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Does My Husband Have to Have a Long Range Plan to Lead Our Family?

I used to think that my husband had to lead in a certain way in order for God to lead me through him. His personality should be a lot more like mine, of course, for him to lead “properly.” I believed we needed a long list of things I thought were great ideas – lots of formal meetings, written goals, written/verbal feedback on how we were both doing (kind of like a report card), specific plans way in advance in many areas of life, etc…

Somehow, God put me with a man who thinks in a way that is totally unlike my way.  I used to think that meant Greg wouldn’t lead me or that he couldn’t lead me.

Wow, was I wrong!

God absolutely can lead me through Greg. Even without him having the leadership style I might think I would have if I were in charge. All of those things I wanted could be fine things. They may work for some couples, particularly if those things were part of the husband’s personality and leadership style. But, I think God knew that if I got to have all of those things, I might start putting more of my faith in our written plans and meetings than in Him. God has shown me that I can absolutely be content without big human plans, meetings, tons of feedback, etc…

The Lord has also shown me that as I trust Him to lead me through Greg, He knows how to prompt Greg at just the right time and how to inspire him and move his heart to accomplish His will for me. It isn’t all big and flashy. It took quite awhile for us to get to the place where we are now and I am sure we will both continue to grow in Christ and things will continue to change over time.

Most of the time, the way God leads me through Greg is softly, gently, and quietly:

  • When I have another one of my awesome new big ideas – where I want to radically change a lot of things for our family all at once. Greg quietly researches and prays about things. Then, after a few days/weeks, many times, he brings up important issues I hadn’t considered.
  • He tends to slow me down so I don’t rush into a hasty, and regrettable, decision.
  • He shares what he believes is best about various ideas and now I know that he has a lot of valuable wisdom that will benefit me if I will listen.
  • He gently offers suggestions.
  • He comes up with ideas that he believes God may desire me to do – like write a blog, write a book, teach a class, have a conference, etc… – and he shares them with me without any pressure. Then I pray about things.
  • He gives me counsel about how to handle difficult situations and people in my life – again with no pressure that I have to do things his way, but I know he has my best interests at heart and that I can trust him.
  • He lets me know when he feels I might be about to make a mistake.

God uses Greg to bring a lot of balance and wisdom to my life. I am SO thankful for his leadership now! Even though it is not what I originally thought I wanted and needed. And the truth is, human plans don’t always amount to much. We can’t see what is coming in the future. God has a way of being able to change our well-made plans.

It is not wrong to prayerfully make certain plans as we seek to do God’s will. But it is wise for us all to be very flexible and ready to change whenever God moves in our lives in ways we can’t predict.

FOLLOWING CHRIST IS A LOT LIKE FOLLOWING A TRUSTWORTHY GPS

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

I think it is easy for us to tend to want to know the WHOLE plan way ahead of time. We want God and/or our husbands – or SOMEONE – to reveal everything that will happen to us right now. It is hard to be at peace in uncertainty and in the whole not knowing thing. On our own, we can’t be at peace in times of uncertainty and trials, but in Christ, we absolutely can be!

I don’t have to know about the mountains I may face 2,000 miles from now. I don’t need to know about the detour I will need to take 5,000 miles from now. What I need to know right now is simply, “Lord, what step do I take next today?”

As I trust God to lead me, He will get the information to me when I need to know it. And He will lead me through my husband in His way and His timing to accomplish His purposes. He will orchestrate the events of my life according to His will. He will use all of the difficulties I face to help me grow and to prune and refine me so that I can grow stronger in my faith and so that He can conform me more to the image of Christ.

What does Jesus have to say about knowing the future?

Quite honestly, we couldn’t handle knowing all of the future right now.

It is a blessing in many ways that God doesn’t give us the ability to see that far ahead. For all we know, there could be a nuclear war tomorrow, or our electric grid might collapse, there might be a massive terrorist strike, the economy might finally collapse, or there may be a huge earthquake or some natural disaster. Or Jesus might return later today. Or perhaps nothing terrible might happen and things may continue on as usual. Maybe something incredibly good might happen that alters the course of our lives. We might try to make plans but our plans are pretty worthless because we don’t know the future. Only God knows.

