Monday, September 16, 2013

My Husband's Past Struggle

When we were struggling in our marriage for many years, my husband Ken, would write his feelings down so he could try and make sense of what was going on. The other night, he was reading me some of those thoughts. He wrote that he loved 95 percent of who I was but had a lot of trouble with the other 5 percent.  I was continually preaching the Bible to him and trying to control him through my emotions, withholding sex, and getting angry with him. I argued with him constantly. He felt like he continually walked on egg shells around me, never knowing when he was going to displease me sometimes with the littlest of things.

It wore on him. He wrote how easy it was for him to accept others just the way they are, so why was it so hard for him to accept me the way I was?  As I listened to his words, I could tell it was a great struggle for him to love me because my life was about getting my "needs" met and making sure he did things the way I wanted him to do them instead of seeking to please him and being his help meet.

He praised me as a great mother. Even in my sickest of days, I would have healthy meals on the table, took the children to their games and ballet, and made sure that AWANA was a weekly priority. I kept the house clean with some help and did the laundry. I cooked healthy meals from scratch, paid all the bills, and was a good manager of my home. I went to church and Bible studies faithfully. I taught my children the Word of God from the time they were small and even home schooled them some years.  I had all this energy for the kids, yet I put Ken on the sidelines.  Why didn't I see this clearly?

I finally realized that it all came down to control. It is the curse from the garden and almost every woman I have ever mentored struggles with it. "Her desire will be for her husband..." Our desire will be to control our husbands, and we must stop giving into this curse. For we are told we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

Therefore, after arguing constantly with my husband for 23 years and wanting to control him, for the past ten years I have learned that I was sinning against my husband and my Lord. I have been mentoring women for the past ten years and I now encourage them to stop trying to control what their husband watches, what he eats, what he wears, what he does with his free time, and where he goes. We are their wife, not their mother. Yes, he may have heart disease and eats terrible. He doesn’t obey the doctor, and you only nag him about his eating because you want him to be healthy. However, this is NOT our responsibility unless he wants us to hold him accountable. If not, give up ALL control, and you won't believe the freedom you find in this.

He watches too much television. He plays too much golf. He spends too much money. He drinks too much alcohol. And on and on the list goes. You may have a hundred reasons why you feel justified in trying to change his behavior. I sure know I did! Hundreds, but it still doesn’t give us the right to try and control them. This is not our job. Men are not attracted to their mothers. We were created to be his help meet, not his conscience. Share your opinions with him a few times and then let it go.

He is a man now. He gets to live his life the way he wants to live it. He didn't marry you to nag him. In fact, a lot of men are scared to death to get married for fear they are going to be nagged to death and have to walk on eggshells in their own home. They feel they aren't going to get to live life the way they want anymore but have to live with a boss that tries to control them with her emotions, tempers, silent treatment, avoidance of sex, or anger.

A true help meet doesn't try to control and change her husband no matter how right she thinks she is and how wrong her husband's behavior. Our job is to love, serve, please, submit to and obey. This is our job description. "For it is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife" (Proverbs 21:9) and "a continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike" (Proverbs 27:15) and "it is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman" (Proverbs 21:19).

Now, you don't want your husband to feel he has to sleep on the roof, listen to constant dripping, or live in the desert, do you? He should be able to sleep in his comfortable bed where peace reigns, and his air conditioning on! We need to make our homes comfortable places for our husbands. They need to be places he longs to be in, not miserable.

Therefore, dear wives, go to work making your husband at home. Help him by loving and serving him. Let him see Jesus in you, and this will draw him closer to you and the Lord. Let all of your controlling nature go. Release it today. Let it go!

Many women use the excuse that their husband does not love them as “Christ loves the church."  I had the perfect, yet most flawed excuse to not follow God's clear teaching of love, sacrifice, and submission. If my marriage was mediocre, it was not all my fault or was it? We will not stand in front of God someday and have to give an account about how our husbands didn’t love us, but how we loved or did not love our husbands.

There is a desperate need for older women to teach the young women "to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:4-5).

So even though you may be an amazing mother and homemaker, if you are not working on becoming an amazing wife, you are missing out on the priority of your God-ordained role to be a great help meet.  If you read my blog, you should know by now that what I teach is not to scold or to put you down, but to try to prevent you from losing out on some of the best years of your life with your husband and best friend.  I can never get those years back, but I can shout to all who will listen and beg you not to make the same mistakes I made. Become your husband's blessing instead of his struggle.

The past ten years of my marriage have been amazing. Ken and I now mentor couples. I write for my blog daily encouraging women in their roles as wives and mothers. This is the ministry the Lord has given us, and we love it. The Lord has definitely brought beauty out of ashes. Praise His Holy Name!