Tag Archives: helper

Why Doesn’t My Husband Respond to Me?

Have you ever looked at your husband and thought, what does he want from me?

Maybe you’re the people-pleaser-doer wife and you’ve been slaving all day: cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, etc.

But he doesn’t seem to notice.

Or perhaps you’re the awesome-helper-spiritually-gifted wife, and you have been really thriving in God’s presence.

But he’s not right now.

Maybe you’re struggling yourself right now. With depression, job loss, infertility, anxiety.

But he’s not there for you.

Here’s the thing: You probably aren’t doing anything wrong.

Now, of course, we all contribute to messes in our marriage, and sometimes our husbands can check out when we’re having problems.

But you need to know that your husband’s dissatisfaction is not always your fault. It’s not always about your marriage.

Often, he’s not responding to you because he is dealing with something else. For example, my pastor hubby can get very discouraged at work because he’s doesn’t feel like he’s able to get people excited about spiritual things. Or he’s bearing others’ burdens, and the sheer weight of it is occupying his heart and thoughts. Or he’s prepping a sermon, and it is just consuming him for one reason or another.

So how do you know what’s going on, and how you can help? Try this:

1. Find a good time to bring it up.

While the kids are crawling on him, when he’s half asleep, or after you’ve fought about something else is not the right time. Consider a time when you’re both not exhausted (if that’s possible), you’re alone, and you’re not on bad terms.

2. Ask what’s up.

First, tell him you’ve noticed that he seems stressed/tired/thoughtful/whatever, and ask him if there’s something that is bothering him. You don’t have to ask if you are doing something wrong. That puts him in the mode to protect your feelings, and then he feels like he can’t share with you what’s really going on – which probably isn’t about you.

3. Trust his answer.

Once your hubby answers your question in number 2, above, trust that what he tells you is honest and genuine. Men are generally not like women – they’re not going to beat around the bush and make you guess a thousand times until they crack and cry and finally let it all out. Yeah. They don’t really do that. (Not that I do all that – ahem – I’m just sayin’…)

In other words, don’t keep nagging him with questions like, “Are you sure I haven’t done something to upset you?” Again, this puts him in the mode where he needs to coddle you, and the whole point of the conversation was for you to find out what was going on with him. Right?

4. Ask how you can help.

Know that he may not want to talk about the issue. Even though something is troubling him, he may not necessarily want to flesh out every possible conclusion or bad mouth the people involved or discuss the nuances that led him there.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t help him.

Ask if there’s anything you can do to help, but again, trust him if he says “Nothing.” The list below is a great place to start.

  1. You can pray for him.
  2. You can offer to make something easier on him at home or to let him have a night with the guys.
  3. You can just understand that he’s dealing with it in his own way and not nag him about it.

I know – that last one is hard to hear. You feel like you’re being insensitive if you don’t ask him 20 200 questions about it. But once your offer your help, that’s all you can do. The rest is up to him.

And it’s OK to not try to take control and mother him in this. If he’s struggling through it and genuinely doesn’t want a certain “help” from you, then give him that room and that freedom.

Premarital Sedative Dentistry – A Bonding Experience

Before Brad and I were married, we both had to have our wisdom teeth surgically removed. And we both underwent sedative dentistry to do so.

My sedation didn’t end up being very deep since I kinda start to get all woozy when any needle comes near me.

But I’m pretty sure Brad’s sedation hit a home run! You see, I was his ride home that day. I read patiently in the comfortable, magazine-filled waiting room as an oral surgeon, and friend from church, performed Brad’s extractions.

I knew he would be a little sleepy and drugged up when he came out, so as soon as the door opened, I threw down my magazine and shot up, ready to help him: support his weight, grab his shoulders, pick up his numb jaw off the floor, whatever I needed to do. The helper I was created to be was in full gear and ready to go.

Or so I thought.

Out comes my future husband, looking extremely happy after his sedation ;). He smiles a big goofy grin at me… and blood pours out of his mouth!

