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God Changed a Wife’s Heart for Her Imperfect Husband

I am so thankful to be able to share other women’s testimonies of God’s incredible power to change and heal hearts, lives, and relationships. Every story and situation is unique. I know God can – and will – give each woman His divine wisdom about the specifics as she seeks Him wholeheartedly and is led by His Spirit. And yet, so many of the central principles we all have to learn as believers in Christ are the same. I always love to see that. Keep in mind that time frames and outcomes may be different in different stories. The main thing is that we are close to the Lord and we are doing what He calls us to do each day in our specific situation. I pray this precious sister’s story might be a blessing to you today:

Hi April!

I wanted to share a story with you about how God completely changed my heart and my marriage through the gospel and His will for wives to submit to their husbands

(Note, God’s definition of “submission” is NOT at all the same as the world’s, it is not about slavery or BSDM – and it all begins with our submission to Christ as Lord).

I was a new wife when I stumbled across your website. A zealous new Christian who “had it all figured out” in her mind. Deep down I thought I was very obedient, a good wife and my husband was the man who was a rebel against God. Ignorant to my own sin, I would preach the Bible to my husband. He knew the scriptures, but in my mind he was just a rebel who wouldn’t submit to God.

I didn’t realize the very destructive and severe sin in my heart. I was striving in my works to be perfect. My heart was hardened, but still, I did want to submit. The problem was I thought I already was. I carried bitter thoughts towards my man, I was lifted up in pride, definitely more “spiritual.” I was “righteous” in my own eyes until…

I kicked my husband out one day and he walked on the streets all night.

I told a new sister in Christ how horrible he was and that I told him to leave. He struggled with smoking and pornography, and couldn’t hold a job. I was better than he was in my eyes. Thankfully by God’s grace this sister confirmed the scriptures I knew but brought them to me in a new light. She pointed out how the Lord wanted my heart to honor and reverence my husband rather than the awful self-righteous and condemning judgement that I previously had towards him.

That night was the beginning of a journey, through new eyes. Eyes that had been enlightened by the TRUE grace of God where I found true repentance unto salvation and my heart began to change. I told my husband to come back home.

Things didn’t change instantly.

The Lord had to unwind every bitter thought I had towards him and replace them with honoring thoughts. I felt, for a while, like every day the Lord was nit-picking new sin in my heart. But the closer I got to knowing the Lord, the more delight I had in repentance and suddenly I was a lot more joyful and at peace to submit to my husband. It was no longer a burden, but I started to embrace his leadership and look forward to serving him. I recognized that being my husband’s helpmeet was God’s perfect will.
We used to argue constantly and say hurtful things. Suddenly there was no longer as much to argue about. I was not as easily offended when I felt hurt by him, but could forgive him quickly and move forward, which would soften his heart towards me. Before my husband was so discouraged, he had no confidence to work. Recently the Lord provided him with a position of authority in a workplace that he loves and he excelling at.

I pray for him almost every day to succeed and do well, things I never used to pray for him.

Today we are in a better place, it is truly only by the abundant mercy of the Lord that we are where we are! I’m so excited to see all God has in store and pray that I can just encourage wives that they do have a choice in whether or not they can have a godly marriage. First it starts with a willing heart to serve the Lord, and therefore submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. I finally understand the scripture “seek first the kingdom of God and these things shall be added unto you.”
Have a blessed day. Your website was the beginning of my journey!

RELATED

Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation? – Separation is not ideal, however, there are times when this may be necessary, but only as the Lord leads under certain circumstances.
Biblical Submission – definition

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If you want to share with me about what the Lord has done in your life – as a wife, mom, or single woman, I’d love to hear about it! Just let me know if you want the message to be private, just for me, or if you give me permission to consider possibly sharing your (600-1200 word) story anonymously as a blog post. Send me a message on my Contact Page.

RESOURCES FOR WOMEN WHO NEED MORE HELP

If you are facing something really tough, I encourage you to get in touch with your local Bible-teaching church for godly mentors/counselors/pastors who may be able to direct you and who know you personally if you are having major issues or need one-on-one help.
Or you may contact resources like:
Focus on the Family – for a one time free counseling session and free counselor referral service
Nina Roesner’s eCourse Strength and Dignity
Ultimately, be sure to compare any advice or counsel any human gives to God’s Word and seek to do what He leads. <3

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

 

A Wife Begins to Truly Trust God and Let Go of Fear

Mile High bridge at Grandfather Mountain
Mile High bridge at Grandfather Mountain, NC

From a precious wife in whom God is doing a mighty work! She is married to a man who is believer in Christ (they don’t have major issues in their marriage like abuse, infidelity, addictions, etc…). I so appreciate her willingness to allow me to share a bit of her journey with y’all. I love to share stories from all kinds of wives in every stage of this amazing journey we are sharing together with Christ.

