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What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Me in 2003 when I was still so blind to my sin.

We are going to look at what godly femininity is. But sometimes, a powerful way to study what something is – is to look at what it is NOT. There may be some women for whom all of these things (about being an ungodly woman) would apply – hopefully not! But if any of these things describe our lives now, that is a problem! I don’t want us to compare ourselves to other sinful people, but to the holy standard of God. This may be a bit painful, my sweet sisters. My hope is that we might approach this list prayerfully, humbly asking God to reveal any issues He has in our lives with a willingness to get rid of anything that offends His holiness.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

I’m estimating that about 60 of the statements below applied to me when God woke me up to my sin in December of 2008. Here is the scary thing – that whole time, I was in church 3 times a week, I read my Bible every day, I prayed sometimes for hours every day. I THOUGHT I was the best Christian wife ever. Yet, my life was overflowing with sin. You can read my story here. PRAISE GOD – HE WOKE ME UP AND CHANGED ME! And He can do the same for each of us! WOOHOO!

Today would be a fantastic day to lay down any sin God convicts us of and to turn completely from our sin in godly sorrow and turn to Christ in faith with a desire to submit fully to Him in trust and to obey Him in all things!

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

We are going to go to the Bible for our understanding of what being an ungodly woman looks like.  In our next post, we will look at what Scripture says about godly femininity. Even after we come to Christ, we can choose to have ungodly femininity if we choose to live in our own strength and we choose not to abide in Christ or not to believe His Word or we grieve His Spirit. Not to mention, this is a long process, and there are times, especially in the beginning months and years where we don’t understand and we stumble. But if we are His, we cannot stay in a sinful state for long, because His Spirit will work in us to draw us back to Himself and we will want Him to change us.

The goal is to abide in Him and to be filled with God’s Spirit.

That is the only way to have a godly life. I am not talking about sinless perfection – but I am talking about a generally holy life and a conscience that is deeply grieved by any sin. We can’t do it in our own strength! Only God is good. And only He can produce goodness in us. But praise God He is able to change us and regenerate our souls and transform us to be more and more like Christ! THIS IS SUCH WONDERFUL NEWS! If God empowers us with genuine faith in Himself, He will cause MAJOR and DRAMATIC changes in our lives. We cannot stay the same once we meet Jesus! He changes us. We don’t clean up ourselves. He does all the work. THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE! There is hope for each of us in Him!

You are welcome to share your thoughts!  (I am very aware that this list is not exhaustive. But – it is already very long!)

UNGODLY WOMANHOOD:

 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

– The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13

– Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

She may:

– do harm to her husband and have hurtful intentions toward him to hurt him spiritually/emotionally/sexually/physically. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

– eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)

allow other people and relationships to be more important than her husband and marriage (parents, friends, children, church, extended family, work). (Matthew 19:5)

allow her husband or other things to be more important than Christ to her. (Matthew 16:24)

– refuse to die to self and to her sinful nature. (Matthew 16:24, Romans 6)

– try to usurp the position of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others as if it is her job to convict people and to make people holy. (John 16:8)

– try to usurp the position of Satan as if it is her job to accuse people and condemn them before God.  (Revelation 12:10)

believe she is good and God is evil. (Luke 18:19, Job 1) She may accuse God of wrongdoing and believe she is right and innocent. (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)

– not take responsibility for her own sin, but blame others for her sin and expect others to be responsible for her happiness. (Genesis 3)

– think others’ sins are much worse than hers. (Luke 18:11)

– use crude, vulgar language or  cutting sarcasm. (Ephesians 4:29-30, Ephesians 5:4)

– be judgmental, condemning and critical. (Galatians 5:18-21)

– act as if she is sovereign instead of God, as if she is in control over things that really only God can control. (Psalm 103:19)

trust self rather than God. (Psalm 118:8)

– be overcome by fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)

– encourage others to trust her instead of God or to put her or her wisdom above God and His wisdom in their own lives. She may encourage others to sin in order for her and for them to get what they want rather than doing things God’s way and trusting God. (Genesis 3,  Genesis 16:2)

hate her husband or others and deceive herself into thinking that she can love God at the same time (I John 4:20-21)

– focus on her charm and external beauty. (Proverbs 31:30)

– not fear God in a healthy way – knowing she will ultimately answer to Him for every thought, word and deed she has in this lifetime. (Proverbs 31:30)

bring shame to her husband and is like rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)

not trust, believe or obey God. (Matthew 22:37-40) She may believe in God. She may even think she is a believer. But she does not live like she truly trusts God and does not rest in His sovereignty and feels she knows best and has to make things work out herself. This results in GREAT stress, worry, fear and anxiety!

not love others with the love of God (Matthew 22:37-40) – because she has not truly experienced the love of God herself. She cannot give what she does not have. She may try to love by controlling others, by being a people pleaser, by being a victim, by being a martyr or by manipulating with guilt.

