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.

 

 

Waiting Becomes Sweet – from the Archives

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April 04-2014

If you have read many of my previous posts – you will know that I was the dominant twin in a set of identical twins (I still am a twin!  But – not so domineering anymore. I seek to give my wonderful sister room and space to make all of their own decisions without my “help” now).  I am a pharmacist (working 1/2-1 day/week now).  I usually made all As in school and college and I had to have HIGH As.  I tended to be a perfectionist – to the point I would make myself sick over my grades.  And I am probably a bit OCD – not that you’d be able to tell if you saw my house right now.  But I like ZERO clutter.  I love not seeing a lot of junk around the house and get a real high from getting rid of stuff and having glorious free space.  I am a type A, go-getter.  I know what I want and I know it immediately.  I know how to get what I want (or at least I think I do!).  I don’t wait around – I do it and get it done!

 

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:15

 

LEARNING TO WAIT

Two months before Greg and I really hit our stride with me figuring out respect and stepping down out of the way for him to lead – I had an important conversation with God.  Not a fun one, but a necessary one.

I like to MOVE.  I like to GO.  I like to feel like I am making progress.  I like to travel at 100 mph and feel like I am doing something “useful for God.”  I used to try to drag my husband along.  Turns out that doesn’t work!  At all.  So I finally just stopped in July of 2010 (after I had been studying respect and submission for about a year and a half) and said:

Ok, God.  I can see that I have been running way ahead of You.  Again.  Like usual.  I want SO much to do great things for You!  I want to serve You in BIG ways!  I want to give all of myself to You and do important things in Your kingdom!  But right now, my husband doesn’t seem interested in that stuff.  I can’t make him want to give to orphans or adopt children or move to Africa to be missionaries.  And maybe it’s not my job to try to lead him like I have been trying to do.  I’ve been going about this all wrong.  He’s supposed to be in charge spiritually, not me.  I’m afraid if he’s in charge, we will never go anywhere.  But You are clearly showing me that You want him in charge, not me.  Maybe there are worse things than us going nowhere.

Ok, God.  I am going to stop running ahead.  I am going to stop trying to force things to happen the way I think they should.  I am going to (gasp! – cringe!!!) WAIT.  I am going to wait right here geographically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually until You direct me to move.  I want to do things Your way now.  I am going to listen to my husband.  I am going to trust that You will lead me through him.  So I will take his direction as if it was coming from Your very lips.  And if he is leading and  doesn’t direct me to go anywhere – I am going to sit right here, waiting on You and waiting on him until I am 80 years old if I have to.  That will be ok.  I want what You want.  I want it in Your time and Your way.  I will wait on You. 

I trust You to lead me through my husband.  And if we don’t go anywhere, and that is Your will for me – then I will accept that.”

A NEW BEGINNING

This was not an easy conversation for me to have with God.  But I knew I had to do it His way.

So I was still.

I waited on God.

I quit running way ahead.

Within 2 months, Greg and I had a HUGE breakthrough in our marriage that tore down the remaining walls of disrespect and misunderstanding and we have not had another significant disagreement or misunderstanding since then to date!?!?  We’ve had a few tiny bumps, but they last for about an hour or less and we are able to resolve things right away and everything is right again.

Things began to change RAPIDLY.  But the funny thing was – I was still.  I was at peace.  I was patient….  Maybe you don’t know me very well so that doesn’t really have the impact that it should so I just have to reiterate… I was patient!  ME!?!?  It was a supernatural God kind of patience and a supernatural God kind of peace I had never known before just swept over my soul, took up residence and has been camping here with me all day every day since then. And I LOVE it!

I sat still.  I waited.  Nothing horrible happened.  The world did not collapse or spin off of its axis.

I saw God change our marriage.  I saw God change my husband.  My passive, unplugged husband who seemed miles away emotionally and spiritually for so long began to revive, plug in and draw close to me – and to God.  He began to be the man I fell in love with again.  He started looking at me and smiling at me again.  He started to care about my feelings again.  He began to want to do something to help me if I was sad (which wasn’t nearly as often anymore!).  And he loves to see me happy more than anything.  I watched God transform him and make him blossom into a godly leader, a man of initiative, a man of conviction, courage, integrity, selflessness and a man who would lay down his life for me and our children.  Sometimes it was little steps, and sometimes it was BIG leaps and bounds that would take my breath completely away. Each day held its own new surprises.

