3 Secrets to Building Real-Life Romance in Your Marriage

man holding a bouquet of flowers

Real romance is all about selflessness, thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity.

Sadly, we sometimes miss out on appreciating things that actually could be extremely romantic, if only we decided to look at them that way.

We are conditioned by our culture (and advertisers) to recognize certain specific things as romantic:

  • Flowers
  • Dinner out at a fancy restaurant
  • Pricey cards
  • A trip out of town
  • Diamonds
  • Jewelry

These things definitely can be romantic and very special treats that we can enjoy from our husbands, at times.

But the truth is, anything your husband does for you to benefit you, or your children, is a gift. And anything he does out of love, thoughtfulness, and consideration for you is special. Even if it is free.

If it costs him time, effort, energy, and/or money, he is generously extending love to you.

Don’t let his love go unnoticed, my dear sister!

SECRET #1 – APPRECIATION

Here’s a secret to experiencing greater romantic connection in your marriage:

Anytime your husband does something sweet for you—big or small— decide to receive his loving act toward you as something very romantic.

Because it is!

So if he does something loving like he:

  • Gives you a compliment.
  • Tries to cheer you up.
  • Brings in an income to help provide for your needs.
  • Fixes your car.
  • Runs to the store to get tissues and medicine when you are sick.
  • Stays home with the kids so you can do something to recharge.
  • Helps you with a chore.
  • Tries to protect you from harm in some way spiritually, financially, emotionally, or physically.
  • Invites you to go for a walk, or is willing to go for a walk with you when you ask him to.
  • Comes home to spend the evening with you instead of hanging out with friends or working late.
  • Chooses a movie he knows you’ll like or avoids one he knows you’ll hate.
  • Makes a sacrifice so you can have or do something important to you.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Smile! Let your face light up with delight.
  • Use a friendly tone of voice as much as possible.
  • Thank him with words and maybe a hug or kiss.
  • Appreciate his loving gesture and cherish it in your heart and mind.
  • Maybe even think about ways you could do something special for him that he would appreciate, too.

There is something extremely lovely and feminine about a wife graciously and joyfully receiving a gift her husband gives her. Your delight over what he did for you is a precious gift to him!

Romance in real life is found in appreciating the little things.

For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.

1 Cor. 16:18

SECRET #2 – GRATITUDE

Attraction and real life romance need nurturing. They are much like a garden. You have to pull the weeds, water, provide sunlight, monitor the temperature, and fertilize at the right times.

If you focus on the good and on being thankful for the good things you notice in your husband, romance will naturally begin to grow.

Some proven ways to nurture real-life romance and attraction:

  • Focus on the things you respect and admire about your husband.
  • Keep an ongoing list of things for which you are grateful about your husband and about things he has done for you.
  • Speak positively about him to yourself, to others, and to him.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thess. 5:18

(There are times we need to address sin. But, in general, if there is not major unrepentant sin going on, we want to focus on the good things.)

SECRET #3 – SOFTNESS

One of the most attractive things about women, to our men, is our softness. Yes, we have soft, lovely curves, generally. But more than that, when we respond and act with feminine gentleness, softness, and openness, that is beautiful and magnetic to our men, too.

Another way to be soft is to be responsive. Be responsive and open to his words, his loving acts, his gifts, and even to his touch. Melt into him when he touches you.

We want to avoid a few things that kill our softness:

And we want to invite God to help us be empowered by the Spirit (Gal. 2:22-23) to be:

  • Peaceful.
  • Patient.
  • Joyful.
  • Kind.
  • Gentle.
  • Self-controlled.

These godly responses draw our men to us, make them feel more masculine and protective of us, and tend to increase the attraction and romance in our marriage over time.

When we seek romance and our own feelings first, we end up sabotaging real-life romance. But when we seek Christ first and seek to honor Him as we relate to our men, romance generally results as fruit from being properly cultivated.

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet (or peaceful) spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Pet. 3:4

When you are spiritually healthy, then you are able to provide the most conducive atmosphere for your marriage to thrive.

There are more secrets to building real-life romance and attraction in marriage, but let’s start with these. Then we can build from there.

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What (rated G) secrets have you learned about how to increase romance and attraction in a real life marriage? We’d love to hear your insights.

(Note, if you are on the home page, you may need to click on the title of the post to go to the individual post’s page. Then you can scroll down to the comment box and search bar.)

Much love! <3

RESOURCES

NOTE – If you are facing severe issues in your marriage like uncontrolled mental health issues, abuse, violence, major addictions, etc… please seek experienced, trustworthy, godly help from a counselor, the police, a doctor, or whoever is appropriate. My posts are not written specifically for wives in extreme situations like this.

Do You Want to be the Greatest in God’s Eyes?

Very dirty feet

Greatness in Jesus’ economy is totally the opposite of everything worldly wisdom holds dear.

The Secret to Greatness

Jesus had two disciples, brothers, who wanted to be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom. They wanted the right to get to sit at His right (the position of greatest honor) and His left (the second greatest position of honor).

Jesus shared this shocking news with them:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:25-28

The greatest in His kingdom is humble, not proud.

Pride says things like:

  • I know better than God or anyone.
  • My wisdom is unparalleled.
  • I am equal to or greater than God.
  • I am so important.
  • I deserve the best.
  • I deserve to be greatly exalted and praised.
  • People and God should do my will.

Humility says things like:

  • God knows better than I do. His wisdom is much higher than mine.
  • God alone is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, completely holy, perfect, good, loving, just, kind, and righteous. He alone is worthy of worship. I am not.
  • God, His will, His kingdom, and His glory are the most important things.
  • I don’t deserve good things because I don’t have any merit on my own, but I am so grateful for all of the good blessings I have in Jesus.
  • Treating others well is more important than me getting my way.
  • I yield my will to God’s will.
  • I choose to honor, praise, and exalt God, not myself.
  • I am God’s servant, ready to do anything He asks of me.
  • I am willing to serve others the way Jesus came to serve me.

THE FOOT-WASHING WAY

Jesus, who is God in the flesh, the Creator of the universe, humbled Himself and washed His disciples dirty, smelly, extremely dusty feet. He took on the job of the lowest slave to set an example of the kind of leadership and greatness He desires in His kingdom (John 13:3-17).

The one who is the greatest in Jesus’ eyes is the most servant-hearted. God exalts those who do not exalt themselves and do not seek honor, power, and glory for themselves.

“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” 

― Andrew Murray, Humility

God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.

James 4:6

This is true in ministry, it is true in business, it is true in church. And it is true in Christian marriage. For both husbands and wives.

Sometimes, women don’t like the role God assigns to wives in marriage. Some would have us believe that “women are slighted in God’s plan” because they believe leaders are “more important” and they want to be the most important.

However, if we truly understood the accountability, sacrifice, cost, and expectations God has for leaders, we may not be so quick to demand that position for ourselves. Especially if we understood all the ways in which all people are equally loved and valued by God and that value has nothing to do with position or authority levels in His kingdom.

If any of us (male or female) wants to have “the most power” in our human relationships for our own selfish purposes, we have missed the entire point of the example of Jesus.

To live the Christian life (for a man or woman) is to die to our sinful nature and self, it is to forsake our pride, and it is to yield humbly and absolutely to the Lordship of Jesus.

