Surrendering Our Spouse

Due to the nature of this topic, we have chosen to write this text anonymously.  We hope you find the words in it encouraging and uplifting if you find yourself in a similar situation.  We’d love to hear from you and pray for you while you navigate this season of your life.

Jennifer

Ok ladies, I need some serious truth sent my way.  And be real with me, because I know I have a lot of growth to do in this area.

Amanda

Well, then you’re in good company because I have lots of growth areas in my life too. 😏

Sarah

What? We’re supposed to keep growing and changing in life?! 😁

Jennifer

Haha!  I’m afraid so. 😉  I’ve been realizing that as I grow stronger in my relationship with God, I’m leaving my non-believing husband further and further behind.

Sarah

Oh man, that’s rough. Been there! 🙋

Jennifer

He is supportive of the way I choose to spend my time with God, and he attends church with the family every week, but I can’t help but be envious of other marriages where the husband is the spiritual leader of the family.

Amanda

First of all, I think it’s amazing that he’s supportive. But I also will say even though my husband is a Christian and tries to follow God, I am also envious when husbands step up and lead their families spiritually.

Sarah

Oh, me too again! 🙋 😁  I have definitely felt that envy before, and if I’m not careful that envy soon becomes full blown jealousy which makes the comparison monster come to life.

Then I start nit-picking my husband and asking him why he doesn’t do such and such a thing like so and so…Pretty soon I’ve managed to completely disrespect him and shut him down. 😮

Jennifer

I’m all too familiar with that situation! I’ve done a lot of journaling on this issue and God has shown me that my lack of respect is probably a HUGE barrier in our marriage and in bringing my husband closer to God.  I mean, God clearly tells us to respect our husbands.  He doesn’t throw any exception into that, like, “only if he’s a Christian.”

Amanda

Right. Or “only if he leads our family spiritually.” Why on earth do I think my nagging and resentful attitude is going to spur him on to take the lead?

Sarah

Ouch. Dagger to the heart. 💘 That is exactly my problem.

Jennifer

If you’re like me, you feel helpless so nagging feels like your only option (key word: feels!).  But respect and leadership go hand in hand.  And I’m learning that my husband can still lead our family, even if I am the Christ-centered focus behind it. No good leader is a one-man show.  And some leaders don’t have that leadership skill come naturally to them.  They need the people behind them to lift them up.

Amanda

I really like this thought. And I like that you used the words “lift them up” because I am realizing that my hubby responds much better when I choose a respectful approach…but  I don’t think I have been doing that. I’ve actually been pulling him down. Ok, maybe not overtly but definitely in the way I question him or even sigh loudly. 😳

Sarah

Lol. I may or may not have that same sigh. 😃  😬 But yes, I think you’re onto something. I guess I need to remember what I love about Jesus. He doesn’t nag and complain by pointing out all of my failures. Instead, He draws me to Him by the way He extends and offers His love and grace – calling out the good things in me. Imagine how our husbands would respond if this is how we treated them.

Amanda

You hit the nail on the head. I have been thinking about this and have been starting to ask myself questions like – How is my tone of voice coming across right now? Does he feel like he’s going to fail before he starts so he doesn’t begin? And do I have a resentful attitude for how he is or isn’t handling this situation before us?

Because sometimes I can think I am so RIGHT in my position, but the way I handle it absolutely stinks. And I’m realizing God doesn’t care if I’m right when I completely lose it in the way I handle it. Shocking but true: I have a lot to own too. 😬

Sarah

Same here, my friend. Same here. For me, it has to start with an act of surrendering my husband and my “dream” of what I think a perfect Christian man should be or how he should act and lead.

Amanda

Oh my, me too! I constantly have to let go of my idealistic view and instead look at the ways my hubby is loving me and our family well, even if he isn’t “leading” in the way I want.

Sarah

Yep. I have had to place those things in God’s hands and trust that God is FAR more capable than me at changing or growing my husband’s faith. (And yes, this surrendering and trusting is still a daily occurrence.) 😁

Jennifer

But trusting that God is doing that is so important, because it allows us to reflect His love onto our husbands.  I have to remember that God is the only one who can soften my husband’s heart towards Him, but God uses me as a means of bringing my husband closer.  And I also get drawn closer to Him in the process.

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

    • “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God.” (1 Peter 3:1, NLT)
    • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)

Music to inspire you:

Readings to come alongside you:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

    • When I find myself thinking negative thoughts about my husband, I force myself to come up with five positive things about him.  This helps change my mindset and become more appreciative of him.  
    • Everyone reacts to nagging differently, but for my husband, I have learned that nagging has the exact opposite effect that I desire.  Nagging him to join a small group at church or attend a conference just pushes him farther away from the desire to do so.  I have really had to learn to ask a question, let him answer and express his opinion, and then respect that opinion and let it lie.  
    • And of course this goes without saying, but prayer is my saving grace. It keeps me connected to God, especially in the moments when I am disappointed in a situation with my husband. When I listen to what God is saying in those prayerful moments, I always sense Him asking me to trust Him to take care of my husband’s relationship with God and instead focus on mine. ☺️

 

(These suggestions are ideas from novice moms.  Sometimes our life situations need more.  In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.)

2 thoughts on “Surrendering Our Spouse

  1. Well, I too wish my husband would take the lead spiritually. He is a believer. I have no doubt. So I just pray everyday that the Lord minister to him and help him to draw closer and trust him more. Husband’s need a lot of praise. They don’t want to think they will fail you so don’t make them feel like they are. We read the Bible together and pray together every morning. But if I didn’t initiate it, it wouldn’t happen. But I am truly grateful for this time together and you never know what the Lord and the angels are doing in the background. So don’t get in their way. Prayer is the essential ingredient. ~ Denise

    1. You’re so right, Denise! Taking it all to God in prayer is the most important thing. Your comment made me think about a conference my husband and I went to quite a few years ago – Love and Respect led by Dr. Eggerichs (author of the book under the same title) and his wife. The biggest takeaway was that men need respect while women need love. Neither way is right or wrong, it’s just different, and it’s so important to recognize those differences in order to have a successful, healthy marriage. That’s the way God wired us. God’s got a plan for each of us, and sometimes we just need to move out of the way to let God do His work. Thanks for sharing your insight!

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