I have to chose between worry or faith – I can’t have both! This is true with God and it is true with my husband.
- Husbands thrive best in an environment where they feel trusted, respected, admired and important to their wives.
- Husbands can become paralyzed, unplugged, bitter, angry and stunted when they feel disrespected and when they know their wives don’t trust them or admire them or have faith in them.
Gary Thomas, in “Sacred Influence,” describes that husbands look into their “wife mirror” to see what their reflection is. They often believe what we reflect back to them and become more and more like the man we say they are. We have SO MUCH POWER to harm our men and discourage them and destroy them or to build them up, bless them and empower them to become the men God desires them to be.
- “You are going the wrong way and that if you went the other way, it would be so much faster!”
- “Why didn’t you go through that yellow light? (SIGH!) Now we will be so much later to the restaurant! I HATE being late!”
- “You should have cut that car off! You’re driving too slowly! The speed limit is 60 here, you know.”
- “This is such a dumb way to go. Who would ever take THIS road?”
- GASP!!!!!!!!!! CRINGE, SCREAM! (When he actually is driving responsibly)
- “You are such a dangerous driver! Slow down! Slow down! You are going to kill us all!” as she clings to the door handle.
- “You better take this parking spot! It’s the best one. How could you have passed that space up? Now we’ll have to walk so much farther. You can’t do anything right!”
Does he feel trusted by her?
Does he feel more attracted to her?
Does he want to cherish her and protect her more?
Does he feel more love in his heart for her?
A wife who trusts her husband’s driving is relaxed, happy, stress-free, calm, peaceful and enjoying the time to be together and the scenery. Even if he takes a wrong turn – she trusts that he will figure things out and she is gentle, patient and at peace.
It is a wife’s genuine trust and faith in his abilities and his competence and responsibility that inspire a man to greater heights. If she is worried, afraid, anxious and trying to control him – he may want to leave or not be around her so much.
– he may lose a lot of his attraction to her eventually
– he may even begin to believe her and become more and more the unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, unplugged, uncaring man that she insists he is.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF AREAS WHERE A WIFE’S WORRY CAN MAKE HER HUSBAND FEEL DISRESPECTED:
- his decisions as a father – he wants to know she supports him, especially in front of the children
- his financial decisions – he wants to know his wife trusts him with the finances.
- his having to work extra – which is one of the primary ways most husbands try to show love for their wives and families – if a wife worries and is very anxious about him working extra, it can make him feel like he is in a lose/lose situation. He wants to provide well, but his wife is unhappy. That is a difficult position for many husbands.
- his struggles with visual temptation – if his wife cannot understand his struggle, blames him or condemns him or worries that he will leave her or accuses him of unfaithfulness, when he is actually being faithful – it can be soul crushing for a man
WHAT DOES MY WORRY TELL MY HUSBAND?
- I don’t trust him
- I don’t trust God
- I think he’s going to mess things up
- I don’t think he is capable and competent
- I don’t have faith in him as the God-given leader in our marriage
- I don’t have grace for him if he does make a mistake
- I don’t think he is man enough, strong enough, smart enough, etc…. to handle things
A lot of husbands take their wives’ worry and anxiety pretty personally – more than they should, quite honestly!
MEN TEND TO MEASURE THEIR SUCCESS AS HUSBANDS BY THEIR WIVES’ HAPPINESS
Most men use their wives’ level of contentment, satisfaction and happiness as a barometer to indicate how well they are doing as husbands and as men. An anxious, worried wife is NOT a happy wife. So a husband may well feel like a failure when he has a continually worried, fearful, upset, anxious wife.
He is NOT actually responsible for her happiness. He is responsible to please and obey Christ. She is responsible to God for her own joy and spiritual growth and trusting Him. Many men don’t realize that a worried/anxious/fearful/controlling wife’s real issue is that her trust and faith in God is lacking and that she doesn’t understand God’s sovereignty – and she may even have idols in her heart. I sure did!
SOME THINGS HUSBANDS NEED FROM THEIR WIVES:
- faith in his abilities
- a genuine look of admiration in our eyes
- real respect for the good things he does to contribute to the marriage and family
- grace, mercy and forgiveness – he is a sinner, just like us, after all!
- a desire to re-establish trust if trust has been broken
- a cooperative attitude towards his leadership, ideas, plans and dreams
- a wife who is open and joyfully receptive to him mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically
- a wife who can ask for what she wants and needs in a respectful, polite, pleasant way
- a wife who understands his needs, his preferences and his unique personality
- a wife who prays FOR him as a teammate, not against him
- a wife who sees herself on equal footing with him, not above him as if she is better than he is
FROM MY SISTER IN CHRIST, ROBYN:
I used to worry a lot too! Darrell said he found it slightly offensive. I thought that was interesting. He said it was like I didn’t trust him to do the job that God called him to do of caring for and loving us by his leadership.
It makes sense. God as placed all authorities in place, so ultimately when I worry about my life or decisions that my husband could/would make, I’m ultimately not really trusting God. I guess it boils down to actions. You can say you trust God all you want but if it doesn’t transfer out of your heart into your actions, then it’s kind of a moot issue.
April, when you started to trust more and worry less, did you notice a difference in your man? I sure noticed one in mine.
YES! As I learned to trust God and my husband – I learned both at the same time – my husband began to stand taller and began to be much more confident as he made decisions. He began to come back to life and eventually, the competent, plugged in, loving, caring, amazing man I fell in love with – returned! Even better, actually!
Isn’t it totally a WIN/WIN !!! (some days the blessings are so intense it’s too much to bear)
It SO IS a win/win.
So many women think that respecting their husband and honoring his leadership would lead to oppression and losing “power” in the marriage. It has been totally the opposite for me. I have found freedom, my real identity, my true purpose in life, my greatest power as a woman (godly power), and I am now a blessing to my man. And God has changed him, too – in time. (it took a few years for both of us to really change – but there were glimmers of hope along the way that were very encouraging!)
Yes, the blessings are intense. I am in constant awe of God and my husband.
What is something you tend to worry and obsess about that your husband has tried to get you to stop worrying about and to trust him about it?
What is something that you worry about that you can’t seem to let go?
How different would your marriage be if you were willing to learn to trust God and trust your husband and let go of fear, worry, anxiety and control?
I’d love for you to share your perspective on this topic!