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Are You the Difficult One in Your Marriage? (Me Too!) - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - October 4

The Crosswalk Devotional

Are You the Difficult One in Your Marriage? (Me Too!)
By: Jennifer Waddle

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. - James 3:17

There is no denying it. I am the difficult one in our marriage. Ask any one of our four kids, and if they are being honest, they will agree!

But you know what? I’ve come a long way over the last 28 years. Admitting my faults and applying the principles of God’s wisdom have literally moved mountains in our marriage.

It all started several years ago, when I was cooking dinner and listening to a Christian podcast. I heard a verse from James chapter 3 that stopped me in my tracks. It was a list of characteristics describing wisdom from above.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. - James 3:17

I scrambled to write those eight Godly attributes down, and hastened to begin applying them to my marriage. For one, I began yielding to my husband, allowing him to be the head of our household instead of always exerting my will. I made an effort to be gentle with my words, instead of being sarcastic and cutting. I stopped picking at his faults and started confessing my own. What a remarkable difference!

I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been to allow Godly wisdom to override my weaknesses. Often, I’m surprised at how easy it is to keep the peace, when once-upon-a-time I would have argued or stewed over things. I’m taken aback every time a gentle answer calms the situation and leads to healthy discussion. Over and over again, our marriage is blessed by these eight actionable characteristics.

If you are clashing in your marriage, no matter who is the more difficult party, please spend some time in James chapter 3. Read through the eight characteristics of wisdom and begin applying them one by one.

  • When impure thoughts arise, replace them with thankful thoughts for your spouse.
  • As conflicts flare up, find ways to douse them with peace.
  • When you’re tempted to speak harsh words in retaliation, try a gentle word in response.
  • If you are trying to exert your will and your way, yield first to the Father and then to your spouse.
  • When criticism fills your mind, replace it with mercy and forgiveness.
  • If there are bad habits in your life, cut them off and allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow.
  • Don’t favor anyone or anything else above your spouse. Remember, your devotion is first to God and then to your marriage. No partiality!
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This golden rule keeps hypocrisy out of the marriage relationship.

One of the very first steps in becoming less difficult in your marriage is to get real with yourself and with God. Then, once you’ve admitted it, you can focus on living out the divine attributes of Godly wisdom. Take it from me—the difficult one in our marriage—putting these things into practice can make all the difference in the world.

Jennifer Waddle is a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is where “Discouragement Doesn’t Win.” She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.

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