7 Basic Needs of a Husband and 7 Basic Needs of a Wife – Rev. Weaver

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Usually today is prayer day. But my schedule has been suddenly disrupted this week – which is fine. God is certainly sovereign over that.

I have been wanting to share this post and am so excited to get to share it today with you.

From Rev. Harold Weaver’s marriage class, posted with permission. (Rev and Mrs. Weaver celebrated their 50th anniversary about a year ago.)

Ladies,

Please focus primarily on the needs of husbands. ūüôā If we allow ourselves to get too caught up in our own needs, it can often lead us to spiral into sin – particularly for wives who have tended to be controlling/disrespectful. I know it can for me! If things are not going well and you are feeling very discouraged or unsatisfied in your marriage, I encourage you to skip the needs of a wife and go directly to the needs of the husband – if you have already shared your needs many times, in particular. It is entirely possible to turn these legitimate needs into idols (things we put above Christ and seek to fulfill in illegitimate ways) if we are not careful to find all of our contentment, identity, security, peace, joy, purpose, acceptance, strength and hope in Christ alone. I have linked the class notes for each of the husbands’ needs so you can find out much more detail about each of the points about husbands.

Each of the basic needs of a husband has a link to the class notes on that heading that may be very helpful, as well. Enjoy!

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A WIFE

1. A wife needs the stability and direction of a husband who is functioning as the spiritual leader of his family.

2. A wife needs to know that she is meeting vital needs in her husband’s life and work that no other woman can meet.

3. A wife needs to see and hear that her husband cherishes her and that he delights in her as a person.

4. A wife needs to know that her husband understands her by protecting her in areas of her limitations.

5. A wife needs to know that her husband enjoys setting aside quality time for intimate conversation with her.

6. A wife needs to know that her husband is aware of her presence even when his mind is on other matters.

7. A wife needs to see that her husband is making investments in her life that will expand and fulfill her world.

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A HUSBAND

1. A husband needs a wife who respects him as a man.

2. A husband needs a wife who accepts him as a leader and believes in his God-given responsibilities.

3. A husband needs a wife who will continue to develop inward and outward beauty.

4. A husband needs a wife who can lovingly appeal to him when he is going beyond his limitations and wisely respond to those who question his ideas, goals or motives.

5. A husband needs quality time to be alone with himself and with the Lord.

6. A husband needs a wife who is grateful for all he has done and is doing for her.

7. A husband needs a wife who will be praised by other people for her character and her good works.

 

 

The Dryer Incident

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From a wife with an unbelieving husband.  She has been on this journey for about 5 months now, and it has been quite difficult. Her husband has felt very disrespected for a long time. Things are quite tense, even now. Her husband has even threatened to leave a few times in recent weeks. But her faith in God is growing by leaps and bounds and what He is doing in her is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share:
For a day that didn’t start out that great, I’m doing pretty good now.¬† I woke up to my husband yelling at me about his clothes in the dryer still being wet and now he was scrambling trying to get ready for work and how ridiculous it was that I thought what he did didn’t make sense when obviously I should know better than to put so much in the dryer.
I could hardly process it and all I said was I was sorry before he stormed out to work.  He had cleaned out his truck of all his work things that had gathered up over the past while and brought in a bunch of dirty clothes.
I thought I would bless him by doing a bunch of laundry while he was out in the evening. 
I left the last load in the dryer and went to bed.¬† I didn’t mean for it to still be wet in the morning.
I was so discouraged.¬† It seems even my attempts to bless him backfire.¬† I can’t get things right or he misinterprets my intentions. ¬†I was determined not to get angry or feel sorry for myself, though, and was praying that God would help me to bless him and know how to respond to him.
I really focused on one statement that he said when he was upset that described what he was feeling underneath his anger: ¬†“You think what I do doesn’t make sense.” ¬†How frustrating for him!¬† To feel like I’m always judging or looking down on or trying to change what and how he does things.¬† How utterly disrespectful of me!¬† So, while part of me was hoping that maybe the dryer was broken and the clothes being wet wouldn’t be my fault so he’d feel bad about yelling, I was glad for this glimpse into his perspective so that I could focus on how he was feeling/hurting instead of myself which would’ve led to self-pity and resentment and nowhere good.

Now, I think there’s something else that came to my awareness through this.

My motives.

Maybe I’m doing these things to bless him, yes, but also with not exactly expectations, but hopes that he’ll notice and feel badly about how he’s treating me.¬† I should be doing the laundry for Jesus!¬† ūüôā¬† To honor Jesus by blessing my husband and being respectful and submissive despite my husband’s actions, without expectations or even hopes for any change.¬† This is hard!¬† It’s hard not to hope for things to get better and not to think about how maybe if I do certain things it will help make things better.¬† How do I keep myself from thinking like that instead of focusing on Christ?¬† I guess just by constantly examining my motives and repenting when they’re not exactly pure.

Anyway, I was still thinking on all this when my husband called!¬† He asked how our son was, who has a cold, but that seemed a bit odd to me.¬† He doesn’t usually call without a specific reason.

Then, he said he was sorry!¬† That he didn’t mean to freak out at me, but was just really frustrated that all his clothes were still wet.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t see how shocked I was!¬† An apology was the last thing I was expecting!¬† I thought at best, it just wouldn’t come up again.¬† I thanked him and apologized again, trying not to defend myself, but just saying I was trying to be helpful and I didn’t mean to overload the dryer and cause him so much frustration.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This precious sister of mine is in a DIFFICULT situation. BUT – she sees with God’s eyes now. She sees how this argument was a chance for her to discover a bit more of her husband’s pain. She sees how God used this painful situation to help her uncover her true motives and to refine her faith. AND – she sees how when she obeys God and seeks to honor and please Him alone, He is able to speak to her husband – even though his heart is distant and hard right now.

Please join with me in praying for this couple – for his salvation and for her to be strong in Christ and to be the godly wife and missionary God calls her to be “without a word” who can win him by the respectful and chaste way she conducts her life. (I Peter 3:1-2).

I appreciate her willingness to share. This is a LONG, LONG journey. But God has grown my friend’s faith by leaps and bounds. She has SO MUCH MORE of Jesus than she has ever had in her life. She is even experiencing God’s peace and joy in the midst of this fiery trial many times. It is a difficult battle – she knows that her husband is not her real enemy. And she faithfully stands in the gap to pray for God’s best for him and for God to open his eyes that he might experience the abundant life, peace and joy that Jesus offers to him.

This¬†friend is such a blessing to me. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her!

Things Are Beginning to Click – a Wife’s Little Victories

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:
I am taking an email vacation until January 7th.  I plan to continue to post and will respond to comments as I am able Рyou are welcome to comment any time.  But if you can please hold emails for me for a few weeks, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!
From a wife and sister in the Lord who is beginning to understand:
My husband and I are both Christians who are walking with the Lord and I’d say we have a “good” marriage but we are always wanting it to be great!
  • We have only been married 3 1/2 years but my husband has always been telling me that I’m disrespectful, controlling, and that I “argue” with him a lot. ¬†
I just thought he was totally crazy about the control thing and I thought he was just paranoid about being controlled! In fact, I thought he was leading and was a great leader. It wasn’t until reading your blog that I realized how related the issues of disrespect and control are and how intertwined.
  • I read Love and Respect (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) twice, we took the conference.
  • I read “For Women Only” (by Shaunti Feldhahn)
  • I’ve read various other books on marriage

I have not been able to get a clue of what is respectful to my husband!

