BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in your MARRIAGE!

Kate says . . .

Change is a huge theme that we talk about on our blog.   It is also a huge theme in all of the emails and comments we get from our readers! There needs to be change! But many times when we get these emails and comments, it is one spouse pointing at the other, stating what they are NOT doing for the marriage. The same spouse is stating to us, what areas their spouse is lacking in, what they have stopped doing for the marriage. This seems to be a theme that often runs parallel with the “there needs to be change” theme! Brad just encouraged husband’s in his post “The Energy of I am” today I want to encourage wives to think about change.

Let me share first off, that I too used to think along these lines. When I was frustrated in my marriage, I would immediately think of what Brad was not doing for me, or where he was being lazy or where he was only thinking of himself. I would get very aggravated and let him know it by my body language and tone of my voice. I would also pick fights with him over little things that really had nothing to do with what was bothering me. I used negative communication to express my anger and all while pointing out why I was right and Brad was wrong. I then would unload all of the frustrations I had been feeling for a while over whether or not he “changed the light bulb” like I asked him to. Of course my unloading had nothing to do with the “light bulb” but had everything to do with me keeping pent up frustration on Brad about his not stepping up to the plate around the house, with me and with the kids. Sound at all familiar??
In talking with wives, I realize that many struggle with this very same attitude. We want our hubby’s to go to work, provide for the family and then come home and give 110% to us, the kids the house. Many times on top of that we are frustrated with what they are not doing. While we are frustrated, we are not communicating well and not connecting as one flesh at all! There is very little intimacy on all levels (spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical). We even get annoyed and huffy when they initiate their need for physical intimacy with us. We allow the disconnect and yucky attitude from all else to effect our intimate time with our hubby’s! The old saying, that “sex is the farthest thing from our mind”, many times that happens because we are frustrated with our hubby’s and allow ourselves to become overwhelmed and consumed by life! Again, does any of this sound familiar?
So, you can relate?!? And you would really like to see some change in your hubby? I remember thinking the same exact thing!

Then . . . God worked in my heart and showed me how to change my own life! I as the wife, am called by God to do certain things for our marriage. I am called to follow God’s word on how a wife is to treat her husband and what role she is to take! I have heard many people speaking to husbands, to “man up!” or to “step up to the plate”. Well today, wives, I am challenging you to “wife up!” Step up to the plate and “wife up!” What does God ask of us as wives?

In Ephesians 5:21-24 says, “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” 

This verse was written specifically to us wives. Not to the husbands, but to us! God designed our amazing hubby’s to need our respect. This is how we can show them how much we love them, by showing them our respect as the head of our marriage and family. God created men this way for a reason and in the same way created us wives to need to be loved! Submitting to your hubby is not about losing who you are, it is not about being a doormat, it is about loving your husband, lifting him up in all that he does. It is about discovering who you are together as “one flesh”!

How do you treat your husband in the area of respect? Do you constantly assert yourself as the “leader” over your husband? Do you have a need to control all that goes on in your family? Or do you stand beside your hubby when he leads the family?  How you handle these situations shows your husband loud and clear whether or not you respect him. You may say to others that you respect your hubby, but do your actions and your need for control show him otherwise?

Later in Ephesians 5: 31-33 Paul goes on to say:

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one”. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” 

1 Corinthians 7:3, 4 says:

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 

These two scriptures talk specifically to the husbands and then to the wives. What wives can we take away from these scriptures?

An important word of warning!! In all of these scriptures the husband is addressed and so is the wife. I would strongly suggest to you, that if you want to change and want to see good change in your marriage, ONLY READ THE PARTS ADDRESSED TO THE WIVES!!!! Let me say that again, only read the sections talking directly to the wives. We tend to read the part about the husbands and get stuck. We get stuck because we sit and contemplate what our hubby’s are NOT doing on that list. How they are not loving us, how they are not nurturing us sexually. We get stuck on what they are not doing that we lose focus on improving ourselves. This is a great plague with Christian marriage self help books as well (defiantly another post)! We tend to look at what our spouses are not doing, and then focus on how they are not meeting our needs and how they need to change.

You may think this is crazy coming from Brad and I, when we are always encouraging you to read both my blog (the wife’s perspective) and his blog (the hubby’s perspective), but there is a big difference between reading them for information and further education and reading them for ammunition! What you read should never be used as ammunition against your spouse! But instead be used to encourage, to challenge and to propel you forward in your journey with your spouse.

