Honoring Christ, Our Husbands and Our Marriages in Conflict

Garage door in blue

My beautiful and precious sisters in Christ,

You have every right to ask him for what you would like, what you want and what you desire politely, pleasantly and respectfully (probably just once is plenty –  in most cases) of your husband.

Your husband has every right to decide to answer “no” if he thinks it is best – as long as his decision isn’t sinful. He also has the right to decide what his priorities will be, and to hold off on what you have asked him to do if there are more urgent things that he believes he needs to do for his work or the family. You cannot force him to do what you want him to do. Well… you could try. But that would be extremely disrespectful.

I took over a situation myself  – many years ago:

I cleaned up my husband’s tools in the very messy garage one Thanksgiving evening when a heating and air guy couldn’t walk to the furnace in the garage the day before.  The service guy was very unhappy about how messy the garage was and told me to ask my husband to clear a path so he could walk through that Friday when he came back.  I asked my husband – in a very contentious way – to please CLEAN UP THE NASTY, FILTHY GARAGE!  I was SO EMBARRASSED!   I HATE clutter and mess and I could hardly stand to look at his side of the garage.  I wanted to hyperventilate every time I walked past it.  I wanted a garage that looked completely well-swept, spotless, clean, organized – and, well, like a picture from a Lowe’s magazine, of course!

He wouldn’t clean the garage.  He was probably watching a football game that was important to him – which I also didn’t care about whatsoever at the time.  THE MAN WAS COMING THE NEXT MORNING!!!!!!!!!!  THERE WAS NO TIME TO WASTE!  How could my husband just sit there when there was a CRISIS on our hands? (That makes me smile now – to see how upset I was about this – as if it were a life or death situation.)

I was INFURIATED.

So I stormed down to the garage and began throwing away all the trash and tool packages that never got thrown away and had been sitting there for months.  I seethed with resentment against my husband with every move I made. I organized and sorted things and put them in plastic totes and labelled them “paint stuff,” “caulk,” “tools,” “electrical” etc.  And it looked a whole lot better when I was done, too.  I was very proud of myself.  Task accomplished.  Yep!  I had my priorities straight.

Now, the AC/heating man would be happy with me the next day, and I wouldn’t get  criticized or condemned by that man.  (I was a people pleaser back then – particularly with strangers – which is what people pleasers often do.)

My husband eventually realized what I had done and got REALLY upset.  I had intruded on his private territory and messed with all his stuff.  I had put things where he couldn’t find them.  I had thrown away things that he didn’t want to be thrown away.  I had deliberately gone against him and done something he specifically told me NOT to do. (I was unknowingly quite disrespectful and controlling back then, but I normally didn’t blatantly go directly against him like that.)  And I hadn’t even cared one lick that it would upset him.

That is probably one of the most disrespectful things I ever did – because I did it out of spite, KNOWING he told me not to touch anything, but I didn’t care what he wanted. I didn’t want to be embarrassed with the heating and air guy again the next day.  I thought I was SO “right.”  Make the AC dude happy!  That is VERY important, right? Unfortunately, that decision was NOT WISE on my part. I cared more about respecting and pleasing that total stranger than I did about respecting and pleasing my husband or God:( I’m now very ashamed to say.

We as women are often so tuned in to the details in life – that we can get so focused on a little issue and how “right” we are – that we can miss the things that are truly most important in life and in our relationship with God and people if we are not careful.

MY STRATEGY NOW FOR THOSE ISSUES WHERE WE DON’T AGREE:

If the above example happened today, I would smile, casually approach my husband and say, “Oh, Honey, the heating and air guy asked if you would please clear a path in the garage so he can walk to the furnace tomorrow.  Thanks!”

Then I would drop it.  If he didn’t do it – I would wait until my husband  left, and then cleared a small path.  No big deal.  I’m sure that our garage isn’t the only one that is messy.

These days, I have a feeling that my husband would probably gladly clear a path in the garage if I asked him like I have just described.  I get what I want MUCH MORE OFTEN now that my husband knows I respect him and I am not trying to control him.

Here is what I ask myself now.

  • Is it possible that God is nudging him to keep some of these things/ do what he is doing for a reason that I don’t know anything about?  (Check out this post to see an example in real life!)
  • Is it possible that I am hormonal/stressed/exhausted and this issue isn’t actually as important as it feels like it is right now?
  • Am I am putting someone else’s feelings above my husbands?  Is that person a God-given authority in my life? (ie: the government, a pastor, my boss)  Is that person’s authority in my life higher than my husband’s in God’s sight? (like – is my husband asking me to join a cult or do something illegal?  If so, I can resist him.)
  • Is this issue more important than the unity and peace of our marriage?
  • Is this issue more important to me than making sure my husband feels respected and loved?
  • Is this issue big enough and critical enough that I need to jeopardize the unity and intimacy in my marriage about it?
  • Is this issue important enough that it is acceptable for me to wound my husband about it?
  • Is it possible that my husband has a valid perspective that I could consider?
  • Is my husband asking me to sin or condone sin?  Is having a messy garage a sin according to God’s Word?  Ummmm….. I can’t find that verse!!!!
  • Am I holding bitterness and resentment in my heart about this issue?
  • Am I being unforgiving?
  • Am I being selfish to try to force my way?
  • Am I being prideful, thinking I know so much better than my husband or that my way is the only way that is “right”?
  • Am I trying to control him instead of honor his God-given leadership?
  • Is there sin in my heart that God wants me to repent of?  Pride, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, selfish ambition, usurping control from my husband are all huge sins in God’s sight.  What if I am actually the one sinning here, NOT my husband????? GASP!
  • Is this issue more important than my intimacy with Christ and my love for Him?  Jesus commands me to respect my husband and to honor His leadership.  Jesus says that if I love Him, I WILL obey His commands.
  • Is this issue more important to me than Jesus  – is it an idol in my heart?  Do I refuse to be content unless I have my way about this issue?

If the issue I am concerned about truly is more important than the unity of my marriage, our marriage covenant, my intimacy with my husband, my husband’s God-given leadership, my obedience to God’s Word or my intimacy with Christ – then it’s time to go for it and fight for what I believe is right no matter what the cost.

But if the issue is not important than those goals and priorities I just listed – then, the issue is not a big deal.  Obeying God, being free of sin, honoring my husband, having oneness in my marriage and oneness of Christ are my priorities now.  That is what I want now that I am totally submitted to Christ!  The little issues just don’t matter that much any more.  I want God’s will, not mine.

If we are not being godly stewards about this issue, MY HUSBAND is the one God will hold accountable, not me. So,  I am off the hook! 

I CANNOT CONTROL MY HUSBAND. BUT I CAN INSPIRE HIM.

My husband is a grown man.  It is his within his rights to decide how organized/messy he wants to keep his tools in the garage. I may not like it. That’s ok. I can share with him my desire for the garage to be organized – in a pleasant tone of voice with a smile and no pressure. Then, it is up to me to graciously accept his decision and learn to be content with the circumstances.

I now realize that by allowing him the freedom to make the choice about how to organize his tools, I am showing him that:

  • I trust him
  • I have faith in him
  • I allow him to make his own choices about his life
  • I honor his leadership and decisions in the family.

By graciously accepting his decision instead of fighting him, I choose:

  • intimacy with Christ
  • unity with Him
  • intimacy with my husband
  • unity with him.
  • I just might be able to witness miracles as God works in my husband’s heart about something as simple as his tools. I got to witness something like that, probably because of a man who didn’t listen to his wife about this kind of thing! Check it out! A Real Life Example of Biblical Respect and Submission

Husbands assume that when we trust them about little things like this issue – that we will trust them about much bigger issues. They also assume that if we don’t trust them about little issues, that we don’t trust them on bigger issues. Our trust, faith, cooperative spirit and joy in Christ even as he makes a decision we don’t like, and willingness to give him room to make his own choices and even to make ‘wrong’ choices in our minds – will help spur him on to become a better leader and more godly man.  AND, God will use it to make us more like Christ and to bring about glory for Himself!  I CANNOT LOSE!!!!!!!!

I pray that we will find our contentment 100% in Christ, not in our circumstances. And I pray that God might work powerfully, even in these little issues, to show how beautiful His design for marriage is and that His Name might be highly exalted.

 

RELATED

The Dirty Garage Epiphany

The Voice in His Head – From the Archives

by the Respected Husband

On Sunday, September 23rd, the Peacefulwife ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accuse her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between the Peacefulwife and me. She then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them “You don’t have what it takes to do ……,” “You are a failure at …..,” “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”, and “You are not good enough.” Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the Peacefulwife has explained to me about women’s brains where you have an internal voice coming at you accusing your husband and justifying your disrespect and need for control almost constantly (when a wife is cherishing sin in her heart and is not filled with God’s Spirit).

Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find the Peacefulwife with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response. Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt. AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage, in the church, in business, and in government.”

IS THIS NORMAL?

Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. Understanding that a voice in my head just started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.” So, the Peacefulwife posted the question on the Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.

Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”

A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him.  He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he was to let a weakness be revealed.

Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way. Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.

So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.

And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel. But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities. I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.

But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough. I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.

One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley, www.corycopeland.net

A WIFE’S ROLE

A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well?  Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:

But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificient power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.

And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.

Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.

Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing. Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be. Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along. And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.

http://greatdatespot.com/2010/05/21/a-husbands-insecurity-from-10-things-men-wish-their-wives-knew-about-men/

Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager. When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy.   That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.  So what do you have if your husband is the moral authority of your family and you have the gift of energy he needs?

Moral + (e)nergy = Morale

Your marriage will have great morale. If my equation is correct the more of the energy you give him the greater the morale will be in your marriage. He will have the self confidence, self esteem, and drive to be the leader in your marriage and family.

But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.” Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment thim. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:

Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows. The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault. You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well and feeding his ego.

But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices. I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.” The Peacefulwife is very good at saying, “I am going to look out for the good in my husband and let God deal with his sins.”

Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.

When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.  But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will.  WOW!  This is POWERFUL stuff!  May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife

The Non-Fight.

siloutte couple

Today’s post is by my good friend, Kayla.  God is working in this girl’s heart and marriage and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!  You can find her at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com.  Thanks for sharing, Kayla!  This brings me so much JOY!

OK, So typically – I would never get on and brag about the fact that Josh and I were making two arguments last night that just happened to contradict each other – and it was a GOOD thing!

