I am a control freak. I come from a long line of control freaks on my paternal side of the family. My husband is a laid back sort of fellow. He comes from a long line of laid back sorts on his maternal side. You would think this is a good combo...a control freak tempered by someone who can roll with the punches, and a let's watch life happen kind of person pushed to action by a carpe diem sort. And it is a good combo...IF it is kept under control.
Usually, when there is tension between HBON and myself, it can be traced back to these personality traits. I run around making decisions left and right, leading our family down the path I think we should go, dealing with one crisis after another....and resenting that I am forced to be on front lines while HBON is sitting back watching the show. He is loving our children through the chaos my decisions can create, rolling with the punches, supporting my decisions....and resenting me for relegating him to a back seat. Did you notice that I start blaming him for my actions and he starts blaming me for his?
So, if we are smart, when this trend starts to develop, we STOP and identify that this ugly monster has reared its head once again. Notice, I said again. This is not a one and done kind of struggle. It is something we have dealt with many times in the past, and will present itself in the future I am sure. It sneaks up on us in different disguises and from different directions, but at its root it is the same problem.
Once we have been able to identify the problem, we PRAY for strength and patience to do what is right. Even though we have tackled this problem before, it is still a battle. Maybe our tactics have been refined over the years, but we still have to actively engage in the fight, and we absolutely know we need God to give us strength for that fight to be won.
We go back and STUDY this scripture : Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church : and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That He might present in to Himself a glorious church, not having pot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no an ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
And then we try and DO it. I try to back off and leave him room to make a decision...even if it is not as quickly as I want. Respect and trust are shown each time I back off and allow him to fulfill his role as head of our household. He tries to step up and lead, even if it is extremely uncomfortable for him to be out in front. When he does, he loves and cherishes me in a way that nurtures my soul. I can help him in his roll, he can help me in mine; but we each have to perform our tasks and let the other perform theirs. And things get better...EVERY TIME.
Our natural tendencies and strengths turn into weaknesses in our marriage if we don't channel them properly. Just because a particular behavior is natural does not mean that it is profitable. I have heard women say "I wear the pants in our family" and I cringe every time I hear that. "There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end therof are the ways of death." They may think it works for them, but I know that if they would back off and give their husband room to lead, the home would work smoother. Of course, the husband has to step up, overcome his tendency to just roll with it, and lead. If he will, the home will run smoother, love and respect between spouses will grow, and God will be served.
I would encourage each of us to stop and think about our role in our marriage. Are we about our work? Are we helping our spouse to be about their work? Are we falling into bad habits that burden our beloved? Are we doing things God's way?
I hope to spend a few days focusing on what it means for a man to be the head of the wife, and the wife to reverence her husband. I know there will be some who will read this series and will feel their hackles rise. I ask those people to give me a chance to fully explain my views on this before you give up on the topic, please. If you are a person who thinks the idea of the man being the head of the household and the woman being submissive to him is antiquated or demeaning, I would encourage you to study the scripture along with me with an open heart and mind, and see what God's way is. Don't take my word for it. Go to the Bible, find what scripture says, and then just give it a try. You might be surprised.