So it should not come as a surprise to me that I can manipulate my husband to get what I want. We all know the phrase: Happy Wife, Happy Life. This can be a power trip. Sometimes I knew what I was doing, and sometimes not.
Dictionary.com defines manipulate as “to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner”. OUCH! That is not what I want to be known for.
Manipulation is selfish and the Bible talks about being selfish. Examples:
James 3:15 “For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic”, Galatians 5:19-21, Philippians 2:3-5. Manipulation goes against how God wants us to live.
What are ways to manipulate?
- One way is making promises you have no intention of keeping. Small example--If you make dinner tonight, I will do it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and you go out. Big example-- If we have a child, I will raise it. You will not have to help in anyway. James 5:12 talks about keeping promises.
- A second way to manipulate is to withhold something. Classic example--withholding sex. We as wives really have some power here, and this is where we sometimes like to use it. Of course, there is Scripture reference to that in 1Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer...”
- Another way to manipulate is a guilt trip. I should have seen this one coming. I believe that most of us have been on the receiving end and have witnessed someone else being taken for a guilt trip. This is not healthy for a marriage, or any relationship -- we are told to forgive and not hold a grudge, but guilt trips do neither of those things. I know that I have to be careful as a wife and mother. Guilt trips are a form of manipulation because they help get us what we want in the wrong way.
If I manipulate my husband to get what I want, then why do I feel bad in the end? Why am I constantly worried that he is happy? Why would I care? The answer--conviction. I have had The Holy Spirit inside me, to convict me, since I accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 12. I am so grateful for conviction. I am grateful for a husband who still loves me in spite of my selfishness.
What other forms of manipulation can you think of? I hope to see some comments so we can encourage and challenge each other to be more of what God wants us to be.
I hope that I can become less selfish and go on less power and guilt trips.
Be blessed :)