Mostly because in the past, I would have called this a fight. And it would have played out as a fight.

It would have started by one of us saying something the other disagreed with, and instead of keeping it about the situation… one of us would have IMMEDIATELY taken it and made it personal.

This very rapid knee-jerk reaction would instantaneously change the direction of not just the conversation, but also whatever was left of that day and the next.

Through the course of the conversation, I would grow more careless in my words, and he would eventually stonewall and stop talking. At which point, I would then talk MORE to make up for his silence and before long – I would be emotionally crushed by what felt like a total lack of any kind of love to leave someone so upset to hurt so badly while refusing to talk to them, and he would have been also feeling completely unloved that I could make a simple disagreement so personal and be so hurtful and disrespectful with my tongue lashing.

Last night, while I will not claim that it was fault-less because I can see a couple of areas where a little improvement is still needed – it was an experience we’ve never had.

We remained calm and did not take it as a personal attack just because we needed to talk about a specific situation in our lives.

I was much more respectful, patient and willing to give what he had to say more weight than I would normally be tempted to do when we’re working something out.

And what felt like the BIGGEST change of all to me is that, He didn’t shut down. He kept talking. And more than that, he was willing to say some scary stuff to me about where I was off the mark, that I really needed to hear.

I hate to admit it, but even in the middle of being put in my place, he came across as so darn sexy. I think I was so shell-shocked that he was still talking to me that I gave what he was saying a chance to really penetrate my heart.

I’m glad he said some of the things he said because he made some REALLY good points that I needed to hear to help me change my perspective of the situation.

I’m not saying I didn’t still have some valid things to discuss. I did. But I wasn’t as right as I’ve always thought I was in the past. I went into the conversation viewing him as a very smart, capable and loving man who I wanted to share my concerns with. Not a stupid man I needed to correct with my wisdom so we could make the decisions I wanted to make.

Let me finish with the best part of the story! And I didn’t see this coming at all. Even though the conversation didn’t end with total resolution to the entire situation, when we got into bed, he rolled toward me and wanted to hold me.

I have never felt so loved after being told something I needed to reconsider by him before.

Neither of us let the situation become MORE important than the love and unity of our marriage.

We slept soundly and we’re having a great day today. We still have some things to decide and work through, but we maintained respect and love. And I’m amazed this is even my story I just typed. Because Chistians or not, arguments happen and they typically go down the same way for all of us. Women get mean. Men shut down.

Practical Application-

You can’t make your spouse do anything, but setting an example is more powerful that you might realize.

When my spouse and I disagree – make a choice NOT to make it personal. Even if it’s about something I need to work on, it’s about a specific topic, not about EVERYTHING I’ve ever done or EVERY area of my life.

When I need to say something, refrain from using the words ALWAYS or NEVER. I wrote a post on this before that is really worth reading here.

When I have a point to make, use respectful words, tone of voice, and do not bring up anything else but the specific topic at hand.

And always remember, the love and unity of the marriage is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT that whatever we’re fighting about!

Handling "External Pressure" on This Journey

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A Wife’s Questions

I just wanted to start off by saying thank you and God bless you so much for your labor of love in creating the wonderful blogs that are blessing me and so many others.  I was thinking to myself this morning that ever since I discovered your blog about a month ago I have been so inspired and so relieved!  So many of the things I felt God speaking to my heart over the past few months are so well covered in there as confirmation, and it is amazing to see you and others describe walking through this journey. I feel like I am not alone in learning some of these things that can be difficult on the flesh, especially after being a certain way for so long.
Something I have deeply struggled with relationship-wise is what I view as great “external pressure”.  The people around me have always been very much involved in every aspect of my life.  But in this season, I find it so difficult to talk to the people around me even about minor things because I worry about their judgement and comments, especially as I walk through this respect journey.  Its hard enough dealing with my own expectations, but when I focus on my family and friends, its unbearable! So I have a hard time opening up even as I am learning awesome things and see God moving in the midst of it. My attitude right now is that I have been listening to the wrong people for so long; others opinions, the devil’s lies, and my own flesh. Now I am doing something different, which is listening to God and obeying Him alone for a change, leaving whatever the outcome will be to Him, and I just want to stay focused instead of being so stressed that I feel I need to avoid people sometimes. I just want to be able to be honest about my growth journey while at the same time not letting their opinions bother me too much.
My question is what is the best way to deal with all the questions all my well meaning friends and family members constantly have about my relationship?  I don’t want their comments to get in the way of how God leads me, but I feel weak in this area. When they notice I’m not talking about my man very much, because they are so used to me being an “open book” they harass me and ask why I’m not updating them on things, then I feel guilty lol! I almost feel like I need to establish new ground rules, because I feel like this is a delicate period.  I just wanted your take on the best way to go about this.

