One of the most attractive qualities about my husband is that he doesn’t allow me to “wear the pants” in our marriage. He does not sit when I say sit, or jump when I say jump. No matter how frustrating it can be, he does not take orders from me when I turn into “Demanda,” nickname for the demanding, bossy version of myself.
This wasn’t always the case in my past relationships though. No matter who I dated there was a common theme: the guy was very passive and I always had to have the upper hand. This combination was fatal. It never worked out for long because we were each going against our God-created DNA.
So let’s back up for a second and remember who we were truly created to be…
Men, you were designed with the intent to lead and He gave you a backbone! Do not make it difficult for your wife by being passive. When you’re passive, she’ll naturally want to pick up the slack and that leads to all sorts of problems. Step up, take charge, and care for her. Women want to look up to their husbands. We need you to be strong, capable, reliable, protective, and nurturing.
Women, you were designed with the intent to be his helpmate and He gave you the brains to do it ;). Do not be confused by the term helpmate, your role is vital and makes this world go round. Know that you can be a leader, as well! Do not emasculate your man in the process, however. When you emasculate or try to run him, he’ll feel defeated and disrespected. This leads to disaster and a lot of arguing. Let him lead, be gentle, and build him up. He needs to feel like you have his back 100%.
I don’t typically come across as a meek, tenderhearted woman. I am take-charge, loud, intense, passionate, bold, independent lady; all of which aren’t bad qualities. In fact, God made me this way ON PURPOSE. He makes no mistakes.
When I vowed to spend the rest of my life married to E, I vowed away my selfishness. And so did he. He may find it easier to be passive at times, but he knows that I need him to step-up every day and be the man God created him to be. I find it a whole lot easier to take-charge over being a helpmate, but I see the damage it does to our marriage when I’m trying to fulfill a role that wasn’t designed for me.
So I confess, I don’t do a great job at allowing my husband to lead. This is something that 10 months into marriage I’m still working at daily. I have to consciously choose to let my husband lead.
Some of you may be curious of some practical ways that you can let your husband lead. Here’s a few that I’ve been doing…
- Saying “I trust you” when he makes a decision
- Consulting him before I make decisions for myself/us
- Affirming that he’s made the right decision for us
- Letting him make the final decision (we always discuss them together as equals though!)
- Giving him the satisfaction of serving me: if he wants to open my door, I let him. If he wants to put gas in my car, I let him. If he tells me to sit down and relax while he does the cooking, I let him. *Believe it or not, I like to do it all and it’s super difficult for me to let go of control and let him take care of me, but I see how much it benefits us both when I do!
And if you want your man to step up and be a leader you need to be sure to encourage and praise him whenever he does step-up, so that it’s reinforced.
To us, the “happy wife, happy life” mentality just doesn’t cut it. E received a lot a lot of good advice from people when we were engaged, but one that he heard often and we don’t agree with is when people told him to always say “yes, dear” and do what he’s told and let me be right all of the time. WRONG! Though that may be the easiest way to avoid any conflict, it’s not going to work in the long haul. And it’s not nearly as sexy as a strong man who takes initiative! A healthy, beautiful marriage requires two people willing to sacrifice their selfishness every single day and live out the roles God intended for them.
In no way do I want this post to come across like, “Here’s how we do it! You need to get like us!” because we are newbies just learning and swimming in a pool of grace every single day. I share this because I am realizing more and more how crucial it is for us. I pray that it blesses you and that you would share it with your spouse or your friend who may need to read this as a reminder to build up her husband or for him to be the leader she can count on. <3