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I do feel that God is doing a huge work in my life, and I am so grateful. It is very exciting, even though not easy.

There are three things that God showed to me very clearly that I would also like to share with you.

1. He showed me that all my fears and insecurities and control addiction are due to the fact that I don’t trust Him to take care of me:

In reality it is God that I think of as being responsible for my father failing me, and for every other spiritual authority (like spiritual father) failing me, because it is God who placed them in my life. That is why, knowing that He chose my husband for me doesn’t comfort me. I feel He has left me uncovered and unprotected when I most needed it. Of course, I didn’t know I was feeling like that, but He revealed it to me, He told me this is the root of the problem, and this is what He is working to heal.

1 John 4:18

2. He showed me that He is the highest authority in my life, above any other authority he placed over me, by that meaning that – He is not compromising the plans of blessing He has for me just because the people in my life who were supposed to help me, didn’t.

He did place these people in my life to bless me, but sometimes people don’t respond to God’s calling or they just make mistakes, because this is a fallen world. However, He sees and He knows what has happened and He plans to restore me completely as if I had never found my self in an disadvantaged situation. He, Himself can be for me the father, the pastor… or anyone else I feel that wasn’t there for me, including my husband, if my husband were to fail me.

He did call my husband to respond to his role as a spiritual leader, and He will work in my husband to make him a godly spiritual leader. However, I need to lay down
my expectations and make a decision that even in the worst case scenario…

Even if I face another disappointment by another spiritual authority in my life, God will meet me where I am and somehow – (I don’t know how) – He will cover that gap in my life.

That will help me lay down my idols about how my husband should be, help me accept him unconditionally, and see him as a gift and not as someone who is about to fail me all the time. That will also remove the pressure from him and take his focus off of how I might judge and reject him all the time.

I think that God is asking me to let Him show me that He can be for me everything that people failed to be in my life in the past, so that I can trust Him for the future as well, that He is going to be everything I need.

It is indeed a long journey and I need to take it just one day at a time. I have been starting to feel hopeful! I do have my ups and downs, and some days are harder than others, sometimes I just feel terrified. But I think that my heart has started to feel hopeful expectation about what God will do in my marriage and in my life in general. I am starting to see the potential of change of my self and my perspective about my husband and marriage. I think that when you try to take the first step in obeying and honoring God, He steps in to help you make it. I’m starting with baby steps to let God change one thing at a time.

I want to go through the pain of recovery because it does brings results and makes the next step a little easier every time. And it is so worth it because it leads you to His peace and freedom. I’m not there yet completely, but I am starting to see the light at the end of this long tunnel. I am learning to trust Him one baby step at a time.

(God’s design for Spiritual Authority in our lives)

3. I have always heard and thought, and I believe it to be true, that our earthly fathers represent God in our lives and we perceive God as a Father by the way they respond to this role. I have felt very disadvantaged to find myself in a place where I need to discover who God is – as a Father – for me, all by myself because my dad didn’t respond to his role. You know…feeling like my life got started all wrong just because my father hurt me and that is going to affect me for the rest of my life inevitably!

But God showed me that before my father, He was my Father. Even more precisely, before my father, HE IS my Father. The beginning of my life wasn’t when I was conceived and born by my parents, my beginning was way before that, when I was conceived in my Father’s heart and plans. That is when it all started for me. He is my real Dad.

(Romans 8:14-16)

A STORY – I RESPONDED IN A NEW WAY TO MY HUSBAND

The other day my husband and I were talking about a financial decision he made, and we both knew he had to make it in a short time. I had let him know that it’s up to him to decide but when he finally told me what he actually decided, I started feeling all the well-known fearful and disappointed feelings that I do every time I think I would have done some thing differently than he did!

I tried not to say much (and that’s also progress by the way!) but couldn’t hide my disappointment and concern, and suddenly my husband became gloomy and sad and started telling me how he feels pressured about me thinking that he has made the wrong decision all the time.

It was such a wonderful morning until this conversation. So, I started thinking what would be the right way for me to handle this. He was responsible to make the decision. He was trying to make it wisely so, even if I thought he made a mistake, I should trust God with it and let it go. Letting go is always the problem for me, I don’t want to let go, I want to control. But this time I thought, there’s nothing I can do, I can ask God to take over this issue and enjoy the day with my husband or I can stay miserable and ruin the rest of our day.

So I said to my husband, “It is ok. Even if you had made a mistake, God will show us.”

