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Am I His Prosecuting Attorney?

Me in 2003 – 5 years before the Lord opened my eyes

MY OLD WAYS

Ugh. This describes me for so long in our marriage. I would often decide we had an issue. I would think nonstop about it all day – determining all the questions I would ask Greg so I could verbally nail him to the wall. I was completely sure I knew all kinds of evil motives he must have had toward me. I spent hours carefully gathering my evidence against him so I  could prove to him how wrong he was with all of my strong arguments.

When he would get home – there was no happy welcome or smile from me on those days. I lit right into him. I was in “prosecuting attorney mode”  – determined to get him to admit how wrong he was and how right I was about any and every little issue as I cross-examined him under a microscope. That was all that mattered to me at the time – being right. I had no idea what I was doing to Greg or our relationship.

Of course, if he dared to address an issue in my life, even the smallest thing, I would all-out viciously verbally attack him. I was the only one allowed to do the questioning. I was the only one allowed to confront. Not him. I could disagree with him. But he best not disagree with me or he would suffer my wrath.

I was dumbfounded that I would ask all of my carefully crafted questions and he refused to say anything. Oh, that made me so mad! Fighting mad. I escalated my volume and vitriol when that happened, thinking he would surely answer me if I increased the intensity of my attack. I would make him answer! I thought he didn’t say anything because he knew I was right and he had no ability to defend himself against my superior reasoning abilities and character. I thought he was quiet because he was guilty of all of my accusations against him.

Many years later, after God opened my eyes to all of the sin to which I had been so blind for over 14 years in our marriage – I was able to finally see. Almost nothing about my husband matched up with what I had wrongly assumed for so many years.

Greg didn’t answer me because I put him in a no-win situation.

I had misunderstood his heart, thoughts, words, and actions completely. I was determined that I knew the truth and was right and that he was wrong. That was the only paradigm I would accept all of those years. And how could he even have started trying to explain anything – even if he wanted to – when my vision of him was so distorted?

It turns out, I didn’t know his heart at all. I didn’t know his motives. I was completely in another book – not just on another page.

What I thought was true all that time – really wasn’t. I had deceived myself. I was emotionally and spiritually completely exhausting to be around. I was verbally abusive. I didn’t call him names, generally. And I never cussed at all. I just took many verbal shots at him to undermine him, to label him, to condemn him, to blame him, to attack him, to show him how everything was his fault, etc… Then I resented him for being emotionally unavailable to me. He should love me more!

God! You need to change this man and change him RIGHT NOW! He is hurting me by not loving me the way I want him to. How could he be so cruel to me to unplug from me like this?

I don’t know if I could have understood back then if Greg did try to explain even if I had been willing to try to listen. I had no idea how different Greg’s perspective and mindset was. Usually, if he started saying something, I cut him off. I was convinced I completely understood the situation without ever hearing his side of things. I thought I already knew what he was thinking and what he would say. How I wish I had stopped attacking him and tried to listen.

To answer before listening– that is folly and shame. Prov. 18:13

GREG’S DILEMMA

So his choices at the time were:

  1. Try to explain himself, knowing I would refute anything he said that didn’t match my pre-conceived (and extremely inaccurate) notions.
  2. Fight me verbally.
  3. Say nothing to defend himself and just let me rant on by myself and continue thinking and assuming the absolute worst lies about him.

He knew it was futile to explain himself to me. He didn’t want to fight me. So he often chose #3 – which seemed like the lesser of all of the evils. He withdrew from me. He shut down. He became a shell of the man he was when we got married.

Turns out – husbands don’t really like to feel like they are coming home to a verbal firing squad or to an interrogation. Really, no remotely emotionally healthy person enjoys that. No one revels in the stress of feeling like a criminal defendant who is being cross-examined by a prosecuting attorney who has already judged him/her to be guilty. Most husbands want to have peace, harmony, joy, and contentment at home. They want to feel safe with their wives emotionally. Isn’t that honestly what we all want in our relationships?

WHOSE INSTRUMENT AM I?

How might we come across as if we are cross-examining a witness at a trial?

It is often our tone, our facial expressions, our emotional intensity, and our constant barrage of pointed, accusing questions.

It is extremely hurtful and frustrating to be utterly misunderstood, vilified, falsely accused, and wrongly condemned by someone who doesn’t actually know your heart and who isn’t even interested in trying to understand the truth or in trying to heal the relationship.

Ultimately, we long most for our husbands to share their hearts with us, to emotionally connect with us, to cherish us, love us, and adore us. So – let me just mention, my precious sisters – this “prosecutor” approach repels our men (and anyone else). It causes them to shut down their hearts to us. It does not make them want to open up to us and be vulnerable. They know they are not safe with us when we act like this because they are not safe.

It was sobering for me to realize that I was not acting in the power of God’s Spirit when I acted like a prosecuting attorney, like an accuser. In fact, I was acting like Satan and cooperating with him. “The accuser of the brethren.” I had actually allowed the devil to get a huge stronghold in my life. I didn’t realize it. I was blind to my sin back then.

I unwittingly invited him to set up a base camp in my heart and mind by holding on to pride, resentment, unforgiveness, etc… And I gave him free access to my thoughts, heart, mind, mouth, and body. I thought I was living for Jesus. My words often said I was. But the Holy Spirit was not in control. The fruit of my life was the fruit of the flesh not the fruit of the Spirit. I had allowed myself and my mouth to be an instrument in the hands of the devil to try to destroy my husband.

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

How I NEVER want to go back to that awful place again! I had a lot of repenting to do – to the Lord, to Greg, and to other people in my life, too.

 

Thankfully, there is so much hope for all of us in Jesus! We don’t have to stay in this awful toxic place where we destroy ourselves and our husbands and other people. Jesus can set us free from this snare. We can turn away from our sin and turn to Him to let Him cleanse and heal us by His work on our behalf on the cross! The Lord graciously healed me, and in time, He eventually also healed Greg and our marriage. How can I ever thank Him enough?

That same healing is available to you. You can have peace with God and you can live in peace, as far as it depends on you, in your relationships with people. The key is to know the Prince of Peace and to allow Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life. He has to power to change us as we yield to Him in faith, trust, humility, and obedience.

I have so many posts that may be a blessing to you if you find yourself in this place where I was years ago. If you are ready to stop cooperating with Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy in your marriage and you are ready to cooperate with God’s good plans for your life and marriage, check out some of these resources. He can set you free from Satan’s prison just like He set me free almost 9 years ago.

