Say “Thank You!”

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

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

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

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

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

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

I know, it’s crazy, right!?!?!!? 🙂

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

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

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

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

HUSBANDS:

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

LADIES:

Let me know how things go!

The Voice in His Head – from the Archives

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

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

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

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

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

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

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

IS THIS NORMAL?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A WIFE’S ROLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

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

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

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

The Dominant Wife-Passive Husband Combo — A Perfect Recipe for Disaster

 

This is my profile pic as the PeacefulwifePhilippines. It captures my (ex) dominant personality and my husband’s passive personality. Although at the time of this pictorial with Brown Sugar Photography, I was already a surrendered wife. 🙂 I thinkDong was just acting here. Emote! Hehe.
Wednesdays are going to be Nikka days here at Peacefulwife this year.  Nikka is a Christian/Catholic wife from the Philippines.  She began her journey of surrendering to Christ and learning to respect and biblically submit to her husband just recently – in September of 2013.  I welcome the wisdom she has to share and her passion for God, her husband, her children and life.  I’m thrilled she can join me on this adventure-filled journey of learning to become a godly woman and wife!  You can find her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com
Dominant Wife. Type A. Go-getter. Obsessive. Compulsive. Overachiever.
Passive Husband. Type B. Laid-back. Relaxed. Cool.Usually an underachiever.
This is NOT a good recipe for marriage.
Well, guess what?!
That was OUR recipe. It was our recipe for the longest time, even as boyfriend-girlfriend from 1997 to 2004. It still was OUR recipe from 2004 to some parts of 2011 and 2012 as a married couple. And, It was only in 2013 that I threw away that recipe, burned it, and came up with a new one! It sure was YUCKY! I don’t know why I kept it for so long! 😛
Note the non verbal gesture, seemingly denoting I was “in charge”. At that time, I was my at my worst “controlling behavior.” – 2010
You see,  I am a homebaker. I know and breathe in recipes. Some recipes just make you very unhappy. Too much salt, too little sugar, too much of this, too little of that. However, after tweaking a recipe and baking it again and again, one will be able to wonderfully come up with the PERFECT mixture of ingredients! Everything is just right! It’s delicious and a delight to eat!
Cheesecakes are my specialty! 🙂
Customized Cupcakes with Marshmallow Fondant toppers
Mini cakes by Veronica’s Kitchen! (Wait for our website!:)
Revel Bars are a favorite among family, friends and clients. 🙂
Well, in a Dominant Wife-Passive Husband scenario,  
THE WIFE has:
TOO MUCH
  • control
  • leading
  • deciding
  • nagging

and THE HUSBAND has:

TOO LITTLE

  • control
  • leading
  • deciding
  • say in their life decisions

Suffice to say, there will be TOO MUCH:

  • anger and resentment in both parties (“My husband is so demotivated! If I don’t lead, nothing will happen!” or “My wife is too overbearing! If I say anything, she will just shout at me/grumble/force her way, so I would just rather shut up and make her have her way to keep the ‘peace’.”)
  • disorder from having muddled or interchanged roles
  • shame from both parties (the wife feels so unfeminine and the husband feels so emasculated)

There will also be TOO LITTLE

  • joy and peace (The couple can fake it but they themselves feel very unhappy and discontented with the setup.)
  • God-inspired order (Roles are interchanged. Wife feels too tired from having to wear both the pants and the skirt in the relationship. Husband feels very depressed from having to wear no pants at all! Figuratively of course.)
  • fulfillment from having done one’s true role in the marriage (The husband is intended to be the leader, the wife is the follower.)
How come I became that DOMINANT and Dong became that PASSIVE?
 
Me and my younger sis, Erica – 2001
I was :
 
– the elder of two siblings/panganay 
– innately driven (I knew what I wanted to be at a very young age and strove for it and achieved it!)
Mama and Papa on their wedding day, visiting Lola’s grave -1975
– was innately ambitious

– had extremely motivated, career-oriented parents as role models
– was orphaned early (Mama died when I was 17; Papa died when I was 32, so I have always felt that I should seize the day or live life to the fullest, because people die!!! People DIE!!!!!!)

Kuya Toby, Kuya Egoy, Kuya Gino, Kuya Pochie, Kuya Jojo, Dong

Dong was:

– the youngest of 6 boys/bunso
– laid-back and relaxed
– had simple dreams and goals
– had less career-motivated/more family-oriented parents

Alejars at Fontana (incomplete though) – wacky most of the time! 🙂 – 2010

– still has both parents alive  (nearing their 80’s, my husband is in his mid-40’s)

Do you know that in such a setup, the passive husband will NEVER rise up to the challenge of leading? And I mean NEVER?!

Here is an excerpt from April Cassidy, the Peacefulwife’s blog post on Dominant Wife-Passive Husband: The Passive Husband’s Take :

Reverend  Weaver taught a class called “7 Basic Needs of a Wife, 7 Basic Needs of a Husband”  this spring. We LOVED this class! Mr. Weaver has his theology straight and explains God’s design for marriage so well.During the class, he mentioned that in all of his years of ministry, whenever he sees a dominant wife marry a passive husband, the husband NEVER rises up and takes authority from his wife and begins leading. Not once. As a former dominant wife myself, I think this is a pretty important piece of information. And I love Rev. Weaver’s advice. He said that a dominant wife must use her leadership gifts toempower andencourage her husband’s leadership. He said it is very difficult for a passive husband to learn to lead. And he said it is very difficult for a dominant wife to learn to give up leading. BUT IT CAN BE DONE! I am proof of that!!!But the inverted relationship will NOT be made right until the WIFE yields the leadership and control. She must make the first move. And she must foster her husband’s learning and leadership gently with plenty of praise and admiration. The more she respects him, the more confidence he will gain and the better leader he will be!”Powerful stuff, huh?

I was convicted by this blog post, along with so many others of  April.