I couldn’t believe these words were coming out of my mouth! My husband said: “This is the way I want you to react.” He didn’t say that with anger, but with pain and I realized how hard it must have been on him to constantly feel the pressure of my judgement and control. It was really an important moment.

The other day, I apologized to my husband for all the pressure I have been putting on him about his spiritual growth and decision-making. I made it clear that I am not completely changed yet, but I want to change. Maybe that move will help me keep myself accountable about how I handle situations from now on.

SHARE:

If you want to share a story from your journey about something God has shown you – we’d love to hear it! I may even share your story anonymously in a post or in a book in the future.

RELATED:

The Washcloth Incident

When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God!

“Amy” Shares Some Encouragement and Her Story

One Wife’s Story – 6 Days in

Portia’s Story – Winning Him Over without a Word

Mrs. B.’s Story

Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Seek to Change?

I Am Responsible for My Emotions

I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually

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

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

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I am lifting up all the families and people who have been impacted by the tornadoes in the Midwest of the United States. I am praying especially for my readers who may be in harm’s way. I hope you will let me know if you are safe.

 

Here are a few scenarios I have witnessed at various times in the past year that I think may be helpful for us to talk about:

1. A couple was looking for seats for themselves and their toddler at a children’s show. The husband pointed to some seats towards the back. The wife went up towards the front. The husband started showing some body language that he was frustrated – quickly tapping his hands against his legs. He pointed towards the seats in the back again, and his wife went and sat on the padded floor near the front. The husband’s body language showed he was not happy. They ended up all sitting on the floor.

Sometimes, if we are not careful, we may miss the subtle signs that our husbands are feeling disrespected. Sometimes it is a subtle clenching of the jaw, or a slight movement of his hands or feet.

I know that this is a simple thing, it may seem small to us, but, I love to try to honor my husband by allowing him to choose where we sit when we go somewhere. Of course, many times, he will ask me where I would like to sit. If I have a preference, I will share that in a pleasant way, but if he has a strong preference about where to sit, I cheerfully allow him to lead and I sit wherever he feels is best.

2. A couple was walking in front of us to a public building with two young children. They were approaching the corner of the building, one young child took off running to the left in the front of the building. The dad followed the child, which I thought was very responsible of him. His wife called out in a very annoyed tone of voice, ” Babe, WHY are you going THAT way?” She told him he should go the other way. At that point he was already very close to the doorway on the front of the building that went to the same area inside that the door on the other side of the building went to. Maybe the mom hadn’t seen their child take off and didn’t realize her husband was keeping up with him and keeping him safe? I don’t know.

If both doors go to the same place, and my husband is already near one door, I would have to ask myself, “Does it really matter what door any of us use as long as we all get to the same place?” At this point in my life, that is a non-issue in my mind.

My goal now is that when we are walking somewhere together (a store, a park, a city, in public, in the woods…), I try to let him lead and I try to follow whenever possible. Of course, if there is somewhere I want to go or something I want to do, I share that. But I don’t run ahead anymore or try to make him follow me around. And I encourage the kids to stay behind or beside their dad since they don’t know where he is going. It is much easier to follow someone when you walk beside or behind him instead of way in front of him!

3. Sometimes we as wives will say, “I love you” to our husbands, and we think we are just stating our love. But, there is a way that we sometimes say this, a certain tone of voice and inflection of our voice that shows that our real motive in saying “I love you” is that we want our husband to say “I love you” back to us. It is really not just a statement that we are content to share. It is a test. Does he love me, too? Will he say he loves me, too?

I personally vote to not say anything if we are tempted to say “I love you” in that pressuring, expectant, strings attached kind of way. Some husbands may like to hear “I love you” but for a lot of husbands, those words aren’t a big need. Our honor, respect, admiration, faith and trust mean a lot more than those three little words to most men.

 

Gentlemen,

What do you think? Am I representing the husbands accurately here? Or do you disagree or want to clarify anything? We would love to hear from the men on these issues.

Ladies,

if you know how your husband feels about any of these issues, or similar issues, you are welcome to share his point of view and anything God has shown you about how to honor and respect your husband in these issues.

 

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!

When Your Husband Won’t Answer

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Greg and April – April 2013 at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC

Ladies,

Some of you know exactly what I am going to describe here.

  • You ask your husband an important question. You want to be sure you are doing what he wants. You need his input. You don’t want to take over and steamroll and usurp his position of God-given authority. But he says nothing. He seems to ignore you. Maybe for 15 minutes, or hours, or days or much longer.