A NEW WAY OF LIFE

Instead of me deciding how things would go and steamrolling my husband with how things would be,  I began to tell God and my husband what I wanted and how I felt and then leaving things in their hands.  And I was at peace!??!!?  It was CRAZY!  And WONDERFUL!  Who knew this was possible!?!?!  I sure didn’t before. The more I understood God’s sovereignty, the more I could just sit back, praise God, praise my husband, rest in God’s love, rest in my husband’s love and wait with excitement and anticipation to see what they worked out between the two of them.  Even when things looked scary, I had faith and trust in them and depended on them to make the decisions that were in our family’s best interests.  And they did.

WHILE I WAIT

I do a lot of praying, reading scripture, studying about God’s design for marriage, godly femininity and family.  I have my ears open for God’s voice all through each day, looking for opportunities He gives me to share His love and truth with others.  Each day just brims over with opportunities.  I sing praises to God out loud while I clean – instead of worrying obsessively like I used to.  I sing praises to God in my heart while I drive or work.  I think of things to write on my blog instead of constantly trying to figure out how to lead the family like I used to. I think of things to thank God for about Himself and about my husband and my life.  I dwell on the good things.  I am full of hope, joy, peace and faith.  I pray for others continually.  But I am not carrying the weight of the outcome like I used to try to do.

It is a busy life, an active life, but a peaceful and still one at the same time.  And I truly have a gentle, peaceful, quiet spirit that does not give way to fear every day – because God has given it to me!  What a precious gift!  He gives good gifts to His children!!

THE DESTINATION ISN’T THE BIGGEST THING

The waiting is about enjoying and savoring the journey.  It reminds me of when Greg took me to Colorado for our 10th anniversary in 2004.  I LOVE travelling with my husband and exploring new places.  We would drive and explore different mountain ranges all day and find a hotel on the GPS each night around supper time and stay somewhere spontaneously.  I didn’t know exactly where he would take me.  Everything was a surprise and an adventure.  We enjoyed each moment. We talked and laughed and looked at God’s beautiful creation with wide-eyed wonder.  We savored our relationship and the lazy time together.  When our flight was delayed and we ended up staying an extra day – we revelled in the chance to be together alone a little bit longer before heading back to see our sweet baby boy.  We used the time of waiting to focus on our intimacy, our relationship, our love for each other.  What a great way to use waiting time!  Then you are not just wasting time, you are LIVING!

That is how I view waiting with my husband and God now.

  • I am relishing being in their presence.
  • I am savoring the relationship.
  • I want to know both of them more.
  • I want to be one with them.
  • They are in charge of the destination.
  • I am just enjoying the ride and soaking up all the attention, love, adoration and unity.

It is romantic, exciting, and every day is an adventure because I am no longer in control!  God and my husband love to surprise and delight me.  And I adore all that they do for me and thank them for what they do. What freedom!  What weight has been lifted from my shoulders!  I LOVE NOT TRYING TO BE IN CONTROL!!!!!!!!  I LOVE GOD AND MY HUSBAND BEING IN CONTROL!   It is the most wonderful experience I have ever had.  I never want to go back to the old way.

I have to share this with other wives!  It is TOO WONDERFUL to keep to myself!

Lord,

I pray You will help each of us to wait on You and enjoy serving, praising and trusting You while we wait!  Let us have a deeply intimate relationship with You and our husbands.  Let us be women of great peace, with gentle and still spirits that do not give way to fear.  Let us trust completely in You and let our husbands see our faith in them.  Inspire us to be the women You long for us to be and let our husbands be the men You long for them to be.  Let us raise our children to know and love You and to be faithful servants of Christ!

Amen!!

 

FINDING REST FOR OUR SOULS IN CHRIST – David Platt

– We give all of our sin to Him.

– He gives us FULL pardon.

– We give Him all of our inability to obey God.

