This post echoes what I said on the Generous Husband today in Whose Life Are You Living?
I think most women understand being pushed to be someone other than who God made them to be. You have been pushed into someone else’s image of who you should be since the day you were born. You have the church telling you what is and is not pleasing to God (much of it having little to do with anything God has said) and the world telling you that being that woman makes you a traitor to all women.
You may think men have it easier, but honestly, we do not. In some ways, we may have it worse; when a woman refuses to live in the boxes she in which she has been put, some say she is a strong woman standing up for who she really is. Generally, both the church and the world see a man who does the same as rebellious.
However, I am not here to argue who has it worse; I just want you to know your husband probably struggles with this. He is afraid of disappointing his parents (possibly even if they are both gone) and he is afraid of disappointing you or making you mad.
You can help him by encouraging him to be who God made him to be – even when that seems scary. Praise him when he steps out of his comfort zone, and be his cheerleader as he grows.
Another part of this, and a place where you can help directly, is that some women think the way to change a man is to tell his wife what he is doing wrong so she will nag him. My mom tried to do this, but my wise wife refused to play. If his mom or anyone else tries to use you to change your husband, please opt out!
By the way, the book I mentioned to the guys (and Lori mentioned on The Generous Wife yesterday) really is excellent. I think every couple would benefit from reading and discussing Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life In Christ. I know how hard it can be to get him to read anything, but this one is worth the effort.
~ Paul – XY and way out of the box.