This can be extremely frustrating – especially for a recovering type A, dominant, controlling wife who wants to make decisions RIGHT NOW. If you have a husband who tends to be passive – and he tends not to answer you – and you step down and begin to try to follow his leadership, it can take some time for the whole thing to work well.

It will require MUCH PATIENCE from you as you stop leading and begin to encourage your husband to lead.

Some of you have husbands that give answers right away or who will say, “I need time to think, let me get back with you tomorrow night” and then will get back with you.  That is awesome if your husband is able to articulate his feelings and thoughts right away. I wish all husbands were able to give some verbal acknowledgement right away. But some of them do not do this – and we need to decide how we can respond in a godly way if this is our situation.

This post is for those wives whose husbands have not done much leading, or not had the opportunity to lead much, who are hesitant to lead and tend to be shut down and a bit verbally unresponsive at this time. (If you have severe issues in the marriage, infidelity, active addictions, uncontrolled mental health disorders, actual abuse, please don’t read my blog but seek godly, experienced help ASAP!)

  • I don’t know what is best in every possible situation. I trust God to be able to impart the wisdom each wife needs specifically to her unique scenario. So please listen to God’s Spirit above all!

I’m going to share some things I learned and how things worked for me and some things I have seen work with some other wives. Maybe some of these ideas will help you. Maybe they won’t. That will be up to you to hear God’s voice about what He desires you to do.

My husband, Greg, tends to need a lot of time to process his thoughts about big decisions.

Sometimes, he even needs a lot of time to process ideas about smaller decisions, too. I’m actually very thankful for his slower approach now – because he carefully and meticulously researches and thinks through every possible outcome before making a decision instead of just rushing into a decision we might regret. Now, I am able to see that his careful, responsible, thoughtful way of making decisions is godly leadership.

When we were first married, I didn’t understand this. I assumed he made decisions just like I did – in a few seconds – and when he wouldn’t answer me for several minutes (or longer) I got REALLY angry and would try to force him to answer my question. I do wish he had been able to say to me, “I need some time to think about it” – that would have been super helpful! He never did that. So after 15-30 minutes of me waiting impatiently and trying to pressure him every 30 seconds – I would conclude that he was just being hateful and unloving and I would tell him I would just make the decision myself since “he obviously wouldn’t/couldn’t make a decision and wouldn’t lead” and I would storm off in a huff. Yikes. How I sabotaged myself back then! All that pressure and the things I said to him were SO DISRESPECTFUL. The more I pressured him, the more he shut down.

How I wish I had patiently given him more time! He IS able to lead. He just needs a lot more time than I used to give him. He is not me. And that is ok.

As I stepped down from leading in the family and marriage, I began leaving decisions for Greg to make – I didn’t snatch them from him anymore. I had been making almost all the decisions for over 14 years. Suddenly, I was “giving him” (from my perspective at the time) a lot of decisions to make.  He didn’t like it at first. He often said nothing, exactly like he had the first 14.5 years of our marriage. But, once I began to step down and leave room for him to lead – I would just share decisions with him that needed to be made and share what I wanted to do (sometimes I wouldn’t tell him my opinion at all that first year or so, just so the poor man would have a chance to think for himself without my opinion for once!). And I would leave it with him. If he didn’t make a decision, oh well! We didn’t get to do whatever it was. (You can read about his thoughts during this time here.)

Sometimes he wouldn’t make a decision. I learned to accept that. If he didn’t make a decision or didn’t say anything eventually, then the answer was, “no.” I began to trust that God could lead me through Greg and that God was sovereign enough to change Greg’s heart and mind and I was NOT going to run ahead of Greg or God anymore. I would just wait. A LOT.

It took time for him to feel confident and safe enough to begin making decisions. He was afraid that I would jump in or criticize him or pile contempt on him if I didn’t agree with him. But when he saw eventually that I was seriously trusting everything to him and supportive of his decisions, even when I didn’t agree (which took a LONG time), he began to take over little by little. I praised him whenever he did make a decision. I thanked him for his leadership multiple times before he even began to lead. I accepted that he might not do what I wanted and that some less important things might not get done and I trusted it all to God.

It was the scariest thing I ever did in my life – letting go of control like that! Not because Greg was incompetent, but because I had to learn to trust God instead of myself.

Sometimes there are decisions that have to be made – that have time limits. What is a wife to do in such a situation?

Here are a few of my suggestions for whatever they are worth:

  • If there is some significant decision that you must make about a job, adopting a child, spending a lot of money, who will care for the children or something major – I suggest laying the decision on your husband’s plate casually, with a pleasant tone of voice without pressure. Give him all the time you can to allow him to make the decision without pushing or rushing him. Preferably, share the decision with him some time when he is in a good mood and not busy with something that is important to him and when he is able to give you his attention.

