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A Word to Husbands Whose Wives Are on This Journey

My dear brothers in the Lord,

Thank you for taking the time to read some things I’d like to share with you that I hope may be helpful. I appreciate your time and support so very much!

Note – My sites and books are purposely one-sided. I only talk about what women should do because I don’t teach men, so that I can honor the scriptural command that women are not to have authority over men in the church. That is an important thing I hope that people will keep in mind when they read my posts. There is a whole other side for men who follow Christ, as well. I trust that husbands will study and seek the Lord wholeheartedly for themselves, yielding fully to His Lordship.

THIS IS A NARROW ROAD

This road that your wife is taking is very narrow – just like the road all believers must take. It is the road to true discipleship in Jesus – to biblical womanhood. Only a few women, even in the church, find and take this path today. It is completely:

  • counter-cultural.
  • counter-intuitive.
  • absolutely crazy from a worldly, human perspective.

Women who take this road must challenge everything they thought they knew about:

We must question our old fixed beliefs about almost everything and be willing to tear down most of what we thought was true and rebuild on God’s Word alone – even if we have been believers in Christ for decades.

THIS IS A TOTALLY NEW LANGUAGE AND PARADIGM

We must learn this new foreign language of respect that goes completely against all of the messages in which we have all been marinating in our culture for generations. What God calls us to do (respect our husbands and submit to their leadership) also goes completely against the way most women think.

There are so many things that seem very disrespectful to men that are just not on our radar as women or that seem like “not a big deal” from our perspective. Most of us are not purposely trying to be disrespectful. Most of us also don’t realize that our culture is very disrespectful toward men and that disrespect for men has become mainstream and normal. Most of us who struggle with being disrespectful or controlling don’t realize what we are doing or if we do, we have no idea how to stop.

It is shocking to us, and a bit overwhelming, when we first see all that is disrespectful to our men and we are confronted with sin we didn’t even realize we had.

We tend to speak and hear the language of love. The list of things that can seem unloving to us is often just as overwhelming to husbands as the list of things that can feel disrespectful to men can be to wives. The language of respect is very different – sometimes completely the opposite of our language of love. Many of us have never even heard about this stuff before. Ever. So it is a lot to absorb and process.

THERE IS VERY LITTLE HELP AND SUPPORT FOR WIVES ON THIS ROAD

Many wives have no one to:

  • be a real life example.
  • mentor them personally.
  • pray with them.
  • help them get up when they stumble.
  • cheer them on.
  • teach them.

My calling from the Lord is to seek to be a Titus 2:3-5 wife for my sisters in the Lord online so they don’t have to walk this road completely alone. Thankfully, we all have access to God. The most important thing is that we have Him with us.

Women who seek to learn to genuinely respect their husband and honor his leadership face incredible opposition from:

  • the enemy.
  • family members.
  • most friends, even Christian ones.
  • neighbors.
  • coworkers.
  • many church members.
  • sometimes even pastors and Christian leaders.
  • the media – books, shows, love songs, romantic movies, magazines, commercials, etc…
  • the world.
  • the culture.

If they also face opposition from the very man they are trying to learn to bless, it can be extremely discouraging.

Of course, the same things are very true for men, as well.

THIS IS A LONG PROCESS

It’s easy for husbands to think that wives should just suddenly “get” respect and biblical submission and be able to be completely perfect godly wives at the flip of a light switch. That they should never ever stumble again.

I have walked beside thousands of women on this road. I have seen many miracles! But I have never seen instantaneous perfection.

I have never seen any wife (or husband) become absolutely perfect and completely sinless for the rest of their lives. We can learn to walk in the power of the Spirit and have increasing victory over sin. We can stumble much less as we grow as we yield to God’s Spirit and His Lordship. But absolute total perfection is something that will not be ours until we enter the gates of heaven. While we are on earth, all of us will still need grace at times.

I want to encourage you that if your wife is seeking to allow the Lord to change her, just because she stumbles at times does not necessarily mean that she is not changing.

If she gets right back up and continues pressing on, God is changing her.

(Ladies, this is not an excuse for us to purposely keep sinning, of course.  Our goal must be to seek to please the Lord and to allow Him to transform us and empower us to walk in victory.)

MEN AND WOMEN HAVE VERY SIMILAR JOURNEYS

This is the process of sanctification. It is a lifetime journey of becoming more like Jesus. Husbands have a very similar journey to take that is equally grueling, humbling, and difficult as they learn to become the godly men the Lord calls them to be. It is completely counterintuitive for men to love their wives with the agape love of Jesus and to lead with authentic Christlike humility, gentleness, and godly wisdom. As one man in my Sunday School class described it,

“It requires a complete change of the constitution of a man to be the husband God calls him to be.”