– He gives us all of His ability to obey God.

To Tell… or Not to Tell?

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Deciding whether or not to tell your husband about what God is teaching you about respect, biblical submission and becoming a godly wife is an important, and sometimes tricky, decision.

My prayer is that you will hear God’s voice and obey Him.  I also pray that every word I share might be in total alignment with God’s Word  – but I ask you to always compare anything I say or anything anyone else says with the Bible before you accept it.  If you see me say something that does not line up with God’s Word, please call me out on it.  I only want to exalt Christ – I don’t ever want to detract from His wisdom and His Word.

WHAT FITS BEST WILL DEPEND ON YOUR SITUATION, YOUR MARRIAGE and YOUR HUSBAND:

  1. If your husband is far from God, then I Peter 3:1-6 is your primary directive from God about how to handle this situation.

3 Wives, in the same way (as all believers are to submit to government authorities and believing slaves are to submit to their masters in Peter 2) 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 wiveswhen they see the purity and reverence of your lives.Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet (stilled or peaceful) spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 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, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

If your husband “does not believe the Word” or “is disobedient to the Word” then

God tells you very plainly –

WORDS about spiritual things won’t work on your husband right now.

Avoid talking about spiritual things to your husband because that is NOT the way to influence him for Christ.  Husbands who are far from God don’t need our lecturing, nagging, preaching and verbal beating over the head – in fact, the more we try to verbally drag them and force them towards God and towards us, the more they will run the other way!

Our husbands need to see our behavior, our attitude, our respect and the way we live holy lives in front of them constantly in the power of God’s Spirit.  The thing that will most profoundly draw a husband to Jesus is his wife’s cooperative attitude with his God-given authority (if he is not asking her to blatantly sin), her genuine respect for him as a man (of anything that is good in him), and the power of the fruit of the Spirit in her life.

I have seen many wives decide to tell their unbelieving husband about doing The Respect Dare or about what they are learning – but the problem is that an unsaved husband doesn’t have spiritual wisdom to discern the things of God.  He will not understand what you are doing or why.  It may even turn him off to God.

An unsaved husband cannot understand the concepts of dying to self, picking up our cross daily to kill our own pride and sinful nature and to live in the new self in Christ.  That is foolishness to an unbelieving man.  (These things also apply to extended family members.  Other people may not support what you are doing, that is going to have to be ok.  Some of them may even think you have joined a “cult” because you want to respect your husband and allow him to lead you and you aren’t doing what they want you to do anymore.  It can be tough! But you have a covenant with your husband, not with your parents, siblings or friends.  Do Not Expect Outside Support.)

What WILL impact him is when his wife:

  • forgives freely
  • extends grace and mercy that is completely undeserved by him
  • believes in him and sees the best in him
  • desires to trust him or to learn to trust him
  • has supernatural peace instead of being freaked out and anxious all the time
  • has faith in the sovereignty of God to lead her through her husband, though he is a sinner
  • repays evil with good
  • approaches him with respect
  • sees and focuses on the good things that are in him
  • loves him with a I Corinthians, unconditional agape love and respects him just because he is her husband and she wants to honor God
  • is vulnerable, clearly asking for what she needs and clearly saying how she feels and what she wants without any manipulation
  • seeks to respect him and honor him only to please God NOT to change him or control him (SUPER IMPORTANT POINT!)
  • appreciates the things he does for her
  • learns to understand his masculine heart and needs
  • is able to empathize with him
  • acts like she is on his team instead of like she (and God) are his enemies
  • builds him up with her words and actions
  • is joyfully available to him sexually (unless he is involved in infidelity or something equally significant and is unrepentant)
  • understands he may need time to think about his decisions – doesn’t pressure or rush him
  • assumes he has good motives towards her, not evil motives

SOME HUSBANDS EXPECT TOO MUCH:

Sometimes, when a wife shares all that she is learning – a husband will suddenly hold her to perfection in the whole respect and biblical submission thing.   Respect is a concept that comes easily to most men, and they don’t understand the spiritual and emotional contortion that is involved in unlearning decades of “the wrong way of thinking, speaking and acting” and learning all of God’s ways.  Most husbands do not realize all that is involved in tearing out the sinful nature, dying to self, recognizing and repenting of all idols, pride and sin, and what is involved in God completely renovating our hearts and regenerating our spirits.  It is not usually an instant thing.  This is the process of sanctification.  Some husbands get really upset once their wives begin to learn about respect and biblical submission and talk about it – and then mess up.  In fact, sometimes they get MORE upset about disrespect and controlling behavior once their wives have repented and said they want to be respectful than they did before.

