To be or not to be…
We all have our ideas of what our spouse is supposed to be like. As women, we have a whole scenario in our minds before we ever meet our husbands.
- his looks
- his physique
- his spiritual life
- his doting on us
- his romantic side
Then when we find someone we fall in love with, we have to come to terms with whether we’ve truly fallen in love with the man we want to marry or whether it was just in love with the ideal in our heads. Hopefully we get this question settled long before we make our vows, otherwise we are in for a long and disappointing marriage.
But we are not alone! Our husbands have their list of Perfect Wife in their minds before we meet as well. Now I cannot speak to husbands to help them surrender their image of the ideal wife, but I can talk to wives who struggle with constantly disappointing their husbands. The question is: Are we supposed to change to become who our husbands want us to be? Is this what God calls us to in submission?
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Ps 139:13-16
God had a unique and divine plan for you life. Specific to YOU.
- He created your looks and your personality.
- He planned for your talents and special skills.
- He even prepared spiritual gifts to make you essential to the body of Christ.
God’s design for you was planned before the foundations of the world! He expressed Himself through you as uniquely as through a snowflake: there is no one else quite like you in design. You are His masterpiece of YOU.
Please know that I understand that this YOU is created as part of our fallen world, and this perfect design is corrupted because of the fall. Your unregenerate self is sinful, fallen, broken, unworthy to stand before the Living and Perfect God.
But in stepped Jesus and changed all of that!!
Jesus redeemed you, He purchased you back, He allowed you to die and be raised up into newness of life. You are now born again to a living hope, as alive to God.
Throughout all of this scenario, does God need help to perfect you?
A number of years ago my husband found himself very irritated with me on a regular basis. He couldn’t quite figure out why until the Lord showed him. He was irritated because I was not HIM. I thought differently, spoke differently, acted differently, responded differently. In short, I was different. But the Lord showed him that He didn’t give Kevin a carbon copy of himself, He gave Kevin a complement to himself!
It was eye-opening to him that God’s choice for a mate, and the unique (albeit odd) personality I had was actually what Kevin needed. He didn’t need the fantasy woman in his head!
Now, of course, there is give-and-take in every marriage. I defer to Kevin’s desires and he defers to mine (usually depending on which of us has the greatest concern). We need to be honest and willing to meet the other’s needs. If either one of us puts ourselves above the other, it won’t work. Humility and sacrifice must be at the heart of our marriage, with surrender to the Lord as the hub around which all the spokes our personalities revolve.
But this all comes back to the understanding that we dishonor the Lord when we begin to be conformed, not to the image of Jesus, but to the image of who our husbands want us to be. When we deny our own personality, gifts, strengths, desires, concerns, vision – in short, we deny God’s design of us!
Do you feel you are hiding yourself from your husband?
… but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another… 1 John 1:7a
The only way we can have true fellowship in Jesus with our husbands is to reveal our TRUE selves to them.
- no more pretending
- no more hiding
- no more appeasing
We are a design from God. When we begin to walk in the reality of who we are, we begin to honor God. And we begin to be the woman our husband NEEDS, regardless of what he wants. This is where we need to trust who God created us to be!
We may find ourselves having lots of discussions. We need to begin to honestly share that we have been acting like someone else. We need to work through the ways we’ve been acting a part. This is not going to be easy, and we may find that talking these things through together with a counselor helps us work through this.
But it is imperative to understand that we are not doing a service to our husbands by letting them control who we are supposed to be. Only God is to have that control in our lives. Anything else is idolatry. We are called to walk side-by-side in honor and respect with our husbands. Being a helpmate doesn’t mean being their fantasy. Being a helpmate means being the best that God has designed us to be!
Are there ways you are hiding from your husband who you are to try and make him happy? How is God calling you to walk in the fulness of His creation of you?