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Of course there is definitely a place for your husband to speak into you and to meet your needs for being seen and known.  But he will never be able to fill up God’s spot in your life for that.  That is why it is so important for us to get that first from God.  Let Him fill His place in who we are, only then can our husbands even find their place to begin to love us well.  It is because WE are finally able to receive it having that core validation met.

We can not sit back and hold our relationships hostage because that need is not being met.  Our men can not figure out what to even do next at that point.  It takes action on our part to seek God with our whole hearts so we can find Him.  Then we ask Him who we are to Him.  He is faithful.  He will reveal it to you.  Sometimes it takes a while to practice for us women to quiet our minds.  We are on constant overload with everything that we feel and think all at once.  Practice taking those things to God.  As women we try so hard to do it all, or even try to just do what we do, right.  That usually means we are relying on our own strength.  It takes practice to give it to God.  It takes practice to rely on His strength.  We think that means we will have more strength to endure or get things done.  Many times, in my experience, it meant having the strength the reliquish it to Him and really trust God with everything….relinquishing my rights to know or control the outcome.

Now of course there is the guys role in this.  Since we have gotten our validation from God first and are on the journey of knowing who we are let’s talk about what that looks like.  I have a quote from James William Stickney.  He is an awesome guy who responded to this discussion I posted on a different site.  He gave me permission to quote him.  I hope it can be an encouragement to men in what it can look like.  I hope it can also be an encouragemet to women to trust God while waiting for this transformation in their own men.

I am including something “the Spirit” urged me to write to my wife. I wanted to let her know I recognized that my masculine view was off track, and the Spirit was working in me to bring me into the complementary role God intended.
Since the Spirit has taken control of my masculinity I stay grounded and do not feel attacked when she voices her needs to me. And the more I attempt to meet her needs with confidence in Christ – the more she eases into the role God intended for her. (see below):

You won’t go forward until you learn to listen to her!

God is calling my wife and I into ministry, however, His Spirit echoes this phrase “You won’t go forward until you learn to listen to her.” Initially I puffed up, took the masculine stance, and said, “What’s listening to her got to do with it?” The Spirit said, “It’s not about you, and it’s not about her – It’s about Jesus.” So now I am really lost and spinning round in my conformist traditional mind wondering what could this mean.

So to my knees I went and asked, “Father, what is the connection between me listening to my wife and Jesus?” He said, “If you can’t or won’t listen to her, then how will you be able to hear all I have for you?” He then went on to show me scripture about how I am to love my wife, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) Upon reading the scripture I heard the Spirit say, “Listening equals loving, therefore should I grant your prayers, if all you do is petition. I enjoy your petitions; however, you need fewer petitions and more listening. You could be running your mouth right past my blessings.”

I responded “Teach me.” He said, “I have placed a personal teacher and confidant in your mist for over 20 years. You should have learned to listen by now, again I say, you won’t go forward until you learn to listen to her.” I said, “You mean to tell me all this time you are measuring your commission to the degree I listen to my wife?” He said, “Yes, when you listen to her, I mean really listen to her; no TV, no kids interrupting, no cell phone, no IPAD, no presupposing that what she has to say isn’t important, and above all NO trying to fix anything (JUST Listen) – then and only then am I able to fully place you in your calling, as her spiritual gift(s) will compliment yours.”

I walked away from my conversation with God not so much with my tail between my legs, and in shame but more of an attitude adjustment. Wow, just when I thought I was a humble guy.

All these years I felt I had rescued the beauty: I put on my armor, mounted my steed, and raced to the place of her captivity. Once there I scooped up into my arms and rode off to the castle, where, I felt we would live happily ever after. Little did I realize; it wasn’t about the armor, or the steed, or even the fact that she was captured. No, it was the fact that I heard her crying from her captivity. And for once I actually listened. But when I rescued her physically; did I forget to rescue her heart?

To my wife I vow: I will let down my armor in your presence and learn to be a better listener. Why? Because I love you, and what you have to say is important. You were made in His image as well as I, and when His image speaks I would do well to listen. I declare; you will not be left behind – emotionally or physically. Ever Again!

Again, I think this is a lot and a good stopping point for today.  We have seen two sides of what it can look like.  I know, being a woman that there is a tendency to think….if only my husband could come to that conclusion our marriage would be better.  Yes, there is truth there but not only there.  So women consider the flipside….there are men out there thinking if only my wife knew who she is to God then my efforts to love her well could be received.  There are men out there who know God is the only one who can pay the ransom we have required for our relationships that are being held hostage.  Would your husband be among them?