– “So, Honey, I have something I want to check with you about. I would really love to see if there is some way I could be home more with the baby if possible. Or maybe we could think about a nanny or my mom taking care of the baby. I don’t like having him at daycare for the following reasons… Please let me know when a good time to talk about this might be and what you think. Thanks!”

Then, if he decides he want to keep the baby in daycare, consider saying something like, “I really don’t want to leave the baby there. I feel really nervous and upset about doing that because of X, Y and Z. But if you think that is what is best for him and for us, then I will trust you and support you with whatever you believe is the best choice.”

– “I really want to adopt a baby.” or “I would love to think about adopting a child.” Sometimes, all we really need to do is just say what we want and leave it with our husbands and let them marinate on it for a long time. God can use just that simple, calm, sincere, respectful statement of our desires to work in our husband’s heart. We don’t have to have a 30 minute speech prepared. Sometimes less is more! If I share my heart like this, my husband will think about it, and he will answer to God for his decision. When he is ready, if he believes this is of God, he will bring it up again. If he doesn’t bring it up – I can still be content in Christ.

– “I want to go to X church and here are the reasons why. But I trust you to make the best decision for our family and I will support whatever decision you believe is best for us.” But then, please allow him to choose the church and go with him unless he wants you to go to a cult.

– If your husband won’t go to church, but you want to go (and he is not angry about you going to church), you can say earlier in the week, “I’d love to go to church this Sunday. Let me know if that is NOT ok with you, please.” Then he will have to speak up if he doesn’t want you to go. If he says nothing, he is tacitly agreeing that he is fine with you going.

  • If he hasn’t said anything about an important decision and the deadline is a few days away, you can say something (in a pleasant, respectful tone of voice with a friendly expression on your face) like, “Jane needs an answer from me by Thursday about the job. My preference is that I would like to do X. But if I don’t hear from you by Thursday morning at 9:00am about what you would like for me to do, I will call to let her know I can’t take the job.”

This way, if he DOESN’T want you to do something, he will have to take positive action by a certain time. Otherwise, he is tacitly agreeing to whatever you tell him you are planning to do.

You probably only need to say this once (unless your husband has A.D.D. or has asked you for more reminders for things like this), and in a pleasant tone of voice and with a smile. Of course, you will need to be sure that he definitely heard you. We don’t want any miscommunication if possible.

This gives him the chance to speak up and veto something or stand up and make a decision, without you taking that weight on yourself and it allows you to have an answer within the time constraints you have.

If your husband DOES generally answer you in a timely fashion, you won’t need to use this method. That might feel disrespectful to him if he was planning to answer right away. If your man is good at giving answers in a reasonable time frame, you can probably just ask the question and leave it with him or wait until he responds. There is not a one size fits all here with respect on every issue.

  • If it is not an emergency kind of decision, you may just leave it with him and not bring it up again, trusting him to bring it up if he thinks it is a good idea, and trusting that if he doesn’t, it’s ok. For instance, “I’d love to send Johnny to camp this summer. Here are the brochures for the camps that look interesting to me. I’m good with whatever you think is best. If you need me to mail off the forms and a check, please let me know.” Then you can just leave it in his court. If he wants to send your son to camp, he will check out the options or maybe even some other options. If he doesn’t think that the family budget can handle camp this summer, maybe he won’t decide to send him.

You can trust God to lead you through your husband because of His amazing sovereignty. All the weight is off of you when you honor and submit to your husband’s leadership. The weight is fully on God and your husband. If you get to do what you wanted to do – great! If you don’t – maybe God is directing your husband another way for His purposes that you are not aware of. You can trust that God is able to use all things for your ultimate good and His glory because you love Him with all your heart and are fully submitted to Him, walking in obedience and seeking His will above your own. The only exception to this would be if your husband is asking you to condone or participate in blatant sin. Please check out “Spiritual Authority” for more on this issue.

Many times, as husbands grow in their leadership over the years, they will begin to give answers more quickly or tell their wives they will get back with them at a certain time. There is learning and growth that our husbands must struggle through, too. They won’t be perfect leaders the first day we step down, especially if we have been leading for years or decades. That has to be ok.

I would like to see us have plenty of grace, mercy, support, encouragement and genuine respect ready for them as we focus on their strengths and seek to build them up and bless them.

There is nothing more beautiful than the opportunity to watch God begin to mold your husband into a strong, godly man and leader. It is breathtaking to see the steps our men take and the way they stand taller and how they become less selfish and begin to desire to hear God more because they feel the weight of leadership and responsibility on their shoulders.