RELATED VERSES:

A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; he who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand. Prov. 27:15-16

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Prov. 21:19

 

NOTE – This post is not designed for women who are truly in danger with abusive husbands.

RESOURCES:

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Posts about husbands being our idols – being enmeshed with them, expecting them to meet our deepest spiritual needs that only Jesus can really meet.

Posts about being enmeshed

Posts about being a controlling wife

A Fellow Wife’s posts

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Posts about fear – which is often the real motive behind my control

Posts about bitterness

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?

What Is Respect in Marriage?

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

If you have a very difficult husband, please check out Nina Roesner’s Strength and Dignity eCourse, or seek one-on-one private counseling with a trusted, godly counselor.

 

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!

Submitting to Our Husbands in the “Small” Things

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FROM A HUSBAND (his response to a question for husbands earlier last week):

As to respecting me in “small things”, I have to assume you mean things that aren’t all that important.

My first thought is, that if it isn’t all that important, why not?

I don’t always know why I prefer one thing, over another. In asking me to justify my choice, it does show lack of trust, but more importantly, it makes me feel defensive.

Can’t I just have a preference? Do I really need a reason?

As to choosing where we sit anytime we’re out, my wife always asks, where I would like to sit, and I always take into consideration her needs, that particular day, convenience, in some situations I suppose security, does come into play, but this is something we are both extremely flexible on.

Something that is an extremely big deal to me, that seems to be a small thing to my wife, is our sex life.

This is an issue we still struggle with. It’s not so much a matter of frequency, or quality, but the fact that it IS a small thing to her.

Her desire for intimacy, to me at least, is a barometer of her level of respect for me.

(From Peacefulwife – I don’t know that all husbands feel this way. For those wives whose husbands are less interested in sex than their wives, this may be different. It would be interesting to know how husbands with lower drive feel about this issue.)

When my wife argues with me about small things, it makes it much harder for me to be loving towards her. It’s true that I ought to be considerate of her, and I’m commanded to love her. That does not mean I should cater to her every whim. In fact, it may be more loving, to not allow her to have her way (at times.) When a wife insists on her own way in things that aren’t that big of a deal, she is, in fact, being childish.

Not cooperating in “small things” is the equivalent of the dripping water talked about in Proverbs. It just wears you down over time, and feels like that is why they do it. To wear you down, to the point where, you don’t want to make a decision about anything, big or small. So then, they HAVE to take control.

Hope my answers were helpful.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think that there are some really important points to talk about here.

1. What may seem like a small thing to a wife may be a big thing to her husband.

This is one reason why I believe God commands us as wives to respect our husbands and submit to them in everything as unto the Lord.

(If they are asking us to clearly sin or they are seriously trying to harm us, then we should not cooperate, we will have to respectfully refuse. If there are very serious issues in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP! I am not ever condoning that a wife stay and be hurt physically or stay when there is real danger. I am not writing for those with serious issues like active addictions, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health issues or actual abuse.)

Sometimes it is easy to assume that my husband’s priorities must be the same as mine. But  reality is that his priorities are probably not the same as mine! We are different people. We are also different genders. We will have different ways of thinking and approaching things. That is a good thing! What I may think is something small may actually be huge to my husband, and vice versa. I would appreciate it if he desired me to be happy in things that are important to me. He would also appreciate the same courtesy.

If it is within my power to bless my husband, why would I not choose to bless him, even in “little” things?

2. What if honoring our husbands in small things isn’t oppression for us?

What if it is a way to greatly increase unity, intimacy and oneness with our husbands? What if it is a way to show we are on their team and that they are important to us, more important than anyone else in the world?

We are sending critical messages to our husbands by how cooperative or antagonistic we are. I don’t mean we have to agree or never share our opinions. Our ideas, desires, feelings, opinions and perspectives are invaluable sources of information to our husbands. We can be wise advisors and compassionate friends to our husbands. God never asks us to lay our brains, abilities, talents, personalities, ideas, needs, desires, emotions and wisdom at the door of marriage. That is not biblical submission!

We bring ALL of ourselves to marriage and we put all of our strengths, abilities and resources behind our husband in support.

My husband doesn’t “make me” do anything. I don’t “have” to do what he wants all the time.

I GET to honor him.

I GET to bless him.

I GET to do things he enjoys just because I can.

It is a blessing and a joy to me to serve this man God has given to me. It is my greatest delight to do things that make his job as the leader, provider and protector easier and more enjoyable. What if I am free to share my heart and desires with my husband – and he is also free to share his heart and desires? Then the Spirit of God in me gives me a desire to be selfless, generous, giving, kind, thoughtful, loving and respectful. If I know Greg likes a certain soft drink or a certain snack or has a favorite meal – what an incredibly wonderful opportunity for me to do something to bless my him by keeping those things on hand for him or making him his favorite meal fairly often!

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. His Spirit is in me if I belong to Him. I am free to serve, not out of duty or drudgery, but out of the power, love, joy, peace and abundant life of God flowing mightily through my soul. I am not talking about pretending to be happy but inwardly seething with resentment or bitterness. I am talking about allowing God to radically change me and give me a new heart with new desires. I can receive that. God has a new heart and new Spirit and new life for all who trust fully in Christ.

I can say what I want, what I would like, what I believe would be best for us to do, what I don’t want, what my concerns are – but I don’t have to get hung up on the outcome of things. I can trust God in His great sovereignty to lead me through my husband, even when I don’t agree with him, even in the little things. I can hold everything loosely in my life except for Jesus.  I can be sure that I don’t let a little issue (which most things really are) to become more important in my mind and heart than my obedience to Christ and the unity and intimacy of my marriage. I can ask myself, “Is this issue worth fracturing the unity in our marriage about?” before I launch into a lecture or argument with my husband.

I can remember the command of God for all believers:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:12-15

I can remember that arguing or complaining is not befitting of me as a child of God. If I am tempted to argue or complain, I know it is time to check my motives.

  • Why do I want what I want?
  • Am I being selfish?
  • Am I putting something above Christ in my heart?
  • Is this issue truly important in light of eternity?
  • Am I right with God?
  • Am I being materialistic or greedy?
  • Am I being prideful or self-righteous? Is there any sin in my heart?
  • Am I considering my husband’s needs and preferences and being thoughtful toward him?
  • Am I doing this because of my love for Christ and for my husband? Will they be blessed by what I want to do here?
  • Am I walking in the flesh or in the Spirit of God?
  • Am I being motivated by the love of God or by fear?
  • Am I concerned most with pleasing God and having His approval, or having other people’s approval?
  • Am I walking in obedience to God’s Word?

