Husbands find this disrespectful

If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you may sound too much like a “mother” instead of a wife when talking to your husband, at least from time to time.  I caught myself sounding like my husband’s mother the other day.  He was heading out the door and for some reason, I felt compelled to say, “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast before you go”.   Really?  Did I need to say that?!   Did my husband really need me to point out that he should remember to feed himself?  What?  Is he 3 years old or something?  Oh brother.

When we remind our husbands about things that would be obvious to any adult, we’re actually being disrespectful.  Ouch.  It’s as if we’re telling our husbands that we don’t think they’re capable of making basic, reasonable decisions.  We sound like we’re talking to a toddler!  “Don’t forget to take a coat.”…”Be careful that you don’t hurt yourself with that hammer”…”Let me explain to you how to do _________.”

Let’s keep in mind the Bible’s instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33, where God says “the wife must respect her husband“.  Men crave the respect of their wives just like women crave chocolate. 🙂  Don’t communicate disrespect to your husband by talking to him like he’s an ignorant or helpless child who needs a mother to guide him.

Pride can be good!

Normally, pride isn’t a very good thing. In fact, God tells us over and over again throughout His Word that we need to get rid of pride.  I think we’ve all heard the Bible verse “Pride goeth before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

But here’s the thing.  I believe God is talking about getting rid of pride in ourselves.   He doesn’t want us to be puffed up and arrogant.  God wants us to attract people to Him through our humility.   However, I don’t see any place in Scripture where God tells us to avoid telling our loved ones that we are proud of them.  That kind of “pride” isn’t arrogant.  It’s extremely encouraging to the recipient! 

In fact, telling your husband “I’m proud of you” can move your husband out of paralyzing insecurity into confident, positive action.  When you say, “You’re a good man”, or “you have a good heart”, or I’m so proud to be your wife”, you are speaking words of life to your husband.  He longs to hear those words.  It’s time we stopped focusing only on what’s wrong with our husbands, and looked for some things that we can honestly affirm.  Our men need our encouragement!

This hit home for me recently.  My husband took the time to tell me that he feels tremendously encouraged when I occasionally pop into his home office and tell him I’m proud to be his wife.  That tiny little statement builds him up.  It helps him press back into the challenges that await him.  It helps him feel like he can slay dragons.  His wife is proud of him.  She believes in him.  He has the courage and confidence to keep moving forward.  Your words are powerful!  Have you told your man that you’re proud of him lately?  Are you speaking those essential words to your husband?

Consider Proverbs 14:1  A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands a foolish woman tears hers down.  Are you building up your husband, and thereby, building up your marriage and family?  Or are you tearing down your husband and demolishing your home?  Something to ponder!

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Deciding to remove your mask

Have you ever felt trapped in a dysfunctional part of your marriage?  Do you struggle with feeling hopeless about something in your marriage?  Do you hide your insecurities in general behind a “I’m just fine” mask? Well, over the years, I’ve learned that I begin to break free from that hopelessness and oppression when I drag the problem into the light!  Here’s what I mean by that.  I mean doing something extremely courageous by revealing the problem, your insecurities or your frustrations to a godly friend or counselor.  This means, not only revealing what your husband is doing, but also bravely revealing your own part in any dysfunction. 

Proverbs 28:13 says this:  “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”   This is a wonderful verse to live by!  You will most likely find that as you begin to drop your “everything is just fine at our house” mask, that other women will begin dropping their masks as well.  You will find it comforting to realize you’re not the only one struggling with issues.

You will also find that dropping the mask means you will be more open to receiving godly wisdom and direction.  Instead of pretending that everything’s great, you’ll be in a position for God to speak counsel into your life, through both the Bible and wise people.  This doesn’t mean you go around telling everyone about your husband’s faults!  It means getting real with a few trusted, wise, godly women or a trained counselor who can help you apply Biblical principles to your marriage challenges.  You will also receive encouragement, prayer support, and hope in the process!

Must I have a “gentle & quiet spirit”?

