Grow from Blushing Bride to Wise Wife
- Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Fight fairly. Deal with conflict successfully by following respectful guidelines and seeking to learn from the experience. Don’t exaggerate, intimidate, humiliate, interrupt, bring up the past, refuse to talk, change the subject, or give up. Understand that how you deliver your message is just as important as the message itself; be as calm as possible. Don’t fight in a public place or in front of family or friends. Choose a time when neither you nor your husband is hungry, tired, or stressed. Gain perspective by asking yourself, "If I knew I was going to heaven tomorrow, would I still argue about this today?" and answering honestly. Remember God’s willingness to always forgive you and His command for you to forgive others. Always be willing to forgive your husband, with God’s help. When you’re at an impasse with your husband, ask God to help you see the situation from your husband’s perspective. Remember that your husband is not your enemy, but your teammate.
Understand submission. Get to know what submission is and why it’s important, so you won’t be afraid of it. Realize that it has nothing to do with your husband forcing you to become a doormat. Rather, submission is a choice a strong wife makes freely out of love and respect for God. Understand that God created men and women completely equal, yet to fulfill different purposes that complement each other. Look to Jesus’ example as the ultimate model of submission. He chose to do what the Father asked Him to do, despite the cost. Ask God to give you the love and courage you need to follow your husband’s leadership. Share your views openly and honestly, but trust your husband to make the final decisions, knowing that you honor God as you do. While you should never comply if your husband asks you to do something contrary to God’s Word, do all you can to be patient with your husband and work with him, even when he makes mistakes.
Give your husband the gift of respect. Know that it is vitally important to your husband that you respect him, admire him, believe in him, and trust him to make wise decisions. Realize that God calls you to respect your husband – even when he doesn’t deserve it. Understand that respecting your husband is an act of maturity that shows you understand God’s grace. Never say anything to or about your husband is public that will harm his ego or embarrass him in front of other people. Ask God to show you your husband’s good qualities. Then meditate on them, and let your husband know what you appreciate about him. Encourage your husband all you can. Strive to be his biggest fan.
Adjust to your husband’s family. Talk with your husband about his past and seek to understand the story behind the person he has become. Learn about his experiences and the family dynamics that have shaped his current attitudes and actions. Fight the urge to criticize his family members. Instead, try to discover more about them and ask God to help you get along with them. Be open-minded about embracing some of his family’s traditions that are still relevant to your husband today. Pray about how much time to spend with each other’s families and trust God to help you resolve conflicts. Ask God to give you the security and confidence you need to share your husband with his family without feeling threatened. Even if some members of your husband’s family are difficult to get along with, do your best to be peaceful and friendly toward them. Pray for each person in your husband’s family and ask God to help you learn to love them.
Cultivate your sexual relationship. Realize that you can’t automatically achieve a healthy and enjoyable sex life; it takes time and effort. Work to build a close connection with your husband outside the bedroom so you’ll share intimacy inside the bedroom. Talk openly and honestly with each other about how to improve your sexual relationship.
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