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Saturday, March 15, 2014

How To EnCOURAGE Our Husbands To Be Men of COURAGE

It takes courage to donate blood! ;) -  2011

Courage according to Wikipedia, is "the ability and willingness to confront fearpaindangeruncertainty, or intimidationPhysical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shamescandal, or discouragement."

In my previous post, I talked about the Kendrick Brothers' movie, "Courageous", which was a film about godly fatherhood: "That single-word title echoes God's call for men to rise with courage in their homes and as leaders. This at a time when 4 of 10 marriages end in divorce* and more than a third of all children live away from their biological fathers. The statistics on fatherless children are devastating. And because the family is the building block of society, one important place to rebuild families is through fathers who stay and lead and love.", according to the pastors from Sherwood Church, which is the home of the hit independent films, "Fireproof", "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants."  

I agree with their observation that there is a dearth in godly spiritual leadership among fathers nowadays, and it need not be limited to the United States. Here in the Philippines, we too need a reawakening of sorts for men to reclaim their rightful leadership and moral authority in their families.

However, I do not want to touch on the roles of men or husbands. The Peaceful Wife Philippines blog is aimed towards wives. I do not have the spiritual authority to teach men (1 Timothy 2:12), and I also do not want to be trapped by the snare, caused by "looking at the other side of the fence", so to speak. I focus only on our roles as women and as wives to our husbands. 
It takes courage to give birth! Birth of Isabelle Veronica - April 17, 2013

Knowing now that it is "God's call for men to rise with courage in their homes and as leaders", what could we women, as wives do, in order to help them achieve that? What could we as our husbands' helpmeets do, to empower their leadership? What could we, though we are the "weaker vessels"   (1 Pet 3:7)  do to enCOURAGE our husbands to be men of COURAGE

Here is a list, in no particular order on: 

How A Wife Can Encourage Her Husband to Be Courageous:

1. Live a virtuous life.

Kind words and gestures can soften a hardened heart than any harsh word or judgmental remark towards another can (Proverbs 15:1). As wives, we are encouraged to be "pure" and "reverent" not only to our husbands, but most importantly to God. We must strive to always bless our spouses with words and in deeds.

Actions too, they say, speak louder than words.

If you are married to a believer, your own Christ-like behavior will further encourage your husband to deepen his relationship to God. 

If you are married to a non-believer, your own Christ-like behavior will encourage your husband to want to know the Reason behind your loving words and actions. It will encourage him to also want what you have -- that is, a relationship with Jesus Christ -- in his own life.

My husband Dong noticed a change in my behavior just a few short weeks after the Lord regenerated me and created a new Nikka in September 2013. So much so that he said sometime in October last year that:

“I am enjoying this, whatever it is you are doing. I am reaping all its benefits. I wish for more married couples to experience this.
 I want you to blog about your journey. Write your own version of the Peacefulwife’s blog for the Philippines. Our country is in dire need of role models to follow. I am sick and tired too of hearing about husbands and fathers saying that the worst thing that can happen to a man is to get married and have kids. Why do most men feel that way? Shouldn’t we feel happy that we got married and have children?

                                                       Bible Verse to Live By:

1 Peter 3:1-5

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands.

2. Practice self-restraint and know your place.  

A man will feel more manly if he is allowed to act and think like a man. Wearing the pants in the marriage and ordering him around does nothing to his manhood. In fact, it emasculates him and demotivates him to fulfill his God-ordained leadership role in the family. 

My husband Dong clearly got badly affected by my controlling behavior, before the Lord regenerated me and showed me the error of my ways. Below are some of the things he emotionally told me in various occasions:

“It is not that I am not doing anything. I am just confused and paralyzed as to what to really do. Since you are doing so well, I feel that my own contribution would be useless.”

"I don’t know why I am like this but if you are doing something already, I feel like I should just support you. Parang gumagalaw ka na e, ikaw na muna. (You are already moving, so I just let you lead.) "

"I don’t know what my role is in this family anymore! Siguro dapat umalis na lang ako (Maybe I should just leave!)… but I pity the kids, they need me." 

