Joe is pretty open with the fact that he’s the safety freak in our marriage. Usually every marriage has one. (If not, please, be careful!) I am way more oblivious of some details whereas Joe checks, double checks, and triple checks every little thing, every time. He is so aware of any and all possible dangers within 100 miles of wherever we are.
But let’s just call it what it is. Sometimes being a safety freak crosses into the territory of being a control freak. Early in our marriage, Joe’s desire to control every element of our safety caused tension in our relationship. I sensed that he just couldn’t relax, and I didn’t understand why he was always worried.
Joe shares: Given my history of trauma, I had such a difficult time trusting God. Tara seemed to have no trouble trusting God, but I wasn’t naïve to think that God would always protect us from harm. I knew the worst could happen. I had experienced it. And now that I was married, I doubled down in making sure that no harm would come to my new wife. I had to prevent disaster and not leave anything to chance.
This was how I operated for years, wanting to retain control of my life, control the outcome. Isn’t that what we all are tempted to do? Fortunately, God got a hold of me and showed how much my inability to trust Him was hurting both of us. I had believed the lies I told myself that this is just how I’ll always be. But there was hope in surrender. When God truly began to break down those walls in me and taught me how to trust Him, things changed!
I can attest to that transformation that began in Joe. Would you believe he actually chilled out? I know his healing was for real when many years later it came time to send our teenage drivers on the road, and he was more okay with it than I was!
Joe and Tara Buchanan have been married for 23 years and have four children. They have a passion for building strong marriages, and they share more of their story on their blog, Behind Our Smiles.
Now I do appreciate that Joe is still very safety-conscious and incredibly responsible. He keeps our house from burning down and our basement from flooding and our identity from being stolen. I love that he thinks of those details so I don’t have to. He has become more of a safety manager than a safety freak. (Although I retain the right to call him a safety freak when I think he’s going overboard in his precautions.)
The difference now is that his actions are coming from a heart of love and not control. He cares so much about me and the people around him. I see him trust God with the outcome even when things look precarious. Because no one cares more about our well-being than our Heavenly Father, we’re always better in His hands than our own!
You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3