I’m excited to share this post because Angela writes about a struggle every wife deals with: being nicer to others than to our husbands. Have you done that too? Even though she’s written an entire book on this topic doesn’t mean she’s free from struggle with keeping a good attitude toward her guy. I love her opening story. We can all relate I think.
Enjoy her honesty and her resolve to change her own heart instead of trying to change her husband. And may you too resolve to make your marriage the best it can be every day! – Barbara
It was Easter morning and we were running late. My daughters were still very young, and I’d underestimated the time it would take to get them away from their chocolate bunnies and into their frilly dresses and tights, new shoes and hats. When we finally got in the car, my husband forgot something and had to go back inside and took an eternity finding it.
It was my week to work in children’s church, and we were supposed to arrive early, so I was very tense and upset that we were late. I may have even turned slightly snippy. It’s not surprising that my husband and I got into an argument on the way to church that day. I blamed him for our tardiness; he blamed me. Following our example, our girls in the backseat began bickering, too.
As we pulled into the church parking lot, my voice rose above everyone else’s. “Alright, it’s Easter Sunday. So be quiet, put a smile on your face, and look like a happy family.” I sounded anything but happy when I said it, and my kids quieted immediately. We went into church, smiling or at least seething quietly so no one could tell.
Leaving my husband to check the kids in, I walked as quickly as I could to the children’s church class. When I arrived, my usual teaching partner wasn’t there. Fortunately, no kids were there yet either. I quickly set up and began cheerfully greeting families as they arrived to check in.
Almost an hour later, my teaching partner arrived, looking just as harried and flushed as I had felt. She apologized, and of course, I told her it was no problem. I confessed that I’d been late also, and assured her that everything was fine. I poured her a cup of coffee, and she visibly relaxed.
The truth is, I wasn’t just being polite to my friend. I really did have nothing but grace in my heart toward her, and it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to be annoyed.
But my husband, taking too long to do something when we were already running late? Apparently, I had zero grace for that. On the way home that day, after sheepish apologies and sincere hugs (you really can’t leave an Easter service with petty annoyances still intact), I thought about how easy it was to be kind and patient with my friend, and I wondered why it was so much harder to show my husband that same kindness and patience.
I decided to study the Bible and write down every verse I could find on marriage and to attempt to live my life according to those verses. Out of years of studying and learning through mistakes, my book, Bless Your Husband, was born.
While I like to think I’ve grown quite a bit since that day, more than ten years ago now, I still find myself saving my cranky side for my husband, and I have to remind myself that my husband deserves the very best of me.
In Bless Your Husband, I offer lots of ideas on how to love your husband in actions and in words, while growing closer to God as you do. But one of the simplest things you can do to bless your husband is to freely give to him what you easily give to others: The courtesy we’d show a stranger. The gentleness we’d show a friend. The patience we’d show a small child. That basic kindness we show others without even thinking about it. It’s almost a reflex sometimes, isn’t it? Don’t our husbands deserve the same?
Ephesians 4:2 (NIV) reminds us: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
If you want to grow in love for your husband, spend time every day with the One who loves you endlessly. Study God’s Word, pray for your husband and for your marriage. Cultivate a heart of thankfulness and focus on the goodness of God. Because whatever you dwell on begins to spill out of your heart. That’s why every day in Bless Your Husband we start with a prayer, a Scripture, and a positive statement to dwell on about your husband and your marriage.
When we spend time daily at Jesus’ feet and hide God’s Word in our heart, kindness, gentleness, and patience will come much more naturally to us. That doesn’t mean we’ll be perfect wives and never get snippy again, but it does mean we’ll have lots more good stuff that will spill out and bless our husband.
Let’s agree to be wives who give our best selves to our husband. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV).
Angela Mills is the author of Bless Your Husband: Creative Ways to Encourage and Love Your Man. She’s been married to her best friend for 18 years and is a homeschool mom.
Angela runs a Facebook group for thousands of Christian wives, with daily reminders and ideas to bless your husband. She is passionate about following Jesus, helping marriages thrive, and encouraging women to intentionally love their husbands and children.