Sheila talks about “I Can’t Mold My Husband Into My Image” as her 4th thought in her newest book, “Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage”. We have to let our spouses be who they are. They are also God’s children too.
“Our husbands are not pieces of clay that we’re supposed to mold into our own image. Our husbands have the right to be themselves–and when we accept that, our marriages tend to be much stronger” (Gregoire, 75).
I’ve said in the past that I never really had a list of how I wanted my future husband to be growing up. I just knew that I would get married someday and that God would lead me to that person. I found that person at 17 and married this man at 22, almost 23. Surely, we had different backgrounds, we had some things in common, and we did have some things that are different. We had the same general life dreams though. I accepted my husband for who is right when we started dating, and I still do with much more acceptance now in God’s view. Sheila says you can accept him both as your husband and as a child of God. My husband is his own person.
We’ve changed a lot over the course of 14 years. We’re not the same person that we were in our early dating days, not even when we first lived together, or when we first got married. We’ve changed individually and as a couple. The change wasn’t always together, but it is more so like that now, especially for the last two years.
“Ultimately the key to change in marriage is acceptance and intimacy and friendship, not coercion or rejection” (Gregoire, 75).
“Accept him as your husband: You choose to love him and stay committed to him. You won’t let things he does that annoy you affect that commitment.
Accept him as a child of God: You accept that he is own person who can make his own choices, and you honor his right to make choices–even if you don’t agree with them. You aren’t trying to control him. ” (Gregoire, 77).
For the things that annoy you or you need help… ask them respectfully. They can’t read our minds. Our husbands are more willingly to help more than you realize. It doesn’t mean that you are ordering them around.
There are daily things that I just let it slide. I mean, I am more thankful that I have the chance to do this or that for my husband because he’s here, and I’m married to him. I share this house with him. I may ask him to do this or that, but it’s not like a thousand things all at once and it’s not every day. I don’t want to overwhelm the man! We also have the habit now to ask each other when we are together in person, “can I help you with anything?”. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes it is no. Either way, it’s awesome now. Because we’re more at peace and relaxed with each other than we were in the past. I’m already grateful that he goes to work to support our family and to keep us living under the same roof. And we always now make sure we praise them for the extra things that we do for each other/for the kids. “Thank you for doing that. You did a great job”. Because we’re also as a husband and wife to build each other up, not break them down.
I pursue things that would make me happy. I can’t wait for my husband to be there to do it. I’m down to having just Jackson at home most days while my older two boys are at school. I don’t have to be stuck at home with him all the time. So If I want to go somewhere, I take the sweet little guy with me… whether it’s shopping, seeing a friend. I also let him go to the park if he wants to so that he gets some fresh air too. There’s still some things that stop me from doing things because I want my husband there too, but I’m working on it. I still like “me” time but I scheduled around it when the little guy is napping or if the husband is home and doesn’t have any big plans to be out on his own. Then I have something awesome to tell my husband when he gets home. Oh J and I went to the dollar store and got some fall/Halloween stuff. When I’m busy, then my husband wishes he could be there for all the fun. When you are out doing something on your own or with the kids, your husband is likely to want to be home more and do more things with you.
When it comes to choices, respect them but know that you do have a boundary line too. Especially when it comes behavior that isn’t glorifying God or your family. You can say, when you may choose this but I can do also choose to do this too. Like for an example, if your husband is talking in respectful way, you can say in this way “I will not talk to you when you are reacting this way.” If you react in the same way that your husband is, it doesn’t do much for you or your marriage or for God when it’s done unrespect fully. It’s more Christian to accept the choices that you make and your husband’s so it’s good to go about it in the way that Jesus would do calmly. Because it’s God’s goal that we are to be more like Christ. Of course, we’re set to sin and fail, but as long we let Christ in and allow Christ to lead and change us, we can grow into Him.