by Shannon Y. Tanner
The wounded woman emasculates
The wounded woman enters her marriage, often making her new man responsible for the men who have hurt or disappointed her in the past. This woman places an unrealistic level of expectation on a man, she forgets he is flesh and blood. I was this woman. I entered my marriage with an “independent STRONG woman “baby I GOT this, just hold my purse, bravado!” But inside, I was broken. The outside strength was a shield to guard against my deepest fear…I was not worthy of a man who would care for me, love me, protect me. I did not trust God or men to keep their word.
If I saw a ball being dropped, I ran to catch, it. I was a woman who gradually diminished the strength of my husband to meet my own selfish fear-based needs. Women who control, arrange and manipulate for little moments of happiness are women who deeply feel that they are not enough. Men are strong, they are not invincible; if we continue to correct, critique and criticize we will be left with a “shell of a man” they will be physically present, but passive and not engaged in life. I prided myself in being a take-charge woman, but I was tired, I was weary from meeting my own needs. I was like the foolish woman in the book of Proverbs, “Tearing down her own house.”
Women who distrust the heart of God
God knew I was exhausted, he knew my husband needed to be restored. The truth was, It was not my husband I did not trust, it was God. I learned “decrease” so that God and my man could “increase.” A striving, controlling woman is never at rest in her heart. And her husband and children will never find true rest in her presence. When God transformed me from Strong-willed to surrendered, I walked in a peace and abundance I had never experienced, likewise my husband was set free to soar. Our true strength as women is not found in what we control, it’s found in what we have the courage to release.
Weak Women enable
Enabling women recognize dysfunctional, even destructive behavior from their men, but feel powerless and helpless to confront them about it. They sit passively as a man rages in anger, childish and irresponsible ways, co-dependency and even soul-killing addictions. They have learned how to “swallow” their pain and deepest cry of their souls. These women have lost their voice. Women who married verbally abusive or controlling men, are women who need God’s guidance the most. She must learn to become her own advocate; “cunning, spiritually strong and even “unavailable” to a man who seeks to have her co-sign on his hurtful or destructive behavior. A woman enables with her words but often with her silence. When we do things for our men that they can do themselves, when we make excuses for them, when we “bail them out” “mother-them” we are teaching them that we are worthy of this kind of treatment, we are not. We are enabling this behavior to continue.
We are women who hide
We hide the true condition of our marriage, we hide our tears behind forced smiles, we hide our husbands from the accountability or correction of other men, and spiritual leaders. Inside we are killing our own souls, what we are striving so hard to save and protect has left us broken, empty. God’s own heart is broken when our beauty is trampled on, abused. We are shielding and protecting our men, when God created them to shield and protect us. We can look to God to for wisdom, to restore our hearts and seek wise counsel from people we trust. We are not called to hide and suffer alone. God alone can restore our hearts to wholeness and truth.
The Real Woman Inspires
A “real woman” has done the hard work of the soul that warrants the name: REAL woman. She has faced her deepest wounds, acknowledged her past patterns that have caused her pain and harm. She recognizes God as a priority in her life. She lives from the “inside-out.” The truth of her calling anchors her soul and prioritizes her choices. She is able to recognize the fear-based traits in her heart that stunt her growth and ability to receive the love she truly needs. She is a woman who has suffered some real heart-aches, and deep soul level disappointments, she does not make her husband responsible for her past wounds or her healing, she trusts God’s heart and has surrendered her life to the process of His restoration.
A Real Woman lives from truth
When a woman lives from a place of truth and faith, she will inspire her husband to do the same. She does not seek to meet her own needs through manipulation and control. She recognizes and honors God as her true provider. She knows what she needs, and is bold enough to ask for it. She refuses to sacrifice her soul and compromise her strength for “public success” she realizes the greatest reflection of her heart and beauty will always be found within her private life…her home.
She lives with the end in mind; and is wise enough to recognize the seasons in her life. She does not sacrifice future legacy for temporary gain. She knows how to be alluring, and draw out her man’s strength. She operates from the truth that she is God’s masterpiece, and her life is His most captivating poem. She is not chasing the wind, striving, manipulating, toiling or grasping at life.
Her beauty radiates from the deep rest within her heart. She does not need to dominate her husband to find her strength, nor does she co-sign on his passivity in her need to be “needed” A real woman inspires her man to be a man because she recognizes, that “charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman whose heart loves the Lord is worthy of true praise.” (Proverbs 31)