Monday, February 18, 2013

Marriage Monday: Loving Your Husband When You Disagree {Link up}

Marriage Mondays

Welcome back to Marriage Monday! I am in the midst of a series on Loving our Husbands. Last week, I considered a difficult topic - how to love our husbands when they hurt us. If you missed that post, you might want to click on the link and check it out. Make sure you check out the comments too, as I received some great feedback on this post!

Today, I want to talk about loving our husbands when we don't see eye-to-eye. Marriage is a one-flesh relationship that should be characterized by unity, but for various reasons, including the facts that men and women look at things differently, opposites often attract, and we all have sin natures, it is a given that there will be times when you and your husband disagree over issues that are very important to both of you. I'm not talking about trivial things, such as where you're going to dinner. I'm talking about the big issues and major life decisions that have a huge impact on the direction the family takes. How do you love your husband when you strongly disagree about important issues??

1.Treat him with Respect

It is so important to always treat your husband with respect, whether you are seeing eye-to-eye or not. There are ways of disagreeing with respect. Yelling, name-calling, hitting, slamming things, and other violent behaviors are not among them.

Always remember that a soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1) Be gentle, kind and respectful even when sharing opposing views. If you find you can't disagree respectfully, call a truce, and bring up the subject again another day.

2. Ditch the Pride

Pride is the primary cause of contention. (Proverbs 13:10) So many disagreements can be diffused with a spirit of humility rather than pride. 

If you have to always be right and always "win" any argument, then you can be confident that you are dealing with the sin of pride. God says he resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Not only that, but Proverbs 15:25 says the Lord will destroy the house of the proud!! Your husband will also resist and react to your prideful spirit, making it virtually impossible to reach a point of peace and unity.

3. Remember Who the Enemy Is

It is helpful to remind yourself that you and your husband are on the same team! Your husband is not your enemy -- Satan is. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy. He wants to kill your love, steal your joy and your unity, and destroy your marriage. Don't let him!

4. Make a Wise Appeal

When you are seriously burdened about the direction your husband is leading the family, a decision he is making, or an issue in his life, you should consider making a wise appeal. Carefully prepare your appeal based on facts rather than emotions or feelings. Then consider how important right timing, an appropriate setting, and an humble spirit are in presenting your case to your husband. Much wisdom about making a wise appeal to our husbands can be gleaned from the book of Esther. 

5. Pray for God to change his heart.

Sometimes our carefully researched and appropriately presented appeal will still fall on "deaf" ears. At such times, we have to be willing to "tape our mouths shut" and just pray about the issue. Proverbs 21:1 says that, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will." God is in the business of changing hearts, and he can and will change our husbands' hearts when we get out of the way!

An Illustration from my Life:

In our first decade of marriage, my husband and I reached an impasse several times, when we both held strong and opposing views on key issues that would drastically alter the course of our lives. These were major, life-changing issues, such as whether I would continue my career or stay home to raise our children, whether we would homeschool or send our children to the government schools, and whether we would use birth control or allow God to control our family size.

I will share about one of the most contentious issues we tackled -- how our children would be educated.

I first learned about homeschooling when our oldest daughter was about four. I was very impressed with the first homeschooling family that I met, and became very curious to learn more about this "strange option" called homeschooling. As I read and researched and prayed about it, I began to feel very strongly that this was the right educational path for our family. I feared that our oldest daughter, who was very smart, sensitive and imaginative, would not do well in a public school classroom, and I desired to impart our biblical values and godly character to her. However, the more I became convinced in my heart that we should give homeschooling a try, the more my husband dug in his heels and refused to even consider such a "fanatical" idea! At one point he boldly stated, "Over my dead body will we ever homeschool!"  ;)  Of course, he laughs about that rash statement now!  

Finally, I realized that all of our attempts to discuss this issue ended in arguments, anger, hurt feelings, and tears. However, as her kindergarten year approached, it was an issue that had to be faced and a decision made. Since my husband refused to read any of the persuasive books on homeschooling that I had been reading and carefully planting where he would see them, ;) and because I was an English major and former technical writer, I decided to write a "treatise on homeschooling" and present it to him. This allowed me to eloquently present my side in a factual, persuasive manner, with works cited to back up my points!  :)  It also enabled me to share everything that was in my heart without getting emotional or angry.

