Ladies, Let’s Get Practical!!!
MARRIAGE, HUSBANDS AND WIVES
My dear friends, let’s hear a round of applause! We’ve been through a lot of content about marriage, husbands and wives, and the meaning of it all these past few months. I hope it’s blessed you as much as it’s blessed me! Sharing the truth of God’s marriage design and working hard to deepen our relationships is truly a blessing to us and a delight to the Lord.
This month, I want to give a Practical Guide on what it means to SUBMIT and RESPECT our husbands. There’s no doubt it’s easier said than done, and there’s not a lot of practical application out there for us to lean on. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!
STORIES OF A WIFE
To begin, we’re going to hear from a few of my (fictional) friends! They have so gladly decided to share a moment from their week with us. Let’s meet friend number one!
Always Right Rhonda and Forgetful Fred
Always Right Rhonda and Forgetful Fred are invited to a friend-from-colleges’ house, Louise and Ben, for dinner. As always, Rhonda had to make her special Cherry Cheesecake Pie for dessert! A family recipe and something of pride, she could only serve it one way: perfectly chilled with a heaping spoon of sugared cherries and Cool Whip whipped cream.
As she gets ready, she runs through the list of everything she needs, “Cheesecake in the oven, check! Sugared cherries, check! Where is my red blouse… oh, here it is. Okay, can’t forget to tell Fred he has to buy Cool Whip after work on his way to dinner. Let’s call him now…”
She calls Fred, hangs up, and begins to do her makeup. She’s heading to Louise’s house an hour earlier to help with dinner. With a sense of fun and friendship in the air, she finishes her makeup, grabs her purse, her pie, and hops in the car.
The house smells of delicious pot roast and potatoes. As Rhonda and Louise prepare the finishings for dinner, Ben and Fred (who both just arrived from work) are lingering in the garage.
“Dinners ready!” said Rhonda and Louise simultaneously. They giggled, wine in hand, and moved toward the dining room.
Once bellies are full and spirits are high, Rhonda runs to the kitchen. From the fridge, she grabs her cake and her cherries. She opens the freezer for the Cool Whip…
“Uhm…” she thinks, “Hey Fred!” she calls. “Where’s the Cool Whip?”.
“What Cool Whip?” she hears from the dining room.
“What do you mean WHAT COOL WHIP… I called you at work, don’t you remember?
“Uh… honey… yeah but, you told me about your red blouse and…”
“Fred, I called you specifically for Cool Whip… I can’t believe…”
“I am so sorry honey, I don’t recall…”
“FRED, you never remember ANYTHING….”
As the back and forth continues, Louise sips her wine and Ben pretends to look at a spot on the wall. Rhonda suddenly turns into the kitchen angry and flustered, and Fred shakes his head.
Poor Rhonda and Fred. If only we could hear that phone call. Let’s move on to our next scene.
People Pleasing Pam and Enabling Ed
“Listen,” Pam Says, “I know you already made the burgers, but I think you should run to the store and buy wings instead. It is a game party for crying out loud, wings are Pete’s favorite!”
Ed, who just finished flattening his last burger thinks to himself “the game is in a half hour, and I don’t really like wings…”
Pam continued, “I know you hate wings, Ed, but seriously. You do burgers every time and besides, you need to get better at eating other foods. Pete loves wings. He and Kathy haven’t been over in months, you need to think these things through better, Ed…”
Enabling Ed, reluctant to speak, wraps his burgers at once and places them in the fridge. Without a word, he grabs his keys and goes.
That seems like a lot of work. Let’s hear from our next friend.
Silent Sue and Oblivious Quill
“Sue, you’ve been quiet all morning. Is everything okay?”
“I’m fine, Quill,” snaps Sue.
“You only forgot to take out the trash, let your muddy boots stain my rug, and left your stinky underwear on the bathroom floor. Seriously… the hamper is right there…” she thinks to herself.
“Don’t worry about it,” adds Sue.
Quill ponders this for a moment, unconvinced. “I know something is up, I want to help. Just tell me, please?”
Sue thinks to herself, “why should I have to TELL you? Shouldn’t you be able to see the mess, the mud? It’s like your blind sometimes, Quill…”
“Quill, leave it alone. I am fine.”
“… okay…” says Quill, unsure but defeated.
I feel for Quill and Sue. It seems there is more to this feeling than muddy floors and underwear. Last but not least, our final friend.
Demanding Debby and Tired Tim
Tim walks in the door from work, “hey, honey.”
“Oh, hey Tim!” says Debby, “thank goodness you’re home!”
Tim, feeling tired but suddenly happy, walks over for a hug and a kiss.
