The Smiling Challenge – 5 Minute VIDEO

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I would like to issue you a little challenge this week, my friends!

Whenever you go in the room where your husband is –

please smile at him.

  • Not to change him.
  • Not to get any specific results from him.
  • Just to bless him.

Stay close to God. Be in His Word daily. Lay your life fully before Jesus and give yourself 100% to Him as The Lord of Your Life. Let His joy flood your soul as you seek to obey Him and please Him and as you are overcome with gratitude for all He has done for you.

Let that joy shine and radiate from your face. 🙂

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE! Philippians 4:4

Focus on the Philippians 4:8 things in your life:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Bless your husband  with some REAL smiles this week. You know the kind of smile that lights up your eyes and your entire face. Yep. That’s the one I am talking about!

You probably have NO IDEA the power your smile has over that man. When you are genuinely happy (or better yet, joyful in Christ)  – he feels like more of a success as a man and as a husband. Your smile draws him to you. It is PLEASANT to be around someone who is smiling and welcoming.

Bless your children with some real smiles, too! They will thrive when they see you radiating love and joy.

Let me know how you do! 🙂

SMILE! :)

happy girl

I would like to issue you a little challenge this week, my friends!

Whenever you go in the room where your husband is –

please smile at him.

  • Not to change him.
  • Not to get any specific results from him.
  • Just to bless him.

Stay close to God.  Be in His Word daily.  Lay your life fully before Jesus and give yourself 100% to Him as The Lord of Your Life.  Let His joy flood your soul as you seek to obey Him and please Him and as you are overcome with gratitude for all He has done for you.

Let that joy shine and radiate from your face. 🙂

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!  Philippians 4:4

If you really want to go crazy with this challenge – hum happily around the house.  Or sing.  Sing praise songs to God!  Hum praise songs.  Allow God’s joy to overflow from your heart and change the expression on your face.

Bless your husband with some REAL smiles this week.

You probably have NO IDEA the power your smile has over that man.  When you are genuinely happy – for whatever reason – he feels like a success as a man and as a husband.  It draws him to you.  It is PLEASANT to be around someone who is happy and smiling.

Maybe even bless your children with some real smiles, too!

Let me know how you do! 🙂

RELATED:

A Challenge for the Ladies – not to argue or complain

Tone of Voice 

My Welcome Home Plan – a 2.5 minute video

Finding All of Our Contentment in Christ

Things That Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

Stages of This Journey – Part 3

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In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the first stages on the journey of becoming a godly wife:

  • 1. Conviction
  • 2. Repentance
  • 3. The Frustrating Quiet Phase
  • 4. Seeking God First – The Lordship of Christ

In Part 2 of this series, we looked at more stages:

  • 5. Giving Him Space
  • 6. Feeling Totally Overwhelmed
  • 7. Learning to Use Our Words and Emotions to Bless
  • 8. Finding Contentment in Christ Alone
  • 9. Dying to Self
  • 10. Developing a Grateful Heart
  • 11. Taking Every Thought Captive
  • 12. Feeling Discouraged because Your Husband Isn’t Changing

Part 4 (next post)

We will often cycle through many of these stages multiple times.  And, please keep in mind, these are my observations – they are not scientific, statistic based stages!

Some will happen at the same time.  This is not a linear process.

  • Somewhere along the way, we begin to be full of God’s Spirit and begin to experience His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

This is a refining process where God turns up the heat and we face difficulties and trials – more sin rises up to the surface – God uses that opportunity for us to repent and for Him to skim the impurities out of our lives.  We are never  completely “done”  or perfect until we reach heaven.  But God can empower us to walk in victory on a daily basis when we abide in Him.  If we stumble, we repent and get back up.

  • We can count on God testing us (for our own benefit, not His) so we can see if we will choose live in His peace and to live by faith during uncertainty and trials.

13. EXTENDING GRACE ON A NEW LEVEL

As we work through the process of growing spiritually – gaining knowledge, practicing perseverance, increasing in our faith in Christ, learning to live by His Spirit, dying to self, taking thoughts captive and as we come out of feeling discouraged with renewed determination to do this only to please and obey Christ and bless our husbands, we learn a deeper and deeper level of giving grace.

We begin to see that we do the same things to God that we feel our husbands to do us.

  • We want our husbands to WANT to be with us, not because we ask them to, just because they want to.
  • We want our husbands to WANT to connect with us emotionally and spiritually and to set aside significant amounts of time to do this.
  • We want our husbands to make US their first human priority.

Then we begin to understand that these things are exactly what God wants from us, but we have been withholding these things from Him many times.  He wants our whole-hearted devotion, all of our attention and a deep spiritual oneness with us.

We see a greater view of our sin and begin to see a more panoramic view of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.  We stand in  increasing  awe of God.

Then His Spirit floods our souls with a greater understanding and we are able to give genuine, godly grace, mercy and forgiveness to our husbands as we imitate God and abide in His presence.  We begin to see with God’s eyes and love with His heart.

We see that our husbands are not our enemies.  We begin to understand their masculine perspective and how different it is from our own.  We begin to assume the best instead of the worst about them.  We see they are on our team and we are on their team.  We understand who the real enemy is.  We see the beauty of God’s grace and we allow the power of heaven to pour through our hearts into our marriages and into our husbands’ lives no matter what they do or do not do.

If our husbands are sinning against us – we are able to respond with grace.  We may have to set healthy boundaries and even consequences sometimes – but we are truly able to forgive in God’s power and we begin to soar on wings like eagles by God’s Spirit living in us.

We know at this point beyond any doubt – that as long as God is with us – nothing else matters in this world.  It is truly now ALL about Him in our hearts, souls and minds.

14.  A GREATER SENSITIVITY TO GOD’S VOICE

As we grow in maturity, we begin to be able to not even listen to the voice of the enemy anymore. (My Demon)  We begin to TRULY recognize the voice of God and we become increasingly sensitive to His voice and His Words.  We LONG to hear and obey Him more than anything.  We are willing to do ANYTHING for Him.  We can recognize the source of the words streaming through our heads and we are able to resist Satan and come near to God.

His voice is a quiet voice – not a fuzzy, warm voice – but a gentle yet firm, quiet voice of conviction that compels us to do what is right even when it is against our sinful will.  The wrestling and battling in our souls between our flesh and God’s Spirit become less and less as we go to deeper and deeper levels of submission to Christ, trust in Him and faith in Him.

