Tired of Having to Do it ALL in Your Family?

Last night I spoke to a group of women who were starting a Respect Dare group. Before they launched into the book, they wanted to know what to expect…

We don’t have enough time to cover all that this morning, but suffice it to say, what I told them wasn’t on their radars.

These women are tired (exhausted, really!) of “doing it all,” and they “feel like they have to take care of everything because their husbands won’t.”

This is a common thing I hear.

And like most other wives, they don’t know what they don’t know.

I remember being like that.

And I still am.

So why judge? :)

And sometimes I still judge my husband, even though the Bible is clear that I am not supposed to do so. I am to walk along side this man, because he is my brother, and be his friend.

I’ve been told and research shows that men have to learn to take initiative – and our culture teaches us that WE women are the only ones who are competent – so WE need to take charge.

With the exception of the movies, “Courageous,” and “Fireproof,” when is the last time you saw a man who had a brain who took initiative?

Our media paints men as bumbling idiots who aren’t worthy of anything but disdain.

Ooooh…careful, they are precious to God…just like we are…is this how you want your little boys to go through life?

And yes, I know what this exhausted feeling is like – but what if we don’t know something? What if we are getting in the way of God’s efforts to grow our husband and lead our family?

What if instead of building our homes, we are tearing it down with our own hands?

What if we’re just like Eve in the garden?

Remember, Adam was right there with her. And said nothing as she engaged the serpent and picked the fruit. Not even a gentle, “Baby, we shouldn’t do this.”

I wonder if they’d had the discussion about disobeying God about 10 times already … or disagreed about other things so much that Adam had become passive.

It takes a while for a man to become so beaten down he gives up.

I just wonder…

But what do we do? SOMEONE needs to be in charge of our families, right? And if he won’t, we have to, right? I mean, allowing the ship to float without a rudder is dangerous, right?

There are a number of ways we get in God’s and our husbands’ way…

  • Preventing natural consequences (letting the water or power be shut off or the car fall apart, for example) aka “rescuing” or “enabling”
  • Not helping in a gentle way (reminding him of an upcoming appointment)
  • And yes, those two above seem contradictory – there is no formula, so THIS one applies – Not knowing God well enough to know what He wants from us in a given moment (and this one applies to the whole “list”)
  • Keeping other men’s voices from him (pitching hissy fits when he spends time with his buddies – not encouraging him to serve with other men, etc.)
  • Avoiding walking into conflict in a loving way when God wants us to help him to see the impact he has on our family (see Matthew 18)
  • Not overlooking an insult (Proverbs 19:11) and letting him know constantly about all his imperfections so he is discouraged
  • And yes, again, those two are seemingly contradictory, but once again, there is no formula, so KNOW God so you know what to do
  • Not being encouraging and valuing him as a person
  • Constantly criticizing, complaining, nagging, and even incessant talking, about all the things going as if he were a girlfriend, so he has no idea what’s important – in other words, create so much noise in your marriage he’s overwhelmed with information (as if the internet, radio, tv, and other media need our help in overwhelming him!)
  • And more, feel free to add them in comments…

What if God wants us wives to be patient, kind, not jealous, not bragging, not arrogant, not acting unbecomingly; not self-seeking, not provoked, and not keeping an account of wrongs, but rejoices in Truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things, never failing…as THAT is what it means to love? What if with our husbands, we do all these things in a respectful and honoring way, out of obedience to God, instead of waiting for this guy who is a sinner just like us to somehow “earn” our respect, as if we could “earn” his love? Check Ephesians 5:33. There’s no earning. It’s a commandment. Love your wives. Respect your husbands.

And what if there’s no way we can do these things on our own…what if those are supernatural activities, so we must be filled with the Holy Spirit… by reading, praying, and submitting to God, and if what if when we pursue God and obey His Word, we get out of His way, allowing HIM to steer our boat – what if THEN we no longer have to be exhausted, but rather can find REST in knowing that God is in control…and that come what may, Jesus is on the boat with us…

Do we really believe what we say we believe?

Will we love God enough to obey His Word and know Him well enough to know when He wants natural consequences to occur, and when we are to help – and what that specifically looks like?

Will we trust Him, even when the outcome of what He leads us to do goes “badly” in our judgment? Which may even be wrong in the first place?  Will we love this man like Christ, or just other people? What if the only Jesus our husband ever sees is us?

Will we obey what he tells us?

Dare you today to trust God.

If you can’t, Dare you to simply say, “I don’t get it, I don’t know how to get it… please help me get it…please help me trust You…teach me, I’m desperate to learn…” and He will.

You might not like how He goes about it, but with the Lord, if He’s chosen you, your only remaining option is this: learn it the easy way with a pliable, teachable heart, or learn it the hard way, through continued difficulties beyond what you can handle without crying out to Him.