1 Peter 3:4 instructs wives to have a gentle, quiet spirit.  Hmmm.  Why do so many of us rebel against that idea?  Well, for me, I think it boils down to 2 things.

First, I fear that being quiet and gentle means I’m going to be controlled by my husband or become a weak doormat kind of wife!  Personally, I fear being controlled.  It’s because I was hurt by people who controlled me when I was young.  So, I rebel at anything that even smells like control!  But here’s what both you and I need to know.  Just because we allow our husbands to lead, does not mean that we are weak and have no voice.  It is something we get to CHOOSE to do to bring honor to God and honor to our husbands.  Also, I am not a doormat because I DO get to speak up respectfully and establish boundaries if my husband is sinning against me. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Second, I fear that if I strive for a gentle, quiet spirit that I’m going to have to change my personality!  But that’s just not true!  You can still be playful, joyful, and flirty with your husband.  You just don’t yell at him, argue with him about everything, boss him around, and demand your own way all the time.  🙂

Don’t fall for these big fat lies!

I am on the war path…against the devil!  I will not stand idly by while he tries to destroy the marriages of beautiful Christian wives who fall for his diabolical schemes.  I should know all about his schemes because I fell into them in my first marriage.  So heed my warning.  I know from first-hand experience that Satan wants to lure your thinking down the wrong path.

You’ve probably heard the verse in John 10:10 where Jesus reveals Satan’s mission to “steal, kill and destroy“.  Well, a primary tool of Satan is big, fat, rotten lies!  Jesus reveals this in John 8:44 where, referring to the devil, he says, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Be on high alert for the devil to whisper lies that might sound something like this:  “Your husband is a total jerk”, “Your marriage is hopeless”, “You deserve a different husband”, “You should file for divorce because God could never change your husband”, “Your kids would be better off if you divorce”, “You don’t need to listen to advice from your church friends who think you should work on your marriage.”, etc.  These are big, fat, rotten lies from the pit of hell.  Don’t be impulsive.  Don’t rush into a divorce.  Give God time to work on your husband…and on you!

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Marriage communication tip #1

You might recall the opening theme to the original Superman TV series.  The announcer proclaims that Superman is “faster than a speeding bullet”. Well, God has been showing me how a part of me is also faster than a speeding bullet….and can cause as much damage as a live round of ammunition.  That part of me is my mouth!

You may have the same challenge as me.  Do you often get impatient when your husband is trying to express himself and end up finishing his sentences? I do.  Do you interrupt your husband when he pauses mid-sentence?  I do.  Do you sometimes jump in and tell him how he should handle something as he’s trying to explain a challenging situation?  I do.  Do you get frustrated with him and react with harsh, disrespectful words that you can’t take back?  Hmmm. 

Let’s pray that God would give us the ability to be good listeners, patient talkers, and respectful communicators!  This is definitely God’s will for us, as revealed in James 1:19:  “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”   The first step is to coach ourselves at the beginning of conversations with our husbands.  Remind your soul…”I will honor the Lord and my husband by listening quietly and responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…(repeat as necessary!!).

How encouragement changes your man

I was reminded again the other day about how much impact my words have on my husband.  I was having a super frustrating day and I was kind of sharp with my husband.  He seemed to withdraw emotionally and within moments, he physically removed himself from the room.  Hmmm. 

Then fast forward to a different day, and I decided to purposely look for something good about my husband and to actually tell him about that “good” that I see in him.  The minute I did that, he got a little spring in his step.  His entire countenance changed.  Interestingly, he also seemed to be even more thoughtful and gentle toward me.  It was as if my encouragement and respect made him feel so much better about himself that he now felt secure enough to be kind and loving and patient with others. Wow!

This reminded me of the Lord’s instructions for us to encourage each other.  1 Thessalonians 5:11  “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”  We need encouragement, but so do our men!  When was the last time you intentionally looked for good qualities in your husband and told him about those things?  When was the last time you took note of him taking time to play with the kids, or handling a household chore without being told, or being kind to others?  

