Are you a button pusher? Is your husband? You know what I'm talking about, it's that 'thing' you two just can't talk about without it becoming the biggest issue in the house, just short of exploding into World War III. And it may be over something as simple as pork rinds, how your husband chews his food, or the route you take to church.
Resist the button pusher.
Little brings about button pushing like changing your thoughts, words and actions. As you take steps daily in your walk of surrendering as a wife, your husband (and people around you, really) may chafe at the changes in your life. As you've chosen to to give up managing the finances, offering unsolicited advice about your husband's stocks and socks, and being the GPS in your marriage, the fragrance of your home changes. You've prayed about these changes in yourself, you've thought long and hard about them, but to your husband, it's new and it may take time for him to settle into his God given role as leader and decision maker!
As Laura Doyle writes in chapter nine of The Surrendered Wife, "Surrendering will disrupt your husband's routines just as it does yours, and he may resist the changes..."Your 'AHA!' moment may not be his. In fact, he may even try to bait you back into your old behavior- asking questions or making comments to provoke you into sharing your thoughts about a decision he needs to make or taking back paying the bills. RESIST! Whether he knows it or not, deep inside, your husband is seeking your encouragement and blessings for his decision making. Some of those responses might look like:
- I'm so grateful you are taking care of that for our family.
- You are so good with making decisions like that.
- You know so much more about that than I do, I appreciate your leadership.
- I love the way you lead our family.
- Thank you for the way you provide for and protect our family.
- Whatever you think, honey.
- I trust your decision.
- I'll follow your lead.
- You are so sexy when you lead our family.
Leaving the bait, and choosing to encourage your husband instead, goes a long way, because, as Laura Doyle shares:
- Your husband already knows what to do.
- As long as you worry about his decisions for him, he knows he doesn't have to take the consequences into consideration.
Resisting the bait is tough because you may feel vulnerable and not in control. THAT'S OKAY. Trust God for your husband's judgement. Wait for the change. What happens when you trust God for your husband's judgement and decision making?
- Your husband will think for himself.
- Your husband will own his decision.
- Your husband will feel like a man.
- Your husband's confidence will be boosted.
- Your husband will feel the full weight of his decision.
Be the change in your marriage.
So what happens when when your husband pushes your buttons and doesn't get the intended response? The same thing that happens when you push any button and you don't get an immediate response. You push it repeatedly, then you try something different if you don't get the intended result. When you respond differently, showing him that pushing your buttons doesn't yield a response, he will stop pushing them. And as you walk out 1 Peter 3, returning encouragement and blessing for your husband's button pushing, we'll be praying he steps into the authority you've yielded to him.
In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. ~ 1 Peter 3:1-2
Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).
Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].
For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). ~ 1 Peter 3:8-10
I love how Laura Doyle wraps up this chapter- acknowledging that because YOU know the need and value of your surrender and your husband's leadership, YOU must be the one to seek to change first. Wait for the change. When you are different, everyone around you must change, too! Will you persevere, endure, and wait for it?
In case you've missed it, this post is part of a series following along with The Surrendered Wife. I'd strongly encourage you to pick up the book and read along! Catch up on the blog series now by reading:
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