Our kids comment frequently that my husband and I argue too much, at least in front of them. When I married, I knew my husband was not a spiritually mature person but I was head over heals in love. This disparity of Christian perspective continues even after more than a decade of marriage. My husband would rather be at the tennis courts than in church on Sundays. What can I do to prevent spousal bickering and what can I do to encourage my husband to be more spiritually interested?
this is a very real problem for many couples. Uncontrolled anger is the cause of a significant portion of the divorces that occur every year. That’s why it is so important to ‘maintain the bond of peace’ in your home. Yes, you might want to get mad at your husband…and he might even deserve it. Maybe your emotions are screaming out “Why doesn’t he do this or that (or whatever it is)? But you must be wise. Ask yourself, what would Jesus do? What would Jesus have me do? What would a wise woman do?
Believe it or not most men are sensitive at heart. In truth that is a very good sign. If your husband is sensitive to your criticism it means his heart is still open to you. Husbands who have just ‘shut out’ their wives after years of constant criticism and/or nagging find it very tough to open up again. Trust me, you don’t want that.
So please remember that your husband, as tough as he might appear on the outside, really has put his emotional heart in your hands through marriage (as have you to him of course). One of your top priorities, I would suggest, is to take good care of his emotional heart. That doesn’t mean just being a wallflower when he does something wrong. But it does mean finding the right time, the right way and the right tone to help him understand what he has done wrong.
There is a reason the Bible warns us in Proverbs 14:1 that ‘the wise (or man) woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Clearly, our Heavenly Father wants us to be wise, not foolish, in our interactions with our spouse!!
Men, as I’ve said many times in this column and throughout my Fatherhood book (www.BeABetterDadToday.com) we are the leaders of our families. If we want our wife to be kindhearted towards us, we must exhibit that attitude first. If we want her to be loving towards us, she must feel loved and protected. To be honest, those are not my greatest strengths. Maybe they are not yours also. But here’s the great news: our Heavenly Father wants to help us grow in ‘love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ as promised in Galatians 5 verses 22 and 23). Personal growth is never easy. It’s never a good feeling to admit that we must grow up in one area or another. But our Heavenly Father will not leave us as spiritual adolescents.
He wants to help us grow up into the fullness of Christ. And that, as I myself continue to learn, is a very, very good thing.
Onward and Upward!!