Peacefulwife’s Response

WHAT I DID (I am not saying this is what everyone should do – this is just what I personally did)
I was controlling and disrespectful towards other people in my life, too, before I learned this stuff – AND I had awful boundaries, or no boundaries, and was always an open book as you describe and also allowed other people to control me before.
When I realized my sin – and WOW – was there a lot of it – I wanted to hide in a cave and never talk to another person again.  I knew I would sin if I opened my mouth.  And back then, I would have.  Everything out of my mouth was criticism, control, disrespect, gossip, bitterness, pride… yep.  Sin.  
I actually immediately backed away from everyone.  I practically disappeared as I began studying respect and biblical submission and realizing my sin and repenting and asking God to take all the evil out and rebuild on His foundation alone.
I was afraid to talk to anyone.  I knew I would say something disrespectful and I did NOT trust myself with words to anyone for a long time.  I am not sure that this is necessarily the healthiest thing ever – it would have been better if I had a godly mentoring wife, probably, or a women’s study group or a godly girlfriend or two, but I didn’t at the time.
I became a bit of a recluse, praying, studying and trying to apply what I was learning just to my marriage.  I could only really focus on that one thing at first.  So I apologized to my husband and my young children, and began to try to set a godly example of respect and submission for them, too.
I spent hours studying, praying, reading and taking notes almost every day.  I was SO DETERMINED to learn this stuff and do it God’s way.
THE RESULTS
Backing away from my family and friends actually ended up being good in several ways for me (again, I am not saying this is what everyone must do):
– it kept me from temptation with MY MOUTH
– it forced me to develop new and stronger boundaries and hedges to protect my marriage.  I had not properly “left” other relationships to “cling” to my husband.  So part of backing away helped me cement in my mind, and probably in their minds, that I was leaving all others and cleaving to my husband.
– I wasn’t trying to explain what I was doing to other people
– it gave me time to  work through all the new things I was learning and time to try to process all the new information I was studying before I had to apply it in more difficult situations
You may not have to back away as much as I did. I don’t know!  But I had to take some BIG STEPS BACK emotionally and even time-wise for a long time as I learned.  Later, I was able to re-enter some of those relationships and only speak highly of my husband.  But it took time.
Some people did not take kindly to me backing away.  But I didn’t single anyone out, I just backed away from everyone but God, Greg and my children.  I focused on those relationships and was loving and kind to others, but didn’t do a lot of talking with other people for awhile.
If people ask questions, only say POSITIVE things about your husband and your marriage.
** For wives being physically abused or who have SERIOUS problems in their marriage, please find godly, experienced help ASAP!  Those issues go far beyond the scope of this post and this blog** 
HANDLING CRITICISM AND QUESTIONS
First of all, the unfortunate reality in most cultures today is that  there are almost no women who will be supportive of your efforts to truly become a godly wife – not when you talk about respecting your husband and honoring his leadership.  And if you use the word, “submission,” you may have rotten tomatoes thrown at your head.   If you don’t have super godly friends, even Christian women will get upset about respect and biblical submission – some of them become downright hostile.
Many times, we have learned our disrespectful and controlling ways from our own mothers and sisters  – so sometimes they can be the most difficult to deal with. (My own mother was not at all controlling and was very respectful – but I guess I learned the control thing from being a dominant twin).  And if you talk about what you are learning with them, they may take these new ideas as a huge threat and try to control you even more than ever.  The HARDEST place to break dysfunctional relationships is in our family of origin.  That is usually where we learned our messed up ways of relating to people, and we can quickly revert back to those old ways when we are around our family because that is what is expected and it is hard to buck against the usual old “dance” that everyone does in the family.
Right now, I am not sure I would do much explaining.
You can smile and say, “Thanks for asking.  I’m doing well.  God is working on my heart.”
And if they pressure for more, “I am not at liberty to discuss any details right now.  Thanks for praying for me. :)”
PEOPLE’S PRYING QUESTIONS
People probably don’t mean to cause angst and trouble and pain, but sometimes the questions they ask are just not very polite!  Definitely don’t expect anything from your man right now (for Valentine’s Day).  Thank him if he does something for you.
But you can just nonchalantly say something to those who ask what you got for Valentine’s Day like, “That’s my little secret.”  or “I have such an amazing husband, he is a gift from God in and of himself.”  Or “God has given my husband to me.  I’m really thankful for him.”  Or, “I hope I get to spend some time with my favorite man in the world tonight.”  Something that promotes your admiration of your husband and expresses your gratitude.
NEW GROUND RULES
YES.  You will need new ground rules and boundaries.  Here are my goals:
  • I don’t talk negatively about my man or anyone else’s marriage or their relationship
  • I don’t gossip (about my husband or anyone else)
  • I only say positive things about husband
  • I don’t ask other people for advice about my husband – only godly mentoring wives
  • I build a hedge of protection around my heart and marriage – “guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs)  Being a Christian does NOT mean we are total open books.  I used to think it did!   We are honest and open to a degree, but there are some things we must guard as sacred and precious that are not available to public view.  Our marriages are one of those things.  The most important thing!
  • I may need to say something like, “God is working in me.  I can’t talk about it much right now.  Thanks for understanding.”  Or “God is teaching me so much.  It’s too personal to go into right now.  I hope I can share more one day.”
The way God-given authority works is like this:
God>>Christ>>Husband>>Wife>>Children
Also there are God-given authorities we must submit to like the government, church leaders, our bosses, the police, teachers, etc.  Children must submit to their parents.  But once a child is grown, God commands us to honor our parents, but not to submit to them and obey them.
You answer to God primarily and also to your husband.  Your goals are to please THEM.  First to please God – and then your man.  If your husband asks you to sin or condone sin, you must respectfully resist him to obey God.
Other people’s opinions and ideas are nice, but you do not answer to those people.  It is no longer your job to please other people.  (That can quickly become idolatry – seeking the approval of men over the approval of God)  You answer to God and your husband.  It helps to clarify that, I think!

