I know couples who love each other, but end up divorced over this one issue. A man wants the vibrant woman he married, but in his anger and frustration he often destroys her.You don't need a maid, but you complain about the laundry. You don't want a servant, but you expect her to anticipate what you want. Which she tries to do,but you yell because she doesn't ever get it right. A man's words are like a staff. They can guide and encourage in the right direction...they can beat you into submission.
A woman's heart is a fragile vase. It can be filled with beauty and kindness or shattered with thoughtlessness. We are designed to be a helpmate to our husbands. God designed us to look after our families. We are strong and fierce in most everything. A woman's determination is a formidable thing. But God built in us a weakness. He purposely left a chink in our defenses. And that is our husbands. We have a vulnerability to our spouses' words and actions that can paralyse us. A woman who is confident in the work place, take charge with the church, active everywhere, can be so incapacitated by her husband at home, that deciding what to cook for supper is beyond her.
The words you speak and the actions you have towards your wife and kids are THE most important influence in their lives. People can live without newer cars and WII boxes but they will shrivel up and die without the encouragement of a godly man in their lives. But with all the pressures of life it is very easy to use our family as a scape goat for the frustrations we feel.
Her helplessness and indecision infuriates him. "How can a woman who everyone loves and respects be so dumb?" The conclusion that he often draws is that she acts this way around him because she doesn't like him. If she is so wonderful everywhere else and so broken at home she must not want to be at home with him. Which is COMPLETELY WRONG! She is confident everywhere else because she doesn't care as much what other people say, if they don't like it...oh well. But we love our husbands so much...we want to please our husbands so much...that we will sacrifice chunks of our personality to try to please. We won't do that for others. And so at a certain point, a woman doesn't know who she is anymore, around her husband. And she becomes a shell to others.
God built this defect into us. We are so dependant on the assurances of our spouse. We need to hear that we are loved no matter what. We need to know that your love is not based on our actions. Woman feel the need to be everything to everyone all the time. We have this 'to do' list in our heads of all the people who need something from us. If you just love her, you are her hero, and the refuge she seeks to get away.
However, if you get in your wife's face and demand 'your' time, then you add yourself to the list of people who need something. You become part of the list and she has to look elsewhere for a hero. Someone to listen and be her comfort.
God designed the family. He is the the covering over the whole family. God provides for the family according to the positions that Dad takes. Dad goes to God for wisdom and confidence. Dad stands before God accountable for his family. Dad is the intercessor for the fam. Mom is accountable to Dad. Mom relies on Dad for acceptance and love. The kids rely on Mom. Obviously, all the members are loving and interconnected, but there is still a chain of authority.
We need the husbands to step up. Men, get on your face before God. Be totally honest with Him. Vent all the anger about your circumstances, shout your frustrations, it's ok. God is big enough to deal with any issue your big enough to face.
- Look at yourself. Have you done things to wound your wife? Have you said things in anger that are mean and hurtful?
- Then take those actions and words before God. Lay them down and ask for forgiveness.
- Look at your wife. She is your crown. If she is tarnished and battered then it is your job to polish her until she shines. You polish your wife with the words of God.
- In faith, speak words of love over her, even if you don't always feel it. Speak words of encouragement. I'm not talking about foof. The word of God will never return void. Anything out of the bible, can be spoken as a prayer over your wife.
- In your car on the way to work, turn off the radio and pray for your wife. Pray that she would have the mind of Christ today. That she would be a fair judge over your kids today. That she would have a peace that passes all understanding. That she would have a sound mind and her body would be strong and healthy. Those are all promises that God has given us to people who trust Him.
- Then thank Him for the blessings in your life. Your children, your wife, a car that runs, a nose that isn't.
When God is the head over your marriage, and you and your spouse are below (picture a triangle) then each of you can rely on God for wisdom, vent your frustrations to Him, then go to your spouse with a clean heart and kind words. This gives you both a freedom, since God carries the burdens of the expectations. In a marriage without God, you either dump all the garbage on your spouse, expecting them to shovel through and come up with a smile, or you go outside your marriage to vent, either to your buddies or to an understanding chicky in the office or the net. Taking problems outside the marriage just invites trouble.
When you can learn to give God your frustration and wrath then let His word soothe you. You will go to your wife calmer and conflicts will be resolved SO much easier. You still get frustrated and angry, but when you can balance the eternal importance of a loving wife and balanced kids against a messy living room or a ruined shirt, life is so much better.