Yes, we have spent HOURS talking, discussing, arguing, crying, and yelling at each other over what is disrespectful to him and what is not. Obviously, it is frustrating to him that I don’t “get it.” ¬†Your blog, though, has been the first thing that gave me a CLUE!
Like I said, we are not stereotypical. My husband does NOT withdraw or get silent whenever I disrespect him. He ALWAYS tells me and I always tell him when he’s unloving and I think that is why our marriage is still “good” even though we do fight a lot, it is because we don’t keep anything in the dark!
I finally found out what he meant by “arguing” by reading your blog. I seriously had NO IDEA!! I didn’t understand why he would get mad when I “shared my feelings” with him until reading your blog. I felt absolutely baffled by it! He also notoriously calls me “negative” and tells me I “complain” a lot, which would make me furious! And so I would defend myself thinking that he would then see that he was hurting me and fall on his knees to apologize.. I had no idea that I was actually perpetuating the disrespect by defending myself. This is still the hardest thing for me because I hate being wrong and being the person who needs to apologize, etc.
One of your most helpful posts for me was about when he says something hurtful to just say “I’m hurt” and quietly walk out of the room, respectfully. Of course, I always want to sit down and have a huge heart to heart if he says something hurtful and then he feels disrespected! I can’t count how many nights we have spent fighting because I wanted to tell him how hurt I felt and he thought I was nagging him! That was also totally perplexing because I would be like, YOU hurt ME and now I’M A NAG?!?!??! So confusing!!!!!
A NEW APPROACH
The first time I tried this, I said “I’m hurt” 3 different times the same night and then walked out and he yelled a few things at me as I walked away but I never said anything back (which is a miracle for me! I’m a fighter!).
A few hours later, he turned off the TV and told me to come over and that we needed to talk!
What?!?
He said he knew something was bothering me and wanted to hear about it and so we ended up having that heart to heart.
One other huge break through, I have tried many times in the past to tell him things I do respect about him but he has never believed me and he knew I was just doing an exercise I read in a book or something. However, after reading your blog and comments on there, etc, I realized that he has never withdrawn from me or our boys and he has never stopped leading, even in the face of my disrespect and attempts to control.
  • So I told him that I was very impressed that he still continues to lead, to tell me my sin, and to try to engage in the family even when I’m wrong and even when most men do the opposite.

His face changed and he thanked me and said that he felt very respected from that comment!

That is the first time he has ever said that!
He’s always thought I was being phony when I try to compliment him.
A BABY STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
One small victory today‚Ķ we are moving next week and our house is a disaster and we’re packing most of our kitchen stuff up. I asked if we could go to our favorite Mexican place for lunch since we don’t have much food left in the house and I stated my reasons for wanting to go today versus another day.
He said, “No, we’ll go tomorrow for lunch.”
And I said “Ok!” in a happy tone and walked off to keep packing.
Throughout the morning, I kept thinking of more reasons why today is the best day to go instead of tomorrow. But I remembered words from your blog and I refused to say any more of my reasons (I had already given several when I first asked) and then…
Instead of eating my PB sandwich in a depressing way and mentioning how much better the Mexican food would be (many thoughts like that kept coming into my head and I’m used to just blurting them out, not even thinking about it!) I kept it to myself!
Yay!!
And then all afternoon, I kept wanting to say, “So‚Ķ did you notice anything different today‚Ķ ” hahahah!! But I had to get a hold of myself and say Look! You’re doing this for the Lord first and your husband second and not for yourself! It’s not about how much praise you get for it! So that is my mini-success of the day. (:
And no fighting occurred today.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
I am so thankful that this precious wife allowed me to share her story! ¬†And PRAISE GOD her husband does not become passive but continues to attempt to lead in a godly way! ¬†THAT IS AWESOME! ¬†I’m so proud of him!
In the beginning when we are just learning to give up disrespect and what respect means and to stop arguing and complaining, this is exactly how our thought processes will go.  I love how this wife shared Рshe articulates what almost every wife experiences and feels on this journey in the beginning at some point.
But watch how God is beginning to help her to understand her husband and how she is consciously letting go of control and consciously learning to approach her husband with respect and the new, healthier internal dialogue she is having with herself now. ¬†This is really key, ladies! ¬†And I am SO proud of her for not demanding or asking for affirmation from her husband. ¬†She is doing what God commands her to do as a wife – respect her husband and honor his God-given leadership. ¬†God will reward her for her obedience in heaven. ¬†She is not doing this for accolades of praise from her husband – she is doing this because she wants to obey God. ¬†I’m really glad she caught her motives and realigned her sites to keep her eyes on Christ.
WOOHOOO!!!
PRAISE GOD for what He is doing in this wife’s heart!
RELATED:
How to Stop Arguing and Complaining (which is a command of God for all believers in Philippians 2:13-16)

New Stories to Share

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I never get tired of hearing¬†about and sharing what God is doing in people’s lives. ¬†That is the greatest joy I get to experience doing this work for God. ¬†I am so very blessed to have a front row seat to¬†watch Him changing people and bringing glory to Himself in women’s hearts and in their marriages and families. ¬†Sometimes I just¬†want to burst I am so overflowing with joy every day. ¬†A big thank you to these wives for allowing me to share!
*** ¬†Administrative note – I am going to have very little computer time for the next week. ¬†I will handle comments and emails as I am able to. ūüôā ¬†Thanks for understanding!
WIFE 1 – DEALING WITH A CRITICAL HUSBAND
My dear Sister, Good Morning,
It has been two weeks now and I am doing very good.¬† All these years I’ve been trying to change my husband and I never¬†submitted myself to God.¬† Now things have changed drastically and my husband verbally says that he is seeing so much change in me.¬† Although¬†he brings up his cutting remarks here and there – that doesn’t affect me at all now.
When his words are hurting I ask God to show me where I should change here, maybe he is right. ¬† If God also feels the same way – (I don’t try to justify) myself.¬† I just keep quiet.
This happened today morning,¬†my husband¬†was telling me about how I should handle better¬†when¬†our little ones fight for toys. ¬†I was quiet even though I had different opinion and can feel the Holy Spirit talking inside me to¬†be quiet and listen since¬†my husband had been right before.¬†¬†¬†My husband¬†said¬†¬†he feels like talking to a wall since I am not acknowledging his words, then I realized that I’ve been talking inside me all this time and told him
“Ok, I understand. I’m thinking about your¬†words”.
He was very happy when I said that.  He went to take a shower to get ready for work and came back and told me that while he was taking a shower God spoke to him that I am special and he should be considerate of me.  I was so moved and felt the love of God flooding me and thanked God for speaking for me.
Now I know that my husband can hear God’s voice only when we are silent.¬† Or only our voice will be ringing in his head.¬† How true!!
I thank you for making me understand this truth.  I can really enjoy the peace of God nowadays.
Your series of FAQ’s are very good and helpful.
Your ministry is a blessing to me.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
There are times when we need to share our feelings, times we need to share when we are hurt, and some times that responding with silence is best when our husbands are critical. ¬†I’d love for us to listen without defending ourselves when our husbands offer criticism, to see if God might have something to tell us through them. ¬†The most important thing is for us to be sensitive to God’s Spirit’s promptings about what to say and what not to say!
WIFE 2 – HOW A WIFE’S SUBMISSION BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN BOTH SPOUSES
April,
I cannot tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading this blog.
Even though I considered myself a woman of wisdom (age 57) who tried hard to apply Christian principles in my life, your articles have shown me I still have many improvements to make, and this has been truly humbling. I never really understood how subjection to my husband would ultimately bring out the best in us both, but I’ve already seen that it works.
We are undergoing more than the usual stress now because we moved and are renovating a building on a very limited budget. A few days ago we discussed whether or not to keep the older carpet in the bedroom; I didn’t want to keep and my husband did. We both presented valid reasons for our opinions. My husband listened to mine, and I listened to his, and afterwards, I said I would trust him to make the decision that was in our best interests, with all the information we had discussed.
He looked at me in surprise and said, ‚ÄúYes, but I don‚Äôt just want you to give in to me but then be miserable every time you look at it, and then it would be all my fault.‚ÄĚ
I told him I would truly accept his decision, and that meant I would focus on all the positives of keeping the carpet instead of the negative ones.

