How many of you have ever determined in your heart that you are going to be a better wife? You have heard the messages at church, you have read many of the articles out there about marriage and, most importantly, you have read in your bible what it is that God expects from us as wives. And you know that many of those messages and articles, and that God’s Word, are right. You need to surrender.
It is your heart’s desire.
Yet. Many times your mouth still runs ahead of your heart and you blurt out words in anger that would have been better left unsaid. You do not show love with your body language even though your mouth may stay firmly shut. And you end up giving your husband ‘the cold shoulder’ due to your own hurt, anger, sadness, and belief that you are right and that it is your ‘right’ to show him. These behaviors may not even be a conscious effort on your part. Maybe they are simply patterns that you have developed over the years and you easily slip right back into them.
I have so been there.
It has been my experience recently, that the more I desire to surrender to the Lord and serve Him, and the more I do so through ministry at church and via online opportunities to encourage women through my writing, and through loving my husband well, the more I seem to be under attack. There exists a very real enemy who prowls around seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and I don’t think anything could make him happier than to begin and succeed with destroying families.
Where do you think he starts with that?
Right here in my heart. In yours. In our husbands’ hearts. We are the foundation of family. The love we display will determine how our children learn to love. When we do not love as the Father loves, we are falling short. Now, I say that not to condemn. We cannot strive to do this on our own. The bible says that we will all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Perfection is unattainable. I think it is easy for us to remember that, at least at times, when it comes to ourselves, but it is much more difficult, or maybe just wrapped up in selfishness, to extend the same understanding and acceptance to our husbands.
If perfection is unattainable, then why do we hold our husbands to the standard of perfection?
Marriage is a “growing and learning organization”, to quote my friend Matt when he talks about the marriage ministry at our church. The same words apply to marriage as a whole, as well. I know I have had to learn and grow on my own as well as with my husband, and I have much more growth to do. Thank God that He is not done with me yet! He is always there to show me grace and mercy, and to point me back in the right direction when I begin to get off track. He has brought godly champions for marriage into our lives, and he has used these people to grow us like we have never grown before. And the devil is angry about that! He is doing everything that he possibly can, throwing all sorts of things at us to derail and distract us from our purpose. What is our purpose as a married couple? We have learned from Jimmy Evans’ teachings in Marriage on the Rock that it is to bring glory to God. That’s it.
Are you doing that when you are showing disrespect, giving your husband ‘the cold shoulder’, and exercising your ‘right’ to be right? I would have to say, in my case, the answer is no. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions about yourself. 🙂
How to Love Your Husband Well in the New Year
“Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?”
I think if we are honest, many times, we just want to be right. But if we put things in perspective, which doesn’t often happen in the heat of the moment so we need to be intentional about this, then we can see that truly, we want to be married. We want to live in harmony with one another. We must work together to do so, and happily. As fallible humans, we are quick to see the negative and much slower to see, and then speak about, the positive. Intentionality, being purposeful in what we do and how we speak, is a part of what it takes to achieve success in marriage.
I recently made this request of my husband:
Tell me 4 to 8 things that make you feel well-loved by me and what it looks like for me to show it.
Below are his answers.
Act excited or happy to see me when I get home.
Put the phone away when we’re on dates.
Tell me that you appreciate (whatever it is that I happen to be doing) if it affects you in a positive way.
Praise me to other people, whether I’m around or not.
Touch me. I need to feel wanted and desirable.
Your husband may offer different answers. Are you courageous enough to ask him? Some of his answers may be difficult to hear, as my husband’s were for me. This ‘assignment’ is not for the faint of heart! But, if you truly want to love your husband well in the coming year, it is definitely worth facing this challenge head on.
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