Living for Jesus is a clear call to joyful servanthood

The Gospel

As a sinner— if we want to talk about what I really deserve, it is hell. But Jesus had great mercy on me. He came to save me from hell and from my sin. He took away the condemnation I earned and deserved, if I have trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord (please read here for how you can have a saving relationship with Jesus). And He has given me every spiritual treasure He possesses. It’s crazy!

  • He takes on my astronomical sin debt and pays it all in full.
  • Then He gives me total access to His overflowing spiritual bank account.

He has graciously given me all of His righteousness, goodness, and right standing with God. He has provided for my every spiritual need and for my every need now and in eternity. He gives me a new Spirit and nature. A new identity in Him. Greater love than I have ever known. He has already seated me in heavenly places with Him and even given me some of His authority to participate in the honor of bringing His will into reality on earth.

If only we could grasp even a fraction of these incredible truths!

Knowing Jesus Brings Contentment to My Heart

If I understand who I really am and who Jesus is and what He has done for me, I can be more than content serving any role He has for me in this world, as long as I get to be close to Him. I want to serve Him! Out of overflowing gratitude and love, not out of duty or drudgery.

What does it matter to me if I live in obscurity or in a position of worldly influence and power as long as I have Him?

All of my life is for His glory and His purposes now, not for myself!

If Jesus is my Lord, I will be willing and eager to serve in any capacity He has prepared for me. Whatever that may be. My only goal is to use the gifts and opportunities He has given me to exalt Him and bless and love others. I want to let Him bear much fruit in and through me. I long for His will, not mine.

If I am fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, no one can steal the blessings and spiritual treasures and miracles God has for me. If I choose to live by faith in Jesus, no weapon formed against me shall prosper and God will open the floodgates of heaven to accomplish all he wants to do in and through me.

The Lord Calls All Christians to Servanthood, Dying to Self, and Sacrifice

Ultimately, in marriage and in the Body of Christ, we are all called to humbly serve and love God and others. Leaders are simply called to go an “extra mile,” sacrificing themselves all the more and using their strength, position, and power for the good of those in their care.

That is why we are to respect them and cooperate with them, (but never follow anyone into sin), to make their job to honor the Lord easier, not harder. And that is why we are to use our influence authority for good, not to try to lead them astray or trip them up.

Honestly, all of us are called to be leaders of some type, as believers in God’s kingdom. Maybe we are moms, mentors, leaders at work, or maybe we have ministries for the Lord. All of us have positions of influence or authority somewhere, although the exact positions may be different. All of us have spiritual gifts to bless the Body of Christ.

Equal Value but Different Roles and Gifts

We don’t all have access to every possible leadership position or spiritual gift. But we all have total access to every good gift God has provided for us specifically and for believers in general.

Each of us is valued and loved equally. But we have different roles and gifts!

We cannot all be the eye. We are not all the foot. We are not all the right hand. God gives each of us certain gifts, according to His wisdom, for us to use to bless everyone else (1 Corinthians 12). He arranges all the parts as He desires them to be. We all need each other! And each of us have important roles to fulfill that will bring glory to Jesus and the kingdom, not to ourselves.

Greatness Is Available to Each of Us!

Servanthood doesn’t mean we become people pleasers, it means we become God pleasers.

All of us have the ability to seek greatness in Christ as we humble ourselves and empty ourselves of self, allowing God to fill us up to overflowing with Himself. There is no limit to what God is willing to do through a completely yielded vessel who is willing to take on a Spirit of servanthood just like Jesus did in Philippians 2:1-11!

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Does this concept surprise you? If so, how?

What has God shown you about the blessing and honor of servanthood and humility?

How has it impacted your marriage or other relationships for good?

NOTE – if you can’t access the comment box, please click on the blog title at the top of the post and you should be able to see the comment box at the bottom of the post, and the search bar, too.

RELATED

Bible verses about servanthood

What Was the Significance of Jesus Washing the Disciples’ Feet? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is the Biblical Pattern of Church Leadership? by www.gotquestions.org

What Are the Qualifications of Elders and Deacons? by www.gotquestions.org

The Danvers Statement

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

What Does the Bible Say about the Role of a Husband?

happy husband looking at bride

Ladies,

I laid the groundwork for this entire discussion in the posts, “Are Men and Women Equal?” and “What Does the Bible Say about the Role of a Wife?

As I mentioned in those previous posts, there are many ways in which women and men are equal in the kingdom of God. God equally loves all of His precious children—sons and daughters.

We have:

  • Equal access to salvation.
  • Equal adoption into the family of God through Jesus and His work on the cross and our faith in His gift.
  • Equal access to God and prayer through Jesus.
  • Equal access to the promises, power, and Word of God through Jesus.
  • Equal status as joint-heirs in Christ through His finished work on our behalf.

But men and women are not the same. We are not identical or interchangeable.

We have different roles, functions, and types of authority in the church and family. This is a good thing.

God’s purpose for our differences is that is a man and woman might display a living picture of the gospel in the way they relate to each other in marriage. (Eph. 5:22-33)

  • The husband is to represent the strong, selfless, humble, loving leadership and sacrifice of Christ Jesus for His bride, the church.
  • The wife is to represent the respect, honor, faith, love, and cooperative spirit that the church has for Christ.

Today, let’s take a look at the role of a husband in Scripture. Again, we must be willing to look at this subject in the context of the bigger picture of:

All believers are called to holiness and to God’s high standard to:

  • Love God far above anyone or anything else, the Greatest Commandment—Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt. 22:37)
  • Be Spirit-filled in all of our interactions with others—the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Gal. 5:22-23
  • Refuse to harm othersLove does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom. 10:13)
  • Love all people, the second greatest commandment—Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39)
  • Love with God’s supernatural loveLove is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
  • Treat all people with honor and godly respectHonor one another above yourselves. (Rom. 12:10)

The Role of a Husband in Scripture

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18  🕊

I am sharing this information for the sake of balance and the big picture. But the only One who can really always be all the perfect Husband to us is Jesus. Our husbands may fail us, and we may fail them, at times, too. But Jesus will never fail us.

CAUTION – For some wives, it can be upsetting to read about what a husband’s ideal roles are supposed to look like. If you know the basic role a husband is supposed to perform, and you know that it will upset you to read it, it is okay to skip the rest of this post.

I know for me, especially in the early years of my journey to become a more peaceful, godly wife, it was better for me to focus completely on what God called me to do. If I read about what husbands should do, I always wanted to try to focus on making my husband fulfill all of his roles, but that is not my job.

My job is to allow the Lord to transform me and to empower me to be the woman He calls me to be.

I want to simply present what Scripture says about a godly husband’s general role to get a broad overview of this topic directly from the Bible.

