Helping Her Grow Up

August 5, 2013

in Be a grownup, Change, Headship/Submission, Series

Because my audience is primarily male, I tend to hit hard on what men do wrong, and what they can do to change themselves. This doesn’t mean I think wives are without fault, or that I think the man is “more at fault” in most marriages. I often talk about the fact we can change ourselves, but can’t change our spouse.

However, we can do things to increase the odds our spouse will change. We can show them why something is wrong and pray they will see their sin and change. We can make what they do wrong less satisfying, comfortable, or effective, and we can make what they should be doing look better or easier than what they are currently doing. I will be discussing these things this week.

Grow up! © arztsamui |

Before you start, be sure you are in a good place to work on her stuff. By that, I mean make sure most of your stuff is under control. A hypocrite can certainly speak the truth, but usually such truth will be ignored. If you’re immature, complaining about her immaturity isn’t going to go over well. If she has been asking you to do something for her for years, ignoring it and asking her to do something for you is a good way to start a fight. Even if you’re dead right, your issues give her a rebuttal and a seemingly justified reason to ignore you. Real change comes when you lead with change, and then work to get her to follow you in growth.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect, or even close to it. We all have things with which we struggle, and we will struggle with sin and selfishness until we die. Are you growing? Are you getting better? Have you improved over the last year? Are you more mature and less selfish than in the past? I tend to see movement as more important than where we are, because positive movement means we will continue to be better. If you’re growing, I think you’re in a good place to urge her to do the same even if you have some big issues left.

If you want your wife to grow up, you need to lead the way by growing up yourself. If you want her to get past sins, lead the way by dealing with your sins. 

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"Real change comes when you lead with change,"

I know in our marriage, my husband's verbal conviction of my sin might be met with resistance, at first.  But in the reality of my heart, it's his life that is soooo convicting.  I can do all the mental gymnastics I want - I can't argue with actions.

Good one Paul, ty.


"Real change comes when you lead with change, and then work to get her to follow you in that growth."  Of course, you already knew this was your pivotal statement because you italicized it.  But, still, I must say YES!!!  Real change comes from the husband leading the way...she'll see it and want to emulate it.


This is so true, and my natural reaction would be just as you said, not to "receive" the correction because of the plank hanging out of my brother's (husband's) eye.   

This also made me think of the church.  I've been hearing lots of criticism on the church about what they don't teach on sex in marriage.  "Why aren't pastors coming against refusal?" and things along those lines.  This post goes along with my "theory"... more then likely, the pastor is having marriage bed issues himself or struggling with a sexual sin like pornography, and until he "fixes" his own problem, he would feel like a hypocrite for preaching on it from the pulpit.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@janna94 You are sadly correct. There are exceptions, but many pastors do have significant marriage and marriage bed problems. Porn is also a huge problem.

The other thing is many are not comfortable dealing with marriage and especially sex with their pastor.

Grass roots movements can avoid both of these. Ideally a grass-roots marriage movement is part of a local congregation, with good oversight and training.

As for our pastors, we need to do all we can to help them have marriages and sex lives that other want to emulate. Be sure they get time off, as a couple. Find ways to keep the congregations needs from making their marriage difficult. Send them to seminars and retreats both to learn for the church, and to learn for their marriage.

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