God commands us all as believers in Scripture:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life… Phil. 2:14-16a
But many of us (speaking about the ladies, now) are addicted to intense emotional conflict with our men. Why is that?
I think there are a number of reasons:
- Constant conflict and turmoil may have been “normal” when we were growing up.
- We may be idolizing our men, the relationship, feeling happy, feeling loved, romance, etc… and when we don’t get what we want from our men, we may feel justified to unleash our wrath against them to try to force them to give us what we want more than anything. Idolatry always leads to disappointment, loneliness, despair, fear, worry, and isolation.
- We are not finding our identity and security in Christ alone. We are turning to other things or people when only Jesus can meet our deepest needs.
- We want to “test” our guy (maybe subconsciously) to be sure he won’t really leave us and that he really loves us, or to go ahead and find out if he is going to leave so we don’t get our hopes up.
- We are hormonal sometimes and believe our feelings over reality.
- We get a “high” from the making up part of the conflict where our man spends hours reassuring us of his love.
It is not healthy for us to seek out conflict. That is what a foolish woman does – and it tears down her relationships (Prov. 14:1). The purpose of relationships is not hatred, bitterness, yelling, screaming, making demands, or forcing someone to give us what we want. The purpose of relationships is that we might love, please, and honor Christ and that we might love and bless others (those are the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22:36-40).
If a man takes the bait from us and engages in conflict and then has to go on and on giving us reassurance of his love – it actually creates more insecurity in our hearts. If he follows us into “freak out land,” it doesn’t really help us. It is scary for us to think that our out of control emotions could rattle our man. We really don’t need tons and tons of reassurance from a guy we love. We need men who won’t freak out if we freak out and who won’t give us the “hit” we are craving that is really not that healthy for us – the groveling at our feet and hours of reassurance. It is fine for my man to reassure me of his love and to recognize my being upset. He can probably do that in a few sentences.
Something is wrong if I expect him to gush for hours about his undying love for me to convince me to stay with him or not be mad at him anymore.
I am responsible for my emotions and my feelings. I am responsible for myself spiritually. My husband/boyfriend is not God to me and he is not my therapist. It is not right for me to try to put him in a position of making me happy or fixing my broken emotions. He can’t do those things. Those are my issues to work on. It is not right for me to expect him spending hours tending to my feelings. That is not his responsibility. He is responsible for himself, his feelings, his sin, his obedience to God. I am responsible for myself.
A woman who knows who she is in Christ does not need or want her man to spend hours groveling at her feet.
She knows her infinite worth in Christ. She knows her man’s infinite worth in Christ. She has built her life on Jesus and the Rock of His truth and His Word. She runs to Him to meet her deepest needs for identity, security, peace, purpose, fulfillment, contentment, and joy. She knows that no man could ever meet those God-sized needs in her life.
Listen to what Ruth Graham said about this (Billy Graham’s wife):
“It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain”
Almost universally today, women are expecting men to meet the deepest needs of our souls that only God can meet. This is a recipe for disaster in our relationships with God and with our men. When we idolize our men, and expect them to be Jesus in our lives, we destroy our relationships with them. We become a black hole of endless neediness. It is very unattractive. No man can ever satiate us. We are consumed by fear because we are not fully trusting Christ. When He is not our everything – we are trusting someone or something else and those things will fail us. Peace comes when Jesus is on the throne of our hearts and we rest in His love, His truth, and His sovereignty – rather than trusting self, another person, or some worldly thing.
It’s time to break this cycle of addiction to conflict, my dear sisters! This is unbecoming conduct that dishonors our Lord. It repels our men and everyone else from us. It destroys our witness. And it is a sign that we have deep spiritual issues we need to deal with before God. We don’t have to be needy and clingy – there is healing available in Christ!
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
The truth is:
- We don’t have to have our way all the time.
- We are not always right.
- We can share our concerns respectfully without arguing.
- If we are stirring up division, contention, and strife, we are walking in the power of the sinful flesh – not God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:19-21). This is sin and we must repent of it (turn away from it) and apologize to God and to those to whom we were contentious.
- We can receive the reassurance we need from God and not have to depend on a man for constant reassurance. God has 8000 promises for us in Scripture. Let’s go to Him for reassurance of undying, unfailing, unconditional love.
- If we are in a relationship with a godly man who loves us, we can rest in his love without constant verbal affirmation. Yes. Really! 🙂
- We can rest in God’s love and sovereignty no matter what our circumstances may be – we don’t have to freak out.
- There is never a need for us to yell, scream, cry, stomp around the room, slam doors, throw things, etc… to try to get reassurance from a man. That is the flesh being in total control. We are no longer slaves to sin, but are free in Christ! (Romans 6, Galatians 5)
- God calls us to be filled with His Spirit – which will always result in us having His character – His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
The way I respond to people when I am not getting my way reveals my character and shows me whether my flesh is in charge or God’s Spirit is in charge in my life at that moment.
I want us all to be filled with God’s Spirit and to become more and more the godly women He calls us to be for His glory!
Help us break this unhealthy and sinful addiction if this is in our lives. Open our eyes to any idols in our hearts – things that are really more important to us than You are. Help us tear out those idols. Let us truly seek You first! You are the only source of Real Love and Real Life! Let us give up our trust in ourselves, in men, in other things. Help us to place our faith and trust in You alone! Let us seek You wholeheartedly and lay down all that we are and all that we have before You in full surrender to Christ as Lord. Let us hold the things of this world loosely and cling to You alone. When we begin to feel discouraged, discontented, depressed, lonely, afraid, or insecure – help us learn to run to You, to prayer, to praising You, to thanking You for the blessings You have given us, and to Your Word. Let us build our lives on Christ and the Bible. Let us handle Your Word rightly. Let us be wholly devoted to You and unshakable in this world.
In the Name and power of Christ,