We have a constant and abiding peace that passes all understanding – even in trials.  The fruit of His Spirit continue to grow and ripen in our hearts on a daily basis.  We become unshakable in Him.  We truly begin to understand the treasure God has given to us that He allows us to carry around in these bodies of ours – these “jars of clay.”

15. FINDING A NEW BALANCE OF CLOSENESS/INTIMACY/SPACE WITH OUR HUSBANDS

If you have given your husband space – to stop having him as an idol and to give him personal emotional and spiritual space to breathe and make his own decisions and to hear God’s voice for himself – this will not be a one time adjustment.

You will strive to not make him an idol again, and to not make him responsible for your spiritual growth or happiness again.

  • But there will be a process of adjusting to finding the right level of emotional/sexual/physical/spiritual closeness and intimacy that is right at a given time.

What usually happens, is that after you have given your husband space in a respectful way, in a month or two (maybe many months, possibly a year or more) he may begin to come back toward you.  This can be a shock for some wives because they have gotten so used to giving him space and not pursuing him, that they don’t know what to do when their husbands begin to pursue them in their own way and when their husbands begin to ask for more closeness again.

Sometimes there is a bit of a “pendulum swing” of overcorrecting by giving too much space, then not enough, then a little too much space … it is a process of finding the right balance.

My suggestions are to:

  • Joyfully receive him.
  • Be available to him emotionally, physically, sexually, spiritually.
  • Be glad to be together.
  • Graciously receive any kind or generous gestures he offers to you.
  • Come a bit closer if he asks you to.  Don’t smother him or take control again – be relaxed and content in Christ.
  • Be receptive if he begins to pursue you.
  • Be willing to learn about his new-to-you world of masculinity.  Approach him as if you don’t understand his perspective, ways of thinking, ways of feeling with wide-eyed wonder at his world.  Be friendly and curious, asking questions (as he is open to that) about how he sees the world.  Really listen and take notes, if necessary, to begin to understand how different he is from you.  A great resource to understand your man better would be Shaunti Feldhahn’s “For Women Only.”

What will it look like if he does start to pursue you?  Well, every husband is different.  I have seen some husbands begin to do this within a week or two of their wives starting this journey.  Some husbands, I have seen it take over a year.  Some husbands may never change at all (although that is more rare).

  • He may begin to call you pet names he hasn’t called you in a long time.
  • He may start to confide in you slowly.
  • Some husbands get angry – because they are finally free to express themselves and they finally feel heard.  This usually doesn’t last too long, thankfully!
  • Some husbands are skeptical and want to wait a LONG, LONG time to be sure that these changes in their wives are real before they open up to them or trust them.
  • Some husbands, most of them, will be pretty confused for awhile and will not know what is going on!  My husband talks about that here.
  • Some husbands will say they don’t want to lead and they don’t want “respect” – in that case, just keep obeying God and don’t do a lot of talking about respect and your husband’s leadership.  But do respect him and honor his leadership.  The idea will probably grow on him in time.   He may have been raised with a domineering mother, which may be why he is comfortable with a domineering, controlling wife. He may be afraid to try to lead. He may feel like he doesn’t know how to lead.  He will need your gentle encouragement and praise when he does things right.  He will need to see your faith and trust in him.  He will need to know that he will not get reamed out and verbally crushed if he makes mistakes.
  • He may want you to go with him and sit and enjoy each other’s company as he works on his car or the house or as he fishes or goes hunting.  Go with him if at all possible if he asks you to go somewhere.  Listen to him.  Smile at him.  Give him the floor to talk if he wants to, or to just quietly enjoy being with you.  A lot of men bond by being together just doing an activity together without talking.  That may be bonding for him.  It’s ok if there is no talking.  This is romantic to HIM.
  • He may start to hold your hand.
  • He may try to get you to engage in conflict like before.  It is comfortable for him to be able to blame your sin for the problems in the marriage.  When your sin begins to significantly decline, all he has to see is his own sin.  That is painful.  Many husbands will try to get their wives to do the old “dance” as Laura Doyle calls it.  Don’t fall for it!  He may up the pressure on you and try to get you to explode on him or to take control again or to disrespect him.  Don’t fall for it, precious sister!  Sometimes as God works in our husbands’ hearts to convict them, they may lash out at us in anger or try to blame us for their sin.  But as we obey God and walk in His power, our husbands have to face their own sin and that is a GOOD thing.  At that point, we must try our best to stay out of God’s way and allow Him to work conviction in our husbands’ hearts.  We are not the Holy Spirit.  It is not our job to convict our husbands.  God is capable of doing that without our help.
  • He may begin to step up and slowly begin to lead, stand taller, begin to have more confidence and begin to ask you to do things.  Most of the time, what I have seen is that husbands who were passive and unplugged, begin to say things like, “I want you to try to take a nap today,  you didn’t get much sleep last night.”  or “I think you need to get off of the computer by X time, so we can just relax together in the evenings.”  or “I think we need to handle this situation with our daughter like this.”  It can be strange when you are used to calling all the shots to suddenly hear your husband saying he wants you to do certain things.  But, this is part of him becoming a godly leader.  Most of the time, the things he will ask are things that he believes will increase the peace in the home, help save your sanity, improve  your health, improve your happiness, benefit the children in the long run and things he believes will most honor God.  Do  your best to thank him for his leadership and to cooperate with him and appreciate his wisdom and insights.
  • He may begin to share his emotions more with you.  Be a safe place for him to share.  Don’t share his private thoughts with others.  Be loyal to him and be trustworthy.  If he shares his temptations or vulnerabilities, these are not things to broadcast to other people.  Be on his team and let him see that you want to support him as he faces difficulties and temptations, even if his temptations are things that aren’t tempting for you.  Figure out how to best honor and support and minister to him in ways that meet his unique needs.
  • He may begin to desire you more sexually.  If you have been rejected a lot in the past by him because he felt disrespected, and you were the main one initiating, and you decide to stop initiating to give him space and time to begin to pursue you, he may begin to initiate sex with you a month or two or more after you stop trying to make him have sex with you. (The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage has more on this issue, so does Respect, Biblical Submission and Sexual Attraction)  If you are not excited about him desiring you more sexually, check out “Sometimes I Just Feel Like a Piece of Meat to My Husband” and be sure to read some of the husbands’ comments.  They are very helpful!)
  • He may begin to talk about what God is speaking to him.  Please listen and encourage him.
  • He may begin to share negative feelings he has been bottling up for years.  Sometimes, a husband can seem more unloving as his wife focuses on respect and biblical submission at first.
  • He may seem frozen and unable/unwilling to lead.  A husband talks about what may be going on in that situation here.
HERE IS FELLOW WIFE’S APPROACH:
I really think I need to revamp my goals as I go into this next phase…. as dh has shown he no longer feels smothered and wants more from me in terms of affection, attention, etc.  Copy & pasting a few former goals from my post on your site (“I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband”) that I feel need a bit of revamping and add a few, keeping the rest of the former.  I would love your thoughts on if I am going in the right direction.  Using caps to differentiate- not shouting.  🙂
  • Stop calling him so often. (Limit calls to when issues are immediate/letting him know about the kids & I after dr appts) –I STILL THINK THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD IDEA TO KEEP AROUND… I THINK AN OCCASIONAL EXTRA CALL IS OKAY BUT I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK INTO OVERDRIVE ON THIS ONE.
  • Allow him the time and space to be affectionate and sexual. KEEP IT….. BUT BE SURE TO BE RECPTIVE TO HIM AND BE AFFECTIONATE WITH HIM WHEN I FEEL THE DESIRE TO DO SO… AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT GET EXCESSIVE.
  • Give him more time and space overall… pulling back a bit can draw him to me. (Men respond to distance, not words). Allow my distance to speak rather than my words. IN A HEALTHY WAY… BE ACCEPTING WHEN HE NEEDS TIME AND SPACE.  ONLY USE DISTANCE WHEN NECESSARY.
  • Remember that it is not healthy for me to pursue him for either me or our marriage. Remember it should be him pursuing me. Give him that chance. I THINK IT WILL ALWAYS BE HEALTHIEST TO ALLOW HIM TO BE THE LEAD PURSUER… I THINK THAT IS JUST HOW IT WORKS BEST AND HOW GOD DESIGNED IT TO BE, DON’T YOU? IT FEELS RIGHT WHEN HE PURSUES ME… IT DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT WHEN I PURSUE HIM.

