Warning: This title is clickbait because I can’t fix my spouse. Believe me, I’ve tried. It turns out that he is as determined to be him as I am determined to be me. The good news is that it’s not my job to fix my spouse. The better news is that when I choose to be all that I know to be, I become a light for his struggle.
I walk in the morning and I use that time to talk with God. I live in the woods, with the closest neighbor about a mile from my house, so hopefully they don’t HEAR me because I have this conversation out loud.
The other morning I was telling God . . . because in a conversation you sometimes tell, you sometimes share, and you sometimes listen, right . . . so I was telling God what I needed to do to fix my husband.
I am pretty sure that God laughed out loud at that idea.
Several years ago, when I was first starting into this journey of being a Good Wife, I felt the need to “make” my husband act right (especially in public). One memorable incident involved a bank teller and my annoyed husband. Back in the car, I began to explain to my husband just how childish he had behaved. I got the first few words out of my mouth and felt – yes FELT – the Holy Spirit telling me to shut up. So, I did. I didn’t tell my husband anything about what I was thinking.
I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit how painfully difficult that was for me.
Later that week, my husband returned to the bank and sought out the teller to apologize for his actions.
It turns out that God can handle even my husband.
And now, back to my conversation with God the other morning. After God stopped laughing at me, I was reminded that it’s not my job to fix my husband.
“But how do I help him? I know he’s in a dark place – dark enough he can’t even begin to accept there is light. I know when I tell him there I light then he gets annoyed because he can’t see it where he is.”
“Be the light.”
I stopped in the middle of my walk and looked up. That is the thing God had been showing me all through my journey. I can’t fix other people. I can’t fix my husband. I can’t even tell others that there is hope and light and love. I have to BE THE LIGHT.
I changed my prayer that morning. I stopped asking God what I could do to fix my husband or to help him out of his place of discouragement. I began to boldly ask to be the Light – which means I have to dare to act in a purposeful manner in everything that I am doing.
Be the Light for a Discouraged Spouse
Of all the lessons I have learned over the years, this one has been the hardest for me to practice. I like words. I believe in the power of words. I know words can fix things. BUT, sometimes I have to hold back my words so my husband can hear the words he needs to hear without my interference.
- Keep on keeping on.
When the people around me stop, I want to stop too. But it is not about what the people around me are doing (it’s not even about what I did yesterday), it is about taking that one purposeful step that I know I need to take.
- Dare to believe.
I don’t have to tell my husband all the time that I believe in him, I just have to dare to believe in him no matter what comes up. When I hold tight to my belief, then I make room for that belief to spread.
- Let Faith lead.
I have to know in my knower – and know it so much that I actually do what needs to be done (or don’t do as is often my case) – that God’s got this. God will lift my husband up. God will make a way. God will fulfill all of His promises. First and foremost in all of my purposeful actions, there must be Faith.
- Don’t expect him to do.
I don’t expect my husband to do anything anymore – not because he can’t but because he can. I know that he is capable. The truth is that for almost all of the tasks, I can get them done if I choose to do them. I just get comfortable and expect others to do them. When I don’t expect, I remove the pressure to do. Removing pressure helps to take away the weight of discouragement.
- Speak positives
Even when I am talking out my journey with others, I speak positive about my husband. Even when I don’t agree with his choices, I speak positive about my husband. Even when I don’t like my husband (and there are moments when I don’t), I speak positive about my husband. Words do have power, and it is up to me to wield that power for good and positive when it comes to my husband.
Everything I do and say has an impact on the people around me. When I am dealing with a discourage spouse, I can’t make him find the light. I can only take the actions that will let me be a Light and trust that through my own journey he will find the light he needs to get through his.
How do you encourage a discouraged spouse? Share your thoughts and ideas or link to your own encouragement post in the comments below.