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Guest post by my husband, Wayne…

I had a lot of nightmares as a kid. Some of them are burned into my memory to this day.

But since I grew old enough to learn that the traditional monster’s name was pronounced “BOOGIE Man” (I’d had it all wrong), my dreams generally fade from my memory with the morning light.

And unlike Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, I am not hot on dreams. On the odd occasion when I actually remember a dream after I wake up, I don’t try to figure out what it meant. I figure a dream could just as easily be the result of a bad shrimp, or a bowl of peanut butter ice cream before bed, as it is to possess a divine message.

And if one of my dreams was intended to impart some special wisdom, I’d never figure it out.

But you know what they say, right?

Never say never.

Because last year I had a dream that has stuck with me as vividly as any of my childhood dreams about the “Booger” Man.

And I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – what it meant.

You know those dreams that start out so normal, so mundane, that at first you think they’re real?

This dream was like that.

It began with me walking into the house after a long day at the office. I called out to my family to announce my arrival as I do every day – you know, so they can drop everything and come running to greet their hero… the Slayer of Office Problems… proffering hugs, kisses, and joyous shouts of “Daddy!”

But that’s where the dream parted with reality.

Because no one came running to meet me.

Out of the ordinary, yes, but still not enough to recognize I was dreaming. In fact, even though things got – as you’re about to discover – pretty fantastical… I didn’t realize I was dreaming until I woke up staring at the green glow of my digital alarm clock.

In my dream… I heard Carey talking in the kitchen, so I set down my computer bag and went to go give my lovely wife a hug and a kiss. When I stepped into the kitchen, the scene that greeted me caused those intentions to be immediately forgotten.

Both our children were cringing behind Carey, who stood at the counter facing a Wok.

Yes, a Wok.

If nothing else should have let me know this was a dream, this should have been it; Carey never cooks Chinese.

I was frozen for a moment, as I watched a black, oily sludge rise up out of the Wok. It resembled a black cobra in shape, and though it lacked any detailed features – mouth, eyes, scales – I could sense a malevolence in it so thick I could almost feel it in the air.

The kitchen seemed suddenly smaller, closed in. A cage in which we were trapped like mice… waiting to be devoured.

I realized Carey was speaking to this evil presence, ordering it back to the pit of Hell from whence it came.

As she spoke, the snake-form receded back into the wok. But as soon as it settled, it would bubble up once more. I looked on as again and again, Carey would invoke the name of God, commanding the Wok-Thing to leave, only to watch it rise bigger and more menacing than it was before.

Our kids were crying.

Carey’s tone grew less commanding, more desperate.

It had less effect on the creature each time she attempted to drive it away.

Yet as the situation grew more hopeless, I failed to act.

And though I did nothing, I could feel a boldness rising up in me. At last… when all seemed lost, and the demon – for by now I knew it could be nothing else – threatened to overwhelm us… I stepped forward.

“In the name of Jesus, I command you, leave this place. You are not welcome here.”

I didn’t shout. I didn’t sound like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea. My voice held neither the presence nor desperation of Richard Burton attempting to drive the Devil out of Linda Blair. There was no dramatic music to heighten the tension of the moment.

I simply spoke with quiet authority – authority that I knew was given to meas the head of my household – by our Lord.

And the moment I did… the demon collapsed back in upon itself.  It was nothing more than a bit of sludge, lying in a blackened Wok.

As one… my family turned towards me, smiles lighting not just their faces, but the entire room. The warmth and love I felt from their joint embrace was of such intensity that I’ll never forget it. I wanted it to last forever.

Of course, then my eyes opened and I was pulled into the pre-dawn reality of my bedroom.

Wide awake, I laid there, thinking about the dream, and I realized something about it.

I hadn’t been afraid.

When the demon rose up, I hadn’t been afraid.

When Carey couldn’t shout it down, I felt no fear.

When it threatened to overwhelm my family, I remained calm.