The thing is, especially at first, you will stumble sometimes.  You will fall and then you have to get back up, repent to God and your husband, learn what you can from your mistake and keep going towards the goal of becoming the woman God wants you to be.  Ideally, a husband would offer plenty of grace and encouragement to his wife as she struggles to grow and learn.  But not all husbands are at that place spiritually to be able to extend mercy and grace yet.

SOME WIVES WANT AFFIRMATION THAT THEIR HUSBANDS CANNOT GIVE THEM

It is REALLY hard not to want your husband to notice all you are doing.  You will want him to tell you that you are doing so much better when you don’t ream him out for something that you usually would have given him a lot of grief about.

Keep in mind you are seeking to please Christ.  That is THE GOAL.  You are not trying to change your husband or make him love you more or feel more loved yourself.  This is a hard thing to let go of  – wanting our husband to notice what we are doing and praise us.  But it is something we have to let go during this process of dying to self.

I have a post about it linked at the bottom of this post.

IN THE BEGINNING, WE MUST USE  GREAT CAUTION IN WHAT WE SAY – we may still not have a handle on what is disrespectful/respectful yet.

It is VERY possible, maybe even probable, that in the beginning of this journey, a wife might inadvertently explain what she is learning in a way that is disrespectful!  A wife who is just learning about respect and disrespect, is prone to say things like:

  • So, I’m learning that I have to respect you even though you don’t deserve it at all.
  • God wants me to follow you as the leader in this marriage even though you make a lot of really bad decisions.
  • I’m supposed to not say anything when I think you are doing something really stupid.
  • I actually don’t respect you, but I want you to love me more, so I am going to try to act like I respect you from now on, but it is going to be really hard for me to do that.

I hope that you are able to see that these kinds of comments are HUGE, HUGE disrespect and that if a wife says something like this, she just caused MASSIVE damage to her intimacy with her husband and the unity of the marriage.  I really don’t want to see that happen!

IF YOU AREN’T SURE IF WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY/WRITE IS RESPECTFUL, CHECK WITH ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO!   Leave me a comment.  I will be glad to look at what you want to say and do my best to check it for inadvertent disrespect or control.  Ultimately, what matters most is not my opinion – but God’s wisdom.

2. If your husband is very close to Christ – you may have more freedom to share details of this journey.

  • The closer your husband is to God, the more his godly leadership can help you on this road
  • The closer your husband is to God, the more you can probably tell him and he may be able to help guide you through some of these difficult areas

WHAT DID I PERSONALLY DO?

I apologized for my disrespect as soon as I was aware of it in December of 2008.  And as I learned more and more things I had done that were controlling and disrespectful, I apologized.  But I did not go into detail about all the horrible things I used to think about my husband and how hard it was to learn to drop the criticizing, negativity, lecturing, bossing, insulting, etc…  I also did not talk about how foreign and awkward it felt to try to say positive things.  I didn’t talk about all the negative things I wanted to say as I was learning to stop the disrespect.  I apologized when I messed up.  I got back up and sought God with all my heart.   Much later, I talked with my husband about what was happening and what God was teaching me – as I began to teach other women – at his request.

But my husband only saw the changes on the outside – he didn’t know what was happening on the inside.  For his perspective, check out this post – When She Surrendered.

RELATED:

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

I Want Some Affirmation from My Husband!

Taking the First Brave Step Toward Peace

Peacefulwife Videos on Youtube

God Understands Why Men Don’t Respond to Words

The Respect Dare, Day 16 – A Sink Full of Dishes

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

THE DISHES IN THE SINK

Unfortunately, I have a story to share about how I did NOT use words to bless and benefit and build up my husband.  Well, I have many stories, but I am going to share one that I definitely regret.  It is a good example of what NOT to do!

