This week’s Wifey Wednesday discussion is all about dealing with that one fight you keep having with your husband over and over and over again. You know what I’m talking about – the one issue that never gets resolved; you’ve told him a hundred times how you feel about it but it seems like he just doesn’t care enough to change. It’s a frustrating place for a wife to be; I’m sure it’s frustrating for the husband, too.
But all this reminds me of a book I read this past year – For Women Only – What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shanti Feldhahn. (Yes, there is a companion book, For Men Only, written by her husband.) What I loved about this book is that it actually acknowledged the common frustrations many wives face in a sympathetic way, but still emphasized personal responsibility in dealing with those problems – ie: blaming it all on him won’t get you anywhere.
The overall theme of the book? Respecting your husband. Now, I have to tread carefully here because my husband does read this blog, so I cannot emphasize enough how much work I personally have to do in this area. “Practice what you preach” applies here! But despite how badly I may carry out this next bit of advice in my own marriage, I believe the statement is still true.
The respect you show your husband is your free gift to him; he does not have to earn it.
Does that make you sick to your stomach? Do you want to leave me a nasty comment about how men don’t treat women well and by submitting we perpetuate the problem? Are you angry at me for saying you should respect him whether you think he deserves it or not?
Believe me, I’ve thought through all these things; I’ve felt them all myself. And yet, when Paul wrote that wives should be subject to and respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 33), he didn’t add “if he is a strong, godly leader,” or “if he treats you right.” He simply said, “in everything” (Eph 5:24).
Here is the truth: your husband will not always be right. Despite what you may have been led to believe before you married him, he is not perfect. And you can disagree with him – you can even disagree with him on the same issue a hundred times. But approach him with respect. “You should know by now why I’m mad” or “If you cared about me you wouldn’t do this anymore” haven’t worked so well in the past; let’s try something new.