– use her power and influence in the marriage to try to tear down her husband spiritually, emotionally, mentally, maybe even sexually and physically – maybe because she feels unloved. (Proverbs 14:1). She may think that if he could just hurt as much as she is hurting, he will love her more. But all she does is destroy him and the marriage.

– use her words to cause destruction and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

– harbor hatred, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness in her heart. (Galatians 5:20) Maybe she wants to forgive – but it just seems impossible. She feels justified to hang on to grudges and resentment. She doesn’t want to let go of bitterness. She cherishes her bitterness.

– stir up contention at home, in the extended family and at work. She sows strife, gossip, dissension, arguments and discord. (Galatians 5:20)

seek to control her husband instead of to help him. (Genesis 3:16)

– demand time, affection, attention and sex from her husband, wanting desperately to be his first priority. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

give up her position of influence, her ideas, her thoughts, her strength in Christ, seeking the approval of her husband above the approval of God (making him an idol), or giving in to fear of her husband. (Galatians 1:10)

think she deserves to be abused or mistreated (which is a lie!)  and not know her worth in Christ. (Romans 8)

– be consumed by false humility, insecurity and self-hatred, (a form of pride), accepting lies of this world and the enemy over the truth of the Bible. She leans on her own understanding instead of fully trusting the wisdom of God. (Proverbs 3:5)

– unable to stop the constant stream of worry and “what ifs” in her mind, consumed by fear and thoughts of bad things that might happen.  (Philippians 4:4-8)

– have no godly wisdom or discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

refuse to submit herself to Christ as LORD and therefore cannot biblically submit to her husband’s God-given leadership either. She is adamant that she will do things HER way. (I Corinthians 11:3)

– answer harshly and stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

– not honor God’s design for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, Colossians 3:18, I Corinthians 11:3) and she may try to usurp authority from her husband and demand that he submit to her and that she should lead or she may become very passive and go to the other end of the spectrum and become too submissive.

– pridefully believe she knows best, she is right all the time and her husband is wrong unless he agrees with her. (Proverbs 11:2)

May of 2005 - Doing things MY way!!
May of 2005 – Doing things MY way!! I was ALWAYS right. I had to be in control. I didn’t even care that Greg loved my hair long. I didn’t take his feelings into consideration at all. 🙁 What mattered to me then was my feelings.

– bring disgrace on herself, God, her husband and family, and may not even realize it, thinking she is so good. (Proverbs 11:2, Titus 2:5) She may smear her husband on social media or to friends/family/coworkers and say the most hateful things about him, trying to hurt him as much as possible, and not even see how she is smearing filth on the Name of Jesus and how awful her sin looks to God and to everyone else.

– may think that being a godly wife is a way to manipulate God and her husband to give her what she wants. (James 4)

– malign the Word of God by refusing to obey God’s commands for her. (Titus 2:5)

– believe she is superior morally/spiritually to her husband. That is pride and self-righteousness (Matthew 7:1-5, Proverbs 16:18).

use lots of words to try to force her husband to do what she wants and to explain herself. She may believe that if she can just explain herself enough, her husband will see that she is right and will do what she wants.  She believes more words are better. And she doesn’t see the damage her words do.  “Where words are many, sin is not lacking.” Proverbs 10:19 (I Peter 3:1-2)

– gladly or unknowingly disrespect her husband. (I Peter 3:1-2, Ephesians 5:22-33) Respect for husbands is something our culture threw out a few generations ago. Many wives have never even seen what real respect and honor for a husband looks like in marriage. This does not help!!!

– be lazy or be a perfectionist. (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3)

– be foolish, brash, brazen, loud and arrogant. (Proverbs 9:13)

not guard her heart and her marriage inviting flirtation from other men, moving carelessly toward adultery. (Proverbs 2,5-7)

– believe that if she is sinned against, she is justified to sin against her husband or others even though God gives no free passes for sin and God calls us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

– be unruly and defiant, with feet that never stay at home. (Proverbs 7:11) Or, she may flirt a lot online or have inappropriate relationships with men at work, church or social media.

dress immodestly – purposely or unintentionally. (Proverbs 7:10)

– have no problem reading and watching sinful things, feeding impure thoughts. (Galatians 5:20) She may be addicted to pornography or the fantasy of romance novels.

