“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!

 

To Tell… or Not to Tell?

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Deciding whether or not to tell your husband about what God is teaching you about respect, biblical submission and becoming a godly wife is an important, and sometimes tricky, decision.

My prayer is that you will hear God’s voice and obey Him.  I also pray that every word I share might be in total alignment with God’s Word  – but I ask you to always compare anything I say or anything anyone else says with the Bible before you accept it.  If you see me say something that does not line up with God’s Word, please call me out on it.  I only want to exalt Christ – I don’t ever want to detract from His wisdom and His Word.

WHAT FITS BEST WILL DEPEND ON YOUR SITUATION, YOUR MARRIAGE and YOUR HUSBAND:

  1. If your husband is far from God, then I Peter 3:1-6 is your primary directive from God about how to handle this situation.

3 Wives, in the same way (as all believers are to submit to government authorities and believing slaves are to submit to their masters in Peter 2) submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wiveswhen they see the purity and reverence of your lives.Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet (stilled or peaceful) spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

If your husband “does not believe the Word” or “is disobedient to the Word” then

God tells you very plainly –

WORDS about spiritual things won’t work on your husband right now.

Avoid talking about spiritual things to your husband because that is NOT the way to influence him for Christ.  Husbands who are far from God don’t need our lecturing, nagging, preaching and verbal beating over the head – in fact, the more we try to verbally drag them and force them towards God and towards us, the more they will run the other way!

Our husbands need to see our behavior, our attitude, our respect and the way we live holy lives in front of them constantly in the power of God’s Spirit.  The thing that will most profoundly draw a husband to Jesus is his wife’s cooperative attitude with his God-given authority (if he is not asking her to blatantly sin), her genuine respect for him as a man (of anything that is good in him), and the power of the fruit of the Spirit in her life.

I have seen many wives decide to tell their unbelieving husband about doing The Respect Dare or about what they are learning – but the problem is that an unsaved husband doesn’t have spiritual wisdom to discern the things of God.  He will not understand what you are doing or why.  It may even turn him off to God.

An unsaved husband cannot understand the concepts of dying to self, picking up our cross daily to kill our own pride and sinful nature and to live in the new self in Christ.  That is foolishness to an unbelieving man.  (These things also apply to extended family members.  Other people may not support what you are doing, that is going to have to be ok.  Some of them may even think you have joined a “cult” because you want to respect your husband and allow him to lead you and you aren’t doing what they want you to do anymore.  It can be tough! But you have a covenant with your husband, not with your parents, siblings or friends.  Do Not Expect Outside Support.)

What WILL impact him is when his wife:

  • forgives freely
  • extends grace and mercy that is completely undeserved by him
  • believes in him and sees the best in him
  • desires to trust him or to learn to trust him
  • has supernatural peace instead of being freaked out and anxious all the time
  • has faith in the sovereignty of God to lead her through her husband, though he is a sinner
  • repays evil with good
  • approaches him with respect
  • sees and focuses on the good things that are in him
  • loves him with a I Corinthians, unconditional agape love and respects him just because he is her husband and she wants to honor God
  • is vulnerable, clearly asking for what she needs and clearly saying how she feels and what she wants without any manipulation
  • seeks to respect him and honor him only to please God NOT to change him or control him (SUPER IMPORTANT POINT!)
  • appreciates the things he does for her
  • learns to understand his masculine heart and needs
  • is able to empathize with him
  • acts like she is on his team instead of like she (and God) are his enemies
  • builds him up with her words and actions
  • is joyfully available to him sexually (unless he is involved in infidelity or something equally significant and is unrepentant)
  • understands he may need time to think about his decisions – doesn’t pressure or rush him
  • assumes he has good motives towards her, not evil motives

SOME HUSBANDS EXPECT TOO MUCH:

Sometimes, when a wife shares all that she is learning – a husband will suddenly hold her to perfection in the whole respect and biblical submission thing.   Respect is a concept that comes easily to most men, and they don’t understand the spiritual and emotional contortion that is involved in unlearning decades of “the wrong way of thinking, speaking and acting” and learning all of God’s ways.  Most husbands do not realize all that is involved in tearing out the sinful nature, dying to self, recognizing and repenting of all idols, pride and sin, and what is involved in God completely renovating our hearts and regenerating our spirits.  It is not usually an instant thing.  This is the process of sanctification.  Some husbands get really upset once their wives begin to learn about respect and biblical submission and talk about it – and then mess up.  In fact, sometimes they get MORE upset about disrespect and controlling behavior once their wives have repented and said they want to be respectful than they did before.

