In last week’s blog post, I announced my journey to become a surrendered wife… and I invited you to walk this path with me.
I’m learning how to come into alignment with God’s perfect design for a wife surrendered to her husband.
Not a doormat wife.
Not a no-opinion wife.
Not a dumbed-down wife.
Not a subservient wife.
But rather one who is intentional in stepping into the God-created role of wife, which He designed to bring out the best in both me and Wayne.
When I mentioned this journey to a friend of mine, she laughed out loud saying, “YOU are going to give up control? YOU are going to let Wayne lead? YOU are going to trust him with the finances? Wow… this I gotta see.”
Might your friends react the same way?
Just the other day, I had the chance to exercise this new muscle. It’s a silly example, but one that perfectly highlights my point…
Our phone conversation looked like this:
Wayne: “Honey, can I stop and get anything for you on the way home?”
Me: “That would be great! Could you get some tuna-flavored cat food?”
But when he got home, I discovered that the cat food he bought was… chicken-flavored. Not tuna, like I asked.
Three different responses went through my mind. I could respond like the…
UN-surrendered Carey: “Wayne, I said tuna not chicken. Let me have the receipt. I go exchange it tomorrow.”
(Wayne hears: I screwed up again. I can never make her happy.)
MID-surrendered Carey: “Um, thanks.” Then to myself… really?
(Wayne hears: Her words and her tone don’t align. Yep, she’s not happy with me… again.)
FULLY-surrendered Carey: “Thanks for making that stop for me. What a great help!”
(Wayne hears: She appreciates me! I might offer to help more often!)
My response – this time – was as a fully surrendered wife. And to be honest, I really didn’t care that he brought home the wrong flavored food because my cats will happily eat it anyway.
Sisters, I’m trying to change my expectation that all he does and all he says has to be perfect. I’m learning to respect him for who he is, rather than who I think he should be.
What a concept.
RESPECT is huge for men, and a fully surrendered wife will make sure her husband feels it.
When you don’t respect your husband… two things happen:
- He feels emasculated and defeated.
- You feel superior and alone.
And when that happens, you both lose the desire for intimacy… a necessary ingredient for a healthy, thriving marriage.
Our end goal IS a thriving marriage. Yes?
So… what are some ways to RESPECT your husband?
You accept his choices… the good, the bad and the ugly. It doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with him… but you are giving him your vote of confidence anyway. You’re trusting that his way is a good way… even though it’s not your way.
- Don’t question it.
- Don’t dismiss it.
- Don’t criticize or insult it.
Your husband needs to know you support him. This might feel awkward at first, but your husband is an intelligent man… he married you, right?
You listen to him. When he shares his day, his frustrations, his hurts, his concerns… you listen.
- Put down the laptop.
- Close the book.
- Mute the TV.
Give him your attention. Wouldn’t you want the same from him? Rather than treat him like a bothersome child, treat him like an intelligent adult. He doesn’t need to know how he should have handled it. He doesn’t need your advice. Don’t try to solve or fix or tell him how you would have done it, saying “I’m only trying to help.” Just. Listen.
You encourage him. Rather than chastise him when he brings home the wrong flavored cat food, affirm him for helping you out.
- Bite your tongue rather than make an “I told you so” or a “You can’t do it right” remark when he fails.
- Watch your tone.
- Don’t roll your eyes.
- Appreciate his effort without giving suggestions on doing it better.
- Don’t point out every time he does it wrong.
Assume he’s just as smart as you and capable of great things, too.
This is a great place to start our journey.
I’ve heard it said that success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.
When we look inward at ways we can accept better… listen deeper… affirm faster… then we keep from looking outward at all the ways we want to change… them.
Something we’re incapable of doing, anyway.
I know there may be many reasons NOT to surrender to our husbands:
- He is very difficult to love.
- It means swallowing your pride.
- Circumstances might make this extra-challenging.
But God calls us to it in Ephesians 5:22-24.
What is the biggest hurdle in respecting your husband?
Father, thank You for creating marriage. We love our husbands and know You designed them to lead our family. Somewhere along the way, that’s become distorted and we’ve found ourselves out of alignment with the roles you designed for us. Help us affirm our husbands, help us listen to them and give us the ability to encourage them as leaders. We need Your supernatural help to make this change. We’re committed to doing the work and so we call your Kingdom’s power to rest on us now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
REALITY CHECK: When a husband feels his wife’s respect, he feels like more of a… man.
©2013 Carey Scott
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