When talking about marriage, much of the teaching is on encouraging women in all the practical things they can do, or ways to 'give' to be a good help meet. This is extremely important, but I think there is another side to this that just might get overlooked. I know this might not speak to every woman, because each of our husbands and marriages are so different, but I'll share, none the less, seeing as how it is a struggle of mine. ;-)
As women, wives, and mamas, we are 'givers' by nature. God made us this way so we could fulfill our roles.
But what about receiving? This can be very hard for some women. If our husbands are to fulfill their calling in life, we are going to have to do our share of receiving. They cannot love us fully if we do not receive it. They cannot lay down their lives for us fully if we do not receive it. By being stoic, or prideful, or whatever, it is this that keeps us from 'receiving' from our husbands. We are actually hindering them from living out God's will for their lives.
This is a big one for me, especially right now as I deal with some pretty big health issues. I am supposed to be the one running this house, and not from bed, thank you very much! He desires to serve our family; to lay down his life, but I resist it. I think, for me, it boils down to pride, at least in part. I should be able to do this! It is stiff-necked rebellion really; refusing to surrender to God in this. And really, all that pride and angst is doing nothing to help my husband.
What about when he tells me I am the most beautiful woman in the world? Should my response be one of disbelief and refusing to accept it?
What about his encouraging words regarding my role as a mama? Should I roll my eyes and resist his words?
I recently read a post from a woman who asked her husband on their anniversary what she could do to be a better wife. She waited nervously for his answer. You know what his answer was?
"When I tell you you are beautiful, believe me."
"When I tell you that you are the best mom, believe me, receive it."
In other words, humbly receive his love! Wow! Not be a better cook, clean more, be more patient with the kids, be intimate more often, but receive his love!
When I told my husband this story, he so understood it. It's what he has been saying for years! ;-)
Do you struggle to 'receive' from your husband? I touched on only a few examples in this post, as well as, only a few reasons why we struggle with this. For many of us it goes way deeper, but Jesus can heal the wounds and past disappointments if we go to Him. Have you ever considered that when you resist your husband's desire to love and serve you it is actually hindering him, not helping him?