– be filled with jealousy and yield to fits of rage. (Galatians 5:20)

– be selfish. (Galatians 5:20)

abuse drugs or alcohol. (Galatians 5:21)

set her heart on many worldly things other than Christ to try to find fulfillment in them – which is idolatry. Friendship with the world is enmity toward God. James 4:4 (Galatians 5:20)

– have a husband who does not feel safe with her spiritually, emotionally, sexually and/or physically. (Proverbs 31:11)

not have dignity or honor. (Proverbs 31)

not be trustworthy. God cannot trust her. Her husband cannot trust her. (Proverbs 31)

not care about her husband’s feelings, needs or desires, placing her own feelings, needs and desires far above his. (I Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:22-33)

– be harsh and aggressive. (Proverbs 15:1)

– be filled with anxiety, fear, worry and stress not the power of God’s Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23, I Peter 3:4-6)

– be rude. (I Corinthians 13:5)

– be power-hungry and harbor selfish ambition. (James 3:14, James 4:1-10)

– decide to have an abortion because she is more afraid of the consequences of having a child than she is afraid of God. (Proverbs 1:7) Or because a child is not convenient. Or because she submitted to her husband /boyfriend even though what he asked her to do was clearly sin against God. (Isaiah 57:5, Exodus 20, Psalm 139)

– she may think God cannot forgive her – but He can!!!!! (I John 1:9)

push for divorce against the teaching of Scripture. (Matthew 19:3-12, I Corinthians 7)

gather ungodly counselors to give her the advice she wants to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)

argue and complain often and have a lot of negative things to say which causes her not to be able to shine for Christ. (Philippians 2:14-16)

– have no grace, mercy or forgiveness to offer to anyone, but she may hold onto grudges, resentment and bitterness. (I John 2, James 2:13)

– constantly dwell on all the things people have done to hurt her and keep score of exactly what others, especially her husband, have done to wrong her. (I Corinthians 13:5)

love sin and evil and hate what is good and right in God’s sight. (I Corinthians 13:6) It is often VERY hard, scary even, for a lot of women to give up their bitterness, pride, control, self-righteousness, gossip, idolatry and sin – until we realize that our choice is that we can keep sin or we can have Jesus. But we cannot have both!

– be irreverent and disrespectful toward God, toward her husband and possibly to others, as well, particularly those in positions of God-given authority. (Titus 2:2)

withhold sex from her husband or use sex as a weapon or as a means of bribery. (I Corinthians 7:1-5) Or she may use her husband’s willingness to have sex with her to determine her self worth and make sex an idol.

– set an ungodly example of femininity, marriage and motherhood. (Titus 2:3)

give ungodly relationship advice to others. (Titus 2:3)

– try to set herself up as an authority over her husband and maybe over men in the church which maligns the Word of God. (I Corinthians 11:3-16, Titus 2:5. I Timothy 2:12)

reject her husband’s God-given leadership and God’s leadership. (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Titus 2:3-5)

despise God’s Word, His wisdom and godly correction. Or she may distort God’s Word, ignore God’s Word, choose parts of God’s Word that she doesn’t agree with or  she may just not be able to see or hear God’s Word. She may bristle if anyone dare rebuke her because, after all, she is always right! (Proverbs 1:7)

– be insecure because her security is not in Christ. She may have idols in her heart – self, romance, happiness, control, having her way, her husband, beauty, thinness, wealth, children, etc… Things that are more important to her than Jesus. She cannot find contentment or joy in these other things. She knows she does not measure up and is not finding enough acceptance or validation in them. She is looking to worldly things and people to meet needs that only Jesus can meet. The results are always going to be anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, discontentment, insecurity and/or bitterness. (Galatians 5:20)

– be involved in any kind of sinful thoughts, words or behavior.

– not have any prick of conscience about staying in sin. Thinks her sin is “not that bad.” (1 John 4, James 2)

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Romans 6:23

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

PRAISE GOD! THERE IS FORGIVENESS, GRACE HEALING and MERCY available for all of my sin and your sin in Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!! His blood can cover ANY sin! When we turn to Him in faith, He can and will cleanse us from all of our sins and filth and He will give us a new heart, mind and soul. He can give us NEW, ABUNDANT LIFE! He gave all for us, now, we surrender all to Him and make Him our Savior and LORD. To find out about having a relationship and being made right with God, please click here.

Me in May of 2014 - full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God. Living in Him is SO much better than clinging to all my pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry of self, idolatry of happiness, anxiety and fear!!!!!
Me in May of 2014 – full of the love, joy, peace and presence of God.  I still have thousands of miles to go on this journey to become a godly woman and wife. I’m not perfect. But I am not at all the same person I was. I can’t wait to see all that I get to learn and all that God has in store. 🙂 Thanks for being on this journey with me!

