It’s no secret that people make things a bigger deal than necessary. Especially when someone is offended by something said or done to them, blowing things out or proportion happens pretty quickly.
And us wives are no exception. Perhaps, we’re the worst at this (or the best?).
Exasperating marital problems is actually quite easy. In fact, it can occur naturally if you find yourself alone with your thoughts after your husband has offended you. Because that’s when you stew in your frustration and hurt — basically convincing yourself over and over again that you are right and he is wrong. And if you stew long enough, you’ll likely become persuaded that the initial problem is worse than you ever thought possible. So what starts as a small to medium problem, quickly becomes a big fat problem.
Stewing in Frustration
Biblically speaking, frustration stewage sounds nothing like biblical love. Compare this potentially embittering practice to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Clearly you see the discrepancy. Sulking in hurt has a striking similarity to insisting on one’s own way. Not to mention it’s a bit irritable, resentful, and possibly arrogant. It’s likely not patient and kind. And mentally rehearsing our husband’s faults has very little resemblance to a love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Needless to say, stewing in our negative thoughts will never push us to exemplify biblical love.
In one sense, the solution is simple — next time your husband makes you mad, don’t replay his faults over and over again in your mind. You already know you disagree with him. Now stop thinking along those lines. Instead, take some time to consider the situation from his perspective. Not just for 3 seconds, I mean really try and understand his angle on whatever the problem is. Put yourself in his shoes. Try and see what you might have done wrong from his vantage point.
Our default position rarely includes any charitable opinion of the opposing side. But it should, especially with your husband. And let’s be honest, focusing on what someone has done wrong does nothing good for any relationship.
Ultimately it comes down to admitting that though your husband might not do what you think is best, his actions probably have more legitimate reasoning than you initially give him credit for. That kind of humility is necessary to keep a soft heart towards your husband.
Get God’s Help
Is there anything you should do besides conceding that your husband has a legitimate side to the story? Why, yes there is! You should talk to God.
Ask God to keep you soft-hearted. Ask God to help you communicate well and lovingly to your husband when you discuss the issue. Ask God to give you a forgiving heart. And ask God to help you show a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.
Ultimately, God wants you to have a good marriage. And you can be sure God wants you to stay forgiving, soft hearted and loving to your husband. So don’t fight against God by stewing in your frustration — such mental ammunition only puts you on the long road to reconciliation. It really only makes the process more painful.
All that to say, next time your wifely blood is boiling, slow down, and try to see life from your husband’s perspective. Do what you can to not stew! And don’t forget to ask for God’s help in working through the issue with nothing but love.