An email from a wife who has been focusing on learning to be a godly, respectful wife who honors her husband’s leadership. Thank you to this wife for allowing me to share her story! I LOVE seeing the way God works in many different wives’ hearts and seeing all the lightbulb moments. I pray that many other wives might be blessed!
I just wanted to tell you this new revelation that you helped me to arrive at is STILL working! I no longer get upset at my husbands very predictable responses to situations that are stressful to him. I just completely ignore the fact that he is starting to raise his voice/stress out. I stay calm and he calms down, very quickly.
It seems God has been steering me towards this message repeatedly over the past few weeks. The last 4 Focus on the Family broadcasts were about accepting and understanding each other’s differences and loving others even when they are sometimes being hurtful – how this most often ends up with the best outcomes for both people. Not FIGHTING the male nature but embracing it. And then I came across a secular book but it may as well have been written by a Christian because it definitely fits with all the principles of a biblical marriage – he is basically providing research and evidence from his professional practice to back up God’s universal marriage laws.
I did a quiz which helps identify your man’s greatest masculine needs and my husband’s top 4 were:
- The need to be the leader
- the need to protect one’s family
- the need for action
- the need for acknowledgement of efforts.
The author said, “Your man will probably not be able to verbalise his deepest needs but think back to the main threads in your arguments, most will be based on these needs.” And most definitely, our arguments have been around these 4 needs of his.
Before we married I ADMIRED his need and ability to be a strong man. I saw these as desirable traits before we were married – but once we were married his need to lead irritated me. The book helped me understand WHY he feels this need – it is because he does not want to be shamed in front of others, especially those he loves.
He wants to feel and look like a hero.
Surely I can protect these feelings and honour them – even if at times he will go about trying to get this need met in the wrong way.
He always talks about how he likes to be active... when we first got married I tried to stop him from playing basketball…!!! (that sounds so terrible now) but he told me he felt God doesn’t want him to play anymore because he could better spend his time (when we were dating). I was actually surprised at first but then thought well if that is what God wants then that is what he better do – so I tried to ENFORCE it myself !?!?!? (go figure) I didnt physically STOP him from going but I was not supportive at all. I deeply regret this and am finally realizing I am NOT his Holy Spirit!!! I think he was deeply wounded by me trying to exercise control in this area and is only NOW 8 years later losing weight and getting back into basketball – something I have finally realized he TRULY loved since he was a young child.
Last night when my husband needed to work, I didn’t complain but offered to bring him a hot drink – he very much welcomed this. Then I thought “I’ll test out this need for acknowledgement” and I said, “Thanks for working so hard, Honey” while I rubbed his back. He instantly got such a pleased, almost relieved, look on his face, I could tell he was delighted.
He has been acting so sweet towards me lately.
Today he really wanted to play basketball and was getting stressed out because he needed to be at the store. So I offered to come in for him. He was SO happy. I am finally starting to realize that his needs are just as important and LEGITIMATE (duh?!?!) and that I need to actively show him love in ways that mean a LOT to him… not in ways that would be meaningful to me.
Then I am in a MUCH better position to respectfully ask for the things I want also and trust in his goodness to meet whichever need he possibly can.
For our anniversary he really did buy me flowers and they were these big expensive ones … then we went out to dinner… when we got back he really wanted to go for a walk so that he didnt skip his new weight loss routine. Before, I might have become sulky saying “Can’t we just spend one whole night together?” But I thought he was so busy at work today and yet came home got dressed up and took me to dinner – surely I can give something too…so we both went on the walk.
I am doing better at keeping in the Word lately and usually on my Bible iPhone app the very verse for that day seems to be very useful to me… I then also read the rest of that chapter for the day.
Just wanted to let you know how it was going, I know I still have so much to learn but these new truths and approaches have amazed me so much.
a list of My Favorite Marriage Books