Does your mouth often cause trouble between you and your husband (or between you and other people)? If you’re one of many women who end up “venting” on their husband or saying harsh words you later regret, God’s Word gives us 3 clues on how we can respond appropriately when we start to feel our anger rising.
1) Pause. Just stop. Leave the room for a moment if you need to. Don’t react in the moment because your gut-level reaction will almost always cause trouble! James 1:19 puts it this way, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” So pause before you react verbally.
2) During the pause, consult the Holy Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to love and respect your husband with your response. Would your husband be positively impacted by a gentle and encouraging word from you? Would your husband be more willing to make changes that you’re requesting if you showed him respect by asking him to help you understand his perspective? Philippians 2:4 says “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
3) When you’re ready to address the issue with your husband, say a silent prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to be the one speaking to your husband by using your mouth. Trust me. The Holy Spirit will come up with much better words than you ever could, and will utter those words in a much more respectful way! When speaking to his disciples, Jesus said in Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
We’re all going to have moments (or weeks or months!) that we’re disappointed with our husband. No man is perfect, and your husband is bound to frustrate you, annoy you, or fail to meet your expectations from time to time. The question is: How can you keep from being seriously discouraged or resentful during those times? I have found 4 things to be really helpful:
1) Clearly communicate your expectations and desires! Our men are not mind-readers, yet often we expect our husbands to “just know”! So, think about the areas in which you’ve been frustrated or disappointed. Then calmly and clearly tell your husband what you desire or need, as well as how much you’d appreciate him making an effort to meet those needs and desires.
2) Be grateful for what he does right! Isn’t it strange how we tend to gravitate to focusing on what our husband is doing wrong, but barely give a second thought to what he’s doing right?! Stop right now and ask God to help you see the many good things about your husband and the positive things he does. This is the essence of Philippians 4:8… “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.”
3) If your husband is actually sinning against you, it’s time to stop wringing your hands and it may be time to take action! In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus instructs us to confront the person who sins against us, and to even get others involved if necessary.
4) Pray, and never give up! Prayer truly can move mountains, and Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1 that we “should always pray and not give up“. So go to battle in prayer, and ask God to reveal His love to your husband and to mold and shape your husband’s heart.
If you find yourself disappointed with your husband, ask yourself this question: Is he sinning against me or am I just disappointed with him? If he is actually sinning against you (looking at porn, being abusive, drinking excessively, etc), then consult with God and perhaps a godly mentor to determine if you should respectfully confront your husband and establish boundaries, using the Biblical model laid out in Matthew 18:15-17.
However, if you’re simply disappointed with your husband because he’s not meeting your expectations, then try these two things: 1) Simply and clearly let him know what you desire….because he is not a mind-reader! It’s so funny how we expect our husbands to meet all our needs and desires because “he should just know”. Lol Well, guess what? He doesn’t “just know”. Sometimes, you need to actually tell him what you’re hoping for and what your expectations are.
2) If he still doesn’t fulfill your desires and expectations, take a moment and remind yourself that he can’t be perfect and he can’t perfectly meet all your needs! Now, if someone were to ask us if we expect our husbands to be perfect, we would answer “of course not!”, and yet, at a subconscious level, most of us DO expect our men to be perfect. We pretty much expect them to be Jesus! It’s time to let them off that hook. After all, God makes it clear in Psalm 53 “there is no one who does good, not even one”.
So, maybe it’s time you stop expecting your man to be perfect in every way. How about, instead, you decide to be thankful for the good things about him? In fact, every time I start to get disappointed with my own husband, I try to stop and begin to list the things that he does right. Let’s see. He works hard to provide for me. He doesn’t drink or drug. He has stopped looking at porn. He reads the Bible every day. Wow! I’m not so disappointed anymore!
In every marriage, there will certainly be times where you find yourself disappointed or frustrated with your husband. The question isn’t…how can you and I avoid those challenging times? The question is…how are we going to respond to the challenge?
I’ve met many wives who allow themselves to sink into self-pity or get all riled up with anger toward their husband. Neither one of those responses is helpful! In fact, a crazy cycle begins in the marriage. The wife lets her husband know how disappointed she is in him…he feels like a failure so he either responds with mean words or withdraws…she gets even more disappointed…and the cycle continues! Please allow me to suggest a couple of new ways to look at those times when your husband has frustrated or disappointed you:
Instead of focusing solely on what he’s doing wrong, choose to rejoice in what he’s doing right. This is the essence of Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” In other words, instead of developing a sour taste in your mouth by dwelling on his every fault, choose to look at your husband as a work in progress. God doesn’t transform a person overnight (including you!). So, choose to relish in the sweetness of every good thing your husband does and every good choice he makes. For your soul, it will be like sipping on sweet lemonade instead of sucking on bitter lemons.
P.S. You’ll look a lot more attractive to your husband when your mouth isn’t puckered up like you’ve been sucking on sour lemons!
P.S.S. If your husband is WAY out of bounds with his behavior and actually sinning against you, you may need to establish some firm boundaries, while at the same time choosing to remind yourself of his good qualities as well!
You’ve probably heard the saying, “If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Although the primary message of this saying is that mom’s attitude affects the whole family, I think a secondary message is just as significant. If a wife conveys to her husband through her constant complaints and criticisms that she’s not happy, her husband begins to feel like a failure and starts to close his heart to her.
Unfortunately, many wives get stuck in this dynamic. We tend to point out one disappointment after another to our husbands. We remind him that we notice he forgot to take out the garbage. We point out that he hasn’t communicated in our love language recently. We remind him that he hasn’t played with the kids in a while. In short, we can’t seem to resist pointing out his flaws. Adding insult to injury, we then get really upset that he seems emotionally withdrawn from us!
Perhaps it’s time to pick our battles more carefully. Maybe we should let the small stuff slide. Proverbs 12:16 says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” Let’s ask God to help us affirm what our husbands do right, overlook the small imperfections, and only confront our husbands if they are truly sinning against us and/or the children. I think EVERYBODY in the family will be happier!
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE