Skip to main content
IMG_1044

The Tone of Voice Challenge – 5 minute VIDEO

 

IMG_1044

I’d like to encourage you to continue smiling at your husband and children – and now also to begin to focus on having a friendly, pleasant tone of voice whenever possible and whenever appropriate.

  • Just to bless your family.
  • Just to honor God.
  • Just to display the gentleness and love of God through you.
  • Just to share your joy and gratitude in Christ.

We have an incredible amount of power to communicate respect and love or disrespect and contempt through our tone of voice!

Sin that we are blind to is often glaringly obvious to others in our facial expressions, our eyes, our body language, and our tone of voice. I want everything about us to proclaim that God’s Spirit is in charge in our lives, not our sinful flesh.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-25

SHARE:

I’d love to hear your stories on The Smiling Challenge and The Tone of Voice Challenge!

 

 

RELATED:

Bible verses about our speech

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

Does Being a Godly Wife Mean I Can’t Say What I Need and How I Feel?

The Smiling Challenge

The No Arguing or Complaining Challenge

Godly Femininity

44 thoughts on “The Tone of Voice Challenge – 5 minute VIDEO

  1. Thanks for this, April! I really like these challenges!!

    However, I can be forgetful too. Like with the smile challenge, I rarely remember to keep that on the forefront of my mind. So I bought a smiley face ring and a smiley face silicone bracelet. I am hoping these help.

    I also bought two other silicone bracelets to go along with this, and to help me to remember to walk in love. One says Love. The other says Live Love Laugh.

    Lately I also have been putting a rubber band on my wrist. When I am feeling impatient, anxious, or whatever – I play with the rubber band. Sounds weird probably, but it has been helping me, I think. Although, I play with them so much, one rubber band usually breaks after only one day. 🙂

    1. blesseddaughterofaking,

      I’m so glad this is a blessing. 🙂 Sometimes we need reminders about the really simple, basic things. It is often these little things that are the most powerful and can be the most healing in our marriages.

      I did something similar with a rubber band on my wrist, too. So we can both be weird together! 🙂 Ha!

  2. I snapped at my son last week and he got so upset. I was right but I was also stressed out due to husbands long work week which caused me to overreact.. I did apologize later but I cant help but think how I made a stressful moment even worse by venting my own stress. I think this hindsight will help me with future situations. BTW…my marriage has improved 110% April. Divorce is no longer discussed. Now we tell eachother we couldnt live without eachother. Its so sweet.

    1. Marie,

      I am THRILLED and so thankful to God to hear about the healing in your marriage! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing! What a blessing. 🙂

      I also appreciate you talking about the situation with your son. Our reactions as moms have so much power in our children’s lives. How I pray God might empower us with His self-control, gentleness, and grace to be the women, wives, and moms He desires us to be even in the difficult situations.

      Much love to you!

  3. Thanks again April for all your Biblical reminders & teachings. : )
    We are so in need of it in our present culture
    I am so in need of it!.

    God our Fathers blessings & grace in much abundance to you & your family!!!
    – Your fellow sister in Christ our Lord : )

    1. In Christ Alone,

      You are most welcome! We ALL need these kinds of reminders. It’s easy to slip in our self awareness and not realize what we are projecting to our husbands and children.

      Much love!

  4. I’m trying another little sort of challenge…. called the “Don’t say every thought in your head” challenge. And it is challenging!! More so with my children than my husband. I try to ask myself- is this kind to say? Helpful? Uplifting? Needful? before I speak…. of course not all the time- that wouldn’t work very well in quick, casual conversations but I’m working on that as much as possible.

    1. A Fellow Wife,

      Ha! That is a good challenge, too! 🙂 I definitely went through a time of having to be really quiet rather than say everything that popped into my mind like I used to. I like the questions you are asking yourself. That is beautiful! And it is honoring to Christ. 🙂

  5. I’m on board! My son said just the other day that I always sound like I’m mad. I like to think of myself as animated and passionate….but I guess that comes across as anger sometimes!

  6. Hmmm. I don’t remember reading that wives are to ‘smile’ at their husbands. I have read, however, that women are to marry, have children, and “rule the household” (I Timothy 5:14). And that “the woman ought to have authority OVER her head” (I Corinthians 11:10; CLNT) — her head being her husband (verse 3).

    1. Dear brixken7,

      The verse you quote from Cor. 11 is taken out of context. The preceding verses talk about why men are not required to cover their heads when they worship and women are:

      7 A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels. 11

      Cor. 11:10 does not say that women are supposed to have authority over their husbands; it says that they are supposed to cover their heads (“ought to have authority over her head” is a poetic way of saying she ought to cover it).

      With kindness and respect,
      Maine

      1. Is anyone familiar with Dr. John Gottman? Back in 02-21-1998 there was an article about him from the Los Angeles Times entitled, “Study’s Advice to Husbands: Accept Wife’s Influence.” Perhaps the article could have been condensed to one sentence, which read as follows:

        “The marriages that did work well all had one thing in common — the husband was willing to give in to the wife.”

