- Always share the events of the day.
- Never be angry at the same time.
- Always say “I love you”, when parting.
- Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
- Always touch each other in meaningful ways – hugs, kisses, holding hands, sitting close.
- Never resist yielding to the others wishes.
- Always remember commitment leads to communication; communication stimulates forgiveness; and forgiveness offers grace which develops intimacy.
- Never criticize unlovingly.
- Always show appreciation for something your partner has done. (Say, “Thank you.”)
- Never bring up mistakes of the past.
- Always take turns asking and explaining when you have misunderstood the other.
- Never let the day end without giving your spouse at least one compliment.
- Always share hopes and dreams – this is a basic key to a close relationship.
- Never hold on to pride; ask for forgiveness. (“I was wrong. Will you forgive me?”)
- Always be a good listener, no response may be necessary.
- Never forget it takes two to make a quarrel but only one to stop it.
(Modified from Lists to Live By, pages 94-95, “Do’s and Don’ts of Marriage” by Glenda Hotton.)
I was thinking, we are so totally frail, fragile, and depraved. We do the things we don’t want to do and we don’t do the things we know we should. We know we are to be our husbands’ companion, his helpmeet. We have read those verses a million times. (see 1 Peter 3:1,5,6; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:22,24, 33) They have been pounded in our heads until we are dizzy. However, we wives tend to focus on all that our husband is not doing, “If only he would lead in a godly way (love me as Christ loved the church), then I could be the sweetest godly wife the world has known.” We forget our part. There are times in marriage when we really don’t know what to do or how to handle or respond to a situation.
Our loving heavenly Father knew we would struggle with this area of obedience and He gave us the how-to in Titus 2:3-8. He says, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. (So we older women better be doing our part.) They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children (There is such a need for this, it seems young moms today are hesitant to discipline their young, instead they tend to want to be their friend.), to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (So few wives are content to be at home keeping the house and caring for family needs.) Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (God gives us help.)
One of the axioms of life is that we can’t change others, but we can change ourselves. We can’t control others, but we can control ourselves. It behooves us to stay focused on what we know about our role which is to be a wife that complements him, or fits into his ways. The wife we are comes out of the overflow of our love and commitment to the Lord. Proverbs 3 tells us not to forget to trust in the Lord with all our heart and don’t lean on our own understanding. As Christian wives housing the living God we can and should seek God’s wisdom in all things including our role as a wife.
We can become like the hardhearted wife who harbors anger, jealousy, bitterness and unforgiveness, or we can become like the gentle and quiet spirit wife, one full of sweetness, kindness and godliness which comes from a deep love for her Lord. The inside of a wife is much like character. Are we women of godly character or women of worldly selfishness? Character is who we are in the closets of our lives when no one is looking. D. L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” An inseparable connection exists between our character and our conduct. The former is the source of the latter. What we are internally will always show up externally. Whatever we have stored up on the inside will overflow to those around us, and our husband reaps it first.
- Let’s consider practicing one thing from the list above to encourage your marriage each day.
- Let’s focus on who God is, not on who your husband is.
- Let’s read Proverbs 3 today and choose to trust in the Lord, and seek His wisdom in becoming a wife of good character.
- Let’s consider seeking the input from an older woman you have watched and have appreciated. Notice how she responds to her husband in public, how she speaks to her little ones; how she keeps her house or at least what her attitude toward keeping house is, as Titus instructs.
- Let’s find one time this week to affirm our husband for some part of his character we admire. He needs a lot of affirmation. If you are at a place in your marriage where it is hard to find anything to affirm in him, think about what others say about him and think about when you were first married.
If you need encouragement as a wife, don’t hesitate to ask. I enjoy reading your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.