However, after reading my carefully written appeal, my husband was still not persuaded.  :( I knew that I had done my best to present my side, and I felt very strongly that homeschooling was what God was calling us to and that it would be the best thing for our family, but I knew I couldn't talk my husband into it. I had already tried that! ;)  God directed my attention to 1 Peter 3:1 -- 

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

I knew that I must shut my mouth, stop my arguments and appeals, submit to my husband, and just pray that God would change his heart. It was through much prayer and my commitment to have a meek and quiet spirit and to submit my will to my husbands, that the Lord eventually changed my husband's heart!! How exciting and faith-building it was for me when my husband announced that he had changed his mind and was agreeing to a "trial period" for homeschooling! We took it a year at a time for the first couple years, but that "trial period" eventually extended to 23 years and counting of home education for our family!  :) Praise God!

Your Turn to Share:

How do you respond when you and your husband don't see eye to eye? Are you able to disagree with humility, love, and respect? Do you have a testimony that you can share of how God changed your husband's heart as the result of a wise appeal and/or prayer?? I'd love to hear your story! Please share so we might all be encouraged!

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



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Amy M. said...

Terrific post! The pride aspect serves, I think, as the main hitching post for women in keeping things tied ... in one spot ... looking for status quo as a protection.


harriet said...

What a great post! Thanks for your wisdom, the story you shared about homeschooling is so inspiring and so encouraging to see 1 Peter 3 in action!
God bless, Harriet

Sharon said...

Great Post!

I linked my blog to yours, but I typed in my name where it said "Your Name" instead of the title of the post. Can we change that? Either delete it and let me know or change it to "That Hour Before Dinner".

Sorry about that.


Brooke said...

What great reminders! Thank you so much for sharing. I love your header picture! What a big, wonderful, happy family. How fun! Have a wonderful day!

Working Mom said...

You are an inspiration!

I have just recently decided to try to "shut your mouth and pray" thing and it's HARD. It's hard to constantly notice things that make me lose respect and make me and my child feel bad, but I have decided to shut my mouth and pray. After three years of arguing on the same matters, that is the only way I haven't tried.

busymomof10 said...

Working Mom,

You're right. It is not easy! But God will give you the grace to bite your tongue and just pray for Him to change your husband! Praying for God's best for you!


busymomof10 said...

Working Mom,

You're right. It is not easy! But God will give you the grace to bite your tongue and just pray for Him to change your husband! Praying for God's best for you!


Judith said...

This was such an outstanding post. Since we homeschooled for 25+ years,I really enjoyed reading your example, your story.

This spoke to my heart as I am always growing in how I relate to my husband. I recently thought about how it is so easy to try to control my husband. It can be in such little ways.

Thanks for linking up with me this week over at WholeHearted Home. This post was a real blessing.

busymomof10 said...

Thanks Judith! And you are right -- I don't know if we ever "outgrow" our desire to control our husbands and to get them to do things "our way!" It is a journey for sure! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Gerald Ben-Ami said...

Well I am a husband and read your post and greatly appreciate it. I love my wife and family dearly. Have I made mistakes; ha! Have I repented, acknowledged my mistakes, etc; countless times.

My wife is full of wisdom and a far better person then I. I admire her in many ways. This article is right on point however and just like you ladies we as husbands have to do the same.

No one is exempt from humility and humbling themselves in a Christ Centered Home.

But remember this also; God will ALWAYS deal with the PRAYOR FIRST before the Prayee. Ask me how I know!

The goal of your prayers for us is not "change" us to agree; but for us to be like Christ. Gotta remember we want to be like Christ but we as men are finding our way also. We are learning and maturing as well and not all of us had Godly examples to emulate. Matter of fact some of us are being used by God to be the template to our Children, Spouses, etc. And it can be a daunting task to know that I am leading a group of people when I know I am flawed, can make mistakes, etc even when I am looking up!

So part of praying for "us" is recognizing that just like you our heart is to do right by you and for you and our family. Be us for just a second; one day we get saved and suddenly we find out hey - Big Boy; you are in charge and will be held accountable for this family and your kids because of God's divine order. Say What? Don't think for one second any reasonable man with three seconds of the Fear of the Lord will be like "yeah that's right cause I am all that!" HA! We'd be more apt to run for the hills and some do. Praise God I am not one of them; but don't think for a second we think we got it all figured out. Fear will cause us to act that way; but humility [faith] will cause us not to. We need your respect because we might not always respect ourselves. We need your support because you [aside from God] might be the only support we have. We need your encouragment because the Enemy might and can be on us day and night about the welfare of you, the kids, money, that one bill, their future, our future, how you feel, etc etc etc.

So just remember that when you see us and think how much of a dope we are being or whatever.

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