Last night I spoke to a group of women who were starting a Respect Dare group. Before they launched into the book, they wanted to know what to expect…
We don’t have enough time to cover all that this morning, but suffice it to say, what I told them wasn’t on their radars.
These women are tired (exhausted, really!) of “doing it all,” and they “feel like they have to take care of everything because their husbands won’t.”
This is a common thing I hear.
And like most other wives, they don’t know what they don’t know.
I remember being like that.
And I still am.
So why judge?
And sometimes I still judge my husband, even though the Bible is clear that I am not supposed to do so. I am to walk along side this man, because he is my brother, and be his friend.
I’ve been told and research shows that men have to learn to take initiative – and our culture teaches us that WE women are the only ones who are competent – so WE need to take charge.
With the exception of the movies, “Courageous,” and “Fireproof,” when is the last time you saw a man who had a brain who took initiative?
Our media paints men as bumbling idiots who aren’t worthy of anything but disdain.
Ooooh…careful, they are precious to God…just like we are…is this how you want your little boys to go through life?
And yes, I know what this exhausted feeling is like – but what if we don’t know something? What if we are getting in the way of God’s efforts to grow our husband and lead our family?
What if instead of building our homes, we are tearing it down with our own hands?
What if we’re just like Eve in the garden?
Remember, Adam was right there with her. And said nothing as she engaged the serpent and picked the fruit. Not even a gentle, “Baby, we shouldn’t do this.”
I wonder if they’d had the discussion about disobeying God about 10 times already … or disagreed about other things so much that Adam had become passive.
It takes a while for a man to become so beaten down he gives up.
I just wonder…
But what do we do? SOMEONE needs to be in charge of our families, right? And if he won’t, we have to, right? I mean, allowing the ship to float without a rudder is dangerous, right?
There are a number of ways we get in God’s and our husbands’ way…
- Preventing natural consequences (letting the water or power be shut off or the car fall apart, for example) aka “rescuing” or “enabling”
- Not helping in a gentle way (reminding him of an upcoming appointment)
- And yes, those two above seem contradictory – there is no formula, so THIS one applies – Not knowing God well enough to know what He wants from us in a given moment (and this one applies to the whole “list”)
- Keeping other men’s voices from him (pitching hissy fits when he spends time with his buddies – not encouraging him to serve with other men, etc.)
- Avoiding walking into conflict in a loving way when God wants us to help him to see the impact he has on our family (see Matthew 18)
- Not overlooking an insult (Proverbs 19:11) and letting him know constantly about all his imperfections so he is discouraged
- And yes, again, those two are seemingly contradictory, but once again, there is no formula, so KNOW God so you know what to do
- Not being encouraging and valuing him as a person
- Constantly criticizing, complaining, nagging, and even incessant talking, about all the things going as if he were a girlfriend, so he has no idea what’s important – in other words, create so much noise in your marriage he’s overwhelmed with information (as if the internet, radio, tv, and other media need our help in overwhelming him!)
- And more, feel free to add them in comments…
What if God wants us wives to be patient, kind, not jealous, not bragging, not arrogant, not acting unbecomingly; not self-seeking, not provoked, and not keeping an account of wrongs, but rejoices in Truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things, never failing…as THAT is what it means to love? What if with our husbands, we do all these things in a respectful and honoring way, out of obedience to God, instead of waiting for this guy who is a sinner just like us to somehow “earn” our respect, as if we could “earn” his love? Check Ephesians 5:33. There’s no earning. It’s a commandment. Love your wives. Respect your husbands.
And what if there’s no way we can do these things on our own…what if those are supernatural activities, so we must be filled with the Holy Spirit… by reading, praying, and submitting to God, and if what if when we pursue God and obey His Word, we get out of His way, allowing HIM to steer our boat – what if THEN we no longer have to be exhausted, but rather can find REST in knowing that God is in control…and that come what may, Jesus is on the boat with us…
Do we really believe what we say we believe?
Will we love God enough to obey His Word and know Him well enough to know when He wants natural consequences to occur, and when we are to help – and what that specifically looks like?
Will we trust Him, even when the outcome of what He leads us to do goes “badly” in our judgment? Which may even be wrong in the first place? Will we love this man like Christ, or just other people? What if the only Jesus our husband ever sees is us?
Will we obey what he tells us?
Dare you today to trust God.
If you can’t, Dare you to simply say, “I don’t get it, I don’t know how to get it… please help me get it…please help me trust You…teach me, I’m desperate to learn…” and He will.
You might not like how He goes about it, but with the Lord, if He’s chosen you, your only remaining option is this: learn it the easy way with a pliable, teachable heart, or learn it the hard way, through continued difficulties beyond what you can handle without crying out to Him.
Some encouragement for you: Psalm 107
And one more thing – I fully understand how you feel, and your fear at letting go of the control. Know that God will use everyone and everything and all sorts of difficulties to reach you and your husband. I am living proof that if we will but trust Him, know Him, and stay out of His way, we will have a peace that surpasses understanding. We will have joy in the midst of difficulties. We will have a richness in our life that is indescribable.
I want this for you! J
So does He, because He loves you so very much.
Love to you, thankful to be on this journey with you,