My prayer is that we might trust the One who actually knows what is going to happen and that we might follow Him and humbly yield to His wisdom. Let’s walk by faith each moment. As we do that, and as we desire to be in the center of the Lord’s will, He knows how to direct our steps and how to lead us in His will.

 

RELATED:

How God Led Me Through Greg to Write a Book

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

 

Some Husbands Share Their Perspectives – PART 2

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Continued from Part 1

Husbands answered my questions:

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

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

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

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

Ladies,

Please keep in mind that each husband would have his own unique answers to these questions. These husbands can’t speak for every single husband on the planet. But, I think it is helpful to get a feel for a variety of men’s answers to these questions. Then, the most important thing is to seek to understand and learn and know your own husband and his needs and to seek to honor God and your particular husband as you walk in the power of God’s Spirit, living in the grace, power and mercy of Christ on a daily basis, seeking God’s glory above all else in your life.

And, just like with the last post, I would like to please keep the focus of our discussions on what wives can do to bless and honor our husbands in the comments on this post. I am very aware that there are many, many needs and desires wives have, as well. And there are an infinite number of things husbands can do to bless, love and cherish their wives. But the purpose of this particular blog is for us as wives to focus on what we can do on our end of the marriage. Thanks!

I appreciate all of these husbands (and some wives, too) who took the time to answer these important questions and allowed me to share their thoughts!

 (PS – for wives whose husbands are lower drive sexually than the wives, or for wives who feel they don’t receive enough compliments from their husbands or who don’t believe their husbands feel attracted to them, this post may be one that would be wise to skip.)

HUSBAND 6

What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

A: I believe that a wife isn’t the only person who should be doing something to make the marriage stronger. As a man, I should be putting my part in to make it stronger as well. A marriage is a 100% effort from both parties involved. But for the sake of this question, I would ask my wife to stay supportive of my work which I’m trying to make as our main income. Help me as much as possible and push me that much harder to make it all work in our favor.

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

A: Be supportive of everything they do. Understand that what we are doing as husbands is always in the best interest of our marriage and not just ourselves, even if at first it seems that way. Always be there, but never nag to know what is wrong. Sometimes we just need support. We go through a ton of negative thoughts as men who need to provide for our family and it can get very tough and scary for us. Physically we may seem like we are ok, but deep down mentally we are afraid to fail, afraid to disappoint and afraid to let our wives down.

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

A: Cook his favorite foods, have a cold beer for him ready when he gets home, or a mixed drink. Always look your best no matter what. We want to come home and see our gorgeous wives and know that we work and bust our butt for these beautiful women. We work to give them the world. Don’t nag us for something we may buy, want or do. Just let us be and know we always have the marriage, relationship, family’s best interest at heart and we don’t do things that would jeopardize the foundation and stability of any one of them.

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

A: As a husband, be there for them and encourage them to go for what they truly believe in. Guide them with some insight. Let them know they are doing a great job even if we don’t feel like it. As a spiritual leader, speak words of affirmation that guide his mind towards God. Email him once in a blue with scripture or sermons regarding a man’s duties to God and his family. And best of all let him know he is the the connection between God and your family and because of that connection blessings have come your way. Because he is a man of God, a God fearing man, your family is blessed.

(A note from Peacefulwife – if your husband is far from God, emailing him about a man’s duties in Scripture may repel him. I Peter 3:1-6 may be your best approach in such a situation. But, this will require great sensitivity to God’s Spirit in each individual circumstance. But if a husband is very resistant to his wife and very resistant to God – I would not suggest sending him anything or saying anything about God with words. As a wife obeys I Peter 3:1-6 and seeks God with all her heart, God is able to speak to our husbands’ hearts. And even if your husband IS close to God, note that this husband suggested only sending such things rarely. Not frequently. It would be easy for a wife to take a suggestion like this and then dump tons of emails about God on her husband. That would probably not draw any husband closer to God or to his wife. It could quickly become nagging. And, not all husbands always have their families’ best interest at heart in all of their decisions. But, some do. And sometimes our husbands actually do have our best interests at heart as they make decisions even when we can’t see it at the time. Thankfully, God always has our best interests at heart and we can ALWAYS trust Him!)

