Not long after we were married, Curtis and I moved into a small, old farmhouse WAY out in the country. We were pretty much newlyweds, and I was blissfully unaware of what life would be like out in the country. For the most part, it was fun. Some of our favorite memories of marriage are when we lived in the country. But it was also where we had our first big argument.
Well, it was a fight. I’m just going to be real.
I came home one afternoon after work, and the toilet was in the dining room. In. The. Dining. Room. Curtis had a saw and was cutting a hole into the wall of our one and only bathroom. He proceeded to tell me that we had a leak, and he was fixing it. I asked him, WHEN HE WAS GOING TO PUT THE TOILET BACK IN THE BATHROOM!? He told me we would be without water for several days, but he put a bar of soap out by the windmill and some toilet paper outside if I needed to go to the bathroom. Y’all, he was serious. I FREAKED!!!!!
Although we both come from good, God-fearing families, we came into our marriage with two TOTALLY different experiences. For example, when something broke at Curtis’ house, they fixed it. When something broke at MY house, we called a professional to fix it. 🙂 This seems very insignificant. But I soon found out that this was important to me. Honestly, the toilet in the dining room was merely an inconvenience that I had to experience. It was certainly not the end of the world, and we laugh about it now (Because when things break, he still fixes them himself).
In hindsight, this was one of the first lessons I learned about HONOR in my marriage. My expectation was disappointed by reality. Ladies, this happens in every marriage. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. We all react differently when we are in our “pain cycle.” As for me, I spoke loudly and erratically. Well…I yelled, ok?
After I calmed down and we talked about it, Curtis informed me that it was not ok for me to speak loudly and erratically to him when I’m upset. That’s just not how things were going to be resolved in our home. And he’s right. Even though I felt like I had the right to be angry with him, I still had to learn how to honor him when we disagreed (Or when he was going to fix something that was broken).
Proverbs 31: 12 speaks of a wife of noble character relating to her husband: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Notice it doesn’t say she will bring him good, not harm….only when she feels loved and cherished by him; or only when he listens to all of her problems and gives her his undivided attention; or only when he comes home from work and helps her cook dinner, cleans up the kitchen, helps with bath time, and puts all the kids to bed. It doesn’t say she will bring him good, not harm…only when he becomes the spiritual leader of the home; or only when he stops looking at pornography; or only when he treats her the way she expects to be treated.
If I’m honoring my husband ONLY when my expectations are being met, then I’m not really honoring with God’s grace. Actually, if this is the only time I honored Curtis, I would be setting myself up for an unhealthy marriage, an unhappy husband, and an unsatisfied life.
So what does HONOR look like in a marriage when your expectations are constantly being disappointed by reality? It looks like:
- praying for your husband even when you really want to speak loudly and erratically
- learning to be patient when you really want to nag
- treating him the way you want to be treated when you are frustrated with something he’s done (or not done)
- being his cheerleader even when you think you know how to do it better
- being his advocate when others put him down
- learning how to manage your home so you’re not co-dependent on him
So what if your problems aren’t just the run-of-the-mill marital problems? What if there is abuse or addiction? Get help. There are so many incredible professionals who can help you walk through any and every kind of situation.
We’ve got to start letting go of trying to “fix him,” and start seeking the One Who created marriage, knows our every desire and need, and brings us complete joy in this life when we surrender to Him. We all have the ability to be a wife of noble character, whose husband has full confidence in her–to be a woman who fears the Lord. This takes honesty, diligence, vulnerability, repentance, and perseverance. This will take a lifetime of learning who you are in Christ and how you can be one flesh with the man God gave you. Don’t give up, friend! I want to encourage you to examine your heart and look for new ways you can honor your husband today!
This post was written by Allison House. To read more about her, click here.