The thing is, especially at first, you will stumble sometimes.  You will fall and then you have to get back up, repent to God and your husband, learn what you can from your mistake and keep going towards the goal of becoming the woman God wants you to be.  Ideally, a husband would offer plenty of grace and encouragement to his wife as she struggles to grow and learn.  But not all husbands are at that place spiritually to be able to extend mercy and grace yet.

SOME WIVES WANT AFFIRMATION THAT THEIR HUSBANDS CANNOT GIVE THEM

It is REALLY hard not to want your husband to notice all you are doing.  You will want him to tell you that you are doing so much better when you don’t ream him out for something that you usually would have given him a lot of grief about.

Keep in mind you are seeking to please Christ.  That is THE GOAL.  You are not trying to change your husband or make him love you more or feel more loved yourself.  This is a hard thing to let go of  – wanting our husband to notice what we are doing and praise us.  But it is something we have to let go during this process of dying to self.

I have a post about it linked at the bottom of this post.

IN THE BEGINNING, WE MUST USE  GREAT CAUTION IN WHAT WE SAY – we may still not have a handle on what is disrespectful/respectful yet.

It is VERY possible, maybe even probable, that in the beginning of this journey, a wife might inadvertently explain what she is learning in a way that is disrespectful!  A wife who is just learning about respect and disrespect, is prone to say things like:

  • So, I’m learning that I have to respect you even though you don’t deserve it at all.
  • God wants me to follow you as the leader in this marriage even though you make a lot of really bad decisions.
  • I’m supposed to not say anything when I think you are doing something really stupid.
  • I actually don’t respect you, but I want you to love me more, so I am going to try to act like I respect you from now on, but it is going to be really hard for me to do that.

I hope that you are able to see that these kinds of comments are HUGE, HUGE disrespect and that if a wife says something like this, she just caused MASSIVE damage to her intimacy with her husband and the unity of the marriage.  I really don’t want to see that happen!

IF YOU AREN’T SURE IF WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY/WRITE IS RESPECTFUL, CHECK WITH ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO!   Leave me a comment.  I will be glad to look at what you want to say and do my best to check it for inadvertent disrespect or control.  Ultimately, what matters most is not my opinion – but God’s wisdom.

2. If your husband is very close to Christ – you may have more freedom to share details of this journey.

  • The closer your husband is to God, the more his godly leadership can help you on this road
  • The closer your husband is to God, the more you can probably tell him and he may be able to help guide you through some of these difficult areas

WHAT DID I PERSONALLY DO?

I apologized for my disrespect as soon as I was aware of it in December of 2008.  And as I learned more and more things I had done that were controlling and disrespectful, I apologized.  But I did not go into detail about all the horrible things I used to think about my husband and how hard it was to learn to drop the criticizing, negativity, lecturing, bossing, insulting, etc…  I also did not talk about how foreign and awkward it felt to try to say positive things.  I didn’t talk about all the negative things I wanted to say as I was learning to stop the disrespect.  I apologized when I messed up.  I got back up and sought God with all my heart.   Much later, I talked with my husband about what was happening and what God was teaching me – as I began to teach other women – at his request.

But my husband only saw the changes on the outside – he didn’t know what was happening on the inside.  For his perspective, check out this post – When She Surrendered.

RELATED:

The Frustrating Quiet Phase

I Want Some Affirmation from My Husband!

Taking the First Brave Step Toward Peace

Peacefulwife Videos on Youtube

God Understands Why Men Don’t Respond to Words

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 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.

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.