HUSBAND 7

1) Accept the possibility that ‘I may have told you about _____’ and you just forgot. No one remembers every word from every conversation. On occasion, a simple “I’m sorry, I must not remember that conversation” would be nice.
2)Pay attention to the little things that irritate me and try to eliminate them. I’m not going to divorce you on account of them, but they do bother me.
3) Be willing to experiment sexually (even slightly). Just because it is good enough for you, doesn’t mean it is for me. The same thing every time can get boring!
4) Be at peace whenever you can. Life can be rough, but God says ‘fear not’, ‘don’t fret’, and ‘believe’. I’m trying to be strong and make decisions based on His Word. Don’t second-guess what God says. I’m not perfect, but He is.

HUSBAND 8

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

Be more confident in her decisions and beliefs. Sometimes it is ok to disagree on topics, and I respect her opinion. I respect my wife when she voices her opinion in a positive way. Understand more about how intentional I am about spending time with her and our family, but there is a balance with work and home responsibilities that takes some of my time away from the family.

1. Things my wife already does: Stays strong in her Faith with daily time in the Bible and prayer. Encourages and supports me in everything that I do, and decisions I make. Doesn’t judge me on my past mistakes and errors in life.

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

This depends on the man, as each of us perceives caring from our wives in a different way. Some, it’s the physicality, some the doing (cooking, cleaning, etc.), others the heart connection (notes, cards, texts, emails)

2. Things my wife already does: She is strong in all of the areas listed above, but at different times. She knows that the simple thing of making sure I have pressed shirts from the dry-cleaners, takes a big burden off my shoulders. I understand she doesn’t like to do that task herself, but she makes the effort to arrange that they get done. She gets, that for me, it’s the little things. A simple touch on the shoulder when I am stressed or upset about something. My wife doesn’t like to cook, but tries to at times. The effort is always appreciated, but she also can stress over it. Keep it simple.

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

Become psychologists???? Men are strange creatures, and I know that there are times my wife sits there and wonders why my moods turn. For me, I would like my wife to learn what makes me tick in certain situations, and know that asking me, “What can I do to help?” isn’t always what is needed. Yes, I am expecting the impossible, figure it out without discussing it. LOL. I would like her to be more aggressive (sexually) at times, as far as initiating it, yet understand when I want to be the aggressor. Again, probably asking too much, but hey, she asked me to answer these questions, right???

3. Things my wife already does: Intentional about asking me what more she can do. Hey it’s a catch 22. I like that she is intentional about it, just sometimes would like her just to do, and see what happens. My wife is also an extremely respectful wife, and uses Biblical principles to govern who she is as a wife and mother.

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

Be strong and encouraging. Be consistent. Good husbands want their wives and family to be proud of them, and it never hurts to hear it. Understand that as husbands, fathers, and spiritual leaders, there may be time constraints that pull them away from their families. It may not be what they prefer, at the time, but necessary nonetheless. When a wife expresses their pride, verbally, in notes, and when talking with others, it empowers men. Real Christian men don’t shy away from accountability. We may not like it all the time, but we excel in it. How does that encourage? When a man hears someone else talking about something positive their wife said about them, it encourages us, and also in a way holds us accountable from the standpoint of continuing to do the things she is speaking of. It’s awesome to me when my wife says she is proud of me, or appreciates something, but when someone else comments about something my wife told them about me, it is like more real. Hope that makes sense.

4. Things my wife already does: She is a great encourager. The best. She gets it more times than not, and it empowers me. She is much stronger in her Biblical knowledge than I am, yet encourages me to lead our small study group. She constantly expresses to me what a good step-father she thinks I am to her daughter. She motivates me to stay connected with my own children. She is a wonderful mom, and that inspires me to make sure I am a solid leader in our home. It makes it easy, as she is so respectful and defers to me on final decisions. Some will be right, some will be wrong. We will talk through things, as I have great respect for her opinion, but at the end of the day, she empowers me to make the final call.

