You know that beautifully, blissful moment after you said “I do” when you expected to be blown away by your new husband’s ability to excel in every area of his life? Sure, you knew what older, experienced wives had shared with you about how your man would inevitably not do everything the way you anticipated? You believed them, of course. You knew you would face “reality” eventually, but you were determined to soak in the magic of the moment. The honeymoon phase. The dancing. The candlelight. The champagne. The flowers – oh, all the beautiful flowers!
Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that perfectly tranquil moment… except that, of course, you did have to realize it would not always be that way at some point. So what happens next? What happens when your morning alarm no longer sounds like a piano serenade, but rather an obnoxious beeping sound? Reality.
Mainstream culture tells you an entire list of ways you should feel, behaviors and responses you should be ready with… and often times, they are the types of attitudes which accomplish the exact opposite of what you were hoping for. Well, it’s time to go counter-cultural. How can you be a gracious wife in a culture that is ungracious to men?
This Is Where the Battle Is Won.
It is important to note here, before we go any further, that this is where the battle is really won. It isn’t in who has the better argument; it isn’t in who is right and who is wrong; and it isn’t in who can ignore the situation the longest. No, the battle is won with grace. And the battle is never him versus you. It is marriage versus self.
Apart from Jesus, you will always want you first. You will always feel emotions – whether positive or negative – that center around what is best for you. And yet Jesus Christ has already given us the victory over ourselves. And that is found only in His grace. That translates into your marriage with a focus on Jesus, and the constant thought of “how can I build up my husband today?”
It Is a Daily, Continuous Pursuit.
“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12 (NASB)
Isn’t that verse beautiful? And so incredibly simple! “She does him good and not evil…” It’s obvious that the woman who Lemuel (the author of this passage of scripture) is describing has a focus on blessing her husband, rather than seeking her own gain. And ladies, we know now how difficult it is to want his good ahead of our own. We certainly don’t hear television shows and songs proclaiming this marital pursuit. We have to go counter-cultural.
“..all the days of her life.” This is not described as a one time, or even one season, goal. No, this woman described in Proverbs seeks her husband’s good all the days of her life. That’s a long time, y’all. You may be in the midst of a very tough time in your marriage, or maybe just one of you is going through some personal difficulties. But even in this time, you are to seek his good! Sometimes that is just plain hard. And it is certainly counter-cultural.
Being a Gracious Wife Comes From Living in Your Identity
But how do you do this? I mean, it is really hard to be extra kind and loving to someone on the best of days, let alone during the difficult days! First and foremost, keep meeting with the Lord! This is the best and most powerful strategy for marriage – your prayer and growth in the Word.
Second, remember that grace is not just being extra kind to someone when they are unkind to you – that is only a tiny piece. Rather, being a gracious wife comes from living in your identity!
So, who are you? You are redeemed; you are free; you are perfected and made whole; you are a daughter of the Most High God; you are full of the power of the Holy Spirit; you are a conqueror. You stand in favor with God; you have complete peace with God; you reign in life; you have inherited all things with Jesus Christ – you have total victory, joy, and peace. … That perspective shifts your focus a little, doesn’t it? Imagine living confidently of that identity no matter what kind of day, or week, or year your marriage is having. Imagine loving and supporting your man no matter what because you are living from a place of total peace and security that comes only from God. That sounds incredible, am I right?
When You Walk in Grace, He Will Be Blessed.
At first it is difficult to walk in grace, and extend that grace to your husband, if he has left you unimpressed for a long time. However, this is the time that you need to do it the most! You need to be his biggest cheerleader; his greatest supporter; the one who believes in him more than anyone. And you need to show him that you genuinely feel supportive of him! He may push back at you; he may not give you a great big hug and “thanks”; or he may even simply shrug his shoulders – the shoulders that have been slumped for a while now. But sister, keep giving him grace. Keep telling him how thankful you are for his provision for your family. Keep telling him that you are proud of him, and proud to be his wife. Keep living out of your God-given identity, and let that be the greatest source of your encouragement and strength, so that you can support your man!
All of this is counter-cultural, so don’t expect much support from the world around you. But girl, if you walk in grace – and do it lovingly in front of your husband – he will be blessed… and so will you!