Last night, I had my third meeting with my women’s group. I absolutely love it! Our church just started up a women’s ministry and had a huge response by women interested in joining a small group. We were divided up into groups of 6-8 women, and my group meets every two weeks at our leader’s gorgeous home. It’s such a fun time of fellowship and closeness- even though we just met, it feels like such a safe place to really reveal your heart and open up. I’d highly recommend joining a women’s group through your church if you’re looking to make new friends! Last night, we talked about husbands. Everyone in the group is happily (most of the time!) married, so it’s something we have in common. Our main topic of discussion was respecting our husbands.
I don’t know about you, but showing respect and learning to be mindful of his opinion is not something I just know how to do. I was raised by a single mom who had the attitude of “if you want something done right, do it yourself” and really raised me to be independent and self-sufficient apart from a man. Those are all great things, but when you find yourself in a good relationship, those are things that can hinder the growth of that relationship. So, here I am, trying to learn how to be a Biblically “good” wife. Now, showing respect to our spouses is something we should all do- men and women alike. We were discussing ways in which to do that. Things like asking (and actually taking) your husbands opinion, letting him have the last word, always praying for him, letting him feel like (and be) the spiritual leader in your home, etc.
I know some of you are seriously shaking your heads right now, thinking “my husband is NOT the boss of me, and he’s certainly not my leader!” Well, you’re not alone. This is something completely out of my realm of understand, but I think it is important to learn how to be the kind of wife God wants me to be, so I am trying to learn more. I am someone that takes charge of every situation, hates to ask for help and is generally quite a control freak. Dare I say, I may be overly honest with you guys! Anyway, it’s really hard for me to let Trevor be the head of the household. I guess I feel a sense of competition, needing to be in charge and in control. I blame that on my brother who is the most competitive person alive and brought me down with him in our childhood
death matches board game playing (thanks, Austin). It’s such a foreign concept to me that I am having to take baby steps in this process. Being a strong woman sometimes makes it hard for me to be a strong wife.
I have finally learned to ask for, and accept, help from Trevor. He may not fold the towels exactly like I do (the way Martha Stewart says you should… I know, I have problems) or put the dishes away in the exact right spot, but you know what? Who cares?! That towel is just going to get unfolded and that dish is just going to get dirtied up again. It does not matter. So, with that change underway, I think the next thing I need to learn to do is hold my tongue. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. I don’t always have to have the last word. I don’t always have to “win” an argument. I can let him be right sometimes- compromise is a GOOD thing!! He’s a man, and I should let him be that. Most men have a natural desire to lead and be in control- I really need to learn to relinquish some of my desire to lead to him as a way of showing love and respect for him. I have to realize that being respectful of someone isn’t losing- it’s just a new way of winning, and our relationship is the winner.
Want to make people’s heads explode? Mention being a Biblically “submissive” wife. This topic is so interesting to me because people take it out of context and think you have to submit and be a doormat to your husband. Nope! The whole idea is for the husband to act in a way that warrants his wife’s respect and for a women to act in a way that does the same thing. So basically you want to hear and act on his thoughts and opinions because they’re in line with God’s– He has to be in the Word and actively seeking the Lord as the first step. You aren’t going to want to follow someone’s lead if they’re out of step with the Spirit. And their job is to cherish their wives and love her with a love like that of Jesus’ for the church. It’s the Biblical model of a healthy marriage, and in no way does that ask a woman to give up herself or squash her own personality or strengths. It’s all about mutual respect and acting out of a love for Jesus. I love that.
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5: 21-33)