"God Showed Me How to Approach My 'Command Man' Husband"

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This precious sister in Christ responded to “A ‘Drill Sergeant’ Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach.” I’m so thankful she allowed me to share. Please seek God’s Spirit’s wisdom and prompting above any human examples you see here or anywhere else. God is the One with ALL wisdom and ALL power. He can give us exactly the best way to approach our particular husbands in every situation. We all need His power in order to be godly wives. We can’t do this in our own strength!

This is so true – our approach matters greatly.

My husband is constantly reminding the children and me at times that it’s often not what we say but how we say it. My husband is a “command man” and used to be a bit harsh when I was controlling and disrespectful. I smiled when I read your examples because I struggle with saying, “You need to…” to my husband a lot and he will usually respond by raising his eyebrows and jokingly saying, ”I need to?”

It took me a long time to learn how to approach my husband without him becoming angry or feeling as though I wanted to control or change him. It also took the power of the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and give me a heart that desired my husband’s good above my own.

God, through the Apostle Paul, exhorts us to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). This was what changed my marriage – when I laid down my desire to have my husband act a certain way and began to seek how I could love him and encourage him and meet his needs. This was and – at times still is – a struggle for me. But when I approach my husband like a drill sergeant its mostly because I want something really bad that I’m not getting and I’m not living out Philippians 2:3-4 which I believe describes the mind of Christ that we are to let be in us. ”In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others (your husband) more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others (your husband) too.”

A lot of times we feel justified in the way we speak to our husbands thinking thoughts like. ..

  • “He needs to do this”
  • “God wants him to change in this area and its my job to let him know, if I don’t, he will think this behavior is okay.”
  • “Why do I always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.”

(please see comment from Peacefulwife about these statements at the bottom of the post)

These thoughts do not come from Christ, He doesn’t think like that.

He wants to use [us] to love our husbands with His love, and if our goal is to love our husbands, our approach will glorify God. I remember one time God helped me to approach my husband in a feminine way that he still mentions at times. I spent many years trying to be my husband’s Holy Spirit, I would see things that “I” felt needed to be changed or did not meet “my” standard of what a godly man is and tell him what he needed to do. I thought I was practicing Galatians 6:1 which says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

My problem was that I skipped over the gently and humbly part and you know what – I fell into sin big time and usually we ended up in a huge argument. I would walk away thinking, “See, he just can’t take correction.”

The truth was my approach was not godly – it was self-righteous and I had deceived myself, just like the next verses say (Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.) I was fooling myself.

So after God revealed this to me, I begged him to help me – and He did. The time I mentioned earlier where God helped me we were laying in bed and I looked over at him and asked,

“Baby, may I have your permission to speak into your life?”

He grabbed my hands and literally almost cried. He responded, “Of course, Baby, the way you just asked me – I am open to hear whatever you have to say.” He said he felt respected. Then I proceeded to tell Him what I felt the Lord had showed me and he received it. I knew this was God and I went to sleep with a joyful praise to Him in my heart.

If we ask God for wisdom on how to approach our husbands, He will give it to us. We just must be open and humble to obey God when He speaks and be led by His Spirit. From my experience, God’s ways work – and usually (not all the time) –  if you go to approach your hubby and it ends up in an argument, you are trying to get a result using the means of the flesh instead of the Spirit.

I think a good and very godly and feminine example to study is Esther when she came before the king. She didn’t demand that he not kill her people, she sought the Lord and approached her husband in a way that allowed God to move on Hs heart. She didn’t have to rely on her flesh using manipulative tactics, she trusted God. And when she approached the king, it was with honor and respect. She said, “If it pleases the king….” And He responded by offering her half the Kingdom.

This is God’s way a wife is to be gentle and meek [meek = bridled strength] – this is precious in the sight of God. It doesn’t mean that you are a doormat, it means you are wise. If we feel that our husband doesn’t deserve to be talked to this way, then it is our heart that need changing.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I do want to note – that if this wife had used that respectful approach with her husband with her words, but really held contempt or bitterness in her heart – it would not have worked. God had purified her motives and her approach and motives were working together by the power of God’s Spirit – THAT  combination greatly impacts a husband for Christ.

Let’s talk about the thoughts this wife was having…

  • “He needs to do this”
  • “God wants him to change in this area and its my job to let him know, if I don’t, he will think this behavior is okay.”

The problem with these statements are, we could set ourselves up in our hearts as if we know better than our husbands what they “should” do. It is possible that we may see something they could do better. That happens sometimes, but if we are not careful, we could be approaching our husbands with pride, self-righteousness, judgment, or contempt when we focus on what they “need to do.” What are our motives in wanting to address sin in our husbands’ hearts? Our motives are so key! Are we listening to God’s voice or to the enemy?

There are times when we do need to speak into our husbands’ lives, but it needs to be only at God’s prompting and our motives must be pure.

God actually can speak to our husbands even without our help. Sometimes He may prompt us to silently wait and pray. Other times He may prompt us about exactly when to speak, what to say, and how to approach our husbands. This requires great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and a constant “abiding in Christ.” (John 10 and 15)

If we go off in the strength of our own flesh, we will probably either respond in ways that are too passive or too controlling. Both of those things are destructive. The goal is to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, sensitive to God’s voice, and totally obedient to His Word and His prompting for us in each situation.

It is easy for wives to try to assume the role of the Holy Spirit in their husbands’ lives. That role is already filled by the real Holy Spirit. He does an excellent job at convicting and changing people. We do not. We are not deity. If we try to be God to our husbands, our approach will be destructive. We must be careful not to exalt ourselves above our husbands or as equal to or above God in our own hearts. If we approach our husbands about a sin in their lives, it must be with great humility on our part.

It is also easy to fall into the role of the accuser in our husbands’ lives. That role is also already filled – by Satan. Let’s not cooperate with the enemy! If we try to join forces with Satan, our approach will also be destructive. Our husbands need loving, respectful, humble, gracious teammates – not a prosecuting attorney.

May God give each of us His wisdom about how to approach our husbands and if we should approach them about various issues as we seek Christ with all our hearts! (To Speak or Not To Speak, Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin)

  • “Why do I always have to humble myself and build up his ego? I am just helping him be selfish.”

If a wife’s goal is truly to help her husband be selfish and prideful, that is a sinful, destructive goal. The real goal here is that we would seek to walk in obedience to God in the power of His Spirit, being filled with His Word, treating our husbands with honor and respect because we love God and love our husbands with God’s love. God does not call us to condone sin or endorse or respect sin. The goal is for us to build up our husbands, to encourage them, to inspire them, to bless them, and to do good to them according to God’s definition. The wife who wrote this post was describing her view of respecting her husband from a worldly standpoint in this thought. Before we understand God’s design and commands, we may misunderstand His Word for us. But as we seek Him and walk in obedience, we realize that He is not asking us to stroke our husbands’ ego, inflate his sinful sense of pride, or promote sin at all – but to bless our husbands and to be instruments in His hands for our husbands’ benefit.

RELATED:

How God Used an Old Truck and a Wife’s Faith

How She Apologized for Her Disrespect – Calming the Storm

Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband Is “Always Right.”

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

REMINDER:

If you have severe issues in your marriage – actual abuse, uncontrolled mental illness, active drug/alcohol/gambling addictions, criminal activity, unrepentant infidelity, etc… – please don’t read my blog but seek godly, experienced, trustworthy, one-on-one counsel.

The Salvation Army – resources for those in addictions and in abusive situations

Celebrate Recovery – Christian addiction recovery

www.xxxchurch.org – for Christian porn/sex addiction help

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (not a Christian based site)

 

A “Drill Sergeant” Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach

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A “Humorous Wedding Cake Topper” at Wal-Mart.

Definitely not the picture of godly femininity we are going for!

And not humorous at all, in my view.

Warning:

Please do not attempt any of the things I talk about on my blog without the Holy Spirit’s counsel. John 16:14: “and He will give you a Counselor to help you and be with you forever.”   The Holy Spirit has wisdom that is infinitely higher than any human wisdom for our marriages and every other aspect of life. Jesus alone is Real Love and Real Life, and the way He gives us that abundant spiritual life is through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts. God will give the Holy Spirit to you if you belong to Him and ask Him to fill you. (If you don’t have the power of God’s Spirit in your life, it could be that His Spirit is being quenched by sin or that you may need more time in God’s Word and prayer – or it could mean you do not yet belong to Christ.)

That is what we all need more than anything, to let the Holy Spirit lead us as to how we should proceed in our life and relationships. Be sensitive to His Word and His promptings. What God has to say is always infinitely more important than anything I or any other human might advise. I seek to point women to Christ and the Bible. But each of us desperately need much time in God’s Word and in fervent prayer daily – seeking God and His righteousness and His kingdom far above anything else. 

———

There is a book that has a free download “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. One of the statements in chapter 1 is very helpful, in my view:

“THE MORE PERSONAL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THE LESS A WOMAN OUGHT TO RELY ON DIRECTIVES TO GUIDE HIM.”

Sometimes the reason why our husbands seem to ignore us, shut down, or fight against us – may be as simple as they way we approach them – particularly our choice of words and our tone of voice. Of course, there can be a lot more going on than just this. Our motives, what we are asking for, the wounds our husbands have, our own scars, whether we are filled with God’s Spirit, where our husbands are spiritually, and a lot of other things contribute to communication issues, as well. But lets look at directives today.

A directive is a command:

  • Do this.
  • Go there.
  • Don’t do that.
  • You better …
  • Get in here!/ Come here!
  • Stop that.
  • You need to…
  • You should…
  • You shouldn’t…
  • You have to…
  • You must…
  • Give me that.

There is no relationship that is more personal than the marriage relationship. We may not even realize that we are using directives and commands in our communication with our husbands. I know I had never thought about that earlier in our marriage. Honestly, I don’t think many women or even older children would appreciate an authoritarian approach, either. I know I am glad that Greg doesn’t talk to me this way.

My giving someone directives is a great way to create resentment and bitterness in others.

There are times that directives are appropriate – if someone is about to walk into the street in front of traffic, I will want to scream, “STOP!!! Don’t walk into the street!” But most of the time, directives are unnecessarily forceful and they can be insulting. If I give a directive to someone, I am implying that I have the right to tell that person what to do (or to control him/her) rather than honoring that person’s God-given free will.

We can communicate effectively without ordering people around, thankfully!

A woman can communicate her desires, needs, and feelings with her husband by using respectful persuasive language, suggestions, or requests. It is important that if we use these approaches, we do them sincerely and honestly. I’m not saying to lie to your husband or manipulate him!

For those of you who tend to be overly quiet, “too respectful, “too submissive” or “passive” wives – the ideas below may give you some ideas about how to find the courage and the way to open up more and to begin to share more of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. You are a person, too. Your ideas, wants, perspective, wisdom, and concerns are important and it is your responsibility to share yourself with your husband, to be authentic and vulnerable. It is important to use your God-given influence in marriage for God’s glory.

We can respect our husbands for being men by approaching them in a way that honors their God-given masculinity and value as grown adults:

  • I would really appreciate it if you would please…
  • Would you be able to…?
  • I need to get X done by tomorrow. How do you think we could accomplish this goal?
  • What ideas do you have?
  • What are your concerns?
  • Here are some of my concerns…
  • What is important to you about this decision?
  • Some things that are really important to me are…
  • I was thinking about this project. I really want to do X with it.
  • Would you please…?
  • I’m not sure I completely understand. Would you please share more of your perspective with me?
  • I need X, please.
  • I’m having a problem with …
  • I could use some help with …
  • It would mean a lot to me if we could…
  • Would you consider…?
  • What if we…?
  • Here are a few of my ideas… what do you think?
  • Would you please take care of X for me? Thank you very much.
  • I really appreciate how you handled Y.
  • Thank you for taking care of that. You really did such a great job!
  • I knew I could count on you.
  • You’re my hero!!! Thank you!
  • I’d like to try…

Some things to avoid:

  • insulting him
  • criticizing his character
  • mothering him (treating him like he is an incompetent little boy)
  • degrading sarcasm
  • a hateful tone of voice
  • yelling
  • scolding
  • purposely trying to wound him
  • rolling your eyes to imply he is an idiot
  • acting superior to him, being condescending or patronizing
  • gossiping to him or about him

Some ways to bless him:

  • use a gentle approach
  • use a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression whenever appropriate
  • show appreciation for his gifts, talents, abilities, and work
  • be genuinely friendly
  • be generally receptive to considering his ideas and to find the good in his ideas
  • acknowledge, especially in your heart, that you are both equally precious before God, equally fearfully and wonderfully made, equally image bearers of God, and of equal worth and dignity
  • respect God, respect him, and respect yourself

This same approach is going to be a way that we can respectfully express our needs, desires, and thoughts with just about everyone in our lives. It is good for us to share our needs, desires, and ideas and we can share them in a way that honors our own femininity and that honors the personhood of those around us.

Something to prayerfully consider:

  • How might these same kinds of things apply in our relationship to God?
  • Is it appropriate for us to give God directives?

Respect is part of the love God commands all believers to show to all other people. It involves using good manners, being polite, having true humility, and seeking to show honor to other people:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a

SHARE:

What are some effective ways you have discovered of approaching your husband and sharing your needs, desires, and feelings respectfully without directives?

If you are a man, how do you believe men feel when their wives use directives to communicate with them? What approaches do you believe would be more effective?

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Signs Your Husband Feels Disrespected (and Unloved)

My Beliefs 

NOTE:

If your husband is particularly controlling or abusive in some way, please seek godly, one-on-one, experienced biblical counsel from a trusted pastor or Christian counselor. I am not able to write for wives facing severe issues here, and strongly encourage you to seek appropriate help for your situation. I don’t want anyone to be unsafe.

The Salvation Army may be a good resource if you are dealing with true abuse, active addictions, or severe situations.

Celebrate Recovery is a Christian program to help people find sobriety from drugs/alcohol/addictions.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

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

Some Husbands Share Their Perspectives – PART 1

man praying

Here are some questions I asked the gentlemen readers a few weeks ago:

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?

