After graduating college without my MRS degree and realizing it was probably going to be quite a few years before I did decide to become a MRS, it became my goal to not need a man.
You know what I mean. I wanted to be able to fix a leaky sink, install curtain rods or other household hardware, use a drill, change a tire, install comcast internet and so on. Overall, I did pretty well accomplishing my goal. Heck– I could watch a “fix your garbage disposal” youtube video and DIY it like the best of them! And honestly, I was proud of that. I had plenty of girlfriends who were flat out helpless without a boyfriend or daddy, and while every girl needs her daddy from time to time, I liked the fact that– generally speaking– I could get along by myself just fine.
In all honesty, I was a little too independent– struggling to ask for help from good friends when I really could have used it.
Just because you can live life alone, doesn’t mean it’s the best way!
A few years ago, I had been up to my ears in work, really stressed and stretched too thin. I had gone out of town for a work trip and when I got home, I found one of my best friends had snuck into my house, cleaned the place from top to bottom and done all my laundry. When I realized what she had done, I burst into tears. I was overwhelmed with her kindness and generosity. A clean house is my love language. I also felt immense relief. I was so tired and stressed and my house being in disarray was weighing on me. In that moment, she helped me in a way I couldn’t not have helped myself. It was hard to swallow! I was so thankful and relieved, but it also made me feel vulnerable– it showed that I wasn’t superwoman and actually needed help from another human being. Gasp.
So when my husband and I began to date, I had a little practice in letting others help, but not much. I still prided myself on being independent. I’ll never forget the first time he want to take the trash bag out of the kitchen and into the garage. I remember thinking, “Ohhhh no! I have been taking the trash out of the kitchen and onto the curb for YEARS. I do NOT need you to help.” Of course, not wanting to seem rude (or crazy), I let him do it– but it was strangely hard. I was letting a man help me– particularly doing something that is stereotypically a “man’s job”– which I had perfectly mastered without any man’s help. Somewhere subconsciously, I started to get a little nervous.
Was I letting myself need a man?
Fast forward a year of marriage and I can’t help but laugh at myself. I’ve probably touched the garbage can less than five times. I definitely don’t do any house fixing– not even a light bulb change. I even ask for help with laundry folding (my least favorite chore). Before I even realized what had happen, I went from a fiercely independent woman to a ridiculously dependent wife.
And you know what? I’m not mad about it. Because here’s my secret:
I still don’t need a man.
I don’t need my husband. I want him. I choose to rely on him. Part of wanting and choosing Tyler means letting him have ownership of our house and our life together; it means letting him serve me because acts-of-service is his number one love language. And part of marriage– okay a huge part of marriage– is giving up your independence and admitting that, not only do you need help, but that life is actually better when you don’t do it alone. It means trusting your spouse to help you–even when his or her way may be different from yours.
So whether you’re single or married, how are you doing on letting others in? Do you ask for help or would you rather die than admit you can’t do it all by yourself? Are you stubbornly independent or are you able to ask for help when you need it?
We have to stop trying to be “I can do it all by myself” superwomen.
Let’s be real and ask for help when we need it, because we’re all insufficient. The reason I don’t need my husband, is because the only person I truly need is Christ. It is in Him alone that my insufficiencies are met and that my strength is found. While God didn’t create us to have our needs met in other humans, He did create us to be in relationship with one another, to serve each other, and to live in authentic relationship–which includes asking for help.