The First Five Years: My Husband Is The Head Of Our Home

Happy Valentine's week to all of you! I hope you all have plans to do something fun this week, no matter what stage of life you are in. LOVE is the strongest force in the world, whether it be between husband and wife, parent and child, or friend to friend. And let's not forget the One who loves us more than we can imagine. We have so much to be thankful for, so let's have fun celebrating this week!

I'm finally getting around to posting nugget #4 from the first five years of marriage. If you haven't read the other three, you can click the following links to catch up.

My Husband Is Not Our Provider

You Will Struggle, But You Will Survive

A Healthy Sex Life Is Vital To A Healthy Marriage

Today's topic was really hard to write about because there was SO MUCH CONVICTION being poured into me as I was writing this post. Seriously. This is a problem area for me, and if I had to guess, I would say that I'm not the only woman in the world who has struggled with this from time to time! Nonetheless, here we go!

Nugget #4: My husband is the head of our home.

{No pun intended.}

So... I can be a bit of a control freak. Anytime there was a "group project" in school, I always ended up doing a lot of the work so I could get it just right. At times it is hard for me to accept help or delegate responsibilities for fear that things won't be done just so. As a "natural leader" (so they say) it can be VERY hard for me to let go of the reigns at times in our marriage. 

In the beginning, it was easy to submit to Trice. In fact, one of my first big moments of submitting to my (almost) husband was right before our wedding when it was raining. We had to make the decision as to keep the wedding outside or inside, and Trice with his big faith said, "The rain will stop. It's going to be an outdoor wedding!" And sure enough, an hour before the ceremony, the rain stopped and we had a wonderful outdoor ceremony.

We then lived a relatively simple life, and I grew to love this man who had a childlike faith like I had never seen before. That is what attracted me to him in the first place. We didn't have any kids to make decisions regarding and we were just two lovebirds sitting in a tree, enjoying the simple married life. We were so connected and in sync that if Trice said to jump, I would jump. If he told me he didn't think a purchase was wise for our family, I trusted him. I happily submitted to my darling husband and it was AMAZING to see all that God did through my hubby's wild faith.

Then we had a son together and our unity intensified as we watched each other parent this incredible child with whom God had blessed us. I watched Trice flourish in his role as husband and father, and I trusted him even more. Life was still pretty easy, with our biggest decisions at the time being what to make for dinner or whether to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers for Emerson. Even through our season of buying our first house (which was crazy), I submitted to Trice and trusted his judgment. After turning down about 15 houses that Trice did not feel were right, God provided us with the perfect gem of a place. I'm so glad I submitted to my husband.

We then made the decision together to leave our sweet little house in Baton Rouge and move to the wonderful big ole' state of Texas. This decision was tough. But I was committed to cling to my husband and stay united with him as we embarked on this new adventure.

But somewhere between moving to Texas, Trice having several job changes, having a housing situation spiral downward, getting pregnant again, and my husband facing waves of discouragement... it started to get a little harder to let my husband lead. Like I said... I like things to go "juuust right." And unfortunately, when things are not going the way I think they should, I have a tendency to want to take the reigns. (Thank you God for your GRACE!) 

Ladies. Let me fill you in on a little something. When a woman tries to take the reigns from her husband, two things generally happen. First, a root of division is caused. Unity cannot exist where trust is lacking. Secondly, our men tend to shut down. Our men were born to lead us, and when they aren't given the opportunity to lead our families, it kills their self-esteem and confidence. And how can a one lead when they have no confidence or self-esteem?

The last year and a half or so has been a true battle of the will for me. I have had to learn to DIE TO SELF and have had to relearn how to submit to my husband.

So what happened? How did I go from submitting to my husband and letting him lead our family to wanting to micromanage his every decision and trying to take the reigns from him?

1. I Learned I had serious TRUST issues.

I had moved to a place of distrust with my Trice. With several of our decisions not turning out how we had envisioned them to turn out, I started to question my husband's ability to lead. I started questioning his judgment. I started blaming him for some of the hardships the Lord allowed us to go through (even though I helped him make the decisions in the first place!! It's not like he made a bunch of decisions without my knowing). And instead of offering him words of encouragement and bathing him in prayer, I tried to take the reigns from him, assuming I could do his job better than he could. 

But what was even worse is that God showed me that me not trusting my husband to lead is really me not trusting God to take care of our family. In reality, my focus shifted away from God and His ability to take care of us through the leadership of my husband, and instead it zoomed in on our situation and circumstances. Back in Genesis, God made it clear that the husband is to be the head of the home. So if I am constantly trying to micromanage my husband's leadership abilities, then I'm really telling God that His plan for our marriage is wrong.

The important thing to realize is that God doesn't make mistakes. There are no exceptions to His rules. And our God is never-changing. In fact, due to his immutability, it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to change, even the slightest bit.

