Did I really just say that?
To be honest, I was a bit surprised at how easily those words escaped my mouth.
That phrase has always felt… foreign.
Because before I decided to walk this journey of surrendering to my husband, those words would have never passed through my lips.
I would have just… handled it.
I’d have figured it out.
But what I am coming to realize is that I DON’T have to figure it all out on my own.
It’s okay for me to be… vulnerable.
As a matter of fact, it’s key to real intimacy in my marriage.
In a world where women are encouraged to manage their families… bring home the bacon… look beautiful at all times… and have all the answers, it’s good for our husbands to see the softer side in us.
Sharing our unguarded-selves encourages them to step up and be the hero.
When I asked my husband to handle this particular situation, he immediately began to find excuses as to why he couldn’t.
I’m too busy today.
I’ve got a meeting to attend.
I don’t know the whole situation.
Just as asking felt foreign to me… jumping into action felt foreign to him.
But I was quick to affirm his ability to handle this… and my inability to take it on.
And after a few minutes, his inner-Superman stepped up.
Could I have effectively handled this situation?
Yes… with a little effort.
But it felt good to not have to tackle this myself. It was nice to let him work out the details instead.
And contrary to my long-standing belief, asking for help was quite freeing.
Through this surrendering process, I’m learning to embrace two simple phrases…
- “I can’t.”
- “I don’t know.”
Rather than allowing fear to keep me functioning as an “I-can-do-it-all-aholic”… I am choosing to instead be vulnerable with my husband.
It’s time to change this old pattern that promotes isolation.
It’s time to break down my walls of protection.
I don’t need them anymore.
You don’t either.
Honestly, I think vulnerability gets a bad rap.
- We consider it a weakness.
- We think it makes us appear incapable.
- It’s seen as a character flaw.
- It is viewed as a limitation.
- We feel like a failure.
But in reality, it’s actually a quite attractive quality to possess.
In my ministry, I encourage women to be real about their lives… fears… struggles… relationships… and challenges all the time.
I truly believe living authentically is the best way to live.
But this journey has exposed just how difficult it’s been for me to show that vulnerability… in my marriage.
Maybe a lack of confidence in who I was?
Maybe a lack of confidence in who he was?
Regardless, I am now intentional in revealing my need for him… to him. And it’s doing wonders for us individually and as a couple.
I wonder if you are facing that same dynamic.
What if we decided to be… vulnerable… with our men?
- Superman was always there to swoop in and help Lois Lane when she found herself in trouble and unable to handle dangers on her own.
- In the Notebook, when Allie was incapable of living alone due to her Alzheimers… Noah gave up his freedom to live in the nursing home to care for her.
- The Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion risked death and the Wicked Witch to help the misplaced and meek Dorothy reach Oz safely in the hopes she could return home.
Yes… I know it’s the movies, but this might be one time Hollywood teaches us a valuable, God-designed truth.
Men were created to care for their women.
God put that desire in their DNA.
And most of the time, they will respond to our needs.
But… we have to show our husbands that we actually have needs.
Will they rise to the occasion immediately?
Maybe. But more likely, it will take a while for them to trust that they have what it takes to be the hero.
Will they always get it right?
Probably not. Do you?
Will they continue to try?
That depends on our response to our husband’s trial and error. Will we judge failure or affirm initiative?
So… what can you do?
Affirm your husband as often as you can.
Ask the Spirit of Courage to invade your husband.
Share your needs without any condemnation or frustration.
Refrain from nagging when those needs are not immediately met.
Show him your softer side by telling him, “I can’t do this. I need your help.”
A surrendered wife will continue to give her husband chances to be the hero, and will then sincerely affirm that inner-Superman when he does.
As he stands with hands on his hips, chest pumped up and cape waving in the background, he will feel extreme pride in his ability to care for and protect his family.
He needs to feel that satisfaction.
You need to feel that protection.
And none of that will happen until you show your vulnerability.
“But Carey, my husband is so passive.”
So was mine.
“I’m more of the ‘man’ in our marriage.”
So was I.
“Vulnerability scares me.”
Did me, too.
“It will never work.”
I felt the same.
Look, there are a million reasons NOT to do this. But I am wondering if you’d agree that your marriage might be worth another earnest try.
Girls… let your husband know you need him.
REALITY CHECK: When we reveal our vulnerability, it gives our husbands a much-needed opportunity to positively contribute to the marriage and family. And that creates intimacy.
©2013 Carey Scott
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Concept taken from The Surrendered Wife