Most wives I have met actually do long for their husbands to be the spiritual leader of their family. They are not resisting his leadership; they truly do believe it’s biblical. However, they fear that he will not take their opinions into consideration. Furthermore, they fear that he wants the authority as the leader without exercising the responsibility of a leader.
Leaders from different countries, such as the United States and France, have disagreements at times and do things that feel uncaring and dishonoring to each other. Each feels offended. However, allies always keep the larger alliance and friendship in mind. Though they may be miffed and enraged by comments and actions of the other, each absorbs the offense and forgives, for the sake of the bigger picture.
This should in no way be surprising to hear, but simply realizing the causes and effects of the Crazy Cycle does not mean you and your spouse will stop taking spins on them. Learning about her pink way of communicating and interpreting the world, as opposed to your blue perspective on life, does not mean you will always like her pink way of going about things or that she will always speak to you in a way that your blue hearing aids correctly interpret as a respectful response. And even if a wife always keeps Ephesians 5:33 at the forefront of her mind and shows unconditional respect, reinforced by the greatest Respect Talk known to man, this does not mean her husband will love her perfectly, all the time, in a way that is music to her pink ears.
By far, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a part of Love and Respect is hearing from others about their relationships. Whether it is in person, at a conference or in an e-mail exchange, it is always a blessing to learn how others are trying to strengthen their marriage and work through tough issues that unfortunately many in this world simply allow to divide them further from their spouse.
How bad is your marriage?
What bothers you at this very moment concerning your spouse? Is your husband stonewalling you? Is your wife complaining far too much? Is the reverse true?
Do you want your husband to be more romantic? Do you wish your wife would desire to be sexually intimate with you more often than she normally does? Is the reverse true?
In parts 1 and 2, we discussed a key difference in men and women’s approaches toward sex. Though both desire and need sex, we need to understand a wife’s interpretation of sex through the love lens and the husband’s interpretation of sex through the respect grid. I take this position because God commands the husband to love his wife in Ephesians 5:33 (C.O.U.P.L.E.) and commands a wife to respect her husband in that same verse (C.H.A.I.R.S.). (Please read parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part blog series for a more complete explanation of C.O.U.P.L.E. and C.H.A.I.R.S.)
Every married couple that is concerned about their sexual intimacy needs to answer the following with honesty and accuracy.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed how even Hollywood unwittingly supports God’s design for unconditional love being absolutely vital to a woman in order for her to truly enjoy sex with a man long-term. Because in the end, for her the perennial question will always be, “Do you love me for me—unconditionally?” And when he assures her of his unconditional love toward her by acting out C.O.U.P.L.E.—the six biblical ways God’s Word reveals that a man should love his wife—he will be hitting on all cylinders the premiere aphrodisiac for his wife.
In my opinion, anyone who watches movies gets the message that men and women have sexual needs and desires but that they are not the same.
In the movie For the Love of the Game, Billy Chapel (played by Kevin Costner) and Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston) meet and hook up sexually. Because Billy travels as a professional baseball pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, they make a deal. Jane says, “So, when you’re away, I’ll live my life and you’ll live yours. And none of this ‘why didn’t you call me?’ crap. And what you do when you’re not with me has nothing to do with me, and vice versa. No questions asked, no worrying, no obsessing.”
Even though men and women are equal in the eyes of God, Scripture is clear that God has charged men with being the family’s spiritual leader (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:22). I have found among most wives who follow Christ that not only do they not resist this biblical mandate but they actually hold a deep desire for their husbands to be the spiritual leader.
If you have attended or heard a Love and Respect Marriage Conference or read any of the books, more than likely you will recall some of my favorite terms, analogies, and acronyms, such as: Pink and Blue, C.O.U.P.L.E., C.H.A.I.R.S., the Crazy Cycle, the Energizing Cycle, and the Rewarded Cycle. While it certainly always brings a smile to my face to hear from readers and others that they, even many years later, still talk about “needing to get off the Crazy Cycle” or “their pink hearing aids didn’t hear what their blue husband was really saying,” what I most hope that people will remember is how all of this should be used to point them to Jesus. Let me explain.
Walk into any football stadium or sports bar on game day and you will find a sea of fans decked out in matching gear excited to cheer on their team that they have loved since birth. As long as their team is getting the first downs and touchdowns, these fans are ecstatic in their show of support.
But when things don’t go so well with their team . . . well, from the sound of their groans and the choice words coming from their mouths describing their so-called favorite teams, you may have a hard time believing that they love their team like they do. But in fact, no matter how bad it may get this week, they’ll be right back next week cheering them on again.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (5:18). This is one of four times in which Scripture clearly tells us what the will of God is. I call these the four universal wills of God, and I have written about them extensively in my book, The Four Wills of God, and how our following these four universal wills of God can lead to learning His unique will for us in our individual lives.
A wife longs for her husband to hear her heart. She becomes insecure when he does not. What can she do?
Given your husband has goodwill and wants to do God’s will, I suggest looking in four areas and trying to “H.E.A.R.” your husband.
H: Honor his desire to honor God. If there is any positive thing you see in his walk with God, say, “I want to honor your desire to honor God. I have noticed how you _____.” Fill in the blank. While most likely there are things you wish he did in his walk with God that he isn’t currently doing, don’t go there. This exercise is about addressing the positive—how you see your husband honoring God—because it is true, honorable, and right.
Can a wife be guilty of helping her husband too much? At first glance, that may sound preposterous, right? I mean, of all the burdensome things a wife deals with during the day in managing her home and feeding her marriage, do we really have to add “don’t help husband too much” to her list?
The events of Genesis 2 speak to this, actually. Take another look at these verses that you are probably more than familiar with already:
- God created man: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (v. 7).
- God put man to work: “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” (v. 15).
- God recognized that man needed help: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’” (v. 18).
- God created the animals, but none were what man needed: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, . . . but for Adam there was not a helper suitable for him” (vv. 19, 20).
- Then in verses 21–23 we are given the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib in order to be the perfect helper for him.
Did you catch that? Eve was created to be a “helper” for Adam in his work, not to do his work for him. So yes, if by “helping her husband too much” we mean she does it all, to the point in which he feels he is no longer contributing anything, though her heart is no doubt in the right place as she tries to love and serve her husband the best she knows how, she indeed can be guilty of helping her husband too much.