We used to joke back in college that when I figured something out about the relationship with my (now) husband, I needed to wait approximately three weeks to mention it and then let Matt work through it until about three weeks later and then he’d be on board.
Then we heard from two more-experienced couples similar things – the wife had really felt like she had gotten a word on their future and at the same time, didn’t feel like it was time to share that information. And so they waited. Years. They waited years. As in more years than I’ve currently been married. They waited till their husbands brought it up (one to be a missionary and the other to become a pastor). When their husbands shared this “news” they said they had known for a long time and they were ready to go on the new adventure.
It’s interesting, isn’t it?
I mean, I don’t think anyone who knew me at 16 would have said “ya know, I bet she grows up, becomes a stay-at-home-mom/marriage blogger/small business owner/crunchy momma/renter/former french teacher/debt-free wisher”. To think of how incredible and life-altering and beautiful and messy and painful the road has been to get to here. This present. This place. This incredible image and presence of grace.
And my husband has had his own journey. His own time of learning. His own when, how.
By the grace of God, seriously, our paths crossed at just the right time and we took what we had learned separately and threw it in to start doing life together.
So it came as huge shock to me to learn that the time at which he learns stuff is not always the same time at which I learn stuff.
Can you believe it?
Another human person being so…different.
And so I used to grin and bear it. I’d wait my three weeks and no more and he could just deal with learning about it early because by-gum I had already had to wait longer than I wanted to.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – one of the biggest things I’ve had to learn on my own respect journey was silence. When to use it. How to use it. How it actually works.
But through this learning how and when to use silence – which looks differently for me than it does for you – I have gotten to learn more and trust more about God’s timing.
It’s not about my timing, my way, my control, my manipulation of the situation.
It’s about letting go of the way something HAS to be and seeing how it could be instead. [remember my post on expectations? you don’t even have to read the whole thing just the first paragraph. no, read the whole thing. it’s beautiful.]
What does this have to do with me and my big mouth?
What do I gain by saying something right when I think it?
What do I prove by having the right answer even before the question is fully asked?
What do I win by forging ahead? Leading into the unknown? Putting the cart before the horse?
Putting the cart before the horse.
That’s just it, isn’t it?
If I take what I know to be true and believe that just because I know it’s true that it’s also the right time, then I may not be allowing God to do His good and perfect work in someone else to have what they need to learn and know for that part of the journey.
I might be taking the leadership reigns from my husband.
I might be saying that I know better than God’s refining tumble.
I might be pushing for something that hasn’t grown and developed fully.
Me and my big mouth don’t know everything. God may have spoken very clearly to my heart about something. This thing could be good or bad or small or big or whatever. But just because I am confident in the truth does not mean that MY timing is better than HIS timing.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
There is a season to what God is doing and growing in you and your husband. Sometimes you will be the tool God uses to reveal something to your husband. Sometimes you won’t be. Men learn so much and so well from watching other men. Men tend to be more analytical and go over things a lot of times. Men have different pressures and stresses. God will use all of those things to give your husband what he needs to know, when he needs to know it
Think about the two stories from the beginning of the post – which kind of wife do you want to be? The wife pushing her husband before he is ready and in a way that is yours alone? Or do you want to be the wife preparing and waiting so when the time comes you get to be the best cheerleader and encourager he’s ever had?
Dare you to pray and thank God for your journey – the unique circumstances that have taught you and formed you and brought you to where you are. Then thank God for your husband’s. Do this every day for a week. And be on the look out – as you take note of them, these will make themselves evident to you more and more often. Be ready to thank God for them.
Dare 5 is a tough one – we women like to have control and know what to expect. We want to do things our way. What have you learned from Dare 5? What kind of impact has it had on your marriage? Would you share in the comments?
And for those of you just joining us, we’re blogging our way through all 40 dares in The Respect Dare. Be sure to grab your copy of the book, your cup of coffee, and subscribe to Nina, Debbie, and myself. You can also join in on the fun on facebook or follow me on twitter @LeahHeffner.