“You need to stop talking to your husband like that or you will end up without a husband,” said our therapist to me about 6 years ago. That’s right, I was verbally abusive to my husband; I talked down to him, and I surely did not respect him.
Ladies, LISTEN to me!! I desperately implore you to RESPECT your husband EVEN if you feel like he does not deserve it! After all, you want him to LOVE you even when you don’t deserve it! AmIright? Feelings are sneaky and fleeting. In today’s hedonistic society, we are told to do what feels right, do what feels good. Sometimes the right thing does feel good, but oftentimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the right thing is to put someone else first or forgive them even though they don’t deserve it. Remember “WWJD”? Leave room for God to vindicate you (Romans 12:19). You won’t regret it; but you may regret giving in to your feelings.
Eight years ago, my husband and I brought baggage into our marriage, and our unhealthy coping mechanisms reared their ugly heads. We had pure and honest intentions regarding a committed, Christ centered marriage, but we didn’t have any real life examples of a godly marriage to follow. We didn’t have any mentors, and we certainly didn’t have any people in our lives that were transparent regarding the struggles that are present even in Christian marriages. Pretty soon after we got married (the day after we got back from our honeymoon to be exact), my husband suggested that getting married was a mistake and we should apply for an annulment. Yes, you read that correctly. It took almost 2 years to convince him to go to counseling with me, and I had to go on my own for months before he even considered it. He finally got to the point where he realized we were not going to make it, and he decided to put his last bit of effort into counseling. We chose a Christian marriage therapist that was licensed and legit and began our journey back to loving each other with a godly love. I am so grateful that Christ makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Honoring Your Husband
I can honestly say that it took several years of therapy, desperate prayers, dying to self, and lots of change on my part before my husband really started to make a consistent effort to rebuild what we had torn down so quickly! I had to prove to him that my changes were permanent! There were times when I felt angry that I was trying so hard and he wasn’t, but again, that was for God to handle not for me. After all, honoring my husband was a practical way in which I could also honor God. I remember when we celebrated our 4 year anniversary, I FINALLY felt like we might make it! Our marriage might actually last!
In a few months we will celebrate our 8 year anniversary! We had our first child last November, and she is our promise from God fulfilled. God has showed up and showed off in our lives in ways that even nonbelievers can’t deny. God has turned our marriage into our testimony–for His glory!
Let me close by saying this: a healthily functioning marriage is not for the faint of heart. It’s also not for the proud. Sometimes marriage tastes like a gritty, bitter piece of humble pie. So if you are struggling in your marriage right now and feeling hopeless, know that God can restore even your desperate situation. Let Him work in you first.