I honestly believed I was doing all the right things in my marriage.
When I finally admitted things were beginning to unravel, it was a tough pill to swallow. I didn’t think it could happen to me. After all, I had studied many books on how to be a good Christian wife, so I knew what was required of me and how to take care of my family according to Scripture.
So if I was a doing all the right things, how could my marriage be falling apart?
I went over the checklist in my mind.
What are the actions of a good Christian wife?
+ Put God first – Check. I spent time with God pretty much every day, reading a devotion of some kind, praying, skimming over a few verses in the Bible, listening to sermons on my iPod. I went to church twice a week and participated in two ministries. (And occasionally I would make note to myself that I spent much more time on those things than my husband did.)
+ Make your husband a priority – Check. I made sure he got dinner every night and had clean clothes to wear. I watched the clock so he would know when to go to bed. I encouraged him to go out with friends and kept the house quiet when he was napping. That’s pretty much all a guy needs, right?
+ Affirm him often – Check. About once a month I told him that he was a good dad, great boss, and my hero (right after I complained about his dirty socks on the couch or coming home late from work too often or how he needed to spend more time with his children or how he should not have taken such a late nap.)
+ Spend time together – Check. We watch TV together pretty much every night. We don’t talk about my day – he doesn’t ask and doesn’t really care anyway. And I don’t want to hear another word about his job because that seems to be all he wants to talk about. We’re both so exhausted from our busy schedules, and we don’t have time for any outings even if we had some energy, so TV it is. Every night.
Okay. So maybe I really didn’t get it. It makes sense now, looking back.
God showed me that I wasn’t a bad wife – there were a lot of things I did right – but I had made some mistakes. I had a lot of valuable knowledge; I just wasn’t applying all of it correctly.
And I was more selfish than I cared to admit.
Sometimes we’re not as giving as we think we are.
Over the past year, God has encouraged me to really examine my attitude and perspective. I found far more errors in my ways than I expected.
If we want to a healthy marriage, we have to admit our faults and deal with them – God’s way. It’s not about condemnation or regret. It’s about recognizing bad habits and creating good habits to replace the old.
Have you set aside the strong emotions and marital disappointments lately to take an honest look at yourself? What does God want to show you about yourself?