For Wives

For wives who are feeling alone, lost, not sure where to turn:

Having been around for hundreds of years, the Bible, in its current form, is full of information about marriage.  This has been interpreted into the culture we live in today.  I have blogged about the concepts of “submission,” “respect,” and following Christ as a mom, wife, friend, and teacher.  I hope some of the answers you seek on your journey are found in what God has revealed to me and others here.

Warning – if you are in a marriage where you are afraid, PLEASE consider getting you and your kids to safety. If physical harm isn’t the issue, please join our Strength & Dignity eCourse to remember who and Whose you are – or discover that for the first time.

You don’t have to feel like this.

You can regain your confidence and change your marriage.

With all the couples I’ve encountered, 100% of the time, both people are contributing to the problem. There are things you can do to deal with your situation AND help the environment in your home.

The way you go about that matters.

A lot.

I’m NOT a fan of “submission at any cost” or “peace at any price.” We are NOT to submit (which really means to be wildly open to) to sin. If he’s yelling at you, he’s sinning. The Bible tells him to not be harsh and to love you.

This will scare you if you are in a tough situation, especially one with verbal abuse, but gaining confidence in Him and learning how to do conflict in a way that changes your relationship is what we help you do.

If you go about all this while speaking the language of respect, you’ll be met with greater success. It will change your family. If you are being oppressed and you do The Respect Dare book, however, that can make your already potentially codependent and unhealthy relationship even worse. It might even foster more verbally aggressive behavior from your husband towards you because you don’t know how to respect yourself.

Again, do Strength & Dignity instead. We teach how to respect you and him there, help you regain your identity, and navigate conflict on a whole new level.

For wives who know they are too aggressive:

If you are struggling with selfishness or know you have issues respecting your husband, do The Respect Dare book for the full life and marriage-changing effect, but in the meantime, for quick help, check out this list of 101 Ways to Respect Your Husband. You’ll know this is you if you are sarcastic, argumentative, bossy, critical, or find yourself hounding him to do things.

Want the download? Here you go! 🙂 101 Ways to Respect Your Husband Download

Have you stopped loving him? Need to rekindle feelings? THIS IS THE WAY. Research supported. Biblical.

This post on dealing with a husband’s anger is one to consider.  It is simple, but it points to the heart of the reason we do not understand respect, submission, or marriage.

First, go check out Why Respect? and the pages associated with it.

Are you Feeling Like a Loser? Stop. Any feelings of shame and guilt are from the enemy.

You might also address those thoughts that we all have about what to do when He Doesn’t Deserve Respect, or He Hasn’t Earned It.

Want to learn how to handle conflict better?  Check out these posts on conflict.

At a complete loss? Maybe you are BOTH aggressive and feeling abused?

Does he seem angry all the time? Maybe even verbally abusive? Take our Strength & Dignity eCourse.

And be sure to sign up for our free ebook “Find Your Voice“!

And for those of you who might be wrapping up your identity in what other people think, we encourage you to read God’s opinion of you.

Want to encourage other wives? Feel free to share this page via the links below.

Love to you,


9 Commments

  1. Nina, your emails have helped me with myself to become an even better Christian Ministers wife along with Sozo through grace and glory ministry. I am also feeling more confident and strength and finite through your emails and blog. But, I have also been committed to changing myself rather than him. And I have… with my Lord and Saviors help, your help and grace and glory ministry in Minnesota. Unfortunately though, my overbearing, self centered, Insecure, prideful Minister Husband thinks and talks like he is perfect and refuses to work on himself in his everyday life and our Marriage. As I make positive changes he gets worse. We can’t resolve conflict because of all this. He is unable to admit to his own mistakes and I used to take the blame. But, no longer. The week before our 43rd anniversary, I was hunting for Apartments to separate from him. Do you have any help for a man like this? He is also manipulative? Ellie D.

  2. Several of the things on the list were common sense to treat each other with mutual respect and love. I am concerned for the women however, that are already being mistreated by their overbearing, destructive husbands. Where’s the real balance? In the Word of God, it says to love God, then love one another as you love yourself. A woman that understands mutual respect and love is Leslie Vernick. She helps women who have been in destructive marriages, where men are not given a pass while the women work harder to appease an already entitled and destructive husband. Please Nina, help explain the risks for wives in poor marriages that do not MUTUALLY treat each other with respect and love. Those are basic for BOTH in the marriage. Otherwise, I notice this list is more like a Stepford Wives instruction manual and not the way our Lord and Savior Jesus, treats women.