WIFE 1

My husband said that marriage could be more enjoyable if wives would “play” more. The idea of shoulder-to-shoulder activities; wives getting out there and doing something fun with their husbands 🙂 As far as fulfilling the roles of fathers and husbands, he said that just having a wife that sees and supports the positive things he is doing means so much to him. As far as being a “leader” the big word was “respect.”  Men don’t even want to partner with a wife on the big things if he makes decisions then a wife says, “That’s nice, but you’re doing it wrong”.

RELATED:

Why Do I Have to Submit in the Little Things?

Biblical Submission

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

What Speaks Respect to Husbands

Can You Overdo Respect or Submission in Marriage?

Husbands Share What Makes Them Feel Disrespected

How Disrespectful Was I?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

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

Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want

A Silent Husband Shares His Heart

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For those wives who have passive, unplugged husbands – it can be really difficult for us to understand what is going on in our shut-down husbands’ hearts. I greatly misunderstood Greg for so many years because he didn’t tell me what he thought – so, I ended up making a lot of really horrible and extremely inaccurate assumptions.  

Today’s post is by a Christian husband – I appreciate his willingness to articulate his perspective. Husbands have feelings and emotions, too – even if they don’t verbalize them to us. They can be DEEPLY wounded and never say a word. That is what Greg did. He just went into his self-preservation mode and shut down to protect himself and never told me how much I hurt him with my disrespect and control for all those years.  He knew I was not a safe place for him to share his heart. 🙁

Please prayerfully consider whether your husband may feel like this husband and see what God may desire to change in your heart and in your marriage for his glory. (This post is primarily about Type-A, take-charge, wives with strong personalities. This is not a post for wives who are afraid to speak their minds or share their thoughts or feelings and it is not for wives who are abused. The dynamics for a more passive wife/dominating husband or an abused wife/abusive husband are very different from what is described here. If anyone is not safe in his/her marriage, please seek appropriate help right away!)

——————

Thank you for this post (Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband). I can identify with Dong’s thoughts and feelings.

  • My wife’s domineering nature sucks the life from me emotionally, spiritually, socially, intellectually and physically.

Emotionally she drains my by communicating to me both verbally and non-verbally that my feelings are wrong. The constant battle of having to prove that what I am feeling is legitimate just wears me down. As a result, I am very hesitant to share my emotions with her.

Spiritually, she communicates to me that her ways are the right ways and that my perspective on spiritual truth and walking with the Lord is wrong or lacking. She devalues my relationship with the Lord because I experience Him through the Word. She values prayer and the gifts of the Spirit more. She doesn’t see it as me being different from her but that I am wrong. I get spiritual life from personal study of the word, smaller group discussions, accountability and prayer. She gets life from large worship services and through worship music. Again, she communicates that her way is superior to mine.

Socially, the strain of the regular conflict drains me. As an introvert, when I am drained, I need time alone to recharge. I don’t have the emotional energy to invest in relationships that I used to have. There have been numerous times where she has emotionally beat me up on the way to a gathering so that by the time we arrive, I am drained and need to recharge. She then puts me down for being withdrawn at these gatherings.

Intellectually, I am an idea person. These could be on how to do things better or be more efficient. Other times they are on how to solve problems. I also have ideas about the Lord and ministry. Yet, whenever I share them with her she pushes back and takes them apart as being wrong or unrealistic. This just shuts me down because it has communicated to me over the years that I am stupid and should keep them to myself.

All of this drain on my soul has affected me physically too.

The constant message I hear is to be quiet and don’t embarrass her.

The cumulative effect of 20 plus years of being controlled and opposed is that her voice is constantly in my head accusing and condemning me. It causes me to second guess everything I do and to be very tentative on making decisions. I am always concerned about her reactions and having to explain myself. This makes it difficult to enjoy many things in life because her voice is there in my head questioning my actions, interactions, feelings and motives.

The good news is that I can see how the Lord has been working in her life for the past 20 years to open her eyes and address her sin. Over the past couple of years, I think she is starting to see her sin and address it. We still have a long way to go. She still doesn’t feel safe to me but there is an inkling of change.