Thus, THE STANDARD GOD SET FOR MARRIAGE IN GENESIS STILL APPLIES TO OUR MARRIAGES THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER.

Yes this is the year 2015. Yes Adam and Eve were around like 7000 years ago. But do you realize that thousands of years are like a blink of an eye to the Lord, the One who is not bound by time? When God positioned Adam as the head of Eve, that was also a picture for all of our marriages today.

So let me ask you: Do you trust God to take care of your family through the leadership of your husband? This has been such a sobering conviction for me, and I am thankful that with GOD'S GRACE I can fully trust Him to guide and lead my husband as my husband leads our family. This is God's design. Period.

2. I LEARNED I WAS HOLDING MY HUSBAND TO AN UNFAIR STANDARD.

God showed me that this is my husband's first go round at this. It's not like he has ever been a husband and led a family and grown a business before. It's not like he graduated as an Honor student in "Leading a Family 101" back in high school. In the same way that I feel insecurities in my mothering abilities, so Trice feels insecurities in his leadership abilities at times. And just like we as moms and wives have to learn from our mistakes, so our husbands are also going to have to make some mistakes and learn from them in order to be successful leaders of our families. Sometimes you just plain don't know if something will work unless you try it!

We have to remember that our men have the weight of the world on their shoulders. They have mouths to feed. They have jobs to excel in. They have their wives' emotional health to tend to - which we ALL know can get just a little crazy at times. Our men have to swallow their fears and take brave risks. And sometimes they fall on their faces. And the last thing they need are for us wives to stop trusting them to lead. We cannot expect our husbands to be "perfect" leaders because that is holding them to a standard that is only attainable by God.

What our husbands need are bold and courageous wives on their arms rooting for them every step of the way. What they need are wives who say, "I trust you no matter what. I trust your ability to lead. I believe in you." They need wives who encourage them when they fall flat on their faces. 

God - the redeemer of all things, the one who makes ALL things work to the good of those who love Him - is not afraid of mistakes. So we shouldn't be afraid of our husbands making mistakes either. In fact, so many of our decisions that caused so much turmoil for me in the beginning have turned out to be such a huge blessing for our family.

For example, 6 months after moving to Texas, Trice quit his job and started traveling. I remember thinking, "God what is going on?! Was this a mistake? If we were still in Louisiana I would at least have the help of my family while my hubby travels." But what I didn't realize at the time is that God did not move us to Texas for a job. God transplanted us to Texas so He could do a heart transplant in us and realign us with His will for our lives.

So don't take your eyes off of God's goodness and faithfulness. Don't hesitate to trust your husband and give him the opportunity to lead and learn from his mistakes. Don't fail to be the encouraging life-giving wife that God has called you to be. God is in control!

3. I LEARNED THAT MY HUSBAND LEADS DIFFERENTLY THAN ME.

As a woman whose top strength is Achiever, whose spiritual gifts include Teaching and Administration, and who has an ESFJ personality type {AKA "the provider" personality type}, it can be very easy for me to judge Trice's way of leadership. The truth is, Trice is not wired the same way as me. His view of leadership is different than mine. We bumped heads and struggled so badly to get along for a season, and at times I wondered if he was actually leading at all. Thankfully, we took a few different tests that spoke a lot into how God wired us as individuals. Taking these tests and seeing my husbands strengths and personality has brought a lot of freedom to our marriage.

No, Trice doesn't lead the way I would lead, but that doesn't change the fact that he is the head of the household.  And I praise God for this! I am a quick decision maker, and he lingers a little while before making a decision. No he is not being passive, but rather he is patiently and wisely weighing all the options, seeking the Lord and trying to make the decision carefully. There have been way too many times that my haste to make a decision has hurt our family. I thank God that in His infinite wisdom, He placed TRICE as the head of our household and not me. Trice was born to lead our family, and your husband was born to lead your family too!

If you are interested in taking any of the tests that we took, click the links below.

Clifton Strengths Finder - This one costs $9.99 but is SO worth it.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Spiritual Gifts Test

I pray that these tests (if you choose to take them) will open your eyes and bring clarity to your marriage as you start to understand why your spouse is the way he/she is.

So... do you struggle in this area? Do you at times doubt your husband's leadership abilities? Do you have a hard time trusting God to take care of your family? I'd love to hear from you and pray with you if this is an area in which you are struggling. This is still an area that I struggle in. It really is a daily choice to surrender to God and trust our husbands to lead. But remember, it is GOD'S DESIGN, and His design is perfect!

XOXO,

Sarah

PS: Choosing to let your husband lead does not mean that you keep your mouth shut and let him make all the decisions. Remember, God made you two into a team. Continue to speak words of life and truth to your husband, and give him your opinion, but let HIM be the one to lead the way.