(From Peacefulwife – if a husband asks his wife to initiate more or to pursue him more, I think she may be able to do that some.  But there will be a delicate balance of just the right amount of her initiating and pursuing so that he does not feel smothered or pressured)

And a few new goals:
  • Hold him loosely, remembering that he belongs to God and is on his own journey.  Any changes that occur are between he and God- he is on his own personal journey with God and I am on mine and that is where my focus needs to be.  Another reason for holding him loosely is to allow GOD that space to work. It is not my place to correct, teach or control dh.
  • Continue to daily make the choice to let go of him and let God have him….
  • Continue to appreciate any effort and gesture of love he makes toward me.  (I think I have been forgetting to do this).
  • Make every effort to assume the best of  him or at least assume that I do not understand his thoughts, motives and actions.  Use Philippians 4:8 as the filter for my thoughts toward him.

“I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband” (in the wrong ways)

I am not an expert, a certified counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor.  My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules or guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him, to seek His wisdom in the Bible and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not.
NOTE – I write specifically for wives who tend to have strong Type A personalities. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that some of my blog posts may not be a good fit for them that are written more for the Type A wives. If you are a more passive wife with a more dominating husband or if your husband is abusing you, please check out my recommendations at the bottom of the post. This post is not about an abusive husband.

Today’s post is from a Fellow Wife who is determined to stop demanding things from her husband, expecting him to be totally responsible for her happiness, idolizing him, and to learn to give him space and allow him to make his own choices without trying to make him choose to give her attention, affection, phone calls, emails, texts, etc… We are not talking about giving him the cold shoulder, being bitter, resenting him, giving up on the marriage, giving up on loving and respecting our husbands here.

This is about stopping ourselves from attempting to force our husbands to give us the attention, love and affection we want. It is about stopping trying to control our husbands in an unhealthy way. I am not saying “don’t ever say what you need or want.” 

It is important to respectfully say what you need and want – you can check out yesterday’s post about that. But we might only say what we want once – not 200 times. And this is about being able to graciously accept the times when our husband cannot or will not meet our needs – and how we can find strength in Christ and depend on Him and find total acceptance, love, purpose, peace, joy, strength and our identity in Him alone.
———————-
FROM A FELLOW WIFE:
In my ever analytical, think on paper mind, I have made up some goals going forward with my husband…. I want to share them and ask if you have any to add or any suggestions?
What I really mean I am going to do (a concrete plan of action) when I say I have quit trying to force him to show me his feelings for me…
GOALS/PLAN–(In no particular order)–:
  • Stop calling him so often. (Limit calls to when issues are immediate/letting him know about the kids & I after dr apps.)
  • Stop asking him every day after work, “So, did you think of me today while you were at work?” (Like I had been doing.)
  • Allow him the time and space to be affectionate and sexual instead of pressuring him constantly.
  • Tell him when I would like to go out and leave it open for him to take it from there/respond in his own way.
  • Give him more time and space overall… pulling back a bit can draw him to me. (“Men respond to distance, not words” –  a quote by Bob Grant.). Allow my distance to speak rather than my words.
  • Remember that it is not healthy for me to pursue him for either me or our marriage. Remember it should be him pursuing me. Give him that chance.
  • Not talk about this subject with him anymore unless he asks me questions or brings it up. I said I was done, so be done. When I feel hurt or overwhelmed, choose to pray about it instead and ask God to work on him, me & our marriage.
  • Stop fishing or hinting for compliments.
  • Not expect my husband to be Christ to me – to see disappointment in him as a flag that I may have my husband as an idol.
  • Allow him to choose to be with me or not when the kids and I cannot attend church events or family functions due to illnesses. Let go of this and do not try to demand for him to stay with us.
  • Stop trying to prove to his family how much he loves me & stop trying to push him into showing it. This only makes me look insecure. Instead, give him the space to show it and it will mean MUCH more when he does. They will get the point MUCH better that way.
  • Continue to try to meet his needs, be a respectful wife, and be grateful for any effort I see.
  • Realize and remember that anything negative his family does has more to do with them than me. That speaks of THEIR personal problems and issues and is not my problem.
  • Remember that no matter how his family acts, they cannot and will not change the fact that he deeply loves me.
I realize that I will fall short at times but having a list of GOALS that I am working toward is helpful to me… I know I am so type A, but this is how I function best.
——————
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
Here are some of my thoughts for whatever they are worth…
This is a REALLY important part of dying to self. It is PAINFUL!!!!!! It feels like you will never get what you want and need from your husband if you can’t constantly tell him what you want and need.

