Besides being open to rebuke, you must also share your struggles with your husband if you expect him to shepherd you. But you must see yourself and your husband on one side (righteousness), and ugly sin on the other side, and you both take out your swords and fight sin together. It’s not you against your husband.
I will restate this so you don’t miss it: my husband and I are on the same side. My husband is not my enemy. According to Ephesians 5:25-27, my husband is my priest. Yes, this is biblical, and it’s exciting and sexy. Because it draws you together soul to soul in a way that can only be explained as a mystery similar to the unity of Christ and the church. You must get to this place, or you will never understand the incredible oneness that is possible in your marriage.
God made us to need our husbands to grow to our maximum potential. You will never be all that God intended you to be if you never reach through your husband to God. If you think your husband is not godly enough to do this, you are mistaken. The only prerequisite is that he be saved. God will give him the answers that He purposely withholds from you so that you will go through your husband. By the way, this whole process sanctifies your husband, too. It just happens as a byproduct. So it’s worth it to be spiritually vulnerable with our husbands.
Another incident happened years ago where I was treated unjustly for saying something that was true, but a bit too harshly. (I’ll never understand why people can’t handle the truth and end up punishing people for trivial things while letting deeper sin issues go unaddressed.)
Instead of remaining silent about the injustice, I called my mother to complain about it. I purposely talked in front of my husband, feeling strangely like I might be sinning, and wanting him to pinpoint my sin. I did this subconsciously because I despise sin and want it gone. After I hung up the phone, my husband said, “There was something wrong in the tone of your voice.”
He packed the kids into the van because he was going to give me a break for the evening. But I realized that if I stayed at home, I would continue sinning. I wanted desperately to call someone else and tell them about the injustice. You see, I wanted to complain. I knew that was sin. So even though I was so exhausted I wanted to fall over, I realized that I needed to remain under the headship of my husband. I had to go with him, because I knew that he wouldn’t let me sin. And that was what I wanted.
As we walked around the mall, every time I felt the injustice, my husband refocused my mind on God. (At the time I didn’t realize that he was struggling with it, too.) I’m sure that it was emotionally exhausting for my husband, but he did what needed to be done.
The next day God gave me a beautiful picture of my husband presenting me holy to God. My husband had stayed up all night with his Bible open, grieving before God because my complaining had re-opened an old wound from when he was younger. My husband was being punished for my sin of complaining, and I saw my husband as a type of Christ, taking the punishment for my sin and still loving me tenderly despite my propensity to sin. Scripture says that we as wives are to submit to our husbands as if they were Christ. I finally saw the picture, and I loved my husband more deeply than ever.
(Stay tuned for part 4, “What a Man Can Do to Lead His Wife Spiritually.”)Tweet