Seeking What is Good for Your Husband
I have a confession - Sometimes I intentionally start fights with my husband.
It’s not that I enjoy fighting and it’s not that he has particularly done something to deserve an argumentative wife at the end of the day, it’s that I am prideful.
Prideful because I think that the work that I am doing as a stay-at-home mom is harder than the work that my husband is doing to provide the sole income for our family. Prideful because I want all of the sympathy of staying home all day with a fussy, teething baby. Prideful because I want all of the recognition and praise because there is a homemade meal on the table with the baby asleep in her bed.
But I am forgetting a couple of things - the living room is a mess, the dishes are piled over, and the laundry is weeks overdue.
And this is where my mind takes this tangled web of lies and Satan is the ringleader. This is where I put on my boxing gloves waiting at the door for my husband to walk in so I can take the first punch, blindsiding him.
I had a choice to make: simply ask my husband if he could clean up the house while I went away for a few hours to babysit for some friends, or not tell my husband that I was desiring that he would clean up the house - because then it would give me a reason for me to fight with him when I came home to a messy house.
I didn’t want to ask him to clean the house because I wanted to fight. I wanted to fuel my pride by yelling at him about how hard of a day I had, how I endured hours of a crying baby and still managed to put food on the table for him, yelling at him saying that he doesn’t see how hard I am working and doesn’t help around the house.
Oh yes, I took that tangled web of lies and let it permeate my heart, making me furious at my husband before he even came home from work, before he even had the chance to see that I needed help around the house.
And so I argued with myself, trying to make the decision to ask him to help me clean the house or not. And I was arguing because I knew in my heart that my intentions were wrong, that the thoughts in my head about my husband were lies, that the words that I wanted to say were hurtful and not full of grace, that I wouldn’t be seeking the best for my husband out of a grateful heart.
For Colossians 3:15-16 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in you hearts.”
As members of one body we are called to peace. (emphasis mine)
Sometimes I forget that my husband isn’t just someone who I am married to and live in the same house with, but we are one body, he is my brother in Christ. We are co-heirs together. We are ambassadors together. We serve the same God together.
And when I think of how I act with my friends, my fellow sisters in Christ, we speak openly and lovingly with one another, encouraging one another, rebuking one another with a gentle spirit when needed, always pointing each other back to Jesus and His Word.
I need to treat my husband in that same way. Peter gives us a straight-forward calling as wives:
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment … Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:1-4
Having reverence means to have a deep respect for someone. Our husbands do not only need to see the purity and reverence of our lives through our behavior, but they need to see that we have a reverence for them.
When I am putting on my boxing gloves and getting ready to start a fight with my husband when he didn’t even doing anything wrong, that is not only showing him that I am not loving him out of a gentle spirit or a pure heart, but it shows him that I do not have reverence for him.
Just as Peter explains in this passage, we need to point our husbands back to the love of Christ through our actions, our attitudes, our speech. We are serving our husbands well and loving them well when we speak to them with kind words and love them through our service and giving them respect and the grace that we have so lovingly been given through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Another very important way that we can respect our husbands and show them the love of Christ is to confess our sin with them and ask for forgiveness. And this one is a double whammy, because not only are you doing something out of goodness for you marriage, you are also acknowledging your pride and humbling yourself before God and your husband.
Back in Colossians chapter 13, verse 13-14 reminds us to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
This verse rang true in my heart as I won the battle that was being fought with the lies in my head when I told my husband about my desire for him to help clean up the house while I was away babysitting.
‘Putting on love’ means acknowledging the grace that we have been given as sinners, and extending that to our husbands. It means looking from the Cross and seeing others how Jesus saw us as He sacrificed His life so that we could have life everlasting in Him. It means putting on Jesus.
I avoided a fight the other day, But more important than that, I strengthened my relationship with my husband that day by communicating with him that I needed help cleaning up, by confessing a sin that I had in my heart, by asking for forgiveness for the lies I started to believe about him in my mind, and by repenting and asking God to help my put on love when my flesh is giving way.
Our relationships with our husbands are worth that. They are worth our very best. And our best that we can give is Jesus.