        This parallels what we read in the better translations of I Timothy 5:14, which states that wives are to “rule the household” (Revised Standard Version). The original Greek is “oikodespoteo,” meaning just that — as many references will attest to. The Weymouth version of this same verse paraphrases it to read that wives are to “rule in domestic matters.” Husbands, on the other hand, are never commanded to “rule,” but to lead by their example (I Timothy 3:4-12). They are to be the spiritual leader in the home.

        Thus husbands and wives are to “submit to one another” (Ephesians 5:21; New Living Translation).

        “Yield to obey each other as you would to Christ” (same verse; New Century version).

        “Place yourself under each others authority out of respect for Christ” (same verse; Names of God Bible and the God’s Word Translation).

        Do wives have authority over their husbands? Of course they do, for the most accurate translation of I Corinthians 11:10 reads: “Therefore the woman ought to have authority OVER her head” (meaning over her spiritual head, her husband of verse 3) “because of the messengers” (Concordant Literal New Testament). This is not “poetry”.

        In addition to that, Paul writes that a wife has “authority” over her husband’s body in sexual matters (I Corinthians 7:4). “The husband is not in charge of his own body, but his wife is.” (same verse, Complete Jewish Bible).
        ………….

        1. brixken7,

          It’s wonderful to meet you!

          Thank you for sharing your views on these important topics. 🙂

          Perhaps you might be willing to share a bit more about your faith background and your relationship with Christ so I can have a better feel for where you are coming from? And, please, if you might also share a bit about your understanding of the authority of the Bible, that would be great. 🙂

          John Gottman does have some interesting research. I don’t put his research on par with Scripture. But it is interesting. It seems obvious to me – based on common sense, and Scripture – that any marriage will be healthier when both spouses are willing to bend and yield and be selfless.

          Ephesians 5:21 does say, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It is part of the chapter about how people are to relate in the church. Husbands and wives are actually not mentioned specifically until the next verse. However, there is a sense in which husbands submit to their wives – in that, they will be selfless, and seek to do what is best for their wives, and will care about their wives’ concerns, needs, ideas, and feelings. But the way that a wife submits to her husband is different. A wife will also seek to be selfless and do what is best for her husband and care about his needs, feelings, concerns, and ideas, too. But – husbands are to be the primary spiritual authority in the marriage in a way that wives are not called to be the primary spiritual authority.

          You and I may not agree on this issue – and you are certainly welcome to have your opinion. We will both answer to Christ ultimately – not to each other.

          I have a number of posts about what the spiritual authority of a husband looks like vs. the spiritual authority of a wife that I invite you to read:

          Spiritual Authority
          A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage
          Biblical Submission

          I know that the popular evangelical feminist view today is that husbands and wives are to have “mutual submission” and that “they are both equally in charge” and “they have the exact same reversible roles.”

          It’s extremely popular – but that view does not square with Scripture or even with church history. Nowhere in the 1900 years before feminism entered the picture did believers think that Ephesians 5:22-33 was about both husband and wife having the same, interchangeable roles. And nowhere in Scripture does God define marriage as having man and woman both having the exact same roles or authority – other than in their sex life.

          We have equal value before God in Christ (Gal. 3:28). We were both created in the image of God (Gen 2). But God gives us different roles.

          Here is a fantastic summary of what I believe is the most biblically accurate description of biblical marriage roles, masculinity, and femininity.

          I Timothy 5:14 does encourage wives to manage their homes. That does not mean that they are not under the authority of their husbands. They are their husbands’ helpmeets, taking care of the home while he works. But this passage does not negate:

          – I Corinthians 11:3
          – Ephesians 5:22-33
          – Titus 2:5
          – 1 Peter 3:1-6

          The Proverbs 31 wife was able to manage her home well as she honored the headship of her husband. There is no mention of him asking her to do something and her refusing to do it, insisting that she was in charge and he had no say, for example. And Proverbs speaks poorly of the contentious wife. That would be a wife who argues with her husband’s leadership.

          Authority in God’s economy is very different from worldly authority. And Jesus does say that those who want to lead in His church are not to lord authority over those in their care the way that the Gentiles do. They are to be servants. Like Jesus was a Servant of God and a Servant to help us.

          Jesus, though a Servant, did issue instructions – even commands – because He was also God. Jesus’ apostles gave instructions and even commands through the power of God’s Spirit. I believe that husbands would have the ability to lead their families with instructions, as well. They are not God. But God has given them a position of spiritual authority – just like He gives to the government, managers, supervisors, parents of young children, military leaders, and church leaders. People in these kinds of positions of authority do give instructions and sometimes commands to those in their care and supervision. I don’t believe it is biblical to say that husbands are not to lead in these ways.

          Husbands are to be gentle, yes! (I Peter 3:7) They are to love their wives as their own bodies, yes! (Eph. 5:22-33) They are to serve humbly and selflessly. Absolutely. They are not ever to be cruel dictators or selfish tyrants. That is not the biblical model at all.

          But 1 Corinthians 11 is about a husband being ultimately accountable to God as the leader of the family. That is what the other passages I mentioned are about, as well. God held Adam accountable as the leader in his marriage even though Eve sinned first. He called for Adam. He looked for Adam. He addressed him first. Adam had been given the Word of God to share with his wife. Adam didn’t stop Eve from sinning in her deception. God held him responsible as head.

