Monday, January 7, 2008

Letting Your Husband Lead

"Guess who wears the pants in that family?"

We have all heard the line before, and we all know women who take charge and domineer their husbands. They might be a co-worker, a friend or even someone in your family---if you have had the opportunity to witness such an example you are sure to want to cringe at some time or another.

I have heard it taught that in the Garden of Eden when God punished Eve that one of her punishments along with pain in childbearing would for her to 'desire her husband'---or desire his role. One thing I am sure of is that I do see a tendency for women to want to lead their husbands. I believe the Lord knew our sinful tendencies to want to lead and that is why the He clearly teaches us the order of families.

Do we honestly think we will be happy if we lead? Do we think that he will suddenly stop being passive and start leading? We must understand that our husbands are always leading. They are either doing a good job at it or a bad one.

But our job is not to take over his.

He most likely will not step up in his leadership if we are always in the way. We must let him lead. He is the leader of the home. He is the one held accountable to God for all things going on in his home.

I would like to spend some time sharing with you on how we, as wives, can encourage husbands in their role. Let's take a look:

1. Step out of the way. This means if you have been trying to lead your home you need to admit this (not make excuses), repent (to him and God) and start anew.

2. Don't criticize--but encourage! This is hard for those of us who like to voice our opinions but we need to learn self-control and know that when we do this we are building up and protecting our homes from Satan who'd like to see it destroyed.

3. Pray. Nothing is more powerful than prayer. Unleash it and see what God has planned for your life. Pray the Lord will make him a godly, bold and courageous leader and that you would become the helpmeet needed for that kind of a leader.

4. It is okay to share your personal opinions but don't force it on him. Don't manipulate him. Don't fight his battles for him. Don't make him see things your way and then pretend he is the one leading when you know you are still trying to be in control of the wheel. Be honest.

5. Be content with God's best for you. So many women struggle with submitting and are confused---thinking it is in direct opposition with women's rights. We need to understand that the Lord is the Great Liberator--not feminism. We need to know that ultimate freedom comes first from God's word and not from equality with men or women's rights. True freedom is found in the word of God. Worldly freedom is limited and can come with bondage.

(*If you husband is sinning and abusive towards you please seek your pastor or Christian counseling for help.)

Let us give our husbands the gift of a wife that is willing to follow him--and God's order. Lord, help us to be better helpmeets to our husbands and let our hearts be still to hear God's voice in the midst of many.

If you need further reading on this topic, I highly recommend The Excellent Wife:

"Martha Peace, a nouthetic counselor of women, has written an Excellent Volume. Not only does it explain what God "requires" of a Christian wife, but it explains clearly how to obey God's commandments in order to become that wife. Get it, read it and profit from it."
"The Excellent Wife" is an absolute must for women today. This book is a welcomed first because it is a Scripturally based, systematic and practical work for today's women. Within its pages is a detailed portrait of a godly wife. Not only is the standard high and godly, but Martha demonstrates that by God's grace, it is attainable..."

You can find this book HERE.

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Amy Jo said...

so many times in this day and age the man doesn't want to lead the family. They say things like "that's not fair to me", and "this isn't the 1950's anymore".


Anonymous said...

This is a very good post. Much to ponder. I had not heard, however, that the passage in Genesis- of a woman desiring her husband- means she desires his role in marriage. I had always known this verse to mean that although we were to have pain in childbearing, we would STILL desire our husbands physically...and it would be the very thing that would cause the pain!


Brenda said...

This is so much easier to think about when you have a godly husband. But I'm thinking of a friend who is married to a unbeliever, alcoholic, mental problems's a much harder task then. I know God is still in control and she should still obey this command--but it sure is harder to think about. I keep reminding myself that's why the verse says, "wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord"'s not about whether your husband is worthy of your submission or not. It's about submitting to the Lord.

Terry said...

So many women bring up the issue as to whether or not their husband is deserving of such submission. It doesn't matter. I love that you highlighted the importance of prayer and getting out of the way rather than passive aggressive and subtle manipultaion. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing it.

sparksfley said...

This is very frustrating for me. Please understand, I'm not trying a "Yeah... But" kind of thing - honestly this is a problem for me. I *WANT* my husband to lead. I WANT to follow. And it seems that it just never happens. I try to do what I *think* I'm supposed to. Pray... Sit back... Talk but not nag... And still things that need to happen don't get done. For example, letting his student loan lapse for lack of payment, effecting both of our credit. He eventually asked me to take it over, and signed over administrative responsibility for it over to me with the loaner. It's those things - the "important" things that he doesn't lead in... And I don't know my place. You see, this is stuff that absolutely needs to happen. I'll place a word here or there - more reminders than anything else, 'cause he won't know about it unless I inform him. But nothing's done until it goes into crises, I'm left holding the bag, and he expects me to pull a miracle out. I don't understand. Other than praying. That's all I know to do. But how do I manage the chaos left, while waiting for the answer to my prayers? That's not rhetorical - has anyone else been in the situation?

Anna S said...

Mrs. Fuentes, VERY good advice for women, especially young women who need to adjust to the role of a wife.

The Trent Family said...

This is a very valueable post. I wish that I had a hold of these truths when I was alot younger. I spend alot of time now "relearning" how to be a better wife. I hope by training the next generation, we can see this order played out the way God intended. I enjoy your blog :)

Carrie said...

That was a wonderful convicting post. I have struggled with stepping ahead of my husband for many valid reasons, but I have learned to step back. I am still struggling with being passive/aggressive and manipulating him. Thank you for pricking my conscience to watch my words and actions.

Erica said...

Thank you for this post Mrs Fuentes :) I have been married for 4 months now. My husband is a God fearing and wonderful man, and yet I still try to take the lead at times :/ thank you for the encouragement. I know the only way to be truly happy is to let him lead and to be the best helpmeet I can be.

Jeannie said...

Thank you Thank you thank you for this beautiful post, speaks much of what I have been yearning and am now being lead to do in regards to my own husband, letting him take the lead

Anonymous said...

In response to the January post by "Sparksfley": I understand fully what you are going through. For 25 years my husband has steadfastly refused to take the lead in our home, no matter what I have done. I have prayed without ceasing to no avail, and heaped so much guilt on myself for 'my failure' in his not taking his role as a christian/husband. I can tell you the three occasions on which my children were conceived. I had to remodel our home myself because he spent his non-working hours in front of the tv (when I say remodel, I don't mean decorate...I mean repair broken windows, arrange for a contractor to repair a damaged roof, etc., etc.). All 3 kids have moved on in their lives, and I now work full time so that I can enjoy normal interaction with adults. My weekends are spent in total silence while he sits in front of his tv...until sunday morning when he puts great effort into going to church, all smiles as if nothing is amiss at home. Some times I feel as though my mind is fragmenting. Contrary to what popular opinion says, it is NOT always possible for a woman to build her home. All the encouragement I've given, all the "Proverbs 31" I've applied has not had any effect.

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am sorry that you've had to live a life as what you have explained here. My heart goes out to you and at the same time I want to offer a word of encouragement to let you know that all that 'encouragement and Proverbs 31' didn't go to waste. In fact, your example of a godly woman was not unnoticed by your children or those who were allowed to witness it. The Lord is pleased with your efforts---that you were obeying Him, and that is what you will ultimately have to give an account for. You were doing your part in building up your home when you were acting in a godly manner. Don't be discouraged but know that the Lord knows your situation and has not forgotten you.

Many blessings...

ruth said...

Thanks for that, Mrs Fuentes.
To Sparksfley:
I believe that part of our calling as wives is to support our husbands and fill in the gap where they are weak.
If your husband is forgetful and doesn't pay the bills, why don't you suggest doing this for him if you are more likely to get them paid on time?
You can also share your concerns with him. Tell him that you need his leadership. I think a man likes to hear that.
Do you know his parents? What sort of a leader is his father? What sort of a leader is your father?

I think we all come in to marriage with preconceptions of what our spouse should be like, and we expect them to be pretty much like what we have known or hope that they will be the opposite!

There's a very good site I can point you to: covenantkeepers dot org
On this site there are some very good articles on marriage.
Pray whether you may share some of these articles with your husband, you know, maybe he doesn't realize he is burdening you by not fulfilling his responsibility.

God bless you,

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. This is exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of.

Lana Flakes said...

I am really glad to see this blog b/c I really have had no outlet to voice my concerns. I'm in a situation where if I give my husband a position to lead, then everything just gets left undone. His mother cared for him, but didn't raise him. He's saved, but never speaks of God in our home; reads the Bible independent of me; never prays with me. And, I'm just becoming exhausted with always being the one who desires intimacy with God. Please pray for me & my husband.