This was a turning point, April.

I learned‚ÄďTRULY‚Äďthat submission to my husband doesn‚Äôt mean I have no voice or influence; it just means that I TRUST my husband to do what‚Äôs best for us both, and can CHOOSE to see either the positive or negative side of whatever decision he makes.
When I saw the look on his face at this point, I wanted to cry, because it was suddenly tender. He said he thought we should ask the carpet cleaner‚Äďwho he had arranged to come and give us an estimate for the cleaning‚Äďhis opinion, and I agreed. The next morning, he thanked me for entrusting him with the decision, but said that his decision was to ask me if I would talk with the carpet cleaner and make the decision based on his professional advice.
  • If I had kept arguing to do what I firmly believed was best, both of us would have been unhappy.
  • But trusting my husband resulted in both of us feeling respected.

As it is, the carpet is going because that’s what the cleaner recommended. But even if it weren’t, I would be at peace.

Thank you again, April, for bringing such wonderful, godly counsel and reminders into our daily lives.
May God richly bless you!
Elizabeth

Being Married to a Laid Back, Quiet Type – a Wife Shares about Her Marriage

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A huge thank you to this wife for answering my questions about being married to a quiet man. ūüôā

———————————

1. How has God shown you how best to bless your husband?

Give him understanding when he needs “space” – that took me awhile to learn, because to me “space” meant avoidance. But what he really is needing is alone time, and when I understand that – he feels like I’m not guilting him when he needs to recharge.

2. How do you handle your needs for emotional/spiritual connection in a godly way?

When I need to get something important across to him, I write notes, emails, letters so he has a chance to process them at his own speed.
I tend to want an answer “NOW!” but he just cannot work like that, and will more often than not, get frustrated.

3. How do you make it safe for your husband to share his feelings with you?

I shut my mouth. When DH decides to share feelings, he’s already pretty much decided how he feels and isn’t really looking for input. He just wants me to listen, not challenge him on his feelings or decisions.¬†

4. How does your husband show his love to you?

DH shows his love in unconventional ways – he’s not a flowers/chocolate type, it’s in his nature to watch, see what I need and provide it.

  • The most romantic gift he ever gave me was a chair.

He had watched me drag a kitchen chair to my desk everytime I wanted to sit at it, then one day he came home from work with a beautiful antique wooden chair. Someone had been tossing it, he dragged it to the shop he was working at, at the time, gave it some TLC and gave it to me.

Not traditional, but EXTREMELY romantic and caring.

5. When did you learn to accept the ways your husband shows you love instead of expecting him to show it verbally?

I’m still learning – but then again, so is he. He knows I enjoy verbal communications of love, and he tries to remember to communicate that way, and I try to be understanding and secure in his love, that when it slips his mind to pay me a compliment, I don’t become upset.

6. Did you think marriage would change his personality and that he would talk more once you were married? If so, why?

I did think he would talk more when we got married, because I believed that intimacy would open that up for us, and while that’s true to an extent, I’ve since had to learn that his quiet personality is just who he is. And ¬†I accept that.

7. What challenges have you faced in your marriage with communication?

Misunderstanding!! Oy! That is our BIGGEST communication problems! He says one thing, meaning the complete opposite, or I say something and he doesn’t respond the way I think he should, and we get into a huge argument because of a dumb misunderstanding! It’s happened more times than I could count!

8. What makes your husband feel most loved/respected?

DH feels the most loved and respected when I back his decisions. When he feels that something should be done a certain way, and I back him on that – he feels that respect for him and his ability to lead. ((That and backrubs! lol!)

9. How have you been able to use your verbal/communication skills to adapt to your husband’s unique personality and needs?

I’ve had to! ¬†I’m a real “get up and go” person, and DH is a “sit back and think” person. We drive each other nuts sometimes because of our different approaches, but learning to quiet myself, listen to him and not dismiss his opinions or ideas, to respect him and actually GIVE him a chance to lead, are not things that come easily to me.

But when I actually do them, I see many positive things that come from it.

RELATED:

The Introvert Husband – by the Genuine Husband

Being Married to a  Man Who is Emotionally or Spiritually Shut Down

Being Married to a Man Who Doesn’t Talk Much – by Peacefulwife

Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want Him to Do

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Are we trying to control our husbands?

I had another impromptu interview with my husband. ¬†I’m so thankful he is usually game for answering my questions! ¬†He is able to express a masculine point of view very clearly now – I learn so much from him every time we talk! ¬†My husband may not be speaking for all men as he answers these questions. ¬†I hope other husbands might be willing to share their perspectives, as well. ¬†But I think it is possible that other husbands may look at things the way my husband does – and this may be something to prayerfully consider for us as wives. ¬†(If you have SERIOUS issues in your marriage – your husband has uncontrolled mental health problems, major addictions, ¬†major unrepentant sin, physical abuse, infidelity, etc… this post may not apply to your husband. ¬†Please seek godly, wise counsel ASAP!):

I was talking with my husband about a situation that – I would guess – probably happens in almost every marriage at some point, maybe MANY points:

The wife feels disconnected emotionally.  She feels like she is not a priority.  She feels like work, the TV, hobbies, the kids or friends are bigger priorities for her husband than she is.  She is feeling unloved.  So she begins to say things like:

  • Why don’t you ever sit with me?
  • I want us to sit together/cuddle. ¬†We never spend time together.
  • I’m not a priority to you.
  • If you really loved me, you would make time for me and you would want to sit with me on the couch (or cuddle with me in bed) instead of sitting by yourself at the computer/in the recliner.
  • I want to be with you, but you never want to be with me. ¬†You wouldn’t care if we never spent time together.
  • You need to sit with me right now!
  • Oh, no! ¬†Where do you think YOU’RE going????? ¬†You can’t go out with your friends. ¬†You’re spending time with ME!
  • Why can’t you turn off the TV and talk to me????!?!!
  • Why did you even marry me if you never want to be with me?
  • You obviously love the TV more than you love me.
  • I have felt disconnected from you for weeks! ¬†All you want me for is sex. ¬†I feel like such a piece of meat to you.
  • You care more about football/hunting/sports than you do about me. ¬†You need to spend some time with me right now!
  • I feel like we are just roommates. ¬†You don’t love me at all. ¬†Why don’t you ever just cuddle with me and talk with me?

The wife just thinks she is “sharing her heart” and saying what she needs.

She thinks she is being totally reasonable ¬†– because any woman would feel the same way she does in her situation. ¬†She fully expects him to drop whatever he is doing RIGHT THEN and come lavish attention and affection on her. ¬†In all likelihood, she probably believes that her husband has the same emotional need to verbally connect that she does. ¬†If we assume our husbands think just like we do – we can get ourselves into HUGE trouble because it is VERY EASY to assume that our husbands have evil motives toward us based on their behavior and our assumptions that our husbands’ motives must be the same as our motives would be if we were behaving the way they are behaving. ¬†I hope you were able to follow me on that last sentence!

ASSUMING THE WORST OR THE BEST?

Unfortunately, our assuming the worst about our husbands does not promote a healthy marriage.  It brings out the worst in our husbands  Рand in ourselves Рwhen we make these kinds of assumptions.  

We end up sabotaging ourselves and preventing ourselves from getting the very emotional intimacy we really long for!

If we can take the time to realize that our husbands and men in general often have VERY different ways of thinking, feeling and processing life than we do Рthat their masculine perspectives are totally different from our feminine perspectives Рwe can offer grace, understanding and empathy assuming the BEST about our men instead of the worst.  This is the kind of environment healthy marriages need in order to flourish.