One day, I came home from working as a pharmacist for 10 hours around 7:15pm – it must have been about 12-13 years ago.   I walked into the house and smelled something wonderful wafting into the hallway from the kitchen.   Greg generously had cooked a big supper for us.  This was before we had any children.  I walked into the kitchen grateful that supper was ready.

Then I saw the sink.

It seemed like almost every pot and pan we owned was in the sink needing to be washed.

Greg proudly told me that he had supper ready.  And when he saw me look at the sink, he said happily, “And look, I rinsed off the dishes for you!”  He clearly believed he had done well and had been thoughtful.

I snapped at him sarcastically, “Yeah, that’s just GREAT!  You get a C+.  You didn’t finish the job.  I still have to wash all of those dishes and I still have to dry them.”

I knew that I would not leave dishes for him to wash, and I was angry that he didn’t wash the dishes the way I would have.  See – I was clearly “right” and he was clearly “wrong.”  That was how I looked at it then.

His face fell.

  • I can’t remember if I thanked him for making supper for me.
  • I definitely didn’t thank him for rinsing the dishes.
  • I didn’t ask politely if he would please also wash the dishes after supper.
  • I just fumed.

Eventually, Greg helped me a lot less around the house after I treated him with such negativity and criticism when he was helping me with chores.

 

TODAY:

Now, my husband is folding and sorting and putting away laundry as I type this post.  I didn’t ask him to.  He is just doing it all on his own.  I just thanked him enthusiastically for all his help.

If my husband does laundry, dishes, helps with the children, mows the lawn, works on my car, works on the house, kills a big roach or spider, brings me something from the flea market, makes supper, rinses the dishes, clears the table, takes me out to eat, cuddles with me -ANYTHING – I THANK HIM and SMILE!

  • I politely, pleasantly, respectfully ask for what I want and need.
  • I allow my husband to decide to say yes or no.
  • I don’t try to force him to do things my way.
  • I refrain from criticism.
  • I express appreciation when he does help me.
  • I accept no graciously.
  • I also understand that his time table is slower than mine many times, so I don’t rush him if he says he is going to do something.
  • I just trust him and wait patiently.
  • If he doesn’t do something – I don’t make a big deal out of it.
  • I seek to have a servant’s heart and serve and love and respect seeking to please Christ alone.

I let him do things his way and do not demand that he must do things my way

If I realize I did or said something disrespectful – I immediately apologize and do not justify myself or explain myself.  I just say, “Oh!  I am so sorry.  That was disrespectful of me.”  Then I try to start over again with a respectful attitude.

THE DARE:

– Let’s use our words to bless, thank, appreciate, encourage, lift up, build up and praise our men sincerely.

– Let’s focus on what is done well more than on the negatives.

– When we do mess up, let’s apologize quickly for our disrespect without justifying ourselves and get back up and keep going.

– From Nina Roesner in The Respect Dare, “Let’s refuse to find fault in (anyone)… the rest of the day.”

RELATED:

How to Ask Your Husband for Things So He Will Want to Say Yes – Youtube video 13 minutes (my son helped me on this one!)

Won’t I Lose My Voice in My Marriage if I Respect My Husband and Biblically Submit to Him?  Youtube video – 10 minutes

How to See God do BIG Things in Your Marriage – Youtube video 6 minutes

The Respect Dare, Day 3 – My Godly Wife Report Card

class

The Respect Dare, Day 3 – Nina Roesner poses some questions to wives to assess how they are doing in a number of areas of their lives.  They are GREAT questions!!!

She asks some probing questions about how we are doing as disciples of Christ, as household managers,  as communicators, and as confident and assured women.

To get the most out of The Respect Dare – I would strongly suggest

  • only doing ONE dare each day.
  • it’s ok if you have to skip days sometimes if necessary.
  • write down your answers on paper and really think about your answers to her questions.

You are welcome to share any of your answers to The Respect Dare questions or any thoughts about the questions on my post today.

What is God most speaking to your heart?

Is there something He would like to change in you?