Some encouragement for you: Psalm 107

And one more thing – I fully understand how you feel, and your fear at letting go of the control. Know that God will use everyone and everything and all sorts of difficulties to reach you and your husband. I am living proof that if we will but trust Him, know Him, and stay out of His way, we will have a peace that surpasses understanding. We will have joy in the midst of difficulties. We will have a richness in our life that is indescribable.

I want this for you! J

So does He, because He loves you so very much.

Love to you, thankful to be on this journey with you,

~Nina

Comments

  1. Christine Malcolm says

    Wow! I was astounded by the time I’d reached the end of this post. My interpretation of what you are saying is, God means for women to support their husbands by rising above and/or ignoring their flaws and subsequently ignoring and minimizing our own needs. You’re advocating martyrdom. Interesting. “Do I dare to show my husband respect knowing full well that it likely means that I will not be shown love?” Am I willing to lie down, roll over and say “kick me”? No. Women need love, support and acknowledgement just as men do. The problem is that it is all too often a one-way street. I cannot believe that anyone would espouse the opinions you do in this day and age.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Christine, thank you for commenting. I’m really sorry to have offended you, and I don’t know what you are going through, but I will pray for you. I think you may have misunderstood much of my post. Having said that, however, we fully believe that God asks us to do the right things, regardless of the “results” we get, or someone else’s behavior. To do otherwise is a heart issue and our motives are manipulative, instead of loving. I fully agree that women need love, support and acknowledgement. I also agree that it is often a one-way street – but we’ve seen many wise women learn how to make the street two-way by starting here, obeying God’s Word. Sometime today I will have a page up about that and the physiological reasons respect works. Perhaps that will help clarify. Love to you, ~Nina

  2. Lindsay says

    It took a few days for my tragically deaf ears to hear how this applies to my life. Thank you so much for your insight. I have have felt like I am doing everything while trying so hard to make things easier for my husband. He works hard, goes to school full-time, is about to be the father of 4, and is only 26. However, I finally see that I am actually trying too hard to help by lessening his responsibilities within our day-to-day life. Too frequently I step in and do what I think would be helpful without asking him/hearing what it is he really needs. I’ve tried to lighten his load by removing his responsibility in things like the budget, purchases, kids’ activities, schedules, etc. But now I am pretty sure that has been a huge mistake because in trying to lighten the load, I have effectively taken away any control he has over what we spend, do, eat, drive, live in, etc. While he asked for practical help with things like having the children’s things prepared, he’s never asked me to be his mother. I am sad to say I don’t often treat him like a grown man who is more than capable of being the head of our family. It’s no wonder he’sangry and resentful. So today I apologized & gave those things back to him and am trusting God and my husband to work it out.

    • says

      Also, men so desperately need to be needed (Shaunte Feldhan? Kevin Lehman?). So when we do it all, they just figure we wouldn’t even notice if they disappeared. That’s not respectful of them. We all want to be needed.

      • Nina says

        Great point! I think that first showed up in Shaunti’s research. :)
        Glad you are here! :)
        Love to you,
        ~Nina

  3. says

    Wow, GREAT timing. Thank you for this post!
    I am on a journey with http://www.identityanddestiny.com and just met yesterday with my “coach.” One topic of conversation was pretty much on target here…now for the record, my hubby is really amazing and HE does all the physical labor things, which include serving as the chief cook (and I am the bottle washer) and he has found he is the better housekeeper (lots of hard labor there, right ladies)…So what is my beef and my job(s)? Well, I am the upbeat one who has to remind everyone how Majestic is our Lord and to acknowledge Him in all we do and say! I do keep the books (we have a family business) and we are primarily responsible for his mom and her finances.
    However, with all that said, my poor hubby has to keep asking me to respect him…how could I not respect him???? Well, I guess I need to read the book because reading and studying Ephesians 5:33 for the past 22+ years still has not enlightened me…even though I have “preached it” plenty!
    Humm, actually, as I think about it, I have not heard this now for a few weeks….humm, maybe I am making progress in my I & D course!
    (this blog was brought to my attention indirectly via Pam Wolf, co-author of I & D)

  4. says

    I am so glad that I read this post today. I needed to read it. I have really been trying to work on the control issues and on building my husband up instead of bringing him down. I also have really been aware of letting him take the lead in everything from saying grace at dinner to bedtime prayers. It is a real struggle within me, as I come from a family of very dominant women, but I see now how destructive, dangerous and against God that really is and just hope that it isn’t too late for my marriage and our children. The best part is that the Lord has given me such a sense of peace and tranquility about it all. I know that He will strengthen me. I do get tired, as you said in your post, but I am doing my best to put my trust in Him.

