Today’s post is part of my series on Helping Your Husband to Lead and though not all husbands would fall into the category of lacking leadership skills, I feel this post is applicable and helpful to any marriage. And I’ll be splitting it up into two parts!
Throughout my life I’ve received a boatload of criticism and discouragement. I’d like to think that I’ve had my fair share of it and I won’t be receiving any more in the near future, but I know that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
I’m highly sensitive to criticism. I regard it as an attack of who I am. As a child and as an adult, I became accustomed to being discouraged and criticized by those who were the closest to me.
When I was young, the criticism left me feeling rejected, and as a result, scars were starting to form on my heart. The way I would protect myself from the critical words was to become hard myself. I’d put my walls up. I’d lash out and sometimes I’d retreat. I started this way of life when I was as young as 7 years old. It took the Potter’s hands to soften this rock-hard ball of clay when I submitted my life to Christ at age 26.
Now it’s taken me awhile to change; to become kind, gentle, vulnerable, and to be the woman of God that I desire to be. (I’m still a work in progress on this! :)) As I look back to that gal I once was, I can’t help but see God performing a miracle as He has transformed my heart. Through refinement, lots of trials!!, heartache, brokenness, Truth-seeking, obedience, dying to myself, and having a willing and teachable spirit, my Lord continues to fashion me. I am so thankful for His grace, mercy and patience.
Not only is God transforming you, but He is transforming your husband, too!
If you’ve got yourself a husband who doesn’t lead very well (well, at least according to his wife!)🙂 or a husband who is trying to lead but he’s not changing fast enough (again, according to his wife!) then hear me out on this because I’m writing from a position of pain, rejection, not measuring up to one’s standards, etc. and I think I can help you build your man up so he’ll blossom into a wonderful husband.
But first, let me give you some insight into my man. Before we married, he was married before. After a 9 year marriage, his ex-wife filed for divorce. My Beloved had no intentions of divorcing her because he was a Believer and he was going to be obedient to the Word of God, and God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16) But she filed and the divorce became final.
My husband shared with me how he felt belittled and emasculated during those years of his first marriage. When the divorce proceedings took place he told me he felt like he was a bag of garbage being kicked to the curb. My man felt unloved, unappreciated, disrespected, and undesired all because he didn’t measure up to one woman’s standards!
As he shared with me those vulnerable words and wounds, they resonated with my soul. I understood his pain of rejection and criticism. Because of this, it gave me compassion and empathy for what he went through and it’s helped me to nurture him throughout our marriage.
“Under a husband’s leadership, a wife will either blossom or wilt.”
I leaned over toward my husband and told him I’ve blossomed under his care. I wanted him to know that I thought he was a great husband and I was honored to be his wife! (I realize not all wives will feel this way and I’ll address this in a future post.)
Now I truly believe this concept goes both ways in marriage.
As a wife, I’ve seen first-hand how my husband has blossomed when I’ve been gracious, patient, encouraging, respectful, and loving towards my man.
(By the way, all these things go against my sin-filled nature, therefore I’ve needed to be intentional about pursuing these virtues.)
Now that I’ve shared the place of pain and brokenness from where me and my man have come from, join me tomorrow as I give you some practical how-to’s so you can encourage your man!
If you’ve missed my prior posts in this series, you can read them here:
Live a poured out life for Christ,