Husbands Share Their Masculine Perspectives with Us

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I asked the men some questions earlier this week and want to share some of the responses I have received. I want to share all of them!!!  But some, I want to reserve for my book. 🙂 I’m so thankful for the husbands who are willing to share a masculine perspective on these important issues. I know that many of our own husbands may not be able to voice how they feel about these things, or maybe, they have, but we just haven’t really and truly heard them. I believe that hearing from other husbands can be a powerful tool for wives to better understand men in general and for us to begin to understand our own husbands with much greater clarity. I would love for us to put ourselves in these husbands’ shoes as we read their stories. These are the questions I asked:

We are talking about what it means to our husbands when we as their wives honor their leadership even in the “little things.” I’d like to invite you to share what it means to you when your wife willingly and joyfully follows your lead.

  • What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing. If you have a specific example, that would be exceptionally helpful!
  • What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
  • Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?
  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

HUSBAND #1:

When my wife trusts me with the little things, then it helps improve the confidence that she will have my back on the big things. In my heart – it creates a different perspective. Her concession on a decision makes me want to consult with her more. It creates a sense of oneness. Aside from God’s word – nothing makes me feel stronger as a man than knowing that my wife has confidence in me.

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

It quickly creates an environment where the husband can start to believe that he does not have much value in his wife’s life or their marriage. Two things that impact me the most:

1) Not listening with I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings with her.

2) Unproductive comments that are meant to take a shot at me while I am taking ownership for something that has gone wrong.

I remember a time recently when I messed up. I was sharing where I felt like I had messed up, how I thought it impacted her and that I was sorry for how I handled the situation. As I was talking to her – she picked up her phone and started to look on her social media. I asked her if she would stop and listen to what I was trying to say. She told me that I was being controlling and high maintenance. I explained that I needed her to hear me out. She told me that I was being a baby.

It becomes easy to believe that my thoughts and feelings are less important that her social media. And if I am showing emotion, then I risk being called names. So…why should I make the effort to take ownership if this was the response I was going to receive?

I know that it might seem silly to create a safe place for husbands to communicate, but it does make a difference. I believe that I have always done a fairly good job with sharing my feelings; however that still doesn’t always make it easy to open up. I think that one of the greatest gifts that God gives us through marriage is the security that two people can create together. It is important that both spouses become intentional in their words and actions to create security. It starts and continues in the little moments.

Husband #2:

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

When this occurs, it makes me feel insignificant. I feel totally disrespected. It would be as if I was her child instead of husband. I’d start to ‘shut down.’ There would be no need for my input. I do think about what our children are gleaning from this if they see it occur.

  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

This would feel like ‘quid pro quo.’ There would still not be any ‘respect’ felt because it would be contingent upon the size of the decision.

Husband #3:

  • “What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing”

For me it helps build my confidence in myself to allow me to make wise decisions for all the matters I take care of.

  • “What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?”

In my first marriage this was a problem. Knowing how good my marriage is now, lets me know that the needless arguing made me doubt most of my decisions and had me apologizing for those things that were not my fault.

  • “Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?”

Obviously its more important to cooperate on big decisions then the little ones. But not cooperating on little items may get tiring and diminish anyone’s confidence after time.

Husband #4:

Note: I share this not to complain about my own situation, but to help others. I understand that I am equally accountable for creating my own situation.

To be honest, and a conscious level, my primary concern in choosing a seat is having a plausible answer to the question to, “Why would you want to sit there?” Unconsciously, I’m sure my own personal comfort plays a role (I’m 6’5″, and wary about having to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time).

I can’t claim that physical security plays heavily in my mind, at least at a conscious level. Again, this is probably luck/privilege of being 6’5″. I’m not really a “tough guy,” but bad guys don’t know that, so I and the people with me aren’t going to be the first choice of targets. Maybe I subconsciously choose spots where I can keep an eye on things, but I don’t find myself vigilantly scanning crowds for signs of danger.

This is especially true at events (like church) that I value and wish my wife would value more. I want to make it a pleasant experience for her, and probably bend over backwards to a fault to make it so.

One event I recall that was especially devastating as my daughter’s swim meet.

Note: This story probably makes me look better, and my wife look worse, than is truly reality.

I arrived early with my daughter and all of our gear. I was scheduled to “work” at the swim meet, so I would be putting our stuff down to claim a spot my wife would sit during the meet.

Now, I had to figure out, where should I put it? What was most important? To be close to where our daughters would be with the team? To be next to her friends that she could talk to? To be in the shade? To not have a long walk to leave?

I chose based on what I thought was the proper balance of these concerns, and apparently got it wrong, since my wife laid into me about how thoughtless I was in choosing the spot.

Now, I could take criticism for making the wrong choice. But the idea that I was “thoughtless” about something I had invested a a great deal of time and worry into was particularly devastating.

Again, this is a dynamic that I had a significant part in creating, and this story is probably not a fair representation of our marriage.

