Typically, I shy away from writing anything marriage related, because I do not feel qualified to hand out advice to others on the subject, nor do I have it all together myself. However, this is an area that the Lord brought to my attention years ago and it’s one that I feel compelled to share. Simply because relationships can be hard. Marriage requires a lot of work. And sometimes we get weary in the well doing of our day to day lives. Even with someone we love. We have all been there. So, my goal is to be real about it and gain some freedom in Christ while doing so.
I married my high school sweetheart at the tender age of 19. And by tender I mean: immature, selfish, controlling, impatient, and probably many more qualities that will remain nameless. We were young and in love, and eager to say “I do.” However, being just babies, we were unprepared and ill-equipped for the road ahead. Sure, love covers a multitude of sin, but it doesn’t make it disappear. The love in my heart was not always expressed with my mouth. My devotion and respect weren’t always demonstrated with the best actions. At times, it was my way or the highway with no in between. I struggled with anger and I had high expectations of what a husband should be or do. I had placed him in a position he was not created to fulfill. And I was terribly wrong.
Who’s the Real Problem
Many years ago, the Lord began to show me how destructive my behavior was. After having children and with the personality that I have, I found myself more controlling than ever. Nothing he could do was right. Whether it be folding clothes or feeding the baby, I wanted it all done my way. I was a barking dog seated on a porch, observing his every move rather than being thankful that he helped. And I was convicted. For years, he had shown me plenty of grace in my times of need. He never came home demanding or asking what I did all day. He loved me and yet; he didn’t expect me to be perfect. I’ve never been griped at for improperly loading the dishwasher. He’s never said a word about my parenting skills. All of those years that I believed it was my job to “teach” him or ‘”fix” him was just a lie from the enemy. The spirit of control had deceived me and tampered with my marriage. It was a destructive lifestyle, but thankfully the Lord helped us to repair it.
Proverbs 12:4 says, “A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer to his bones.”
Proverbs 31:26 says, “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”
A Heart to Change
After that, I began to change my prayers. Instead of coming to the Lord in frustration over what my husband did or didn’t do, I simply started to pray for myself, asking God to help me to be more like Jesus. I prayed earnestly for the sin in my heart to be revealed and my thoughts to be transformed. I began to renew my mind with the Word of God and to bless my husband instead of complaining about him. My attitude didn’t change overnight, but little by little, the anger melted away. My frustration turned to understanding. Instead of dishing out impatience, I began to extend grace. It was nothing I could muster up on my own. It was the Holy Spirit in me, empowering me to overcome the flesh and love in every situation.
There are still days when my hormones are raging, or I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. But, I’m so thankful that God takes us from glory to glory. That when we are willing to seek Him and ask for forgiveness, He helps us with the steps ahead. He’s a God that’s faithful to finish what He starts in us. He gives us grace in our times of weakness and the ability to learn from our mistakes. He’s a good God and a big God. And He loves to help us in our time of need.