The Respect Dare, Day 16 – A Sink Full of Dishes

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

THE DISHES IN THE SINK

Unfortunately, I have a story to share about how I did NOT use words to bless and benefit and build up my husband.  Well, I have many stories, but I am going to share one that I definitely regret.  It is a good example of what NOT to do!

One day, I came home from working as a pharmacist for 10 hours around 7:15pm – it must have been about 12-13 years ago.   I walked into the house and smelled something wonderful wafting into the hallway from the kitchen.   Greg generously had cooked a big supper for us.  This was before we had any children.  I walked into the kitchen grateful that supper was ready.

Then I saw the sink.

It seemed like almost every pot and pan we owned was in the sink needing to be washed.

Greg proudly told me that he had supper ready.  And when he saw me look at the sink, he said happily, “And look, I rinsed off the dishes for you!”  He clearly believed he had done well and had been thoughtful.

I snapped at him sarcastically, “Yeah, that’s just GREAT!  You get a C+.  You didn’t finish the job.  I still have to wash all of those dishes and I still have to dry them.”

I knew that I would not leave dishes for him to wash, and I was angry that he didn’t wash the dishes the way I would have.  See – I was clearly “right” and he was clearly “wrong.”  That was how I looked at it then.

His face fell.

  • I can’t remember if I thanked him for making supper for me.
  • I definitely didn’t thank him for rinsing the dishes.
  • I didn’t ask politely if he would please also wash the dishes after supper.
  • I just fumed.

Eventually, Greg helped me a lot less around the house after I treated him with such negativity and criticism when he was helping me with chores.

 

TODAY:

Now, my husband is folding and sorting and putting away laundry as I type this post.  I didn’t ask him to.  He is just doing it all on his own.  I just thanked him enthusiastically for all his help.

If my husband does laundry, dishes, helps with the children, mows the lawn, works on my car, works on the house, kills a big roach or spider, brings me something from the flea market, makes supper, rinses the dishes, clears the table, takes me out to eat, cuddles with me -ANYTHING – I THANK HIM and SMILE!

  • I politely, pleasantly, respectfully ask for what I want and need.
  • I allow my husband to decide to say yes or no.
  • I don’t try to force him to do things my way.
  • I refrain from criticism.
  • I express appreciation when he does help me.
  • I accept no graciously.
  • I also understand that his time table is slower than mine many times, so I don’t rush him if he says he is going to do something.
  • I just trust him and wait patiently.
  • If he doesn’t do something – I don’t make a big deal out of it.
  • I seek to have a servant’s heart and serve and love and respect seeking to please Christ alone.

I let him do things his way and do not demand that he must do things my way

If I realize I did or said something disrespectful – I immediately apologize and do not justify myself or explain myself.  I just say, “Oh!  I am so sorry.  That was disrespectful of me.”  Then I try to start over again with a respectful attitude.

THE DARE:

– Let’s use our words to bless, thank, appreciate, encourage, lift up, build up and praise our men sincerely.

– Let’s focus on what is done well more than on the negatives.

– When we do mess up, let’s apologize quickly for our disrespect without justifying ourselves and get back up and keep going.

– From Nina Roesner in The Respect Dare, “Let’s refuse to find fault in (anyone)… the rest of the day.”

RELATED:

How to Ask Your Husband for Things So He Will Want to Say Yes – Youtube video 13 minutes (my son helped me on this one!)

Won’t I Lose My Voice in My Marriage if I Respect My Husband and Biblically Submit to Him?  Youtube video – 10 minutes

How to See God do BIG Things in Your Marriage – Youtube video 6 minutes

The Respect Dare, Day 3 – My Godly Wife Report Card

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The Respect Dare, Day 3 – Nina Roesner poses some questions to wives to assess how they are doing in a number of areas of their lives.  They are GREAT questions!!!

She asks some probing questions about how we are doing as disciples of Christ, as household managers,  as communicators, and as confident and assured women.

To get the most out of The Respect Dare – I would strongly suggest

  • only doing ONE dare each day.
  • it’s ok if you have to skip days sometimes if necessary.
  • write down your answers on paper and really think about your answers to her questions.

