Who here wants to be labelled a nag?  Controlling wife?  Contentious woman?  Me neither.

But today I want to share with you my journey about how I realized that I had control issues, identified my bad habits, changed from the inside out and have the best marriage ever.  


The first thing I realized that fateful day in our seventh year of marriage was that I felt like my success, identity and happiness was reliant somehow on my husband.  Boy was I wrong!


The second thing I realized is that I placed a LOT of stock in my ability to convince my husband that I had done solid research and that my tactics were viable and worth applying.  I wouldn’t really call myself a nag, but I definitely was in the habit of trying to do the big sell.

Before my journey that ended up being Faith and Finance: Peace Without Prosperity, I had done a lot of research on the “right way” to handle money.  I mean, it’s pretty well known that you establish a savings, pay off debt, create and live on a budget (so that you are telling your money where to go and not wondering where it went).  I could have written a book on it if Dave Ramsey hadn’t beaten me to it.

But to be honest, my peace was dependent upon following the rules and less on my husband’s ability to lead. 

Problem! He didn’t want to follow “my rules.”  Wait!  But these aren’t “my rules” I would say.  “It’s research.  These are facts.  Here is my spreadsheet convincing you of why this is the best way.”


Then God pulled the rug out from under me when the recession hit.  If you wrote our income and expenses on a paper, you would either laugh or cry.  You know who swooped in as my hero?  God.  (Learn more about that story and how I learned to trust God and find peace in the midst of financial crisis in my book.)

You see, I forgot that God leads the home.  God leads the husband.  And God will do what it takes to get us women to take all our well-meaning thoughts and intentions to HIM and let God speak to the husband.


Is your bone of contention financial security?  Is it how to raise your children?  Is it health?  Is it your romance life?  Is it time management?  What is it right now that you think, “If my husband would just listen to me than everything would be better?”

Is it more than one thing?

Maybe it is how you spend the holidays?  What about how much time you spend with the in-laws?  Could it be how you deal with conflict?  Maybe it is that he isn’t meeting your “needs” or “talking enough” or “listening enough.”

Do you get the picture?  I am sure you do.  Because I sure did.  I had two big hot topics, and I tried my best to convince him, persuade him and make subtle suggestions or tiny reminders.  My husband did not do what I wanted.  He just stopped trying to communicate with me.

I didn’t realize how much he hated it until … that fateful day.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO SHUT UP! – How To Stop Being A Nag.

There!  I said it!

We need to just shut up!

“But, I can’t.”  You say.

“If I shut up, then things will go to pot.  He will just keep doing it the wrong way.  He will do something that makes me feel …” What?

What does it make you feel?  Afraid?  Ashamed? Unpopular? Un-attracted to him?  Subordinate?  Uncomfortable?  Angry?

You need to label it.  What does it make you feel?  Get very specific.

If you are angry?  Why?  Why does it make you afraid?  You need to find the root of your actions before you can learn to fix it.

The problem is you; not him.

LET ME TELL YOU MY “WHY!” – How To Stop Being A Nag.

In my blog From Chronic Despair To Continuas Joy I share that journey of how I realized that I put my trust in me first, then my husband’s leadership and lastly in prayer. 

I struggled with fear that I would never have “the perfect life” that I knew was possible if Rick would just listen to me.  I thought Rick needed to change in the areas in which I SAW him as weak; and the faster he could change, the better off we would be. OUCH!  I hate admitting that.

What changed my life was when I realized that my tongue was directly related to my faith in God.  I just did not trust God.  My prayer life was weak.  My shield of faith was not developed.  I did not have enough Scripture readily available to quench the fiery darts.  So, I changed.

MY ACTION PLAN – How To Stop Being A Nag.

When he would think it was fine to go out to eat and I felt like things were too tight, I stopped telling him.  Instead I went and prayed.  And you know what I DID NOT pray. 

“Dear God, please show Rick that he is making a bad decision and that we don’t have enough money.”

I started praying,

“Dear God.  I am so sorry that I do not have enough faith in You to lead our family through my husband.  Please make him into the man that YOU want him to be; not the man that I want him to be.

Give me the grace to be pleasant and supportive as we are at dinner so that I in no way try to control him through emotional manipulation.  Help me be his best friend as I trust YOU to take care of all our needs even if we have to live through some mistakes.”

MY WAKE UP CALL – How To Stop Being A Nag.

And so that entire year, I never spoke up when I disagreed with his decision.  I chose only to encourage him and be his best friend, and I did not tell him what I was doing.

Then on our anniversary, he said, “Man, Melissa!  This has been the best year of our marriage ever!”

It was me!  You see, God knew that my heart’s desire was greater than what I knew.  God knew my hearts desire could only be accomplished if I changed.  My heart was toward my husband and I wanted his heart to be toward me.  The rest of everything is just blurry details.  If you lose your husband, you lose all the rest.  


If you read my article 5 Ways To Help Your Husband Be A Better Leader you will learn that 1 Peter 2 & 3 are my guiding passages for how to be a wife.  I particularly cling to the passage that speaks of Sarah who trusted God.

I think that especially after the “Hagar incident” Sarah learned (as my pastor recently said), “God wants your family to live with your husband’s mistakes and not yours.”

I bet there came a point in Sarah’s life when she realized that she just needed to shut up.  What happens at that point is scary.  If we don’t speak up and “advise our husband’s helpfully” than what will happen?  

I want to ask you, “What will happen if you keep speaking up and advising your husband helpfully?”  He will pull away from you and he will let you lead and everything you ever wanted out of life will get turned on its head.  This is a guarantee.


Let me give you some really basic and up front advise. 

When you feel the need to convince him.  Don’t.

When you feel the need to remind him of his “decisions” (usually based highly upon your input).  Don’t.

When you feel the need to let him know you disapprove.  Don’t.

When you see him saying or doing something completely opposite of what you would do it.  Don’t.

When you hear him discussing ideas that raise red flags.  Don’t.

Instead, I want you to take the lyrics of “Tell It To Jesus” and let them be your motto for life.  Then after a year or so of developing your prayer life, take some time and read my article on How To Get People To Listen to You and communicate things that GOD leads you to say; not the other way around.

I want to leave you with these lyrics, but if this was a blessing and you know it can speak to someone else; pass it along and make a difference.


Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.