Daddy's Girls! said...

I am SO very grateful for this blog and this post in particular! This is an area very dear to my heart. I have struggled a lot in my life with issues surrounding these truths and feel strongly for people suffering with regards to roles and leadership.
I know the scripture was what I immediately thought of, and know that it is not absolute in appearance of what exactly the 'desire' is of the woman regarding her husband/man. Very interesting overall and food for thought/spirit.
I pray for everyone that has read this truth here and is convicted. I hope they can continue in God's truth in this area of their lives as God leads them!

Nicole said...

I enjoyed reading this but in my situation everything falls on me. He doesn't want to lead or take responsibility for anything. It's like I'm responsible for another child. How do you submit to someone who doesn't want to lead?

Ellie Rae said...

This is a very important post. I agree with Amy Jo, the first commenter. Many men today don't want to take the lead; some prefer to lead from the rear and then criticize when the woman makes a bad decision (of course women lead from the rear, too, and this is not fair). Prayer really is of the utmost importance. Young women should make sure they are marrying somebody they can submit to, not just somebody who lets them take the lead. The Lord convicted my husband of this early on in our marriage. Things got much better when he started taking his responsiblity as the leader seriously. I am amused as I read many blogs that ask for prayer that "my husband will see that I am right and do it my way, so that I can submit to him!" LOL LOL.

Alexia said...

In response to Lana Flakes:

You totally, 100% described my hubby! To a tee, about 7 years ago... about half way the same about 3 years ago...

As a matter of fact he is *still* learning to be a man, even a few months ago I saw major improvement on a couple of the things you mentioned!

It is SOOOO sad when a mom does everything for a boy, to the extent of turning him into a man/child. :( My mother in law is STILL doing that to my sister in law's children. I'm WATCHING the ruination of my children's cousins, so I pray that God would use it somehow for His good.

I just want to encourage you, that while it MAY seem impossible now.. its not. it really really IS possible for your hubby to grow up. With Christ ALL things are possible.

The best advice I ever followed was to let him fail. Yes, it was hard. SUPER hard. (like feed my children rice and beans for a week straight, and bite my tongue to keep from throwing it in his face!!) but it worked. He fell, and was SHOCKED. He literally had NO CONCEPT of consequences. He learned.

Now HE does the finances. HE pays the bills. Or they don't get paid. I don't answer to him, I answer to God. and whether or not he is doing his job, is really no excuse to not do mine. ya know??

Anyway, I would be happy to interact with you if you like. email me at miguels help meet (at) yahoo (dot) com.

There's HOPE!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I know I'm trying to stay focused on not being the leader. I'm such a "manager" that it can be difficult to step back and not "manage" the relationship.

In the context of this I feel it's also important to look at 1 Samuel 25 and how Abigail handled having such a foolish man as her husband.

Was it submitting to her husband that saved them? Not the way I see it.It was being an intelligent and decisive helpmeet who realized what trouble they were in. It was her coming to David without consulting her husband to ask forgiveness that kept them safe.

Anonymous said...

I also have a husband who doesn't lead. He expects me to. He goes to work and everything else is on my plate. If something goes wrong, he is unavailable.

He yells, screams, belittles, disregards the police after he gets pulled over for speeding, lapsed plate and license in front of our kids, etc. He then lets me know that anything wrong with our home or kids is my fault, and he shares no responsibility because he is doing his job...bringing home a paycheck.

To submit to this "leadership" means I now have children that talk back, yell, scream and belittle me and each other and disregard rules. And yes, he is a is not as simple as it seems. As they say, you really don't know the person you marry until you are married to them. It would not be nearly as hard if he didn't put up the appearance of being Christ-like to everyone else.

And yes, God has impressed on me the importance of submitting because of the place he is in as my husband, not because his actions are worthy. The consequences on my children thus far have been devastating to me.

I wish he would recognize his true responsibility and actually lead in all areas. It is hard to do someone else's "job" (that they feel is below them), and then be belittled by them for it. And all this when you were never designed to do it in the first place. It is tremendously difficult...

Anonymous said...

For any of the readers who are seeking Godly counsel on how to deal with a husband who will not lead,or feels like they are left to clean up a mess when he doesn't, Debi Pearl has written a wonderful book called Created to be His Help Meet. It contains amazing insight into marriage based solely on God's Word. It may be a blessing for you to read; it was for me!


Anonymous said...

