Men, in general, don’t allow people to influence them who they feel disrespect them.
They also tend not to allow people they don’t trust or respect to influence them. Honestly, there is a lot of wisdom in this approach. We may benefit from prayerfully considering this idea, ourselves.
Women have a POWERFUL ability to influence our men for good or for bad. How will we use our gift?
Understanding men a bit better
Men don’t tend to respect the influence of those who:
- Give unsolicited advice.
- Have mismatched words and actions.
- Seem to have selfish motives.
- Appear to be trying to manipulate or control them.
- Have a critical, condemning spirit against them.
- Don’t treat themselves or others with respect.
- Act like doormats or give up their personhood in passivity.
- Idolize them and want their approval more than God’s.
- Lack self-control.
- Freak out a lot or are very negative.
How to encourage your husband to value your influence
For your words to be meaningful and valuable to your husband, a few things generally have to happen over a significant period of time.
Your husband needs to see that you are a person of integrity, dignity, godliness, and strong moral character.
He needs to:
- Know you respect the Lord above all else (yes, even if he is not a believer).
- See you take care of significant sin in your life first. (We all have our own sin we need to repent from to God and to others.)
- Experience that the godly changes in your life are real and lasting.
- Know you respect yourself properly, that you think rightly about God, yourself, and others.
- See that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who you are in Christ, that you are unshakeable in your faith.
- Know that you will stand firmly, but respectfully, against sin, abuse, or mistreatment directed toward you.
- See that, overall, you have a cooperative spirit toward him (unless he tries to lead you into sin), not a contentious one or a spirit of offense.
- Know you respect him genuinely (but that you don’t condone or respect his sin).
- Believe he is safe with you emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, sexually, etc…
- Witness your Spirit-filled example and your gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear (1 Pet. 3:6).
- Pray for him privately for God’s will and His greatest glory in his life. He needs you to pray Scripture and God’s promises over him in secret before the Lord.
Your godly example makes an impact over time
Over time, when your husband sees you respect yourself properly, you treat him with honor, and you are a person he can respect, then he knows he can value your influence.
It is your example—your attitude and actions—that speak the most powerfully to him. Not nagging, preaching, lecturing, or verbally trying to pressure him.
When he sees you live a godly life over an extended period of time, he knows he can feel safe with you.
As he sees that your actions and words match up over the long haul, he may begin to soften to your influence and welcome you to speak into his life as a trusted advisor.
I can’t guarantee that he will change if you change. But if you desire to use your influence in his life to honor Christ, this is the path to take.
Becoming a godly woman and wife can never be about manipulating our husbands. It must always be simply about honoring, loving, and obeying Christ—and blessing our men.
First things first – the beam in our own eye
We all have sin issues in our own lives. It’s critical that I deal with my sin before I attempt to deal with issues in my husband’s life. This is the only way I can see clearly enough to truly see what is going on with him and be able to handle his issues rightly.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.Matt. 7:3-5
This means, if I am flirting with other men or I am allowing people to take priority over my husband, he may not take my words very seriously if I warn him not to do the same thing. And why should he? I am being a hypocrite.
This also means, if I am acting in a lot of hurtful, condescending ways, and my husband doesn’t feel safe with me emotionally or spiritually, my sin is a stumbling block to my ability to influence my husband in godly ways.
It’s hard to respect the spiritual advice of someone whose life is a mess or who is hurting you with their own sin.
What list of sins do I need to get rid of in my life?
Common sins that are super destructive to a marriage, intimacy, and trust:
- Pride – thinking I am always right and he is always wrong.
- Self-righteousness – looking down on him as if I am so much more holy than he is.
- Disrespect for him.
- Selfishness, entitlement.
- Sinful jealousy (vs. righteous jealousy)
- Codependency, being needy/clingy, expecting him to be responsible for my spiritual and emotional wellbeing, idolizing him.
- A critical spirit.
- Bitterness, resentment, hatred, rage,
- Control, being demanding, manipulating him, bossiness, usurping his God-given leadership position.
- Acting like a doormat, giving up my personhood, idolizing his approval.
- A spirit of offense.
- Comparing him unfavorably to other men.
- People pleasing.
- Fear, anxiety, and worry.
- Believing toxic lies about God, myself, and others.
Negative words and actions
- Gossiping about him.
- Complaining, arguing, voicing a negative attitude.
- Violence or threats of violence
- Abusive language, insults, emotional abuse.
- Manipulation to get my way.
Yikes! Once I see the deadly sins in my life, what do I do?
If I invite God to show me any sin in my life, He will if I am willing to humbly repent. This means, I turn away from whatever God says is harmful to me and I turn to Him, yielding to His way and the control of His Spirit, seeking to honor and please Him.
God will help me and heal my soul if I ask Him to. He can transform my life and make me more like Jesus by the power of His Word, prayer, and the power of His Spirit.
As I allow Christ to change me, my husband will definitely notice, even if he is cold or skeptical toward me, at first.
How can I encourage my husband to want be around me and to value me as a person?
My new goal is not to fix or change my husband but to let God change me
My goal can’t be to change my husband. My goal must be to become the woman Jesus calls me to be, whatever the cost.
