Have you ever known a sweet older couple? You know the ones. They look so content with one another, often finish each other’s sentences, are celebrating 40+ years of marriage, and just seem to radiate peacefulness! One might decide it is simply because they learned how to tolerate each other, that they have never had any really serious disagreements or found any significant fault with one another. However, I think that belief would fail to give healthy marriages credit where it is due. Wives, in particular would not get the credit they are due. Why?
The reason some marriages contain a wonderful peacefulness and contentedness is not because they have learned to tolerate each other, never had differences, or found significant faults in one another, but because they have learned to view each other’s faults as opportunities instead of problems.
God does not make mistakes. When He puts a certain man together with a certain woman and unites them in holy matrimony it was part of His Holy plan made thousands of years ago. In His plan, He unites two people that possess certain complimentary qualities so that once they are joined, you no longer have two people, but one couple whom is far greater in potential than the two people could have ever been, even if they had been working together outside of a marital relationship.
This is because through marriage you get to know your husband (and he, you) much more thoroughly than you ever imagined possible before marriage. You may be thinking, “Yes! …and I really did not WANT to know everything I know now!” If you have been married for any number of years, you probably have even developed a list (maybe not written, but it’s in your head) of what you consider to be your husband’s worst faults.
Each man is different, but perhaps you know your husband has a real problem getting up early in the morning or is not comfortable making new friends. Maybe he has a bit of a temper, is too prone to boast pridefully, or maybe he has a problem confronting authorities whom are acting inappropriately. Whatever your husband’s worst faults are, I challenge you to re-examine them from a new perspective.
We already addressed the fact that God does not make mistakes and He put you with your husband because He knew the two of you together in marriage would make a perfect team. Now, consider that on a perfect team, nobody is actually individually perfect, but there is always somebody there that is gifted in a particular area in which another is lacking. As your husband’s teammate, God designed you to possess the strengths necessary to compensate for his faults. Naturally, your husband also has the strengths to compensate for your weaknesses.
So, instead of becoming frustrated or upset about your husband’s faults, be glad that you know what his faults are because those same faults are what God put you there to compliment. If you know your husband’s faults, you also know exactly what God wishes for you to do! Yet, God did not put you there to take over responsibility for your husband’s faults (As a child will never learn to tie his shoe if you always do it or always buy him velcro shoes, your husband will not overcome his weaknesses if you just take over for him). So, be careful. You don’t want to do too much or accidentally become bossy and overbearing in attempting to compensate for your husband’s faults.
Instead, strategize how to help him tackle his weaknesses and conquer those faults by working together. Consider these alternatives:
- If your husband has a problem getting up early in the morning, remember that you were placed with him by God to help him through his groggy morning hours. After an exhausting night, remember that your husband’s nose will probably get him up faster than anything else! Make some coffee, fry a few eggs and strips of bacon, or mix together some steaming hot creamy oatmeal. You might consider enticing him with a kiss, but remember, the goal is to get him OUT of bed, not give him more reason to stay there!
- If your husband is not comfortable making new friends, rest on the fact that God gave you to your husband to make it easier on him. For example: one of my Father’s best friends, Bill, my father met because my mother was close friends with his wife, Lyne, since highschool. My Mother did not push my Father to go introduce himself to strangers, but it was natural for him to spend time with Bill, when he took her to visit Lyne. Also, know that there is no “correct” number of friends. Some couples may be perfectly content with a few close friends, while others prefer to have a large number to assemble with. You and your husband will, ultimately, have to decide what is best for your family.
- If you husband has a bit of a temper, God knows that too, and made you perfectly capable of constructively reacting when he overreacts. You don’t want to humiliate him in public or in front of the children, that will only make matters worse. In a quiet private time, speak to your husband about creating a system. Agree on a certain sentence or gesture that you can make when you feel he is getting a bit too amped up that will signal him to slow down a bit… and let him make one to use on you too, should you occasionally get a little too excited.
- When a boastful husband is filling up full of pride, exalting himself for his brains, high education, strength, singing voice, etc. God is grieved with you. But God also gave you the power to help get your husband back on the right track again. However, it is not a good idea to remind him of his many failures to try to bring him back “down to Earth”. Instead, use your observation of his over-the-top boasting to signal you to find a transitional statement to change the topic to someone else’s accomplishments in your circle of family and friends. It is perfectly natural to respond to a boast with other reasons to boast. A sincere, “Oh, and I am so proud of you for accomplishing that, Dear… and did you know we have even more to celebrate in our family? Uncle John has just….” can go a long way toward helping remind him that it is much more glorious to lift up others than to lift up oneself.
- If confronting authorities whom your husband believes to be wrong is particularly difficult for your husband, God will weigh his heart with the need to confront sin. Don’t get overly upset that he did not confront it exactly when you wanted him to. That will only make the problem bigger. Instead, help to find a solution to the problem. Do your best to discern, with him, why he did not confront the authority and then help him eliminate the issue(s) that cause him to desist from a righteous confrontation. It is certainly Biblical to rebuke those that sin, no matter whom the sinner may be or the position the sinner may hold.
No matter what you believe to be your husband’s worst faults, you were placed with your husband, by God, to help him overcome and have triumph over them. Do not doubt your ability to do so. God made you to perfectly compliment your husband and He will surely reveal to you how to accomplish such. Simply ask Him and he will provide for you the way. Remember what God tells you in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
If your husband has a fault that you would like some guidance in dealing with, feel free to contact me and I will be glad to offer potential solutions that will help you strengthen and grow your own marvelous Christian marriage.
Verses Referenced in this article include (but are not limited to):
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
1 Timothy 5:19-21
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.