Last year, my husband and I were in the process of making a big decision: to move or not to move.

The offer had just presented itself and we were both just trying to let it sink in, trying to keep ourselves from getting too caught up in the emotions of it.

I was trying to avoid it, really.

We lived within 30 minutes of several of my closest friends, who I’d known for years, who had seen me in my darkest hours and loved me still. We’d recently found a church we loved and joined a life group with several couples we BOTH clicked with. That’s rare. I’d found a Bible study that was both hilarious and convicting.

Bottom line: I was very comfortable right where I was.

So one morning, in the midst of the stress, I went to that bible study (the one I loved so much and didn’t want to leave behind). My favorite thing about the study was the speaker, Becky Brooks, and that morning’s topic was on marriage. Becky opened by saying,  

YOU ARE NOT YOUR HUSBAND’S HOLY SPIRIT.

Um, Becky. Don’t tell my how to live my life.

But she kept going. And every word was like a droplet of warm water atop my frozen heart.

If your husband is a believer, he doesn’t need your Holy Spirit. HE HAS HIS OWN, she said. He doesn’t need you nagging him to do the right thing. He needs a wife who trusts God enough to let him do His own work in him.

I’ve spent a lot of my marriage trying to replace my husband’s Holy Spirit, trying to direct him and guide him and pull him on a leash in whichever direction I saw fit, because I like control and responsibility and being right.

But what if we really believed our husbands had their own Holy Spirit? What would that look like? What does that even mean?

First of all, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell him how you feel about a certain decision.

But it does take the pressure off of you to convince him of what to do.

It means you pray like crazy for God to guide the both of you. It means you pray that he makes the best decision for your family, and then trust that whatever decision he makes is exactly that. It means when he asks for your opinion, you answer honestly, but not in anger or frustration.

It means you take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, be still and KNOW that He is God and His spirit is working in your husband just as His spirit is working in you.

So.

When there’s a men’s retreat at church coming up and you really want him to go.

You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

When he gets a job offer in another town.

You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

When he doesn’t see your side.

You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

When you want to go to marriage counseling but he’s just not ready yet.

You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

When you’ve asked him a million times to _______ and wish he would just do it once.

You are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

The aggressively-telling-him-over-and-over-again has not proven effective in my home; I don’t know about yours.

So instead, have one, calm discussion about it. Put that thought in his head. Let him know where you stand. And then, walk away. And pray without ceasing.

Because when you pray to God, you are also praying to the Holy Spirit who is living inside your husband. I promise, it/he/she/that spirit will do a much better job of leading him than your frustration ever will.

And by the way. We did move. I cried.

But oh how I have seen God’s good work in the uncomfortable spaces of a new place. If it had been up to me, we would never have strayed from the nice, safe comfort of our last town.

But I guess that’s why I’m loosening my grip on things around here.

Jordan Harrell

Jordan writes about the days with her three kids and wonderful husband to help her get through the days with her three kids and wonderful husband. She's really good at eating chocolate, over-analyzing everything, and forgetting stuff. In 2017, Jordan founded fridaynightwives.com, a blog and boutique that serves as a ministry for coaches' wives. You can find her at jordanharrell.comFacebookInstagram, or Twitter.