Scott and I will be married for 10 years this coming August! 10 wonderful, stretching, growing, fun, exhausting, loving years.
Around our anniversary I often contemplate where we are at in our marriage and what I need to work on. We should never stop looking for ways to grow as a spouse and to be more of what God has called us to be.
My anniversary also makes me look at the marriages around me. Especially the ones that have been married many more years than us. They seem to fall into one of two categories: either sweet, comfortable, safe and loving or bitter, apathetic and cold.
We are daily laying the groundwork for what kind of marriage we will have in 5, 10, 20, 30 years. We are deciding daily through our thoughts and actions if we want to grow to be better spouses or bitter spouses.
How would you describe your marriage? Is it cold? Are you more like roommates than lovers? Do you offer a safe place for your spouse to come to when discouraged or hurting? Are you united, living as one flesh? Are you bitter and angry or content and thankful?
None of us WANTS to be in a bitter marriage but unfortunately many of us find ourselves in one. I want to share with you five things that will help you to not be bitter in your marriage and hate your husband.
5 ways to NOT hate your husband:
1. Remember that marriage was never about you and your happiness. Marriage has always been for something much bigger and greater than your happiness. As we yield to God’s work in our hearts through marriage we are able to be sanctified and become more like Christ. Marriage is for Him and His glory, not you and your wants.
2. Focus on your faults, not his. Too many women are bitter because they take all their husband’s faults/annoying habits and put them under a microscope. They study their husband’s faults like a student studying to become a lawyer. They wake up daily and are irritated before their feet even hit the floor in the morning because their mind is filled with everything their husband does wrong.
3. Don’t try and change him. You know how hard it is to change you right? I mean, how many of us want to be more gentle, more forgiving, have more self-control etc? All of us. We all want to grow and change. If it’s hard for you to make yourself change how much harder is it to change someone else? As much as we want to be in control of our husbands and their behavior, we are not. We are not the Holy Spirit. The less we seek to change our spouse the happier we will be.
4. Pray for your husband. When is the last time you genuinely poured your heart out to the Lord seeking His good for your husband? When is the last time you sat quietly praying the Lord would work in your husband’s heart? When is the last time you prayed for yourself to be a gentle wife that wins your husband over without words? (1 Peter 3:1)
5. Choose joy. Life is short. There is no marriage in heaven. This is the one marriage you get. Make the best of it. Choose joy for your own good, the good of your children and the good of your marriage. I know plenty of people with wonderful lives and yet they make the worst of it. They choose sadness. They choose to see the worst in everything and everyone (including their spouse). Don’t be like that. Pray and ask the Lord to show you how He can be your source of joy. If you try and make your marriage your source of joy and happiness you are bound to be a bitter woman. Don’t put your husband in the place of Christ in your life. Your husband was never meant to fulfill your every desire. As you choose joy you will kill bitterness in your heart and home! Bitterness defiles many, including your children and their children. Bitterness trains us to hate our husband but joy trains us to love him.