By Shari Miller, Contributing Writer
We’ve all had those times as wives where the sharp, hurtful words spew out of our mouths faster than expected, so fast that we didn’t even have time to think first, and that deep sense of regret soon follows. You know, those instances where you snap at your husband for the umpteenth time, because he forgot to pick up his dirty clothes. Those times when you wish you came with a back space button so you could take back all the hurtful words you said.
Once the words are said, it’s impossible to take them back. Some husbands may even look at these sharp, cutting words as nagging, as an incessant drone in their ears of things we say over and over again. The sound of your voice becomes like Charlie Brown’s teacher and they start to tune you out, not paying attention to you at all. When this happens, we end up with what we call, the “Nagging Wife Syndrome”, a condition where the wife feels like the husband never listens to what she is saying, and where the husband feels like all the wife says is the same thing time after time, and each one never listens to the other.
There’s good news! There’s hope on both the side of the wife and the husband to overcome this.
Today’s the day to stop thinking the way the world thinks, to stop looking at things through the eyes of one who believes that her, or his way is always the right way, and it’s time to renew our thoughts through the grace of God.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 – NIV
How will this happen?
As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango; likewise, it will take two to work on improving the health of a marriage, both the husband and the wife.
- We need to make sure that we have a thriving, personal relationship with the Lord. The first and only way to get on track with our outside actions, is to make sure we’re on track on the inside as well. We need to be in prayer and in the Word daily. We need to be challenging ourselves to grow deeper in our walk with Christ, and to know Him better so that in turn we may be able to serve our spouses better. Not only do we need to be growing in our personal walks with the Lord, we also need to be growing in our relationship with the Lord as a couple. There’s nothing more important than seeking God as a couple.
- Communication in a marriage is so important. Wives, when you are speaking to your husband, do so in a kind and loving way, treat him the way that you would want to be treated. If you have something that you would like to ask your husband to do, pick a good time to ask him. Don’t ask him right when he walks in the door from work, when he’s tried and the kids are wanting his attention. Wait until he’s rested and had time to re-energize after a long day. One of the main things a couple can do to improve their marriage is to actually listen to what the other person is trying to say. Husbands, when wives are trying to tell you something, don’t automatically assume that they are trying to attack you or belittle you. Honestly listen to them and seek clarifications for any type of miscommunications you may be having. Look for the underlying meaning of what they are trying to tell you, don’t just assume what your wife is trying to say before she even stops talking.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20 (NIV)
- Wives, realize that we are born into a sinful, fallen society, and that no one is perfect, including ourselves and our husbands. Once we realize and accept these imperfections and differences, we will be much better off. Sometimes, it can be so easy to lay false expectations onto our husbands, expectations that they will never live up to. Take things with a grain of salt, when mistakes are made, or if a husband may not listen the first time. Realize that they are not doing things on purpose to upset you, they are trying the best they can.
- Wives, instead of belittling, or nagging your husband when something doesn’t go as planned, pray. When he’s doing that thing that annoys you the most, pray. When you feel that emotion of anger rise inside you, take a step back and realize that this accomplishes nothing. Getting angry over a situation only makes the problem worse.
- Set aside times where you can specifically talk about your marriage and any unresolved issues. Go to each other in love trying to resolve things for the benefit of the both of you. Remember that your not at war with one another. You are fighting on the same side, and you need to be encouraging one another and building each other up. You are not fighting against each other, but rather against an unseen enemy that’s trying to pull your marriage apart. Don’t let the enemy win! Stand united in the Lord.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” I Thessalonians 5:11a (NIV)
Image courtesy of [photostock] /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Take the time today for some self evaluation.Make a conscience effort today to speak kind and loving words to one another. Make an effort to truly listen to one another. Don’t let the, “Nagging Wife Syndrome” be part of your marriage anymore, work together to overcome it. Today’s the day to take that step towards changing your marriage for the better.