I have to be honest, I’m not exactly brave when it comes to matters of the supernatural. It’s something Carey has teased me about – and taken advantage of to scare the heck out of me – for years. The fact that I hadn’t been afraid of the Great Wok Demon – dream or not – seemed significant to me.

And as long as I’m being honest, I have to come clean.

Earlier, I said I knew what this dream meant. And while that’s true now, I didn’t know what it meant when I had it. In fact, I wasn’t even the one who God revealed the meaning to; he gave it to a friend of my wife after Carey shared the dream with her a few days later.

The way I see it, God used this friend to give me the meaning of the dream. I believe that will all my heart – because when the meaning was shared with me, it resonated.

It rang true in a way I can’t fully express here.

I’ve never felt like I was as spiritually mature is Carey.

I didn’t fully accept Christ until I was 37 years old. Conversely, Carey grew up in a home that took their faith much more seriously than did mine. Add to that the simple fact that Carey chases after God harder than anyone I’ve ever known – reading the Bible, writing about faith, speaking to groups of Christian women – and it’s no wonder I’ve felt my faith was inferior to hers.

But here’s what my dream meant:

I am the Spiritual Leader of my home.

That’s right. It doesn’t matter that my wife has been a Christian longer than I have. Or that she reads the Bible more regularly than I do.  It doesn’t even matter that she goes out and evangelizes.

Despite all these things, Carey has not been called on to be the Spiritual Leader of our home. As the husband and father in our home, my prayers carry a special weight that Carey’s can’t.

I’d like to say that this revelation has made me turn to the Bible more frequently

Or that I’ve started reading more books about faith.

But I can’t.

What I can tell you is that I take prayer time with my family more seriously than I used to. I use it not only as a time to thank him for blessing us, but I take the opportunity to pray for His protection. I pray over rooms in our house – especially our children’s bedrooms.

And I know – beyond any doubt – that when the enemy sends his agents against my family, God has my back, and will lend me his sword.

Encourage your husband to step up and accept his God-given position as the Spiritual Leader of your home. Share my dream with him – because the message wasn’t just meant for me – but for him, too. But realize that in asking your husband to step forward, you have to let him.

… You have to step back.

And you thought I was only challenging him… didn’t you?

REALITY CHECK:  Who is the spiritual leader in your home, and how do you feel about it?

†††

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Need ideas on how to raise Godly kids in today’s world?  You can find some here.

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Ministry Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

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This journey has been a wild ride… yes?

I’ve had days where I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to the easy way of how things have always been.  I’ve longed for my way.  I have wanted to take over so situations would be handled… right.

I’ve gone through every emotion known to (wo)man.

There have been times I was so mad I could’ve spit.  Other times I’ve cried in frustration.  And others where I’ve laughed when a change I made actually… worked.

My husband has been amazing one day and less-than-amazing the next.

I have been challenged to try things so foreign to me that I eventually followed in blind faith, hoping it would work.

We’ve had moments where Wayne has stopped in his tracks and looked at me in confusion when I told him I didn’t have an opinion… or we could do it his way.

But regardless of the ups and downs… regardless of the crunchy times… my journey to surrender has worked miracles in my marriage.

Are things perfect?  Nope.

Do I always do it right?  Not a chance.

Is my marriage problem-free?  HA!

Am I always excited to step back so he can step forward?  LOL.

But I am so grateful to have crossed paths with The Surrendered Wife book, because it has helped me begin to align my role with God’s design.

It’s helped clearly define the differences between worldly submission and Godly surrender.  They are worlds apart.

I wish we could sit together over coffee and share our experiences.   I wonder…

  • Did you face similar struggles and responses? 
  • Why did you decided to walk this journey with me?
  • Has your marriage improved?
  • Does your husband have more confidence?
  • Is he more engaged?
  • Do you feel less overwhelmed?
  • Have you found freedom from not having to do it all?

My biggest hope is you’ve discovered that surrendering to your husband … as God intended … is a good thing.

