I often wondered just how many of us would want to give up on our marriages because we believe that our husbands are the culprit of all the problems? The truth is that the majority of the time this is not the answer to solving our problems. The problems that arise in a marriage may stem from something deeper within our own hearts. If we aren’t willing to recognize how it is that WE may also play a role in the dysfunction of the marriage, then we will only keep recreating the same old patterns of behaviors.
So please, lets stop being drama queens and start being the confident women we know we are. We don’t have to spend our lives focused on our husband’s faults when we know the truth is that God is for us … so who can be against us? Having the “poor little me” attitude while sitting in a pool of self-pity is just drowning out who we really are and preventing us from enjoying our lives. I don’t take my husband’s offenses personally for the sake of both of us. I seek for ways to love and respect him, and now I am happier, and more energized to do what I’ve been called to do with my life.
~ As wives and mothers, we have a major role in taking responsibility, not only for ourselves, but also for the best interest of our families.
~ A healthy marital relationship takes the willingness of both spouses to work out the conflicts, and to set proper boundaries in their lives. If your spouse isn’t displaying a willingness, then continue upholding the role as a “wife and a mother”, and pray for their willingness. If they are that destructive to our lives, we should seek the help of a mentor with wisdom to help us begin to build a stronger relationship with God, and to value ourselves.
If there is something important that we can take from reading this blog it is this:
~ A healthy relationship is not built on one person doing the work of two, while the other just coasts along for the ride. Although I am all for us as wives upholding our own roles, I am not encouraging those who play the martyr role of both. We are created as wives to be the counterpart that is fitting to our husband’s lives (1 Peter 3:1-2) not enabling bad habits in their lives.
To be clear on the roles we are NOT created for:
1. Fixing our husbands (even if they are broken).
2. Controlling our husbands (even if they are out of control).
3. Asserting our authority over our husbands (even if it seems like they couldn’t lead an army of ants).
4. Acting like we know better than our husbands (even if we think we do … lets not be so vocal about it).
5. Treating them like they are incompetent husbands (as if they can’t tie their own shoes).
4. Disrespecting their decisions. Ah-hem (even if they sometimes stink). Let us not even mention Eve’s decision to eat the apple without her husband’s authority. This goes to show we need to discuss our decisions together before making them final.
If we choose to step out of our roles, we can more than likely expect our marriages and our families to go down the tubes.
I’ve been down every one of these long lost roads. Take it from my twenty five years of marital experience, those choices only made matters worse! This is simply because these are not God’s choices for us. If I didn’t get over my fears, step out in faith and submit to my husband, and trust in the Lord, I wouldn’t have the victory in my own life that I have today. This is simply because I was only given power to be the woman I was created to be.
Let be me real so I don’t come off as if I am the perfect wife trying to condemn others. There are days it takes total confidence in God to do what I know He is asking of me, and on some days, I don’t get it all right. Not everyday is a banner day. In fact, on some days, I find myself practically kicking, screaming, and crying out to God. This is when I know that I have to get over my fears, and not give into my feelings … rather than doing something that I might regret later on.
~ The key to our husband’s hearts is that they will respond to us because of our respectful behaviors such as having confidence in them, rather than all the badgering, criticizing, hounding, harping, and eventually becoming grumbling old wives. I sure wish I knew back then what I know now!
Let us get on with another very important subject of our roles as mothers…
Many of our children are subject to all the pain and strife in our marriages. Sometimes, we may want someone on our side, when our husbands seem like they are not. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is disrespecting our husbands by talking critically about them in front of our children, or to our children behind their backs. Listen up! This will destroy our children’s souls and poison our family’s lives. If our conflicts as husbands and wives are never resolved by respectfully confronting one another, our children may even believe in their hearts that they are somehow responsible for our problems, when we should be taking responsibility for them ourselves. So can we please start behaving like we are the grown ups!
When it comes to our personal lives as women, let me share my own horrific experience of how my example affected my family life.
I didn’t realize just how much my unhappiness had affected both my marriage and my family life, until the day my daughter ran away from home. She had convinced herself that she needed to keep her runaway a secret because she was literally running from me… and running for a life of her own. She saw something in me that she never wanted to end up being, and as the years rolled by, she witnessed how I had given up not only on me, but also on my dreams. I wasn’t setting a very good example of being the confident woman that knew who she was. My daughter’s fear-stricken thoughts of winding up like me had caused her to run for her life.
As far back as I can remember, it was my dream to get married, have a white picket fence, and raise a family of my own, but there was something missing deep down inside. It was always a mysterious case of missing the many parts of just being myself. Without any answers, the missing pieces became a vacant hole that was aching deep within my soul.
With each passing year, I was becoming more and more dissatisfied. As a result, I had begun to resent my own family for the things that I had never done with my own life. Like so many of us, I was trying desperately to uphold the role of a wife and a mother, without ever really knowing who I was. The more that I denied that I was missing pieces inside, the more lost I had become … and the more our marriage suffered as a result. The tumultuous state of our marriage snowballed from my broken state of soul.
There was no way to find out the truth about my life, other than to stop making excuses, and face the gut wrenching pain of all my problems. The cold harsh truth was that I was living a life that wasn’t really mine. I was so enmeshed with my husband’s identity that I didn’t have my own.
Maybe the title of this article peaked an interest, and maybe as every line is read, many of you are surprised to see your lives, somehow in mine.
This is why my story touches the hearts of women, because as wives and mothers, it is the story of so many of our lives. As I sit here and write from my heart, I know the painful tears that many of us have cried because we know deep down inside that we have given up our own identities. We know deep in our hearts there’s more for us to do with our own lives. This is a deep knowing in our guts that we have not only let ourselves down, but our families as well. It is unfinished business that dwells within us, and will only be there … until we stop all of the denial.
I am sharing the painful moments of my life to explain that had I never stopped to consider opening my heart to God to finally know who I was, what my desires were, and the purpose of why I was walking this earth, my unhappiness would still be affecting the lives of my family.
I know that most of our children don’t pack a bag and run away from home the way my daughter did. Maybe they have packed the troubles inside their hearts … the same troubles that come from inside our homes.
It is time we wake up and face the deeper issues that are ruining our lives. It isn’t because of our husbands that we suffer, as much as it is from the trouble inside our own hearts.
God’s plan for a marriage was never the problem. It is the troubled people in the marriages that create the problems. Most of us do not have any clue that when we entered into marriage without a true identity, our own problems would come out with a vengeance, and destroy our family life.
Oh yes, I know it seems so much easier to blame our husbands than to face that we have many issues of our own. The truth is that none of us are perfect, so both partners in the marriage need to take accountability for our own emotions, and stop punishing one another for our disappointments.
~Taking responsibility for ourselves by communicating with biblical truths about our wants and needs, gives us the ability to finally be honest and decisive about who we are, and how we choose to live with personal values, principles, and beliefs.
~True intimacy begins with knowing our own value as children of God first, and then being honest and straight forward with others. Consequently, we become individuals who know what we need, so we can freely express our desires to one another without any personal attacks that cause our relationships to suffer.
~ We shouldn’t have to demand things from one another to get what we desire. Each of us should give with what we have in our hearts to one another, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Could it be that facing our own personal downfalls is really the answer to most of our marital problems?
The answer is … POSITIVELY YES!!!!!
The Bible says to FIRST take the plank out of your OWN eye and then you will see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:5). Let us first take care of our own issues instead of trying to fix anyone else’s.
It was on that heartbreaking day when my daughter had disappeared that I faced myself, and all the reasons that I had become undone. This was the day that everything in my life began to change. This was the moment that God graciously gave me a chance to redeem my life. It was from this point forward that I finally began to understand that I was a lost woman with buried dreams in my heart.
When I finally spent more time praying to God for the answers to my problems, He did not stand over me pointing out all of my husband’s faults. No, no, no! As I found the courage to peek out from behind my own blinders, He showed me all of my own faults. There I was judging my husband’s faults, without realizing that I wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I had to stop being the judge, and convicting my husband of being guilty of creating my unhappiness. I had to finally take personal responsibility for doing the best I could with my own life. (Galatians 6:5).
And so … as women we must remember to never forego our worth or value. There is no greater calling than knowing who we truly are… and how we play the profound role of influencing the lives of our family for many generations to come.