Welcome to this week’s series: Supporting Your Husband in a Positive Way!
Dear Cooking Up Faith,
I am really struggling in my marriage right now, but my husband has no idea. To him everything is fine. I am the one struggling. We have been married 15 years and I just don’t feel the spark that I used to feel. We’ve had some financial problems and I resent the way he has handled money in our marriage. It’s hard for me to continue being positive and supportive when I really don’t agree with how he manages our money. I’ve tried talking to him but nothing ever changes. Should I keep being supportive when my husband isn’t being responsible??
I received this letter from a reader recently. You know, finances is one of the main reasons for marital conflict and divorce, and it’s not even a lack of money, but a disagreement in how money is handled. One spouse is frugal and watches what is spent, while the other spouse spends money like there’s no tomorrow. We feel disrespected when this happens. We feel like all our hard work and efforts to be responsible must mean nothing. It can cause a real resentment and bitterness, and make it extremely hard to be supportive and positive…especially when we feel our partner doesn’t deserve it.
I know a couple who had extreme opposite spending habits. The wife was a stay at home mom and watched every penny she spent. She felt like since she didn’t “work” and earn money she should not spend as much money as possible. Her husband spent money on new t.v.s, new work clothes, and ate out frequently for business. It seemed like when he wanted something he had no problem spending any amount of money, and often justified it because it was for work…or something he liked to have to relax from work! The wife complained, gave the cold shoulder, nagged for months and years, but nothing ever changed. So, she finally surrendered one day and decided to hand her husband’s spending habits over to the Lord. She stopped nagging, stopped complaining, and continued to watch what she spent. She didn’t clap her hands and jump up and down with excitement over her husband’s way of handling money, but she didn’t try to control him anymore either.
This is what God’s Word tells us to do – be righteous (do what’s right), support and encourage others sometimes through our actions instead of our words, and don’t complain or nag.
Take a look at these scriptures:
1. Be righteous in your marriage (do what’s right even when your spouse does not): Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12
2. Encourage your husband through your actions: Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1
3. Don’t complain or nag (it doesn’t work anyway!): A leak that keeps dripping on a rainy day and the nagging of a wife are the same. Proverbs 27:15
Our husbands are human with flaws, insecurities, and failures just like our own. We can’t expect perfection out of them, and we can’t expect them to give us everything we need in a perfect package. We need to hand over our husband’s failures and faults over to the Lord, and allow Him to work a slow but constant working on his heart. Change happens from the inside out. Let the Lord work on your husband’s heart and change will come. Be patient.
You know my friend I told you about? After a while of praying for her husband instead of nagging she did see a change in him. He even broke down and told her one day how sorry he was for not handling their finances better and vowed to make a change. They are still in the process of cleaning up some poor money making decisions, but he is working hard and has made drastic changes in the way he spends money. I wonder sometimes if this turn around would have happened if my friend kept complaining, kept nagging, kept trying to control? I don’t think so. I think their story would have a very different outcome right now.
Raising your voice instead of acting quietly provides instant gratification because you can loosen the rope of self-control a little bit…but it’s not effective.
Nagging provides instant gratification. You feel better because you let some steam off…but it’s not actually effective.
Effective = change.
If you want real change seek what is effective.God’s path of righteousness is effective.
Your story may be the exact same. Or maybe it’s another issue besides money. Look ahead a year from now, 2 years from now…10 years from now. Believe there can be a turn around for you too. Try handing your husband and all his issues over to the Lord. Stand back and get out of the way a little bit so God can continue the good work he’s doing in your husband. Don’t you know God wants to restore and heal and prove His power? Allow Him. Let Him. Welcome Him to do that for your marriage.
Come back Wednesday for another post on Supporting Your Husband in a Positive Way!
* If there is any abuse or infidelity in your marriage please seek help and counseling. This is not a behavior you should be quiet about and allow to continue.