photo credit – Unsplash by Jakob Owens
APRIL’S NEXT CONFERENCE – GARNETT, KS IN NOVEMBER!
I am doing a Peaceful Woman conference Nov 17th and 18th in Garnett, Kansas. You are welcome to check out the details at this link. We will be talking about things like:
- Rejecting the world’s definition of womanhood
- Receiving God’s definition of womanhood
- Accepting the gift of My Body
- Purifying My Words
- Thinking, Speaking, and Acting with Modesty
- Harnessing My Emotions
- Choosing My Friends Wisely
- Developing My Feminine Influence
I’d love for you to join us! The cost is $25 if you would like to have lunch provided that Saturday. If you want to bring your own lunch, the cost is $20. That includes the cost of a workbook.
A guest post by a new contributor, InSearchofPeace. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share with all of us what the Lord has been doing in her life!
Wives tend to be at one end of a continuum or the other when they begin their godly wife journey.
Some of us will approach becoming a godly wife by being more quiet, working on tone of voice, learning to be more respectful, laying down pride, etc… Others may need to learn to understand their worth and identity in Christ first, and learn to use their godly influence authority more, to speak up when it is appropriate, and to focus on pleasing the Lord above all.
In 2013, after 20 years of marriage, my husband and I were seriously considering divorce. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. But also, I kind of expected it because in my mind I’d considered it a time or two, myself. I would constantly feel that:
- “He doesn’t listen to me.”
- “He never wants to spend time with me.”
- “Maybe he’s just not in love with me anymore.”
- “I’m faithful, I attend church three times a week, I’m a good mother, I try to keep the house clean, what else could he want?”
I had many similar thoughts and conversations with myself and female friends. But when it came down to this moment when divorce was a real consideration, I began to go to God for answers. I am an avid reader and open to other perspectives, especially at that time. I was led to this blog. That was God!
After reading several of the articles over a few days, I discovered that I wasn’t as much of a God-fearing woman as I thought I was. As a matter of fact, I identified as a controlling and disrespectful wife. Oh, my! It was true.
Admitting it was the first step in my journey to change.
The change wasn’t focused so much on me saving our marriage, but for me to be a better person because now I was more aware of how disrespectful I had been:
- My harsh sarcastic comments at times.
- The tone of my voice.
- Most importantly the fact that if he didn’t do things the way I thought it should be done, I withdrew.
He was hurt and had been hurting for many years (his words).
Knowing that I had hurt him crushed me. I am a person who tries to help everyone and be there for everyone else. And I was exhibiting emasculating behaviors on a daily basis. No wonder he wanted to separate himself from me.
Don’t get me wrong, he was not without fault in the marriage. But knowing him as long as I have, I’ve always known him to be caring and loving towards me and our family and would not generally treat me like he was treating me during this time. He was unapologetically mean. That wasn’t the man I married.
Sincere repentance should bring about a change.
10 HEALING CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN A BLESSING:
So after discovering this about myself, I began to pay close attention to my behavior, especially toward him.
- One deliberate thing I did was change the ringtone and photo on my phone to something that made me smile when he calls. I could tell from his hesitation when I answered with a softer tone, that he was caught off guard. I’m certain he was expecting my normal, “What you want now?” response. I know, it was shameful, but it’s the truth.
- There were simple things he would ask me to do for him in the past. But I always felt like he wasn’t doing what I needed him to do so why should I do what he needs me to do? But that wasn’t the right response. So I tried to be more responsive to his requests now that I know it makes him feel loved. After some time, he started responding to me in the ways that I needed.
- We started to spend more time together and actually have real conversations.
- When he talks now, I listen and give him my undivided attention.
- I also don’t allow myself to over think or read too much into what he is saying. He means what he says and not all the things I’d always tried to read into it as if it had some deeper meaning. That was my controlling side – but I’ll save that for another post. 😁
- When he wants to watch his car shows, I sit down, be quiet, and watch with him. I can even understand some of the car terms he’s used for years now.
- I began to study and understand this man. This man I’ve known for half my life. This man I’d grown apart from over the years. He was still a man that I liked spending time with.
- He just wanted to be cared for as much, if not more than, I cared for everyone else around us. When I withdrew and stopped doing things for him, he felt like I’d stopped loving him (his words).
- Knowing this I had to humble myself to a point of asking him to forgive me for being unloving. I realized that an apology isn’t about you admitting that you did something wrong as much as it is admitting that you hurt someone and that was never your intention.
- I’ve learned that the ways that he shows love are different than the way I was looking for it, but he does truly love me I just had to take the time to recognize and appreciate his love language.
- As I’ve made room for him to be open and respond – without me always being critical and sarcastic (disrespectful) – he’s been able to love me also in some of the ways that I receive love.
- I’ve learned that he equates respect with love. In other words, the way women desire to be loved, men desire respect.
Please also know that this is no 30 minute “TV romance” change either. This has been a journey over time. We’ve had to deal with many serious life-changing moments along this journey. Life has forced us together to deal with near death and loss of close family the past four years. We’ve cried together, prayed together, laughed together, and fallen back in love with each other. THIS is the man I married – and I’m working daily to be the woman God expects me to be, so that I can be the respectful (loving) wife he needs.
Last week, we celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. Peacefulwife, thank you for allowing God to use you through this blog to hold up a mirror for me to see myself and for helping this marriage continue on in hopes that our journey will be a blessing to many others.
For wives who tend to be more outspoken, take charge, and Type A:
- My book “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord” – this is the book I wish I had when I first began this journey
- Posts about Control
- What Is Disrespectful to Husbands
- What Is Respect in Marriage
- Laying Down Expectations
- Spiritual Authority
- 10 Tips for the Journey to Become a Godly Wife
For wives who tend to be too quiet, too passive, and afraid to have a voice:
- A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage
- Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority
- When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?
- InHisGrip Talks about Not Shutting Down Emotionally
- For a Wife with a Perfectionistic, Critical Husband – by Radiant
- I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, and Emotions – by Radiant
- Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity – Nina Roesner’s ecourse
If you are in a marriage with a very emotionally abusive husband:
- Check out Leslie Vernick’s resources.
- Leslie Vernick’s quiz to tell if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Take it twice, once thinking about how your husband treats you and once thinking about how you treat your husband
Posts that would likely be helpful for any wife:
- I Am Responsible for My Emotions
- I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually
- 17 Tips to Ask for What You Desire Respectfully
- 20 Simple Ways to Enjoy Your Man
- Overcoming Fear
- Overcoming Bitterness
- My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing
- Making My Husband an Idol
- Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships