Hi Dr. Laura!
My husband is easy. He’s pretty much in the mood all the time. Whenever, wherever… we have sex at least once a day, sometimes two or three (and we’re in our 40’s). But because women are different, I found that it’s good to always stay “prepared”…
One way is, I NEVER go to bed with clothes on. The second is that I have a few things I rotate inside of my head about my husband throughout the day. Things I love about him, things that attracted me to him in the first place. I focus fully on one or two things and before I know it, I’m ready to go. And yes, even with a headache.
My mother taught me to never say no to my husband, but I realize that there is a difference between just being a willing participant and being right there in the moment with him. It’s my very favorite part of the life we share, and I think it’s his, too.
I’ve talked on the blog before a few times, about how I listened to Dr. Laura on the radio fairly often when I was a little girl. My mom always had her on (when she was on air), and wow was it insightful LOL! The female callers complaining about their husbands were always the worst and most annoying people to behold. They’d complain about their husband’S normal male-habits, or negative things like having a porn addiction, or that he didn’t clean the house the way she wished he would, or that he had no motivation to move up in his career or make more money, and on and on the complaints were.
She’d speak very harshly to them, although I enjoyed hearing her tell them those things, I always thought to myself that being that harsh with the women was not something I’d want to do. But perhaps I was wrong… ? Maybe those types of women truly do need a smack to the head or to be treated as harshly as they’re more than likely treating their husbands. A lot of the stuff I heard that the men were going through (when the men would call in) sounded like emotional and psychological torture or abuse! So maybe I was wrong to think they didn’t need some very harsh “slamming” of their own behaviors, perhaps that’s the only way to help them gain humility – by giving them a mirror to see themselves the way other people see them.
And how many women that were like that, were Christian women going to church? You would think Christian women would set the bar high for being kind and gentle and extremely respectful of their husband and his “flaws,” guarding him and protecting him from strangers’ misjudgment. I could always tell, even as a young girl, that these women were very sure they were “right” and “good” even though it was pretty obvious they were gossiping and slandering their husbands to strangers on the radio.
The good callers were the ones who were humble, and who listened to Dr. Laura’s advice and allowed her to call them out if what they were doing was wrong. Like the woman who penned this letter above ❤ She’s taken Dr. Laura’s advice to have LOTS of sex with her husband, and to not only do it because of duty, but to do it enthusiastically and with a good heart towards him!
“It’s my very favorite part of the life we share, and I think it’s his, too.”
Yes! I’ve told my man this many times 😀
Let’s look at her tips for having a better sex life:
- NEVER go to bed with clothes on (lol… yea that does work!)
- Focus on good things about your husband throughout the day – things you like about him as a man, and things that made you attracted to him in the first place
- Don’t just have sex more, have MORE FUN SEX. Don’t just give him “duty sex” (bleh) but actually enjoy giving him sex
I actually think there are different “kinds” of sex (no I’m not talking about sex positions – Eek!). I mean there can be different motivations for having sex. One of my favorite motivations to give my husband sex is being thankful for him and for everything he does for us as a family.
I call it “Gratitude Sex!”
It’s when you’re so thankful that your husband provides for you, is such a good father to your kids, and is so good in a myriad of little ways, that you just want to knock his socks off with really good (grateful) sex!
I think husbands are often taken for granted. They’re expected to work hard and expected to do the dirty jobs around the house… but do we as wives really thank them enough?
Is it so bad to thank them with our bodies?
In my experience, it’s more than good 😀
I’m starting a new blog page where I will file posts on biblical women. It should be fun and fascinating to delve into their different lives and really dig deep for what we can learn from them as women who love God.
They will be a little controversial though. My short Abigail series took some readers by surprise, and revealed her story through a perspective that isn’t usually taken in our modern day. Here’s a hint: Everyone likes to say she was the perfect example of the UN-submissive wife to a foolish husband, but I found God leading me to the exact opposite conclusion! I encourage you to read it if you haven’t had a good look at why the way she treated her foolish husband Nabal made her stand out with respect and honor. It may not be what you expect.
I’ve been thinking though, recently, about Sarah, Abraham’s wife. God seems to have put her on my heart for a few months now, and I’ve been quietly studying her words, reactions, as well as what other people had to say about her across the Bible.
I didn’t know it, but she is actually the most mentioned woman character in the Bible – even more so than Mary, the mother of Jesus!
I had no idea she was so important. And it’s been odd how often she has come to my mind in these past few months, along with parts of her story, and always her actions or reactions. It’s been weird I’ll say that much.
What makes her so interesting to me?
