I might be one of your strangest readers LOL… I don’t necessarily have much of a religious background, but I FULLY believe in your views on marriage and our role as wives. The problem is… even though I believe in it… my marriage is far from it.
My husband is a great man, loving, honest, hard working and kind… all of which are the reasons I married him. However… he isn’t the most knowledgeable in a lot of areas such as finances, business, or even handyman skills… so I end up taking on the role of all of these. I of course have the time to do so because he has blessed me with the opportunity to stay home with our toddler… but because I am in charge of these things I feel as though our roles as husband and wife have been dramatically reversed and I hate it.
I’ve read your blog posts about submission and I understand it and believe in it but in our case if I submitted to my husband and let him make decisions regarding our finances, business having to do with our lives, etc… our lives would fall apart. You see… when I was six years old my father died suddenly in a tragic accident. I had three other siblings and my mother who was a stay-at-home mom went straight to working 50+ hours a week to take care of us and never remarried. From a very young age I was helping her pay our bills (not by working but by physically writing out checks for her and delivering them to where they needed to go), I heard and watched her make decisions for us and our lives, and she taught me EVERYTHING I know about life both from her positive and negative experiences.
My husband on the other hand doesn’t have day to day decision making skills. I always have to correct him and recently I’m beginning to resent him for this… I feel as though instead of having a husband that I can submit to, I have yet another child whose mistakes I have to correct or prevent. The times that it really gets to me is when there is something I DON’T know about and neither does he… then we’re left not being able to make a smart decision about something important and my resentment builds towards my husband because he doesn’t know how to do those things (i.e., our taxes, buy a car, etc)… things I believe a man needs to know.
Over time my reactions and responses towards my husband have beaten him down… Of course this was not my intention and I ache for my husband to take charge and be in control of our lives instead of me. I just don’t know where to go from here or how to recreate our roles as husband and wife as they should be. I know it is my fault and I know I’ve weakened my husband and I am ashamed of that… but I am ready to correct it but I just don’t know how to do it and have it be good for both of us. Like I said… I could just start letting my husband do everything but if I did we’d be in a lot of trouble.
Any advice you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.
Desperately Wanting to Submit
Dear Desperately Wanting to Submit,
I think that the topic of submission is often confused with the traditional ideas we hold of both men and women. We tend to see women in the kitchen and men working out in the garage. We see men planting a field while the woman is at home doing laundry. This is a beautiful picture when it works well for a husband and wife, but in many cases they see a benefit in changing things up. I know of several incredible women who are submissive to their husbands and yet the husband is the cook in the family. He loves cooking, the wife is freed up to do other chores, and the family is well fed. It works for them.
I look at the Proverbs 31 woman. We’re told that, “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” That’s incredible! This woman is out planting a field–not a small backyard garden with a few cucumbers to pickle–she planted a vineyard! If you look at the verse closely, you’ll also see that she “considered” the field, which tells me that she was probably gifted in the same area of business and planning as you are.
I’ve also seen women caring for sick husbands that they’ve literally had to carry to bed. That doesn’t coincide with our traditional ideas of men and women, instead what we see here is pure love in action.
Submitting is the act of yielding your power for the good of another. It has little to do with who is paying the bills and who is cooking the soup. The question is are you going against his will to have your own way?
If he is comfortable with you paying the bills and you’re doing an awesome job, then why change it?
My only concern is that you are afraid to let your husband make decisions because you’re concerned that it might end in disaster. The truth is that it might, but if you’re aching for him to take charge and be in control of your lives it’s a risk that you’ll have to take more than once.
A lot of men (and of course women) don’t have the skills necessary to make good financial decisions. Neither my husband or I did when we first got married, but we learned from our mistakes which prepared us for future decisions.
If you shield him time and again, he won’t grow. We learn from our mistakes; and we only learn to handle responsibility when it’s given to us. If you rob him of that you’re taking away an opportunity for him to grow into the leader you want him to be. Be ready and willing to give him support, but respect him enough to allow him to choose.
You are loved by an almighty God,
Check out my book, The Good Wife’s Guide