This path toward holiness is equally challenging for wives and husbands. It requires a fundamental change of our constitution – dying to our old sinful self, taking up our cross, giving up control, learning to love/respect supernaturally and unconditionally, receiving our new nature in Christ, tearing out any idols in our hearts, repenting of all sin, learning to let God’s Spirit have control rather than the flesh, yielding to Him in absolute surrender, giving up the world’s wisdom and its ways, etc… These things are generally a process of growth, refinement, and maturation for all of us.

WE GREATLY APPRECIATE OUR HUSBAND’S SUPPORT

Some husbands are extremely unsupportive as wives seek to change. I totally understand why. I know many men are afraid that this process is not real and that their wives can’t really change. It is easy to assume that this is just another attempt at manipulation. That is how my husband often felt until God opened my eyes almost 9 years ago and began to slowly change me. I know that many husbands are afraid to get their hopes up that maybe their marriages might be healed and that they might feel respected and honored by their wives. I know there is a lot of pain for many husbands that is extremely difficult to bear.

But when a husband throws obstacles (his own sin) in his wife’s way – like being negative, critical, harsh, hateful, controlling, mean, unplugged, rude, unkind, or is consumed by some addiction – it makes it much harder for her on this journey. These stumbling blocks delay healing for the marriage. My prayer is to see all husbands and wives experience the healing and transformation that is available to them in Christ and that all of our marriages might bring great glory to the Lord.

I long to see husbands seek to help their wives and support them on this narrow path that leads to Life in Christ.

Your love, prayers, support, words of life, gentleness, selflessness, and humble leadership are so powerful in our lives as wives. What a blessing when we have husbands who are willing to love us like Jesus loved the church even when we are struggling and stumbling. When one spouse obeys the Lord, the other is blessed and it is much easier for the other spouse to obey Him, as well.

IF A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE BOTH ON THIS JOURNEY TOGETHER, HEALING COMES MUCH SOONER

I share things with men, at times, that I hope might be helpful, like today’s post. But I don’t seek to teach, disciple, or mentor men. I simply implore husbands to start on their own journey to become godly men and husbands, to seek to be as supportive as possible of their wives’ desire to follow Christ and to become godly wives. If both spouses are on this journey together, my experience has been that the healing can happen a LOT faster.

Much love in Christ!

April

SHARE:

If any husbands would like to share with our other brothers how the Lord has shown them to encourage and support their wives on this journey, that would be great.

RELATED:

An explanation of how this process for wives usually unfolds 

Resources for Men

www.peacefulhusband.com – my husband’s blog

Why Do I Have to Change First?

 

 

11 thoughts on “A Word to Husbands Whose Wives Are on This Journey

  1. I know you wrote this for men but as I read it, I felt both challenged at my lack of empathy and grace towards my husband regarding HIS journey and encouraged to pray for more.
    The message behind your message for me, was telling me…”This is true for you and this is true for him. You’re on the same path, if only you could both see that and instead of fighting, have more grace and compassion with each other”
    I’m a first generation Christian, only just starting out as a wife and step-mum and it is so hard fleeing all that I’ve inherited, thought, absorbed and had modelled to me all my life by both those around me and society. By God’s grace though, I overcome everyday in amongst my many failures everyday. I know I’m growing, I know it’s slow and I despair of ‘the sin that dwells within’ daily, but I am amazed at God’s work in my life and I’m truly thankful at being called out of darkness and having the opportunity to become the woman God wants me to be.

    Thank you for this post x x x

    1. Isaiah 6510 – Love this! I’m so glad you were challenged to have more empathy, grace, and prayer for your husband on his own journey. That is awesome!

      Absolutely, if we can stop arguing and fighting and treating each other like the enemy, if we can realize we are on the same team and we do have an enemy who is trying to destroy us and work together with God – what a difference it would make!

      Thank you so very much for sharing a bit of your testimony. What a joy to see what God is doing in your life! I praise God with you and pray for His continued good work in your life and your husband’s life. It fills me with joy to hear from you, my precious sister.

      Much love!

  2. April, this is a great post. There are so many relevant points made here. It is so very important for a husband to do his part in a godly manner, then it becomes much easier for a godly wife to do her part in a godly manner. That can only empower their marriage and subsequently empower their families to grow for God’s glory.

    I know when God opened my eyes to choose to love God’s way, my husband and I reconciled in Jesus’ name. By no means has it been easy at all because the adversary sees God’s glory he tries to interject himself, but through other people. That’s what an everyday walk with the Lord is a necessity for a marriage, even if only one is practicing God’s righteousness. God gives us the power through prayer and discipline and will deliver our marriages for the good if we stay focused on Him. Amen.

    1. Benita Wallace,

      I know that many times, it is just not possible for both spouses to work on this together. Most of us experience one spouse “waking up” first to the Lord. But it sure would be amazing if both spouses can work on things together as a team!

      Yes, there is always going to be opposition when we seek to honor the Lord and build a strong, godly marriage. So thankful for God’s power to help us. We all need Him!