          Wives and husbands equally have authority over one another’s bodies in I Corinthians 7:1-5. Yes. I agree that is biblical.

          1 Corinthians 11 is a difficult passage for even biblical scholars – but it is my understanding that it is clear that the veil women were to wear signified that they were living in submission to their husbands’ authority – and that this is the only practice of the church. It is not a cultural thing.

          I have a post about that issue here.

          1. “Perhaps you might be willing to share a bit more about your faith background and your relationship with Christ so I can have a better feel for where you are coming from? And, please, if you might also share a bit about your understanding of the authority of the Bible, that would be great. :)”

            By the grace of God I was converted shortly after my father died in 1956. Indeed, God is a Father to the fatherless. As for “authority” in the home, yes, husbands are to be the spiritual authority (Ephesians 5:23) — even as He clearly intended Adam to be Eve’s spiritual authority from the very beginning. But a husband’s authority is limited to SPIRITUAL MATTERS (verse 24). Christ doesn’t, for example, tell us what brand of bananas to buy or what color to paint our house. These domestic issues are in the wife’s realm of authority.

            “John Gottman does have some interesting research. I don’t put his research on par with Scripture. But it is interesting. It seems obvious to me – based on common sense, and Scripture – that any marriage will be healthier when both spouses are willing to bend and yield and be selfless.”

            The biblical emphasis is entirely upon the husband — not the wife — being submissive IN DOMESTIC MATTERS. This is in complete agreement with Gottman’s findings. It makes marriages work. You should want that.

            “Ephesians 5:21 does say, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It is part of the chapter about how people are to relate in the church. Husbands and wives are actually not mentioned specifically until the next verse.”

            Some translators of the bible DO recognize that verse 21 is talking about marriage.

            “However, there is a sense in which husbands submit to their wives – in that, they will be selfless, and seek to do what is best for their wives, and will care about their wives’ concerns, needs, ideas, and feelings. But the way that a wife submits to her husband is different. A wife will also seek to be selfless and do what is best for her husband and care about his needs, feelings, concerns, and ideas, too. But – husbands are to be the primary spiritual authority in the marriage in a way that wives are not called to be the primary spiritual authority.”

            True, we are agreed on that.

            “I know that the popular evangelical feminist view today is that husbands and wives are to have “mutual submission” and that “they are both equally in charge” and “they have the exact same reversible roles.”

            Their God-given roles ARE different.

            “I Timothy 5:14 does encourage wives to manage their homes.”

            No, you’re trying to modify God’s command to wives.
            His command in I Timothy 5:14 is for wives to RULE (oikodespoteo) and I know of at least 15 reference works that define this Greek word as “rule” — not “manage”.
            (Note the word “despot” in this Greek word.)

            “That does not mean that they are not under the authority of their husbands. They are their husbands’ helpmeets…”

            The Hebrew word translated “help” or “helper” in Genesis 2:18 and 20 is “ezer” and is the very same word that God uses to describe Himself in Psalm 33:20 and elsewhere. It signifies strength and authority — not weakness. Indeed, as one prominent woman wrote, “A woman can have power over her husband that he can never have over her.” We see that in the example of Eve, Delilah, and Bathsheba.

            “Jesus, though a Servant, did issue instructions – even commands – because He was also God. Jesus’ apostles gave instructions and even commands through the power of God’s Spirit. I believe that husbands would have the ability to lead their families with instructions, as well. They are not God. But God has given them a position of spiritual authority – just like He gives to the government, managers, supervisors, parents of young children, military leaders, and church leaders. People in these kinds of positions of authority do give instructions and sometimes commands to those in their care and supervision. I don’t believe it is biblical to say that husbands are not to lead in these ways.”

            Agreed.
            If a husband and a wife have a ministry of some kind together, there would be nothing wrong for him to give her instructions regarding the furtherance of their ministry — but assuming these instructions did not involve obedience to God, her compliance would not be obligatory. Her only biblical duty is to obey the Word of God, as properly defined by her husband. THIS is where Eve failed.

            “But 1 Corinthians 11 is about a husband being ultimately accountable to God as the leader of the family. That is what the other passages I mentioned are about, as well. God held Adam accountable as the leader in his marriage even though Eve sinned first. He called for Adam. He looked for Adam. He addressed him first. Adam had been given the Word of God to share with his wife. Adam didn’t stop Eve from sinning in her deception. God held him responsible as head.”

            Agreed. The husband is the SPIRITUAL leader.
            In fact, I have heard that repeatedly throughout my life, ad nauseam.

            “1 Corinthians 11 is a difficult passage for even biblical scholars – but it is my understanding that it is clear that the veil women were to wear signified that they were living in submission to their husbands’ authority…”

            This verse says nothing about a “veil” nor is it implied. The “veil” thing is merely an attempt to avoid what the apostle Paul is clearly stating: that wives ought to have (domestic) authority over their (spiritual) head — their husband. Indeed, someone has to be in charge concerning the domestic issues that come up daily.

          2. brixken7,

            I’m so thankful that God brought you to Christ – I assume that is what you mean – that you are a Bible-believing Christian? That is wonderful!

