Too many times, I have criticized my husband… to friends, family and under my breath (okay, sometimes out loud).
(Why? Okay- confession time. I’m a control freak. I like to keep everything in line… including my husband, children, house, etc. The HUGE problem is… I will never be able to control others and the choices they make.)
Take for example, my 5-year-old son. We had an awesome block party last weekend, and thanks to an amazing block party coordinator (Go Deborah!), the Fayetteville Fire Department came out to check our corner hydrant. Since they had no calls, they were able to stay for burgers, show off the truck, spray cul-de-sac down with water and let kids take turns spraying the huge fire hose. My middle child was in awe of the hose. So much so, he ran directly into its path, full force, and face to the water. Now, if any of you have met my child, he can scream and wail, like the best of them. I was in fact, talking to another mom at the time, until his “well-recognized” scream broke the “normal” block party noises. (See photo.)
My husband (who was across the street) and I both turned to the sound and leapt into action. We picked him up, soaked to the bone, clutching his face and we comforted him. As soon, as his cries had ceased, we both talked to him. “You need to be careful close to the hose. That water is super powerful and hurts when you put your face in it.” He nodded his understanding and within seconds was back in the thick of it, playing his heart out.
Now, I would like to say that he made the right choice in not making his way to the front of the water stream again. But he didn’t. Ten minutes later, another one of his piecing screams disrupted the partygoers and I found myself, once again, holding a soaking wet child.
This is just one example of not being able to control others. As a woman, I find myself wanting not just to control myself and how others view me, but my entire world… that includes my husband, children, extended family, etc. Now, before you start thinking to yourself, “Wow, this girl has got to loosen her grip!” I want you to know… that I tell myself that constantly.
I learned early on, (I was 13, in fact) that I was considered a perfectionist and that I would always struggle with the need to control things around me. Over the past 15 years or so, though, I have learned slowly but surely, how to let that need waste away. I still struggle with it- believe me! When my husband announces that he’s invited several people over to dinner with only a couple of hours to spare, I usually freak for a minute or two. (Not at him, mind you—in my own crazed mind! Ha!) And in the hour, leading up to the group arriving, I do tend to push my “bossiness/control-freakiness” to the limit. (I am working on that!)
During a women’s bible study, (one in fact that I was leading- God has a sense of humor), it pointed to the fact that since Adam and Eve’s sin, we as women would always struggle with “rebelling” against or struggling to control the men in our lives.
Shortly after Adam and Eve told God of their sin, He spoke some truth into their lives that haunts us even today. Genesis 3:16, in the New Living translation says, “Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth.”
(WAIT FOR IT…. IT GETS EVEN BETTER…)
“… And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
“Ouch”. Can you imagine being Eve and hearing those words come out of God’s mouth? I wonder if Eve fully understood the depth to those words. Could she even fathom the generations of women who would struggle not to bitterly suggest to their husbands that they pick up their nasty socks out of the middle of the living room floor? Or that some of us would bicker and fight with our husbands over what jobs they were applying for? Or what job they “needed” to apply for? Could she even determine that some of us would even go as far to say, “I wear the pants in this relationship.” Hmmmm…
Should we be proud of that?
Are we proud of that?
You see, this isn’t even a talk about that horrible word that we all cringe when we hear: SUBMISSION.
This blog post has nothing to do with that.
But it has everything to do with supporting our husbands.
How do we do that without controlling? Believe me, ladies, I have not quite figured this out. But I believe it starts with beginning to think of us as walking alongside our husbands and allowing him to lead our families and us.
It might look like sharing your opinion, but supporting his decision to choose something different. It might look like praying for him, when you see his struggles and the vast amount of choices that he has to make everyday. And it will probably feel a tad bit like you are sitting “shotgun” in the car… just try to not become a back-seat driver…. I will too. ☺