My Husband’s Past Struggle

My Husband’s Past Struggle

When we were struggling in our marriage for many years, my husband Ken, would write his feelings down so he could try and make sense of what was going on. The other night, he was reading me some of those thoughts. He wrote that he loved 95% of who I was but had a lot of trouble with the other 5%.  I was continually preaching the Bible to him and trying to control him through my emotions, withholding sex, and getting angry with him. I argued with him constantly. He felt like he continually walked on egg shells around me, never knowing when he was going to displease me, sometimes with the littlest of things.

It wore on him. He wrote how easy it was for him to accept others just the way they are, so why was it so hard for him to accept me the way I was?  As I listened to his words, I could tell it was a great struggle for him to love me because my life was about getting my “needs” met and making sure he did things the way I wanted him to do them, instead of seeking to please him and being his help meet.

I was a great mother. Even in my sickest of days, I would have healthy meals on the table, took the children to their games and ballet, and made sure that AWANA was a weekly priority. I kept the house clean with some help, and did the laundry. I cooked healthy meals from scratch, paid all the bills and was a good manager of my home. I went to church and Bible studies faithfully. I taught my children the Word of God from the time they were small and even home schooled them some years.  I had all this energy for the kids, yet I put Ken on the sidelines. Why didn’t I see this clearly?

I finally realized that it all came down to control. It is the curse from the garden and almost every woman I have ever mentored struggles with it. “Her desire will be for her husband…” Our desire will be to control our husbands and we must stop giving into this curse. For we are told we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

Therefore, after arguing constantly with my husband for 23 years and wanting to control him, for the past ten years I have learned that I was sinning against my husband and my Lord. I have been mentoring women for the past ten years and I now encourage them to stop trying to control what their husband watches, what he eats, what he wears, what he does with his free time, where he goes, etc. We are their wife, not their mother. Yes, he may have heart disease and eats terrible. He doesn’t obey the doctor and you only nag him about his eating because you want him to be healthy. However, this is NOT our responsibility unless he wants us to hold him accountable. If not, give up ALL control and you won’t believe the freedom you find in this.

He watches too much television. He plays too much golf. He spends too much money. He drinks too much alcohol. And on and on the list goes. You may have a hundred reasons why you feel justified in trying to change his behavior. I sure know I did! Hundreds, but it still doesn’t give us the right to try and control them. This is not our job. Men are not attracted to their mothers. We were created to be his help meet, not his conscience. Share your opinions with him a few times and then let it go.

He is a man now. He gets to live his life the way he wants to live it. He didn’t marry you to nag him. In fact, a lot of men are scared to death to get married for fear they are going to be nagged to death and have to walk on eggshells in their own home. They feel they aren’t going to get to live life the way they want anymore but have to live with a boss that tries to control them with her emotions, tempers, silent treatment, avoidance of sex, or anger.

A true help meet doesn’t try to control and change her husband no matter how right she thinks she is and how wrong her husband’s behavior. Our job is to love, serve, please, submit to and obey. This is our job description for it is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife {Proverbs 21:9} and a continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike {Proverbs 27:15} and it is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman {Proverbs 21:19}.

Now, you don’t want your husband to feel he has to sleep on the roof, listen to constant dripping, or live in the desert, do you? He should be able to sleep in his comfortable bed where peace reigns and his air conditioning on! We need to make our homes comfortable places for our husbands. They need to be places he longs to be in, not miserable.

Therefore, dear wives, go to work making your husband at home. Help him by loving and serving him. Let him see Jesus in you and this will draw him closer to you and the Lord. Let all of your controlling nature go. Release it today. Let it go!

Many women use the excuse that their husband does not love them as “Christ loves the church.”  I had the perfect, yet most flawed excuse to not follow God’s clear teaching of love, sacrifice and submission. If my marriage was mediocre it was not all my fault, or was it? We will not stand in front of God someday and have to give an account about how our husbands didn’t love us, but how we loved or did not love our husbands.

There is a desperate need for older women to teach the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. {Titus 2:4-5}

So even though you may be an amazing mother and homemaker, if you are not working on becoming an amazing wife, you are missing out on the priority of your God-ordained role to be a great help meet.  If you read my blog, you should know by now that what I teach is not to scold or to put you down, but to try to prevent you from losing out on some of the best years of your life with your husband and best friend.  I can never get those years back, but I can shout to all who will listen to beg you not to make the same mistakes I made. Become your husband’s blessing instead of his struggle.

