Refined Strength

I never wanted to be a wimpy woman. I’ve always been drawn to strong women—aren’t you? A refined strength has an alluring appeal. I love to see a fierce woman in action. Nothing fazes her. She’s indomitable, determined, and a passionate force. When given a challenging assignment, she boldly goes for it and doesn’t let anything stand in her way.

She’s fierce.

But hold on, I’m not talking about an ugly fierceness that is really just raw aggression. Not the brand of fierceness that recklessly walks over people or is rooted in self-centered goals, but a beautiful fierceness; one that is more concerned with giving love than getting love.

A Destructive Cycle

Often marriages are caught in a destructive relationship dynamic that I call the Fierce Woman/Fearful Man cycle where a wife’s strengths intimidate her husband. The “Fierce Woman” can be a living inspiration or morph into her husband’s worst nightmare. He may respond in harsh anger or passively retreat to his own silent world.

My husband and I were there for years—but no more! Break out of the cycle by fiercely loving your husband in these ways:

  • Passionate Appreciation

If you’re a woman who is passionate, intense, and driven—your ferocity may overwhelm your husband, but if you’re passionate in showing him appreciation, admiration, and gratitude—watch your man come out of hiding!

  • Give Him Courage

Often our encouragement can come on so strong it seems like nagging. If the men around us have lost the joy of manhood, their confidence to lead, and the desire to cherish us, we may have stripped them of their courage. That’s when it’s time to find creative and supportive means to bring out the best in him.

  • Move Over

If you want your husband to be a more confident leader, then move aside and let him! What I’ve found to be the most common factor underlying the high rate of male passivity, is the wife’s domineering control or demeaning attitude when her husband makes any attempt to lead in a direction she doesn’t want to go. If you’ve asked him to pick the restaurant, don’t complain if you’re not thrilled with his choice—at least he was brave enough to choose! Your evening will be much more enjoyable when your eating preference gives way to the opportunity to affirm him. 

  • Accept Him

When I was first married, I viewed my husband through a romanticized imagination. My longing for that phantom version led me to push, plead, pressure, manipulate, demean and bully him—hoping to produce my ideal man. The more energy I poured into pressuring him to change, the further apart we grew. Accept your man—don’t pressure an introvert into an extrovert mold or vice versa. Provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for him to “be himself” around you because he knows you’re good with his unique approach to life.

Accessing the Power of the Soft Warrior 

No matter what kind of personality you have or how you typically relate to your husband, all of us need the power to overcome the self-centered tendencies that fuel this destructive cycle. Thankfully that power is readily available!

[box]“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)[/box]

The power that is available to us is the same resurrection power that conquered death: 

[box]I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18–21)[/box]

Will you pause now and cry out for this power?

Will you ask God to give you His grace to break out of the destructive cycle and live in the power of a soft warrior?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/