      Much love!

  3. Thank you for this article April. What you write is so true. My husband is finding it super hard to have any hope that things would change. He is pursuing a divorce because he can’t take another chance that my attempts might fail again. His hurt is too deep and he is struggling to forgive. This is definitely a change that cannot happen overnight.

    I have accepted his pleas for a divorce and have stopped trying to convince him or stall the process. I am just grateful that I did try and for everything I have learnt on this blog in the last year and a half. I will continue to seek the Lord and to seek to grow to undo everything that the world has taught me and take on the likeness of Christi a part of me is even relived at the thought of divorce as it will give me more time to just focus on my walk with God. I am saddened though that my husband gave up on me 3 years into marriage, but reading your blog has made me understand how hurt he is and so I am not bitter at his decision.

    Please keep me in your prayers as I walk this painful journey.

  4. Thanks for coming back from summer vacation and writing something wonderful like this. As you said, this is a very difficult path for husbands and wives. We both know something is wrong, that we don’t have each other’s back and are quick to judge by the wrong (this world’s) standards. I’ve asked my wife, “let’s try a different way and take baby steps” and “nobody matters by God and us.” But we listen to family, friends, psychologists, and even ministers or priests who are quick to agree with us that, “yep, your husband is wrong or your wife is wrong.” We like blame, sides, deflections. Until we have the love for God and the agape love you mentioned, we’re spinning our wheels. In the meantime, I pray for my spouse and always look for and appreciate God’s love in nature, people, and events. He has a perfect plan for us…we just need to want it and pray for it.

    1. PJgrateful,

      Praying for the Lord’s healing for you both and for your marriage, dear brother. May the Lord grant His victory in your home. May you both have His power to love, honor, and respect one another.

  5. Thank you for this forum and sharing to the glory of God. Some sharing from my side:

    I am still continuing with my journey of unconditional love with Jesus by asking Him to keep changing me and transforming my heart. I have started on this journey about a year ago and believe that through His grace I have made big progress.

    I have also struggled with the differences in my marriage where natural preferences had a certain control but I had to adjust my natural preferences to keep it positive even if it seem to be unfair to me. God revealed to me that it is about obedience to Him and that He will reward this – sooner or later. It was also revealed to me that I should really ask God to remove any anger I am still holding in this regard. I might have forgiven, but I was still holding on to anger.

    It was very relieving to let go of the anger in the realization that we are all unique and we should not judge anyone. My anger might be justifiably against sin, but then again I need to also see my own sin and the price, love and forgiveness of Jesus that I should reciprocate.

    I also had a struggle with God about some challenges in my life and especially my perceived trend to always need to adjust and tread carefully and be cautious in various aspects of my life – work, marriage, social, parenting. What I believe the Lord showed me is that I should relax more and rest in Him and be more myself while being obedient to Him. This surely did take some burden away from me.

    From a more direct, practical point of view, recognition for the good and nice stuff that my wife is doing (even if it is not that important to me) and not questioning the motives, even if it might be small baby steps is always encouraging and appreciated as it also applies to husbands.

    May you all be wonderfully blessed.

    1. TRANSFORMINGHEART,
      Thank you so very much for sharing a husband’s perspective and sharing some of the light bulb moments the Lord has given you. This is awesome!

      May the Lord richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage and family for His glory!

  6. Hi April,

    You are right, men have a different journey, and it can be hard to understand and empathize with the differences in the journies, and the strange personality quirks & personal history each brings to the situation.

    One thing I’ve learned is patience & persistence. God’s time isn’t our time. The Holy Spirit never quits working on a person, and even though we get worn down with life, the Holy Spirit doesn’t.

    I really like the way you’ve brought in Sanctification into this post. It’s so true. Life is about learning to reject selfishness and align your will to God’s will.

    Your post was really great.

  7. Dear Peaceful Wife,

    I need to preface this comment by telling anyone who doesn’t know that my wife is not on a journey like this.

    I might not be completely clear in expressing my thoughts because what I want to share is more connected with a deep feeling.

    It is more than a giddy, emotional feeling like: that feels good. It is more of an experiencing the Will of God pour through me. Being given that sense of direction allows me to glorify God by following His Will.

    In those times, I experience that I can be a husband who truly loves his wife, who is grace and faith filled. It is then that Christ in me who is guiding me to love my wife, who even though she is not walking with Jesus, is aware of a change and responds positively to that change. When however, I am too busy with the concerns of the world, getting the necessities of life taken care, I am working too much out of my own power.

    As men, I believe we need to work to be constantly open to God’s Will, in order that our womenfolk can rest into the protective space that it is our duty to create.

    There is a tower
    that protects the wife;
    We are that tower,
    We are that structure,
    That provides security.
    Within the tower is nurturing and caring
    And creating.

    Thank you,
    JesusCentreofLife

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