Subtle ways to bless your husband


She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

I was tempted to name this post "How I failed as a wife the first eight years of my marriage," but that would make this about me and not the sweet ways God is at work. Eight years ago when I began this journey of marriage, I thought I was ready with hearty recipes, coordinated throw pillows, cute lingerie, and my marriage books, but the deep things of my heart were about to be exposed.

You could include all kinds of things in a list like this, but I wanted to focus in on the subtle, heart-level ones that weren't obvious to me from the start.  Here are a few things God has been (SO patiently) teaching me:

1. I can bless my husband by placing my trust in God.
It's so simple and seems like the rote answer: "Trust in God." But often I place my trust in everything and everyone but God.

God is calling me to cast my anxiety on Him, humbling myself under under God's mighty hand. I often think that a solutions lies in figuring things out, rather than in conversation with the true Helper.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7
When I refuse God's comfort in my anxiety, I then pass my worries on to my husband and burden him with a weight he can do nothing to relieve. While we should share our burdens with our husbands, the weight of them can only be carried by God.

And when my husband has his own anxieties and frustrations, I have an opportunity to point him to God's help, not our own solutions.

2. I can bless my husband by being content. 
My husband and I have had a conversation like this multiple times:
Me; [Insert a litany (often rehearsed) of why my day was so hard and how frustrated I feel about the lack of time to do the things I want to do].
Hubby: "I thought you wanted to stay home with the kids, and that this other stuff is just a side thing. Aren't homeschool and the kids the priorities right now?"
Me: "Well . . . yes, of course. But I just feel frustrated and I don't feel like you understand how it feels to be ME! And . . . are you suggesting that I'm not a good mom?!" [insert tears, self-pity, self-loathing]
Maybe you don't struggle with your current calling like I do. Maybe it's: 
your body
your clothes
your house
your finances
his (or your) job and work hours
his callings 
his interests (or lack of interests)
his relationship (or lack of one) with God

A never-contented wife can make her husband feel like he and his efforts are never enough.

Contentment is really an issue of trust, isn't it? Are we trusting God to provide for our needs, and even define what those needs are? Are we trusting God to bring joy in whatever situation He has called us to? 
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
If God has laid His gracious yoke on us, we can choose to fight against it or submit to it in God's strength (see Matthew 11:28-30). God has promised to meet our needs out of "His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." How then will we lack anything?

3. I can bless my husband by accepting him as he is. 
God has not given me the job of shaping my husband. Although God might use me in His shaping, it is the Holy Spirit's job to conform His children into the image of His Son. Even if your husband isn't a Jesus-follower, the Holy Spirit can still work in his life. 

We are called to accept each other as God accepts us. If God delights in my husband in all of his weaknesses and died for him while he was still a sinner (Romans 5:8), who am I not to accept him also or put conditions on that acceptance?
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7
This doesn't mean that God approves of our sin or never confronts wrong; it just means that since the penalty of our sin was paid by Jesus, there is no condemnation left. All that remains is to grow in grace.

This seems like an another area where our trust or lack of trust in God bears fruit. Without trust, fear sets in:
What if he disappoints me? 
What if he makes a bad decision? 
What if he never grows in this area? 
What if my needs aren't met ?
What if he isn't appropriately sorry or repentant (in my judgment)?

Our fears are red flags over areas of our hearts where our trust in God is fragile.
4. I can bless my husband by truly listening.  
It's a big challenge for me to listen without assuming I understand my husband's motives and heart. I think I know him so well, but I find I allow pockets of lingering bitterness from the way we've hurt each other in the past to keep me from listening impartially

I feel the need to control a situation and defend myself. Again, fear gets the best of me. I am chewing on these scriptures:
Proverbs 18:13 "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame."
Ecclesiastes 7:21 "Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you."
Proverbs 19:11 "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense."
The Fruit 
I see some beautiful fruit from God's work in these areas of my heart. Here are a few practical ways these play out:

When I cast my anxiety on God, I release my husband from the weight of my anxieties. We can enjoy true rest together. We can focus on things ahead of us--real things. 

When I am content at home with my kids and my calling (even when it make me feel like a looney toon), I don't have to despair when my husband has to work long hours. I can agree to let him play golf on a Saturday without throwing a pity party when he leaves (not that I would ever do that, ahem). 

When I accept him as he is, I am released of the burden of changing him, and our relationship becomes lighter. Affection and intimacy are easier. I am free to focus on what God wants to do in me (plank in the eye, anyone? See Matthew 7:3-5).

When I truly listen without judging, I spend less time smoldering over perceived assumptions and cleaning up the messes of senseless arguments. I am learning that I still have much to learn about the heart of this man I have married.

Friends, all us wives are learning how to do this thing called marriage. Jesus has called us to be his disciples and to make disciples. A disciple is a learner, not a graduate with an "I have arrived" degree. You are a mistake-making learner under the gracious apprenticeship of the only perfect One, Jesus. There is no condemnation left for you in Him, because He took it all on Himself already (Romans 8:1). 
Philippians 3:12 "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own."
Let some girlfriends into your life and marriage so they can encourage you as you follow Jesus in this area. Let God do his miracles in your heart.

Finally, let's remember to bless our husbands with the goal of cultivating a spirit that is precious in God's sight. If we set out to please God, we might just also become precious in our husbands' sights as well.
"Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4
"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17
What would YOU add to this list?

 



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6 comments

  1. Believe in the work God is doing in him, and look for it and praise both of them for it.

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  2. Replies
    1. Ah love you Rachel! God has been so good to me.

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  3. I love your words of Wisdom. All you have said and quoted makes so much more sense to me that I can understand this scripture so much better. May God continue to bless you and your family.

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    1. Thank you for your kinds words and glad you found it helpful!

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