  1. A husband leaves his parents and clings to his wife and they are no longer two but one flesh, joined together by God. Nothing but death is supposed to separate them. They are united in a holy covenant. (Gen. 2:23-24, Mark 10:6-9)
  2. He has loving God-given authority (leadership) to humbly lead his wife according to God’s will. He never uses his strength to harm his wife. He uses his strength for her benefit: to provide for his wife, protect her, nourish her, and care for her— financially, spiritually, physically, etc… He does what is best for her (and their family) in God’s eyes, even if it is costly to him. (Gen. 2:23, Gen. 2:16-17, Eph.5:22-33, 1 Tim. 5:8)
  3. Godly leadership, in any arena in life (family, church, government, or community), is about servanthood, Christlikeness, dying to self, and seeking God’s will and His glory above all else. (Luke 22:25-27, Luke 22:42)
  4. He blesses and praises the good in his wife. (Prov. 31:28-31)
  5. He loves his wife in the power of God’s Spirit (with God’s agape love – 1 Cor. 13:4-8) and is not harsh with her. (Col. 3:19)
  6. He loves his wife with the same self-sacrificing love that Jesus has for His church in the way He gave Himself up for her. He loves his wife and cares for her as he does his own body. (Eph. 5:25, 28)
  7. A husband enjoys life with his wife even when life in this world is tough. (Eccl. 9:9)
  8. He humbly yields himself fully to the Lordship of Jesus and honors God’s spiritual chain of command in the family: God>Christ>husband>wife>underage children. He values his wife and family the way God does and wants to take the best care of them, knowing he answers to God for what he thinks, says, and does. He knows that only someone who is committed to absolute submission to the loving authority of Christ is truly equipped to lead well. He knows that that godly leadership is never about selfishness, abuse, or trying to control others. He seeks to love, lead by example, and point his wife and family to God’s way of Life and His wisdom. (1 Cor. 11:3Eph. 6:1)
  9. A husband is faithful to his wife and their marriage covenant, not cheating on her, not divorcing her, and not abandoning her. He does this out of reverence for the Lord and a commitment to his marriage covenant so that God will listen to his prayers and his children can be godly. His greatest loyalty is to God first. (Mal. 2:14-16)
  10. He does not look at another woman lustfully in his heart. (Matt. 5:28,)
  11. He honors the marriage bed and keeps it undefiled. (Heb. 13:4)
  12. He does not divorce his wife, except possibly if she breaks the marriage covenant in some way. (Matt. 5:32, 1 Cor. 7:10-11)
  13. He selflessly and generously gives his wife her conjugal rights (if his wife is not breaking their marriage covenant), meaning, he seeks to be available to her sexually whenever he possibly can. (1 Cor. 7:3)
  14. He lives with his wife in an understanding way, treating her with honor so that his prayers may not be hindered. (1 Pet. 3:7)
  15. He stays with and loves his wife, even if she is an unbeliever if she is willing to stay and is not breaking the marriage covenant. He prays that he might lead her to Christ with his love and godly example. (1 Cor. 7:12-16)
  16. A husband rejoices in his own wife, in his own marriage, in his wife’s body, and in their sexual intimacy alone. (Prov. 5:15-19)

Just a note—all of us, men and women, need the Holy Spirit’s power to help us be the people, spouses, parents, and everything that God calls us to be. None of us can meet these holy, perfect standards in our own strength. In our own power, we all fall short.

It all comes down to a willingness to yield ourselves completely to the Lordship of Christ.

We all need Jesus and His power to do anything He calls us to do!

God can use His glorious design for marriage to help us see how far we fall from His holy standard and how much we are dependent on Him. He can even use our spouse’s sins and annoying habits to help conform us to the image of Christ, which is His ultimate goal for His children.

Thankfully, whether a spouse is seeking to honor Christ or not, no one can stop us from deciding we are going to follow Christ and we are going to let Him transform and empower us to obey Him.

I’m so thankful that God uses ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). His good purpose for us is to make us more and more like Jesus, that we might bring great glory to Him and bring many into the kingdom (Rom. 8:29).

For more resources about a husband’s biblical role, please check out the list below. Please—always “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) of any author’s teaching, including mine, against the sound doctrine of the Bible.

NOTE— Ladies, if your husband doesn’t look exactly like Jesus right now, don’t be discouraged! None of us will look exactly like Jesus until we reach heaven.

Invite God to transform you into the woman and wife He calls you to be, that you might be a godly influence on your husband. Humble yourself and ask God to help you understand and do things His way.

Invite God to transform and empower your husband to become the man God desires him to be. Yield fully to God’s design and His calling for your life, no matter what your husband may choose to do, and you will be amazed at the power and love of God to do miracles in your life.

How to Influence an Unbelieving Husband for Christ

Much love in Christ!

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If you have read both the husband and wife’s role, what do you think? Who has the toughest shoes to fill? Or is it a tie?

What is easier to get excited about, what God calls your husband to do or what He calls you to do?

How does God’s design picture portray the gospel in tangible ways?

How does the picture of their parents’ godly marriage help children come to trust Jesus as Savior and Lord?

RESOURCES

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

What Does It Mean to Be a Godly Husband? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Being a Christian Husband? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Husbands? by www.openbible.info (list of verses)

What Are the Roles for Husband and Wife in a Family? by www.gotquestions.org

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

Is Christian Submission Only for Wives? by Peaceful Wife

Articles on Husbands by www.desiringgod.org

The Secret to Greatness in God’s Kingdom

The Qualities of a Godly Mate by www.bible.org (scroll way down to find husband at the bottom)

God Empowers a Husband to Face a Fierce Storm

Are Men and Women Equal in God’s Eyes? by www.gotquestions.org

**1050 New Testament Commands for believers in Christ (I am endorsing this particular list because it was the most comprehensive one I could find, however I have not had time to research the rest of the site.) by CAI.

ABUSE IS ALWAYS SIN and NEVER GOD’S DESIGN

What Does the Bible Say about Verbal Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Emotional Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is a Biblical Perspective on Domestic Violence? by www.gotquestions.org

Desiringgod.org posts on Abuse

Resources for Wives with Angry Husbands

angry man yelling into a phone

Dear sisters,

For dealing with an angry husband, I have several resources I would like to share that I hope might be a blessing. Of course, each situation is a bit different.

It is tempting to respond to our husband’s anger with anger of our own. But it is much more productive and healthy for us to respond in the power of the Spirit. It can also help us if we remember that anger is often a secondary emotion that springs from hurt or pain of some type.

By far the most helpful thing is to have God’s wisdom and discernment about what is really going on and how the Lord is prompting us to respond in that situation.

Sometimes, a husband may be open to discussing the things I am about to ask. Other times, you’ll know the answer when you see the questions without having to ask him about it. If a husband is particularly angry, he may not want to have a big discussion about any of the things I am going to share.

Sometimes, it is important to try to talk through things. Other times, a man may need some healthy space to work through his own anger.

When he is super volatile and feeling out of control, he may need to walk away to calm down. He may not be able to have a deep discussion right then. Let him go get himself under control. Don’t follow him and demand that he speak if he feels like he is about to blow up. That will probably only make things worse.

These questions are really mostly for you to prayerfully consider:

Is he actually angry?

  1. Is he just from a family culture or a geographical culture where people tend to speak loudly and forcefully, but they aren’t actually angry? Sometimes people from the South, for example, think people from New York City are angry because they talk faster and more loudly, but the New Yorkers may be speaking normally, from their perspective.
  2. Are you especially sensitive/insecure and maybe looking for anger behind everything he does, even when maybe he is not angry at you? Do you struggle with people-pleasing or idolizing your husband? Do you feel nervous at the thought that there could be any tension or conflict ever?
  3. Is it possible you could be misunderstanding him/his personality and that he doesn’t intend to communicate anger? Maybe he is simply trying to communicate something he would like to be different, but maybe he is not angry about it?
  4. Could he be reacting defensively because he feels attacked?

If he really is angry, with what or with whom is he angry?

  1. With God?
  2. With circumstances?
  3. With you?
  4. With other family members?
  5. With coworkers/customers/neighbors/church members/others?
  6. With himself?

What kind of anger is it?

  1. Righteous anger/jealousy? – Is someone sinning against him, someone he loves, or his family?
  2. Unrighteous anger/jealousy? – Is he holding onto resentment, bitterness, impatience, hatred, or another sin? Is he in rebellion against God or living in unrepentant sin?