I have died to this world and the things of this world according to Romans 6. That is historical fact. God put me in Christ and I died with Him on the cross in God’s sight. I am now dead to sin and this world and I am alive to God in Christ. This world means nothing to me now. What do I care what color something is or what restaurant we go to? This life is no longer mine to live. My old sinful self is dead in Christ. Dead people don’t care about earthly matters much. Now what matters are only the things that matter to Jesus. I am no longer friends with this world. I no longer care about the carnal things of this world and the material details of life. I am fully submitted to Christ and all I care about is pleasing and honoring Him, abiding in Him, being filled with His Spirit, doing the work of His kingdom… my eyes are on eternal things.

 

 

Godlywifetobe – Step 2 – Facing Her Fears

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This is some more of my correspondence with Godlywifetobe. I have also taken on another wife to mentor whose story I hope to share in the coming week. GraceAlone is doing well. There are definitely some days that are very hard, but there are also new blessings.  She is 3 months into her journey – which is still quite early. I hope to share another update from her in a week or two. She is making some definite strides in her understanding of God and her trust in Him and she is learning to refine her motives and to continue to seek to bless her husband regardless of his response. She has had a LOT of tests in the past few months that have really forced her to depend on God and to face some of her deepest fears. I love being on this journey with these wives and with all of you! I wish I could email every single wife, but I pray that these wives’ stories might bless you. If you are interested in being a wife that I mentor, I may be able to take another wife in about 2 months. So you can be thinking about that. 🙂 The requirements I have for wives that I take on to mentor are in Godlywifetobe’s first post. 

(Background – Godlywifetobe is a believer in Christ. Her husband is not. Things are often difficult right now.)

Ladies, you are all welcome to write out your answers to the assignments I give Godlywifetobe. You can send them in as comments, or you can keep them for yourself in a journal or a private file. The actual writing/typing out of these deep heart issues is so important as we allow God to shine His light into the deepest corners of our souls. We cannot heal and move forward in God’s power if we are clinging to lies or unknown sin.)

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE

I guess my fears are…

  • Being alone
  • Nobody wanting me
  • Being unloved
  • People not liking me
  • Not knowing what’s going to happen/future
  • Wanting romance. Which comes down to wanting to feel loved/cherished/important.

Growing up I always had to be the adult and the responsible one with my mother and father. I also watched my mum go through around 30 sexual partners growing up and mopping up the mess when they cheated on her or dumped her. I grew up having to be in control and take the lead. By being in control of things I also kept safe from the various abuses I had experienced as a child (sexual, mental, physical, emotional).

So giving up control is something very scary for me. I want things the way they should be done and I feel unsafe and scared when it’s not and that’s some of the anxiety I feel, I guess.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

What I would like you to do is to look at each of these fears and come up with scriptural truth to counter your fears. What does God say about you, about your worth, about if you are alone, about you not being wanted, about you being unloved, about His feelings for you, about pleasing people, about fears and worry for the future and about your desire to feel loved?

And, can you please tell me, what do you believe will happen if you do not “feel like you are in control”?

What are the worst case scenarios that run through your mind?

What are the tapes you play in your head and the things you tell yourself about you, God and your husband?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE

Scriptural truths for my fears is a great idea…

  • Being alone-

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  • Nobody wanting me-

Isaiah 54:5

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.

  • Being unloved-

Romans 5:8

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • People not liking me-

Galatians 1:10

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

  • Knowing the future-

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

  • Romance/Feeling cherished and important

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

What do I feel will happen if I’m not in control? Well my head says nothing major will happen, that God will work it all out. I want things done the way I think they are to be done. I guess that’s pride and control isn’t? Ugh. I don’t want to be like that!!! I guess I feel anxious and worried when I’m not in control.

Worst case scenarios would be:

  • my husband cheating on me
  • my husband leaving
  • my husband getting more distant and mean
  • my children copying our behaviour in their relationships
  • my husband not coming to Christ

I guess the tapes that play in my head are that:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m a failure
  • I made the wrong choice marrying my husband (that one makes me sad…but it’s the truth)
  • my husband will never change and only get worse
  • my husband has issues he needs to deal with but is putting his head in the sand or using hobbies/smoking etc to drown it out
  • I guess with God I feel that I’ve done something to deserve this, that I’m not good enough
  • I feel He’s ignoring me

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Are these things you are telling yourself true?  If so, what will you do about it? If they are lies, what is the real truth?

What if God is able to even turn “mistakes” into something beautiful and glorious?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

The things I tell myself aren’t true. No. It’s a false perception I’m believing. Satan is the father of lies and I’m sure he enjoys me believing these lies so he has me being less than I am…of who God made me to be.

Those lies stop me from doing things, they cause me to act of fear or control, they produce self pity and bitterness it me. I didn’t realise how powerful those lies were until typing this just now. It’s bondage. Chains. But Christ came to break every chain. He came to free me from the bondage of sin!!! I need to walk in this daily!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

You are so right. Those lies are absolutely creating bondage and they are very powerful. You end up believing those lies that you repeat to yourself over and over again.

Jesus DID set you free from the bondage of sin. You died with Him on the cross. Your old sinful self is dead and buried with Christ. Now He gives you a new self, a new heart, a new Spirit so that you can live in the power of His resurrection and in His truth. You can choose to stay bound by those old lies. But you don’t have to stay there. Jesus set you free already. All you have to do is thank Him and praise Him for it and begin to live in Him. 🙂

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Some things to wrestle with on a very deep heart level:

Are you willing to lay down all of these fears and the lies that you are believing?

Is God sovereign even if your worst case scenarios were to happen?

Are you willing to replace those tapes with the truth of God?

Are you willing to give up all resentment and bitterness towards your husband and God?

What are you afraid to trust God with?

What would happen if you fully surrendered to Christ and trusted His sovereignty?

Is God who He says He is?

Is His Word true?

FROM GODLYWIFETOBE:

I definitely want to. I feel like Paul when he’s talking about doing the things he doesn’t want to do…

I guess it’s all renewing my mind isn’t it? Feeding it on the Word of God and replacing those lies and thoughts with Gods Word.

I’m going to watch through your video on idols and read all the posts again on them. (From Peacefulwife – you can search “idol” “idolatry” “insecurity” “security” “control” “fear” on my home page)

Do you know of any sermons that cover this? I might google my favourite preachers and see if they have anything to say on it. (From Peacefulwife – I would suggest checking at www.desiringgod.org – John Piper’s site and www.radical.net  – David Platt’s site.)

