Monday, April 16, 2018

Who's the Decision-Maker?

For my last Marriage Monday post, I talked about one of the greatest ways we can meet a man’s need to feel respected by his wife—when we appreciate his desire to work and achieve.

Many of us wives want to respect our husbands, but we might not know how. In Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs gives practical steps for ways that we can meet this need in our men.
So today, I want to focus on a couple more from Emerson’s list:
When we appreciate his desire to serve and lead
When we appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel
If the wife makes a lot of decisions (taking on the expression “she wears the pants in this family”), it might be that she’s not letting her husband lead.

BUT sometimes women don’t mean to become the decision-makers, and in reality, they don’t want that responsibility. Unfortunately, though, they feel like they aren't getting any decisions from their men. Instead they get a grunt or a shrug or a “whatever you think.”

And we've found that, despite their desire to serve and lead, to analyze and counsel—men react this way for a couple possible reasons.

First, they might feel like they’ve tried to make decisions in the past that have been vetoed by the wife and/or kids. It’s the cliché comedy line where the wife asks the husband what she should wear/do/say, and the husband tells her his opinion, to which the wife responds by doing the exact opposite of his suggestion.

Ladies, if this has been you (it’s been me before too), your husband is shrinking back because you’ve not made him feel respected. You’ve not appreciated his desire to be a decision-maker.

Second, our men are sometimes afraid of making the wrong decision—and perhaps have done so in the past, only to have it hurled back at them as failure. (Think: “I knew we shouldn’t have done what you said…”)

I know I’ve been guilty of both before, but you know what? His mercies are new every morning. A fresh start. Each day is new opportunity to change, to make better choices.

I’ve found over the last few years I’m capable of exerting self-control, even in the small things. If I ask Howell where he wants to eat or what he wants for dinner, and it’s not what I wanted—well, you know what? I asked him for his opinion, and I’m going to honor that.

When I ask him be the final decision-maker in areas small and big, he not only feels respected but he also grows in confidence to lead, and I shared with y'all in a recent post how grateful I was for Howell's leadership in 2017, a hard year of transition and change for us

The other thing I’ve learned is when he isn’t giving me an answer, if I’m getting an “I don’t know” or “I’m good either way” or “whatever you think,” I will tell him, “Babe, I need you to make this decision for me. It’s important, and I will honor whatever you think; I just need you to decide what’s best for us.”

When I say something along those lines, he knows he can trust my heart to not backfire his decision. And it puts me at a place of peace because I am taking the burden off of me and letting my husband do what God equipped him to do—serve and lead, analyze and counsel.

Friends, if this is an area of struggle, I encourage you to start small—and then watch how your husband shows love in return because you’ve filled his cup with respect.

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