My husband and I have been married for a year and a half, and sometimes I’m a really crappy wife. Just being honest here. I’m selfish often and grumpy if I’m tired or hungry, which is also often, by the way. Because of that, I thank God almost every day that he gave me a patient and very gracious husband. But I’m definitely not happy with my grumpy, selfish ways. In my dreams, I’d love to be the perfect wife: always smiling, cooking great meals, keeping an impeccably clean house, raising perfect children and never once hurting my husband’s feelings…. but that isn’t realistic. And as much as I long for perfection, it’s not attainable. So I guess it’s a good thing he doesn’t expect perfection from me.
But, there is one thing we can expect from each other – to grow in godliness, because God has called us to be holy. It has been six weeks as of today since we picked up and moved across the country to New England for Jacob’s dream job. It has been an absolutely crazy adventure and I’m so happy we did it. Since we decided to move, nearly every older married couple has told us that moving away from everyone they knew early in their marriage was the best thing they had ever done.
At this point, it’s too early to say if it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, but I have definitely seen some great outcomes from it. For one, we spend a lot of time together. A lot! And I love it. It’s fun to be reminded of how much he’s really my best friend. It’s fun to play games some nights and watch Netflix too late and eat soup out of mugs because we forgot to pack bowls to use in this temporary apartment. But all of this together time in a new, sometimes stressful environment has revealed to me even more how much I’m a sinner.
So this new season in life has challenged me to ask God to make me more like him in ways I haven’t specifically asked before. I’ve been asking him to teach me to love Jacob the way He already loves us both and to grow me in being a more gracious wife. So when I’m feeling discouraged, hurt, angry or just plain moody, this is what I pray over us both, but mostly me. Because I need God to change and grow me.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. -Proverbs 18:2
1. For understanding, rather than quickness to express my opinion. I’m much quicker to share my side or solution than to understand where my husband is coming from, but that makes me a fool. And it not only makes me a fool… it sends a message to my husband that I do not value what he thinks.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. – Proverbs 14:29
2. For a patient spirit, slow to anger. Sometimes I get worked up over the small things: clothes left on the floor, dishes in the sink, toilet seat up or down, etc. I’m not alone here, I know. But in the long run – in growing in patience and loving my husband – those things really aren’t worth exploding in anger.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3
3. For steadfast love and faithfulness toward him. It was pretty easy to up and move across the country for this opportunity. But it seems like the day to day decisions are more difficult to honor him with steadfast love and faithfulness. For example, I should really go to bed at a decent hour tonight so that I’m not cranky tomorrow when we get to spend time together. But Netflix is awfully tempting. Too tempting sometimes!! See, it’s the little things I want to grow in.
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. – Proverbs 14:30
4. For a heart that rejects envy. Most often, my insecurities and hurt come from seeing what others have or do that I don’t have or do, and dwelling on those things. In no way does an envious heart show love or appreciation for my husband. Instead, it creates a dark heart in me and feelings of insufficiency in him.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity. – Proverbs 2:6-7
5. For God’s own wisdom. Honestly, I’m so quick to consider myself first in all areas of life. I’m asking for God’s wisdom to see the bigger picture – in our marriage and the world around us.
God has been convicting me a lot lately in reading through Proverbs, as I’m sure you can tell from the excerpts above. Are there ways you hope to grow in honoring your spouse? Or in honoring God? It seems like there’s so much room for me to grow, but it’s pretty cool to look back and see how far he’s already brought me.
**This post was originally share as a guest post on A Beautiful Exchange Blog.