Spending too much time on Facebook?
Arriving late on a regular basis?
Leaving the washing up piled by the sink for too long?
Not cleaning the bath after you’ve finished?
Gossiping about others?
If I asked your husband, what do you think he’d say?
We all have annoying habits, some trivial, some have more impact on those around us.
How much do I focus on the bad habits of my husband? Weekly? Daily? Hourly????
Sometimes, we can get a bit stuck in our marriages. We allow those little annoyances to take control. We can become so fixated on them that we are almost waiting for the next time our husband fails to meet up to our expectations.
I am slightly ashamed to admit that this used to be me. I was always getting annoyed with my husband’s minor foibles. I would stew. Blow up at him. Hold onto a list of all the times he had come home late, left things by the dishwasher without opening the door and putting them inside, come to bed late making him tired the next morning, etc.
Those little things were filling up so much of my attention and head-space that they were affecting the way I was seeing my husband.
And do you know what? And here’s the killer. Did he react in the same way to my annoying little habits? Did he get impatient with me? Irritable? Huffy?
Nope. He didn’t. Sure he’d occasionally point out if something I was regularly doing affected him or the family in a negative way. But he did this reasonably. With patience. With grace.
And so it hit me. I wanted a grace-filled marriage. From both sides.
God reminded me that none of us are perfect. That we all have annoying habits. My husband, yeah sure. But I do too.
And having a grace-filled marriage is not about dealing with my husband’s little annoying ways by dropping acid-laced hints badly disguised in sugar-coated humour.
Having a grace-filled marriage is not about keeping lists of all the times in recent memory we have been let down by our husband in some way.
Having a grace-filled marriage is not about trying to change our husband’s ways through nagging.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Now, I’m not saying that these little things don’t ever annoy me any more. But I have realised that these things just aren’t worth it. They’re not worth all the stress, bad atmospheres and damaging words.
So, how can we have a grace-filled marriage?
A grace-filled marriage is full of prayer
Now this is not about praying that God would change our husbands according to our agenda!
This is about praying that our own bad habits would decrease. That we can become better wives for our husbands. That we would increase in our patience, tolerance and grace.
And that we can pray for our husbands to become the men that God has ordained that they should be.
As we pray along these lines, we will change. We will forget those socks lying on the bedroom floor. We will still welcome him with a kiss when he arrives home later than planned again.
We will appreciate the blessing our husband is more than the burden he can sometimes be.
A grace-filled marriage is full of blessing
Another way I have found to turn my attitude around is to remember the roles we have to play in our marriage. To support each other and help each other.
To stop focusing on my husband’s weaknesses and in grace, love and generosity choose to bless him. Tidy up after him, show compassion towards his tiredness after his long day at work, choose to listen to his stresses rather than gabble on about my own.
A grace-filled marriage builds each other up
Finally, we need to choose our words carefully. The words I speak need to be intentional. Because when I’m not intentional, when I’m not careful to control my tongue my words become more negative. I become quick to nag rather than affirm. I tend to criticise more easily rather than show my appreciation.
As wives one of the best things we can do for our husbands is to choose to build them up with our words. This involves getting off their case about the things that annoy us and choosing to show how much they impress us with their strengths, their virtues, their love and their achievements.
And now it’s linkup time!!!