No wonder then that Dong was having difficulty finding his purpose or his place under the sun. He was as passive as passive goes, and I was as dominant as dominant goes. He couldn’t fulfill his goals or even realize what he wanted to do with his life with my constant NOISE — whether physical, mental, emotional, psychological or spiritual. I had to step aside. I was getting in the way — in his way and even God’s Way!

I remember one emotional conversation we had when he told me that:

“I don’t know what my role is anymore in this family. It seems that you can do it all by yourself. I am not needed here. I could leave you and the kids so you can find somebody more worthy of your love, because I feel like a failure, but I love you and I love the kids. What will happen to them when I go?”

Heartbreaking. And yet, at that time, I was thinking. “It’s so easy! All you have to do is to motivate yourself, find your passion, or find a job you love or whatever, and give your 100 percent best, and give it all you’ve got, and success will be yours!!!!!!” Well, to me, that made perfect sense. I was used to going after MY dreams. I sounded like a life coach. I thought I was being a great cheerleader to him! Not. He was a simple guy, with simple dreams and I could not understand that then. I think a part of me just refused to understand that at the time. So many sins of pride from my part! So unattractive!

When the Lord opened my eyes and the scales of disrespect fell from them, I saw myself for who I truly was: arrogant, selfish, worried, fearful of the future, lacking in faith in my husband and God, putting things in my hands, bitter, resentful, etc. etc… I just had to STOP, RETREAT and REPENT.

I couldn’t talk for days. I was SHOCKED by the level of my sins.

My eyelids, eyelashes, and hair got burned by an oven accident in 2011. I am grateful it didn’t ruin my face. 🙁

Now, in 2013, I feel lit up from within because of this submissive journey. My spirit is all aglow! (And I am not wearing false eyelashes anymore! They have grown back. Yay!)

When I did find the strength to talk to Dong, I apologized for my behavior and told him that:

  • I was so so so sorry for hurting his feelings.
  • I was just so clueless! I thought I was actually being so nice to him by being so driven and contributing to the family income.
  • I did not want to lead the family anymore. I was turning over the reins.
  • I am getting out of my way, his way and God’s Way.
  • I wanted him to lead me and our family to where God wants us to go.
  • I loved him and that my gift to him was my submission to him.
That is the REASON for this BLOG.
 
Dong saw through my heart and my real desire to change, and told me one time:
 
“I want you to blog about your journey. Write your own version of the Peacefulwife’s blog for the Philippines. Our country is in dire need of role models to follow. I am sick and tired too of hearing about husbands and fathers saying that the worst thing that can happen to a man is to get married and have kids. Why do most men feel that way? Shouldn’t we feel happy that we got married and have children? ” 
Wow. Just wow.And he even said,

“I AM ENJOYING THIS, WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE DOING. I AM REAPING ALL ITS BENEFITS. I WISH FOR MORE MARRIED COUPLES TO EXPERIENCE THIS.”

GOD. IS. AMAZING.

IN FUTURE BLOG POSTS, I WILL BE SHARING JUST HOW MY GIFT OF SUBMISSION HAS AWAKENED MY PASSIVE HUSBAND’S LEADERSHIP QUALITIES AND HOW HE IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY BECOMING THE MAN GOD WANTS HIM TO BE.

We are one inBreadmaking. Let’s go make some bread! 🙂

I have already fulfilled my dreams. 🙂 It is time to support his. Whatever happens, I am 100% with him every.step.of.the.way.
My prayer, like my husband’s prayer, is for more couples to experience what we are experiencing. This is totally a God Thing, not a Nikka or Dong thing.
Only God can convict hearts and it is only He Who could change us. I am deeply humbled that God patiently waited for me and for my change of heart all this time. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that all that had happened to me and to us in the past and not so recent past, would be used by God to awaken other married couples’ eyes, so that they too can experience what true peace is. The kind the world could not give, but only Christ could give.
Isaiah 54:13
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 Isaias 54:13
At lahat mong anak ay tuturuan ng Panginoon; at magiging malaki ang kapayapaan ng iyong mga anak.

MAY WE ALL BE RICHLY BLESSED!!! 🙂

The 10:00PM Rule

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I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! My blog is not written for wives who are abused.

 

Many years ago, before I understood about respect and biblical submission, probably at least 8 years ago or more… Greg made a rule for us after one particularly frustrating late-night discussion.

I tended to want to have deep discussions a lot.  Especially late at night.  I also tended to try to press Greg for answers back then – not realizing that he needed time to think about things and that the more I pressured him the harder it was for him to think.  The more tired we were, the worse things would go.

Greg realized that after about 10:00pm, a deep discussion usually did not end well.

So, he decided that “We aren’t going to have any more deep discussions after 10:00pm at night.  Nothing good happens after that time in a deep discussion.”

That was actually some really godly leadership he showed that day!

We BOTH benefitted from this rule.

  • I learned not to start discussing a big, emotional, deep issue late at night.
  • I learned to wait for a better time when we were both more well-rested.
  • I learned to enjoy the last 2 hours before we went to sleep and be at peace during that time and savor our time together instead of getting upset and frustrated.
  • We both got to have a lot more peace in our marriage and in our own minds.  Of course, back then, sometimes I didn’t know how to be at peace in my own mind and would still think through deep discussions by myself.  But – things did go much better!

HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?

Well, since I have been on this journey the past 5 years learning to be a more godly wife, to respect Greg, to honor his leadership –  and since I have learned so much more about him, about myself, about God’s design for marriage, about godly femininity and godly masculinity… a lot of things have changed in our relationship for the better.

We don’t really have many frustrating conversations these days.  (I can think of 2 very brief ones in the past year, and they were resolved quickly.) Why?