I am very excited to share some of the responses. There is something about hearing men share their ideas and their hearts and minds in their own words that is such a blessing and so very helpful to us as wives as we seek to learn to become the wives God desires us to be. Every husband would have somewhat different answers to these questions. Ideally, you may be able to ask your own husband what he thinks about these things, but, if you are not in a place in your marriage where that is possible, or your husband is not able to verbalize himself yet, these answers may be helpful and may get you in the ballpark, at least. I’d like us to consider that our husbands’ needs, desires and concerns are just as valid and legitimate as our own.

Ladies,

There are MANY things wives would appreciate our husbands doing for us, too. We have legitimate needs, desires and preferences, too. But, this two part series is not about what we want or what husbands should do or could do. It is about what our husbands want and need and how we can bless them.  So, as you comment, I would appreciate if we could stick with this focus, please. 🙂

PS-  if you are a wife whose husband is low drive and you are the higher drive spouse – some of the husbands’ comments may be upsetting and counterproductive to read. For some of you, this post may be one that would be better to skip.

Here is the link to Part 2 of this series.

HUSBAND 1

1. Don’t spare me so much. Don’t try to keep normal life stresses away from me. I don’t like going to the grocery store, but I know it’s part of life. I think it is a little mothering and demeaning. It feels like you’re trying to protect me.
2. Allow us to do our God-assigned tasks. That’s what we are built for. Let us fail or succeed but still be there. When you stopped picking on my bad qualities, it bolstered my trust.
3. Be adventurous in the bedroom. But it’s tough because from a man’s standpoint, you’re the wife and mother of his children. Sometimes it helps for the wife to show her sexual side.
4. Believe in them. Don’t say I told you so. Don’t crucify him if his well intended plans don’t work out. The key is for you to be his biggest and unconditional supporter.

 

(** A note from Peacefulwife – if the husband is the lower drive spouse and the wife is the higher drive spouse, a husband may appreciate less pressure sexually, at least for a time. For more on this topic, please check out this post.)

HUSBAND 2

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?

Pleasant demeanor when we come home. Verbally appreciate when we do things around the house. Smile. Offer a massage. Imagine if we all treated our spouses like we treat customers and co workers at our jobs.

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

Dress modestly. Immodest dress says to your husband his attention is not sufficient for you and you need attention from strangers. If you’re getting dressed or picking out clothes to buy and have to ask if it fits the definition of modest…it doesn’t.

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

Men have fragile ego’s that need a certain style of stroking. A man’s confidence and success is directly tied to feeling desired, respected and appreciated. Hearing your wife compliment you especially publicly or to her friends shows she respects you and makes a guy feel like a million bucks. I’m not sure I would jump on the bandwagon of “be into the things he’s into”. Quite frankly I’d be a little creeped out if all of a sudden my wife sat down to watch a baseball game with me or overheard her and her friends analyzing last nights Patriots game. Would I want her to watch a softball game I was playing in? Absolutely but it would really seem odd if she wanted me to train her in how to play so we could be teammates. It depends on your husband and what and how he would respond to your “interest”. We may not have the emotional radar you do but we know when you’re not really into something.

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

Pray for us, pray with us and remind us periodically that you are praying for us. Men like to be reminded that you really are in our corner and have our back. A husbands life and death are in the hands and heart of his wife. Knowing I’ve done something to make my wife happy makes me feel good. Hearing it from her with a smile is an uplift like nothing else.

 

HUSBAND 3

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?
**When we started our journey, I asked her to pray with me. I think this is the strongest and most intimate thing a couple can do together. The next very important key is that she shows her respect for you. At home, in public, with family, always. Men are much happier when they know that their wife respects them. It’s an ego booster for sure, so be careful, men, don’t let it make you too prideful.

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?
**I feel very blessed when my wife lifts me up. She supports my (sometimes radical) ideas and/or goals. Even if they don’t always turn out the way I envisioned, she’s always there to support me. Also, she does so many things around the house to make my life (after a long day at work) a lot simpler. From fresh coffee, clean laundry and a peaceful environment, to hugs, kisses and a desire to please me sexually, I feel VERY blessed!

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?
**It may sound “old fashioned” or maybe (to the modern feminist) sexist, but if women took better care of their home, kids, appearance, etcetera, their men just might be a lot happier. Maybe it’s just me, but, I like coming home after a long day to a clean house, quiet kids, a nice meal, a wife that cares about her appearance, and things of that sort. MUCH more enjoyable than loud unruly kids, a messy house, and a wife in “cruddy” clothes. Also, try to take/show an interest in the things he likes. I love fishing with my wife, long drives, cheesy movies, classic cars, and we even discuss politics without arguing! I know, weird huh?!

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?
**Simple…Prayer (for their man and together), outward respect and devotion, and positive feedback!

 

HUSBAND 4

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?

  • She is available for sex.
  • Is good at making meals and learn better stuff from time to time.
  • A good home-keeper.
  • She is keen on being smart and good-looking even after marrying this dude.

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

  • Gentleness in how she talks to her husband.
  • Shows visible priority of husband over kids. The kids have legitimate need for attention but it should be obvious
    where her basic loyalty lies.
  • She is available as a helper when called upon without seeming to imply she is always doing this other more important thing.

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

  • Giving gifts -doesn’t have to be a diamond studded bracelet ! Just visible proof that she wants to make you happy.
  • She is available for companionship and makes this one of her priorities (this is distinct from just sex).
  • She makes effort to learn what makes him happy and is committed to it.
  • She is keen to learn ways to continually improve her marriage and is not slovenly (ie allowing the water to find its own level). To acknowledge there is a better way that can bring more happiness.

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

  • Not being independent when she makes decisions and consults her husband on relatively major to major decisions.
  • Trusting what the husband is doing is good/important. Allow him to even fail when he insists so he can learn from his mistakes. It is like showing the captain of the ship that your trust his leadership. This is an extreme motivator (my personal humble opinion).
  • Openly showing respect for him to the kids ( by acts and words) even by comments made when the husband is not present.
  • She knows she is not perfect and does not have to be the perfect wife but is willing to try on the above areas and others that she receives feedback on from her husband.

 

HUSBAND 5

Hi April, I just wanted to make one small ( but BIG) suggestion to couples. Please be sure to SLOWLY implement the changes so that your mate will not get defensive. I admit, I get ‘uncomfortable’ with drastic changes because I used to ‘sadly’ think the worst :(. The majority of the time – if we are sincere – we ALL want to make a quick change – but don’t weigh the consequences.

 

RELATED:

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Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

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

When Your Husband Won’t Answer

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice

Nikka’s Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband

Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers

If You Insist on Being “in Charge” – He Figures You Can Protect Yourself

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Many wives want to know why their husbands don’t protect them from his family or other extended family during conflicts. I know every situation is different, and I can’t begin to address every possible scenario and there can be many very complex factors involved.  So I will only be able to speak in generalities here – primarily about when a wife is being controlling.

(** If you are dealing with very serious situations – mental illness, drug/alcohol addictions, criminal activities, actual abuse, infidelity, etc… please don’t read my blog but seek godly, experienced one-on-one help.)

My understanding is that most men who are anywhere near healthy emotionally/spiritually/mentally are glad to provide for, protect and lead their wives and families, especially when they feel appreciated, trusted and respected.

God created men to want to be our heroes, to be the “good guys” we can trust, admire, be proud of and honor. Most husbands LOVE to see their wives happy. Really! If a husband knows it is actually possible to please his wife, he will usually want to try to please her. Many men measure their success as husbands/fathers/men by the happiness of their wives.  (I am not saying they should – I would rather they measure their success by God’s approval not our emotions, myself. But this is what many men do.)

If a wife disrespects her husband or tries to usurp his position of God-given authority (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, Genesis 2-3, Proverbs 31), the dynamics dramatically shift:

  • Now the wife is taking a stance of being in competition with her husband  instead of looking to him with admiration, honor, respect and cooperation to bless him as her teammate in the marriage. A man doesn’t generally try to protect, nurture, be affectionate toward, be gentle toward, fawn over or woo his competition.
  • If a wife takes the masculine stance of taking authority, the husband will generally either fight her for his position or will unplug and become passive and let her take over. If he is more prone to being passive, he may eventually just let her do her own thing and let her have the whole job of leading, providing and protecting herself since that is what she wanted. She is signaling to him to treat her like a man. He may even give up trying to be the leader, husband and father God calls him to be. At this point, many men sink into deep depression.
  • If she is going to take care of herself and she doesn’t want or need him to be her hero and she isn’t willing to follow his leadership, then he assumes she can protect herself and take care of everything herself. If she wants to act like a man, he will let her “be her own man.”
  • He married her to be with a woman who complements him and is his teammate, not someone who acts like his competition. He may feel like there is no role for him in the marriage if she tries to take the position God gave to him.
  • If a wife takes over and tries to control her husband and she disrespects her husband, he will be very busy trying to protect himself from his wife. She is coming at him like an enemy. So the one he is most concerned about protecting is himself. Why would he try to protect, nurture, adore and cherish someone who is doing everything in her power to undermine and hurt him?
  • In a man’s world, if someone takes an authoritarian role, that person doesn’t want or need others to protect him. Whoever is in charge does the protecting. And it would be disrespectful to the person in the position of authority for someone else to rush to protect him.
  • He may even feel like she is pretty scary. Those verbal attacks and outbursts of negative emotion, criticism, scolding, lecturing, bossing him around, criticizing him, blasting him, humiliating him, undermining him, arguing with him, complaining about him, telling everyone how little she thinks of him… do not draw a husband toward his wife. This is how “a foolish wife tears down her house with her own hands” Proverbs 14:1.
  • Wives have SUCH power to make a home a peaceful sanctuary filled with joy, safety, love, respect, honor, nurturing, blessing and comfort, or we can turn our homes into an all out war zone where no one is safe, everyone ducks for cover and it is “every man for himself.”
  • When a wife expects her husband to submit to her, she is asking him to emasculate himself and take on a wife’s position in marriage.   
  • If our husbands did everything we told them to do and catered to our every demand, we would actually not be satisfied even then, and we would also respect our husbands LESS, not more. I’m not sure we realize that. When a wife is dominant and the husband does decide to submit to her, the wife  lose all respect for her husband, he loses respect for himself and loses his ability to love her. Everyone loses.
  • Most husbands don’t want to be in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between their mothers or their wives. Yes, husbands should put their wives first. That is God’s design (Genesis 2:24). But husbands don’t want to have conflict with their mothers. They love their moms and don’t want to hurt them if at all possible. And it is also God’s command for us to honor our fathers and mothers (Exodus 20). Most husbands want to put their wives first and honor their parents as well. That is a good thing that honors God.
  • If a wife is being disrespectful to his family or the extended family, he will most likely let her fix the mess she made herself. She has stepped out from under his covering and protection if she is provoking discord and fights with family.
  • If a wife attacks his family members, the husband will feel a sense of duty to try to defend those he loves. This pits the wife and husband against each other. That is not the message we want to send to our men. If a wife determines to be enemies with his family, it puts him in a lose/lose situation. He loves his wife and his family.
  • If a wife tries to go into his family and change people’s personalities or tries to go against the unwritten “emotional rules” on his side of the family, it would be very difficult for him to support her.

If a husband has felt truly loved and genuinely respected for quite some time by his wife, and she is treating his family with respect – most husbands will, eventually, protect and stand up for their wives and their family IF they believe that there is a real threat against their wives and children. (Please note, husbands don’t always have the same definition of “threat” that we do as wives.)

 

I believe, as we obey and honor God’s Word for us as wives and as believers in Christ, we may be able to avoid a lot of conflicts so that they don’t even happen in the first place. That is my prayer. But if there is inevitable conflict, and a wife is placing herself under her husband’s authority, leadership, protection and covering – her husband will be most inspired and empowered to defend her  and their children if necessary.

——————

Please check out a husband’s comments in the comment section. Other husbands are welcome to comment, as well, I am sure a lot of wives would appreciate a masculine perspective on this issue. And, ladies, you are always welcome to comment any time. 🙂

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A Wake Up Call for Wives

7 Basic Needs of a Husband and 7 Basic Needs of a Wife – Rev. Weaver

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Usually today is prayer day. But my schedule has been suddenly disrupted this week – which is fine. God is certainly sovereign over that.

I have been wanting to share this post and am so excited to get to share it today with you.

From Rev. Harold Weaver’s marriage class, posted with permission. (Rev and Mrs. Weaver celebrated their 50th anniversary about a year ago.)

Ladies,

Please focus primarily on the needs of husbands. 🙂 If we allow ourselves to get too caught up in our own needs, it can often lead us to spiral into sin – particularly for wives who have tended to be controlling/disrespectful. I know it can for me! If things are not going well and you are feeling very discouraged or unsatisfied in your marriage, I encourage you to skip the needs of a wife and go directly to the needs of the husband – if you have already shared your needs many times, in particular. It is entirely possible to turn these legitimate needs into idols (things we put above Christ and seek to fulfill in illegitimate ways) if we are not careful to find all of our contentment, identity, security, peace, joy, purpose, acceptance, strength and hope in Christ alone. I have linked the class notes for each of the husbands’ needs so you can find out much more detail about each of the points about husbands.

Each of the basic needs of a husband has a link to the class notes on that heading that may be very helpful, as well. Enjoy!

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A WIFE

1. A wife needs the stability and direction of a husband who is functioning as the spiritual leader of his family.

2. A wife needs to know that she is meeting vital needs in her husband’s life and work that no other woman can meet.

3. A wife needs to see and hear that her husband cherishes her and that he delights in her as a person.

4. A wife needs to know that her husband understands her by protecting her in areas of her limitations.

5. A wife needs to know that her husband enjoys setting aside quality time for intimate conversation with her.

6. A wife needs to know that her husband is aware of her presence even when his mind is on other matters.

7. A wife needs to see that her husband is making investments in her life that will expand and fulfill her world.

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A HUSBAND

1. A husband needs a wife who respects him as a man.

2. A husband needs a wife who accepts him as a leader and believes in his God-given responsibilities.

3. A husband needs a wife who will continue to develop inward and outward beauty.

4. A husband needs a wife who can lovingly appeal to him when he is going beyond his limitations and wisely respond to those who question his ideas, goals or motives.

5. A husband needs quality time to be alone with himself and with the Lord.

6. A husband needs a wife who is grateful for all he has done and is doing for her.

7. A husband needs a wife who will be praised by other people for her character and her good works.

 

 

Experiencing God’s Victory Over Fear

 

In this series, first we looked at our fears and how our fears fuel our compulsion or “need” to control others, then we looked at facing our deepest fears. Today we will talk about the path to finding victory over our fears in Christ. (I’d also like to invite you to my Peacefulwife Blog Facebook page today where we are discussing the question “Why should I pretend to respect my husband and put on an act like I am coy and meek. That feels fake.”)