You are welcome to share any of your answers to The Respect Dare questions or any thoughts about the questions on my post today.

What is God most speaking to your heart?

Is there something He would like to change in you?

What feelings are you having?

What concerns do you have?

What would happen if God helped you to grow a lot in some of these weaker areas in the next 3 months – what would that mean for your relationship with Christ and your husband?

I HAVE MY OWN TEST TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY:

Here is a great test to see where you are as as a godly wife and woman in God’s eyes.

** Caution!!!**

This may be painful.  Whenever there are things God wants to convict us about – it is definitely painful.  I am not asking questions to bring guilt or worldly sorrow that leads to death.   My prayer is that if God shows you something that He desires to change in your life, that you might be open to His Spirit working in you.  The pain can be intense at first, but then if you have godly sorrow over your sin, that leads to humility, true repentance and then the ABUNDANT LIFE of Christ and spiritual riches and treasures beyond your wildest imagination!

In Christ, you can truly be set free from your sinful nature and from specific sins and live in the power of His Spirit with His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control flooding through your soul and bursting out of your life every day.  That is the life I want for you and that is the life God wants for you.  Thankfully, He shows us the way to get there!

Please get out a piece of paper and mark a tally for any of these items on Part 1 that apply in your heart about your marriage on a daily or weekly basis:

PART 1

  1.  I think about divorce sometimes, or fantasize about leaving my husband.  I think marrying this man was a mistake.
  2.  I imagine being with a better man, thinking that my problems would be solved if I just had a great husband.
  3. I drown my disappointment and pain in alcohol/drugs/workaholism/perfectionism/control/spending money/addictions.
  4. I set my heart on things that I just KNOW will make me happy.  If I could just have X, I would be content and everything would be great.
  5. I have a lot of anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness towards my husband and maybe towards other people, too.  I hold grudges.
  6. I want to forgive sometimes, but it just seems impossible to really forgive.  I have been hurt too much.
  7. I talk about my husband in a negative way to other people.  I feel like I am trapped and powerless to do anything to change my situation – and I just have to get the weight of all of this off of my chest by venting to my friends, family and coworkers.  Then they’ll see how wrong my husband is and they will understand why I have to act the way I do.
  8. I encourage other wives to talk negatively about their husbands.
  9. I am primarily concerned with my rights, my desires, my wants and getting my way.  If I don’t get what I want, I am going to explain why I should get what I want until my husband until he gives me what I want.  I am pretty insistent on doing things my way.
  10. If I am provoked, I will scream, cuss, throw things, call names or say hateful things to my husband and maybe even to other people in my life.  If people would just treat me right, I would be able to be more respectful.
  11. I compare my husband to other men a lot, and I compare my life to the lives of others and feel like I have gotten a rotten deal in life.  I deserve so much more than this.
  12. I look at porn or flirt with other men or message/email/text/call/visit with other men.  I like the attention other men give me.  My husband never compliments me anymore.  I need some male attention.  Flirting never hurt anyone.  I know I would never have an affair, so it’s no big deal.
  13. I like to dress to turn other men’s heads.
  14. I like to use sarcasm and am pretty skilled at making my husband the target of my jokes and criticism.
  15. I often point out the things my husband does wrong to others.
  16. I complain when I don’t like something.
  17. I have a lot of regrets about how I treat people.
  18. I want things to be perfect, and tend to focus on things that aren’t right in others and in our home so I can fix them and make things as perfect as possible.
  19. I tell God that my husband needs to change and needs to change NOW.  He is impossible to live with.  He’s unloving and unplugged or, he’s unloving and mean.
  20. My husband is not a good spiritual leader.  I tell him all the things he needs to do to be more godly, but he won’t listen to me.  Nothing seems to change.
  21. If I want something, I am going to do whatever it takes to have it.
  22. I withhold myself sexually from my husband to teach him a lesson many times, to show him he can’t treat me the way he does.
  23. I only give myself sexually to my husband when I am in the mood or if I want something from him.
  24. I believe that I am always right and my husband is always wrong.  If he would just do what I say, everything would be fine!
  25. When I am hormonal, I feel totally out of control and I think, say and do the most awful things.
  26. If my husband doesn’t like my best friend, I continue to visit and talk with her as much as I want to.  After all, she and I have been BFFs longer than my husband and I have been married.
  27. I expect my husband to make me happy and be responsible for my emotions.  If I am upset, it is his job to fix it.
  28. My mind is always swirling with worry and fear about the future and how I am going to make things work out right.
  29. I only have peace for a few moments, and then my mind uncontrollably keeps playing the same “videos” over and over again of things people have done to hurt me or things that I am worried and afraid about.  I feel very anxious a lot of times.
  30. I expect to be treated like the heroine in a romantic movie or like a Disney princess by my husband.  I wish he would be as romantic as the men in romance novels and movies.
  31. If I don’t make things work out right, everything will be a disaster.
  32. I am very concerned about what my parents and my husband’s parents, our siblings and friends think.  I try to make everyone around me happy. It is exhausting!  I hate for other people to be upset with me.
  33. If I don’t tell my husband what to do and how to do it, everything will fall apart!