A side effect of this is that I will be a greater blessing to my husband. When I am right with God and His Spirit is working in and through me, it is really only then that I can properly relate to others with God’s love.
I will make myself open to be an available instrument in God’s hand to reach my husband. Then I will stop being a stumbling block to him and make it easier for him to hear God’s voice.
I can’t change my husband or fix him. I can’t open his eyes. Only the Spirit can do that. But I can let God change me! That is the most powerful, wonderful place to start.
Has God shown you some truths about this topic that you would like to share? Or are you struggling and you need some encouragement and more resources?
How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ
Is It Possible for Me to Disrespect Myself?
Thank you April! I especially loved the part where you listed ways our words and influences are meaningful.
I noticed most of your examples had to do with Christ being at the centre of our influencing our husband, and probably others too.
So often, I feel like my following Christ, goes unnoticed, and gets looked down on, especially by my husband. The list of ways to influence you gave, It really helped me to think that maybe Christ won’t go unnoticed through me in the end.
I know that it can feel like a lot of what we do for Christ and for people goes unnoticed. But none of it is wasted! God notices. And honestly, others do, too, even if they don’t act like it.
Be encouraged, my sweet sister! I’m so thankful for your faith and for the way you shine for Christ. <3
Thank you for these words. They hit me right in the heart because God is working on me to deal with the sin in my life. For so long, I didn’t think it was me but God is bringing me insight through scripture and through words like yours which come to me at just the right time. I’m praying for perserverance and patience as I take this journey. Thank you again for using your gifts to reach others. I value it so much!
It can be tricky to discern what issues are ours vs. what issues are theirs, sometimes. I’m so thankful God used this to be a blessing. Praising and thanking God that He will continue His good work and be faithful to complete it in you, and in all of us.
What an honor to get to walk this road together and encourage one another. <3
I completely agree. Years ago during a very hard time for our relationship my husband started seeing another woman and through the course of a year of my doing all those things mentioned above lol plus some I dismissed him from the home. This was when the Lord truly opened my own eyes to see that I was a part of the problem and I needed to focus on my own issues. My journey began with “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
So I know first hand you cannot change or fix your spouse, but you can allow God to fix you. (Control the things that you can control).
My husband is home now and oh what a difference in us both.
I’m so thankful that God worked in your heart and your husband’s heart. Your sin doesn’t justify his sin. And his sin doesn’t justify your sin. It is easy to focus on our spouse’s sin and justify our own. But, of course, that doesn’t help anything.
I love that verse! Thank you so much for sharing and praise God for what He has done in you both!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!
Thank you for this. I have definitely fallen into the habit of idolizing my husband’s approval lately. I also find that my mothering affects my marriage so so much. When Christ is not first everything slowly falls apart.
Yes! When our thinking becomes skewed, and we don’t have Christ in His proper place, everything else does begin to unravel. And when we are filled up with Jesus and His Spirit, nourished by His Word and time in prayer, He gives us supernatural power to properly relate to the people in our lives.
Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you, precious sister! <3
the “men don’t tend to respect the influence of those who…” was wonderful because everything you listed can be turned around and helps the truth shine brightly as to what men DO desire to see in us women. This post was quite humbling even to read, I will admit I was creating little arguments in my mind to defend myself against some of these hard hitting truths. But all you say is true & GODLY! Thank you!!!
You are most welcome. It is hard to read this, and humbling. But as we allow the Lord to refine us, we have much greater power to use the influence of the Holy Spirit for much good in all of our relationships.
I hope to get to respond to your other question later today.
Much love! Thanks for the great comments!
something im curious about is how do we encourage our husbands (im not married yet) or someone we are courting/interested in to recognize our desire for them to lead? are there things we can speak to them or things we can do to SHOW that this is what we desire, i.e. the appropriate roles of a man vs. woman in a marriage and even in day to day interactions and allowing them to take this leadership role naturally, OR gently nudging them if necessary, without it turning into him being pressured? especially for men who have a difficult time recognizing where he should step in and the wife should take a step back, if that makes sense!!
That is a great question!
It could be ideal to read some things together about how men and women think and about God’s design for masculinity/femininity. Something like the first chapter of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Or watch David Platt’s Secret Church videos about marriage and manhood and womanhood together.
I also have some posts on this blog about how to encourage our husbands to lead. A lot of these posts would be helpful before marriage, too.
You can also respectfully ask him to lead, if you don’t think he is. A great thing to do would be to have a conversation about what you both feel is “normal” or “good” for relationship dynamics and marriage dynamics to look like. You can talk about your understanding of the words leading and following. And what it means to be a spiritual leader in God’s eyes vs. what submission means for all believers. Sometimes people take these things too far in dangerous ways – to one extreme or another. So it would be really good to know what page you are each on in advance. And you can talk about your parents’ dynamics in their marriages to see what may feel “normal.” And then you get to decide what you want to keep and what you want to toss from their examples.
Also, if you are really stressed about something, and it is overwhelming for you, or you feel it is too much weight in some way, it may be that you can ask for help with that issue.
And, if you take his advice sometimes, not always, necessarily, but sometimes, at least, that may help encourage him to lead.
You also want to thank him for being concerned about your feelings and for valuing your influence and ideas, as well.
As you treat him with respect and a cooperative spirit, most of the time, men will begin to lead.
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