“Husbands need to change, and their wives know it.”
This statement, spoken by a pastor I really admire, took me off guard when I first heard it. Because the truth is, from the day the vows are said, wives dream of the day when their husband will become his absolute best. They assume their husband will spend his life working toward that goal of being the best husband (and father) he can possibly be.
Yet husbands don’t typically change as fast as we want, or in the areas we want.
Here’s the trouble with marriage:
First, many husbands get comfortable with their life and don’t want to be refined by God. They are happy to stay right where they are and not put any work into becoming more like Christ. Many times they make excuses and rationalize, ignoring that their complacency is the opposite of what God desires from them.
Second, many wives feel it’s their job, and their right, to convince their husband to submit to God. They say and do whatever they can to motivate their man to change when they ought to leave him alone and focus on their own spiritual journey. They forget that God said to work out your own salvation, not your husband’s (Philippians 2:12).
It’s a terrible cycle in many marriages. The more the husband refuses to change, the more the wife pushes him. The more she pushes, the more he resists. Resentment grows on both sides, destroying their union.
Most of us don’t understand what is really going on. We are so busy blaming our spouse for our unhappiness, we can’t be bothered to examine ourselves to see where we’re adding to the problem. And yet that’s what scripture tells us to do.
Many wives believe they can never be happy if their husband doesn’t change. But the truth is, we can be content in any circumstance, just like Paul, who endured great hardship (Philippians 4:11).
So where does change begin in a troubled marriage? With me.
It takes great courage to step back to evaluate our marriage and look for those areas where we need to grow as a wife. I think, like me, many wives honestly believe they’re doing all the right things in marriage. They don’t understand how they are adding to it’s destruction.
When I first talked to God about how unhappy I was in my marriage, I didn’t bother to complain about what I didn’t like in my husband. I already knew His answer would be to stop pointing the finger, to look at the plank in my own eye rather than obsessing over the speck in my husband’s eye. (Matthew 7:3)
So, after a small temper tantrum where I struggled with why I had to be the one to “go first”, I told God I was ready to face my issues and make changes in my marriage. I got on my knees and asked Him where to start.
Something has to give in troubled marriages. Maybe it’s you…