  • I assume the best about Greg.  I  know he loves me, even if he does things I don’t understand.  I keep that in my mind all the time, that he loves me and is good-willed towards me.  That made a HUGE difference!  Most husbands and wives truly do care about and love their spouses – Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs confirms this.  (I’m reading a new book by Shaunti Feldhahn, “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” – her surveys also confirm this!  You have GOT to check this book out.  I can already tell it is a must read!)  Even when I might not FEEL loved, I can remember that Greg does actually love me and now, after a lot of experience, I know that he wouldn’t intentionally hurt me.  My knowing that and assuming the best about him makes ALL the difference in our marriage.
  • Now, I don’t ambush Greg (at any time of day) and announce, “We have to talk right now about X!”  Now I know that my particular man needs time to process and think through ideas before he knows how he feels about them.  He doesn’t think just like I do.  That is ok! In fact, it is a BLESSING that he is very careful, thorough, methodical and slower in thinking through things.  I tend to make more rash, hasty or emotionally-drivien decisions.  I thank and praise God that He, in His wisdom, gave the leadership position in our marriage to Greg, not to me!  So, now, when there is something to discuss, I find a good time and just casually mention whatever the issue is to Greg and share what I would like to do.  But then I leave it with him and let him think about it as long as he needs to.  He usually gets back with me when he is ready to talk about the issue and he knows what he thinks would be best.  He shares that with me.  I share any feelings I have about his ideas.  Usually, we end up agreeing.  But if I don’t, I tell him something like, “I would rather do X, but I trust you to do what you believe is best.  I will support your decision.”  End of discussion.
  • I don’t try to change his mind.
  • I seek to treat him with great respect.
  • I don’t assume I am always right and he is always wrong anymore.
  • I don’t try to control things and force my way.
  • I trust God in His sovereignty to direct Greg to cause His will in our lives, even if I don’t agree with the decision at the time.  (If Greg asked me to clearly sin, I would have to refuse.  But that hasn’t ever happened for us.)
  • When I am hormonal – I usually catch myself within a few sentences.  I ask Greg if he thinks I sound hormonal.  If he does, then I trust his perspective more than my feelings that day.  I will say, “Do you think I need to be upset about this issue?”   He’ll say, “Nope.”  I’ll say, “Ok.  I won’t try to figure this out today.”
  • I know that my husband has a lot of wisdom and that I can trust him.
  • I approach him with humility
  • I don’t carry the weight of the family and marriage and all the decisions anymore.  I know Greg will answer to God for these decisions, not me.  I stepped down years ago and seek to honor Greg’s leadership.

We do have amazing discussions about many deep topics.  I do like having deep discussions – but they don’t turn into disagreements or arguments and Greg doesn’t shut down anymore.

  • Now we know we are on the same team.
  • Greg is almost always available to talk with me when I want to talk now.  He knows he is safe with me and that I am not going to verbally attack him, criticize him, blast him, humiliate him, tell him what to do, overpower him with my verbal abilities or hurt him emotionally or spiritually.
  • He knows without a doubt that I respect him, trust him, have faith in him, admire him and will joyfully cooperate with his decisions.
  • I know without a doubt that he loves me, wants me to be happy as much as possible, wants what is best for me and will lead in a selfless way.

After 10pm (the hour or two before we go to sleep) at our house is a special time of Greg playing with my hair, cuddling with me, having conversation, laughing, relaxing, touching and enjoying each other.  It is my favorite time of the day now!

“I’m Tired of Being the Leader in Our Marriage”

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From a dear wife, with her permission:
Hello

I had to email you personally and tell you how grateful I am for your insight.  I came across your article, “I Want to Follow my Husband.  What if He Doesn’t Lead? How Can I Inspire His Leadership?” (From PW – this is basically the same post that I have posted the past 3 days – “My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage” part 1, part 2 and part 3), and I believe it was sent to me by God, Himself.  I was looking for answers as to why my husband is the way he is.

I was shocked to see that it’s me that needs to change. 
I have a very dominant  personality.  I always feel like I have to be the one to take care of everything or it either won’t get done or will be done the wrong way.  I was taking care of every aspect of our families life even down to the finances and scheduling my husband’s Drs appointments.

We have only been married for 4 1/2 years and I have been so unhappy, unforgiving, and full of resentment toward my husband.  I hated the fact that he was so passive, indecisive, and  immature in regards to his responsibilities and our family.  I started feeling like I had to be the husband to myself.

Through your words I now see how prideful and controlling I was.
  • He’s a good man.  He’s faithful, he’s a wonderful provider, he’s patient, and calm.
He is a lot more than I’ve ever given him credit for.
  • I’ve always had a problem with letting go of control out of fear that something will happen or things wont go well.  At the same time I have craved peace.  A peace that comes from total submission to God and to my husband; the ability to trust someone with my life and it’s well being.

As I went through the list of critical truths, I found myself guilty of thinking, speaking or feeling 99% of the things listed.  Before reading the list I had started to contemplate divorce.  I believed that I simply could not be with my husband anymore.  How deceptive Satan can be when you close yourself from the truth.  After reading the list I felt embarrassed, broken, angry, ashamed, and a call to repentance.

I realized that my attitudes, tones, sarcasm, and personal attacks were not changing my husband. For some crazy reason I thought that it would.  I now see and understand my role and purpose as a wife.  I now understand that it’s ok to give up control and let him lead even if it seems like he’s leading nowhere.  I know my place now. I know which road I should be on.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you.  It was a tough pill to swallow but it was deeply needed.

RELATED:

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

Empowering My Husband’s Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Don’t Always Notice

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

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Greg and April Nov. 2013

I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! Please do not read my blog if you are a wife who is being abused. You will need VERY specific help in that situation. Reading my blog for women who tend to be controlling may be harmful for you.

 

Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not read them yet. 🙂

GET ON GOD’S PATH

No matter if my husband has given up trying to lead or if he still does attempt to lead me – I can give him the beautiful gift of my biblical submission to his leadership in obedience to God! I have the power to begin to make things right!! 