Another issue is that in each of the examples above Рthe wife was approaching her husband disrespectfully.  She was either giving him a directive (telling/ordering him what to do), making a demand or unfairly assuming that her husband is being unloving.  This is NOT the way to motivate a husband to do what we want!  

Men don’t like to be controlled. ¬†Honestly, who does?? Husbands respond to RESPECT¬†– sincere, genuine respect that is completely free of manipulation.

I would suggest something like:

  • “Honey, I’m feeling lonely today. ¬†Would you please hold me sometime when you have a few minutes? ¬†Thanks!”
  • “Honey, I really miss you.”
  • “I can’t wait to get to be in your arms soon.”
  • “I’m really looking forward to have a chance to just talk and relax together soon.”

I would say this with a smile and a pleasant tone of voice.  And then Рbe gracious no matter how he responds.  This is a respectful way to share our feelings and needs WITHOUT pressuring our husbands, making them the bad guy or making demands.  If he feels pressured, he will not feel like he has the freedom to delight you.  He may feel like he has to wait a day or several days to be able to really give you what you say you desire.

HERE ARE SOME OF MY HUSBAND’S THOUGHTS ¬†(I hope some other husbands will also share their thoughts on this important issue, too!)

“If a wife demands attention/affection/discussion immediately, a husband is in a terrible predicament.

  • If he immediately does what she says she wants, he and she both know that his actions are not genuine. ¬†He feels he has no choice but NOT to do what she demanded right then.
  • If he does not do what she says she wants, she will think he is a total jerk and that he is being extremely unloving. ¬†He knows this. ¬†He doesn’t like it. But he MUST know that he is acting because he wants to, not because she is ordering him to do something.

He has to wait a certain amount of time so that he can act in his time, not her time.

It may be that later that week, if his wife asked respectfully and doesn’t blast him with criticism/contempt/disrespect – he will try to make some extra special time to hold and cuddle her and show her affection. ¬†But it will only be when it is HIS idea and he knows that she knows that it is not because she is forcing or coercing him – but that he wants to give her his attention on his own.”

A FEW OF MY HUSBAND’S THOUGHTS ABOUT “EMOTIONAL CONNECTION”

Greg says that – from his perspective – when I feel emotionally disconnected from him, it is MY emotional disconnection, not his. ¬†He says that a husband “is ¬†feeling very connected to his wife until she says she feels disconnected, then he feels like she is saying he has failed her.”

Most men are not motivated by feeling like failures.

I know that wives don’t intend to communicate, “I feel disconnected from you, so you are a failure in my eyes.” ¬†But, maybe that could be what our husbands HEAR? ¬†I don’t know if this is how every husband feels. ¬†Maybe some husbands feel this way?

Greg says, “When a wife wants emotional connection, if he thought things were fine, it is a slap in the face to him. ¬†If he was gone on a trip or very busy with baseball or kids or work, then he can understand her feeling disconnected. ¬†If he is unaware of her disconnection, it is like wife has a hole in her bucket, he can’t fill it fast enough. ¬†He feels he can never do enough to satisfy her.”

“Wives need emotional connection, husbands don’t need nearly what a wife would need. ¬†Most men have very few emotional connections outside of their wives.”

“If the family has a very hectic schedule, a husband would be fine without talking all week, and would understand that this is what we have to do to get this done. ¬†It’s not that I don’t love her or am not connected. ¬†My love doesn’t change because of that.”

I asked Greg, “What makes a husband feel connected or not?”

He said, “Disrespect can make a husband feel disconnected and for some men, not having sex with their wives in a certain time frame can make them feel disconnected. ¬†But

usually, a¬†guy is going to be connected, and will not lose his connection unless his wife disconnects from him.”

MY THOUGHTS AFTER OUR DISCUSSION:

My feeling is that as a wife, many times our “neutral status” is feeling disconnected. ¬† We feel we have to do something actively to feel connected (talking, cuddling, affection, time together, praying together).

Greg said he believes that “A husband’s ‘neutral status’ is ¬†feeling connected and they have to do something ¬†actively to feel disconnected.”

WHAT AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT!

When I learned that my husband thinks of his love for me as unchanging and constant, regardless of what he says to me or our time to talk in a given week, that was a HUGE burden lifted from my shoulders. ¬†Now, I am able to rest in his love and know that he feels connected to me, even if we don’t get to have the time together I would really like.¬† ¬†That helps me feel very connected to him – even when we can’t talk as much as I would like. Of course, I am also resting in my Jesus’ love that is unending and never failing, knowing that nothing can separate me from His love.

“For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn talks about this – that most Christian husbands see their love as unchanging and solid. ¬†Many of them have no idea why their wives constantly want reassurance of something that, to them, is steady and constant. ¬†One man said (this is my paraphrase), “my wife needing constant reassurance of my love seems as unnecessary as if she were to ask every day ‘Do we still own the house?’ ¬†Of course we still own the house! ¬†We bought it! ¬†And, of course I still love you, I married you!”

Men do not always express love verbally. ¬†For a lot of men – words aren’t worth much. ¬† But that DOES NOT mean they don’t love their wives. ¬†They tend to show their love in action. ¬†They often show love by going to work everyday and providing for their families. They show love by running to the pharmacy in the middle of the night when the baby wakes up sick, or by putting gas in their wife’s car, or by lifting burdens from her when she is overwhelmed. ¬†They show love by remodeling the house, taking the family to church, taking out the trash – by the things they DO. ¬†And when they do these things, they do them out of love, not because someone tried to force them to do them.

A NEW APPROACH

I think if we approach our husbands as if they live in this mysterious (new to us) world of masculinity that we know nothing about and that we would like to explore his world with him – and ask questions with eyes of wonder and amazement and friendly, genuine curiosity – continuing to see the best in him – our husbands will be able to eventually open up to us more and more.

I would like to see us as wives assume that if we don’t understand why our husbands are doing something, that they have good motives towards us. ¬†Unless they have definitely proven to be evil and untrustworthy, let’s assume the best about them, instead of the worst. ¬†Let’s assume they love us (if you have SEVERE issues in your marriage, this may not be true – but most husbands do love their wives – especially if they are still with them.) ¬†And let’s assume that they don’t have evil motives towards us. ¬†Let’s assume maybe we don’t understand how they think and maybe their priorities are different from ours. ¬†But let’s not assume they are ill-willed towards us and that they are our enemies.

RELATED:

The TV Issue 

How Men Think

How Men Think – Part 2

How Men Think – Part 3

How Do Men Process Emotions?

A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

Another Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

More Men’s Emotions

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

An Interview with My Husband¬† (Understanding a passive husband’s mindset)

One Wife Learns – This REALLY IS ALL ABOUT GOD!

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From a precious wife and dear friend I first met here on the blog in July of 2012. ¬†God has brought her a LONG way since then. ¬†I’m so thankful for her willingness to share. ¬† This is going to bless you – my wonderful sisters in Christ!
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I feel like I am growing in a lot of things, but God knows that I fail…often, sometimes. Thankfully, though, I feel like I learn from each of those times!¬† And I know I’ll never be perfect and that’s okay!
A CRITICAL STEP:
I’m really thinking a lot about and wondering if I really did this?

Am I really focusing all my attention and focus on my walk with God or just pretending to take my focus off my husband?

I have this desire to just purely saturate myself into God and His Word on a moment by moment basis…instead of just when my “mind” has time to go there.

Because if I let it, my mind wants to just think about what my husband is up to and whether or not he’s doing this or that.

For some reason, I think this has been a huge step that I have missed.¬† Of course I love my husband deeply, but in order to let go of him as an idol…

I’ve got to train my mind to focus all my attention on my walk with God and what God is doing in me and through my sinful self.

