Two marriage friendly ways for wives to stop controlling their husbands
Does your hairdresser ever give you advice as you talk through a situation with her? Or maybe she asks for your ideas or thoughts on an issue? Mine does both. She’s a skilled listener and a curious person.
A couple of years ago she asked me if I knew the Bible tells us women are going to be a controlling nuisance to our husbands.
16 Then he said to the woman,
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain, you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
Ever since that time I’ve wondered if or how we can find at least two marriage friendly ways for wives to stop controlling their husbands. We certainly don’t have to learn every lesson with our mistakes. So let me share some of my own!
You can be reactive or proactive – Which Are You?
We all have negative situations that arise in our lives – it’s inevitable. It’s how we handle those situations that will reveal quite a bit about who we are. Have you ever stopped to take an in-depth look at the way you respond to these types of situations in your life? Many of us don’t even realize little things like how many times a day you might complain about things around you or how often you say something harmful or hurtful to others. Maybe like me, that’s you with your husband at times.
Are you a reactive person? Meaning, do you give a reverse or opposing action to something that happens. Are you getting in the way of progress?
Or maybe you are proactive in your approach. You act in advance to deal with any expected difficulty you anticipate and are ready to deal with it.
For certain I act in both ways although I am working to be more and more proactive.
Let’s look at some definitions and examples that will help you decide which type of personality you have and which type you want to be. Instead of reacting to a situation and possibly causing conflict, hurt or pain we can avoid issues before they occur in your life.
A reactive person is an individual that expends a lot of unnecessary energy on situations. That energy could be better used to build yourself and others up rather than being negative.
Even my years in AA for families and counseling didn’t solve all my reactive issues around alcohol. Often the smell of alcohol on my husband’s breath triggers me. It only worsens the situation if I ask, more in a sarcastic way, “How much DID you drink with your buddies?”
This type of “knee-jerk” reaction only hinders us, and others around us. Usually, when we react to situations this way, it ends up being the wrong response. It’s a decision emotionally based and not grounded in truth. In short, reactive living is a waste of time, energy and our abilities God gave us.
Someone who lives proactively is the opposite of the reactive person. A proactive living is helpful in many ways for not only the person living that way but those around them as well.
This kind of life can be easier with some situations or activities than other. For example, my husband is diabetic. Given I am the primary cook in the family and am the one who shops for groceries, what I buy and cook is easy. It also minimizes any reactive behavior should I get asked to cook only something with a high glycemic index. Fortunately, I’m married who a man who rarely asks, “What’s for dinner?” I take this as a cue to proactively make more healthy food choice decisions, by foods I purchase.
By acknowledgment there are situations and times we do act proactively, we can look for more conflict opportunities to grow in this way.
Benefits of Being Proactive
The first benefit of being proactive is you will be a lot more level headed and calm in your emotions. When your emotions are out of hand, it is hard to be calm in the middle of a storm and trust that God is with us helping us make it through. We need this positive attitude so we can hold on to the unshakeable fact that God will never leave us or forsake us in any way as His Word promises. God is faithful. His promises are true.
Second, having a proactive attitude helps us to think before we speak. While this is my go-to introvert nature, some emotions override things. Being proactive allows us to be a genuinely caring individual who seeks to see the situation for what it is. This type of personality will take into consideration the needs of other people involved, how the situation can affect the future for yourself and others and how to deal with things in the correct way that will give the best possible outcome for the good of all.
God has a call on each person. He creates avenues and doors just for you to walk through to help in the completion of His work. Being proactive takes a complete shift in our thinking. It means we live intentional with each decision we make, to make that decision. Being proactive is a primary key in the life of a woman who is seeking out an authentic life in Christ.
What would be some practical ideas how to navigate our reactive and proactive sides?
In being reactive, we can let our emotions rule us, instead of exercising self-control. This behavior can happen to me, what about you? Prayer is commonly defined as asking something of God. Lacking in some self-control, I start my day in prayer that I traits of the Holy Spirit will fill and ripen, not rot my life.
So from Galatians 2:22-23
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Fill me with these fruits of the Holy Spirit Lord!
On some days we can also apply self-control to praying continuously. This habit isn’t ingrained in me yet although, I did one practice it for 30 days straight. It’s using mindfulness in a prayerful way to make it a habit. For me, it was a slight shift in applying mindfulness to making “this moment” just at it is into a moment of prayer.
Continuously praying is more about the feeling of the heart then the beating of the minutes of the clock or getting on our knees.
Maybe you want to build your prayer habit? The app Prayer Prompter could be for you, with it being easy to access and use on something you already do daily: use your cell phone.
Over the past few years, family situations seemed near impossible to heal and positively resolve themselves.
Initially, I went into reactive mode. Fear, worry, anxiousness – I bet you know the routine?
On the first, heart and soul-wrenching situation, I started listening to and then memorizing the easy words to, “I Surrender All” a Christian hymn. As I would listen, I would visualize the situations facing us being looked after and worked on by God. Judson W. Van DeVenter, an American art teacher, and musician wrote and published the words in 1896. Some things never age. You’ll realize this as you hear Deniece Williams, popular singer-songwriter, sing her rendition.
Moving Ahead Step by Step
When you draw closer to God, he draws you closer to him. One by one God worked out each of these situations. I felt peace and joy re-enter my days. No one was ever harmed. It was miracle after miracle.
Because each episode seemed to have an indefinite timeline, proactive appeared to be a better strategy.
6 Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For years I tried various proactive actions to let go of my control. From medication, to meditation, to counseling. I just could never let go of all my controlling of my husband’s ways that would trigger me.
Finally, in the last few years I realize, surrender!
Now, with my go-to proactive strategies, peace can be mine in anything that causes me to worry or be anxious.
I challenge you to take the time to examine how you respond to various situations that occur throughout your day. When you do, you will discover whether you are a reactive person or a proactive one.
Once we recognize what type of person you are (reactive or proactive) we can then determine changes need to happen in how we handle a bad situation when it arises. And maybe, some actions that work for me will work for you to let go of that control of your husband too.