But I think it paints a vivid picture of the impact the manner in which we discuss these “little things” can have.

And I guess the impacts on me:

1.) It leads me to dread/avoid future occasions like this where I will have to make a decisions my wife will have to live with.

2.) It leads me to not want to invest much thought and consideration into these future decisions. If I’m going to get clobbered anyway, why bother? In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I’m not claiming these are the best/healthiest responses, but we are human.

 

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

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

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)

An Interview with My Husband – Understanding a Passive Husband's Mindset

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Greg and April – May 28, 1994
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Greg and April at the church where we were married – May 28, 2013
———————————-
Greg and I had an impromptu interview the other evening.  I have been hearing from one of my dear friends who has been struggling a lot on this journey of learning to be a godly wife.  I was asking my husband what his perspective was earlier in our marriage as I was being so disrespectful and controlling.  During that time, he became passive and very unplugged.  There were times he barely spoke to me, barely looked at me and sometimes barely touched me.  I thought you might be interested to hear what he had to say.  
This was the first time I have ever heard much of these particular thoughts of his.  I am SO honored that he feels safe enough now to share his heart with me like this.  What a privilege for me to be married to this man and for God to have so radically changed me, our marriage and Greg.  I thank and praise God EVERY DAY for the miracles He did in our marriage.  It was ALL Him.
1. What are some of the things I did that used to bother you the most before God showed me my disrespect and control?
You already had this conversation in your head with me all day long and were already mad at me before I could even say what I wanted to say.  You  already decided what my answer was going to be and how you were going to deal with it, there was no use in me answering.
You would ask me a question, but it was worded so that if I picked one answer, I would have to be the stupidest person in the world.  There is only one right answer.  I couldn’t disagree with you.  That was not allowed.   You knew you were “so right” about it, there was no room for you to be wrong.  There was no room for any other perspective in the world.  

Once you are hit with that over and over, why answer?  What’s my role?  Do I have a role?

2. (Talking about the TV/football watching thing) I can probably watch 1 football game,  but I can’t watch 40 hours/week.  Of course, wives would like to talk and connect with their husbands 40 hours/week.

I don’t even talk to MYSELF 40 hours/week!

To husbands, talking = conflict.  At work, we have to have a meeting because there is a problem.  At home, we have to talk because there is a problem.

It was never, “Can we talk about what you want to talk about, Honey?”  It was always, “I’m going to tell you, and you’re going to listen to me.”

Wow!  I have never thought of it like that!  But – that is so right!  Yikes!
3. Why did you stay with me all those 14+ years that I was not giving you what you needed?
There were times I wasn’t happy.  I stayed because I loved you.  Leaving wasn’t an option.  I could be unhappy, but it didn’t mean I didn’t want you to be my wife.
4.  Were there any happy times?
There were some happy times.  
(My perspective was) if I didn’t want some of your characteristics, I shouldn’t have married you.  Some of the things that made you struggle a little bit at being a wife were some of the things that were probably at the same time things that attracted me to you as well.
I liked that you were intelligent and a go-getter and had a little bit of an edge of brazenness.  I liked that you were independent, strong-willed and educated (as a pharmacist).  I didn’t want to be with somebody that was “just average.”   You wouldn’t do any thing that you didn’t give it 110%.  School, flute, piano, pharmacy…  you gave everything you had to all of it.
You were good with words.  I thought it would help me somewhere in the long run.
5. What were some of the hardest things for you during those years?

At times I felt trapped.  I felt like I didn’t have a voice.  

I wasn’t “not answering” you to try to irritate you at all.  I felt trapped in my situation.  It didn’t matter if I answered.  It seemed like however I saw it – it wouldn’t matter.
6. There were a handful of times that you really stood your ground, and I ended up VERY reluctantly doing what you wanted.  Why were you willing to insist on those few issues?
If I lost those types of things, I wouldn’t have had anything to call my own.  I wasn’t willing to lose those things.
7. How did the way I disrespected and controlled you impact your relationship with God?
I don’t know that you had a real negative effect on my relationship with God.  But your “mastering” of it, would come into play.  When it came to (Bible) knowledge, you were way, way, way beyond advanced of where I was.  When it came to wisdom, I looked at is as we all had issues with that (due to a lack of) experience and maturity.  I don’t think you had a huge role in disparaging me (spiritually).  I didn’t challenge you much on it.
8.  Did you have any hope that I would change?
I was not looking for you to change.  I knew there were ways we could be better.  

I looked at myself as the problem most of the time.  I looked at me as “not getting it.”  I didn’t look at you as the problem.

  • I just wasn’t doing what I needed to do.  
  • I wasn’t making you as happy as I needed to.  
  • I was not the husband I needed to be.  

I was looking for ways to limit the pain by going into a shell.