I began this journey 5 years ago.  I am still learning. I am NOT perfect!  I share my mess ups on my PW FB page as I make mistakes so that I am transparent.  But obeying God has brought me such joy, peace, purpose and abundant life!  I am very thankful God opened my eyes to my sin and showed me His design for me as a woman and a wife.  It is not popular or politically correct to do things God’s way today.  But it is SO worth it!  I have been richly blessed by God as I sought to obey Him above all else.  My husband has been richly blessed.  My children have been richly blessed and thousands of women around the world are being blessed by God’s power at work in my life. How crazy is that!?!?  It blows my mind.  It is ALL about God.  It all depends in His power, not mine, that is for sure!

I have to start with me wanting to be right with Christ.  Primarily, my submission is about yielding myself 100% to the Lordship of Jesus over every area of my life.  That is what Jesus requires of every Christian.  I have to get to the place where I care more about pleasing Him out of thankfulness for all He has done for me than anything else in the world.  My focus becomes simply to love, obey and please God.  Period.  Nothing else matters.  He is LORD.  I wrestle with my fears and idols until I can say, “not my will but Yours be done” about absolutely everything in my life – no matter what the personal cost to myself. I give up my illusion of being in control.  I stop trusting SELF and begin to truly trust God in His sovereignty.  If I am not in that place – something is very wrong with my relationship with Him.

No one can force me to submit to my husband.  Being forced into submission is slavery, not submission.  Biblical submission comes from a position of free will and voluntary choice and strength.  I choose to honor my husband’s God-given authority (unless he asks me to clearly sin).  I share all of my wisdom, personality, feelings, desires and ideas in a godly, respectful, polite, feminine way.  I no longer try to force my way or pridefully assume my way is best.  I seek God’s will far above my own.  Then I ultimately trust God to lead me through my husband if we do not agree.

Here are a few things to do to start to get back on track (pray and see if these might apply to you or if God might show you other ideas that fit your situation and marriage):

  • Confess to my husband what I did wrong and apologize without justifying or explaining myself.  Husbands usually only want one sincere and rather brief apology.

“I realize now that I have taken over the leadership role of our marriage and I have been WRONG for doing this! I have sinned against God and against you and our children.  I apologize for not following your leadership and for fighting you instead of cooperating with you and being on your team.   I’m so glad that God gave you the position of authority over me and over our family. That weight is too heavy for me to carry.  It stresses me out!  I am stepping down and I want to support your decisions and trust you to do what is best for us from now on.  I will share my heart and desires, but I won’t fight you anymore.  I want to learn to support  and trust your God-given authority in our home.  I have A LOT to learn about being a godly wife.  I pray you can be patient with me.”  

If your husband is not close to God – I suggest you may want to take out the words about God and prayer (I Peter 3:1-2)

“I realize now that I have taken over control of our marriage and that is not right.  I apologize for not cooperating with your ideas and leadership.  I am stepping down now and want to support your decisions and trust you to do what is best for us from now on.  I will share my heart and desires, but I won’t fight you anymore.  I have a LOT to learn about being a good wife.  I hope you can be patient with me.”

Husbands may react in different ways to this – they may get angry (and share all the hurt they have had for years), they may say nothing (they may be in shock and have to digest what you said for awhile), they may cry (out of relief that finally their wife understands them), they may forgive you right away.  All of these responses are normal.  Don’t expect a particular reaction.  You take care of your part, and let him respond however he responds.  If he does want to talk about how hurt he has been, please listen and don’t defend yourself.  If he forgives you, accept and respect his forgiveness and don’t keep apologizing!

  • Accept my husband for the man he is right now today even if he NEVER changes!!!
  • Realize that I am responsible to God for my own sanctification, growing in Christ, my own emotions and my own contentment in Christ. I don’t have to wait on my husband to help me grow or wait for him to “catch up.” If I am really growing in my relationship with Christ, I will be humble towards my husband and towards God and let them work out my husband’s spiritual growth. I will concentrate only on my own spiritual maturity and I WILL BE PRETTY QUIET ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS if this is a difficult area for my husband. I will let my husband see my joy in Christ, my humility before my husband, my respectful attitude and willingness to follow where he leads… THAT is what will help make my husband hunger for God!  I will obey God in this for as long as it takes.  I trust God to work in my husband in his way, by His power and for His glory.  It is not about me, it is all about God.
  • Make decisions for myself about things I am doing, eating, wearing, how I spend my time, but let him make his own decisions for himself and let him make the final decisions for the family.
  • Uphold his decisions in front of the children, don’t undermine his authority.
  • Speak and act respectfully towards him. Ask if I am in doubt, “Is this respectful?” “Was I just disrespectful?”
  • Listen carefully when he talks to me – put down what I am doing and listen like I am interested.
  • Be encouraging about his ideas. Try not to squash his creativity, plans and ideas. Let him have room to think, dream and plan.
  • Don’t tell him what to do – if he asks, I can offer my perspective humbly as possible suggestions, not as if I am dictating to him what he should do.
  • Praise him whenever he leads the family, even in the smallest of ways, and does a good job!!!! THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT! It will help him build confidence in his abilities. If he hasn’t ever been the leader, I must be patient, it will be baby-steps, but that’s fine!
  • If he makes a decision, I back him (unless he’s asking me to clearly sin – which has never happened to me in 5 years of this so far) and support him graciously, joyfully, cheerfully. I may tell him my needs, desires and feelings, but ultimately the decision is up to him. God gives him insight and wisdom he doesn’t give to me. God will hold Greg accountable for the decisions in our marriage and family – he knows he will answer to God one day for each decision he makes.  This is about trusting God to lead me through my husband – it is ALL about my faith in God!!!
  • Get rid of negativity!!!  No arguing or complaining Phil 2:14-16a.
  • Ideally, give him the finances – or at least give him the ultimate responsibility for the finances and think of myself more as the secretary if I must pay the bills. It often works SO much better when I am not telling him what to do and how to spend money – in our marriage, at least.
  • If he decides to give me something, take me out to eat, go on a spontaneous vacation, I SMILE, accept graciously and don’t question if he should or should not give wonderful things to you. Say, “Thank you! You are SO generous! You’re such a wonderful husband!”
  • Even if I feel like he is “leading me nowhere” – that is ok! At one point, I prayed, “God, I am willing to sit RIGHT HERE spiritually and geographically and never move another inch if this is where you want me. I trust You to lead me through my husband. I am NOT going to run ahead anymore. I will patiently wait on You if I sit here until I am 80!” It’s funny, it wasn’t long after I adopted that attitude that things began to go forward on God’s path full-throttle!
  • Thank God for my husband’s leadership and spiritual authority over me daily.
  • Thank my husband for his leadership and spiritual authority over me – even if he is not a believer! Even if he is an immature Christian! God said the husband IS the head of the wife in Ephesians 5:22 – take God at His Word and thank God for His provision for me. God can and will use even a non-believer or a very immature husband to lead a believing wife who trusts in Him!
  • Have a willing spirit to be led by my husband and by God.
  • Recognize that God can and will speak to me through my husband many times.