    1. Sheri –
      This is why we created the Strength & Dignity eCourse. Unfortunately, the approach that is used with a number of Christian writers who utilize the methods similar to Leslie Vernick’s end in divorce. If there is physical abuse, then safety is first, and the involvement of a professional and even the police may be necessary. And we need to protect our children, too. That’s a given. I should take a moment to also point out that the most dangerous time for a woman is when she leaves – so having a good plan is super important. The list isn’t about mutual respect – I write about how to deal with conflict quite a bit, which is a mutuality issue – the list is just about respectful options, and yes, it is one-sided. I do not deny the existence of what you are saying, and I don’t give men a pass, but I speak to women, and I help them deal with men who are controlling and abusive.

      We have seen marriages with abuse and control be saved. It is certainly difficult, maybe even the most difficult of situations, dealing with abuse. But I’ve seen change occur.

      Thank you so much for your comments – sometimes divorce is the only thing that can keep her and her kids safe.

      Love to you,

      1. I used to be a devoted follower of FamilyLife and the believed wholeheartedly their teaching that if you are submissive/respectful enough, God will change your husband’s heart and he will start being kind and loving toward you. You have to return respect and submission for his unloving actions and attitudes toward you and then God will “fix him.” If God has not fixed him, then you have not submitted enough.

        For about 3 decades, I tried harder and harder to respect and submit more and my marriage just kept getting worse. I reached a point that I was considering suicide or divorce in order to save my sanity. I had submitted so much that I felt like a slug melting away on a hot sidewalk. I literally had trouble introducing myself to new people when my husband was not around because I did not know who I was.

        One day I witnessed an exchange between an older Christian couple that left me shaken. The husband was extremely harsh to the wife. His treatment of her was a more severe version of what was happening in my marriage, and I knew, if things didn’t start changing, my marriage would end up in the same place as that one.

        I decided to try an experiment. I came home and told my husband what I had witnessed. He became angry at how the husband treated the wife and said that should never be in a Christian marriage! I asked my husband what advice he would give the wife for dealing with the situation since, as a Christian wife, she has to submit even when he is unreasonable (most Christian teachings say you don’t have to follow him into sin, but you still have to follow if he is unreasonable, even harsh).

        Without hesitation he said, “The only thing men understand is boundaries and consequences. She needs to tell him she does not allow herself to be spoken to that way and when he is ready to be reasonable and speak with kindness, they can resume the conversation, but not until then.”

        I was shocked. It is the exact opposite of what I have been taught. I have started applying this in my own marriage and my marriage has improved exponentially since I rejected the “submit/respect regardless of his behavior” in favor of being respectful AND truthful. Things are still not perfect, as my husband is still not ready to address the emotional problems from his childhood, but they are much better and heading in a better direction.

        2 things I have learned: The message, “If you respect/submit enough, God will change him,” is a lie. God can speak to people, but they only change when they choose to. God will not force people to change against their will. The other thing I learned is, that if we act like doormats, our husbands loose respect for us and treat us worse. We have to gently remind them that we are image bearers of God, too, and that God gave us to them as a gift. Do they really want to disrespect God by disrespecting the gift He gave them?

        Much of what I learned about speaking up for myself, and that I am not to let myself be a slug that melts away on the sidewalk so that my husband can behave as he wants, I learned from Leslie Vernick’s material. She has a very high value of marriage and wants marriages to thrive and honor Christ. She values marriage and is trying to teach women how to have a marriage that can last AND honor Christ. Too much teaching in the Christian community wants to keep the marriage together at all costs without considering whether it is Christ honoring or not, or whether the people in it are being destroyed or not. A bad Christian marriage that stays together that destroys the people in it does not honor Christ. It is unfair/untrue to say that teaching like Leslie’s causes divorce. Christians divorce rates are highest in groups where there is a strong hierarchical/patriarchal bent. They are not highest in groups where Christian women are being taught that they have dignity as the daughter of the King. I myself want to stay in my marriage and Leslie’s material is helping me do that.

        1. I am glad for you, Natasha. And I apologize for not responding sooner. I literally didn’t see this comment til today.

          You are correct, and I am thankful you have benefited. You are one of the few.

          In speaking with her and other authors who endorse similar methods, and granted, this is based on what they told is from about six to ten years ago, the percentages of marriages saved was between 2% and 9%, because “the men won’t change.”

          Your approach with your husband was wise, and he is spot on. The way those messages are delivered matters greatly, respect is always winsome.

        2. You should know however, that the stats on Leslie’a materials are 2-7% of marriages saved… so we have a different outcome, over 95% of our couples are still together AND both people have found happier outcomes.

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