I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for each of you and your husbands and families!

SHARE:

I’d love to hear other wives’ stories about this issue!  And, husbands, we could use some masculine perspective here, too,  please.

RELATED:

When She Surrendered – by my husband, Greg

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

A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

Another Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice – From the Archives

A REMINDER:

I write from the slant of a wife who was dominating, Type A personality, take-charge, controlling, overly responsible, overly “helpful” and prideful with a passive husband. If you tend to be too quiet or have a very dominant husband, my slant may not be the angle you need because you are going to have to correct from the opposite direction. If your husband is abusive, my blog will probably not be a good fit for you – the things I talk about with respect and biblical submission in a normal marriage may be triggers for abused women.  I don’t want to cause any wife harm! Please seek godly help if you are not safe or if you have severe issues in your marriage. Thanks!

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This is a continuation of the post two days ago about how wives tend to have VERY specific and high expectations of exactly what it means to be a spiritual leader – and how many of the things we expect aren’t even biblical.  Not only that – but our expectations can lead to grave sin in our hearts (contempt, bitterness, resentment, disrespect, rebellion against our husbands or God, divisions, factions, fighting, hatred – and ultimately lost unity in our marriages and families).  When our children (and those around us) witness a marriage like this, they are repelled from Christ.

Let’s look at ways that many husbands actually DO try to lead in their families.

There is a good chance that your husband is trying to lead you (or used to try to lead) – but – are you listening?  Are you following?  Do you  acknowledge his attempts at leadership?

In real life, husbands tend to lead in “subtle” ways.  They don’t usually announce – “We will now begin our 6:30pm nightly Bible study time.  Here is an outline of the books of the Bible we will be covering for the next 12 months.  There will be  a test every week and here is a list of all the Bible verses I expect each family member to memorize each week.  You will all be graded. There will be an essay question once a month, with extra credit options.”

I think sometimes we as wives tend to expect our husbands to stand in front of our families like a pastor and preach or like a Sunday School teacher and teach for 1 hour every night.

I would like to suggest, that MOST husbands don’t follow that type of style, but they often DO try to lead their families in many ways, especially if they have a wife who is supportive, cooperative and full of real admiration and faith in them.

EVERY HUSBAND IS UNIQUE

Each husband has his own style, personality, perspective, gifts and strengths.  Each one will have his own particular brand of leadership – and it will change as he grows and matures.  But keep in mind that NO husband arrives to marriage completely spiritually mature and with a total grasp on godly leadership.  Godly maturity and leadership are developed over many years, decades even.  And the more we cooperate and support our husbands’ attempts at godly leadership, the more quickly they will learn and grow and honor God.

Also – remember that for a husband to be a great leader – HE HAS TO HAVE A GREAT FOLLOWER.  If you are trying to lead – you are not following.  If you are busy criticizing, you are not following.  It’s time for us to learn to be supportive, encouraging, godly, loyal and faithful followers! (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:5, I Timothy 3:5 – be sure to compare EVERYTHING I or anyone else says against God’s Word!)

MY HUSBAND’S BRAND OF LEADERSHIP

This section is a description of my husband’s particular style and how our marriage works now.  Your marriage WILL look different.  That’s ok.  Follow YOUR husband’s leadership and appreciate his strengths.  Admire and thank him often for what he does for you and your family.

My husband leads first of all by example.  Even when I was so disrespectful and controlling – my husband was often peaceful, forgiving, patient, kind, generous and loving.  Back then, I thought I was so spiritually mature and “above” him because I read my Bible daily, I prayed a LOT (sometimes 4 hours/day), I wrote my prayers in a notebook, I could quote lots of scripture, and I “knew” how things should be.  But I held grudges, didn’t forgive, was very impatient, rude, condescending, holier-than-thou, disrespectful, prideful and was committing constant idolatry –  putting my own self and trying to have control up as idols in my heart.  I also put my husband and our marriage as idols in my soul.  And I didn’t even see it.  Like Eve, I was so blind and deceived, but I thought I knew best.  Imagine the blessings and miracles I missed out on for 15 years because of my disobedience to God’s Word and the sin I cherished for so long in my heart.

