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Panel Discussion On Marriage Q&A

Panel: Zach Mabry, Little Holloway, Rob Conti, and Spencer Davis.

Moderator: Brody Holloway

We know communication is vital to our marriage and our marriage’s success but we don’t know how to get better at it, what tips can you give us?

Zach Mabry:

Everything in your marriage is gonna be affected by how you communicate with each other. And so the easiest way to describe it is just to practice. Practice communicating. Now, if you’re having trouble, if you’re having difficulty in communicating, then you actually need to have conversations about how you communicate. Like what we were talking about this morning, you need to study your spouse and learn the way that they communicate, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to say, “What did you mean when you said that?” And then follow up like, “This is what I thought you meant when you said that.” And for me, a lot of times it is, “I’m really sorry you took it that way. I apologize. That’s not what I meant.”

And so you need to talk about it, you need to talk about it in a situation where you’re not heated. You can’t just have an argument at that point, say, “Okay, let’s talk about it right now,” because your emotions are all into and you’re not gonna be able to think straight, you’re not gonna be able to communicate clearly. And then in that, you need to learn how your spouse deals with conflict. Like how you resolve conflict. And I know that for us is practically my wife and I resolve conflict completely different… Completely differently? We do it differently. And because with me, I wanna talk about it right then, and I wanna figure out what the problem is, and then I wanna correct it. And then I think we’re good, right?

You know, “Oh, this is what you thought.” And said this, this, this. “Okay, got it. I’m sorry for that. That’s not what I meant, I’ll never do that again.” And then I think I’m good. We’re great now, ’cause that’s… Typically, that’s how guys operate. Guys can get into a fist fight, reconcile and play basketball. That makes sense. Well, with my wife and I, when we got married, we didn’t really have much conflict going into marriage, and then we moved in with each other, apparently, we do a lot of things differently. And we would think that we’re right in how we do everything. So we had conflict and we had to work through how we resolved conflict, and so her natural inclination is to just suppress it.

And if she’s upset or frustrated, she doesn’t wanna talk about it. And then… ‘Cause for her, she has to internally process it and she internally processes it, and then she’ll wanna talk about it. And then once we talk about it, once it’s resolved, then of course, I think we’re good. Well, then she again needs to internally process it. And so what you need to do is you need to learn how your spouse deals with stuff like that, how you communicate, how you think, what they think when you say certain things, or how you’re received by them, learn how they manage conflict, and then you have to make accommodations for each other. You have to intentionally change the way that you deal with things so that you can learn to live with each other, and you both have to do that.

So with us, if I know my wife is upset and I ask her, “Are you upset?” She will of course say, “No. I’m fine.” And then so she’s had to learn to compromise and she has to say, “Yeah, I’m upset, I’m frustrated.” “Okay, do you wanna talk about it?” “No, I don’t.” And so then I have to compromise. Gonna have to just wait, wait till she’s ready. When she’s ready, we talk it out, work through it, and then I have to wait again. And then she has to tell me when she’s fine. So every situation is different. You guys, every one of us is different. And so you and your marriage and your relationship with your spouse is gonna be different than everybody else’s. And you have to learn your spouse and you have to just be intentional about it, and so it takes a lot of practice, and it takes honesty, and it takes a willingness to change.

And you both… And there’s nothing wrong with that. ‘Cause it’s easy for a man to say, “Well, I’m not gonna change, she has to learn about me.” Well, that’s silly. You guys wanna be married for the rest of your life, right? So if you need to change the way you do things or change the way you think about things, change what you communicate, you both have to do that so that you can do this together. And that’s where it comes in. I remember before I got married, people said relationships are about compromise. And in my mind, I thought, “Compromise? No, I’m never gonna compromise. Why would you compromise? That’s bad.” Well, yeah. Compromising on your morals and your standards, yeah, sure. But compromising on the way you talk to somebody, the way you think about something, the way that you respond. Well, that’s easy. It’s worth it. So yeah, so practice, talk about it and keep practicing.

What does submission to my husband look like?

Little Holloway:

Hi. I think, first of all, what I would try to get through to you guys is like submission as a believer, hopefully shouldn’t be like a new concept to you, because as soon as I give my life over to Christ, then I start practicing submission to the Lord, daily, every morning, I have to kick myself in the butt and make myself submit to the Lord and submit my sin self to the Lord, so just stepping back and allowing that to happen that shouldn’t be a new concept. Going into marriage, it shouldn’t be something that seems so overwhelming, especially to the female, to the wife, the concept of submission because it is such a beautiful thing.

I always love to see, like in movies or if you guys know somebody that when you see them, they’re just highly capable of living just a beautiful life, and they’re highly capable of doing what they need to do and doing it well, and they just do things well. They may be really confident, whatever, they just… They know how to live kind of a charmed type of life. You see somebody like that, but then if you see them like humbly living before others, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s such a beautiful thing to see that go on. And so I don’t know who it was, but whoever it was, it’s awesome to be independent and have things in order and know what’s going on, but it’s beautiful to be able to submit that because when I’m able to do that, when I’m able to step back, like in any situation before the Lord, then I’m really, really able to love well.

And I’m able to serve well, and that’s really just what it is. It would be hard to say situationally, what it looks like to submit to your husband, because everybody’s lives are different, so it would be a thing where you have to be led by the Spirit definitely. In the morning, I have to go before the Lord, submit myself to him, and then allow him to lead me to respond well to my husband, to my kids, to whatever is going on. So the concept of submission is really just like allowing myself to just fix my eyes on the Lord and love the Lord well, and then just step back and allow him to lead me, and as far as Brody and I go, he’s easy to love and serve. But there’s been times even when I would maybe question something that he’s leading us in, and it’s usually a thing…

I think I talked about this last year, where he and I wanted to have a child, so she went to the temple and made her request known to the Lord, but it said she went into the temple crying so hard that the priest thought she was drunk or something, ’cause she was so passionate about it, but it says that she went… Made her request known, and then she went away and ate, and it was just like, of course, it was heavy on her heart to make that request, but then she trusted the Lord with that and she went away and ate. And so situationally it may look like something that you maybe felt led to say, go to your husband, make that request known, make it known like your heart, your desires and stuff and leave it with the Lord.

Allow that trust to be formed with the Lord, and allow it to be a learning process, I don’t think you go, “Okay, I wanna submit, I’m gonna start tomorrow.” It’s obviously a learning thing, and that’s where you can even be encouraged that you have this opportunity to learn how to just love and serve your husband, because that will provide an opportunity probably later on for you to teach somebody else how that looks. Even like today, I was taking Layla to her soccer game and we’re driving along and I was like, “Oh, I think I’m getting a fever blister on my lip,” and she’s like, “Aw.” ‘Cause she gets fever blisters. Okay, so she knows how bad they hurt.

So she like… The look on her face was super sympathetic, she’s just like, “Aw,” ’cause she knows, she knows what it feels like to have one. And not just Layla. Not trying to be spiritual, but let me tell you something real quick, I was like, that’s how it works, your child’s like when the Lord puts you through something, teaches you something, you grab on to that because that’s gonna be used a year or two or 10 down the road in somebody else’s life, and I was like, “You know how… You understood how that was gonna stink if I got a fever blister.” I’m like… You guys see what I’m saying? Like same deal, whatever it is the Lord puts you through, be glad that you’re gonna get to actually internally feel the emotion of that, so that when the Lord brings somebody across your path that has the same issue, guess what? Your heart’s there, it’s just in it, and you’re willing to spend time and love and care and minister to that person. So be thankful that you have, however long amount of time this is to learn what it looks like to serve and to submit and be encouraged to wanna learn it. Don’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by it, it’s just doing the same thing you do with the Lord, you put The Lord first, you fix your eyes on him, and then it’s simple to serve others in love.

Is there any hope for me to change the way I deal with being angry?