But verbal pressure does not usually motivate men!

If I am frequently insisting on my husband sending me emails/texts/messages, calling me, giving me affection, giving me attention, having intimacy with me physically – I put him in a lose/lose situation.
His two choices are:
1. Disrespect himself by “submitting” to me.
2. Refuse to do what I demand, look like a “jerk” and risk my unhappiness.
A man will usually see that even if he did what his wife insists that he do this time, she will not be satisfied for long. After awhile, he gives up trying to make his wife happy. It seems completely impossible. She seems to be a black hole of insatiable needs. (This is true especially when a wife has her husband as an idol and expects him to be responsible for her joy, happiness, contentment, emotions and purpose in life instead of depending on Christ for those things.)
Something in a man just won’t allow him to be told what to do or ordered around. He won’t respond well to demands. No grown adult would, really. God designed the husband to be the leader and the wife to honor the husband’s leadership. Not the other way around.
Also, he knows that if he does what she wants, just because she told him to, his actions are meaningless. A man wants to do loving things for his wife because he wants to do them, not because she kept telling him to do them.
  • It is not that a husband in this position doesn’t care about his wife or love her. The issue is that he needs some space to breathe and he needs less verbal pressure so that he can do what he believes is best on his own. He has to be able to choose to love her his way. He has to be able to have the freedom to have his God-given free will, just like everyone needs to have.

I have heard it said, “The only thing worse than a man you can’t control, is a man you can control.”

Now, I am actually really thankful my husband wouldn’t bend to my demands earlier in our marriage. He has a backbone and convictions. Those are good things for a leader to have – to refuse to cave when he doesn’t believe something is right.
THIS IS WHERE A WIFE MUST FACE HER DEEPEST FEARS:
  • What if he really doesn’t love me and never talks to me, touches me, emails me or even stays in the same room with me again?
  • If I don’t constantly tell him what I need and want, how will he know what I want?
  • He doesn’t really care about making me happy at all – now my backing away is just going to prove how unloving he is.
  • I have to give up on my dream marriage if I don’t try to make it work right. I may lose everything that matters to me if I stop trying to control things.

GOOD NEWS:

What most wives don’t realize is – when they take their emotional hands off of their husbands’ emotional throats – and they calm down and just wait – THAT is pretty attractive to most husbands. A calm, gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear attracts God and husbands.

No, there is no guarantee that your husband will be more loving if you stop trying to control him. But – if you continue to try to control him, I can guarantee you he won’t be more loving! God’s way works. He has wisdom that is infinitely higher than our own. 🙂

Men respond much better to respect and a joyful, cooperative attitude, than angry demands.

I know my husband sure does!

UNDERSTANDING A HUSBAND’S LOVE

Many wives do not realize that a husband’s love is usually pretty stable and constant. Unless he leaves, or is cheating, or actively saying, “I don’t love you anymore,” most husbands’ love remains pretty constant day after day. Most husbands don’t understand why wives seem to need so much reassurance of their love. They believe they are showing love by providing for the family, being there, being faithful, doing things to help their wives and children. Words don’t always mean a lot to men. They often try to show their love through actions.

When I began to understand my husband’s concept of love, I was able to just rest in the knowledge of his love – even without constant words of affirmation and assurance. But also, I put my primary trust and faith in Jesus and rest in His love and peace – so I can be unshaken.

DYING TO SELF IS PAINFUL. TEARING OUT IDOLS IS PAINFUL.

This is a difficult part of the journey – where we must lay down all of our dreams, our wisdom, our plans, our desires, our marriage, our husbands, our future, our happiness… and lay it on the altar before Jesus. We must be willing to give up what we want so much – the things we have wanted more than we wanted Jesus. And it is time to seek His will, His wisdom, His plans, His desires, His priorities and hold everything loosely so that He can give and take whatever He sees is best.

Will we trust God? Or will we continue to trust self – which is idolatry?

It is a pivotal question in our spiritual lives and our marriages. One we may have to ask more than once per day.

Is God really big enough to meet my needs and take care of me if I trust Him? Is He sovereign enough?

These are questions we must each wrestle through on our own. I am glad to talk with you and encourage you and pray for you as you wrestle through these difficult issues and decide for yourself whether God is worthy of your trust, worship, adoration and total submission to His Lordship or not.

I promise – there is no peace apart from trusting Christ with ALL.

POST SCRIPT 2017 –

This wife and her husband are closer than ever now and have a much stronger marriage than ever before. The issues she discussed in this post have been resolved. He is much more affectionate now. She doesn’t have to beg for attention. He has drawn much nearer to her and has been so protective of her since she has given up control and has shown him honor and respect. It has been amazing to watch the Lord slowly heal this marriage.

SHARE:
I’d love to hear from some wives who have been through this part of the journey and what they realized they needed to stop and what they started doing differently and what happened.
And I would love to hear from some husbands who might better be able to explain how unpalatable it is for a wife to demand attention and affection. I’d also love to hear what kinds of things a wife might do that would be endearing to her husband and that would draw him to her.
Thanks, y’all! 🙂
OTHER POSTS FROM A FELLOW WIFE:
RELATED:
To see how A Fellow Wife is doing in August of 2015 – and what she wishes the new her could tell her old 2012 self, please click here.
FOR MORE PASSIVE WIVES WITH MORE DOMINATING/CONTROLLING HUSBANDS:
Posts by Radiant may be a good fit.
FOR WIVES WHOSE HUSBANDS ARE ABUSING THEM:
If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! My blog is not written specifically for wives whose husbands are dangerous, unhinged, not in their right minds, actively addicted to drugs/alcohol, etc… I would encourage wives in such situations to seek counsel in person if at all possible by someone very experienced with that particular issue.

“Making a Big Breakfast for My Husband”

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From a precious wife – thank you for allowing me to share this!  MANY, MANY wives will relate!

I just completed day 20 this week, I am about six weeks behind, but I am taking the Respect Dare at my own pace in hopes that I will glean more from it and really work carefully at applying the principles in my own heart. May God’s Spirit guide me and lead me daintily and tenderly through the remaining 20 dares.

I feel good to have gotten half way through Nina’s book. I was a wife whom from the beginning didn’t know if I had it in me to complete the dares, yet alone work on becoming a respectful wife.