RELATED:

From this same husband, “My Wife Would Bless Me If…”

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Greg told me that when I stopped all the negativity:

  • criticizing
  • controlling
  • lecturing
  • telling him what to do
  • treating him like he was a child
  • taking over and doing things for him
  • freaking out
  • worrying
  • using an angry mama tone of voice
  • scowling
  • sighing

… it was like someone turned off the “static on the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

And, Greg said, when I began to do the positive things:

  • encouraging
  • affirming
  • blessing
  • waiting patiently
  • cooperating
  • honoring his leadership
  • listening to him
  • caring about his opinion and perspective
  • allowing him space to be different from me and to be a man
  • appreciating his masculinity instead of condemning him
  • respecting him

… it was like someone put “an amplifier on the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

THIS is why God commands us to win our husbands without words.  We don’t force them to change with our words. When we attempt to verbally force our husbands to do what we want, we can unknowingly cause a lot of destruction. Instead, let’s inspire them by our example and the love, joy and peace of God in our hearts. How I pray we might live in the power of God’s Spirit and learn to use our incredibly strong influence, our words, our attitudes and our actions to bless, build up and encourage our husbands for God’s glory!

Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband

An Interview With My Husband — 3rd Interview

Controlling Nikka with my sad husband Dong – Dec 2009

From my dear friend, Nikka.  Check out her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com  Nikka and I both write from the perspective of wives who used to be controlling and domineering, Type A personalities with passive husbands.  If that is not your situation, these posts may not be as helpful for you. But if you tend to be very take-charge and have a husband who tends to be passive – please listen to Nikka’s husband’s heart in this post and ask God to help you see if it could be possible that  your husband may feel a lot like he did.

———————–

In the ‘First Interview With My Husband‘, Dong admitted that during my most controlling years, he wanted to die because life seemed to have no meaning and he could not make me happy.

In the ‘Second Interview With My Husband’, Dong admitted that because of my controlling attitude which almost always led to me being restless and depressed about our circumstances, he felt like a failure because nothing made me happy.

I must be a sucker for heartache though because though my heart bled after I found out his true feelings in the first two interviews, I still interviewed him a third time. It was like I was bringing on the pain. He even asked, Do you peaceful wives have to do this? Is it required of you?” 

I said, “No. This one is for me. I am doing it for me. I need to hear this.”

Here then is my third interview with my husband.

Note: Most of the pictures I will use are from my very controlling period (between 2009 to 2011), the time when we had most of our arguments and emotional discussions. The bottom pics will be current with me already as a “peaceful wife”.

Nikka : Can I interview you again?

Dong: What? Di pa ba tapos yan? (Is it not over yet?)

I need to ask you some questions still. (I pull out my questionnaire. We both laugh.) 🙂

Nikka: You told me before that all of the decisions in the past were MY decisions. None of it was

With Therese in her VTR – 2009

yours. How did you feel about that, when I was leading the family and controlling everything?

Dong: Actually, I was not so hurt. I told myself I will just go along with what you wanted to happen. I just felt that my input had no value.

You always told me this: “You are always putting it in YOUR hands!”. What did this exactly mean and how did you feel towards me when I was at my most controlling behavior?

Asar. (Irked.) Yabang mo kasi. (You were so arrogant.) Minamaliit mo ako. (You were belittling me.)

(Editor’s Note: I was not aware I was belittling him at that time because I was not really saying my thoughts out loud. But actions do speak louder than words, and that was Dong’s love language — through actions. I was a “silent” nagger.)

How did you feel when I would seek your advice but not heed it, but when somebody else told me to do the exact same thing you advised me to do, I would immediately follow that person’s piece of advice?

I felt disrespected.

(Editor’s Note: This was the first time Dong said the “disrespected” word. He usually called it other things but it was the first time he called it for what it was. Loving passive husbands these days usually do not even know what disrespect is anymore. It just feels to them that they are being attacked. Most wives these days do not even know that they should respect their husbands or how that looks like.)

