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Last night, I had my third meeting with my women’s group. I absolutely love it! Our church just started up a women’s ministry and had a huge response by women interested in joining a small group. We were divided up into groups of 6-8 women, and my group meets every two weeks at our leader’s gorgeous home. It’s such a fun time of fellowship and closeness- even though we just met, it feels like such a safe place to really reveal your heart and open up. I’d highly recommend joining a women’s group through your church if you’re looking to make new friends! Last night, we talked about husbands. Everyone in the group is happily (most of the time!) married, so it’s something we have in common. Our main topic of discussion was respecting our husbands.

I don’t know about you, but showing respect and learning to be mindful of his opinion is not something I just know how to do. I was raised by a single mom who had the attitude of “if you want something done right, do it yourself” and really raised me to be independent and self-sufficient apart from a man. Those are all great things, but when you find yourself in a good relationship, those are things that can hinder the growth of that relationship. So, here I am, trying to learn how to be a Biblically “good” wife. Now, showing respect to our spouses is something we should all do- men and women alike. We were discussing ways in which to do that. Things like asking (and actually taking) your husbands opinion, letting him have the last word, always praying for him, letting him feel like (and be) the spiritual leader in your home, etc.

I know some of you are seriously shaking your heads right now, thinking “my husband is NOT the boss of me, and he’s certainly not my leader!” Well, you’re not alone. This is something completely out of my realm of understand, but I think it is important to learn how to be the kind of wife God wants me to be, so I am trying to learn more. I am someone that takes charge of every situation, hates to ask for help and is generally quite a control freak. Dare I say, I may be overly honest with you guys! Anyway, it’s really hard for me to let Trevor be the head of the household. I guess I feel a sense of competition, needing to be in charge and in control. I blame that on my brother who is the most competitive person alive and brought me down with him in our childhood death matches board game playing (thanks, Austin). It’s such a foreign concept to me that I am having to take baby steps in this process. Being a strong woman sometimes makes it hard for me to be a strong wife.

I have finally learned to ask for, and accept, help from Trevor. He may not fold the towels exactly like I do (the way Martha Stewart says you should… I know, I have problems) or put the dishes away in the exact right spot, but you know what? Who cares?! That towel is just going to get unfolded and that dish is just going to get dirtied up again. It does not matter. So, with that change underway, I think the next thing I need to learn to do is hold my tongue. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. I don’t always have to have the last word. I don’t always have to “win” an argument. I can let him be right sometimes- compromise is a GOOD thing!! He’s a man, and I should let him be that. Most men have a natural desire to lead and be in control- I really need to learn to relinquish some of my desire to lead to him as a way of showing love and respect for him. I have to realize thatĀ being respectful of someone isn’t losing- it’s just a new way of winning, and our relationship is the winner.

Want to make people’s heads explode? Mention beingĀ a Biblically “submissive” wife. This topic is so interesting to me because people take it out of context and think you have to submit and be a doormat to your husband. Nope! The whole idea is for the husband to act in a way that warrants his wife’s respect and for a women to act in a way that does the same thing. So basically you want to hear and act on his thoughts and opinions because they’re in line with God’s– He has to be in the Word and actively seeking the Lord as the first step. You aren’t going to want to follow someone’s lead if they’re out of step with the Spirit. And their job is to cherish their wives and love her with a love like that of Jesus’ for the church. It’s the Biblical model of a healthy marriage, and in no way does that ask a woman to give up herself or squash her own personality or strengths. It’s all about mutual respect and acting out of a love for Jesus. I love that.

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5: 21-33)

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  • Reply Mrs. MidAtlantic

    I have to bite my tongue a whole lot to make sure I don’t spend all my time with my husband correcting him on this or that. It’s a slippery slope, because once I correct one silly thing, I find myself seeing a whole slew of other things I’d like to correct! It can’t be nice for Nate to hear… I should work on being more respectful. HARD!

    October 19, 2011 at 11:06 am
    • Reply Jessica

      You’re so right- it’s incredibly hard!!

      October 19, 2011 at 11:11 am
  • Reply Kristy

    This is something I really struggle with. Like you, I take control of situations, especially when it involves our family and our home. And being submissive is definitely not like second nature to me. I’ve been praying a lot lately about showing more respect to my husband and trying to sometimes ‘defer’ to him, if my mouth will allow it! :) It’s not easy for a type-A person like me, but I want to build him up instead of tear him down.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Kristal

    Jessica, I swear you and I would be awesome buds if I lived anywhere near the south, hehe. I always feel like you and I are conquering the same spiritual truths at the same time. I’m glad you feel comfortable sharing your heart with your readers and hopefully you can reach out to others.

    As for myself this is something I am enduring everyday, being the submissive wife (but not a doormat). I’m a very independent person and a bit OCD. I like things to be just so when it comes to the household, finances, what we do and buy, and lately when it comes to faith. Basically if my husband wants to do something he comes to me first. I feel awful about that. I feel like he should have equal say in what we do, if not take the lead. It’s hard for someone like me who is often in control to give it over to my husband. But I am working diligently on letting him take the lead on things, listening to his needs, and letting him see himself as the leader as well. I don’t see being submissive to our husband as a sign of weakness but as a sign of respect. I should respect him to take the lead on the above mentioned items instead of it always being me.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:30 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Kristal, it sounds like you and I have a LOT in common! It’s such a hard concept for many modern women to deal with, but it’s so important! We’ll just have to learn how to do it together!