Anyway, I wanted to share that with you.¬† I’m trying so hard to purely meditate on God all the day long!!! One of my favorite verses is
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose eyes are fixed on you, because he trusts in you!”¬† Isaiah 26:3¬† That is my heart!
 
LEARNING TO SHOW FAITH IN MY HUSBAND AND ASSUME THE BEST:
The other day, dh was showing some things that he was about to buy on Amazon.¬† He is getting ready to remodel our powder room.¬† So he was showing me ALL the things he was getting. One of which was a table saw,¬† well part of me wanted to say, “Didn’t you just get a saw last year?”

But then I thought…wait a minute..your husband is not stupid. He wouldn’t buy something he already had…so its obviously different.

He briefly went through the few things he was going to buy and asked me if there was anything I needed…which I thought was so sweet.¬† Normally I would say, “No, I’m okay.”
But I thought..”Wait, he wants to bless me!” so I did mention I had really been wanting a food processor/mixer. ¬† He immediately started searching for one and put it in the online¬†shopping cart. So sweet!
Later that night, when the girls were asleep and we were talking, he got his laptop out and went through each item that he had purchased and told me the purpose for each one.¬† Then he showed me pictures of what he was going to do in the powder room.¬† Then he said, “It would cost the same amount to have someone come and do it.” This way he gets to keep all the great tools and use them again for other projects in the house.

I agreed and shared in his excitement. But really inside I was overwhelmed with thankfullness that the Holy Spirit helped me to keep quiet and just listen to my husband…otherwise I would have missed out on such an intimate moment with him.

WINNING HIM OVER WITHOUT A WORD:
My heart was hurt about something…I’m thankful that I don’t exactly remember the details of it. But I remember saying something to him like, “Can you just cover it with grace?”¬† I believe it was something again with his expectations and me not doing something right or something along those lines. ¬†He left the room upset and I cried before finally falling asleep.¬† I honestly dont remember bringing up the conversation again.
A couple days later we were driving together somewhere and he was telling me about how he was running low on gas. He is always a risk taker with the gas meter..LOL!¬† Anyway, he literally coasted into the gas station as the car stalled.¬† He was saying how he was thanking God for that favor.¬† This is what he said he learned from this as he was thanking God for favor in making into the station on time.¬† “God could have said, too bad you “should have known better and gotten gas earler.” but instead his grace and favor was there for him and helped him get gas just in time so he wasn’t stranded.¬†“

He said he immediately thought of me and how he often tells me “well you should have done this or thought of that, etc.”¬† And how he needs to extend grace to me more because that’s how God is with him.

Once again..God does this way better than I could ever do myself. He is my Defender!!!¬† God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.¬† Now I know that my husband probably won’t instantly change overnight and will still harp on me from time to time about little things…but I also know that

God’s voice is stronger and more effective than mine. So I’ll sit patiently in His arms and extend grace to my husband because God is so gracious to us!!

I think the hardest thing was two things…
1. Really removing myself from being his Holy Spirit and thinking I had to help him be more holy…cause after all, I was holier. =) As well as realizing, that my sin was just as bad…sin is sin and ALL sin grieves God’s heart.
2. Really letting go, surrendering and trusting God!¬† Using the structure He put in place…trusting that God is sovereign to lead me through my husband and that I am¬†covered and protected in¬†this¬†structure. How freeing that was!!!!¬† My role is to trust my husband to lead us and God will work with my husband!!¬† And when I finally let go of the fear of “what ifs”¬† I really saw God leading my husband….wasn’t always my way or my time…but God still lead!

The Respect Dare Day 26 – Biblical Submission- a Huge Key to Peace

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Biblical Submission Begins

“Not My will, but Yours be done” ¬†Luke 22:42

Jesus, though He was fully God and equal to God the Father – submitted Himself to God’s authority out of His love for the Father. ¬†Submission began among equals and was born from holy love.

Every Christian is called to submit himself/herself to Christ in this same way. ¬†A beautiful example of submission to God is Mary’s acceptance of the angel Gabriel’s message to her that God would make her the mother of the Messiah. ¬†¬†‚ÄúI am the Lord‚Äôs servant,‚ÄĚ Mary answered. ‚ÄúMay your word to me be fulfilled.‚ÄĚ ¬†Luke 1:38

Loving, reverencing and obeying God leads to being filled with His Spirit Рthe wonderful results of which are the spiritual treasures of God overflow in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)  Рno matter our circumstances.

God’s beautiful design:

If you haven’t read it, please check out Ephesians 5:22-33. ¬†Since you are a wife, focus particularly on what God commands you as a wife to do. ¬†That is what my focus will be on since I am only writing for women. ¬†It is interesting to me that husbands have WAY more detailed instructions and much more responsibility in God’s design than wives do.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Eph 5:22-24

the wife must respect her husband. Eph 5:33b

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  I Corinthians 11:3

For an in depth look at what Biblical submission means, please click here.

Notice that there is no condition.  God does not say:

  • “Respect your husband IF you believe he is obeying His part of God’s commands for marriage.”
  • “Submit to him when you agree.” ¬†(by the way, that would just be agreement, not submission)
  • “If the wife thinks her husband is not qualified to lead, then she can be the head.”
  • “Respect your husband when he deserves it by your standards.”
  • “Respect your husband when he earns it according to the culture.”

Respect for our husbands is to be  unconditional.  (We are not required to respect sin Рbut the position our husband has as husband)

God does say to submit to our husbands “as to The Lord” or “in The Lord” ¬†– so if our husbands ask us to commit or to condone obvious violations of God’s Word (sin), we must resist.

Thankfully, God also does not say:

  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they deserve it.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when you feel like it.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they are perfect.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they earn it.”

Husbands are not required to love sin – they are to love us because we are in the position of being their wives.

We don’t earn Jesus’ love. ¬†It is unconditional.

In marriage – love and respect are unconditional and they are dependent upon the godly character of the person giving the love and respect NOT upon the recipient.

Jesus loved people and respected people who didn’t deserve it and didn’t earn it. ¬†He is our example. ¬†He loved and respected because He is love and He is holy. ¬†He calls us to love and respect in the same way He did. ¬†He loved people and He respected God-given authority, even when they were very, very wrong.

Also notice that the commands were given to the wife individually and to the husband individually.  God did not say:

  • “Wives, make sure your husbands love you as Christ loves the church.”
  • “Husbands, make sure your wives submit to ¬†you and respect you.”

I am responsible to God for MY obedience to His Word.

My husband is responsible to God for HIS obedience to God’s Word.

WHY ON EARTH DOES GOD COMMAND WIVES TO RESPECT AND SUBMIT???? ¬†SURELY THAT DOESN’T APPLY ANYMORE?

Well, the SAME God who commands us as wives to respect and to honor our husband’s God-given leadership (which is what submission is – it is NOT slavery or women being “second class citizens”) – also commanded our husbands to love us with the same kind of love Christ has for us. ¬†I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to kick out the “husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her” part of God’s design. ¬†And, it turns out – God gives us these commands because He is showing us His wisdom about what each spouse needs the most and how He designed men and women.

Did you know that men feel unloved when they feel disrespected?  And did you know that many women today have no idea all the things we inadvertently do that make our husbands feel disrespected?

God also knows that a wife’s willingness to honor her husband’s leadership brings peace and unity ¬†for everyone in the family – allowing a husband a much greater opportunity and greater inspiration to love, cherish and protect his wife as his most prized treasure instead of competing with her for control.

Each spouse SHOULD show love and respect to the other all the time.¬† Unfortunately, reality is that we are all sinful humans and so are our husbands. ¬†They will fail us at times, and we will fail them at times. ¬†But even if my husband does not meet my needs, God commands me to meet my husband’s needs. ¬†Why? ¬†Because God may decide to use my obedience to Him to get me out of His way and to bring my husband back around and possibly heal the marriage. ¬†My disobedience would certainly only push him farther away from God and from me. ¬†When I obey God, then I become God’s partner instead of Him opposing me in my rebellion and pride.