When we would get into our emotional discussions, there were times when you would suggest that maybe I was better off without you. It was always I who would say, “No. We should stick it out. We are in this “for better or for worse”.  Why did it even cross your mind to separate?

Dong with Andre – 2009

Too much disrespect. I had no intention to separate. I know that I was in it “for better or for worse”, but I could not find a solution to our problem.

(Editor’s Note: Our problem was I was most of the time restless and joyless for some unknown reason.)

To save myself from the situation, since I could not make you happy, I felt that it (separation) was the ONLY SOLUTION. I felt that most likely maiaangat ko naman ulit sarili ko outside of the situation. (I felt that most likely I could regain my sense of self outside of the situation.)



Despite our trials before, was there ever a time that you did not love me or did you always love me?

Kahit asar na asar, mahal talaga kita. (Even if I was very, very irritated with you, I still loved you.) The fact that there was resentment still did not change my love for you.

I never thought you were “better” than me as a person but you never failed to make me feel that,

8 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

and not just in money or capability. I was asking myself already, “Is my being too equal in treatment with you wrong?”, “Am I being a deterrent to our relationship?” because I have seen how some husbands treat their wives badly to make them (wives) respect them (husbands).

But that would be wrong!  Abusive and oppressive.

Yes. Exactly. For me, Golden Rule dapat. (For me, the Golden Rule should rule.) I also know respect should be earned and I cannot force respect from you.

(Editor’s Note: In this submission journey, I have learned that as a Christian wife, I must respect my husband unconditionally whether he deserves it or not, as the Lord commanded in Ephesians 5:22-24.)

How did you bear with me during those bleak times?

It was not that unbearable… but something happened to me in the process. I didn’t blame you for anything. It was MY decision. It was MY proposal for us to get married. But I sort of lost faith…

5 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

Did my controlling behavior and my lack of faith in you, affect your faith in God?

Yes. I lost faith. I “learned” from you that in order to be respected, you had to put everything in your hands. You cannot have “blind faith.” I used to have that, and you would always look down on me for it.

(Editor’s Note: Between me and Dong, in the beginning of our relationship, it was always Dong who was very hopeful and had much faith that things would work out for the best because God was in control. My controlling behavior and my desire to put things in my hands all the time, made him think that maybe his faith was not real after all, that something was wrong with him for not putting things in his hands.)

I am so sorry, honey. 🙁 Do you think you will have your (old) faith back? 🙁

The only way that I’d get it back is if something drastic will happen. If something so bad or something so good happens… I have lost faith in Man. I don’t know if I would get my faith back. 

At a sports event – 2010

How could you explain that my lack of faith in God  led to your lack of faith in God?

(Editor’s Note: I had much faith in myself, not in God. Proof of this was always putting things in my hands, and being controlling. I thought I was just being ‘efficient’. I was blind to my sins. I even thought I was deeply spiritual!)

Family of 5 – October 2010

We became one. I became one, too, with how YOU felt about things.

(Editor’s Note: I would always chide him for having so much faith in God but no outcome to show for his faith. 🙁 I would tell him that “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.” The Lord helps those who help themselves. I was really judgmental towards him then and thought him to be not doing his best. )

I am really sorry Honey. I didn’t know about this. You are still hopeful for the future, I hope? 🙁

Yes, hopeful. Good is good. I have my big doubts. Skeptical.. But it is only now that I am learning to have faith again.. I told you, you won’t like my answers. I would not tell you these, if you did not ask. I was keeping them to myself. I did not want to make you feel bad.


But I want to know, Honey. It’s okay. Thank you for telling me.


When I was listening and listing down my husband’s answers, my heart bled. 🙁 I had an inkling my controlling behavior affected my husband’s faith but I did not know just how badly I contributed to his losing faith, to the point of almost being agnostic now. 🙁

Controlling Nikka – 2010

I knew that my bragging to him about my great faith in God, but with no actions to show for it —  always morose, scared, depressed during those years, only maligned God’s Word. 🙁

I did not walk the talk. He was looking to me to see Christ, but not finding Him, made Dong conclude that religion, Christianity, and even the Bible were not to be trusted. He considered them “proof”  that they were all “gawa-gawa lang” (man-made).