So after reading God’s word on what a Christ centered wife should be, how do we bring about change in our marriage??? The answer is simple! Be the change you want to see in your marriage!!!!

Remember I said the answer is simple, not easy! This comes from one of my favorite quotes by Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in others (the world)” This applies to all of us, in all that we do, especially in our marriages! Ghandi may have been speaking of a broader view, but really it all starts with our marriages.

If you truly want to see change in your marriage, change which will overflow into your family, then YOU be the change. Step up to the plate wives and be the wife God wants you to be! Show your husband how much you love him by respecting him! Let him truly lead your family. Let him make decisions, stand by him, help him execute those decisions and then praise him for his leading! Show your husband how much you love him by serving him. What are the areas in his life he most needs help in?? Don’t nag at him in those areas, help him! Be generous and help him! Clean up the pile of laundry he left on the floor, pack his lunch for him, clean out his car, get all the bills in order for him so they are organized when pay day comes, etc! Find ways to serve your hubby! Make them special to his needs and not generic to every husband. We are one flesh and in that we have the incredible opportunity to serve our spouses.

What does your hubby need from you? Think about his needs before your own. If you want more intimacy (intimacy = to be known completely) in your marriage, then initiate more sex with your hubby! But you may say, there is more to intimacy then sex. “I want to be wooed, I want emotional connection!” I hear ya and I completely agree, there is more to intimacy then sex. But we are thinking about his needs over yours. Spouse over self! Try focusing on his obvious needs for sex and see if your needs for intimacy are not met as well! It may take a while of initiating before you feel like you are receiving! Try it and see, but do it with a willing heart and willing spirit. Not a spirit of, “I am doing this just for you, because you apparently need it!” That spirit will only breed more resentment and bitterness, for you both!

So my challenge, wives, is to be the change you want to see in your marriage. Stop complaining about your hubby not stepping up to the plate! Take the initiative and step up to the plate yourself! Not to take charge and control, but to willingly submit to God’s word for wives! Take a step in that direction and I know that God will bless your marriage for your obedience to His word!

If you are not sure about how to go about doing this, not sure of practical ways to let your hubby lead and you come along side to help. If you are not sure how to serve your hubby, please contact me I would love to chat with you! Most importantly seek God’s word for wives. Seek Him in prayer for how you should serve your hubby! How you can show him love through respect. How you can hand over the reign’s of control! God wants you to have an amazing marriage. Full of love, respect and intimacy.

A friend posted this quote the other day and I wanted to share it with you wives: Ruth Bell Graham, the late wife of Evangelist, Billy Graham said : “I’ve learned that my job is to love Billy, and if he need changing, then it is God’s job to change him!” What a wise woman! We cannot change our hubby’s, only God can do that. But we can change ourselves and thus have a positive impact on our marriage!! You can do it! Wives, be the change you want to see in your marriage!

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7 Responses to BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in your MARRIAGE!

  1. Brad here: I get to be the first commenter on this one! To all the husbands reading this, resist the temptation to forward this to your wife, resist the temptation to shout "preach is girl" (even though this is an awesome post!).

    Guys, if you have any of those thoughts please re-read this post inserting the word Husbands where Kate said Wives! The same message applies to us! As I said The energy of I Am, we need to be the ones changing! and we can only change ourselves!

  2. i agree with brad on this one. i started the changing process months ago. it has helped me so much and i am very thankful for your blog. thanks for being open and honest and real with life situations. so often we don't want to share the truth, but it helps even when it hurts.

    • Hi Thecarnest! Thanks so much for your encouraging words! God bless you and your one flesh union as you seek to be the change in your marriage. Truly amazing! Blessings to you and your spouse! Brad and Kate

  3. […] BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in your MARRIAGE!: While this is aimed at women, the ideas cross gender lines. This post might also give you a window into your bride’s mind – which is always a good thing! 3 Reasons to Cage the Husband Tornado: Brad has some good words here that most don’t want to hear, but NEED to hear. […]

  4. I have been working on myself and making changes, I know I’m part of the problem in my marriage. We’ve been getting along way better. My husband has noticed the change in me also. He hasn’t made any effort to change his behavior he’s happy because I’ve been ignoring his secerts and not getting unset about anything he does, its like he’s got a free pass to do things behind my back. We are stuck, your blog on being stuck is exactly what is going on in our marriage. Selfishness, isolation, and the lack of self worth. And most of all God is not in our marriage anymore. I’m praying for God to heal our marriage and wait on his timing. Meanwhile I’ll be working on myself.