            I am really trying to follow your train of thought with husbands submitting to their wives in domestic matters – but I don’t see that in Scripture. I would imagine that most husbands would delegate most decisions regarding the home to their wives. And I doubt a lot of husbands care what color the walls are or what brand of bananas they buy. But – if a husband has a preference, his views should be important to his wife – certainly. And if he has a very strong opinion on something about how a wife manages the home, surely he has the ability to share that and a godly wife would want to honor her husband’s request. At the same time, a godly husband will be concerned about his wife’s feelings and desires and will want her to enjoy her own home and to have a lot of freedom to handle many of the decisions there.

            But I still just can’t see where I Corinthians 11 or I Timothy 5 are about a husband’s submission to the wife’s authority in the home. I guess we will need to respectfully agree to disagree on this. What I see is more of the concept of the wife being the “vice president” and the husband the “president.” Or the husband is the king and the wife the queen. Or the husband is the king and the wife is his most trusted advisor. But even then – both husband and wife answer ultimately to Christ.

            I also don’t see where a wife is only to submit to her husband in spiritual matters. Where does that idea come from – I wonder?

            If they are deciding where to live and they cannot agree – it would be the wife who would need to trust God to lead her through her husband and cooperate with his decision. She would submit to him. She would share her concerns, ideas, and feelings. He would take them into account. They would both pray fervently about the decision. If they still cannot agree, the wife will decide to submit to her husband’s decision and the husband will seek to please and submit to Christ in the decision. That is not a specifically “spiritual matter” – but Ephesians 5 talks about the wife submitting in everything as to the Lord. So – I am afraid that I continue to be confused. Or if we are remodeling the bathroom – and we disagree about how much to spend or what kind of floor to put down – what would that look like in your model of marriage? The husband would say, “Well, I really think it would be better if we spent $10,000 less on the bathroom than you want to, Honey, but I will submit myself to your decision because it is under your authority”? The husband can’t say, “Sweetheart, I love your idea for the bathroom, and it would be amazing. But I think we need to keep the budget $10,000 lower than what you want to spend right now.”

            Who decides what is a “spiritual matter” and what is a “domestic matter.” Is adopting children a spiritual matter, or domestic – or both? Is deciding a church a spiritual matter only? What if the church meets in the couple’s house. Is it then a domestic matter? It just seems very confusing to me!

            There is a veil in I Corinthians 11 – the word translated “covering” that is not the hair. I know this passage is tough. But I just cannot make the stretch that it means “a wife has domestic authority over her husband.” That just doesn’t fit hermeneutically by any measure that I am aware of in regards to that passage.

            But I thank you kindly and respectfully for sharing your views with us.

            Much love to you in Christ!

          3. Brixken7,

            I just keep thinking about what I think you are suggesting to the best of my understanding and having this “split authority” in a marriage seems to me to create a lot of room for confusion in the roles between husband and wife.

            For instance – my husband handles the house renovations, the carpentry work, the electrical work, the plumbing, the drywall, and all of the handyman stuff. He also handles the yard work and maintaining the cars and the children’s bikes. And he maintains all of the electronics. I know NOTHING about these things. But they are in the home. So, in your understanding – I would be telling him what to do about these issues? And I would be making the final decision about all of these things? They are not spiritual things.

            But then you say that a servant never tells someone else what to do. Is a wife also a servant in her authority over the domestic affairs, or only the husband is a servant? Can a wife tell her husband what to do? But then a husband can’t tell his wife what to do?

            Is money a spiritual issue?

            Is parenting a spiritual issue?

            Couldn’t most things be both spiritual and domestic?

            Who decides who is in charge of what?

            I have just never heard these ideas before. From anyone. In any resource. And I have read a LOT of resources on these topics in the past 6.5 years. The more I try to figure out what I think you are saying – the more confusion and questions I seem to have.

            I pray for God’s greatest glory and His wisdom for you. I do appreciate your willingness to share. I am thankful that we can disagree with love.

            Much love. 🙂

          4. “Brixken7,”

            “I just keep thinking about what I think you are suggesting to the best of my understanding and having this “split authority” in a marriage seems to me to create a lot of room for confusion in the roles between husband and wife.”

            Creates confusion?
            No, not at all. — Ken

            “For instance – my husband handles the house renovations, the carpentry work, the electrical work, the plumbing, the drywall, and all of the handyman stuff. He also handles the yard work and maintaining the cars and the children’s bikes. And he maintains all of the electronics. I know NOTHING about these things. But they are in the home. So, in your understanding – I would be telling him what to do about these issues?”

            How could you when you have no expertise in these matters?
            And why would you WANT to interfere — unless, of course, he is neglecting you in the process?! — Ken

            “And I would be making the final decision about all of these things?”

            Same answer as above — Ken

            “They are not spiritual things. But then you say that a servant never tells someone else what to do. Is a wife also a servant in her authority over the domestic affairs, or only the husband is a servant?”

            The Bible NEVER instructs a wife to serve her husband or family. Only the husband is instructed to serve. — Ken

            “Can a wife tell her husband what to do?”

            Yes, she can tell him to take out the trash, mow the lawn, etc.
            She can tell him what color to paint their house, and a myriad of other things relating to their home. — Ken

            “But then a husband can’t tell his wife what to do?”