If you are like me, your heart has long yearned for a better marriage.  And this journey has opened your eyes to ways you can help make that desire a reality.

To no surprise, God keeps providing me with ample opportunities to fully embrace the surrendering concept.

For the past few months, we’ve been collecting bids and estimates for some home renovations.  Our house is almost 15 years old and looks it.  Rather than update with “fun” renovations, we are doing the necessary ones instead.

To be honest, I’m a little anxious.

I’m a bargain-hunting, coupon-using, cheapest-way-to-do-it kind of girl.  But I’m coming to realize there are some processes that you shouldn’t skimp on.

“You get what you pay for” is my husband’s mantra.

I’ve had to apply generous amounts of that proverbial duct tape to keep my mouth shut.  And rather than argue with, question or stress out, I’m making a deliberate choice to just trust him.

In reality, he is a smart man capable of making good choices.  And I’ve learned that my ways are not always the best ways.  I know these things… now.

And when that inner control-freak threatens to erupt, I pray this quick prayer… out loud.

“Lord, I trust Your Holy Spirit’s voice in my husband.”

It’s become a regular saying.

So, when anxiety starts to invade…

when I begin to worry about money…

when I think he’s making the wrong choices…

I am intentional in stepping out of the way so he can lead.

It’s not my normal response… yet.

But it will be.

I am committed to becoming a card-carrying surrendered wife, because I like “us” better when we are in the roles God designed for marriage.

I’m realizing there is great freedom in letting Wayne and God figure it out.  And to my amazement, they don’t need my unsolicited input or advice.

They are doing just fine.

Yes… this is good.

My husband is more confident and choosing to lead.

I am softer and more willing to release control.

Our marriage is more in alignment with God’s design.

And yours can be, too.

♥♥ COMING THIS FALL! ♥♥

If you’ve enjoyed my Surrendered Wife blog series, but want to spend some more time on this message or share it with a friend… then I’m excited to tell you about my upcoming devotional book.

My NEW BOOK will be packed with extras not available anywhere else.

  • Several additional devos on topics not covered in the series.
  • Practical tips and tools for becoming a surrendered wife.
  • A man’s perspective following each devotional, teaching us why it matters to them.

I’m only printing in limited quantity, so if you are interested in pre-ordering a copy… please email me at CareyLScott@gmail.com.  I’ll send you an email reminder when it’s available.

Will be available in both paperback and on Kindle.

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

I’ve been speaking with Laura Doyle herself… the New York Time Best-Selling Author of The Surrendered Wife… and she has made a generous offer for those of you who have been walking this journey with me.

She has created a weekend retreat for women that teaches the skills we’ve learned through our journey… and more!   We’ll learn how to get our needs and desires met, while honoring our husbands every single day.  And have some fun girl-time, too!

While this is not promoted as a faith-based retreat, it does offer God-honoring ideals on loving and respecting our husbands.

The retreat is June 22nd – 24th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  All the details can be found here.

Until May 20th… if you sign up using the coupon code “surrender”… you’ll receive almost ½ off! 

Thank you, Laura!

†††

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Trying to raise kids who love God?  Find my book - Raising Godly Kidshere.

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Ministry Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

Concept taken from The Surrendered Wife

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Guest post by my husband, Wayne…

I know this little corner of the internet is usually reserved for words intended for women.  However, this month I felt the need to speak to the hearts of men. 

Ladies, if the man in your life isn’t in a small group, if he doesn’t have a group of Christian men that he can relate to, that he can share with and confide in, he needs to find one. 

I implore you to share this him.

†††

Up I-70, in the foothills west of Denver, Colorado,  lives a small herd of American bison owned by the city. They are the descendents of seven of the remaining wild animals found in Yellowstone National Park in 1914.

If you know much about the American Bison, then you know that they were once nearly hunted to extinction. Privately maintained herds like Denver’s were bred with domestic cattle in an effort to boost their numbers.

And while these efforts saved the bison from extinction, they fundamentally changed the animals… they stole the wild from them.