Soooo many of these posts seem like my life story. I married my husband because he knew so much about the Bible and wanted to be a preacher when he was young. Period. Not because he showed the Fruit of the Spirit. For nearly 30 years, I have paid for it. He realized he wasn't preacher material after we married. He doesn't show the Fruit of the Spirit. He doesn't love people -- only when they do or can do something for him. He doesn't have joy -- very pessimistic. He doesn't have peace -- he can't sleep without the radio on and constantly worries. He doesn't have patience -- he carries on in the car and loses his head when things don't go his way. He isn't kind -- sarcastic and thinks it's funny and especially when the kids aren't around. He isn't good -- he doesn't think certain rules apply to him in life and has totally ruined my credit and his (without telling me, because I trusted him earlier on), we have lost everything material, the IRS is after him, he lies to save his skin, etc. but he does try to find work for which I am very thankful. I have had to go back to work and work hard and come home and do almost everything in the evenings, so I have to stay up late and get up early to keep the house running and keep things together. He shows people one face and talks a different way at church but different at home. He is not faithful -- he has "eye" problems and doesn't want a filter on the computer, because it is a pain and blocks some sites that aren't bad, so he doesn't want it on at all. He is not meek -- he cannot apologize to save his life, because he sees that as admitting fault or not manly. He does not have self-control -- he goes on occasional diets (one every other year or so) but cannot control his eating of junk food and has to constantly have it all day long saying he gets hungry quickly, so he has a big belly and says I don't understand.

So. . . what have I had to do? See Jesus behind him. "As unto me" Jesus says. It's hard. I fail. I repent. God forgives. I keep going. My kids? I didn't have to tell them. I just taught them God's WORD and truths in everyday life without my husband doing it. Pointed them to Jesus and that He is the answer and He is love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, meek, not out of control. They came to the conclusion on their own in high school that he may not be saved even though he knows so much about the Bible. We pray. We talk about God and what God is doing in our lives even though my husband is around and he doesn't participate and when he isn't around. Are my kids perfect? No. They struggle with authority -- submitting, because of my husband's non-submission to authority, but they finally submit, because of God's WORD. Will they have struggles about the character of God? Yes, because their dad doesn't show the character of God. I know that I have to keep repenting and asking God for help. He gives it as He has in the past. I have to step out of the way every minute. Things seem hopeless, but this life is short compared to eternity. God is everything and He is worth it. ebk

Luvmysweetboys. said...

I am in the same situation. It is very frustrating. And what's worse is I usually ending up voicing my frustration once it's in a crisis situation. I don't know how to let him lead if he won't lead at all. Im beginning to think letting him feel the crisis is God teaching him to take the reigns. But I don't know. I can only hope. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

That's great and I know it all to well. But what do you do when he refuses to lead, puts every responsibility on you except going to work for him? He actually just as content as can be to let me do it all even says babe Im here to help you.

Anonymous said...

I used to think that too, that we would simply desire our husbands. But, I learned later on that this is a figure of speech that was used commonly to mean desiring to "overcome".
If you look at Genesis 4:6-7
So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it
"its desire is for you but you should rule over it", sin desires to take over.
I hope this helps a little bit. :)

Tiana @ Titus 2 At the Well said...

Good question!

I think there are a lot of women in the same boat. Most men have had their leadership skills beaten out of them by feminism. Prayer is hugely important. I think June's suggestions here are a good place to start as well.

That being said, I think we need to be careful not to confuse allowing our husbands to lead with us never having any responsibilities. It is perfectly reasonable for a husband to delegate something like a loan payment to his wife. I make all sorts of decisions in our house--because my husband has trusted me with those area of responsibility.

"The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain."(Proverbs 31:11 ESV)

Saying something like, "I know that you've been busy and (fill-in-the-blank) needs to be done soon. Would you like me to take care of it?"

You are his help-meet, and that's exactly what you're called to do--help! If you're not sure what your husband wants to help him with and what he'd prefer to do himself, just ask. :)

If you haven't already read it, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace is a wonderful book. She gives so much biblical encouragement for being a godly wife...even if your husband is not a godly man.

Many Blessings!

Karen Pruneau said...

To Anonymous Sept 28,
If he is putting all the responsibility on you would you not be submitting to his will to fulfill those responsibilities to the best of your ability? Then you would also be okay to request his help in certain areas as he has said he is there to help you.
I can't really talk though. My husband had a stroke two years ago and has mild dementia and I do everything required for the household. Whenever I have asked him for a decision in anything it takes so long before he says he doesn't know and for me to decide that I don't ask anymore.

