The funny thing is the more I learn to love and trust God, the better that I am able to love my husband, the more I appreciate my husband, and the closer we become. If you want to grow closer to your spouse, grow closer to God!
Ladies, can’t figure out your role in marriage? Do you like to wear the pants and call all the shots? Yes, I said it! There was a time in my marriage when I was demanding & controlling. I kind of thought men were inferior & my husband was dispensable. I thought that if I made more money than him that it gave me the right to run the show in our household. I thought that he needed constant instructions and to be reminded of things that he didn’t do, instead of accepting him as the man that I married and fell in love with years ago. I totally under appreciated my husband!
It didn’t start out this way in our marriage. For a few years, my husband worked and I stayed home to raise our kids. We each had distinct duties and even though life wasn’t perfect, it worked well. As I began to work outside of the home and climb the corporate ladder, some of our roles in our marriage and duties in our home crossed over. Lines got blurry. My husband still maintained his job, but also took our kids to and from school and after school activities, cooked dinner, played outside with the kids for hours, everyday, for years! But sometimes, he forgot something at the grocery store or left dishes in the sink or wanted to play an online game after the kids went to bed. In my eyes, he fell short. Why wouldn’t he just do more; more laundry, more listening when I came home from work late, more of what I wanted at the moment that I wanted it. I wanted to take the lead at home without any of the work.
For years, I was lost! My marriage was filled with blame, feeling alone, going through the motions, like two cohabitants with our two kids tagging along. We couldn’t go three days without arguing over anything. Everything. I mean everything was his fault. Forget that I worked sixty plus hours a week, often on the weekends, often asking for his help at my job while he worked full time, too. Work became my priority over my family and God which left me feeling depleted as a wife, mother and individual. I expected my husband to pick up the slack in all the areas that I was lacking emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally…
When I was at my weakest, I had a talk with my Dad. My own father told me that he noticed that I was bossy towards my husband, making snappy demands or immediate requests at times when my husband had already spent hours helping me prepare for family dinners or get togethers. He thought that I didn’t appreciate the husband that I had, a man that supported his family and spent time quality time with us. I kind of had a moment, like, are you on my side? But this was the reality check that I needed. My father suggested I go back to church and look to God for answers. It had been years since I picked up a bible. By this time, I had switched jobs, but still hadn’t found happiness in myself or marriage.
I swallowed my pride. I stopped focusing on who was wrong or right and the mistakes that we had both made in our marriage by then. I let go of all the things that he didn’t do and the shortcomings that he made as a human being. I began to focus on myself. Because, who can you change? Only yourself! You are not alone. For God will never leave you even at your darkest moments! He left us some pretty good advice. You just have to open the Bible to find the truth! I turned to the Bible for answers. I read Colossians and it changed everything I do, think, say!
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Ephesians 5: 22-30 Women need to feel cherished. Men need to lead.
Men, the Bible speaks to you as well! Are you honoring your wife? Are you sensitive to her feelings and needs? I mean we are naturally emotional beings! Sometimes more emotional than you bargain far, but do you stay patient and kind? Faithful, loyal, and eyes only for her?
At this time, I needed a major life makeover. I quit working outside the home, a luxury that I know everyone can’t do, but it was important for me to find myself, put my family first, and fix my marriage or lose it all. Scripture tells you what no counselor, no self help book, no “friend” will tell you. But, your daddy will! It only took me thirty seven years to figure out that I couldn’t change a man. They are stubborn, y’all. If you want forgiveness, give it. If you want change, be the change. If you want love, put the other person first. It’s simple, except when you make it complicated.
God saved me! He changed my heart, my mind, my soul! He saved my marriage! When I changed, guess who else changed? My husband! Not overnight. Not because I told him to! I prayed for him for months. I walked into church alone for months. I read the bible alone for months. My husband saw how I was becoming a different wife and showed him genuine love and respect. I let him take the lead in our marriage. He became curious about what I was reading and the church that I attended. He became my biggest supporter and encourager, and still is. We talked, we laughed, and we shared things that we hadn’t in years. He was like a new man! I was like a new woman! Isn’t that what God does? Make all things new!
This isn’t about one partner being more important or in control. It isn’t about who makes more money, whose job is harder, or who works in or outside of the home. It isn’t about who did the dishes last. We can not make it about those things. We have to make it about being the best person that we can be, so that we can give our best to those that we love. When you can feel that genuine love someone has for you though their actions and words, those things won’t matter. Communication will evolve in your marriage. Hearts will change. Roles will become clearly defined. It will get easier.
When marriage is a partnership with God as the center, it is about love, honor, and respect. It is about being fulfilled as an individual, so that you can fully love yourself and others. My marriage isn’t perfect, but it is saved.