Please start a new section or column and make a tally mark beside all of these items in Part 2 that generally apply on a frequent (weekly or daily) basis in your life:

PART 2

  1. I am able to respond gently with love and respect even when my husband is unloving or unkind to me.
  2. I have joy and peace in Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  3. It is really important to me to spend significant amounts of time in prayer and in God’s Word every day.  I can’t make it without that time!
  4. I have my heart completely set on Jesus – I want HIM, His will and His glory more than anything else in my life by a long shot.
  5. I rarely lose my temper with my husband.
  6. I understand how to treat my husband with respect and seek to show him unconditional respect out of reverence for God and His Word.
  7. I set an atmosphere of peace in our home.  Our home is emotionally and spiritually an oasis and sanctuary for my husband and family.
  8. I do not raise my voice at my husband or roll my eyes or sigh when I disagree with him.  I know I am responsible to God for my response to my husband no matter what my husband has done to me.
  9. I appreciate my husband and am thankful for him on a daily basis.
  10. I practice gratitude towards God daily for the countless number of blessings He has given me.
  11. If my husband has concerns, I listen to him carefully and try to cooperate with his wisdom.
  12. I view suffering as an opportunity to grow in my faith and to draw nearer to Christ and shine for Him.
  13. When my husband is having a bad day, I try to think of something I can do to cheer him up, surprise him or take some stress off of his shoulders.  Or, I know when I need to leave him alone and give him the gift of space and quiet so he can think and process.  I am gracious about this gift.  I don’t resent him needing some time to himself.
  14. I like serving my husband.  It’s an honor.  I’m glad to do it.
  15. My goal is to please Christ, and after that, to please my husband – the opinions of other people don’t really matter much to me compared to seeking praise from God.  If other family or friends or coworkers disapprove of me or my husband or are upset with me, I am able to seek to love them and treat them with respect but I am not devastated if I don’t have others’ approval.
  16. I see the good in other people, including my husband, and use my words to praise, encourage and affirm others.
  17. I am thankful for the chance to make our house a home and to take care of it.  It is a way I show love and respect for my husband and family.
  18. I don’t freak out about small things, but am able to roll with the punches and be flexible when unexpected problems crop up.
  19. I don’t get upset if my husband leaves a mess sometimes.  I’m so glad he’s in my life and we get to live together.
  20. If I want something, I ask for what I want politely and respectfully with a pleasant tone of voice and a smile.
  21. If I don’t get what I want, I am gracious and accepting of “no” and “wait.”  I am more concerned with God’s will than my will.
  22. If things go wrong, I am generally able to respond with grace, peace and joy and keep things in proper perspective.
  23. I am careful not to develop close friendships with other men. I guard and protect my heart and my marriage.
  24. If my husband responds to me harshly, I answer gently.
  25. I understand that Hollywood and romantic novels do not portray real life.  I avoid those things if they create a spirit of discontentment in my heart.
  26. I speak highly of my husband to other people.
  27. I very rarely argue with or complain to my husband.
  28. I have faith in my husband.  I know I can trust him. (Or, I am working to rebuild lost trust and I want to learn to trust him again.)
  29. I have faith that God will lead me through my husband, even if my husband sometimes makes mistakes.
  30. I trust God to speak to my husband and grow him spiritually without me having to verbally prod him or lecture my husband about spiritual things.  If my husband is far from God right now, I don’t talk about spiritual things, the Bible or church.  I allow my glowing joy in Christ, my spirit of willing cooperation with my husband’s leadership and my genuine respect for the good in my husband to draw him to Christ.  I trust God to open my husband’s spiritual eyes.  I know that only God can change people and waken them to His truth.
  31. I trust most of my husband’s decisions and cooperate with him often.
  32. I try to have a spirit of saying, “yes!” to things that are important to my husband.
  33. I give myself freely and joyfully to my husband sexually.  I don’t withhold myself.
  34. I am trustworthy.
  35. I am responsible with money, time, our children, my husband’s feelings, our home and the resources God has given to us.
  36. I consciously work to do good to my husband no matter what happens.
  37. I watch my words, my tone of voice, my facial expressions and my actions to be sure that I bless my husband and don’t become nasty, hateful, unkind or negative.
  38. I trust God in His sovereignty to work everything out ultimately for my good (by His definition) and for His glory, so I don’t freak out when bad things happen.  I know that God is in control and I can’t lose.  I might have to suffer or go through pain, but as long as I have God’s Spirit, I know I will be ok.
  39. I don’t worry about the future.  I take my needs and concerns to God and my husband and I leave the weight of the problems there and trust God and my husband to figure things out.  I say what I want and what I believe is best.  I share my perspective with God and my husband.  Then I rest in God’s love and peace, trusting His wisdom.  And I rest in my husband’s love – trusting God to lead me through him.

