In our first apartment when we were newlyweds, the kitchen was tiny. Scott loved to cook (then and now), and when I gave him the time and space, he created some amazing feasts...even back then on our tiny budget. But there were times, more often than not, when I wanted to 'help' him (read: make sure he didn't mess up) as he prepared a new dish. Without the space (literal and figurative) to work, frustration would build in that tiny kitchen, and we experienced how too many cooks can spoil the broth.
The surrendering journey can be like that, too. In Chapter 12 of The Surrendered Wife, author Laura Doyle speaks about crowding the setter in volleyball. My only brief acquaintance with the rules of volleyball was in high school phys ed, and rules weren't necessary for most picnic volleyball games. But the point is clear, when you crowd the setter, or get too many cooks in the kitchen, the results are undesirable and frustrating. In fact, you'll be cramping his space, undermining him and emasculating him.
Cramping His Space
If you've been on this journey of surrendering, you've likely stopped doing some things so your husband can do them fully. Things like leading and paying the bills. Just like having too many cooks in the kitchen, if you are in his space, he can't freely reach for the spices he needs...or pay the bills without feeling scrutiny from you for the way he's doing it. Give him the space and to do the things you've relinquished to him.
In that tiny kitchen, if I'm pulling out the spices *I* think should go into what he's cooking, and getting in the way of what he needs, I'm weakening the foundation of the stew he's got in mind. Let him build the foundation for his vision of leadership or bill paying, etc. Then support his vision. If you have a different perspective of doing these things, and you don't submit it to his vision, you'll have two visions...or di-vision. Division undermines. Come up under his vision fully, support him, and if/when he makes a mistake, encourage him as he looks for a new solution.
To emasculate means to make your husband feel weaker or lesser than he is. With respect being the means by which men hear love, emasculating him is so much easier, isn't it? As women, we likely don't even see how disrespectful going through a pile of bills to see what he's paid, wincing when he's said something to the kids you wouldn't have or following behind him to make sure he's completed a task can be. Be careful with the thoughts that you're better than he is with the task at hand. Your husband is the man for the job. When you treat him like the specialist God created him to be, he'll flourish. And good specialists know when to ask for help, too.
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. ~Booker T. Washington
Yes, your husband was perfectly and wonderfully created to walk out his role as man and husband, in God's own image. He can and will rise to the challenges in his path, learning lessons along the way...when you give him the space he needs to meet those challenges. You don't have to anticipate things going wrong...in fact, when you give him space to work, he may even create an amazing three course meal you've never dreamed was possible!
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: Control or Intimacy, Did You Marry a Loser?, Chauffeur or VIP, Shhhh!, Crazy Resentful, Your Heart's Desire, You Bought a What?!, Just Say Thank You, Girlfriends, Button Pusher.
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