I really kind of wish I could quote a whole chapter of a book my 6 year old daughter has been reading recently,”Junie B Jones Loves Handsome Warren.” Sadly, that would be against copyright laws, I am sure.
But this kindergarten girl – Junie B – falls in love with Warren in her class.
- She tries to wear fancy shoes and dresses to get his attention.
- She talks to him NONSTOP to try to make him love her and to get him to tell her that he guarantees his love.E
- “Warren! Warren! Do you love me now, Warren? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?”
- She sits beside him and will not leave him alone even when he says, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” in a very angry voice. She continues talking. I am quoting a bit from memory here, may not be exact… “I’m not bothering you, Warren. I’m not talking at all. I’m just going to sit right here and be quiet. I won’t say one word…. You know, Warren… I think you have something in your hair. Did you know you have something in your hair, Warren? I could take it out for you. It wouldn’t be a problem at all. I’d be happy to get it out of your hair for you.” She goes on and on – Warren finally SCREAMS in frustration for her to go away. She won’t. She stays right there and keeps talking and talking and talking. She truly believes that the more she talks the more she is going to endear herself to him. But she is turning him completely off – and she doesn’t even know it. She is sabotaging herself and repelling him.
Hmm… Sometimes we as grown women do the same thing! This approach screams “desperation.” That is not attractive to anyone.
As our confidence and security is found completely in Christ, we are full of His joy and peace and we do not become a black hole of need. His Living Water fills us to overflowing no matter what anyone else does or does not do.
If things are not going well in your relationship, and you are not feeling “connected” – here are a couple of things that I personally suggest you DO NOT do (for whatever my opinion is worth)…
– Demand to have a deep talk with him about “where is our relationship heading?”
Asking him to give you guarantees about your future relationship when he is shut down and already has one foot out the door will drive that final nail into the coffin of the relationship many times. I know that we women want to TALK about things – but the more you talk in this situation, the more you try to make him give you the answers you want, the more he will want to go far away – if not physically, than emotionally. Men DO NOT LIKE TO BE PRESSURED into anything. But they REALLY, REALLY don’t like to be pressured in relationships.
– Ask him to explain all the intricate meaning and emotion behind something that he did that was uncharacteristically affectionate, kind, generous or sweet.
Please don’t do that! Just THANK him and smile. Savor the gift. Do not have a discussion about it. Too many words can ruin a wonderful thing sometimes. 🙂
– Fish for compliments.
– Only talk about things that are important to you – not that are important to him.
– Talk a lot about other people. Put them down. Gossip. Share lots of small details about other people.
Guys generally aren’t interested in gossip – and, that is a sin and all. Guys are usually more interested in things and events and ideas not as much about people and relationships.
– Complain and argue often.
God does command us not to complain or argue (Philippians 2:14-15). It is a turn off to other people, too!
– Say, “I love YOU!!!” in that voice that means “you better say it back to me or else!”
– Try to force him to talk about his feelings when he is obviously shut down and not receptive to talking.
Giving him space at a time like that is a GIFT to him.
– Try to make him love you in specific ways and show it in specific ways instead of accepting the way he shows love.
– Tell him, “We need to talk.”
That phrase is a SCARY one to most men. It is never, “Let’s talk about what YOU want to, Honey!” Or, “So, how is your fantasy football team doing this week?” Most men feel that phrase is the precursor to a verbal assault many times.
– Focus on the things he “should” do – either telling him what to do or thinking about what he should do.
That does not go to a happy place for you. It will turn you into a resentful, powerless, angry, bitter victim who tries to demand that he act a certain way or you cannot be happy with your life. You become his prisoner – and a prisoner to your bitterness. You lose your fellowship with Christ as you cherish sin in your heart. Then you have zero power to be content unless he does what you want. No! No! NOT GOOD! I have been down that road. Went down it for 14+ years. It is not worth it!
YOU have the power to be content in your life no matter what your man does because you can find all of your contentment in Christ alone. As you focus on asking God to change you and thanking God for anything good in your man. That leads to a healthy, happy, joyful, peaceful POWERFUL place where the resources of heaven come pouring into your lap.
- One of the reasons that God instructs believing wives whose husbands are far from God not to use words to win their husbands to Christ – is that the farther a man is from God, the less he can hear his woman’s words about spiritual or moral things.
If you are not married, and your man is far from God – please stop!!!!! Get godly counsel. Do not proceed into a committed relationship or marriage with a man who is far away from Christ. Only marry a growing believer in Christ who is humble, who longs to honor Christ above all else, who has the fruit of the Spirit in his life. Seek godly counsel before marrying anyone and please seek godly premarital counseling – where you will be challenged and forced to really deeply examine yourself and your man will also be forced to deeply examine himself.
When a husband is living in disobedience to God’s Word – EVERY wife wants to lecture, preach, nag, scold, criticize and try to verbally drag her man to Christ. If we are far from God – and not filled with His Spirit – that is exactly what we will try to do. Every time.
And it will NEVER EVER work.
IF we want our husbands to be drawn TO Christ – God gives us the prescription in I Peter 3:1-6. This is our POWER in Christ – to obey Him, to trust Him, to do things His way, to allow His power to work in us to make us the godly women He wants us to be and to trust Him to be the Holy Spirit in our husbands’ lives.
Our power with our men is NOT IN WORDS. In fact – our words are poison to our relationships and our men if they are far from us and far from God and we try to talk to them about it. Our words cannot make things better in that situation. Our words about spiritual things and about our marriage and what they “should” do will only repel them from us and from God.
If they are going to be able to receive anything from us when things are not going well – it will only be the Spirit of God working in us to empower us to respect the good in them, to cooperate with their leadership (if they are not clearly asking us to sin), our smiles, our encouragement, our faith in Christ and our faith in the good parts of them. As we become the wives of God’s dreams, God may use us to help draw our husbands back to Himself. And He will get us out of His way so that our husbands can hear HIS voice. Our voice has to stop first so that they can hear His voice.
In marriage, even to a godly man – we must be prepared to offer MUCH grace, mercy and forgiveness and to DIE TO SELF.
God will use marriage to make us more holy. That is His primary purpose – and to display the picture of Christ and the church in each husband and wife. Our happiness is not God’s goal. Our feeling loved is not God’s goal. Our goal must be to only please Jesus – no matter what our feelings, no matter what happens in the marriage.
MY HUSBAND’S STORY
My husband told me years after I began this journey:
“I knew you were close to God, much closer than I could ever be. I believed that I was a bad husband and a bad Christian. I began to believe I could never be close to God like you were.”
“When you stopped all the negative things – the criticism, the lecturing, the nagging, the scolding, the telling me what to do, the condemnation, the sighing like I was an idiot, the eye-rolling, the angry tone of voice, the angry body language… it was like someone took a bunch of static off of the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”
“Then, when you began to add positive things – encouraging me, praising me if I did something well, thanking me for things you appreciated, showing real faith in me, respecting the good you saw in me… it was like someone added an amplifier to the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”
God gives us the commands He does because His wisdom is infinitely higher than our own! He understands men. He knows how marriage is supposed to work. He is able to heal broken marriages. If we want God to work in our husbands’ lives – we MUST be willing to do things God’s way – even if we don’t like it or don’t understand it. If we will trust Him and walk by faith – it becomes the most amazing adventure ever. We don’t have guarantees our husbands will change or when they might change. But God does promise to change us and make us more like Jesus. I desire Him to find each of us faithful as wives that we might stand before Him at the end of this short life with no regrets and that He might commend us for a job well-done.
Much love to you!