Raising the Bar in Your Marriage?

Imagine, if you will, coming home from a long days work, expecting to bask in a warm welcome from the one who’s “supposed to have your back,” only to experience a tongue lashing so sharp that you feel like human hash browns—having been diced up and left on the floor to sizzle in the greasy drippings from your spouse’s frothing mouth.

Mmm...hash browns
by jeffryw

Ick!! Wouldn’t that be awful?

It hurts so much more when we receive these kinds of wounds from our spouses, doesn’t it?

I’ve been thinking and praying Psalm 139:23-24, the verses that I’ve encouraged you, my readers, to pray daily as well. And I have to say, God is convicting me of my unwillingness to “raise the bar” in my treatment of my husband.

For some reason, I’ve given myself permission to not just be “gut-level honest” with my hubby, but to let loose with my frustrations and impatience. I’ve let the inconveniences that are tied to him rock my world.

I wouldn’t do that with my friends. Somehow I’ve found deep within me the ability to show respect and honor to my friends, and sometimes even my frienemies. But often I don’t feel the need for that kind of restraint with my husband. Sad.

I think it’s because I’m believing the lie that “he’s my spouse … he should always love me no matter how bad I treat him” or “he should be my soft place to …, er, uh … fall pounce!”

But the truth is that I should show more honor to my spouse—even when the heat is on—not less.

Remember? “Love is patient” or “Love is not easily angered,” yada, yada, yada. Well, that’s how I’ve “remembered it” anyway—minimizing the command to truly live out my love.

I want to do better. I must do better! I’m amazed that my marriage is not more messy than it is! It’s only by God’s grace and my husband’s gracious and forgiving attitude that we are doing as well as we are. 

But what if your spouse doesn’t extend grace to you for “that” kind of attitude? Well, my friend, you probably have a huge, greasy mess on your hands!

I really want to commit to being gracious, patient, and reserving my best behavior and attitude for my husband. Would you hold me accountable for that?

And would you join me as well?

How have you struggled with this?

What lies have you believed, like me, that have tripped you up?

Please share. I’d love to know I’m not alone in this very bad, but thankfully, redeemable behavior!

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Linking up with NOBH, Playdates with God, Seedlings in Stone, and Matrimonial Monday

  • Diane | AnExtraordinaryDay.nt

    Such raw honesty, Beth.. I’m believing that your writing this intensified your commitment to changing your attitude and behavior. Yay! I also pretty certain…that having done this…you will have more “resistance.” These challenges of our character are huge. I know. My own selfishness trips me up more often than I care to say. But, I do know that our men need us to build them up, not tear them down. Really it is a privilege…and most of the power lies in our tongue.
    {big hugs}

  • GailBP

    Yes, Beth, I want to join you…this is so true.

    I remember an old song my grandfather used to sing that included these words

    “You always hurt the one you loveThe one you shouldn’t hurt at all
    You always take the sweetest rose
    And crush it till the petals fall”

    It does seem like we are less sensitive to those we love most. We probably feel more accepted, more able to be ourselves…but that shouldn’t make us less careful.

    Thanks for this reminder.

  • I wish it weren’t so, but I’m probably the most harsh with my husband–the very man I love the most and have the most respect for. Sigh. I want to do better, too. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Katie

    I am so glad that you have brought up the topic. I find myself getting myself worked up over little things that he has said or done throughout the day. Then when he comes home I’m not loving towards him at all. I needed this reminder that he has worked hard and deserves a loving wife, not a cranky wife. Since he is my best friend on earth, then he should get more respect from me than he receives. THANK YOU FOR THE REMINDER!

  • messymarriage

    Yes, this blog certainly has magnified my need for growth and humility, as well as, intensifying the challenge to be real with you and others. Selfishness and impatience trip me up so much and it really grieves my heart (when I’m open to God’s gentle reminders) that I can so easily forget to really love my husband in the good times and bad. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, Diane. I truly appreciate them!

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for joining me! It feels good to know I’m not alone in this quest to do better, Gail! I remember the first few words of that song and it rings true today. So glad we’re working together to write a new song in our marriages! 🙂

  • messymarriage

    It’s so easy to do, Lisa. I wish it weren’t that way, but I’m glad for God’s reminder to me–even though, I have to admit it hurts a bit and feels a bit exposed as I share it here for all to see! But I’m grateful for your encouragement and honest words. Thanks so much, friend!

  • messymarriage

    My biggest trouble comes when my day is interrupted by something he unexpectedly needs. I’m so rigid sometimes. But I’m grateful that God is gently reminding me to stretch and grow in His graciousness. I can’t do this without Him! And so thankful for your amazingly kind and honest words, Katie. You’ve refreshed me, my friend!

  • Ugochi Jolomi

    Guilty too! How sad, But we will keep pressing and leaning on God for grace to do like He has said, to respect our husbands as unto the Lord. Thanks for sharing with us, have a super blessed day!
    Love

  • Kimberly Green

    This is such a good reminder o be introspective and TRULY be honest with ourselves as to how we are treating our spouse. When I am being especially inconsiderate and self centered, my spouse tends to ask me how I am doing. That is typically a kind wake up call for me. He ministers to me by instead of reacting to my “pouncing”, showing me compassion. But we have also seen in our marriage, it is often easier to be the Compassion Show-er rather than the Compassion Receiver. Our Pride seems to be our greatest challenge.

  • soulstops

    you are not alone, Beth…most of the time, I try to be gracious, but now and then, I am not, and it is painful…for both of us…Thankfully, he always forgives me when I apologize, and by God’s grace and His Spirit’s empowering, we can all change…one word at a time…appreciate your honesty 🙂

  • This is me! I am kind to everyone else but irritable toward my husband. Thanks for this challenge!

  • Laura

    Yes, I get this, Beth. Seems I take too much for granted. The wonderful thing about going away is missing and being missed. Praying Psalm 139 with you, my friend.

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for your encouraging and supportive words, Ugochi! Let’s press and lean on God’s grace together, my friend!

  • messymarriage

    Yes, I agree. Being the compassion receiver is very tough sometimes. It hurts to know we’ve acted in ways that are painful for our spouse. But I’m so grateful for the men God has given us in our lives, Kimberly! What would we do without them? 🙂

  • messymarriage

    So thankful for our husband’s forgiveness and God’s ever-flowing grace, Dolly. It makes all the difference. Thanks to you also, for being real and vulnerable alongside me. It’s much appreciated, my friend!

  • messymarriage

    It’s an easy trap to fall into. I’m just so glad God is gently reminding me that there is a better way. Thanks, Christina, for coming by and encouraging me!

  • messymarriage

    So glad to know you get this, Laura. And good to know I’m not alone in praying this very challenging but empowering prayer. Hugs to you, my friend!

  • My husband & I just came from “Weekend to Remember”…a marriage conference up our way. You highlight much of what they said. And how it is so important to give our husbands our first, best, & foremost. Oh that marriage would be elevated…in our own hearts, but only in the societies that we live in!

  • messymarriage

    Yes, my husband and I have been to those before and they are great. It’s also nice to know that what I’ve talked about here is echoed at such a great marriage retreat. I guess I’m on the right track then! 🙂 Thanks so much, Jen, for coming by and encouraging me!

  • Beth: You’ve raised the bar! I struggle with too much honesty and letting ALL my emotions spill out assuming that this tactic is somehow leading us to greater intimacy. That is until my husband did it to me! Wow! It isn’t nice to hear it back at you!
    Thanks for linking up with us at No Ordinary Blog Hop. Every blessing, Kelly

  • Jacinta Huang

    I agree…we tend to take our closest loved ones for granted sometimes. Thank God for His love that changes us from within to help us with loving them the way He wants us to! God bless you!

  • messymarriage

    Yes, when we are on the receiving end of that “harsh truth,” we realize it isn’t motivating at all! Thanks for your honesty, Kelly. It’s much appreciated here, my friend. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Yes, Jacinta, without God’s help, I wouldn’t be able to really love my loved ones at all–especially when they test my patience. 😉 But with Him, we can move mountains! Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!