How to confront husband with concerns

In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior.  However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.

If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do!   Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy.  Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”.  Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child.  Don’t roll your eyes.

Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage.  A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him.  A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful.  The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband.  Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge.  Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities.  If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage.

Oh, and one more tip.  To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….”  When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you!

If you’re thinking about divorce….

Having a rough time in your marriage?  Do you wish you’d never married your husband?  Our society makes it very easy to throw in the towel and divorce.  Divorce might seem very tempting, but let me tell you from personal experience; it’s really hard on your children.  Actually, it’s devastating for them.  Yes, God can heal them over time, but your children will always carry a deep emotional scar.  Whoever started the rumor that kids can bounce back from divorce was lying!

I’m not saying that a woman should never divorce her husband.  The Bible certainly gives a clear allowance for divorce in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus says “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”  Jesus clearly states that when a spouse has cheated on you sexually, divorce is permissible.  After many years of studying the Bible, I also believe God permits a woman to divorce her husband when he grossly sins against his wife through continuing physical or emotional abuse.  After all, God instructs us in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life“.  After years of severe emotional or physical abuse, a woman can become a mere shell of a human being.  I don’t believe that is God’s will for anyone.  Throughout the Bible, we see that God is more concerned with mercy than merely following rules.

All this being said, please do everything you can to fight for your marriage.  Don’t give up easily.  Don’t let bitterness grow.  Work to resolve issues before your heart grows so cold that you don’t feel like working to save your marriage. You may possibly need to separate from your husband in order to bring his attention to the seriousness of the problem, but your goal should be reconciliation and restoration of your marriage. Find a good counselor.  Get a mentor couple.  Read the Bible.  Pray continually.  Don’t give up on your marriage too easily.  If for no other reason, fight for your marriage on behalf of your children.

If your heart is heavy or burdened….

Are you having one of those weeks or months?  Has your husband broken your heart?  Are you an emotional wreck over a situation with one of your children?  Don’t try to carry that burden alone!  It’s too heavy.

Even though it would be so helpful to reach out to some godly female friends, many of us tend to isolate during really hard times instead.  Unfortunately, that only makes it easier for Satan to beat you down.  With no other voices speaking hope into your life, he has free realm to whisper one lie right after another.

Jesus describes Satan this way in John 8:44: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  The lies may sound like this:  No one really loves you.  Your life sucks and there’s no hope.  You should have never married your husband.  God doesn’t really care about you. You’re a failure as a mom compared to all the other moms. There is no way in the world to recover from your financial mess.  God could never change your husband’s heart.  Blah, blah, blah.

One of the keys to drowning out the voice of the enemy is to listen to other voices!  Spend time reading God’s Word.  Also, spend time with godly women who can speak truth, wisdom, and hope into your life.  If you don’t know any women like that, then it’s time to start building new friendships.  I know you might be scared to tell another woman what’s really going on in your marriage and family.  However, you might be surprised to find that other women will start opening up to you and sharing their own challenges as you begin sharing yours. Just keep in mind that the point is to encourage each other and pray for each other…not to trash talk your husbands!

Recognizing that you’re actually codependent

Can a Christian woman be too helpful?  Can she be too nice?  I believe the answer is yes.  When we are so “nice” that we enable our husband or adult children to act irresponsibly or to stay immature, we are being too nice.  And many of us fit this description.  We are too helpful.  We are codependent.  We train our loved ones to be dependent on us, instead of God.  We train them to rely on us to do things for them that they should really do themselves as responsible adults.  Often, we also train them to expect us to bail them out of the natural consequences of their foolish or sinful decisions.

Why are many women codependent?  We become codependent when we subconsciously depend on others to meet a deep emotional need of our own, such as feeling loved, secure, or important.  Instead of looking to the Lord for love, security and significance, we exhaust ourselves trying to get people to meet those needs. Then, because we pin all our hopes on these people, we MUST cater to them in order to keep them in the relationship with us.  We fear that our “source” of love and security will leave us or withdraw their love if we don’t cater to them.  We start walking on eggshells.  We bend over backwards to keep them happy because we fear losing them.  However, the Bible says in Proverbs 29:25  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be loving and kind.  Of course, we should.  However, we go too far when our “kindness” enables immature and irresponsible and even sinful behavior in others.  We go too far when we try to spare our loved ones from consequences and when we carry their responsibilities. We go too far when we become neurotic people-pleasers in the relationship just so the other person is more likely to make us feel better about ourselves!    

 Here are 2 questions you can ask yourself today:

1) Are my actions preventing my husband or children from becoming mature and responsible?

2) Am I expecting my husband or child to meet my deepest emotional needs or am I seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord to meet those needs?

— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE

Managing your womanly allure!

While reading the Bible in recent days, I have stumbled upon several women who had tremendous influence over their husbands, but who, unfortunately, used that influence to satisfy their own selfish desires.  It reminded me that, as women, we have a powerful allure with men.  God wired men to be extremely attracted to the female body.  This is awesome when we use that attraction to stay bonded to our husband and when we use that attraction with pure motives.  Unfortunately, we don’t always do that.

We can learn what NOT to do from a few women in the Bible.  Two that come to mind are Delilah and the daughter of Herodias.  Delilah’s story is in Judges 16.  The mighty man Samson is so intoxicated with the beauty of Delilah that he finally gives in to her badgering about the source of his power and he tells her his secret.  The result?  He loses his power, his eyes are gouged out by the enemy, and this once mighty man of God becomes completely ineffective.

The daughter of Herodias is featured in Mark 6.  She is beautiful and dances erotically for King Herod.  He is so enthralled with her that he becomes stupid!  He offers her anything she wants…up to half his kingdom!!  She ends up asking for the head of John the Baptist.  The result?  A mighty man of God, the messenger who paved the way for Jesus Christ, is killed.

Ladies, let’s be careful to wisely use the powerful sex appeal God has given us.  You might find it exciting to turn men’s heads by wearing tight or revealing clothes in public, but think twice before you do that.  You may destroy another woman’s marriage.  You might think it’s cool that you can manipulate your husband through what you do or don’t offer him sexually.  Think twice before you do that too.  You may end up destroying your man and your own marriage.

Don’t put up with disrespect or abuse

It is not okay for your husband (or anyone) to treat you disrespectfully.  Let me just say that again.  It is not okay.  I know far too many beautiful, kind Christian women who, for some reason, allow themselves to be verbally, emotionally, or physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends.  It’s heartbreaking.  I heard yet another story from a highly-intelligent, gorgeous woman recently.  She came to me in despair, wringing her hands over her abusive situation.  Yet, she didn’t clearly see that she needed to draw a firm boundary and impose consequences on such behavior.  In her case, she needed to leave until he showed serious, sustained repentance.

Ladies, do you think God winks at a man who is abusing his wife or girlfriend?  Absolutely not.  In fact, God tells husbands they are to lay down their lives for their wives.  Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  If your husband or boyfriend is emotionally, verbally, or physically abusing you, you need to take a stand.  If you don’t take action, you’re basically enabling his destructive behavior to continue.  Read Matthew 18:15-17 and ask God to reveal His plan for you to take a stand when someone is sinning against you.

Don’t fall into this subtle trap!

I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife.  One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside.  In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself.  It’s my kids who really need my attention.”  Not good thinking!

Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them.  However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols.  When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god.  One of the big 10 commandments addresses this!  Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

 One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands.  The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children.  Even more important than that, spend quality time with God.  He must truly be your number one focus in life!