Men are not “one size fits all”

27 Jan

I feel the need to address something for many of us women who lean on each other for marriage support and advice.

Men are NOT “one size fits all.”

While men are more typically going to be similar in MANY ways, and those ways are VASTLY different from the ways that all women are similar to each other…. it is important to remember that YOUR husband is still unique and you should work hard to read HIM for all your intimacy issues (including respect) and not just read what is working for everyone else with their husbands.

For example –

There is a difference between being a true help mate to your husband verses being a controlling wife. And that will look slightly different in everyone’s marriage!!

Last week, my husband mentioned to me that the checkbook numbers were off a bit. Now, all of you who have been reading along for at least the last few weeks know that I gave him the finances to manage because I was a controlling wife in this area and gave way to fear and pride often because of it.

When he said this, at first I was really tempted to say “You’ll figure it out. Thanks so much for handling this for us!” In fact, I might have said something like that. I can’t remember.
According to the books I’ve read and the majority of the advice I’ve seen, that IS what I should have done. And let me clarify, for many men, that IS what should be done. That can be a “bait” sentence, to get you to take it over – find the mistake – belittle them for making such a silly mistake – and then say “I’ll just do this from now on again.”

But I was able to read from my husband that he was not pitching bait. He was just sharing with me that his numbers weren’t quite adding up. There was no attempt to get me to banter back and forth with him, or to take it over again.

I prayed.

And then I said to him the next day, “I have some time, would you like me to glance over the numbers and see if I see anything?”

He said “Sure. You can take a look.”

So I did. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes when you’re looking at a long list of numbers can help. And after a couple of minutes of looking, I did happen to see what wasn’t adding up.
Not for ONE SECOND did I feel like it was a silly mistake. For crying out loud, there have been MANY times where I’ve sat at the computer with the checkbook off, only to realize that I forgot to carry a one two weeks earlier and my numbers were messed up for a few weeks.

I circled the spot where the number was off, and then put the checkbook away. I didn’t call him to brag that I found it or act like a fool. I didn’t tell him what a dumb mistake it was (because it wasn’t!) I didn’t go ahead and look at all the purchases and try to question what was bought where and freak out about anything I saw. I didn’t take the time to write in the receipts and go past where he was in the checkbook just because I was online anyway. It was NOT mine to take back over! And he’s been doing AWESOME!!

When he asked later, I let him know I had seen it, circled it for him, and thanked him for taking care of the money for us!

A few months ago, this is NOT how this would have went down. In fact, when I just looked back over what I typed… I’m laughing because I’m tempted to say “who is this girl? Because she is NOT me.” But the truth is, she is ME – the me that belongs to the Lord instead of to my flesh! It’s the me that the Holy Spirit can use, not the me that resists God’s design so I can be selfish and proud.

What I realized is that, I am called to be his helper, and I can do that without having the control or a fearful or proud spirit. I can be full of service and support without being vocal and loud about my actions or concerns.

Learning to respect my husband is also challenging me to rethink my role as his helper and figure out where my husband needs my help and where he doesn’t.

I can honestly say, I wasn’t checking up on him. I haven’t been asking him every day, “Are you getting everything wrote down in the checkbook?” “How are the numbers adding up?” “Do you need my help?”

He doesn’t need me to babysit him.

But when he’s extremely busy working long hours at work, and a number gets flipped around somewhere, or a receipt comes up missing, or something gets wrote down twice, I can certainly be a second pair of eyes in my spare time and help out when needed.

Practical Application –

Check my motives before helping my husband. Am I asking to butt-in, or is he asking for my help? If I’m trying to butt-in, I need to butt-out!

Look for ways that MY husband communicates to me when he wants me to bring my qualities and skills to the table and be a helpful support. I DO NOT need to be a condemning, loud or obnoxious criticizing shrew. I need to be a quiet, supportive, loving, respectful helper!
God’s design for my role was to “help” my husband be the man of God he is called to be. I can’t do that by taking his role as the leader, criticizing his every move, keeping my eye out for his mistakes and then be sure to point them out, babysitting his actions and decisions or offering to take things off his plate when he doesn’t need me to. But I can fill that role by helping him be successful in all these areas by supporting him, encouraging him, following him, serving him, respecting him, and helping him when a need arises to do so.

Especially by really studying HIM as much as I’m studying from everyone else ABOUT him!!!

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3 Responses to “Men are not “one size fits all””

  1. peacefulwife January 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I love this! Your motives are definitely key – and also that your husband sincerely wanted your assistance. GREAT POST!

    • Kayla Gulick January 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks April!
      What made me pray and reconsider was that one comment from that one man awhile back on your blog that said “he felt disrespected when his wife asked him if he had packed everything.” When I read that to my husband he totally disagreed. He likes when I pack for him, or run through a check list so he doesn’t forget something.

      At the same time…. so much of the advice I’ve read and even comments from other men have really helped my marriage and been exactly what I needed to hear about my own husband and hadn’t realized it yet!

      Thanks so much again for your ministry : )

      • peacefulwife January 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

        I would love to run this post sometime! 🙂 I do think it is important to read about what others do – but then to really study our own husbands and listen to God’s Spirit and read the Word and make choices based on our own husbands’ preferences and needs. I’m really proud of you!

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