I was listening to the radio as a young lady complained about her husband. She expressed her need for a divorce and gave an extensive list of all the reason she needed to leave. I wasn’t too shocked by her argument. I was there before. Feeling a void in marriage and expecting my husband to fill it was my daily cry. It wasn’t until I matured, got a little wisdom and truly understood who God is to me that I was able to view my husband the way God wanted me to. I would like to share with you the 5 things God wants you to accept if you want Him to save your marriage.
There is absolutely nothing more humbling than allowing God to show you, YOU. I can be very critical. Maybe it’s just me, but, I have a gift for seeing all the issues my husband has. I can tell him what the root of his problem is, how he needs to fix it, and how I’m not going to be inconvenienced by this issue. Bossy maybe?? Nope, just rude. Yes, I said rude. How dare I stand on my pedestal looking down on my husband? I am not perfect and make many mistakes. My ability to irritate and get on his last nerves is uncanny. I am flawed.
God showed me just how ugly I was being one day. I was running through the house, as only a mother and wife can, fussing about how everyone had clothes all over the place. The girl’s rooms were dirty, laundry room has clean clothes mixed with the dirty clothes. John had his clothes all over our bedroom and all I could see were red flashing lights. So I’m fussing and doing my best to get my point across, and God stopped me dead in my tracks. It was as though he was shining a heavenly light that was focused on a pile of clothes on a chase in my bedroom. Whose clothes were these? Mine. I had the nerve to fuss about everyone else in the house and how they were falling short. Meanwhile, I was falling short right with them.
John 8:7 “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” OUCH! Talk about a wake-up call. I was being a hypocrite. I can’t look at his issues as though they are worse than mine. Walking in humility and looking at myself before I look at anyone else allows me to offer the grace and mercy that honors God.
When I was growing up, my Dad would always tell me to “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” This phrase STUCK. I am very expressive. Never been the kind of girl that bites her tongue. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned there are times when I can just be quiet and not speak up. But, if I feel the need to say something, I say exactly what I mean and I leave it there. No need for interpretation with me.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with some of my sisters. Please don’t be the type of wife that has ideas and expectations rolling around in your head and think your husband “should know” what you are expecting. Here is the secret…..He doesn’t. Why? Because he is not a mind reader. Be very clear with your husband regarding your expectations.
Here is my suggestion. A holiday or time of celebration is coming up. Valentines, wedding anniversary or your birthday. You know, the big 3 that cause massive arguments and force men to sleep in on the couch. Instead of getting your hopes up and possibly setting your husband up for failure, check in with him. In January I have a conversation with my husband. I ask him what would make Valentines Day amazing for him and then I tell him what would make it amazing for me. Straight and to the point. Why? It takes all the guesswork out of it. Now you might say, that’s not romantic. “I want him to surprise me.” Well, unfortunately, sometimes the surprise is a disappointment. No one is saying that you have to tell him exactly what to do. But, lead him to the water. I told my husband that I would like shiny and sparkly jewelry, dinner someplace where they serve seafood and ice cream from Baskin Robbins. This blessed my husband’s socks off. Why? It took the struggle out of it. But, that is just my relationship. Your husband might not need that level of guidance during the Big 3.
If you want help with the children, calmly ask him to help. Need to start having date nights, tell him. If you want him to pick up pizza for dinner because you are too tired to cook, tell him. My point is, don’t set your husband up for failure. Be calm and clear about your expectations and desires. He will appreciate it your direct honesty.
Whew! This was a tough one and took me years to get it. After years of marriage and the honeymoon is over reality hits. Your prince charming isn’t wooing you the way he used to. Things may get dull and boring as you go through the normal hustle and bustle of adulthood. Bills are due and friction arises. You not feeling happy turns into, he doesn’t make me happy anymore. But it isn’t his job to make you happy. It isn’t his job to save you. He is not a knight in shining armor that rescues you from your burdens. God Is!
