I asked a dear sister in Christ to share with us how God has prompted her to handle conflict in her particular marriage dynamic. I am so thankful for her willingness to share! (A reminder – this blog is not written for wives who have truly abusive husbands. If your husband is abusing you, involved in an active drug/alcohol addiction, involved in unrepentant adultery, or is not in his right mind mentally, please seek experienced, appropriate, godly counsel rather than reading this blog. The posts about marriage may not be written from the angle you need. The posts about our relationship with Christ may be helpful.)
NOTE: This husband has a lot of room for improvement. I think we all agree on that. But let’s focus on what the wife has control over in this situation, please.
I’m not real sure how to even begin answering this…. In the beginning of our marriage I was not a Godly wife nor did I understand how to be that because we married so young. Once my relationship became fully established with my Savior is when I started learning how to be a Godly wife and how to listen to the Holy Spirit on when to speak and when not to speak.
I had so much hate for my husband in my heart that any disagreements we had would cause even more anger to well up inside me. Even though the anger was there, the Lord was working on me long ago with holding my tongue.
During the early times of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, there was a major stepping stone that I did not want to take. My oldest son woke up during the night yet again. I was so exhausted from all of his sleepless nights that this particular night, I just couldn’t even think about getting up so I acted like I didn’t hear his cry. When my husband woke to his cry, he [nudged] me and said, “You better get up and make him quit crying. I’ve got to go to work tomorrow.”
At that moment, I snapped. I threw the covers off of me with tears in my eyes, snatched the baby out of his bed, and stomped down the hallway to get back to my room to tell my husband to get out because he was useless and that I could do all this on my own. While I was leaving our son’s room entering the hallway, I felt that tug on my heart saying, “Stop, don’t say it,” but I kept walking.
I got to the threshold of my bedroom door and take a deep breath to say it but it was like the Holy Spirit yelled at me to stop. I stood there crying, wanting so badly to tell my husband to get out – but I couldn’t. That anger from that night ended up being one of my “hate bricks” that I built around my heart that God had to destroy in the last year and a half. I was angry with God too, you know… but this was a stepping stone in my relationship with God for me to understand that I don’t always know what’s best.
I am NOT a “quick on your feet” thinker so when disagreements arise, sometimes I won’t even have an answer or even a response sometimes until like 2 or 3 days later but then I feel like it’s too late. God has taught me over time that when there is a situation that needs to be dealt with, how to prepare for it. My husband is manipulative and can change the angle of a disagreement so quickly that it makes my head spin. God has taught me how to review each angle in my head so that I can be prepared with an answer if the conversation goes that direction. I don’t always pray beforehand but when I know it could get ugly, I will pray for the right words to say in wisdom and that they will not fall on deaf ears but an open heart, that my responses would be gentle so as to turn away wrath.
If my husband gets rude or harsh in his comments or responses, I look away for a moment saying a prayer in my head that God would help me before words come out of my mouth. Sometimes I can’t even speak anymore because so many things are going through my mind that confusion would happen and God is NOT the author of confusion. I have to step away to gain clarity and then proceed. When my husband is “done” with a subject, God tells me to just wait because the same situation will arise soon and it can be turned around to prove my point. God has been right every single time, of course.
We are both pretty head strong people. When I decided to allow myself to become submissive to my husband despite the imperfections and to allow God to lead me, it was a hard task but has turned out to be quite rewarding.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1