What is the pain behind his anger?

  1. Does he know Jesus as his Savior and Lord? If he doesn’t, this is his greatest need.
  2. Does he feel that he is trying to lead in godly ways, but those entrusted to his care won’t cooperate (even though he is not asking them to sin or abusing them)?
  3. Is he attempting to rightly address sin against him or someone he loves?
  4. Does he feel like a failure, or is he afraid of being a failure?
  5. Does he feel shame for sin in his life or does he feel shame just for being a man?
  6. Does he feel rejected by someone important to him?
  7. Does he have deep wounds from his childhood that are not healed?
  8. How did his dad express pain and deal with conflict? Is it possible that this approach feels “normal” to him?
  9. Does he feel really pressured by someone about something?
  10. Does he feel someone has let him down?
  11. Does he feel disrespected, humiliated, or mistreated by someone?
  12. Is he stuck in an addiction to drugs/porn/alcohol/gambling?
  13. Is there unrepentant sin in his life?
  14. Is anyone egging him on and baiting him, trying to get him to get angry and lash out?
  15. Could he be under spiritual attack of some kind?
  16. Is he spiritually, physically, or emotionally depleted?
  17. Is he upset about a real or perceived injustice against himself, a loved one, or someone else?
  18. Is he afraid to trust God or others because of past scars?
  19. Is he taking a medication that can cause irritability or does he suffer from a health issue that may contribute to this (low blood sugar, ADD, Asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, schizophrenia, PTSD, low thyroid, abnormal testosterone levels, an infection, poor nutrition, or something else)?
  20. Does he feel overwhelmed by all he has to do and he just can’t figure out how to handle everything on his plate?
  21. Does he feel like he can’t win? Like there is no way for him to be the hero in the situation?
  22. Is he worried about someone he loves or something that is important to him?
  23. Does he feel powerless to fix a problem or to help someone he wants to be able to help?
  24. Does he feel emasculated in some way as a man?
  25. Is he fearful of something bad happening?

Is the anger explosive, violent, or out of control? If so, please seek outside help!

Most of all, we need the Holy Spirit’s leading and wisdom. He can prompt us to speak up or not to speak and what to say, many times, if we are tuned in to His leading.

We may not know what exactly he is angry about, at the time, at least. He may not even be able to explain it, sometimes. But God knows and He can give us His wisdom to respond rightly and without sin on our end.

PRAY

Don’t forget to pray Scripture over your husband and to invite God’s healing, His Spirit, His comfort, and peace into your husband’s heart and your home. Don’t forget the power of approaching God with praises and thanksgiving. Remember, if you are in Christ, you are seated in the heavenlies with Jesus and you have His authority, Spirit, power, and love.

Strength and Dignity eCourse

I love Nina Roesner’s eCourse, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.” It helps women find their bearings spiritually and heal in Christ individually and then gives tools for how to respectfully address a husband’s anger, defensiveness, and other difficult issues. And once you finish the 11-week eCourse, you get access to a private email forum where other women share and you can support each other, led by trained moderators. 

Also, Nina has an article I like called, “Got an Angry Man?”

Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas is a book that may be a blessing for wives with angry, difficult husbands, as well.

FOR THOSE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES

If you have really serious issues going on in your marriage, please seek godly, wise, experienced counsel or go to appropriate medical, spiritual, or police authorities for help. Please try to keep yourself and your children safe. And if you are abusing your husband or children and they are not safe, please reach out for help for yourself ASAP!

COUNSELING RESOURCES

What Does Scripture Say?

  • For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20
  • Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, Eph. 4:26
  • A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1
  • Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19
  • Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Eccl. 7:9

SHARE

If you know of some helpful resources, preferably biblically based ones, we’d love for you to share them with us!

More Resources:

Righteous Anger VS Unrighteous Anger

To Speak or Not to Speak?

6 Reasons Not to Criticize Your In-Laws

Do I Have a Spirit of Offense?

If I Insult Others, I Need a Spiritual Check-Up ASAP!

My Response to Insults Says a Lot about My Character

Is Avoiding Arguing Really Possible?

Some Conflict Is Inevitable

My posts on conflict

How Does One Handle Conflict in a Marriage? by www.gotquestions.org

A Godly Wife Confronts Her Angry Husband Respectfully

When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

Some Things God Has Shown Me about Conflict with My Headstrong Husband – a guest post

To Trust or Not to Trust? – VIDEO

Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?

When Would I NOT Submit to My Husband?

Prayer to Change in the Spiritual Atmosphere in Our Homes – by Radiant

Prayer for Us to Stand in the Authority of Christ – by Radiant

Where Do Hatred, Rage, and Violence Fit in Our Lives as Christians?

Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

Handling an Unwanted Divorce with Christlikeness

4 Approaches When You Think Your Husband Doesn’t Care

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

A Critical Spirit VS a Godly Rebuke

What Is Gaslighting? by www.gotquestions.org Gaslighting has three main components: 1) Convincing the victim that the abuse she suffers is her fault, 2) Convincing the victim that she did not experience what she thinks she did, and 3) Separating the victim from people who support her. 

How to Encourage Your Husband to Value Your Influence

man standing on beach

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:

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:

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.

SHARE

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?

Much love!

RELATED

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

Join Me for a 3 Week Fast from Negative Words

What Is Respect in Marriage?

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

Is It Possible for Me to Disrespect Myself?

25 Ways to Respect Myself

25 Ways to Reverence God

Stages of This Journey – Summary

What If Your Husband Doesn’t Care about Your Feelings?

sad man standing by window

Recently, we talked about 6 Scenarios Where We May Need to Break Contact with Others. Then we talked about “What If You Want Your Husband to Cut Ties with Someone?” I shared ways that wives can influence their husbands respectfully if we feel our husbands are involved with someone who may be toxic.

Generally, wives can simply, politely, vulnerably share their concerns with their husbands:

  • I’m concerned about this.
  • I don’t feel comfortable with that.
  • I have a bad feeling about this woman.
  • I’d appreciate it if you try to avoid contact with this person out of respect for our marriage and me.
  • I’d rather our children not be around him because I don’t trust him.

Where things get really dicey is when a husband doesn’t seem to care about his wife’s feelings.

There are several possible scenarios:

1. He may actually care but you may not see it.

2. He may actually care but he may not be showing it.

  • He may not feel safe emotionally with you.
  • He may be hurting too much in the marriage to be able to focus on your pain, feelings, or concerns.
  • He may be feeling really disrespected which makes him feel unloved and demoralized. He may be reacting to his perception of your attitude toward him. He may not realize that you don’t understand that his masculine need for respect is just as strong as your feminine need for love. He may find it impossible to believe that you don’t know what feels disrespectful to him.
  • He may be sick, tired, stressed, irritable, or grumpy so he may act like he doesn’t care. But this is not truly how he means and wants to act. His flesh may be weak and he may be struggling to act like the man he wants to be.
  • He may feel that “he can’t win” no matter what he does. If he tries really hard to please you, and you are still usually upset or critical, he may decide it’s just impossible to try to make you happy.

3. He may not be capable of caring right now.

  • He may be so spiritually wounded (or spiritually dead – meaning he doesn’t have a saving relationship with Christ) that he is not capable of loving and caring as he should, even if he wants to.
  • He may have a mental/spiritual illness like depression, anxiety, or there may be spiritual warfare going on.
  • He may be addicted to something and it may be the addiction running his life, not the real man you know.
  • He may be crushed under the weight of shame due to wrong thinking, fear of failure, or a sin that he is struggling to overcome.
  • He may be crushed under the toxic messages of our culture. He may feel that he is evil just for being a man. That he doesn’t matter. That he has no voice. He may not understand God’s beautiful and good purposes for him and for masculinity.