Let’s first address, you don’t want to be happy. Happiness is fleeting. It comes and goes. Happiness is based on your current situation or surrounding. It is triggered by an outside force or experience. So if your surroundings are horrible, dreadful or frustrating, you will feel horrible, dreadful or frustrated. You want to experience Joy.
Joy is consistent and cultivated internally. It doesn’t matter what is going on around you, your joy is predicated on God. Only God can give you the joy that will sustain you when everyone around is acting as though they have lost their mind. He can have you smiling while your boss is cutting up. Only God can give you joy during those rough patches you will experience in your marriage.
Check out these scriptures that speak about the Joy of the Lord:
Scolding your husband as though he is a child is the perfect way to push your husband away. We already know he is going to do some stuff that makes you want to chastise him. He is going to do stuff you have asked him 479,843 times to stop doing. Unfortunately, there may even be times that his behavior very closely resembles the behavior of your children. It’s ok sweetheart. LOL, Just breath.
I love my husband to pieces. I promise I do, but……sigh…. (I’m sorry, I am praying as I say this because I was getting frustrated, LOL) Ok, I’m back. He will always do something that drives me up the wall. Whether it is the pile of clothes that sit on the side of his bed, the garbage that hasn’t been taken out for 3 days or constantly reminding him to close the front door. There will be something that gets on my last nerve. Scolding him like a child
My Pastor always says “You cultivate what you celebrate.!” Start appreciating him for what he is doing right. If he puts his plate into the sink instead of on the counter right next to the sink, thank him. (Side note: This drives me crazy!! PUT THE DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK!!!) LOL. If he puts his dirty clothes in the hamper and not on the bedroom floor, thank him. Be genuine and sincere in your appreciation. It might be painful for you in the beginning. But it will cultivate a grateful heart in you and a desire in him for more appreciation. He will begin to look for things to do that would warrant your appreciation.
Just in case you didn’t know it, Men love praise. Not praise like God, but, praise like “job well done” “I appreciate you for picking the kids up from school today.” “You are an awesome husband!” Challenge yourself to say at least one positive affirming statement to your husband every day.
You are called to be a helpmate. NOT his God! You can’t fix him. You don’t know what you are doing. Only God knows the beginning, middle, and end of your husband’s life. God doesn’t need you to step in and take control of making your husband a better person. Only God can change the heart of man.
Ezekial 36:26 – “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” If you know your husband is out of order, give him to God. Allow God to do what he does best. You focus on being quiet and allowing God to mend the broken areas in your life. Don’t be so busy focused on your husband getting better that you overlook that you are also in need of restoration.
That’s it. Plain and simple. I have struggled with forgiving people that offend me most of my life. When someone crosses me, I take it as a personal attack. A cry for war. A downright assault on my good nature. I would be ready to nail them to the cross for their transgressions. But, God being the loving father that he is, reminds me of how I offend and hurt others. My sin or transgressions aren’t any less painful or wrong than their transgressions. I’ve made people cry and hurt their feelings. Should I climb up on that very same cross I was ready to nail my offender too? Or do I want them to have mercy and forgive me?
Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Remember, forgiveness is not based on whether the person deserves to be forgiven. It is what God requires us to do.
But what about repeat offenders? Then you need to come up with some healthy boundaries for the repeat offender. But, you must still forgive them.
*Disclaimer – I am not talking about accepting things like abuse or extramarital affairs. If you are experiencing any of this, I encourage you to get help now.
Sweetheart, I love you and I sincerely want your marriage to work. These steps have helped me offer a level of grace and forgiveness that completely goes against what I believe my husband deserves. But, I have to get down off of my high horse and remind myself, I don’t deserve any of the grace and forgiveness that God has blessed me with.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for my marriage. Help me to respect my husband the way you commanded. Forgive me for every time I have fallen short and dishonored him. Open my eyes to who he is in you. When I want to rise up and condemn, remind me of my own shortcomings and need for deliverance. Allow me to show grace, mercy and offer forgiveness in a manner that glorifies you. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!
Sincerely your daughter,
**Comment below if you have any other words of advice for wives that are struggling in their marriage.