As a new wife, I learned quickly I had no problem allowing my husband to take the lead (though I had ways to go as far as understanding what submission and partnership were all about).
My trusting attitude had a lot to do with my upbringing; I grew up watching my mum, a strong woman, defer to her husband all her life.
Writing this marriage blog has connected me to wives who are living a different reality.
They feel abandoned and desire to see their husbands take up their God-given responsibilities in the home and marriage.
Other wives are not living with total abandonment, just little pockets and gaps where they want their husbands to fill.
In praying for my marriage and husband, I’ve found that God wants to work in me first before He can work in my circumstances.
In this case, I believe that it’s important to examine ourselves first before we try to examine our husbands.
Now I am not suggesting that every man who’s not “stepped up” has a ‘wife-standing-in-the-way’ problem. Not at all.
And am not talking about perfection in leadership either. No one is perfect. I am talking about the clearly visible areas that need a husbands leadership and guidance.
As a wife, how do you know that you are standing in the way. Better still, how do you get out of his way
1. Your words
We women are natural word-slingers. When hurt or disappointed, our words can turn into lethal missiles that obliterate everything in their path.
Sometimes we’ll claim that our harmful words are just a “mirror of our reality” or we are trying to “motivate” him to action.
But you and I know that no one gets motivated by a verbal beat-down.
The truth is that you get exactly what you call him.
Negatives words affirm, fortify and amplify what is already there. They not only injure the hearer but they also damage the speaker.
Ever heard the saying that one can tell a lie so often that it becomes truth in their mind? The more you repeat negative words, the deeper the grooves run in your brain. The words settle deep in your belief system and block your vision for a better thing.
On the other hand, positive life-giving words can be an instrument of change, calling forth those things that are not and unleashing the power of God to work in your man’s heart and life.
As a wife, your desires and words do not have to be controlled by your ‘reality’/environment.
You have the power and grace of God to call upon. If you want him to take the lead, stop confessing what he seems to be and start saying who God says He is. Speak God’s word, not your pain, anger or disappointment.
2. Your attitude
What goes on in your heart in secret will ooze out in your attitude.
Your husband doesn’t need words to know what you think and expect of him.
Our attitudes are like an invisible blanket, easily discernible by those closest to us. They are codes to what we truly believe.
You may have ‘trained’ your mouth not to say anything negative or nasty. But if your heart is still not right, your attitude will always speaker louder than what you don’t say.
Attitudes proceed from our hearts. You can’t live out what you don’t really believe. You must have a heart change to have an attitude and mouth change.
You got to believe that your husband can rise up and be the man God (not you) wants him to be.
Change your heart, change your attitude.
3. Your actions
Sometime back, I heard of a wife who got tired of carrying the slack in her marriage. She took action in one area – she stopped paying the bills.
Pretty soon, the landlord locked the family out of their house. The husband was so shocked (and shamed) by the lock-out that he quickly picked up his responsibilities.
Please understand the heart of stepping back in actions. It’s not a way to shame, control or manipulate your husband into doing what you want him to do. In this lady’s case, she suffered and got embarrassed right alongside her mate.
But she realized that she’d never really given her words and attitudes any legs – she realized that she had been an enabler, not helper.
Some women fear letting go of the reigns – they want a strong man but they want to stay in charge. Unfortunately (or fortunately) you can’t have both.
If you want him to provide, you need to give him room to provide. Like the lady we’ve talked about, it might mean going through seasons of hardships and adjustments. It all depends on how bad you want change.
In all these, your goal is to leave the scene so that God can work.
Again, I don’t mean go out and do harmful things in the name of ‘getting out of his way’. You know your situation and you know what might feel uncomfortable but is safe.
Let me reiterate; .
- Before God moves in our situations, He always moves within us.
- Change is a personal decision – your “getting out of the way” does not guarantee his stepping up. However, you will have the peace of God as you work and walk out your situation.
- If your husband is passive or absent in any area of your marriage and family, I am not suggesting you are the problem. Yet as a wife, you can be a catalyst for change.
Learn how to bring health and balance to your marriage when you pick up my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years. I wrote it for the imperfect girl married to an imperfect man. Learn to positively influence your marriage and create the marriage of your dreams, one intentional choice at a time.