Dare 20 was a hard dare for me. I thought I was getting it, I wrote down four things that I wanted to do to show my hubby sacrificial love, and then I did some of those things.

  • One of those things was to clean his bathroom (the downstairs bathroom that only he uses and calls “his throne room” jokingly). I braved this task and did it cheerfully and didn’t mind it. I had fun killing about six different spiders and cleaning the yucky “needed to be cleaned for the past two months!!!” bathroom.

I did it without expecting anything in return and knowing that it needed to be done.

  • The second thing (I forget what it was now), but I did it, cheerfully and willingly.
  • The third thing I wanted to do to show hubby love was to make him a big breakfast. My hubby likes eggs and sausage, biscuits and gravy, the works! The desire to make him this breakfast came from a heart that had wanted to make him a big breakfast since his birthday in May or since our anniversary in June. I gave him a raincheck and wanted to make it for him. So I bought the needed groceries.

Hubby came home late from a baseball game that he went to with his work. He got home around 1:00 a.m. He woke up at 8:30 and didn’t fall back to sleep. I tried to be very quiet and to let him sleep. Once he came downstairs, I started making breakfast. I was discouraged since I couldn’t get our digital music player to play in the kitchen. I asked him for help but he didn’t know how to help me. So I ended up making the breakfast and sang some songs to worship God and to make my own joyful noise.

So as I am making this breakfast my hubs is sitting down at the kitchen booth table. He is tired, drained, and is trying to communicate to me about the game. I was trying hard to listen to him and to finish things up.

Well I got everything made and served up. And then came the sitting down at the table.

And out came the junk (the sinful motives and attitude) that I didn’t know would come out.

Before we prayed, I complained.

  • I complained about the music player that I HAD WANTED him to fix so I COULD listen to music to get ME (or try to get us) in a better mood since I knew it would be a hard day to talking with hubby since he was out of it (ON top of working two 12 hour days previously during the week of overtime, which God so graciously allowed).
  • Then I complained that my husband didn’t appreciate me.

AND THE HEART OF THE MATTER WAS, I was complaining because I expected him to be SO APPRECIATIVE of the sacrificial act of love I was doing for him.

We had a talk. I told him about my desire to be affirmed by words and appreciated. I told him my desire to be cherished and appreciated. BUT THE FACT WAS….

That I guess I was stewing some of the time I was preparing the food, because I wanted so much to be appreciated while I was cooking.

Just one comment.

I expected my husband to react in a certain way, the way I thought he should. I wanted so much to make it perfect, but I was the one who made it hard.

I know hubs would have said thank you, but I didn’t give him time to say anything. I just jumped in, critized him about the lack of fixing the music player, and then was drowned in my desire and need for appreciation.

SO I ended up asking for forgiveness. He prayed for our food.

Then I got overly emotional. I could only pray to God. Help me Jesus. I just wanted to please God. I just wanted to feel appreciated.

Hubby said it would have been better that I hadn’t cooked the big breakfast if I was going to EXPECT HIM TO REACT IN a CERTAIN way at a CERTAIN point of time.

So I was overcome by tears. Tears that knew I had sinned. Tears of my deep emotions and desire to be loved, cherished, appreciated, adored, but also tears of repentance. I completely understood what my husband was saying.

  • I was being disrespectful by my expectations.
  • Wanting his words of affirmation when I thought he should give them.
  • Not waiting on hubby’s response time.
  • Wanting hubby’s approval more than God’s approval.

I did serve hubby with love. But it wasn’t a sacrificial perfect love like Jesus’. I wanted recognition, admiration, praise, and compliments at the right time, but Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross didn’t come with recognition, admiration, praise, and compliments. It came without any rewards. It came with humility and obedience. It came with a desire to please God and not man.

That is where I failed. That is why I am writing this.

To encourage those who have stories similiar to mine. To proclaim that Jesus forgave me of my selfish, changing motives for praise and recognition, and to give Him the glory for beginning to change my mindset.

Thanks April for allowing me to share.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe that every wife has multiple moments like this on the journey to becoming a respectful, godly wife.

This is probably going to sound really strange. But – I am thankful that sometimes our husbands DON’T give us the affirmation and recognition we desire, especially at first.

WHY would I say that?

  • When we don’t get what we really want – our husbands’ appreciation, their verbal affirmation – it forces us to see our true motives.  Seeing our true motives is very necessary for us to really die to self, take every thought captive for Christ and for God to refine our faith.  These are opportunities for God to skim the “dross” off the top of the melted gold in our hearts to make us more and more pure.

THIS IS A PAINFUL PART of the journey.  To be sure!!!!

It is wonderful when our husbands do affirm us, encourage us, thank us and appreciate us.  I’m glad when they do these things.

BUT – our motives have GOT to be to please and honor Christ alone.  It is only when we are truly finding our contentment, purpose, identity, acceptance, fulfillment and joy in Jesus alone that we can be the godly wives Jesus commands us to be.  And we can only do that by the power of His Spirit.  There is nothing good in us on our own.  It is all about Christ and His power every step of the way.

EXPECTATIONS – The Respect Dare Day 1

The Respect Dare, Day 20 – Loving Our Husbands with Sacrificial Love

Expectations – Part 1   (Part 1 of a 4 part series I did earlier in the year on expectations.)

I Want Affirmation from My Husband!

 

Money – and the ugly truth.

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This is a guest post from one of my prayer partners, Kayla.  I am really excited about what God is doing in her life and all that she is learning.  She is able to explain some of these issues in ways that just MAKE SENSE. God has gifted her with words and the ability to explain things clearly.  I love her writing and I love her heart for Jesus and her heart for marriage.  I know this post will bless you, too!  You can check out her blog at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com

God gave me the pleasure of uncovering the truth about money in my life this week to a new level of understanding that I had never really fully uncovered before.

Money is (hopefully on the way to being “was”) my idol.

But not in the typical way that might be popping into your mind.  I’m not talking about Materialism.  I DO NOT have a desire to have “more” of anything.  Sure, there are things I want, like this REALLY awesome pair of boots I have my eyes on, but I know that I will most likely never own them, and I would never sacrifice what is necessary, be a poor steward, or refuse to give where God is leading just to keep or have more for myself.

Materialism in my mind says that you can find no satisfaction in life because everywhere you look you “want” something or everywhere you look people have “things” that you want and you just can’t find happiness because there is always something more you desperately want to have.

That isn’t me.

I’m talking about Money (NOT materialism) being my God.  Money is my idol.  BECAUSE, money is my security.

