When I hear someone say, “So I should let my wife do whatever she wants?” I think, Let her? Show me a marriage where the guy “lets his wife,” and I’ll show you one where the wife has her bags packed—psychologically, if not physically.
Real men are in control, right? Not right. I confess . . . while I would have vehemently denied it, for years I tried to control my wife. I had expectations. But when I stopped expecting, coaching, counseling, criticizing, questioning, and trying to control, our marriage improved.
Being in control implies that one has authority. A lot of Christian men love the idea of having authority over their wives. They hang on the first seven words of Ephesians 5:22: “Wives should submit to their husbands in everything” without paying attention to Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
No person can control another person, not really. And when I look at Jesus, I see the most powerful leader ever choosing to live as a gentle servant. He could have exerted control if He’d wanted to, but He chose to lead through influence.
As men, our identity comes from being an adopted son of God. If your identity is tied to being a “real man,” e.g., the husband in control of his wife, that’s a false identity, and it doesn’t look anything like Jesus.
Encourage your wife . . . meaning “give her courage.” Instead of more “wives should submit to their husbands” we need more “husbands, love your wives.”
Question: What will you do this week to encourage your wife?