A few years into our marriage, I would "jokingly" change a few words in the old praise chorus, "Change My Life, Oh God" to what felt more relevant: "Change My Wife, Oh God." My words; "Change my wife, Oh God. Make her ever true. Change my wife, Oh God. Make her be like... ME." Cute huh? :) I got a kick out of myself....
In retrospect I now realize that behind my "humor" was a real life belief system built on this foundation: I, being the good husband that I am, really want my wife to the "perfect wife." Meet MY needs. Help MY career. Be a mom. Be like MY mom. And when she wasn't, well, something needed to change: My wife... Oh God.
Of course I wouldn't say those things to her! (though I did sing the song) But, somehow I believed that my dreams and my callings were primary. If we had time for her, of course she would "get" to do some of her own stuff! As long as she did my stuff first. And I wondered why we went through years where intimacy was MY idea: DEFINITELY NOT HERS! The sad truth: I wasn't loving her. I was loving... well, ME. Ouch. I know!
What were her real dreams? "Huh? Not really sure."
What was her calling? "Be my wife, I guess... right? "Wasn't that the be all???"
What was her vocation? "How would I know?"
Sure, we can continue heading in the "it's all about me dear" direction. But just note: if you notice that intimacy, real relationship and respect withers over time... being replaced by distance, discouragement and discord, might we husbands at least ask ourselves: "Have I released my wife?" Then ask:
Am I intentionally releasing her to HER dreams? HER calling? HER best?
Am I still seeking to mold her in an image of my own creation?
I'm still in recovery here too.... Recovering from the belief that MY stuff comes first. Recovering from a false view of women that sticks them in my own version of burkas and/or bikinis. But, as we husbands authentically and open handedly release the one we love, we too may find they too will love us by releasing us as well. Maybe we'll even discover what we're called to do together!
Have you released her? What would she say?
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