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A Lightbulb Moment for a Wife Who LOVES Control

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I am so thankful to the wife who allowed me to share her story. I have a feeling that God may use her lightbulb moment to trigger a lightbulb moment for many other wives, too! 

Why am I stressed? Well I could say because my husband works 12+ hours a day 6 days a week and I only see him 30 mins a day and on his day off he just sleeps and he is grouchy all the time or because I have a much needed surgery scheduled for May 6 and still haven’t heard if my insurance will cover the surgeon, But, that wouldn’t be true…I am stressed because I want to control these things and I can’t.

I am thankful to say that the last few days and with the help of your story, Nikka, I figured out many things and I feel better.

Lying in bed the other night, I wondered what I was not getting. Then it hit me. April, talks all the time about making your husband an idol and depending on God to meet your needs but it just didn’t sink in.

One thing I was doing was trying to be the perfect wife.

I was trying to do all I could to be happy and smiling and helpful when my husband was awake. Then he would just be grouchy and mean and I would get upset. I would make his favorite pie and he would grump at me. I would fuss at him for his behavior and take another step back.

Another thing I was doing was reading and praying and trying everything I could to fix me so I wouldn’t be emotional and I wouldn’t be upset by his moods and I wouldn’t be upset because he would not ask for less work hours. I was upset because he didn’t seem to need me at all anymore for anything.

So what hit me was

  • I am trying to get closer to God.
  • I am trying to be a good wife.
  • BUT, I am not learning to control me!

Being a person that likes to control, I need to learn to control my responses. I need to make my own life right – now, during this season. I had been reading Joyce Meyers book on controlling emotions and she laid it all out and I finally got it.

  • There is so much power in controlling one’s emotions.
  • Not controlling them zaps all our strength. ( I am a poster child for that!)

I can’t get closer to God or be respectful if I can’t even control me.

Since I like to control this was like offering candy to me. I get to control something!!

  • I stopped immediately trying to be the perfect wife. That only brought me hurt when it wasn’t appreciated.
  • I will ask him if he needs me to do anything but I won’t fall all over myself trying to please him.
  • I also decided to stop talking about my problems or even thinking about them. I mentioned them here as only a point. When I think about them or talk about them it only adds to my stress. Something else I can control!!

When my husband was grumpy with me, I just answered nicely and went outside to my flowers. Instead of feeling hurt and offended, I thought well that is his sin, I will go do something nice for myself and enjoy God’s beauty. Another thing I can control!!

I really like to control, can you tell? I just needed to find a way to do it the right way.

The weird thing is I was having a hard time focusing on God through all this. Maybe like Nikki, I was just thinking that God didn’t want to do things like I thought He should, so why bother? Why wouldn’t God want my husband to work less and spend more time with the family? Why wouldn’t God want me to have my surgery?

Because God knew I needed to depend on Him not my husband for my companionship, safety and love.

If I depend on my husband for those things, I will always be disappointed when I don’t get it. Yes, I know you say this all the time, April but I just didn’t seem to get order of things. 🙂

I need to control my overwhelming emotions before anything else can fall into place. When I do that I will once again feel in control of my life.

So for me the order needed to be…

1. Control my hurt, anger, responses and thoughts.

2. Draw closer to God to meet my needs.

3. Respect my husband.

INSTEAD OF….

1.Try to be the perfect wife and respect my husband.

2.Try to be closer to God.

3. Hope God can fix my emotional messed up head and actions.

Seems like God should be first, right?…but He plainly showed me that He can’t be first until I get some of the junk out and make room for him.

FROM NIKKA:

 

Wonderful sharing! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

How refreshing your insight was on CONTROL.

Come to think of it, CONTROL should be amoral.

It is not bad or good in and by itself. It only becomes bad when one uses it for things or people that are clearly NOT one’s responsibility or business, like “changing” one’s husband because that is not for one to control, only God can change hearts.

BUT,

and this is the exciting part that I learned from your sharing..

We are encouraged to CONTROL things too by no less than our good God!

  • Control our tongue.
  • Control our temper.
  • Control our emotions.
  • Control our passions.
  • Control our desires.
  • Control our thoughts.
  • Control our actions.

Yay! We can still ‘CONTROL’ but in a good way, in a godly way!

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I LOVE this!  I remember thinking something VERY similar. I realized that I needed to control myself and that I could change myself – with God’s help. And I thought, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Something I can control! WOOOHOOO!  I love being in control. I can’t control Greg. I can’t control God. But with God’s help, I CAN learn to control myself! So that is where I began to focus. That was also where my greatest power was and is.

What lightbulb moments have you had about these issues? We’d love to hear about it! You may just be the catalyst that jumpstarts many more lightbulb moments for God in other women’s hearts.

————–

This post is based on the fruit of the Spirit of self control (Galatians 5:22-23)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

and agape love that God commands us to have for all people (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

and showing honor and respect to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33)

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

and using wisdom as wives to build up our home instead of tear it down with our own hands (or mouths)

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

Dying to Self

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”   – Galatians 2:20-21

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  – Galatians 5:16-24

This process of learning to respect our husbands and honor their leadership is a VERY painful process – especially at first. It is the  process of dying to self and and being made more holy by God’s power.

There are no short cuts!!  

It is actually not about our husbands at all – but rather, it is all about our relationship with Christ. It is about our willingness to reverence and submit to Jesus. That is the entire crux of the matter!

This is not just some self-help “10 steps to controlling your husband and getting everything you want in your marriage by changing your words and tone of voice.”  My motives MATTER here!  If I am trying to obey God just to get the feelings I want or the response from my husband I want,  I have missed the entire point!

I have to have pure motives – desiring to obey God’s Word out of reverence for and love for Christ alone.

What I am advocating is to completely expose your deepest soul to God and allow Him to search the darkest recesses with the blazing light of His Word.  And then to allow God’s Spirit TOTAL access and grant Him complete Lordship and the ability to decide what stays and what goes.  And anything He finds offensive – well, it simply has to go. No question. God is Lord now, NOT ME!  This means facing your deepest fears, challenging your definition of God, your understanding of His sovereignty, your true beliefs that govern your decisions and priorities, seeing the mountains of sin that you may not have even known were there, and being willing to part with all of that humbly before our mighty God.  It means wrestling with God over those most painful issues and deciding whether you actually can trust Him or not.

Is He REALLY BIG enough?

This is DEEP, LIFE-CHANGING, PARADIGM SHIFTING stuff.

  • This is where you tear out everything from your heart but Christ and are willing to give up all that is dear to you – laying it on the altar to God.  You die to your dreams, your desires, your wants, your goals and your plans.  You embrace His will, His desires, His dreams, His goals, His plans and His life for you – even if that means not getting what you really wanted, and even if that means going through the “worst case scenario” in your mind.

You will have to personally wrestle with these questions and decide  – can you really trust God? Is He who He says He is? Is His Word true or not? Will you build your life on the Rock of  Christ,  His Word and His promises, or on the sinking sand of trusting SELF?

Let us be willing to die to ourselves!  Let us joyfully give up our rights, our goals of happy feelings, and all that we hold dear and cling only to Christ, out of thankfulness and profound gratitude for ALL He has done for us (paying our “billions of dollars worth of sin debt to God”), holding everything else very loosely in our hands!

The thing is, you can’t respect your husband and empower his leadership on your own.  You can’t just be quiet and smile and hold the raging ocean of  sinful thoughts, emotions and negativity inside while you pretend to be “nice” on the outside.  

