Say “Thank You!”

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

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

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

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

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

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

I know, it’s crazy, right!?!?!!? 🙂

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

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

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

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

HUSBANDS:

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

LADIES:

Let me know how things go!

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

 

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

and THE HUSBAND has:

TOO LITTLE

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

Suffice to say, there will be TOO MUCH:

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

There will also be TOO LITTLE

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

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

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

Dong was:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOD. IS. AMAZING.

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

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

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

MAY WE ALL BE RICHLY BLESSED!!! 🙂

What is True Love?

siloutte couple

This is a guest post from Daniel at God’s Help For Marriage.

We live in a culture that praises the fairytale concept of true love. Hollywood would have us believe that love is all about that moment when you first meet and there is a “magical connection” and you “just know” that this is the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with. Or it is about those feelings of euphoria you get when you first start dating, and that if those feelings go away the love is gone.

And people chase this false idea of love their whole lives. You hear women say things like “I thought he was the man of my dreams but we got divorced because the love just wasn’t there anymore”. People talk about falling in love like it is inevitable, a force as powerful as gravity. And they talk about falling out of love like it is equally inevitable.

I call this initial period of emotional excitement the honeymoon phase. One thing is inevitable: this phase will not last. Those feelings fade. The intense desire to spend every minute together goes away.

People get divorced or have affairs every day because their marriage isn’t living up to the fairytale. They feel like their marriage has failed because the emotions faded.

These feelings are not love, they are attraction. Attraction paves the way for romantic love, but it is not love.

True love doesn’t start until after the honeymoon phase ends.

True love is when your wife picks up your socks and underwear from the living room floor because you left them there AGAIN. Or when she puts a new roll of toilet paper up even though you were the one to use it last. It’s when she picks up dog poop off the floor because you forgot to take her (the dog) out the night before. Or when she packs your bags for the hospital in expectation of delivering your third child.

True love is when your wife has the flu and you have to clean up her diarrhea, or her vomit. It’s when you hold her hair out of her face while she vomits and you’re just trying not to smell it. True love is helping her put her pants on when she’s 8 months pregnant and can’t bend down. Or giving her an anal suppository when she is constipated. Or pulling her tampon out after she just had surgery.

True love is like the old couple I just heard about on the radio, where he is hard of hearing but understands with perfect clarity every word of his wife’s soft spoken voice.

True love is about the choices you make every day, both big and small. It is sacrifice and sometimes it is suffering. Suffering with her because of her pain or suffering because something she did that hurt you deeply. Or suffering with worry because you don’t know if she will make it home in the storm that came out of nowhere while she was grocery shopping.

True love is about Jesus Christ dieing on the cross for your sins, suffering more than anyone ever has. It is opening yourself up to receive His love, to let it fill you up until it overflows, spilling into those around you.

What is true love? It isn’t a feeling. It is a choice. It is all the little choices you make long after the feelings are gone. It is so much better, so much richer, so much more rewarding than the fairytale.

And it’s yours for the taking. You just have to chose not to give up when things get tough.

Have you experienced true love? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

You can read more about Godly Marriages at Daniel’s blog or you can download his free report “The 7 Pillars Of A Godly Marriage”.

The Most Amazing Life!

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If you want to experience the greatest possible life – I’m going to share the secret with you…

100%  submission to Christ

Be willing to say to God:

I am FULLY Yours.

I hold back NOTHING from You.

I give You all that I have, all that I am, all of my possessions, all of my income, all of my career, all of my marriage, children, family and friends, my entire future.

I only want to know You more and to be full of Your Spirit.

I will find total contentment in You alone.  Nothing else can satisfy me.

Show me EVERY trace of sin in my life so I can repent and be made right with You.

I delight in obeying You and living by Your Word!

Give me ears to hear Your voice and let me be totally open to every Word of Life You have for me.

I want Your will, not my own will.  I sacrifice my will, my plans, my wisdom, my desires and my “rights” to You.

I wait patiently and expectantly before You.

If You want me to wait right here until I am 80 years old – I accept that.  If that will bring You glory – I am in 100%!

If You want me to move or change careers – I accept that.

If You want me to give up all I own and give to the poor – I accept that.

Any sacrifice You might ask me to make is nothing compared to the treasure of having You in my life.  I hold all things except for You very loosely in my hands.

I want only Your full and perfect will for my life.

Use me however You will.

I desire more than anything for my life to bring the greatest possible glory to You – no matter what the cost.

If I must suffer – I accept that from Your hand.  Only be beside me and allow me to abide in Your love and presence.

If I must be persecuted for my faith in You – I accept that and rejoice in it – that You might allow me to share in Your sufferings!

Thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me.

I want to hunger deeply for Your presence and Your Word.  I HAVE to make time for You!  I can’t live without You!  I NEED You, Lord!

I want to become exactly who You want me to be.  Change me!  Make me more and more like Jesus!

Use me – I am Your humble servant.

I can do nothing apart from You.

I depend completely upon Your power in my life.

You ARE my Life.  Nothing matters to me except for You.

Thank You for all You have done for me already.  I trust You with my future.  I can’t wait to see what You have in store for me!

Youtube Video:

Jesus Is the Love of My Life!  (7 minutes)

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 9 – Overlooking Insults

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A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.  Proverbs 12:16

Nina Roesner has a great story to share in Dare 9 of The Respect Dare.  I hope you get to read it!

Many times, when people insult us, there is a lot of pain, hurt, anger and mess going on underneath the surface in that person’s life.  Often, if we can extend grace, we may just be able to salvage the relationship or avoid a big fight.  Taking every insult personally and trying to repay that person back with an even bigger insult does not honor Christ.  And it doesn’t bring people closer to us or closer to God.

IN THE PHARMACY

I have been working in retail pharmacy since I was a pharmacy student in 1992.  I can definitely attest to the fact that when you work with the public, you are going to be insulted sooner or later.  It doesn’t matter how kind, compassionate, competent and caring you are.

I have learned that insults usually come from something difficult that is going on in that person’s life:

  • he is in a lot of pain
  • she is a drug addict, and I won’t let her have her narcotics early
  • he has very low blood sugar and needs to eat something quickly
  • she has unrealistic expectations about what pharmacists are legally allowed to do and is unfamiliar with all the laws and policies I am required to follow
  • he has a dying wife at home on hospice and he is taking out his frustrations and anger and feeling of being out of control on me
  • she has been up for 5 nights with a sick baby
  • he has a lot of anger in him all the time and is just ready to dump rage on anyone he happens to come across
  • she has a mental illness and has not taken her medication properly and isn’t thinking clearly
  • he has a family emergency going on
  • she has had a really bad day
  • he has early dementia and his personality is changing
  • she is in perimenopause and her hormones are out of control
  • he is running very late to pick up his son from daycare
  • her mom talks to her this way all the time, so it seems “normal”

Sometimes, in the pharmacy, I know the back-story and that helps me to respond appropriately with grace, compassion and understanding.  Sometimes I still have to be firm and not give in when someone wants me to do something illegal.  Sometimes I don’t know the back-story – but now I am able to deduce that I am missing information when someone blows up at me and I am usually able to not take the insult personally.

In retail pharmacy, we are trained to

  • strive to give the best customer service even when patients get very upset.
  • listen so that the person feels heard before we try to swoop in and “fix” things.
  • respond with concern to a patient’s complaint and to do whatever we can to make things right.

Isn’t that what we need to do in marriage and other relationships, too?

IN MARRIAGE

I have learned that certain situations make it much more likely for someone to blurt out an insult.  When a person is:

  • hungry
  • exhausted
  • hormonal
  • sick
  • in pain
  • overwhelmed with stress
  • trying to rush too much and running late
  • out of fellowship with God
  • cherishing sin in his/her heart
  • having conflict with someone else
  • worried or afraid
  • feeling misunderstood
  • feeling disrespected or unloved

WITH HUSBANDS

Many times, if a husband suddenly snaps at his wife – I suggest a wife ask something like Dr. Emerson Eggerichs suggests in Love and Respect “Honey, that felt unloving, did I come across disrespectfully just now?”

If a husband seems fine and all the sudden gets really angry or shuts down – MANY TIMES, he is feeling disrespected by something his wife just did or said.

But sometimes he might be having stress at work or some other issue going on.  It may have nothing to do with you at all.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1

RESPONDING TO INSULTS

If we respond with more insults – that is going to be a huge fight.

I have found more success with:

  • listening
  • asking gentle questions
  • waiting for the person to calm down
  • asking the person to please treat me with respect so that we can work together (with a particularly hateful patient in the pharmacy – that actually worked wonders.  She and I were great friends after went out into the waiting area and sat beside her.  I calmly and politely called her out on her very disrespectful attitude towards me and I respectfully asked her to treat me with respect so that I could help her.)
  • asking with concern, “Is something bothering you?”
  • asking respectfully, “What can I do to help?”
  • depending on the situation, sometimes humor can diffuse the anger and the insult

There are times we must address the insult.

When I am in the pharmacy and a drug addict hands me a forged prescription, I have to refuse to fill it.  There WILL be conflict.  I try to keep it as low key and respectful as possible.  I try to maintain a pleasant tone of voice.  But I cannot cave in that situation just because the person is upset.  In fact,  I have to call the police if someone is attempting to get a prescription illegally.

IN MARRIAGE

Sometimes what seems like an insult, may actually be constructive criticism that we would be wise to listen to.

Sometimes we must gently but firmly respond and engage in the issue.

Sometimes, it is wise just to let the insult go.

God does not say “Never be angry.”  But He does say

  • “In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”  Ephesians 4:26
  • “For a man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”  James 2:20

If I am to be angry, may it only be about the things that make God angry.

THE DARE FROM NINA

  • “While being slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen – actively choose to extend grace to your husband…. Actively choose not to take something personally.”  – The Respect Dare
  • Search the Bible or online in a Bible reference about God’s anger

The Respect Dare, Day 5 – Slow to Anger

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My dear brothers, take note of this:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  James 1:19

In the Respect Dare, Nina Roesner shares a story on Dare #5 about how a wife applies this verse and avoids a serious argument with her husband.  The awesome thing is, he soon came to see his wife’s point of view and agree with her without her forcing the issue or having an argument about it.  Sometimes we as women figure things out before our husbands do.  But, there are times when wise wives will wait and allow God to reveal things to their husbands instead of trying to tell their husbands what to do or taking over.

QUICK TO ANGER, QUICK TO SPEAK

In the first 14.5 years of our marriage, before I really understood respect and biblical submission, I would often ask Greg a question –  And then Greg didn’t answer immediately – I would get UPSET.

I expected him to  know his mind on any issue right away- just like me.   I expected him to answer within 10-20 seconds.  I would wait – and sigh and watch the clock and count the minutes ticking by as he seemingly “ignored” me and “refused” to answer my question.

Then by about 15-25 minutes – when I had waited impatiently and pressured him to give me an answer, I would explode in anger and storm off – incredulous that Greg “wouldn’t” answer a simple question.

I was most certainly NOT quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Now, when I ask him a question, I give him time to think because I know that is how he works.  He is not being hateful or unloving.  He just needs to think quietly on his own for awhile.  Now that I understand this about him, I am able to offer him time, grace and plenty of patience.  God has changed my heart and opened my mind to see things from his perspective.

THE HOUSE

When we first moved into this 1960s era brick house in 2007, my husband said that the renovations that needed to be done would take 6 months.  Sometimes, Greg would stop working on the house and go tear vines off of the back fence.  I wanted that house DONE in 1 year or less – which seemed pretty generous and patient on my part, considering he had estimated 6 months.

(When I say renovations – I mean: making a new kitchen out of an old office, making a new master suite out of the original living room and den, taking down walls, tearing out most rooms all the way down to the studs and starting from scratch.  And this is a big house.    He worked on the house 5-6 days per week until midnight after his full time job for a year and a half.  My husband  wanted to be careful, methodical, spend money wisely and do things perfectly.  My goal was SPEED.  We had very different priorities.)

So when I saw Greg outside pulling vines, I stomped out to the back yard and said, “Why on earth are you pulling vines back here?  The fence is NOT a priority right now!  You said the house would be done in 6 months.  It’s been 5 months already and you have barely gotten anything done yet.  I want the house done as soon as possible!!”  (at that point, he had closed in the carport and made it a garage.  And we spent about 3 months just deciding where the master suite would be, where the kitchen would be, if we would have a dining room or not, what walls would stay and what walls would go… you know, normal stuff.)

I didn’t even ask Greg questions.  I didn’t try to understand his perspective.  I wanted the house done and I wanted it done ASAP.  I NEEDED HELP!!!!!!  I was beyond nervous breakdown mode by the second summer we were here because I had been EXTREMELY sleep deprived for a year and a half nursing our baby around the clock almost every night (Usually I only slept 4-5 hours/night of sleep in 30 minute intervals).  She was often sick.  I was often sick.  I was also working 20+ hours/week, caring for our 5 year old and handling all the housework, shopping, cooking.   I was beyond being totally overwhelmed.

A year or two after I learned about respect and biblical submission, Greg shared with me that when he was frustrated with a renovation project that was not going well – he would go outside and pull vines and try to clear his head and think through the problems he was having so he could work out a solution.

YIKES!

Imagine if I had been more interested in listening to my husband instead of demanding my way.  What if I had not been quick to fire my anger at him?  Maybe there wouldn’t have been any tension at all because maybe he would have shared with me that he used that time to think through possible solutions.  If I had known that, I feel sure I would have been a lot more understanding – even if I was very sleep deprived.

I see now that he was fixing up that house as a HUGE gift of love for ME.  He wanted to give me my dream home.  He wanted me to appreciate his hard work and the beautiful rooms he made.  What an amazing, talented, loving, generous man I have – to devote himself to such a massive project just to make me happy.  Wow!

NOW:

I understand how my husband thinks a WHOLE lot better which has made a huge difference.  I have let go of many unrealistic expectations.

I know that he:

  • does not think or feel or process emotions like me at all.
  • often thinks without words and uses formulas or imagines a scale as he is making decisions.  So it is difficult for him to verbalize things for awhile until he arrives at a decision.
  • feels disrespected when I pressure him to come to a decision too quickly.

So, now (by God’s power working in me) I:

  • am patient and ask a question casually and leave a lot of time for him to think without any pressure.
  • LISTEN when he does speak and pay careful attention to his unique masculine perspective and wisdom and I know that many times God is leading me through his words.
  • patiently wait and don’t try to force my way or force a quick solution.
  • share my feelings and desires and perspective calmly, in a pleasant tone of voice with a friendly expression on my face.
  • ask questions respectfully and softly if I don’t understand.  But I try not to ask “why.”  That question is disrespectful to many men.
  • am gracious if we don’t do what I had suggested or what I wanted to do.  My goal is to seek God’s will first, not my own.  I trust God’s sovereignty to lead me through my husband if my husband doesn’t agree with me.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER AND PRAY ABOUT:

1. What were some of the disagreements/arguments my husband and I have had lately?

2. Why did I feel it was necessary to argue?

3. How could I have applied this verse (James 1:19) and handled things without an argument?

4. How can I apply this verse on a daily basis when I start to feel angry?

5. Is it possible that I might be making small issues more important than our marriage or my obedience to Christ?

6. Do I believe that my sinful behavior (disrespect, yelling, cussing, throwing things, becoming violent, attacking my husband verbally) is justifiable because I believe I am “right” about the small issue and I believe he is “wrong”?    Is God more concerned with the little issue or with my sinful attitude?

7. Is it possible that my husband’s idea might just be different, not “wrong”?  What if he has valuable wisdom to share with me that I am missing when I get angry quickly and don’t listen?  What might I be missing that God wants me to hear?

8. Is it possible that I am exhausted, hormonal, hungry, in pain or have some other major physical issue that makes things seem a whole lot worse than they really are right now?  If so, I need to take care of that first before I unwisely get into any kind of argument!

YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHARE YOUR ANSWERS AND YOUR STORIES! 🙂

RELATED POSTS:

A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission

How Do Men Process Emotions

Men and Emotions Part 2

Men and Emotions Part 3

How Do Men Think?

How Men Think – Part 2

How Men Think – Part 3

Why Men Need Space Sometimes – Youtube Video (5 minutes)

God May Be Leading Your Husband’s Decision – Youtube Video (under 3 minutes)

Responding to Our Husband’s Constructive Criticism – Youtube Video (5 minutes)

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

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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.

Is Respect Optional for a Godly Woman?

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Many women, even in the church, think that the concept of “respect for husbands” is archaic, old fashioned and backwards and that their husbands “don’t deserve respect.”   We are not about to show any respect for our men until we believe our men “deserve” it – by our own definition.  That is, after all, what our culture teaches – “Respect must be earned.”  I actually believe that is true, to a point – in the secular work place.  But does it apply in marriage?  Does it apply to believers in Christ?  Is it appropriate for disciples of Christ to treat people without respect in any setting?
If someone (anyone) sins against me or is living in unrepentant sin – does that give me a free pass as a Christian to treat him/her with disdain, disgust, self-righteousness, rudeness, unkindness, hatred, angry words, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, gossip and a judgmental spirit?
(Galatians 5:22-23, I Corinthians 13:4-8 and Romans 12 do a very good job of explaining how Jesus commands us to treat others with love – respect is part of that!.)

In our culture today, we often treat our husbands (as I did for many years) with disrespect, contempt, resentment and condemnation.   Sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing this.  Sometimes we are just reacting to feeling very unloved ourselves and unintentionally disrespect our men – not realizing how very deeply we are wounding them.  And then we don’t realize that when our husbands feel very disrespected, they react to their pain by responding in ways that feel unloving to us (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – Love and Respect).  When husbands feel disrespected – they feel unloved.  I know that is not how we want our men to feel!

But whether we are intentionally disrespectful or it is entirely unintentional, our disrespect wounds our men.  They NEED our respect and our Lord commands that we respect our husbands.  They may not “deserve” respect in our minds.  But the same God who commands us to respect our husbands and honor their leadership also commands husbands to love their wives.  I know I personally don’t want to EVER get rid of the “love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her” command for our husbands!  God definitely knew what he was talking about there!  I have learned that He knows exactly what He is talking about when it comes to what husbands and marriages need, too.
We need our husbands’ love even when we REALLY don’t deserve it – exactly the same way that our husbands need our respect even when they REALLY don’t deserve it.  (God does not command us to respect sin or ignore sin – just like He does not command our husbands to love our sin either – but we are to respect our men because they are our husbands, just like our husbands are to love us because we are their wives.)
My respect for my husband is not optional.  Not if I am a disciple of Christ.   It is a command of God:
  • “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33
  •  Jesus says “Anyone who loves Me will obey My commands…. Anyone who does not obey My commands does not love Me.” (John 14:23))
Many women also believe that biblical submission is oppressive and that it is equal to slavery.  That is NOT at all God’s design, either. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:2-5)  Real biblical submission is a blessing from God to wives, husbands, children and everyone who knows that family.  It can only be accomplished when we are completely submitted to Christ and filled with His Spirit, seeking His glory alone.
Here is the world’s way – this is what I did for almost 15 years in our marriage.
I tried to carry all the weight and responsibility for the marriage and family and was stressed, worried, afraid and upset most of the time.  I felt like the only adult in the family.  I thought I had to do everything while my husband avoided responsibility and became increasingly emotionally distant. I worked full time until we had children, then worked 20 hours/week and also did almost all of the housework, all of the finances, all of the discipline for the children and all of the child care every moment that I was home while my husband sat in front of the tv, the computer or worked on renovations.  I was overloaded, overworked, stressed out and seething with resentment.
This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster in marriage.  As Bob Grant says, “There is no relationship resentment can’t kill.”
Husbands primarily need respect.
Wives primarily need love. (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs Love and Respect and Ephesians 5:22-33)
When both spouses get their needs met, marriage can be GLORIOUS and God-honoring.
Men and women are not the same.  Men do not need love the exact same way that we do.  The sooner we understand this and how different they are from us, the sooner we can learn what their needs truly are and how to meet them.  We often try to give more and more love – but it doesn’t work and we don’t understand why.  We must understand what our husbands need and give them what they need, not what we need.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD’S WAYS:
  • The truth is that trying to carry a burden you were not designed by God to carry is oppressive.
  • The truth is that being consumed by worry and anxiety and fear every waking moment is oppressive.
  • The truth is that living by the power of the sinful nature instead of by the power of the Spirit of God is being a slave to sin instead of being a slave to Christ.  That is true slavery!!!  I will be a slave to one or the other – sin, or Christ.  For a little check of what it is like to have your sinful nature in control, please read Galatians 5:19-21.  When God’s Spirit controls me, I have all of the fruit of the Spirit in increasing measure every day: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  That is FREEDOM!  That is blessing!  That is POWER!  (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • The truth is that putting anything before Christ in my heart is a certain path to discontentment, disillusionment, loneliness, disappointment, fear, worry and distress.  God will not allow me to find contentment and His peace in idols.  The ONLY place where contentment can be found is in Christ!
  • The truth is that living in obedience to God brings great freedom and joy that rises far above any circumstances.
Learning respect and biblical submission is a process and a journey.  It is a LONG, cross-country journey.  Not a sprint.  This is the process of “sanctification” – God uses this process to make me more holy and to make me more and more like Jesus.  It takes TIME.  He will use it to make me holy and mature, ready for His purposes.
(If you have SERIOUS problems in your marriage – drug/alcohol addiction, mental health disorders, infidelity, major sin, physical abuse – please talk to a godly, trusted pastor or Christian counselor ASAP!)
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Don’t compare your story to mine or to anyone else’s!  God is writing your own story.  He will decide the timing and the outcomes.  Your job is to love and trust Him and to yield yourself totally to Him every moment of every day.  I can’t wait to see what He wants to do for His glory in your life!

A Wife Decides to Meet Her Husband’s Greatest Masculine Needs

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An email from a wife who has been focusing on learning to be a godly, respectful wife who honors her husband’s leadership.  Thank you to this wife for allowing me to share her story!  I LOVE seeing the way God works in many different wives’ hearts and seeing all the lightbulb moments.  I pray that many other wives might be blessed!

April,

I just wanted to tell you this new revelation that you helped me to arrive at is STILL working! I no longer get upset at my husbands very predictable responses to situations that are stressful to him. I just completely ignore the fact that he is starting to raise his voice/stress out. I stay calm and he calms down, very quickly.

It seems God has been steering me towards this message repeatedly over the past few weeks. The last 4 Focus on the Family broadcasts were about accepting and understanding each other’s differences and loving others even when they are sometimes being hurtful – how this most often ends up with the best outcomes for both people. Not FIGHTING the male nature but embracing it. And then I came across a secular book  but it may as well have been written by a Christian because it definitely fits with all the principles of a biblical marriage – he is basically providing research and evidence from his professional practice to back up God’s universal marriage laws.

I did a quiz which helps identify your man’s greatest masculine needs and my husband’s top 4 were:

  • The need to be the leader
  • the need to protect one’s family
  • the need for action
  • the need for acknowledgement of efforts.

The author said, “Your man will probably not be able to verbalise his deepest needs but think back to the main threads in your arguments, most will be based on these needs.” And most definitely, our arguments have been around these 4 needs of his.

Before we married I ADMIRED his need and ability to be a strong man.  I saw these as desirable traits before we were married – but once we were married his need to lead irritated me. The book helped me understand WHY he feels this need – it is because he does not want to be shamed in front of others, especially those he loves.

He wants to feel and look like a hero.

Surely I can protect these feelings and honour them – even if at times he will go about trying to get this need met in the wrong way.


He always talks about how he likes to be active... when we first got married I tried to stop him from playing basketball…!!! (that sounds so terrible now) but he told me he felt God doesn’t want him to play anymore because he could better spend his time (when we were dating).  I was actually surprised at first but then thought well if that is what God wants then that is what he better do – so I tried to ENFORCE it myself !?!?!? (go figure)  I didnt physically STOP him from going but I was not supportive at all. I deeply regret this and am finally realizing I am NOT his Holy Spirit!!!  I think he was deeply wounded by me trying to exercise control in this area and is only NOW 8 years later losing weight and getting back into basketball – something I have finally realized he TRULY loved since he was a young child. 

Last night when my husband needed to work, I didn’t complain but offered to bring him a hot drink – he very much welcomed this.  Then I thought “I’ll test out this need for acknowledgement” and I said, “Thanks for working so hard, Honey” while I rubbed his back. He instantly got such a pleased, almost relieved, look on his face, I could tell he was delighted.

He has been acting so sweet towards me lately. 

Today he really wanted to play basketball and was getting stressed out because he needed to be at the store.  So I offered to come in for him. He was SO happy. I am finally starting to realize that his needs are just as important and LEGITIMATE (duh?!?!) and that I need to actively show him love in ways that mean a LOT to him… not in ways that would be meaningful to me.

Then I am in a MUCH better position to respectfully ask for the things I want also and trust in his goodness to meet whichever need he possibly can.

For our anniversary he really did buy me flowers and they were these big expensive ones … then we went out to dinner… when we got back he really wanted to go for a walk so that he didnt skip his new weight loss routine.  Before, I might have become sulky saying “Can’t we just spend one whole night together?”  But I thought he was so busy at work today and yet came home got dressed up and took me to dinner – surely I can give something too…so we both went on the walk.

I am doing better at keeping in the Word lately and usually on my Bible iPhone app the very verse for that day seems to be very useful to me… I then also read the rest of that chapter for the day.

Just wanted to let you know how it was going, I know I still have so much to learn but these new truths and approaches have amazed me so much.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

a list of My Favorite Marriage Books