The Wife’s Response Back to Me

Thanks so much!  I think the thing that gets me the most is when people seem to think I’m “suffering in silence” since I am being so quiet nowadays.  Mind you he is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person, not mistreating me in any way, but the emotional distance I feel right now is the thing that makes it difficult. Is my flesh suffering as I learn to walk this out? Absolutely!  And sometimes the repentance I feel is so thick and the lessons and realizations and remorse hit me so hard that I feel heavy.  But I don’t know that its for me to necessarily share with everyone. I think that since females are so used to sharing our feelings with eachother that it seems natural that that would be the case, but for some reasonthese feelings seem sacred as I am going through my process and allowing God to show me things.  I hope that makes sense, just venting.  It can be hard changing so much in a short period of time!  But I know its all for a great purpose.

Here is a post about healthy boundaries and controlling people that might help, too.
YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES!
All wives struggle on this path!  It is the most difficult and wonderful thing most women will ever do in their lives, in my view!  Please share your struggles or your story if you would like to.  MANY sisters in Christ are on this same walk and we are stronger when we hold hands and walk together side by side!

A Real Life Example of Respect and Submission

The pictures are actually from our trip to Myrtle Beach 2011 when this story happened!

Ladies,

Here is a real life, super practical example of a situation one summer. We were leaving that morning for the beach to have a few days of vacation – my husband, our two children and myself. That morning our mini-van battery died. My husband – being the handy guy he is – jumped the van off, and got it going. I thanked him enthusiastically and suggested, respectfully and with a smile, “We have time to go by the Advanced Auto Parts Store if you want to, Honey.”

He said, “No, I think we’ll be fine”- he thought the battery just got run down from having the car doors open for a long time while we were packing the car, possibly, and didn’t want to waste time fooling with the battery unnecessarily.

(Let me say here – a few years ago, I would have INSISTED that we go get a new battery. I would have DEMANDED that we replace the battery – NOW. And I would have worried constantly if he didn’t replace it.)

Well, I decided to respect my husband’s decision as the leader of the family and said politely, “Ok, whatever you think!” And I read my book and seriously didn’t worry about it.  (This is the kind of peace God has given me daily for over 3 years now. By the time this incident happened, trusting God and my husband and respecting them was a normal, every day thing. It was not a struggle at all by this time.  My mind and spirit had been renewed already.)

THE PLOT THICKENS

We got to the condo at the beach and my husband parked head-first in a spot in the parking garage. When he tried to crank up the van later – the battery was dead. A few years ago – I am sure I would have berated him with an “I told you to replace that battery!” lecture and a lot of attitude. But I had learned to respect my husband, so I didn’t say anything nasty. I didn’t even think anything nasty or hateful. I was totally calm and at peace.

There were cars on both sides of us without owners. And there was a big island in front of our car that was probably 8 ft wide. I smiled at my husband in a pleasant way with an “I know you’ve got this covered” look and kept the kids quiet while he decided what to do. And I think I read my book some more.

AN ANGEL APPEARED!

Within a few minutes, a man came over and asked my husband if we needed a jump. He had bought extra long 12 ft jumper cables a few weeks earlier and his wife had ridiculed him for bringing them on their trip. But he insisted on bringing them “just in case.” (I’m SO glad he didn’t listen to his wife!) He was our personal angel sent from God at exactly the right moment! WOW! He wasn’t wearing a shining white robe, but I think I may have seen a bit of a halo at one point! 🙂

He jumped our van and my husband thanked him and went right to Wal-Mart and got a battery and replaced the old battery. I was peaceful, respectful, calm and not worried the whole time. I was not angry. I was not resentful. I knew that God and my husband had things under control and there was no reason to get upset or worry. It was not a big deal. No one was in danger at any point. My husband is a super capable, intelligent, responsible man and I believed he had things under control. And he did! I read my book. I enjoyed listening to the children play. I kept them from bothering their Daddy while he worked. I gave them some Oreos. And before long, the battery was replaced, my husband was my hero, I thanked him for taking care of the problem and we had a wonderful evening at the beach!

DO YOU SEE HOW MUCH POWER I HAD HERE? PLEASE DON’T MISS THIS!

I COULD have disrespected my husband. I could have tried to take over. I could have arrogantly told him what to do. I could have barked out orders at him. I could have fumed or pouted. I could have gotten really angry at him and created a LOT of tension between us and ruined our trip. I might have done at least some of those things in the past when I felt like everything depended solely on me.

But when God’s Spirit is in control of my heart, God can use things for my good and to show me His provision and even miracles. I would have missed out seeing God send us an angel if I would have insisted on my way – AND I would have missed out on intimacy with my husband. AND I would have set a horrible example for our children about marriage AND I could have spoiled our vacation – as much of it as I wanted to. That is how much power I have with my choices and attitudes.

WOW!

God has ways of bringing people and circumstances into our lives that we can’t predict when we are obeying Him and living by faith. Little or big miracles are waiting for those who trust Him.

