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?
Men don’t tend to respect the influence of those:
- Who give unsolicited advice.
- Whose words and actions don’t match.
- Who seem to have selfish motives.
- Who appear to be trying to manipulate or control them.
- Who have a critical, condemning spirit against them.
- Who don’t treat themselves or others with respect.
- Who act like doormats or give up their personhood in passivity.
- Who idolize them and want their approval more than God’s.
- Who lack self-control.
- Who freak out a lot or are very negative.
For your words to be meaningful and valuable to your husband,
a few things generally have to happen over a significant period of time:
- He needs to know you respect the Lord above all else (yes, even if he is not a believer).
- He needs to 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.)
- He needs to see that the godly changes in your life are real and lasting.
- He needs to know you respect yourself properly, that you think rightly about God, yourself, and others.
- He needs to see that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who you are in Christ, that you are unshakeable in your faith.
- He needs to know that you will stand firmly, but respectfully, against sin, abuse, or mistreatment directed toward you.
- He needs to 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.
- He needs to know you respect him genuinely (but that you don’t condone or respect his sin).
- He needs to know he is safe with you emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, sexually, etc…
- He needs to see 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).
- He needs for you, if you are walking with the Lord, to 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.
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.
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
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.
Common sins that are super destructive to a marriage, intimacy, and trust:
- Gossiping about him.
- 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.
- Control, being demanding, manipulating him, bossiness, usurping his God-given leadership position.
- Complaining, arguing, a negative attitude.
- Bitterness, resentment, hatred, rage, or violence.
- Abusive language, insults, emotional abuse.
- A critical spirit.
- Comparing him unfavorably to other men.
- A spirit of offense.
- Acting like a doormat, giving up my personhood, idolizing his approval.
- People pleasing.
- Lots of fear, anxiety, and worry.
- Believing toxic lies about God, myself, and others.
If I invite God to show me any sin in my life, He will! And He will help me and heal me. 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.
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?
Stages of This Journey – Summary