You know I saw something on fb that said the more you are in the Word the more you believe His promises. That’s been true for me. Since you challenged me to read every day and not just go on my old knowledge of what I’ve read I’ve been able to take control of thoughts. I’m reading the Watchman Nee book you suggested, too, (The Normal Christian Life) and have nearly everything in it highlighted. Lol.

So I’m building my faith up, building my thought life up and now the next step is to start putting it into practice. So when hubby snaps at me for no apparent reason instead of me thinking he hates me or “poor me” I can think “I wonder what’s making him so mad and stressed? How can I help him share what’s bothering him? How can I show him that we love and need him around”.

Thank you for being submitted to God to allow Him to speak through you. I’ve come to see that I have lots of sin in my life and instead of looking at what my husband may or may not be doing, I need to look at me!!!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I love this!  What God is already doing in your heart is SO BEAUTIFUL! His Word is powerful. We need to feed our souls with it often. We have no power when we are starving ourselves spiritually. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and your husband!

 

RELATED:

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Facing Our Deepest Fears

Laying Down All of Our Expectations

Expectations – Part 1

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

PEACEFULWIFE YOUTUBE VIDEOS:

What Causes a Woman to Become Controlling?  – 11 minutes

Overcoming Fear – Part 1  – 14 minutes(different content from the blog posts)

Overcoming Fear – Part 2 – 12 minutes

 

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.

 

If I Biblically Submit to My Husband, I Might Become Helpless! What if My Husband Dies?!?

 

At my uncle’s burial — Loyola Marikina, February 2014

From my sister in the Lord and friend, Nikka.  You can find this post in its entirety at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

“If I submit to my husband and rely on him to provide for our family, I might not be equipped to handle our family’s needs when he dies!”

“If I submit to my husband and make him the leader of our family, our children might not follow me when he dies!”

“If I submit to my husband and let him protect me from other people, I might get  “too spoiled” and not be able to fend for myself when he dies!”


Death is an inevitable fact of life.
Everybody — the rich and the poor, the young and the old, male and female — WILL die. No amount of money, power or good will, can change that fact.  One may delay it somewhat, as in the case of the ones on “life preservers”, but eventually, they too will succumb. There’s no going around it. It is our FINAL DESTINATION. We are all destined for death.

Biblical submission, to an equally, if not even more so, “imperfect” human being is already scary. With the thought of death in mind, it becomes even “scarier.”

Why should I submit to my husband when I know for a fact that he might die?! Isn’t that foolhardy, to“depend” on somebody who is a mere mortal like I am? How can I equip myself with the skills and talents necessary for survival, if I become a mere follower, and not the “leader” of my life?! Isn’t there a saying that: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”? Why should I agree to being somebody’s subordinate? I do not need a “master”. I do not need a “captain.” I can very well steer my life, the way I want it to go… on my own!!!
As I was writing this blog post, upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded of the “most popular WIDOW” in the Philippines. She, whose husband died tragically, and who was left on her own, not only to take care of their five orphaned children, but of the whole country as well. She who led the restoration of democracy after two decades of martial rule…
When the word “HOUSEWIFE” is mentioned, I am again reminded of the “most popular HOUSEWIFE” in the Philippines whose husband was assassinated in 1983 when he came back to the Philippines from the United States on a self-imposed exile — that widowed housewife was none other than our 11th Philippine President, Corazon C. Aquino.

María Corazón Sumulong “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was a Filipina politician who served as the 11th President of the Philippines, the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Regarded as the “Icon of Philippine Democracy”, Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 21-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos andrestored democracy to the Philippines. She was named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986. She is the first President without any political experience as she had not held any other elective office.

                A “self-proclaimed” plain housewife“… 
Mr. and Mrs. Ninoy Aquino with their children
Cory Aquino, who by her own account had no political ambition and even liked labeling herself as a “plain housewife”, became the eleventh Philippine president when her husband died.
“Mrs. Aquino appeared to dislike her job and, at the end,
counted the days until she left office.
But she fulfilled a key promise:
She survived her term and presided over
the first peaceful transfer of power
in the tempestuous country in more than 26 years.”
She was not prepared. She was ill-equipped. She was very hesitant. She was very shy. But with faith in God, she forged ahead. There are mixed emotions about her administration, but I won’t delve into that. This blog is not about that. 🙂
  • What is important to note here is that in the event our husbands do pass away, we will be okay. It may not be in our destiny to be the next president of our country, but suffice to say, we will be able to survive.  We will be able to thrive. God’s Grace will be sufficient.

Why would wives submit to their husbands if their male counterparts in marriage will surely and inevitably die? What is the purpose of that? Doesn’t that encourage“dependency” and “parasitism” and teach the children “helplessness”? Shouldn’t we teach the children “independence”, “self-reliance” and “empowerment”?

From a practical world-view, it does seem that submitting to a human being, even if that is one’s husband is “foolhardy, nonsensical and to some, even irresponsible”. But from God’s Point of View, Him Who created all of us according to His Image and Likeness and Who designed male and female as mirror images of each other, with the “woman made for man, and not man for woman” (1 Cor 11:9),   following one’s husband “makes perfect sense.”

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
For as long as one is married to one’s husband, he is the God-ordained leader. Wives are to be their God-ordained helpers. There is just no going around that. It is God’s Design. The clay cannot question its Potter. It’s just the way He made us.

 Titus 2:3-5

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

The only time we are “freed” from this commandment of subjecting ourselves to our husbands’ headship is when our husbands die.
My deceased parents – Thea and Butch Cleofe
                       Romans 7:2
 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

                     1 Corinthians 7:39

 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
In heaven, though, there are no married people anymore. Our husbands are no longer our husbands and we are no longer their wives…

                                                 

Mama and Papa visiting Papa’s deceased mother on their
wedding day – April 15, 1975

                                         

 Matthew 22:30

“Together Forever, Together At Last” was the epitaph
on my parents’ grave. In heaven though, they
will no longer be husband and wife, but will be like
angels in heaven.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