My husband leads in more subtle ways that I used to miss:

  • He gives me direction and guidance.  Often what he is saying is really God’s Word to me – if I will but listen and cooperate.  My husband may say, “I think you are spending too much time blogging.  I want you to take a break and spend some time with the family for awhile.”  THAT IS SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP, LADIES!  Or he may say, “I think you need to take a nap today.  You haven’t been getting enough sleep and I can see you are really worn out.”  I am wise when I listen to his suggestions.  The whole family benefits from my husband’s wisdom and leadership.
  • He helps me say no to unhealthy commitments.  He sees where I get out of balance or zealous to do something that might take too much of my energy and leave me drained with nothing but scraps for my family.
  • He disciplines our children.  My husband may be more strict or harsh with our children than I am.  Or sometimes, he may be more relaxed with them than I am.  But his powerful influence on our children is a HUGE way that he leads spiritually in our family.   If I cooperate with him, tell him my feelings and perspective, but trust him to handle situations as he sees best – my children learn real discipline, they learn to have godly character, they see the unity in our marriage and they see my example of how to submit to God-given authority.  My example is the standard upon which  they will base their own future submission to God and God-given authority.
  • He desires physical intimacy with me (especially once he felt genuinely respected by me).  God designed sex to be the glue that holds a married couple together physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Both the husband and wife are bonded to one another during the one flesh relationship with a cocktail of neurotransmitters and endorphins (a natural “high”).  And sex unifies the married couple spiritually in ways we can’t begin to fathom.  It helps to keep divisions away.  It removes tension and helps promote forgiveness.  This needs to be a HUGE priority whenever physically possible in marriage.  And I count this as one of the ways my husband gently leads me and creates a very loving, strong, tight-knit, unified, vibrant, flourishing marriage relationship.  It’s important to stop serving the family and just enjoy and savor each other.  Kind of like our quiet time with God rejuvenates our soul.  Relationship and intimacy is much more important than my to-do list.
  • He handles the salesmen and solicitors.
  • He gently confronts sin in me when he sees it.
  • He tends to see the big picture.  My husband doesn’t get bogged down in every little detail like I tend to do.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with all the daily little details and having my husband there to help me step back and look at the bigger picture saves my sanity many times!
  • He takes care of his own spiritual connection with God.  He decides how, when, where he reads the Bible and prays.  He seeks God’s will for his life and our family.  He prefers to pray privately – I support him and don’t try to force him to pray out loud with me like I used to.
  • He doesn’t get swayed by emotions like I do.  There are definitely times when my hormones and emotions completely engulf me and I feel like I am drowning.  My husband is my rock and is able to pull me up onto dry ground.  There are times when I know I can’t rely on my feelings, and during those stormy days, I trust my husband’s words, his love for me, God’s Words and His love for me – and I don’t trust my feelings.  I keep my eyes on Christ and I keep my eyes on my husband and hang on tight, knowing that my feelings will settle down in a few days.  I don’t allow myself to be tossed about by my hormones and feelings.  I trust God and my husband and don’t lean on my own understanding.  My faith in Christ and my man are much greater now than my faith in my own wisdom or my emotions.  My husband can pull me up onto the rock of his steady soul and he is a resting place, a safe place for me.
  • He takes responsibility and is accountable for the ultimate decisions.  It took time for this to happen – over the course of a few years as I let things go and allowed him to lead.  This is a HUGE relief for me!  I couldn’t carry all that weight.  It overwhelmed me before.  Now, I am so FREE!  I can share my perspective, my feelings and desires, but then I trust my husband and God to work out each decision for what is in my best interests.  I can’t always see what is best.  When I try to lead, I take us the wrong way. I feel such weight off my soul since I know HE is the one who will answer to God, not me.  What a blessing!  I feel safe, protected and cherished.
  • He handles the finances now.    I took care of the finances for the first 16 years of our marriage or more.  And that was ok.  But it ended up that I was telling my husband what to do (when my hours were suddenly cut at work) – and that didn’t really work well.  I told my husband, “I can’t handle the finances anymore.  Here are the accounts and passwords.  Thank you for taking over.”  And then I left it with him and never touched it again.  He is saving us money in ways I had never even thought about!  And he feels the full weight of his accountability this way.  So he makes very wise decisions.  Also, he is able to treat me by taking me out to dinner or buying me things and I’m not telling him, “You can’t do that” anymore.  He is MUCH more generous with me AND even more responsible now that he is in charge!
  • He drives when we are together.
  • He gives me the better vehicle.
  • He encourages me to rest and relax – two things I am REALLY AWFUL AT DOING!
  • He researches books on marriage for me and buys me lots of books about respect, biblical submission, godly femininity and godly marriage.  He lets me share what I am learning and he listens and discusses things with me and shares his insights and perspective.
  • He takes time for himself to recharge.  Unlike a lot of us wives, husbands are usually careful to have some down time so that they don’t burn themselves out.  I really admire this about men!  And he encourages me to slow down and just savor cuddling together and being together without running around like a crazy woman all the time.  That has been very healing for my soul!
  • He has fun with me and our children.  This creates a much more healthy balance for all of us than my constant seriousness did.  He definitely brings an amazing balance to our family that I was not able to bring when I tried to be in charge.
  • He stays calm and collected under pressure.  His ability to face difficulties with dignity, poise, strength, courage and self-control helps me be able to have those same qualities, too!
  • He is my compass.  If I am having a particularly difficult time with our children, I will ask my husband if he thinks I am being too hard on them, or unreasonable, or if he thinks I am being too easy on them.  His perspective helps me steer straight and not veer off too far one way or the other like I am prone to do on my own.
  • He makes the final decision.  I am free to suggest anything, to ask for anything, to want anything, to feel any way.  And most of the time, my husband does what I ask since he loves to see me happy.  But if we don’t agree – I willingly and cheerfully cooperate with his call on that issue.  If he made a mistake, I don’t hold it against him.  I trust God to use even his mistakes for our ultimate good.  I thank him for his decisions and for looking out for the best interests of everyone in the family.
  • He is the one I go to first.  Whether it is good news, or a decision that must be made, or awful news – I call/text/email/talk to my husband FIRST about things.  I seek out his opinion and his wisdom before I make decisions.
  • He does a lot of behind the scenes work on my blog. 
  • When I am confused about something – I go to him.  He also is always willing to listen and talk with me about issues that come up and spiritual topics – whether they are things I am writing about or situations people are in or family situations at home.
  • He listens to my desires and concerns but ultimately he decides what church we go to and when we go to church and what classes we attend and how involved we are.
  • He gives me quite a bit of freedom to make many of my own decisions. He doesn’t micromanage me.
  • He decides how to use his time.  He decides what house project he wants to work on and when.  He decides his own priorities.
  • He arranges our vacations and finds great deals on them.
  • He handles all of the gift buying for our children.
  • He says, “no” or “wait” to me when what I want to do looks like it will cause problems down the road.  That is a way that he protects me and our family. The times he has said, “no” – I have almost always been able to see in hindsight that what I wanted to do would have been a big mistake.  I’m so thankful he is willing to stand for his convictions even if I don’t agree at the time.

