It was our fourth year of youth ministry. We had a huge missions pledge for our youth group and we needed an epic idea to raise it.

My hubby’s epiphany: Sleep on the Roof.

For every thousand dollars, he agreed to spend one night on the roof of the church.

I was so proud.

(What can I say? We were very young and very dumb).

Money poured in and he pitched a tent on the roof….only to be begged down by board members and parents due to bad weather and um, the possibility of rolling off. I think he was disappointed. I was relieved.

But I will tell you, there have been many days since that my hubby would have gladly packed up backpack, climbed a ladder and camped out on our roof.

And not to raise money.

It would have to been to get away from me.

Stand On The Place Where You Live

Apparently, this is even Biblical. Proverbs 21:9 “It is better to live (dwell, sit) on the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a quarrelsome (contentious, brawling, bitter-tongued) wife.

Houses back in Bible days had flat roofs. It was actually common for men to take a mat and relax or take a nap on the rooftop. But it was exposed to all manner of weather. The point of the Proverb: a man could take his chances with wind and rain on the roof because sometimes it’s better than than the tempest within the four walls.

Now I’ve gone to meddling.

The author offers us such a drastic contrast: a bare, lonely, uncomfortable roof, lacking every convenience, compared to a spacious, warm abode-the difference: one has a noisy and quarrelsome wife with violent passions, storming language, and thundering voice.

I’ve done it. I do it. I prattle, push, peck. Our husbands are not one of our children. It’s not our responsibility to guide, direct and control them.

It’s wrong.

And it is our nature.

Our pastor has been teaching a phenomenal series on marriage and family. He unpacked Genesis 3:16 in such a life-changing way for me. The passage is referring to the results of the Fall of Man:

To the woman he said,

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;

with pain you will give birth to children.

Your desire will be for your husband,

and he will rule over you.”

I always got the childbirth part because HELLO, IT’S TRUE. ouch.

But I never understood the “desire will be for your husband….”

If you dissect the word desire it creates a word picture-not of love, but of opposition, of crouching behind a door, ready to pounce on him…

Because of the Fall, we desire to oppose our husbands.

It’s sinful.

I find the more I submit to my Heavenly Father, the more the desire to oppose my husband fades.

Pray about the point of contention, don’t nag. Place it at His feet, don’t pick. Praise your spouse, don’t partake from the cup of bitterness.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What am I trying to control?
  2. Am I submitting myself to my Heavenly Father?
  3. Can I pray for my husband more?

Girls, let’s invite our hubbies off the roof!


by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family

  • Abbie

    I totally agree! And it is SO hard to do. But I’ll keep working on it.

  • Paola Pacheco Rarick

    Such a wonderful reminder that needs to be readdressed over and over again. War is waged on marriage these days and we need to be doing all we can to keep our marriages healthy. Life and marriage are better when we follow God’s plan, but we must fight against our sin nature. Soooo hard. Maybe we could do a book club about marriage at some point!!! Hint, hint. Enjoy your Sun. and thanks for this blessed reminder.

  • Jo

    Would you give more on this understanding of “teshuwqah” please? My studies have shown me that this is a ‘reaching out to please’, and in context indicates a change of direction. IOW, she is no longer reaching out to please God (indicating this was her habit), but from this point fwd. she will be reaching out to please man.

    • Penny

      Jo and Kristen- I wondered the same thing so I went to Blue Letter Bible and looked up this verse and clicked on the Strong’s number

      This word is used three times in the Old Testement- once in this verse mentioned above, once in Genesis 4:7 – God speaking to Abel regarding sin and the choice he has to let it be his master. It is also used by the Bride who speaks about her husband’s desire for her in Song of Solomon 7:10 – “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. ” I found this to be an interesting contrast to the Genesis verse where the Eve’s desire is for her husband and in Song of Solomon, the husband’s desire is for his wife. When you throw in the passage about Abel- it also seems to connote a choice or a decision to let what we desire master us.

  • Miranda

    Thank you for this gentle reminder! I never looked at that way but from now on I will. Hopefully we resolve things before it gets to that point though ;).

  • Mollianne

    Very hard to do, but once done and done consistently…what a blessing!

  • Alexandra

    I find it… interesting… that the “desire for your husband” is so frequently used to point out the sinfulness of a woman’s longing for control, but the “he shall rule over you” – which is in exactly the same context of spelling out the consequences of sin – is taken as a God-given mandate to take charge in the home.

    • We are THAT family

      I completely, agree, Alexandra. In the study I was in, the same point was brought out. I think it’s just a sinful for husbands to lord over their wives…their mandate is to love us, like Christ loves the church.

  • Nicole @

    Thank you for this awesome reminder.

  • Katy

    love it. this year has been one of learning to love my husband better. i’ll never be done, but what a fun (and sometimes trying) journey the Lord has given us through marriage!

  • Tami R.

    I cannot tell you how long I sat in bed this morning praying for God to calm the storm I wanted to unleash on my sweet husband when he got up. I was seething, and wanted satisfaction. But I knew, no matter what I thought he was or wasn’t doing, my approach to my husband was going to be wrong. But I was quickly sinking into that place where my anger was feeling not only justified, but comfortable. I was losing the battle, and desperately needed God to pull me out of the mire. I left the bedroom, to at least get myself away from my poor husband, and opened Facebook. – such a spiritual thing to do, right? But there it was, the (in)courage status with this article. Oh, how I needed this specific word at this very moment. God used you in an immediate, tangible way today. My spirit is soothed, and my husband is safe! Thank you so much!

  • Amy D.

    Kristen, this has to be one of the best pieces I have ever read. That bible verse is one of my favorites. I keep it for myself and I pass it on. Now I will pass on the link to this post as well.

    (marriage really does get even better when we learn to stop controlling our husband)

  • Nancy

    I had a revelation in regards to this subject several years ago: I am NOT the Holy Spirit. It really took a lot of pressure off. Kidding…but not really.

  • Christine

    I think it’s time to stop pointing the finger at the Garden. It’s like saying “The devil made me do it”, instead of taking responsibility for our own short comings. Perhaps it is time to start developing a real friendship with your husband. Friends generally don’t try to control each other but are more respectful…if they are truly friends.

  • allison

    Heard a sermon about the Good Samaritan today at church…loving my neighbor. I wrote down a note during the service: “Mike (my husband) is my neighbor.”

  • Darla

    Oh my {cough} spot-on {cough}. This made me giggle uncontrollably because it’s so true. I think there are times my husband wishes it wasn’t either -50 or 105. God bless him for putting up with my mouth on days when the sin takes over and I can hear myself saying the word all the while thinking SHUT.UP.

  • Janis@ Open My Ears Lord

    Hi Kristen,
    Great development of that idea about “desire.” Well, I’ve been married for 35 years (in June) and I never knew that was what it meant! But it sure makes sense. Because we are told in Ephesians to submit to our husbands–so there must be a problem in that area of allowing our husbands to head up the family. It comes so naturally to us to take charge!
    Enjoyed this a lot.

  • Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies

    Yes and yes and amen, amen, amen.


    A fellow recovering drove-my-man-to-the-rooftop Kristen

  • Kalyn

    I definitely need to work on praying for my husband. I find that when I pray for someone, it is harder to be mean, sarcastic, and nagging, because you have been thinking of them in a positive way. Really hoping to bring about change in my marriage!

  • Sarah

    This is great!! A couple of weeks ago, I read a book by Gary Thomas entitled “Sacred Influence”, and it deals directly with these issues. I hope you will read through this book objectively and filtered through the Word of the Lord, and write more on this topic. This is something that this culture struggles with immensely. It is something that, as women, we can choose to glorify God with or do the opposite and trample on His name! Thank you for such a great post!!

  • Jane

    SO well written Kristen! When my husband of 28 years fell off the roof a decade ago while doing Christmas lights, I hope he wasn’t really up there to get away from me!

  • Michelle

    I’ve always wondered about that verse as well, but this makes sense! I can definitely always work on this! My hubby is so wonderful to me but I always have something to nag him about. I have got to stop. Thanks for the reminder. GOD please give us the strength!

  • Jan Udlock

    I remember a friend saying to me, “What would it be like to be married to you?” Would I like to be married to me? OUCH!

  • rose

    Thank you for this. I saw a link to it from Homeschool Creations website (your title caught my eye). I really needed this. I can see that I’ve been a nag and complainer lately. It doesn’t get the desired result, does it? I’m going to start praying over the problems and asking the Lord to give me a smile.

  • Jan

    What a wonderful post. You have reminded all of us exactly where we need to be – listening to God. I have been married almost 40 years to a wonderful husband who for 30 of those years put up with my controlling nature. Ten years ago Christ changed me – to see myself, as that controlling, nagging wife – my husband had gone into himself instead of the roof – but I know what you mean. For the last 10 years our marriage has grown stronger and stronger as I relinquished my control. I catch myself going there – but at least I can see it for what it is. What a fabulous way of showing – the analogy of the roof is brilliant! I love the “I prattle. I push. I peck.”…

  • REM

    What a wonderful and important post. Would love to hear the series by your pastor. Are they online?

  • Kelly @ Wisdom Begun

    Thank you for this post, Kristen!

  • Bek

    Can I just say, OUCH! Yes. I needed to hear that. Thank you for sharing the hard word.

  • Heather

    Thank you for this. I so appreciate honesty and Biblical truth. I constantly feel at war with my flesh. I am supposed to love my husband. So, why do I find such faults? When I ask for God’ help to keep my mouth shut, to think before I speak, and maybe not speak at all, then and only then can I be more of the woman I want to be. He has been so gracious to honor my prayers and respond in gentle prompting. What would I do without my Father?

  • Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight

    and, ummm…

    Yeah, he’s spent some time up there.
    Am I better than I used to be? Sure; definitely. But I still need to be reminded every day. Okay, maybe every hour. Sometimes every ten minutes…
    Thanks for the much-needed kick-in-the-hiney.

  • Whitney K.

    I read this blog to my husband…on the roof. And he completely agrees ;) But thankfully, we are able to come out on our roof and enjoy it together! Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog.

  • Pingback: Why Your Husband May Want to Live on the Roof « A Better Way()