            Yes he can — if it is biblically based. That’s very simple, isn’t it?
            And Adam, presumably, passed on God’s word to Eve in the world’s first sermon! — Ken

            “Is money a spiritual issue?”

            Yes, it can be, for God’s Word has much to say about money. — Ken

            “Is parenting a spiritual issue?”

            The Bible speaks of proper parenting and discipline in the home. — Ken

            “Couldn’t most things be both spiritual and domestic?”

            Give me an example.
            Actually, there are a lot of things solely domestic, like who is in charge of the TV remote?
            Who decides where a family vacations?
            Who decides what color to paint the house?
            Who decides the proper clothing to wear?
            You could go on and on and on. — Ken

            “Who decides who is in charge of what?”

            The wife is to be obedient in spiritual matters, as was Sarah (I Peter 3:6).
            But Sarah ruled over Abraham in domestic matters (Genesis 21:10-12). — Ken

            “I have just never heard these ideas before. From anyone. In any resource. And I have read a LOT of resources on these topics in the past 6.5 years. The more I try to figure out what I think you are saying – the more confusion and questions I seem to have.”

            Again, it’s very, very simple.
            Basically, out of love for his wife, a husband is to do for her and give to her whatever she wants — BUT it must be lawful. He cannot go contrary to the Word of God as did Adam, for we read that we must obey God rather than any man or woman.

            “I pray for God’s greatest glory and His wisdom for you.”

            Same to YOU. — Ken

            Much love. 🙂

          5. Brixken7,

            That is an interesting and unique viewpoint. I humbly and kindly thank you for sharing and for your willingness to explain and clarify.

            To me, it seems obvious that many issues are both spiritual and material – or spiritual and domestic: like money, raising children, making family decisions, making decisions about friends, etc…

            All believers are called to be servants to God and to one another, (Verses about being a servant).

            God instructed Abraham to listen to his wife’s voice in that specific instance to send Hagar and Ishmael away. But that is not the “normal” pattern for marriage. Abraham was ultimately submitting to God, not to Sarah – that is the pattern for us to follow. It was also a mistake – a big one – for Abraham to listen to Sarah to have a child through Hagar – rather than wait on God’s promise.

            A husband is to do what he believes God desires him to do. What you seem to be describing with the wife having the authority to dictate to the husband sounds to me like it could easily become the husband idolizing his wife and putting her feelings and desires above God’s direction – even if the wife is not specifically asking the husband to sin. A Christian’s husband’s mindset is not supposed to be, “Whatever my wife wants,” but “Whatever God wants.” And that is how Christian wives are to think as well – dying to self and yielding control fully to Christ. Yes, a wife will seek to please his wife and a wife will seek to please her husband (1 Corinthians 7) – but ultimately the goal for each of us as believers must be to please Christ far more than any human.

            A godly husband will, of course, listen and consider his wife’s perspective, feelings, opinions, needs, concerns, and ideas. He loves her and wants what is truly best for her in God’s eyes. He will esteem her perspective and wisdom and value her opinions and thoughts. He is to lead and do what he believes is of God. A godly wife will honor this responsibility the husband has and will not try to force her way. The husband is to serve his wife as Christ served the church, yes – but his primary submission is to Christ – not to his wife. (I Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, I Peter 3:1-7). All believers are to submit themselves fully to Christ – and also to those in positions of spiritual authority over them – (People to the government, employees to managers, people to the police, young children to parents, the congregation to the church leaders, and wives to their husbands).

            I do agree that neither spouse is to follow the other into sin.

            For a wife to “submit” to her husband IS for her to willingly, joyfully, voluntarily serve him and to honor his God-given authority. I do not find in Scripture that the husband’s authority is “limited to spiritual things” or that a wife “has greater authority than her husband” in specific areas. They do have equal authority over one another’s bodies in the marriage bed. And the wife has the authority to influence her husband – which is a very powerful kind of authority that is discussed in this post.

            Perhaps we have different definitions of “serve”?

            The very definition of a helpmeet is one who helps – which is serving. And yes, the Holy Spirit helps us, as well. 🙂

            The Proverbs 31 wife serves her husband and family all day every day. She takes care of their needs. She makes sure there will be provisions for food, for clothing, and for some degree of income. She is busy and industrious serving them physically, nutritionally, spiritually, financially, and emotionally. She is giving up her time, effort, and abilities to care for them. Taking care of chores is serving. Taking care of children is serving. Cleaning and cooking are serving. Shopping for the family is serving. She honors Christ, her husband, and her family with her servant’s heart.

            I do not find in Scripture that husbands are never to tell their wives what to do. All Christian leaders in positions of God-given authority (including husbands) are to lead humbly, lovingly, and gently – but they are to lead. They lead in a Christlike way – not a worldly way of being selfish tyrants or cruel dictators. But leadership, even as a servant-leader, does include giving instructions, requests, and directives (according to the examples of godly leadership in Scripture).

            This is a very important topic – because if wives are usurping their husbands’ authority – the gospel of Christ is maligned (Titus 2:5). So it is important that we are clear on exactly what Scripture teaches.

