I was the newlywed bride with stars in hers eyes and thrilled say ‘I do’. Secretly, I had dreamed of being a wife since I was a little girl and was more than ready to step into my role as a new wife.
Yet it was a few days into our honeymoon that I discovered several quirks about my new spouse that grated on my nerves.
He was a morning person and I prefer silence when I first wake up.
We had different spending habits which led to more than one heated discussion about money.
I was an extrovert who craved interaction with others, while his introverted nature loved to stay home.
Before long, I found myself constantly irritated and annoyed with his habits. And instead of talking through my feelings and getting to the root of the issue, I bottled up my raging emotions. Every so often I would unleash the power of my unbridled tongue and wreck havoc on my marriage.
Honestly, I was a mess of a wife until the day a cancer diagnosis changed it all. It’s funny how a heart of stone can instantly be softened as life hangs in the balance.
How I wish someone had told me I was destroying my marriage with every jaded word and passive-aggressive comment! So from one friend to another, I pray you learn from my mistakes.
May God break your stubborn heart and help you submit your strong will to His. Trust me, your home and your marriage will be blessed when you finally do!
5 Secrets to Being a Gracious Wife
Fair warning, friend. The tips below can seem impossible and sometimes beyond your reach. I understand completely how hard some of these can be, but I promise, with the Lord’s help, these are possible.
So proceed with caution, fully understanding that what you read may cause growing pains and uncomfortable feelings as you come face to face with your own flaws.
Guard your tongue
Chances are you think lots of thoughts throughout the day that should never be spoken aloud. Learning to keep tight control over what you do speak isn’t always easy, but using these simple questions to filter negative comments is a fabulous place to start.
- How can I phrase this negative comment without hurting his feelings?
- Is how I am feeling truthful or am I blowing a situation out of proportion?
- Is my comment necessary to further communication in my marriage?
- Will he be blessed or condemned by my comment?
- Is this comment God-honoring?
- How’s my tone of voice? Will my tone convey hidden hurt or underlying irritation?
Ouch! When filtering confrontation through these questions, it helps us process the possible outcome of our comments. This doesn’t mean we should avoid confrontation, it simply means we need to work on how we approach it and the tone we use.
Don’t be the wife who hurls the ugliest and the most hurtful insults at her spouse! It creates a dangerous cycle of saying mean comments, then once the fight is over, trying to take them all back.
Instead, put boundaries on how you fight and stick to them.
In our marriage, we don’t throw around the word divorce or threaten to leave just because we’re mad. We also aren’t afraid to step away from a fight to think, pray, and gather our thoughts. This has been a blessing to our relationship and has helped us avoid fights that disintegrate the core of our marriage.
Confession. I don’t always care about the things that make my husband tick and we don’t always see eye to eye. Chances are, it’s the same in your marriage, too.
But we have both made the commitment to listen to the other ramble about their latest soap-box issue. If we disagree, we will do so with respect and with kindness.
Ladies, men are hard-wired to crave respect. It’s a blessing to them when we as women show respect both at home and in our conversations with others.
Don’t keep a laundry list of wrongs
Women, by nature, tend to gather and cling to the mistakes of our spouse. We drag around the baggage of his flaws, and open the suitcase of his missteps whenever we need ammunition for a fight.
Yet we are chained to the past and never able to fully embrace freedom when we cling to mistakes of the past. White it may not be easy to accept the mistakes and move past them, we can only experience true intimacy when we offer our spouse the gift of a clean slate.
Just as the Lord has poured out mercy and grace on our own undeserving soul, we also must unchain our hearts from the burdens of bitterness. While it’s not easy to let a deep and scarring hurt go, you can both move forward once the burdened is fully released at the foot of the cross.
Adjust your expectations
Ignorantly I began my marriage thinking it would be a fairy tale. Yet I failed to realize I was married to a flawed sinner, just as I was. By letting go of the dream of the perfect love story, I found a partnership rooted in common belief and connected by the blood of Christ.
Sure, we both mess up and must daily overlook the shortcomings of the other. But there is still hope for a beautiful life of love with Christ as the head of our home.
Becoming a gracious wife isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires self-denial, self-control, and a heart in tune with the promises of God. A gracious wife knows that even when hard times hit her marriage, her identity is safe and secure in the arms of Christ.
How do you practice grace in your marriage?