                                      Matthew 5:16
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

He said that I was not 100% at fault over his having lost his faith for a long time, but I know that I was mostly, hugely, gravely at fault. 🙁

I was not a godly wife. I only succeeded in bringing shame to God’s Word. So different from what God commanded for wives to do… 🙁

 Titus 2:5

“to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

He even lost the desire to go to weekly masses for those three years. And whereas before he would recite Psalm 91 by heart the moment he woke, up, I just one day noticed that he was not praying that nor any prayer anymore. 🙁

At our 3rd child, Reuben’s baptism – Oct 2010

I may not have single-handedly made him lose his faith, but I sure did everything during those dark years to make him lose faith in himself as a father and the leader of the home, which led to his losing faith little by little in our Heavenly Father.

I was arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental, condescending, negative, gloomy… and yet I never failed to tell him of my GREAT FAITH in God! What a fool I was!!! 🙁

He is answerable for his own walk with Christ and he would have to answer to God for his own sins, but it is true that since we were one, my lack of real faith (I had more faith in myself than in God) affected his own faith.

                                    Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Thing is, we were more than just friends. We were husband and wife. We were one because of the sacrament of marriage. My constant turmoil and discontent and penchant for putting things in my hands led to him “learning my ways”. Before he knew it, he was already “ensnared.” Instead of me learning how to be faithful to God, he learned how to be faithless from me. It’s the case of “a rotten apple spoils the barrel.” I was the rotten apple. I spoiled him. I am so ashamed. 🙁

I thank the Lord for opening up my spiritual eyes to my mountains of sin. I thank the Lord for allowing me to repent for them and for forgiving me. I thank the Lord for giving me a chance to change. I thank the Lord for sharing with me this precious secret given to us wives, on how to experience true joy in marriage. I thank the Lord for giving me a husband, who despite my blatant disrespect and hard-headedness still loved me unconditionally though I disrespected him shamefully. 🙁 He did his part of the equation. I obviously didn’t. 🙁

Dec 2011
                                          Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I am so grateful to the Lord because ever since the start of my submission journey, I have seen Him work in my life, in Dong’s life, in our lives. We are starting to go to church together again, with him sometimes initiating it even, whereas I would find myself alone in most Sundays in the past.

At our 4th child, Isabelle’s baptism – Dec 2013

I have also seen him happier now more than ever, and hugging me or complimenting me out of the blue. I also see him walking taller now and being more energized to make decisions for the family. It was in my submission that he has started becoming the man God wants him to be. It was in my stepping aside, that God found the space to talk to his heart.

At Therese’s Holy Communion – Dec 2013
Submitted wife and mother – January 24, 2014

All my negativity was hindering him from hearing God’s Voice. All my empty faith sharings, just made him detest me and the faith I was “falsely” propagating. I surely did not walk my talk. I preached what I did not practice. I maligned God’s Word. 🙁 I am forever repentant to God for that. I was so blind to my sins. 🙁

I see that there is so much hope for us now.

I feel God’s presence in our lives now.

Dec 2013

I cannot make Dong bring back his once solid faith in God. I have already done him much harm in the past with my actions. Forcing him to go back to his old faith would only do more harm than good. My being so dominant was what led him to start losing faith in the first place.

I too am not the Holy Spirit. Only God can make Dong seek Him again. And with me out of the picture, I am hopeful that the Lord will once again woo Dong to that kind of no-holds-barred faith he used to have, pre-me.

It is out of my hands now. I leave it all in God’s Able Hands. Him who loves my husband more than I do, and Who knew Dong even before he was born, will call him by name yet again…

However, I can practice one powerful secret that God has given to us wives who want our non-believing husbands to become believers in God (or in my case, to believe again fully in God), and that is through our godly lives.

                                         1 Peter 3:1-5

3 Wives, in the same way 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 wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 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,
I love my family. 🙂 — January 24, 2014
I love the Lord.
I love Dong.
I have let go and let God.
At this stage of my life, my greatest test to my faith is this: Am I willing to allow God to work in my life and to lead me, through my husband?

The answer is YES.