What a blessing to see God provide in ways I couldn’t have imagined. And what an incredible gift to have God’s peace and to maintain intimacy, respect and connection with my husband throughout that situation that would have created a big conflict years ago. I learned quite a valuable lesson that day about the rewards of trusting God and respecting my husband.

I wonder what miracles I used to miss?

Lord,

Thank You that You take care of us when we obey You. Thank You that even if our husbands make mistakes, You can use them as a showcase of Your power, sovereignty and glory! Thank You for Your wise words to husbands and wives. Thank You for Your beautiful design for marriage. Use each of us to bring great honor and glory to Your Name in our lives and our marriages!

Amen.

How to be a Lonely, Frustrated, Angry, Overwhelmed, Worried Wife

how to be

It takes a lot of work and commitment to do the things I am about to describe. But I promise you that if you carefully follow these steps, you will be successful at achieving your goals of having an unfulfilling, lonely, frustrating marriage.  And I should know!  I practiced many of these very skills for years and became quite proficient at some of them.  Yes- it is hard work, exhausting and a thankless job – but you will see results if you just keep at it and persevere unwaveringly!

  1. Take charge of the marriage and family as much as possible. Boss your husband around and be sure to tell him how to do everything the right way – YOURS! Be as tyrannical as you possibly can.
  2. Take on ALL the weight of the responsibility of the marriage and family until you stagger beneath the load and refuse any help your husband offers to you.
  3. Micromanage all of the decisions your husband must make and be sure to tell him your ideas are a lot better than his.
  4. Complain whenever he helps you with chores around the house or with the children and make sure he knows you don’t approve of his efforts at all.
  5. Take over the finances and tell him how much he can spend each month – make sure his budget is as bare-bones as possible.
  6. Question every cent your husband spends.
  7. Be insanely jealous of any time your husband spends with his friends, at work, with his children, or his parents.
  8. Spy on him constantly.  Go through his phone, emails, FB and mail multiple times per day.
  9. Be sure to accuse him of being unfaithful and untrustworthy if he looks at other women, works with women or speaks to any other woman ever.  About anything.
  10. Be grumpy, unhappy and negative about everything. NO smiling! Absolutely no gratitude!
  11. Keep yourself sleep deprived and do not do ANYTHING nice for yourself. You want to feel as deprived, exhausted and unkempt as possible to get the maximum effect on your marriage.
  12. Tell your husband his ideas are ridiculous and worthless. Make fun of him in front of other people to really stomp him into the ground.
  13. Wear old, sloppy clothes and don’t do your hair or makeup whenever possible.
  14. Set God in a little box and don’t give Him any power in your life. You be in charge of all of the situations and MAKE everything happen yourself!
  15. Do not trust your husband with anything – not even little things. Do everything yourself so that you know it is done right.
  16. Be unaffectionate, distant, moody and unpleasant.
  17. Scowl a lot. Frown constantly. Yell whenever someone doesn’t do what you want them to.
  18. Do not appreciate anything your husband does for you. Expect way more than is humanly possible so that you can be disappointed constantly.
  19. Don’t spend time with God. If you find you MUST spend time with him, do all your praying complaining about what a horrible husband you have and how awful God is for giving him to you and demanding that God change your husband.
  20. Don’t count your blessings.
  21. Look at the negative side of things in your marriage, and in your husband and rehearse those things over and over in your mind constantly. In fact, it’s even better if you can tell as many other people as possible about how awful your husband is, too.
  22. Undermine your husband’s discipline of the children and his authority in front of your children. Be sure to say that his ideas are dumb and you don’t care what he thinks.
  23. Criticize his family often.
  24. Insist on your own way no matter what!
  25. Never admit you are wrong or that you made a mistake.
  26. Be as prideful as possible. You deserve your rights after all! Your happiness at the moment is all that matters.
  27. Realize that your husband has no wisdom or valuable perspective to offer you.  Your feelings and perspective and wisdom are the only ones that count.
  28. Spend all the money exactly as you want to without any consideration of your husband’s feelings.
  29. Think of all the ways you can be disrespectful toward your husband and constantly surprise him with new ways to make him feel that you think he is inept, incompetent, and a disappointment to you.
  30. Be completely shut down to your husband’s ideas, plans, desires and sexual attention.
  31. Never compromise.
  32. Look at yourself as a victim with no power to change anything about yourself. Remind yourself often that if only your husband would change, your life would be wonderful.
  33. Don’t look at your own faults or repent of any of your own sins. Keep a ready list of all of your husband’s faults, and ignore your own.
  34. Refuse to follow your husband’s leadership. You’re smarter and know better than he does.
  35. Don’t think about commitment, sacrifice, or the covenant vows you made before God. Think of your marriage and husband and family as totally disposable.
  36. Put your children ahead of your husband. Make sure he knows they come first.
  37. Put your career ahead of your husband. Don’t be concerned with his priorities or feelings.
  38. Don’t ever listen to any of your husband’s suggestions or advice.
  39. Do not say “Thank you” to your man – ever.
  40. Always assume the worst about your husband.
  41. Decide that  your husband hates you and is out to get you and has evil motives towards you.
  42. Doubt your husband’s love all day every day.
  43. Always trust your feelings and emotions when they tell you that your husband doesn’t really love you. Your hormones are much more dependable than your husband.
  44. If your husband does try to lead in your marriage, make his life as difficult as possible. Argue, scream, cry, pitch a fit and insist on your own way.
  45. Withhold your body from your husband just to prove your point and to punish him.
  46. Think about every possible thing that could go wrong today and in the future and focus on how awful each scenario could possibly be and how you could fix it (apart from your husband’s help and without God’s presence).
  47. Compare your husband’s weaknesses to the strengths of other men and imagine how much better it would be to be married to someone else.
  48. Make friends with other men and confide all your marriage problems to them.
  49. Flirt with other men often.
  50. Commit yourself to nursing grudges and resenting everything your husband has done to hurt you.
  51. Refuse to forgive him. This will greatly speed up the destruction of your marriage.
  52. Tell your husband he doesn’t make enough money for you to be happy. Complain that he is a terrible provider.
  53. If you make more money than he does, throw that in his face a few times a week.
  54. Know deep in your heart that you are such a better person than your husband is.
  55. Be hateful to your husband and then complain bitterly that he never spends any time with you.
  56. Be sure to have lots of girl friends who will also be willing to be very disrespectful of their husbands and who will encourage you to do the same.
  57. Send him hateful text messages and emails.
  58. Harass him at work and create a lot of drama for him.
  59. Be incredibly demanding and insist that he do what you want IMMEDIATELY whether it is humanly possible for him to do so or not.
  60. Berate him like he is a naughty little boy and you are his very angry mother.
  61. Accuse him of being unfaithful to you frequently, even if there is no evidence against him.
  62. Hold back nothing negative from your children about your husband.  Drag them into your marriage and try to get them to hate him as much as you do.
  63. Tell him how much closer to God you are than he is and how spiritually immature he is.  Look down your nose at him and use a holier-than-thou attitude frequently.
  64. Be very impatient with him all the time.
  65. Keep score how much you sacrifice for him and how little he does for you.  Make sure to count your efforts with more points than you count his.
  66. Compete with your husband for who has the worse life and the worst end of the deal in your marriage.
  67. Spend money as selfishly, lavishly and irresponsibly as you can.  You deserve to have really nice things.
  68. Tell your husband how to do everything he needs to do – the more detail the better.
  69. Gripe about little things every day.  Complain about clothes on the floor and what a burden it is for you to have to clean up after your man.
  70. Be as needy as possible.  Expect your husband to be Jesus to you.  Make him completely responsible for your happiness.
  71. Expect your husband to spend 5 hours of quality time with you per day.  Begrudge him any time with his friends or doing hobbies or being away from you.
  72. Expect to be the center of the universe, or at least the family and the marriage.
  73. Tell your husband to do something urgently and then do it yourself before he can get to it.

