I am so very excited about today’s post! About a year ago I ran across this wonderful blog – Peacefulwife – and I was amazed at how much I “was” this woman. I was a feminist and so WAS she. I
was am learning how to better respect my husband and submit. She has been there and has so many wonderful stories of her transformation and how great her marriage is now as a result. April has kindly written a guest post for me so please join me in welcoming her <applause>!
He understands men and women extremely well. He did create both of us, after all. And He created marriage, sex, attraction, families, masculinity and femininity. So Who better to know what it takes to make marriage work and work well?
Our culture has completely ditched God’s prescriptions for a joyful, solid, healthy marriage and has redefined masculinity, femininity and marriage to be what we want it to be. Feminism has taught us that men and women are not only “equal” – which they are of equal value in God’s sight – but that we are the “same.” There is a HUGE difference between being of equal value and being the same in spiritual/emotional/physical/sexual makeup.
So, many of us grew up never questioning that men need love just like we do. We assume they think and feel just like we do and that if we give more love, that will fix all the problems in our marriages.
Unfortunately, we have forgotten what men need in marriage, and as a result, husbands and wives are largely miserable.
SIGNS THAT A WIFE MIGHT NEED TO LOOK A BIT CLOSER AT GOD’S WAYS:
– I am angry with my husband a lot
– I am full of resentment
– I feel like I am carrying the weight of the family on my shoulders alone
– I feel like my husband is “another child”
– I constantly badmouth my husband to others and tell them how awful he is so they will sympathize with me and see what a miserable life I have and pity me
– I boss my husband around, tell him what to do, lecture him, scold him, criticize him often, roll my eyes, sigh in disgust, give him “the look” that I think he is inept and/or use the angry mama voice a lot
– I complain to and about him and argue with him often
– I have no joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control around my husband
– I am anxious, stressed and afraid in my marriage often
– I believe that if my husband “would just be more loving” or would “stop doing X” that our problems would all be solved and our marriage would be the amazing union I dreamed it would be
– I know that my husband’s sins are WAY worse than mine and HE is the problem
– I feel very lonely in my marriage
– my husband barely touches me and doesn’t seem to care about my feelings
– I have my heart set on my husband behaving a certain way and things working out a certain way and I CANNOT and WILL NOT be content or happy unless I have what I want
– I believe I am always right and my husband is always wrong
– I believe I am spiritually superior to my husband
– I believe I am a better leader than your husband
– I don’t think my husband is able to lead our family
– I don’t trust my husband
– I don’t cooperate with my husband’s ideas
– I refuse to listen to his perspective and act like his ideas are worthless
– I think if I had a more godly husband, life would be wonderful
This is not an exhaustive list – but it is a start.
WHAT DO THESE SYMPTOMS MEAN?
Well, primarily, it means that I am not filled with God’s Spirit. Either I have not accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior if this list describes me in my marriage, or I have so grieved God’s Spirit that I have reduced His flow into my life to a trickle.
When I have God’s Spirit filling me and consuming me, I will have all the fruit of the Spirit on a daily basis: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control Galatians 5:22
If I don’t have His Spirit empowering me, I am probably cherishing sin in my heart.
The sins I cherished were:
– idolatry (of myself, of my way, of my desires, of my feelings of being loved, of expecting my husband to be Christ and be perfect and meet all my needs)
– PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE – thinking I knew best, better than my husband, and really, better than God’s Word
– unforgiveness – I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t know how to forgive
– gossip – talking about my husband with bitterness
These are HUGE sins that deeply offend the heart of God. As long as I am holding onto those sins and cherishing them more than my intimacy with Christ, God will oppose me.
BEING A GODLY WIFE GOD’S WAY
To be a godly wife, I must be willing to do things God’s way. God’s design for marriage is primarily found in Ephesians 5:22-33, but also in Genesis 3, Titus 2:2-5, I Peter 3:1-6 and I Corinthians 11:3.
God designed men to need to lead in marriage. He made them to thrive on respect. That is why He commands wives to respect their husbands and submit to (willingly cooperate with) their husbands’ God-given authority (unless our husbands are asking us to sin or condone sin).
FIRST – I must decide to submit totally to Jesus Christ. I lay my whole life before Him and die to myself. I give up my dreams, my way, my will, my purposes, my wisdom, my rights, my plans and I yield fully to His control. I respect Him as LORD.
THEN – out of love and reverence for Christ, I begin to desire to obey Him in all things, even things that are culturally unacceptable, or weird, or counter-intuitive to my female, human mind.
And as I embrace His ways and obey Him – I discover that unspeakable peace and joy await me. After the pain of dying to self, there is a new, abundant life! Then God becomes my partner and empowers me to do things I can’t do on my own. He teaches me to look for the best in my husband (Philippians 4:8) and to build him up with my words, to praise what is good, to encourage him, to show faith in him. He teaches me to share my feelings with my husband in a pleasant, calm, non-threatening way. And then to trust that if my husband disagrees and decides to do something I don’t want to do, that my God is SO SOVEREIGN that He can and will lead me through my sinful, human husband in His will for His glory.
So I can’t lose! I am seeking God’s will and glory, not mine. I don’t know the way there. So I can trust that He will use all things for my good and His glory because I love Him and that even my husbands’ sin and mistakes will bring me to the place God wants me to be. So I can be at peace. I can be content no matter what my husband does or does not do – because my hope is firmly set on Christ. He is my strength and joy.
Husbands are drawn and attracted to our respect, trust and faith. They are repelled by our disrespect and dominating/controlling behavior. Husbands have a long list of things that speak respect and disrespect to them that most wives know nothing about! They think and feel in an entirely different way than we do. And if we can learn this new language of respect, we can meet their God-given needs and draw our men closer to us and to God.
It’s hard to look at our own sin. But that is where our power is in our relationship with God and our husbands! I CAN control me. I can’t control my husband. I can’t control God. When I focus on MY responsibilities to my husband and to God and I do it because Christ is the most important thing in my life, not to try to manipulate my husband – GOD SHOWS UP. And miracles happen!
Check out my blog at www.peacefulwife.com for more about these topics!
- God’s Design for Femininity (peacefulwife.com)
- I Put My Husband in a Lose/Lose Situation… (peacefulwife.com)
- Marriage “Check-Up” (thefairytalemarriage.wordpress.com)