Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NLT)
I often find myself questioning 1 Corinthians 13:4-6. Not the validity of what is written, but whether or not I actually personify these qualities as a wife. Not always a person, but as a wife. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to be all of the mentioned characteristics in public to those we don’t know or who don’t know us at our worst. But when we’re at home in our comfort zone, we are usually much more relaxed with ourselves and more likely to be lax on whom God wants us to be. So when I question my wifely qualities, these are the questions I use to critic myself:
1) Am I patient? 2) Am I kind? 3) Am I envious? 4) Do I boast too much? 5) Am I too proud? 6) Do I keep too many records of wrongs?
I can sit here and look at these questions and depending on the day, the answers might be different. I’m sure while you’re reading this you’ve already started asking yourself these questions. I could write what it is to be all of those qualities, but it would take forever, and everyone has different views on how to be that person. However, of all the love qualities, the one that stands out the most to me and the one that I feel defines all of the others is; “Am I Kind”? Do I present myself to my husband in a non-judgmental, selfless, nice, and gentle way? Can he come to me with anything and trust me to not be aggressive, quickly defensive, selfish, and maybe too gruff?
One of my favorite things about Facebook are those quote pictures that constantly show up. I have to read them and sometimes just ponder them. Some of them I even find myself researching the validity of what is being said. I’m a newer Christian, so when it comes to the Christian memes, I really have to dig into the word and just see if what I read is true. Our world is full of false prophets who twist words to suit themselves. Unfortunately, the devil will further implant those false beliefs to where we actually start believing them. Anyways, I came across this quote the other day, and for some reason I immediately was brought back to 1st Corinthians 13 and being kind. It said:
Never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger or insecurity. Evaluate your words before you let them leave your lips. Sometimes it’s best to be quiet. – Tony A. Gaskins JR.
Ladies, if we are speaking to our husband from any of those places, how are we being kind? Aside from our husbands feeling safe in Christ, we are the one place, in this earthly world, where our husbands need to and should feel safe. If we aren’t being kind with our words, how can they feel safe? When we are constantly nagging at them, telling them how they are not doing this or that, reminding them of the areas where they lack, and even bringing up all of the things they’ve screwed up in the past, how can they go to sleep at night feeling like they can lean on us? How does that make them feel safe? Let’s face it, IT DOESN’T! If we aren’t being KIND to them and we’re always being hateful, angry, insecure, quick to defend ourselves, and selfish, we lose that secure safe place. They lose that secure safe place. But there is no true secure safe place, except in Christ. We aren’t showing our love for Christ if we aren’t being kind. Our husbands should ALWAYS feel they can come to us without worry of judgment, arguments, backlash, or blame. If you weren’t aware, men are just as insecure as women. Sometimes maybe even more. Women tend to be more insecure with appearances, and men tend to be more insecure with inwardly appearances. When we can’t be kind and honoring to our husbands or let them have that freedom of feeling safe, then we are failing them and everything the bible teaches us as wives.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like a decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)
Please don’t think I’m saying you have to be a perfect housewife, who never speaks her mind or corrects her husband (it is not our job to change our husband, but lead to him to God, who will make the change in him). I am one who struggles with these concepts everyday. The Lord gave me a mind, and a very hard head. Trying to form into what He wants is not always the easiest task. But it’s NOT impossible. When we give ourselves to God, we are supposed to be changing our ways steadily into His ways. I gave myself to God when I was 24 years old. It has been 2 years, and I see amazing changes in myself, changes that I only recognize because I’m able to compare them to what I used to be. I am not the aggressive, verbal spewing person I was 2 years ago. I may not have the most patience in this world, but I am not quick to anger like I was 2 years ago. THAT IS A BIG CHANGE. A change only God was able to work in me. So if God can change me in those ways, and the rest of the world is able to see it, then isn’t it possible God can change the way we interact with our husbands? Can’t He make us more kind? Absolutely! Pray about it! Ask God to make those changes in your heart. Ask God to help you always make your husband feel safe and secure. When I finally allowed God to take control of my life and change my heart, my relationship with my husband changed. I started putting myself in his shoes and started realizing that being unkind, was pushing us apart. Our husbands are aware of the areas they lack, they are aware of the things they might not be doing that need doing. They don’t need us nagging at them 24/7 and they don’t need reminders of what they did or didn’t do 6 months ago. Why?
1) You married him just the way he is. You (yes, you) knew there were areas in his life that weren’t his strong suits, you knew he wasn’t perfect and you still wanted to marry him. If you married him thinking he was without flaws, you were mistaken. We are attracted to people who’s weaknesses tend to be our strengths. Our weaknesses are their strengths, etc. Together you form a unit, a covenant created by God. Genesis chapter 2 says when a man and woman unite, they become one flesh. Our differences as men and women make that flesh whole.
2) If you’ve asked your husband 10 times to take the trash out and he hasn’t done it, maybe it’s time to just take it out yourself. Not only is your husband not going to take it out the 11th time you ask him, but he probably won’t do it the 12th either. Don’t stress yourself out over the small stuff. Do it yourself, or leave it until later when you know he’ll be putting something in the trash. Don’t harp on him over and over. He is probably told what to do enough at work; he doesn’t need to be told what to do and when to do it at home.
3) He doesn’t need reminders every time you have an argument, of all the things he has not done or has done wrong. Living in the past will not push you forward. Just because he didn’t take the trash out 6 months ago doesn’t mean you should hold it against him each new week.
My prayer for all of you this week is that you approach your husbands or fiancés in a kind way. I pray that you can speak from a place of patience and kindness. I pray that when we feel like our men are just not grasping something or when they are struggling to be kind themselves, that you stop and evaluate rather than jump to conclusions or accusations. I pray that you allow God to make changes in your heart, and that you will pray for your husbands. PRAYER is a powerful thing. God answers prayers, even if it’s not tomorrow. I pray that when you ask God to make changes in your husband’s heart, that you will have the patience to wait for it to play out rather than expect an instantaneous change. Godly changes are mostly gradual progressions; they are not always an overnight result.
💛 Ashley S.