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About three or four years into my marriage I received a piece of vital marital advice by a seasoned veteran at being a wife. Joan was a strong Christian woman who made it easy to see that she was married to her very best friend for what was about 40 years at the time.
As a young wife I was struggling with the things my husband did that bothered me. The things I couldn’t understand that he didn’t understand about me, and the way I felt it was my “right” to tell him everything I thought he was doing wrong. I had a hard time not voicing my opinion on every little thing, and I thought my husband was the one who should be making me happy. I have since come to realize that I am the only one responsible for creating my own happiness, but that is another post altogether.
This amazing, seasoned, and timeless piece of advice was this:
“Stop trying to be the Holy Spirit to your husband, you are only his wife. Take your concerns to God, and let Him be the Holy Spirit where your husband is concerned.”
Wow, that resonated with me. It still resonates with me, I can still hear Joan’s voice that day while standing in her living room.
How often does it come naturally for us wives to just start yapping and nagging about everything that pops into our minds, and everything that we assume is a problem with our husbands when these things are a problem with us more often than not? How often do we speak before we even think where our husbands are concerned? How often do we think we are the ones who are here to convict our husbands, especially because “if we don’t do it, no one else will.”
An even deeper avenue to this idea is that as long as we are being the Holy Spirit to our husbands, we are standing in the way of the real Holy Spirit doing the work that needs to be done. We have to actually get out of the way so the Holy Spirit can speak to our husbands, and from every experience I have ever had, the Holy Spirit can handle these matters so much better than I can.
So what does all this mean? How do I do this? I pause. That’s it. When I feel like opening my mouth to correct, to convict, or to condemn, I pause instead. I don’t speak. Period, even if that means I need to leave the room, or leave the house to avoid speaking.
Then, I take my concern to God. He can handle whatever it is, even if that means that the work to be done is on me rather than on my husband.
I have never regretted keeping my yap shut in this area. Quite often, the very issue that I wanted “handled” gets handled in a very obvious way, and in a much better way than I had been entertaining handling it. So many times I have been validated in handling things this way rather than in my own way. As of this writing I have been married just seven months shy of 20 years, and I am still putting this into practice on a regular basis. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit comes through, but only if He can get through without us standing in the way.