This journey requires a total heart change – regeneration that is only possible through God’s Spirit. Eventually, we don’t even THINK the sinful thoughts. It is a total heart change. We nail the old sinful self to the cross and it is crucified and buried with Christ. Then we put on the new man in Christ. He gives us a new heart and transforms our thinking.

Lord, help us to lay down our desires and let us desire only what YOU desire in our lives and in this world. Let us desire NOTHING in heaven or earth besides You!

If we do NOT have His Spirit – it is IMPOSSIBLE to be the godly wives Jesus calls us to be. God’s Spirit alone is our power source!

Some wives think that I am saying THEY alone are fully responsible for all the problems in the marriage and that I am expecting them to take 100% of the blame.  This is NOT at all what I am saying.  Husbands are all sinners, and so are wives. Husbands have their own accountability and responsibility before God and will stand before Him one day – just as we will.  I am asking women to focus on their own responsibilities, their own sins and their side of the relationship.  We can’t control our husbands.  We have to trust God to deal with them.  And really, we can’t even change ourselves – but we can allow God the freedom and permission to change us and we can respond as He opens our spiritual eyes.  So that is where we have to put our focus.  That is where our power is!

When we are cherishing sin in our hearts – we grieve and alienate the Spirit of God.   We cannot have God’s power flowing full strength in us when we are embracing sin and getting cozy with it.  We have to choose between having sin or having Jesus.  We cannot have both!

QUOTES FROM E.M. Bounds – “The Necessity of Prayer”

  • If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him.
  • If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must be removed.
  • Those who have never wept concerning their sins, have never really prayed over their sins.
  • Until (the step of unquestioning obedience) is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance will be of no use.
  • Nowhere does God approve sin or excuse disobedience.
  • The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance – something wrongly named.
  • A repentance that does not produce a change in character and conduct, is a mere sham that should deceive no one. Old things must pass away, all things must become new!
  • Praying that does not result in right thinking and right living, is a farce.
  • The change from badness to goodness is not brought about “by works of righteousness that we have done.” It is brought about according to God’s mercy, which saves us “by the washing of regeneration.” This marvelous change is brought to pass through earnest, persistent, faithful prayer. Any alleged form of Christianity that does not create this change in the hearts of people is a delusion and a snare.

Silent Nagging – by Nikka

Baptism of our 3rd child – Nov 2010

From my amazing friend and sister in the Lord, Nikka.  You can find her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com.  She began this journey to become a godly wife 9-1-2013.

I used to think I was the picture of a kind and respectful wife.

You see…

I did not nag.
 
I did not berate my husband privately or publicly.
 
I did not say cuss words at him or insult him to his face.
 
I did not raise my voice even in argument.
 
Compared to some wives I knew, I thought I was actually quite tolerant and very “Christian.”


Boy, was I wrong!

Okay, I did not NAG. But I did just the OPPOSITE...

I shut up.

I refused to speak.

I seethed with anger, disappointment and resentment.

A whistling kettle blowing off steam — like me when I am angry!

I held grudges.

Not one word would escape my lips, but I was boiling inside. If you waited long enough, you might actually witness me, blow off steam and whistle!
 I guess you can call it “silent nagging“!   
Eventually, though, I would calm down and talk with Dong about what was bothering me. It was my nature to let it all out, after seething for a while. I felt that keeping things bottled up inside was not healthy. I felt that pent-up anger and resentment would cause cancer in my body. My mother died of cancer at 43, when I was just 17 years old. I did not want to suffer the same fate.

I used to think I was NOT the woman the Bible was pertaining to. You know, the one mentioned in Proverbs 27:15

“A nagging wife is like dripping that never stops on a rainy day.”

MGA KAWIKAAN 27:15

15Ang laging tulo sa araw na maulan at ang babaing palatalo ay magkahalintulad:

I did not drip, yes.

But, I simmered.

I would ignore my husband for days or not talk to him. He would ask, “Honey what’s wrong?” and I would say, tight-faced and upset, “Nothing.”

Yeah, right, nothing. You know how women say “Nothing” but mean just the opposite. Everything was wrong, to my mind. “If only you did this or that, our lives would be so much better!
If only you were this and that, things would be perfect! If only you were not this or not that, I would not feel so terrible! You are so lucky to be married to me. I, on the other hand, am not as lucky!” 

Yuck.

Okay, I was not “nagging” alright, but my heart was so filled with sins of pride, anger and self-righteousness!

I did not have to say a word. Dong knew just from my ice princess stance that “nothing” was really “something”. When I was in these phases, he would distance himself from me and allow me to steam, which sometimes made me even angrier because how dare he NOT comfort me when I was feeling so alone and overwhelmed and depressed!!!

Looking back, I myself would not go near ME with a ten-foot pole, when I was under those dark clouds of self-made doom. I was too negative, too unpleasant, too repulsive. And yet, I thought Dong was SO blessed to be married to somebody like ME! Crazy, right?!

When I underwent a long period of introspection in the middle of last year, 2013, I asked God to search my heart. It was a painful process. It was humiliating and humbling. Humiliating because the Lord showed me my true self — prideful, bitter, envious, self-righteous, judgmental….          Humbling because suddenly I realized that I had nothing to boast of in front of God. All the goodness that I thought I possessed, was all from Him. All my sins and failures were the only ones that I actually owned.

When I finally came to terms with the TRUTH — that I was not the kind, Christian wife I thought myself to be — that was when things started to change within my heart. The Truth Hurts. 🙁

I repented of my sins.
I gave up my desire to CONTROL my husband, our lives, and everything else around me.
I let go.
And, I let God reign.
I told God that I would FINALLY, REALLY, TRULY put everything in His Hands and let Him live in me, starting with submitting myself to my husband’s authority.

Ephesians 5:22-33 Taken from Biblical Marriages in Facebook

I was tired of leading.
I was tired of worrying about the future.
I was tired of being afraid.

I was ready to be led by Dong.
I was ready to trust that God will lead me through my husband.
I was ready to be freed from the bondage of control.

That was the MOST LIBERATINGdecision I have ever made in my life!

That was when I felt MOST PEACEFUL. 🙂

I said this to my husband at the start of my submission journey, and I will say it again now:


“I would rather DIE than to go back to my former (negative, controlling, fearful) self.”

To follow God’s Great Design for Marriage, Him Who made us fearfully and wonderfully, is the TRUE PATH TO PEACE.

God’s Design For Husbands — To LOVE their wives as Christ loved the Church
God’s Design for Wives — to SUBMIT to their husbands

My prayer is that husbands will LOVE their wives….

and that wives will RESPECT and SUBMIT to their   husbands. 

God knew what He was doing when He created the first man and the first woman.

Order After Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit

God is a God of ORDER. 

Order Before Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit

If we follow His Great Design, no matter how “weird”, how “archaic”, how “passe” it seems to be in this day and age….

PEACE and ORDER will reign in our homes.

That is our “Instruction Manual” for Life.  He is ourManufacturer after all. 😉 That is 100% GUARANTEED SATISFACTION!!! 🙂

So, what are you waiting for? “ORDER” now!!!! 😉

Dong and Nikka Alejar – Manila Bay, 2012

May we all be richly blessed! 🙂

RELATED:

Our Words Can Cause Catastrophic Damage

Nikka’s First Interview with Her Husband

Nikka’s Second Interview with Her Husband

The Dominant Wife/Passive Husband Combo – a Perfect Recipe for Disaster – by Nikka

Say “Thank You!”

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I have a busy week this week with our children home from school on a winter break and some extra work. I will get to emails and comments as I am able to.  I apologize in advance that I may not be able to be as prompt as I would like to be.  Thanks for your understanding and patience!  You are more than welcome to comment here.  I know many of you will encourage each other.  I love what an amazing group we have and how you support, respect, love and build up each other.  THANK YOU for that!  I am so grateful for each of you!!!!!!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

I have another little challenge for you, ladies!  Last week was the SMILE challenge.  I’d love to hear some reports about how that has gone. 🙂

If your husband does something that blesses you, something that you benefit from in any way – THANK him.

Smile, have a friendly voice, thank him and maybe even give him a real hug, too!

I know, it’s crazy, right!?!?!!? 🙂

In a man’s world, spoken or visible appreciation is HUGE!  For your husband,  hearing “thank you” or “Great job, Honey!” may actually mean more to him than a long love letter from you or even the words, “I love  you.”

If you haven’t been thanking him – it may feel a bit awkward at first to thank your husband.  That’s ok!  You can do this!  Don’t expect anything back from him.  Just thank him because God commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thessalonians 5:18

When should we thank our husbands?  Here are some of my suggestions for your consideration.  Don’t do all of these at once!  Spread them out.  Maybe do one every day or so, or thank him as he does some of these things.  Make it a new habit.  Be sincere.):

  • Thank him for working to provide for the family sometimes, even if you work too, even if you make more money than he does.  Most men view providing financially as the primary way they show love to their families. (From Shaunti Feldhahn’s book “For Women Only”)
  • When he has had a particularly difficult day – THANK HIM for working so hard to take care of his family.
  • When he helps with the children.  Yes, they are his children, too, but it is a great thing to thank him for taking some of the burden off of you.  He is blessing you.  He could be at a bar or sitting in front of the TV ignoring the kids.  Even if he is doing something we think he “should” do, we can thank him and appreciate him. This encourages him to be more involved as a father.  Men respond to appreciation, admiration and genuine praise. It motivates them to do even better.  Aren’t we all like that, really?  Don’t we all want to do even more when someone shows real appreciation?
  • Thank him for complimenting you when he does and ACCEPT his compliments graciously.
  • ANYTIME he does any kind of chores around the house (thank him, don’t criticize him!  Especially if you would like him to continue to help  you!)
  • Thank him for his leadership, for carrying that weight in the family, even if he hasn’t started leading yet.  You can step down and allow him space and time to start leading, and you can thank him for his leadership.  There may even be ways he does try to lead that you could appreciate that you hadn’t noticed before.
  • Thank him when he gets something for you at the store.
  • Thank him any time he buys you something.  Thank him for his thoughtfulness and generosity!
  • Thank him for taking care of the yard or the cars or for fixing things around the house.  SMILE and thank him and tell him when he does a good job.  Avoid criticizing how he does things as much as possible.  Let him experience having a fully happy wife, a content wife.  That is every husband’s greatest dream!!!  To do something for his wife and for her to be completely satisfied with his efforts.
  • Thank him for taking you and your children to church if he does, or thank him for allowing you to go if he does not go with you.
  • Thank him for disciplining the children, stand behind his decisions as a father.
  • Thank him for being a great dad.
  • Thank him for being a wonderful husband.
  • Thank him for his strengths – his strong work ethic, his patience, his forgiving spirit, his eye for detail, his careful decision making, his responsible driving, his character, his integrity, his faith in Christ, his carefulness with money, etc…
  • Thank him for being faithful to his wedding vows to you if he has been.  “Honey, I just want to tell you that it means the WORLD to me that you have been faithful to me in our marriage.  Thank you for being a man of your word and for being a man of integrity.”
  • Thank him for being here with you and for the honor of being his wife.
  • Thank him for bringing fun into your life and family.
  • Appreciate his sense of humor.
  • Thank/appreciate him in front of your children often and in front of other people – this makes most husbands feel like they are on top of the world!
  • Thank him for the difference he makes in the world by doing a good job at his profession.
  • Thank him if he sends you a sweet text/email.
  • Thank him for coming home and being with you and the family.
  • Thank him for eating supper with you.
  • Thank him/appreciate him for having sex with you or cuddling with you.

HUSBANDS:

What would it mean to you for you to hear your wife say, “Thank you” for the things you do for her and your family?  How much does it mean to see her smile a real smile and to tell you how much she appreciates your efforts?  I would love to hear from you!

LADIES:

Let me know how things go!

The Voice in His Head – from the Archives

by my husband, Greg.  You can find his blog for husbands at www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com.

On Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 April ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accused her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between us. April then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them:

  • “You don’t have what it takes to do ……”
  • “You are a failure at …..”
  • “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”
  • “You are not good enough.”

Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the April has explained to me about how she had an internal voice accusing me and justifying her disrespect and need for control almost constantly earlier in our marriage.

Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find April with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response. Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt. AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage.”

IS THIS NORMAL?

Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. A voice in my head started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.” So, the April posted the question on the Peacefulwife Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.

Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”

A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him.  He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he let a weakness be revealed.

Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way. Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan (and/or the sinful nature of men and women) attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.

So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.

And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel. But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities. I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.

But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough. I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.

One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley, www.corycopeland.net

A WIFE’S ROLE

A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons/voices that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well?  Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:

But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificient power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.

And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.

Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.

Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing. Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be. Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along. And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.

http://greatdatespot.com/2010/05/21/a-husbands-insecurity-from-10-things-men-wish-their-wives-knew-about-men/

Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager. When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy.   That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.

But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.” Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment thim. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:

Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows. The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault. You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well…

But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices. I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.”

Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.

When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.  But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will.  WOW!  This is POWERFUL stuff!  May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 1

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Administrative Note:

I am taking an email vacation through January 6th.  You are welcome to comment on posts, but please hold emails for me until January 7th.  I appreciate your patience and understanding! 🙂

“I’M THE SPIRITUALLY MATURE ONE, I HAVE TO LEAD”

It is a VERY tough position to be in to want to be close to God, to want to obey God and to feel like you can’t follow your husband.

  • You may long for him to lead a family devotion time, or prayer time.
  • You may want him to be the one to tell the children why it’s important to go to church or to plan out character lessons to teach each child.
  • You may want him to work with the kids on memory verses.
  • You may wish that your husband spent more time with the family and not so much time at work.
  • You may feel like you HAVE to take over the leadership role because it doesn’t seem like he wants it.
  • You might be praying every single day for God to change your husband and cause him to be more like Christ.
  • You may feel like your husband isn’t as close to God as he should be.
  • Maybe you don’t see him praying.
  • Maybe you are in charge of the finances and working full time and keeping the house and taking care of the children and it seems like an unfair majority of the burden is on your shoulders.
  • Maybe you ask your husband to help you, but he just ignores you and keeps watching tv.
  • Maybe you tell him how unhappy you are and what you need and it feels like you are talking to a wall.
  • Maybe you try to draw near to him and tell him about your pain so he will see how much you hurt and fix it, and he gets REALLY angry and lashes out at you and begins talking about your faults.
  • Maybe you ask for your husband’s input or decision-making and he just never answers or says the dreaded, “I don’t know” phrase or he ignores you, or just tells you to do whatever you want and you feel like he doesn’t care and isn’t plugged in to the family and the marriage.