It’s the way she obeyed her husband without fear,
and is honored repeatedly for it in God’s Word.
It’s taken me a long time to see her through this lens. When I was a child growing up in a Christian school, we learned about the biblical men and women all the time. I mostly viewed Sarah as the woman who dared to laugh at God and was shocked by her nerve. I didn’t like, or relate, in any way to her attitude. I understand her circumstances more now, and can see how human she was when hearing the response of her pregnancy in such old age. To me she finds redemption in being mentioned in the New Testament as the model of the kind of woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes. But again, it took me a long time to understand what all that meant.
Let’s look at the passage of Scripture I’m referring to specifically:
“Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.
For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands, like Sarah who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.
You become her children when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so.” 1 PETER 3:3-6
I’m going to take this apart in the same way I did for the Proverbs 31 woman piece by piece (but for length’s sake – not delving into the Greek meaning of each word this time). Here we go!
What kind of beauty is “precious in God’s sight?”
- The beauty found in a woman’s heart – her character and inner beauty
- The lasting beauty of a gentle and peaceful spirit
- Beautifying (adorning) yourself by being submissive to your husband, like the holy women of old, like Sarah who obeyed her husband and called him lord
- When you submit (subject) yourself to your husband, and have no fear in trusting him (doing so), you achieve the beauty this passage is talking about
How amazing that this passage is directing us to be like Sarah, not only in the way of disregarding showy outward beauty, but also focusing on the character and actions we are to develop if we want to have a lasting beauty that is “precious in God’s sight.”
And the key to achieving this kind of lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet (peaceful) spirit, is to fully submit to obeying our husbands, and to respect and revere them. Like Sarah did when she called her husband “lord,” we are directed to imitate her behavior, and “become her children” when we live these things out in our day to day lives.
This is all well and good, right? But have you looked at Sarah’s life with Abraham? Have you studied enough to understand what this passage in 1 Peter is implying? When it says that she obeyed him, doing what was good (submitting to him), and without fear, that is no light and ordinary statement.
This woman obeyed her husband during some of the toughest circumstances imaginable.
And with a good attitude.
And without fear.
Her love, faith, and trust in her husband and in God are so beautiful when we closely study her story. She has inspired me by her faith SO MUCH in the past months, constantly popping into my head at the strangest times, that I had to write this down here, hoping that it would bring joy and inspiration to someone else. ❤ 🙂
In our modern age where Christian wives seem to be constantly looking for flaws in their husbands’ leadership style so that they don’t have to submit to him (and obey him), Sarah’s story is a huge wake-up call as to how we’re really supposed to be responding.
How God expects us to respond.
I can hear the screeching of the wheels on the pavement now…
But Sarah obeyed when it was not convenient!
Yes, she definitely did. Many times! This woman had so much trust in her husband and in God, that yes, she willingly obeyed even when it was not just annoying, but even when it was extremely difficult.
Just the other day I was spending time with God early in the morning before anyone else in the house was awake, and suddenly a map from the back of my Bible fell out and onto the floor in front of my foot. I expected it to just be another journey showing the different routes Paul took on his mission trips, since those are pretty much the only maps I’ve seriously studied. But when I looked closely at it in the dim morning light, I saw it was actually Abraham’s travels when God called him and Sarai to leave Ur! I had never really appreciated how far they had to travel, and keep in mind they had no idea where God was wanting them to end up. It hit me again (like it has for months now) just how amazing her trust and faith in her husband and in God were – to follow her husband like that. Away from everything she had ever known, and over such a difficult journey, through dangerous foreign lands, and not even knowing where she would end up with him in the end. Talk about trust and faith producing a beautiful obedience in the heart of a wife toward her husband!
This is a picture of the page of my Bible that fell out when I was doing my morning talking to God and reading His Word. When I look at this journey, I immediately think about how ridiculously hard that would have been for a woman to travel back then, in that kind of desert and arid weather, with their shoes, and just the plain, overall discomfort she’d have and the temptation to complain or whine or ask “Are we there yet?!” Honestly, it makes our long family trips to New Mexico from south Texas seem like a breeze in our air-conditioned and roomy van!
As Christian wives, have we behaved as well as Sarah did when she followed Abraham on a truly difficult journey, not even knowing where they were going? How many times have we whined about little inconveniences, wanting the easy way out?
Maybe our husbands need us to get up early and help with making lunches and getting breakfast on the table before the kids leave to school or before he has to go to work. I know in our family, it’s my job to make it as easy as possible for my husband to spend critical time with our older son in the morning, since he works most evenings. Even if the baby wakes up several times in the night, I still want to make sure it doesn’t affect their time together – it’s the only time during the day (most days at least) when my husband does a devotion with our son and leads him into understanding the deep meanings of Scripture. He gives him advice, listens to his problems or concerns, and it’s a truly beautiful time that would not be possible if he was having to do all the work I usually handle for them in the morning as far as getting everything ready for them to leave. The way I see it is that I can either have a bad attitude or demand I get my own sleep (a convenience for sure, but not necessary since I can nap later on in the day), or I can serve them with a happy heart and be grateful that he’s spending this time investing godly principles into our son’s heart. I choose to be grateful!
You can apply this to anything your husband may want you to do, but doesn’t line up with your idea of easy or convenient for yourself. Maybe he wants you to make good, healthy meals for the family, but you’re stuck on fast food on the go, or cafeteria food so you don’t have to wash the dishes? Maybe he’d like you to make and pack him lunches everyday, but you don’t want to spend the time serving him like that because it cuts into your time in the morning for yourself to eat?
If our husbands need us to do something that is hard or difficult, do we carry an attitude of resentment toward our task or him for asking more of us? Maybe your husband wants you to stay home to raise your young children, even though it means living on a lesser budget that makes life more difficult. Are you doing it with the attitude described in 1 Peter 3? Or perhaps he wants you to work and put your young children in a daycare – something that’s heartbreaking and hard for a mother to do? Are you trusting him and God that He will provide safety and protection over them and ultimately redeem the situation in the end? I know this sounds a lot easier than it actually is when carrying these things out, but it was never promised that living this Christian life would be easy or convenient by any means. Our true test of our faith in God is when we do these things, and do them not out of just a sense of duty, but with a glad and happy heart!
Obviously the best response is to do what is needed, and practice more gratitude if we’re tempted to resentment over having to endure inconveniences that come with following.
I know this sounds hard, it’s probably unlike anything you’ve ever read before when it comes to marriage and how we’re supposed to act in regard to our husbands leading us. But the Bible talks constantly about the value of doing the difficult tasks needed to be done. And whatever we do, we are to do it as though we are doing it for God. When we act like Sarah and “do what is good,” and “without fear,” we are honoring God with our choice to obey our husbands, even when it is inconvenient to do so.
But Sarah obeyed even when Abraham was making poor choices!
This is a hard one for Christian wives in this day and age. If her husband is doing ANYTHING even the tiniest bit “wrong” in her eyes, his wife is usually quick to point it out to him and try to get him to be better in his leadership.
I’m sure we’ve all seen examples of this. It’s common now to know or see Christian wives who refuse to fully submit to their husbands until his porn addiction is gone. Or maybe it’s his bad eating habits that bother her that she tries to change. Or his love of watching sports on Sundays, when she thinks he should be helping her fold the laundry. Or his decision not to do family devotions or spend time reading God’s Word in the way she’d like to see. There are so many things that wives want their husbands to be doing or not doing before they’ll even think of obeying and submitting to his leadership.
But that’s not the way God intended marriage to work.
A wife can’t demand her husband be perfect in her eyes and do everything the way she desires it to be before she’s supposed to actually submit to his leadership for their family!
If she’s demanding that he change, nagging him to go to counseling to fix his issues, or trying to get him to change in any way, she’s the one who is doing the leading in the marriage – and expecting him to submit to her wants, desires, and needs.
Even if a husband is leading in an imperfect way, we as wives are still called to obey. His leadership is not contingent only on leading perfectly, and never making mistakes or bad choices. Like Sarah, we become “her daughters” when we submit to our husbands’ leadership.
But Sarah obeyed even when Abraham led her (and other people) into sin and deception!
Yes, she did. Again, it speaks to her faith and trust in her husband and in God that she was able to follow Abraham even when it was not the right thing for either of them to do. The Bible is still clear that she did what was good by obeying him and subjecting herself to his leadership.
Let’s take a look at the scriptures where these incidents occurred:
10Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.18So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
And then it happened a couple of decades later, almost exactly the same as the first time. Abraham’s faith was still not complete in this area, but did Sarah nag him? Did she resent him for not having more faith to not place her in another ruler’s harem (again)?
20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her. 3 But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 5 Did Abraham not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience and with innocent hands!” 6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. That is why I have kept you from sinning against me and why I did not allow you to touch her. 7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed he is a prophet and he will pray for you; thus you will live. But if you don’t give her back, know that you will surely die along with all who belong to you.”
