First of all, let me preface this by saying that I in NO WAY consider myself to hold any expertise in the area of marriage.
The following outlines a few of the mistakes I have personally stumbled into (and still do at times) in my own journey with my husband. Yet the Lord has been gracious enough to allow me to learn a few things from them..
1. Talk bad about him to other people
As his wife, I play a major role in how others in our community, church, and circle of friends think of him. By speaking poorly, I am giving him a bad name. Others opinion of him will be molded by what they perceive is my opinion of him.
And I’m fooling myself if I don’t think my harsh words will find their way back to his ears. This rips and tears at the trust in our relationship.
Instead: only speak highly of him to to others.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23)
2. Expect Perfection
Expecting him to be the perfect leader, husband and father who understands what I’m thinking and feeling at any given moment of my day is placing a burden on him that he can never and will never be able to carry. I wouldn’t want him to put that load on me – so don’t put it on him.
Instead: like Sara, leave some space and grace for his mistakes.
Sara’s husband, Abraham screwed up big time! – telling the Egyptians that she was his sister and let Pharoh take her as his wife. Then he did the same thing AGAIN with King Abimelech.
However, scripture says that..
or in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. (1 Peter 3:6)
There is a principle in this – obviously, I don’t recommend not opposing your husband if he were to follow in the steps of Abraham. Sara didn’t fear her husbands mistakes, knowing that he was in God’s hands, and that He would convict him – and protect her….which He did.
..which leads to the next point..
3. Be his Holy Spirit
I cannot convict my husband. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit. The Lord can use me to speak truth to him, but I have to be careful that my speech is not motivated by fear – this only comes across as nagging.
Instead: Pray for him! ..and when necessary, share my thoughts in love and gentleness.
4. Seek the counsel of other men first
There have been many times that I have sought spiritual counsel from other men in our church before discussing it with my husband. I never thought much of it until one day he told me that it bothered him. At that point, the Spirit’s conviction fell on me like a ton of bricks!
This is a matter of respect – he deserves my respect – because God’s word says so.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
There have been times that I have justified in my mind that I don’t have to show him respect because I didn’t feel like he was showing love for me.
The Lord has also convicted me of the error in this thinking. Just because I feel he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain, does not void God’s command for me to respect him. period.
Instead: seek his advice/opinion first, even if I may think he doesn’t have the knowledge to give an insightful response. Ask him anyway because it’s the respectful thing to do. The times that I have done this, I’ve found that he is much wiser than I had given him credit for.
5. Withhold yourself from him – no, I don’t mean physically – although I wouldn’t recommend that either 😉
I’m talking about an emotional withholding.
So, I know that men tend to not operate in the same capacity of emotions that many of us woman do.
However, I believe I can inspire a level of confidence in his heart towards me when I open up to him.
When I close myself, in a very settle way it gives the appearance that I’m going into a place of hiding – that I can’t/don’t want to confide in him.
Instead: Be vulnerable. Share my hopes and dreams. Share my doubts and fears. Let him see that I trust him with my emotions.
So how about you? Any thoughts? insights? Any ways I didn’t mention in how we can crush the hearts of our husbands? I know this can be a very personal and intimate issue, but if you have something you feel like you can share, I would love to hear.