“GOD’S DESIGN WON’T WORK IN MY SITUATION”

If these things sound familiar to you – you are not alone! Many wives feel like this and struggle daily with these same issues. Yes, this situation is extremely discouraging and you may think that your husband just doesn’t love you anymore or that following your husband’s leadership just isn’t possible in your case. You might think he can’t lead the family. You might just write him off as not being able to ever “man-up” and take care of family responsibilities. You might be wondering why God isn’t answering your prayers? Why isn’t your husband changing? You are praying clearly for God’s will – a godly husband who is a strong, Christ-like leader for your family. Why on earth have your prayers gone unanswered for months or years or decades? Why doesn’t God hear?

Precious, beautiful wife, I obviously don’t know your situation. But God does! There is GREAT HOPE in Christ!!!!

There are several very central, CRITICAL truths I have learned as a Christian and as a wife that have changed my life and my marriage that I want to share (with my husband’s whole-hearted approval) with wives who might be in a similar place to where I was years ago:

  • GOD IS SOVEREIGN – EVEN OVER MY MARRIAGE, EVEN OVER MY HUSBAND, AND OVER MY LIFE.
  • I CANNOT CHANGE MY HUSBAND AND MAKE HIM MORE LIKE CHRIST. I can aggravate him, push him away from God, make him want to be far away from me and make us both miserable by trying to change him, make him dread being in the same room with me, but I cannot change him – not for the better! I am not the Holy Spirit!
  • GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CHANGE MY HUSBAND – HIS WAY AND HIS TIMING IS BEST.
  • MY JOB IS TO OBEY GOD ON MY END AND NOT WORRY ABOUT MY HUSBAND’S SIDE OF THE EQUATION, BUT TRUST GOD AND DO MY PART.
  • WHEN I DO OBEY GOD AS A WIFE, I OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO WORK IN MYSELF, MY MARRIAGE, MY HUSBAND AND OUR CHILDREN.
  • MY OBEDIENCE CAN REALLY SPEED UP THE PROCESS FOR GOD TO CHANGE MY HUSBAND.
  • MY DISOBEDIENCE CAN KEEP MY HUSBAND FROM HEARING GOD’S VOICE AND CAN PUSH MY HUSBAND AWAY FROM ME AND FROM GOD.
  • I HAVE A FOREST OF TREES IN MY OWN EYE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SPECK IN MY HUSBAND’S EYE.
  • I CAN DO NOTHING GOOD APART FROM CHRIST AND HIS POWER WORKING IN ME.
  • I AM UTTERLY SINFUL AND WRETCHED ON MY OWN.
  • I NEED TO LIVE IN HUMILITY WITH A VERY REAL AWARENESS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF MY OWN FAULTS AND HOW SMALL AND IMPOTENT I AM AND HOW HUGE, POWERFUL, SOVEREIGN, ALL-KNOWING, WISE, LOVING, MERCIFUL, FORGIVING AND HOLY GOD IS!

SELF EVALUATION TIME

Whew! This stuff is ugly. I don’t really enjoy this part, but unless we open up our own souls and allow God’s Word to shine in there to the darkest corners, we can’t move on to the great stuff.  This is where we learn to “die to self” and live for Christ. I would like for you to consider some things and whether or not these may be possibilities in your heart and in your marriage as we think about the issue of your husband’s leadership in your home. We are only going to look at ourselves as wives in this exercise and how we may be contributing to the success or failure of our husband’s leadership in our marriages. Please stop and pray and ask God to give you insight and wisdom into your own heart and life, as well as conviction wherever it is needed from His perspective. Please meditate and pray about how many of the following may apply to you and your marriage – many applied in mine, but not all –  (if you are dealing with an active addict, someone chronically unfaithful, a hardened criminal, or someone with an uncontrolled mental health disorder – please get godly, experienced help ASAP! Following a husband in these cases could be very dangerous. Safety for you and your children is the priority if you are in a physically abusive situation!!):

  • If I ask my husband to make a decision, and he doesn’t give me a “real” answer within 5-30 minutes, I get angry.
  • I yell at my husband, throw things at him, and call him horrible names.
  • I attack my husband’s character when we argue.
  • If my husband asks me to do something I don’t like or don’t agree with, I refuse to go along with him. I will only follow if he leads where I want to go.
  • If my husband comes up with an idea or plan, I find fault with his thinking and his solutions and tell him that his way won’t work, only my way will.
  • I criticize my husband’s opinions, preferences, tastes, wardrobe, hair style, hobbies, thoughts, suggestions, and plans.
  • I react negatively when my husband tries to help me. He just doesn’t load the dishwasher right, or change the baby’s diaper right, or fold the laundry right.He never hears me praise him and say, “Thank you SO much for the help!” He only hears me say, “I’m going to have to redo it all the RIGHT way!” Or “Why can’t you ever get it right?” or “That is C+ work, not A material.” Or “You’re not doing it right!”
  • If my husband tries to please me, what he does is never enough, I always want more than what he delivered.
  • I frown at my husband a lot.
  • I sound angry, frustrated, impatient, and like I am reprimanding and scolding a naughty little boy many times when I speak to my husband.
  • My facial expressions, my tone of voice, my words sound condemning of my husband often.
  • I act disrespectfully towards my husband to show him that he needs to pull his weight more and love me more and to show him how unhappy I am.
  • I withhold physical intimacy with my husband to punish him.
  • My husband often rejects me physically – it feels like I am pursuing him and it seems like he has lost his attraction for me.
  • My husband tends to ignore me a lot.
  • I feel very lonely, like the whole weight of the entire marriage and family is on my shoulders alone. I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done.
  • I have to take over leadership because my husband won’t lead.
  • I have very specific ideas about what a husband’s leadership should be and my husband is not meeting my standards.
  • I am always “right” and I make sure my husband knows that he is always wrong. My way is best. I know best what our family and marriage needs.
  • I don’t trust my husband’s ideas.
  • If I let my husband be in charge he’d destroy our lives.
  • I think my husband’s ideas are ridiculous.
  • I don’t think my husband can be an effective leader.
  • I think my husband is an overgrown boy.
  • I have to correct my husband when he is talking with other people or he gets things wrong.
  • I have to tell my husband what to do or he does nothing.
  • I’m very intelligent, strong-willed, perfectionistic, opinionated, and possibly some family members might say I could be “controlling.”
  • Thinking of yielding my control makes me have a panic attack. THE WORLD WILL FALL APART IF I AM NOT IN CHARGE!
  • I am exhausted from trying to take care of everything myself all the time. I don’t relax.
  • I resent my husband for relaxing and taking time for himself to recharge.
  • I cannot or will not forgive my husband for how he has hurt me in the past.

Tomorrow – we will continue this discussion! 🙂

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 2

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage – Part 3

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 – you 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… 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… did you notice anything different today… ” 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 – she 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)

He Doesn’t Deserve My Respect.

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We continue our series this week into FAQs.  If you have a question that I have not addressed, please let me know! 🙂

  • This seems like more than I can handle (part 1)
  • When do I get to the “peaceful” part? (part 1)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice in my marriage. (part 2)
  • I feel like I am losing myself. (part 2)
  • I feel so lonely. (part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all. (part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all.   (part 4)
  • Respect doesn’t work on my husband. (part 4)
  • But I’m right! (part 5)
  • I’m so scared to give up control!  I should be in charge. Everything will fall apart if I don’t take charge! (part 5)
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect!
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage.
  • Why can’t HE change first?  Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving? (Part 7)

—————————————–

11. He Doesn’t Deserve My Respect

The world says, “Respect must be earned.”