For years, Denver’s herd was celebrated for its tameness.

Police and firefighters often served cream soda to a bull named Nickel, who would come running when he heard the crack of a can being opened.

As Christian men, we’re supposed to be warriors for Christ.

But many of us have been… tamed.

Sure, we go to church on Sunday.

We have a Christian station preset on our car radio, but no song on our lips.

We keep a Bible on our nightstand, but not in our hearts.

We’re like those early captive herds; we look like Christians on the outside, but underneath… we’re just passive cattle.

Worse than that, we’re isolated.

God created us to be in community.

To encourage one another.

To grow in our faith together.

But that takes more than just sitting together in a building on Sundays. It takes courage to open up and pour out our hearts, and effort to pour into others.

Some of us try. We might join a small group with other men in our church. I was in a such a group for years. Good guys. Nice guys. We did some nice Bible studies together.

It was all very… nice.

But most of the men didn’t want to open up. The biggest struggle anyone would admit to was looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

Seriously?

Unless we are willing to get messy… to open up and be vulnerable with others… to let them share their hearts with us… we will continue living in isolation, with the illusion of community.

And the Devil loves that.

Because… it makes us easier prey.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Yes, God created us to live in community.

But when all we do is sit in the same building with a crowd of other nice people on Sundays, or in room with other guys not willing to be real, we’re no different from cattle in the yards… waiting passively to be slaughtered.

But take heart.

A change is taking place in that bison herd outside of Denver.

They’re reverting back to their wild past.

They’re no longer tame.

When one of their number bleeds from scraping against a fence or a tree, the rest of the herd rolls in its blood. In doing so, predators can’t identify the weak member of the herd.

If someone is foolish enough to jump the fence that surrounds their land, they lick their lips, curl their tails, and charge.

Don’t you long for that kind of fellowship?

To have men you can truly call your brothers?

Guys that will put themselves on the line when you’re in trouble?

Friends who hold you accountable when you fall short?

Whoa… wait a minute.  Accountability?

That’s an uncomfortable word for many of us, I know. Especially if we’ve got habits we know are wrong.  You’re afraid of being chastised… called on the carpet… shamed.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I love what Graham Cooke has to say about accountability.

“When we speak the truth in love we are reminding, teaching, and exhorting people about who they are in Christ. We are reinforcing their true identity in the spirit. We are not calling them out because of inappropriate behavior, we are calling them up to the truth of who they really are in Jesus.”

Now that is what I’m talking about!

If you aren’t sure you’d like to be a part of a men’s group like that…

pray about it.

And if you’re positive you don’t have any desire to get real with others…

pray about that, too.

Come on guys… let’s get wild.

†††

REALITY CHECK:  Our husbands need to encourage one another to be the men God created them to be.

†††

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Trying to raise Godly kids?  Get my BOOKin paperback or on Kindle!

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Ministry Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

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I’m beginning to see glimpses of a more healthy marriage… and I am expectant on many levels.

  • Wayne is more willing to step forward because I’ve been more willing to step back.
  • I don’t have to bite my tongue or look the other way as much these days.
  • Letting him handle more duties in the family is starting to feel more natural.
  • I’m not as much of a control-freak as before this journey.
  • God is showing me His heart for Wayne.

Are you seeing the same in your home?

At this point, we should be noticing some changes in both roles – husband and wife.  There should be some new patterns developing.

If this hasn’t been your experience, ask God to reveal why not.  Since He authored marriage, He’ll gladly show you.

Maybe you are late to the party and need to catch up on our quest to become surrendered wives.  If so, here’s a quick list for you.

Over the past few weeks…

We’ve looked at why we need to surrender.

We have discussed how important it is to respect our husbands.

We’ve talked about the negative effect of our controlling nature.

We have determined that surrendering is a heart issue.

We’ve heard from a man’s perspective.

We have recognized the vital role our girlfriends play in keeping our sanity.

