Are You Destroying Your Marriage?

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“You don’t understand, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done.”

“He doesn’t lead at home at all.  He doesn’t even participate.”

“Why should I submit or respect? I’m the one doing everything in our family.”

My heart aches for those statements, and the women who make them. And unfortunately, I understand, because I created an environment in my own home for a while where  it would have been nearly impossible for any man to lead, much less the good one I married.

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And understand this, I am NOT saying that a woman, a wife, a mom, shouldn’t also lead in her home. She’s the kids’ main disciple, teacher, and she’s the one who SEES the home more clearly than her husband, so she’s the home manager – but biblically, when the day is over, she’s not the one God holds as fully responsible for her family.

He is.

Check Genesis 3.

And while there are those that say because a man is the head of the wife in the bible, the wife shouldn’t do anything he doesn’t tell her to do, hat she’s a “second class citizen,” a “maid,” if you will. I don’t know when serving like Jesus became such a bitter pill for women to swallow – the whole bible is about this, btw – and we are naturally wired to serve and care for others… but that other guy would have us think all sorts of things that are the opposite of “health” in relationships. I recently blogged a bit about the whole submission discussion here, if you want more on that. It’s just not what we think. We make it way too complicated.

If you have a “passive husband” or buy the lie that you have no voice, you need to rethink a few things. We wives can have a ton of influence – but we often go about it wrongly, at least I did. We get in our own way (or as the Proverb says, tear down our homes with our own hands, instead of being wise, and building it).

I listened to today’s Focus on the Family broadcast and discovered that Jim Daly, John Fuller and I talked about submission, sex, and men’s leadership. Good grief. Did I leave anything controversial out?

Click on the below image of Focus on the Family’s logo to hear today’s broadcast, but before you go, can I humbly invite you to “subscribe” here to the blog? We won’t give your email away to anyone at any time, and you will stay up to date with our journey through The Respect Dare book together, just one dare a week. Consider yourself invited, and share wildly – if your husband’s not participating much less leading in your home as your life partner, you’ll want to learn how to help with that, and so will your friends. I want for you what God has brought into my life – freedom, a strong sense of who I am in Him, and a marriage that glorifies Him.  I so hope you’ll join us! And I do hope you’ll share today’s broadcast with others – as wild as this sounds, even to me as I write it, we feel called to impact the world, to help other women deeply connect with the Father, and change their families as a result. #humbly submitted… :)

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And you should totally follow Leah if you are a young wife with little people, and Debbie if you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format this year, or schedule one of our weekend retreats. 2014 is nearly full, but 2015 might be an option.

At any rate, I’m so glad we’re all in this together, on the journey at the same time. I also talk about the importance of girlfriends and how they are SUCH a necessary part of doing marriage well in today’s broadcast above. :) Iron sharpening iron… Dare you today to chime in on the environment you’ve created in your home… do you have a voice? Has he stopped listening? What lies have you been believing that have left you longing for influence? Or do you have a partnership, one where both husband and wife are focused on what God wants instead of their own agenda?

Comment, share… let’s change the world together. :)

Love to you,

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Comments

  1. Julia says

    Would you please address marriages to husbands with personality disorders that cause them to be emotionally or verbally abusive (sometimes even physically abusive) and neglectful? Please have a series on how to deal with a loved one with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or other Personality Disorders. Thanks!

    • tiff says

      Julia did you ever get any response on this? I too am curious as to how to deal with a Narcissist/antisocial personality person..
      It is scaring me actually how much I have learned about this disorder recently and how it mirrors what I am dealing with

      • Nina Roesner says

        Sorry I lost this thread! Here’s the thing – if you are dealing with a true narcissist, then your best bet is to 1) recognize this and not own his/her responses, and 2) FOG their criticisms and comments. This simply means when they attack, you agree with them – thus deflating the conflict. So he snarls, and you say, “Yes, I can see why you think that. You might be right.” And that is it. It’s how we deal with the mentally ill, recognizing that they are NOT going to be rational and if we continue to act as if they COULD be, we are not being wise. The goal becomes avoiding escalation, choosing to not wrap up your identity in their opinions, and relying only on God. It helps to have some good girlfriends to walk with, but not ones that encourage you to break up your family forever. You CAN live with these people, and God may use you to confront his sin, but He may not, too. These are the things we do with anyone, actually, but with these folks to a MUCH MUCH higher degree… because you often cannot “get there from here.” But as it is up to us, may we live in peace with one another.

        Love to you,
        ~Nina

        • tiff says

          Thanks Nina!
          I agree that as with ANYONE we should not wrap our identity up in them and what they say. For many years I did.. and what people don’t realize is that we may want to call what they do sin, but the fact that we listen and take it to heart is also a sin.. I have called my husband abusive in the past due to this type of behavior.. and while YES IT IS!! I don’t have to allow it to be.. I can take his rants for what they are.. outbursts of one who has yet to find peace in Christ.