There is a lot of truth to that statement.  In business, at school, in the neighborhood and in the world, men and women do have to earn the respect of others.

But what about in marriage?

God gives specific commands to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:22-33.

  • He commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it.
  • He commands wives to respect their husbands and to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.

These commands to husbands to love and to wives  to respect are unconditional and completely independent of each other.

  • God does not say, “Husbands, love your wives IF they are respectful or IF you think they deserve love.”  It is just, “Husbands, each of you must love his wife as he loves himself…”
  • God does not say, “Wives, respect your husbands IF they deserve respect in your opinion.” or “Respect your husbands when they are respectable.”  It is simply, “the wife must respect her husband.”
  • The submission command does have a caveat “in the Lord” –  which Greg and I believe to mean that if a husband asks a wife to clearly violate God’s Word, she must obey God rather than her husband.  (Spiritual Authority)

In marriage and as believers in Christ – we do not treat our spouse with love or respect because they “deserve” it.  We treat people with love and respect because of the Spirit of Christ living in us and because JESUS CHRIST DESERVES it.  Obeying Him is not optional.  He is LORD.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25

Jesus goes on to say, “Whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did NOT do for me.”  Jesus counts everything we do for other people, including our spouses, as if we were doing those things for HIM.

  • This doesn’t mean we must respect sin or condone sin or follow our husbands into sin.

Check out this post about Spiritual Authority, Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband is Always Right and When My Spouse is Wrong for more on these topics.

GOD COMMANDS US TO RESPECT OUR HUSBANDS NOT BECAUSE OUR HUSBANDS “DESERVE” OUR RESPECT EVERY MOMENT BUT BECAUSE:

  • God deserves our respect, obedience, submission and reverence.  He is our LORD.  We do not look Jesus Who died for us in the face and say, “No, Lord.  I refuse to obey You.”
  • People in positions of God-given authority need respect from those they lead in order for them to be able to lead. God commands all believers to submit to and respect those in God-given authority over us in the government, at work, in church and in the home.  Romans 13, I Peter 2
  • God has wisdom.  He designed marriage.  He knows what makes it work.
  • The same God who said wives need their husbands’ love also said husbands need their wives’ respect.  I know we don’t want to throw out God’s commands for our husbands to love us!  God understands what men and women need in marriage.
  • Our husbands NEED our respect if they are ever going to be able to become the men God desires them to be.  Our respect and willingness to follow their leadership are necessary ingredients for them to hear God’s voice and become godly men.
  • Our disrespect and control could easily crush our husbands’ souls, paralyze them spiritually and stunt their spiritual growth.  My disrespect and control certainly deeply wounded my husband in these ways.
  • Our disrespect and control make it very difficult for our husbands to hear and obey the voice of God themselves. (I Peter 3:1-6)  Then our husbands are focused on our voice and our sin instead of God’s voice.
  • Our respect for our husbands and our willingness to honor their leadership are necessary for a healthy marriage according to God’s wisdom and His design. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-6)
  • Our respect for our husbands and biblical submission to them (unless they ask us to clearly sin) demonstrates to our children and the world what our relationship with Christ should look like, it is a witness for the gospel of Christ.
  • Our disrespect of our husbands and our usurping their control maligns the gospel of Christ (Titus 2:5).
  • God wants our children to respect their fathers and mothers and all of those in God-given authority over them.  If we don’t respect their dad, they won’t respect him either – or anyone else in authority over them. (Spiritual Authority)
  • God wants our children to have an accurate picture of God.  Children receive their first understanding and primary experience of who God is through their fathers.  If we as mothers destroy our children’s respect for their fathers, we also easily destroy their reverence for and respect for and understanding of God. (Spiritual Authority)
  • God gives us people in positions of spiritual authority over us to bless us, protect us, provide for us and guide us into His will. (Spiritual Authority)

BUT MY HUSBAND IS SINNING

God does not call us to respect our husband’s pornography addiction, alcoholism, gambling, flirting with other women, greed, idolatry, unloving behavior, lust, affairs or sin.

I have seen wives attempt to respect their husbands when they brought home women off of the street took them to their bedroom while she was home.  No!  No!  That is taking “respecting our husbands” WAY TOO FAR.

A wife in that position needs to do a lot of praying and probably needs  to say something like, “This is not ok at all.  You are breaking our marriage covenant.  Adultery is wrong.  I can’t stay here if you are going to do this.”  She doesn’t have to scream and cuss at him to do this.  And then she probably needs to leave or ask him to leave and they should be separated until the husband clearly repents, is willing to rebuild trust, be accountable and transparent and receive godly counsel.  I personally vote to have him tested for STDs as well before a wife would even consider being intimate with him again.  (Keep in mind that it takes 6 months after the last sexual encounter before HIV/AIDS would show up in a test – but he could be contagious way before the test would show positive.)

Now – let’s talk about less severe situations…

  • We can respect our husbands for their position in the marriage even when their behavior is wrong.

This is similar to the way that people in the military are taught to “respect the uniform.”  And it is similar to the way we as believers are to respect those in authority over us in the government and the church whether we agree with them or not and whether we voted for them or not.  It is not right for us as believers to slander or disrespect our leaders.  God commands us to show them proper respect.

  • Then there is also the aspect that we purposely look for the good in our husbands that we can genuinely respect.
  • We may need to respectfully, carefully, gently, prayerfully confront our husbands’ sin – just like members of a church may have to gently, prayerfully, respectfully confront a pastor who has fallen into sin.

We may have to say how much his sin hurts us.  We may have to give boundaries and consequences for serious issues – always with an eye toward praying for eventual reconciliation for our husband with Christ and for our marriage if at all possible and for God’s will and His glory. (Some passages that deal with confronting a fellow believer’s sin are found in Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:14-16)

We will be called upon often in marriage to give overwhelming and undeserved grace, forgiveness and mercy.  If trust has been broken – it must be rebuilt.  There may need to be boundaries and consequences for certain sins – with prayer for our husbands to be reconciled to Christ and for healing so our marriage will glorify God.

Our husbands are still sinners – just like we are.  None of us are “better than” anyone else.  We are all on level ground at the foot of the cross.  Our husbands need Jesus’ grace, mercy, blood and forgiveness just as much as all of us do.  We can approach them as if we are on their team and to face and tackle the sin together with the power of God.

Our husbands WILL sin against God and against us at times – and we will sin against them and against God, too, at times.  God can give us the power and strength of His Spirit for us not to respond to their sin with sin of our own.  He may use us to gently restore our husbands into right relationship with Himself and with us.

  • There are times when separation may be necessary if our husbands refuse to repent or get the godly counsel they need.  Sometimes that is the only thing that might wake them up.  Sometimes we may have to remove ourselves and our children from  dangerous or very ungodly situations.

**  If you are dealing with very serious issues in your marriage – please seek godly, wise counsel and get the appropriate help!  If there is severe emotional/spiritual abuse or physical abuse, addictions, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health disorders, severe spiritual problems – please find  godly counsel and the help you and your husband need.

  • Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity may be very helpful for wives in difficult marriages to find healing for themselves in Christ so that they can think rightly about themselves, the marriage, and their husbands. Then they will have the wisdom of God and His Spirit to help them discern how best to handle things.
  • Celebrate Recovery – a Christian program for drug addiction
  • AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • The Salvation Army – has Christ-centered programs to help people with drug/alcohol addictions and may have resources for abused wives
  • There are women’s shelters, I know there is one in our area named Sister Care – for abused wives
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Al-Anon – for spouses of alcoholics

12. My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage.

Sometimes we as wives THINK we know that our husbands feel like this.  Some of us may be right.  But – many of us who believe this is true – are actually wrong.  I sure was!