4. He may have chosen not to care.

  • There may be significant sin in his life, and/or severe emotional/spiritual pain that may entice him to purposely choose not to care about your feelings. He may be acting in the worst part of his sinful nature. He may believe the voice of the enemy.
  • He may have tried and tried to show love and has burned out. Perhaps he has come to a breaking point where he feels things are hopeless. A switch flipped and now, he doesn’t want to be who he was anymore. He has decided he is “done.”

The best approach for you to take depends on the root cause of the problem.

If your husband really does care but you don’t see it, he may be very frustrated that he can’t open your eyes to see his love for you. He may have tried everything he knows to do to reach you, but he can’t give you the spiritual awakening you need.

The amazing thing is – God CAN do this for you! If you are willing, God can and will absolutely heal your mind and soul.

If your husband doesn’t feel safe with you, thinks things are hopeless or he is not doing very well, himself, your feelings may not be at the top of his priority list.

His own pain may be the only thing he can see right now.

In fact, your words may actually repel your husband from you and from the Lord, especially if he feels you are trying to control him, mother him, nag at him, preach at him, or look down on him.

In the next post

I plan to share how you can approach your husband depending on which category y’all are in from this post.

Share

What general principles have you learned about this topic that may be a blessing to other wives here?

Let’s not get into the details of a husband’s sin in a public forum like this out of respect for the Lord, our husbands, and our marriages, please. But let’s definitely encourage each other with stories of God’s provision, wisdom, and the power of prayer. <3

Do you need prayer, encouragement, or more resources? Please let us know!

If you need private counseling:

RELATED

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ Jesus

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

How Do You Respect Your Husband without Idolizing Him?

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

To Speak or Not to Speak?

My Husband Doesn’t Spend Enough Time with Me

My Husband Doesn’t Speak My Love Language

Why Is My Husband So Skeptical of the Changes I Am Making?

Influencing an Unbelieving Husband (or One Who Is Far from God) for Christ

When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”

Handling an Unwanted Divorce with Christlikeness

BOOKS

For Women Only – by Shaunti Feldhahn – to help you better understand how men think.

The Peaceful Wife – by April Cassidy

What If You Want Your Husband to Cut Ties with Someone?

man standing on top of mountain

This is a joint post written by Nneka Simone (her words are in blue), April, and some anonymous wives’ examples. I appreciate the input, ladies!

We talked in my last post about 6 times when we may need to prayerfully consider breaking (or minimizing) contact with others. One of those scenarios is if our husband feels it would be best for us not to have contact with someone (please see the caveats in the post for times not to cooperate with this).

Of course, breaking contact completely is a pretty extreme response and should be reserved for certain situations as a last resort. It shouldn’t be our go-to response for most issues as it can cause a lot of unnecessary damage if we use it when it is not needed.

But what if it the scenario is reversed?

If you believe that a situation is harmful to your husband, the marriage, yourself, your children, or your family, you do have the ability (and sometimes the responsibility) to share your concerns with your husband.

Husbands have God-given positional authority and wives have God-given influential authority.

We do have an incredible ability as wives to influence our husbands for good or for evil.

It’s a good thing for us to share our hearts and minds with our husbands in healthy ways. Ideally, a wife would be a trusted advisor to her husband.

Even our children can and should share concerns if they don’t feel safe or comfortable around someone, or they don’t feel comfortable with us being around a certain person.

Everyone deserves to have a voice to say if something is upsetting or toxic to them or to someone they love.

This doesn’t necessarily mean things will definitely change. But people in positions of God-given leadership should be very willing to hear the concerns of those in their care whether it is at home, at work, at church, at school, or anywhere else. And if the concern is legitimate, the leader will agree to take some appropriate course of action.

The key is that we share respectfully and with right motives.

Nneka’s Take

Nneka Simone

It would be very tempting to react in the flesh and try to force your husband to cut people off by acting in the following ways:

Cry, beg and plead with your husband to cut them off.

Make angry and insistent demands that he cuts off the relationship.

Give your husband an ultimatum.

Lecture your husband about his choices and how they affect you and your children.

Complain about your husband’s friends to anyone who would listen.

Criticize your husband’s friends behind their backs.

Insult your husband’s friends to their faces.

Go directly to his friends and tell them to stay away from him.

Rant about your husband’s poor decisions on social media.

Go directly to your husband’s relatives or your pastor to complain about your husband’s choices.

Try to force your husband to be friends with men you think he should be friends with.

If we resort to these destructive tactics, we would repel our husbands. Our husbands would likely feel protective of their friends and defensive about their decisions. Our husbands would likely react in destructive ways and may even eventually form closer bonds with the friends we disapprove of.  

I can’t force my way, but I can make requests and suggestions.

If my husband knows that I love and respect him highly, and he also has great love and respect for me, he will likely care about my feelings and concerns. He will prayerfully weigh my words, if he is a believer.

Even if he is not a believer, if we have some level of mutual love and respect going on, he will probably be concerned if something is causing an alarm bell for me.

All I have to do is present my concern briefly and calmly. Usually just once. Then I can generally simply wait and pray.

However, there are many different possible scenarios. This approach may not be exactly what you need in every situation.

We need the wisdom, power, and discernment of the Spirit to know exactly how to approach our husband, especially if things are not going well, at the time.

There is a time to speak and a time to remain silent and pray. The only way to really know the difference is that we must be in close fellowship with the Lord.

NOTE – If it is a really dangerous situation, there are times we have a responsibility to call the police or reach out for help. This post is not intended to be a resource for life-threatening situations. Please involve all of the proper authorities immediately if you believe someone is truly in danger or being threatened. I am also assuming in this post that your husband is in his right mind. That he is not high, drunk, dealing with significant uncontrolled mental illness, or involved in serious unrepentant sin.

A Time to Speak

If you believe it is a time to speak up, some options may be to prayerfully consider saying things like:

  • I have a bad feeling about this person.
  • My “Spidey senses” are tingling about her. She seems like trouble to me.
  • I would like it if we both have X, Y, Z boundaries on our marriage to guard our hearts and help us avoid temptation. What boundaries do you believe we should have to protect our marriage?
  • May I have your permission to speak into your life? (If he says, “yes,” then I can gently share what I see that I believe the Lord desires me to share.)
  • I feel like that friend is disrespectful of our marriage/you/me/the kids.
  • I love that you are such a great friend to X. Sometimes, though, I would really love it if we could have more time with you.
  • I’m afraid you may be getting taken advantage of here and that makes me feel sad.
  • This situation makes me nervous.
  • It seems to me that this person undermines our authority as parents to our children. That’s not okay.
  • I feel like this person is trying to hurt our marriage/family/you/me.
  • I really don’t want us to be around him again unless he is willing to apologize for what he did and make some real changes.
  • I don’t feel safe around her because of X. I don’t want our kids to be near her.
  • These days, a man really can’t afford to be alone with a woman, even if he does nothing wrong. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I think Billy Graham’s standard was very wise for men and for women.
  • I don’t like this situation at all.
  • What this person is teaching doesn’t seem to align with scripture. What do you think?
  • I don’t trust this person.