I never witnessed a “Biblical marriage” growing up. I was mostly surrounded by married couples, including my parents, who believed in the “equality of the sexes.” Whereas this is true, (we are equal in the sight of God in essence), we are NOT equal in roles. The Bible clearly points that out in the following verses:
These Bible verses on God’s Design for Marriage were so “shocking” to me because I did not know of them, or simply skimmed over them so many times. 🙁
But, it was only when I practiced it in my own marriage, that I got the surprise of my life! Not only does it “work”, it also has so many bonuses — peace, joy, harmony… all the fruit of the Spirit!
I have to warn you though that it is not in submitting, per se, that I was able to experience all those. It was in submitting to God first, then to my God-ordained earthly authority, my husband Dong, that I was able to experience a nearly “shocking” out-of-this-world kind of FREEDOM.  It was when I let go and let God did I start feeling finally FREE from the worries, anxiety and depression that had bound me for years!!! The Peace that Christ gives is really not of this world!
UNBELIEVABLE!
If the Lord wills that our husbands die ahead of us, then so be it. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the Name of the Lord be praised!” (Job 1:21) But, we do not know for sure, when that will be exactly, so let us focus on the NOW.  As long as our husbands are alive, let us follow God’s design for marriage. At present, if you, dear sister in Christ are married to a breathing, living human being, by virtue of marriage, you are commanded by God to respect your husband and his God-ordained leadership role in the family.
The argument on not Biblically submitting because our spouses might die is about as flimsy as:
…a student saying, “I will not study anymore, because  there is a great possibility that I will die tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if I fail the exam!”
…a mother saying, “I will not give my children proper nutrition because they might die tomorrow.  It’s useless to fix up something healthy!”
… a husband saying, “I will not love my wife the way she deserves, because she might die tomorrow! What’s the point? My efforts will just be useless. She will die anyway!”

Serious Dong 🙂 – Jan 2014
When put this way, it does not make sense too, right? 🙂 Not doing something (Biblically submitting) just because somebody (my husband) has the possibility of dying (which is an inevitable fact of life) is just a “lousy” excuse based on any one of the following reasons: cynicism, ignorance, or pride. None of which are godly reasons. All of which are based on either disillusionment, lack of enlightenment, or fear. 🙁
However, in any circumstance, let us never forget that God’s Grace is sufficient. And it always pays to do what is right. It always is a blessing to do what the Lord wants us to do… Even if things do not turn out the way we want them to, even to the point of death, the Lord will still see us through…
With our youngest child, Isabelle 🙂
In this season of my life, I am currently a housewife and a stay-at-home mom, with part-time work. 🙂 Having been a full-time career woman all my life, it does not make sense to simply quit and take on my Biblical role as helpmeet to my husband. What a “waste” it is in the eyes of many. But I am convinced that this is what God wants me to do right now. My ministry at this moment is our home.  With all eyes set on Christ, in any circumstance, I know that God’s Grace is sufficient. Praise Him Whose Grace is boundless and Who renews it daily! 🙂

                                          Lamentations 3:23

It is wonderful that the Lord’s Grace is given in new doses daily! “They are new every morning — great is your faithfulness!”

If you do submit, dear sister, you won’t become help-less.  You will become your husband’s help-er. And the Spirit will help you if you call on Him. Death did not make me fear submitting to my husband, Dong. In view of death and how short life was on earth, it even made me re-assess my life and my priorities. If I were to die tomorrow, what would I have wanted to have done with my life? My answer: I want to have made a difference in my husband’s life and our children’s lives. With death in mind, things do have a way of becoming clearer and simpler. And for me, Biblical submission is my means towards experiencing a glimpse of “heaven” here on earth. 🙂

Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Andre P. Alejar – April 17, 2004
May we all be richly blessed! 🙂

Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband

An Interview With My Husband — 3rd Interview

Controlling Nikka with my sad husband Dong – Dec 2009

From my dear friend, Nikka.  Check out her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com  Nikka and I both write from the perspective of wives who used to be controlling and domineering, Type A personalities with passive husbands.  If that is not your situation, these posts may not be as helpful for you. But if you tend to be very take-charge and have a husband who tends to be passive – please listen to Nikka’s husband’s heart in this post and ask God to help you see if it could be possible that  your husband may feel a lot like he did.

———————–

In the ‘First Interview With My Husband‘, Dong admitted that during my most controlling years, he wanted to die because life seemed to have no meaning and he could not make me happy.

In the ‘Second Interview With My Husband’, Dong admitted that because of my controlling attitude which almost always led to me being restless and depressed about our circumstances, he felt like a failure because nothing made me happy.

I must be a sucker for heartache though because though my heart bled after I found out his true feelings in the first two interviews, I still interviewed him a third time. It was like I was bringing on the pain. He even asked, Do you peaceful wives have to do this? Is it required of you?” 

I said, “No. This one is for me. I am doing it for me. I need to hear this.”

Here then is my third interview with my husband.

Note: Most of the pictures I will use are from my very controlling period (between 2009 to 2011), the time when we had most of our arguments and emotional discussions. The bottom pics will be current with me already as a “peaceful wife”.

Nikka : Can I interview you again?

Dong: What? Di pa ba tapos yan? (Is it not over yet?)

I need to ask you some questions still. (I pull out my questionnaire. We both laugh.) 🙂

Nikka: You told me before that all of the decisions in the past were MY decisions. None of it was

With Therese in her VTR – 2009

yours. How did you feel about that, when I was leading the family and controlling everything?

Dong: Actually, I was not so hurt. I told myself I will just go along with what you wanted to happen. I just felt that my input had no value.

You always told me this: “You are always putting it in YOUR hands!”. What did this exactly mean and how did you feel towards me when I was at my most controlling behavior?

Asar. (Irked.) Yabang mo kasi. (You were so arrogant.) Minamaliit mo ako. (You were belittling me.)

(Editor’s Note: I was not aware I was belittling him at that time because I was not really saying my thoughts out loud. But actions do speak louder than words, and that was Dong’s love language — through actions. I was a “silent” nagger.)

How did you feel when I would seek your advice but not heed it, but when somebody else told me to do the exact same thing you advised me to do, I would immediately follow that person’s piece of advice?

I felt disrespected.

(Editor’s Note: This was the first time Dong said the “disrespected” word. He usually called it other things but it was the first time he called it for what it was. Loving passive husbands these days usually do not even know what disrespect is anymore. It just feels to them that they are being attacked. Most wives these days do not even know that they should respect their husbands or how that looks like.)

When we would get into our emotional discussions, there were times when you would suggest that maybe I was better off without you. It was always I who would say, “No. We should stick it out. We are in this “for better or for worse”.  Why did it even cross your mind to separate?

Dong with Andre – 2009

Too much disrespect. I had no intention to separate. I know that I was in it “for better or for worse”, but I could not find a solution to our problem.

(Editor’s Note: Our problem was I was most of the time restless and joyless for some unknown reason.)

