This is a dead horse that I will continue to beat because I think the topic of this post is so important for women to remember whether old or young, married or single.
You may have not been taught growing up that your marriage would be a training ground of sorts for spiritual growth. You may have been one of those women like myself who believed marriage was designed to meet your own selfish needs. Like me you probably had some expectations that had everything to do with filling an emotional void and nothing to do with facing who you truly were and becoming a better person in spite of yourself.
This post is not so much about simply glorifying your husband than it is about glorifying God. It’s about exposing and dealing with our own selfishness in order to become a better person.
One of the ways that I struggled in my marriage with selfishness was in times when I perceived that my husband was irritating me. I italicize this statement to point out that emotional irritation is an internal reaction too a perceived wrong. As women of God who are called to exemplify the Lord, we can not let our character change for the worst based upon external motivations.
One of the biggest hindrances I hear about in marriage is when one spouse withholds outward expressions of love towards the other spouse when they become angry or frustrated. This is an indication of unharnessed selfishness.
In the early years of my marriage I withheld affectionate attention from my husband when I was angry at something he did. It was part of my human nature to resort to the old “an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” method when I was wronged. However I want to encourage you to practice doing the total opposite. Instead of withholding love, strive to give more of it.
One of the ways that I achieve success in this area is by going out of my way to do special services for my husband. I have created a habit of preparing the home for him when he arrives home. This is so easy to accomplish when we are on good terms, but it is when we are not on good terms that I can truly see if I am striving to glorify God. Will I still be the person I am when we are on good terms or will I withhold service, love and affection? Mastering our behavior is more about our relationship with God than it is about the one we share with our spouses.
It is important that we pray diligently to gain mastery in this area. Each time we choose to repay evil with evil we run the risk of destroying relationships. We destroy our relationship with our spouses and our relationship with God when we let anger fuels our choices. Let us trust in Gods word regarding repaying evil. I’ve made a commitment to repay my husband with godliness even when I am angry. I don’t succeed every time but with practiced discipline it has become easier and easier to do.
If this is something you struggle with be encouraged and know that God wants you to be more like Christ even more than you do. Trust in the Lord and make Him the focus of your life.