Monday, December 12, 2011

Being A Biblical Wife in a Modern World

That's Life

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault; just between the two of you. If he listens yo you, you have won your brother over."
~ Matthew 18:15 ~

We've all been through it. It's uncomfortable, hurtful, painful, and sometimes unavoidable. It is a part of life. Conflict and confrontation. It doesn't matter what side of the conflict that you're on, it is a difficult situation. A marriage opens endless opportunities for conflict and endless possibilities to allow Satan to work his way in between you and your hubby. My hubby and I have not been married for long but what we've learned so far is that speaking truthfully, openly, and honestly will get you far. As long as we do so with love!

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the Head, that is, Christ."
~ Ephesians 4:15 ~

Communication is vital in a successful marriage. It is important to build a relationship based on trust and respect. These two things can be easily lost if we do not communicate with our hubby in an encouraging and motivating way. My upmost desire for my marriage is to represent God and to grow into a Proverbs 31 wife. We want our husbands to have "full confidence" in us. We want to bring our hubby "good, not harm, all the days" of our lives. We need to "speak with wisdom". "Faithful instruction is on her tongue" {Proverbs 31:11,26}.

If our marriages were absolutely perfect, what would be the joy of marriage? The first step, for me, is not to have a negative outlook on conflict. My hubby and I choose to use our disagreements as learning and growing opportunities. How are we to grow in our marriage if we choose not to grow? Conflict and confrontation is hard for anyone but God does not give us anything that we cannot handle. My second step, before I choose to bring something up, is to consider whether or not this is a conversation that will truly benefit our relationship. I mean, ladies... can you imagine if we brought up every single, little, teeny, tiny thing to our hubby? Can you imagine if our hubby brought up every single, little, teeny, tiny thing to us? We would be at it every day. There are some things that we simply just need to "let go" of. Know what I'm saying? ;)

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yoursleves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
~Philippians 2:3-4 ~

If there is a topic that I feel strongly about, I choose to go to my hubby but only if I feel that it is something that will help us both. My third step is planning out exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. I am a firm believer in thinking before you speak and though I am not perfect at this, I try to live this out daily. I practice what I want to say and go to His Word for prayer and clarity. My hubby and I use God's Word as our "go to" guide on how to handle certain situations, deal with relationships, and get through conflict. We try to use it in a correct manner and keep it in sync with what God truly intended and not abuse and manipulate His Words to benefit ourselves. The Bible is such a wonderful gift and is a tool that we often neglect when we need it most. It is a faithful source for teaching, guidance, correction, and growth.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17~

"He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself from calamity."
~Proverbs 21:23 ~

My final step, during a conflict, is to be patient. Listen, be kind, have an open heart, be gracious, and offer patience. Marriage is all about growth and each day we are constantly growing in our relationship with God and in our marriages. As wives, we cannot try to change our hubby. That is not our role... that is God's role!

Disagreements are going to happen. That is the reality of the world that we live in but how we choose to handle those situations is up to us. It doesn't matter if our conflict is with our spouse, an in -law, a brother, a friend, a co-worker... we choose how we approach someone and we choose how we react. Not everyone is going to like what we believe, or say, or do. And that's okay. Different views, different opinions... these are all times to represent His Light and truly live for Him. Obey His teachings and His commands. His judgement is the only judgement that matters. As long as we speak with truth, love, and for the good of others and listen with open ears and hearts, we are well on our way to being Proverbs 31 wives. Easier said than done, I know!

An important and imperative part of dealing with conflict and confrontation is forgiveness. There are so many great and beautiful rewards that come with genuine forgiveness and it is a feeling that is almost euphoric. The weight that is lifted from your heart when forgiveness seeps in and consumes you is something that only God can do. It is a work far too great for us to do alone. In order to truly move on and move forward in a relationship, forgiveness must take place. Pray for God to work on your heart and to bring you to a place full of love and joy instead of anger and aggression. Forgiving can be tough. When you've been hurt it is difficult to push those feelings aside and just trudge on. It takes time, and that's okay. There is no time frame on forgiveness. It can be hard but ladies... take it from me... forgive whomever needs to be forgiven. Bitterness is not an attractive accessory! Forgiveness changes our hearts and changes us. Whether it's your hubby, a family member, a friend... forgive. It makes us a much more positive wife and keeps our hearts open for His work.

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
~Colossians 3:13~

I want to leave you with my absolute favorite verse from the Bible. It is so perfect for any situation that deals with a troublesome situation. I so try to live by this each day:

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
~Proverbs 16:24~

So next time that sweet hubby (or anyone for that matter!) of yours does something that doesn't set right with you, take a moment and think about your apporach. Ask yourself: Is this a growth opportunity? What words do I need to say? Is this going to benefit our relationship? Pray and ask God to help guide you with the most helpful and healing words. And don't forget... be patient with that man of yours!

Have a great day ladies!

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