Finding Your Voice In Marriage
As Christians, we often hear the creation story of Adam and Eve and skip over the beauty of Adam’s perfect partner, instead highlighting how Eve made Adam sin. It is then common within Christian teaching to make the connection to submission, pointing out how Eve failed to allow Adam to lead the single most known scene of eating fruit in the world.
I’ve seen the topic of submission often taken out of context, and is typically targeted to the woman. Therefore many start marriage–particularly a Christian marriage, with wifely submission front and center. And in an attempt to be submissive, many wives lose their voice.
Though I am quite outspoken, I struggled with finding my voice early on in my marriage. I felt obligated to agree with what my husband suggested instead of saying what I thought.
Even though what I thought made sense, and even though it was an idea he had not considered, I rationalized my silence because I believed this was what I was supposed to do. Wasn’t this how a good Christian wife behaved?
Then one day, I had a conversation with my husband where he reaffirmed that he valued my input and never wanted me to be a doormat or docile to make him feel better. This was the encouragement I needed to strengthen my own voice in my marriage.
When God created you and me he said it was good. He knows my words and your words before they are said. (Psalms 139:4)
For you, maybe you otherwise speak your mind but in marriage you never have. Or, maybe somewhere along the way you slowly lost your voice in your marriage.
Regardless, not communicating your thoughts in marriage is a symptom of fear, not faith. This fear leads to a justification of our passivity while at the same time leaving us frustrated and unsatisfied. Whatever the reason you’re timid about speaking up in your marriage, especially as a wife, I’d like to help you find your voice again.
When God created marriage, he had the best for wives in mind. When we look at Adam and Eve, we see the purest and most beautiful form of marriage before temptation entered. After God had created all the animals and after Adam had named them all, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helpmeet for him (Genesis 2:18).”
As wives, we were initially created as loving companions. A companion is many things, including someone who is a sounding board and who can freely share her thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
When God said, I will make him a helper fit for him; the overriding theme is that we as wives complement our husbands. But how do we complement if we are silent?
Further, after the first wife was created out of man’s bone and flesh, they were naked and not ashamed. She was his companion, helper, and friend. They could be who they were right down to their birthday suits without shame or fear.
As wives, we are reassured that we can speak the truth in love to our husbands without bruising egos or disrespecting them for out of them we came. Designed to complement and be of help, our voices elevate our marriages. This is how we know our voices are valid in marriage and that they were never meant to be silenced or diminished.
Your husband chose you as an entire person, not just the part that appeals to him. When we use our voices and are the helpers God designed us to be, we are displaying the mysterious aspects of marriage that mirror our relationship with God.
Losing your voice in marriage compromises your marriage, so speak up and express yourself. When we find our voice, fellowship, companionship and comfort become sweeter.
Editor’s note: If you have lost your voice in your marriage due to fear of any type of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual abuse, get help today. Find a counselor today in your area and get help immediately.
Wife Step: Remember your identity stems from who God made you to be, not your marriage or your husband. Therefore, know that you have a voice and that your thoughts and feelings matter to your heavenly Father as well as those he has placed in your life. Take a minute right now and write down on a sticky note, ‘My thoughts and voice matter.’ Place the note where you’ll be reminded of this truth.
Nylse Esahc is a Christian wife and a mother of four who loves life and inspiring others. She recently published her first book – My Best Marriage Advice. She likes to have fun but is very clear on who she is and Whose she is. A prolific thinker, she blogs to encourage others from a Christian perspective at www.lifenotesencouragement.com. She can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.