How to Know When You’re a Control Freak
Sometimes I believe I am my husband’s Holy Spirit. I can see the landscape of his heart, I know what needs to be done, and I am going to nudge him and illuminate his life and change him into a much better man.
This has not gone well for me.
Turns out, I am his wife, and not any part of me is God, let alone the Holy Spirit.
Because trying to change my husband’s heart is impossible and I can feel like a constant drip off a rooftop to him, so says the proverbs. And they are right.
“But if I don’t say something to him about this, who will?”
“But I know if he would just listen to me on this then it will solve so much!”
“But he needs to hear what is wrong in his life!”
Oh dear wife, I know. I know the feeling and desire to want to change and control your husband. But it is not your job.
Let that free your soul. We are free from having to change another person, and that is a gift from God. God is the potter, we are the clay. We are free from the responsibility to create change in our husband. We are free from a weight we cannot and were not meant to bear: molding our husband’s heart. We can trust Jesus with our husband’s heart. Truly.
Jesus came to free us from needing to carry all the loads and burdens. He is big enough and wise enough and gracious enough to change our husbands’ hearts in the time and in the manner that He would like. He is God. We are not. Our job is to love our husband well.
Loving our husband well means not being the Holy Spirit in his life. It means giving him space, freedom, respect, admiration, and a spirit that is not nagging. It may also mean that we shut our mouth when we want to point something out, and trust God to do it. It may mean we pray much more than we speak, and trust God with the outcome. It may mean we practice quieting the need to control, and instead trust God to do it.
For years, I rose early to be in God’s word and my husband slept in. He loved God and knew Him, but was not regularly in the Bible. I tried to be the Holy Spirit and suggest that he start to read more and he resisted. And so I prayed. For years.
And one morning, the alarm on the other side of the bed went off earlier than mine. My husband got out of bed, made some coffee, and read his Bible. It was so amazing and I was floored. He didn’t even tell me he was going to do that. But he had recently heard a sermon on how to be in God’s word and was inspired and moved.
This was God’s work, not mine. All the praise to a good God.
Sister, we can trust God.
He is faithful.
He is good.
He is King.
He knows what He is doing in His good and perfect calendar.
Wife Steps: Memorize Proverbs 27:15 “A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.”
Then, pray with open hands this prayer:
Dear God, I am sorry for thinking it is my job to change or control my husband. I am sorry for trying to be You. You are King and I worship and bow before you. I am not. Show me when to say something and when to be quiet. Teach me how to trust You. Amen.
Amy graduated from BGSU in 2001 and married her college sweetheart, Rob, one week later. Amy worked in the college ministry of Cru from 2003 to 2015–8 of those years she served as Team Leader. Since 2003 she has regularly blessed the Cru staff, students, and BGSU Greek life with her exceptional speaking, teaching, leading, and mentoring abilities. In June of 2015, Amy brought her experience to the Brookside Staff Team as Director of Outward Movement. In November of 2017, Amy wrote her first book on motherhood titled “Chin Up: Wearing Grace, Strength, and Dignity When Motherhood Unravels Our Souls.” Amy loves anything athletic and competitive, especially tennis and Spikeball, and in her words she “really tries to believe that winning isn’t everything. But, that’s hard.” Amy also enjoys creating things, decorating, and helping others make beautiful spaces. Amy and Rob have three amazing kids ranging from 3 to 10 years old.