Rev. Harold Weaver, a minister I deeply respect at our church,  mentioned in a Bible class one time that when churches teach Armenianism, which Baptists and many Protestant denominations do – we focus much on the “free will of man” and we don’t balance that out properly with “the sovereignty of God.” Rev. Weaver explained that when we focus more on human free will and we don’t focus on God’s sovereignty, we lose our healthy fear of God and we develop an “independent spirit” – believing we have much more power and control than we really do.

This topic could seriously be a whole book in and of itself – or multiple books. But I am going to address some of the fundamental remedies for us to conquer our fear to get you started. Then you will need to research, pray, seek God, wrestle with your fears and determine if God is who He says He is in His Word and if you will trust Him fully or not.

CONQUERING OUR FEAR:

1. We must know God. The real God of the Bible. Not who we think He is or our wimpy, warped, messed up pictures of Him – but who HE proclaims Himself to be in His Word.

We must be willing to study His Word, dig as deeply as we can, seek Him with ALL of our hearts, long for Him with all that we are and research to begin to understand and know His character.

Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3

Study in God’s Word, use a concordance if you would like to, about God’s nature, His character and get to really know God. Tell Him you want to know Him more. Listen to what He says about Himself and about us and accept His Word as absolute truth. Read/listen to as many David Platt and John Piper sermons as you can (or other solid Bible teaching pastors’ materials) about the character and sovereignty of God. Until we begin to really know God, we can’t trust Him. And if we can’t trust Him, we are putting our trust in other things and we will always live in fear when we don’t trust God.

2. We must replace our fear of circumstances and of people with a healthy fear of God.

As we get to know God in a deep, personal and intimate way, we can begin to develop a healthy fear of God. That means, we will  stand in total AWE of Him, with trembling before Him – realizing just how incredibly powerful, holy, pure, just, wise, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign, good, loving, great, mighty and majestic He is. When we don’t know that God is good and God is great and God is love and God is sovereign – we don’t believe we can trust Him because we believe He may have evil motives towards us or that He is not strong enough to take care of us.

Sadly, even in the church today, we have developed a very wimpy attitude and picture of God. We think of Him more as our “buddy” and we treat Him with entirely too much informality and irreverence. We approach God in a very casual way today – in our attitude, in our dress at church, in our words, in our behavior and in our prayers. Many believers today greatly lack proper fear, reverence, respect and awe of the God and Creator of the universe.

When our view is that God is weak and wimpy and small, our problems and circumstances can look bigger to us than God does. We fear whatever we believe is more powerful than we are. If we believe we are most powerful in our lives, we won’t fear God. We may fear circumstances, but not God. God commands us not to fear men (people), and not to seek the approval of men, but to fear God and to seek His approval alone. He commands us not to fear circumstances but to look to Him to provide for, protect, direct and guide us. It is only when we have a proper perspective on God’s identity (strong, powerful, mighty, unstoppable, holy, perfect, just, loving, kind) and our own identity (small, sinful, weak, impotent) that we can begin to fear God instead of other things.

Do a word study about “fearing God” and “the fear of the Lord.”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

You can go to www.biblehub.com and type in “fear of the Lord” and you can search “fear” and “afraid” and see what God says about what we are to fear and what we are not to fear. God has quite a lot to say to us about the subject of fear.

3. We must take our eyes off of people, self and circumstances and keep our eyes firmly set on Christ.

Whatever we focus on and feed will grow in our lives. If we focus on our scary circumstances or that our needs are not getting met or we focus on bad things – those things will begin to appear bigger and bigger in our lives. If we focus on Christ and on things that are good, noble, true, praiseworthy, excellent, of good report, etc… those things will begin to appear bigger and bigger in our lives. (Philippians 4:8)

Many wives say to me, “My husband doesn’t love me anymore. He wants to leave me. So – there is no hope for me.”

THAT IS NOT TRUE, MY PRECIOUS SISTERS!!!!!!!!

Wives somehow believe the lie of the enemy that a husband’s current emotions and current thoughts are insurmountable obstacles because they have their eyes on their husbands and their circumstances and they are looking to place their faith and hope in their husbands or their marriages. That is not where we put our faith, my precious sisters!

I don’t really care what your husband thinks or feels right now. I mean – it would be great if all husbands loved all wives all the time and were completely committed to their marriage every moment. And I really don’t want him (or a wife) to feel hurt, disrespected, dishonored and controlled. But – what I care about most is what God says and what He thinks. As you focus on Christ and you seek Him with all your heart and you desire to walk in total obedience to Him by the power of His Spirit flowing through your life – God is perfectly able to change your husband’s heart and mind and your circumstances.

Our God is SOVEREIGN!!!!?!?!!?

This doesn’t depend on us. It doesn’t depend on our husbands. It is ALL about Jesus and what He is able to do. There is no one who is out of the reach of God’s sovereignty. Your husband cannot snatch you from God’s sovereign love and from His will. No matter what your husband does, God is able to use it all for your ultimate good and God’s ultimate glory and He may even use these trials and difficulties to bring your husband to Himself. You can’t even take yourself out of God’s sovereign hands. Yes, we have free will and – yes, PRAISE GOD, at the same time, God is sovereign. Those things do not contradict each other, they work in harmony.

When we really “get” what it means that God is sovereign, we can rest in His love, wisdom and sovereignty and trust Him to work things out for our ultimate good and His glory because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29). When we really understand that God is in charge and that we can trust His heart and we have a healthy fear of Him and we are keeping our eyes on Him, we can approach each day as an exciting adventure because we never know what God might do to change things up and to alter our circumstances and to do miracles. Our job is just to trust Him, seek to know Him more, listen to Him, obey Him and ask Him to fill us up with His Spirit and power that He might accomplish His will, His purposes and His greatest glory in our lives.

 

4. We must humbly approach God and allow Him to reveal our great sin to us, so that we may repent. We must keep short accounts with God.

We cannot be close to God if we cherish sin in our hearts. Any sin has to go. If we hold on to sin, we repel God and the power of His Spirit slows to a trickle in our lives. That is NOT GOOD! Let’s be willing to allow God to remove every trace of sin that offends Him in our lives, to convict us of anything that He hates in our souls – and let us allow Him to purify our motives and our lives and transform us to be more like Christ.

One thing God does give us control over is how much of Him we allow into our lives.

Let’s ask God to give us the MOST of Himself that He can possibly give to us! Let’s turn the valve to “wide open” and allow His Spirit to flood our hearts and souls like Niagra Falls!!!!! Let’s give Him full reign and control in our lives and ask for ALL of Himself!!!!

There is no greater treasure in the universe than our God!

5. We must DIE TO SELF. We must completely and fully surrender all of ourselves and our lives, our desires, our dreams, our goals, our wisdom, our plans, our possessions, our family members, our future, our health, our talents, our time, our resources, our lack of ability to obey God, our sinful nature, all that we have and all that we are and all that we might ever be 100% to Jesus as LORD.   We give Him all of ourselves. At first, this seems like a great sacrifice.