8 Early in the morning Abimelech summoned all his servants. When he told them about all these things, they were terrified. 9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done!” 10 Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 What’s more, she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’” 14 So Abimelech gave sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your ‘brother.’ This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord had caused infertility to strike every woman in the household of Abimelech because he took Sarah, Abraham’s wife. ©NET
It’s hard to believe her amazing attitude in all of this! Her husband expected her to show her loyalty to him by misleading (lying by omission that she really was his wife and not just his half-sister) other people! Again, how does this compare to how we respond to our husbands’ failings or moments when he may have a lack of faith? Do we keep our faith in him even when we see his doubts and fears, or do we demand he be better for us and lead us more to our liking?
The biblical response is to have faith in him and in our all-powerful God. That even if our husbands make a mistake, or have their doubts, that ultimately God is still in control, and that we are safe in the palm of His hand.
Sometimes it is important to stop a man from sinning, like Abigail did, by using her gracious character and inner beauty to calm a King’s rage and murderous intent. You can read my thoughts on Abigail’s beautiful actions here (PART 1), and here (PART 2).
But Sarah’s silence in these situations was wise and showed her heroic faith! It wasn’t silence out of timidity or sinful “giving way to fear.” The Bible is clear that she did not give way to fear, in fact the attitude she displayed “that of a peaceful and tranquil spirit,” is translated to controlled strength and tranquility that arises from deep within. That kind of control, feminine strength of character, and peace in times of trouble, can only come from God and having a rock solid trust in Him.
When studying the context around these passages, I found that historically when a ruler saw a stranger’s wife that was beautiful and desirable, he was free to kill the stranger in order to take the woman for himself. However, if she was traveling with a family member (kin) like a brother or a father, then the ruler would simply negotiate a price for taking her as his bride (or concubine), and the male family member would be spared (maybe even given a prestigious place in their society).
So Sarah and Abraham found themselves in life and death situations when they were traveling as a couple in these foreign lands.
Now stop and think about this for a minute. Can you IMAGINE how a modern day Christian wife would handle something like that?!?! Let’s go through some mental contrasting how wives in our age would respond to that scenario, compared with how Sarah responded and then is praised afterward for doing the right thing:
- Modern day wives would give way to fear. They’d panic when seeing their husband was making decisions that looked questionable, or if he was lying to ruler’s about who she really was.
- Modern day wives would be upset that he “demand” or expect her loyalty to him to be shown in this way.
- Modern day wives would be mad at their husbands for not “protecting” them from the ruler’s lust and desire to have sex with her because of her beauty.
- They’d be upset that their husband didn’t stand up to the ruler and engage in a (likely deadly) fight, sacrificing his life for her honor!
- They’d be livid that he allowed her to be placed in another man’s harem.
- Or they’d take advantage of having the opportunity to have sex with a powerful ruler! How many times have we heard wives admit on the radio that they’d cheat with a famous man if they had the chance?
- Or they’d make it through like Sarah did, in one piece, but still hold on to the anger and resentment of being degraded like that. When they got back to their Christian groups, they’d throw their husbands under a bus by complaining to other wives just what their husbands tried to do to them when they were on a trip!
- Or MUCH WORSE in my opinion, they’d drag him to the leaders in their church to get them to “counsel” him (effectively AMOGing him or criticizing his leadership as “poor” and “ill-effective”) until he felt he had to follow her ideas and designs for their marriage.
We may be Christian wives trying to do the right thing, but we still have a sinful nature that leads us astray and into not honoring or submitting to our husbands if we aren’t careful to study these ancient texts and learn how to act in the ways God desires for us. We want to display that kind of beauty that is so precious in God’s sight, right? Then that means we have to take Sarah’s examples here, when she submitted to her husband’s leadership, seriously.
Go back over the bullet point list of ways modern wives would react to the situation Sarah found herself in. Have you reacted in one of those ways in the past? It’s never too late to repent and humble yourself, and to start honoring your husband. Sarah doesn’t do ANY of those things! She doesn’t even seem to hold on to any resentment, and the Bible is usually quick to point out when a man or woman has misgivings or ill-feelings. If she was holding on to resentment or using his mistakes to hold over him later on, she wouldn’t be held up as the example we’re supposed to model in Peter 3.
No, it seems her actions are in line with how 1 Peter 3 describes her character as having inner beauty of the heart. She loved him, she didn’t want him to die. So she submitted to his plan to lie to the rulers of the land, and even be taken into their harems, so that she could keep her husband alive and trusted that God would make everything right.
Let’s look again at her qualities that made her character precious in God’s sight:
- She had a peaceful and quite spirit – not a panicky, or nagging, or complaining, or bitter, or resentful spirit
- She is called precious in God’s sight for obeying Abraham and for subjecting herself to him and his leadership.
