A4P Guest: I’ve been married for three years now. My husband and I have a one year old son. My husband is a good Christian man and I always strive to be the best wife to my husband and the best mother to our son. I attend church regularly and read lots of books about marriage, family and relationship. My husband one the other hand does nothing when it comes to trying to learn about me, how to do marriage and raise kids. I bought some books for him to read so that he could understand me but he refused to read or go to marriage seminars. How can I convince him to read books and attend marriage seminars?
A4P: Early on in my marriage, I used to buy books about marriage and read them from cover to cover (which I still do). I used to “nag” my Berhan to read all the books I was reading. But I realized that he didn’t like to read books. So I came up with strategies to convince him to read all the books I wanted him to read.
So, my strategies were first, pouting, second, preaching. trying to tell him how God wants him to read and learn about me and marriage; and my third strategy was leaving a book about marriage open on his bedside. When I leave the book on his bedside, I make sure that the book is open on the page where it says something like, “Everything you need to know about your wife”.
I quickly learned that those three strategies were actually the lamest strategies ever! They made the situation worse, especially my first strategy (pouting). My Berhan TOTALLY avoided books, even to look at their covers. And my “preaching” and leaving the books open on his bedside I realized were doing more damage to my marriage than any good.
So I changed my strategy. Instead of trying to teach and change my Berhan, I concentrated on changing me. Instead of trying to “preach” to him how the authors said about wives and killing my husband’s interest to know about me, I turned the “radar” on me.
I slowly trained myself to close “my big mouth” when it comes to preaching to him. I also got my acts together and stopped pouting. I took those “sarcastic” statements out of my conversation and started to focus on changing my character and attitude towards him.
When I did that, what I found in me was literally “ugly.” I realized that I only knew most of the Bible verses about what a wife should be mentally. I never challenged myself to put them into practice. I came to know that I was the most hypocrite wife ever.
So I “zoomed in” into my heart and as the same time, I “zoomed out” of my husband’s personal life (which I still strive to do). I gave him full autonomy to do whatever he wanted and chose to do.
Then I began sharing with him, not what a husband should be to his wife but what a wife should be to her husband. I began to ask him to help me in the area of respecting him and submitting myself to his leadership (which I still strive to do). And I was doing all these things having only one goal in mind: To change myself so that I would be a “suitable helper” to him.
Oh, my dear sister, listen what the Bible says:
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2
Did you see that? Pay attention to these words: "won over;" "without words;" "by the behavior of their wives" "when they see the purity and reverence of" their wives’ life.
Oh, my dear sister, the Word of God works! It is spirit; it is alive! It does wonders if you take it as it is and put it into practice (Hebrews 4:12). The grace and mercy of God is with us to help us do just that.
As I learned to let the "information" I got from the Word of God transform my life, my marriage took a different turn!
Now, my Berhan and I read books turn by turn. Now our understanding of what marriage is and what our spousal roles are on the same page. I know he has deeper understanding of the Word of God than me. I don’t get threatened by it, rather, I get blessed and benefited by it every day as I learn from him how to apply the Word of God into my life.
What am I saying to you then?
Precious, God didn’t call you and I to change our husbands but to INFLUENCE them by the purity and reverence of our lives. Focus on your own role as a wife and a mother.
Assuming that there is no emotional, mental and spiritual abuse in your marriage, I advise you to leave your husband alone so that his own God deals with him. Leave the way for God to come to his heart as you deal with your own heart and motive. Then you sure will start to see how your transformed and renewed attitude and character attract your husband not towards you but towards to God who in turn is going to push him towards you, his wife!
Isn’t that awesome! Yes, it is! God’s Word is True! It works! Go ahead and try it! This is the safest strategy you can try in your home and marriage starting from today. ///