Wife Class 101: Pull Over, I’m Driving

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I am so glad you made it back for another Wife Class 101! These posts are intended to help you become the best wife to your husband. These are not finite rules, but principles that can help your marriage to flourish. There are some things you don’t understand about marriage until you are married. Many of these are based on requests, what we have learned during 10+ years of doing pre-marital counseling, and our own experiences. Often, these are topics I wish someone had told me. You can read previous classes here.

Early in our marriage, I would get so frustrated when Jeremy would drive in unfamiliar territory. One particular memory was driving around downtown Seattle. He didn’t have a clue where he was going, but he refused to ask for help. The more wrong turns he took, the more frustrated he got. The more frustrated he got, the more frustrated I became. How hard was it to just say he didn’t know where he was going and ask for help? Instead of being a patient wife, I blurted out, “Just pull over. I’m driving!” The irony is that I had no clue where we were or where I was going. But I did know which way was east and that would get us back on the freeway.

Just pull over. I’m driving!

What does this have to do with marriage? I’m glad you asked. Think of your marriage as a car. As wives, it is easy for us to become frustrated when our husbands don’t seem to have a clue where they are going. Maybe we know, maybe we don’t. God placed our husbands as the heads of our households. God placed them in the driver’s seat. It’s a big job! They are responsible for the direction our family goes on the roads of life. If they mess it up, they don’t have to answer to us (although we do a pretty good job of letting them have it!) but they get to answer to God for the decisions they made. Many times we think life would be easier if we were in control. We just want to kick them out of the driver’s seat and take over.

When we were first married, Jeremy was not great at leading our family. It’s ok, he will admit to this. I so badly wanted to take control, but the Holy Spirit kept whispering to me, “Let him try.” Believe me, God and I had MANY conversations about this! Not only did my husband have to learn to lead, but I had to learn to be led. I’m pretty headstrong and independent, so God had His work cut out with us!

Husbands don’t always get it right the first, second or even third time. Maybe some do, God bless your darling little heart. Sometimes our husbands make mistakes. How often do we get everything right on the first try? It is easy to give grace to ourselves yet be harsh on others. Maybe your husband needs to make a mistake in order to learn the right way to do it. Instead of waiting for our husbands to mess up, let’s be praying wives that are asking God to clearly show our husbands the way God wants them to go. This even applies if your husband is not a Christian. I met a lady who loved God with all her heart but her husband wanted nothing to do with Him. This lady chose to honor her husband and still let him lead his household. She never nagged him. She didn’t criticize him when he failed. She loved him, supported him, encouraged him, and PRAYED FOR HIM! She reminded him that she trusted him and believed he would make decisions that were best for their family.

Jeremy has come to me and said, “Babe, I’m sorry. I think I messed this one up. But I talked with God and I believe this is the direction we are to go.” Those words brought comfort and built my trust in him and our relationship. Sometimes I knew he was making a wrong turn. We would talk about the possible decisions (I’m a pro/con list maker) but I would tell him I trusted his judgment and I would let him make the final decision. Then I went back to God about it!

Wives, remember your husbands weren’t taught how to lead you when they were bachelors. Some may get it right away and others may need to learn along the way.This transformation doesn’t happen over night. Time is necessary. And, yes, you still get to have a say in your marriage and life. But if you want your husband to lead, you have to be led. When  you want to jerk the steering wheel away from him, stop, and just sit on your hands.

Be patient. Be loving. Be kind. Be gracious. Trust your husband. Trust God. Believe me, you will enjoy your marriage so much more when you allow your husband to be the husband. You will find a security, a calm, a peace that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

HOMEWORK: If this is an area you are struggling, over the next few days, take a step back and let your husband transform into the leader he wants to be. If this area is strong in your marriage, helps those wives that are struggling. We are all in this together. When marriages win, we all win!

Up next: We All Need Help Sometimes

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