I was convinced my husband didn’t love me and was far from God and didn’t care if I was there or not.

  • I was wrong – about so many things!

I didn’t understand his heart.  I assumed a lot of evil motives where there were no evil motives.  I didn’t “get” how men think, feel and process emotions.  I expected Greg to be exactly like me.  He’s NOT!  That is a good thing. 🙂  He did love me.  But he shut down his heart to protect himself from my verbal attacks, disrespect and control.  I interpreted that to mean he didn’t love me.  He was actually just trying to protect himself from me.

Thankfully, even if your husband truly doesn’t love you and is not on board with working on the marriage – that is not a problem for God!

It only takes ONE spouse to have faith in God, to obey Him, to live in the power of His Spirit to open up the flood gates of heaven to pour in the healing power of God into the marriage and into the other spouse.  I have seen God do MANY, MANY miracles in situations like these.

When God is your partner – nothing and no one can stop Him.  Nothing can thwart His plans.  Nothing can take you out of His sovereign hands.  God is able to change people in ways we never could.  God can bring your husband’s heart back to Himself and back to you.  He may want to change you first – to get you out of His way so He can reach your husband.  That’s ok!  God can change people’s feelings.  He can change their convictions.  He holds your husband’s heart in his hand and can change his mind.

So – I am not really worried if your husband isn’t on board.  If he is involved in serious sin – I would encourage you to find appropriate,  godly help.  But if he is shut down emotionally, seems far from God, doesn’t want to touch you or talk to you – that is not a big deal when God is involved.  What I am most concerned about is if you are on board with God.  He is the power source.  If something is His will – that is the important thing!

God loves marriage.  It is a picture of the profound mystery between Christ and the church.  He intends to use our marriages to draw people to Himself.  God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:10-16)

Seek God’s will and His glory with all your heart for your life and your marriage.

  • More than seeking reconciliation for your marriage – seek to please and honor Christ in everything!  If your husband is not a believer, seek to pray for his salvation even if the marriage does not recover.

It is my prayer that God might heal you, your husband and your marriage.  But most of all I pray for God’s greatest glory in your lives.

———————–

RELATED:

What is Respect in Marriage – husbands share what is respectful to them

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

I have Youtube videos if you are interested:

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve MY Respect!

My Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do With Him and Everything to Do with My Relationship with Christ

But I’m Right! I am the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

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  • This seems like more than I can handle (part 1)
  • When do I get to the “peaceful” part? (part 1)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice in my marriage. (part 2)
  • I feel like I am losing myself. (part 2)
  • I feel so lonely. (part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all. (part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all.   (part 4)
  • Respect doesn’t work on my husband. (part 4)
  • But I’m right!
  • I’m so scared to give up control! I need to be in charge! Everything will fall apart if I don’t take charge!
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect! (Part 6)
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage. (Part 4)
  • Why can’t HE change first?  Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving? (Part 7)

9. But I’m Right!

Hold on here, ladies!  This is probably going to be a painful one.  I pray that God’s Spirit will speak directly to you today – as I pray for every post.  My wisdom is worthless.  The only message that matters is God’s truth and His Word.  May we each be prayerfully attentive to anything His Spirit wants us to hear.

I’m going to deconstruct what God showed me a few years ago was really going on in my mind, heart and soul…  and – it was NOT pretty.

Here is what was behind my attitude for those first 14.5 years in our marriage that “I’m right.”

  • I truly believed that I was always right and Greg was always wrong.  Always.
  • I also believed that I understood God’s will and Greg didn’t.
  • I believed I was more spiritual and more spiritually mature than Greg.
  • I prayed daily and read my Bible daily.  Sometimes I prayed for 4 hours/day on my days off.  See how spiritual I was?
  • I told God what He needed to do.  I dictated things to Him.  I could just see it all so clearly.  So – I was happy to tell Him what He needed to do in each and every situation.  Because – I clearly knew best and had such incredible wisdom.
  • I believed that I was a strong Christian and Greg was not.
  • I believed I was “better than” Greg.
  • I believed I made better decisions than Greg did.
  • I believed I was smarter than Greg.  I had the grades and scholarships to “prove it”.  And I could quote so much more of the Bible than he could.
  • I believed I “had” to take over leadership in the marriage because Greg “wouldn’t” lead.  I mean – I asked him to make decisions.  And then I waited all of 5-20 minutes.  When he couldn’t come up with an answer after I pressured him that whole time  – I clearly had to take over.  He should think just like me and make decisions as quickly as I do – or he’s obviously “wrong.”
  • I trusted my wisdom much more than I trusted Greg’s wisdom.  His ideas didn’t make sense to me.
  • My perspective was the only one on the planet that I deemed to be “correct” and “valid.” If someone didn’t think just like I did – they were automatically “wrong.”
  • I set myself up above God, too.  Not consciously – but I believed I was “above” having to forgive people.  I deserved to hold on to grudges and resentment because other people were wrong and I was right.  There were a number of passages in scripture that I just blatantly ignored and did things my way instead – not even acknowledging that I was rebelling against Scripture.

I was blind to my mountain of sin.  I didn’t just have a 2X4 in my eye.  I had a massive forest. 🙁  Turns out I – April Cassidy – am a WRETCHED sinner.  I never truly faced that before.

So – I don’t know if you are able to see it or not –  It’s just so obscure and difficult to notice (ha!) –  but – my PRIDE was through the roof.  I’m not sure how God measures pride.  Mine was off the charts.

Quite honestly, looking at it now – my pride must have been as big or bigger than Satan’s.  He set out to be “equal” to God.  I set myself above God in my heart.  I worshipped SELF.  I trusted ME.  I thought I was an awesome Christian.  But I didn’t actually trust God.  I didn’t understand His sovereignty.  I lived as if I was sovereign and everything was completely up to me to make things happen “right.”

If you compare my line of thought with the Pharisees – I think I would have made a pretty “good Pharisee”  – if women were allowed to be Pharisees.  You know – Jesus had much more harsh words for the Pharisees who were prideful and self-righteous than He did for thieves, murderers, adulterers, tax-collectors and prostitutes.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  James 4:6

God didn’t answer my prayers for Him to change Greg all those years.  I would get so mad about that, too!  I would pray for Greg to pray with me.  That was clearly God’s will, right?  And by that night at 11:30pm when Greg didn’t pray with me, I was SO ANGRY at God and at Greg.  They were NOT doing God’s will!  It was exasperating.  I tried to drag Greg and God around to do MY will.  But I didn’t see that my pride caused God to oppose me to my face.

Really – although I never consciously saw it this way and would never have SAID any of these things to myself or out loud, what I really expected was for:

  • Greg to submit to ME
  • God to submit to ME
  • other people to do MY will
  • other people to obey ME
  • people to admit that I was always right, wise and good
  • people to see that they needed my help and my wisdom desperately

I expected, basically, to be worshipped – because I worshipped myself.

UGH.

You know – when you see it all broken down and written out like this – it looks REALLY, REALLY AWFUL!

This is what in my heart when I was disrespectful, controlling and contentious.  