Let’s commit to building up our guys.  They need our steady encouragement, and we’ll also benefit as they begin to feel valued and respected.

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What does a godly wife look like?

If you want to please God, please your husband, and find true fulfillment in your role as a wife, then meditate and act upon the instructions God gives wives in the Bible.  That’s what many of us have been trying to do at Squadron of Sisters over the last 10 years, and all I can say is….it works!!

Here are 8 key verses that describe a godly wife and/or reveal the purpose of a wife:

Genesis 2:18 (a godly wife is a companion and helper for her husband)

Ephesians 5:33 (a godly wife shows respect and honor for her husband, whether she “feels” like it or not!)

Proverbs 31:25 (a godly wife carries herself with dignity so she is able to lovingly but firmly establish boundaries with her husband if he is sinning against her)

Proverbs 31:30 (a godly wife respects and obeys the Lord)

Colossians 3:18 (a godly wife chooses to yield to her husband’s leadership, as long as he is not leading her down an immoral or destructive path)

Proverbs 31:27 (a godly wife is diligent in taking care of her family and household)

1 Corinthians 7:4 (a godly wife builds a robust sex life with her husband)

1 Peter 3:4 (a godly wife has a gentle and peaceful demeanor with her husband)

Can any of us be perfect wives, as described in the Bible?  No way.  None of us is capable of performing to this incredibly high standard every day.  However, we are to earnestly seek to grow more and more like the Biblical model each day, and we all need to pray for Jesus to give us a willing heart to obey his instructions to us.  🙂

Power of your inner spouse-talk

We’ve all heard of self-talk, but allow me to introduce a different kind of internal narrative that can be just as negative as your self-talk. It is the internal talk about your spouse!

The things you say, whether out loud or in your head, greatly influence the way you feel and act.  In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death“.  In other words, when your inner spouse-talk is constantly pointing out your husband’s flaws or rehearsing the past ways he’s let you down…your words reinforce a negative attitude and behavior toward your husband.  If not corrected, this negative attitude and behavior on your part can eventually lead to prolonged bitterness, depression, and even the death of your marriage.

Ladies, we must do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5…”take every thought captive“.  Start noticing the things you are saying in your head about your husband.  If a negative thought enters your mind, don’t give it room!  Instead, look for something positive to say about your husband.  He DOES have some positive qualities.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying your should ignore major sin in your husband’s life. You might need to ask him to make serious changes if he’s short-tempered or looking at porn or sitting around playing video games while you work your tush off. What I am saying is that we need to strive to look for the good in our husbands too. Make sure you spend more time engaging in positive inner spouse-talk than the negative kind!

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Physical intimacy vs exhausted wife!

For many women, especially moms of young children, making love to their husbands seems like yet one more thing on their to-do-list!  For an exhausted wife and mother, the idea of carving out time to be physically intimate with her husband sounds about as thrilling as running 15 miles on the treadmill at the gym at 5 o’clock in the morning! 

But here’s the thing.  We know that most men have an extremely high sex drive.  It isn’t their fault.  God made them that way.  🙂  So, one of the kindest and most loving things we can do for our husbands is to meet their sexual needs.  We need to strive to build a robust sex life with our husbands, and more than likely, you’ll enjoy it too!  To be honest, if we don’t have a vibrant sex life within our marriage, we’re setting up each other to subconsciously look for that excitement with someone else.  That’s why Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”

The question is: How does the exhausted wife (and mother) build a robust sex life that both she and her husband enjoy?   Well, I believe she takes a really good look at her schedule of activities and responsibilities to see if there are any things she can cut out.  I bet there are some things she could reduce or cut completely!  Secondly, she asks her husband for help!   Can he put the kids to bed so that she has time to wind down and start thinking about enjoying physical intimacy with her husband?  Can he do the dishes after dinner or help the kids with their homework so that she can decompress and maybe take a bubble bath before she and her husband head to bed? 

Ask your husband if he would be willing to help with some tasks in the evenings so that you are more able to build a robust sex life with him.  I bet it is a trade he is willing to make!