Hmmm. This one is hard for me. As a wife, I can be challenging and impatient, in short, I am a HANDFUL! I love my husband; I think to a degree as with other divorced people, I carry wounds from the first marriage that my husband has to carry with me as I struggle to overcome the haunts of past damages that I suffered along the road to finding him. This blog is the story of how I came to be the wife I am today. To share with others so they can make decisions to help their marriage.
Our marriage did not start in typical fashion. Without going into details, we started “hanging out” around mid 2004 and married in 2008. During those dating years, I was not looking for a relationship. I just wanted to have fun. For a long time I would say, “do you need a break?” Looking back, I don’t think I wanted him to say yes, but I was afraid of “love”. At one point we broke up for a few months. It was shear torture, I knew then I loved him and thanks to his sisters encouragement, we reconciled and the rest is history.
Leading up to meeting my husband, I spent many years as a single parent making all the decisions and my job requires me to be in charge and be a decision maker all day, coming home at the end of each day it was, and continues to be, challenging to switch gears. I struggle to be the sort of wife I am supposed to be. Sometimes I push ahead full steam without thinking about discussing the matter first; I know that is not the way I should handle myself in this partnership. This is an important detail because marriage is a partnership and each person has to be willing to compromise and sometimes yield to their partners desires or way of thinking. If you wish to have a successful marriage, this is a key element.
The first few years of our marriage were a struggle, we fought a lot; we were both ‘bull-headed’. Sometimes I would work late to avoid coming home. When the kids were not home for the weekends it was always a party which in retrospect, was part of our problem. But one day something changed and I started looking forward to coming home each day and spending time with my husband and children. Do you want to know what it was???
Around 2009 I started talking to a lady about God’s ways. I have always been spiritual, but at that point I had given up on “organized religion”, I would give her a few minutes of my time and she would come by about once a month. One day about a year after our first meeting she came with her daughter and it was raining ‘cats and dogs’ outside. I felt compelled to let her in. It was life changing. I agreed to a phone Bible study, 20 minutes once a week. Later it became 20 minutes in person once a week, then it became an hour or more once a week. I loved what I was learning, it was making me a better person, my thought process was changing, I was starting to examine myself and the things I say and do and how they affect others. I was learning to be more patient and kind. I was showing more compassion to others. Most importantly, I was drawing closer to God. THAT was what was really happening… by drawing close to him, I started to care more about pleasing him than myself and being better toward others, having self-sacrificing love for others, was pleasing to him. You may ask, how did this make me a better wife? How did this improve my marriage? Great questions, easily answered. By learning God’s standards for familial relationships and applying them to the best of my ability, no matter how my husband or kids acted toward me, they started seeing my efforts and it moved them to start trying harder with me too.
As my husband saw the effort I was making to change my interactions toward him and how I was trying to be a better wife, he realized things were improving for me, soon he also started a Bible study and learning about God and his standards for family. Eventually, he started changing too. 1 Peter 3:1 was true in our case: “In the same way, you wives, be in subjection to your husbands, so that if any are not obedient to the word, they may be won without a word through the conduct of their wives,“.
Once we were both headed down the same track, the floodgates opened and WE started changing and evolving as a couple. We were adjusting our thinking, weeding out bad things from our lives and replacing them with good things. We have made friends of many cultures, backgrounds, and ages. We have friends who have loving marital relationships we can look to as an example. We have spiritually mature older friends to talk to for advice; they always look to God’s word to help us, it does not come from their own originality. These things mean so much and have honestly made me a better more loving wife who my husband claims to want to be around me (even on my bad days!); I think he is being truthful. We are connected at the hip when we are not at work, we do everything together and I think I can speak for both of us when I say, we would not have it any other way.
God is the best advisor for familial relationships. I have learned this firsthand. Below are a few of his instructions for husbands and wives that have really helped me be a better wife.
“Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord,” – Ephesians 5:22
In today’s society, people see the word “subjection” and think bad things. The way God means it is in a loving way, subjection is not lack of having opinions and being able to voice them. It is recognizing the heavy responsibility your husband has in making decisions for the family and being responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of each family member.
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cherishes it, just as the Christ does the congregation, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” This sacred secret is great. Now I am speaking about Christ and the congregation. Nevertheless, each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.” – Ephesians 5:28-33
The above passage shows that husbands should love their wives more than themselves! If they don’t treat their wives (and family) good, it is so serious that it can hinder their prayers.
“You husbands, in the same way, continue dwelling with them according to knowledge. Assign them honor as to a weaker vessel, the feminine one, since they are also heirs with you of the undeserved favor of life, in order for your prayers not to be hindered.” – 1 Peter 3:7
In calling the woman the “weaker vessel” the Bible is not teaching that women are weak, many people in today’s society take this verse out of context. There are many women of high esteem in the Bible record. God loves women and wants them to be treated properly. What God is saying is that husbands should treat their wives as though they are a fine piece of china in the cabinet, assign her honor, listen to her concerns, her opinions, really take them to heart, give weight to them, consider them in the decision making process. Jehovah created man and woman and he knows what makes us tick. He knows that women desire to feel loved and protected, that is what he teaches men they should do for their wives. He also knows that men have a desire to feel respected and when wives show their husbands respect, it is easier for their husbands to carry the heavy load of headship for the family.
Today’s society does not really promote respect and love in marriage. Marriage is seen as disposable. That is not Jehovah’s way, he inspired a Bible writer to say: “…do not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth.” (Malachi 2:15). Marriage is a commitment to your spouse and you are making an oath before God; in his eyes, there are two ways out of marriage: death and adultery. That is why it is so important to be sure before you commit to marriage. Marriage is NOT disposable. You need to both be willing to work out your “stuff”. If you work to work it out and maintain a loving relationship, it is so worth it! Never let the sunset on your anger, in other words, don’t let things fester, flesh them out as quickly as you can. When you hold on to things it is damaging to you and the other person and it is not fair to either party. Tactfully discuss it in a loving way, work out your STUFF!
The thing I have not mentioned is that when we started this process, we were really close to divorce; we almost did not make it through the second year of marriage. These principles really turned our marriage and our lives around. We have true love and happiness now. So, as a wife, I have learned how important it is to be willing to work out the issues, keep God in my marriage and continue working out MY Christian personality, these things make me a better wife, and help my husband and I to continue working out our “stuff”. As for me and my part as a wife, I will continue to apply the scriptural advice in this blog and I will do my best to “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same.” (Colossians 3:13)
God tells the attributes of love and how we can have successful relationships with all people but when we APPLY (this is the work part) his counsel in the family we WILL have success!
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”… – 1 Corinthinans 13:4-8
I will continue working hard to be the best wife I can be. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I know my husband appreciates each small step of progress that I make. I am so thankful to have a spiritual husband who loves me and is also working hard toward becoming a better husband every day!
So, now you know how I became the wife I am today and the wife I am striving to become.