      October 19, 2011 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Amanda

    I absolutely love this post. God really convicted me on Sunday about my attitude in general, but especially toward my husband. It’s so hard to balance out what society tells us we should be with what God calls us to be. Awesome job being transparent and open. It’s so hard to admit that we aren’t perfect and put it out there for the world to see. I’ll be praying for you that you can continue to grow into a Godly wife!

    October 19, 2011 at 11:35 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Amanda, the point you just made about society is something I mentioned in my group last night, too. Society tells us to be strong, independent, be our own person, etc., but a lot of times when we listen to society too often, sometimes we’re pulled away from Biblical examples (not just in this regard, either!). Thank you for your prayers- I will pray for you, as well!

      October 19, 2011 at 11:41 am
  • Reply

    I have been reading this blog for ages and never commented before. I guess my first comment should be a happy positive one to make a good first impression, but I have to say I am sad to read the words “submissive wife” in America in 2011. Regardless of how the definition is massaged to make it seem less masognynistic, it carries a great weight which women have been pinned under since the beginning of time. It troubles me because I sense that you know it outdated and not right for you, yet you are trying to turn yourself and your perfectly happy relationship in a dangerously different direction. In my humble opinion, being respectful is not about “submitting” – i.e. letting someone else have their way just because. It is about letting someone else have their way because you love and them and you are willing to compromise sometimes when you see it is important to them.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:55 am
    • Reply Jessica

      I agree that being respectful is not about being submissive. What I was referring to was the bible verse that discusses submission, which, in actuality, is not what we tend to think of as submission. It is more about respect than laying down and letting someone be your keeper. That’s why I brought it up because I think a lot of people (myself included) misread what that means. I plan on discussing that soon, too, because it was really enlightening to me when my pastor explained that passage and what exactly it does mean. Your last sentence is exactly what I was trying to get across in my post, so I’m sorry if it didn’t come across to you that way, but that’s certainly what I am striving for- to learn to let go and compromise more in an attempt to be more loving and respectful.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Wifey

    I love that you said being respectful isn’t losing. I had a hard time with this concept as well and have really had to work at it. Most of my issues stemmed from thinking that giving him power meant I lost mine. But really in the end I could stand to lose a lot of my power and let some of my control issues go. It’s hard work but this is one of the main reasons why I love being married – it’s work and it’s not easy but when you find someone who is worth it, it’s totally worth the work!

    October 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply Allison Taylor

    This post definitely touched my heart. Being submissive and respectful is a lesson I am working hard at teaching myself daily, although I still have a long ways to go! As a strong and independent woman (who was also raised by a single mother who taught me to be that way), it is very hard to not just handle things on my own as I always have. I have a certain way of liking things and am very OCD also in the ways our house is kept, bills are paid, ect. It is especially difficult having a husband that works odd and long hours therefore leaving me to “man the house” on my own most of the time. I find it hard to turn the tables back when he is home and is available to be the leader and let him be the head of household he was intended to be. Thank you for this post, it is refreshing to see other women walking in my shoes.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Mandy

    I absolutely love this post! I am not married yet, but this is something I want to learn before I do. My fiance and I have been together for over three years now and I have a very bad problem of needing to be the “leader” of the household. I’m a SAHM to my daughter, so I take care of her, cook, clean etc and when he tries to help I feel like it should be done the way I always do it since I am the one doing it the majority of the time. It’s quite sad how something so small can be such a big deal in my head. For example, like you said, not putting a towel away. I would love to hear your progress on this as you learn to be a more respectful wife!

    October 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Leigha

    Hi Jessica!
    I (like you) am a MaMa to an amazing little boy and we have another little guy on the way. I have to say that I love this post and I am very excited to read your submissive post. This is something that I have been working on a ton lately. This pregnancy has been far from easy..bed rest for the last 8 weeks, my bp dropping to 70’s/30’s, wearing support hose that could rival a shark suit! haha But, the one thing I really feel the Lord impressing on me is that I really need to respect my husband and be submissive. I agree that it is not a doormat role. I am a very opinionated person. I feel like I am really learning when to speak up(never had a problem there..i guess learning the right timing to speak up) and when to say “ok, honey! You take the lead on this one!”. I am learning to put some of my controlling behaviors aside and I am looking forward to putting more aside!!! :) It can only make me a better person! After all, God is the one who should be in control. I really really feel that had I not gone through these last 8 weeks of crazy times, I would not be where I am right now. It is super hard at times, don’t get me wrong, but I will be so much better off in the long run. Anyway, I just wanted to come out of the woodworks!! Sorry for blog stalking.. I really love that you are so transparent. Thank you for writing this blog! Leigha

    October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply Nikki

    Just wanted to add that I also have a women’s lifegroup at church, and LOVE it. We are doing a bible study now about Jonah and God’s interruptions. It’s amazing how much an amazing group of Christian women can be for the soul!

    October 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm
  • Reply Rebecca

    Exactly what I needed to read today….thanks girl! And you are exactly right…how did we all end up being control freaks..haha! Keep posting about your women’s group…would love to hear what you learn.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm
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