Nagging Spouse

"I was sure that if I did not tell my husband what to do and how to do it, we would all surely die. I became a nagging wife."

When my friend, Jill, shared that with me, I asked her if we could share part of her story here. That's an awesome part of what we do...we get to see Jesus rescue us from ourselves as we journey with Him, transforming our minds!


Phil and I first met in college twenty-two years ago. It would be safe to say that one of the things that caught his eye about me was that I was a go getter. If I wanted it, I was not afraid to set a goal, work hard and achieve it. One of the things that caught my eye about him was that he was not intimidated by me. He let me be me. He loved and supported me. I was spoiled rotten by him from day one. We were polar opposites, but it somehow worked.

We were Phil and Jill, and there was not anything that we could not do together. As the story goes before too long we fell in love and got married. It all was just picture perfect! But of course, let us remember that it was me in charge of painting that picture. Phil was still trying to finish his degree and working at the college when we first got married. Additionally, we were living on campus as resident directors for the college apartments. So at this time, I was the main provider for our family.

Before Phil could finish college, our first child came along. So now, I was not only the main bread winner, but I was a new mother. It was not long after our daughter was born that my controlling behavior increased. I told myself that it was all because I had to be the main provider and that when he finished college, he could take the wheel and be in charge.

In 1999 we were expecting our second child when tragedy hit. On September 14, 1999 our second daughter was stillborn. In the days that followed, I became a complete control freak.  I had to be in control of everyone and every situation around me. I was sure that if I did not tell my husband what to do and how to do it, we would all surely die.  Never again was I going to not be in control.

A nagging spouse is like...

It was about that time that our pastor preached a sermon about not being a nagging spouse.  God's Word tells us in Proverbs 27:15-16 from The Message: A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; you can’t turn it off, and you can’t get away from it. We lived in an old house where the windows had metal awnings.  Every time is would rain at night water would drip off the roof onto that metal awning by our bed, and I would have to get up in the middle of the night and go to the couch in the living room to escape the noise to sleep.

One night laying on that living room couch, the Lord first convicted me about my controlling behavior.  It was as if I heard a voice say to me that night, You can get up and go into another room to get away from that nagging noise.  But where can your husband go to get away from you telling him what to do all the time?" 

Of course, I had no answer to this question. It left me laying there staring at the ceiling and hearing that nagging drip even in the living room. I realized that if it were not for the love of Christ that Phil had in his heart that he would have taken a different course with our marriage a long time ago.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her... Ephesians 5:25-26 MSG

I wish that I could tell you that I have not had a controlling moment since that night, but that would be a lie.

But I have learned over the last almost twenty years that Phil is way better at handling and taking care of lots of things than I am...when I let him. That is the way the Lord designed marriage to work.

God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” ~Genesis 2:18

My husband is to be the leader of our home, and I am to be his helpmate. So if you are a young spouse like I was have a hard time letting go of the control, just remember that you don’t want God to convict you of being in the drip in your marriage.


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