The last painful visit down the “let’s be better wives” road involved us admitting our selfishness and ingratitude makes us not particularly pleasant wives (If you didn’t read “What Every Husband Wants, Part 1”, you can read it here). Hopefully, the pain was worth the gain. This time around, I expect the pain to feel different. Not quite a punch in the gut, but more like cold water being thrown in our face. Not for the fun of it, of course, but to wake us up if we have allowed some bad habits to form.
Before we consider the habits, let’s re-examine the goal. The goal is to be a godly wife (just to state the obvious). There are many traits we could work on to accomplish this goal, but the problem I’m addressing is the fact that we are not always as pleasant as we could be. This sounds basic, and it may even seem like a “minor” issue, but it can make a world of difference in the life of our husband. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “a happy wife is a happy life,” and from what I hear (from the male species), it is true. The Proverbs attest to this by stating the complimentary truth — that an unhappy wife will make a husband miserable (Proverbs 19:13, 21:9, 21:19, 27:15-16). So, this far-too-common unpleasantness is a big deal (if we want to be a good wife, that is).
What is My Problem?
So this begs the question: why are we not delightfully pleasant wives (that we certainly pictured ourselves being pre-marriage)? Perhaps it is because we have forgotten our husband is a real person – a person who deserves to be treated with basic dignity and respect. We can get so comfortable with this man we do life with, that we throw all pleasantries out the window and they get the “real” unfiltered us.
Think about it – how often do you apathetically brush by your husband, or respond with snappy words, in a way you never would with a good friend? Would you ever be embarrassed if someone was watching when you gave your husband a sour look? What if your phone “pocket dialed” someone and they heard the negative tone in which you spoke to your spouse? It’s sad, but it’s often true – we treat most people better than we do our husbands. Yet, if there was one person we SHOULD treat with kindness, respect, and love, clearly it should be the man we vowed to cherish for better or for worse!
Beyond that, let us not forget, God never gives us a pass to be rude, thoughtless, disrespectful, snappy, and full of complaints — Not with our husbands or anyone else. So just because he is the man that sees you at your worst, it doesn’t mean you are allowed to act your worst.
A Moment of Truth
It is time we take a step back and consider whether we are allowing ourselves to operate as a negative wife to some degree or another. We know that being unpleasant is not what we want. Even when life’s circumstances stink, as Christians, we can still have a profound inner joy that sustains our pleasantness.
Let’s continue to ask God to help us focus less on ourselves and be more intentionally grateful women (the solutions we focused on in Part 1). But let’s add to that a commitment to shake off the way-too-comfortable demeanor we slip into, and let’s give our husbands the common decency of basic kindness. A mindfulness that he is a real person that deserves respect – and furthermore, as our spouse, deserves our best efforts (not our worst!), will dramatically increase our pleasantness. And more often than not, that is what a husband really wants…simply a pleasant wife, a happy wife, a wife that still has some smiles and warmness reserved for him.
Part 3 (the last part) to come…