Marriage is not a word. It’s a life sentence.
Is this how your husband feels about your marriage? Are you unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage? According to an article by Katelyn Carmen on FamilyShare.com, there are five ways to do exactly that.
As you take this inventory, consider how these relate to God’s command for wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33) and how they relate to God’s design for men as protectors and providers.
Further, don’t get distracted with “what about me” feelings. It will be the husband’s turn next month. This month is about your behavior.
1.Living beyond your means
How should a husband feel when he has worked hard to provide, only to have his wife spend more than he makes or complain that it’s not enough? Overspending and complaining reflect a lack of contentedness with what God has provided — also known as covetousness.
Contrast that with a husband whose family celebrates him as a hero every payday for being a faithful provider.
Do you demonstrate respect and appreciation for your husband’s provision and good stewardship with what God has provided?
2. Constant negativity
Negativity does not necessarily mean that you are nagging your husband. (There are enough verses in Proverbs to let you know how wrong nagging is.) Rather, do you routinely drop problem bombs on your husband when he gets home telling him about every single thing that goes wrong every day?
Men are problem-solvers. Problem dumps are like mixing jigsaw puzzle pieces from different puzzles together without a picture and asking him to assemble them. It’s virtually impossible and will frustrate him.
Isn’t home supposed to be where he gets away from the problems of the day?
3. Putting everything and everyone else first
Is your husband a priority over parents, children, friends, activities?
When children are infants, their physical needs must be met. Unfortunately mothers often get stuck in a mentality of putting the children’s needs ahead of their husbands’. That’s not God’s plan.
Check your calendar to see how often you put hubby first. Do you have date nights scheduled to do what he likes to do? Do you participate in his favorite activities?
4. Withholding physical affection
Men spell intimacy S-E-X. Routinely turning your husband down and rejecting his sexual advances communicates that you don’t love him.
Do you withhold sex as a control tool to get what you want? 1 Corinthians 7:5 specifically commands you not to withhold your body from him except in specific agreed-upon circumstances. Period.
But sometimes you don’t “feel” like it because your emotional battery has been drained by work and the kids, and there’s nothing left for hubby. Refer to #3. If you truly want to put hubby first, then you will find ways to eliminate stuff so you will have enough left for hubby. The gift of sexual availability will speak love and life into him.
5. Not speaking plain English.
When husbands want something, they say so. When wives want something, they drop hints. If husbands don’t get the hints, wives get upset. This is called the “no-win zone.”
For example, a man notices a change in his wife’s behavior. He asks, “What’s wrong?”
She answers, “Nothing” (a lie). He can’t fix it if he doesn’t know what’s wrong. As a problem solver, he’s frustrated.
Speak the truth. Don’t play games. Tell him what you want.
6. Are you a gift or a burden?
If your husband rated you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating you are a burden and 10 a gift, how would you do?
The old adage, “A man’s home is his castle” is only true if that is where he is respected. Shouldn’t his greatest admirers be at home? If you are not fulfilling your husband’s need for respect, perhaps a coworker will. And then who would be surprised with where that might lead?
God’s plan for marriage is simple, not easy. God commanded us to become one and to put our spouses’ needs ahead of our own. God designed you to be a gift to your husband so that he can in turn be the man that God intended. If a man is not respected and loved at home, how can he be useful for the Kingdom?
How can you become a gift?
• Pray for God to reveal ungodly attitudes toward your husband.
• Confess those attitudes to your husband and ask for his help to let you know how you may bless him.
• Implement the changes.
• Be patient with yourself and your husband. You did not get where you are in one day.
• Trust God with the outcome.
Patricia Hartman is a CPA/partner at Kofsky, Hartman & Weinger, PA (www.khwcpa.com), a board member for Living Water Christian Counseling and author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement: The Power of Marriage Unleashed” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com. Twitter @CPrenuptial.