I have to be willing to do things God’s way – even though there are no guarantees that my obedience to God will help my husband decide to obey God. First, I submit to Christ. ¬†That is where submission begins for every disciple of Christ. ¬†I say, “Not my will but Yours be done!” ¬†I cannot control my husband. ¬†God alone can change my husband. ¬†Ultimately, I obey God simply to obey God because I love Him and desire to please Him. ¬†God said to do this and He is my Lord – so I say, “Yes, Lord.” ¬†There is no saying, “No, Lord.” ¬†My motives must be just to honor Jesus. ¬†I leave the results to Him.

The major time submission is an issue is when there is a disagreement between the husband and wife – then it is ultimately wife’s responsibility to cooperate with and honor her husband’s authority before God to make the final call in humility, love, selflessness and Christlikeness for the good of the family and the glory of God.

The amazing thing is that as we obey God – that is the path to blessing, peace, joy and godly power in our own lives! ¬†And He will reward us for our obedience one day – no matter how our husbands respond or how well they obey Him. ¬† God will judge my submission to my husband and my respect for my husband. ¬†My husband will also stand accountable to God one day for his love for me and his godly leadership. ¬†In fact, he has a much greater accountability as the God-given leader/authority in the marriage. ¬†God holds him to a higher standard and will hold him responsible for the decisions in our families. ¬† That helps me to understand that it is really crucial for me to embrace my role as a godly wife to empower my husband’s God-given leadership so that he can make the decisions he believes are best.

*****IF THERE ARE MAJOR ISSUES IN YOUR MARRIAGE Рdrug/substance addiction, infidelity, violence, uncontrolled mental health disorders  -please get godly, experienced help ASAP!  If your husband is not in his right mind Рit can be dangerous to cooperate with him.  Those issues go way beyond the scope of this blog Рbut they are not beyond the help of God.  Please seek help!

THE CEO:

Nina Roesner, in The Respect Dare #25, talks about that “Corporations have one CEO. ¬†Countries have one president, ¬†states have one governor, and towns have one mayor… Even in nature, when two pack animals try to be in charge, there’s conflict, often resulting in a fight to the death. ¬†The natural order of animals and social structures is such that they function best with one individual being in charge. ¬†When two try to have the same authority, conflict erupts.”

“Experience indicates that this issue (submission) is critical to alleviating marital stress. ¬†Many women … could have received the love and intimacy they deeply desired by giving away respect to their husband.” (Nina Roesner, The Respect Dare)

THE DRIVER’S SEAT

God placed husbands in the “driver’s seat.” ¬†I may be a wonderful driver, but if I am sitting in the passenger seat, and I grab the wheel of the car, I am almost certainly going to wreck the car and hurt or kill my family. ¬†God does not allow the husbands to give up the driver’s seat to the wives. ¬†It is God’s decision whom He wants to put in the driver’s seat in the family. ¬†And in His wisdom, He has decided to put husbands there. ¬†Not because they are “better than” but because He wants them there ¬†to represent the servant leadership of Christ for His church, and He wants the wives to represent the adoration, cooperation and respect of the church to Jesus.

Any time God gives someone authority over others Рit is to protect, provide for and care for those who are under their leadership.  Whether it is at church, in government, at work or in the family.

God’s design for marriage is about WAY MORE than just my marriage. ¬†It is about portraying the relationship between Christ and the church. ¬†And it is about drawing people to Jesus.

A GODLY WIFE

  • JOYFULLY submits to Christ and obeys Him in everything – even when it is not politically correct, or she doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t like it, she trusts God completely
  • joyfully cooperates with her husband
  • has a spirit of being open to her husband’s ideas, wisdom, emotions, dreams and sexual desire for her
  • brings ALL of her personality, strengths, emotions, support, ideas, talents, gifts, heart, intellect and soul to her marriage
  • finds the good in her husband and admires that
  • focuses on Philippians 4:8 about her husband and marriage
  • spends lots of time with God and is filled with His Spirit – that is the only power source that makes it possible to be a godly wife!
  • shares her feelings and emotions in a respectful, calm, mature, non-blaming, non-criticizing, non-manipulative way
  • has opinions and ideas that bless her husband
  • supports her husband’s ideas and leadership gladly
  • trusts her husband (or seeks to want to rebuilt trust)
  • shows faith in Christ and in her husband
  • has grace, mercy and forgiveness to bestow upon her husband
  • sometimes must gently, respectfully confront sin in him (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17)
  • smiles a genuine, friendly, pleasant smile at her man, often
  • has a peaceful, gentle spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear – because she trusts the sovereignty of God and allows His perfect love to cast out every fear!

QUESTIONS:

1. Do you as a wife try to take control in your marriage?  Why or why not?

2. If you do tend to want to take charge or think you have to take charge, is your greatest concern that you don’t think you can trust your husband or that you don’t think you can trust God?

3. Do you believe that God is “sovereign enough” to lead you through your husband? ¬†I believe that biblical submission and respect for wives is our biggest test of faith in Christ as women. ¬†Is God sovereign enough to lead me through this imperfect man? ¬†What might God do to take care of your very worst fears if you obey Him and cooperate with your husband?

DARE #25:

Pray that God shows you how to apply the concept of honoring your husband’s God-given leadership in your family. ¬†Ask Him to help you to understand and absorb all that He desires you to learn. ¬†Pray for unity in your marriage. ¬†Pray for your marriage to reflect the profound mystery of Christ and the church for God’s greatest glory!

SHARE:

What is on your mind? ¬†Let’s talk about it! ¬†This can be a difficult concept for many women to swallow in our culture. ¬†Some women feel really angry about it at first. ¬†Dig down into your anger to try to find where it originates. ¬†Determine to seek God’s wisdom over worldly wisdom. ¬†Wrestle with this with God in prayer until you believe you can understand what God is saying.

RESOURCES:

Check out my “about” page to see the results in my life

Biblical Submission

Biblical Submission Does NOT = the Husband is Always “Right.”

A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission 

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

God’s Design for Masculinity

God’s Design for Femininity

One Wife’s Obedience to God Radically Changed Her Marriage

God’s Design for Marriage is Sexy

PS – DISTORTIONS of GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE:

In marriage, if someone is not officially designated to be the “leader” – there is chaos. ¬†Here are the possible distortions that tend to happen¬†apart¬†from God’s design:

1.¬†a dominant wife and a dominant husband¬†=> lots of fighting, yelling, arguing, maybe even violence, severe disunity and a very ungodly example for the children and others. ¬†No glory for God. ¬†“The gospel of Christ is maligned” Titus 2:5

2.¬†a dominant wife and a passive husband¬†=> this seems more peaceful than option 1, but it is not God’s design. The husband is quiet, so he is not yelling and screaming, but the wife is generally bossy, controlling, critical, nagging, prideful, quick to speak and quick to become angry. ¬†So everyone in the marriage and family suffers. ¬†The wife is much more stressed than she should be because she is trying to carry weight that she was not designed to carry. ¬†The husband becomes more and more shut down, depressed, resentful and uninvolved. ¬†There is anger, resentment, lack of intimacy on every level many times, lack of unity and a very ungodly example for the children. “The gospel of Christ is maligned” Titus 2:5

3.¬†a passive wife and a dominant husband¬†=> this situation usually involves a husband being very controlling, critical and tyrannical, demanding “respect” and attempting to force his wife to “obey” him and a wife who says nothing out of fear and/or shame, voices no opinions and contributes ¬†almost no influence to the marriage or family. ¬†It is as if she isn’t even there emotionally and spiritually. ¬†Everything ¬†tends to be all about what he wants, not what is best for the family and for others. ¬†This is NOT HEALTHY for anyone and is a very ungodly example for the children and others.

