Ladies’ retreats have been one of my favorite events to attend for years now. It it also one of my husband’s favorite events for me to attend. He loves it when I come home with a fresh look at my walk with Jesus, my life, and especially my role in our marriage.
Come this June, my husband and I will be married 36 years. Two of the things he loves about me is my sense of independence and my strong will. And two of the things that are a challenge for him are my sense of independence and my strong will. We might not have made it had I not gone to a particular women’s retreat back in 1988. There, I learned to take the pants off. Not my pants, the pants! (Ha! Got your attention!) I had to stop trying to wear ‘the pants in the family’.
I truly wanted to be a Godly wife and Patrick’s partner, but I wasn’t being that at all. I pushed to get my way or simply made family decisions without getting his input. Things had to change, I had to change. I spent many hours in prayer, asking for the strength to stop being so strong-willed and to love my husband enough to let him lead. Ephesians 5:21-24 says in regards to our relationship, ”Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” Patrick didn’t ask this of me, God did.
I believe God started teaching me the next time my husband and I needed to make a decision on something. We had our discussion but this time when we didn’t agree on how it should be done, I yielded and went with his choice. He was shocked at first and he loved it. This became my new way of relinquishing control. It was really hard for me at first because I was certain that my way was better! There were times I would have to bite my tongue to keep quiet and not say “I told you so!”, especially when he was wrong and it turned out to not be the best choice. We both learned and we both grew. If I had continued to be bossy and stubborn, trying to be in control, he would never have become the wonderful husband and Godly head of our family that he became and I would never have become his Godly wife and partner.
I wish I could say that through all these years that I’ve never again taken control, but that wouldn’t be the case. From time to time, I’ve slipped up but I’m much quicker these days at catching and fixing the problem.
Maybe it’s time for another ladies’ retreat? What about you?