The past thirteen years of my marriage have been amazing. Ken and I now mentor couples. I write for my blog daily encouraging women in their roles as wives and mothers. This is the ministry the Lord has given us and we love it. The Lord has definitely brought beauty out of ashes. Praise His Holy Name!

13 thoughts on “My Husband’s Past Struggle

  1. Yes, Lori,

    PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME! The personal testimonies are the best of all from our aged Titus 2 women. Teach on!!!

    *hugs*
    ~Kelley

  2. Your words are powerful! Your testimony is true. I know because I gave up controlling my husband and we both are the happiest we have been, ever!

    The hardest thing to let go of, was telling him how to drive. I think about this now and laugh! He really is a great driver! Now, when we go for drives and we sing, laugh, talk or just enjoy each other.

    Blessings to you and Ken, Lori!

  3. “You won’t believe the freedom you find in this” is so true! I struggled with the exact same thing early on in my marriage and I still do occasionally, but so much less. There aren’t many things more freeing than to be able to take something stressful, tell yourself “this is not my job! I am not responsible for doing this!” and give it away to God. He can do everything I can’t, and if He doesn’t do it, it didn’t need doing. That’s for Him to determine, not me.

  4. I am very thankful to have found your blog, Lori. It encourages me in my role as a godly helpmeet to my husband. Every time I read your posts, it revives my heart and mind to live abundantly in Biblical womanhood !

  5. So what do you do when your husband doesn’t care about being godly? I both admire and resent everything you say because I know (in my home) this won’t happen.

    I stayed at home for nearly two decades and the man, who swore to God (as I did, on our wedding day) to love, honor and cherish me has made me hate myself. I loved being at home, taking care of everything I was given and yes, even being obedient to my husband ( as naive as that sounds now). Now that our children are 16 and 22, it’s time for me to work…at least I’m told that. I now have a car payment, credit card payments and college loans to pay back. So yes, working outside the home is a prison of debt for me. But staying at home….? That made me a prisoner of his emotional abuse.

    As I said, I both admire and despise you. Take what you will from it. I know I won’t hear a reply because you’re beyond Proverbs 31 and Titus 2….and don’t have time for sinners who have tried and failed miserably.

  6. Life is so much better once we let go, Christine, as you have learned! I have an entire chapter in my book about this because I believe it is key in having a strong marriage. I let go of trying to tell Ken how to drive a long time ago! 🙂

  7. Amen, Taylor! We sang a song today about God being able. Of course He is able; He owns everything! We are called to love Him, love others, be obedient, and rest in Him. It’s that simple.

  8. Thank you, Holly! God’s ways are so good and perfect that I want all women to know the freedom there is in following Him and His ways.

  9. Hi Cheryl,

    When your husband doesn’t care about being godly, God has the perfect plan for you found in 1 Peter 3:1-6. I encourage you to study all of the book of 1 Peter. In it we are told of God’s purposes in our suffering and how it is for our good. Christ suffered for us so that we may have eternal life for all who believe.

    In the same way, some wives will suffer under disobedient husbands so how do they respond? By living in subjection to them without a word and with godly behavior in hopes that their husband will find Jesus. You must have an eternal perspective. This life on earth is a blink of an eye.

    We all suffer in some way. I have suffered physically for 30 years and it has refined me by causing me to lean more upon the LORD and helped me to understand that this isn’t my home. Your husband will suffer an eternity in burning hell if he doesn’t repent and believe so your goal should be to make his short life here as pleasant as possible in hopes that he will one day know the LORD.

    And you can do this because if you are a born again saint, God lives mightily within you and He tells us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Remind yourself that the JOY of the LORD is your strength!

    Blessings.

  10. Oh Cheryl our hearts break for stories like yours. Mixed along the road of the history of Christianity are stories of success and failure, but in both cases the saints were walking with God or not walking with God. Even as we know that when we do things God’s ways we reap his blessings, we also know that we walk imperfectly, we are married to imperfect people and at times God’s desire for our lives is not what we wanted, but it is God’s best.