I wonder what’s been the most challenging area for you to surrender.  I’m curious to know where you’ve run into the most difficulty in changing behaviors or thoughts.  Have there been revelations through this process that have caught you off guard?

You know what’s been the hardest part for me?

ME.

I’ve been a little surprised by what God has exposed in me through this surrendering process.  Did I really think this was going to be… easy?  Painless?  Quick?

Yes and sometimes being an optimist is irritating.

To be honest, had I known just how intense this journey was going to be, I might not have chosen it.

If I’d realized beforehand how much this would require of me, I would have thought twice about it.

God totally knew that.

I truly believe that His plan - from the beginning – was for me to face some of my own… stuff.

It’s been a divine “set up.

But knowing His plans are always to prosper me… to free me… to heal me… to restore me… I trust I’m in good hands.

God’s revealed some issues that need attention.

He has shown me areas of unforgiveness.

He’s opened my eyes to some relational dysfunction.

He has uncovered some old wounds that need healing.

Why?

Because God wants me to be wholehearted.

He wants me to be… genuine… unreserved… and complete.

  • In my life
  • In my marriage
  • In my parenting
  • In my friendships
  • In my ministry

He wants the same for you, too.  

God loves you too much to leave you where you are, because He created you for more life than you’re living right now.

So when we open ourselves up to the idea of being transformed – like we’re doing in this journey to surrender to our husbands – He takes that as a go-ahead to renew us.

He uses the opportunity to make us whole.

Fellow travelers… the process of aligning my role as wife with His design for my marriage is so much more involved than I ever imagined it to be.  It’s been a…

  • habit-changer
  • attitude-adjuster
  • role-reverser
  • mind-renewer
  • heart-transformer
  • trust-builder
  • wound-healer
  • past-forgiver
  • hope-grower

But… all those great things require a lot of hard work, humility, forgiveness and introspection.

Not. Easy.

Are you finding your walk to be the same?

When I’ve been discouraged in the process, the Old Testament book of Habakkuk has brought me comfort… because this prophet wasn’t afraid to ask God the hard questions.

And when he did ask God how and why and when… God answered him.

He boldly and confidently took his complaints, frustrations, confusion, and thoughts directly to God.

His experiences remind me to do the same… and to then expect answers.

As God’s been gently revealing stumbling blocks in my ability to surrender, I’ve asked Him tough questions in response.

  • God, where were you in that situation?
  • Why did you allow those hardships?
  • Why was it okay then but not now?
  • How was that part of your plan?
  • Where do I go from here?

I’ve asked in anger… in tears… in humility… in thanksgiving.

And God has answered me.

We’ve been working it out.

I’ve been given precious insight, helping me understanding my need to control. 

God’s been healing those places that have kept me from fully trusting others.

He’s gloriously restoring my joy.

I’m becoming wholehearted.

And slowly but surely… I am growing into the Godly wife He designed me to be.

But the most important thing I’ve learned through this journey has been a deeply profound truth:

An essential part of being able to surrender to your husband… is to first surrender to God… and allowing Him restore you to who you were created to be.

So sisters… what is God revealing to YOU about YOU?

†††

REALITY CHECK:  When you open yourself up to be transformed, expect God to be the first in line.  

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Fan Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

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Writing this blog series has been quite an experience.

Not only has the response from you been overwhelming… but just a few days ago, Laura Doylethe New York Times best-selling author of The Surrendered Wife – commented on my blog.  What an honor that was for me!  And she was so gracious and encouraging.

You know what, sisters?  I think we are on to something here.

It seems we are ready for better marriages.

  • We desire stronger, less passive husbands.
  • We’re craving deeper intimacy.
  • We are exhausted from doing it all.

And we’re ready to look at the part we’ve played in tipping our marriage out of balance.

I admire you for that.

Over the past few weeks…

We’ve looked at why we need to surrender.

We have discussed how important it is to respect our husbands.

We’ve talked about the negative effect of our controlling nature.