I really thought I was tough. I really did! But at that point, there was going to be no hoisting my husband or helping him to the car. I turned white as a sheet and had to sit down myself. Thankfully, I recovered quickly, or we would have both needed a ride home!

This post is part of a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog, and I was compensated for writing it. However, the views and opinions expressed herein are mine, all mine!

When Submission is a Trial

When Submission is a Trial

Brad and I are still reading the book Marriage Matters*. I’m in chapter 5, at a pace of about a chapter a week. I told you reading non-fiction is like a marathon for me! Anywho, so far, the book has had a lot of theological truths about God that make easy translations to marriage.

I say “easy” – what I mean is – “easy” to understand. Putting them into practice? I’ll let you decide how that usually goes. 😉

Smith, the author, pointed me to an insight I never noticed before.

In 1 Peter 3, Peter writes

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV)

I have read these verses (the commands to wives continues through verse 6) many times before, but I never bothered to ask what Peter was talking about when he said, “in the same way”.

Well – this is an important question! If I’m supposed to submit myself to my husband, I want to know in what way that is! I surely don’t want to follow what submission means to the world or myself or even my church.

What does submission mean to God?

Peter is talking about submission in various relationships: to authorities, to masters, and then wives to husbands. Directly before he writes about submission, he calls us to live out our identity as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” and this has the purpose of praising God and pointing non-believers to Him (1 Peter 2:9-12).

Conclusion 1: Submission to God’s appointed leaders (including our husbands) is an act of praise that reflects Him to the lost.

OK, that one really does wow me. But hang on for the next one!

When speaking to slaves, Peter tells them to submit themselves to their masters even “to those who are harsh” (v. 18). Why? He says suffering under leadership identifies us with the suffering of Jesus  – the very suffering that saves us.

But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 3:20-21, NIV, emphasis mine)

This idea precedes the sentence “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands…”

Conclusion 2:  Submission is sometimes a trial of suffering, but we are still called to it, and this calling is an example to non-believers.

In other words, yes – submission may be difficult to the point of suffering! But because we are designed to compliment each other as head and helper, if we do submit to our husbands (and in this way, we are submitting to God as well), then our example can lead people to faith (2:12)!!!

What if your husband is not a believer? It is no accident that Peter says

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverance of your lives. (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV)

Yes, learning to respect your husband in this way can lead to his very salvation!

Some of you may be thinking – well of course submitting is an act of suffering! But in the original design, it was not meant to be this way. Our husband’s headship and our helpership were designed as a perfect match – to work in harmony with each other to reproduce more people who love God. Our sin and the sin of our partners is what twists it into something that may bring a period of suffering.

When we are both submitting to God’s design, submission to our husbands is not an act of suffering at all! It’s a beautiful picture of how Christ loves His church.

In next week’s Wedded Wednesday, I hope to address some of the consequences that occur when we don’t submit. I’m praying for wisdom and insight beyond my years! And to actually apply these truths in my own marriage! I think my husband would appreciate that. 😉

This idea of suffering in submission is new to me! How about you? When did you first make this connection? How did that change your thoughts on submission?

Head and Helper in Marriage: Who is the Sous Chef?

I am leading a Biblical Womanhood group right now, and we’ve been fleshing out what Genesis – and the rest of the Bible – have to say about how God designed us as men or designed us as women.

We’ve talked about how the genders are designed with equal value, and we are both given the task of loving and leading creation by creating more people who believe in Jesus. All of this with the help of God Himself, of course.

But there was an order in creation – Adam was created, and then Eve. Not only that, but Scripture is clear that even though Eve, the woman, was deceived in the garden, God holds Adam responsible for not stepping up to the plate and leading his partner and himself away from Satan’s temptation (Genesis 3:8-9).

1 Corinthians 11:3 explicity says, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (NIV). But we don’t know what this word “head” means! We think of “head” and our mind races to ways women have been treated unfairly. So we cry NO! I want no head! I want equality!