Rob Conti:

Short answer, yes, absolutely. Because we go back to… It can become so discouraging if you’re thinking about your past failures and when you fail on that moment, and it seems like this is where I always live, it’s like Groundhog Day, but instead of funny and inappropriate, it’s just angry. Well, unless it’s a TBS version, that’s fine. It feels like you’re always here, and it’s like, I can’t change, I want… And it’s like I don’t have that strength, I don’t have that power, and we don’t. And that’s why it’s vital, and we’ve already said it multiple times here, is that the Christian life is submission to the Lord. It is me putting my eyes on Christ and finding in Him, not only my example for how I should live, but finding in him the grace and the power to live that example out, and that’s just daily.

And that’s where I say, this battle, it’s not won in that moment, this battle is not won when something happens, when something triggers your anger, this battle is gonna be won when you’re thinking right, when you’re thinking correctly, like when this question is posed in this way, like when you’re in that frame of mind to go to work, to go to work, to pursue a deeper knowledge of Jesus, to become more and more aware of your own sinfulness and how much Jesus has poured out grace and mercy and love to save you from that. And that he doesn’t… Like when you mess up, God doesn’t erupt in anger, he’s patient and he’s kind, and he’s gentle with his children, he’s firm, and he doesn’t waiver, he’s steadfast, but the more that you see in Christ, who he is and how he handles us, that gives us power, that transforms us.

And that’s where I say, “Yeah, absolutely, you can change.” ‘Cause the more you look to Jesus, the more you meditate on Jesus, the more you consider Jesus, meditate on who he is and what he’s done that will transform you. If we don’t believe that, we’ve got nothing. If that’s not real, I quit. ‘Cause I can’t do it. I can’t do it. If his grace isn’t powerful enough to save me and transform me, then I’m done, but I’m not done, I’m here because it works, this is real, Jesus sits enthroned in Heaven, and he can change you. And so practically…

Yeah, you need to work on this. You need to bring this before the Lord. You need to have conversations with your spouse when you both are calm, like Zach was talking about. To communicate then and say, “Okay, this seems to trigger my anger, so how can we work together on this?” And to hear from your wife in a moment of clear thinking how you make her feel. Whether that’s that she gets terrified, and she’s physically frightened. Whether that affects the way that she sleeps, the way that she feels about herself. You need to hear those things from her when you’re clear. And you need to provide a safe environment for her to be able to say those things, and not worry that you’re gonna erupt in anger then, right?

So have those conversations and then have a plan. Have a plan for when and if you do get angry. That you’re gonna commit to walking away from that conversation until you’ve calmed down. That if it means having accountability… I highly recommend this. Have accountability. Someone that you can call, and somebody that you look up to. If it’s an older man, or just somebody that you respect, somebody that… For me, I feel like so often in conversations, I have a hard time being direct. I’ll kind of dance around it and try to come… I don’t know, back door to soften the blow, and I’m like, I wanna change that about me, ’cause I respect so much when a man will sit down with me and say, “This has gotta change.” And so find that guy. You need that guy. You need that guy that’ll sit down and tell you exactly what he thinks straight forward, and have that guy hold you accountable. And know that, “Okay, I need to call him in this moment and say, ‘Man, I’m struggling right now, I need you to talk me down.'” Have a plan going into it. To walk away, get calm, have accountability. But yes, the grace of the Gospel will absolutely change you.

My father was not a leader, he let my mom run the show, and he tried to stay out of the way. I see these tendencies in me. How can I learn to be the head of the home? What does that look like?

Zach Mabry

Okay. Yeah, great question. And I think this is common, ’cause it’s… There’s a sense in which as a man, you can want to abdicate your responsibilities. And so a lot of times when someone is kind of leading the way, you can just easily say, “Well, I’m just gonna sit back and let us roll out, and I’ll just be fine with this.” But what’s great is that you realize that this is a problem. You realize, “Okay, I’m not leading the home like I’m supposed to, my wife is leading. And I realize that this is happening because I’m mimicking what I saw in my home growing up.” And so it’s great that you realize that. It’s great that you recognize that. Hopefully, if you’re here, then your wife also can see that and recognize that. And then that is a great place to be. Because then you’re able to say, “Okay, now how do we change this?” Work it out together. I think listening to these sermons that we’ve had already this week, and then looking online, seeing godly preachers talk about marriage and marriage roles, and then talking about that together and saying, “Where are we falling through with this?”

And then there’s gonna come a time where you’re just gonna have to say, “Okay,” in conversation with your wife, “I’m gonna lead like I’m supposed to. I’m gonna do this.” And it’s gonna be a work in progress. It’s not gonna happen automatically. You’re not just gonna turn into like, “Oh, now I’m gladly assuming this responsibility that was given to me, great.” But it’s a step, so you need to talk through it and read passages of scripture that talk about this, and talk about how you need to apply it. Read good books, listen to good sermons, and talk through it with each other. And then the same thing that Rob was talking about, you need to find a man. A godly man who’s doing this well, and set up meeting with them. And say, “This is where I want to be, I see that you’re leading your family well, you’re leading your home well, and I wanna do that. And so let’s talk through this.” And then you find somebody that will ask you difficult questions.

And that you can just spill everything to. “Yeah, here, these are areas that I’ve just… I backed out of my responsibility I’m not doing this.” So that you can have that accountability. So yeah, I think if you’re at the place where you realize it, you need to get on the same page with your spouse. You need to talk through it, and then you need to intentionally say, “Okay, here’s what I need to do better.” And then you gotta have conversations with your wife about how she needs to help you to lead well. And there’s something that’s so healthy and so beautiful about this, ’cause this is what we were created for. This is what marriage was created to be a picture of, and that when we find ourselves living out that role, there’s a satisfaction in it. As we… Like we talked about this morning, just being submissive to the Lord individual and the roles that God’s called us to.

My wife doesn’t enjoy sex, when she does it I feel disgusting because I can tell she’s just going through the motions and doesn’t enjoy it. I can feel myself growing insecure about it, what should I do?

Spencer Davis:

Man, I think they always talk about how sex, money, and children are the three big stressors in marriage. And more often than not, we see that a couple’s sex life is the largest stressor in their marriage. And I think. One of the reasons is because it’s so intensely personal, obviously, you’re literally naked in front of one another, it’s intensely personal, is deeply spiritual. And so I think it’s such a sensitive thing, and we see this a lot, but I’ll say it, if… Just kind of as a blanket statement, if one person in the marriage is depriving the marriage of sex, that’s not normal, it’s a problem. And now I wanna base out of 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for this. So if you can put it up on the board, that’d be awesome.

Paul’s talking to the Corinthian church. Now, the Corinthian church, you all know, are kinda like Christians gone wild, that Paul is telling these guys, “Hey, stop sleeping with your mom, okay? Stop having sex as part of the worship service. Everybody got it? It’s Christians gone wild, and so Paul has to address a lot of sexual issues with this church, so he says in chapter 7, he addresses one sexual issue, which is, they’re saying, “Okay, no more sex, we’ll have sexless marriages, we’ll have celibate marriages.” So Paul addresses this and he says, “Now, concerning the matters that you wrote, it’s good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman, but because of the temptation of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”

And now, listen to the wording here. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife doesn’t have authority of her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, the wife does. Therefore, don’t deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourself to prayer, but then come back together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Self-control. So, so many unhealthy teachings about marriage and sex were floating around Corinth, but this verse, Paul addresses it, and the language that he uses, I think is really important, because when he’s talking about sex, he’s talking about giving, not taking. ‘Cause the first phrase almost seems like, “Each man should have his own wife,” like, “Club your wife and take her to your cave, have your wife,” but in reality, the way it phrases it after that is, “As far as sex… ” ‘Cause there’s a euphemism, right? When he says… It sounds very nice. It’s very kid-friendly when it says “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights.” It’s a euphemism, he says “The husband should give sex to his wife.”

Should give, not take, not demand, right? The husband shouldn’t demand sex from his wife, the husband shouldn’t take sex from his wife, and then he says, “In the flip flop, the wife should also… ” And the same wording is implied ’cause he says, “Likewise, the wife to the husband”, so the wife should also not demand but give. And then it gives a funny like stalemate, which is, if you look at the scripture, you think, “Oh, it’s possible for nobody win in this,” ’cause it goes like this, he says, “The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, the husband does,” and the wives go, “Oh, no, he’s got authority over my own body,” but the flip side of this, kind of the balance on that is, “But the husband doesn’t have authority over his body, the wife does.”

So, you have a potential here for a stalemate. If one person is saying, “No,” and the other person says, “I own that body.” And if the wife… I’m sorry, if the husband says to the wife, “I own that body, why don’t you give to me my conjugal rights,” if I can use the euphemism, but then the wife could say, “Well, I own that body and I say no.” So there could be a stalemate here whether you’d say, “That body belongs to me,” and she says “That body belongs to me, but I’d like to keep it in the closet for the night.” [laughter] So, it could be a stalemate if each person is taking. The only way that this relationship works is if each person is giving, right? ‘Cause the husband, he doesn’t own his body, he has to give, the wife, she doesn’t own her body, she has to give, so taking only ends in stalemate, right, it only ends in conflict. And so here he’s telling them the way to sexual health is giving. And so I think there’s an element, if we think about… We only have sex every so often, there’s an element that we need to think about when we think about, “Are we being pleasing to our spouses with our bodies?”

Like, husbands, if your wife thinks that you are really out of shape and that your haircut’s stupid, you might wanna address that. Like, ladies, if your husband really likes your hair long, but you insist on keeping it short, you might wanna address that. There’s an element of that, but that’s kind of like Men’s Health wisdom, that’s worldly wisdom, because that’s as far as the world can go, it can say, “Find out what your spouse likes and I want you to do some more of that.” Well, there’s an element of that, but that’s where the worldly wisdom stops, because this is so much deeper and bigger than our bodies and preferences, because when we’re talking about sex, we’re talking about marriage, we’re talking about just… Like we’ve talked about all weekend, like, we’re talking about a picture of Christ in the church. And part of that union is the intimacy that we have with Christ, and sex is a picture of that, so sex is part of the drama, part of the skit, part of the analogy that we’re supposed to understand Christ better through. It’s a skit, it’s a drama and analogy of our intimate relationship with Christ.

And so it’s so much deeper than, “Maybe I ought to tweak this, maybe I ought to get on a treadmill,” maybe you ought to do this or that. It’s so much deeper because this is part of the giving and sharing and serving, they’re supposed to reflect Christ, giving and sharing and serving. So we have the opportunity to give and share in sex and marriage. So, go to verse 5, here he says, “Don’t deprive one another, except perhaps, maybe… ” Like, don’t… Depriving your marriage of sex is not like a… You should. He says, “Maybe, by agreement, for a limited time,” so he gives some limits on this. So he says “By agreement… ” So if one member, if one of you is depriving the marriage of sex, you need to stop and fix it, you need to stop and address it, because in your marriages, you should have regular, enjoyable sex, right? And the question is phrased, or the questions, there’s several, as if one spouse enjoys it and one spouse does not, and if you as a couple are not enjoying sex it is probably indicative of larger issues, right? It’s a barometer that it can… Oftentimes, when we talk to couples that are having troubles in their marriage, we ask about their sex life, because sometimes the sex life is a cause of issues in their marriage, and sometimes it’s an indicator like as their marriage goes, so their sex life goes.

It’s kind of a barometer to tell if stormy weather’s here, or if it’s coming, you know what I’m saying? And so I wanna give three larger issues that may be going on, because it’s not just about the bodies, it’s a bigger thing, so number one, there may be, if one of you is not enjoying or is not giving sex, there may be a physiological, medical reason, there may be a physiological reason, a physical reason that someone physically doesn’t enjoy sex. If I can be tactful, if I can say this carefully, you need to figure out a way around that. It may be that you need to visit a professional, like a doctor, to see if there’s a physiological issue going on, but you need to figure out a way around it.

In actuality, and we’ll talk about this a little bit later, but there may be a physical reason that someone’s not enjoying it, and that may be that you as a couple aren’t taking time to serve one another and figure out what one another really enjoys. The second thing that may be an issue, and this is where you may need to punt to a greater authority is like, there may be some past abuse that needs to be dealt with and worked through, and that’s a very real issue for couples, and a very real opportunity to serve and give like Christ. And the third thing is, just keeping in mind that if sex is having a problem, there are larger issues because orgasm is not the primary goal of sex, right? Both parties should be enjoying the closeness, both parties should be enjoying the sharing, the oneness, even if that orgasm is evasive, you know what I’m saying? There should be an enjoyment of being together.

But this is indicative of a larger issue, and to echo what Brody said a minute ago, if you aren’t submitting to Christ, but then you’re expecting your spouse to enjoy sex outside of its given context, like both parties are submitting to Christ and giving, if you’re not submitting to Christ and you’re expecting your spouse to enjoy sex in a way that it was never meant to be enjoyed, then you’re off the rails already. There’s a larger issue that needs to be fixed both in your pursuit of the Lord, and in your pursuit of one another. Because in this, sex would solely become masturbatory, and you’re taking, you’re not giving, and so everybody loses in that scenario. So I would say two steps for moving forward, the first one is addressing the larger issue, is stop… If your sex life is struggling, I would say stop and think about things outside the bedroom, how are you doing? Are you pursuing your spouse? Are you enjoying real conversation that goes below the surface with your spouse? Is it just wake up, hang out with the kids, Netflix, bed?

Are you pursuing one another? Are you enjoying things together? Are you building a real relationship? So, I think that’s the larger issue at play. The second step to moving forward is now, start to, if you’re not already, you should be talking about sex in the light of day, this should be like not a bedroom conversation, but like a breakfast conversation, like a car ride conversation, you should be talking about sex in the light of day, if it’s not working, it’s worth fixing, it really is. So discuss it, cultivate it, practice it, get better at it, talk about what’s going on in practical ways to serve one another to be more like Christ both, outside the bedroom and inside the bedroom because the great thing is God’s given us sex for a number of reasons that we’ve talked about, like the closeness, the intimacy, the picture, but it’s also as the end of this passage says, it says, “But then they should come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because your lack of self-control,” that intimacy with our spouses is a shield against Satan, there’s a way you can lock arms with your wife and go to war, lock arms with your husband and go to war, like put up a shield against temptation and pursue the Lord together, pursue one another.

I feel people look down on me because I’m a stay-at-home mom, my husband comes home commenting on how hard his job is, I downplay the difficulty of his job and mention the difficulty of my day because I feel the weight of the opinions of others, what should I do?

Little Holloway:

First of all, I think it’s always a good thing to be aware of the fact that when the Lord calls you to something, you’re gonna have opposition at some point. So just even being aware of that knowing, “Okay, I do feel called to be at home with my kids,” which is amazing. And Titus talks about being a keeper of your home, being at home with your kids, and so that’s what you are called to do, know that whatever you’re called to do the Lord is putting that in your heart and Satan does not like it. And so he’s gonna try to make you doubt and have fear and value the opinion of other people. And so it keeps going back to what other people are thinking, and in Isaiah, there’s a really… I read this the other day, it’s like a really harsh but a great thing, it says, “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”

And I read that, and of course, it doesn’t mean I don’t care what anybody thinks, right? But it does mean don’t ponder on that, ’cause what you ponder on, what you think of, that’s what’s gonna be leading your heart in the way you serve others. So first of all, be thankful that the Lord has just established that in your heart, realize that there’s opposition and want to have that. Because that’s like… You know that Satan is roiled up about it and trying to get you rattled and just be like, “Okay,” and just have kind of a bulldog mindset about it, and know, “Okay, this is what the Lord is calling me to,” and be just calm and restful on that.

And then just know that that’s a good thing. But then also, as far as regarding other people and what other people think, I could do that, anybody can do that, but it’s whatever we ponder on. So whenever… Women, it’s just easy to be anxious and to just be completely controlled by what other people are saying or thinking about you, I think that’s probably a struggle for most women. And so what I’ve tried… And I’ve had times before and I was super anxious and just felt rattled and it’s literally like I would hear the Lord saying, “Go read My word, literally. I will calm your mind down and it will not be a big deal if you go do it.” And I’ll handcuff the kids to the kitchen table and then go read the Bible, and it’s literally just the best soothing, calming agent, just to be in The Word, and he just literally takes away the value of what other people think.

And there’s scripture that I have if I start feeling like that. One, I have this, and I’ll stick it up in different places, a psalm that says, “Unless the Lord has been my help, my soul would have soon settled in silence. If I say my foot slips, your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up, in the multitudes of my anxieties within me, your comfort delights my soul.” So if you’re anxious and you hear stuff or you feel like somebody’s talking about you, whatever, you just have that feeling, you grab stuff like this and you literally preach it to yourself until it goes away. And you do that again the next time, and the next time, and that’s just how you battle it. It’s just like really practical ways to just snuff that doubt in your heart. Because Satan doesn’t want you to be joyful of the fact that you can be in your home. A lot of women can’t do that because they have to work. So even the fact that you can be at home, you can find multitudes of joy in that, but Satan’s gonna try to just blind you of that, so just in the morning, even being thankful that you can be at home will produce joy throughout that day.

My wife’s father was a bully in the house. She’s very sensitive to any kind of leadership that I show. I don’t want to ignore her pain and I don’t want to ignore my responsibility?

Rob Conti:

So there’s been a lot of really good things said on submission and headship, and I think the first thing I would say to men is that nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Husbands, bring your wife into submission.”

I think that’s important, right? It tells the wife to do it, and even the language that’s used, like if you look at that Ephesians passage, the language is like that she is willfully and joyfully doing that and like what Little was saying ’cause that flows from her love and obedience to Jesus. And so from our perspective, and if there’s issues that they need to be worked through, which, welcome to life, that’s why, again, we have the sanctification process. And then so for me as the husband, my greatest goal for my wife is her sanctification, is her being conformed to the image of Jesus, is her growth in the Gospel.

And with her past, if this is part of the equation, then I need to be committed and see it as a bigger issue then she bucks my authority tonight over whatever decision. I gotta see the bigger picture and say that I am investing in who she is for eternity. And so to see that, I’m not gonna get a biblical fruit if I try to force this and exert my will and make my will stronger than her will, it doesn’t work that way. What we’re called to do is to love her like Christ loves the church. And so in that, men, teach her, show her by how you submit to Jesus, give her an example that she can see every day in your home. You submit to Jesus, give her an example to follow, you be gentle and kind, but… What is it Wilson says, “A velvet covered brick,” yeah, a velvet covered brick, right? Soft to the touch, but it’s hard, right? I mean, steel that is unbending like, don’t bend, don’t allow it to move you to, what was that word you said? Abdicate?

Don’t surrender your responsibilities, don’t allow her to… Be firm, stand up underneath it, but be gentle, be kind, be patient, and allow the Lord through, ’cause here’s the difference, Christ can love the church, give the example, pour out grace, be merciful, be kind, be patient. But Jesus has the power to transform somebody from the inside out, and husbands, we don’t. But we can follow His example and then trust that over time God is gonna do that work in her. And so I think, man, be patient, be kind, be steadfast. But man, just trust the Lord, give her the example to follow. And if I could, what Little said just a minute ago, so good about that question about feeling the pressure of being at home and other people’s opinions. And man, our culture is so counter to what I believe what the Bible calls women to do, especially when there’s young children. And I’d just like to say if God has blessed you with children, man, and you have the opportunity, right? So husbands, grant that opportunity. Man, if you can raise children, if you can teach them to read so that they know the Scriptures.

If you can teach them to clean their rooms so they learn discipline and what it means to follow the Lord. If God calls you to be that in the home, then don’t stoop to be President of the United States. Don’t lower yourself. What’s more important? Organizing papers, serving meals, making decisions for a company, or shepherding an eternal soul? Man, that’s huge. The response… Don’t let the world define these roles for us, man. What a mother and what a wife is called to do is high and glorious, and it’s eternal in this world that’s fading away, can’t touch it. And so husbands, like man, we need to… What our job then is, is to encourage that. Speak truth to our wives and to come home and say, “Thank you for working your tail off.”

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2024 Marriage Conference

October 2024

November 3, 2016

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