Ask "Why do I want to stay mad at you?" If you hold grudges against your husband after he hurts or offends you, ask God to help you let go of your anger and bitterness, since it will poison both your marriage and your relationship with God if you hold onto it. Rely on God's strength to help you follow His command to forgive your husband unconditionally and continuously. Remember that God has forgiven you of many sins, and let your gratitude for God's forgiveness motivate you to forgive your husband.

Ask "Is it possible to grow together when things fall apart?" Expect that you and your spouse will encounter various crises in this fallen world together, from health struggles to job losses. But realize that every crisis you all face presents either the danger that it will destroy your oneness by tearing you apart, or the opportunity that it will deepen your oneness by pushing you together. View each crisis that hits your marriage as an opportunity to grow closer together as you both learn how to trust God in fresh ways through the crisis. Turn to God's promises in the Bible to encourage each other as you deal with pain from crises in your marriage, and notice how you grow together.

Look in the mirror and focus on what matters most. Keep in mind that what matters most to God is that you're faithful. So regularly look in the mirror and ask yourself if the wife you see there is being faithful to God and your husband throughout all circumstances. Every day, pray for a fresh dose of the strength you need to be faithful in loving God and your husband, and God will help you keep learning and growing.

January 18, 2011

Adapted from What's It Like to be Married to Me?, copyright 2011 by Linda Dillow. Published by David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, www.davidccook.com.

Linda Dillow is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Creative Counterpart and Intimate Issues (with Lorraine Pintus), with sales totaling more than 1.5 million copies. A popular speaker at women's conferences around the world, Linda lives in Monument, Colorado with her husband, Jody. The Dillows have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.