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My Husband’s Holy Spirit

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2021 2:00 am

My Husband’s Holy Spirit

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 27, 2021 2:00 am

Wives, do your "helpful" suggestions sometimes come across as criticism to your husband? Psychologist and author, Juli Slattery, shares what a helper looks like in light of who God is.

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How would you describe our first year of marriage? Tragic. Terrible.

Tragic. Well, I mean, as you know, it was the hardest year. Well, year 10 was pretty hard, too.

But year one was pretty tough. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at or on our Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. I was so disappointed because when you come into marriage, you have these expectations. And I thought he's going to be my prince who comes and saves me and fills me. And I was. But you weren't.

And so I was disillusioned because I had unrealistic expectations. And we really want to talk today about what we should do when we find ourselves disappointed or let down in our marriages or specifically with our husbands. I'm really excited. This is going to be a good day for men. Do you think so? Oh, I mean, I look at the topic and I'm like finding the hero in your husband.

Yes. Let's talk about that. We have Dr. Julie Slattery with us today. Julie, welcome to Family Life Today. Thanks for having me. So good to be with you. You are a favorite among our listeners. And we I love you. I feel like our hearts are on the same page. And when you speak or you write, I'm like, yes, yes. But I also like that you're really authentic and you haven't done it perfectly either. No, not at all. I just feel like I just keep passing on what I've learned from my mistakes.

And I think that that's what's encouraging is it's never too late and we can still do it. Julie is a clinical psychologist. She's an author. Are you going to analyze us today? Oh, that's already done. You've already done it?

Please keep your comments to yourself. Yeah. So later, maybe we can pay her for the counseling she'll be doing with us today. But you're also the president and co-founder of Authentic Intimacy.

Describe what is that? Our mission is reclaiming God's design for sexuality. So over the last 10 years, I've pretty much spent my life digging into the scriptures and learning about what intimacy sexuality is meant to be from a biblical perspective and applying it particularly to women's lives. So yeah, so it's been a deep dive. I've learned a ton. I've grown a lot.

And as you both know, sexuality represents such a pain point for most people in our world today. So I'm never bored. I can tell you that. I remember when we were doing the Love Like You Mean It cruise, because you've spoken on that several times.

And by the way, we could probably put a plug in right now. You're speaking again. I am. Yeah, that's something I can never say no to. Yeah. I mean, in February, we're back on the boat.

You can sign up right now at You need to join us because it is a fabulous cruise. It really, really is. Yeah. Can I just say, I don't like cruising in general, but this cruise is amazing. Yes, you sell it, Julie.

Go! I'm serious. Like the first time Mike and I went on it, it was like we are with all Christian married couples who love Jesus and want to learn to love each other more. And just the worship and all the sessions. And we tell people about it all the time.

It's pretty spectacular. Yeah, we're pretty much the same way. We're not cruisers.

Like that wouldn't be our first choice. But when we went on our first one and now like seven or eight or nine or ten, I don't know. But it is fantastic. So anyway, sign up at and do it. Let me ask you this. You know, you wrote a book called Rethinking Sexuality, and I didn't know ten other books. Did you ever think, you know, growing up, this is what I'm going to do with my life. I'm going to study sexuality, help women understand this from a biblical perspective. How did that end up being your life mission? Well, I did have a sense that I wanted to do this kind of work of integrating God's truth with real life. And I always had a heart for women and marriage and family. And so that part doesn't surprise me in terms of just really wanting to disciple women and grapple with the hard issues. But it wasn't until 10 years ago that God called me specifically to address sexual issues.

And I'm not going to say I was kicking and screaming, but I wouldn't have signed up for that particular role. But it came out of a really deep year with the Lord of him just drawing me close to his heart. And one thing I've learned is when you get close to the Lord, he shares a piece of his heart with you. And so he just really burdened my heart for sexual brokenness and the sense that we weren't addressing the real pain in the church. And so that was really out of obedience, just God calling me. And he's awesome in that what he calls us to, he also equips us for.