If some of these things have been eye-opening for you, I’d encourage you to repent and commit to seeking God’s face and His will in your life and your marriage starting today!

  • It is God’s plan to teach husbands to be effective, humble, servant-leaders in the church by learning to be a leader at home first. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?  I Tim 3:5
  • God desires to use the respect, admiration and cooperation of godly wives to shape men and influence them in leadership in marriage.  In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2by observing your pure and reverent lives.  I Peter 3:1-2
  • God CAN use my willing, obedient spirit to help mold and influence my husband if my heart is right with God and I am respectful of the God-given position of authority God gave my husband. What a high calling!  I can’t change my husband!  Only God changes people!  But I can be on God’s team, get out of God’s way and influence him towards God and myself.
  • We will also be influencing our children and showing them how to have a godly marriage, what godly femininity means, how to submit to God and to God-given authorities. AND our obedience to God will draw many others to Christ!!!!!! MUCH IS AT STAKE HERE! I pray we act wisely and in full obedience and surrender to God.

Lord,

I know this is a very tough and very painful subject! You know how many tears I cried myself over these issues for so many years in my own marriage. My heart breaks with wives who are anxious, afraid, lonely, overwhelmed and scared to make these changes. I pray that You might show each wife how to take that step of faith and trust You to work through our husbands for our good and Your glory! Help us to see that You will catch us and that what seems so terrifying is actually a gateway to peace and the life we have always longed for. Give us girlfriends to encourage and sustain us! Give us prayer partners to pray with us.

Help us desire to obey You even when we don’t completely want to and don’t understand Your wisdom. Help us trust You with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength! Open the floodgates of heaven on the women who have the courage to obey You in this area of following their husbands’ leadership! Let them see Your miracles! Let them find the beautiful place that this painful path brings us to – a place of joy, love, peace, hope, deep intimacy with You and with our husbands and abundant life! Don’t let Satan retain a stronghold in our hearts any longer! Let us sincerely repent of our sin! Let us turn to Your ways and begin the adventure of following You each day, anticipating all the wonderful things You will do to provide for us, protect us, and guide us through our husbands. Thank You for Your design for marriage! Help us to embrace Your wisdom and learn it and live it and then teach it to other wives! Use us to greatly bless our husbands, marriages and children. And use us to greatly bless the world with the fragrance, salt and light of Christ!

Amen!

RELATED

A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission

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

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Administrative Note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SELF EVALUATION TIME

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

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

Tomorrow – we will continue this discussion! 🙂

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

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

Things Are Beginning to Click – a Wife’s Little Victories

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:
I am taking an email vacation until January 7th.  I plan to continue to post and will respond to comments as I am able – you are welcome to comment any time.  But if you can please hold emails for me for a few weeks, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!
From a wife and sister in the Lord who is beginning to understand:
My husband and I are both Christians who are walking with the Lord and I’d say we have a “good” marriage but we are always wanting it to be great!
  • We have only been married 3 1/2 years but my husband has always been telling me that I’m disrespectful, controlling, and that I “argue” with him a lot.  
I just thought he was totally crazy about the control thing and I thought he was just paranoid about being controlled! In fact, I thought he was leading and was a great leader. It wasn’t until reading your blog that I realized how related the issues of disrespect and control are and how intertwined.
  • I read Love and Respect (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) twice, we took the conference.
  • I read “For Women Only” (by Shaunti Feldhahn)
  • I’ve read various other books on marriage

I have not been able to get a clue of what is respectful to my husband!

Yes, we have spent HOURS talking, discussing, arguing, crying, and yelling at each other over what is disrespectful to him and what is not. Obviously, it is frustrating to him that I don’t “get it.”  Your blog, though, has been the first thing that gave me a CLUE!
Like I said, we are not stereotypical. My husband does NOT withdraw or get silent whenever I disrespect him. He ALWAYS tells me and I always tell him when he’s unloving and I think that is why our marriage is still “good” even though we do fight a lot, it is because we don’t keep anything in the dark!
I finally found out what he meant by “arguing” by reading your blog. I seriously had NO IDEA!! I didn’t understand why he would get mad when I “shared my feelings” with him until reading your blog. I felt absolutely baffled by it! He also notoriously calls me “negative” and tells me I “complain” a lot, which would make me furious! And so I would defend myself thinking that he would then see that he was hurting me and fall on his knees to apologize.. I had no idea that I was actually perpetuating the disrespect by defending myself. This is still the hardest thing for me because I hate being wrong and being the person who needs to apologize, etc.
One of your most helpful posts for me was about when he says something hurtful to just say “I’m hurt” and quietly walk out of the room, respectfully. Of course, I always want to sit down and have a huge heart to heart if he says something hurtful and then he feels disrespected! I can’t count how many nights we have spent fighting because I wanted to tell him how hurt I felt and he thought I was nagging him! That was also totally perplexing because I would be like, YOU hurt ME and now I’M A NAG?!?!??! So confusing!!!!!
A NEW APPROACH
The first time I tried this, I said “I’m hurt” 3 different times the same night and then walked out and he yelled a few things at me as I walked away but I never said anything back (which is a miracle for me! I’m a fighter!).
A few hours later, he turned off the TV and told me to come over and that we needed to talk!
What?!?
He said he knew something was bothering me and wanted to hear about it and so we ended up having that heart to heart.
One other huge break through, I have tried many times in the past to tell him things I do respect about him but he has never believed me and he knew I was just doing an exercise I read in a book or something. However, after reading your blog and comments on there, etc, I realized that he has never withdrawn from me or our boys and he has never stopped leading, even in the face of my disrespect and attempts to control.
  • So I told him that I was very impressed that he still continues to lead, to tell me my sin, and to try to engage in the family even when I’m wrong and even when most men do the opposite.