9.  I believe that if you had told me I had hurt you – at any point in those first 14+ years –  I would have felt HORRIBLE and would have wanted to apologize and make things right.  But you NEVER told me about your pain.  NEVER.  I eventually believed you didn’t have feelings at all. Why didn’t you ever say anything?  Why did you suffer silently all those years?

I didn’t tell you my pain because “a man doesn’t show pain.”

10.  Why did you allow me to lead?

Some things I looked at as it was advantageous for you to lead.  When I wouldn’t make a decision, you were always there to hammer down the decision, and if things got screwed up, it was your fault.

11. I can remember BEGGING you many times, ” PLEASE, just tell me what you need!  I don’t know what you need!”  Why didn’t you say that you needed respect from me?  Why didn’t you say you needed me to stop trying to control you?

  • I felt like it was my problem.  
  • I didn’t necessarily know what I needed.
  • I would have felt like it would have been selfish for me to say what I needed.

I knew I needed respect, but I didn’t know how to explain that to you.  I didn’t look at it as something I could ask for.  I looked at is as something I couldn’t obtain.  There was something I was doing that meant I didn’t deserve it.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think it is SIGNIFICANT that BOTH of us thought my husband was the problem.  I didn’t see myself as any part of the problem those first 14+ years of our marriage.  My husband didn’t see me as being any part of the problem.   But the truth is – we were BOTH contributing to the problems in our marriage – and change only happened after I was willing to look at my (rather hefty) part in the mess. My power came when God opened my eyes to my own sin and helped me stop pointing my finger at my husband and begin to deal with the mountain of sin in my own life.

  • I was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage.
  • I was not responsible for my husband’s sin.
  • My husband was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage!!  Sadly, that was the only explanation I could imagine for many years.  How wrong I was!

But I was responsible for my own sin, my own walk with Christ, my emotions, my responses, my joy, my contentment, my peace.  Of course, real joy, contentment and peace can only be found in Jesus.  My husband can’t give me those things.  Only Jesus can.  And He only gives me His supernatural joy and peace when I follow Him and lay down my life for Him in total submission 100%.

Please notice that some of my husband’s feelings are the exact same kinds of fears women tend to have about biblical submission and respect.  Quite honestly, in the first 14 years of our marriage, I expected my husband to “submit to me.”  I tried to force him to bow to my will.  And man, was I offended when he wouldn’t do as I said he should!  I would NEVER have said that I wanted him to follow me or “submit” to me.  But I thought I was always right.  I thought I was better than he was.  I thought I was closer to God than he was. I thought I was a better leader than he was.  I thought he “wouldn’t” lead or “couldn’t” lead.  So I tried to take control.  What a disaster!

Thankfully when a woman biblically submits to her husband – she has the freedom to speak her mind and voice her feelings – and her husband, as he feels respected and honored, will generally desire seek what is in her best interest.  

A godly husband who is entrusted with leadership reacts with humility, sacrificial love and a desire to delight his wife.  

But his first priority is to please and honor Christ.  So – ladies – don’t worry about losing your voice when you obey God in marriage.  When we do things God’s way – we have MORE power in a godly way – than we ever could when we try to usurp our husbands’ authority and take over and try to force our way.

The truth is …  I wouldn’t follow Greg.  He did try to lead early on.  I fought him tooth and nail.  I was in rebellion against God and against Greg.  My husband was totally capable of leading.  He does a wonderful job of it now!  I was sabotaging him, myself and our marriage – and didn’t even know it.  I NEVER EVER EVER want to go back to the way things were.  I was miserable, lonely, anxious, stressed and fearful.  Greg was shut down and emotionally very distant.  Our marriage has been INFINITELY better since God showed me His design for marriage.  We have the intimacy and connection we always wanted.  My husband is the man I always knew he could be.  I am the woman I had always longed to be.  I am SO ETERNALLY THANKFUL to Him!  

MY HUSBAND’S BLOG:

www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com

RELATED:

Things that Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

The Secret to True Contentment

A Husband Answer’s a Wife’s Question – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

Humility is Beautiful

Why So Many of Us Aren’t Prepared to Be Godly Wives – Part 1

Why So Many of Us Aren’t Prepared to Be Godly Wives – Part 2

My Husband Is Not Responsible for My Happiness

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

Could My Disrespect Contribute to My Husband’s Depression?

Dying to Self

The Respect Dare, Day 31 – “Watch Me!”

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Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.

The Respect Dare, Day 31 – "Watch Me!"

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Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.

The Respect Dare, Day 11 – Focus on the Good

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

In Day 11’s Respect Dare, Nina Roesner talks about an important concept in human interaction:  “Whatever we pay attention to grows.”

