I used to feel extremely overly responsible for my marriage and my husband, and felt the weight of all the choices on my shoulders. Of course, I used to also feel extremely overly responsible for my sister and brother, my parents, my friends, people who were starving in Africa – basically everyone on the planet… since I was a child (maybe about 5 years of age). I thought that I had to force things to happen the “right” way, and that everything was up to me to try to fix all the problems of the world. I discounted the entire sovereignty of God concept and carried the weight of the world on my tiny shoulders. That was a pretty stressful, anxiety-producing, discouraging, depressing way to live!
With me NOT being the one who was ordained by God to lead and be the authority in my marriage, that didn’t work well for me or my husband AT ALL!!!! I took my husband’s silence as a signal that I had to take over, but I was wrong! I needed to wait and be patient. My attempts at trying to lead caused a lack of unity, lack of intimacy, anxiety, loneliness, fear and a feeling of being overwhelmed as i tried to carry weight I wasn’t designed to carry. I also caused my husband to want to just unplug and be passive because of my dominating ways. This is NOT how to have a wonderful, godly marriage!
When I realized that God made my husband the spiritual authority over me - WHAT A RELIEF that was!!!!! I could take all the weight of the responsibility of the final decisions off of my shoulders and let my strong husband carry that stuff. Whew!!!! I could BREATHE for the first time in my life. I feel real PEACE every day, and JOY! This is not tyranny or oppression. This is freedom!
I tell my husband what I want and how I feel, and I leave it with him and with God. I know that my husband will stand before God one day as the one who is accountable for the leadership and decisions made in our marriage, NOT ME! WOOHOOOOOO! So that’s another reason why I can have peace. I am not the one ultimately accountable for the decisions.
I am just accountable for obeying God in my part of the marriage. I am accountable for respecting my husband and following his leadership with a willing, cooperative spirit (and for standing against him if he asks me to do anything wrong). I am responsible for sharing my perspective and wisdom, my feelings and desires. Then my husband is responsible for the heavy stuff before God. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels not to have the weight of all that accountability and responsibility on me.
If my husband makes mistakes, that’s between him and God. My job is to be as supportive as I can and to make the environment as conducive to his leadership as possible. My job is to throw my weight behind him, cheer him on, build him up and work on our unity and team spirit.
I think I may have the better end of the deal here, ladies!!! I LOVE IT!
PS for special circumstances:
I am coming from the angle of being a Christian wife who was too dominant with a passive Christian husband. Our marriage was in a ditch, so it took some work (and the power of God) to get back on the right road. But if you are dealing with abuse, sexual infidelity, addiction or mental health problems, your marriage may be deep down in a ravine. You may need a lot more help than I can give here. Your path back onto God’s road is going to take longer and have more steps and need more assistance. You can still get back to God’s path for you! But you may need some godly, wise, experienced help from a pastor or Christian counselor ASAP.
If you are a passive wife with a controlling husband, you will need to over-correct more in the direction of learning to speak your mind (respectfully, of course!) and know your feelings and share your heart and being involved in decisions more. I needed to learn to be more quiet, and learn discretion and to not talk so much. It depends where your weaknesses are how you need to handle your situation! We can easily become too dominant as wives or too passive, it is hard to hit the sweet spot in the middle where health and abundant life are! We need God’s Spirit to help us, that’s for sure!
For the husbands – a wife’s biblical submission to you means much greater responsibility on your shoulders. Check out this link!