What feelings are you having?

What concerns do you have?

What would happen if God helped you to grow a lot in some of these weaker areas in the next 3 months – what would that mean for your relationship with Christ and your husband?

I HAVE MY OWN TEST TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY:

Here is a great test to see where you are as as a godly wife and woman in God’s eyes.

** Caution!!!**

This may be painful.  Whenever there are things God wants to convict us about – it is definitely painful.  I am not asking questions to bring guilt or worldly sorrow that leads to death.   My prayer is that if God shows you something that He desires to change in your life, that you might be open to His Spirit working in you.  The pain can be intense at first, but then if you have godly sorrow over your sin, that leads to humility, true repentance and then the ABUNDANT LIFE of Christ and spiritual riches and treasures beyond your wildest imagination!

In Christ, you can truly be set free from your sinful nature and from specific sins and live in the power of His Spirit with His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control flooding through your soul and bursting out of your life every day.  That is the life I want for you and that is the life God wants for you.  Thankfully, He shows us the way to get there!

Please get out a piece of paper and mark a tally for any of these items on Part 1 that apply in your heart about your marriage on a daily or weekly basis:

PART 1

  1.  I think about divorce sometimes, or fantasize about leaving my husband.  I think marrying this man was a mistake.
  2.  I imagine being with a better man, thinking that my problems would be solved if I just had a great husband.
  3. I drown my disappointment and pain in alcohol/drugs/workaholism/perfectionism/control/spending money/addictions.
  4. I set my heart on things that I just KNOW will make me happy.  If I could just have X, I would be content and everything would be great.
  5. I have a lot of anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness towards my husband and maybe towards other people, too.  I hold grudges.
  6. I want to forgive sometimes, but it just seems impossible to really forgive.  I have been hurt too much.
  7. I talk about my husband in a negative way to other people.  I feel like I am trapped and powerless to do anything to change my situation – and I just have to get the weight of all of this off of my chest by venting to my friends, family and coworkers.  Then they’ll see how wrong my husband is and they will understand why I have to act the way I do.
  8. I encourage other wives to talk negatively about their husbands.
  9. I am primarily concerned with my rights, my desires, my wants and getting my way.  If I don’t get what I want, I am going to explain why I should get what I want until my husband until he gives me what I want.  I am pretty insistent on doing things my way.
  10. If I am provoked, I will scream, cuss, throw things, call names or say hateful things to my husband and maybe even to other people in my life.  If people would just treat me right, I would be able to be more respectful.
  11. I compare my husband to other men a lot, and I compare my life to the lives of others and feel like I have gotten a rotten deal in life.  I deserve so much more than this.
  12. I look at porn or flirt with other men or message/email/text/call/visit with other men.  I like the attention other men give me.  My husband never compliments me anymore.  I need some male attention.  Flirting never hurt anyone.  I know I would never have an affair, so it’s no big deal.
  13. I like to dress to turn other men’s heads.
  14. I like to use sarcasm and am pretty skilled at making my husband the target of my jokes and criticism.
  15. I often point out the things my husband does wrong to others.
  16. I complain when I don’t like something.
  17. I have a lot of regrets about how I treat people.
  18. I want things to be perfect, and tend to focus on things that aren’t right in others and in our home so I can fix them and make things as perfect as possible.
  19. I tell God that my husband needs to change and needs to change NOW.  He is impossible to live with.  He’s unloving and unplugged or, he’s unloving and mean.
  20. My husband is not a good spiritual leader.  I tell him all the things he needs to do to be more godly, but he won’t listen to me.  Nothing seems to change.
  21. If I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to have it.
  22. I withhold myself sexually from my husband to teach him a lesson many times, to show him he can’t treat me the way he does.
  23. I only give myself sexually to my husband when I am in the mood or if I want something from him.
  24. I believe that I am always right and my husband is always wrong.  If he would just do what I say, everything would be fine!
  25. When I am hormonal, I feel totally out of control and I think, say and do the most awful things.
  26. If my husband doesn’t like my best friend, I continue to visit and talk with her as much as I want to.  After all, she and I have been BFFs longer than my husband and I have been married.
  27. I expect my husband to make me happy and be responsible for my emotions.  If I am upset, it is his job to fix it.
  28. My mind is always swirling with worry and fear about the future and how I am going to make things work out right.
  29. I only have peace for a few moments, and then my mind uncontrollably keeps playing the same “videos” over and over again of things people have done to hurt me or things that I am worried and afraid about.  I feel very anxious a lot of times.
  30. I expect to be treated like the heroine in a romantic movie or like a Disney princess by my husband.  I wish he would be as romantic as the men in romance novels and movies.
  31. If I don’t make things work out right, everything will be a disaster.
  32. I am very concerned about what my parents and my husband’s parents, our siblings and friends think.  I try to make everyone around me happy. It is exhausting!  I hate for other people to be upset with me.
  33. If I don’t tell my husband what to do and how to do it, everything will fall apart!

