My wife has come in contact with a lot of great women over the last year or so. One that has taken her message to heart and made huge strides in her marriage is Kayla Gulick. Kayla has a blog over at Lessons of Mercy blog. Back around 6 months ago she published a post titled “My Demon” that we thought was a great insight into the voices that go on in a woman’s head. Shortly after that, I posted on the the Voices in His Head to look at the issue from the guy’s brain. I realized that I had never published her post up on this site, but this would be a great piece of knowledge for a husband to try to understand what is going on in his wife’s head. Everybody’s voice is probably a little different, but everybody has that voice and it affects their decisions, confidence, and trust.
I started the blog Lessons of Mercy as an accountability to myself, but also to those out there who have found themselves at a place where they see things in their life that need to be transformed into Christ-likeness, however, need a practical way to take the first steps.
Let me tell you a story about Wednesday night. I really debated writing about this, because my husband reads my blog, however, I’m going to ask him to skip this one because I think the women reading this blog, need to hear about Wednesday night.
I’ve already posted on the blog about discovering some major disrespect for my husband. The kind that doesn’t even appear like disrespect in the world we live in today, that seems completely justified, and is so intertwined in my everyday life that it’ll be like lifting boulders 100 times my own weight to remove these nasty habits. Yeah, that kind of disrespect.
Wednesday was just an ordinary day until my husband got home from work. We haven’t been sleeping very well, and he’s been tired. So he sat down in the chair and turned on the TV while I started fixing supper.
((There is too much back story about the TV “issue” to tell you everything but I will say that I do not have a TV addiction. I actually almost hate the TV. I never watch it unless he is watching it. Though I have learned to enjoy a couple of the shows. We went 1 1/2 years without any television at all, and recently fixed our antenna so we get all the local channels, which is quite a few more than our parents use to get, but we still don’t have satellite or cable. Even with the absence of TV, we did not take complete advantage according to *me* for what we could do with our time as a family, which tends to make me resentful toward my husband, and with it available in our home again, it is quickly escalating in more time being on and watched than I personally care for it to be on.))
One little thing like the TV being on, quickly invites my demon (yes, I believe everyone has a demon that studies them and tempts them constantly) into a conversation with me. He says “you’re headed right back to the life where you only speak to your husband on commercials. Even re-runs are more important than you and the kids.”
I know my Savior. And I can feel the Holy Spirit move. However, I don’t hear from God like I hear from my demon. I can pray and spend time in silence after begging God to speak, and feel like after a day of fasting, I still am clueless what God is saying to me, or if He is speaking at all. But the very moment something pulls on my frustrations, fears, insecurities, or weaknesses, I can hear so vividly and clearly the voice of my demon and am able to carry on long detailed conversations in good or bad directions.
On Wednesday when my demon started talking to me, I spoke back. But not in my normal fashion. I said “Get behind me Satan. I’m not going down this road anymore.”
My husband left to go play guitar. He’s been doing this once a week after the kids go to bed and I LOVE it! It gets him out of the house, the chance to play and grow in his talent, and me plenty of time to play around on the computer, crochet or do anything I want without the guilt of ignoring him or the kids.
When my husband left, my demon started talking to me again. “He was tired tonight, but he has enough energy to go play guitar and stay out until midnight?”
For 11 years, I have taken the bait and spun totally out of control. I’d spend HOURS at a time ripping my husband to shreds to myself because I let my demon control where the conversation went. But in the last month, God is teaching me things and exposing my sins in grave detail in a way I’ve been so blinded to in the past.
I took those temptations to rip my husband apart and I purposely did the opposite. I sent him a text thanking him for folding the clothes. How could I almost have missed that he did that for me? Remember, it’s because I was being coached to be mad about the TV being on?
I spent time praying for him and thinking about how much we’ve grown in our marriage.
When he got home, I had just headed to bed, which I don’t normally do. I am always up waiting for him to get home. But like I said, we haven’t been sleeping well and I was really tired. (This also could have been from such spiritual warfare going on in my heart.)
When he came to bed, he turned on the TV. I know I know, the stinking TV is like the center of my Wednesday!! See, we’ve fought quite a few times, jokingly and in some very heated and hurtful conversations about the TV at night. I like total darkness and complete silence. He likes the TV being on.
I bet you know what happened. My demon whispered so tenderly to my ears it practically gave me chills down my neck. “How come for 11 years he is the one who always gets to go to bed the way he prefers? Why did he automatically decide *you* have to learn to go to sleep with the TV on? Why can’t he learn to go to sleep with it off?”
I was so afraid of what I was about to do next that I kissed my husband on the cheek, said “I love you” and then told him I was going to go ahead and sleep on the couch. When he asked why, I just said as respectfully as I could, “I can’t sleep in here tonight.”
I had to remove myself. Do you have any idea how many times we’ve fought while trying to go to bed because I’ve had hours of husband bashing sessions with my demon and then I take the opportunity to slay him apart to his face for how awful he is, how bad he messes up, how much he hurts me and every other thing I’m TOTALLY justified and entitled to say?
I laid down on the couch and quickly heard “Why isn’t he out here? He knows the TV is bugging you, why isn’t he saying you should jump back in bed and he’ll sleep on the couch? Oh yeah, and don’t forget about this…. even though you told him you really need it, he still isn’t praying with you.” Ouch. The most tender point of devastation and he HAD to go there. I tell you what; my demon knows me SO well. The TV has NOTHING to do with praying together, and he brought it up as a last resort to get me to walk back in that room and destroy our intimacy, respect, trust and unity in our marriage.
I prayed and I told my demon that I have so much sin of my own and I am called to respect my husband no matter what I *think or feel* in any given moment. I purposefully for the VERY FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE took my thoughts captive, stopped the demon from talking to me, and went to sleep.
I woke up so relieved!! I didn’t say a bunch of really mean or hurtful things I couldn’t take back. I kept the TV in perspective and didn’t allow that to be the standard by which I measure him as a husband and father. I took my thoughts captive and spoke truth over the lies.
I can do this with the help the Holy Spirit is providing. These boulders can be moved and these habits can be changed.
There are two main reasons why I am finally finding freedom and success. And they have NOTHING to do with who my husband is, how he acts, or how he treats me. (Because ladies, I got a REALLY good one. Bragging for another post : )
The first thing I’m really understanding for the first time in my life is that I have thought for 11 years that I’m better than my husband. It comes out in a few different ways but mostly in the attitude that he sins more than me, and worse than me. I’ve undoubtedly entertained this lie intimately with thoughts, actions and words that say “I would never have a TV addiction.” “I’m so much better than him because I’d never do _______.” “If he was really walking with the Lord he would do xyz.”
Hello pride. No, I don’t have a TV addiction. But I have an internet addiction. No, I wouldn’t ever do _____ but I have spent multiple conversations “gossiping” to my friends. No, he isn’t doing xyz right now, but I don’t do ALL KINDS of commands in scripture. It’s disgusting how blind I’ve been to my own sin and how much pride has taken residence in my marriage.
And secondly, I will answer for my actions as a wife. And God is not going to accept from me “Well, he did this or that.” My sins will have no justification. And if I really love the Lord and want to serve Him in obedience, I can’t keep looking at someone else’s actions and let that decide how I react to the commands my Savior has given me. I have resolved in my heart that I want to live by the authority of God’s Word, not because of what I have or don’t have but because I have the opportunity to be obedient and give my life in service to become as Christ-like as I can this side of eternity.
The Holy Spirit will empower me to live my life with purpose
IF I choose to participate. My only other option is to live my life in reaction to the way other people act by default. That really leaves me trapped and defensive. Feelings I’m definitely no stranger to, but have never been happy to claim as my identity.
Stop having conversations with my demon.
Take my thoughts captive.
Meditate on the two truths I’m learning from above.
Live with purpose.
Bring God glory by being obedient to the call on my life no matter if others are doing the same or not.
Respect my husband. Always. In ALL ways.
I had this same LOUD voice in my head all the time – every waking moment – that was constantly accusing my husband of evil – evil motives, evil desires, and evil intentions towards me. I trusted that voice. I thought that was normal. Turns out the voice was WRONG. I was greatly deceived. Learning to respect our husbands involves silencing the demon and our sinful nature. It means staying on top of sin and repenting for every single thing that has the slightest offense in God’s sight. And it means being empowered by God’s Spirit to do what we can’t do on our own. This is a process. I am so thankful for this peek into a wife’s thinking and into her heart. What she is describing is the battle to slay sin and crucify ourselves so that we can live for Christ – its part of learning. She does a FANTASTIC job describing this stage of the journey. Thank you SO MUCH, Lessonsofmercy, for sharing this powerful piece with us! (PS – my demon had used ALL of those exact same lines on me for 15.5 years. WORD FOR WORD! The TV, the praying, everything. He still tries it on me sometimes – but I cling to Christ and my husband and don’t listen to the accuser anymore!)