            For more on this topic, please check out “Spiritual Authority.”

            Thank you for sharing. May God richly bless your walk with Christ.

            In Him,
            April

          6. Brixken7,

            I am not going to approve your last comment, because I cannot and will not endorse female-led relationships, dominatrix females, and male servitude. This is a gross distortion of God’s design. But I will say that your last comment definitely helped me have a proper frame of reference from which to understand your previous comments. So, I thank you for sharing this important part of your viewpoint.

            I pray that you might discover the joy of godly masculinity as God has designed it, healing, and the spiritual Life you can find in Christ.

            http://Www.cbmw.org/resources/ there is a free download available for Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper.

            Much love to you in Christ.

          7. Brixken7,

            I am not going to be able to approve your comments. I am accountable to God for what I endorse and what I teach. I know that you believe your interpretation of 1 Timothy 5 is correct. I cannot agree at all that it means what you believe it means. I cannot endorse female headship in marriage. Yes, women manage the home. We often do the chores, and set the emotional thermostat and provide a nurturing, safe, peaceful haven for our husbands and children. But that does not mean that we lead our husbands or control them sexually like a dominatrix. And so, we are at an impasse.

            I pray that God may bring healing, clarity, and wholeness to your soul. I pray for God’s wisdom for you and for His abundant spiritual life for you. I pray that you might discover the joy of God’s design for masculinity and marriage http://www.cbmw.org/resources – perhaps the free download – Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood might be a good place to start. Or David Platt’s Secret Church series on Youtube “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.” Or John Piper’s posts about Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at http://www.desiringgod.org.

            Much love to you in Christ. I pray for God’s healing for you!

    2. brixken7,

      I have a lot of posts about the topics you are describing here. You are welcome to check them out.

      True, there is not a command for wives to smile at our husbands. I don’t believe that I claimed that there was such a command. But our smiles DO bless our husbands and it is a way that we can honor and show respect to them – not to mention, show the joy we have in Christ. There are commands about those things. 🙂 Our genuine smiles are a way of doing good to our husbands – one of many ways.

      She brings him good, not harm,
      all the days of her life. Prov. 31:12

      And there are verses that talk about contentious wives and what torture they bring to their husbands, and foolish wives who tear down their own marriages. Contentious, foolish wives are probably not smiling genuine, peaceful, joyful, Christ-filled smiles. They are probably scowling and filled with resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness – as I was for many years in my own marriage.

      Our facial expressions are an indicator of what is going on in our hearts and our souls. Our expressions and our countenance reveal hatred, contempt, disrespect, pride, self-righteousness, and bitterness. And our facial expressions also reveal genuine love, compassion, mercy, tenderness, respect, honor, and blessing toward others.

      All believers are commanded to have joy in Christ – which – I would say – would show in our expressions and on our faces, as well as in our smiles. 🙂

      Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Phil. 4:4 Interesting to note – this is a command, not an option.

      The fruit of the Spirit will be evident in those who love Christ wholeheartedly and who walk in obedience to Him : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Gal. 5:22-23

      For more verses on joy, please click here.

      I don’t personally know how anyone could know Christ and not be bursting with the biggest smile ever because of the Living Water and the Treasure that He is and the joy He brings! The followers of Christ have more about which to smile than anyone on earth!

      Much love in Christ to you!

      1. A helpful passage regarding how we communicate with others and what we communicate with others:

        “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. Matthew 12:33-35

        The way we relate to people is about our character and whether the sinful nature is in control or the Spirit of God is in control. Our words (and our non-verbal communication) are the fruit of our character.

      2. You admitted that “…there is not a command for wives to smile at our husbands.”
        And since there is a command FROM GOD for wives to “rule the household” in I Timothy 5:14 (original Greek), it seems to me that this should be emphasized — rather than having a smile and a cheerful disposition.

        Of course it’s good for a marriage for both husband and wives to have a happy and positive outlook on life, though I fail to see how such an outlook is possible if one believes — as so many professing Christians do — that their Creator and heavenly Father is going to cast a majority of mankind, including perhaps their loved ones, in an ever-burning, eternal lake of fire!

        Such a belief has driven some to madness.

        1. brixken7,

          Respectfully, I disagree with your use of Bible verses out of context.

          I Timothy 5:14 (and in fact, all of Timothy 5) focuses specifically on widows, women whose husbands have died, not married women with living husbands:

          14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. (I Tim 5)

          Also, to “manage” one’s household does not mean to manage one’s husband. Then, as today, women had responsibilities related to running the household (organizing, purchasing products, finding ways to use financial resources in an optimal manner, etc.); in addition, the wealthy women of the Bible managed (here is this word again) servants, etc.

          I am all for respecting the plurality of opinions, on this and any other forum, but I do think it’s important not to edit out important portions of a text–any text, really, not just the Bible–when using quotations from it to support one’s opinion.

          I am in no way saying that you should agree with or subscribe to what April is saying–or even what the Bible is saying, as that is a matter of personal choice–but I do object to misquoting the Bible in an argument that goes against its very message.

          With respect,
          Maine

          1. “….but I do object to misquoting the Bible in an argument that goes against its very message.” — MAINE

            MAIME, if you make a study of this subject, you will see that I am NOT “misquoting the Bible”. I LOVE God and His Word and would not do that.