I know this all sounds like a LOT of hard work! It definitely will wear you out and leave you exhausted, depleted and resentful.  You actually don’t have to do ALL of these things to completely ruin your marriage. But the more of these kinds of things you can do – the faster your marriage will weaken and suffer.  This is the quick road to certain misery.

Lord,

Help us to be godly, thankful, accepting, humble, gentle, forgiving women who are devoted to You and to our husbands. Let us do good for our husbands and bless them daily by our presence, our words, our attitudes, our kindness and our influence.

Amen!

The Voice in His Head

by the Respected Husband

On Sunday, September 23rd, the Peacefulwife ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accuse her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between the Peacefulwife and me. She then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them “You don’t have what it takes to do ……,” “You are a failure at …..,” “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”, and “You are not good enough.” Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the Peacefulwife has explained to me about women’s brains where you have an internal voice coming at you accusing your husband and justifying your disrespect and need for control almost constantly (when a wife is cherishing sin in her heart and is not filled with God’s Spirit).

Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find the Peacefulwife with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response. Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt. AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage, in the church, in business, and in government.”

IS THIS NORMAL?

Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. Understanding that a voice in my head just started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.” So, the Peacefulwife posted the question on the Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.

Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”

A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him.  He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he was to let a weakness be revealed.

Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way. Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.

So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.

And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel. But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities. I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.

But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough. I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.

One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley, www.corycopeland.net

A WIFE’S ROLE

A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well?  Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:

But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificient power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.

And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.

Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.

Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing. Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be. Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along. And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.

http://greatdatespot.com/2010/05/21/a-husbands-insecurity-from-10-things-men-wish-their-wives-knew-about-men/

Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager. When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy.   That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.  So what do you have if your husband is the moral authority of your family and you have the gift of energy he needs?

Moral + (e)nergy = Morale

Your marriage will have great morale. If my equation is correct the more of the energy you give him the greater the morale will be in your marriage. He will have the self confidence, self esteem, and drive to be the leader in your marriage and family.

But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.” Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment thim. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:

Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows. The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault. You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well and feeding his ego.

But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices. I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.” The Peacefulwife is very good at saying, “I am going to look out for the good in my husband and let God deal with his sins.”

Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.

When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.  But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will.  WOW!  This is POWERFUL stuff!  May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife

What Is Disrespect in Marriage?

