Prior to marriage, I thought a spouse would always build me up and just make me feel good about myself. At times this is true. However, there are also moments where God is using my husband to teach me things about my own heart that I need to work on.
As much as I don’t like to admit I can be a pretty sensitive person. I don’t like hearing or accepting criticism. I tend to already be harsh on myself so when others point to something negative about me it can sting.
I especially become defensive when my husband makes a comment to me about something he has observed to be true. Yet, from my perspective, I perceive he is wrong.
For example the other night he made a comment that “I’m only happy when we do extravagant things”. At first, I was dumbfounded because I enjoy staying home and cuddling on the couch with a movie and pizza. However, I do love dressing up and going out for a nice dinner (which rarely, like once a year happens).
I don’t think my desire to go out is unreasonable. I’m female, I like the anticipation of a special night. Plus it’s fun to take my time getting ready and to have my husband’s undivided attention. Plus as a new mom, I need to get out of the house.
However, perhaps in his eyes, I place too much value in going out and spending money. Whereas, in my mind, I’m happy saving money and staying home. Either way, it doesn’t matter who is right.
The point I’m making is instead of reacting defensively what if I took his critique of my behaviour and analyzed it from a place of humility. A goal I have this year is to become less defensive and more open to change.
Less pride and more humility
I hope I don’t come off as a spoiled brat to my husband, but what if sometimes I do? Are there areas in my heart I need to work on? Can I accept his insight from a place of humility instead of pride and insisting he’s misinformed? Yes.
I am not perfect, neither is he. Yet there is a lesson I can glean from this interaction.
In reality, my response shows the state of my heart. A closed heart would insist I’m fine, I have no areas to improve. An open heart would be willing to listen to my husband and examine if there is truth to his statement and what changes could be made.
I love my husband but sometimes his words can pierce my heart in a sensitive spot. I have a choice to make. I can either let his words draw us apart or together. It’s my choice.
I want to have a healthy marriage. I want to continue to grow as a person and become more like Christ. When situations like this arise instead of letting them weaken me I choose to let them be a tool to strengthen me.
Sometimes though I have to overlook comments that I know are untrue and remember what I know my husband thinks of me. There are times where I need to give him grace as he also does to me. (I just had a baby so he’s been putting up with a lot of hormones lately).
To clarify I’m not advocating to be a doormat or to be passive. Scripture should be the starting point to determine whether a comment is valid. If something you husband says directly goes against scripture hold him accountable. At that point, it’s not your opinion he’s against it’s God’s.
Instead, I’m asking that we show more humility towards our spouses. To consider we don’t have it all figured out. Perhaps God has put this person in our life to help mould us into the person He desires us to be.
One final point, pray. Pray for yourself but also pray for your hubby. Pray that you would allow God to strengthen your marriage and make you both more like Christ.
The next time your spouse makes a comment that at first feels unloving before lashing back with a prideful response take a moment and humbly consider their words. Are they in line with scripture? Is this an area you need to work on? Will you let this interaction draw you apart or closer to your spouse?