I had a conversation a few weeks ago that I want to share with you today. But before I share it, I want to give you a heads up. This message applies to you. You may not realize it immediately, but I really want you to look for ways you can apply this in your own life. It may not be in the same context as what I’m about to share with you, but believe me, it is very important.

My family and I spent some time in Nicaragua at the end of last year. We were driving down the road, and my spiritual daughter, Isa, started asking me some questions about marriage.

To answer one of Isa’s questions, I told her a story about a recent trip to San Francisco. We were there with Hans’ brother, Josh, and his wife, Karen, and their 2 sons, Abraham (3) and Elijah (10).

We were all staying in a little 2-bedroom house that was just up a little ways from the ocean. It was a beautiful day, and Karen, Aunt Marie, and I were standing outside looking out at the ocean. Josh picked Abraham up and put him on his shoulders and began to climb down the steep, rocky cliff to get down to the ocean.

As we stood there watching, Karen began to freak out. She was saying things like, "Josh, be careful! That’s not safe! Oh my gosh, I can’t watch this!"

I went and stood in front of her and said, "Karen, I know how you’re feeling right now. I watched the same thing for years. Just chill. They’re going to be okay."

I told my precious sister-in-law, whom I love so much, "I wasted so many years doing that, but look! My kids are all alive and healthy! I caused so much worry and anxiety for myself and everyone else, all because of my inability to understand this is what fathers do. They need the freedom to be fathers and to live the life of adventure, and we, wives, need to not get in the way of that."

So I went on to tell Isa…

Anxiety and worry never pays out well. It does not have a good return. The price is way too high, and the value is too small.

Just think of how I made Hans feel when I said things like that to him. It made him feel like I didn’t trust him or his judgment. It made him feel like a little boy, not like a man. It provoked a reaction from him that made him say, "You’re not my mother! What, are you going to make me put on a helmet now?"

If you really think about it, back when we were dating, we liked that wild, adventurous thing in them. But for some reason, when we get married, we try to turn into their mother! It’s no wonder they want to go hang out with the guys!

Hans used to tell me, "Stop being my mother! Stop telling me what to do!"

And that brings me to a whole ‘nother point… Stop telling people what to do! Most people don’t like to be told what to do. They like to be asked questions and to give their answers and opinions. But don’t bark out orders to your husband (or anyone else, for that matter).

So if you are that mom, like Karen was that mom or I was that mom, cringing and saying, "Oh no, don’t do that! Be careful!", I just want to encourage and reassure you today. Anxiety and worry is not going to improve your marriage. It is not going to edify your husband or anyone around you.

Be his wife, not his mother. Don’t tell him what to do and how to do it, but ask questions and let him give his opinion. Celebrate your husband’s adventure and encourage and edify his wild side. This empowers him as a husband, father, and man.

This is the advice I gave to Isa a few weeks ago in Nicaragua. I believe every man and woman needs to hear it, know it, and apply it in their relationships.

Do you remember at the beginning of this letter when I told you this message applies to you, no matter what? You can use this if you are married or single, or somewhere in between. You can use this if you are a husband, a grandparent, a child, a student, or an employer.

I know that once you truly understand the people around you, it will be so much easier for you to encourage and edify them. This has helped me to understand how Hans thinks and what makes him tick, and our marriage and family is so much better because of it.

So anyway, I hope this helps you today. If you are joining me in Dallas, Texas this weekend for First Steps to Success, I absolutely cannot wait to see you! I’m so excited for the time you and I will get to spend together there.

And until next time, God bless!

 

In great faith,

 

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Categories: Relationships   

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