4.¬†a passive wife and a passive husband¬†=> in this situation, it is possible for weeks or months to go by without a word being spoken in the marriage. ¬†No one takes initiative. ¬† No one makes decisions. ¬†Everything falls through the cracks. ¬†It may seem peaceful compared to some of the other marriage dynamics above, but it really isn’t peace. There is no intimacy or connection. ¬† It may be quiet – but there is great tension and resentment. This is an icy marriage and the frigid emotional/spiritual temperature greatly impacts the children and is a very ungodly example for them and others.

Love, Honor,Respect and Submission Are Gifts

939233_84038141 The passages about marriage in Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3 and Titus 2 all give God’s commands for husbands and wives in marriage.

Before we dive in, let’s begin with the understanding that God made men and women with equal value – both are “image bearers of God” in Genesis 2. ¬†We have equal worth and dignity as human beings, made in God’s image. ¬†And in Christ we are all equal (Galatians 3:28).

I think it is interesting to note that each spouse is given direct commands by God that are without condition.

¬† There are no exceptions to the commands for either husbands or wives (with the one caveat for wives that they submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” – so I understand this to mean that if a husband asks his wife to directly violate God’s Word, God’s authority and the authority of His Word trumps the husband’s authority. ¬†For example, if a husband tells his wife to steal, ¬†have an abortion, lie on the taxes, get drunk, do drugs, put something/someone above God in her heart, go to a strip club with him, have a threesome, etc…. it is a wife’s duty and responsibility before God to respectfully and firmly refuse to cooperate with such sin.)

God commands wives to submit to their husbands – which means, to honor their husband’s God-given authority. (Just like God commands all believers to submit to the government, bosses and church leaders – unless the authority is asking us to sin. ¬† The apostles told the Pharisees “We must obey God rather than men” when the leaders told them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus in Acts. In God’s command for wives to honor their husband’s leadership, there is no “IF.” ¬†As in, “If your husband:

  • ¬†is a good leader”
  • has prayer with you every day”
  • leads family devotions”
  • goes to the church you prefer”
  • does things your way”
  • makes more money than you”
  • has a job”
  • deserves to lead the family in your estimation”

God commands wives to respect their husbands. Again, there is no “IF your husband is:

  • honoring God”
  • loving you the way you want to be loved”
  • making a certain amount of money
  • has a job”
  • is a Christian”
  • is the kind of father you want him to be”
  • deserves to be respected in your opinion”

God does not command us to respect sin.  And He does not command us to cooperate with sin, addictions, infidelity, physical abuse, etc.  If there are MAJOR problems like this in your marriage, that goes way beyond the scope of this blog, please find godly, mature, wise, experienced counsel. If you or your children are not safe, please get help ASAP!

God commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her. ¬†He also commands husbands not to be harsh with their wives, but to be tender with them. ¬†He commands husbands to honor their wives as the weaker vessel and co-heirs with them in Christ. ¬†There is no qualifier that the wife must do something in order for her husband to obey God or that the wife must earn her husband’s love.

The way a husband treats his wife is an indicator of the depth of his love, respect and reverence for God. A husband’s love for his wife is gift to her that springs from his love, obedience and reverence for Christ. A wife cannot force her husband to obey God and to love her as Christ loves her. ¬†It is a gift he gives willingly because He loves and honors Jesus, so he loves and honors his wife.

A wife’s respect and biblical submission towards her husband are gifts that a wife gives freely to her husband out of her love, obedience and reverence for Christ, as well. ¬† There is no qualifier that a husband must do something first before the wife obeys God or that the husband must earn his wife’s respect. ¬†A husband cannot force his wife to respect him and submit to him. ¬†

Jesus gives us free will.  He does not force us to obey Him.  He loves us and demonstrates His great love for us.  He invites us to come to Him.  He wants us to love, reverence and obey Him freely Рnot because we are forced to.

The way a wife treats her husband is an indicator of the depth of her love, respect and reverence for  God.

GOD’S COMMANDS TO HUSBANDS AND WIVES IN MARRIAGE ARE DIRECTED AT THEM INDIVIDUALLY

  • God does not say, “Husbands, make sure your wives submit to you and respect you.”
  • And He does not say, “Wives, force your husbands to love you and have a humble, servant’s heart towards you.”
  • Wives are responsible for their own obedience to God’s commands for them to respect and submit to their husbands.
  • Husbands are responsible for their own obedience to God’s commands for them to love, be gentle, not be harsh, be humble and give selflessly to their wives.

TRYING TO CONTROL OTHERS IS SELFISH, PRIDEFUL AND SINFUL РIT DOES NOT HONOR GOD OR OTHERS.  BEING CONTROLLING IS NOT LOVING.

When I as a wife tried to control my husband and make him do what I wanted to – I was attempting to violate the free will that God gave my husband. ¬†I also repelled him and made him not want to be with me! ¬†If a husband tries to control his wife and force her to do what he wants her to do – that violates a wife’s free will. ¬†It will repel her, too.

What I am doing when I am being controlling is I am idolizing MYSELF. ¬†I am putting myself in the place of God in my life and I expect my spouse and other people to obey me and submit to me as if I were God. ¬†This mindset is built on HUGE pride, selfishness and a lack of trust in God. ¬†I am saying I trust myself, not God. ¬†I am attempting to take some or all of God’s sovereignty on myself. ¬†It is sin for me to set myself up as god in my own heart. ¬†It is sin for me to try to demand that others put me above God in their hearts, too. ¬†It would be sin for others to cooperate with my demands.

It is ok for me to say, “I feel unloved.” ¬†“What you said/did hurt me.” “I feel disrespected.” “Please don’t treat me like this.” ¬†“Please don’t talk to me that way.” ¬†But I cannot try to make someone do what I want them to do.

JESUS KIND OF LOVE

The love Jesus has for us is unconditional.  When we love as Jesus does, we have healthy boundaries.

  • We don’t try to force or coerce anyone to obey/submit to us or love us.
  • We don’t try to manipulate others with guilt, martyrdom, bribery, sabotage.
  • We don’t try to control people by being people pleasers thinking “If I am nice enough, he/she will HAVE to do what I want.”
  • We don’t try to change people ourselves thinking, “If I obey God, then God has to give me what I want, or then my husband has to change to be what I want him to be.”
  • We realize we are responsible for our thoughts, our behavior, our attitudes, our sin, our actions, our emotions, our spiritual development and our relationship with Christ. ¬†And other people are responsible for their own lives.
  • We trust the sovereignty of God to work for our good and His glory instead of trusting self.
  • We love others because Jesus loves us.
  • We forgive others and have grace for them because Jesus forgave us and lavished us with grace
  • We repay evil with good

BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS NOT

  • slavery
  • destroying a woman’s personhood
  • forced upon a woman
  • a woman having no opinions, no voice, no influence in the marriage and family

BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS

  • given freely by a wife
  • part of the path to God’s peace and freedom
  • much less stressful for wives than trying to have control themselves
  • the beginning of finding God’s joy
  • totally counterintuitive to women and completely counter-cultural
  • one of the greatest tests of a woman’s faith in Christ – to believe that HE is sovereign “enough” to be able to lead her through her sinful husband
  • part of becoming a godly woman – a big part of having a gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to hysterical fear.
  • when a wife is free to share her perspective, her feelings, her desires, her concerns and ideas respectfully and her husband takes her opinions and desires into very careful consideration, seeking God’s will far above his own.
  • how a wife can rest in the sovereignty of God, knowing that even if her husband does make mistakes, God can and will use that for his good and her good ultimately – to make them more like Christ – and that God will use it for His glory in ways she can’t begin to understand at the time.

The KEY!

