I’m putting a question on the table.

19 Mar

So, normally I don’t “beg” my audience for participation – but there are always exceptions right?!

I’m going to put a question on the table, and I’m anxious to hear from as many of you that are willing to share as possible.  I think this is a really big issue and I’m finding that this might just well be the hardest part of respect between a husband and wife, especially through the emails I receive.

I’ve talked in-depth about nagging and playing the Holy Spirit.

These habits can be very disrespectful and cause tension in a marriage.  It’s not wise for women to pester their husbands with requests, expect immediate answers, demand instant change, or punish them because they disagree or don’t “jump” fast enough, or in the right ways.

But there are times when a wife needs to come to her husband and confront sin, or even just address something that may not be “sin” but is a really big concern for her and their marriage.

I don’t care who you are, it’s hard to hear that something you do has hurt someone, or been called out as sin.  I’m not saying we aren’t appreciative and thankful for accountability and help seeing our short-comings, especially if it’s driving a wedge between us and our spouse, however, it isn’t usually an exciting experience.

And I imagine (I’m not a man, so hopefully I’m not miss-speaking here) it’s even harder to know that you’re the spiritual leader of your wife and you want her to respect you more than anyone else on the planet, and she’s bringing light to your sin or saying you’ve hurt her.

Ouch.  I totally get that!!!

So, here’s the question — (and men, I rarely address you, but if you’d weigh in…. you could be of HUGE value here!!!!!!)

How can a wife confront sin, or let her husband know something he is doing is hurting her or causing her great concern, while still showing him immense unconditional respect?  And, not leaving him feeling like she’s lecturing his behavior?

Are men prone to feel lectured just because they are being called out, no matter how respectful she is being?

I have my own opinions on this…. but I really want to hear from all of you.

Women — have you faced this?  What happened? How did you handle yourself?  How did your husband react?

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10 Responses to “I’m putting a question on the table.”

  1. Tobiyah March 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    When my husband does something that is questionable to me, I come to him with I might be wrong attitude but this ‘something’ is bothering me, could you help me out? I have found after a time if the ‘something’ hasn’t cleared up, husband is in God’s hands and the Creator can cause more to happen to my husband to get his attention than I ever could.

  2. howsyourlovelife March 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    This is something that I talk with young wives about a lot. I’m thinking I might type as much as a normal post, answering your question! In my opinion it’s not my job to point out sin in my guy, it is the job of the Holy Spirit. I can pray that he will be convicted, but I am not the one to do it. However, if there is behavior that is directly affecting me and our marriage I can bring it up.

    In the past week I have talked with one wife about her husband reminding her of a past relationship, and showing distrust to the point of hurting her over and over. Another wife says that her guy makes mean, off handed comments that don’t line up with who he is in front of others.

    For both women, I suggested that they wait for the right timing, not in the middle of an argument, but sometime when things are good, maybe at dinner out alone. Then, do this:

    Say: Honey, have I done something to upset or offend you recently?

    Ask with a genuine heart and then wait for his honest response. It may take him a day or more to answer. When he does, if he tells you something that you have done that has upset him, do not defend yourself. Listen with an open heart. Repeat what was said to you. Apologize and ask for forgiveness. Then ask him to please stop talking to you in the way that he has, explaining that this is very hurtful to you. It’s okay to be very firm in this request, but not to become a victim or nagging. He will be so surprised by your receiving and repentance that he will hear your request with new ears. This only works if you are being genuine in the exchange.

    If he says that there is nothing that is bothering him, you can then tell him what has been bothering you, keeping it concise and asking for what you want.

    I’m not sure if I am saying this the right way, but I feel strongly that when you approach him with genuine growth in mind and are open to hearing about your own issues, he is more likely to feel respect and hear your heart.

    • Kayla Gulick March 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Thanks for weighing in on this! You’ve brought up some good points and suggestions for sure.

  3. Bethany March 19, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I’m only two years into my marriage but have definitely done this the wrong way but also in a way that turned out well. What I find turns out well for me is, first of all, when I assess his mood before I approach him. If he’s just woken up or just gotten home from a long day of work, not a good time. If he seems relaxed and we’re just resting and talking, this is usually a good time. Then, I ask him, “There’s something bothering me that I’d like to talk about. Is this a good time?” He’ll either respond with “not now,” “can it wait until…” or “yes.”

    When I present the problem, I first start out with the things that aren’t the problem–what is he doing right? “I like it when you…” or “I know that you are…” Then, after I’ve built him up a little, I very kindly present the issue followed by, “maybe I’m misunderstanding” or “maybe there’s something going on that I don’t know about.”

    This tends to work pretty well. It always helps if I have prayed it all through beforehand because then I know I’ve entrusted God with the conversation.

    I hope this is helpful!

    • Kayla Gulick March 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks for adding your insights Bethany. I appreciate the feedback for the readers!!

  4. learningever March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Gary Thomas has really good insight in “Sacred Influence”. Great book to read, ponder and pray through. He talks about a term called “functional fixedness”. It has to do with what motivates him to change, which is really why we risk speaking of these things (thinking of the hurting or causing great concern category)

    It is complicated and every situation different. God knows all about it, pray,pray,pray! Make sure the respect and adoration meter is registering on high. Had a difficult issue with my H that went on for awhile after I brought it up in conversation. Prayed a lot about it and journaled and deleted. Was very frustrating for a few months, but felt conviction to continue. Huge denial on his part made it ruff. Short conversations now and then holding firm while still loving, respecting and desiring him, living life with joy.

    It is much better now, he doesn’t deny it and we are able to speak of it on occasion without it being a big deal. I didn’t get the total transformation I had pictured, but it is ok now and much more livable. God has reminded me of some of my imperfections which puts this small thing in the “small thing category”.

    God is so able to guide us in these things. I like to pray for a few days before considering any action. Good to purge out my own motives, emotions and get my heart more in line with God.

    • Kayla Gulick March 21, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Excellent! I’m so thankful you just shared all that.

  5. Lori Alexander March 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I believe it is fine to confront him once about it but then after that….Ruth Bell Graham advised wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well.

    • Kayla Gulick March 22, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      Great advice!! I love that point about seeing a change in yourself too!

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