To The Insecure Wife
Here I am in my old robe and favorite t-shirt, with an important word for you, friend.
You can be secure in your marriage.
You don't have to lay awake at night wondering if your spouse truly loves you.
You don't have to hold on so tightly that you're choking the life out of your spouse and yourself.
You don't have to nearly kill yourself trying to do everything perfectly because you're so afraid if you don't that you won't be loved by your spouse or worse, discarded for someone better.
You don't have to overthink and turn small matters into huge problems.
You don't have to base your worth as a wife on what you do but on who you are.
I was that wife for the first three years of my marriage.
Scared to death to be alone (because I was scared to confront my past that was causing the insecurities to surface).
Overthinking every little qualm and negative emotion until it drove me crazy.
Killing myself trying to be the perfect wife who never made any mistakes. Then beating myself up when I did inevitably mess up.
I lived that life.
And it was exhausting.
Until I had a moment, or a series of moments rather, that turned into a long season, where God started unraveling my insecurities and showing me exactly why I was so insecure in my marriage.
My husband is a man of character yet I laid awake at night frustrated for a good two years wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I have always been Miss Independent.
So why was I suddenly, as a married woman, so insecure?
God slowly peeled back the years of pent up anger, sadness, and hurt that I had carried all to tumble out as soon as I got married. I had gotten so used to pushing back any negative emotions that they finally came out in a big, ugly, two-year season of God helping me heal way.
I married a wonderful guy yet I still couldn't get a grip on my fear of losing my marriage. I realized that it was seemingly easy to keep my feelings at bay before marriage because at that time I didn't have anything I was afraid to lose. I was only looking out and taking care of myself. When I got married I suddenly realized I had someone I deeply cared about and something worth holding onto.
And the two biggest lessons I learned and am still learning:
1. Our marriage belongs to God first
It took a lot of soul-searching to admit to myself that I was trying to control every area of my marriage instead of trusting God to protect it and help it thrive. I thought that I alone could keep it healthy by doing all the right marriage things. Maybe you feel this way too?
When we finally start realizing our faulty mindset, we began to see our marriage differently. Sure, we still strive to be godly wives but we don't do it out of fear. I don't try to pursue my spouse to prove my worth as a wife nor should you. Instead of being insecure in our relationship, we can be secure knowing that we love our spouse well and trust that God blesses what we are sowing as wives. Our marriage and our spouse belong to Him first and us second. We get to enjoy the gift of marriage but God knits our hearts together.
2. You can be both a submissive and confident wife
The word "submissive" is frequently thrown around and makes people uncomfortable. A lot of people don't read scripture in context which causes a lot of confusion. A lot of times the word "submission" makes people angry because they immediately picture a wife who is treated poorly and who never gets to voice her opinion. I have definitely seen couples with this wrong mindset specifically in our time in legalism but let's get the biblical description.
Ephesians 5:21-33 says, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
Submit as defined by the dictionary is, "To accept or yield to the authority or will of another person."
I believe that my husband is the leader of our family. But if you only read, "Wives... submit to your husbands..." you miss the entire rest of the verse. The scripture goes on to say not once, but twice, that men are to love their wives as 1. Christ loved and nourished the church and 2. As they love themselves. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church therefore, as we submit ourselves to our husband's, who are called to love us deeply, we are mirroring what submitting ourselves to God looks like.
I also looked up the definition of reverence that you see in the last verse above and it means to, "Have deep respect for someone or something."
Being submissive and allowing your husband to lead your family doesn't mean he gets to be a dictator. Husband have a serious role as head of the family to lead their wives and children to God and to love and protect them. This doesn't mean wives don't get an opinion or that they have to walk around brow-beaten because they don't get to make any decisions.
You can be both a submissive and confident wife with your own opinions, feelings, and choices. I deeply respect my husband as he leads our family but he also values my opinions and doesn't treat our marriage like a dictatorship. I am confident in my role as a wife and confident as a woman. I run my own business and stay home with my kids which means I make a lot of solo decisions but I still believe my husband is the leader of our family and I want to make decisions that benefit us as a team.
We can be confident that we live our lives intentionally each day for God and that we are called to let our husbands lead.
So you can be a secure wife, friend. You don't have to flounder and I am sharing my story because I am passionate about encouraging insecure wives. I can spot an insecure wife from a mile away because I am a recovering one. I still have days where I have to remind myself who I am in Christ but I feel so much more secure in not only who I am in Christ but who I am as a wife.
*This blog is specifically talking about insecurities caused by past trauma and how to overcome those. I am not talking about those dealing with infidelity in their marriage, abuse, or any other issue that needs to be discussed with a professional. Some of the best money I ever spent was in counseling. I think you can still apply the above once you and your spouse work through infidelity, betrayal, etc to help yourself trust again but if abuse occurs that is never okay and please get the help you need to get out.*