What if you were told that your husbands aren't actually motivated by people they love, but rather by people they respect. Gary Thomas is trying to help wives understand their husbands (from a guy's perspective) in his book "Sacred Influence". In this interview, Thomas focuses on the proper way to enhance character growth and spiritual maturity in your husband, as well as manage conflict.
What is a Wife's Misconception?
A common misconception wives believe is that out of love, you can overcome your husband's resistance to change. The way of thinking is that if he understands me, he will change. Therefore wives begin to nag because they have no other way of communicating the problem.
Defining Functional Fixedness:
A husband is not motivated by your pain, he is motivated by his pain. If he is doing something that he knows is frustrating you, he will put up with the nagging as long as he can continue doing what he wants. Therefore, a wife's misconception results in nagging which, due to a husband's functional fixedness, has little success. In conclusion, nagging does not work!
Then what does?
According to Thomas, the first step to influencing your husband is to become a strong woman of respect.
Your husband's greatest weaknesses are one of the ways that God is going to help you grow as a daughter of God. If you are in a very difficult marriage or if you are very frustrated with your husband, you need to become stronger spiritually to help change that. It won't change overnight but you need to have your identity in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:17 - God, not your marital status, defines your life.
Women will commonly put up with their husbands weaknesses because they are afraid to rock the boat. Their identity is wrapped up in their marriage so they are afraid that if they raise an issue, their husband will become angry with them. Therefore, they try to avoid it. The danger comes when wives fear their husband's anger more than anything. Thomas says "Don't worry about your husband being angry at you. If you want to change him, be concerned if he ever loses respect for you."
The Law of Sacred Influence
Desiring your husband to grow and to become more like Christ is one of the best ways you could love him. The desire to have a Holy husband is a holy desire, it's a God-honoring desire, but it's having the right spiritual motivation; it's not to make your life better, it's not to make it easier, but it's the recognition that you want your husband to grow.