Please start a new section or column and make a tally mark beside all of these items in Part 2 that generally apply on a frequent (weekly or daily) basis in your life:

PART 2

  1. I am able to respond gently with love and respect even when my husband is unloving or unkind to me.
  2. I have joy and peace in Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  3. It is really important to me to spend significant amounts of time in prayer and in God’s Word every day.  I can’t make it without that time!
  4. I have my heart completely set on Jesus – I want HIM, His will and His glory more than anything else in my life by a long shot.
  5. I rarely lose my temper with my husband.
  6. I understand how to treat my husband with respect and seek to show him unconditional respect out of reverence for God and His Word.
  7. I set an atmosphere of peace in our home.  Our home is emotionally and spiritually an oasis and sanctuary for my husband and family.
  8. I do not raise my voice at my husband or roll my eyes or sigh when I disagree with him.  I know I am responsible to God for my response to my husband no matter what my husband has done to me.
  9. I appreciate my husband and am thankful for him on a daily basis.
  10. I practice gratitude towards God daily for the countless number of blessings He has given me.
  11. If my husband has concerns, I listen to him carefully and try to cooperate with his wisdom.
  12. I view suffering as an opportunity to grow in my faith and to draw nearer to Christ and shine for Him.
  13. When my husband is having a bad day, I try to think of something I can do to cheer him up, surprise him or take some stress off of his shoulders.  Or, I know when I need to leave him alone and give him the gift of space and quiet so he can think and process.  I am gracious about this gift.  I don’t resent him needing some time to himself.
  14. I like serving my husband.  It’s an honor.  I’m glad to do it.
  15. My goal is to please Christ, and after that, to please my husband – the opinions of other people don’t really matter much to me compared to seeking praise from God.  If other family or friends or coworkers disapprove of me or my husband or are upset with me, I am able to seek to love them and treat them with respect but I am not devastated if I don’t have others’ approval.
  16. I see the good in other people, including my husband, and use my words to praise, encourage and affirm others.
  17. I am thankful for the chance to make our house a home and to take care of it.  It is a way I show love and respect for my husband and family.
  18. I don’t freak out about small things, but am able to roll with the punches and be flexible when unexpected problems crop up.
  19. I don’t get upset if my husband leaves a mess sometimes.  I’m so glad he’s in my life and we get to live together.
  20. If I want something, I ask for what I want politely and respectfully with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.
  21. If I don’t get what I want, I am gracious and accepting of “no” and “wait.”  I am more concerned with God’s will than my will.
  22. If things go wrong, I am generally able to respond with grace, peace and joy and keep things in proper perspective.
  23. I am careful not to develop close friendships with other men. I guard and protect my heart and my marriage.
  24. If my husband responds to me harshly, I answer gently.
  25. I understand that Hollywood and romantic novels do not portray real life.  I avoid those things if they create a spirit of discontentment in my heart.
  26. I speak highly of my husband to other people.
  27. I very rarely argue with or complain to my husband.
  28. I have faith in my husband.  I know I can trust him. (Or, I am working to rebuild lost trust and I want to learn to trust him again.)
  29. I have faith that God will lead me through my husband, even if my husband sometimes makes mistakes.
  30. I trust God to speak to my husband and grow him spiritually without me having to verbally prod him or lecture my husband about spiritual things.  If my husband is far from God right now, I don’t talk about spiritual things, the Bible or church.  I allow my glowing joy in Christ, my spirit of willing cooperation with my husband’s leadership and my genuine respect for the good in my husband to draw him to Christ.  I trust God to open my husband’s spiritual eyes.  I know that only God can change people and waken them to His truth.
  31. I trust most of my husband’s decisions and cooperate with him often.
  32. I try to have a spirit of saying, “yes!” to things that are important to my husband.
  33. I give myself freely and joyfully to my husband sexually.  I don’t withhold myself.
  34. I am trustworthy.
  35. I am responsible with money, time, our children, my husband’s feelings, our home and the resources God has given to us.
  36. I consciously work to do good to my husband no matter what happens.
  37. I watch my words, my tone of voice, my facial expressions and my actions to be sure that I bless my husband and don’t become nasty, hateful, unkind or negative.
  38. I trust God in His sovereignty to work everything out ultimately for my good (by His definition) and for His glory, so I don’t freak out when bad things happen.  I know that God is in control and I can’t lose.  I might have to suffer or go through pain, but as long as I have God’s Spirit, I know I will be ok.
  39. I don’t worry about the future.  I take my needs and concerns to God and my husband and I leave the weight of the problems there and trust God and my husband to figure things out.  I say what I want and what I believe is best.  I share my perspective with God and my husband.  Then I rest in God’s love and peace, trusting His wisdom.  And I rest in my husband’s love – trusting God to lead me through him.

