Isn’t it strange how hard it is to be a follower rather than a leader?  I am really talking about in a Christian marriage rather than life in general.    I really think I have come a long way in  this, but I do know how vulnerable I am to taking back control of things-especially in stressful situations.  You see, I just think sometimes I have the better idea:):), or the better timing:):).  My husband and I found out many years ago that when we undergo an extremely stressful situation we tend to have ideas that go north and south.  I am here to tell you that that situation is not conducive to a calm marriage!   I read a quote recently that has kept me thinking about this for a few weeks and just want to share with it with you:

“Sisters, if you repeatedly attempt to control the man in your life, and if you disrespect him and the decisions he makes, you will get nothing for it but neglect and emotional abandonment. It is another of those mysterious paradoxes. There are plenty of witnesses to this truth all around–women who dismiss the biblical admonition, ‘let the wife see [to it] that she respects her husband’ (Ephesians 5:33). Instead, they try to their ever-loving’ frustration to get their man to do what they think he should do–about every matter under the sun. But here is the thing: men naturally chafe and eventually flee from direct instruction from their wives. They do not change when you tell them to. And they never, ever will. When you turn up the volume, you tune out the man.

Instead, try indirect instruction….This is the way of a woman with a man. She teaches him primarily by example. When needed, she may appeal to his thoughtfulness and ask for his consideration, but she will not go further. He will be far more apt to give consideration to her words when they are heard as an appeal or a suggestion rather than as a directive. Think of it as the difference between casting a flashlight down the path versus pointing it in his face. Direct light causes us to close our eyes. Indirect light, pointed away from our eyes, causes us to strain to see.”  –John Ensor, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart, p. 99

I have not read Mr. Ensor’s book, but isn’t that a great illustration about a flashlight?  I know when our grandchildren are here and have flashlights, we always tell them, “Now don’t shine that in his/her eyes.  It will hurt them,  shine it on the ground in front of them.”  I am sure all you moms out there have said almost the same thing to your young children too.  It is true-bright light hurts our eyes so we shut them, and a light that gently lights our path  is a welcome sight.  Right after I read that quote, my husband came home from an appointment where someone had said something abrasive.  He commented something like why do people have to say things that fly in your face, why can’t they not stop, think, and use some softer language.  I shared the flashlight illustration with him and he agreed-that in marriage, friendship and for life in general that it is a great thing to remember.  Next time I feel like I am getting set on my own needs, wants, plans, I am going to just remember the words to that kids Sunday School song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kendra/The Queen of Brussels Sprouts
    Aug 05, 2010 @ 17:57:44

    I totally agree. We have only been married 14 years, but I am definitely learning this lesson. It turns out that when I do submit in a Godly manner, even the decisions I disagree with turn out to be the best for our family…. I am having to trust that God has plans for my husband, and while we usually decide everything as a team, sometimes, he has to have the final say.


    • ginicraven
      Aug 06, 2010 @ 14:57:25

      Dear Queen, It is a lifelong learning thing I have decided, and just when I proudly think I am doing so well, that is when it usually bites me:) It is great being a team though-makes it so much easier-We are that way too and it is so much more fun.


  2. Holly
    Aug 05, 2010 @ 21:49:47

    That is so true … and that is SCRIPTURE!!! 1 Peter 3:1-2 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”

    So right on!


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