6. We receive all that Jesus has for us. After we give Jesus all of ourselves without reservation and in total faith, He will give us all of Himself and all that He has, His dreams, His desires, His goals, His wisdom, His plans, His possessions, His family, His future, His inheritance, His abilities, His holiness, His Spirit, His peace, His joy, His total ability to submit to and obey God, all that He has and all that He is. We must be willing to receive what He provides for us – spiritual treasures and wealth beyond measure.  It turns out, God asked us to sacrifice what was actually garbage in our lives, so that we could have empty hands to receive REAL treasure from Him. We will spend the rest of our lives learning to tap into all the riches of Christ as we follow Him wholeheartedly. He IS our Life! He is our Greatest Treasure. He is our Hope.

He is our Pearl of Greatest Price for Whom we are willing to give up anything and everything else to own.

He is worthy of all of our praise, sacrifice, worship, honor, obedience, love, devotion, submission and adoration. We come to a place where we are joyful in being willing to always say, “Yes, Lord!” to anything Jesus asks of us out of gratitude and thankfulness for all He has done for us.

7.  We must abide in Christ and in His Word.

He is our Life now. He is all that matters. He is all we want. We know now that if we can just have Him, we can be more than content in this world. So we cling to Him, develop relationship with Him, seek to know Him more, seek to understand His heart, want to love and He loves and hate what He hates. We want to represent Him well to the world and be His ambassadors, to bring many others into relationship and reconciliation with God through Christ. The more we know Him and are empowered by His Spirit, the less the things of this world matter and the more the things of heaven and eternity matter and all we want to do is what He wants us to do.

John 15:

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesa so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.

NOW:

I can move forward in total trust, faith and obedience to God, knowing that as I seek Him and obey Him, He will handle the results with my husband and marriage. I trust I can obey God’s Word to win my husband without a word (I Peter 3:1-6) and I can trust God to speak to his heart as I just seek to obey Christ for my part of things. I don’t have to be afraid. I know my Lord. I know what He is capable of. My faith is 100% in Him. I know He will never leave me or forsake me. I know He will empower me to handle whatever may come. I know that if He allows tragedy or problems into my life that He has a plan to use them for my ultimate good to make me more like Jesus and for His glory. I don’t have to be afraid. I just rest in His great love for me and in His power and I am fully submitted to Him, anticipating that He will make me fruitful and useful to Himself and that I will get to be with Him forever in heaven. The peace and joy of Christ come bubbling out of my soul to all those around me. I see people with Jesus’ eyes. I see circumstances through the perspective of heaven. And the things I cannot understand, I trust to God’s wisdom which is much greater than my own.

I become willing to do anything God calls me to do, even if it involves suffering, because I know that God will use suffering to refine me, mold me, chisel me and to make me be more like Jesus. So, I can’t lose. When my faith is totally in Christ, good things are blessings for which I can praise Him. And when my faith is totally in Christ, bad things are opportunities for God to demonstrate His sovereignty and goodness and to teach me and to use me for His glory. I always “win” in Jesus. His perfect love casts out all fear. I John 4:18.

SHARE:

If you have experienced God’s victory over your fear, please share your story and what God has done in your life so others may be greatly blessed!

Do We Try to Control Our Husbands’ Jobs?

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Nikka and Dong

 

 

1. FROM AN ANONYMOUS WIFE who had been very upset her husband had been working six 12 hour days a week (at a very labor-intensive job) for over two months and wanted more time with him:

The craziest thing just happened!! My husband just walk in and said he quit his job. He has never ever in his life quit a job or anything else for that matter. He is the hardest working man I know. And he is as happy as he can be. I know this sounds bad but I really don’t think it is. He will now have time to complete his legal things from his injury and take a career job. He couldn’t do that until after March 21st which is why he took this job temporarily. The old me would have freaked out big time! And even if I agreed, I would have asked him a million questions until he was mad. But I just told him that I supported his decision. I am trusting that God has another plan.

Here is the part that I didn’t say about the job. Maybe I just didn’t want to admit it… But I am the one who picked out this job.

He told me not to look for jobs for him and to let him handle it but I didn’t stop and then I found this one and badgered him to call about.

He didn’t want to at first but finally he did probably to shut me up and he was hired immediately. ….sigh…. We see how good that worked out when I took control….

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I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare. Ecclesiastes 8:26

2. FROM NIKKA (pictured above): www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

I was an extremely controlling girlfriend/wife before the Lord convicted me of my sins. As a married woman, between 2009 to 2011, my most controlling phase; I was the family’s primary provider and leader.

Dong acquiesced to my headship because he felt that it was what I wanted, and him being a big Golden Rule believer, he allowed me to lead because he felt that it was what would make me happy.

During this time, Dong was in and out of jobs. He worked for the Business Process Outsourcing industry, or what the Philippines normally calls the “Call Center” industry. He was a voice/non-voice agent and then a quality analyst later on. He worked the night shift and would come home in the morning spent and stressed from answering phone calls and appeasing irate clients. He hated his job but he felt that he had to do it since there was no option at that time for another job.

He has always been a businessman at heart. Even as a young adult, he would venture into small businesses – a VHS rental shop, a computer ink refilling shop, making of calling cards, etc. He loved selling things. But, he felt that my idea of a provider was to be an employee… and so he worked as one for me.

When he quit from his job due to extreme stress (He was already becoming depressed, having insomnia, and hyperacidity daily.), I got mad. But I did not show it. I felt that it was so irresponsible of him to quit just like that! I did not care if he was sick, I still felt that it was a selfish decision. (See how prideful and judgmental I was then?

Whenever he was out of a job, I would be there to “rescue” him. I would look for job openings and shove it to his face. When he lost his job at the call center, I looked for job openings for him immediately. This was not the only time I forced him to apply for a job though. I had a history of prodding him to apply for jobs, short of going to the job interview myself! I thought I was being encouraging. I did not know then that I was being controlling and disrespectful.

1)     As a computer programmer. 2002. We were not even married yet at this time. I saw this ad on the papers. I felt that since he was adept at computers, (He was a gamer and he was really good with fixing our PC, etc.) he should give it a shot. In it, the ad read that “KNOWLEDGE OF Auto Cad A+”, I think it was. I read it to mean that it was a plus to know that particular program, but it was not necessary.

He went to the job interview. They asked him to go straight to the computer. They asked that he draw using his knowledge on Auto Cad A+ on that computer!!! The A+ did not mean knowledge of it was a plus, it was really a specific skill!!! A+!!! Yikes! Dong just stared at the monitor, fiddled with the mouse and drew a pathetic figure. He had no knowledge of that computer program!!! The interviewees even had to ask, “Are you okay? Do you know what you are doing?” To which he said,

“I am sorry. I have no idea what it is you are asking me to do. My wife just sent me to this job interview.”

 

2 ) As a sports announcer. 2005. My husband was once a basketball TV host. He was such for around two years. He felt that he was not good at it, sometimes flubbing his lines, but I saw an ad for a basketball halftime announcer, and I prodded him to apply for it!!! He did. For me.

When he went to the venue, he was embarrassed. People there were 10 years his junior! People who were in line with him in that job interview recognized him and even asked what he was doing there. They were looking for a certain type within a certain age, and he was overaged for the job. He went home humiliated, his self-esteem deflated.

