(This post is not for women whose husbands are abusive, are involved in unrepentant infidelity or criminal activity, are initiating divorce with their wives, have uncontrolled mental health problems, or have active addictions to drugs/alcohol right now.)
Thankfully, most husbands are relatively decent men who truly love their wives and long for their wives to be happy, even if their wives can’t always decode that message (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only”).
A minister at our church taught a class the 7 basic needs of husbands and wives a few years ago. The greatest need of a wife, according to him, was – security. I would have to agree!
How easy it is to let our emotions begin to convince us that we are NOT secure in our husbands’ love, or in a thousand other ways.
Doesn’t the enemy know exactly how to strike at us in our thoughts and how to tempt us? (Note – for some of you, the examples I am about to share may be triggers – if you know that this might be the case for you, skip down to the next section with the heading in all caps!)
It’s SO EASY to start thinking things like:
- My husband hasn’t emailed me in such a long time. I wonder why?
- My husband barely compliments me.
- I sent him that text an hour ago. Is he REALLY busy at work, or is he ignoring me?
- Why didn’t he ever answer my message?
- My husband never prays with me.
- My husband doesn’t text me or flirt with me.
- My husband seems to barely spend any time with me.
- My husband said something hurtful to me 2 weeks ago. Maybe that is how he REALLY feels about me – even though he apologized. He probably didn’t really mean that apology.
- So-and-so’s husband compliments her EVERY DAY. She is so lucky! Why can’t my husband be like that?
- He seems way more interested in the computer, the TV, the tablet, or his video games than he seems interested in me.
- Does he even love me?
- Wouldn’t he talk with me and want to spend time with me and emotionally and spiritually connect with me if he really loved me!??!!
- I feel like he is so far away emotionally and spiritually. Maybe that is because he IS far away emotionally and spiritually. My feelings are probably right! Maybe he really doesn’t love me as much as I love him!?!?!
THIS IS THE PATH TO AN AVALANCHE OF OUT OF CONTROL EMOTIONS, MY DEAR SISTERS!
It is easy to focus on the things we want that we are not getting and to ignore the fact that our husbands did a number of loving things for us in recent weeks.
It is also easy to compare our husbands to other men – whose lives (and sins and weaknesses) we really know little about. If I am not careful, I might totally forget that he filled up my tank with gas, took the kids to the doctor for me, made supper that night that I wasn’t feeling well, called out our child for disrespecting me, or cuddled happily with me while he watched TV several nights this week (for example).
The negative thoughts just spiral and snowball until we are in a full blown panic attack – convinced that we are alone and unloved in the world. This can happen even with women whose husbands truly do love them dearly. It can happen to the strongest of us who are firmly abiding in Christ normally. If we focus on these fears and emotions – we will be overwhelmed and overcome by worry and anxiety. Then – we will respond to our husbands in a desperate, needy way as we look to them to meet our deepest needs (rather than Christ) – not a Spirit-filled way. This is the path to idolizing our husbands.
I think we are all prone to this kind of attack at times.
The question is – do we trust our unstable feelings and negative emotions and wallow in these awful feelings of despair and hopelessness – or do we trust God’s Word and depend on Christ and rest in our husbands’ love?
WHERE IS MY SECURITY?
I can tell you where it is NOT. It is not in:
– my changing emotions.
– my husband.
– what my husband does or does not do for me.
– my circumstances.
– my negative assumptions about my husband or God.
– in my thorough analysis of my situation and emotions.
I can drive myself insane with all of my “what ifs?” and by trying to make uneducated assumptions about my husband’s motives. I can be really, really wrong if I try to do this. For me, instead of believing my feelings and the questions that want to push me toward insecurity – I have to consciously reject those feelings and thoughts and turn to Christ and the truth of His Word as well as the truth I know for sure about my husband.
I need to tell myself things like (please modify the details according to your particular husband and write out your own list in your prayer journal):
- Of course Greg loves me. Here is a list of some of the concrete ways he has shown his love lately.
- Greg is not nearly as big on words as I am, and he shows love in different ways than I do, but he loves me dearly.
- I am secure in Greg’s love, but more importantly, I am secure in the love of Christ.
- Greg’s actions show that he is completely devoted to me.
- My feelings are trying to lie to me to get me to feel insecure – but thankfully, I don’t have to accept lies.
- My worth is in Christ.
- If I am feeling lonely, I can run to Jesus.
- God is my Rock and my Fortress, and Ever Present Help in trouble. (Psalm 18:2, Psalm 46:1)
- God’s love for me will never fail. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
- Greg may fail me, but Jesus will never forsake me. Greg probably isn’t failing me right now – I may actually just be feeling hormonal. But even if Greg were to fail me, Jesus will never fail me, leave me, or forsake me! (Hebrews 13:5)
- My security is based on the truth of God and His Word and what Jesus has done for me.
- Only Jesus can truly meet my deepest emotional and spiritual needs. No man could ever do that for me.
- I’m going to redirect my thoughts toward thanksgiving to God.
- I’m going to praise God and sing worship and praise songs to Him and write down all the things I can praise Him for.
- The enemy wants me to feel insecure and afraid – that is not God’s voice. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- God has not given me a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6). If my mind is not life and peace right now, could I be listening to the flesh? I must crucify the flesh and set my mind on the Spirit and allow Him full and total access to everything in my heart, mind, and soul.
- I submit myself fully to God and the devil will flee (James 4:7).
- I don’t have to respond in fear. God’s perfect love drives out all fear in my life. (1 John 4:18)