Thanks so much to Nan at Mom's The Word (I Love To Hear) for guest posting today!
Sometimes we can be annoyed or angry with our husbands over something that they CAN or CANNOT help. In our annoyance, we may say things that belittle our husbands or make them look bad in our children's eyes, in the eyes of others, as well as in our own eyes.
Said to our child: "Sorry, sweetie, we can't go to the zoo today because daddy doesn't want us to have any fun."'
Said to our friend: "No, I can't go to the movie with you because my husband is mean and stingy and has a rotten job that no one in their right mind would want."
Said to our family: "So what if he works hard? So do I! But you don't see ME sleeping in on Saturday morning. I have to get up with the kids. I wish I could relax over the weekend! He's just a big wimp."
Said to our husband: "I don't understand why I can't buy that new dress. What kind of a husband and provider are you????"
When we are struggling with discontentment with what our husband has provided for us or where God has placed us, when we are struggling with anger against our husband and wanting our friends or family to validate that WE were "right," and not our spouse; when we are struggling with the little annoyances that living with one another can bring, we need to take a closer look at ourselves.
How are we spending our "free" time? Are we watching t.v. shows that make us discontent in our homes and in our marriage?
Who are we hanging out with? Do we have friends who are encouraging us and validating us in our own poor and negative attitudes when they should be pointing us to Christ?
What are we reading? Are we reading books that fill us with a false sense of what love and romance really is?
What are we living and modeling? Are we modeling unconditional love to our spouse, to our children, and to others or are we modeling conditional love? ("If he takes out the garbage, I will make him dinner. If he says 'I'm sorry' first, I will say that I am sorry. I will start speaking to him again when he stops playing on the computer. I am not doing his laundry because he forgot to put gas in my car.")
What are we saying about our husband to our children? Are we encouraging them in their love and respect for their daddy or are we consciously or unconsciously encouraging them to join us in our anger and discontent? ("Daddy is not being fair. Daddy is mean. Daddy doesn't want you to have that new toy. Daddy would rather watch t.v. than play Monopoly with us.")
What am I saying about my husband to others? Our husbands deserve to know that their heart and reputation is safe with us, and not put on display for a cheap joke or an angry shot at their expense.
If we KNOW that we struggle with being content, then we need to avoid the things, if possible, that will automatically make us discontent. If we can't avoid them, then we must change how we think about them.
The thoughts that we dwell on become the thoughts that begin to control our words, and drive our actions and our behavior.
It is easy to become discontent within our marriages if we allow ourselves to. It is easy to look at all the things that our husbands don't do and build up quite a case against them in our own minds.
Suddenly, we are discontent. We are unappreciated. We are unhappy.
We made dinner and hubby didn't even say thank you. We did the laundry and hubby STILL hasn't put his clothes away. We mowed the lawn and yet it never occurred to hubby to do the dinner dishes in return.
I'll bet you could sit down right now and make a list of several things that your husband doesn't do that you'd like him to do.
But can you make a list of several things that your husband DOES do? Instead of dwelling on the things that your husband doesn't do, do you appreciate the things that he DOES do? Do you let him know it?
If your husband brings you home a single rose, are you pleased or do you wish it were a whole bouquet of roses? If he takes you out to dinner are you unhappy because you didn't get to go to a movie too?
1. Pray for your husband every day. Pray for your marriage. We want to build our marriages, not tear them down.
through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." (Proverbs 24: 3,4, NIV)
2. Take control over your thought life. Are we dwelling on what hubby is not doing or focusing on what hubby IS doing? Are we setting him up to fail by expecting him to respond in a certain way or expecting him to read our mind? Are we expecting him to obey us as if he were our child and not our husband? Are we building our marriages or breaking them down?
3. Be thankful. Are you thankful for your husband? Are you thankful for his provision for you? Do you accept that God is providing for you through your husband, and if you're not happy with your husband's provision for you, then you aren't happy with how the Lord is providing for you?
When you're struggling with discontent in your marriage, write down three things that day that you can be thankful for about your husband, and then thank the Lord for them! Remember, you don't have to feel thankful to BE thankful.
4. Remember that love is an action, not a feeling. When you do the action, the feeling will come. Don't let your feelings lead you. Lead in love.
5. Don't compare your husband to someone else's. You'd love to have your husband do beautiful landscaping like your friend's husband or do the dishes every night like your sister's husband. But remember to focus on what your husband IS doing. Maybe he reads to the kids every night before bed, or repairs an appliance the minute you ask, or mows the lawn faithfully, or goes to work each day without complaining.
We're not going to be content in our marriages if we keep looking at what everyone else has. We're not going to be content in our marriages if we keep looking at what we don't have. We're not going to be content in our marriages when we do not have a thankful heart.
Contentment lies in our ability to be happy where we are, with whom we are, and where God has placed us. It lies in being happy with what God has given us, and not being unhappy because we can't have more.
Fortunately, we have a big God who is able to help us in our desire to build our marriages and to control our tongues, to learn contentment and to be thankful. Thank Him today for what you have!