I was talking with some ladies a while ago when the conversation led to our role as our husband’s helper. It was a good discussion with friends who have strong marriages that have lasted decades. There were some who shared how their husband valued their input in all decisions regarding their marriage, family, business decisions, etc. But when we brought up the idea of helping our husband by disagreeing with them on certain subjects that the conversation surprised me.
These women were afraid of lovingly challenging their husband’s decisions, even when they felt their concern was from God. They chose to keep quiet and let the consequences play out as they would, instead of sharing with their husband their thoughts.
Why? Why would a wife be quiet when it seemed her husband was making a wrong decision?
I believe the primary reason, as was brought up that day, was fear. They were afraid of how their husband would respond to their concern. They were afraid they would undermine their husband’s leadership in their marriage. It’s clear to see they were being led by fear and not faith.
So this begs the question: Wives, how comfortable are you with sharing your concerns with your husband? It can be in decisions he’s making for the family. Or it can be in sharing observations you’ve made about his lack in his relationship with the Lord or any other area.
Agreed, these aren’t easy topics to discuss. It seems a minefield just waiting to explode. But it’s often in the midst of these explosive discussions that God gets our husband’s attention, and ours for that matter!
Our 18th year of marriage was one long conflict that started when I made an observation in Tom’s life. I said it full of pride and arrogance, judging him based on what I saw lacking in him. He heard it with my displeasure in him, which led him to feeling condemnation from God, not grace. We were living in a minefield and the casualties were many.
That was 16 years ago. As we look back on that year now, we can see clearly what God was after. God showed me that I wasn’t the standard in determining the health of Tom’s walk with the Lord. God showed Tom that he was listening to my observations with a filter of guilt, not grace. If we had been able to discuss what I was sensing without all this sin in the way, we could have benefited greatly in one sitting. But God was after something more. He was after the deep-seated motives of my heart, and He desired to remove this dangerous filter from Tom’s heart. It was all good, but it wasn’t fun, in the least!
Here’s the take away from this post: Ask yourself if you hold back in any way in sharing your thoughts and concerns with your husband. Then, determine why.
I’m going to park on this topic all week, and see where it is the Lord is leading us in growing our marriages stronger for God’s glory. It might be an area of your marriage you’ve yet to explore. Let’s trust God to help us become better helpers to our husband in the fullest sense of this word!
I love the song, Dancing In The Minefields by Andrew Peterson. It goes well with our topic. Enjoy…
The resource I’m using for this topic is a book by Elyse Fitzpatrick titled, Helper By Design and can be purchased by clicking the link. It is available in book form or for your Kindle.
Great topic, Debi. Perhaps you might want to provide the “Watch Your Man” message for your readers? You and Tom are a wonderful example of a complementary partnership with biblical roles that make scripture look appealing rather than scary. Thank you for opening up your life and marriage; so many are being helped!
Great idea! I hadn’t thought of that message, but I’ll link to it in tomorrow’s post! Love you and your constant encouragement.
Great topic! Can’t wait to read the rest of what you have to say. There is definitely a tension between nit-picking or nagging and expressing valid concerns.
I know for us in this issue, I need to be careful not to receive Jenni’s need for reassurance as an accusation or criticism. Not always easy for me.
I believe this is one aspect of a wife’s role in marriage that is not commonly known. It has helped us find the balance in our marriage in a way nothing else has. I pray these posts will be clearly written and easily understood.
Thanks for chiming in!
Nice post! I believe in ‘picturing myself in another person’s shoes’ before making harsh observations, especially when the recipient of these barbs is either a friend or a loved one. I usually question myself whether it’s worth it to be antagonizing, if I’m prepared to lose a precious person as a consequence. And it works! I pray…ask myself these questions…and empathy usually wins. 😀
You’re right. There’s truth in the saying, “walk a mile in my shoes.” Our relationship is too important to blurt out everything we’re thinking, but it’s also too important to neglect saying the difficult things that are needed. Such a balance requires the help of the Holy Spirit to know when and how to speak, and when to be quiet and empathize.
Love that song, Debi! I posed the question you asked to myself and I’m so grateful I don’t. We have such an open and honest relationship. But there is a time and place for everything and if there is something I need to share that involves hurt feelings or a more sensitive subject, I wait until I am feeling better (not in a low mood) to address it. This allows my husband to hear my heart without getting distracted by being engaged at the wrong time.
Your ability to wait until the right time to discuss “sensitive subjects” is a sign of God maturing your relationship. How wonderful! Once you realize how to do this, the arguments diminish considerably!
Thanks for sharing,