This test comes from Galatians 5:19-23.  It reveals whether my sinful nature or God’s Spirit is in control of my life. 

  • Part 1 shows what I am like when my sinful nature has control. 
  • Part 2 is what I am like when God’s Spirit has control.

How did you do on the quiz?

If you checked ANY of the items in Part 1 –  WOW!  Do I relate to you!

I could have probably only checked items in Part 1 for the first 15 years of my marriage.  That is because my sinful nature was in very firmly in control back then.  I had no idea how to have a Spirit-filled life.  I thought I was living as a strong Christian.  Unfortunately, a lot of the fruit of my life did not support my belief that I was living in God’s power and walking in obedience to Him.

If I have ANY checks in Part 1, those are areas where God wants to work and radically change my heart and mind.  He wants me to die to my old sinful self, nail it to the cross, and live in the new self that Christ gives me.

Don’t worry – we will walk this road together. 

God is about to do some amazing things in your life if you are willing to trust Him! 

It’s about to get good. 🙂

If you only checked items in Part 2 – you probably know most of what I am going to share already.  Obviously, God is very much at work in your life and His Spirit is in control.  That is AWESOME!  I pray that God might continue to work in you to make you more and more like Christ.

God desires us ALL to be wives who live only in the Part 2 area every day.  We can’t do this on our own.

But if we trust God, seek Him above all else and allow Him to empower us – He can and will transform each of us into the godly women of His dreams!

This is a process.  The process of sanctification.  The process of God transforming us into the image of Christ.  It is not instantaneous.  That’s ok.  Just be open to God and willing to do things His way each baby step of the way.  Get up when you stumble.  Repent and turn back to Him humbly.  Seek and desire Jesus above everything.  He will do the changing.

A Challenge for You, Ladies! :)

screaming woman

Let’s allow God to help us

turn this loud, obnoxious, angry, destructive tongue of ours

into an instrument of healing and blessing.

As women, we have HUGE verbal skills.  This is where we often hurt our husbands and children the most – with our words.  It is time to learn to use our words for good.

Here is a command of God in scripture for us that I believe is very critical for us to follow if we are to represent Christ well in the world and in our marriages.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of Life.

