It’s Monday morning, and perhaps the magic of Father’s Day is beginning to wane. Yesterday, we honored and praised the dads in our lives. We could name a laundry list of wonderful attributes about them. But today, all of those critical thoughts we held back yesterday are sneaking their way to the forefront of our minds, turning us slightly sour.
Why does he have to do it like that?
How many times do I have to remind him?
Is he ever going to be better at this?
When will he ever stop doing that?
I don’t do that, why does he?
These critical examinations of our husband’s shortcomings run like an ongoing commentary in the background as we go through our days.
Perfection. It’s what I so often expect from my husband.
(I mean, to be fair, I often expect perfection out of myself, too.)
But, as I poke and prod at my husband – whether silently or aloud – I’m forgetting one important thing: in the same way that God is working on me, molding me to become more and more like His Son, He’s doing the same work on my husband.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.2 Corinthians 3:18
By continually pointing out the ways that my husband is not perfect – perhaps in an attempt to make him grow or maybe because I’m just annoyed – I’m not entrusting my husband to the One who is actually helping him to grow.
I don’t need to be my husband’s growth police.
In the same way that God is transforming me in ever-increasing increments, He’s also doing the same for my husband. The little – or sometimes big – ways that God is working in my life to help me see Him, reflect Him and become more like Him…He’s doing the same for my husband.
Now, a caveat: God sometimes uses us as wives to help our husbands to grow. It takes lots of prayer and wisdom to discern when to say something if prompted by the Spirit and when to have grace and trust God’s process. This is a nuanced subject, but what I’m trying to address here is the heart lacking grace with our husband’s imperfections.
Now we know that our husbands are fallen humans whom God is working on transforming just like us, so what do we do now?
The solution is not to permanently and obliviously view our spouse through rose-colored glasses. The answer is to view them (and ourselves!) through the lenses of our Gracious Father.
Remember: while we were still sinners, Christ – out of his great love – died for us (Romans 5:8) . Jesus didn’t wait for our perfection in order to save us, and we shouldn’t wait around for perfection either.
“Let Christ’s love in you be stronger than any misunderstanding, bigger than any feelings of resentment, louder than your desire for justice, and greater than your own prideful heart.”Laura Wifler, Risen Motherhood
What can we do in the meantime?
1. Pray specific prayers for your husband.
The prayer of a righteous woman is powerful and effective (James 5:16). We should be praying specific prayers for our spouse. If you need inspiration about what to pray for your husband, check out this post about praying the scriptures for our husbands. I’ve included a free printable weekly prayer calendar with scriptures and prayers prompts at the bottom of this post.
2. Look for the good – and praise him.
Whatever we look for, we often find. If we’re looking for the bad, we will find it. We’re all fallen humans. However, if we look for the good, we’ll find that, too. After all, he’s made in God’s image as well and God created him with good qualities and characteristics, too.
3. Focus on your own growth.
In what ways is God helping you to become more like Him? Dig deep into His Word and in prayer to see how He’s calling you to become more Christlike. And share these things with your husband – not in an attempt to chide him into repentance in a certain area, but in order to display the work of God in your life.
4. Don’t let Satan divide you.
Oftentimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life, it’s easy to snap at my husband and get easily angered with him for not “getting it” or helping out when I feel like I’m drowning beneath the weight of motherhood. Instead of reacting like he’s the enemy – I need to remember who the real enemy is (Ephesians 6:12). I need to get vulnerable with my husband and reach out to him for help instead of treating him like he’s the problem. When we’re truly unified, that’s when we’re strongest.
Mamas, let’s pray for our husbands instead of nag them. Let’s praise them instead of picking at them. And let’s praise God that He is working in our lives and our husband’s lives to make us more like Christ.
Don’t forget to download the printable calendar with scriptures and prayers prompts below. And, if you like it, sign up to receive 30 Days of Prayers for your Child!