I have heard it been said that one of the most illogical things a wife can do is expect to change her husband. Yet, I have seen relationship after relationship where people marry each other knowing there are issues but ignoring them- only to try and change the person once married. Or, I have seen it also happen where people get married and then issues arise and instead of dealing with the issues they both just want to bail.
To be honest, I have felt the tension of both of these things. I truly believe no relationship is exempt from difficulties or disagreements. Which is why I chose this topic today.
Marriage is hard. You are taking two completely different people and merging them together. You take two sets of dreams, two different perspectives, two different histories and combine them and expect them to make a life of it.
When you think about it, that is crazy!
I think one of the most tempting things for women to do is try and change their husband.
My husband and I have some very real issues. We often differ in our beliefs. That can be really hard. Especially because so much flows out of what we believe in our hearts.
Sometimes I just wish he could understand how I feel. Other times I want him to do something I want to do because I think it is the best decision. I get desperate, mad, and angry. “Why can’t you just get it?!”.
It is so tempting to think we are right. Pride is so deceptive and creeps into our relationships like a sneaky little snake. We want to win the fight, and sometimes will do whatever it takes to get our way.
When I know my husband is making a bad decision or being selfish, I just want him to change his mind. What I forget in the process is that there is a much bigger battle happening. God is working in his heart. The world is pulling at him to make more money, be more successful, or do things that feel good in the moment. Real change cannot come from my nagging or pleading. Real change comes from God working out the belief system in my husband’s heart.
With that there is a huge sigh of relief. Ultimately, the pressure of feeling like I can control my husband is too much. I know God is good and works in our innermost being to change our hearts from the inside out. God is able to do amazing things and miracles and change the heart of stone!
1 Peter 3 states: Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
What a beautiful verse. When I read this I do not hear inequality going on. I hear wisdom. One of the definitions of submit is to “accept the will of another person”. This verse is saying that there is more power in our actions than our words. How true is that? Our husbands will not be won over by constant nagging and critical statements. They will be won over by our purity (Wikipedia says “the absence of vice”) and reverence (deep respect for someone).
Is there an area in your husband’s life you are desperate to see change? I will get serious now. How many women desire for their husbands to work less and spend more time with family? How many women long for their husbands to stop looking at porn? How about so many women who wish their husband would be more affectionate, less argumentative, or more appreciative? How many wish their husband drank less or managed bills better? The list goes on. I know from friends and family that marriage is hard, and I have seen all of these issues rip relationships apart.
Let’s tease this out. 1 Peter 3 is an encouragement to us! Here is an abbreviation of what I think it is stating:
The most effective way to love your husband and potentially win him over is by humbly accepting where he is at today, showing him deep respect through your actions and words, and putting away any vice by using words that build up and do not tear down.
In the end, it is God who changes hearts. Ezekiel 36:26 states: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Replace your anger and fear with joy and confidence in God. Pray to God to do the work only he can do. Ask for the ability to respond to your marriage with kindness, hope, and gentleness even in the most trying times. This is what effectually changes others.
Simply put- Love your husband. Love never fails.