Becky Clark said...

To both of you having trouble with finances and your husband's responsibility.... having walked through that valley and can promise you God's plan still works. I, too, was a good "submissive" wife. But my heart still wanted to DO something to change my husband (which YOU can't do, by the way). It wasn't until I gave up completely: bit my tongue and refused to say anything at all to my husband about finances unless he asked for my opinion... prayed harder than I've ever prayed before... that God changed my man for me. Eleven years of marriage, five years of prescription addiction, one reposessed home, $50,000 of medical debt, not to mention surgeries and other stresses.
Here is my advice: if there is still struggle, there is no surrender. When you are completely submitted, when you give God the right to run you through financial ruin if that is the cost of your husband leading... it is then you will know perfect peace. The road is scary and rough. At times it is terrifying. But there is peace in knowing you have placed it in God's hands and it is no longer your responsibility.
My mother's advice was some of the best I've ever gotten about marriage. "Learn to shut up. The Holy Spirit is far better at His job than you will ever be." Sorry if that's too blunt, but it's true.
There came a time when I just knew I had lost my husband. Trusting God's promise was all I had left. I pray you find God's promises true before you reach that place.

Vanessa said...

Thank you, God bless you immensely! ♥♥♥

Stacy said...

Hi June!

I couldn't have said it better! Tomorrow, I will be attending my future daughter in law's bridal shower; we are to bring a recipe and one piece of advice for a happy God-honoring home. Your advice based on biblcial principles will be the advice I give her.

Stacy said...

ebk, I was in your shoes once, and I commend you for sticking this out, but try not to put your husband down in public as you are. I realize how difficult it is. I was young and stupid when my first marriage happened and when it became physically abusive and I was emotionally and financially neglected, I left, with my kids. I then took on the single parent role for the sake of my kids. Then came along Josh....:). A strong willed, wild kind of guy who swept me off my feet. He wasn't saved, and I was so backslidden and hurt from the previous marriage and from the church who shunned me after I left my husband that I didn't care he wasn't saved. We ended up living together with my kids and his son and a few years down the road we had Abby. She is 9 now...

Well, a few years later, a serious health issue entered our lives through Josh and he needed emergency surgery to remove 1/3 of his colon at the age of 27...The church that our kids went to sent over the assistant pastor to talk to Josh about being saved and he said, "maybe later". The minutes after he finally started coming to after the surgery, Josh told me how much pain he was in (I didn't know about this story until 2 weeks later) but he said he thought he was going to die, and in this moment of his weakness, he asked Jesus to save him, not just because he was afraid of dying and going to hell, but because he knew that Jesus was the only way he could live if he came through this. He gave his life to Jesus that very day, and ever since, he has grown in spite of myself and he's led our family according to God's word, even though I sometimes try to interject. I to this day am so ashamed of myself that I never talked to Josh about being saved before this happened...

I said all that to say this: Our husbands may be far from perfect, but we need to be their cheerleader no matter what. Did I do this with my first husband? Certainly not- I FAILED MISERABLY. Should I have stayed and stuck it out? I can justify that I had children and they weren't safe and neither was I so leaving was the wise thing to do, but inside I KNOW I shouldn't have divorced him. I should have stayed separated perhaps, but thanks to God, He gives second chances and extends grace and mercy to those who are most undeserving and I am determined more than ever to stay the course in this marriage until death separates us. Am I blessed to have Josh? Absolutely! I still want to try to lead, but I am learning that it isn't wise to hold the reigns of the home, that's his calling. Mine is to enjoy the ride and guide my children as they see me submit.

syntaxman said...

Be careful in labelling your husband as passive. I have seen that there are women who have no idea when they are disrespectful, or when the have hurt their man. For the man to lead, he would have to make sure to always walk where she wants, the way she wants, and always be in front. This will shut most men down. They will back off. He may never have had a role model, and needs to learn, but you can't be that role model as his wife. He may not have realized what it would take, and is apprehensive, but he can't gain confidence if you upstage him and show you don't trust him. He may have failed. Just failed. It isn't easy to pick it all up and resume leading effectively after that, but it's nearly impossible if he feels his wife's contempt. Some jump out in front out of sheer fear of being controlled or of losing herself. The husband never even got a real chance to /fail/ at leading, let alone succeeding. The husband in all these situations is likely to feel emasculated and useless. He may try to take his role but not be taken seriously. That man could continue to fight for it, with all the turmoil, hurt, and insult,... or, he can become uninvolved, and forgo at least some of the turmoil of arguing.