I have controlled every aspect of the finances since the day my husband and I started dating.  For one, I’m really good with budgets, researching deals and savings, and I don’t mind at all writing checks and getting things paid on time.

But if THAT was why I was in control of the finances, that’d be one thing.  But that isn’t the only reason that I was.  And I JUST discovered this to the full measure this past week.

It’s because I only trust myself to handle the money and that makes me feel secure.

I have the checkbook balanced to the penny, CONSTANTLY.  There will never be a moment in time when I don’t know to the exact cent, how much money we have.

And if major purchases come up and the money goes down, I’m upset, feel unsafe, have anxiety and worry, stress out, and have a bad attitude.  On the flip, if there is extra money put in and I’m able to catch some sales which leaves us a little higher than we were last month, I’m happy, feel safe, take great pride in my budgeting abilities and feel great security.

The fact that I stay home and my husband brings in 90% (because I do babysit and do crochet) of our income, has NOTHING to do with feeling like my husband is my security, provider or protector.  Because in my mind, I handle the money so I make sure I’m safe.

I’ll even go so far as to tell you that, as DISGUSTING as this is to admit, my husband “running purchases past me to be a team” was seriously a very nice way of saying “asking my permission.”  I ultimately always had veto power.

My friend April had the courtesy to help me see this past week that this situation is just an obvious symptom of The Fall of Man. Men are quick to give up power, and women are even quicker to take all the power.

When in reality God created men to be the provider, protector, and leader and the woman to be the helper, receiver and nurturer.  We were never intended to have “Veto” power.  We were intended to come along side them and follow their leading so we could be protected as we both reach the top of the mountain together.

All I’ve tried to create in my marriage is my own security which is a total lack of trust in my husband to make good decisions for us, which is a lack of faith in the Lord to be sovereign of His design of marriage, and to provide our needs without my constant worry and intervention.

So what did I do about this?

Practical Application:

I put everything on Auto pay except one bill.

I paid everything up through the week that I could.

I made a really neat print-out of what my husband would need to know up-front. (I didn’t give him a mess of stuff!)

And I handed him the paper and check book and said “I can’t do the finances anymore. I’m not being respectful, or trusting and am struggling with pride.  I know you can do this and I trust you to handle this now.”

And I haven’t touched the check book since.  And I won’t.  I’ll now hand him all my receipts, stick to the budget he gives me, allow him to give me the “allowance money” instead of me giving it to him, stop balancing the checkbook constantly or evaluating where we are on-line, let him pay all the bills and write all the checks, and give him my opinions when they are relevent and trust him when they aren’t.

No, this isn’t making me a doormat.  It’s letting him carry weight that he was designed to carry, and giving me the chance to be provided for and focus on things that build up the home, instead of carrying stress that the bank account gets to determine my mood and safety.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I LOVE the words Kayla used when she gave the finances to her husband.  I like her approach actually a lot better than the one I used!  I think it is more biblically sound.  Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your heart, Kayla!

Until we totally submit ALL of ourselves to Jesus as our Lord – we are missing out on His blessings and His will to some degree.  Giving up control of the finances is SCARY.  But I look at the reasons Kayla was doing the finances and how it gave her a false sense of security  – and that was totally me.   I was also very obsessive about the finances and constantly checked the balances all day every day and stressed about it.  I LOVE that Greg handles the money and bills now.  It doesn’t seem to add much burden to him at all.  I love the way the balance of power shifted dramatically in his direction.  It helped me stop a lot of my controlling ways.

I don’t think there is one perfect way to handle this situation – and we are not addressing extreme situations where there is physical abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, severe mental illness. (If you are in a situation like that – please find local, godly, experienced help ASAP!)  But these are some ideas to think and pray about!  I believe your intimacy with Christ and with your husband may improve greatly when you are not the money kingpin in your house!

 

Here is a post I wrote about how I handled giving the finances to my husband.

Here is a post from one of my readers whose husband emphatically did NOT want her to give him the finances and the really godly way she is handling it.  She is an inspiration to me!

 Respecting Our Husbands During a Financial Crisis

HERE IS KAYLA’S FOLLOW UP POST ABOUT THIS TOPIC A FEW WEEKS LATER:

I Handed Over the Finances – Update

"My Husband Wants to Go WHERE!?!?!?!" – From the Archives

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From a reader. When we submit ourselves fully to Christ and live by faith and obedience to Him – life is such an adventure.  We never know what He might do!  THANK YOU to this precious wife for sharing her story and to God be all the glory!!!!!

BAD NEWS

I can’t even begin to tell you how my heart sank when I heard my husband say that he was planning to take a trip to Las Vegas with a single guy friend from work. You’d have to know a great deal of our relationship history to fully understand why this hit me the way it did, but nevertheless I was distraught over it. I think most wives would feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of their man going away to a place like Las Vegas without them. I felt VERY uncomfortable, given my husband’s past issues.

THINGS HAD BEEN IMPROVING SO MUCH LATELY!

Things had been really looking up for our family, especially within my marriage. I was finally coming to a point where God was really showing me so much about what it means to be a respectful and submissive wife. I was effectively putting it all into practice, and I was really watching the changes happen. My husband was again warming up to me, after I had made him flee, so to speak, with my controlling words and behavior in the past.

Our marriage had been very broken. Once I stopped trying to force him to get close with God and backed off, he began to take an interest in God again. He started to really step up as a leader of our family in many ways I had never seen in all the previous years of our marriage. He wanted to have a pure life like I did, and after all the years of struggling, for us to be in a place where we both wanted the same thing was really amazing. What was even more amazing was the fact that I was able to understand so many new things about what to do and not do as a wife.

I really felt like things were finally going to be okay, and I wasn’t going to have to deal with the same old behaviors from my husband.

As it turns out, I might always have to deal with those things, and just maybe, he might always have to deal with me struggling to be a respectful wife and messing it up more often than not. Unfortunately, we are sinners. This is the reality of all marriages, and I am learning A LOT about this. That is not to say that God can’t transform our hearts and make us more like Him everyday, but we will always struggle with our flesh. It would be foolish to believe that our husband’s are not going to make mistakes and hurt us.

MY FEELINGS ABOUT HIS PLANS FOR THE TRIP

When my husband told me about wanting to go to Las Vegas, I did not take it well. I tried very hard to respond as best as I could with many of the tools I’d learned from God and from April’s site, but it was hard. I was so confused. I thought my husband wanted to leave these ways behind.

