Marriage Killer #2: The Control Factor

As a young bride I was all about "helping" my man. I wanted to help him improve. I "helped" him with his grammar. I tried to help him become more organized, more of a planner, more like me! Although I used the biblical phrase "helper" (Gen. 2:18) to justify my actions, in reality what I was doing was trying to control my husband. I was attempting to re-make him into what I wanted him to be.

God has given the woman a beautiful role and gift of serving alongside her husband. As Matthew Henry wrote, "Woman was made out of a rib of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be beloved."

The woman's role of helper is not a demeaning position of inequality, but rather a privileged position of influence and inspiration. Our men need our help-thus the creation of woman. But we must be careful that our role of helping is one that inspires him to be the man God created him to be, not one of domination and manipulation in an effort to produce changes we want.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your husband as his "helper" is the freedom to lead. If he fears your reaction, fears he will be corrected, fears rejection or belittling from you, he will either retaliate in cruel domination or retreat into a silent cave.

Helping your man doesn't mean:

  • Ignoring habitual sin (godly confrontation and appeal is biblical (Prov. 27:6; Matt. 18:15–20; Gal. 6:1–2).
  • Preventing him from making foolish choices. (You need to allow him to learn from his mistakes.)
  • Bailing him out of consequences of his foolish choices (Prov. 19:19).
  • Assuming the role of  "mother" or "instructor" (he's a man!).

Helping your man does mean:

  • Serious, specific, and continual prayer intercession.
  • Honoring his role as head.
  • Affirming his leadership decisions.
  • Being his "safe place."
  • Encouraging—but not pushing—his spiritual growth.
  • Communicating with honesty, humility, and gratitude.
  • Letting him know you're glad he's your man!

Share some ways that you help your man. How do you help him in fulfilling his calling to be a man of God in your home, in your community or church? How do you model the helper role for your daughters or younger women who may be watching?


About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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