I know there are men that really won't lead. But, do be careful. All of us have the capacity to deceive ourselves. If you decide you have done this, realize your husband will likely be "smarting" for a while. He may be unsure if he's willing to stick his neck out if you are going to scrutinize his leading and find flaws. Scrutinizing someone certainly isn't very submissive, either. That is something that a person's head/authority has the right to do.

Something I try to remember whenever I have a desire for vengeance, is that it belongs to God. If I take vengeance, I'm stealing that role and honor from God. Some wives don't have many qualms with the idea of taking over their husband's role and honor. But the husband's role is to be head of the /wife/. When the wife takes the lead, she is actually placing herself as head over the /husband/. She hasn't taken over the husband's role, so much as she has usurped /Christ's/ role. He is the real head of the husband. Please be careful about this. Your husband needs you, but needs his head more.

Grace Armstrong said...

Becky Clark, I want you to know how much your comment just helped me. God used you to speak to me.. I just wrote your whole comment in my journal so I won't forget it. Lol. I have been married to my amazing husband for 1 year. We have been through ALOT of hardship in that little time which feels like forever and I know there's much more to come. I have adopted his 6 year old son and 7 year old daughter and we have one 7 month old baby girl together. I am extremely protective of the children and I have tried to take control of their lives. I have recently and finally surrendered them to God in prayer because I know he can protect them a whole lot better than I can. But I still have tried to twist scripture so that I don't have to submit to my husband. You see I was always extremely domineering and proud, until I prayed for God to take that prideful spirit from me. And though I was an angry feminist, not wanting to submit to my husband, I had a yearning and desire in my heart for God's will, so I came to this page for help. I have tried to submit and failed almost every time. Your comment gave me so much encouragement. You helped me realize that I have to answer to God for myself. And my husband has to answer to God for himself, so I better make sure I'm abiding by God's word and pleasing him. And I can't do anything to change my husband or my life for the better but God can. I think all I needed was to hear a real life experience. Thank you so much for your willingness to be used by God to bring me hope, peace, gentleness, and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I have struggled with being submissive with my first marriage. I felt I was doing the right thing when I now know I wasn't, the marriage fell on both our parts. I did everything in the household from cleaning, cooking, yard work,fixing things in the house, taking care of our daughter (who's now 12), and working a full time jod as a dispatcher for our local fire dept doing 12 hrs shifts four days in a row then swapping to 4 12 hr night shifts, all the while being belittled by him. So I chose the best option was to leave when he refused to go to counseling. I've now been married to my 2nd husband for 2 1/2 yrs, together a total of 6yrs, and I feel I'm headed down the same road. I opened to him about my previous marriage and how I didn't want this to be like the past. We both work, I still dispatch and have the same hours while he works permanent 8hr night shift 5 days a week. He loves to cook and I love to bake so we came to an agreement he would cook most of the time and I would do the baking. When it comes to taking care of the house I'm left with the cleaning, washing clothes, etc. I've talked to him about how I felt I was being used because I get no help from him and I felt it is unfair that I have to take up all the other responsibilities while I work too. He then decides he'll help a little and does very little then goes back to his normal routine of watching TV and playing on his cell phone. It causes a big conflict between because I'm always stressed/irritated when I come home from my 12hr shift and he's off and nothings been picked up or cleaned. I try to tell myself I'm the wife I'm supposed to be submissive and I'm the one who is responsible for the upkeep etc but then I get angry because it's all just ignored and feel his thinking is "well she has 4 days off she can do it then" and everything just piles up. There are several other issues we have that I could go on about but then I would be writing a book. I don't know what to do anymore and I feel I'm beginning to feel resentment towards him and I don't want that because I love him so much. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Anonymous said... great book on relationships, boundaries, and personal sanity. Everyone should read this. Might have saved a marriage in my life had it been read earlier.

Unknown said...

