4.      Take ownership of your behaviors:  This means that you will have to stop blaming others, stop denying the behaviors, and stop avoiding responsibility for your behaviors.  All three of these are things that we strong-willed wives often do.  We have to learn how to take ownership of our part of the problems that come up in our relationships and when we do we need to learn to apologize and seek forgiveness for them.

5.      Stop criticizing:  We strong-willed wives tend to focus on our way of doing things and saying things as the right way (and sometimes the only way).  When people do it differently we feel it necessary to correct them.  But learning to control our tongue will make a huge difference in our relationship with our husbands.  The key to this step is to learn to accept your husband’s differences and to understand that different does NOT mean wrong.  If you continue to criticize your husband or redo what he’s done, you undermine your attempts to let him lead. 

6.      Praise often:  The other side of controlling your tongue is learning to give praise on a regular basis.  You need to learn to look for the good in this man that God has blessed you with, and be open with your praise.  Make a conscious effort to look for things that he does or traits that you see in him that are praiseworthy and shower him with these comments.  Say things that let him know that you trust and respect him and his ability to lead your household.  These statements will make him start to feel like the man of the house again and like the man God created him to be.

7.      Strive toward unity:  Biblical submission has as its ultimate goal a stronger and more intimate marital relationship.  It’s about blending into one flesh and setting aside our selfish desires.  We are on the same team and working toward the same goal.  So when it comes to decisions within your home, the ultimate goal needs to be unity.  To experience this unity you will need a plan of action that the two of you have agreed upon and that keeps you moving in the same direction.  The plan can take several different forms as long as you come up with it together, both agree that it is a workable solution and then follow through with it. 

Debbie L. Cherry, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the CEO of Today’s Family Treasures. http://www.tftreasures.org/

Article is adapted from her book:  The Strong-Willed Wife:  Using your personality to honor God and your husband.  NavPress, 2007.