His face changed and he thanked me and said that he felt very respected from that comment!

That is the first time he has ever said that!
He’s always thought I was being phony when I try to compliment him.
A BABY STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
One small victory today… we are moving next week and our house is a disaster and we’re packing most of our kitchen stuff up. I asked if we could go to our favorite Mexican place for lunch since we don’t have much food left in the house and I stated my reasons for wanting to go today versus another day.
He said, “No, we’ll go tomorrow for lunch.”
And I said “Ok!” in a happy tone and walked off to keep packing.
Throughout the morning, I kept thinking of more reasons why today is the best day to go instead of tomorrow. But I remembered words from your blog and I refused to say any more of my reasons (I had already given several when I first asked) and then…
Instead of eating my PB sandwich in a depressing way and mentioning how much better the Mexican food would be (many thoughts like that kept coming into my head and I’m used to just blurting them out, not even thinking about it!) I kept it to myself!
Yay!!
And then all afternoon, I kept wanting to say, “So… did you notice anything different today… ” hahahah!! But I had to get a hold of myself and say Look! You’re doing this for the Lord first and your husband second and not for yourself! It’s not about how much praise you get for it! So that is my mini-success of the day. (:
And no fighting occurred today.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
I am so thankful that this precious wife allowed me to share her story!  And PRAISE GOD her husband does not become passive but continues to attempt to lead in a godly way!  THAT IS AWESOME!  I’m so proud of him!
In the beginning when we are just learning to give up disrespect and what respect means and to stop arguing and complaining, this is exactly how our thought processes will go.  I love how this wife shared – she articulates what almost every wife experiences and feels on this journey in the beginning at some point.
But watch how God is beginning to help her to understand her husband and how she is consciously letting go of control and consciously learning to approach her husband with respect and the new, healthier internal dialogue she is having with herself now.  This is really key, ladies!  And I am SO proud of her for not demanding or asking for affirmation from her husband.  She is doing what God commands her to do as a wife – respect her husband and honor his God-given leadership.  God will reward her for her obedience in heaven.  She is not doing this for accolades of praise from her husband – she is doing this because she wants to obey God.  I’m really glad she caught her motives and realigned her sites to keep her eyes on Christ.
WOOHOOO!!!
PRAISE GOD for what He is doing in this wife’s heart!
RELATED:
How to Stop Arguing and Complaining (which is a command of God for all believers in Philippians 2:13-16)

If I Am Being Needy and Clingy, I Will Probably Repel My Husband

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I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! Please do not read my blog if you are a wife who is being abused. You will need VERY specific help in that situation. Reading my blog for women who tend to be controlling may be harmful for you.

 

If you have ever been in any kind of relationship with someone who is needy and clingy all the time – you know that it can feel like imprisonment.  Even if it is just a coworker or a classmate at school.  There is something about neediness/clinginess that just sucks all of the emotional life out of other people.

SOME EXAMPLES:

  • There is a book , “Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren” that my daughter and I read earlier this fall.  This little 5 year old, Junie B., decides she is  “in love” with Warren in her class.  One chapter is SO PERFECT at illustrating the concept of a woman being super needy, clingy, dictatorial and smothering to a man and just how repulsive it can be.  I really wish I could quote the entire chapter but, I will just summarize.  Junie B. would not leave Warren alone.  He told her to go away and not talk to him anymore.  She stayed right beside him.  She was quiet for 30 seconds or so, but then she constantly said something or other to try to get his attention and to try to make her love him.   Quoting from memory here, “I’m being quiet Warren.  I can be REAL quiet.  I won’t talk at all.  I’m just going to sit right here and not talk.  Not one word.  You won’t even know I’m here.   I’m just quiet as can be.  That’s me.  Being quiet…  Hey, Warren!  There’s a piece of fuzz on your hair.  Want me to get it for you, Warren?  It wouldn’t be any problem for me to get that piece of fuzz out of your hair for you, Warren.  Cause I’m your friend.  You and I are friends.  It’s white.  I think it came off of a plant or something.  Want me to get it for you? Huh?  Do ya?  I can do it really quick…”  And she continued ON and ON as Warren faced away from her with the biggest scowl on his face and eventually he exploded in frustration and anger.  This is NOT how to attract a guy, ladies!
  • In marriage… what does it look like when a wife is clingy, needy or smothering?  If you have a controlling mother, mother-in-law or sister, you know how painful it is to be on the receiving end of this kind of behavior.  If not, try to put yourself in a husband’s shoes in these scenarios. (be sure to picture the angry face and angry tone of voice):
  1. How COULD you go do something with your friends?  You are supposed to spend EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that you are not working with ME!  You obviously don’t love me as much as I love you because I would never go off and leave you and do something with my friends.  If you walk out that door, you’re really going to pay for this once you get home!
  2. We need to talk.   RIGHT NOW.  I don’t feel loved.  You aren’t spending enough time with me.  You don’t even look very happy to talk with me right now.  Why do you have that expression on your face?  Why are you watching the TV!?! You’re not even paying attention to me! You are totally ignoring me!  I don’t matter at all to you, do I?  See, you are the most unloving husband on the face of this planet.  I knew you’d just come home and ignore me.  All I ask is to have some time to share my heart with you and you can’t even do something that simple.  Where are you going!?!?!!?!
  3. I would be happy if only you would love me in the way I want you to love me.  You won’t send me romantic emails like I have asked you to do 125 times.  What is wrong with you?  All I want is a little email?  Is it SO HARD to just send a little email to your wife to tell her you love her?  Would it KILL you to spend 2 minutes sending me a text or an email?  I mean, I send you loving emails/texts all the time.  You don’t even appreciate all that I do for you.  And you can’t send me one little note because you love me?  If you really loved me, you would WANT to send me romantic notes and you would WANT to tell me how much you love me and how special I am to you.  But NOOOOO!  You can’t be bothered with little details like that.
  4. It has been 4 weeks and 2 days since you gave me a compliment.  So, I suppose you don’t think I’m pretty anymore, right?  Yep.  I’m sure that is what you are thinking.  What kind of husband doesn’t compliment his own wife?  You must not even notice me at all.  I might as well not even be here.  You’d be happier without me, wouldn’t you?  You need to tell me a compliment RIGHT NOW!   Wait a minute, where do you think you’re going??  Don’t you walk out that door!  I am talking to you!  You better give me a compliment.
  5. Why won’t you have sex with me?  Every other red blooded man on the planet WANTS to have sex with his wife – but not you!  What am I not sexy enough for you now?  You need to have sex with me.  The Bible says you have to.  You’re sinning if you withhold yourself from me.  Turn off the stupid TV.  We’re going to have sex!  I cannot just wait around for you like this all the time.  You need to be sensitive to my needs.