We have determined that this is a heart issue.

We’ve heard from a man’s perspective.

But we can’t continue on this journey until we recognize an amazing God-given resource vital to our success.

Our girlfriends.

To be honest, I cannot imagine this voyage without them.

They support… give perspective… wipe tears… hug necks… speak life.

And I’m experiencing just how important it is that we intentionally link arms with them, because the road to surrender requires their encouragement.

At least it does for me.  You, too?

Last night, I had dinner with a dear friend.

It was free therapy.

We spent three hours talking through challenges and struggles each were facing.  We shared the cool stuff God was doing in our marriages.  We also talked about times we wanted to throttle our husbands.

I shared how hard it was … being capable, independent and quick to make decisions … to surrender in my marriage.  She applauded my small victories and challenged me to stay the course in the areas I was still clinging to with all my might.

Anyone else… clinging?

And after my temper tantrum and pity party… she sweetly reminded me how being a Godly wife is His perfect design for marriage.

It was the shot in the arm I needed to stay in the game.

Her listening ear and encouraging words rejuvenated my resolve.

It didn’t negate the fact, however, that sometimes I want to scream and throw things. There are moments I want to go back to the old roles and patterns because they’re comfortable and familiar.

But last night with my friend was a divine appointment.

And just last week, I spent time with my sister. 

She helped me look at things from a different angle.

She affirmed and encouraged me. 

We identified some unrealistic expectations.

She called me out on unhealthy thought patterns.

She let me vent… unfiltered.

Rather than unleash these frustrations on my husband, I shared them with my sister.

This is why girlfriends are so important.

You see… as wonderful as our husbands are, and as much as we want them to be our everything, they… just… aren’t.

God didn’t design them to be.

Our husbands have emotional limits… God bless ‘em.

In my marriage, I have a certain amount of time to determine the “game plan” when discussing things with Wayne. When time runs out with no conclusion, he will say something like… “Maybe you need to call your friend about this.”

Translation:  I want to fix. You want to talk.

But girlfriends are different.

  • They will ruminate on a specific topic for hours with you.
  • They’ll encourage you to keep learning your role as a Godly wife.
  • They “get” you because they are on the same journey.
  • They offer a 3rd party perspective.
  • They point you to God.

We need each other to walk this surrender journey.

We need a trustworthy ear that will allow us to vent when we need to.  We need someone who will allow us to dish, without changing their opinion of us… or our husbands.

We need a friend who will give us the boost we need to keep on our charted course.

That’s why God gave us girlfriends.

When I get aggravated, I just need to get it out… sometimes in a bit of a dramatic fashion.  I have to chew on those emotions – out loud – to feel better.

Can you relate to this?

But when my irritation is towards my husband, he’s not the one who needs to hear this unfiltered rant because he’ll immediately become defensive.  It will end… badly.

Why?

Because I’m just letting off a little steam, and allowing him to be on the receiving end will not benefit our marriage.

What I need is to get it out of my system with someone who isn’t the center of my frustration… and one that can give me perspective.

That’s a girlfriend’s job.

†††

REALITY CHECK:  Find a trusted friend or two and let them be your sounding board.  

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Fan Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

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Guest post by my husband, Wayne…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  I’m married to a very strong woman.

Yeah, I know, it’s not much of a secret, is it?

In fact, it’s really no secret at all to those of you who know Carey.

Or to those of you who read her posts.

Or have heard her speak.

Or have stood in line behind her at Walmart.

I love her strength. I’m proud of her drive. Her ability to organize and run our household has always amazed me.  For years I was convinced that the meaning of the name Carey was “One who makes lists.”

Our personalities are very different – I’m more laid back, more improvisational than Carey.  When we got married, we fell right into the same roles I saw modeled by my own parents, and for about a dozen years… I was more than happy to follow her lead.

That worked for a time. At least it seemed like it did.

But under the surface, neither one of us was truly happy with the arrangement. It bred resentment in each of us. And it kept us from becoming the people God wants us to be.