**Remember to use a friendly tone of voice and body language!

Most of the time, simply, respectfully sharing your concern like this is enough.

He will get the picture and he’ll mull over what he wants to do with this new information. Even if he doesn’t talk about his thoughts, he will think about it. I promise!

Nneka’s Take

Constructive ways to handle this:

“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Rom. 14:13

A godly path to deal with such a situation would be to do the following:

1. Take your concerns to God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

Ask God to remove unhealthy influences from your husband’s life and fully trust that He will find a way to do it. Don’t give in to despair. Understand that God is in control. Keep giving thanks to God for his sovereignty. Let God’s peace rule in your heart.

2. Speak the truth in love.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Eph. 4:15

Gently and lovingly express your concern about your husband’s associates to him, without insisting that he cuts off ties with them. 

3. Pray for your husband’s associates. 

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Your focus should always be on the state of your husband’s soul and his associates’ souls. 

If your concern is about a friend who is a heavy drinker, drug addict, adulterer, or caught in significant sin, pray for that person to see the light and change his ways or to simply cut off ties with your husband.

Pray that God will open your husband’s eyes to that person’s influence on him. Even after that person stops contacting your husband, continue to pray for his salvation.

If your concern is about a woman who is trying to tempt your husband into an affair, it’s only natural that you may feel really hurt, angry and threatened by her intentions to ruin your marriage. However, God wants us to pray for those who hurt us and treat us badly.

We can pray for salvation, for their eyes to be opened, for conviction of sin and godly sorrow and true repentance. We can pray for spiritual healing and regeneration in Christ. We can pray the power of Scripture over the people who are toxic and over our husbands, children, and ourselves.

4. Focus on your husband’s good qualities

Think about his strengths and the many wise and loving decisions your husband has made. You would not have married your husband if you didn’t see a lot of good in him. Rather than focusing on his few poor choices, focus on all the things that made you fall in love with him. It would be wise to start making a list of his good qualities and good choices to add to it daily. 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil. 4:8

What if he still doesn’t break contact with the other person?

If you have shared your feelings about a situation respectfully, and he continues on in contact with someone you feel is too toxic, there are several things that could be going on:

  • He may have a different perspective.
  • He may try to minimize contact, but he may feel he can’t completely break contact, depending on the situation.
  • He may feel the person is not as toxic as you believe he/she is.
  • He may believe that to completely break contact would create a lot of unnecessary drama and he may think there is a better solution.
  • He may have different personal convictions – not that one of you is wrong – you may just have different definitions of how exactly to guard your heart or marriage.
  • The Lord may be leading him in a different direction that you don’t know about yet.
  • It may take some time for him to decide how to address the situation. Sometimes, you may just need to be patient, depending on the issue at hand.
  • He may decide to confront the person directly rather than just break contact. He may feel it is a Matthew 18:15-17 situation.
  • He may know something you don’t know that changes what the best approach might be.
  • It may take him a bit more time to see the danger you see.
  • It is possible that he has a more accurate view of what is happening than you do. All of us can be wrong at times.
  • Sometimes, husbands mess up, too. Sometimes they make poor choices or even sinful choices. They have free will, just like we do. It is a gift, but it can bring a lot of pain. You can’t control him, but you can decide how the Lord desires you to respond even if he doesn’t make the best decisions. There are times we need to confront sin.
  • Or, this may simply be an issue for you to take to the Lord in prayer.

Depending on the situation and on the Lord’s leading, there may be a time to address the issue again, eventually. Or God may direct you to simply pray and wait and let Him work. God can change a husband’s heart, our perspective, or He may even change the circumstances and other people.

My next post covers the issue of a husband who doesn’t seem to care what his wife says, feels, or thinks. That situation is going to require some adjustments in our approach depending on the root causes.

NOTE – If you realize that you expect your husband to break all ties with all of his family members, all of his friends, all of his coworkers, everyone at church, and everyone in every area of his life, then we are dealing with an entirely different issue. Please check out these posts.

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES

The Las Vegas Story

One of my favorite stories is from a reader of mine whose unbelieving husband wanted to go to Las Vegas with his single friend. The wife respectfully let her husband know she didn’t think the trip was a good idea. He went on with his plans. She and I prayed. The Lord intervened in a mind-blowing way. It was amazing!

The wife whose husband’s friends drank:

My husband has had friends who drank heavily and my husband started drinking heavily as well. Even driving drunk and getting into minor accidents. Me getting angry, crying, and complaining about his drinking and his irresponsible friends didn’t help matters at all.

I started praying that God would remove these people from my husband’s life and each time, God did!

One day each of those friends inexplicably stopped calling my husband. I was extremely relieved and happily told my husband “Jesus took care of it!” 

My husband no longer drinks heavily and I always joke with him that if he ever makes friends who drink heavily again, I’ll just pray them away.

My husband now has great respect for my prayers for him. When I ask him what he wants me to pray for, he always says “I know that you always want the best for me so pray for me however you want”. 

The wife whose husband’s friend was using him:

My husband has also had friends who consumed his time and constantly bombarded him with requests for favors and loans. I told him several times “A friend who always wants something from you is not a true friend. He’s just using you.” My husband never took my advice and would keep defending his friends and insisting that they care about him.

I gave up and stopped talking about it. I just took the issue to God.

Shortly after, my husband realized that he was being used and distanced himself from them. That “friend” actually moved out of the country without saying goodbye and made no effort to keep in touch. I was very relieved because I hate to see my husband being used by anyone. 

We have tremendous power in praying for our husbands once we approach the issue from a place of prayer and trust in God’s power over all situations.

Examples with No Immediate Happy Ending

Examples where things didn’t go the way the believer in Christ hoped, at least at first, but God was still very much at work:

SHARE

If you would like to share some godly wisdom you have learned in ways that will honor the Lord and your husband and anyone else who was involved, we’d love to hear about it. (Let’s not share specific details of wrongs others committed, though, please. Thanks!)

An Amazing 3 Year Update – by the Satisfied Wife!

The first 2 years of my journey were still a very big mix of ups and downs for my husband and me. Of course things got a lot worse before they got better, but over the first 2 years, it was a matter of my learning what it means to really be a wife, how to respect my husband, and how to trust God.

WHERE WORDS ARE MANY, SIN IS UNAVOIDABLE (Prov. 10:19)

