The battle continues for marriage. I have written about it. Again. And again. Yes, each of those are individual links – and this blog is only months old. So yes, I am passionate about my marriage – and the man that I am married to! This week, as I continue blogging through Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph we are reading chapters 8-10, and the main topic of conversation is the battle that we face in our marriage. The battle to not be critical and bitter. To forgive. To be content. To compare. These are the topics we are going to discuss as we battle for marriage – with a couple of key ideas for how to battle it!
Critical and Bitter
No one wants to be a critical wife. No one wants to be that dripping faucet in their husband’s life (Proverbs 27:15). That isn’t who he married. He married the girl who giggled at him. Who was fun to be around. Who made him feel like a better man, a happy man, and a respected man. A woman who made him feel loved. When we have a spirit that is critical and bitter, they don’t see that other girl. They wondered where she went. To be honest, in the moments when I have felt that way – I have wondered where she went!
I loved this quote from Women Living Well-
There is so much truth in that statement. Maybe in front of people, you don’t say things negative about your husband – yet at home, you are continually being cranky and saying, or even thinking, things that are not positive or beneficial to your husband. What is the wife like that your husband comes home to – how different is she from the woman that he used to pick up on dates? I had a wife share with me “Mandy, I am not the same girl! I now work, have two kids, and we are in ministry! We are busy! Of course I am cranky!” I know there is some truth to that. Seasons of life do bring changes in who we are, and what we have time for! Yet, this is why we call this a battle! We have to fight for it! The battle steps – are NOT easy!
1)Sit at Jesus Feet – The more time we spend with Jesus, the easier it is to not be cranky and bitter! When we are sitting at His feet, and allowing the Holy Spirit to control our lives, we will respond the right way! The Bible says we need to renew our mind daily (Romans 12:1-2). This is why I love Good Morning Girls . Several times a year, they give FREE resources to make our time in the Word easy – everything from reading plans, accountability groups, and children’s resources! Make a plan to get in the word of God today- and then be intentional about it!
2) Set your Mind – The verse that comes to my mind when I think of setting my mind on the right things, and using it as a filter for my thoughts, is the same verse Courtney gave in her book. Philippians 4:8 has been a life verse for me for years. I have had many times when the things I think have gotten me in trouble. I have learned that the more I focus on what is TRUE – the less battles I face when it comes to my mind. If you have not commited this one to memory, I would highly encourage you to do so! It is actually the verse that Good Morning Girls is memorizing THIS WEEK! 🙂 Here is that verse:
3) Share with the Lord- Give it to the Lord. Let Him change you from the inside out.
Be Content – and Don’t Compare
As women, I think we struggle more than men in this area. Just like our homes, birthday parties, or cooking – we can get very carried away with comparing our husbands to those men we see around us – or the ones that we allow to come into our lives through areas of media. We need to be on guard for this. When we bred a heart of discontentment, by setting things before our eyes that MAKE us discontent, we are setting ourselves us to be cranky and bitter! “Why doesn’t he work more so we can have more?” “Why doesn’t he work less and spend more time at home?” “Why can’t he support me the way _____ supports HIS wife”. Remember, your husband is not God in your life- so don’t set him up to fail. Don’t expect him to meet every physical, spiritual, and emotional need you have. Only the Lord can meet all our needs. Only the Lord is perfect. Courtney reminds us “Remember, you married a sinner who needs grace – the same grace Christ gave us at the cross.” There are many times I know my husband gives grace to me, that I don’t deserve. The houses isn’t where it should be. The dinner wasn’t that great. My attitude stunk. Grace is often given. Don’t forget to be a grace extender in your marriage.
I think the largest battle we face is here. We don’t want to forgive. We forget all the times forgiveness has been given to us – if by no one else, the Lord. If we do not forgive – we end up back where we started – with bitter, winding its thorny vine around the lives of our homes and our marriages. Ruth Bell Graham said ” A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers”. Oh, how this simple statement has been worked out time and again in my marriage. I am not perfect, and I did not marry a perfect man. He married a woman who was a sinner, saved by grace. I married a man who is a sinner, saved by grace. Sometimes, we don’t walk in the Spirit – and sometimes, there is fall out. Because of that, I need to play an active role in forgiveness in our home. Scott and I both make it a point to keep short forgiveness accounts. We take wise counsel in the verse in Ephesians 4:26-27, where it says
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,and give no opportunity to the devil.
When we allow anger to build in our lives, we are giving the devil an open door into our marriages. SHUT THE DOOR! Scott and I practice saying these three things often in our marriage together:
I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me
Why wouldn’t you want to say those things to your husband? Pride. Sisters, I am going to share it with you straight. When you don’t want to admit to your fault to your spouse, who knows them as well as you do, it is PRIDE knocking at your door. Pride can keep us from having the Happily Ever After that we dreamed about as girls. Pride – because we don’t want to back down. We don’t want to admit we were wrong. We don’t want to give up leading and having our way. Pride is the source of discontentment, crankiness, bitterness and comparison. When we are allowing those things to rule over contentment, gentleness, meekness, sweetness and truth- we are allowing pride – and the father of pride, the devil – to have his foot in the door of our home and our marriage.
It has been so good studying marriage these last few weeks. So good, that I am taking the time in chapter 9-10 to do the two-week challenge in her book. When I wake up tomorrow, I am going to start day one. Anyone who plans on joining me, comment below and let me know! I will be bathing this in prayer! I will pray for YOU! Also, you can follow along, as I share some of it through my blog or Facebook . I would love to know you are joining me. Let’s lock shields sisters, and battle for our marriage together!
Worshiping Him with my Life,