To save myself from the situation, since I could not make you happy, I felt that it (separation) was the ONLY SOLUTION. I felt that most likely maiaangat ko naman ulit sarili ko outside of the situation. (I felt that most likely I could regain my sense of self outside of the situation.)



Despite our trials before, was there ever a time that you did not love me or did you always love me?

Kahit asar na asar, mahal talaga kita. (Even if I was very, very irritated with you, I still loved you.) The fact that there was resentment still did not change my love for you.

I never thought you were “better” than me as a person but you never failed to make me feel that,

8 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

and not just in money or capability. I was asking myself already, “Is my being too equal in treatment with you wrong?”, “Am I being a deterrent to our relationship?” because I have seen how some husbands treat their wives badly to make them (wives) respect them (husbands).

But that would be wrong!  Abusive and oppressive.

Yes. Exactly. For me, Golden Rule dapat. (For me, the Golden Rule should rule.) I also know respect should be earned and I cannot force respect from you.

(Editor’s Note: In this submission journey, I have learned that as a Christian wife, I must respect my husband unconditionally whether he deserves it or not, as the Lord commanded in Ephesians 5:22-24.)

How did you bear with me during those bleak times?

It was not that unbearable… but something happened to me in the process. I didn’t blame you for anything. It was MY decision. It was MY proposal for us to get married. But I sort of lost faith…

5 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

Did my controlling behavior and my lack of faith in you, affect your faith in God?

Yes. I lost faith. I “learned” from you that in order to be respected, you had to put everything in your hands. You cannot have “blind faith.” I used to have that, and you would always look down on me for it.

(Editor’s Note: Between me and Dong, in the beginning of our relationship, it was always Dong who was very hopeful and had much faith that things would work out for the best because God was in control. My controlling behavior and my desire to put things in my hands all the time, made him think that maybe his faith was not real after all, that something was wrong with him for not putting things in his hands.)

I am so sorry, honey. 🙁 Do you think you will have your (old) faith back? 🙁

The only way that I’d get it back is if something drastic will happen. If something so bad or something so good happens… I have lost faith in Man. I don’t know if I would get my faith back. 

At a sports event – 2010

How could you explain that my lack of faith in God  led to your lack of faith in God?

(Editor’s Note: I had much faith in myself, not in God. Proof of this was always putting things in my hands, and being controlling. I thought I was just being ‘efficient’. I was blind to my sins. I even thought I was deeply spiritual!)

Family of 5 – October 2010

We became one. I became one, too, with how YOU felt about things.

(Editor’s Note: I would always chide him for having so much faith in God but no outcome to show for his faith. 🙁 I would tell him that “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.” The Lord helps those who help themselves. I was really judgmental towards him then and thought him to be not doing his best. )

I am really sorry Honey. I didn’t know about this. You are still hopeful for the future, I hope? 🙁

Yes, hopeful. Good is good. I have my big doubts. Skeptical.. But it is only now that I am learning to have faith again.. I told you, you won’t like my answers. I would not tell you these, if you did not ask. I was keeping them to myself. I did not want to make you feel bad.


But I want to know, Honey. It’s okay. Thank you for telling me.


When I was listening and listing down my husband’s answers, my heart bled. 🙁 I had an inkling my controlling behavior affected my husband’s faith but I did not know just how badly I contributed to his losing faith, to the point of almost being agnostic now. 🙁

Controlling Nikka – 2010

I knew that my bragging to him about my great faith in God, but with no actions to show for it —  always morose, scared, depressed during those years, only maligned God’s Word. 🙁

I did not walk the talk. He was looking to me to see Christ, but not finding Him, made Dong conclude that religion, Christianity, and even the Bible were not to be trusted. He considered them “proof”  that they were all “gawa-gawa lang” (man-made).

                                      Matthew 5:16
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

He said that I was not 100% at fault over his having lost his faith for a long time, but I know that I was mostly, hugely, gravely at fault. 🙁

I was not a godly wife. I only succeeded in bringing shame to God’s Word. So different from what God commanded for wives to do… 🙁

 Titus 2:5

“to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

He even lost the desire to go to weekly masses for those three years. And whereas before he would recite Psalm 91 by heart the moment he woke, up, I just one day noticed that he was not praying that nor any prayer anymore. 🙁

At our 3rd child, Reuben’s baptism – Oct 2010

I may not have single-handedly made him lose his faith, but I sure did everything during those dark years to make him lose faith in himself as a father and the leader of the home, which led to his losing faith little by little in our Heavenly Father.

I was arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental, condescending, negative, gloomy… and yet I never failed to tell him of my GREAT FAITH in God! What a fool I was!!! 🙁

He is answerable for his own walk with Christ and he would have to answer to God for his own sins, but it is true that since we were one, my lack of real faith (I had more faith in myself than in God) affected his own faith.

                                    Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Thing is, we were more than just friends. We were husband and wife. We were one because of the sacrament of marriage. My constant turmoil and discontent and penchant for putting things in my hands led to him “learning my ways”. Before he knew it, he was already “ensnared.” Instead of me learning how to be faithful to God, he learned how to be faithless from me. It’s the case of “a rotten apple spoils the barrel.” I was the rotten apple. I spoiled him. I am so ashamed. 🙁

I thank the Lord for opening up my spiritual eyes to my mountains of sin. I thank the Lord for allowing me to repent for them and for forgiving me. I thank the Lord for giving me a chance to change. I thank the Lord for sharing with me this precious secret given to us wives, on how to experience true joy in marriage. I thank the Lord for giving me a husband, who despite my blatant disrespect and hard-headedness still loved me unconditionally though I disrespected him shamefully. 🙁 He did his part of the equation. I obviously didn’t. 🙁

Dec 2011
                                          Ephesians 5:22-33

22 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[a] 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.”[b] 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.

I am so grateful to the Lord because ever since the start of my submission journey, I have seen Him work in my life, in Dong’s life, in our lives. We are starting to go to church together again, with him sometimes initiating it even, whereas I would find myself alone in most Sundays in the past.

At our 4th child, Isabelle’s baptism – Dec 2013

I have also seen him happier now more than ever, and hugging me or complimenting me out of the blue. I also see him walking taller now and being more energized to make decisions for the family. It was in my submission that he has started becoming the man God wants him to be. It was in my stepping aside, that God found the space to talk to his heart.