The biggest thing that changed my marriage and the way we function together was me learning when to keep quiet, and to let my husband lead and make the major decisions (if we couldn’t agree). In the end, I truly learned that God is in control, and that He truly does lead us through our husbands if we let Him.
For a long time in the first 2 years, I didn’t talk much. If I did talk, it was something that had to do with our immediate life like what was for dinner, what was going on with my son, or stuff like that. I stopped talking and started mostly just listening to what he told me in terms of his own life struggles, etc…
I stopped giving him advice and telling him what was wrong with him and his life, basically.
If my husband asked me questions about myself or anything, I shared then, but usually only then. Sometimes, he would go a week without much verbal connection.
Sure enough, three years later, he does ask me what I think about certain things and situations that he is in or that we might be putting ourselves in. He does want to know my opinion sometimes about work stuff, about if we should move again, or what I think about certain things. So things have definitely improved in that way for sure.
I have become very close with a trusted girlfriend, so when I have tough emotions or just want to talk to someone supportive in life, I talk to her, not my husband. Not because he won’t support me, per se, but because I’ve learned to talk to a woman because ultimately, only a woman can understand how I feel sometimes!
A Note From Peaceful Wife
There are times when we may want to prayerfully consider cutting back a lot on our talking, especially we have a history of saying a lot of negative or hurtful things or if we have been trying to lead or control our men.
  • The goal is NOT for me to stop talking entirely or for me to become a passive doormat.
  • The goal is to let my hurting husband have some time and space to heal and to begin to feel safe again and to give him a break from me being overbearing, if I have been.
  • He may need some emotional and verbal space for awhile, if I have been verbally trying to control him for a long time. 
  • If you tend to be too quiet, you may need to move in the opposite direction. You may need to start speaking up more often. The key is that we seek to find God’s healthy balance. That we use our words to speak life and use our words for good, not to destroy our husbands.
I need to allow the Holy Spirit to control my tongue. I need God’s help so I seek to avoid sinning verbally against my husband. I want to stop criticizing, speaking negatively, bossing him around, giving unsolicited advice, insulting him, etc… This is not so that I will “have no power” in the relationship, but simply so that I honor the Lord and stop tearing my husband down.
This doesn’t mean I should never share my feelings. I DO need to share my feelings, thoughts, and concerns at appropriate times. Thankfully, I can learn to do this in respectful ways. I want to be thoughtful and prayerful about what is helpful to share and what would not be helpful. In time, as my husband heals and feels safer with me, most likely, he will begin to care a lot more about my feelings when he sees that I respect his feelings.
Greg and I experienced this same kind of healing in our relationship as I allowed God to help me stop hurtful words and learned to give him more space, too.

A NEW CHAPTER FOR US

Over the past year things changed completely and have been steadily getting better and better. The thing that helped me over the past year was again me realizing that my purpose is to be my husband’s helpmeet, not to try to lead him or our family.
This perspective launched our family into new territory and brought so many blessings. My husband had been wanting to move closer to where his work has been over the past 4 years, and I always objected to moving because I liked our house and town.
But last year, I saw that it was not my place to make that final decision, so I followed my husband’s lead and we moved to a new state, a new town, and a new house that is so much more spacious and better meets our needs. My husband also encouraged me to take a leap of faith and pull my son back out of public school, take him off his ADHD meds, and let him learn in a natural way and in our natural environment.
It has been the best year of our lives!

A SOURCE OF MUCH OF MY DIFFICULTY

After SO MANY years of struggling, heartbreak, and me feeling like things were hopeless, I discovered the most amazing thing to help me better cope with life and my emotions —- SLEEP!
For years I would set my alarm to wake up at 4:00am and stay continually sleep-deprived. Last year, I finally decided this was hurting me, so I let my body adjust into it’s natural sleep cycle and I wake up whenever my body wakes me up. (Now that my son is not in public school, we are free to do this.) I have never felt more alive and well balanced in my life! I had been putting so many unnecessary expectations on myself for so long, and finally, when I let nature have it’s way, I found out that I was missing out on so many things.
I now have full energy every day, and I have been able to re-engage with all of my interests that I put aside for lack of energy over those years. I got into a regular exercise routine and have even been getting back into touch with my creative side by doing art classes at the library and making scrap books. I regret wasting so much time focusing on minor issues and problems that seemed unsolvable, all while letting my life pass me by while I sat in a state of utter misery!

THINGS I HAVE BEEN LEARNING

My husband has had a porn addiction since he was a young teenager. I didn’t know how to deal with this, and it has been a major battle in our marriage. But almost a year ago, I came across a FREE and amazing program for wives** who are married to porn addicts, that helps women learn how to understand the addiction, how to support their husbands in recovery, and how to take care of themselves in the meantime.

I learned so many amazing things:

  • My worth doesn’t come from my husbands actions, but rather, I have worth simply because God made me and I am His child.
  • To separate my husband’s (and other people’s) actions from my self-worth and in turn have been so much happier. Things that used to send me off an emotional cliff now have little power over me.
  • To focus on my own well-being and my own actions instead of looking to my husband to make me feel any kind of way.
  • To “respect” myself and to gain control over my emotions and actions, something I have never been able to do before, EVER!
  • To focus my thoughts on what is good and right and true, and to keep worry and stress and fear to a minimum.

I studied the brain science behind all of that, and have found significant evidence that what we think about truly impacts how we feel, and it all stems back to the brain chemicals that our body releases when we think a thought.

  • When we have good thoughts, we feel good.
  • When we have bad ones, we feel bad.

It is simple, yet life changing when you apply the information.

So this is where I am! I am happy, thankful, blessed. I am healthy and living life to the fullest with my husband and son.

MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN CHANGING, TOO!

Many wives will wonder—has my husband changed at all over these three years?

ABSOLUTELY!
My husband has learned to get a grip on his own emotions and has learned to hear my point of view. He now gives me the freedom to be who I really am. We hardly argue anymore (and it’s been over a year so I know it’s not just for a short amount of time). My husband has been able to relax more in my presence, and open up about his own struggles and frustrations in life.
We have had many good memories over the past year. He is more willing to spend his free time with my son and me and has showered me with little gifts and things to show his love and appreciation for me.

But has his basic personality changed?

Not really. He is still very quiet, to himself, introverted, not needing much affection or even attention.
But I changed by learning to accept who he is, and finding my own ways to get my own needs met. I stay engaged in my own activities, and focus on my responsibilities, and do things that I enjoy in life. Then I feel fulfilled whether he is meeting my needs or not.
Once I let go of trying to make things be the way I thought they should be, and instead focused on the things I could change (my own habits, time management, choices, etc.), things have only been getting better.
I feel balanced emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I rest in the fact that Jesus died for me, and that He has been working in me all these years for good. I have nothing to worry about. I am blessed. I am thankful.
I pray this update blesses you, and maybe many others! 🙂 Sending love your way!
**Curethecraving.com has a page for wives. You sign up with your email and start receiving a weekly recorded call that you can listen to from your phone or computer, and it takes you through so many amazing steps to find healing and balance in your own life! I owe all these good changes to this program. The couple who do the program are Christians as well.
(From Peaceful Wife – Note, I have not personally completely examined this resource. Please use prayerful discernment with any teaching material and test to be sure it is biblically sound. Thank you!)
RESOURCES
Previous Posts by The Satisfied Wife

10 Tips to Be a Peaceful Wife on Vacation

Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash

Vacations are supposed to be a fun time of relaxation with our families, a time when we make beautiful memories to cherish forever. Unfortunately, it’s easy for a vacation to become stressful and anything but peaceful.

How is it that a wonderful trip together can often bring out our worst?

Thankfully, as women who know Jesus, we have access to the Holy Spirit and the spiritual abundance of Christ all the time.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus. Col. 3:17 NLT

Here are some tips I have learned about vacation issues to help you build up your marriage and family. (They may even come in handy at home, too!)

10 Peaceful Wife Vacation Tips

  1. Share what you would like to do with your husband in a friendly, polite, non-pressuring way.

    • Remember that your respectful approach is often more important than what you ask for.
    • Keep in mind that the way you approach your husband is your powerful example to your children of how you want them to approach you, your husband, and other people in positions of authority in their lives.
    • If you have to sin in order to get what you want, whatever you wanted is not going to be worth it in the end. (Gal. 5:16)
    • Avoid insulting or humiliating your husband, children, and others. Avoid arguing, complaining, freaking out, taking control (except for an emergency where it is truly necessary), and bitterness, etc…
    • Don’t let the vacation become more important to you than pleasing Christ or more important than your marriage or family relationships. Even a vacation can become an idol if we are not careful (something that we desire more than we desire Jesus).
    • Treat your husband with honor and respect because this honors the Lord. (Rom. 12:10, Eph. 5:33)
    • Treat yourself with respect, as well. (Think rightly about yourself according to God’s Word.)
  2. If you and your husband don’t agree on what to do (after you have both shared your preferences), seek to have a cooperative spirit.

