Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)

wedding-cake-with-raspberries-and-figurines

Inequality between the sexes began when we locked God out of the garden and decided to forge our own path to knowledge and self-actualization. That’s when this marriage experiment began to go south. The woman itched to control her man and the man lorded it over his wife. Thus began the endless cycle of dysfunction that is now “normal” with control and manipulation at he helm of the Relation-Ship.

The urge to control my husband is real. I want to tell him exactly how to wipe the counters, what to wear and when, how to express his sentiments and what inflections would be most helpful… It is like a strong pull towards puppetry, where I’m the puppeteer and Mark’s soul just follows.

This is Fall-driven not Garden-driven!

If you’re like me, you don’t like people telling you how to feel. But how do we feel about the Bible telling us how to feel? The Bible spells it out in black and white when it comes to the emotions wives are called to have towards their husbands.

Get ahold of what the Scripture says to wives about the strong gravitational pull towards control that came with the cursed curse in the Garden… As it often does, God calls us to operate in the opposite spirit of what the enemy is suggesting to our souls at every opportunity:

…The wife must see to it that she respects and delights in her husband –that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear. (Ephesians 5:33 AMP)

These concepts are foreign, and the tide of the culture is for anything but submission. That has been dismissed and considered weak and even dangerous. Granted, these precepts presuppose a healthy family, a fearless family where all are safe. All bets are off if there is domination and superiority at the head. That’s another story altogether!

The Word is the Word is the final Word.

Believers are called to be good at whatever we decide to do. Women who choose to be married are called to be good wives, and there are real directives in Scripture as to what that looks like:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  1. A wife is called to respect her husband. This mind-set is a choice. The culture, so often expressed in the media, tends to display the wife laughing at her husband, belittling him, and treating him with subtle (and not so subtle) contempt. The sitcoms may be funny, but this ain’t funny.
  2. A wife is directed to delight in her husband. Delight has been supplanted by a tendency to despise, but wives are called to “enjoy him as a blessing from God” (1 Peter 3:2 AMP).
  3. A wife is to encourage her husband – to use her words to build him up, expressing gratitude for the things he does for the family, to cheer him on, and to be his biggest fan.
  4. The wife needs to understand her husband (see 1 Peter 3:5). This is to know how he ticks, when he needs space, when he needs a helping hand, and in general, to understand how God wired him, accommodating his temperament, not expecting him to think and respond differently than how he was created. Often we women want to feminize our husbands; we expect them to see things through our lens, to read our minds, to do and say things we would do and say, but they aren’t clones of us. They are men, scientifically wired differently in their brains.
  5. The wife can enjoy having a leader and be willing to follow his leadership. In any organization there has to be leadership. Someone has to take it on, or chaos ensues. While marriage is a true partnership, still ultimately someone has to drive; others can help navigate but two people can’t drive at the same time without crashing the vehicle. This is certainly not a dictatorship; rather it’s a well-oiled machine of loving leadership, trust, and mutual respect and submission.

Wives are not called to be dominated, marginalized, treated as inferior, or expected to act as doormats. Women in Scripture are cherished and adored. We are valued as queens, and we reign with Jesus in this world. Still, Queens are called upon to love their Kings. This is true for wives.

Are you struggling as a wife to be all that God has called you to be? Join me in this plain and simple prayer today!

Father,

I lay at your feet all that I thought being a wife was meant to be. I have grabbed the steering wheel and almost crashed this thing a few too many times.

I repent of my tendency to control my husband. God, You were right (You always are) when You warned of this back at the beginning in the garden. Satan hates marriage, and He has mocked us long enough. I refuse to control my husband; I resist the temptation to do so, and I receive Your loving help to show me a better way.

I choose to respect him, and to reflect that respect in my words, tone, and demeanor.

Teach me to be grateful for him and to sincerely enjoy him. May my eyes display delight in my husband.

May my words empower and encourage him, always build up and never tear down. Help me to notice all the things he does well and to show my gratitude. Please keep me from the tendency to nitpick and nag and find things to complain about!

Teach me the ins and outs of how You have wired him, the nuances of his temperament. Help me accommodate those tendencies and adapt myself to him. Rid me of the tendency to expect him to think like me! Forgive me for this narcissistic view that my perspective is The Perspective.

Lord, make us a leadership team that understands and respects each other’s roles. Deliver me from being quarrelsome, irritable and ugly.

Ultimately, I cannot expect You to make all these things happen without my cooperation; Your grace is what I need, yet there is effort on my part to work with Your Spirit and to allow Him to transform my mind through Your Word. So open up Your Word to me and change me from the inside out! Make me a wife that will make You smile. And make my husband smile!

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen!

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop [on the flat roof, exposed to the weather]
Than in a house shared with a quarrelsome (contentious) woman. (Proverbs 21:9 AMP)

Photo credit: Foter.com

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