At Therese’s Holy Communion – Dec 2013
Submitted wife and mother – January 24, 2014

All my negativity was hindering him from hearing God’s Voice. All my empty faith sharings, just made him detest me and the faith I was “falsely” propagating. I surely did not walk my talk. I preached what I did not practice. I maligned God’s Word. 🙁 I am forever repentant to God for that. I was so blind to my sins. 🙁

I see that there is so much hope for us now.

I feel God’s presence in our lives now.

Dec 2013

I cannot make Dong bring back his once solid faith in God. I have already done him much harm in the past with my actions. Forcing him to go back to his old faith would only do more harm than good. My being so dominant was what led him to start losing faith in the first place.

I too am not the Holy Spirit. Only God can make Dong seek Him again. And with me out of the picture, I am hopeful that the Lord will once again woo Dong to that kind of no-holds-barred faith he used to have, pre-me.

It is out of my hands now. I leave it all in God’s Able Hands. Him who loves my husband more than I do, and Who knew Dong even before he was born, will call him by name yet again…

However, I can practice one powerful secret that God has given to us wives who want our non-believing husbands to become believers in God (or in my case, to believe again fully in God), and that is through our godly lives.

                                         1 Peter 3:1-5

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,
I love my family. 🙂 — January 24, 2014
I love the Lord.
I love Dong.
I have let go and let God.
At this stage of my life, my greatest test to my faith is this: Am I willing to allow God to work in my life and to lead me, through my husband?

The answer is YES.

January 17, 2014
I pray that those in the same boat as I was may find it in their hearts to humble themselves and to follow God’s Great Design for Marriage. There is no peace and joy quite like it. I assure you, dear sisters… this kind of peace Christ gives is not of this world.
Our home is my ministry. Praise be to the good Lord for His Mercy and Love. – Sick Visitation at Dong’s Aunt’s house
January 2014
May we all be richly blessed! 🙂
RELATED:

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.

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice – From the Archives

A REMINDER:

I write from the slant of a wife who was dominating, Type A personality, take-charge, controlling, overly responsible, overly “helpful” and prideful with a passive husband. If you tend to be too quiet or have a very dominant husband, my slant may not be the angle you need because you are going to have to correct from the opposite direction. If your husband is abusive, my blog will probably not be a good fit for you – the things I talk about with respect and biblical submission in a normal marriage may be triggers for abused women.  I don’t want to cause any wife harm! Please seek godly help if you are not safe or if you have severe issues in your marriage. Thanks!

————————

This is a continuation of the post two days ago about how wives tend to have VERY specific and high expectations of exactly what it means to be a spiritual leader – and how many of the things we expect aren’t even biblical.  Not only that – but our expectations can lead to grave sin in our hearts (contempt, bitterness, resentment, disrespect, rebellion against our husbands or God, divisions, factions, fighting, hatred – and ultimately lost unity in our marriages and families).  When our children (and those around us) witness a marriage like this, they are repelled from Christ.

Let’s look at ways that many husbands actually DO try to lead in their families.

There is a good chance that your husband is trying to lead you (or used to try to lead) – but – are you listening?  Are you following?  Do you  acknowledge his attempts at leadership?

In real life, husbands tend to lead in “subtle” ways.  They don’t usually announce – “We will now begin our 6:30pm nightly Bible study time.  Here is an outline of the books of the Bible we will be covering for the next 12 months.  There will be  a test every week and here is a list of all the Bible verses I expect each family member to memorize each week.  You will all be graded. There will be an essay question once a month, with extra credit options.”

I think sometimes we as wives tend to expect our husbands to stand in front of our families like a pastor and preach or like a Sunday School teacher and teach for 1 hour every night.

I would like to suggest, that MOST husbands don’t follow that type of style, but they often DO try to lead their families in many ways, especially if they have a wife who is supportive, cooperative and full of real admiration and faith in them.

EVERY HUSBAND IS UNIQUE

Each husband has his own style, personality, perspective, gifts and strengths.  Each one will have his own particular brand of leadership – and it will change as he grows and matures.  But keep in mind that NO husband arrives to marriage completely spiritually mature and with a total grasp on godly leadership.  Godly maturity and leadership are developed over many years, decades even.  And the more we cooperate and support our husbands’ attempts at godly leadership, the more quickly they will learn and grow and honor God.

Also – remember that for a husband to be a great leader – HE HAS TO HAVE A GREAT FOLLOWER.  If you are trying to lead – you are not following.  If you are busy criticizing, you are not following.  It’s time for us to learn to be supportive, encouraging, godly, loyal and faithful followers! (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:5, I Timothy 3:5 – be sure to compare EVERYTHING I or anyone else says against God’s Word!)

MY HUSBAND’S BRAND OF LEADERSHIP

This section is a description of my husband’s particular style and how our marriage works now.  Your marriage WILL look different.  That’s ok.  Follow YOUR husband’s leadership and appreciate his strengths.  Admire and thank him often for what he does for you and your family.

My husband leads first of all by example.  Even when I was so disrespectful and controlling – my husband was often peaceful, forgiving, patient, kind, generous and loving.  Back then, I thought I was so spiritually mature and “above” him because I read my Bible daily, I prayed a LOT (sometimes 4 hours/day), I wrote my prayers in a notebook, I could quote lots of scripture, and I “knew” how things should be.  But I held grudges, didn’t forgive, was very impatient, rude, condescending, holier-than-thou, disrespectful, prideful and was committing constant idolatry –  putting my own self and trying to have control up as idols in my heart.  I also put my husband and our marriage as idols in my soul.  And I didn’t even see it.  Like Eve, I was so blind and deceived, but I thought I knew best.  Imagine the blessings and miracles I missed out on for 15 years because of my disobedience to God’s Word and the sin I cherished for so long in my heart.

