In February I was given the opportunity to have dinner with a best-selling author who was in town. Her publisher wanted to treat both of us to a very nice dinner at a restaurant a half hour away. I’d been excited for the opportunity all week. It had been snowy and icy all day, but I’d heard the roads were manageable so I thought I didn’t have anything to worry about.
Just a few minutes into getting on the interstate, the traffic was backed up because of the ice. I was nervous to drive, but figured I was already on the road and might as well stay put. Not only was I scared to drive over the icy ramps, but my GPS didn’t recognize the address of the restaurant. I called my husband Jeremiah and told him the whole situation. Then I broke down in tears.
“It’s going to be okay, babe,” he said.
I vented more of my frustrations and doubted his words. I was burning with anger at the circumstance.
“Why does the GPS have to do this to me? I’m going to be late, and I can’t be late!” I yelled.
Being punctual was a big deal to me, especially when it came to meeting with someone so special.
“I’m going to tell you where to go. Do you trust me?” he asked.
Ugh, I don’t know. Yeah, I thought.
Jeremiah was already on Google maps locating the road I was on. I started to cool off and release control of what I couldn’t control in the first place. He navigated every road for me and soon enough, I had arrived to my destination. I was only a few minutes late and was still the first one there.
While I waited, I texted him:
You were right all along. I’m sorry for not trusting you- will you forgive me? I love you.
A Crave to Control
Many times in our marriage relationship, I crave having the control and sometimes I obtain it for a little while, but God always has a way of teaching me to step down and let Jeremiah lead.
Coming up on six years of marriage, I’ve learned time and time again that God’s unique role for me is not to be the leader in our marriage, but to trust my husband’s decisions and judgment: For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. – Ephesians 5:23
But not only that, I’m not just following Jeremiah’s divine plans or ideas. I’m trusting in God as the ultimate leader in our relationship. I’m trusting that my husband is following the Lord as best He can. When I rely on God’s leading in our marriage, it’s easier to release control and let God work the way He desires. And it’s funny how Jeremiah starts to step up more when I’m not hindering him from leading.
Other ways that I desire control is when I expect my husband to fulfill my deepest spiritual and emotional needs. At times I’ve been quick to pile all my frustrations and emotions on top of him thinking that he will fix the deep seeded issues in my heart and carry those heavy burdens.
I’ve learned that God is the first person I need to pour out those heavy emotions to. He is the only One who can fill that God-shaped hole. That’s not to say that Jeremiah doesn’t hear about them. He does, but I’m able to communicate more effectively and clearly after I’ve handed my issues over to God.
Winning Him Over Through Your Behavior
It’s interesting how many women, including myself, want their men to be better leaders in the home and in their marriage. Women will complain that men need to step it up and start being “men.” While I agree that many husbands are sitting on the sidelines, I also believe that many wives need to work at helping their husbands be the leaders they want to see so badly.
It’s only natural for me to tell you my dad and mom’s story. They married as nonbelievers and shortly after, my mom’s best friend led her to Christ. My mom’s life was radically changed. She became a woman of the word and brought my sister and I to church every Sunday and Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, my dad still didn’t want anything to do with religion but my mom still prayed for him and never shoved Jesus down his throat. She loved him where he was at, no matter how difficult it was. And there were times it was extremely hard to hold her tongue! Day in and day out, I watched her live out the verse:
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, – 1 Pet. 3:1
Thirty years later, my dad accepted Christ as his Savior while I was in college. And since then, it’s been incredible to see his life change throughout the years. Who knows where he would be today if my mom hadn’t been faithful to pray for him, love him, model patience, gentleness, and selflessness.
“Father, Lead Me”
God created our husbands to lead and that is such a beautiful thing that we don’t want to screw up or destroy. A manipulative, controlling, nagging, overbearing, difficult-to-live-with wife will not help a husband lead well. I have been that kind of wife, and still struggle at times, and it only hinders and discourages his ability.
In my relationship to Jeremiah, I’ve also had honest conversations with him about how I feel he could be leading better in a certain area. When I tell him those words from a pure heart and in a loving and gentle tone of voice, he is quick to listen and ensure me he will work on it. I then ask him where I could be doing better as his wife.
Many great leaders throughout history would’ve never accomplished what they did without the women behind them encouraging and spurring them on. Since I believe the slogan is true that “behind every great man is a great woman,” then I’m ready to do what it takes to help my husband be great in his home and in the world so that ultimately, God will be glorified.
I love the words in the song “Lead Me” written by Matt Hammitt, lead vocalist for Sanctus Real, but also a husband and Daddy to three:
So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I’m called to be
Oh Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won’t You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can’t
Don’t want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up
I’ll show them I’m willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone
Father, lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone
Deep down, every man wants to lead well but he knows it’s a task far too great to accomplish in his own strength. Sin and the flesh are always crouching at the door, wanting to destroy the beauty that God has created in our marriages and families.
Thankfully, God is greater than any sin. He is the one who gives husbands the strength they need to build solid marriages and families. He gives wives the patience, endurance, and respect that’s required for them to be the best helper and lover to their husbands.
Whether you have or haven’t been the wife you know God wants you to be, today is a new day and you can start fresh. Will you lovingly submit to your husband’s leadership and let him live out his God-given role in your marriage?
You won’t regret releasing control and letting him lead.