But notice that Christ Himself submits perfectly to the Father in the Trinity. This headship is not inherently a bad thing. It is simply the structure of relationships that God chose to use, in His perfect wisdom. Once we pervert it with sin, then it becomes something treacherous, something that God did not intend.

While God made Adam the head, Eve was created as the helper. And notice that the Holy Spirit is also called our Helper (John 14:16-17). This helpership is not inherently a bad thing. But again, I think we misunderstand it.

I have only touched on this sensitive concept, but I want to use an example to illustrate how we do not know what headship and helpership is.

In our Biblical Womanhood group, a friend said that when her and her husband are doing something together, if she’s better at the task, she sometimes wonders if she’s doing the wrong thing by doing more of the work or having more of the ideas, etc.

And I would say NO! God designed each of us with strengths and weaknesses, and they often compliment the strengths and weaknesses of our spouse! So you and your spouse as a team should come up with how that works itself out. If your husband is better at cooking, and you, as a team, decide that he’s going to lead in that – awesome! If your wife is better with the finances, and you, as a team, decide she’s going to roll with that – awesome!

To the women, I would say make sure you’re giving your husband the room to lead. To the men, I would say make sure you’re leading! When something is out of whack in your home, it’s your job to take the initiative.

I have a personal example, too. 😉 Brad, my husband, while he can cook, cannot plan to cook. If he made our meals, he would go to the grocery store before each one, get the groceries, then come home and cook. This would be a little bit challenging for a family who is always on the go!

So while I was having my baking day, I asked if he wouldn’t mind being my sous chef for a bit. He very happily filled the role for me, chopping candied ginger, strawberries, and butter. Just look what he did for me!

Not only did he help me, but he actually got to play the knight in shining armor because cutting candied ginger is a pain!

Bottom line: we have a lot of emotion attached to the words “head” and “helper” – but if we fill the roles as God intended, we will be an example to the world. An example of how God loves us through Jesus:

…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV)

I Swear it…

I don’t swear vocally very much … anymore. I used to swear like a sailor. I think it was for a few reasons:

  1. shock value – I  have a very sweet face (usually!) – when people heard my mouth, it gave me some street cred.
  2. I like making people laugh – and swearing is the easiest, cheapest way to garner laughter. If you have to swear to make people laugh, you’re a poor comedian.
  3. “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person” (Matthew 15:18, NETBible)

In other words, my heart was filthy; thus, my speech was crass, irreverent, gross. Notice that reasons 1 and 2 above are all about me. All about showing off, getting a reaction, loving myself.

Instead, I realized, I need to get my heart straight so that my speech would be lovely – encouraging. The speech of a “helper” with a glorious creator. A woman who worships with her tongue.

So I did. I thought.

Then, if I stubbed my toe or hit my head or dropped something, I would swear again. Why? Again, “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person.” It was still in my heart. I had just scrubbed the outside a little bit and worked a little harder to keep the ugly off of my tongue. But it still works its way out, doesn’t it?

Lately, I’ve been pretty lazy. Not with my speech, of course. In my thoughts! Isn’t that so much better?

I’ve gotten to where I’m swearing as much in my head as I used to with my mouth. Cursing my husband, swearing at an email, inserting !@#$%s when I didn’t get my way or I was running late and the person in front of me decided to obey the speed limit.

How is that any different?

It’s not.

That depraved heart of mine is still showing off – but only to me.

I have to say, it’s pretty pathetic when you have to swear in your head so that you feel cool or fun or “with it”. But my worthiness doesn’t come from others, no, not even from myself:

For by grace you are saved  through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:8-10, NETBible, emphasis mine)

I am worthy because the creator of this universe bestows worth on me. He created me to carry his very image (Genesis 1:26-28)! Even more than that, he gives me more worth than I could ever deserve: the very worthiness of God incarnate, Jesus Christ. Only be trusting in His salvation!

So when I swear now, what should I do? How about a little thought replacement? Instead of (or after!) my urge to swear…to myself… I can remember this:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NETBible, emphasis mine)