My husband leads in more subtle ways that I used to miss:

  • He gives me direction and guidance.  Often what he is saying is really God’s Word to me – if I will but listen and cooperate.  My husband may say, “I think you are spending too much time blogging.  I want you to take a break and spend some time with the family for awhile.”  THAT IS SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP, LADIES!  Or he may say, “I think you need to take a nap today.  You haven’t been getting enough sleep and I can see you are really worn out.”  I am wise when I listen to his suggestions.  The whole family benefits from my husband’s wisdom and leadership.
  • He helps me say no to unhealthy commitments.  He sees where I get out of balance or zealous to do something that might take too much of my energy and leave me drained with nothing but scraps for my family.
  • He disciplines our children.  My husband may be more strict or harsh with our children than I am.  Or sometimes, he may be more relaxed with them than I am.  But his powerful influence on our children is a HUGE way that he leads spiritually in our family.   If I cooperate with him, tell him my feelings and perspective, but trust him to handle situations as he sees best – my children learn real discipline, they learn to have godly character, they see the unity in our marriage and they see my example of how to submit to God-given authority.  My example is the standard upon which  they will base their own future submission to God and God-given authority.
  • He desires physical intimacy with me (especially once he felt genuinely respected by me).  God designed sex to be the glue that holds a married couple together physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Both the husband and wife are bonded to one another during the one flesh relationship with a cocktail of neurotransmitters and endorphins (a natural “high”).  And sex unifies the married couple spiritually in ways we can’t begin to fathom.  It helps to keep divisions away.  It removes tension and helps promote forgiveness.  This needs to be a HUGE priority whenever physically possible in marriage.  And I count this as one of the ways my husband gently leads me and creates a very loving, strong, tight-knit, unified, vibrant, flourishing marriage relationship.  It’s important to stop serving the family and just enjoy and savor each other.  Kind of like our quiet time with God rejuvenates our soul.  Relationship and intimacy is much more important than my to-do list.
  • He handles the salesmen and solicitors.
  • He gently confronts sin in me when he sees it.
  • He tends to see the big picture.  My husband doesn’t get bogged down in every little detail like I tend to do.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with all the daily little details and having my husband there to help me step back and look at the bigger picture saves my sanity many times!
  • He takes care of his own spiritual connection with God.  He decides how, when, where he reads the Bible and prays.  He seeks God’s will for his life and our family.  He prefers to pray privately – I support him and don’t try to force him to pray out loud with me like I used to.
  • He doesn’t get swayed by emotions like I do.  There are definitely times when my hormones and emotions completely engulf me and I feel like I am drowning.  My husband is my rock and is able to pull me up onto dry ground.  There are times when I know I can’t rely on my feelings, and during those stormy days, I trust my husband’s words, his love for me, God’s Words and His love for me – and I don’t trust my feelings.  I keep my eyes on Christ and I keep my eyes on my husband and hang on tight, knowing that my feelings will settle down in a few days.  I don’t allow myself to be tossed about by my hormones and feelings.  I trust God and my husband and don’t lean on my own understanding.  My faith in Christ and my man are much greater now than my faith in my own wisdom or my emotions.  My husband can pull me up onto the rock of his steady soul and he is a resting place, a safe place for me.
  • He takes responsibility and is accountable for the ultimate decisions.  It took time for this to happen – over the course of a few years as I let things go and allowed him to lead.  This is a HUGE relief for me!  I couldn’t carry all that weight.  It overwhelmed me before.  Now, I am so FREE!  I can share my perspective, my feelings and desires, but then I trust my husband and God to work out each decision for what is in my best interests.  I can’t always see what is best.  When I try to lead, I take us the wrong way. I feel such weight off my soul since I know HE is the one who will answer to God, not me.  What a blessing!  I feel safe, protected and cherished.
  • He handles the finances now.    I took care of the finances for the first 16 years of our marriage or more.  And that was ok.  But it ended up that I was telling my husband what to do (when my hours were suddenly cut at work) – and that didn’t really work well.  I told my husband, “I can’t handle the finances anymore.  Here are the accounts and passwords.  Thank you for taking over.”  And then I left it with him and never touched it again.  He is saving us money in ways I had never even thought about!  And he feels the full weight of his accountability this way.  So he makes very wise decisions.  Also, he is able to treat me by taking me out to dinner or buying me things and I’m not telling him, “You can’t do that” anymore.  He is MUCH more generous with me AND even more responsible now that he is in charge!
  • He drives when we are together.
  • He gives me the better vehicle.
  • He encourages me to rest and relax – two things I am REALLY AWFUL AT DOING!
  • He researches books on marriage for me and buys me lots of books about respect, biblical submission, godly femininity and godly marriage.  He lets me share what I am learning and he listens and discusses things with me and shares his insights and perspective.
  • He takes time for himself to recharge.  Unlike a lot of us wives, husbands are usually careful to have some down time so that they don’t burn themselves out.  I really admire this about men!  And he encourages me to slow down and just savor cuddling together and being together without running around like a crazy woman all the time.  That has been very healing for my soul!
  • He has fun with me and our children.  This creates a much more healthy balance for all of us than my constant seriousness did.  He definitely brings an amazing balance to our family that I was not able to bring when I tried to be in charge.
  • He stays calm and collected under pressure.  His ability to face difficulties with dignity, poise, strength, courage and self-control helps me be able to have those same qualities, too!
  • He is my compass.  If I am having a particularly difficult time with our children, I will ask my husband if he thinks I am being too hard on them, or unreasonable, or if he thinks I am being too easy on them.  His perspective helps me steer straight and not veer off too far one way or the other like I am prone to do on my own.
  • He makes the final decision.  I am free to suggest anything, to ask for anything, to want anything, to feel any way.  And most of the time, my husband does what I ask since he loves to see me happy.  But if we don’t agree – I willingly and cheerfully cooperate with his call on that issue.  If he made a mistake, I don’t hold it against him.  I trust God to use even his mistakes for our ultimate good.  I thank him for his decisions and for looking out for the best interests of everyone in the family.
  • He is the one I go to first.  Whether it is good news, or a decision that must be made, or awful news – I call/text/email/talk to my husband FIRST about things.  I seek out his opinion and his wisdom before I make decisions.
  • He does a lot of behind the scenes work on my blog. 
  • When I am confused about something – I go to him.  He also is always willing to listen and talk with me about issues that come up and spiritual topics – whether they are things I am writing about or situations people are in or family situations at home.
  • He listens to my desires and concerns but ultimately he decides what church we go to and when we go to church and what classes we attend and how involved we are.
  • He gives me quite a bit of freedom to make many of my own decisions. He doesn’t micromanage me.
  • He decides how to use his time.  He decides what house project he wants to work on and when.  He decides his own priorities.
  • He arranges our vacations and finds great deals on them.
  • He handles all of the gift buying for our children.
  • He says, “no” or “wait” to me when what I want to do looks like it will cause problems down the road.  That is a way that he protects me and our family. The times he has said, “no” – I have almost always been able to see in hindsight that what I wanted to do would have been a big mistake.  I’m so thankful he is willing to stand for his convictions even if I don’t agree at the time.

There are other ways, too.  But maybe this will give you a few things to think about.

1. What are some ways your husband leads you?  You are welcome to share!

2. Gentlemen, what are some ways you try to lead in your marriage and in your families?  What is your definition of spiritual leadership and what do you believe God calls you to do?

RELATED:

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

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

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