Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Don't Nag! (Or Do I?)

             I used to be a nagging wife. I was always getting on to my husband for something. Either he had forgotten to put his socks in the hamper, again, or he had left a mess for me to clean up. I would ask and ask, nag and nag for him to do something, and rarely did he ever do it. It was not until after I gave my life to Jesus Christ that I realized my nagging only did one thing, it divided us and caused us to argue and get into some pretty heavy duty fights. My nagging days are over, or so I thought.
                Recently, the Lord has been working on my heart in regards to our marriage, and my attitude towards my husband. I thought I was not nagging at him, but the Lord has shown me that we wives can nag in more ways than one, and all our nagging does is bring our husbands down. The definition of a nag is someone who “annoys by persistent fault finding, complaints or demands”. Even though I do not nag at him to pick up his socks and clean up after himself, I still find fault with him, and complain not only to him but to others about him. My constant complaints, demands and fault finding will hinder not only his walk and spiritual growth, but mine as well.
                “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 21:9
                Our husbands are who they are, where they are, and we have to learn to love them through it, and not seek to find fault in all that they do. We so many times we focus on who they are not, rather than focusing on who they are. Jesus never went up to someone and told them what He needed from them, what He felt they needed to be, He loved them right where they were and through His grace they began to grow. The bible tells us that we are to love one another; we are to not point out the “speck in our brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3). But instead of working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, we point out the speck in our husband’s eyes and find fault instead of choosing to love him, right where he is.
                I hear many women tell me that they desire their husbands to step up and be the spiritual leader of their homes. This is very good, and we should all seek that for our families. But instead of stepping out of the way and allowing them to lead us from right where they are, we start telling them (nagging them) to be the leader we think they should be. Perhaps the spiritual leader you feel you need is not the spiritual leader God intends him to be? Ever thought of that?
                The Lord has shown me how I may not nag anymore in the day to day things; but I do still nag at him over spiritual things. All this does is drive my husband to dwell in a corner of our house, hiding from me, keeping his own feelings hidden so as not to cause any troubles. Instead of letting my husband be who God desires him to be, I try to mold him and shape him into the man I think he needs to be. But perhaps that is not who God wants him to be? Perhaps your perception of who your husband needs to be goes against what God is currently working out in his heart? These are questions I believe the Lord wants us to seek and to ask, and accept.
                A contentious wife is a woman who causes strife, she has a tendency to find a controversy in everything her husband does or does not do. She looks upon her husband and sees all that he is not, instead of focusing on all that he is. Jesus never looks at us that way, so why do we look at our husbands so? Do you want your marriage to be more than it is? Do you want your husband to be the man God intends him to be? Then stop. Stop trying to make him into something he is not, or may never be. Stop trying to mold him into the man you think you need, but instead, meet your husband where he is in his walk and come alongside him. The Lord will show you how to love him, right where he is at.
                Jesus shows us how to love our husbands, as well as how to love our brothers and sisters. Sometimes we treat our brothers and sisters in the Lord better than we treat our own husbands. We look past the faults of others, but are unwilling to look past the faults of our husbands. We encourage and lift up our brothers and sisters and come alongside them to be all that the Lord wants them to be, but we are unwilling to do the same with our husbands.
                Your husband may not be where you are at spiritually, you may be older and wiser in the faith, but he is your husband, and he is your head. The only one that can change your husband is Jesus Christ, through the power and working of the Holy Spirit in his life. You are not the Holy Spirit, and you never will be. The more we point out to our husbands their “lack” of spiritual leadership over us, the less and less they will want to lead us. They will do what the writer of Proverbs says, they will withdrawal into a corner and we our spiritual nagging will cause us to lose the blessing in marriage that the Lord intends for us to have.
                You did not grow overnight, so why are you expecting your husband to? Does every tree in the forest grow the same? We are trees in the Kingdom of God, firmly planted in Jesus Christ, but not all of us grow the same. Some are oak trees, some are pines, and some are birch. You may be a Pine and your husband may be an Oak. Pine trees grow faster than oaks, but they are the weaker of the two. We desire to have a spiritually led husband, but we want him on our terms and not God’s terms. This ought not to be so, my sisters. Let us step out of the way and patiently wait for the Lord to do the work that He desires in our husbands. Let’s stop trying to fit him into some picture mold we have, and let’s just be who our husbands need us to be- their help meets.
                If you are struggling with your husband stepping up and being the spiritual leader, than I suggest two things to you. First, stop nagging him to be something he is not, and secondly, begin to love him right where he is at. You cannot change him, only God can change him. God will mold him and shape him and grow him, all He asks us to do is sit back, pray and watch. Get out of the way, ladies, let God do the work, all you are asked to do is to love him right where he is at. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.