- She is honored for calling him “lord,” even though he subjected her to doing something that was wrong and deceptive and leading others into sin.
It cannot be understated that Sarah was honored for obeying Abraham – and not giving way to fear when she did – even though his leadership was less than perfect (1 Peter 3:5-6).
She not only was honored in the passage we have unpacked here, she is the first woman mentioned in the wonderful chapter that outlines all the “Heroes of Faith,” Hebrews chapter 11. When I was 11 years old, our school had us memorize this entire chapter. It was so beautiful to recite and memorize each person mentioned and honored for their courageous faith displayed in critical times of their life. Their examples were glorified forever in God’s Holy Word because they decided to make the right choice. To have faith even when it was extremely hard or inconvenient.
Again, this is not something we as Christian wives can just gloss over and forget about. Sarah, with all the mistakes or poor choices Abraham may have made in leading her, is named among the Heroes of Faith for choosing to obey him, follow him when it was hard, not complain or hold resentment against him, and even follow him into circumstances that caused others to sin!
Her heroic faith coupled with her beautiful character in choosing to obey Abraham, is an amazing testimony to her trust in God, that His will would prevail in those circumstances, and that she would be taken care of.
May we have faith like this, and seek to honor and respect our husbands with the kind of fierce commitment and obedience that Sarah had toward Abraham.
RELATED READING –
That Stepford Gal’s post Women Should Be Seen & Not Heard (using your beauty to influence and save people or entire countries!)
The past few months, maybe even this past year, has been quite a journey for me spiritually. I’ve been convicted, in August/September of this year, of not focusing on what God wanted me to focus on, of continually getting too easily distracted, or using the time God’s given me unwisely or at the very least, not maximizing its potential to do what I should be doing for Him. Since that time, I’ve implemented many changes in my life. It’s been such an amazing, beautiful journey.
And since I was starting a basic journal, almost a daily diary of sorts, to track my emotions/moods as I knew I was grieving a loss and wanted it not to unknowingly affect me, I now have pages and pages of lessons learned, prayers prayed, scriptures and sermon notes, spiritual growth moments, and acknowledgments of gratitude almost every night. I recently looked back in my prayers from a couple of months ago, and found that I had asked God if He would teach me how to appropriately respond to people who insult, provoke, or mock my words, or my ministry.
And when I read that prayer, I realized with joy that He’s answered me in this! Our God is such a faithful God.
Yesterday, at my sweet, wonderful, I-can’t-say-enough-great-things-about-them women’s Bible study, we were discussing how our failures to be all God wants us to be can either define us, and hinder our growth, or be used to refine us, and develop us into better Christians.
By taking me through this journey this past year, even in my failings and shortcomings, my own lack of discernment in responding to sinful or evil people in ways that weren’t helpful, God’s been using my weaknesses to refine me. It’s amazing to have a physical journal with all of the notes in it that follow this growth path to grace and more wisdom.
I worried too much about what other people thought, when they misunderstood my motives or even accused me of having terrible motives that I knew were not true, I wanted to correct them and show them they weren’t acting godly. I hated seeing injustice continue, with no one being brave or godly enough to call it out. I didn’t trust or understand that God didn’t want me being worried about all these things. That even focusing my attention on them was derailing my purpose and not doing what God wants, it wasn’t submitting to God. Caring too much about the verdict of what others thought about my ministry, or me, or my life became way too high a priority, above pursuing God and what HE wanted for me.
But He used ALL these things, my failures in responding correctly, my seeing people I trusted use and twist my words I said to them, my seeing people actually lie about what I said to fit their agenda – my trying and failing to intervene on my own behalf – all this was useless, and yet useful in teaching me the goal of His lesson.
To not be afraid. To trust in Him.
When it was all too much, and I prayed that He would just make it stop, He clearly spoke to me in my spirit saying
“My grace is sufficient for you, even in this.”
There are some trials that He will not immediately deliver us from because He has a very specific lesson for us to learn in them, and so sometimes he keeps us in a position that’s painful, or leaves a thorn in our side, so that we can be refined in the pain of it.
I realized I was reacting in Fear. Fear of not being approved of by everyone. Fear of being written about negatively and having other people turn away from me. Fear of being mocked or insulted and having others influence or ruin my reputation.
I’m not defined by how I responded poorly at times, instead, He’s used it to teach me better ways – His own ways. I’m excited in that I’ve now had opportunities to put these new ways into practice, making Him pleased with how I’m choosing to respond now. It’s making me into a more graceful, fearless woman.