  • If I pay attention to the negative things I don’t like, I will notice more and more of them in that person.
  • If I pay attention to the positive things I do like, I will see the good things grow and grow.

I love the way the wife in The Respect Dare handled the situation with her husband not doing what he had promised to do.    Have you ever had a situation where your husband didn’t follow through on something he had promised he was going to do – but you were able to talk with him in a positive, respectful, pleasant way about it – and then he helped you?  You are welcome to share!

How can I apply Philippians 4:8 to my life and marriage – and, even to my thoughts about my husband?

SOME THINGS HAVE TO GO BECAUSE THEY DON’T APPEAR ON THIS LIST:

  • whatever is false – I must carefully examine each thought and determine if it is of God and if it  may pass through the Philippians 4:8 filter or not.  If something is not true according to God’s Word, I must reject that thought about myself, my husband, my life, my marriage…
  • whatever is sinful –  I can’t allow myself the “luxury” of marinating in resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, contempt, bitterness, self-righteousness, condemnation, a judgmental spirit, jealousy, lust, idolatry (putting my husband, myself, my feelings, etc. before Christ)
  • whatever is wrong – Even just thinking about doing wrong or wanting to do wrong is self-defeating and is providing for the flesh and sinful nature.  Thinking about the wrong I want to do, or the wrong I believe my husband is doing or might do does not honor God.  There are times I must respectfully confront sin – but obsessing over my husband’s past, present or possible future sin is sinful for me.
  • whatever is impure – Dwelling on pornography, romantic novels, romantic movies, love songs that glorify impurity, lust, fornication, adultery, etc… does not honor Christ and it opens up a huge door for me to invite in discontentment and idolatry and unrealistic expectations.  Agreeing to participate in watching porn, going to a strip club, having a threesome – would be thinking on and participating in things that are impure.  Sin begins in our minds.  First we have to think about it.  Then we progress from thinking to talking or from thinking to doing.  As God’s people, God calls us to live holy lives without a trace of impurity or sexual immorality.
  • whatever is nasty – Focusing my mind on other people’s sin defiles me, too.  This is one reason I have a really hard time even watching the news.  Hearing about murder, rape, robberies, kidnappings and all the evil that people are involved in around my city and the state – these are not the kinds of things my Lord desires me to meditate on.
  • whatever is detestable – If God hates it, it’s my job to hate it, too, and to make no room for it in my heart, mind and life.  I have to know the Word well to do this.  Then I can take each thought captive and reject anything that offends God.
  • whatever is a failure – focusing on my husband’s sins and failures, or my own sins and failures, will paralyze us both.
  • whatever is offensive – giving a lot of attention to what my husband does wrong will make the wrong seem to grow!

TIME TO BEGIN SOME NEW HABITS – please write down or type out your answers to these questions about how God wants you to think about your husband and marriage:

  • whatever is true – What are some truths about your husband and your marriage that are rock solid?
  • whatever is noble – What is something gallant and chivalrous that your husband has done for you – maybe when you were dating, or first married, or maybe recently?
  • whatever is right – What is right about your husband?  What is right about your marriage?
  • whatever is pure – Think about the holiness of your one flesh relationship in your marriage – what  a gift sex is from our loving Lord.  How is married sex pure, beautiful and glorious?
  • whatever is lovely – What is becoming in your husband’s physical appearance?
  • whatever is admirable – What strengths does your husband have that you respect and admire?  What are you proud of him about?
  • whatever is excellent – What achievements has your husband accomplished in his work, as a husband, as a father, as a believer in Christ, as a homeowner, as an athlete?
  • whatever is praiseworthy – What qualities does your husband have that deserve your praise, attention, admiration and appreciation?

DARE:

Pray and ask God to help you see everything in life, especially your husband, through God’s eyes.

Think of 3 things you really, genuinely admire about your husband and tell him, message him or email him about them today.

ie:

Hey, Honey,

I was just thinking about how proud I am of you.  I want to thank you for

  • being such a great provider for our family
  • spending time with me and our children and doing fun things together – You are an amazing husband and father
  • being a man of integrity

I am so honored to be your wife!

with all my admiration,

Me

IF YOU NEED A FEW MORE IDEAS OF THINGS TO ADMIRE YOUR HUSBAND ABOUT:

  • his physique
  • his eyes
  • his smile
  • his laugh
  • his sense of humor
  • his faithfulness to your marriage vows
  • his being responsible with money
  • his working hard to keep the yard and cars looking great
  • his playfulness
  • his faith in Christ (if he is a believer)
  • his godly leadership (or the fact that God made him the leader – you can admire that)
  • his listening to you and connecting with you
  • his discipline
  • his work ethic
  • his talent
  • his creativity
  • his sexiness
  • his intelligence
  • his resourcefulness
  • his wisdom
  • his career aspirations
  • his dreams
  • his goals
  • his desires
  • his honesty
  • his solid work ethic
  • his responsibility
  • his trustworthiness

You are welcome to share your struggles and victories and your stories with us!  Thank you for being on this journey to become a godly wife with me. 🙂

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From Clark Kent to Superman

A Challenge for You, Ladies! :)

screaming woman

Let’s allow God to help us

turn this loud, obnoxious, angry, destructive tongue of ours

into an instrument of healing and blessing.

