Updated: Jun 25
As I mature and grow into my own person, my window into life becomes clearer every day. I am beginning to truly understand what the term "finding yourself" or "becoming yourself" really means! I want to direct this article to married couples, specifically the dutiful and decent and mostly good women who live by their vows of for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and, especially, till death do us part.
I know some very good and decent women who, because of their conditioning, married men who seemed good and decent. Like most of us, these ladies were drawn to these men for both good and bad reasons. We marry the ones that we have to somehow work out our traumas with. A recent conversation with my friends began with one of the ladies complaining that her husband is very self-centered and pretty much lives his life and makes decisions based on his own interests. He is basically a selfish man. I have always questioned my friends about the things they tell me and have always advised them to learn not to hate their husbands regardless of their impatience and thoughtlessness. I have always been an advocate of trying not to react to a situation, but in turn, speaking up with grace and standing up for yourself. However, I have begun to realize that when a woman is a gracious and dutiful wife, she can also spoil an undeserving man to the point that he becomes a complete bitch and an entitled one at that!
I have always looked for the good in every man I meet, even finding good in my friends’ husbands. But there has to be an awakening in a good woman so that she can see that she is part of her husband’s problem. Her decent and dutiful qualities have not been a humbling experience for her husband, but on the contrary, they have empowered the bad side of this man, turning him into either a mama’s boy who stands back and allows her to do everything or an angry and abusive man-child who never lightens up. True grace coming from another person should be a humbling experience. Grace sets other souls free to be gracious, but a selfish and demanding attitude lacks the love that grows a beautiful partnership.
Most relationships are completely upside down, and the fault of most marital and parenting problems begins with the man. If the man of the family has not found his real self and deals with things in a reactive, impatient and self-serving way, then the whole family suffers. If a man knows that he needs nothing more than the love from his Heavenly Father, and can let go of his reactive life and his selfish needs, he frees up the entire family. I do understand that the man is pressured by the thought that he is the ultimate responsible leader of the family, and he is in a constant battle to be in charge, but what he does not understand is that true leadership is true grace, patience and faith.
I like to use the example of a goose with her goslings. I watched one day as a mother goose crossed the road with her 10 or so little goslings happily following her toward the pond in a perfect line, when all of a sudden, the father goose, with his over-protective nature, ran up behind them in a panic and tried to move them closer to the mom. The opposite happened; the goslings scattered wildly. The moral to this story is that even though it’s not often that nature makes mistakes, overreaction and overprotection resorted in a scattering of the family.
To conclude my article, true love exists when both husband and wife are willing not to react to one another. However, the man must to be the pillar of strength, built on a foundation of grace. Rigidness combined with a lack of self-observation is the killer of relationships with both wives and kids. Sensitivity in a man is also evidence that he does not know who he is yet. If you as the wife or the child can hurt the feelings of the husband and father, then he will be completely ineffective as a husband and father, and this is further evidence that his love is mostly selfish and not true love. When a man can stand in front of his wife and children and not be affected by the barrage of cruel words and tantrums while still seeing the good in his family, this is true grace, and his family will be instantly saved.
Husbands and fathers, unfortunately, this is the deal—you make a difference in your family’s life. You can so easily destroy your family if you are not willing to face yourself and rid yourself of feelings that everyone has to constantly consider. Leave sensitivities to women and children.
Wives and mothers, if you are one of these basically decent women who is serving a selfish man—your journey starts now. Learn how not to be a servant of their selfishness by being a truly gracious woman, by standing up with real love and not spoiling these guys, and in turn showing your husband and children what real grace is. If you are a woman who misuses this article in any way, it will backfire on you.
This is the moment for all of us to consider. I so much would love to see real men answer the call for real leadership, but this means giving up your old self and finding your true self!