And I've felt in over my head almost every day, seriously, but just waking up and asking him to give the courage and the love and the truth to speak into such tender issues. And I think it's so needed because as women, we're bombarded with the culture's view of sexuality. But we want to know what's the biblical view of marriage and sex. I think when women pick up your books are like, thank you.

Thank you that you're answering these hard questions that I've had. But here's the thing. We're not talking about sexuality today.

We're talking about... But women are going to go get this book, too. Let's get to it.

Finding the hero in your husband. Let's go there. Well, let's talk about that, Julie, because you wrote this book how many years ago? I wrote the first version of it 20 years ago. Well, more than 20 years ago. So when I started writing it, I'd only been married for about three or four years. Wow. Which is crazy to think of now. Yeah. But then you decided to revise it?

Yeah, I just it kept selling and women were saying that was a blessing to them. But as I read through it, I'm like, man, there's just so much that I've learned and cultures change so much. And there are things that I would just write differently even on the same concepts. And so I went to rewrite parts of it and thought, well, I'll just do like a pretty deep revision. And it's almost like I've never done this, but if you're remodeling a house, you get to the point where you're like, let's just start over.

I can't keep the living room one way and the dining room the same way it's been. And so I just ended up starting from scratch and just saying, all right, let's rewrite this whole concept again for today's Christian wife, given the culture we live in. I think more speaking of that older woman now who's lived some life rather than, hey, man, I'm trying to figure this out, too. Yeah.

So it was really a fun challenge to redo it. And it's still a great title. I didn't want to change the title.

Yeah, I wouldn't either, because it's good. You talk to women all the time. I talk to women all the time and they're disappointed in their marriage. They're disappointed in their husbands.

Tell me what you think about that and if you found that same thing. Yeah, I would say and you guys will have to tell me if this is true in your marriage. But most of the times, if you ask a husband and wife to rate their marriage from one to ten, the woman is going to give it a much lower rating than the husband is. And so part of it is we feel the pain.

We feel the lack of connection in general, way before our husband. Why is that? Because that was Dave and I, you know, I said our marriage was a point five. And he thought, what did you think it was?

I literally said it's a nine point nine and my wife will probably agree. I literally thought that. But that made me mad because I thought, how can he be so clueless of how bad we're doing?

Why is that? I mean, I think women could get angry about that. It's hard to have these conversations without people feeling like we're overgeneralizing because, of course, there are some situations where the opposite is true. But I would say in general, women are much more sensitive to emotional connection and intimacy in marriage. And so they're going to feel those misses a lot quicker than their husband is.

And so he's more in general like, OK, kiss my wife today. Check. I still love her. Check. Things are good.

We're OK. It's almost like guys relationally will see things more in black and white and women see all the different colors. What's a woman's checklist?

A woman's checklist. Oh, my goodness. Like he didn't do this. Like, you know, the man's thinking I did this, but I feel like women, we go to the negative. Oh, he didn't do this.

He didn't do that. That is so true. It changes every day. That's, you know, it's because guys like a pursuit. And so God's like, is that why? Yeah, you think you got her once, but you have to pursue her for the rest of your life. That is true.

Yeah. And I don't know if you've ever heard our story and we won't get into it. Our listeners have heard it a lot and we put it in our book, Vertical Marriage. But there was a speaking engagement that Anne did to mothers of preschoolers, and she just brought me along. Long story short, she doesn't know what I'm going to say. I don't know what I'm going to say.

She's just like, give a guy's perspective. And I literally end up saying, I feel like everywhere in my life I get cheered. I come home, I get booed. Of course, Anne looked at me at that moment because I had never said that to her. And she's like, what in the world was that? And so as we were driving home, that was, and again, it wasn't literally boo, but it was like, yeah, I do feel like I do things in my job and different places and people are affirming it and saying, you're good at this.

I said, I feel like I come home and you're saying you're not good at this. And I feel like it's a boo. And she was like, I'm helping you.

I'm not booing you. I'm helping you. And I think a lot of guys resonate with that feeling, whatever way you want to say it.

And that's where you're talking about finding the hero because they are helping us. Because she literally was seeing things that she could speak life into. Well, it felt like death. No, I wasn't speaking life. I was speaking criticism into your life.

Yeah. Well, first of all, I think what you're saying is so common that men don't feel in general like marriage is a safe place or home is a safe place emotionally. And they may never use those words, but it's like, you know, I can never do anything right. Or I just always seem to be missing the mark.

And it's interesting that you use that word. She's helping me because men have these two competing needs that God has designed women to meet and they are competing in some ways. So he's got this one need to feel like his wife believes in him. And it's so core because, and you can validate this or not, but a man's core struggle is, am I competent?

Am I good enough guy? It's not does she love me, but does she believe in me? And so her words of affirmation and encouragement are that constant, I believe in you, even though I don't feel like I believe in you today.

I'm choosing to say, I trust you. So that's the one need. And then you've got the other need where the scripture talks about companionship, that we're in some ways here to help balance out your deficiencies and you're here to balance ours out. But you need that teammate who is helping. But every woman, like, is going to have a tendency to overplay one of those needs to the detriment of the other.

And most of us will want to be the helper more than we want to be the encourager. Did you struggle with that, Julie? Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

Yeah. And that's why I wrote this book so early on in my marriage, because I was trying to figure it out because I met my husband, was attracted to him. He was so much fun. And I was like the serious go getter, you know, just driven person. You guys are us.

This is totally us. He's laid back. He's super fun.

Yeah. And I felt like he has no performance demands for me. You know, I kind of grew up feeling that pressure to always be the best and achieve. And I could relax around him. And I love that. But when we got married, it was like, from my perspective as a young wife, I was bringing all this strength into the marriage. I'd been a Christian since I could remember he was a relatively new believer. And it was like I had all this knowledge and vision for where we should go.

But then there was a sense to which I'm like, I can just overrun this guy because he's not stepping up the way I think he should step up. And so it created this huge quandary in me of what does it look like to be a godly wife when I feel like I know more, I'm stronger, I'm more goal oriented than my husband is? And so that's really the wrestling in my own life, as well as counseling a lot of other women that were having these similar questions.

So the first version of this book really came out of that question. You know, in some ways, when I hear you say that, Julie, I'm like, that was our first year. You know, that's why, you know, I didn't know what word I was going to say until you asked what did I remember? Tragic was I felt like I wasn't very good as a husband. I honestly felt going into the marriage, I'm amazing. I'm going to be a great husband, you know, I'm going to lead my wife, she's going to love how I lead her. And then, you know, three, four, five months in, I mean, she's saying the biggest mistake of my life was marrying you.

I literally said that. And it was because I disappointed her. You know, I don't think I was the hero that she thought I was going to be. And in some ways, you know, you can tell us what you would say.

Men, when they feel that, often retreat. And I sort of just pulled back. It was like, well, I'm not very good at this. Instead of like, I'm going to rise up and become, I should have done that. But instead I just sort of stepped away almost like, okay, I'm not very good at this. You don't like I'm leading. So, you know, I did less.

And of course, that made her chase me around the house and say, what are you doing? Yeah, I had expectations of what a leader. And we always hear, oh, the man should be the spiritual leader.

And every woman has a different idea of what that should be. Right. And so mine was Dennis Rainey. And I'm thinking, why are you leading like Dennis Rainey says he leads? And I don't even know if Dennis led like that in the home, probably. But I had these expectations.

Is that common for women? Yeah, I think particularly within the church, when you hear the guy's role as spiritual leader, we have a picture of what that looked like. And I had a picture of what that looked like. I expected my husband to initiate us praying together and doing devotions together. You guys really are the same. And I was so disappointed and I didn't want to take over and be like, okay, well, you sit down.

I'm going to do devotions for you, for us. And so I kept trying to figure out how do I get him to lead? And so I became very manipulative and would find the sly ways of trying to force him into becoming who I wanted him to become. And it's been a long journey of learning how much of that was rooted in my own pride.

Yes. Me too. Having this idea of like, I'm doing it so well. Now, why can't you get on board? Like, that's total pride and arrogance.

And I had this idea that Dave should meet my needs. And I think that when you grow up in a culture of this Disney culture, Christian Disney culture. Yes. Thinking that. What's the Christian Disney culture?

Go ahead. Well, Prince Charming looks more like Dennis Raney or today we got to find a younger version. Yeah. But it's this idyllic view of somebody that you only see the outside. You only see the good stuff.

You see take charge, sensitive, compassionate leadership. And you know what I would say to her? I'd say, honey, there are a lot of people in our church that think Dave Wilson is that. You know, but you don't. And of course, a lot of it's because they're not that close. You know, when you get close to anybody from a distance, we all look great.

You get closer. Like, wow. But here's the question. So I'm the husband over here sitting here going, OK, what'd you do?

How did you find the hero? Well, let me read this quote that I had underlined and marked it. You say this, Julie. A woman never marries the man of her dreams. Did you hear that? A woman never marries the man of her dreams.

She helps the man she marries to become the man of his dreams. That's so good. Like, that's something.

Let's sit on that for a minute. What's that mean? You know, that's one of those sentences from the first book that made it back into this one.

It should have. That's really, really good. I feel like we need a true north like that. And I've over the last 26 years needed a true north of, all right, Lord, what do I do with all the strength that you've given me? And what we typically do is our disappointment turns against us in that we're angry. We're trying to fix him.

We're trying to be his personal Holy Spirit. We let him know often through our verbal and nonverbal communication that we're disappointed. Instead of saying, God, you gave me all this influence and power with my husband so that I could help him take the steps that you're putting in front of him, not the steps I'm putting in front of him.

And I think it's so critical to understand that as women, we put our husbands in this this sort of diabolical bind. We say, I want you to lead, but I want you to lead the way I tell you to lead. Yes. Which is not leadership at all. Right. And so even in our efforts of being frustrated and disappointment, we're trying to make him into the man we think he should be. Like a puppet.

Yes. Which is not the strong leader we wanted in the first place. And maybe who God didn't design him to be.

Right. So like, for example, I shared about how I expected my husband to lead spiritually, and he's just has never been that we're going to do this on this day and that on that day. But I had to start recognizing how is my husband already leading me spiritually in ways that I don't even see or appreciate. So, for example, as I mentioned, I'm this driven type A person, and he would always encourage me to rest. So on Sundays, he'd be like, what are you doing? Why are you studying? Why are you doing homework?

I was getting my doctorate degree. Like, it's Sunday. Let's go play. Let's worship. Put your work away.

Let's take a nap. And I'm like, that's not leadership. But God helped me see that Mike is God's provision for my needs and that that was spiritual leadership.

That's good. And there are so many other ways like that that I didn't recognize that in his personality and his strengths, he was leading. But because I didn't see it the way I thought it should be, I was trying to make him into the person I thought he should be, not who God had crafted him and was leading him to become. I've done that same thing of asking God, show me the greatness in Dave.

And I've encouraged women. And I like that idea, Julie, of even writing down and pray, Lord, what are the great things? How is my husband already leading in maybe a way that I hadn't seen before?

But now that I really look closely, he's been leading. Dave lives out his faith. I mean, I think our sons would say everything dad preaches, he lives it.

That's incredible. Talk about leadership by example. And then he's fasting and praying every Friday. He's in the Word.

He's fasting and praying. Talk about leading. Man, you're making me sound pretty good.

He is a hero. But I never was looking at that because I was looking at the flaws in what I expected him to be in my own mind. Yeah. And we should also mention, I've been married for 26 years. You've been married for how long? Forty-one. OK, congratulations.

Thanks. But I'm guessing he wasn't doing those things when you first got married. Maybe some of them he was doing, the praying and fasting. I don't know.

No, no. But when you first get married, you just see a little nugget of what God has put in your husband and the growth and the passion that God's given him. But it's taken you over 40 years as a couple to cultivate this together. It's taken me and my husband years to cultivate. And so I think one of the challenges is that young wives look at these older, more mature men or marriages, including maybe even their father, and say, why isn't he more like that? But men start out just like we do with not knowing how to do this right, lots of insecurities, lots of fears.

And if we don't nurture that ground well, then they're really driven by more the fear than the vision of what God's calling them to. And I would just say, I know for me, and I know it's true for a lot of husbands, when Anne started seeing the hero in me. And again, we didn't have that term. She never said that. The power of that perspective changing. I felt it.

I saw it. She spoke differently. She started speaking the life rather than criticism.

And again, it wasn't that there weren't hard truths that needed to be said at times. It changed me as a man. I started becoming the man she was saying I was that I didn't even believe I was. But she started sort of speaking, I see you as a hero. I see the hero in you. It wasn't year one.

It was more like year 20 or 15. It was quite a ways in. But for the last 30 some years, I mean, I run home. I can't wait to get home because this woman thinks I'm a hero. And so I would say to the wives listening, you have a power.

Julie said it. It's in your book very powerfully. I don't think women understand the power.

I'm just a guy looking back on. I understand your power because I felt it on the negative side and I felt it on the positive side. It literally can change a man to become the man you want him to be.

But you've got to use that power very carefully because you can destroy him or you can help build him into the man God created him to be. So, you know, part of me is like, you know, the assignment for the wives today is do what you just said, Julie, write down, you know, the things that you see. Good. I know you have a long, long list of the negative. Don't write those down. You've already said that enough. Start writing and say, God, what is great in my husband?

Where's the hero? Write it down. And then text him. Tell him.

Somehow communicate that to him in a positive way that says, I believe in you. You said something, Julie, too, when you said home is not a safe place for our husbands. That hit me like, whoa, I want our homes to be a safe place for our men. And so I think we as women have an opportunity to really create a haven in our home and to speak life. I remember my friend Robin McKelvey saying that she realized early in her marriage that when she took off her wedding dress, she needed to put on her cheerleader uniform. That every wife needs to cheer on her husband to call out the hero in her husband. That's what Julie Slattery has been talking about today with Dave and Ann Wilson. Julie's written a book on this subject.

It's called Finding the Hero in Your Husband. It's been revised and updated, and we've got copies of the book in our Family Life Today Resource Center. You can go online at to find out more about how to get a copy of the book or call us at 1-800-FL-TODAY. And let me remind you, Julie is going to be one of the speakers on board the Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise in 2022. And we still have some staterooms available for the cruise. It is starting to fill up as people are excited about being able to get back together and to cruise together again. Information about the cruise is available on our website at You can sign up by calling 1-800-FL-TODAY, 1-800-358-6329, 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word TODAY. We've got a special offer going right now for Family Life Today listeners that is good through next Monday. So if you want to take advantage of a special opportunity to save some money on the 2022 cruise, get in touch with us this week and hear from speakers like Julie Slattery and Alex and Stephen Kendrick, David Ann Wilson, Ron Deal, others who are going to be joining us along with a great lineup of artists and musicians. The cruise is a great getaway opportunity for couples, and you can sign up today. Go to for more information or call us to register at 1-800-FL-TODAY. And then join us in February on the Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise. Now tomorrow, David Ann Wilson will continue their conversation with Dr. Julie Slattery and talk about how critical it is for a wife to understand rightly what it means for her to respect her husband and how important that is for him to feel respected, to know that she respects him. That comes up tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that. On behalf of our hosts, David Ann Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 06:53:29 / 2023-08-19 07:04:58 / 11

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