There are other ways, too.  But maybe this will give you a few things to think about.

1. What are some ways your husband leads you?  You are welcome to share!

2. Gentlemen, what are some ways you try to lead in your marriage and in your families?  What is your definition of spiritual leadership and what do you believe God calls you to do?

RELATED:

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

“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!

“I’m Tired of Being the Leader in Our Marriage”

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From a dear wife, with her permission:
Hello

I had to email you personally and tell you how grateful I am for your insight.  I came across your article, “I Want to Follow my Husband.  What if He Doesn’t Lead? How Can I Inspire His Leadership?” (From PW – this is basically the same post that I have posted the past 3 days – “My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage” part 1, part 2 and part 3), and I believe it was sent to me by God, Himself.  I was looking for answers as to why my husband is the way he is.

I was shocked to see that it’s me that needs to change. 
I have a very dominant  personality.  I always feel like I have to be the one to take care of everything or it either won’t get done or will be done the wrong way.  I was taking care of every aspect of our families life even down to the finances and scheduling my husband’s Drs appointments.

We have only been married for 4 1/2 years and I have been so unhappy, unforgiving, and full of resentment toward my husband.  I hated the fact that he was so passive, indecisive, and  immature in regards to his responsibilities and our family.  I started feeling like I had to be the husband to myself.

Through your words I now see how prideful and controlling I was.
  • He’s a good man.  He’s faithful, he’s a wonderful provider, he’s patient, and calm.
He is a lot more than I’ve ever given him credit for.
  • I’ve always had a problem with letting go of control out of fear that something will happen or things wont go well.  At the same time I have craved peace.  A peace that comes from total submission to God and to my husband; the ability to trust someone with my life and it’s well being.

As I went through the list of critical truths, I found myself guilty of thinking, speaking or feeling 99% of the things listed.  Before reading the list I had started to contemplate divorce.  I believed that I simply could not be with my husband anymore.  How deceptive Satan can be when you close yourself from the truth.  After reading the list I felt embarrassed, broken, angry, ashamed, and a call to repentance.

I realized that my attitudes, tones, sarcasm, and personal attacks were not changing my husband. For some crazy reason I thought that it would.  I now see and understand my role and purpose as a wife.  I now understand that it’s ok to give up control and let him lead even if it seems like he’s leading nowhere.  I know my place now. I know which road I should be on.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you.  It was a tough pill to swallow but it was deeply needed.

RELATED:

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

Empowering My Husband’s Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Don’t Always Notice

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