Philippians 2:14-16.

MY STORY

When God first showed me my MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, idolatry of being in control and rebellion against His Word – that I had been blind to for 15+ years… I was mortified.

I didn’t want to be around anyone – because I suddenly realized that at that point almost every word out of my mouth was sin of some variety or another.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  I knew that all that would spew out of my mouth was criticism, disrespect, arguments, gossip, scolding, complaints, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, control… UGH.

I was afraid to open my mouth!  I had never learned discretion.  I would always just say every thought I had that popped into my head without filtering it.

PHASES

That first phase of this journey is sometimes called, The Silent Phase  or Quiet Phase.  I realized suddenly that I had been saying so many negative, hurtful things.  I didn’t want to use my words to destroy my husband or anyone any more.  That is when it hit me – OH NO!!!!!!

Apparently, I don’t say anything BUT negative, horrible things!

Here is a great post by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) about the usual progression and stages of this journey of becoming a more godly, respectful wife.

Don’t worry – IT DOES GET BETTER!  But that first month or first few months is REALLY DIFFICULT and PAINFUL as you learn discretion, dying to self, living completely submitted to Christ, and as you redefine your understanding of God, self, femininity, masculinity and marriage.  It’s a total reconstruction of your heart.  A renovation that deep takes time.  It is too much to absorb all at once!

The tongue has the power of life and death. Prov 18:21

Eventually, you do begin to learn to use your mouth for blessing as you allow Christ total freedom and access to remove every ungodly thing from your soul and to renew your heart and mind to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  But most women go a bit silent first as they try to figure out how to stop the negative stuff.

THE CHALLENGE

For those of you in the beginning of this journey – I would like to encourage you to take this challenge.  If you are very new at learning respect and learning to obey Christ – you may want to take this one day at a time.  If you have a little more experience under your belt, you may want to take this challenge for a week to start with, then maybe a month!

For today/this week – while asking God to fill me with His Spirit’s power to do this

– I am NOT going to argue with anyone about anything

– I am not going to complain about anything.

…EVEN WHEN I PRAY!  I am going to pray in a respectful way about the authority of my husband over me.  I am not going to argue with God or His Word, and I am not going to complain to God about my husband or question God’s sovereignty or wisdom. I will not grumble or murmur against Him.

I may:

– say what I want or don’t want in a kind and respectful way

– say what my emotions are (probably once) – sad, happy, afraid, scared, angry, upset, nervous, excited, etc.

– use wholesome speech to build others up

– say positive things

– say thankful things

– smile my beautiful smile at my friends, family and coworkers – especially at my husband.

– share important information (ie: if I am sick, if the kids are sick, if the house is on fire, if there is a problem that my husband needs to know about, if there is a need, if I am extremely sleep-deprived) – but I can share that respectfully, probably just once, and ask for any help I need in a polite, pleasant way.

EXAMPLE:

I don’t need to say that it is hot outside.  That would be complaining.

But, if I am about to be overcome by heat exhaustion – or need water quickly to avoid heat exhaustion –  I can share my need.  I can’t expect my husband to read my mind.  I must tell him when I am not ok or there is a significant problem.  But I don’t have to share every little tiny thing that annoys me.

Does that make sense?

A SECRET

If you are controlling towards other people, too, not just your husband, you may find that you need to take a few emotional steps back from other people while you cling to Christ and allow Him to work in you.

I would not share all of what God is doing in you with everyone.  Those of the world are not going to understand and will likely argue with you or think you are crazy for talking about respecting your husband.  And if you talk about biblical submission, they may throw tomatoes at your head.

Even just quietly refusing to bash your man while everyone else bashes theirs will make you “weird.”

Here’s a post to help you with this – Don’t Expect Outside Support!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

If you take this challenge – I want to hear how it goes!

– what surprises were there?

– what was the hardest part?

– how did your interactions with others change?

– did anyone treat you differently?

– how do you think this helps us shine for Christ?

I pray that God might be greatly exalted in your life and speech, that you might bless everyone around you with your words and use of your tongue!

