A lot of *girlfriends and wives have this viewpoint today. We try to forbid our men from doing the things our guys love to do that could possibly cause injury. We think we are doing this out of love and that we are “protecting our men.”
But is this a wise approach? Will it draw your man to you? Do grown men really need or want our protection from their hobbies or decisions?
If I handcuff my man to a chair, he may be “safe”, but is he living his life? Is he enjoying me tying him down? Is he free to be the man he wants to be? Is he free to be the man God calls him to be?
Do I accept that every grown adult has a free will from God just like I do? Other people cannot force me into decisions and I cannot force them into decisions. God doesn’t override our free will and we don’t have the right to override people’s free will. We can ask for what we want and share our concerns respectfully. We can say what we are and are not able to do. We can set boundaries and limits on what behavior we will accept. We may have to change our own behavior in response to what other people do.
But I cannot demand that my man do what I want or force him to do what I want any more than he has the right to do that to me – even if I believe I am right. How do I know that God isn’t prompting my man to do something even if I don’t think it is safe? What if God plans to use this thing in my husband’s life somehow for His glory? Sometimes God calls men (and women) to do dangerous things for His kingdom – things that can get them persecuted or things that could cost them their lives.
Just because something is dangerous, in our view, doesn’t necessarily mean it is not of God.
Something about masculinity – it embraces danger in ways that maybe we don’t always understand as women. If your guy wants to ride a motorcycle, go hunting, play football, fly on an airplane, get on the roof to fix something, go into the military, or go to a dangerous part of the world to share the gospel – and you are concerned, you are free to respectfully share your concerns for his safety.
- “Honey, ATVs makes me nervous. But I know you are capable and that you will handle yourself well.”
- “Motorcycles freak me out. I don’t trust all of the other drivers out there. I would have a lot more peace of mind if you didn’t ride a motorcycle.”
- “That country has a record of being deadly for Christians. I really want you to be safe. But if you believe this is what God is calling you to – I will support you 100%. I want us to obey God more than I want us to be safe.”
How could you support what your husband is doing, even if it is not your favorite thing? If he is going to fly a plane, for instance, maybe say something like, “Babe, I know how much you love to fly and how it makes you feel alive. I hope you have a wonderful time! Please take good care of yourself! I really love being your girl.” It may be helpful to remember that God may be prompting him to want to do this so that God might use these skills he is building one day for His kingdom. How do we know whether God might call him to be a missionary who needs to be a pilot to take supplies to people in remote parts of the world? We don’t know God’s plans for our husbands – or for ourselves. But God sometimes gives men a dream and passion for something so that He can use that passion for the Gospel in the future.
Yes he could make decisions that could end badly. Just like you could. We all do make bad decisions at times.
If you attempt to control him, you will probably repel him. If the sovereign Lord of the universe allows us the freedom to make our own choices as individuals, I certainly do not have the right to attempt to take someone’s free will away. If he is sinning, then you may confront him about his sin as you listen to the prompting of God’s Spirit and His Word. But if he is not sinning, and he is in his right mind, you may seek to influence him, but you cannot make him do what you want him to.
If he wants you to get on a four wheeler, and you don’t feel safe, I don’t think you have to ride with him. It seems to me to that you could respectfully decline if you can’t stomach a particular activity. If he has a calling from God – my prayer is that we might get on board and be part of that. I long for us to seek His glory far above all else!
Instead of freaking out or trying to control my man, after I share my concerns – then I can trust my beloved to God in His sovereignty. I can rest in His love and wisdom. I can find peace in knowing that God is ultimately in control. I can pray for my husband’s safety. Even if my worst fears were to come true, God will be with me and He is in charge and will work everything out for my ultimate good, my man’s ultimate good, and the glory of Christ because I love Him and am called according to His purposes (Rom. 8:28-29) This is how I can have a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear (I Peter 3:1-6).
*NOTE: I always assume that you are personally seeking Christ with all your heart and that you are only dating a guy who is also serving and following Christ with all of his heart.
If anyone you know is suicidal or trying to seriously hurt themselves or other people, and is not in his/her right mind – then please do act and call 911 and get help! I hope that is obvious.
How do you believe women could approach a subject like this respectfully with their men?