Resisting God because You Feel Pressured?

Spiritual PressureThis week I’m tackling another way we let our spouses control us …

“Resisting spiritual pursuits because your spouse is cramming them down your throat.”

The spouse who has been pressured by his/her spouse in this way often “reacts” rather than “responds” to this situation. The distinction is an important one.

A “reaction” is letting my spouse’s choices determine my behaviors and attitude.

A “response” is taking responsibility for what “I feel” when my spouse pressures me, by making a healthy and right choice rather than a choice that is simply resisting for the sake of maintaining my ground.

When we react, we are often falling back on immature and childlike attitudes and behaviors. Children easily fear being dominated or “told what to do”—because they are vulnerable and truly have less freedom than an adult. #youarenotthebossofme 😉

This is especially true whenever we’ve experienced abuse or traumatic loss in childhood.

In contrast, the secure and adult-like person recognizes that his/her spouse may have good intentions, but is going about them in an unhealthy way. Regardless, the adult-like spouse does not fear this because he/she is secure in his/her own identity and ability to come to responsible and right choices on his/her own.

The secure spouse is willing to let the good in and consider it, while saying “no” to the parts that are not good or right.

Spiritual encouragements are good and healthy in any marriage—especially a believing couple’s marriage. But …

Our mates’ decisions are between them and God. To not leave it between these two is a boundary violation, taking over the Holy Spirit’s role and certainly not wise.

In fact, when we meddle or pressure our mates, we often trigger wounds they may have toward controlling and/or abusive childhood authority figures.

Besides, it is counter-productive and hinders our spouse from really responding to Christ, because we have blocked their view of Him.

I want to say that even though my husband is a pastor, I still struggle with this dynamic at times. This can be as simple as when I decide that my husband isn’t leading us enough spiritually—which is my perception and not always the truth of the situation. But I will get in there and make “suggestions” when I should simply let my life—my life in Christinspire him to change.

And when he doesn’t do more, that is not my cue to worry or try a new strategy!

In the meantime, I have an ample and ongoing need to work on my own spiritual relationship and Christ-likeness.

Could that be what is getting in the way of your mate connecting with God?

 

How have you meddled in your mate’s spiritual pursuits rather than inspiring them to pursue God?

 

What do you think you need to focus on in your own life to avoid pressuring your mate?

 

Gary and TeddyThe photo I took of the stuffed monkey above is my hubby’s childhood toy, “Teddy.” And here’s a photo of him with Teddy when he was just a tot! 🙂

Also, the winner selected by random number generator of the Super Mom Myth book is Lori Shumaker! Congrats, Lori! I’m excited for you to have it, because I guarantee it will bless you! Let me know your mailing address, so it can get sent out to you ASAP!

Hopefully, next week I’ll resume my “Picking Hubby’s Brain” video series. We’ve had camera issues, not to mention my hubby’s a bit camera shy! I’d love it it you would pray for him in that!

Also, I was just made aware by a reader that I skipped the post I said I would do on enabling this week! Yikes! So I’ll continue this series next week with that post. Sorry for the delay!

 


Linking up with – Mommy Moments, Weekend Whispers, Making Your Home SingMondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak,  Sharing His Beauty, Spiritual Sundays, Words with Winter, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Playdates with God

  • Jayna

    This was a good thing for me to hear tonight bc I’m in a situation of my spiritual life being much stronger than my husband’s. I struggle w knowing what and when to say things so I really needed to hear that sometimes its best to just let ur own Godly walk speak for its self.

    • I’m so glad it helped you at a crucial time, Jayna. I hear so many women share that same lament about their husbands and most continue to put pressure on their guys when living out their faith is where to focus. Our husbands can only be inspired when we quit needling them and let God’s still small voice be heard above our chattering! Thanks so much for your vulnerable response and letting me know it was helpful, my friend!

  • So true. 🙂 When we try to control, we get in the way of God’s leading. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Neighboring you at the Sitting Among Friends linkup today. Nice to meet you. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, Brenda! Nice to meet you too!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Very good post, Beth, and very apt for me, because my wife feels that we are so far apart spiritually that she doesn’t want to talk about Christianity with me at all. (Though I do send her at least one prayer, by email, every day.)

    From what she’s said, I am not sure she considers me a Christian…and I’m not kidding. It’s weird.

    But…getting to the point, here, sorry…it’s my fault. She came from a very structured family, which was spiritually led by her mother, a Charismatic. I was of the feeling that ‘organization can ruin anything’, and while I was a weekly churchgoer I resisted integration…though I did meet with clergy on a weekly basis, just to…well, have a beer and kick around thoughts about God.

    In that respect, it wasn’t a good match, because the situation required that I step ‘up’ to her level of structure and lead, not that she ‘relax’ into my amorphous but wide-vista-ed landscape.

    In her world, I felt constrained; in mine, she felt lost, and I was NOT enough company…and never could be. (We moved to a new place when we married, so my beer-and-clerical-collar buddies weren’t there.)

    The upshot…and lesson, finally…is that by my very existence in her life, I was trying to force her into something of which she was at least suspicious and perhaps afraid. I had no right to do that, and it’s left a lot of bitterness.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/01/your-dying-spouse-110-lonely-walk.html

    • There’s so much at play in our adult interactions that has everything to do with our childhood hurts and wounds rather than the current conflict or tension, Andrew. I’m taking a more concerted look at it in my own life, because I know that’s what stirs my defensiveness with my husband. I want to get at the root of the issue, so it won’t continue year after year. Thanks for sharing about your situation. It’s comforting to know that others struggle in the same ways.

  • Love the monkey picture. I wondered if it was a childhood toy; now I know. 🙂

    “The secure spouse is willing to let the good in and consider it, while saying “no” to the parts that are not good or right.” This is good, Beth. Sometimes our best efforts will backfire based on our spouse’s past (and our own), but with grace, we can each pick out the best of the best and move forward.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. And yes, we truly are trying to employ our “best efforts” as you said, but that’s based on our own feelings and experiences. It’s not what is “best” per se for our mates. Yes, grace is so very important to all of this, my friend. Where would we be without God’s magnificent grace?! Hugs to you!