Recently, we’ve had a huge breakthrough in our marriage.

I went through some counseling that helped me want to be more of a leader – in all areas of my life, not just at home.

But… change can’t come in a marriage without both the husband and wife being bought into it.

A husband can’t lead if his wife isn’t willing to follow.

And neither role is easy when you aren’t used to it.

It’s much easier to fall back into old patterns than it is to stick with new ones.  Yet somehow, we’ve managed it much more successfully than I could have dreamed we would.

I didn’t believe that me taking the lead was miraculously causing Carey to step back from her traditional role in our marriage, but I hadn’t a clue why she was.

But those of you who read her blog know the answer, don’t you.

You see, about the same time I was going through my counseling, Carey started a blog series about “The Surrendered Wife.”

I had no idea what this was, because Carey asked me not to read her posts on the subject, and I faithfully honored her request. It wasn’t until a few days ago that she let me in on the general idea; that she is making a concerted, intentional effort to step back and allow me to lead.

How have I seen this play out in our marriage?

I recently took over paying our bills.

Turns out it’s a lot more complex than it was when I was a single guy. And with this new-fangled computer thing called “Bill Pay,” figuring out when to pay what was like trying to choreograph a Broadway musical.

Within three weeks of taking over our finances, we’d had to pull a good chunk of change from the line of credit we have with our bank.

In the old days, I would have been ashamed for screwing up, Carey would have been disgusted that I hadn’t been able to get the job done and would have wanted to take over again. And I would have let her.

But that’s not what happened at all.

When I told Carey about the overdraft protection kicking in, she was supportive and affirming. She told me not to worry about it, that it would take some time for me to get used to juggling everything just as it had for her.

I can’t tell you how great that felt.

What I can tell you is that I don’t feel like a child anymore.

I feel like a man.

I’m empowered.

Emboldened.

Confident.

Carey is able to step back. She no longer has to remember everything, and instead of raising three kids (one of whom will turn 49 this year), she’s only raising two now.

She doesn’t have to remind me of every little thing… and I’m stepping up and getting things done.  And when I do screw up, Carey doesn’t belittle.  She encourages.

She used to always remind me about trash day. But now she doesn’t.  And when she left for work the other day, she saw that the trashcan was already at the curb.

Don’t get me wrong.  Just because this change has been miraculous doesn’t mean it’s been… easy.

Giving birth is a miracle, but it’s painful. Isn’t it worth it, though?  Yes, I know – I’m a man and I will never know that level of pain, I get it.  It’s a metaphor.

But in this case, we’re both giving birth.

There are times when I’m sure Carey longs to take the reins. There are times when I come home after a long day at work, and I’d love to give them to her.

Sometimes our frustrations come out at each other sideways.

We have our crunchy moments.

But… we try to remember that God designed roles for each of us.

We make sacrifices for the other, and we keep pushing forward… even when it gets hard and frustrating.

  • We offer more grace. 
  • We forgive offenses.
  • We give space to work out our new roles.

And each day, the new clothes God has asked us to wear feel a bit more familiar… a little more comfortable.

I’m sure things haven’t been going smoothly for all of you who are trying to step back and let your husband lead. He might not be handling things well, and you might be struggling to keep from falling back into your old patterns.

But I encourage you to stay the course.

I hope hearing how things are going in our marriage… from the husband’s perspective… has been an encouragement to you.  While it’s not an easy change to make, it’s a good one.  

Ladies… this is good.

Keep in mind that what God asks of us is usually difficult, and trying, and testing.

Conversely, the World encourages us to take the easy path. But with the divorce rate hovering somewhere over 50 percent, I have one question for the World – “How’s that working out for you?”

†††

REALITY CHECK:  Stay the course in your efforts to surrender… even when it gets a little crunchy.

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Fan Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

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We’re about a month into our journey, and I’m wondering how the process of surrendering has been for you.

