I am taking an email vacation through January 6th. You are welcome to comment on posts, but please hold emails for me until January 7th. I appreciate your patience and understanding! 🙂
“I’M THE SPIRITUALLY MATURE ONE, I HAVE TO LEAD”
It is a VERY tough position to be in to want to be close to God, to want to obey God and to feel like you can’t follow your husband.
- You may long for him to lead a family devotion time, or prayer time.
- You may want him to be the one to tell the children why it’s important to go to church or to plan out character lessons to teach each child.
- You may want him to work with the kids on memory verses.
- You may wish that your husband spent more time with the family and not so much time at work.
- You may feel like you HAVE to take over the leadership role because it doesn’t seem like he wants it.
- You might be praying every single day for God to change your husband and cause him to be more like Christ.
- You may feel like your husband isn’t as close to God as he should be.
- Maybe you don’t see him praying.
- Maybe you are in charge of the finances and working full time and keeping the house and taking care of the children and it seems like an unfair majority of the burden is on your shoulders.
- Maybe you ask your husband to help you, but he just ignores you and keeps watching tv.
- Maybe you tell him how unhappy you are and what you need and it feels like you are talking to a wall.
- Maybe you try to draw near to him and tell him about your pain so he will see how much you hurt and fix it, and he gets REALLY angry and lashes out at you and begins talking about your faults.
- Maybe you ask for your husband’s input or decision-making and he just never answers or says the dreaded, “I don’t know” phrase or he ignores you, or just tells you to do whatever you want and you feel like he doesn’t care and isn’t plugged in to the family and the marriage.
“GOD’S DESIGN WON’T WORK IN MY SITUATION”
If these things sound familiar to you – you are not alone! Many wives feel like this and struggle daily with these same issues. Yes, this situation is extremely discouraging and you may think that your husband just doesn’t love you anymore or that following your husband’s leadership just isn’t possible in your case. You might think he can’t lead the family. You might just write him off as not being able to ever “man-up” and take care of family responsibilities. You might be wondering why God isn’t answering your prayers? Why isn’t your husband changing? You are praying clearly for God’s will – a godly husband who is a strong, Christ-like leader for your family. Why on earth have your prayers gone unanswered for months or years or decades? Why doesn’t God hear?
Precious, beautiful wife, I obviously don’t know your situation. But God does! There is GREAT HOPE in Christ!!!!
There are several very central, CRITICAL truths I have learned as a Christian and as a wife that have changed my life and my marriage that I want to share (with my husband’s whole-hearted approval) with wives who might be in a similar place to where I was years ago:
- GOD IS SOVEREIGN – EVEN OVER MY MARRIAGE, EVEN OVER MY HUSBAND, AND OVER MY LIFE.
- I CANNOT CHANGE MY HUSBAND AND MAKE HIM MORE LIKE CHRIST. I can aggravate him, push him away from God, make him want to be far away from me and make us both miserable by trying to change him, make him dread being in the same room with me, but I cannot change him – not for the better! I am not the Holy Spirit!
- GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN CHANGE MY HUSBAND – HIS WAY AND HIS TIMING IS BEST.
- MY JOB IS TO OBEY GOD ON MY END AND NOT WORRY ABOUT MY HUSBAND’S SIDE OF THE EQUATION, BUT TRUST GOD AND DO MY PART.
- WHEN I DO OBEY GOD AS A WIFE, I OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO WORK IN MYSELF, MY MARRIAGE, MY HUSBAND AND OUR CHILDREN.
- MY OBEDIENCE CAN REALLY SPEED UP THE PROCESS FOR GOD TO CHANGE MY HUSBAND.
- MY DISOBEDIENCE CAN KEEP MY HUSBAND FROM HEARING GOD’S VOICE AND CAN PUSH MY HUSBAND AWAY FROM ME AND FROM GOD.
- I HAVE A FOREST OF TREES IN MY OWN EYE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SPECK IN MY HUSBAND’S EYE.
- I CAN DO NOTHING GOOD APART FROM CHRIST AND HIS POWER WORKING IN ME.
- I AM UTTERLY SINFUL AND WRETCHED ON MY OWN.
