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After raising their two children, Jayna Coppedge enlisted her husband Steve to create the cover of her book, “Parenting with the End in Mind.” A former children’s minister, Jayna now writes to encourage Christians at “A Woman Trusting God.”
Although many decisions are as simple as what to eat for dinner, others set the tone of your home for decades. Parenting, finances, extended family, jobs, vacations, and house hold chores each has the potential to derail a marriage. Even couples that pray together over choices may lack harmony. Habits of power struggles, nagging, blaming, and irresponsibility develop quickly ruining your respect and trust for each other.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7 NIV)
One of the pivotal moments in my marriage of 34 years was when I stopped conquering my “opponent” (Steve) with my “wisdom” (fearful, selfish opinion); instead I recognized his heart. My husband wanted God’s absolute best for our family just as I did. We had the exact same goal, we were on the same team! This realization changed my thinking resulting in unity.
- There are many ways to get the same results. I became less stressed as to how chores were done, or when the school clothes were bought. All that mattered is that it happened.
- Since I didn’t obsess over the small issues, Steve didn’t tune me out. I learned to write out what I thought, how I reached that decision, and specific examples. He knew that if I took a matter seriously enough to write it out. It was really important to me, so I didn’t have to nag him to get his attention anymore.
- Sometimes our perspectives were completely opposite. Rather than react in frustration, we found balance. There was comfort in knowing he saw what I didn’t. He valued my viewpoint, usually following my advice. I felt safer knowing he had my back. We were still in a battle, just not with each other.
- “No regrets, we/you made the best decision we/you could with the facts we/you had,” became our mantra. This meant no blaming or complaining when vacations were rained out, or the couch didn’t hold up like we thought, or that investment didn’t pay.
- There can’t be 2 head coaches. There were times when I passionately disagreed especially if it involved spending money. I am the saver. Once it was certain that he couldn’t be persuaded, I didn’t mention it again to him or anyone else; except God. I learned to tattle to God. I thought of it as going over Steve’s head to the Boss. God let me rant rave, feel sorry for myself, curse a little and then I would get on with life. In every single time, Steve’s decision was the right one. I don’t know if God just blessed us, or Steve was that wise, or God wanted me to learn that submitting my will over to Steve was the best option.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22 NIV)
Deciding to marry Steve changed my life. Trusting his heart improved my marriage. Choosing to be on my husband’s team instead of his opponent has yielded a harvest of harmony, mutual respect, trust, and greater love in our family.
Is God leading you to trust Him by submitting to your husband?