"All of these are your choices! If I were in charge, we’d still have a good life, but maybe a simpler one! You think I cannot lead our family? You think that you can do everything by yourself! Masaya ka ba na ako nasa baba tapos ikaw nasa taas, di tayo nagtutulungan? (Are you happy that you are on top and I am left below, and we are not helping each other?)  Shouldn’t marriage be about helping each other?

We must let our husbands lead us. The way to encourage them to become the men of courage, God wants them to be, is by being the woman in the marriage. By this, I mean, to step aside, let God work in your husband, and focus on your own role -- that is as his helper and supporter, not his boss or leader.

                                                      Bible Verse to Live By:

Titus 2:4-5
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.


3. Be his best friend and prayer warrior.

Why is it so easy to forgive or look over our girl friends' faults but so hard to not judge our husband's failures? By virtue of marriage, we are ONE with our spouses, which is not the case with our friends.

We do not have a covenant with our friends, although Jesus did teach us to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31). Why then is it so hard to apply this to somebody whom we promised "to love and to cherish, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part."? It does NOT make much sense, right?

It is easier for us to excuse the faults of others, but are very, very quick to condemn our husbands! 

In order to encourage our men to be men of courage in the home, we cannot be their worst adversary. The home should not be a battleground or a hell house, wherein even before they step inside its premises, our husbands would first have to breathe in and breathe out, and say, "Alright, here we go again..." as though they would rather be anywhere else but home! 

It should be a respite from the daily stresses of life; a welcoming embrace; and not THE most stressful part of their day; a penance! They should have the COURAGE to fight for their wives and families, NOT the "courage" to emotionally wrestle and fight with their wives who constantly berate them!

Cultivate a deep friendship with your husband who (if both of you are lucky), would be with you for many, many years still. What would you rather do, sleep with your enemy or sleep with your best friend (Assuming that your husband is your best friend.)?

And more than simply developing a friendship with him, you should also be his prayer warrior. We should always pray for our husbands. Since we are one with them, praying for them is also praying for ourselves. Let us always maintain a spirit of humility whenever we do lift our husbands up in prayer, and not a judgmental, self-righteous attitude. Prideful hearts are opposed by God, and so don't be surprised if one's "prayers" are not heard or answered when in this sinful state.

Just recently, my husband shared with me his heart, saying:

"What I love about us is that we are the opposite of each other. We help each other become better people. What I lack, you have; what you lack, I have -- so we learn from each other all the time. It never gets boring. I wouldn't want to be with somebody who will just say "yes" to what I have to say all the time. I want somebody with substance, who can contribute to my improvement."  

Bible Verses to Live By:

Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

James 4:6

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

4. Be positive and hopeful. Not negative and judgmental.

Minus my bondages and issues, I was actually quite cheerful. It did not take much to make me smile or laugh. I think I have been blessed with a sweet disposition, but there would be numerous times in the past, when that bubbly exterior would be clouded by depression, anxiety, worry and fear. The world was still very much in my spirit and the devil piggy-backed on my very many insecurities.

We would be having a remarkable time, when out of the blue, I would remember for instance, that I was anxious about the bills we had to pay, or that Dong did not have the job that I wanted for him, and I would immediately, as though a needle pricked a balloon, stop smiling and sulk. Oftentimes, I would just cry.

When I was extremely happy, Dong would tell me, "Sigh. I wonder how long this would go on.", knowing that I could easily slip into depression just after a very happy experience.

Or when I was quiet or giving him the silent treatment because of perceived hurts against him due to my unfulfilled expectations of him, he would tell me, "What is wrong?! What did I do wrong again this time?"

These were some of the things Dong told me at the height of my controlling behavior, and before I gave my life to Christ in September 2013:

"When you are sad, I feel like a failure. Because for me, my role is to make you happy."

 "I am afraid that you will find yourself another man who has more money, who can provide for you or make you happy!"

There was one crazy PMS episode (I have since conquered my PMDD with God's Help since my conversion!!! Before, I would usually border on the side of psychotic and crazy.)  when I was crying myself silly in the bathroom. He was so frustrated with me! He said in a loud voice,
“What is YOUR problem?! I am already employed, right? Why couldn’t you be happy?!”
That time, I was like, “How did THAT enter this conversation? How does my being depressed have anything to do with my husband being employed?”

Apparently, in my husband’s mind, if he would do what I wanted, which was to be in a “stable” job, I would be happy… and yet I wasn’t! Nothing would please Ms. High-And-Mighty Nikka. Nothing was enough. I was a bottomless pit of discontentment! :(

Now I have realized after the Lord opened up my spiritual eyes, that there is a reason why we are called "Ilaw ng Tahanan" (Light of the Home). We lighten up the home with our joyful and cheerful attitudes and dispositions. Our homes should be a haven for our weary family members, not a hellhole or a place to detest. Now, I am joyful and able to bring joy to my husband and family 24/7, as the Spirit continues to fill up my heart with peace and joy, which stems from finally turning my life over to Jesus Christ. :)

Bible Verses to Live By:

1 Peter 1: 8-9
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Proverbs 15:13, NIV A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
 Proverbs 17:22, ESV A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

5. Be his Number One Fan.

We should be our husbands' supporters, cheerleaders and encouragers. Usually, we believe in the abilities of everybody else's but theirs! How did that happen?!

By being their Number one fan too,  we are only called to cheer them on, not to coach them or tell them what to do.

I used to think I was my husband's number one "cheerleader". A cheerleader who told him what I wanted him to do in the way I wanted it done. For sure though, I would be clapping for him and congratulating him, if and when, he had done it "right" (based of course on my standards)! That's not cheering, that's jeering! That was not encouraging, that was dictating! That was not helping, that was demanding!

I see this particular scene played too often (as I was guilty of this too in the past) -- Somebody tells you about your husband's faults and instead of defending him (if the charge isn't true) or just keeping quiet (if the charge is true) so as not to disrespect him in front of the accuser, you even side with that person and go into a fault-finding spree! 

Just because we can point out their flaws does not make us saints. In fact, that makes us "judges", which the Lord clearly detests, for "nobody is righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10-12) , and save for God's Grace and Jesus' Redemption, we would all be rotting in hell. 

Dong blurted this out to me at one emotional discussion we had in the past, after I told him that he was not doing his best to help me provide for the family:
"I am very limited. But I know I am not a bad person! I know I am not lazy. I just don’t have energy to do a lot of things. I know I am not a people person. I know I am not one who would climb the corporate ladder. I wish I were, that would simplify things, but I am not. I am very simple. Just having you and the kids makes me happy. But you cannot write that in your resume --  "Contented father and husband." "

We should be our husbands' helpmeets, their helpers, their better halves. The Bible clearly tell us what the role is of wives in their families.

Bible Verses  to Live By:

Ephesians 5: 22-24

22 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. 23The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. 24 So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

Matthew 7:1-5

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

* * *

In ending, in connection with the Resolution of Fathers in my previous post on 'Courageous Parenthood', here is the female counterpart of that. Thanks to a sister in Christ, myjoy123, who pointed it out to me. :) I researched on it and looked for it. This one is taken from the website, Christian 


1. A Resolution To Be Content

I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life, and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.

2. A Resolution To Champion Biblical Femininity

I will champion God’s model for womanhood in the face of a post-feminist culture. I will teach it to my daughters and encourage its support by my sons.

3. A Resolution To Value Myself and Celebrate Others

I will accept and celebrate my uniqueness, and to esteem and encourage the distinctions I admire in others.

4. A Resolution To Be Devoted To Christ and Defined By His Word

I will live as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word.

5. A Resolution To Devote My Best to God’s Priorities For Me

I will seek to devote the best of myself, my time, and my talents to the primary roles the Lord has entrusted to me in this phase of my life.

6. A Resolution To Esteem Others

I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak. I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.

7. A Resolution To Release Others From The Prison of My Hurt

I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

8. A Resolution To Live with the Highest Standard of Virtue and Purity

I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form in myself or my home, but will embrace and encourage a life of purity.

9. A Resolution To Care

I will pursue justice, love, mercy, and extend compassion toward others.

10. A Resolution To Be the Kind Of Woman Who Truly Blesses Her Man

I will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord. I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential.

11. A Resolution To Train My Children in Righteousness

I will demonstrate and teach my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibly.

12. A Resolution To Make My Home a Welcome Place To Be

I will cultivate a peaceful home where God’s presence is sensed not only through acts of love and service, but also through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.

13. A resolution to live today with tomorrow in mind

I fully resolve to make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s impact in mind. I will consider my current choices in light of those who will come after me.

* * *

Truly, we cannot do anything on our own strength! Let us ask the Holy Spirit to instill in us the desire to fulfill our godly roles as wives and mothers in our homes with courage, and to guide us every step the way.

Philippians 4:13

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

May we all be richly blessed!!! :)


  1. so true on Ilaw ng Tahanan" (Light of the Home) and this goes well with 'a happy wife makes for a happy life'

  2. Yes, a happy wife does make for a happy life. :) Mothers or wives are the thermostat of the home. Thanks for your comment! :)

  3. Hi Ate Nikka. I think there should be a caution against "being happy" as if being a Christian means that one is happy all the time. Actually the Christian life is so narrow that it becomes quite difficult especially if one needs to stand up for your convictions (e.g. openly saying that The Secret is not Christian). Being labelled intolerant and an idiot is never fun.

    In Psalm 56:8 David says: "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.Are they not in your book?" Even Jesus cried when His friend Lazarus died. So, being sad is ok.

    However, Christians are advised to be joyful in all circumstances. Just like Paul wrote to the Philippians when he was actually in jail! There lies the difference between being happy and being joyful because joy does not depend on circumstances. Joy depends on our freedom in Christ. :)

    P.S. I wrote this when one of your advise was "to be happy." I think you edited it.

  4. Okay I reacted to being positive pala. Hehe. I am not positive all the time but I know Heikki does not feel discouraged. He does correct me when I am thinking like a unsaved person as if I did not have liberty and victory in Christ. There are strongholds that are clear strongholds and some problems are just what they are problems that need to be prayed on and acted upon after. :)

  5. Hi Ek!

    Yes, I agree. Happiness can actually be an idol, when the main goal of people is to "be happy at all costs." It is elusive and as Ecclesiastes would say, just "vanity."

    True joy can be found in Jesus, I agree too. :)

    I am wary of prosperity preachers who seem to have their main focus on wealth and happiness, as though financial hardship and troubles, are not part of being Christian, when Jesus Himself very well showed us that it was in His death on the Cross that we were saved. Suffering is how we are sanctified and the only way we can share in His Redemption. There is no salvation without suffering, but as He also promised, "his yoke is easy and the burden is light", meaning too, that His Grace is sufficient for what He would allow for us to experience.. It becomes a problem when we take on burdens that are not God-given, but just calls of the flesh or actions stemming from giving in to temptation.

    And yes, too, we should always be joyful and give praise in ALL circumstances -- whether good or bad. :)

    Thanks for the comments!

    Ate Nikka

  6. P.S. I have a pending blog post on "The Secret." I have always been wary of it, but am now even more so, after my spiritual conversion. I do not know though when I would be led to finish it, but it's just in my drafts. :)

  7. I saw a copy of that book in Visayas once and saw how they described Jesus as the "founder of Christianity." That alone says a lot about how non-Christian that book is. Positive thinking nor our "big faith" can make God answer our prayers. He cannot be blackmailed, hehe. As one preacher said "We don't need to have big faith. Sometimes all we need is little faith in a big God." He was preaching in relation to the mustard seed in congruence with the account in Mark when the apostles cannot cast out one demon and Jesus said "this kind can only be cast out by prayer."

  8. P.S. By accepting Jesus in your heart, you are also experiencing salvation i.e. you are justified and saved. But there is no purification without suffering. :)

  9. Replies
    1. Hehe. Hirap walang edit button. :P

      Yes, FAITH in Jesus justifies us. Then, from that faith flows good works. :)


Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)