a letter to the husbands of the world

Dear Amazing Husbands of the World,

After countless conversations with women at many stages of life, I feel I need to place before you some of our thoughts. I hope you find my letter helpful.

I will begin by admitting that it can be hard to be a woman in this modern world of ours.

I know we women are often complicated for you to understand. Hormones, emotional responses, our non-compartmentalized hearts,  and all of our gushing words and thoughts make life with us an exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming, roller coaster of sorts.

This is where my letter must start. Thankfully, it’s not where we have to end.

Many of us were raised by women who were told they had to choose between a career or a family. Some of those women didn’t think that worked out so well, so they told us not to choose, but to dream big, and to do our best to have it all.

So we went to college with plans to change the world, while we dreamed of a beautiful white wedding and two or so perfect children. Then work got in the way of babies, or babies got in the way of work, so we put one or the other on hold. This caused our plans and dreams to lose traction and our hearts to be a little afraid.

Then our careers overwhelmed us a bit, or the kids got a little older and some of us went back to work and some of us stayed home and worked. All of us still wanted to change the world while we changed the sheets, or changed companies, and instead we just changed our hairstyle. And we liked the new hairstyle, but we wondered if the we had lost the deep meaning of life when half of our dream slipped a little further away.

Now there are baseball practices and ballet classes and cub scouts and PTF, and deadlines and meetings and reports and every night everyone wants something different for dinner, and we are weary of the complaints….So spaghetti it is again. 

Pinterest came along to tell us how to do everything better, which is great, except that now we have to do everything…better. This makes us tired.

The children’s birthday parties need fancy cakes and pom poms, our homes need cleaner floors and better art, and either our careers need to be kick-started or our dreams need to be changed. We live in the shadow of the fact that we ended up with some of what we wanted, but it is maddening to juggle this try-to-have-it-all-life. We face this almost daily:

The rules keep changing, the stakes seem so high, and most of us are waiting for someone to give us permission to just be ourselves and let the chips fall where they may.

Because when you throw in church culture, the complicated subject of submission in marriage, the high standard of a Proverbs 31 woman, the fact that many of us still aren’t sure what it looks like to be a woman and a leader in modern Christianity, and the amazing way Jesus liberated women, our heads really start to spin.

This is where you, dear husbands, can help us. We need you to be our best friends, our greatest advocates, and to lead us well as we walk the confusing road of a modern feminine Christ-follower. May I offer a few action points in that vein?

  1. We need you to point to our strengths and acknowledge our giftings. Shout from the rooftops and whisper in our homes the greatness of God on display in your wife.  
  2. We need you to pray for us when we are discouraged and have faith that God is completing His great work in our lives. Your faith in God and your admiration of your wife fills her with courage.  
  3. We need you to look at our un-Pin-worthy projects and efforts and laugh with us at the ridiculous pressure we often feel to be perfect. Then we need you to tell us that we are perfectly fitted to be your wife, and that we make your world a more beautiful place by loving, serving, and respecting you.  
  4. We need you to scorn the way our culture says that a perfect imaginary woman is all a man needs, and grab ahold of the very real body of your wife and enjoy her as God intended 
  5. We need you beside us, not above us, or behind us, or ahead of us. We were made to walk side by side, an image of God’s glory together, and when we do that, things always seem to go better.

God has given you a difficult charge, to love us as Christ loves the church. We should have mercy when you find that difficult to do, and we ought to honor you for your efforts to obey Him. Because just as we know that it’s hard to be a woman, it is also hard to be a man, and we two are on this winding path of life together.

Now, maybe I hit the nail on the head or maybe your wife thinks none of this applies to her. I hope that you will at least ask her about it. Wouldn’t it be good to know if she is overwhelmed and lost in the middle of thoughts like this?

If she forwarded this to you, or printed it out and put it on your pillow, I bet she needs you to know that she longs to live set free, and that she has faith in you to help her....and that is a compliment to your character, indeed.

Written wholly in faith and with great friendship,
Carrie