How to Become the Husband God Wants You to Be
By Dr. David B. Hawkins, Crosswalk.com
We all struggle to be who we purpose to be. Most of us have an image in our minds of who we want to be and feel guilt and remorse when we fail to live up to those ideals. If at all open, we learn from others how we are failing to live up to those ideals as well.
Sadly, that is the way it will always be—we will fail to live up to our ideals because ideals are just that—ideal. They are something to be strived for, to hope and pray for, but to also realize that we will never attain perfection. It’s impossible.
Too often we get stuck lamenting our failures or denying them. Pushing those failures out of our minds only relegates us to continuing them. This leaves others to remind us of our failures which leads to even more problems.
All of this can become discouraging and actually inhibit us from trying. Or, perhaps like one reader wrote recently, we have no idea how to develop a path toward becoming who we, and God, want us to be.
Consider Rob’s story:
Dear Dr. David,
I have made a mess of my marriage and God has put it on my heart that have not acted as a Christian husband. I want to change and follow the Spirit's leadership but I have no clue what it means to be the husband God wants me to be.
While Rob has “no clue” what it means to be the husband God wants him to be, he is starting his journey from a place of humility—open and receptive to learning, willing to admit his failures. This is much different than coming from a place of pride where he believes he knows all he needs to know. We all need to be open to learning new information, willing to be taught and grow. From this place of humility Rob is sure to become a healthier man.
Let’s consider what Rob (and others) might do in this most challenging situation:
First, listen and receive feedback.
Rob has an idea that he has “made a mess” of his marriage. This suggests he is listening to feedback. We need never to be surprised by critical feedback. If we are open, receptive and listening to what others around us are saying about us, we will know how we are missing the mark. Are you listening to what your wife and others in your life are saying about you?
Second, seek feedback.
It won’t be enough to listen to what others are saying at any given moment. There will be those who have critical feedback but fear giving it to you. You must continually seek information, making it safe for others to share it with you. Not only must you make it safe for others to share critical information with you, but you must also seek God and ask for God’s wisdom. Scripture tells us, “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11: 6);
Third, confess your failings.
There is nothing quite like a broken heart to ready yourself for change. As long as we have a heart of stone we are not likely to change. Scripture tells us, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5: 16) Confession is our statement to our mate, others and God that we recognize how we have failed and the impact it has had on them.
Fourth, develop a plan for change.
When we listen to others and ask God to show us our failings, we are ready for a path of change. We must then formulate a specific plan for change. For example, it is likely that Rob will need to reflect that he understands his failings and create an action plan for becoming a godly husband, including, but not limited to the cultivating the following traits:
These are just a few of the traits needed to be the kind of husband God wants men to be. A more specific list is best created with your mate in mind.
Fifth, create an accountability plan.
It is critical to have at least one person, if not more, who will ask tough questions about accountability for change. These men need to know your weaknesses and hold you accountable for changing them. They must be willing not only to ask tough questions, but confront you when you fail to live up to your plans.
Finally, maintain a clear, loving connection to your wife.
Ultimately it is your wife who will tell you if you are hitting the mark. It won’t do to please yourself or your accountability partner if your wife, who sees behind closed doors, is dissatisfied. She is designed by God to help you be who God wants you to be. Ensure that you have a method for checking in with her to see you are making the changes that help you to relate to her in an understanding way. (1 Peter 3: 7)
Do you want to be a husband after God’s own heart? Have you confessed your failings before God and to your wife? We would like to hear from you. We at The Marriage Recovery Center are prepared to walk with you through any challenges. Please feel free to contact me at MarriageRecoveryCenter.com or email us at [email protected].
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