Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Cure for the Housetop Husband

The view is nice, but he'd rather be inside! :)
Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. Proverbs 21:9

And how about this one:

Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman. Proverbs 21:19

After reading about the "whatever you think" principle in the book The Surrendered Wife (an awesome book recommended to me by a good friend), it made me realize that that is what the husband's perspective is. He would rather dwell on the roof or in the wilderness than put up with a wife that is constantly resisting him! That's really sad! We can push our husbands away by being contentious (defined as "tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome"). We may not push them to the roof or the wilderness, but maybe to the television or the garage, where he's technically present, but not really there!

This is something that is so important to a man- to be respected! Otherwise, the Bible would not give wives instructions to respect their husbands. But in our culture, it can be one of the most difficult things for a woman to do! Something that is very unnatural to us. Is that something you can relate to? But as followers of Christ (and women who want our marriages to thrive) we really need to reconsider our actions.

And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude] Ephesians 4:23 (Amplified)

We can be terribly disrespectful to our husbands when we insist on controlling most everything. I'm even talking about little things like "you're going to wear that tie? I really like the blue one with that shirt" or "you shouldn't drink so much's really bad for you" We may feel like we're trying to help, but that's not the way it's perceived. Like the author says in The Surrendered Wife, "When you squash your husband's ideas you are telling him you don't trust him. Without trust there can be no intimacy. Therefore, one of the keys to relinquishing control is to respect your husband's thinking."

This is where "whatever you think" comes into play.

The next time your husband says something you don't automatically agree with, try it! "Whatever you think." It may be awkward at first, but as you practice it, it will get easier. You will begin to see that every thought of his does not need to be corrected or improved. It's okay if he wants to try to fix the problem with the family vehicle himself. Saying "whatever you think" does not automatically mean that you are gung-ho about him suddenly becoming a mechanic. It does mean that you respect his opinion (and trust that he can reasonably assess his own skill level in the event that it's too difficult.)

...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified, emphasis mine)

Have you ever found yourself in the role of the "contentious woman"? How did you change your behavior? Share in the comments!

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