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My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing

Reminder – I have a conference in Eaton, Ohio February 25th and a conference in Columbia, South Carolina March 24th-25th. You are most welcome to come!

Marriage meets many needs and fulfills a number of purposes in our lives, in our families, the church, and in society. A healthy marriage:

  • Brings stability to society.
  • Teaches the next generation how to have healthy relationships.
  • Is to be a safe place to raise children and for them to learn what love is.
  • Can meet both spouse’s needs for companionship.
  • Can be a place of wonderful friendship.
  • Is the only place where God condones and celebrates sex.
  • Can be a place of romance and fun.
  • Can provide financial stability and resources.

But there is an even greater purpose for marriage that I can’t ever forget.

God’s greatest purpose in marriage is that marriage is supposed to display the gospel of Christ and it is to bring great glory and honor to Him.

My marriage is about so much more than just me. It is about much more than just my husband or just our children. It is ultimately about something infinitely higher.

  • Marriage is to be a living parable demonstrating the relationship between Christ and the church where the husband is to portray the love, humility, selflessness, and sacrificial leadership of Christ. The wife is to portray the honor, respect, and submission of the church for Christ. (Eph. 5:22-33)
  • When we as wives focus on our role and what God calls us to do – the gospel is exalted – and the same is true when husbands focus on the role God gives to them and walking in submission to Christ as Lord.
  • If we choose to disrespect our husbands and dishonor God’s design for us as wives and for marriage, we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5)

This is a very lofty goal, my precious sisters. Marriage is no longer about me being happy,  me having my way all the time, or me having control. It is not about my husband being the most important thing or about me seeking to please him at any cost. It is about me completely yielding my heart, my mind, my life, all that I am, all that I desire, all of my fears, all of my purposes, my marriage, and my family to God to accomplish His purposes. Whatever He sees fit. My eyes have to be on eternity and God’s kingdom now – not just today or this lifetime.

Now my heart’s cry is:

Not my will, but Yours be done! Luke 22:42

As an individual believer in Christ, my purpose in life is similar.

  • I am to bring glory to God far above anything else. (1 Cor. 10:31)
  • I am to seek His will far above my own. (Luke 22:42)
  • I am to count myself dead to sin and this world and alive to God through Christ. (Romans 6:11)
  • I am to take up my cross daily. (Luke 9:23)
  • I am to be completely at God’s disposal, His trusted, faithful servant, willing to do anything He may ask of me. (John 14:22-24)
  • I am to view suffering as God’s tool to refine me and to grow my faith. (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-8, 1 Peter 4:12-19)

This changes everything about how I relate to my husband (and everyone else, but we will focus on marriage in this post).

Now I don’t need to ask questions like:

The funny thing is, when I asked questions like this and my heart was not wholeheartedly yielded to God’s, I actually sabotaged my marriage. I kept God out because I didn’t trust Him. Then I was upset because my marriage was a mess. What a confused girl I was!

The scariest place in the world to me now is to trust self and to not trust God. When I yield everything to God and I am in fellowship with Him and His Spirit fills me, He also pours His healing and the spiritual treasures of heaven into my life and through me into my family and those around me. He withholds no good thing from those who belong to Him.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Note  – the only way my walk can be blameless is when I allow God’s Spirit to live in and through me to empower me to obey Him.

Now I ask questions like:

Real peace comes as I know and love Christ wholeheartedly and as I trust Him completely with everything.

God’s Spirit can give us the power to stay when we may not feel like staying because we can look with an eternal perspective rather than an earthly one when we are abiding in Christ. He can give us the ability to love when maybe our husbands don’t deserve it. He can give us the power to treat our men with honor, dignity, and genuine respect – not because our husbands deserve it – but because Jesus deserves our utmost reverence and we want to submit to His Lordship completely.

When I am willing to obey God and I am filled to overflowing with His Spirit, His wisdom, and His power – there is no stopping God! He loves to do miracles and move mountains for those who fully trust Him. But I don’t love Him so that He will do what I want Him to do. I love Him and trust Him to do what He knows is best. I can ask Him to change my desires to match His.

His wisdom is infinitely greater than mine. I can rest in Him and His love and sovereignty no matter what my situation. I can trust His promises to me and anticipate how He is going to bring great good from even the most awful situations because He promised to do just that for those who love Him in Romans 8:28-29.

RELATED:

Verses on Suffering

Verses on the Lordship of Christ

Verses on Taking Up Our Cross

How to Stay Filled with the Spirit

Spiritual Authority

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

What about wives who truly are in danger?

For those who are in very dangerous situations, the goal is still God’s greatest glory. His Word still applies. You still have His love. You are not beyond God’s reach! I pray that you will seek godly counsel and wisdom one-on-one from a trusted Christian counselor or pastor. Pray, seek to hear and obey God’s prompting for you.

I don’t know exactly what God desires every wife to do in every situation. But God has the wisdom each one needs. I don’t want to see anyone hurt or killed. I hate abuse and God sure hates abuse. There should not be hatred, rage, or violence in our relationships as believers.

God’s Word does provide for separation when something very serious is going on that can’t be resolved – in 1 Cor. 7:10-16 – but it is not to be entered into flippantly or without significant reason. This is not God’s primary plan and design for marriage. If we take such a step, as believing wives, we want to be SURE that we are doing so because it is necessary not just that we are unhappy, feeling unloved, or that things are just really hard. Marriage is a covenant between God, my husband, and myself. I want to keep my end of it until death do us part – may God help me to do so!

 

 

When "Submit" Feels Like a Dirty Word – by Shannon Popkin

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Bio

Shannon Popkin is a speaker and writer from Grand Rapids, MI. Shannon enjoys blending her love for humor and storytelling with her passion for God’s Word. Shannon’s first book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From 7 Women in The Bible will be published by Kregel Publications in 2016/2017. Check out Shannon’s blog at www.ShannonPopkin.com, where she shares “Tiny Paragraphs” from everyday life as a wife and mom, which are tucked back into the One True Story of God.

shannonpopkin

By: Shannon Popkin

God doesn’t use swear words; I know this full well. But if I’m honest, the word “submit”—which God uses often when He instructs wives—sometimes feels like a dirty word.