  • Idolatry of self.
  • The belief that I am sovereign, not God.
  • The belief that it is my RIGHT and my DUTY to make other people do what I think they should do.
  • The belief that it is the responsibility and duty of others to do what I say to do.

This is why I could get so angry if people didn’t do what I wanted them to do.  This is why I believed I should and could control others.  This is why I had the right to be disrespectful – because I had myself in my heart as god.  Other people owed me obedience and reverence and respect.  They would face my wrath if they wouldn’t cooperate with my leadership and my self-appointed “authority.”

  • Is there any sin that is worse than idolatry?

I am truly the chief of sinners.

I committed idolatry every waking moment for probably 30 years.  I thought I trusted Jesus.  I said I trusted Jesus.  But the fruit of my life and reality was that I didn’t trust and obey Jesus.  I was not full of His Spirit.  My sinful nature was in firm control and I broke the 1st commandment constantly.  Thousands and thousands of times – hundreds of thousands of times or more.  I was an idolator and didn’t even know it.

That is why I had no peace or joy.  I was worried, afraid and very lonely.  I was trying to carry the weight of God on my shoulders.  That is STRESSFUL!  And I was trying to carry the weight of the marriage and family on my shoulders that God designed Greg to carry, not me.  That was too much weight for me!

My pride repelled God and repelled other people.

  • Is there any sin that is worse than pride?  

That was the sin of Lucifer (who became Satan).  It is a root sin for practically every other sin – my thinking that I know best and my wisdom is higher than God’s and I am exempt from having to obey God’s Word because I am above God.

I am SO VERY THANKFUL that God humbled me.

THE TRUTH THAT SET ME FREE:

  • God is wise.  I am not.  God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than my own.  My wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight.
  • God is God.  I am a sinful, weak, small human made of dust.
  • God is good.  I am not.  My best attempts at holiness are like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight. (Isaiah 64)
  • I am desperately wretchedly sinful on my own and I NEED the blood, mercy, forgiveness and grace of Christ.
  • The wages of sin is death.  Romans 3:23 – that is what I earned.  I deserve separation from God.
  • I didn’t just owe Him $2000 sin dollars or something small.  I owe Him BILLIONS.
  • I have sinned MUCH.  Now I have been forgiven MUCH.  Now I can love Jesus MUCH.
  • God’s Word has wisdom.  I need the wisdom of God and His Word.
  • God’s Word says that my husband is to be the head of our marriage and our home.  God designated Greg to be in charge, not me.  I Corinthians 11:3.  That is God’s wisdom for me.
  • Greg has wisdom to offer to me that will bless me.
  • I do not always know best.
  • I am not always right.
  • God always knows best.  He is always right.
  • Greg may know better than I do.  He may be right sometimes and I may be wrong.
  • Humility is beautiful and is the first step of this journey.  I must be “poor in spirit,” able to recognize my utter spiritual poverty before a holy, righteous, just JUDGE and King of the universe.

Submission begins for every disciple of Christ when we submit ourselves totally to Jesus.  Then, out of reverence and submission to Him, I then obey His commands to me as a wife to respect my husband and submit to (honor his leadership).  God is God.  I submit to Him!  Not the  other way around!

10. I am the better leader.  I have to be in charge.

That picture at the top of this post makes me REALLY sad now.  But it accurately portrays my attitude earlier in our marriage.  It is not a beautiful picture of marriage!  I made a selfish mess out of things.

God does not designate the husbands to be the leaders because they are “more valuable” or “better than” wives or because wives are “second class” somehow.  He designed marriage to be this way out of His wisdom and in order to showcase the profound mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church.  In Ephesians 5:22-33, God intends the husband in every marriage to represent the selfless, unfailing love of Christ for His church.  And God intends the wife to represent the reverence, adoration and submission of the church for Christ.

God has assigned us parts in as if in a “play” – that our children and the world around us might watch and be in awe of this relationship that points clearly to Christ and His salvation that is available to us all.

This is not about who has a higher IQ or a better college education.  It’s not about who makes a better choice about individual decisions.

This is about God’s wisdom that is infinitely higher than my own.  It is about His purposes being fulfilled in my marriage.  It is about His glory.  

It is about HIM – not me.

  • If God will be greatly glorified by me following my husband’s leadership – great!  I accept His will and His design.  I want to be the best follower I can be.
  • If God wants to show me that He is able to lead me through this imperfect husband of mine to accomplish His will – who am I to tell God that He is wrong and my way is better?  I humble myself before Almighty God and seek to obey Him in all things whether I understand it or not, whether I agree with Him or not, whether it is politically correct or not, whether anyone else is obeying Him or not.
  • If God wants to draw people to Christ through this particular design for marriage, and He is my LORD – then I am on board all the way.  “Lord, tell me what You want me to do.  I’m on it!”
  • If God wants to teach my husband to be more like Christ by having him lead in our marriage – I will support all that God wants to do in Greg’s heart and life.  I will be a teammate to Greg, cheering him on and blessing him as he seeks to fulfill God’s role for him.
  • If God wants me to be a servant to my husband and family and to others – that is what I want to be!
  • If God wants to teach my children and model for them how to submit to God-given authorities in their lives – then I want to set the most beautiful and God-empowered example for them ever and leave a godly legacy for them to follow.  I want those who come behind me to find me faithful by God’s power working in me.

This marriage thing is not about Greg and April.

It is about God.

It is about His kingdom.

It is about His glory.

What a blessing, honor and privilege to be God’s daughter, to be free from my sin, to have access to the riches of heaven, to be able to play the part God has assigned to me with passion, joy, thanksgiving and honor.

When I do things God’s way – He is glorified and I am blessed.

A Wake Up Call for Wives

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We all hear in the news about cyberbullying and how many teenagers commit suicide over being bullied online as well as in person at school.   I know that all of us want to see bullying stopped and all of us want to see all suicides and suicide attempts stopped.  We don’t ever want anyone to feel that suicide is a good option.

BULLIES  DO THINGS LIKE:

– call people awful names

– insult people

– assassinate people’s character, worth and dignity as human beings

– say negative things about them to others

– bash their victims verbally on Facebook or in social media

– try to make their victims look dumb, incompetent or bad in front of others

– send frequent messages to people to devalue them, put them down and ridicule them

– use condescending words, tone of voice and body language to try to humiliate their victims

– try to turn other people against their victims

– act like they are “better than” those they hurt

– try to cause as much emotional pain as possible to others

– show no remorse, in fact, they seem to delight in inflicting as much pain as possible

  • We as moms and women want our children – and all children – to feel safe, accepted, loved, respected and precious.  We want them to know that God loves them and that He has amazing purpose for them.  We want them to know that they are image bearers of God and that their lives are important and sacred – not to be trashed and wasted.

Most of us would do almost ANYTHING to keep our children from being bullied.

What about our husbands? 

I believe most of us DEEPLY love our husbands.  You wouldn’t be reading about becoming a more godly wife if you didn’t love your man.

What if we found out that someone was using these same bullying tactics on them?

Take a look at that list about what bullies do to their victims again.   Think about how you would feel if someone was mistreating your husband in these ways.

Now…

Let’s think about how WE treat our husbands.

Yikes.

I am ashamed to say it now,  but I did some of these things.  I didn’t see it at the time.   I felt unloved. He was so shut down, I felt justified in how I treated him because of my own pain. I didn’t think he had feelings.  He never verbalized that  I hurt him.  I had no idea my husband was shut down and unplugged mostly because my behavior wounded him. 🙁

If you are using even one of these bullying tactics on your husband, today is the day for this behavior to stop.  It is NOT right for us to treat anyone like this!

