Enabling your husband. And what I mean by that is freeing him up. Making things easier for him. Allowing him to go out and do what he needs to do for me and for our future family.
A few years back, when my husband and I first started our business, I had heard my mentor discuss this at a women’s conference. Since then, it has made all the difference in our marriage, our business, and our goals and dreams.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
You’ve heard it before. Saw it in a movie. Maybe you’ve even been the one to say it…”Why are you late?” and “You have another appointment?!”
The same woman who questions her husband in this way, also will be heard saying things like, “Why don’t you have more clients?”, “Why haven’t you gotten a promotion?”, “We need more money!” She’ll be caught in tears and fear over their finances. Over items the children need. Over a vacation she’d like to take.
For me personally, I realized that I needed to make up my mind. Did I want to better our life or did I want to stay comfortable? Did I want him to go out and win for us or to stay the same forever?
What would change in our husband’s hearts if we started to say things like, “Go! Go do what you need to do for us. Go grow. Go make things happen. Go link up with our team. Go do another appointment. Go!” Instead of, “Stop. Don’t leave. Why can’t you just stay home tonight?”
“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
Disclaimer (and slight soap box moment): I do NOT condone wasting your life at your job. I’m talking about a husband and wife who are working on dreams, goals, and their calling in life. Missions, adoption, starting a business, running a church, etc. In some cases those line up, but in many cases your J.O.B. is not your “calling.” In fact, often, it is focus on or belief in a job that stops us from identifying and pursuing our calling.
But, I’ve witnessed too many men trying to better their family and too many women undermining their every effort. Our men need to know we support them 100%, we believe in them, we trust them. They need this even when we don’t “feel” like showing support, even when we are doubtful or afraid.
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Genesis 2:18
My mentor taught me to ask questions like, “What do you need for me to do for you today?” It was like a touch of magic in our relationship. In the book Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, Stasi Eldredge talks about the fact that the word used in the Bible for Eve is “helpmate.” I’m called to be his helpmate, so I shouldn’t be hindering him.
Another thing I’ve found that we work best when I stay in the box he’s in until he’s in the next box. This takes patience. What I mean by that is, I don’t try to talk about our plans for Christmas when he’s still decompressing from a long business appointment. If he’s in “business/driver” box and I’m in “relax/family” box, the conversation never ends well.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
My mentor taught me that enabling him to go do what he needs to do for us also means being humble enough to communicate with him in a way that adds value to him. This took a whole lot of try, fail, and adjust. I had to first identify what builds him up versus what tears him down, and then filter my words and tone through that.
I started to respond positively and encouragingly to every idea, action, event, and thought that he told me about or ran by me, no matter how I felt inside in that moment. And it changed everything. I asked things like, “What’s on your calendar today so I know how I can help?”; rather than putting things on his calendar and then dumping it all on him.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12
It allowed him to go do what he needed to do for us, and be what he needs to be for us. This frees him up which builds his confidence and ultimately leads to more success in our lives and peace in our home.
God calls men to love their wives, and women to respect their husbands. That’s what men and women desire in their heart of hearts. That’s what makes us tick. The book Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs has helped my husband and I so much with this. That’s when the battles stop and there’s peace in the home. It’s like…magic!
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
I work on this daily, and I have by no means “arrived”, but it does make all the difference in our relationship so that we can go out and accomplish our goals in unity. We can’t be unified in our mission if I’m constantly questioning and doubting him, or letting him know all about how I “feel”. After all, contrary to popular belief, the word “submit” does not mean “do what you’re told”. It actually means “under one mission!”
So, ladies, enable him, allow him, help him – the way God designed the relationship to be – then you can be unified and free in your mission that God has called you to as husband and wife!
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9
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