Sunday, February 2

Why I cannot be everything my husband needs:

When Sean and I first began dating and then married, I thought I could be everything he needed.  Sure, maybe I had things to learn, a lot to learn actually, but once I had a hat full of knowledge on wife-ing, we'd be good to go, right?

And so I learned what he liked.  Some books call it becoming a student of your husband.  For instance, I have never once made tuna casserole which he despises, or for many years any sort of casserole as he said he hated them. I made sure there was the right creamer for his coffee, bought the ice cream flavor he liked, deferred to his movie choices, etc. Some might see me as a doormat, I simply like to think it's just being nice.

I recalled the dripping faucet verse in Proverbs and have picked up his socks for fifteen years without complaint. I've read the Power of the Praying and have enjoyed praying for him consistently for almost twenty years now.  When money was short and the years the business struggled, I hugged him and told him it was okay, that we'd be okay and got creative.  I am his cheerleader, confidant, support, mother of his children, prayer warrior, lover.

Yet, fifteen years in to our marriage I've realized that I cannot be everything my husband needs.  I've realized, or am realizing, that this fact has nothing to do with how hard I try or anything at all to do with me.  It is not dependent on the quality of the meals I cook or the way I keep our home. Let me be clear that the Proverbs 31 woman is not my Jesus and Proverbs 31 is not the gospel. I often see her and it made bigger than the gospel in some circles of women.  I don't know about you, but every morning when I wake up I think how much I need Jesus and to be like Jesus, not the Proverbs 31 woman.

I cannot be everything Sean needs, or fill perfectly all the roles he needs filled because I am not Jesus.  My spouse needs Jesus. This fifteen years in coming revelation came while I was praying, so do pray for your spouses, and pray over your own hearts too.  No, I never married Sean intending to boot Christ out of His place but I did intend to be everything and fix everything and really, only Christ can do that.  A wife who intends to do and be everything will live with self-loathing and disappointment.  Ask me how I know.

Does this mean we throw up our hands and don't try to be wives that glorify God within our marriages?  No way.  I still pick up socks and just bypassed the chocolate ice cream for Haagen Dasz limoncello.  It's okay.  Both are sweet and go straight to my belly.  I think the balance comes in realizing that we, as wives, can be the hands and feet of Jesus to our husbands and that is as far as we need to stretch ourselves.  This may look different for you than it does for me because our marriages and spouses are different.  It is something wonderful to think about and marinate in prayer.


Miss Paige said...

Thank you, for bringing up the truth that all of us, husbands and wives, need Jesus. Only in the last year and a half of our Bible study group (dealing with topics surrounding grace) have I come to appreciate that, as beautiful and "perfect" a picture as the description of a virtuous wife in Proverbs 31 is, it is still focused on doing, doing, doing. And even while I do believe we are meant to assume that she is virtuous in heart, still the emphasis on her works is what (I believe) rules the majority of Godly women in the Church. In the New Testament, we see Martha striving to be that Proverbs 31 woman, and being told gently by Jesus, that her sister has chosen the better thing in leaving her dishpan and broom aside while Jesus speaks.

Julian said...

I agree. Thankyou for sharing this. I appreciate your heart and admire you. Ive been married ten years and it seems like I am always learning. I too am a doEr. Ruth Graham had a quote I found on pinterest about marriage. Yes to have His heart. And that doesnt always mean doing.
Blessings, christina

Momma Bug said...


Smiling at every piece because it sounds like something I could have written! Jesus. Everything.
Thank you thank you for gripping this truth and sharing it again.

On a side note, I have a casserole loathing husband myself. There'a lot of joshing and eye-rolling that goes on in this house concerning casseroles :-D
Thankfully, his taste-buds (while extremely discriminating) lean toward chocolate too, so life is pretty good - even if we're eating it while watching action movies ;-)

Hugs friend!


mira said...

this is just what I needed to read and ruminate on this week. thanks.

mira said...

this is just what I needed to hear and ruminate on this week. thanks.