UPDATED 6/24/2016

I am going to share about things that cause men to feel disrespected by their wives. (Many of these things would feel very disrespectful to wives, as well.) Every man has his own list of what feels disrespectful and respectful to him.  Some things are almost universally one way or the other to almost all men.  Some things are particular to your husband.  So – what matters most is what is respectful and disrespectful to YOUR man. That’s why it is important to ask him about his preferences and what bothers him and what speaks respect to him.  When things are not tense – you could ask him about some of the things on this list and get his take on the different items.  I wouldn’t ask him about all of them at once – but maybe ask about a few at a time every few days or so and REALLY pay attention to his answers.  Maybe print this out and check the ones that bother him so that you don’t forget.  You’ll need to custom-tailor your respect to your husband for best results!

Keep in mind, too, that a lot of the things that really feel disrespectful to our men are things God labels as sin. Sin is destructive, even if we think it is a “small thing.” Ultimately, the greatest goal is to please Christ and to bless our husbands. We have so much power to destroy our husbands or to build them up.  How I pray God will convict us and open our eyes and that we might learn to be respectful, cooperative wives who value our husbands’ leadership and who honor Christ with every thought, attitude, word and action!

Some of these things will seem like small things because we have been desensitized to disrespect in our culture. Disrespect for men is mainstream now. But just because this is how all of the other women at work or even at church act – that doesn’t mean that is how God desires us to act. The way I treat others is about my character and whether God’s Spirit is in charge of my heart and life or my flesh is in charge. And honestly, most of the things on this list of sin in one way or another – either with our attitudes, motives, words, or actions. As believers in Christ, we are called to live in holiness – not for our spouses, but to please God. And He gives us the power we need to live in victory over sin and in obedience to Him in Christ.

NOTE – I am not writing this post for wives whose husbands have severe issues like major uncontrolled mental health problems, is involved in an active addiction, is truly abusive to you or your children, or is involved in unrepentant infidelity. If you have really serious issues in your marriage, please seek godly, one-on-one, appropriate counsel from someone you can trust.

A GENERAL LIST OF THINGS THAT TEND TO FEEL DISRESPECTFUL TO HUSBANDS/MEN:

– constantly questioning him
– having a critical/judgmental spirit toward him about many things
– acting like he can’t handle his life and responsibilities
– treating him like a child
– using an “angry mama” tone of voice
– scolding him
– frowning a lot
– lots of negative emotions almost all the time
– making demands
– giving directives (bossing him around) rather than polite requests or suggestions “You should,” “You better,” “You need to…”
– freaking out rather than trusting God and trusting him (whenever possible – men tend to respond much better to our trust than to our worry or fear)
unhealthy boundaries where we try to be responsible for things for which they are actually responsible (their spiritual choices, their emotions, their decisions) or we try to make them responsible for things for which we are actually responsible
– humiliating him, especially in front of other people
– being very negative about him in private, but especially in public
– biting sarcasm that is meant to cut him down
– using our words to destroy
– bringing up things from the past that were supposedly forgiven
– keeping a record of every wrong thing he has ever done or said
– attempting to be his conscience or his Holy Spirit
– telling other people negative things about him (If we really have a problem, we should go to God first and then to our husbands. If they are involved in serious unrepentant sin, we may have to involve a trusted counselor, mentor, or pastor. But this stuff doesn’t generally need to be shared with our coworkers, family, friends, church members, neighbors, or Facebook friends.)
complaining
– arguing rather than respectfully discussing
– forcing a very important conversation when he is not ready yet and still needs a bit of time (minutes, hours, maybe days) to process his thoughts or strong emotions
– leaving the room in anger
– criticizing him to the kids
– rolling my eyes
– sighing in exasperation
– undermining his authority to the children
– jumping in to help him when he didn’t ask for help
– giving unsolicited advice
– pride/self-righteousness – looking down on him, thinking I am so much more spiritual than he is
– labeling his sin/temptations as much worse than my sin/temptations
– bitterness
– insulting him
– playing the martyr
– trying to put him on a guilt trip
– manipulation
– refusing to believe him when he is actually trustworthy
– making plans without checking with him (especially big plans)
– spending a lot more money than you had both agreed to, blowing the budget, being irresponsible with money
– not appreciating his contributions to the marriage and family
– demanding sex when they are sick, hurt, exhausted, or feeling extremely disrespected
– withholding sex as punishment
– doing nothing to show respect for our own appearance
– acting like things that are important to him are not a big deal
– taking over and making decisions without giving him a voice
– sharing nothing ourselves and giving up all of our thoughts, opinions, insights, and wisdom – giving up our personhood and expecting him to handle absolutely everything as if he is the dad instead of the husband
idolatry of him, the marriage, happiness, or romance
– expecting him to fail
– expecting him to be perfect and to meet the deepest needs of our soul that only Jesus can meet

REALLY SERIOUS DISRESPECT:

– screaming
– cussing
– throwing things/destroying property
– threatening physical harm
– actually trying to physically harm him
– purposely alienating his children from him
– lying (especially about really big things)
– flirting, infidelity
– total refusal to cooperate with him
– initiating a divorce (unless I have biblical reasons)
– very public extreme humiliation
– comparing him to other men sexually
– insulting his abilities sexually/his manhood
– insulting his abilities to provide financially

RELATED:

What Is Respect in Marriage?
My Husband Shares What Really Speaks Respect to Him
25 Ways to Respect Myself
25 Ways to Show Real Respect to Your Husband
Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin
Abuse
Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved
23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

If you have a really difficult husband, please check out Nina Roesner’s Strength and Dignity eCourse.