6 Powerful Reasons to Immediately Stop Controlling Your Spouse
My father told me a life-changing principle: “If you want to be free, you have to let others be free.” Control never changes people.
That works in marriage, also. Why are you so surprised when your spouse is exactly the person you married?
After years of a seemingly happy marriage, one day a spouse gets dissatisfied with their spouse. It may be their weight, their mistakes, their educational level, their sophistication, their parenting skills, their failure to “keep up,” or a thousand other deficiencies.
Guess what? YOU MARRIED THEM.
What are you to do?
1. “Live and let live.”
- This is not a oversimplified excuse for their failures. It is also not a Scripture!
- It does mean, however, that you enjoy your freedoms and choices and you must allow your spouse to have their own.
2. Control won’t work.
- Some things can change and some won’t. The Bible says, “Can a leopard change his spots?” (Jer. 13:23).
- If you spend all your time trying to micro-manage the flaws in your spouse, they won’t have any love left for you when you get through remodeling them!
3. Enjoy their quirks.
- Your spouse is not “weird.” They have probably, over time, started to let down their guard so that their best friend can have an intimate glimpse into their true personality.
- Who wants to live life on a stage? Who wants to live with someone who has zero tolerance for their quirks? I don’t, and I shouldn’t expect my spouse to either.
4. You didn’t marry a robot.
- The CaliBurger named “Flippy,” the burger-flipping robot, had to be retired after two days on the job last month. He flipped so fast and nonstop that none of the staff could dress the burgers he flipped!
- Who wants a robot for a spouse? I want a real, live, sensitive, free-spirited, relaxed, warm, fun, romantic PARTNER, not an “flippin’ automaton!”
5. Change yourself.
- Don’t I have enough to change about myself to occupy me for life? Do I somehow believe that I have run out of personal deficiencies? You define that as perfection!
- Why not just keep growing personally through my challenges and pray for God to change my spouse’s challenges?
6. Maintain your honor.
- Peter said that “even if your spouse is not obedient to the Bible” you should still show them respect and honor (1 Pet. 3: 1-2). The fact that your spouse does not pray as much as you do (among 100 other flaws) gives you no grounds to suddenly dishonor them.
- Receive them. Accept them. Honor them. You will probably see them change a whole lot faster that way than if you stand behind the bushes with a hatchet.
Does this mean spouses shouldn’t change? NO. It means your efforts to control them will not contribute to that change. Only the Holy Spirit can change people, and you are not Him.
May God give us grace. “Love never fails.” Love them through their deepest weaknesses. You might find that they are overlooking some of yours.