Change your husband – is there a right and wrong way to inspire his growth?
A few days back, I read this man’s words about what it means to be a good husband – profound bright truths that hurt my eyes just looking at them.
And my heart longed for my husbands eyes to fall on the words I just read; to see what I saw, feel what I felt. The conviction and truth and the word of God pouring out from an online shepherd of men.
He would be transformed, I thought. If he listens, tags along and takes note.
But my husband. He enthuses over few things. He is not easily impressed. He does not keep up with everything I send to his inbox; he is selective.
It used to make me uncomfortable, our diversity. Not being on the same page over how and when to grow and change. I was judgemental.
I wondered at his growth, fret that he could not become everything he was meant to become without input from great men that shepherd other men from public places.
I was anxious, worried, a little angry that he didn’t read what I read or put to heart everything I thought was important.
But today, as I read these life-giving, heart-bursting, soul-convicting words from a popular online blogger who speaks truth from the spirit, I smile. In place of worry and anxiety, I smile.
Eight years of marriage, a lot of holding to Jesus (and being held) has changed me.
Now I know that it is okay for my husband not to graze where I graze. It is okay because, in the end, we are both grazing in the field of our Father.
My father, our Father will get him the spiritual food He needs over there in his corner of the pasture.
God has proven that though my husband and I learn differently, we do learn. And change.
Dear friend, you might be starting the year worried about the spiritual state of your husband.
Or his mental state. Or his work state. You agonize over missed opportunities, the distance he could have traveled last year had done this or done that. And it vexes you. Worries you. Makes you mad.
Remember this; God has your man. Yes, he does. Might seem like he doesn’t sometimes, but He does. As I type this I am staring at a big wall hanging, a Christmas gift from friends, with the Scripture “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
You don’t have to understand how God will work in your husband for God to work in him. You only need to trust. God called you to be your husband’s helpmeet, not his holy spirit.
Your part in marriage is not run him or control him. It is to do what God tells you to do. And friend, the God-do always starts with prayer. It starts with you on your knees or face-on-the-floor before God, asking Him to do a deep work in you first, and then your man.
Your heart towards your husband is revealed through the words you lift up to God on his behalf. If your lips have been silent? Or posturing? Well, something needs to change inside you.
As we start the year and you regard the growth “opportunities” your husband is missing, remember it might be about your growth first, not his.
That’s how change works – it starts with me. And maybe this year you need to focus on what you can do, more than what your sweet man should.
In my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in The Early Years, I write
“In our early days of marriage, my husband and I would give each other the cold shoulder for days. I felt lost, forgotten, afraid, unloved. He felt alone, misunderstood, like a complete failure as a husband. Marriage was hard. But it was hard because we held on to our selfishness and refused to change”
After months of turmoil, I began to listen to God and my prayers changed from “change him, Lord” to “change me first!”
“It is important to do the hard work of changing on the inside. Be ready to pray “God, it hurts so bad right now but do your perfect will in me. Align my heart to your will”
What changes do you need to make in your life today? Pray more? Talk less? Or maybe speak up more? Commit to Sunday fellowship (even if your husband won’t go?) Prioritize your home?
Quit competing with him and keeping scores? Serve without expecting anything in return? Cut off unhealthy friendships? Confess secret sin and get help? (Porn use, emotional affairs)
God is interested in your husband’s growth too.
But first, you. Healed spouses heal marriages.
A wife who has learned to do business with God is a powerhouse of influence. Not because she manipulates or sulks or throws tantrums. But because she stills her heart before her Maker and taps into His grace, courage and wisdom.
Listen to John 15:5, 7, 8
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
A great marriage proceeds out of personal depth and intimacy with God.
Here are practical tips to influencing your husband to grow;
When to stop
When you are emotional and riled up.
When you feel like you can’t live without it; if he has to change for you to be happy.
When you are more concerned with his growth than yours.
When he’s resisting it, and you are cramming it down his throat (you can’t force change.)
When comparison with other men instigates it.
When you are trying to get back at him – he wants you to change in an area, and you are keeping scores, won’t’ change unless he does.
When your sole motivation is personal insecurities and fears.
When to start
After you have been with God in prayer.
And you have peace, so much that you would be happy even without his changing.*
When you are focused on your own growth as well.
When it’s a gentle suggestion, framed with love and respect, spoken in a familiar love language.
When you can treat him as an adult, not a child.
If you are willing to wait for the change (change doesn’t happen overnight.)
What to do when he resists growth.
Stay in prayer.
Accept he might never change and adjust your expectations. Focus on other areas where he’s grown.
Involve others. Follow this pattern as prescribed in the Bible.
Matthew 18:15 – 17
If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”
Tired of the fussing, fighting and distance? Want to restore joy, healing and happiness to your marriage? Or maybe you just want to love better, create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way. My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years will set you on that road. Buy it here Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.
Ps. In today’s post, I am addressing wives who are in mostly healthy relationships, experiencing typical growth pains. If you are in a situation where porn, abuse e.t.c is involved, you may want to read this post.
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