Picture this. You’re at the mall, and you see a husband and wife who are obviously having an argument. Their body language is terse and their tone is sharp. The wife looks frustrated and angry, as she folds her arms across her chest and turns her back toward her husband. Should you, at that moment, approach this wife and suggest she submit to her husband?

I know I wouldn’t. But this is exactly what God does in his Word. When I am the angry, terse wife, crossing my arms—convinced that my husband just doesn’t understand, God whispers softly, “submit.” But often, as that word clanks against my iron will, I bristle. It feels degrading and insulting. I’m to submit, simply because I’m a woman? How can that be right?

God’s Curse Word

There’s another word which God did speak as a curse over women: the word “desire”. After Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God told her, “Your desire will be for your husband.” (Gen. 3:15, emphasis mine.) This word always baffled me because I thought it meant a sexual desire. I figured if I had more of that kind of desire, my husband would not consider it a curse.

Then one day, I was painting my laundry room and listening to John Piper preach a sermon on the curse of Genesis 3. He used parallel language from the next chapter in Genesis to explain that this word “desire” was a desire for control[i]. God was telling the woman that she would be cursed with a desire to control her husband. Now that did make sense to me.

With paintbrush in hand, I realized that I, too, as a daughter of Eve, am cursed with the desire to control my husband. For me, this was like finally—after a lifetime of suffering its effects—being diagnosed with a degenerative disease that had been passed on to me from generations back. Suddenly all of my symptoms made sense. I always wondered why I was so testy, obstinate, and even surly toward this man I love so desperately. Now I understood. As a daughter of Eve, I am infected with a desire to control him.

That day that I was painting the laundry room was over a decade ago. I’d love to say that understanding my “condition” has healed my desire for control, but this is not the case. As long as I live under the curse, I will struggle with a desire to get my hooks into the people I love. I have, however, gotten better at recognizing my desire for control.

 

Recognizing my Desire for Control

Recently, my husband and I were driving to our daughter’s swim meet. In the back seat was our angry tween, who was wishing he could be at a birthday party with his friends. This privilege had been revoked because of his attitude (which wasn’t improving).

I’ve noticed that my desire for control seeps beyond the bounds of marriage and into all of my relationships—especially parenting. And especially when my child is being rebellious and rude. As we drove down the highway, I felt the desire for control rising up in me. “His insolence is going to destroy his life,” I said to myself. “I’ve got to stop him. I’ve got to do something right now!”

And so I did. My swelling desire for control erupted in the form of white-hot, spewing words. My voice was loud and commanding. My words had manipulative undercurrents and harsh overstatements. I lectured. I shamed. I warned. I demanded. I gave full vent to my desire for control.

And how did my son respond? He recoiled. He folded his arms in anger and said he didn’t care. There was stubbornness, not remorse, in his tone.

Just as I began to launch round two of my lecture, my husband cut in. “Shannon, stop.”

Stop? I couldn’t stop. I shouldn’t stop! I ignored him and kept going.

“Shannon, stop.” Quietly, but forcefully, my husband put his hand on mine. “Stop. It. You’re making it worse,” he said quietly.

“No, I’m not! He needs to hear this!” I said in a loud whisper. But my husband wouldn’t back down. He calmly assured me that he would handle it. For the rest of the drive, he wanted me to be quiet. Then when we arrived, he wanted me to get out of the car and let him deal with the situation. Alone. Without me.

Well that pretty much felt like a total loss of control, especially for a Control Girl like me. My arguments were burning a hole in my heart. My son needed my correction. He needed it right now! From my dark corner in the passenger seat of our car, I cried out silently to God. Was He seeing this?

Just then, the word “submit” flashed through my conscience. It’s in moments like these that this word feels like a swear word to me. It seems degrading for God to ask me to defer to my husband. Especially when I know I’m right!

Yet I’ve learned that it rarely feels like I’m living out the curse in the moment I’m doing so. Taking control often seems right and good. And submitting to my husband feels quite wrong.

A Moment of Choice

Oh how I wanted to overrule my husband and continue my lecture. My heart was screaming with the desire for control. But rather than giving in to myself, I gave in to God.

I always picture yielding to God as a quiet, peaceful experience; yet it is some of the most grueling, challenging work of my Christian life. Yes, I was sitting quietly on my side of the car that night, but inside I was doing battle with my flesh! Stepping from that car and deferring to my husband was my way of passionately yielding to God—trusting that His ways are better than mine.

Fifteen minutes later, as I sat in the bleachers overlooking the pool, I saw what I couldn’t see back in the car. My husband was right. I had been making it worse. My heart had deceived me again. My words had been like a harsh, driving wind, causing my son to hold tighter to his pride and belligerence.

Just as a tear of remorse trickled down my cheek, my son slid onto the bleacher seat beside me. He put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a warm squeeze, saying, “I’m sorry, mom. I was so wrong. I see that now. Will you forgive me?”

Ladies First

Have you ever noticed that the wife’s instructions to respectfully submit to her husband come before her husband’s instructions in the Bible? Since he is named the leader, I would expect his instructions to come first, but it’s the opposite. (Eph. 5:22-25, Col. 3:18-19, I Pet. 3:1-7). Why is that?

I think it’s because my husband can’t lead me if I’m not willing to submit. Ken can shut down my lecture, yes. But he can’t make me submit to him. He can only invite me to. But when I do, God blesses me. Sometimes I even get the warm squeeze and apology that I was hoping for in the first place. And even when my husband doesn’t handle a situation with wisdom, or things don’t turn out well after I defer to him, God uses submission to reverse the curse—this wretched desire I have to control everything—in my heart.

