. We have God’s assurance that we have the Holy Spirit forever. It is very important, therefore, to not suggest that a believer ever has to ask or beg for the Holy Spirit. We simply yield and walk in obedience in order to be filled (as Ephesians instructs). So, I thank you for making these changes because I believe it is everyone’s desire to uphold Biblical Truth!

  13. I have recently found your blog and just want to say thank you for posting this!

    I am a new bride (been married less than a year), and when we were preparing for our wedding I saw some of these cake toppers in the stores. I was shocked! I remember thinking that I would be horrified to send this message at our wedding or to even joke/suggest to my husband and our families that this is what our marriage would be like!

    I hope I can speak gently and respectfully to my husband throughout our marriage, but it is difficult for me, especially when I am tired/stressed/busy etc. Your blog has been a great encouragement!

    1. Jaclyn,

      I am with you on those cake toppers – they make me cringe every time I see them!

      We all battle our flesh and the world’s messages as we seek to honor and respect our husbands. I’m thankful that God has used the blog to encourage and bless you. Praying for God’s greatest glory in your life and in your marriage! 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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