It’s making me into a more peaceful woman – I didn’t realize that all my striving to defend my own reputation, or correct misunderstandings, or confront mockers, or go to others to get them to see my “side” wasn’t pursuing peace. I thought I WAS pursuing peace in trying to make everything better, trying to influence women who mock to be better themselves. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t done using God’s power, and that it only negatively influenced my own spirit.
What makes a woman truly beautiful?
God wants women to have a gentle, peaceful, fearless spirit. Or in His own Word, 1 Peter 3:1-6
“A peaceful gentle spirit… that does not give way to fear.”
When I choose to respond slowly, with godly wisdom and assurance, when I first go to Him and ask Him “How should I respond to this, if at all God?” I please my Father in Heaven with submitting to Him.
Submitting to Him is acknowledging that He is in control. I am not. And when I try to control all these outcomes, I’m sending Him the message that I don’t want to obey Him, that I don’t trust Him to do what’s right, that I don’t think He’s enough. I had NO idea I was disrespecting God Himself like this, but it truly has been quite a journey.
I’ll post again on some more things I’ve learned over this year, thank you for reading!!
When my husband and I were first married, we had a major problem… we had one car (his truck), and I couldn’t drive it. It was a manual – a stickshift – something both my parents knew how to drive, but I hadn’t a clue. My car that I drove while living with my parents and in college had been an automatic, they saw no value in my going out of my way to learn how to drive a stick. So that first year, my husband took it upon himself to try to teach me how to drive his truck, there was much laughter, some choice words, lots of screaming as the truck seemed to take on a life of it’s own, bucking like a bronco, lunging forward or peeling out only to come to a bracing stop! It was so wild.
We would practice my driving in the parking lot of a nearby mall where my husband worked security late at night after it had closed. His security guys would sit and watch the show, laughing at the tragedy. It took months for me to really understand how to drive his truck, but it was months of flirting, teasing, and moments of near-death experiences (ok… kidding… well, almost) that bonded us through the whole experience. It was horrible, and yet so fun! His teaching me how to drive his truck really cemented that we were in this together… for the long haul!
After only a couple of weeks of marriage, I started working down the street from the mall at a bookstore. There was a man there about my husband’s age that was newly married as well, and had just celebrated his first year anniversary. They also had a standard car, but his wife refused to let him teach her drive it. I was surprised and asked him if he wanted me to talk her into it, the whole experience had been difficult, and I still didn’t have it down yet, but I was confident my husband would be able to teach me eventually. We really had no other choice. It was either I learn how to drive his truck, or I wouldn’t be able to get groceries on my own, run errands, or take over driving in case of an emergency.
I was confident that he would also be able to teach his wife how to drive their car, and tried to encourage him to get it done like we were doing, but he explained that she wanted nothing to do with it, and that it was no use. When I met her a few months later, I was dismayed at the way she treated her husband in front of all of us at work. Emasculated, disrespected, or disregarded are words that don’t even begin to cover what I saw her do to him in less than 5 minutes of watching them interact. She was flat-out insulting towards him, there was no pretense of sweetness or kindness, even in public in front of his colleagues. She humiliated him. For just celebrating their one year anniversary, I couldn’t imagine what the future held for this couple.
This is a dramatic example, I don’t think most wives treat their husbands with such obvious contempt, but I do think that, in the privacy of our homes, women are much more apt to “refuse” to honor our husbands, to submit to them and what they desire for us and our marriage. Is submission really that big of a deal? Do wives that are Christian really have to submit to their husbands’ leadership? Yes, and yes.
Submission is that big of a deal. Even in the little things. With every time that we don’t submit or take into account what our husbands want, we insult him. Yes, insult. We send him the message that we don’t think he should be our leader, that we don’t think he is mature enough, that we don’t believe in him, he isn’t intelligent enough, trustworthy enough. Even if we say we believe he is all of these things, when we don’t honor him or try to correct him, we send the subliminal message that we know better – that we should be the leader over him, that he isn’t capable, we undermine his God-given ability to lead. As long as our husbands aren’t using drugs or alcohol, have untreated mental disorders, or are abusive, submission is crucial to maintaining the fabric of a beautifully woven tapestry that is marriage. He is the leader God’s given you, and you are the helper God’s given to him, both roles cannot be done without the other, they are equally as valuable, but equally distinctive from one another.
There cannot be two followers, two helpers, there has to naturally be one leader. And likewise, there cannot be two leaders, that has to naturally be at least one follower, or there will be constant contention and strife as they argue or fight about who has the right to lead and to where. Just like how we serve God, He alone is our Master, we cannot follow two Masters because they would have different goals, different ideologies or paths. We would end up following one a little more than the other, so that following them equally would be impossible. God’s design for one leader, the husband, in marriage is for the purpose of a marriage working smoothly, beautifully, the way He intended it should.