  • Why would he want to run off and be in a place like that with his single friend?
  • Was I being judgmental by thinking this?
  • I thought he didn’t want to even drink anymore.
  • Why did he have to pick Las Vegas?
  • What would happen there?

My mind was racing. I should also mention that my husband works two jobs everyday so I can stay home with our sons. I am eternally grateful that he does this for us, but it can be very difficult, because we hardly see him at all during the week. It felt so wrong that he would take vacation time and be away from us by choice. It also hurt my heart deeply that he didn’t pick me to come along.

I wanted so desperately for him to want to whisk me away on a romantic trip and be his first choice as a companion.

All of these emotions were flying around in my head, and it was so painful. I knew in my heart that I really had been doing the things God asked me to do in my marriage and as a wife, so I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I would have understood him wanting to go with someone else if I were still being controlling, manipulative, and disrespectful, but I knew I wasn’t. I was actively making sure I wasn’t.

WHAT I DID

I did tell my husband all of the different emotions I was feeling. That was also hard for me, because in the past I had really worried about how he would react when I shared negative feelings with him. God helped me through this, however, and I was able to share all of the issues I had more calmly than I would have in the past. Instead of demanding him to respond to everything I said, I let it be. This is also very different for me, because normally I’d be asking a million questions like what do you think or are you mad I feel this way… but, I didn’t. I let him take what I said into consideration and then I had to let God do the rest.

GOD WORKED IN MY HEART – A LOT!

Over the course of a month I struggled with trying to accept that he was going on this trip and trying to mold my feelings to accompany that as a truth. I still felt like it was wrong though. I kept praying that God’s will would prevail, whether it was for my husband to go or not.

This was a pivotal time for me in my relationship with God, because I started to realize that my motives were not necessarily right when it came to what I was trying to achieve as a wife. I wanted to be a good wife, but I also expected that my husband was going to be a good husband as a result. That is not always the truth. God really showed me that

I need to be a good wife for Him. I need to make sure I’m being submissive and respectful for God regardless of what my husband is doing/not doing.

That was VERY eye opening for me. It was also a giant test, because I had to blindly trust God through it. I didn’t know how I’d survive those days he’d be away not knowing what was going on, but I had to just keep handing those fearful thoughts and feelings to God.

GOD WAS AT WORK WITH MY HUSBAND, TOO – UNBEKNOWNST TO ME!

Last week my husband came home from work and told me we needed to talk. My stomach was in knots, because I assumed he wanted to go over when he was leaving and all the details of the trip. Instead, he told me he realized that it was wrong to go with his friend. He said he left the whole trip in God’s hands and it was completely falling through. When they went to book the flight, the website would not accept their credit cards for some mysterious (GOD) reason. I guess his friend kept changing his mind as well.

My husband acknowledged that it was definitely the hand of God. He said he was very sorry, and that he wanted to make the family more of a priority. He then informed me that he wanted to take me on a trip instead! We will be going on vacation together at the beginning of next month!

I really am in awe of what God did with this situation. It’s hard for me to even express in words how thankful I am. The lessons I am learning are priceless.

MY MESSAGE TO WIVES

What I really want to say to wives is that you need to expect that your husband is going to mess up and do crazy things, but you can’t let that affect how you behave as a wife. Keep seeking God. Keeping asking Him to give you the strength to be the wife He wants you to be. He will equip you, and when things look grim, He is there, and you can most definitely trust Him. He will use your behavior and your faith to bring about positive changes in your husband, but it won’t always be in the way that you want or expect. It may just be a two steps forward, three steps back type of thing, but take heart, God is at work!

God works everything together for the good (of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose Romans 8:28). When I was struggling with all the confusion of this situation I felt like I couldn’t see what good would come from it at all, but then I remembered who God really is, and I knew I could trust Him with this.

If this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have realized my focus in seeking to be a godly wife is to be God and only God. I learned that we can’t get stuck on the plans and ideas other people have. God can definitely step in the way and change things into how He wants them to be. As wives we need to fully and completely fix our eyes on God, and not have our focus on everything that is going on around us. God is in control.

So, this was really hard, but it was also really amazing and good for me. I think so many of the things we go through as wives are like that. Lessons are hard, but so very valuable. I pray that we keep close to God so we can grasp all the wisdom He wants to give us, and that we can be that godly loving example of Him to everyone around us. 🙂

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!  He IS able!  He is sovereign – even over our husbands.  We can trust Him.  I can’t guarantee that every story will work out just like this one. But as we seek the Lord wholeheartedly and yield ourselves completely to submission to Him, He will truly use all things for His glory and our ultimate good when we yield to Him and put our faith in Him.  WHAT A STORY!  THANK YOU, LORD!

OTHER WIVES – if you have a story about how God worked in your marriage, or is working  in you and your marriage – please leave me your story on my Contact page – let me know that you would like for me to share it. I may share it anonymously as a post!

The Most Amazing Life!

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

100%  submission to Christ

Be willing to say to God:

I am FULLY Yours.

I hold back NOTHING from You.

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

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

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

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

I delight in obeying You and living by Your Word!

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

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

I wait patiently and expectantly before You.

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

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

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

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

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

Use me however You will.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use me – I am Your humble servant.

I can do nothing apart from You.

I depend completely upon Your power in my life.

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

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

Youtube Video:

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

The Respect Dare, Day 35 – Live with Him in an Understanding Way

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A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.  Proverbs 18:2

OUCH!

I remember when I was learning about respect and really began seeking with all my heart to honor God and become the godly woman He wanted me to be – and it hit me that I was often doing the things that “fools” do in Proverbs.

That was a startling realization.

I always assumed I was classified along with the “wise.”  But then God began to show me my behavior and just how many of the “foolish” things I had been doing.

OUCH!  OUCH!  OUCH!

If you begin to study Proverbs and apply these words of wisdom to your marriage – it can be shocking.  Put your name in the place of “fool” and the “wise man” in Proverbs and think about your marriage.

“April finds no pleasure in understanding Greg, but delights in airing her own opinions.”  – You know what?  That was TOTALLY ME.

I didn’t really seek to understand Greg those first 14+ years of our marriage.  I knew that I was “right” after all.  Why waste my time understanding someone who is so “clearly wrong”?  I had it in my head that I was:

  • spiritually so much more mature than he was
  • morally superior to him
  • much closer to God than he was
  • able to discern God’s will (and I assumed that he could not do this nearly as well as I could)

PRIDE, PRIDE, PRIDE, PRIDE and self-righteousness.  🙁  Mountains of it.  All of that had to go.

