I once met a man who told me that his wife struggled with trust issues. Her struggle to trust had absolutely nothing to do with their marriage, but had been brought into their relationship from past trauma.
This man traveled for work regularly. While he was traveling, he would make a point to check in on his wife throughout the day. He admitted that he didn’t call her because he was lonely or necessarily missing her. He called because he knew that doing so gave her peace.
He went out of his way to settle his wife’s spirit. He knew trust was her area of struggle and so he went above and beyond “because he could.”
Hearing this man’s story reminded me of Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another…” This man went the extra mile for his wife. He created strength in an area where she was weak and struggling.
When it comes to our own individual independence, we might consider doing the same.
Marriage is not meant to be a shackle, it is meant to be a gift.
Through devotion and mutual submission, we can help our partner grow or develop strength in areas that they struggle. We have the power to lead through acts of devotion. Acts of devotion can help put our partners at ease; they can allow us to relax and rest in our relationships.
Feeling peaceful in our relationship can also allow us to extend trust to our partners, the more trust there is the more space there is for independence.
Finally, when considering our own personal freedoms and the freedoms of our spouses it can be helpful to consider who our spouse was before we married them. Remember that not everything our spouse enjoys is going to be something that we enjoy.
A great example: My husband still loves a game of pick-up basketball and I’m still not all that interested in basketball.
Does that mean my husband should throw in the towel and stop playing? Of course not! He is an individual, and I need to honor his individuality.
Honoring who he is means giving him the freedom to play basketball… but maybe freedom in boundaries because playing basketball until 2am is for single guys! At the end of the day remember to lead with trust.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Comstock Images