Updated: Jun 30, 2020
As a young, millennial wife, I learned quickly that if I was going to be successful in my marriage, I was going to have to learn how to submit.
You know that quote, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
And I kinda learned it the hard way.
I grew up with a strong, independent black woman that didn't take no crap, especially when it came to men, i.e, my dad.
So my view of submission didn't come from the most healthiest of places.
Once I was in my marriage, I found myself taking the lead in many aspects: finances, children, spirituality, etc.
Now, don't get me wrong, he wasn't a total loss cause; there were just some gaps and pockets that I needed him to fill in regarding leadership.
I complained about his lack of leadership, or what I thought was a lack of leadership, especially when it came to our spirituality and finances .
So instead of allowing him to decide when, where, and how we pray or spend time with God, I would dictate.
My anxiousness caused him to take the backseat in our marriage because I was always the one to step up and make plans, on top of that, make sure that things happened.
Because that's just what women do.
As I began to seek God for his instruction and guidance on this matter, he showed me that I had to stop focusing on my husband, and focus on myself.
Now let me set the scene for you:
Every Sunday, we would go to church and the preacher would be talking real good and say something that applied to our lives, I would be the one nudging my husband and side eyeing him, or standing up in agreement, as in, "Do you hear this? You need to listen!"
But little did I know that God wanted me to take care of me first.
Before I could start pointing the finger at Ya'Seen and all of the things that he wasn't doing, God wanted me to examine myself.
So how do we get out of our own way and ultimately out of our husband's way and help them lead?
1. Watch Ya Mouth
We all know how women can use their mouths.
Not in that way. Stop being nasty.
We know that women know how to push those buttons.
Whenever we are frustrated or hurt, our mouths can turn into lethal weapons.
And we'll try to justify our words by saying that we are just trying to "motivate" him.
You know, tough love.
But, can I be honest?
Your current reality does not have to dictate your words.
You have the power of life in your tongue.
If you want him to start leading, then start decreeing and declaring over your man and watch it happen.
2. Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude
Before I started refocusing on myself, I was somewhat submissive.
I would keep my mouth shut, but my attitude and tone in my voice told on my heart.
My resentment and frustration oozed out of me when I looked at him or when my body tensed up when he tried to kiss me.
He could tell something was different, but I never really told him.
Again, I claimed to be somewhat submissive because I never expressed myself.
And besides, if I had opened my mouth while I had that nasty attitude, Ya'Seen probably would've hated me big time.
So, in the end, it was best for me to keep my mouth shut.
But, I had to have a heart change.
I had to purge myself of the expectations that I had for my husband.
And believe that he would become what God(not me) had called him to be.
3. Faith Without Works Is Dead
There was a time in my marriage where I was pulling more of the weight than what was required of me.
It drove me crazy.
I was having anxiety attacks because I just didn't understand why Ya'Seen wasn't being responsible.
So in turn, I felt it necessary for me to pick up the slack.
However, this was not good for my physical and mental health.
I fought and fought with myself, with Ya'Seen, and God.
And eventually, a mentor of mine showed me that I wasn't helping, I was being an enabler.
How was Ya'Seen ever going to learn how to be a man and the man that God has called him to be if I am always there to pick up the pieces?
I had to get over myself and realize that, yes, I may be embarrassed, but at the end of the day, I will be less stressed, and my husband will step up to the plate like he should.
So I stopped being Captain Save-A-Husband.
There were times when I was embarrassed and disappointed, but thank God they were private.
After I stopped being an enabler, you know what happened?
Ya'Seen stepped up.
When he realized that I couldn't and wouldn't be there to pick up the pieces, it forced him to be more responsible.
I was afraid of letting go.
I wanted to have a strong man, but still wanted to be in control.
You can't have both.
If I wanted him to provide, I had to give him room to provide.
If I wanted him to be responsible, then I had to give him room to be responsible.
And by doing this, we went through struggles, hardships, and adjustments, until he realized what part he played and how it affected his family.
It's all about God doing the work in our husbands, not us.
Take joy in knowing that when you step back and focus on yourself, then that's when he will step up just like you've always wanted.
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