  2. tiff says

    Valorie,
    I have attended church with several women in your same shoes. What they have found is that they really take the time to be the best Aunt they can if they have neices and nephews, and if not, they spend their time volunteering with children’s charities. There are so many kids out there that need someone, anyone to truely love and accept them.. have you ever thought about the big brother/big sister programs? You don’t have to be blood related to be family!

  3. Lisa says

    My husband loves to lead and once I actually allowed him to do so and became closer in my relationship with God amazing things started happening in our relationship and in our home. Everyone is calmer and my husband actually listens to me now, I don’t have to force my ideas or thoughts on him. Our communication is better and I actually feel loved and wanted instead of ignored and alone ! Trust me, I struggled with God’s word for a long while, but after a lot of prayer and repentance, He answered and led me to this blog.
    Praise The Lord!

  4. tiff says

    Nina,
    I can totally relate when you say you had at one point created an environment where it would have been impossible for ANY man to lead. I know that I did this.. It is so harmful and disrespectful to husbands. They may at first allow you and seem passive, but believe me, it comes back to haunt! My husband felt like he had no say and that I was trying to “be the man”. It cause so much damage to our relationship.
    I’ve posted before that my marriage is rocky.. and its still true.. A few weeks ago you had a post about rating your marriage.. I said mine was a 1 or 2 when a year ago I would have said an 8-9.. Well, we had a MAJOR blow up this past weekend, but it ended with all the truth finally coming out and my husband admitting that he does still love me and wants no one else!! Talk about relief.. Today I am saying we are a 3-4.. that is progress! I only hope it can last and this feeling and realization can remain in his heart and the hurt can start to heal.

  5. Valorie says

    I am just wondering if and when folks are going to address any issues with us women who could never have children, so we have the “empty” nest syndrome our entire lives. Seems like, and it is good as well, that EVERYTHING is geared toward women who have had children and have them raised or are working on raising them. What about us? Do we not have a voice out there? Can someone address the heartache that comes when a woman cannot bear children, and there is no hope of adoption because of financial circumstances, age, or other problems? I’d love to hear someone address the anger that comes with this, and the hurt and the fear that one day, I will be totally alone. No family around whatsoever, when my husband passes and I’m left to be here by myself. Everyone has their own families to go to, holidays passed with their “grandchildren”, etc., but what about me? Am I just to sit in my rocking chair and smile back on the memories I don’t have?

    • Nina Roesner says

      Oh, Valorie,

      I’m so sorry you feel this way and are enduring so much. It IS lonely. I am so sorry you are feeling alone and without a voice. Many tears shed, I’m sure, and your heartache is nearly palpable. I’m so sorry. Please know that I’m sorry if I’ve personally said anything that has offended or hurt you.

      To answer your question, do you have a voice, I did a google search and there are a TON of Christian communities for childless women out there. I haven’t looked into any of these specifically, but here’s the link to get you started: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=ie7&q=christian+single+women+blog&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7TSNA_enUS384US384#q=christian+childless+women+blog&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address

      Please also know the enemy wants you to believe you are alone, because in isolation, he can drag you down into despair. Know that is a LIE. You are NOT alone. I wish we had someone on our ministry staff that ministers to childless women, but alas, at this time we do not. God may bring someone to us in the future, and we will receive her or him with open arms, as it is His ministry, and we just do the next thing. I will tell you that I’ve several friends who have struggled with being childless, and one friend who writes occasionally about this. God continues to walk with her and her husband through their empty armed pain, and I pray you find the same peace and joy she has found in Him, even though the halls of her home are still quiet.

      Focus on the Family also has resources on this topic and I encourage you to maybe even call them – a huge part of their ministry is serving people just like you. :)

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

    • Charles Ericson says

      Valorie,
      There is no way, as a man, that I can appreciate your pain, but agree with Nina’s response, in both its godly accuracy and in her compassion. I’m reminded of statements that I once made to a male friend of mine one night when we were spending time together, two men sitting around a campfire. He and his young wife were unable to conceive, and it had become an unspoken burden that I could see in their marriage. My statement to him was that he should not try to find his happiness in a fancy house, a nice car, a fulfilling career, or even a child, but in the relationship God wants him to build with his wife. I’m not trying to be insensitive here, but I do believe that God wants us to find peace in the things that we do have, such as a loving spouse, or a loving God. Its the enemy who tells us we cannot be happy without those things that are missing in our lives. I too, am sorry if my comments offend in any way. Jesus heals all pain.