Hopefully, you get the idea, right?

I’d like you to notice something about the wife examples…  These wives weren’t just being needy, clingy and smothering, they were also being:

  • disrespectful
  • controlling
  • blaming/accusatory
  • demeaning
  • demanding/dictatorial
  • rude
  • contentious
  • oblivious to how they were coming across
  • self-centered/selfish
  • prideful
  • self-righteous
  • negative
  • assuming the worst
  • not giving the husband a chance to be a hero
  • condescending

All of that tends to go together.

I have done stuff like this to my husband before.  Let me just share a little secret with you – these approaches DO NOT WORK!  They make our men (and anyone, really) want to run far, far away.

This puts a man in a lose/lose situation.

1. He can bow to you and try to accommodate your demands, knowing that anything he does after you demanded it will be totally meaningless to him and to you and that you will lose all respect for him if he does what you want when you approach him in such a disrespectful way.

2. He can stay true to his convictions to not say yes to you because of your disrespectful approach and look like a “jerk.”

Let’s try to not put our men in a situation where both of us will lose no matter what they do!  Let’s learn to approach our men in effective ways that bless them and ourselves.  Let’s check our motives when we are feeling disappointed, forgotten and unloved.

  • Let’s focus on loving and obeying Christ above everything else, finding all of our contentment in Him alone and blessing our husbands.
  • It’s not that the things we want are necessarily wrong – it is our approach and the level of priority we are giving to our desires.  If we are approaching our men the way I was talking about in the above examples, our own motives are not right.  There is sin in our hearts we need to deal with before we can take another step.

What draws our husbands to us – times when we :

  • have humility
  • make respectful requests (usually just once) not demands
  • graciously accept “no” from others and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and don’t try to force our way on them
  • are concerned and compassionate towards them
  • don’t pressure them
  • are responsible for our own emotions, happiness and contentment in Christ
  • enjoy them
  • RELAX
  • assume the best not immediately accuse them of the worst
  • respect them genuinely
  • use good manners – yes, even with our husbands!
  • appreciate the things they do for us
  • have a friendly tone of voice and a pleasant facial expression

RESPECTFUL SUGGESTIONS THAT MAY BE A BETTER APPROACH WITH THESE ISSUES (but you must be SINCERE or do not say these things.  And say them with a smile, a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression.) –

  1. I am really glad you have a chance to see your friends.  Being with them is important!  Have fun!   I think I might go get together with my friend tonight for dessert, too.  I’m so excited! (Then later, maybe the next day or sometime, say, “I’d love for us to have a night out this week if we could.  That would be so much fun!”)
  2. I’m feeling lonely today. (silly sad face)  Would you please cuddle with me For a few minutes?  (with a friendly voice and a smile.  And be gracious even if he says, “no”)
  3. When you sent me that sweet email a few months ago – I loved it!  I read it often.  I really feel loved when you send me a note like that.  (pleasant tone of voice and a smile.  No pressure!)
  4. I like it when you compliment me.  It makes me smile. ;). I keep thinking about how sweet is was when you said X last month.  You are such a thoughtful husband.
  5. I can’t wait to be in your arms tonight.  I just want to touch you and kiss you all over… 😉  (but, if he is tired or turns you down, please be gracious!)

AND THEN –

Possibly focus on your man and ask him how he is doing and what you can do for him and LISTEN carefully to anything he shares and make HIM a huge priority. 🙂

RELATED

Control and Boundaries

Playing the Martyr

Manipulating with Guilt

Who Is Calling Us Out for Our Sin as Women?

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Adminitrative note:

I am taking an email vacation through January 6th.  You are welcome to comment on posts, but I would appreciate it if everyone could hold emails for a few weeks, please.  Thanks so much for your patience and understanding!

I don’t know if you realize this, but almost no one in the church is confronting us as Christian women about our sin today – to our great detriment.

That is a HUGE problem.

  • If we don’t even realize we have sin in our lives – we can’t begin to do anything about it.
  • In our culture today, many times we make excuses for our sin, or rename sin to make it sound more palatable.  And – unfortunately – many times we are not taking full responsibility for our own sin.

We have bought the idea that we are somehow morally or spiritually superior to men or to other people.  But that is not what scripture teaches.

Scripture teaches that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23.

God makes no distinction between the sins of men vs. women.  We are ALL wretched sinners before a holy God.

ALL sin separates us from God and destroys us spiritually and hurts those around us.  If I cherish any sin in my heart, the sinful nature is in control and I forfeit God’s Spirit working powerfully in me and filling me when I grieve His Spirit.

GOD HATES SIN

 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[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 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.

