(Note: Today’s post is for wives whose husbands are generally responsible, law-abiding, reasonable men who are in their right minds. If your husband is truly abusive, involved in an active drug/alcohol addiction, infidelity, criminal activity, or has an uncontrolled mental health issue – please do not read this post but seek appropriate help. You may decide to communicate that you WANT to be able to trust your husband – but that trust will need to be rebuilt first. Thanks!)
If the thought of your husband doing even very simple things fills you with panic and terror (and your husband is a decent man) – maybe this post is for you. 😉
I know some wives who feel so frustrated when they are trying very hard to respect their husbands, but their husbands still feel really disrespected at times. It seems the wives have to “always walk on eggshells.” A wife may try not to give directives, may use a respectful tone of voice, smile, and choose respectful words – and that is awesome! But if the underlying message is something like:
- I don’t trust you.
- I think you are incompetent and irresponsible.
- I am completely consumed by fear, worry, and anxiety to imagine that I have to depend on you to take care of this little responsibility for me.
etc… please note:
There is not a respectful way to communicate these ideas.
Any time I communicate a lack of faith, a lack of trust, or a lack of confidence in my husband – I am insulting him. Even if I don’t intend to insult him, he will probably feel insulted.
I can’t insult my husband respectfully.
Does this mean that we must always trust our husbands no matter what? No. There may possibly be times when we truly cannot trust our husbands. If my husband wanted to drive with our baby in the front seat without a seatbelt or infant seat – I would have to insist on the baby being in the back strapped into her car seat. (Thankfully, this has never been an issue for us!) If he truly makes an extremely foolish, sinful, or dangerous decision, there may be areas where I cannot trust him until he changes in those areas. I may have to say something about it as respectfully as possible. He may still feel insulted. I may not be able to avoid that in this kind of situation – but I can be aware of trying to avoid insulting my husband if at all possible. And in most normal situations, I really can respect him and not insult him.
I need to approach my husband (if he is truly doing something dangerous, sinful, or foolish) with much prayer, great caution, and the wisdom and power of God’s Spirit. There are times I may need to confront my husband about various things as I listen and respond carefully to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, NOT my own sinful flesh. (Here are some ways I can tell I am operating in God’s power instead of my own flesh in being a godly wife. And here are some differences between godly anger and sinful anger.)
For those of us whose husbands are truly responsible, decent men – maybe there is something else may be going on here at times? If your husband is able to hold down a job (or is capable of working and is seeking work if he is not disabled), take care of things at work, dress himself, and drive around town safely all by himself – but you are afraid to trust him with anything at all – could it be possible that maybe he is not the real problem? Could he be trustworthy?
If you find yourself freaking out, consumed by doubt, worry, and fear as your general state of mind – and you are terrified to let go of control in your marriage or with your children… maybe it is time to prayerfully ask God to help you look at your thoughts and beliefs. Maybe your husband is totally untrustworthy. I don’t know. But – sometimes, our lack of trust, respect, and faith in our husbands is really not about our husbands – it may have more to do with our own control/fear/faith issues – at least, that was the case with me. (Please check out the related posts linked at the bottom for more on these issues.)
God didn’t design me to constantly freak out about things – that is my flesh being in control rather than the Holy Spirit. The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6) That is what I want each of us to experience! Something that is beautiful in a woman (to God and to our husbands) is our trust in God, our trust in our husbands (whenever possible) and our peaceful, still spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear (I Peter 3:1-6).
For some of us, the idea of giving up our attempts to control and our fear – seems very, very scary. We may have warped ideas of you, of ourselves, of where our responsibilities end and Yours or our husbands’ begin. We may have learned error as children and we may still have some ungodly fixed beliefs. You know the hurts and scars in our hearts. You know the wounds we have suffered as children and in our relationships and marriages. You know our fears. You know our level of terror at the thought of giving up control and trusting You. You know that as You draw us closer to You – You will cause our fear, worry, and anxiety to all melt away.
For those who are paralyzed by fear and who don’t know how to approach You in faith – please help us in our unbelief! Help us to understand where our responsibility ends. Help us to understand that what we think of as control is an illusion. We don’t have the power to control other people or to always protect ourselves, our husbands, or our children from every possible bad thing. We are not sovereign. You alone are sovereign! Help us to learn to understand and rest in Your loving, powerful, holy sovereignty.
Help us all to understand that we are responsible primarily for ourselves – not for our husbands. We are responsible TO them – to treat them well. But we are not responsible FOR them. Help us to take responsibility for our own emotions, our actions, our thoughts, our sin, our obedience, and our faith in Christ and spiritual growth. Help us give our husbands freedom to make their own decisions as grown adults just like we would want that freedom for ourselves. Help us to bring all of our fear, worry, anxiety, and unbelief to You. Help us to lay down every single burden. Help us to understand more and more of who You are.
Help us to see that the truly scary place to be is when we trust ourselves or another person or something in this world rather than Christ Jesus. Help us hash through our fears and anxieties by the power of Your Spirit. Help us to determine to trust You with each one of them and to rest in Your love, sovereignty, power, and providence. Help us to trust You to direct things as they should go for our ultimate good and Your ultimate glory. Help us to fully submit and surrender to You as Lord. Help us to live in today and not be filled with worry about tomorrow, trusting You to know what is best and to lead us as our Good Shepherd.
In the Name and power of Christ,
Lies Women Believe – by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
To Trust or Not to Trust? – 9 minute VIDEO – There are times we can trust our husbands, and there are times we shouldn’t trust them, how can we tell the difference?