“My Husband Didn’t Get Me Anything for Our Anniversary – and I am SO HAPPY TO BE MARRIED TO HIM!”

From the archives – Here are the ways that two wives handle the “My Husband Forgot Our Anniversary” situation in respectful, God-honoring, husband-honoring, marriage building ways!
WIFE #1

Since my hubby’s and my birthdays are only one day apart, he never forgets my birthday! Pretty sneaky, huh? :D

Seriously, in my first marriage I received tons of big gifts and acknowledgement on special celebration days… but not much love. These days, I am very happy and blessed to be married to a wonderful Christian guy who doesn’t always remember our anniversary, but so what? He brings me little gifts every so often “just because” and never lets me forget how much he loves me.

When we were first married, almost 14 years ago, God showed me that I needed to be the one to bring special days and events to his mind. So this begs the question: why does it always have to be the husband’s job to make celebration plans? I know that as women, we love the romantic notion that our hubbies will come through the door with a huge bouquet of roses and sweep us off our feet, but that reality is rooted in unrealistic TV shows and movies. It is not real life!

Please, ladies, love your husbands for WHO HE IS, not for what he can do for you or for whether he can remember your birthday or anniversary, etc. God placed you with each other because you are perfect together.

I’m sorry this is so long, but I’d like to share an analogy that our pastor gave my hubby and me during our premarital counseling: if you take an orange and rip it apart with your hands (NOT cut it with a knife), you’ll have a jagged edge on both halves. There is only one way that orange can go back together perfectly. So it is with the marriage relationship. You and your husband each have areas of strengths and weaknesses, and your strengths complement his weaknesses and vice versa. You both fit together just like that orange.

So, don’t pine away for what might not be the way you think it should. Don’t fight the dynamics of your God-given relationship. Use those strengths and weaknesses to uplift and love each other in the Lord!

I think I’ve said this before, Peacefulwife, but it bears repeating: thank you for such a wonderfully blessed and uplifting blog. My hubby and I are thankful that you and Peacefulhusband are not afraid to share yourselves and your marriage with those of us who need to hear it!

WIFE #2
Hi there…
Just wanted to say I was so thankful for that post the other day “forgot our anniversary.”
I would have hoped I would have responded well even if I didn’t read that post…but sadly I probably would have failed to some degree.
Anyway..today is our anniversary and we already have a date next month that we will be getting away just the two of us to celebrate.
So I didnt want to make a big deal about today, but its still our anniversary so I got him a card and some yummy chocolates and put them
on his desk this morning before I left for work. I did kiss him good bye with a quick Happy Anniversary, I love you.
Later this morning, I got a text saying, “thank you for the card and gift, (I haven’t opened it yet)”…then he said, “I am sorry I didn’t get you anything. I have been so busy with work and the girls I dont have a spare second.”   He said, “Give me a couple weeks when work is less crazy and I will make it up to you.” He then said, “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am so thankful for you.”  I said, ” Thank you, Baby!  I know your heart, Baby, and I don’t need a card to tell me that. I did it for you because I love doing things like that.”  Then he said, “I will have something for you, just not today.”  I said, “I’m being honest, Honey, when I say, ‘I have all I need because I have you.'”  And I do truly mean that.
In the past (or probably even before I read that post)…I would have gotten sad or disapointed and thought, “Well you had time to go the Jeep store this week because your mind is on that stuff, but not on me.”  So in reality…yeah that thought did enter my mind, but I quickly dismissed it!  My husband loves me to death and that is all that matters.  Its about him and me and our marriage that God joined together 7 years ago. I refuse to let Satan have anything on this day!  My husband never goes out to “man” stores or spends time with guy friends…so if he spent some time at the Jeep store this week, I am so happy for him. He needs that. Its the same thing as me going to the mall to buy a new outfit, right!  LOL!!!
Anyway..I wanted to share this with you because I am thankful for what I have learned this past year in my marriage! I am thankful that God led me to your blog to help “change me” which has helped changed my marriage in an incredible way.  I am so excited for what God has planned for this next year in our marriage. I know its going to the best one yet!

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.

 

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