22 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. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.  Galatians 5

  • If I have ANY of the fruit of the flesh going on in my life – I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM!
  • I cannot be godly/righteous on my own at all.  I HAVE to have God’s Spirit flooding my soul to live like God wants me to.
  • If I don’t have all of the fruit of God’s Spirit growing and increasing in my life on a daily basis  – I ALSO have a BIG PROBLEM!  This is not the life God wants for me – He wants me filled with His Spirit and power every moment.  Until we get rid of ALL SIN, we don’t have God’s Spirit filling us.  I remember the shock when I first began to feel God’s peace about 5 years ago.  “Wow!  So THIS is what peace feels like?!?!”  I had been a believer in Christ since I was 5 years old – but I had not experienced much of God’s peace and joy until I laid down all my sin and really began to submit myself FULLY to Him!

My precious sisters in the Lord – we have been so deceived about SO MANY things in our culture to think they are ok when God says they are sin:

  • pride (thinking I’m always right!  I know best!  Everyone needs to do what I say.  This was Satan’s sin, and is a root sin of MANY other sins.  Satan tried to be equal to God.  Unfortunately, I believe I actually set myself ABOVE God in my heart, thinking I knew better than God and I was above having to obey Him in some areas, that I was excused from having to obey certain parts of God’s Word.  My pride was OFF THE CHARTS)
  • self-righteousness (I’m better than my husband.  I’m better than other people.  Jesus had more intolerance for this than just about anything else.  This was the sin of the Pharisees.  He condemned it over and over again.)
  • idolatry of self or trying to be in control ourselves  (Idolatry means something I believe I MUST HAVE to be content and happy that is not Christ.)
  • idolatry of romance  (If I don’t have romance in my marriage, I am justified in doing whatever I want to do and I don’t have to obey God’s Word anymore.)
  • idolatry of happiness (If I am not happy, I am allowed to do anything it takes to make myself happy even if it is sinful.  Happiness is my ultimate goal, not obedience to Christ.)
  • idolatry of beauty/thinness (including eating disorders)
  • idolatry of expectations
  • greed, love of money (idolatry of money)
  • having no FEAR of God, not trembling before Him, not trusting in and understanding His sovereignty.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
  • people pleasing
  • having unhealthy boundaries and trying to control others or allowing them to control us
  • playing the martyr
  • using guilt to manipulate
  • unforgiveness
  • lack of faith in God
  • immodesty  (What Guys Think about the Issue of Modesty)
  • possibly the use of certain types of birth control
  • bitterness
  • lack of godly love for other people
  • materialism
  • losing our temper/yelling/screaming/calling people names/cussing (this is sin even when we have PMS)
  • slander
  • embracing ungodly definitions of femininity, God, ourselves, masculinity, marriage, family or anything else
  • thinking that women are morally/spiritually superior to men
  • encouraging other women to disrespect God or their husbands or to try to control God, their husbands or other people
  • giving unbiblical advice to others
  • not training our children in the nurture, admonition, truth and love of God and His Word
  • nagging, criticizing, humiliating, belittling, making fun of and verbally destroying our husbands
  • encouraging unbiblical divorce for others
  • hatred
  • not apologizing and repenting to God and our husbands (and others) for our sin – or apologizing half-heartedly but then justifying and excusing our sin and not taking full responsibility
  • defending ourselves pridefully instead of listening
  • sex outside of marriage
  • abortion (Psalm 139 – God creates babies in the womb and knows them by name and has plans for their lives.  He does not give us the right to destroy another person’s life.  That is murder.)
  • gossip
  • lust (including emotional lust or sexual lust when we read romantic novels or watch romantic movies or look at porn)
  • resentment
  • gluttony
  • apathy toward the poor
  • lack of sharing the gospel
  • complaining
  • contentiousness
  • disrespect towards our husbands
  • disrespect for any God-given authority
  • usurping our husbands’ God-given authority
  • divorcing our husbands for unbiblical reasons
  • disobedience to God about ANYTHING
  • living in worry and anxiety instead of faith in Christ

If we don’t realize we are sinning, but continue on being deceived, we continue to cause more and more destruction in our own lives and in the lives of those around us and we will grow farther and farther away from Christ.  That is what happened to me for so long earlier in our marriage. How I WISH someone had confronted me about my sin!!!!!  Yes, it would have been painful, but it is always better to be confronted earlier rather than later about sin.

The more I continue in sin, the more my heart becomes hard until I lose all sensitivity to God’s voice

THANK GOD!!!!!

Jesus died for our sins!  His blood is MORE than sufficient to cover any sin we have committed.  That is GOOD NEWS because we are ALL wretched sinners in desperate need of the grace of God.   NONE of us can earn our way to be right with God.    God  laid our sin on His Son’s shoulders and poured out all of His wrath that we deserved onto His perfect Son so that we could receive the gift of forgiveness for every sin and eternal life with God in heaven.  Jesus is the only way to God the Father.    We can have new hearts, minds and spirits in Him.  He is able to give us NEW LIFE.  He can crucify our old sinful nature and we can put on a new man in Christ!!  WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

  • We can repent and turn from every sin.
  • We can acknowledge that our sin is wrong in God’s holy eyes.
  • We can begin moving toward Christ and accept His forgiveness and His gift of His death in our place – receiving Him as our SAVIOR.
  • We can commit ourselves to Him as LORD – submitting ourselves fully to His will and to His Lordship and seeking to please and obey Him above all else out of gratitude for all the grace, mercy and forgiveness He has given to us that we did not deserve.
  • He can fill us with His Spirit and we can find TRUE peace, contentment, satisfaction, acceptance, purpose, identity and springs of Living Water in Him!  He can empower us to live lives of obedience to His Word.

ONCE WE KNOW CHRIST JESUS AND HIS SACRIFICE FOR US – WE CANNOT GO ON DELIBERATELY SINNING!

This is a VERY sobering warning from scripture for us all!!!

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the handsof the living God.  HEBREWS 10