    • Try to be open to the good aspects of his idea and think of his plans as a gift he wants to give you and your family. Don’t immediately assume his idea is awful.
    • Remember that you are both on the same team!
    • Don’t push to go beyond your budget or pressure him to go into debt. (Rom. 13:8)
    • He may be trying to do a good job leading, why not be supportive? (Col. 3:18-19, 1 Cor. 11:3)
    • This may end up being your favorite trip, ever! Who knows? If you have an adventurous spirit and are open to receiving the experience he wants to share, it could bless your marriage and family.
    • If he asks you to do something you are seriously unable to do or that completely terrifies you, it is important to respectfully share your fears and concerns. If he wants to go to an amusement park he thinks the kids will enjoy, but you get motion sickness, you don’t have to ride the rides. You could say something like, “I can’t ride anything, but I am happy to go with you and enjoy watching you and the kids have fun.”
      • (Note – if you or your children are not safe in your marriage, please get experienced, trusted help ASAP! And if your husband or children are not safe with you, please get help for yourself ASAP!)
  3. Keep things in perspective. 

    • Each person’s desires, ideas, and preferences about a trip are important. Both spouses want and need to feel heard and to know that they each have a voice.
    • But it’s critical to remember that the marriage covenant and how you treat each other is much more important in God’s eyes than where you go and what you do for a few days. (Matt. 22:46-40, 1 Cor. 13:4-6)
    • You have tons of influence and power as a wife/mom to make or break the entire trip because you are the precious heart of the family. You are like the thermostat and you generally get to set the emotional temperature for everyone.
    • The way we treat others, including our family members, is the litmus test God uses for our love for Him. We treat others with love because God loves us and we love Him. (Matt. 25:40, 1 John 4:19-21)
    • Take responsibility for yourself spiritually. Focus most on your character and the way you think, speak, and act as you invite the Holy Spirit to help you set a godly example for everyone around you. (Gal. 5:22-23)
  4. Pray for yourself, your family, and those around you.

    • Don’t take a vacation from a strong prayer life or from time with the Lord and His Word when you are on a trip. Write in your prayer journal. Set aside some time, even when you are waiting in lines to pray God’s blessing, favor, and promises over your husband, your children, those around you, the city (and state and country) where you are visiting, and yourself. (1 Thess. 5:17) Meditate on Scripture. Set your mind on praising and thanking God. Confess any sins right away to Him.
    • Invite God to do miracles and amazing things in your every day life and all around you – at home and away. He is always with you and always ready to accomplish His good purposes in your life. (Heb. 13:5, Rom. 8:28-29)
  5. Be flexible.

    • Things don’t always go as planned. That is just how this life is sometimes. Your response is often more important than the problems that come up. With Jesus, you can choose to respond with grace, understanding, love, kindness, joy, and peace.
    • If you can’t go on a trip this year, decide to make amazing memories at home. Great family memories don’t have to be expensive! And they don’t have to be out-of-town, even. A trip is a luxury, not a right or necessity.
    • Be ready to think of the detours and obstacles as an adventure to share together. God may have an amazing blessing to give you through something that seems bad, at first, no matter where you are.
    • If a really difficult trial arises, turn to the Lord in faith and trust and thank Him that He is with you. Ask Him to be glorified even in the midst of the trial. (James 1:2-4)
  6. Maintain a sense of humor and fun. 

    • If your flight gets delayed, a storm comes, plans change, or someone gets sick or injured (and it is not major), see if you can find some fun even in the problems. It may be that this situation becomes a treasured family story that you will all look back on and enjoy… eventually.
    • A great sense of humor, especilaly when it is shared together, can smooth over a lot of rough patches.
    • Going through trials and problems can be really bonding if you have the right attitude.
    • Ask God to empower you to be a blessing to your husband and kids.
    • Focus on the good. (Phil. 4:8)
    • Practice thanksgiving. (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
  7. Be willing to let go of control.

    • Accept that things will not be perfect and not all go exactly the way you want them to go. Choose to trust God rather than cling to an illusion of control.
    • When we try to control things, we only make everyone around us (including ourselves) miserable.
    • You can still relax and enjoy things, even if it wasn’t exactly what you had envisioned.
    • Be open to new things and changes in plans and allow the Lord to lead in your life in ways you don’t expect. (James 4:13-14)
    • Experience God’s freedom for you from worry and fear. (2 Tim. 1:7)
  8. Be aware of moments to share God’s love with your husband, children, and those around you.

    • As believers in Christ, we are always on mission wherever we go. (Matt. 28:19)
    • Invite God to show you opportunities to be to share the gospel, share part of your testimony, or to be the mouth, hands, and feet of Christ to strangers around you.
      • Yes, even in the airport, at a rest stop, in the theme park, or on the street of a major city.
      • Maybe you can take fresh to-go cups of ice-cold drinks out to some homeless people right outside of the restaurant where you eat lunch, if your husband is on board with it.
      • Who knows what a blessing you and your family could be?
    • Also be on the lookout for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love and grace to your husband and family.
    • Maybe you can use time in a long line to sing a praise song to the Lord, (in a way that is respectful of others around you). Or maybe you can use waiting time to read or listen to God’s Word alone or with your husband or children. Or you can ask everyone to name things they are thankful for or to share their favorite parts of the trip so far. Even the times of waiting can be a blessing if you have a wonderful attitude.
    • Maybe you and your husband would be excited to do a family mission trip for vacation? There are organizations that can help provide opportunities for this. Imagine the joy of sharing Christ with others together as a family!
  9. If everyone is getting tired or grumpy, invite God to give you and your husband His Spirit for strength, patience, wisdom, and discernment.

    • Your good attitude may just be contagious.
    • Try not to over schedule yourselves. Rushing and hurrying adds so much stress! It is impossible to enjoy things when you are in a huge hurry. The bigger the rush, the more tempting it will be to snap at each other and be irritated. No one needs that!
    • Recognize each family member’s limits and seek to accomodate them wisely.
    • Ultimately, remember that the people you love are more important than the plans and schedule.
    • Life is way too short to get upset over little things that ultimately won’t really matter.
  10. Carry a sense of wonder with you.

    • Notice the little beautiful moments.
      • The glorious sunset.
      • The butterfly on a flower nearby.
      • The laughter of children.
      • The lightning bugs blinking in synchronization in the apple orchard at night.
      • The grandeur of the mountains.
      • The vastness of the ocean and the rhythm of the waves.
      • The creativity of an architect, artist, or designer and what a gift God has given each of us to be able to be creative as a reflection of His ability to create.
      • A theme in a story or show that conveys biblical truth.
    • Think and talk about how amazing the Creator of the universe is. (Gen. 1:1)
    • Appreciate your senses, your husband, your family, and each experience.
    • Stay in the moment. Put the phone away sometimes. Savor this time together. Be fully present and with your husband and children.
    • Enjoy each moment to the fullest, even if it is not perfect.
    • Be open to the spiritual treasures the Lord may want to share with you each day wherever you may be.

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What tips do you have to help other wives and moms be peaceful on vacation? We’d love to hear the wisdom God has shown you!

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