 

3)     As a sports reporter. 2011. I knew that there was an opening in a big TV network, being from the broadcasting industry myself. So, I made the calls, did the rounds, and informed Dong that so-and-so was already waiting for his resume. He just had to turn it in. This, before I even asked if he wanted to apply for such a job!

I felt that he would enjoy it and be good at it. I felt that he was qualified for it. He applied, and he was hired immediately. I knew it! I was on the dot on that one. He was fit for the job! Yay! Pat on the back for me. He did it again for me.. See a pattern here?

He went at it for three months. Three months of 12 to 14 hours workload, going out of town for coverages, only going home to sleep and then off again to work. He looked miserable but I kept on egging him on. “You can do it!”; “Just focus!”, I would cheer.

Then one night, he texted me from work. The text: “We have to talk.” I knew it. He would quit…again.

I was not prepared for the emotional outburst he did as soon as he went home. He was nearly screaming, which was very unlike him because my husband is mild-mannered and even-tempered. He became very emotional as he was telling me about his hurts:

  • that I did not love him
  • that I never accepted him for what he was
  • that he could never make me happy
  • that he was a loser
  • that maybe we should just separate and have me find somebody who was equal to me in terms of success….

That was the beginning of the change in me.

Seeing my husband in that state of brokenness, I told the Lord to help me view the situation differently and to make the most of it, since it seemed that I could not change Dong. I could not understand him! But, I did love him. So, I would try to be patient with him. That was in late 2011. That was enough for the Lord to implant a seed in my heart…

The Lord convicted me of my sins of disrespect, pride and everything else in September 1, 2013.

That was when I let go and let God; when I submitted fully the Lord and then to my husband. And the rest, as they say, is history…

 

You can read about all the wonderful, miraculous things that have happened and that are happening to my marriage in April’s blog or in my own Peacefulwife Philippines blog.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I would love to see us support, affirm, encourage and show confidence in our men as they search for jobs. And I would also exhort us all to allow our husbands freedom to choose their own jobs for themselves. The motivation to go to a job is strongest if the person who has to do the job has that motivation in himself, not if he feels coerced into a job he hates.

Some men may appreciate their wives helping them look up jobs online. That is fine – if your husband asks you for help, you can help him. But my suggestion is not to pressure or try to force him into something.

  • Many men tend to derive a great amount of their identity from their jobs.

If your husband is unemployed and trying to find work, or he is disabled – that is a VERY, VERY difficult thing for most men to deal with. It can be, according to some counselors, “more difficult for a man to face unemployment than terminal cancer.”  I know I did not fully appreciate this during the first 6 years of our marriage when Greg was looking for an engineering job. That was very hard on him and I had no idea how to bless him or approach this issue back then. I am sure that what I did pushed him further into depression at that time. 🙁

As we show genuine faith in our husbands – often – that is the most powerful thing we can do – give them inspiration not condemnation. There may be times we find out about a job they may be interested in. I think it may be a good idea to share leads we know of – but then we can allow them to make the decision.

**  If there are major issues in your marriage – please seek godly, wise, biblical counsel!

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Gentlemen,

We would love to hear your insights on this important issue!

Ladies,

Do any of you have stories that relate to this? What have you learned? What has your husband said?

RELATED:

From Clark Kent to Superman 

What Speaks Respect to Husbands?

Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected in Your Marriage

Nikka’s 1st Interview with Her Husband – after beginning her journey of respect and biblical submission and seeking to be a godly wife

Nikka’s 2nd Interview with Her Husband

Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband

 

From a Fellow Wife – Suggestions VS Instructions

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From my dear sister in Christ, a Fellow Wife (this post is probably going to be most relatable to wives who were very controlling and outspoken whose husbands were more passive):

I have to share part of a conversation my husband and I had last night. He had made a comment earlier in the day that he wished I had listened to him and went to the Dr. sooner for my pain. I told him I didn’t remember him telling me to go. I remembered him mentioning it but not exactly telling me to go. I told him that I took that as a suggestion… you know, like when I say, “Maybe some Tylenol would help your headache” or “Maybe those socks would feel better with those shoes.”

He said, “Honey, what you take as suggestions from me are really directions I intend for you to listen to.”

I was surprised at this…. I have been happily listening to him when he told me something DIRECTLY. I have listened for his instructions willingly and happily and tried my best to follow them. But a lot of things I haven’t listened to – I have thought over them as I do any suggestion but not listened to because I didn’t understand they were direct instructions that were veiled as what sounded like a suggestion to me.

He gave me another example:

He said that when he suggests that maybe I should come home and go back to bed after taking the kids to school (which he only does rarely- maybe once every couple of months and usually when he notices I am exhausted in the morning) that he really means that. It isn’t a suggestion… I have heard him say that in the past and would say, “I would love to but I need to clean” or “I have work to do”.

I just thought I would share this with you. If it was news to me, I thought it might be news for other wives?

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

What an important conversation! I am so glad a Fellow Wife shared that with us. Greg and I went on a long walk that night and I asked him about this issue. I realized, “Hmm! I might have a problem here, too!” I told him I try very much to honor anything he asks me to do, but I wondered if I might be missing some things he really intends for me to do because  lots of times, what I hear are “suggestions” not “directives.” I shared with him that I would love any directives he thinks would be appropriate. I am completely open to any way he wants to lead me that he believes is right.

Greg thought about it for a bit and then told me,

“I think that when a man has been  passive for a long time, he probably is more likely to communicate with suggestions rather than directives.”

Interestingly, in the past week, Greg has been giving me, our children and even people at work more directives and has been stating his ideas, perspective and desires more assertively. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! He is not harsh, abrasive or aggressive about it. But I can just see him standing even taller. It is a blessing to me when he shares his perspective and his heart with me. I WANT to know what he wants and what he thinks. It is much easier for me to understand when he shares what he would like. I also appreciate suggestions, too. And I greatly appreciate his trust in me to make many decisions for myself. But I love it when he directly states his mind. It leaves no room for doubt or confusion in my mind. I am a pretty awful mind reader – so I appreciate direct, honest, loving, gentle, firm,  kind, truthful communication from my husband.

I personally do better if things are written down. Sometimes I can forget verbal suggestions or instructions. I often have to immediately write things down so that I don’t miss anything important and can remember to carry out whatever the task might be. Thankfully, Greg is very understanding of this and lovingly reminds me of things so that I don’t forget – which I appreciate so much! My memory is often not so sharp.

This past week, Greg has been more direct in telling me that he wants me to be with him more, that he wants more of my time and attention (WOOHOO!), what he wants the children to do, etc… He has been more firm about the children obeying quickly – which I love. It’s amazing to watch as God grows my husband into a stronger and more godly leader who knows how to use his God-given authority for the good, blessing, benefit and well-being of our family.

It has been 5 years and 4 months since the beginning of this journey. We are both still learning and have MUCH, MUCH more to learn. But it is exciting to get to walk this road together as a team and to watch God molding my wonderful man into the man He desires him to be. I feel like I am the most blessed woman on the planet to have this chance to learn to do marriage God’s way and to experience God’s power, love, peace and joy every single day.