    There are many scenarios whereby God may be working in your life and circumstances to take you to the greater blessings He has in store for you, and the greatest blessing of all may indeed be as the Apostle Paul found God telling him in his troubles: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9).

    Make a list of the many things you have to be thankful for. Your children, your 20 years at home with them, your home, your friends, your many blessings of health and wealth. Yes, if you live in the USA you are very rich, even as you may have some debt. Thankfulness is what can break us out of our self pity and back into Christ, resting easy in him for our jobs and our spouse.

    You say “I know in my home this will never happen.” You are right… it can never happen until you first change your mindset and allow Christ to do His mighty work. Many of us felt like you do now and we cried out to Lord often in frustration with seemingly no answer. But I can tell you when I started working on Ken, and learning what it means to be “in Christ and Christ in me,” my fears, frustrations and sins began to melt away. In Christ all things are possible … are they not? If not, we have a weak God, or a weak faith.

    If you desire to move forward to your dreams and push through your fears… join Lori’s chat room and allow the godly women in there to minister and speak truth to you. God is no rabbit’s foot that can be rubbed and we get what we want. Babies die, Christians get cancer, marriages and spouses fail us, some are even difficult, sinful and make us feel emotionally abused, but these things must make the Believer push further into Christ, because we know the end of the story. This part of our story here on earth is about how we showed our love for the Lord through all the suffering and troubles, and all the good times He allowed in our lives. So how are you doing in getting ready for the next life? Can Jesus count on you to be faithful? To win your disobedient husband by your joy and godly behavior? To keep your children in the faith because they watched you be so joyfully faithful to God through your love of Christ Jesus. Or will the circumstances of life choke out the life of Jesus in you?

    You are not alone in needing to answer these questions. Every Believer is tried and tested, some even seem like they have the life of Job, but through it all we are called to be faithful because God has wonderful things in store in this life and the next for those of us who will be faithful all the way to the end. Don’t give up now… but accept the challenges the Lord has given you and walk faithfully and joyfully within them just as all the saints have had to do throughout history.

  11. “So what do you do when your husband doesn’t care about being godly? I both admire and resent everything you say because I know (in my home) this won’t happen.”

    Hi Cheryl, my husband isn’t saved, and I find that all the more reason to put my faith in God and trust Him to work it all out. I worked when our son was a toddler, and I cried everyday on my way to work, begging God to “make” my husband let me stay home. Then one day, I stopped demanding and asked God to let me be content with whatever He had for me. That very day, my husband asked if we could make it if I stayed home. NEVER doubt God’s ability. But I also know that I have to do my part and if today my husband came home and said I have to go back to work full-time, then I will pull out the want ads and get to looking. No, I don’t want to and I think it would hurt our family, but the decision is not mine to make and I know that if God wants me home, He will convict my husband as He did those 16 years ago. But, if I sulk and whine and am cold toward him, what would that tell him? I think it would tell him that I am a great wife—- as long as I get my way and that is not what I want. I want to be a great wife— period, a great wife in all situations, especially the hard ones. So, yes I know it has to be hard going back to work, but count your blessings anyway. At least you were able to be home with the children when they were small, at least you have the ability to work. If you are stuck in a poor me frame of mind, turn it around quickly before it becomes a habit. When negative thoughts come up, replace them with all the things you have to be thankful for. Make sure you don’t stop submitting and honoring your husband during this time, in fact try to go the extra mile. Yes, you will be tired from working, but rely on God to give you strength to serve your man.

    Some men are difficult, but as long as he is not asking you to rob, murder,steal or any of the true exceptions above, God still calls you to obey, submit to and honor him in all things. And do it joyfully and with a smile on your face because you are following God’s design for a helpmeet. Love him and serve him joyfully and trust in God to change his mind or not, that is not your job. One of my favorite things and the thing that hit home the most in Debi Pearl’s CTBHH is where she says that we are not our husband’s personal holy spirit, it is not our job to change him, it is our job to obey, submit to, honor, serve and be his helpmeet, the rest is up to God. If you haven’t read CTBHH or Lori’s book The Transformed Wife, I strongly, strongly urge you to get a copy and read them. They are awesome books that show you what your role as a wife is AND it is backed up with scripture.

    And remember, above all else pray daily for your husband. Pray for him each time you think of him and each time you feel negative thoughts try to take hold. Pray, Pray, Pray!

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