The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21a

HUSBANDS ARE IMPORTANT PEOPLE, TOO

There are husbands out there, even in Christian marriages, who feel extremely unappreciated,  disrespected, unloved, unvalued, depressed and hopeless.  I don’t want ANY of our husbands to feel that way – not if there is anything we can do about it!

We are not responsible for our husbands’ feelings and emotions.  Each person is responsible for himself or herself before God.

We ARE responsible for how we treat our husbands, how we speak to them, how we act around them, making our marriage our first human priority and becoming more and more the godly wives God desires us to be.  God commands us to treat our husbands with honor, respect, godly love and cooperation – working toward unity on our end of the marriage.

  • I pray that we will all desire our husbands to feel safe, accepted, respected, loved and precious.  I pray that we will want them to know that God loves them and that He has amazing purposes for them.  I pray that we will want them to know that they are image bearers of God and that their lives are important and sacred – not to be trashed and wasted.  They are sons of God if they are believers.  If they are not believers, Christ still died for them and desires them to come to Him and become sons of God. 

I pray that our husbands will see in the way we treat them that they are valuable and greatly treasured by us and by God – not only for what they do but mostly for who they are.  Let’s think about how God might desire us to treat His sons, whom He dearly loves.  And let’s remember that Jesus counts the way we treat our husbands as if we are doing and saying those things to Him.

SOME RISK FACTORS I BELIEVE EVERY WIFE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

I heard some very sad news recently – that inspired me to want to write about this topic. So, let’s talk about something that is very serious.

I don’t know if you have looked at national suicide statistics recently.   It is a most unpleasant topic, to be sure.  I am going to list a few suicide risk factors our husbands may have that might surprise us as wives (These are risk factors for both depression and for suicide.  Not everyone who experiences these issues will be depressed and not everyone who experiences these situations is at risk for suicide – but some men are. I think it is worth a minute or two of our time to really think about these issues.):

  • unemployment – facing unemployment is more difficult for many men than facing terminal cancer. (Sadly, I cannot remember for sure which book this is from.  I will add the name of the book when I can think of it!). Men tend to find a huge part of their identity in their careers and ability to provide financially.  Unemployment is often a time of serious depression for men.  Our husbands are especially spiritually/mentally/emotionally fragile during this kind of stress.   They need our support, faith, understanding, love and respect more than ever in these kinds of situations!
  • marital tension – If he believes his opinions, desires, feelings and ideas don’t matter or aren’t important to his wife, that is demoralizing for a man.  If he tries to fulfill his God-given role as leader of the family (I Corinthians 11:3), but his wife won’t cooperate with his leadership or usurps his authority and takes over, insisting she is always right (like I used to) –  it is a lose/lose situation for a husband AND for the wife, too – although she cannot see it at the time.   He may allow her to do as she wishes to try to keep the peace, even if he strongly disagrees with his wife’s decision- but he knows he is not fulfilling his role as the leader, protector and provider for his family.   He knows he can’t force her to follow him.  Even the best leader on the planet has to have willing followers.   If he desires to please his wife but she seems impossible to please and is never happy with him, that is extremely depressing for many men.  If all he sees from his wife is contempt for who he is, that she thinks of him as a failure, that she looks down on him and that she doesn’t respect him – that is a very heavy, lonely, painful burden to bear for most men.  If he longs for physical intimacy with his wife, but she often refuses him – that can be another source of excruciating pain for many men.
  • separation and divorce – divorced men are four times as likely as married men to commit suicide.  They have often lost most of their income, their children, their home, usually their friends, many times their church, their wives… and they often have very few people they can go to for emotional/spiritual support.  Men do not like to be “failures.”  “Failing” at marriage can be more painful to many men than any other pain they ever experience in their lifetime.  Marriage is supposed to last “till death do us part.”  When we divorce, it is like tearing out half of our souls.  The damage can be incalculable – and, men are often much less able to handle that kind of pain than women are (Check out the CBS news report link at the bottom).

These are not remotely all of the risk factors that could trigger a man to feel very depressed or to consider suicide.  Some other things that increase risk factors are substance abuse, isolation, family history of suicide, personal history of suicide attempts and having access to a gun.  This is not a comprehensive study of depression in men or all the reasons why men commit suicide.

But this is, I hope, a wake up call, to us as wives to consider how we might bless our men and not hurt them, especially if they are already in a dark place.

SOME OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS

  • Men often have different symptoms of depression than women do:  (From WebMD – Common symptoms of depression include loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and apathy. In women, depression may be more likely to cause feelings of sadness and worthlessness. Depression in men, on the other hand, may be more likely to cause them to be irritable, aggressive, or hostile.)
  • If your husband talks about wanting to die, wanting to kill himself, wanting to hurt others, wanting to end it all – please take him seriously and try to get help!
  • Men can be extremely depressed and not talk about it.  This makes it easy for some wives not to realize the seriousness of the problem before it is too late.
  • If your husband says that he feels hopeless about your marriage, disrespected, unimportant or like he doesn’t matter to you – please take his feelings seriously!  Please listen to him just as attentively as you would want him to listen to you if you told him you were feeling unloved.
  • If a man has multiple risk factors going on at once – he is at greater risk for depression and possibly suicidal thoughts.  Be sensitive to the strain that is on him – be his partner and teammate and helper to work through the issues together instead of turning on him.
  • When men are stressed because of marital conflict/separation/divorce, they are also more likely to have heart problems, high blood pressure and physical health issues than women are.

Men tend to measure their success as men by the happiness of their wives.  

I am not saying they SHOULD measure their success as men by our happiness.  But they often do.

  • I wish they would measure their success as men by seeking to please Christ alone and seeking His approval alone – just like I desire to see wives measure their value and acceptance by the love and grace and mercy of Christ not by what their husbands do or do not do.

I know men seem SO BIG and tough.

They ARE on the outside.

But men have tender hearts.  They have emotions and feelings, too!  They may not verbalize them like we do.  But they hurt and hurt deeply when we disrespect them, treat them with contempt, laugh at them, bash them in public, make fun of them in front of others, undermine them as fathers, minimize their concerns and ideas, belittle them and use sarcasm to cut them down.

A man’s wife has the power to hurt him emotionally and spiritually in ways that no one else on the planet has the power to do.  She is past his walls and defenses.  She has the ability to destroy him with her words, her disapproval, her rejection, her self-righteousness, her withholding herself sexually from him and how she talks about him and to him – if she chooses to.

Or – a wife can use her incredible power over her husband to bless him and do more good to him than anyone else on the planet can do. She can build him up, encourage him, honor him, admire the good in him, see the hero in him and inspire him to be his very best self!

*** If you have SERIOUS issues in your marriage – if one or both of you are depressed, if there is physical abuse going on, substance abuse, uncontrolled mental health disorders, infidelity or you are considering separation/divorce – please find appropriate, godly help ASAP!

RESOURCES:

CBS News – Men Wear Divorce Badly

WebMD – Depression in Men

National Institutes of Mental Health – Suicide Statistics and Prevention

Protective Factors to Help Prevent Suicide (CDC):

Protective Factors

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation

CDC Statistics

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Could My Disrespect Contribute to My Husband’s Depression?

Being a Good Follower

Dealing with Financial Stress in Marriage

Supporting My Husband’s Leadership

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Don’t Often Notice

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

Signs that Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

I Want a Divorce

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