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*Editor’s Note: For Marriage Moments Mondays, I’ll be adding inspirational words/quotes/Bible verses about marriage in the future. This week’s quote was taken from my shared Favorite Marriage Quotes board from Pinterest.
Do you act in your husband’s best interest regardless of what your feelings dictate?
Sometimes this is hard, especially when your husband has just hurt you. I often have to bite my tongue so I can keep myself from saying something I’ll regret.
I have discovered the closer I am in my relationship with God, the sharper the pin-pricking of the Holy Spirit and my conscience are, and the more willing I am to take a moment to get my emotions in check.
Notice I didn’t say the easier it gets. I don’t think it’s ever easy. It’s unnatural to be kind to those who hurt you, especially someone as close to you as your husband. But it’s what God calls you to do.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
You’re not responsible for your spouse’s sin, and your spouse isn’t responsible for your sin. That’s an issue your spouse has to work out between him and God. You might say, “I wouldn’t act this way if you didn’t dot-dot-dot,” or “You make me so mad.” But in reality, your husband doesn’t control your reactions. He simply triggers these reactions, exposing your own sin – your impatience, your anger, your unwillingness to forgive, etc.
When I first got married, I remember spitefully refusing to get up in the morning when my husband and I had a bad fight the night before. I refused to get up and help him get ready for work. I refused to make his lunch. I refused to spend any time with him before he left.
Yes, I know. It’s okay if you’re thinking it – I was a terrible wife!
I thought I was proving my point – that it was not okay for Adam to treat me the way he did and if he did, he would have to face the consequences.
The problem is – I’m not my husband’s mother. I’m not his Holy Spirit. My job is to love him unconditionally, not punish him when he does wrong.
You know the old phrase, “you attract a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar?”
My selfishness and stubbornness didn’t show love. It didn’t make Adam want to love me more. It didn’t make me easy to approach, to apologize to. It created barriers. I was fighting for all the wrong reasons and all the wrong things!
I love what Leslie Vernick, wife of 38 years and Christian counselor, writes in Acting Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong,
When I’m fighting with my husband, I usually lose sight of whom I should be fighting and what I should be fighting for. I fight to get my way, to be right, or to prove my point. But the real struggle couples face is not for such temporal victories. As much as we might feel it in the moment, our spouses are not the enemy. Rather than engage in combat with each other, we need to ward off Satan’s tactics. Rather than seeking to vindicate ourselves, we need to fight for the glory of God, the preservation of our marriages, our spiritual health…
It’s in your husband’s best interest to fight for your marriage and against Satan whose primary goal is to undermine your marriage. It’s in your husband’s best interest for you to act honorably when he acts dishonorably. It’s in your husband’s best interest to love him even when he isn’t loving toward you. (Now I’m not saying put up with abuse – that’s a completely different subject for a different time).
Sometimes, for Adam and I, all it takes is me being willing to offer my hand, even if I don’t have anything to say yet.
God tells us exactly what this love should look like…
“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This is what acting in your spouse’s best interest looks like – love in action – love that doesn’t fail even though your husband forgot to replace the cat litter, love that doesn’t fail even though your husband spoke condescendingly to you, love that doesn’t fail even though your husband went over-budget this month… love that never fails!
What do you think acting in your spouse’s best interest looks like? How do you act in your spouse’s best interest, even when you don’t “feel” the least bit loving?
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