The key to all of this – is that when I am in an intimate relationship with Christ – when I have fully surrendered myself to Him and desire Him and find my life in Him alone – then obedience to God’s commands is a joy and delight. ¬†When I am empowered by God’s Spirit to obey Him, His Words and commands bring LIFE, joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment, freedom for me – and then my life also brings great glory to God. ¬†That is what this is all about ultimately!

My purpose in life is to exalt the Name of Christ and to shine for Him, sharing Him with the world, loving others simply out of the overflow of my supreme love and abandonment to Jesus.

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

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Idolatry is not something we think much about in our modern day, Western culture. ¬†I grew up in church, reading the Bible, knowing how offensive idolatry was to God – feeling super smug and secure because I didn’t commit sins like THAT! ¬†What could possibly be tempting about bowing down to a statue and serving it and praying to it as if it could hear or help me one iota?

Yep.

I was SO thankful I wasn’t a big sinner like THOSE people.

Then, 4 years ago or so, God opened my eyes to the idolatry, pride, rebellion, unforgiveness and sin in my life.

WOW.

Turns out, I was committing idolatry every waking moment of every single day since I was little. ¬†I just didn’t know it.

WHAT IS AN IDOL?

  • anything that we cherish more than Christ in our hearts.
  • anything that we believe we MUST HAVE to be happy – that isn’t Christ.
  • something other than God that I use to get my identity from – or the thing/person/concept from which I try to find my fulfillment.
  • something I spend a great deal of time investing in, focusing on, relying on and putting all my trust in – that is not Christ.
  • something I am willing to give up my family or relationships for, maybe I am willing to spend almost any amount of money to serve that person/thing/idea. ¬†I will serve my idol no matter what it costs me.
  • I will try to find my contentment in my idol. ¬†But it will never satisfy – I am always left empty, broken and wanting more.
  • it is often the opposite of what I fear most.

IDOLATRY IS HUGE SIN!

God will never allow me to find contentment in an idol.

He will only allow me to find contentment in Christ Jesus.

Idolatry is breaking the first commandment in Exodus 20 “You shall have no other gods before me” as well as the greatest command Jesus talks about “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

To Him, it is me breaking my covenant with Him Рlike I am committing adultery against Him by serving/worshipping/putting my faith in these other things.  God alone deserves my worship, praise, adoration, giving, devotion and sacrifice.  He will not share His glory with another.

As Wes Church, one of our ministers, says, “The human heart is an idol factory.” ¬†We have to CONSTANTLY guard our hearts against putting things above God. ¬†I must always check my true motives throughout every day! ¬† And I will have to continue to do that for the rest of my life!¬†We can make almost anything – even good things, even things that are gifts from God ¬†– into idols.

HOW CAN I POSSIBLY MAKE MY HUSBAND INTO AN IDOL?  THAT SOUNDS LUDICROUS, RIGHT?!

There are so many ways!  And sadly, we almost NEVER realize what we are doing.  If I miss a way, please let me know!  Some of these things are difficult to separate out.  It is very possible to have more than one idol at a time.  I would say I had myself, being in control, feeling loved and my husband as idols Рamong many other things at various times.

1. ¬†I EXPECT HIM TO BE CHRIST TO ME –¬†

In this case, I don’t just expect my husband to represent Christ and portray a picture of Christ in our marriage to me (as described in Ephesians 5:22-33) but to actually BE Christ. ¬†I put all my trust and hope in my husband instead of Jesus Christ. ¬†I am continually disappointed, depressed and upset with my husband because “he is not meeting all my needs properly” – meaning – he is not being who and what I want him to be so that I have what I want in my life. ¬† I am insatiable. ¬†I am a pit of neediness. ¬†No matter what my husband does, it is not enough. ¬†I want more. I am angry at him all the time. ¬†He can never measure up to my standards. ¬†He never feels like he can be “good enough” for me. ¬†And he truly can’t. ¬†I want perfection at a minimum, and my sinful husband definitely can’t deliver.

2. I EXPECT TO FEEL LOVED BY HIM ALL THE TIME – ¬†This idolatry involves my husband because I expect him to be the one making me feel loved. ¬†But I could argue that it is my feeling of being loved that might be the actual idol here. ¬†I don’t take responsibility for my own emotions and my own spiritual development and growth. ¬†I make my husband 100% responsible for my feelings. ¬†This is dysfunctional. ¬†Healthy boundaries say I am responsible for my feelings, my husband is responsible for his feelings. ¬†Mature love says, “I will obey God about how to treat my husband even though I don’t ‘feel loved’ right now.” ¬†Obedience to God’s Word comes first, feelings may come later. ¬†But whether I feel loved or not at the moment, I am still responsible to obey God’s Word for me as a wife in how I treat my husband, God and others.

3. I EXPECT HIM TO NEVER SIN AGAINST ME Р If  my husband ever stumbles or hurts me or falls into temptation Рthat is unacceptable when I idolize my husband in this way.  I have zero grace or mercy for him.  He must be perfect.  Many wives actually expect husbands to be completely perfect and sinless even in their thoughts 24/7.

It’s ok for me to sin and he better forgive me. ¬†I think my sins aren’t as bad as his are. ¬†If he sins, I look down on him because ¬†I believe I am morally superior to him. I think, “I would NEVER sin the way he does.” Then I indulge in self-righteousness – thinking I am so much better than my husband. ¬†I don’t see my own sin clearly. ¬†I am too busy pointing at my husband’s sins or trying to control him to prevent him from sinning to notice that I have a mountain of my own sin God wants me to look at and repent of.

The truth is Рwe are ALL wretched sinners.  Marriage exposes our sin Рand gives us the chance to see how much we need the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.  It also gives us plenty of opportunities to learn to forgive and show mercy and grace to our spouse!

4. I EXPECT HIM TO BE COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS – ¬†If I am not happy, it is his fault. ¬†He better fix it. ¬†This is similar to #2. ¬†Spiritually and emotionally whole people recognize that we are each responsible for our own happiness, our own relationship with Christ, our own feelings, our own needs, our own desires, our own sin and our own obedience to Christ. ¬†If I stick my husband with “making me happy” – we are both doomed to misery! ¬†He can’t make me happy. ¬†I am the only one who can find joy for myself – and it is only found in Christ! ¬†I must put Christ first, then I will have joy no matter what my husband does or does not do.

5. I DECIDE I MUST HAVE HIM TO BE HAPPY РIf my husband leaves me РI think my life will be over.  I am not content in Christ alone.  I HAVE to have my husband with me.  If he sins against me, or wants a divorce, I will do anything to keep him, even if I have to sin to try to make him stay.  

I tell God that my husband cannot die before me.  I freak out if he is late a few minutes, worrying to death that he is dead.  I decide that if my husband dies, I will not trust God anymore.   My love for God is conditional upon my husband loving me, being with me and being alive.

6. HE MAY TRY TO MAKE ME PUT HIM AS AN IDOL IN MY HEART  

Sometimes, it is not the wife who is controlling, but the husband.  It is entirely possible that some husbands may expect their wives to go way beyond respect and biblical submission to literally idolize them.

God DOES give our husbands to us as God-given authorities to provide for us, protect us, lead us, guide us, love us with humility and grace, to demonstrate the selfless and sacrificial love of Christ to us and to represent Christ to us.

There is a VERY big difference between a husband seeking to represent Christ to his wife and a husband trying to replace Christ or BE Christ in his wife’s life.

Godly leadership is described in detail in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 Рthis is how men are to lead in a Christlike way in the church and also in their families.  The way Christ loves us is described in I Corinthians 13:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-26.

Christ is the only mediator between us and God.   We as women have total access to Jesus and to God through the blood of Jesus, just as men do.  Galatians 3:28  We are all of equal value as image bearers of God at the foot of the cross.