  5. says

    Great post. In family systems we talk about enabling or getting in between a person and their growth opportunity (which is usually a conflict or challenge of some sort) as “triangling”. It has been such a helpful concept for me. It takes calming ourselves down and our own anxiety…and a lot of confidence in God and in His work in the situation…to not create a triangle. Something I have struggled with plenty of times!

  6. lisa says

    I read this post this morning, but didn’t have the time to properly respond. All I can say is this is a beautiful outpouring of the Spirit. Excellent piece from the your heart and totally anointed! Not getting in God’s way of how He is going to teach your husband is quite an adventurous ride. Been on a few of those, that were kinda faith rattling. It was a hard process and I was transformed in areas I needed to be matured too. God is good like that and He sees the bigger picture.
    Now it seems I must grow in the development of “initiation” with my sons too. We do our best to set our children up for success-providing the tools and opportunity, but if they don’t want it…how do you make them grasp it? Kinda like taking the horse to the water but u can’t make him drink it. Yep show, tell, and discipline. Natural consequences just may be the better teacher than Mama losing her cool. Giving my child permission to fail was this weeks’ revelation. We lived through the science fair and we got the 97% on the project b/c of my “gnashing of teeth”. But then the progress report came home. A,B, C and 2 F’s. How did my sweet boy get his F’s ?…He did the work, but did not turn in the assignments b/c he is “organizationally challenged”. I thanked him for being forthright and honest about his progress report. I reaffirmed he made a mature choice in that decision to tell me. He then told me he debated whether to show/tell me (I was really glad he trusted me with bad news). I encouraged him to find the formula for success that includes taking the time to get organized, attention to detail, and orderliness. I explained briefly (not w/ a lot of words)how hard it is to let him fail but I wanted him to experience the “sting”. He affirmed it did “sting” bad! His pride was hurtin’. It was a really calm conversation. I was much happier to hear the changes he made this week…he had turned in all the assignments with out me checking. ;-) Transformation all for the better! Joy in the midst of turmoil! …..Great Post and walking it out in the Lord!

  7. Must I post my name? says

    Once upon a time, there was a post here by a frustrated and hurt but beautiful woman of God.

    At her request, we removed it. See below. May we all have hearts this pliable, this willing, this obedient.

    To God be the glory.

    ~Nina

    • Nina Roesner says

      The best help comes from above – ask Him to help you get it. He totally loves you, and wants to help you learn. :) And in the mean time, read Wayne Grudem’s Biblical Manhood and Womanhood book – there’s a ton of free articles on Bible.net.

      Hang in there, lovely, and persevere. Join us on facebook, and keep in the community here. We hope you can come to Daughters of Sarah someday, and maybe even do a round of The Respect Dare… :) Prayers to you, for you, and him…

      Love to you,
      Nina

      • Must I post my name? says

        Dear Nina,
        I really didn’t want to publicly post that post.
        God has convicted me for being so hateful and ugly, and for that conviction I am thankful, because it shows me He is working in my life and that He loves me. If I could delete that post I would as all it did was allow me to vent at the expense of being hurtful to my husband, and I really don’t want to do that. I am in just as much need of God’s grace and mercy as anyone, and I have publicly proved that by writing that post. So, Nina, and anyone who read my post, please forgive me for all the damage it has done to my husband and for being so discouraging and ugly to you all. And if it’s possible for the original to be deleted, I would be grateful.
        I will continue to seek the Lord’s help and check out the resources you suggested, thank you for them. I hope to write back one day with a success story of what God has done in our situation and to be an encouragment instead of a statistic. I know God is all about doing things like that! Please, if you think of us, pray! God bless…

  8. Mary Jo says

    The hardest part, for me, is simply respecting and keeping my mouth shut about my feelings and needs. Trust me, in our relationship I’ve done such a poor job of expressing myself in the past that he immediately goes on the defensive even I’m being over-careful to be respectful. When I am doing a good job at showing respect, he gets very content and assumes that everything is great because he is being treated well. Showing respect to my husband, despite what all the books say, does not motivate him to show me love. It motivates him to sit back, content that all is right with the world (in a calmer moment of discussion he has admitted that this is his response to being consistently respected by me so I’m not making an empty accusation!). The dare that I face is this – Do I dare to show my husband respect knowing full well that it likely means that I will not be shown love? That’s a tough dare to live up to!

  9. Jess Rodgers says

    Thank you so much for letting God speak this to you today. It has spoken to me and let me see things I must change. There were so many things in it I needed to hear from the control issues to building up rather than tearing down- some ways I did not even realize that I was tearing down. Thank you for speaking TRUTH!

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