This week I’m tackling another way we let our spouses control us …
“Resisting spiritual pursuits because your spouse is cramming them down your throat.”
The spouse who has been pressured by his/her spouse in this way often “reacts” rather than “responds” to this situation. The distinction is an important one.
A “reaction” is letting my spouse’s choices determine my behaviors and attitude.
A “response” is taking responsibility for what “I feel” when my spouse pressures me, by making a healthy and right choice rather than a choice that is simply resisting for the sake of maintaining my ground.
When we react, we are often falling back on immature and childlike attitudes and behaviors. Children easily fear being dominated or “told what to do”—because they are vulnerable and truly have less freedom than an adult. #youarenotthebossofme 😉
[Tweet “But sometimes we unknowingly remain stuck in a childlike pattern even as we become adults.”]
This is especially true whenever we’ve experienced abuse or traumatic loss in childhood.
In contrast, the secure and adult-like person recognizes that his/her spouse may have good intentions, but is going about them in an unhealthy way. Regardless, the adult-like spouse does not fear this because he/she is secure in his/her own identity and ability to come to responsible and right choices on his/her own.
The secure spouse is willing to let the good in and consider it, while saying “no” to the parts that are not good or right.
Spiritual encouragements are good and healthy in any marriage—especially a believing couple’s marriage. But …
[Tweet “Spiritual encouragement should never become pressure or “meddling.””]
Our mates’ decisions are between them and God. To not leave it between these two is a boundary violation, taking over the Holy Spirit’s role and certainly not wise.
In fact, when we meddle or pressure our mates, we often trigger wounds they may have toward controlling and/or abusive childhood authority figures.
Besides, it is counter-productive and hinders our spouse from really responding to Christ, because we have blocked their view of Him.
I want to say that even though my husband is a pastor, I still struggle with this dynamic at times. This can be as simple as when I decide that my husband isn’t leading us enough spiritually—which is my perception and not always the truth of the situation. But I will get in there and make “suggestions” when I should simply let my life—my life in Christ—inspire him to change.
And when he doesn’t do more, that is not my cue to worry or try a new strategy!
[Tweet “”No change” is my cue to continue to pray and trust God to convict and draw my spouse to Him.”]
In the meantime, I have an ample and ongoing need to work on my own spiritual relationship and Christ-likeness.
Could that be what is getting in the way of your mate connecting with God?
How have you meddled in your mate’s spiritual pursuits rather than inspiring them to pursue God?
What do you think you need to focus on in your own life to avoid pressuring your mate?
The photo I took of the stuffed monkey above is my hubby’s childhood toy, “Teddy.” And here’s a photo of him with Teddy when he was just a tot! 🙂
Also, the winner selected by random number generator of the Super Mom Myth book is Lori Shumaker! Congrats, Lori! I’m excited for you to have it, because I guarantee it will bless you! Let me know your mailing address, so it can get sent out to you ASAP!
Hopefully, next week I’ll resume my “Picking Hubby’s Brain” video series. We’ve had camera issues, not to mention my hubby’s a bit camera shy! I’d love it it you would pray for him in that!
Also, I was just made aware by a reader that I skipped the post I said I would do on enabling this week! Yikes! So I’ll continue this series next week with that post. Sorry for the delay!
Linking up with – Mommy Moments, Weekend Whispers, Making Your Home Sing, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak, Sharing His Beauty, Spiritual Sundays, Words with Winter, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Playdates with God