Debbie, without looking at Tim, walks in the opposite direction and begins to list, “now you can fix the leak in the sink, the trash needs to be out, the dog needs a walk and honestly, Tim, the grass you mowed yesterday still looks raggedy. Could you run the mower again before it gets dark? And also…”
Phew! It seemed like our friends had some hard experiences. These stories may seem extreme on the outside looking in, but moments like this are much more common than we’d think. Unless you’re perfect with submission and respect, I’d think it’s safe to say that we all can relate. We’ve all stood in the shoes of Always Right Rhonda or Silent Sue.
What do all these women’s stories have in common? It is the belief that she knows best.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
First, Always Right Rhonda and Forgetful Fred.
Should Rhonda have:
- Made sure Fred felt the heat for forgetting Cool Whip
- Thrown the cake directly at Fred’s head
- Assessed the misunderstanding and moved on
At the moment, I’m sure Rhonda would have wanted to choose #2. However, the Lord’s choice is always #3. Far too often wives are quick to belittle and put down their husbands in both private and public. Whether Rhonda forgot to tell Fred, or Fred simply forgot, this kind of response is not from Christ and takes a toll. Though it may seem like a small quarrel, our words hold weight and unfortunately, our husbands WILL make mistakes. Rhonda can feel disappointed while allowing the Lord to give her the strength to respect her husband despite the circumstance.
Let’s look next at People Pleasing Pam and Enabling Ed.
Should Pam have:
- Catered in game-day dinner
- Tell Ed he can never plan food again
- Trust Ed’s direction in the food preparations
Clearly, #3 would be the correct answer. As hard as it may feel sometimes, we need to trust our husbands’ directions. Even in small circumstances like party foods! If we don’t communicate through our actions that we believe him capable of being devoted and faithful in the small things, how could expect to trust him with the big stuff?
Third is Silent Sue and Oblivious Quill.
Ladies, this is one we know too well. Sometimes, it seems easier to hide our emotions, hurts, or frustrations instead of voicing them. However, this is unfair to our husbands and it is emotional manipulation. Suppressing our feelings leads to resentment, and resentment rears its head when we least expect it. Tactics such as guilt trips, passive aggressiveness, words like “never” and “always,” and the silent treatment are many ways we use emotions to manipulate our husbands, even if we don’t realize it.
Ladies, I encourage you to use your voice. It is possible to express our emotions to our husbands without disrespect! By speaking your feelings in love and truth, ruptures in your marriage will begin to mend. And remember, husbands are not mind readers! Sometimes they simply don’t realize the offense they’ve done. Lean on the Lord and He will teach you to speak with love and truth.
Finally, Demanding Debby and Tired Tim.
Should Debby have:
- Greeted her husband with joy and enthusiasm
- Kissed him sweetly
- Asked him about his day
And the answer is… all three! Ladies, I know we work hard. We toil throughout our day, striving to live like our Proverbs 31 woman! This is good news and a gift we give to our families. However, just as our day was hard, we must remember, our husbands’ days are also.
How do you greet your husband when he walks into your door? Are you filled with joy, love, and happiness simply because he is reunited with you? Do you smile at him and welcome him home like he was truly missed? Let me tell you ladies, a shift will happen in your heart and your home when you begin to regard your husband with love and affection.
These ladies live in all of us, their qualities being sin. In a perfect world, we could lean into our calling without shame, doubt, or the noise of the world.
How great is it that we have a savior willing to help us?
Remember, just as a wife is called to submit and respect her husband, her husband is called to lay down his life for her – loving her like Jesus loves the church. Our separate but equally important roles in marriage allow both husband and wife to represent Christ through service in different ways. We all have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, start with prayer! The qualities of a Christ-like wife can only come from Christ. As we begin to abide in Him and lean fully into our role in the marriage design, He transforms us from the inside out.
Here is a little step-by-step list to help us in our day-to-day life:
- Trust your husband in the small things and big things
- Allow him to take the lead without criticism
- Allow him space to make mistakes
- Offer encouragement and advice, but trust his final choice
- Communicate your feelings to him with love and truth
- Encourage him and lift him up
- Confide in him
- Confront conflict (in love and truth!) in a private place without condemnation
- Welcome him home with love and joy
- Pray for him daily, remember in the Lord’s eyes and standards yur husband will be judged much more harshly for his mistakes.
As a final encouragement before we depart, I leave you with this scripture.
“Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely. And may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thes. 5:23
Ladies, you are sanctifying your home through your faith. Be encouraged that even when your husband falls short, you are honoring God through your obedience. We submit not only for our husbands but as a burnt offering to God. In doing so, we fulfill his beautiful design. As always, I am here to talk with you should you need my help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
“Dogs are how people would be if the important stuff is all that mattered to us.” – Ashly Lorenzana, author
Exciting news! The photography for our newsletters will be coming from Irita Reagan; an amazing photographer in TN and my role-model in this world. Please see her work here & you can also follow her on instagram!
Much love, Luz.