January 17, 2014
I pray that those in the same boat as I was may find it in their hearts to humble themselves and to follow God’s Great Design for Marriage. There is no peace and joy quite like it. I assure you, dear sisters… this kind of peace Christ gives is not of this world.
Our home is my ministry. Praise be to the good Lord for His Mercy and Love. – Sick Visitation at Dong’s Aunt’s house
January 2014
May we all be richly blessed! 🙂
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How Men Think – Part 2

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This is a continuation of How Do Men Think  and from Why Pressuring Your Man to Talk NOW Can Be a Problem from last week (also check out God Understands Men and Part 3 of this series).  My hope is to showcase a number of different men with different vocational/cultural backgrounds and allow them to explain the way they think and process so that wives might begin to develop an understanding for how differently men and women think.  I’d like for us as wives to develop empathy with our men and for us to embrace their masculinity and work WITH them instead of against them.

It appears that men from different vocations may process issues and problems differently.  I think that is so interesting.  I asked our 11 year old son how he thinks, and he said, “I think in words and pictures.”  It would be a fascinating study to me to watch the progression of how men learn to process and think through problems as they go from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood.

HUSBAND #1 – A LAWYER

A slightly different perspective here.  I tend to process things verbally. (I guess I probably also think in words, rather than symbols or formulas, which is in contrast to one of April’s recent posts about how Respected Husband and others think.) Presumably as a result of my verbal processing approach, I’m a trial lawyer.

So it was no problem for me to have an impromptu discussion with my wife about something, even if it was important. (I agree that if it’s important it’s usually not urgent.) Discussing it with her would assist me in processing the issue and arriving at an answer. Not that these impromptu discussions never were problematic. In fact, they could easily become problematic, just not because I was uncomfortable having the discussion.

Instead, we’d have one of several other problems.

  • Sometimes she wanted a definitive answer at the end of the first discussion of the issue but, while the first discussion was helpful in moving me toward an answer, there might be something that I wanted to think more about or research before I could give a definitive answer.
  • Whether I arrived at an answer in the first discussion or after the additional thinking/research, it wasn’t the answer she wanted. That was definitely a problem.
  • In the first discussion, I might ask some questions and she would perceive those as pushback, negativity, questioning her intelligence, or “cross-examining” her.

The worst situations were when she’d come into one of those impromptu discussions with her mind made up about what she wanted the answer to be but I disagreed. Then no amount of talking would make a difference. Logic didn’t work. Words didn’t work. My motives and intentions were suspect, my spiritual status was suspect, and any assurances or protestations to the contrary were insufficient. There were many occasions when I was the one who wanted to continue a discussion until we had reached a resolution but she would withdraw. It was actually me who was accused of trying to overwhelm her with words.

HUSBAND #2 – CHANGED CAREERS

I started as an electrical engineer, now I am a writer. When I do something like code for a web site, I do not think in words, but the more I write the more I find myself thinking in words. Words have become my primary tools, so it makes sense I use them for more and more.

HUSBAND #3

When I’m working on a project I have a image of what it should look like when I’m done and a general idea of how to get there. From there I follow my general plan and improvise as needed. Where decisions for the family are involved it’s more like the movie playing out how everyone will be affected.

My wife has told me that when things involving the children come up she has a hard time not letting her emotions and fears affecting her. While I think, for a man I’m pretty emotional, I try never to make ANY important decisions when I’m upset or angry.

I also agree with the man who said he looks at all the alternatives,then chooses one-some times the least bad. Especially when dealing with older children (our youngest is 20) making the least bad choice is quite common.The thing is I’ve found how my relationship is affected with that child or person is more important than being right, as long as it doesn’t result in immediate harm to them or others.

HUSBAND #4

It really depends on the situtation. As a husband I tend to visualize various scenarios in my mind and then attempt to anazlye which one is most logical or makes the most sense. At the same time I try to anticipate how my wife will react. Honestly, but not all the time, I may alter a decision based on how I know she will respond. 9 times out of 10 I am correct. I’m not bragging, I just know her after 20 years. So I visualize then analyze, then the words comes from that.

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