            But the repeated message of the Bible is that men are never to rule (e.g., Matthew 20:25-26), but to act as a servant (e.g., verses 26-27). And servants never give orders!

            Note that: servants never give orders.

            The repeated message of the Bible is for husbands to LOVE their wives (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33; Colossians 3:19). And “Love does not insist own its own way” (I Corinthians 13:5; RSV). In other words, out of love a husband is to submit to his wife (Ephesians 5:21) in “domestic matters” (I Timothy 5:14; Weymouth’s version). Not in spiritual matters (I Timothy 2:12) as Adam did.

            The wives’ role, on the other hand, is only to be “fond” (phileo) of their husbands (see Titus 2:4) and “fondness” is based upon proper deportment. She is to submit to her husband “in everything” (Ephesians 5:24), everything taught for us today in the Scriptures. All of the foregoing is simple stuff, not rocket science. If you don’t like it, take it up with your Maker. I didn’t write the Bible nor do I misquote it.

          2. brixken7,

            A husband’s role is to accomplish the will and purpose of God. He knows – if he is a believer – that he will answer to Christ – as we all will – for every thought, motive, word, and deed. If a wife is sinning – her husband may confront her. (A wife may confront her husband biblically, humbly, and respectfully, as well.)

            But I believe your understanding of what servants did in biblical times is not correct – and that leads to an incorrect understanding of what husbands can do for you. So that is a big concern.

            There were indentured servants and bond-servants in biblical times. Joseph, for example, was a servant to Potipher in Egypt. Potipher allowed Joseph to run his household. That did not mean that Joseph ruled over Potipher. But he did give instructions, possibly even commands to other servants in the home and was in charge of making sure things ran smoothly.

            Jesus has many parables about servants. Sometimes servants have responsibilities and do give orders to other servants. I’m not sure where you get the concept that servants never give orders. They may not give orders to their master. But they may give orders on behalf of their master if they are in charge of others.

            Husbands are absolutely to love their wives. No question! But we can’t leave out the leadership part. They represent Christ in the marriage – as the head and loving, humble, gentle leader. And the wife represents the church as the respectful, joyfully submissive body. (Eph. 5:22-33) That is the greatest purpose of marriage – to demonstrate a living parable of the relationship between Christ and His church. The roles are not the same. Christ submits to the Father, not to the church – although He died for her and gave Himself as a ransom for her. He loves her and provides for her and protects her. The church honors the leadership of Christ and submits to Him. The church respects Christ. Husbands are not deity – but the design of God for marriage is to reflect the Gospel for everyone to see. Such a beautiful picture!

            A wife who will not submit herself to her husband’s leadership (trusting God to lead her through her husband) is in rebellion against God and maligns the Gospel (Titus 2:5) – unless the husbands is clearly asking her to sin or to condone sin or he is not in his right mind.

            A loving husband will not be about his will – he will be about God’s will. He will seek to make the best decision in God’s eyes, knowing he is accountable to him for that decision, and that his family will suffer if he makes a mistake. A decent man will want to make the best possible decisions and not let his family down.

            It seems to me that it is a terrible mistake to leave out the portions of Scripture about wives respecting their husbands and honoring their leadership (biblical submission).

            I am not really clear on what you mean by the sentence:She is to submit to her husband “in everything” (Ephesians 5:24), everything taught for us today in the Scriptures.

            So you do acknowledge that wives are to submit to their husbands? I think I am confused.

            But, I thank you kindly for sharing your views. I pray that God might give you His wisdom. May He richly bless your walk with Christ. 🙂

        2. brixken7,

          We must be so careful here, my sister!

          Remember that the curse in Genesis 3 described that part of the punishment of Eve’s sin is that wives would desire to rule over their husbands. That desire to control or rule over our husbands is not of God. I cannot agree with you on this. Managing the household – the children and maybe servants in biblical times and taking care of the home – does not mean managing or ruling over the husband. That is what it sounds like you are saying to me. You are certainly free to believe it. But I believe this is a dangerous belief system you are describing – if I am understanding you clearly.

          God does not want anyone to perish, but desires all to come to Christ for salvation, to have a relationship with Him (2 Peter 3:9) – to know Him, to be forgiven, and to be with Him forever in heaven. But He gives us the choice. He does not force Himself on us. If people choose to reject Him, there are consequences that come from that decision. He is just. What He does is right.

          What do you believe about the character of God?

          How do you believe that you are made right with God?

          Do you not believe in hell?

          Much love to you!

  7. Based on one’s national and cultural background, this can be particularly challenging. I come from a country where people speak relatively loudly and with passion and emphasis, regardless of whether they are mad/upset or not.

    In college, my American roommate, who was privy to the conversations I was having with my mom over the phone, would always ask me, “Why are you and your mom always fighting?!” And I would have to explain that we were not, that this is how we normally talk. 🙂

    In my current courtship and during disagreements, Mr. Man, who is also American, often says to me, “Why are you yelling at me?” when in fact, in my own mind, “I am just talking! What do you mean I am yelling?!” 🙂

    In preparation for hopefully being a good Christian wife sometime in the near future, I am accepting April’s challenge to try and communicate in a softer, kinder tone–the way Mr. Man understands soft and kind, regardless of what I am used to. This should be fun!

