Wives, Honor Your "Little Boy"


Happy is the husband who has a wife and not a second mother—a "completer" rather than a "competer."

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like the rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4
Tom brought his wife Andrea to see us so that we could "fix" her. He reported that she tried to be his mother by always correcting him and competing with him over every decision. Andrea conceded that what Tom was saying was often true and that she was ashamed of her behavior. But she struggled with the fact that she saw him as a know-it-all, tough guy who had all the answers. She merely wanted to remind him that he wasn't perfect.

We challenged Andrea to trust God with her husband and be confident that God would bring to Tom's attention whatever changes He wanted to bring about. As she came to trust God to do this work, she was able to focus on better understanding her husband, including his tough-guy exte­rior. Andrea was amazed to find that underneath Tom's self-reliant exterior was an insecure, frightened little boy trying desperately to cover up his feelings of inadequacy. Once she understood this, she was able to let go of her mothering behavior and try to take care of the little boy in more appropriate ways.

There is a child in all of us. Some childlike qualities—laughter, simple fun, vulnerability, and compassion—can have a positive effect on a mar­riage. However, childish insecurities, inadequacies and fears can prove to be painful.

Teresa and I have found both the good and the bad childlike quali­ties in each other. We struggle sometimes with insecurities and inadequa­cies, but the struggles have provided opportunities for growth. When we can lovingly reassure and accept each other, we experience many tender moments and deepened intimacy.

Happy is the husband who has a wife and not a second mother. A helpmate and not another boss. A "completer" and not a "competer."

How will you resist parenting your spouse and comfort the insecure child?

God, help me to encourage the child in my spouse.

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