I am now a very happily married mother of two. In this blog, I hope to share the things that I WISH I knew about being a Christian wife when I was a newlywed in 1994.
Why not let me make all the mistakes for you instead of making the same ones I did? And why not learn the spiritual treasures God showed me on my grueling multi-year path of seeking to understand what it really means to be a strong Christian wife and woman?
We had a great foundation but still missed out on a healthy marriage
We started dating when I was 15 and Greg was 16. He was my only boyfriend and we dated for 6 years before getting married. We were both Christians, both were raised in Christian homes, and both of us have parents who are still married and set good examples.
No one should be as prepared as we were for marriage, right?
That’s what I thought, but…
Sadly, I didn’t understand God’s design for marriage
I didn’t realize I accepted a lot of ideas about femininity, marriage, career, parenting, and the roles of husbands and wives from our culture and never really questioned.
I thought I WAS living as a biblical, godly, Christian wife. That part where the Bible says, “wives must respect their husbands,” (Eph. 5:33) I knew all about it and assumed I was doing great.
But I couldn’t see all the ways I was inadvertently hurting my husband.
The results of my misunderstanding in my life
I often felt lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, and worried. So I constantly tried to figure out how to MAKE things happen the way I thought they should.
This meant I carried the weight of the marriage on my shoulders and felt spiritually, emotionally, and financially responsible for decisions in a lot of ways.
My husband shut down and became passive
My husband tended to be quiet, calm, patient and reserved even before we married. After a rocky start our first summer of marriage, Greg became VERY withdrawn and would hardly talk to me at all.
Often, he didn’t smile or even look at me. Most nights, he wouldn’t even touch me or say good night to me that whole first summer. Of course, he was working 40 hours per week at work and 40 hours per week on our house with his dad and was exhausted.
I sprained my back 7 days into our marriage and could barely move. Many days, I spent crying all day in those early weeks.
I didn’t understand what happened to the guy who was so wonderful, responsible, capable and loved me so much for the past 6 years. He became increasingly passive and I felt that meant I “had” to take over. I had to take control.
We stayed together. Things got some better after the work on the house stopped. But our unhealthy patterns took deep root.
Turns out we were very unprepared for a strong marriage
Before we got married, I thought we wouldn’t have conflicts—that we were above the problems other couples had and that things would be the same wonderful way they had always been for the 6 years we dated.
There’s a verse about that in Proverbs – “Pride comes before a fall.”
Yep. It sure does!
I told Greg all the negative details about how awful, lonely, and unloved I felt every day. Assuming the worst, I believed he hated me and was trying to make me miserable. In my mind, I thought if he knew the depths of my pain he’d care and love me again.
What I didn’t realize was that I was approaching my husband very disrespectfully. So I was missing an enormous key for a healthy marriage.
My husband really did still love me and I loved him. But we didn’t know how to handle all the crises that were happening and had no idea how to fix things.
The beginning of my Christian wife journey in 2008
Then I read “Love and Respect” by Dr. Eggerichs. The “scales of disrespect” (as Dr. Eggerichs calls it) fell off of my spiritual eyes as I realized that I had actually been sabotaging our marriage. ME.
I was devastated – and repentant.
I had never realized that men needed respect the way women need love. I thought he thought and felt like I did. I thought that if he was hurt in our marriage, he would tell me, like I told him.
I thought his needs were identical to mine. I thought we were the SAME. That’s what feminism in our culture taught us, after all!
Ugh! What did it even mean to be a godly, Christian wife, anyway?!? And how could I have missed so much? For FOURTEEN YEARS!?!?
My big decision
I began to understand my husband’s masculine needs and his world view. I was shocked to discover how differently he saw the world and how differently he thought.
God’s design for marriage, for godly femininity and masculinity, actually applied to Greg and me. The way I had been trying to do the whole marriage thing was dysfunctional. I had a lot to learn.
That day in December, I resolved to learn everything I could about being a godly wife. I told him in late 2008 that he was going to “feel like the most respected husband on the planet” one day. He laughed. In a good way.
A long road toward healing in my marriage
Finally, I started praying for God to change ME! I thanked God and my husband for the good things in Greg. Humbling myself—by God’s grace— God slowly began to transform my life.
I learned God’s ways are so much higher than my own. And that husbands and God have a much different time-table from mine—and that is ok. I needed to wait. And be patient.
I spent years studying, praying, and journalling, inviting of God to do all that He wanted to in me. After about three years, choosing the godly way instead of my old way didn’t feel so foreign.
What a shock that when I started really obeying God, I had so much deep, new peace unlike anything I had ever experienced.
In time, I began to understand my identity as a woman in Christ. I felt beautiful, feminine, empowered and like I was becoming the woman I always wanted to be!
This was new as I had never felt feminine in my life before. I didn’t think it was possible for me. But in Christ, it is! Especially as I began to “get” what biblical womanhood was about.
Living with way fewer regrets was amazing, too. I didn’t lash out so much at Greg in anger and then have lots of tirades to apologize for.
Finally, I knew what my husband needed and I knew how to give it to him! It was SO exciting to find out I DID have valuable contributions for the marriage that would meet his masculine needs! WOOHOO!
I LOVED learning about respect and biblical submission. Jesus lifted the heavy weight of the world from my shoulders. Christ’s love transformed me, melting my fear, anxiety, and overwhelmed feelings away.
In this new way of life, I feel cherished, adored, loved, protected, and enjoyed learning to rest in God’s love and my husband’s love and just be still.
The birth of this ministry
In April of 2011, my husband said, “You HAVE to share what you have learned with other wives.” He knew, by then, that the changes in me were here to stay.
I pray that God might use me to speak only His truth and that others might find hope, courage, and faith by my example.
My prayer for other Christian wives
I pray that you will discover God’s power in your marriage and how His wisdom can lead to your own spiritual abundance and maybe even great healing in your marriage.
God’s commands bring freedom and joy. The Bible is extremely relevant to us today. I pray that you might find the same joy, peace, sense of purpose and fulfillment in your spiritual walk with Christ and with your husband that I have found!
A note about my blog
Christian wives who tend to be strong willed/in charge whose husbands are passive may find my blog the most relatable.
If your husband is more controlling or you are more passive – many things I talk about will still apply (God’s Word always applies)- but you may have to approach some of the practical issues from a different angle. This blog may not be as helpful for you.
If you are in a marriage with severe problems – infidelity, abuse, uncontrolled mental health issues, active addictions – please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!!!!!
I only write for wives – I don’t write for husbands. A husband cannot force his wife to respect him and submit to him.
Just like husbands voluntarily choose to obey God’s commands for them. A wife can’t control her husband or change him.
A Christian wife can influence him and inspire him, in powerful, healing ways, though!
Women choose this path willingly and voluntarily out of love, respect, and obedience to Christ. And there may be times when I can’t cooperate with my husband’s leadership.
Related – Christian wife resources:
Christian Submission: Is It Only for Women?
Ways I Disrespected and Hurt My Husband
What Is Respect in Marriage and How Does It Work?
What Does Our Marriage Look Like Now?
Does God Want Christian Wives to Be Doormats?
Or, check out my book with ALL the baby steps God showed me in the beginning of my journey to become a strong Christian wife: