Yup, you read that right. I don’t let my husband do anything. Before you think I’m the world’s worst wife who has a slave instead of a husband, you need to hear the inflection.
I’m not saying, I don’t let my husband do ANYTHING
I mean, I don’t LET my husband do anything.
I don’t let him do anything because he’s a grown man who can choose to do anything he wants!
I think we get it all wrong. Commitment in marriage has been twisted to insinuate a sort of obligation against one’s will, especially the husband’s.
Ball and chain
Happy wife happy life
If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy
If this is the truth about marriage, why would a man want to get married?! What about the husband?! The reason there is a lopsidedness to this idea is that we have a wrong view of love.
Love is a selfless act. Love is a choice. Love is a gift. Love is a willingness to serve.
Love is not a threat. It’s not fueled by fear. Love does not manipulate. Love doesn’t hold back. It does not force or intimidate.
Love is free and yet it costs you everything.
I don’t let my husband do anything because I love him and honor his choices.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’ve been unhappy with his choices. And subsequently, there have been times when he’s been unhappy with mine. The truth is, our choices have consequences – both good and bad. The key to a happy marriage is to choose the person wisely, be confident and not controlling, and love freely… Meaning love both generously and with freedom.
So what happens if and when your spouse makes poor choices that cause hurt or frustration?
The answer is simple and yet proves to be the number one issue in marriage. Communication. The solution to the problem of hurtful choices is to communicate your feelings and what you need. Communication with clarity, respect, and love is key.
- CLARITY – Start by understanding your own feelings. If you don’t know how you feel and why, then you can’t articulate it to the other person and they can’t respond. It’s not productive to just emote all over your spouse.
- RESPECT – It begins with understanding. You must understand that, for the most part, your spouse isn’t trying to hurt you. Most of the time, people are doing the best they can with what they have. To respect your spouse, you must trust that they do indeed care about your feelings and give them have a chance to respond to your needs.
- LOVE – Love bares fruit….joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Before you communicate your feelings or needs, do the fruit test to be sure that what and how you are going to communicate is delivered in a fruit basket.
Let me give you an example.
My husband loves to push his body and challenge himself. Right now it looks like racing mountain bikes and training jiu jitsu. Not only does he love these things, he also needs the physical and emotional release. He is very in tune to his needs and he knows what to do to manage himself well. HOWEVER, he is aware and so am I, that these things can very easily take priority and severely cut into time at home. Because he loves what he does he doesn’t notice the impact.
I love this part about my husband. It’s one of the things I’m attracted to! He’s so passionate and committed to the challenge of growing and pushing himself. But, I also love spending time with him. I love our life together and I made the choice to get married to do live with someone, not do it solo.
I am told that the other guys he rides or trains with often tell him,
“dude, you’re so lucky your wife let’s you ride/train all the time!’
But that’s where they’re wrong. I don’t let him. He makes the choice. He’s free to make that choice.
I would be lying to say that I don’t care or am not affected by his choices. I certainly am! His passion and commitment went from something that I thought was sexy and compelling, to a source of building resentment and bitterness towards him.
So what did I do? Well, I didn’t tell him what he could do. I examined my feelings. I recognized that my husband dearly loves me and our family. I sifted through my own feelings to identify the root and I told him the state of my heart and my needs. I included that I understood his love and passion and that I never wanted to squash those things in him. I simply asked him to examine if his time was reflecting his true priorities and if he felt that there was room to adjust them accordingly.
The outcome was peaceful and loving. He simply honored my feelings and needs and examined his time. Because his heart is for me and our family, he adjusted his weekly schedule to be more attentive to when we are all home and adjust his riding or training to honor his first love, us.
I see such a change in him! He is still riding and training a lot, but he does it with an awareness of us. He chooses love.
Too often we think that we need to control others in order to be loved or get what we want. We are afraid that if we let go and relax into it, it won’t happen. But the truth is, it’s already happening. God loves you so much and there is nothing you can do to control it, earn it, manipulate it, or stop it. You are just simply and totally loved. Breathe it in. Sink deep into that truth. Receive it and let it fill you. You can loosen your grip on fear. The demand on others and constant disappointment will subside when you are filled with the all sufficient love of the Lord.
My goal for our marriage, and yours (if you’re married!) is that your home is motivated by love. That you give it and receive it freely. Let go of the control and LET YOURSELF BE LOVED.