It was a day I’ll never forget in our marriage. My Beloved and I had been married for less 3 years and our first born son was about 6 months old. One afternoon my man was feeding our little guy some solid foods; rice cereal, peas, and pears. How kind of him, right? Well it was kind of him, however, he was doing it all wrong!
As I stood there looking on I told my Beloved point blank, “That’s not how you do it.” Now mind you, I didn’t say those words with a nasty, condescending tone, I merely just told him what I saw. And what I saw was him feeding my boy his pears before his peas! Well, any person knows that you feed a baby his veggies before you feed him his fruit, otherwise, the kid won’t eat his veggies.
My words didn’t go over too well with my man. In fact, he snapped at me and said, “Do you want to do this yourself?”
I was quite surprised by how he responded. Actually, I thought he was overreacting. Yet, I pondered his actions. I hadn’t seen him display this type of behavior before in our marriage and I couldn’t help but take notice and wonder why he snapped the way he did. Obviously he was responding to what I said to him.
I soon realized he felt I thought he was doing a poor job as a father, although that was not the intentions of my heart.
This incident became a defining moment in our marriage.
Rather than taking over my son’s feeding and relieving my husband of his duties as a father, I took a step back instead. I quickly apologized for stepping on his toes and then I shared with my husband the ‘why’ behind what I said and I did so in a humble and gentle manner. Now I’m sure I felt in my mind that what I said and how I said it wasn’t a big deal, however, based on how my husband responded, I could tell it was a big deal to him!
I saw how our marriage could easily shift since we brought our baby into this world.
Mama Bears are the ones who carry the baby for nine months, then birth the baby, then feed the baby. It’s our natural domain. We become experts in our field; the field of our children, knowing what they need, when they need it, and how they’ll respond in the process. But our men are out of the loop on this. They’re looking in on our world and asking how they can help and desiring to be a part.
I saw how I could easily usurp my husband’s headship position over peas and pears; something so small and seemingly insignificant that could threaten our marital oneness! Now I’ll be the first one to tell you I don’t fully understand the concept of being one flesh with my man. The Bible refers to it as a mystery (Eph. 5:31). But I have realized that as I’ve stepped on my husband’s leadership toes, I’m breaking down his headship position, which hurts our one flesh union.
For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. Eph. 5:23,24
I wasn’t seeking to be the head of the home because that concept is contrary to the Scriptures, however, I saw based on my actions how easily I could slip into this role, especially when I began my journey of motherhood. I find this is the most common time that women find it most difficult to submit to their husbands, and when the marriage, specifically, the husband’s leadership, breaks down the most.
When a husband wants to lead but a wife takes over then you can expect your husband to either fight you for the position of headship or he’ll just stop leading altogether. Husbands do this because they either want to keep peace in the home or they don’t want to be criticized for the way they do things. I totally get that. When I make a meal that doesn’t turn out very well and I receive complaints, I’m not too fond of that. My natural reaction is to tell those who are complaining to feel free to make their own meal!
Since I wanted my husband to keep feeding my child, I figured I needed to learn a different approach to the situation or I just needed to let go of an issue if it didn’t matter a hill of beans. Sometimes a wife’s controlling ways are just utterly ridiculous. Of course I know this from first-hand experience! 🙂 Dressing a cute baby in stripes and solids really isn’t a big deal, what matters is that they’re dressed!
5 Ways to Help Your Husband Lead When You Don’t Want to Let Him
- Study your husband. Find out what makes him soar as the head of the home and find out what it is that you do that makes him want to withdraw from his leadership position. Learn to recognize the difference, then move towards the positive and away from the negative.
- Continue to build your husband up as the leader of the home. (Everyone needs encouragement no matter what their roles are.
- Pray to be a wife who encourages her man rather than one who tears him down.
- Keep the bigger picture in mind for your marriage. The ultimate goal is to walk in the ways of the Lord in your marital relationship. By stepping back and allowing you husband to lead (aka, do things differently than you do) you’re ultimately bringing glory to the Lord. Not only that, but you’re giving respect to your man in the process, and every husband needs a wife’s respect. So now you’re strengthening your marital oneness through this process as well. The by-product of all of this is a better marriage! Your sweet actions and attitudes will make it easier for your husband to love you.
- Be intentional about strengthening your marital oneness rather than obsessing over the peas and pears!
Now let me put a caveat in here. I realize that not all marital struggles are over peas and pears, but rather much weightier issues, however, I’ll have to save that topic for another post.
Next up in this series I’ll address When He’s Not Changing Fast Enough and When You Don’t Think He’s Doing a Good Enough Job in the Leadership Department, although this is not the title of the post. Then I’ll close up this series with, When Your Roles are Reversed.
So have you ever had a time when you stepped on your man’s leadership toes?
If you’ve missed my prior posts in this series, you can read them here:
- 14 Reasons Why a Husband Doesn’t Lead His Home
- Helping Your Husband to Lead When He Doesn’t Know How
- Helping Your Passive Husband to Lead
- When He Doesn’t Want to Lead
- When Your Man is Broken and Can’t Lead
Live a poured out life for Christ,
5 Days to a Better Marriage
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