I love what Nina Roesner says in The Respect Dare today,

“Many women erroneously look toward marriage as the place where all their hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.  Instead, we need to look at marriage as a context through which we will grow more as a person…  Marriage is a context through which we have the opportunity to become more holy, not necessarily happier.”

AMEN!!!!!!!!

That one concept alone could revolutionize our marriages and completely alter our expectations in the most wonderful ways.

The true story in The Respect Dare on Day 35 brings me to tears.  A husband calls his wife and asks her to bring the tax folder to him.  She is exhausted, the sick baby is asleep.  She lists all the reasons she can’t bring it and telling him what a horrible day she has had.  He comes home to get it, jeopardizing his job by leaving early again (unbeknownst to his wife), feeling exhausted himself and feeling invisible with the arrival of their new baby.

Nina’s main message today,

“Don’t be so caught up in your own life that you forget to make your husband feel important today.”

MY HUSBAND

I remember talking with Greg as I was reading various books about respect that mentioned how husbands can feel like they “lose” their wives to the new baby once a baby arrives.  I VERY PURPOSELY tried NOT to make our children more important than my husband.  This was before I learned about respect and biblical submission, though.

I asked him years later, “Did you feel alienated and left out when we had our babies?”  And I was SHOCKED when he said, “Of course I did.”

WOW!

Now, of course, I know that I was also coming across as very critical and judgmental of him.  And, because I had read all the latest baby books and he hadn’t, I easily assumed I knew so much more than he did about how to take the best care of the baby.

I remember trying to include him on things.  I was nursing, so he really couldn’t get up with the baby to feed him/her.  But I had NO IDEA that he felt left out of our family and my life.  I knew that I felt left out of his life because he was often watching tv a lot or on the computer.  I remember feeling very invisible to him many times.  I would beg him to tell me what he needed from me.  He wouldn’t answer or didn’t know how to verbalize it.  And I had no clue.  And all that time, he was feeling ignored somehow, too.

UGH!

NOW:

  • I know that my husband has valuable wisdom to share with me
  • I know that his opinion and perspective is at least as important as mine is
  • I seek to put myself in my husband’s shoes and try to understand what it is like to live in his world and see how I can most bless him each day
  • I want to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
  • I give him the benefit of the doubt.  I assume the best about him now instead of the worst

QUESTIONS:

  • Ask your husband if he feels more important to you than anyone else in the world (including your children, your parents, your friends, your church, etc.)  Then LISTEN to his response.  If he feels safe, he will share the truth with you.  If he doesn’t want to answer – assume he does not feel safe – and assume you have work to do in this area.
  • How can you make your husband feel very important to you this week?  What is one thing you can do?
  • What can you do to thank your husband for working to provide for the family on a frequent basis (if he has a job)?

DARE 35:

  • Figure out what is important to  your husband and begin to do those things!  Ask him if you need to.

Example:

  • My husband likes for me to be off of the computer by 10:00pm so we can have time together.
  • He likes the front hallway to be relatively neat and orderly.
  • He likes me to not stress myself out about things, not to over schedule or expect too much of myself to the point that I get overwhelmed.
  • He likes me to work about 8-12 hours/week in the pharmacy (This has been a bit more of a challenge since my hours got cut.  But, so far, God has provided at least as many hours every month doing relief work as I had been getting before.  I am thankful for this because it is important to my husband.)
  • He likes me to sit and cuddle with him while he watches tv at night.

I also try to

  • initiate intimacy sometimes and/or be receptive but also be aware of times when he is tired or not feeling well and extend grace.
  • be responsive to his needs- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically
  • stop what I am doing and really LISTEN whenever he wants to talk
  • give him a BIG WELCOME HOME every day
  • cook meals I know he likes and try to avoid making chicken tacos once he finally told me he doesn’t like that.

Every week or so, I ask him a question like this:

  • “What can I do for you this week?”
  • “What would you like me to focus on today?”
  • “Is there anything you’d like me to change?”
  • “Is there something you would like me to cook for you or keep on hand that I have not been getting?

PS:

If doing one dare every day is too overwhelming – slow down!  If you need to take a few days for one dare – that is totally fine.  Go at whatever pace you need to.  If this is the first time you have been exposed to many of these concepts, you may need to take several days to absorb some of these ideas.  That is ok!

The Respect Dare, Day 31 – "Watch Me!"

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Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  Proverbs 21:9

YIKES!

I don’t think that any of us want to be labelled a “quarrelsome wife”  – but I have to admit that I sure was one at times in those first 15 years of our marriage.

I was quick to anger, quick to speak and slow to listen, unfortunately. 🙁

I was so task-oriented, that I didn’t just slow down and enjoy my husband or savor the journey.  Now I know, that is NOT at all how I want to live my one chance at life!

HOW MEN BOND

Do you know that men enjoy having peace in their lives?  Sometimes quiet is just the thing they need to recharge their souls.   Men do not usually emotionally bond with words or by talking face-to-face like women tend to do.

One of the ways men like to bond most is to do “shoulder to shoulder” activities (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only” and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ “Love and Respect”).   They often like to bond just by being together doing stuff.

Try just sitting quietly in the same room or out in the garage or in the driveway a few feet away from your guy as he works on a project sometime this week.  Don’t try to initiate conversation.  Just enjoy being with him.  Get him something if he asks for it.  Or surprise him with a cold glass of tea and a snack.  Sit on a stool or in a chair and just savor being with him, enjoying watching him work.  Smile at him if he looks at you.  Know that you are feeding his soul and nourishing your marriage.

RESPECT DARE #31

1. What can you do to be more relationship focused and to enjoy your husband more?

2. Think about what your husband loves to do – maybe he has invited you to go and you have always turned him down.  Do something he enjoys with him this week if at all possible.  Fishing, basketball, watch him work on a project, help him with a project (if he suggests it), go with him to a game or race.

3. How can you show your husband that you are “his number one fan” as Nina Roesner suggests in The Respect Dare?

4. How are you doing with not being a nagging, quarrelsome, contentious wife?  What do you believe God would have you to do about this if you have room for improvement?

SHARE:

You are welcome to share your ideas of things to do with your husband, or how to show your husband you are on his team.   How do you plan to turn down the negativity, arguing, complaining, nagging, criticism and negativity.