Submitting to my husband is exactly what my controlling heart screams for me not to do. So when I submit (which is the opposite of taking control), I break the curse’s hold on me. I free myself to be healed of sin’s effects. I invite peace and restoration to my relationships. This is what God has in mind when He asks me to submit to my husband. He knows that my desire is to control, and He’s gently leading me to do the opposite.

Is “submit” a degrading curse word against women? Hardly. It’s actually the way that wives like me can break free from the curse, and be healed.

 

RELATED:

What Is Biblical Submission?

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Biblical Submission – a Huge Key to Peace

Can a Wife Overdo Biblical Submission? – by Nikka

The Pendulum Effect – we are all tempted to go too far one way or the other (too passive or too controlling)

Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control

What Causes a Woman to Become Controlling? – Peacefulwife Video

Overcoming Fear

Fully Trusting God with My Husband

Posts about Control – by Peacefulwife

Spiritual Authority – a general overview of a foundational doctrine

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority 

What Is Godly Spiritual Leadership?

What Biblical Headship/Submission Look Like at Our House

 

The Surprising Root of All Marriage Problems

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www.freeimages.com

 

We can justify anything if we believe we know better than God does. Pride births every other wrong in our thoughts, words, and actions.

Pride is hideously ugly when we see it in other people – and yet, it can be so insidious in our own lives. We can have it – a lot of it – and not even see it. Pride tends to blind us to our own sin.

A PRIDEFUL HEART IN MARRIAGE:

Let’s take a peak into a prideful spouse’s heart…

  • I’m always right.
  • I deserve to be waited on and served.
  • Other people, including my spouse, are here to do what I want them to do.
  • I’m better than my wife/husband is.
  • Everyone should cater to me.
  • My will and my comfort are what is important.
  • It’s my way or the highway.
  • Do what I say.
  • If you sin against me, I will leave you and try to hurt you as much as possible.
  • If you don’t meet my needs, I’ll find someone who will and I don’t care if it hurts God, you, or our family.
  • I will not forgive anyone. I deserve to hold grudges and be bitter.
  • If you hurt me, I am justified in retaliating in any way I see fit.
  • I want X, so you better make it happen.
  • People need me much more than they need God. I am the essential ingredient to the success of anything.
  • I have the wisdom that everyone else needs.
  • God is holding out on me. If I do things His way, I will miss what is best in life.
  • I want things for myself in this lifetime – treasure, fame, power, glory, attention, etc…
  • Change my spouse, Lord! He/she is not who I want him/her to be and that is inconvenient to me.

Let’s look at false humility in a spouse (which is also pride)

  • I’m not worthy of being loved by you (but I expect myself to be worthy and good in and of myself apart from Christ).
  • I’m so awful (and I expect myself to be perfect and good in my own strength, I am focused on self not God).
  • No one loves me (I will use guilt and pity to try to make people love me more but I will not look to God for my source of love, acceptance, life, peace, purpose, and help. I will try to handle it on my own. I will not receive love from God or anyone else.).
  • I’m ugly and useless (I don’t accept my identity, value, and worth in Christ because I know better than God does).
  • I shouldn’t have needs or ask for help. I should be able to handle everything totally on my own.
  • I believe that I have to hate myself, put myself down, and be totally self-sufficient to have value.
  • I am obsessed with thinking negatively about myself and do not allow God to fill me. I reject and refuse what Christ wants to do for me and offer to me.
  • If you hurt me, I will sink down into depression and self-harm. I put the approval of others before approval of God.

Pride and false humility repel those around us. They are toxic and off-putting. It is very difficult to love someone who is filled with self and prickly pride. It is equally difficult to love someone who won’t receive love and who hates themselves and are obsessed with self in a negative way.

Believers and non-believers alike are quick to see pride and false humility in others and to be disgusted by it.

Let’s look at a humble spouse’s heart…

  • Not my will, but God’s will be done and His glory be accomplished in this.
  • How may I be a blessing to my spouse and family?
  • What would most please Christ?
  • Other people, including my spouse, are here for me to learn to demonstrate the love of Christ and to learn spiritual maturity.
  • Lord, I’m totally dependent on Your wisdom and Your power every moment.
  • There is no good in me, but I no longer live – I have been crucified with Christ, now Christ lives in me and through me. Jesus gives me the power to walk in holiness and obedience so that my life might bring great glory to God alone.
  • I can put my needs on the back burner if God prompts me to so that I can be part of pouring healing into my spouse’s life.
  • People need Christ, not me. He must greatly increase and I must greatly decrease!
  • I have received unspeakable love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy from Jesus – so I have plenty of that to give to others.
  • No one can meet my deepest needs but Jesus. I need Him alone!
  • I don’t have to be right all the time. I don’t have to defend myself and win every argument.
  • My way is not always best. God’s way is.
  • If you don’t meet my needs, I will be content in Christ and trust Him to lead me and to heal our marriage. I trust Him to use times of pain and suffering to help me grow.
  • If you are involved in great unrepentant sin or I am in danger with you, I may separate but I will continue to pray for you to come to Christ and for God to heal and restore our marriage for His glory.
  • I see myself as God sees me and I receive who I am according to Scripture. I respect God, myself, and others.
  • My spouse has wisdom to offer that may be very valuable.
  • I want to store up treasures in heaven, the things of this world aren’t that important. What will matter most in eternity?
  • If you hurt me, I will respectfully confront you about it, but if you won’t repent, I will trust vengeance to God’s hands and I will seek to repay evil with good. I may also have to remove myself from the situation if you continue on in unrepentant sin and in violation of our marriage covenant (Matt. 18:15-17, I Corinthians 7).
  • I only want God to be pleased with me. I want to make the decisions that would most bring Him joy.
  • Change me, Lord! Make me more like Jesus!

PRIDE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL SIN:

What is the greatest sin? Ultimately any singular sin separates us from God for eternity unless it is “atoned” for – that is, that blood is shed to pay for that sin. We wouldn’t think that eating a piece of forbidden fruit was a “big sin,” but look at the consequences of that one “small” sin.

Any rebellion against God is a big deal. But what comes before rebellion?

A spirit of pride.

I believe that pride is the greatest danger to marriage (for both the husband and wife). How did Satan tempt Eve? He appealed to her pride and that she would be as wise or wiser than God. Wasn’t that the same temptation that caused him to fall? The desire to be equal to or greater than God?

 

I HAVE ONLY TWO CHOICES:

  1. I can imitate Satan. Pride was his primary character trait. He wanted to be equal to God. From pride came all other sins. If I enthrone Self in my life, I am serving Satan and living as his child. I believe I know best. I believe God is holding out on me and that my wisdom is greater than God’s. From this mindset of scorn toward God and His wisdom, I can justify any other sin – unforgiveness, bitterness, lust, adultery, rage, hatred, envy, jealousy, idolatry, unbelief in God, disobedience to God, stealing, sexual perversion, disrespecting God, trying to control others, greed, flirting with someone else, addictions, desiring power/fame/luxury/comfort, violence, abuse, divisions, gossip, self-righteousness, false teaching, etc…
  2. I can imitate Jesus. Humility was His primary character trait. He was God and was already equal to God but set aside His glory and heaven and entered our world humbly, considering equality with God not something He wanted to try to grasp. He made Himself in the form of a Servant. He came to serve not to be served. When I yield to Him as LORD of all in my life, I am God’s child. When I am willing to receive my death to my old self and sin and allow His Spirit to fill me, He gives me His Spirit of humility, from which all other virtues spring.

ETERNAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF PRIDE VS. HUMILITY:

  • God will humble the proud and arrogant by punishment in His timing.
  • God will exalt those who humble themselves before Him in His timing.

verses about pride

verses about humility

Quotes from Andrew Murray, “Humility”

  • “Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
  • “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue. And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil.”
  • “The truth is this: Pride must die in you or nothing of heaven can live in you. Under the banner of the truth, give yourself up to the meek and humble spirit of the holy Jesus. Humility must sow the seed or there can be no reaping in heaven. Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death and the other is life; the one is hell and the other is heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angel alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you.”

RELATED:

Free download of Andrew Murray’s book Humility

But, I’m Right!

Why Do I Have to Change First?

Totally Change Your Reality

Meekness and Humility – a Peacefulwife Video

NOTE:

If you are suffering from mental health issues, please get a check up with a trusted medical doctor and get a spiritual check up with a trusted biblical counselor. If you are interested in a spiritual check up, you may also see this post.

"If I Become a Godly Wife – Will I Be Me?" – by ContentinChrist

 

ContentinChrist answers a wife’s question about losing herself if she trusts God fully and about how God can love us unconditionally if He wants us to change:

You will be more *you* than you ever have been, when you give yourself fully to God and allow Him control of your life. I know it doesn’t seem like that, but it’s true.

I don’t know if I would look like it as God wanting you to change. The fact is the old you is gone if you have truly put your trust only and totally in Christ for your salvation. If that is true, then your sinful self (your flesh) has been crucified, dead and buried and you have been raised to new life in Christ (Romans 6). What God asks of us, then, is to live from the truth of this reality (Christ in you, with the personality, gifts, talents, etc. that He has given you). Until you begin to believe what He has said about you (you are loved completely and totally and are safe in and with Him, you are righteous in Christ, you are secure in Christ, etc., etc.) you will not have joy and peace because there is no joy and peace apart from Christ. You have to embrace all that Christ is in and for you for you to experience the freedom that Christ has already purchased for you.

I promise you, there is nothing to fear with this beautiful God who loves you. Yes, you will experience trials and yes, there will be suffering. He does not lie to us about that (isn’t that great? You can totally trust Him because He doesn’t sugar-coat things!). But, the reality is we are going to face lots of trials in this life – either way.

Not putting yourself in God’s hands doesn’t remove you from the trials and sufferings of this life.

It just removes you from the blessing of resting in His love and sovereignty…and unfortunately, it sets us up for even further suffering because we determine to do it our way and hold on to control – and have to experience the painful consequences of our own way of doing things. God is too good and loves you too much to let you stay there. Oh, and let me just bluntly call it like it is….Satan is flat-out lying to you. Sometimes, it helps just to bring that out right into the light. He is trying to convince you that if you trust God totally, then God will require and demand of you more than you can give, or that God will test you with untold horrors. (I understand because I have bought into the same lies at times….and still hear the whispers of them at times).

If you are truly one of His, He absolutely will bring you to a place of surrender. If I were you, I’d just trust that simple fact right now. Don’t try to force it, don’t feel condemned for not being able to “be where you should be” right now. Just simply tell him, “Lord, I want this in my life but I cannot do it. I can’t even surrender to You totally. But You have promised You will complete the good work You began in me and I trust You for that.”

Guess what? With a prayer like that, you have surrendered. Surrender is just handing it over to God….He will do the rest. All He asks is that you are willing.

Sometimes, I have to pray prayers like “God, I am willing to be made willing.” That’s all I have to offer Him and it’s enough. He delights in our admitting that what we have to offer in and of ourselves is inadequate. He is the Source of it all.

I’m excited for you because He’s already begun the work!!! So many of us have been there and yes, it feels crazy scary. But, God has you. Just relax and rest in Him. He is so good. Believe it.

Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

RELATED:

I Don’t Want to Lose My Voice, My Power  or My Identity

I Will Not Be a Second Class Citizen! – by The Restored Wife

Do You Have to Lose Yourself or Be Fake to Be a Godly Wife?

Dying to Self

25 Ways to Respect Myself

Giving All of Myself to Christ – a Prayer

Submitting to Christ Is about Holding the Things of This World Loosely

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

What Headship/Biblical Submission Look Like at Our House

 

25 Ways to Respect Myself

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For a godly woman, respect goes in every direction:

  • respect for God (the highest level of respect)
  • respect for our new self in Christ as stewards of the life with which God has gifted us
  • respect for others (men, women, and children)
  • respect for my husband in particular
  • respect for God-given authority (bosses, teachers, pastors, government officials, etc…)

Some of us respect ourselves but not others. Some respect others but not ourselves. When we are missing respect in one of these directions, things get dysfunctional. Let’s get respect going in every way! 🙂

What does it mean to respect myself?

  1. I acknowledge that I am made in God’s image and have immeasurable worth because God created me and because Jesus loves me and died for me.
  2. I respect my body by acknowledging that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and being thankful for my body, taking good care of it – not hating or abusing it. I live my life to honor God – it is all about Him now, not about me.
  3. I respect my sexuality and my body by dressing modestly and not revealing anything that would be inappropriate in public and by enjoying my sexuality in proper context with my husband.
  4. I respect my life and spiritual, emotional, and physical health by seeking to walk in God’s ways and His wisdom knowing that sin would destroy me on every level.
  5. I am thankful for the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given me and I seek to be a good steward of them all.
  6. I love myself in a godly way, not a selfish way, because I know that God loves me. I receive God’s love for me gladly.
  7. I can receive the love of other people including my husband.
  8. I know that my perspective, desires, needs, feelings, and concerns are often important and I am able to share these respectfully when appropriate at home, church, in my extended family, and at work but I do not have to have my way – I am careful not to exalt self or cater to my pride.
  9. I receive that God’s Word and His promises apply to me, too, not just to others.
  10. I take good care of my body, mind, soul, nutritional needs, and health. I seek to do what is best for myself in all of these areas.
  11. I have healthy boundaries emotionally and spiritually and am able to say, “no,” when this would please Christ as my Lord.
  12. I take responsibility for my own spiritual growth and my own emotions.
  13. I do not take on responsibilities that belong to others and to God.
  14. I do not abuse myself spiritually, mentally, in my thoughts, verbally, emotionally, or physically and I seek not to sin against myself.
  15. I do not subject myself to abuse by others. I know when I need to remove myself from a very toxic situation.
  16. I seek God’s wisdom about how to live my life and I seek to avoid foolish decisions.
  17. I am careful not to put myself in tempting situations. I guard my heart.
  18. I am careful not to have any addictions to anything except for Jesus.
  19. I have a healthy understanding of who I am vs. who God is.
  20. I seek to be a godly steward of my finances and to make wise decisions in God’s sight. I try to avoid debt and manage my finances well.
  21. I am able to stand up for myself if necessary while still being respectful of others, including my husband.
  22. I don’t allow anyone or anything to steal the treasures I have in Christ.
  23. I acknowledge the importance of my influence authority in marriage and what a critical role I play in portraying the gospel to others.
  24. I honor and cherish God’s design of femininity for me.
  25. I acknowledge that I – primarily – set the emotional temperature for my marriage, family, and home as the wife and mom. I know I need to take good care of myself so that I can take good care of everyone else.

SHARE:

What are some other ways you show godly respect for yourself? Ladies and gentlemen are welcome to respond.

FOR THOSE WHO BRISTLE AT THE CONCEPT OF “SELF-RESPECT” – a bit of explanation:

We are all made in the image of God (Genesis 2). We all have innate worth because God made us – kind of like any painting by Picasso would have incredible worth because Picasso painted it.

We all have the old sinful self. There is no good in that old sinful self. We can’t earn heaven. We can’t earn God’s love. The only hope for it is for it to be crucified with Christ on the cross and buried with Him. When I talk about “respecting self” I am not talking about exalting our sinful self. I am not talking about pride or entitlement.

Then we have a new self in Christ when we come to Him and receive Him as both Savior and LORD of all in our lives. We are a “new creation.” Jesus takes away our sin, removes it as far as the east is from the west. He completely pays our sin debt of trillions and trillions of dollars to God on our behalf (this is an analogy, of course – no amount of actual money could ever pay for our sin or explain the cost Christ experienced in dying for us). He gives us a new heart, mind, and Spirit from Him. He gave all of His life for us. Now we give all of ourselves to Him. And He begins to fill us with His Spirit and transform us more and more in every day life to be more like Himself.

When I talk about “respecting self,” I am talking about acknowledging Christ above all else as KING and LORD and that He alone is my source of truth. It is about right thinking about our new selves in Christ. I am talking about getting rid of any lies of the enemy and sinful or worldly thinking and about building our understanding of God, ourselves, and others humbly on Christ and His Truth from the Bible.

He renews our minds with His Word. He restores our souls with His presence. He causes every fear to flee in the face of His love for us. As we cooperate with Him in faith and allow Him total access to our hearts and minds, He begins to cause us to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. He begins to make earthly things “grow strangely dim” and heavenly things seem so much more brilliant and attractive. All that He has is ours. He withholds nothing from us. We are one with Him.

I want each of us to be able to receive all that Christ has already died to provide for us and to live in His presence, love, grace, truth, holiness, victory, and power every moment of every day!

MORE HELP FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS:

Please check out RadiantandRedeemed’s comments on this post. She leads many ladies through prayers and an explanation of being set free from spiritual bondage over these issues.

Check out Nina Roesner’s e-course about becoming a woman of strength and dignity.

 

RELATED:

I know Nina Rosener has been writing on this subject, as well. I haven’t read her posts because I didn’t want to copy what she had to say – but you can check out her blog for more ideas on how we can respect ourselves.

Women, Trade Self-Worth for Awe and Wonder from www.desiringgod.org

Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either

The Pendulum Effect

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Isn’t It Demeaning to Me if I  Respect My Husband?

My Identity in Christ 

Respect for Our Husbands

Humility by Andrew Murray (free download)

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (free download)

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

 

Where are people not permitted to say what they need, how they feel, or what they think?

– those who are literally slaves or who are in concentration camps.
– those in extremely oppressive countries with totalitarian regimes.
– those who are in abusive or dysfunctional relationships/families.

Here are some hallmarks of abusive/dysfunctional personal relationships:

  • It is not okay to talk about your negative feelings. Only positive emotions are allowed.
  • I am responsible for your decisions, obedience to God, sins, and emotions.
  • You are responsible for my decisions, obedience to God, sins, and emotions.
  • It is your job to make me happy. If I am not happy, it’s your fault.
  • Conflict is unacceptable.
  • Disagreement is not allowed.
  • You may not ask me questions or confront sin in my life. I can confront you whenever I want to, of course.
  • You are not safe here emotionally.
  • Your voice is not important to me.
  • I love conditionally with strings attached. If you don’t perform, I won’t love you.
  • You better put me above everything and everyone else, including God. Pleasing me better be the most important thing in your life.
  • I will not respect any healthy boundaries you try to set with me and will be offended if you attempt to have healthy boundaries.
  • You are accountable to me for everything you do, think, and say.
  • I know what is best for you.
  • I am always right and you are always wrong if you disagree with me.
  • You should be afraid of my disapproval more than anything or anyone else.
  • There is no forgiveness here. I cherish bitterness.
  • I expect you to meet spiritual and emotional needs in my soul that really only Christ can meet. I come into this relationship as a black hole of neediness.

Some hallmarks of healthy relationships (these would be the goals as we seek to allow God’s Spirit to refine and sanctify us):

  • It is okay to talk about anything and to share all of your feelings about anything – even if they are negative.
  • We will work through conflict together. Conflict is inevitable. We won’t always agree. But we will always love each other and work through it as a team.
  • Conflict is an opportunity for growth.
  • I love you unconditionally.
  • You are safe here in every way.
  • We are kind to each other.
  • We treat each other well.
  • Love and respect are abundant here in both directions.
  • You are important to me. You are precious and very valuable.
  • Your ideas, feelings, concerns, and desires are important to me.
  • You are responsible for your own emotions, decisions, obedience to God, and sins.
  • I am responsible for my own emotions, decisions, obedience to God, and sins.
  • If I am not happy, it is my own responsibility to take care of my emotions and to voice what I need.
  • Healthy boundaries are respected and encouraged.
  • We each know we can respectfully confront sin in the other’s life when necessary.
  • We expect each of us to put God way above anyone else or anything else. Pleasing God is the most important thing in life.
  • We know we are all ultimately accountable to God for how we treat each other.
  • We are each free to respectfully confront each other about sin in our lives when necessary. We will work together as a team against sin and the enemy.
  • We trust that God knows what is best for each of us and we each want to seek Him individually and together.
  • We approach each other with humility.
  • There is no fear in this family – only love.
  • Grace, mercy,  forgiveness, and second chances are available here.
  • I have Christ on the throne of my heart and He meets the deepest spiritual and emotional needs of my life. I come into this relationship overflowing with spiritual abundance from Jesus.

GOD’S “MOST EXCELLENT WAY” OF LOVE – I Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 

RESOURCES (please carefully evaluate any author’s words, including mine, against Scripture!):

Boundaries – by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Nina Roesner has an e-course that helps women experience healing in Christ so that they have the strength and power of the Spirit to know how best to deal with very difficult husbands, check it out! Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.

How to Handle Toxic and Critical People – by Leslie Vernick free PDF download

www.leslievernick.com – She has a number of Christian books about handling difficult relationships

Control and Boundaries

 

 

Twenty-three Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

 

Many of you may remember me saying – it took 3.5 YEARS into my journey before Greg began to feel safe with me again – once God opened my eyes to my disrespect and control. Just a few weeks ago, he told me that he feels even safer with me – 6.5 years into my journey. At first, a lot of husbands are very skeptical about the changes they see in their wives. They may stay that way for months, or even years, before believing that the changes in their wives are real. Many husbands are worried at first that the changes are a phase or their wife’s attempt at manipulating them. (For more about how husbands often respond when they don’t know what is going on at first, please check out this post.)

Sometimes, it can be confusing to a wife when her husband begins to slowly trust her again – because it can seem like things are getting worse – from a wife’s perspective. Here are some things may indicate your husband is beginning to feel safer with you – that he feels like he has a voice in the marriage again, that he feels respected, that he feels you can handle hearing his true feelings/thoughts, and that he is feeling more free to be honest and be himself again (these things will happen gradually over time, usually – and they won’t all happen in every situation):

  • He tells you things that might be difficult for you to hear (constructive criticism, or just ideas of his that differ from yours)
  • He shares more about his heart, struggles, concerns, ideas, and dreams
  • He is more affectionate – maybe even begins to touch you again if he had stopped touching you
  • He may begin to flirt and become more interested in sex with you again, his libido begins to pick up
  • He looks you in the eye more
  • He is more willing to risk disagreeing with you
  • He smiles more
  • He jokes more often and teases you in a friendly way again
  • He wants to do more things together
  • He looks more relaxed around you and seems to be having more fun
  • He gives you more compliments (less verbal men may still not do this, just because of their personalities)
  • He seems more interested in doing things you would like
  • He feels like it is worth it to try to do things that will make you happy because he believes it is actually possible to please you again
  • He is more interested in your feelings, concerns, insights, and ideas
  • He doesn’t raise his voice as much
  • Arguments seem to happen less often and the recovery time seems to be much faster
  • He may be more willing to talk about having children if he wasn’t before
  • He talks about the future together
  • He acts a lot more like the guy you fell in love with years ago
  • He begins to open up spiritually – maybe even praying with you (although some men still won’t, this depends on the man, where he is spiritually, and his personality)
  • He trusts you with deeper parts of himself
  • He tries to serve you more and do more things to show his love for you
  • He is more willing to try to lead you and your family and take risks because he is not afraid of you reacting negatively

If your husband is feeling more at ease around you and more trusting of you – what are some of the changes you noticed on this journey?

Men, you are welcome to comment, as well, to help the ladies better understand the things they might see in their marriages as they learn to honor and respect their husbands and to be peaceful, godly wives.

RELATED:

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

What Is Respect in Marriage?

My Level of Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do with Him – VIDEO

Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them

A Fellow Wife Reflects on Her Two Year Journey

Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

 

I first “met” a Fellow Wife  in October, 2012. I can’t begin to count all the discussions we shared together.   This has been a difficult, painful and challenging journey at times – as it is for all of us who seek to know, obey and please Jesus. We must die to self, go against the wisdom of our culture, deny our sinful nature, let go of the things we cherish most and seek to trust God rather than self. Now, as I see where she is today spiritually compared to where she was two years ago, I have to thank and praise God for His goodness and power! I believe that the more wives’ stories we can hear, the better. I know her story will bless you:

 

 

It was 2 years ago next month that I first began pursuing becoming a more godly wife. It was 1 year ago this August that I really got it–what this journey was all about and how it could work for me. At first I thought it was all about putting all these little behaviors into practice by memory and it was all about memorizing a new way of being and being someone different than I really was…. 1 year ago this month, it REALLY clicked for me and I saw that this was not about changing who I am and following a bunch of rules that would make me a plastic Stepford wife. It was about letting go of so many things I was trying to hold onto and manipulate. It was about learning boundaries and what and who I am and am not responsible for.

It has been a very interesting year. It has been a year filled with learning, changes and challenges. Sometimes I have passed with flying colors. Sometimes I have failed miserably and fell flat on my face. I thought I would take a look back at THEN (being the time period before I really *got it* or surrendered- and NOW (being 1 year into this new way of living and being married.) I will be very real with you about the good, the bad and the ugly. But it is my hope to reflect back for myself and share a bit of my story that it might help some of you relate or be encouraged. Let’s begin.

THEN: We had big arguments any time there was conflict. I fought tooth and nail, determined if I just hung in there and talked long enough, my husband would eventually get it.
NOW: Arguments are rare. I approach them differently… making it my goal to speak my thoughts and feelings and exit the discussion giving my husband time to process. Sometimes a few sentences is all I say because it is all I need to say. I have found that when I don’t act ugly, my husband is thinking about how I feel vs how I acted. He is more likely to apologize now. MUCH more likely.

THEN: I was an endless pit of need. My husband could not do enough to make me happy in the way of affection, attention or time. I griped and fussed about this often. He was very tuned out.
NOW: While I still want affection, attention and time from my husband, it is not my entire focus. I give my husband much more space to decide to give or not to give me those things. I am much more secure within myself. I don’t depend on him as deeply.

THEN: He never noticed me.
NOW: He compliments me on occasion…. maybe 1-2 times a month. This is huge considering in the past, years would go by without him complimenting me.

THEN: I thought I could control his feelings for me and his actions toward me.
NOW: I have had HUGE lightbulb moments that have taught me there is no way you can control another person’s feelings or make someone show they love you. At best, all you have is manipulation. You may manipulate your husband into making a gesture of love but neither of you are satisfied with this because you both know it isn’t from his heart, it is from your pushing.

THEN: I sit home and cried when my husband went out a few times a month. I whined. I pouted. We argued.
NOW: While I can’t deny I still feel a twinge of wishing he wanted to spend more time with me from time to time, I don’t sit home and feel sorry for myself. I go out with my girlfriends and have fun on my own. I arrive home happy and refreshed which makes me a wife he is happy to come home to.

THEN: I begged for time together. It was probably our biggest point of contention.
NOW: I no longer beg for time together. I will, on occasion, mention something I would like to do together. I still want to spend more quality time together. But I am okay without it and find other things to occupy myself. I hope someday that we spend more time together. But I can be okay either way.

THEN: There was no inner happiness in me. I kept myself in a constant state of worry over our marriage and worked hard at forcing changes I wanted.
NOW: I understand boundaries better. I realize I am responsible for myself and my own emotions. I realize he has the right to make his own decisions.

THEN: I was clingy and needy. Embarrassingly so. I thought the harder I tried to cling, the more pressure it would put on him to be affectionate and loving toward me. It never worked. In fact, it smothered him and repelled him. It also left me feeling desperate and altogether yucky. Not pleasant.
NOW: I understand how to give my husband space. While I am occasionally affectionate with him just because I love him and want to reach out to him, I give him a good amount of space. AND, I am thrilled to say that after some time had passed…. maybe 3 months?… he started searching me out. He now puts his arm around me sometimes. He will kiss or hug me when he passes me in the kitchen. He is overall more affectionate and loving. This was a wonderful gift! I learned that men need space to give you the things you long for.

THEN: I pursued him. Totally. And I did not like that feeling.
NOW: I give him room to pursue me… and he does. It isn’t as aggressively as I might hope but it is definite pursual.

THEN: I did not understand him or the ways he was trying to show me love.
NOW: I understand men MUCH better, although not perfectly. This is because I have studied and read several books on the subject. I have also learned to ask my husband questions. A lot of times I think he meant one thing when he really meant another. I ask him what he meant. I ask him how he feels. I don’t take for granted that I automatically understand him.

THEN: I called the shots and did things my way. This also weighed on me heavily.
NOW: I am perfectly happy with him being in charge. It makes me happy to submit to him. (most times). I trust his judgment. I feel much lighter without so much on my shoulders. I know that I can offer my perspective and ideas and then allow him to decide what is best.

THEN: I saw us as totally intertwined and as if we owned each other.
NOW: I have learned about interdependence and that I do not own him. He has to give his love freely to me and cannot do so if I am trying to force it out of him. He is defeated before he even begins.

THEN: I thought this was something I would do and then be done with- mark off my to-do list and move on.
NOW: I realize this is a journey. It is a lifetime thing. It is something I will always be learning. It is something that I will mess up on at times but will continue to improve on overall, with time.

THEN: He did not care about my feelings and was not interested in hearing about them.
NOW: He does care about my feelings, especially when I can express them in a clear, feminine, softly spoken manner.

THEN: I thought being a respectful wife was about following all these hundreds of rules that I could never remember all of them and felt very panicked at trying! I had true anxiety attacks for days after trying to implement all of them.
NOW: For me, this was all about releasing my husband and letting go of any attempt to control him. All other respectful behavior will grow naturally from that action. There are no rules to memorize. There are things you will realize and learn and click in place.

Overall, my husband is more of a leader because I vacated that spot. He is a bit more assertive now. He is comfortable correcting me through a gentle rebuke when I am disrespectful whereas before he had just given up and wouldn’t try to tell me because it did no good. I am more comfortable listening to him and truly hearing him and his feelings. If there is an argument, order is restored much more easily between us. He is more affectionate, more observant and overall more loving toward me. He has even done some very surprising, bold things to show that in the last year which I treasure.

There are still some changes I would like to see come to pass in our marriage. But even if they never, ever do, our marriage is much, MUCH better for my surrendering to him. It is healthier. I am healthier within our marriage.

This is a God thing. I could not have done this without God’s help. And every change I have made is backed up by God’s instructions on how to be a godly wife. God KNOWS how men work and how wives can best live with their man in a happy, healthy way. I cannot tell you the moments of amazement that I have experienced in the last year when I discovered how spot on April was about men or how spot on Shaunti Feldhahn was in her books “For Women Only” and “The Surprising Secrets Of Highly Happy Marriages”. My husband would verify almost 100% of the time that these were correct about how men think and feel- or at least how he thinks and feels.

But in addition to it being a God thing, it was a decision I had to make for myself, because being a controlling, aggressive wife that acted very masculine was not healthy for me or my marriage. That did not fit. It felt comfortable because it was all I knew but it wasn’t the way a wife should be. Making the decision to let go of my husband and give up my attempts to control him- which did not work anyways- and to find my own joy and contentment was a very healthy decision. I love this way of living.

Yes, I have had some times of hurt and frustration since I began my journey. But the times of true peace within myself and the peace that I have at not trying to control everything is so much greater. There are also many wonderful, sweet and joyful moments such as when my husband does decide to show his love for me in his own unique way.

I hope this offers you a word of encouragement to stay the course.

She Submitted to Her Husband Without Knowing Christ Yet

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I am so thankful for this precious sister in Christ who was willing to allow me to share her story after she read my post earlier “Am I Giving Marriage Advice to Non-Christians?” Especially if you are not yet a believer in Christ, I hope you will read her story! I don’t know that every wife’s story would look like hers, but, I believe her story will bless everyone who reads it! God used her to sharpen me yesterday. I am so excited to share,  I couldn’t wait for Monday, I just had to run it today!

When I was first married I believed in God, but my own fairy tale version of Him. I was raised Catholic, going to church and Sunday School every week, being confirmed into the church and everything but had never been encouraged to read the bible, to study scripture, or to learn His Word. I knew about the submission part of the Bible, but thought it was culturally irrelevant. My mother was quite a feminist and although she loves my father and they’ve been married for over 30 years she treats him with little respect. And he just takes it.
My marriage got off to a very very rough start. I wanted very much to be in control. And I thought my command-man husband was just mean and awful because he wouldn’t yield to me. I was better, of course (even if only in my own mind), so he was wrong, and I thought I had just made a bad choice in marrying him. It was often times more like a war zone then a marriage. Regardless in 2 years we had our first daughter and I accidentally got pregnant again (I love how God works). Things in our marriage were spiraling even farther downward. I was depressed, hurt, angry and lost. I remember just calling out to God and asking for help. I still wasn’t a true believer but I was desperate.

First I stumbled across the Love Dare, and started to try it. Not out of faith, but because it was either that or divorce and through it all I was still desperately in love with my husband so I did not want divorce. My husband responded very positively to the first few dares. It wasn’t long after that that I stumbled across the book The Surrendered Wife. I decided I had nothing to lose and gave surrendering everything I had. It was remarkable the change I saw in my husband. It was like night and day. And there was an even bigger change in me.

When I saw that this part of the Bible I had despised so much was actually a very powerful truth my whole world started to change.

All these ideas I’d had about the Bible and my false image of God started to crumble. I started to listen to my husband. Just many little things here and there. My husband had a deeper faith and understanding of God then I ever did, that I never knew about. All along I had believed I was superior to him in spirituality even when I was so far away (from God). All these lies I had believed started to crumble and I started to see the truth.

It still took a little while before I gave my life up to the Lord. But I believe that it was submitting to my husband that brought me to where I am now.

I believe submission is a powerful truth, something that anyone can benefit from, so I do hope that those that don’t believe, but want to improve their marriage might give it a try. In this submission, I hope it opens their eyes to the glory of our Lord as it did mine.

I know that the Lord led me on this path, I needed a husband just like mine that didn’t give in. I needed to see that His Word was true, even before I believed.

My marriage is now amazing. I adore my husband and see him in a whole new light. And he adores me in return. We now have 4 beautiful children, and have chosen to let the Lord bless us with as many as He sees fit. We have chosen to home school our children so now I get to raise them with the truth of Jesus.

Maybe an unbeliever doesn’t get to reap all the rewards from submission, but in my case I got the greatest reward. I was saved, I was given a relationship with God, and a love that I never knew existed. This brings tears of joy to me as I type.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This journey to become a godly wife is ALL about us and Jesus. Healing for our marriages and blessings for our husbands and children are secondary. How I pray each of you might find this joy, hope, faith and peace in Christ that I have found and this sister of ours has found! That is my greatest prayer for each of you!

RELATED:

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

I’m Right. I Know Best. I Should Be the Leader!

But, I’m a GOOD Person!

A Lightbulb Moment for a Wife Who Loves Control

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

A Husband Answers a Wife – Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?

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.

 

 

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