So what does submission really look like?
Submission is letting your husband know that you love him, that you trust his guidance, that you believe in his capability in leading you both in the right direction. Submission is allowing him to have the final word, even if you disagree, think it could be a bad decision, or dislike his idea. This does not mean that a wife must stand idly by and let him make, in her opinion, a bad decision without interjecting any of her thoughts; it simply means that she gives the ultimate answer, the final word to him. Wives are important in helping their husbands in decision-making, their opinions are usually of great value to the men they’re married to, but wives have the responsibility to be led, and to do so in a way that honors her husband, because she honors God. Making it hard for him to lead her is dishonoring not only him, but God who has set him before her.
Wives really are called to submit to their husbands, it is God’s plan and design for marriage. When we aren’t trusting our husbands enough to lead us, to submit to their decisions or plans, we are ultimately not trusting God and His leadership. If we want to obey God, we will make every effort to treat our husbands with respect, and shift our attitudes to that which God wants us to be.
If your husband desires that you learn how to drive standard because that is your only option for driving, and he cannot afford to buy you another car at that moment, honoring him is obeying him, and making every effort to learn how to drive that car. If your husband desires that you help him get ready for work, make him his lunch so that getting out the door is easier, submission looks like the wife willingly packing his lunch, filling up his water bottle, and ensuring she gets everything ready before he needs to head out the door. Honoring him cheerfully, giving lovingly. Letting him know that he is worth it to her, that she looks up to him, even when she would rather not. If she really wants to let him know how much she loves him, she’ll do a little extra – pack in a couple of his favorite sweets for a surprise, add in a handwritten love note for him to find at work. Submitting to her husband is doing all of this, even when she’d rather focus on the kids eating their lunches, or take a nap, or “let him make his own sandwich.” Submission is having an attitude of love shown in action, through making him his lunch, not because he isn’t capable of doing it himself, but because you think highly enough of him to make his life easier.
Honoring him means showing him through tangible, everyday actions of sacrifice, the same that he does when he gives up being single, taking on a wife that he will work to support for the rest of his life. He sacrifices everyday, every year, when uses almost the totality of his paycheck to support his wife and children, gives up his old hobbies and pleasures so that he can work extra hours for that vacation, or be a great dad in the evenings or on the weekends attending soccer games and family functions that are meaningful to his children and his wife. Marriage is fulfilling, but only when it’s done the way God designed it.
To finish the story of our truck driving escapades, I ended up falling in love with driving stick… the feel of the road, the feel of the car – it was so much better than driving automatic, and I couldn’t imagine going back. Because I was willing to learn even though it took a few months, we were able to wait on buying another car for the next 3 years of our marriage when we absolutely had to because we had our first son and needed space for a carseat. I ended up choosing a stick, and we found that for cars, it was actually a couple thousand cheaper.
Trusting him to teach me to drive was a good decision, and one that still brings us joy when we look back on those wild, exhilarating rides in that abandoned parking lot late at night. My husband often would tell me he thought it was sexy that I could drive his truck… and you know… it kind of is! 🙂
This is a post written by my amazing husband. He doesn’t have the time to do and run a full blog, even though I ask him all the time & seriously wish he would! 😉 He’s in that time of his life where he is caught up in his career and growing and learning things in that world, while at the same time, being an incredible father and husband. This post is written for men – and for men who use the Bible incorrectly in order to oppress women.
You would think it doesn’t happen as much anymore (and I don’t ever hardly see it, and certainly not with any of the people we actually know personally in our lives), however my husband does see this side of humanity quite often, and like any great man, it angers him when he sees God’s word being used for the purpose of mental and physical abuse.
So without further ado, this is his sermon-like post on Being a Good Husband:
The most commonly misused verse in the Bible by husbands (men) is Ephesians 5:22-24–
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Now that sounds good and every man wants a wife that will be submissive to him in everything he says, and the Bible clearly tells his wife she needs to be submissive. However, what these men are misusing in this verse is that the verse does not stop there, it goes all the way to verse 33 the end of the chapter.
The title of the set of verses is “Wives and Husbands,” and Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus strengthening their faith and helping them lead good spiritual lives. A quick look at the, for lack of better terms, mathematics of this section Paul is writing about, there is a total of 12 verses. Wives have a total of 3 verses, and Husbands have a total of 9. Let’s start with that anomaly if it is so important that many men point out the verses on the wives to be submissive to them (a common theme used by men shown on The Maury Show when they have couples married or dating where the man makes the woman his slave, one guy will inevitably pull out those 3 verses.)
Here is the reason men skip the 9 verses intended on how they are to behave as a husband, ALL THEY WANT IS A SUBMISSIVE WIFE, they want to point out how their wife is not submissive, and don’t want to see what they are doing wrong in the relationship.
I’m not saying these things to tell wives they do not have to be submissive to their husbands, I’m writing this to men, but obviously it would be very difficult to be submissive to a guy who only wants a submissive wife, and does not care to look in the mirror and see how he is acting. To the men who use the verse to make their wives their slaves, how would you like it if your boss treated you that way? You would not have it! You would make complaints, look for other jobs, anything to get away from that. However, your wife is not allowed to do that because she is viewed as the lesser gender. Wives of these types of men typically are not allowed to have a job, and if she does her husband controls the money she brings in. This is not a good marriage and I pray for those women in relationships like that.
Now let me get to my points on Being a Good Husband, before I go on a rant about those types of relationships.
Ephesians 5:25-33 is telling men how they need to treat their wives… any ideas?
First thing, it is obvious with just the differences in the number of verses that Paul knew that for the husbands’ side, he needed to explain more. The reason for more explanations is due to the fact that we husbands would not like what we are being told because “We are the head of the house,” and, “What we say goes.” Paul is telling us to love our wives, just as Christ loved the church. Now that is a tall order to have to follow, a main reason this part gets left out. We all know how much Christ loved the church. Instead of me explaining it I’m just going to let Paul tell us.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless Ephesians 5:25-27. I don’t know about you but I cannot live up to that, my wife may beg to differ but to me I will never think I can come anywhere close to this. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he fees and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Based off of that I think the man has the harder part to live up to, I mean Christ died for the church. I know I would lay down my life for my wife, but let’s compare it, wives are told to be like the church and husbands are told to be like Christ; just looking at it that way shows us men have the harder task, but I’m heading on another tangent again. It is a mystery when in the Bible it talks about a husband and wife becoming one flesh. When a marriage is good, they will truly become one. If you doubt me, look at married couples who have been married for years, these couples can finish each other’s sentences. In the book of Joshua 1:6-9 God is telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, because Joshua has become the new leader. God tells Joshua multiple times to be strong and courageous, and to be careful to obey all the laws God has sent down, and to not turn from them so that Joshua will be successful wherever he goes.
That is God telling us men to be strong and courageous and to follow him. God also tells us in Joshua to not depart from the Book of Law (the Bible) and to meditate on it day and night. Listen to what God is telling Joshua in chapter 1 verse 9—
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
That is what we men can hold to in us having to live up to Christ. God will be with us, and he is commanding us to be strong and courageous. To be a good husband, we need to be devoted to one wife, there may be times men will think another woman may look pretty, however the man needs to realize what he has at home. There are times men have an amazing woman at home, and make a stupid mistake and lose her because he sees a pretty woman and thinks the grass is greener. That type of thinking the “grass is greener” is complete nonsense. If a man hooks up with a woman he thinks looks good and then decides to leave his wife for her, the things that woman was doing to lure him in many times will stop and the man will want to go back with his first wife, but by then it will be too late.
Proverbs 5:18:20 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful der—may her breast satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?
Proverbs 31: 30-31 also has a good reminder of this: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned (a faithful husband), and let her works bring praise at the city gate.1 Corinthians 6:18-20 states Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefor Honor God with your body.
Everyone knows the 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind… I want to concentrate on these verses. A few things about what Love is and is not, which is perfect to have in a marriage besides being patient and kind because everyone should know those. Love is not envious, boastful, proud, rude or self-seeking; love is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs, and does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with truth, always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres. And love never fails.
A husband (and also wife) needs to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. I am saying this because I know it is not always the man who has an affair in a marriage. I also believe that the full armor of God will help in times when some people will say anything to cause trouble in a marriage to either make them feel better or have a chance with the spouse (husband or wife) they like.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be too harsh with them.
How many times do men tend to be too harsh with their wives, I know there are times I am like that with my wife but I am working on it.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
All these verses are showing men how to treat their wives; men do want a submissive wife and if a man treats his wife in these ways if she truly loves him she will start to be submissive towards him but in a good sense of submission. I will end this with Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual (reasonable) act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I will attempt to next time either do a wives one with a lot of my wife’s input or either parenting or fatherhood. In the meantime may God bless you and may you always seek knowledge and wisdom to strengthen your faith.
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12