You want your bride to be who God made her to be – she will be happier and far easier to live with. Maybe some of who she was made to be is not exactly what you want in your wife, but trust me, it’s much better for both of you than her trying to be anything else. I mention this because you are probably a bigger factor in her battle to find her true self than you think. Even if it does not seem she is to be trying to be who you want her to be, she knows if you want her to be different, and that is one more source of pressure. She’d got enough of pressure – please make your marriage a safe place for her to be herself, and figure out who she is.
Start by repenting of past attempts to make her into something you thought she should be, or you wanted her to be. Sometimes we do this with good intentions, sometimes we do it out of selfishness, and sometimes we try to make it okay by calling it headship. Regardless of why you did it, it was wrong. In fact, I’d say it’s a sin against both her and God. So confess it and repent with no excuses or explanations. Next, tell her you want her to be who God created her to be. Tell her you are praying for that, and you will do anything she thinks might help the process.
Then, look to yourself. In The power of vulnerability, Brené Brown said we must first have compassion for ourselves; we must be kind to our self so we can be kind to others. Set an example for your bride; seek to become who God made you to be. Show her how it’s done, and why it’s a good thing. (More on Friday.)