From the Learn To Be Content Series
Sharing your life with someone else in marriage has many blessings and advantages but also frustrations. Raising children, running a home, jobs, schools, extended family all cause overwhelm which can lead to frustration and pressure in your marriage. So as I’ve been working on my friendship issues, I noticed my need for control, and ultimately the lack of it has created other issues, especially in my marriage. Imagine with me a moment….
a mom at home with lovely home-cooked dinners with regular guests gracing the table, balanced breakfasts, a freshly vacuumed carpet for when the kids are home from school, everything ordered and prepared for the family to enjoy.
This was the image I desired since childhood.
But even through the rough reality set before me of hurried dinners, poopy diapers when you need to leave the house and arguing children, I still try to grasp this image, this imagination. I still try to control everything, and in so doing, everyone. Everyone including my DH (dear husband). Gasp! However, while you are gasping think about what I’m saying. I’m not saying that every single thing he did had to be my way.
Actually it went more like:
DH: Honey, why don’t you take a break? I can do dinner.
Me: No, I will do it, I’ve already started it.
DH: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, you go and do something you need to do.
But then I end up exhausted and grumpy. Perhaps he ended up just playing with the kids or not doing the specific something I was thinking he needed to complete and bits of bitterness would result. There has been many conversations where I would actually deny my DH from helping me because I felt I could do it better, faster or I just didn’t want to take the time to show him.
Sometimes I simply was being possessive of the task, in an effort to reach the image I had set forth for myself as a wife and mother. I had (and I’m sure I still have) this notion of ‘this is my job’, my burden. The thought is, I’m a martyr of the home and children.
How warped is that?
Not that there’s no truth in that, we are to give up ourselves in service, but it is common for us as humans to perverse things. Perverse meaning to twist or warp it completely from it’s truth and beauty.
So two things happened:
First, my husband realized where he wasn’t stepping up to the call of leadership in the home.
This was such a huge blessing to us both. The Lord helped him to see that when he’s not at work he still needs to direct and work in the home. Yes, he did ask me frequently if he could help or he would encourage me to take breaks, but what was not happening was initiative. There was little initiative from him when it came to the household duties and children or family-centered activities. Why? Most likely it was the second thing that happened.
Second, the Lord opened my eyes to my lack of submission and therefore wrong view of my marriage.
Not that I have it all together, I’m simply sharing my story. That same morning I read about contentment in the Bible, I also read a page in A Woman After God’s Own Heart that stood out. She was describing a women’s Bible study group who read 1 Corinthians 11:3 as well as other verses on God’s choice for the man to lead in the marriage. The women in the group decided that they must honor God in submission and within a year every one of their husbands quietly took over. The women realized that their husbands would have never demanded headship over their home.
That moment I realized that my dear husband would never just force me to do or not do. That is what left me in control not submissive. That’s why I felt so dissatisfied and discontent. I was running things and gave little heed to my husband. In effect, DH didn’t have to think much about taking initiative because I left no room for him to do so.
I know you ladies are all in different situations but some of you are like me. Maybe you just don’t see it – your desire for control to get to an impossible image is what leaves you alone and discontent. I praise God for helping DH and I both see our faults. Lack of appropriate leadership in the home can definitely cause tension in a marriage. However, with prayer and willing hearts to at least do your part to submit and honor God’s choice of head, I am confident you will also see a change in your heart and in your marriage.
Do you have trouble with submission? Why? If you don’t feel comfortable sharing in the comments please talk to me via email.