AN EXHORTATION:

I wonder if your husband might be saying things that you think are suggestions or just his opinion – when, perhaps he is actually trying to communicate something he really wants you to do that is important to him?

I wonder if some of you might like to talk with your husbands about this (when he is in a good mood and not busy) and let us know how the conversation goes?

And, husbands, you are welcome to share your perspective here. We appreciate your masculine insights so very much!

What’s the story on “My Demon” now?

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Kayla’s post, My Demon, is arguably one of the most powerful posts on my entire blog. It is such a God-inspired thing! God has used that post to open the eyes of thousands of wives to the source of the “voice” in our heads that accuses our husbands of evil constantly.  My husband, Greg, wrote a post in response, called “The Voice in His Head” that also helped many wives understand their husbands so much more clearly. Those two posts have been mightily used by God in the past year and a half. I asked Kayla if she would like to do an update to this post now that some time has passed on her journey to become a godly wife, and I am so excited that she was willing to do so! I know that this post will greatly bless you, too! You can find Kayla at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com.

Do you remember the post I wrote titled “My Demon” from September 21, 2012? I was just over a month into my new respect journey when this revelation kicked me in the gut. (If you’ve joined since then and never caught it, it’ll help to understand this post by reading that one first.)

In fact, that one post was shared on numerous sites. I answered a whole lot of emails and comments on this topic because it rang true for just so many of us women. And it was very evident at the time, I was just “one of you.” The post wasn’t written by a scholar in the least. My real, honest emotions and thoughts are what made it relatable to others. And the revelation and wisdom came straight from God – because I’d lived 10 years of marriage at that point (and 29 years of life) running wild with the thoughts and emotions that presented themselves at any given time. And never knew any different.

April sent me an email and asked me what I thought about writing a follow up to “My Demon” – 18 months later.

Here is a sentence from her email:

“I think it would be neat to hear how you hear the demon’s voice now, how often, the intensity, what you do, and how much stronger God’s voice is now and the kinds of things you focus on and think about now.”

I pretty much immediately told her, “I’ll think about it” while in my mind saying – “No way!” April’s blog is amazing. It’s eye-opening, full of brilliant wisdom, insightful, helpful, and pointing out deeply painful but necessary truths to helping women change and save their marriages from a lifetime of misery! But even more than that — it’s hopeful. Even the things that are hard to read, are hopeful. Change can happen, my marriage can be better, I can be a better wife, he can open up and lead as these changes take place — there is HOPE for something new!

And the truth? I don’t think a follow up to “My Demon” is going to offer the hope April normally posts on her blog.

But — maybe, just maybe, there are women out there who are just like me. And this post might be for you! So, I’ll answer these questions.

  • How do you hear the demon’s voice now? how often and with what intensity?

I still hear my demon’s voice loud as ever and ALL THE TIME! He’s still a raging maniac full of accusations and specifics that beg to be entertained. He knows me full well, and the areas that I’ve learned to shut down permanently are rarely touched and new areas where he wasn’t attacking before, he’s thrown some boulders at wildly. He’s no joke. The closer I grow to my husband – the more respect I show my husband – the stronger the spiritual battle. The bigger threat we are to him, the more desperate he becomes and the more vicious his behavior.

  • What you do when you hear his voice now? How much stronger God’s voice now vs. 18 months ago? What kinds of things do you focus on and think about now?

I’m back and forth on what I do. I’m such a sinner. More often than not, I refuse to entertain the begging thoughts and accusations against my husband. But sometimes, I still stumble in my flesh and I dabble in the game. My journey for respect hasn’t magically or quickly removed all my selfishness, expectations, and ability to see all my husbands faults and sins with a magnifying glass. Especially because WE TRULY ARE A BRAND NEW COUPLE, and in ways that I never stumbled before, there are all new ways to tempt me. Now, my husband does things for me he’s never done before and talks to me in a way we’ve never communicated, and if that seems hindered, it’s even harder not to jump to conclusions or freak out a little bit at the thought of that going away.

I hear God’s voice and I have allowed His truths to change so many of my behaviors and patterns, but I can’t say He’s always screaming louder than Satan. I have to intentionally be still and silent to hear God and in the middle of my wrestling — some times I feel so wound up I can’t sit still. Even if that just means pacing the floor in frustration while my husband is at work. It’s still a choice like it was before to go to Him and listen. In my experience, God rarely screams. Satan however is a beast, and he’s deafening at times.

What I focus on and think of now is being intentional AND unrelenting. (I talked about this word in January.) I make an honest attempt at turning my wild thoughts back on myself.

  • Why do I feel this way?
  • Am I giving too much weight to my husband’s short-comings and not nearly enough to his strengths and character?
  • How did I handle this situation?
  • Do I have disrespect to apologize for?
  • Is what I am tempted to say full of things that will be helpful to us, or hurt us?

At the end of the day — this respect journey has changed my life! I want every single woman on the planet to read the books I have, read the blogs I have, and see the world in a different way than it’s being portrayed and pounded into us in every direction.

Life is BETTER with respect. Life is BETTER with God. Life is BETTER fighting the good fight.

But does this journey ever get easier? No.

I’m so sorry if that crushes anyone’s hopes. Maybe your experience will be different from mine. Or maybe some of you older and wiser women are out there saying “Oh Honey, you just haven’t been doing this as long as we have, you need more time.” And maybe you’re right. But at this point, I doubt it.

I think Scripture paints a pretty clear picture that walking the straight and narrow will be hard. Persecution comes, trials come, heartache comes, and we’re all sinners until we cross over to eternal life.

Is there power in the armor of God? You better believe there is!!! When I intentionally get up in the morning and put on every ounce of protection I can muster on my body and mind – God is faithful to give me strength and courage to PRESS ON in the battle. But He never makes it easier, even though He’s with me. He only makes it change me by refining me IN the fire.

Is God’s way worth it? Absolutely. Is God’s way getting easier? No, it’s not.

But I’d never look back. I’ll keep fighting the good fight and being refined in the fire pressing on toward the prize. No matter how loud Satan is, how often he attacks, with what intensity he beats me down and no matter how many times I stumble and fall.

Practical Application:

If you’re out there wondering why you’re not a good enough Christian wife because this hasn’t “gotten easier yet?” – STOP IT! That’s still Satan beating you down.

MY belief? The more Satan attacks, the evidence that you’re walking the straight and narrow because he’s threatened.

In the battle…. try so hard to find that still and quiet place so God can refuel your strength, courage, wisdom and power to keep going and resist Satan’s voice. You can resist… but I doubt he’ll ever shut up.

RELATED:

For a follow up on THIS post from Kayla where she clarifies things a bit more, please check out her post “Easy?”

Tomorrow, I, Peacefulwife, will talk about my journey in relation to these issues! 🙂 Be sure not to miss Part 2 – My Struggles

HisHelper Reflects on Her Journey This Far

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Ladies,

I would love for you to answer these questions if you would like to! It would be interesting to see how these issues affect different wives at different points along their journey to becoming godly wives.

SOMETHING TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER:

Demons are real according to the Bible and they are extremely powerful. It is dangerous to try to have conversations with them. God is much more powerful than demons are, but we are not. Here is what Scripture has to say about some false teachers and the casual way they spoke of demons:

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. II Peter 2

8In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. Jude