This test comes from Galatians 5:19-23.  It reveals whether my sinful nature or God’s Spirit is in control of my life. 

  • Part 1 shows what I am like when my sinful nature has control. 
  • Part 2 is what I am like when God’s Spirit has control.

How did you do on the quiz?

If you checked ANY of the items in Part 1 –  WOW!  Do I relate to you!

I could have probably only checked items in Part 1 for the first 15 years of my marriage.  That is because my sinful nature was in very firmly in control back then.  I had no idea how to have a Spirit-filled life.  I thought I was living as a strong Christian.  Unfortunately, a lot of the fruit of my life did not support my belief that I was living in God’s power and walking in obedience to Him.

If I have ANY checks in Part 1, those are areas where God wants to work and radically change my heart and mind.  He wants me to die to my old sinful self, nail it to the cross, and live in the new self that Christ gives me.

Don’t worry – we will walk this road together. 

God is about to do some amazing things in your life if you are willing to trust Him! 

It’s about to get good. 🙂

If you only checked items in Part 2 – you probably know most of what I am going to share already.  Obviously, God is very much at work in your life and His Spirit is in control.  That is AWESOME!  I pray that God might continue to work in you to make you more and more like Christ.

God desires us ALL to be wives who live only in the Part 2 area every day.  We can’t do this on our own.

But if we trust God, seek Him above all else and allow Him to empower us – He can and will transform each of us into the godly women of His dreams!

This is a process.  The process of sanctification.  The process of God transforming us into the image of Christ.  It is not instantaneous.  That’s ok.  Just be open to God and willing to do things His way each baby step of the way.  Get up when you stumble.  Repent and turn back to Him humbly.  Seek and desire Jesus above everything.  He will do the changing.

A Challenge for You, Ladies! :)

screaming woman

Let’s allow God to help us

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

into an instrument of healing and blessing.

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

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

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

Philippians 2:14-16.

MY STORY

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

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

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

PHASES

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CHALLENGE

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

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

– I am NOT going to argue with anyone about anything

– I am not going to complain about anything.

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

I may:

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

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

– use wholesome speech to build others up

– say positive things

– say thankful things

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

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

EXAMPLE:

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

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

Does that make sense?

A SECRET

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

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

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

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

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

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

– what surprises were there?

– what was the hardest part?

– how did your interactions with others change?

– did anyone treat you differently?

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

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

A Peacefulwife VIDEO!

 

My Old Ways vs. My New Ways.

For those of you who have missed out on my Facebook videos – here is a brand new one – my first on my blog!  WOOHOO!

You are welcome to comment or ask questions on the post.