  • Have you seen some good results?
  • Are you struggling to make it a reality?
  • Do you think it’s a bunch of bunk?

Well… if you’ve chosen to walk this with me, I want to tell you how proud I am of you.  We have come so far in a short amount of time.

We’ve determined the difference between Godly surrender and worldly submission.

We’ve discussed why we should surrender.

We’ve looked at the need to respect our husbands.

We’ve talked about quieting our inner control freak.

This is a very brave, bold move on your part.  You’re setting yourself up for God to richly bless your marriage.  You’re allowing your husband room to be the man he was created to be.

Rest knowing that God will honor your obedience.

But remember this isn’t always the right move.  If your husband is abusive, chronically unfaithful or has an out-of-control addiction… I strongly encourage you not to walk this surrender journey and instead seek Christian counsel.  Sister… God sees you and your circumstance. Ask Him for your next step.

Well today, I want to share an interesting twist in my journey.

I’ll be honest.  I’ve seen a shift in how we are operating in our marriage.  Wayne is stepping into his right-role, and I am stepping into mine.

  • His confidence has returned. 
  • He’s happily making more decisions.
  • He’s learning that what he wants and what he thinks matter.

I love to see him like this.

It’s how it should be… how it was designed to be.

But I am discovering something interesting through this journey… and maybe you are, too.

Surrendering is really a heart issue.

Unfortunately, behavior modification will only last so long.  So for a long-term change like we are seeking, our hearts need God’s intervention.  We need His renewal and His eternal perspective to make surrendering a permanent pattern in our marriage.

Within the past few weeks, God’s been revealing that my heart needs His divine attention.  He’s showed me that…

  • It’s been deeply hurt, and hasn’t received His deep healing yet.
  • It’s guarded, even with people who desire to know it.
  • It’s fearful of being hurt again.

What I’m beginning to understand is that my heart has operated in self-protection mode, undetected for so many years. And unless I allow God to renew it as only He can, nothing will change.

I will continue to struggle with trust.

I will continue to control my world.

I won’t be able to fully surrender.

Anyone but me?

I wonder… how is your heart doing?

Are you feeling resentful?  Easily angered?  Moody?  Stubborn to the process?  Hopeless?  Joyless?

Maybe you need to invite God’s healing power to give you a change of heart.  It’s an essential part of your journey to wholeheartedly surrender to your husband.

Listen to God’s promise.

“I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-27 MSG)

Because we have His Holy Spirit in us, our hearts can be healed.

What’s once burdened us can be removed and replaced with a new heart that desires to be the Godly wife He created us to be.

But if you notice, that scripture says He will “make it possible” for us to do what He asks of us.

So we know that becoming a surrendered wife is… possible.

But, it requires something from us.

You see, God sets us up for success.

  • He gives us a new heart.
  • He gives us the Counselor to guide us.
  • He gives us hope.

But we need to ask for His help.

In our own strength… surrendering is impossible.

But with God… all things are possible.  Even becoming a surrendered wife.

So.  Ask.

Father, thank You for providing a way for us to become surrendered wives.  You’re such a gracious Daddy to give Your girls what we need to be who You created us to be.  We are asking for renewed hearts so we can better love our husbands.  Let us see them as You see them.  Heal the wounds that keep us from loving them wholeheartedly.  Renew our hearts so we desire to faithfully surrender to these men You’ve blessed us with.  Lord, we thank You for our marriages.  Help us protect them by breaking down barriers which keep us from fully trusting our men.  We ask for deliverance from our controlling nature.  God, we need Your help so we can be the affirming and supportive wives we want to be. Please give us Your divine intervention today.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

†††

REALITY CHECK:  Surrendering isn’t just behavior modification, it’s a heart issue.  Ask Him to change yours today.

©2012 careyscotttalks.com

Let’s Connect!  Follow me on Twitter, Book Me to speak at your event, Like my Facebook Fan Page, Visit me each Wednesday at Moms Together.

Concept taken from The Surrendered Wife

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