As women, we have HUGE verbal skills.  This is where we often hurt our husbands and children the most – with our words.  It is time to learn to use our words for good.

Here is a command of God in scripture for us that I believe is very critical for us to follow if we are to represent Christ well in the world and in our marriages.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life.

Philippians 2:14-16.

MY STORY

When God first showed me my MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, idolatry of being in control and rebellion against His Word – that I had been blind to for 15+ years… I was mortified.

I didn’t want to be around anyone – because I suddenly realized that at that point almost every word out of my mouth was sin of some variety or another.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  I knew that all that would spew out of my mouth was criticism, disrespect, arguments, gossip, scolding, complaints, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, control… UGH.

I was afraid to open my mouth!  I had never learned discretion.  I would always just say every thought I had that popped into my head without filtering it.

PHASES

That first phase of this journey is sometimes called, The Silent Phase  or Quiet Phase.  I realized suddenly that I had been saying so many negative, hurtful things.  I didn’t want to use my words to destroy my husband or anyone any more.  That is when it hit me – OH NO!!!!!!

Apparently, I don’t say anything BUT negative, horrible things!

Here is a great post by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) about the usual progression and stages of this journey of becoming a more godly, respectful wife.

Don’t worry – IT DOES GET BETTER!  But that first month or first few months is REALLY DIFFICULT and PAINFUL as you learn discretion, dying to self, living completely submitted to Christ, and as you redefine your understanding of God, self, femininity, masculinity and marriage.  It’s a total reconstruction of your heart.  A renovation that deep takes time.  It is too much to absorb all at once!

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

Eventually, you do begin to learn to use your mouth for blessing as you allow Christ total freedom and access to remove every ungodly thing from your soul and to renew your heart and mind to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  But most women go a bit silent first as they try to figure out how to stop the negative stuff.

THE CHALLENGE

For those of you in the beginning of this journey – I would like to encourage you to take this challenge.  If you are very new at learning respect and learning to obey Christ – you may want to take this one day at a time.  If you have a little more experience under your belt, you may want to take this challenge for a week to start with, then maybe a month!

For today/this week – while asking God to fill me with His Spirit’s power to do this

– I am NOT going to argue with anyone about anything

– I am not going to complain about anything.

…EVEN WHEN I PRAY!  I am going to pray in a respectful way about the authority of my husband over me.  I am not going to argue with God or His Word, and I am not going to complain to God about my husband or question God’s sovereignty or wisdom. I will not grumble or murmur against Him.

I may:

– say what I want or don’t want in a kind and respectful way

– say what my emotions are (probably once) – sad, happy, afraid, scared, angry, upset, nervous, excited, etc.

– use wholesome speech to build others up

– say positive things

– say thankful things

– smile my beautiful smile at my friends, family and coworkers – especially at my husband.

– share important information (ie: if I am sick, if the kids are sick, if the house is on fire, if there is a problem that my husband needs to know about, if there is a need, if I am extremely sleep-deprived) – but I can share that respectfully, probably just once, and ask for any help I need in a polite, pleasant way.

EXAMPLE:

I don’t need to say that it is hot outside.  That would be complaining.

But, if I am about to be overcome by heat exhaustion – or need water quickly to avoid heat exhaustion –  I can share my need.  I can’t expect my husband to read my mind.  I must tell him when I am not ok or there is a significant problem.  But I don’t have to share every little tiny thing that annoys me.

Does that make sense?

A SECRET

If you are controlling towards other people, too, not just your husband, you may find that you need to take a few emotional steps back from other people while you cling to Christ and allow Him to work in you.

I would not share all of what God is doing in you with everyone.  Those of the world are not going to understand and will likely argue with you or think you are crazy for talking about respecting your husband.  And if you talk about biblical submission, they may throw tomatoes at your head.

Even just quietly refusing to bash your man while everyone else bashes theirs will make you “weird.”

Here’s a post to help you with this – Don’t Expect Outside Support!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

If you take this challenge – I want to hear how it goes!

– what surprises were there?

– what was the hardest part?

– how did your interactions with others change?

– did anyone treat you differently?

– how do you think this helps us shine for Christ?

I pray that God might be greatly exalted in your life and speech, that you might bless everyone around you with your words and use of your tongue!

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