    1. Maine,

      I was having a similar conversation with a girl from New Jersey last week. She said a friend of hers is from New York city – and is in college in the South now. And everyone thinks she is angry all the time – but that is just how she talks. Apparently it is how those around her talked in NY.

      I have seen that these cultural differences – even between different families – can be an issue. If one spouse takes the other as “sounding angry” – that can be a problem.

      Enjoy the challenge! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  8. Hi,

    I travel to work every morning with my husband and Mon-Friday He will be quiet the whole journey unless i keep a conversation going.He says he is ok and not mad and generally a quiet person which is not true since he is always on chats on phone.Am scared my marriage is slowly getting boring and we will eventually fall out of love and need for each others companionship.
    .
    Please advise

    1. Lucie,

      Thanks so much for sharing! Has your husband always been like this? Perhaps he is not a morning person? Maybe he uses that time to think or regroup? Perhaps he does talk with other people, but is still rather introverted?

      I think it is possible that he could be telling you the truth. Just because he doesn’t initiate a lot of conversations on the way to work does not mean he doesn’t love you or that he is not interested in you or the marriage. It does not mean your marriage is doomed, thankfully! 🙂

      How long have y’all been married?

      How long has he been quiet on the way to work?

      Is he the same on the way home?

      Is this different from how he used to be?

      Are there things he really likes to talk about – subjects he is more interested in – that he might enjoy more?

      My husband is often quiet in the car unless I initiate conversation. He is not angry. He is not upset. He tends to be rather introverted and quiet. He does talk to his dad on the phone almost daily. But he needs some time to himself to recharge. I used to get so offended and think he didn’t love me when he just has a different personality from mine.

      I also used to think that if we were not always talking, we were not “connecting.” I was amazed when he told me a few years ago that he always feels connected to me – unless I say that I don’t feel connected to him. He feels bonded and connected just by being with me – without words. A lot of men are like that. Many men do not bond with words or by talking about feelings. They tend to feel bonded just by being with a person quietly.

      A book that helped me understand this was “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn. 🙂

      You may also want to search my home page for:

      – introvert
      – emotionally distant
      – shut down

      Does your husband generally feel very respected and honored by you? Here are some posts to read to determine that:

      Signs Your Husband May Feel Disrespected
      Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them
      What Is Respect in Marriage?

      Let me know what God may be speaking to you.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Much love to you! 🙂

      1. I sure do hope it is as you put it.Because am beginning to feel lonely and not needed given that he seems to enjoy sharing with his friends. At some level he has always been quiet but it changed in May this year and I realised he got a new female friend he was quit fond of.He assures me there was nothing between them but they were chatting alot.I actually called the lady and accussed them of having an emitional affair.He also admitted to having given her more attention than he gave me…..

        1. Lucie,

          Hmmm… This is a potentially really important piece of information – that this is a new development that coincided with him having a new female friend.

          Is he willing to stop talking with her?

          How have you approached him about this?

          How is your relationship with your husband going in general?

          Has he said he was unhappy in the marriage? Has he described what he needs from you?

          Is he a believer in Christ?

          Thank you for sharing this – I do think what you are describing has the potential to be a problem. You can’t control your husband – but you can seek to become the wife God desires you to be and you can pray for him and against this temptation. You can share your concerns with him respectfully. And you can seek to meet his masculine needs and to learn to understand him better.

          Some posts that may be helpful:

          “When Your Husband Flirts with Other Women”
          When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done” (I want you to have this information BEFORE it gets to this extreme point!)

          1. He says so but had never stopped when I asked before.I called the lady and she assures me she will stop .I believe she will stop because she is a born again christian as I am.My husbandbis not born again .He has never told me what he needs or that he was unhappy

          2. Lucie,

            I wonder if, after you read these posts I mentioned, and after much prayer – if this might be a conversation to have with your husband. To ask him what he needs, if he is feeling respected, and to be open (not defensive) to hear anything he wants to share and to seek to bless him and strengthen the marriage?

            Much love to you!

  9. Just now starting this challenge. I am not grumpy nor do I nag..but I think I might be a “just the facts” type speaker.
    I first am going to pay attention to what I am used to doing and use that as a guide to speak more pleasantly and warmly.

  10. Just an observation, you do such an amazing job with “tone” in writing, too, responding in grace along with your amazing intelligence in comments. 🙂

    (There’s a place for stronger tones sometimes, of course)

    I’m sure that has SO much to do with your effectiveness with people, and exposes the sin in other people to themselves . . . I can say from experience.

    Bless you!

    1. JC,

      It can be difficult to translate “tone” in writing without any tone of voice or facial expressions. So many opportunities for misunderstandings. I long for God to speak through me with His love, His truth, and His grace. May I be a wide-open pipe through which He can pour into the lives of those I touch. May it be God alone who does the convicting. I can change no one. Only His Spirit can change hearts and open eyes.

      Thank you for your kind and humbling words, my brother. I am praying for you.

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

%d bloggers like this: