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Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead Our Family?

I used to think that my husband had to lead in a certain way in order for God to lead me through him. His personality should be a lot more like mine, of course, for him to lead “properly.” I believed we needed a long list of things I thought were great ideas – lots of formal meetings, written goals, written/verbal feedback on how we were both doing (kind of like a report card), specific plans way in advance in many areas of life, etc…

Somehow, God put me with a man who thinks in a way that is totally unlike my way.  I used to think that meant Greg wouldn’t lead me or that he couldn’t lead me.

Wow, was I wrong!

God absolutely can lead me through Greg. Even without him having the leadership style I might think I would have if I were in charge. All of those things I wanted could be fine things. They may work for some couples, particularly if those things were part of the husband’s personality and leadership style. But, I think God knew that if I got to have all of those things, I might start putting more of my faith in our written plans and meetings than in Him. God has shown me that I can absolutely be content without big human plans, meetings, tons of feedback, etc…

The Lord has also shown me that as I trust Him to lead me through Greg, He knows how to prompt Greg at just the right time and how to inspire him and move his heart to accomplish His will for me. It isn’t all big and flashy. It took quite awhile for us to get to the place where we are now and I am sure we will both continue to grow in Christ and things will continue to change over time.

Most of the time, the way God leads me through Greg is softly, gently, and quietly:

  • When I have another one of my awesome new big ideas – where I want to radically change a lot of things for our family all at once. Greg quietly researches and prays about things. Then, after a few days/weeks, many times, he brings up important issues I hadn’t considered.
  • He tends to slow me down so I don’t rush into a hasty, and regrettable, decision.
  • He shares what he believes is best about various ideas and now I know that he has a lot of valuable wisdom that will benefit me if I will listen.
  • He gently offers suggestions.
  • He comes up with ideas that he believes God may desire me to do – like write a blog, write a book, teach a class, have a conference, etc… – and he shares them with me without any pressure. Then I pray about things.
  • He gives me counsel about how to handle difficult situations and people in my life – again with no pressure that I have to do things his way, but I know he has my best interests at heart and that I can trust him.
  • He lets me know when he feels I might be about to make a mistake.

God uses Greg to bring a lot of balance and wisdom to my life. I am SO thankful for his leadership now! Even though it is not what I originally thought I wanted and needed. And the truth is, human plans don’t always amount to much. We can’t see what is coming in the future. God has a way of being able to change our well-made plans.

It is not wrong to prayerfully make certain plans as we seek to do God’s will. But it is wise for us all to be very flexible and ready to change whenever God moves in our lives in ways we can’t predict.

FOLLOWING CHRIST IS A LOT LIKE FOLLOWING A TRUSTWORTHY GPS

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I think it is easy for us to tend to want to know the WHOLE plan way ahead of time. We want God and/or our husbands – or SOMEONE – to reveal everything that will happen to us right now. It is hard to be at peace in uncertainty and in the whole not knowing thing. On our own, we can’t be at peace in times of uncertainty and trials, but in Christ, we absolutely can be!

I don’t have to know about the mountains I may face 2,000 miles from now. I don’t need to know about the detour I will need to take 5,000 miles from now. What I need to know right now is simply, “Lord, what step do I take next today?”

As I trust God to lead me, He will get the information to me when I need to know it. And He will lead me through my husband in His way and His timing to accomplish His purposes. He will orchestrate the events of my life according to His will. He will use all of the difficulties I face to help me grow and to prune and refine me so that I can grow stronger in my faith and so that He can conform me more to the image of Christ.

What does Jesus have to say about knowing the future?

Quite honestly, we couldn’t handle knowing all of the future right now.

It is a blessing in many ways that God doesn’t give us the ability to see that far ahead. For all we know, there could be a nuclear war tomorrow, or our electric grid might collapse, there might be a massive terrorist strike, the economy might finally collapse, or there may be a huge earthquake or some natural disaster. Or Jesus might return later today. Or perhaps nothing terrible might happen and things may continue on as usual. Maybe something incredibly good might happen that alters the course of our lives. We might try to make plans but our plans are pretty worthless because we don’t know the future. Only God knows.

My prayer is that we might trust the One who actually knows what is going to happen and that we might follow Him and humbly yield to His wisdom. Let’s walk by faith each moment. As we do that, and as we desire to be in the center of the Lord’s will, He knows how to direct our steps and how to lead us in His will.

 

RELATED:

How God Led Me Through Greg to Write a Book

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

 

“My Husband Doesn’t Have a Calling from God, How Can I Follow Him?”

 

 

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Greg leading our family on a mountain hike – June 2014

Maybe you are on board with God’s design for you to be your husband’s helper and to honor and respect your husband and his God-given leadership. But what do you do if your husband doesn’t seem to have any dreams for his life, big goals for the family, a spiritual vision, or a clear calling from God? How do you help support a man’s vision and purpose in life when he can’t seem to see it himself? How do you follow a man who is not willing to sit down and explain his long-term vision and plan or who doesn’t even have a long-term vision and plan?

  • Won’t you end up just doing nothing and going nowhere and wasting your whole life?
  • Wouldn’t that be the worst thing EVER?!?!?!

That was my fear 6 years ago. I thought God couldn’t lead me through Greg before God started me on this journey. Boy, was I wrong! The problem, it turns out, wasn’t that God couldn’t lead me through Greg, it was that I hadn’t been willing to follow God before and I had been too impatient to wait on God and Greg. I kept wanting to run way ahead and do things my way.

I am going to share the most amazing thing with you, my precious sisters:

God DOES have a calling, a purpose, and a vision for your husband even if your husband doesn’t know it or can’t see it right now. He has one for you, too – and His vision, purpose, and calling for both of you are intertwined.

It is ok if your husband doesn’t know where God is leading him. God knows how to lead your husband and God knows how to lead you. God has the plan all figured out. It’s fine if your husband can’t articulate a spiritual blueprint for the rest of his life. He doesn’t have to write out a five year spiritual goal sheet. He doesn’t have to be the most godly leader, husband, and father on the planet right now (in your estimation) in order to for God to use him to lead you and your family. Not a big deal. God knows how to use even pagan kings and entire nations to do His bidding, whether they know they are cooperating with Him or not. This is the awesome thing about having our sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient God as our Lord and Master.

God is the key here, not our husbands!

Sometimes, it is easy to feel like we need to be able to see the whole plan way ahead of time in order for us to get on board. But – God doesn’t usually work that way. Sure, sometimes He does. Sometimes He impresses His calling and a specific ministry or vocation on a person when that person is young and they focus on that mission for the rest of their lives. Other times, things are not neatly mapped out years in advance. Actually – most of the time – He leads in more of a day by day kind of way, giving enough light for just the next step. That can be hard to swallow for those of us who like to control and plan things! But maybe that is the whole point. 🙂 We must learn to walk by faith instead of by a firm plan that we think is set in stone months and years ahead of time.

God calls us to follow Him one day at a time. He asks us to be willing to submit to His will – whatever it is – before we know what His will might be.

Thursday, I’m going to share a bit of my story as it relates to this post.

 

NOTE: If your husband is involved in serious, unrepentant sin, is not in his right frame of mind (due to uncontrolled mental illness, drugs, or alcohol), or is actually abusing you and you are not safe – please seek godly, experienced, biblical counsel and appropriate medical, police, or legal help if necessary. It may not be wise to submit to a husband in such situations. If this is your scenario right now, please don’t read my blog but seek appropriate help. (i.e.: the Salvation Army, Celebrate Recovery, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, a trusted pastor, a trusted godly wife mentor, a trusted Christian counselor, etc…)

RELATED:

My Husband Is Not Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?

Biblical Submission Doesn’t = the Husband Is “Always Right”

Biblical Submission – A Huge Key to Peace

Our Submission Is Primarily to Christ

I’ve REALLY Messed Up – How Do I Make Things Right with God?

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Don’t Always Notice

Some Husbands Share Their Perspectives – PART 2

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Continued from Part 1

Husbands answered my questions:

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

Ladies,

Please keep in mind that each husband would have his own unique answers to these questions. These husbands can’t speak for every single husband on the planet. But, I think it is helpful to get a feel for a variety of men’s answers to these questions. Then, the most important thing is to seek to understand and learn and know your own husband and his needs and to seek to honor God and your particular husband as you walk in the power of God’s Spirit, living in the grace, power and mercy of Christ on a daily basis, seeking God’s glory above all else in your life.

And, just like with the last post, I would like to please keep the focus of our discussions on what wives can do to bless and honor our husbands in the comments on this post. I am very aware that there are many, many needs and desires wives have, as well. And there are an infinite number of things husbands can do to bless, love and cherish their wives. But the purpose of this particular blog is for us as wives to focus on what we can do on our end of the marriage. Thanks!

I appreciate all of these husbands (and some wives, too) who took the time to answer these important questions and allowed me to share their thoughts!

 (PS – for wives whose husbands are lower drive sexually than the wives, or for wives who feel they don’t receive enough compliments from their husbands or who don’t believe their husbands feel attracted to them, this post may be one that would be wise to skip.)

HUSBAND 6

What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

A: I believe that a wife isn’t the only person who should be doing something to make the marriage stronger. As a man, I should be putting my part in to make it stronger as well. A marriage is a 100% effort from both parties involved. But for the sake of this question, I would ask my wife to stay supportive of my work which I’m trying to make as our main income. Help me as much as possible and push me that much harder to make it all work in our favor.

What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

A: Be supportive of everything they do. Understand that what we are doing as husbands is always in the best interest of our marriage and not just ourselves, even if at first it seems that way. Always be there, but never nag to know what is wrong. Sometimes we just need support. We go through a ton of negative thoughts as men who need to provide for our family and it can get very tough and scary for us. Physically we may seem like we are ok, but deep down mentally we are afraid to fail, afraid to disappoint and afraid to let our wives down.

What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

A: Cook his favorite foods, have a cold beer for him ready when he gets home, or a mixed drink. Always look your best no matter what. We want to come home and see our gorgeous wives and know that we work and bust our butt for these beautiful women. We work to give them the world. Don’t nag us for something we may buy, want or do. Just let us be and know we always have the marriage, relationship, family’s best interest at heart and we don’t do things that would jeopardize the foundation and stability of any one of them.

What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

A: As a husband, be there for them and encourage them to go for what they truly believe in. Guide them with some insight. Let them know they are doing a great job even if we don’t feel like it. As a spiritual leader, speak words of affirmation that guide his mind towards God. Email him once in a blue with scripture or sermons regarding a man’s duties to God and his family. And best of all let him know he is the the connection between God and your family and because of that connection blessings have come your way. Because he is a man of God, a God fearing man, your family is blessed.

(A note from Peacefulwife – if your husband is far from God, emailing him about a man’s duties in Scripture may repel him. I Peter 3:1-6 may be your best approach in such a situation. But, this will require great sensitivity to God’s Spirit in each individual circumstance. But if a husband is very resistant to his wife and very resistant to God – I would not suggest sending him anything or saying anything about God with words. As a wife obeys I Peter 3:1-6 and seeks God with all her heart, God is able to speak to our husbands’ hearts. And even if your husband IS close to God, note that this husband suggested only sending such things rarely. Not frequently. It would be easy for a wife to take a suggestion like this and then dump tons of emails about God on her husband. That would probably not draw any husband closer to God or to his wife. It could quickly become nagging. And, not all husbands always have their families’ best interest at heart in all of their decisions. But, some do. And sometimes our husbands actually do have our best interests at heart as they make decisions even when we can’t see it at the time. Thankfully, God always has our best interests at heart and we can ALWAYS trust Him!)

HUSBAND 7

1) Accept the possibility that ‘I may have told you about _____’ and you just forgot. No one remembers every word from every conversation. On occasion, a simple “I’m sorry, I must not remember that conversation” would be nice.
2)Pay attention to the little things that irritate me and try to eliminate them. I’m not going to divorce you on account of them, but they do bother me.
3) Be willing to experiment sexually (even slightly). Just because it is good enough for you, doesn’t mean it is for me. The same thing every time can get boring!
4) Be at peace whenever you can. Life can be rough, but God says ‘fear not’, ‘don’t fret’, and ‘believe’. I’m trying to be strong and make decisions based on His Word. Don’t second-guess what God says. I’m not perfect, but He is.

HUSBAND 8

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

Be more confident in her decisions and beliefs. Sometimes it is ok to disagree on topics, and I respect her opinion. I respect my wife when she voices her opinion in a positive way. Understand more about how intentional I am about spending time with her and our family, but there is a balance with work and home responsibilities that takes some of my time away from the family.

1. Things my wife already does: Stays strong in her Faith with daily time in the Bible and prayer. Encourages and supports me in everything that I do, and decisions I make. Doesn’t judge me on my past mistakes and errors in life.

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

This depends on the man, as each of us perceives caring from our wives in a different way. Some, it’s the physicality, some the doing (cooking, cleaning, etc.), others the heart connection (notes, cards, texts, emails)

2. Things my wife already does: She is strong in all of the areas listed above, but at different times. She knows that the simple thing of making sure I have pressed shirts from the dry-cleaners, takes a big burden off my shoulders. I understand she doesn’t like to do that task herself, but she makes the effort to arrange that they get done. She gets, that for me, it’s the little things. A simple touch on the shoulder when I am stressed or upset about something. My wife doesn’t like to cook, but tries to at times. The effort is always appreciated, but she also can stress over it. Keep it simple.

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

Become psychologists???? Men are strange creatures, and I know that there are times my wife sits there and wonders why my moods turn. For me, I would like my wife to learn what makes me tick in certain situations, and know that asking me, “What can I do to help?” isn’t always what is needed. Yes, I am expecting the impossible, figure it out without discussing it. LOL. I would like her to be more aggressive (sexually) at times, as far as initiating it, yet understand when I want to be the aggressor. Again, probably asking too much, but hey, she asked me to answer these questions, right???

3. Things my wife already does: Intentional about asking me what more she can do. Hey it’s a catch 22. I like that she is intentional about it, just sometimes would like her just to do, and see what happens. My wife is also an extremely respectful wife, and uses Biblical principles to govern who she is as a wife and mother.

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

Be strong and encouraging. Be consistent. Good husbands want their wives and family to be proud of them, and it never hurts to hear it. Understand that as husbands, fathers, and spiritual leaders, there may be time constraints that pull them away from their families. It may not be what they prefer, at the time, but necessary nonetheless. When a wife expresses their pride, verbally, in notes, and when talking with others, it empowers men. Real Christian men don’t shy away from accountability. We may not like it all the time, but we excel in it. How does that encourage? When a man hears someone else talking about something positive their wife said about them, it encourages us, and also in a way holds us accountable from the standpoint of continuing to do the things she is speaking of. It’s awesome to me when my wife says she is proud of me, or appreciates something, but when someone else comments about something my wife told them about me, it is like more real. Hope that makes sense.

4. Things my wife already does: She is a great encourager. The best. She gets it more times than not, and it empowers me. She is much stronger in her Biblical knowledge than I am, yet encourages me to lead our small study group. She constantly expresses to me what a good step-father she thinks I am to her daughter. She motivates me to stay connected with my own children. She is a wonderful mom, and that inspires me to make sure I am a solid leader in our home. It makes it easy, as she is so respectful and defers to me on final decisions. Some will be right, some will be wrong. We will talk through things, as I have great respect for her opinion, but at the end of the day, she empowers me to make the final call.

WIFE 1

My husband said that marriage could be more enjoyable if wives would “play” more. The idea of shoulder-to-shoulder activities; wives getting out there and doing something fun with their husbands 🙂 As far as fulfilling the roles of fathers and husbands, he said that just having a wife that sees and supports the positive things he is doing means so much to him. As far as being a “leader” the big word was “respect.”  Men don’t even want to partner with a wife on the big things if he makes decisions then a wife says, “That’s nice, but you’re doing it wrong”.

RELATED:

Why Do I Have to Submit in the Little Things?

Biblical Submission

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

What Speaks Respect to Husbands

Can You Overdo Respect or Submission in Marriage?

Husbands Share What Makes Them Feel Disrespected

How Disrespectful Was I?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

Little Things (to Us) That May Feel Bigger to Our Husbands

Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want

“When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God”

1013331_58271400I am so excited to share this wife’s story.  God blesses me with stories like this on a daily basis.  This is what makes ministering to women SO exciting.  I LOVE seeing God work in people’s lives, in marriages and in families.  It just never gets old.  This wife’s story will bless you.  Enjoy!
——————–
On New Year’s Eve, we went to a nearby city to the Catholic Book Store (I needed the January edition of the Magnificat). My husband spent almost a half an hour talking to a nun and ended up buying a Bible.  He said he has been reading a lot lately about his role as the husband and the readings always quote the Bible and he wanted to be able to look it up for himself.  I take it for granted with my upbringing that I can quote scripture somewhat and have read much of the Bible. He has not.  While he has always attended church with us and joins in prayer at dinner, it has always been me that had led the spiritual upbringing of our family and home.
 
What has brought about this whole change in him?  Later at dinner I asked.  
He said
“You submitted.” 
 
So here is where I share with you a HUGE secret but I am bursting to tell people but if I do they will think I am freeking crazy!  On October 1st, after about 2 years of research and dancing around the idea of what a Biblical marriage is supposed to be (where the husband is the head and the wife is the body), I submitted.  
  • I stopped arguing with him.
  • I stopped telling him how to do it and when to do it and why to do it.
I used to be so frustrated b/c my husband did not lead.  I had to do all the scheduling and decision making- from what was for dinner to how I was going to get our many children to 9 different places all at the same time while he was working.  And he, with his passive personality (and a lot of emotional baggage from his first marriage), was more than willing to let me.  

However, it was not working because he felt left out and I felt overburdened.  

At first we tried to resolve this by weekly scheduling meetings on Sunday evenings to share calendars and reminders and generally plan the week.  We thought that “we” must not be connecting because we were not communicating.  But what became apparent is that I was removing him from decisions. 
He was coming home to find 18 extra kids at our house (our house tends to be the gathering place) and all he wanted to do was get a heads up or even the opportunity to say “Not tonight- I need some peace”.  After talking a lot about this in September (My husband thought it was a phase…) I handed him the check book (which he already took care of but I mucked up by spending whatever I wanted and thankfully we have good jobs that I can do this but it usually left him scrambling to move money from here to there so nothing bounces- another issue we went round and round about) and said “you lead”.
 

What we have found out is that when I started allowing him to be the decision maker (my new phrase is “ask your father”) he feels more involved and I feel less stressed.  

Bottom line is-
  • I don’t nag.
  •  I don’t demand.
  • I don’t lead.
  • I look to him to make the major decisions.
  • I don’t schedule social events without consulting him.
  • I don’t say, “Yes,” to the kids’ every desire without running it by him.
  • I don’t commit his time or family time without face time and discussion with him personally.

This is not to say I am still not opinionated… I still am who I am.  I am still a strong take charge person.

  • But he leads prayer before dinner.
  • He tells the kids what the tasks might be for the day.
  • He (big deal here) leads in the relationship with his parents (big bone of contention for me as I felt like I was always trying to bridge a gap that neither they nor him felt like bridging… so now I say “I will have to talk to your son” when his mother asks about something).

Because of this, he has felt more part of the family and more like a man.  

I have felt less stressed and more peaceful.  And I speak less (because I am not nagging- haha).

 
Now this has not been all smooth sailing.  We have had our ups and downs where I have stepped back into the “all knowing Mommy ruler” role and he as been all too happy to sit back and watch.  This usually happens when he does not make a decision quick enough… (he is working on his reaction time)… so I jump right in and make that decision for him… (I am working on patience).  
 
After 3 months we have realized it is not a phase and the outcome has been I have reconnected with my husband and HE IS SEEKING THE LORD AS HE LOOKS INTO HOW TO BE A STRONG LEADER TO OUR FAMILY (so he bought a Bible).  
 
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??????
Can you believe that because I said “I will shut up and let you be a leader” that my husband is seeking the Lord?  That he went to Mass alone when the rest if the family was out of town?! That he bought a Bible?  When I finally shut up, he could hear God (and that is amazing).  
 
So there you have it.  
It seems nuts but I have to say, I have never been more happy or at peace.  It is simply beautiful.  
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
God’s wisdom works, my precious sisters.  It worked really quickly in this case!  WOW!  
I am actually NOT at all surprised that her husband is seeking God now and that he is leading.  This is almost always the result, in time, when a wife obeys God and seeks to be the woman and wife He calls us to be.
What a beautiful story!  I am so glad this sister of ours was willing to share!

The Powerful Concept of "Submitting Under Protest" – Part 1

couple at sunset

FIRST – I want to share a wife’s  comment I received this past weekend:

Very briefly I wanted to thank Peacefulwife. I discovered your blog on September 5, 2013. I applied everything I learned and am so grateful.

My dear husband passed away on November 10, 2013. Although my heart aches I can honestly say I have NO REGRETS.  My husband left this world knowing his wife loved and RESPECTED him! There was nothing left unsaid. He was only 53 and had an unexpected hemorrhagic stroke.

Dear wives no matter how hard and frustrating it may be to follow this Godly counsel, do it NOW!

We aren’t promised tomorrow.

God Bless!

———————–

Such a sobering thing to think about.  How I praise God that they had two months to get things right with each other and with God.  What an incredible blessing to be able to say, “I have no regrets” even in the face of the grief of losing her husband.  Whew!

I pray that each of us might live in obedience to God and in right relationship with Him and with our husbands and other people in our lives, that we might be able to say we have no regrets in the face of tragedy.

TODAY’S TOPIC:

Whether you believe your husband is watching “too much TV,”  shouldn’t look at certain things, is working more than you think he should, is not “involved enough” with the children,  is not “making you a priority” the way you want him to, or whatever the issue is – if you respond to him by yelling at him and demanding that he do what you want him to do,  that is going to be a destructive approach every time.  Not to mention – if we are yelling and screaming at our husbands – we are sinning against God and against our husbands ourselves.  That is NOT ok!  If God’s Spirit is in control of our lives, we will have His self-control and gentleness.

Here is one Christian brother’s perspective on this issue (he was responding to a particular wife’s situation – but I believe his counsel applies in many situations) that may help us to understand a lot better why approaching our husbands with demands and disrespect won’t work and is damaging to the marriage and to our husbands:

THE BLESSING OF A HUSBAND REFUSING TO RESPOND TO OUR YELLING AND SCREAMING AT THEM TO CHANGE

You should realize there is a silver lining in this for you, that you have not quite noticed yet. And that is the fact that your husband is not submitting to you, especially given the nature of how you are addressing him. If he was falling all over himself to please and supplicate to you, you would end up despising him.

One thing about women, they will forgive men for being bad, but they cannot stand a weak man. So for now, he is keeping the peace by not directly challenging you, but he not bowing to your demands. Good for him.

Personally, if my wife tried to get me to stop doing something by issuing a command, I would tell her:
“You’ve forced my hand. I am going to have to continue doing this thing, because I will not have you thinking that I am here to submit to your orders.”

  • For a woman to use insistence and demands to get her man in line is really no different than a man using similar tactics to get her to be intimate. Would you want to be bullied into sex? I think not.

Now, about his actions, if what you say is true (and it might be) , perhaps he needs to stop looking at those women on the TV.

But God is not a God of shortcuts, and God will not give you means to bypass his means and methods, and simply order your husband around like a child. If you want what you want, you are going to have to get it the “hard way”. God’s way.  And done in Christian LOVE, but love for both of you.

  • What you are not seeing is the kind of emotional violence you may be doing to your husband. You may feel completely justified in what you want, but bludgeoning him with scolding and shaming is neither loving nor respectful.

Let’s also realize an uncomfortable but truthful reality. Your husband is probably bigger and stronger than you. Do you notice that he does not use that physical superiority to control you? Some men do. Most women have zero chance in a physical altercation with a man. But on the flipside, women have the power to bludgeon with words in a way that many men do not.

So, in some households, the women are swinging away with their verbal and emotional fists, while their husband locks himself up, suffering the evil of being abused, and having no way to respond without being called an abuser himself. This one-sided dynamic pervades our society, where a screaming, yelling woman is perceived to be venting a legitimate grievance, but the same behavior from a man is “abuse”.

SUBMITTING UNDER PROTEST

And as I have said before, it is perfectly acceptable for a wife to submit “under protest”.

Like love, it is a decision, not a feeling. An act of one’s will.

In fact, submitting while respectfully protesting is better than just shutting up, since if you stifle your feelings, he may never pick up on the fact that there are things making you sad or hurt.

I’ll never forget what that pastor’s wife said:

  • “I am going to be a blessing to you no matter what you do”.

He said is was like a punch to the gut. I’m sure David felt the same way when he got called out for killing Uriah.

AN ANALOGY

I don’t want the following to seem like I am comparing women to children, because that is not the intent.

Many parents, especially mothers, have had their kids try the “I hate you, I hate you, I wish I had a different mom”, or some other tactic when they don’t get their way on something.

At first glance, some people might think that the pain a mom feels when she hears this is because her child is claiming to hate her. But this misses the reality of the situation. She knows her child, in fact, does not hate her.

The pain comes from realizing that someone you love would so frivolously use such painful words against you. The child, in this situation, knows they don’t hate their mother. But they want their way so intensely, that they are willing to use a tactic like this.

The child does not really consider the parent’s feelings, because mom (or dad) is so big, so tough, and the kid thinks “I can say this and it won’t matter.” So, the kid is venting their anger, or trying to manipulate, but is blind to the pain they cause, and the costs that are being incurred.

Similarly, some women tend to think of men as tough, unemotional, unreachable, etc. So such a “nuclear” tactic seems harmless to them. Similarly, some women tend to think of men as tough, unemotional, unreachable, etc. So such a “nuclear” tactic seems harmless to them.

Just as God gave men physical strength to use to bless their families through protection and provision, he gave women emotional skills to build up their husbands and children. A man should never use his God-given strength as a weapon against his wife, and a woman should never use her emotional skills as a weapon against her husband.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

If a husband allowed his wife to get what she wanted by pitching a fit, screaming, yelling, insulting him, calling him names, etc… he is “teaching her” that this is how to treat him and this is how to get her way. That is not a gift to anyone!  In fact, it would reward her sin and teach their children to use this behavior as well.

GREG WOULDN’T SUBMIT TO ME – PRAISE GOD!

I am BEYOND THANKFUL now that Greg would not do what I demanded he do all those many 14+ years earlier in our marriage.  If I was able to force him to do my will by using my words and volume and anger – it would mean he had no convictions or backbone at all.  In fact, it would mean he was a huge wimp.

  • How could I respect a man who allowed me to manipulate him into doing whatever I wanted with my poor behavior?

I couldn’t!

Now I realize that Greg stuck to his convictions and that he was showing leadership skills by refusing to allow my emotions and verbal intensity and even verbal attacks to move him.  And I also realize that if he had caved in to me, it would have created an even more destructive scenario in our marriage.

Now, I am thankful that I can respectfully share my feelings with Greg, but that he will do what he truly believes is best, even if he goes against my feelings and desires on a given decision.  WHAT A HUGE RELIEF that is!  My feelings won’t dictate our decisions.  My feelings can be kind of unpredictable and unstable.  I don’t want my feelings to be the ultimate litmus test and for me to have the final veto based on my feelings.  I want to have input and to feel heard, but I don’t want Greg to be a slave to my emotions.  I don’t want to be a slave to my own emotions!

MEN HAVE FEELINGS

Let’s keep in mind – that men DO have emotions and feelings.  I became convinced early in our marriage that Greg didn’t have feelings because he didn’t express them verbally and because he didn’t look upset when I would get upset.  He seemed totally unaffected by me or my feelings.  He never shared any feelings.  So I figured eventually that I could say anything and it wouldn’t phase him.

I was SO WRONG.

Men DO have feelings and we are able to deeply wound them with our words.  They don’t emote and respond the same way we do externally.  But they have tender hearts.

They can hear us just fine if we express ourselves respectfully.  We are much more likely to see them grant us the desires of our hearts when we approach them with civility, politeness, respect and a calm, pleasant friendly tone of voice.  They may need more time to think about things than we would.  That is ok!

The only power we have when we scream or attack verbally is the power to sever our husbands from us emotionally and spiritually – maybe even sexually if it gets bad enough.  Verbal attacks are very damaging to our husbands and our marriages.

  • There is really never a valid reason to scream and yell or berate our husbands or to attempt to belittle or humiliate them in order to try to get our way.  There is never a godly reason that gives me justification for attempting to force or control my husband into doing what I want to.  God allows us all the freedom to have free will.  He doesn’t force us into anything.  Am I above God that I should have the power to force my husband to do my will?  Nope!  Definitely not!  

When God’s Spirit rules in our hearts – He empowers us to have gentleness and self-control.

If we don’t have gentleness and self-control – we probably have a lot of sin on our hands to repent of and need to get back in right relationship with Christ!

RELATED:

Instead of Going on a Big, Emotional Tirade… 

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