We all know that whining and complaining makes everyone unhappy, including ourselves. It can tear up your marriage and make your husband dread coming home.
So what is a woman supposed to do when she truly has an issue that needs dealt with?
Sometimes there are things that come up within marriage that simply can’t be swept under the rug. Parenting can take these issues to a whole new level as two different opinions clash about what is best in raising your children.
And sweeping anything under the rug only accomplishes two things. The one whose issue got swept under remains completely oblivious that any change is in order, and the one who did the sweeping slowly boils like a pot of noodles until the lid flies off and pieces go everywhere.
Believe me, sweeping and being swept is not the way to go. I’ve tried it.
But suppose there is a way we can truly get our husband’s attention about an issue that needs dealt with, while doing it in a respectful manner. Notice I said respectful. That is key!
Through trial and error (poor Lowell, I know) I have a few steps that help me when there is something important I simply must get across to him:
Remove yourself and your emotions from the moment. This is probably the most crucial piece of advice I can give to anyone. And it must come first.
When you try to tell your husband how he is doing something wrong while you have steam coming out of your ears, he does not hear a thing. All he sees is the steam, or the tears, or whatever way you try to “persuade” your husband.
An appeal is not made in the moment of emotion.
Otherwise, it is not an appeal. It is simply a battle of the wills. An appeal is a well thought-out undertaking.
Let’s face it, ladies! Our men are logical, infuriatingly so at times. But that is how God made them to take in information and process it. Rationally, calmly, and thoroughly thinking it from every angle.
So if you truly want him to hear what you are going to say, I suggest you remove yourself from the highly-charged situation that you have an opinion about before you talk to him. If it means you leave the room, then run sister! On your way out the door, tell him you need a breather and then you will be back.
Pray. This is simple, but passed up so many times that the outcome can be devastating.
Cover yourself with prayer before you take your appeal to your husband. Pray for him, for you, for the entire situation.
Now I will tell you an astounding thing that sometimes takes place here. After removing yourself from the situation, calming down your emotions, and praying about this issue and this plain ol’ stubborn man you’re going to have to appeal to . . . sometimes you change your mind.
I know you didn’t want to hear that, but it’s true.
We women truly cannot think rationally when our blood pressure is through the roof and our temperature gauge reads “too hot to handle”. I’ve found that when I take a step back before saying anything and pray about it, sometimes I find it is my heart that needs changed. And my plain ol’ stubborn husband was right.
But since I’ve realized this after removing myself from the moment, I also am grateful I didn’t have any hurtful words I need to apologize for later. Eating crow tastes much better when done in prayer, than when done in a fight with your husband.
However, suppose I’ve removed myself, prayed about it, and it still weighs heavily on my heart. What do I do next?
It is time to make the appeal.
Let him know you are serious. Take him aside or let him know you need to speak privately with him at a future time.
If he can see you asking for a moment of his time without tears running down your face or your eyes crossed from the boiling pot called emotion, he will sit up and take note. At least mine does.
As you make your appeal to him, tell him (in a calm and rational, yet heartfelt manner) that this is something you really need talked about. He is now ready to actually hear you.
Don’t point fingers at him, but tell him honestly and respectfully what is bothering you. Let him be the one to admit he’s done wrong. It never feels good to have someone in your face, jamming your past mistakes down your throat. It’s easier when you realize it yourself.
But now let’s say you’ve made your appeal and he doesn’t see things the way you do, what then? To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever had to go this far. Usually our differences get resolved and we’re making up by this point!
So I tread on uncertain ground here, but this is probably what I would do:
Pound the gates of Heaven in earnest prayer for this issue. Maybe you’ll find it is truly your ol’ stubborn heart that ends up changing.
Or maybe not.
After praying, I would go through the steps above and make another appeal (or multiple ones) at a later time. But if that still wouldn’t work, I would go to my last resort.
Go above your Head. Your husband is your spiritual Head, but if he is truly living in sin, you need to go above him to the ministers of your church. It is to God that he must answer to, and God has placed these ministers as an umbrella over him and you.
By now, we’re talking much deeper stuff than simply about a question in raising the kids or who gets to pay monthly bills. I have seen women who have had to do these steps, painful though it is. And the rest of us need to earnestly pray for these women and the men they love. They are precious beyond words!
After typing these all out, I can see so many times where I have tried skipping the first step and jumping to step two. Or completely neglecting the first two altogether, and hitting step three for all I’m worth. Maybe you’ve found something that helps you when making your appeal. I’d love to hear about it!
Above all, let’s remember to do this “as unto the Lord”.
Puts a whole different spin on it, doesn’t it?