- I NEED TO LIVE IN HUMILITY WITH A VERY REAL AWARENESS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF MY OWN FAULTS AND HOW SMALL AND IMPOTENT I AM AND HOW HUGE, POWERFUL, SOVEREIGN, ALL-KNOWING, WISE, LOVING, MERCIFUL, FORGIVING AND HOLY GOD IS!
SELF EVALUATION TIME
Whew! This stuff is ugly. I don’t really enjoy this part, but unless we open up our own souls and allow God’s Word to shine in there to the darkest corners, we can’t move on to the great stuff. This is where we learn to “die to self” and live for Christ. I would like for you to consider some things and whether or not these may be possibilities in your heart and in your marriage as we think about the issue of your husband’s leadership in your home. We are only going to look at ourselves as wives in this exercise and how we may be contributing to the success or failure of our husband’s leadership in our marriages. Please stop and pray and ask God to give you insight and wisdom into your own heart and life, as well as conviction wherever it is needed from His perspective. Please meditate and pray about how many of the following may apply to you and your marriage – many applied in mine, but not all – (if you are dealing with an active addict, someone chronically unfaithful, a hardened criminal, or someone with an uncontrolled mental health disorder – please get godly, experienced help ASAP! Following a husband in these cases could be very dangerous. Safety for you and your children is the priority if you are in a physically abusive situation!!):
- If I ask my husband to make a decision, and he doesn’t give me a “real” answer within 5-30 minutes, I get angry.
- I yell at my husband, throw things at him, and call him horrible names.
- I attack my husband’s character when we argue.
- If my husband asks me to do something I don’t like or don’t agree with, I refuse to go along with him. I will only follow if he leads where I want to go.
- If my husband comes up with an idea or plan, I find fault with his thinking and his solutions and tell him that his way won’t work, only my way will.
- I criticize my husband’s opinions, preferences, tastes, wardrobe, hair style, hobbies, thoughts, suggestions, and plans.
- I react negatively when my husband tries to help me. He just doesn’t load the dishwasher right, or change the baby’s diaper right, or fold the laundry right.He never hears me praise him and say, “Thank you SO much for the help!” He only hears me say, “I’m going to have to redo it all the RIGHT way!” Or “Why can’t you ever get it right?” or “That is C+ work, not A material.” Or “You’re not doing it right!”
- If my husband tries to please me, what he does is never enough, I always want more than what he delivered.
- I frown at my husband a lot.
- I sound angry, frustrated, impatient, and like I am reprimanding and scolding a naughty little boy many times when I speak to my husband.
- My facial expressions, my tone of voice, my words sound condemning of my husband often.
- I act disrespectfully towards my husband to show him that he needs to pull his weight more and love me more and to show him how unhappy I am.
- I withhold physical intimacy with my husband to punish him.
- My husband often rejects me physically – it feels like I am pursuing him and it seems like he has lost his attraction for me.
- My husband tends to ignore me a lot.
- I feel very lonely, like the whole weight of the entire marriage and family is on my shoulders alone. I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done.
- I have to take over leadership because my husband won’t lead.
- I have very specific ideas about what a husband’s leadership should be and my husband is not meeting my standards.
- I am always “right” and I make sure my husband knows that he is always wrong. My way is best. I know best what our family and marriage needs.
- I don’t trust my husband’s ideas.
- If I let my husband be in charge he’d destroy our lives.
- I think my husband’s ideas are ridiculous.
- I don’t think my husband can be an effective leader.
- I think my husband is an overgrown boy.
- I have to correct my husband when he is talking with other people or he gets things wrong.
- I have to tell my husband what to do or he does nothing.
- I’m very intelligent, strong-willed, perfectionistic, opinionated, and possibly some family members might say I could be “controlling.”
- Thinking of yielding my control makes me have a panic attack. THE WORLD WILL FALL APART IF I AM NOT IN CHARGE!
- I am exhausted from trying to take care of everything myself all the time. I don’t relax.
- I resent my husband for relaxing and taking time for himself to recharge.
- I cannot or will not forgive my husband for how he has hurt me in the past.
Tomorrow – we will continue this discussion! 🙂