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!
Most every person I know struggles with something, and often in the midst of that struggle, we get stuck in a rut. Even though we don’t like where we are, we often do the very things that keep us mired down in that area.
Some people get stuck in a rut regarding a dysfunctional coping mechanism such as drinking too much alcohol, or overeating, or over-shopping! Other people get stuck in a rut in terms of unhealthy and unhelpful communication with their family members. They might get stuck in the habit of yelling and criticizing or complaining. And still other people get stuck in a rut regarding depression and despair. Obviously, no one wants to stay in this rut, but we can’t seem to get ourselves unstuck!
Please allow me to share a few Bible insights that have really helped me get unstuck so I can move forward with joy, peace, and hope.
I’ve learned to do what Paul teaches in Philippians 3:13-14…. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Let me make this personal. I lost my husband about 10 months ago. It was shocking. It was devastating. My world tipped upside down. And I could have easily got stuck in depression and even resentment toward God. However, I distinctly remember the moment I decided to pivot from the pain and turn forward, asking God to open up new adventures and new joys in my life. That was a choice. It was a really good one. I was able to heal and start grabbing hold of joy again.
I’ve learned to pause and consult God when I notice dysfunctional habits in my life. I ask Him to change my heart so that I desire good things, healthy things, and behavior that please Him. On my own, I don’t really have the strength to make these changes, but when God comes in and changes my heart in response to prayer, then I have the strength and strong desire necessary to make those changes! Listen to what God says in Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ask God to change your heart. That’s the first step in getting unstuck from bad habits and unhealthy behavior.