I am beyond excited for another “What’s Your Secret” post. If you missed the first time I did this and the explanation, click HERE. It has my mom’s awesome story too. Remember that anyone can send me their secret to a good marriage at any time. Just comment for more info or e-mail me at erin[at]mystery32[dot]com!
This month, April is sharing her secret to a good marriage. I first “met” April just a month or two ago through our Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. While we have never been together in person, I can already tell you now that she is a passionate lady who loves to pray! It has been neat getting to know her on our CMBA forums as well as in our e-mails back and forth. Through her writing I always picture her to be fun and giddy, and I think that will come across in this post of hers as well. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing, April! You are a blessing!
My husband and I had been married 15 years when I suddenly had to face the realization that I had not been doing a very good job respecting my husband. I read the book, “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The mountains of pride were suddenly visible in my soul. I had always thought if HE would just change and be more loving, everything would be great! I read the verse about wives respecting their husbands and I said to myself, “Yep! I do that! – on to the next verse!” After all, I didn’t get violent, throw things, yell, curse or call names or anything.
But I realized that my critical spirit, my negativity, my complaining, my taking over and running things my way because I didn’t think he would lead spelled a BIG loss of intimacy. I had no idea that I had actually caused my husband to stonewall against me and that was why I was lonely in our marriage so often, and worried, afraid, overwhelmed and feeling crushed by the weight of the family’s responsibilities that were too heavy for me. I didn’t understand why my husband would barely even look at me when I came in the room, why he didn’t want to talk with me much, why he didn’t seem happy to be with me, why he didn’t seem to want me anymore sometimes. I had no idea that I wasn’t the best wife ever. Really. So after a lot of tears and a lot of apologies and repentance on my part to my husband and to God – I set out to discover what it meant to actually respect my husband in a way that spoke respect to the deepest recesses of his masculine soul. I determined that my husband was going to feel like the most respected husband on the planet! For months, I had to ask constantly if what I was doing and saying was respectful or not. And at first, he didn’t know!
I read books – a LOT of books – about respect and biblical submission. And I began to do the following things:
- Cut out all the criticism, negativity, nagging, reminders, lecturing, and telling him how to do things and when.
- Look for every opportunity to praise, build up, encourage and verbally express genuine respect that I could.
- Step back and WAIT. A LOT. FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. Wait until he picks things up and handles them if they are for him. Sometimes that meant waiting for months or even years. Sometimes it means waiting for a lifetime. But I am happy to wait now. I wait on God to work in my husband and through him and I wait on my husband’s timing.
- I see that God is MUCH bigger than I thought He was. Now I trust Him to be big enough and powerful enough to lead me through my human, sinful, wonderful husband. I even trust that God will use my husband’s mistakes for my benefit and blessing. AND I HAVE PEACE! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE – I HAVE PEACE EVERY DAY. This peace has been a daily thing now for close to 2 years!
- Reprimand our children when they are speaking disrespectfully to their dad.
- Trusted the finances to my husband’s care.
- Let go of many things and let my husband pick them up or just let them fall away.
- My hours were cut at work (I’m a pharmacist) – that was not my choice originally – but it actually REALLY helped when I wasn’t making more money than my husband anymore. It was just SO easy to think things like, “I make the most money, so I should get to decide how to spend it” or “I’m really the one in charge here because I am the main breadwinner ” – and pride would creep in Or “He doesn’t really love ME, he loves my paycheck.” – and doubt would creep in. Now I am GLAD that my hours were cut and I can be home with the children so much more! I feel very fulfilled and like I am where God wants me to be!
- I began praying for God to change ME!
- I began thanking God for all the great things about my husband – and I started seeing more and more wonderful things to thank Him for!
Now, I have so much weight off my shoulders, great peace every day. I found so much JOY in obeying God’s Word. At first, I was just obeying God to obey God and meet my husband’s needs. But I realized very quickly that I was such a beneficiary of my obedience, and so were my children. They became much more peaceful, respectful and godly, too! I changed and became much more the woman I have always longed to be. God has actually given me a gentle, peaceful, quiet spirit that does not give way to fear!! ME!?!? I also depend on God primarily to meet my needs and don’t have many expectations of my husband – and anything he does do, I lavish on the praise! Last spring, my husband told me that I needed to share what I had learned with other wives. This past January, www.peacefulwife.com was born! I long to share all that God has taught me so that other wives can live in this supernatural peace, joy and satisfaction that I have found! My faith has deepened so much. My relationship with Christ is stronger than ever. I am beyond blessed and overflowing with all that God has done for me – even though I haven’t done anything to deserve it!
My husband also changed radically! Now, he looks at me when I come in the room and smiles and winks at me again. Now, he comes looking for me if I am sad – because he cannot bear for me to be upset. Now, he helps so much more with the house and the children and really listens to my feelings. Now, he cares about my needs and tries his best to provide for me, protect me, cherish me and adore me. I feel SO LOVED! I don’t feel lonely! Now, my husband has a marriage blog, too! He calls himself the Respected Husband!?!? Makes me cry every time I think about how far we have come and how much God has done and all the answered prayers I have seen showering from heaven onto our marriage!
I am a very happily married mother of two and a part time pharmacist. My husband and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary this May! My husband is an environmental engineer who has a passion for remodeling our house. We were high school sweet hearts and have been together since 1988!
Now I blog about biblical marriage and godly femininity at www.peacefulwife.com and my husband also blogs about marriage at www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com. You are always welcome to stop by for a visit! We pray God might richly bless your marriage as He has blessed ours.