When I had premarital counseling (ok, yes, 30 years ago) the pastor told my husband he had three choices in any given situation. After listening to my opinion -- He could choose his way, he could choose my way or he could choose to take the road we decided together. But in the end -- ultimately -- the decision was his to make. So ladies, talk things over with your husbands. As their opinion. If they choose to have you handle something -- then they DID LEAD AND MAKE A DECISION -- and that was to delegate to you. Leading does not mean they have to do all the work. Leading means that -- decision making -- and if you have the gift of organization and he delegates you to handle the finances then fine -- do so willingly. We all have different gifts. I hope this helped some of you who are struggling with husbands who are passive. Melinda

Anonymous said...

It is sooo hard to Biblically submit to the husband God has placed us under when he is not following God. Our flesh wants to take control and we justify it by saying, “but”, “if only”, “I have to because”. I have spent 12 years doing this. I allowed my flesh to control my attitude, mind, words, and actions.

My oh my, GOD IS GOOD! About a year ago, I submitted to the fact that I needed to submit to God and needed to stop telling my husband what he should/should not be doing, saying, acting like, etc. I realized we both needed to look at our lives and summit to what God said. I began working on it in my life and when issues arose with my husband I tried to stop having an accusing attitude and telling him what he was doing was wrong. Instead, I’d do my best to ask him questions. Was his conduct/words/attitude helping him to be the man/husband/father God wanted him to be? Was he where he wanted to be in his walk with the Lord? What does the Bible say concerning this issue we had? I had to bite my tongue and let the Holy Spirit work in my husband’s life, not me. I continued taking up the slack but with a different mindset, a servant’s heart.

I needed to encourage my husband to want to be the man God wanted him to be by challenging him with the Word of God. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

A few months ago, I figured out that I had been praying for my husband all wrong. Instead of asking God to fix him I began praying for my husband to trust and submit wholly to God. My husband trusted God for salvation but he didn't trust God to lead, guide, and direct his everyday life. He did not want to give up his control. Isn’t that the bottom line for all, letting God have control! About a month ago my husband admitted he needed to surrender his will to God. Wow, what a change in his, my and our life when we both surrendered. We have a long, bumpy road ahead but now we both want God driving and not us.

Don’t give up but realize you may need to surrender to God and change what and how you are going about things. Understand if your husband is saved he needs to surrender to Gods will and ways. Pray for him, seek God’s Word and trust what God says, for when we “Delight thyself also in the Lord; . . . he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4

Heidith said...

I suggest reading, Man and Woman: One in Christ, by Dr. Philip Barton Payne. If complementarianism never made sense to you, there's a good reason why.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bloke.

Can I suggest that for the ladies with husbands that won't get off the couch no matter what that you are dealing with an unsaved man. Stop praying he would lead and start praying that he experiences the new birth, repents of sin and follows Christ. He has bigger issues than his family, he is facing eternal judgment. This will also help you to realise he has no power to do the things you would like him to do. Follow Peter's instructions, and be the best wife you can be, if that means picking up his slack, then that is what you do, but do it quietly and without too much complaint, encourage him in the ways you can and lead by example. Submit to him wherever possible.

For some other ladies you appear confused about what leadership actually is. If your husband is no good with finances, and he agrees then you should be paying the bills. Nobody said men had to be good at everything, and in some homes, wives are 10x better at this role, so do it. If your husband hates paying bills and is forgetful of them, then offering to take this off his plate is very loving and submissive provided he agrees. Submission in that situation means checking with your husband before making out of the ordinary financial decisions and just showing him that you still regard him as the one in charge. Do not confuse leadership with your husband doing all the things you would like him too. That could be your rebellion, not his lack of leadership.

I highly value my wife's criticism. Weak pathetic women who will never tell you when you are wrong are neither spiritual, submissive, or great wives. It is how you say it that makes all the difference, be respectful, I want to know when my wife is unhappy, sometimes as a leader I will disregard what I hear because I may not think she is correct or their are other factors besides her feelings that are important in a situation, other times her perspective is often better than mine and I so frequently ask her advice. Either way I need her input to make a good decision. Your husband cannot lead if you are mute and he is ill-informed. Women tend to want their husbands to just figure out stuff without being told. That is rediculous and not how the male mind works, be upfront about what you want, and watch him leap into action. Do not think that submission is keeping your mouth shut. Yes, there are definetly times to keep it to yourself, and no, do not nag too much, but letting hubby walk off a cliff without at least respectfully warning him once is neglectful, unloving or vengeful.

Thought a male perspective might help.

Anonymous said...

Any woman who is open to this is on the right track.

Mary said...

Totally agree.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..

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