Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33
As the heart of my home, it’s my job to speak life and encouragement into my husband. It’s my job to let him lead, to trust his decisions, and encourage him to be the man God created him to be. It is my job to stand in the gap through prayer, not nagging. (Ahem, yeah, the struggle is real with that one.) It is my job to stand beside him when no one else will. It is my job to comfort his wounds. (I’m the Adrian to my Rocky, yo.)
And yet, there have been [many] times I’ve failed. Even with good intentions to defend and protect him, I have caused greater harm by being more worried about how everyone else perceived him than supporting him. We’ve had so many fights over what he wears to church, nutty things he says, people he helps … all because I don’t want to see him get hurt. And while I meant it for good, I was actually hurting him by speaking my own doubt and displeasure into him.
There have been times when I’ve taken the side of an outside party because I wanted my husband to “fit in” or to “be right.” And by doing so, I hurt him. I may not have said it out loud, but my actions said he wasn’t enough. My actions said I didn’t trust him to do the right thing. They said I didn’t truly support him.
I took away his safe place and created a source of contention. Instead of trusting the Lord to help him and guide him, I tried to control things with nagging and prodding. (And it was typically all over stupid, trivial things, mind you.)
My husband is an amazing person. He’s one of the most patient, gracious people I know. And he’s learned much of his lessons through the hard knocks of life. He loves fiercely, he gives above and beyond, and would rather go cold than see someone else suffer. Thankfully, he was saved at the age of 14 and has the same access to God that I do. He loves the Lord and has a sincere desire to serve Him and grow in Him. He’s not perfect, but God has taken that role of sanctification and guidance upon Himself. It’s my job to love him, support him, and pray for him. God handles the hard stuff that I have so often tried to take into my own hands.
I share all of this to remind wives out there that we are to always be in our husband’s corner. We are to lift them up, encourage them, and help them. We have to understand and accept that they are sinful human (just like us) and that they need help from the Lord every day to live a life that pleases Him.
I’m not saying not to communicate your feelings or to share (helpful) criticism. My husband often asks for my input whether it be a decision he’s making or even a message he’s preparing to preach! There have been times where I have had to be brutally honest about something hurtful he might have said or a disagreement we’ve had. Being honest about your opinion is necessary and encouraged, but should be done with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a spirit of meekness.
(And let me confess right here: that is a struggle.)
And sometimes we need to remain silent and allow the Lord to work. Sometimes our silence will go much further as it gives the Holy Spirit a place to speak.
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11
I know this is unpopular. My nature is cringing as I write this, because my girl power self says that I can say whatever I want to my husband and he can just suck it up! But to see him grow and thrive as the man God called him to be, I have to let him lead. I have to help, encourage, and support. I have to take my hands off of things, as much as it drives me crazy, and trust that the Lord will guide him.
Because when we try to control our husbands through nagging, we are simply telling them they aren’t good enough. We are supposed to be the ones who say they are more than enough. We are supposed to be their greatest cheerleader, the sanctuary to their hearts, and the one friend they can bare their soul to – unashamed.
Our voice is supposed to be different than their critics, their peers, or anyone else around them.
I pray I can learn to be more of a wife who speaks life and encouragement into my husband. I pray that I will pray for him, his insecurities, weaknesses, burdens, and so on. And I pray I can be the wife and helpmeet he needs me to be.