This is the week when love is in the air. For at least one day we say the words and write the notes that tell our husbands how very much we care about them. We may even plan a special meal or buy a gift that will express our love and affections.
But there is something we can do every single day to love our sweet husbands. It’s something that can’t be bought at the store or wrapped in a box or eaten. As a matter of fact, this gift may go relatively unnoticed.
It’s one simple little act of love. Are you ready for it? Here it is:
Simple? Yes. Easy? Not hardly. At least not for me. You see, I usually start complaining the second my alarm sounds in the morning. It’s too early. I’m too tired. The house is too cold. I wish it was Saturday. And all those thoughts happen before my feet even hit the floor.
It’s no small wonder that the complaints fall off my tongue almost as easily as they roll through my head. My husband steps into the house after work, and the temptation to voice my complaints comes rushing in right behind him. The kids fought all day. I didn’t get anything done. My back hurts. The house is a mess. The dishwasher needs replaced. I’m exhausted.
You name it, I can complain it.
Worse yet, I tend to minimize my complaining heart. I convince myself that I’m just expressing my feelings, venting my stress, sharing what’s on my mind. But when I complain, my husband can easily hear condemnation aimed right at him. The kids fought all day because he isn’t doing his job as a dad. We don’t have a new dishwasher because his job doesn’t pay enough. The house is a mess because he doesn’t help out like he should.
Those attacks may not be my intention. I may simply be trying to unload. Still, my careless words can tear down my hard-working man, leaving him feeling helpless when it comes to making me happy.
So what should I do? Should I carry all the burdens alone? Should I paste on a fake smile and act like no one ever spills juice on the carpet, throws a tantrum, or has a bad day? That’s not what I’m suggesting.
First, I know that I should cast my cares upon God before I throw them on the back of my husband. When I give my troubles to God, I tend to see them in a different light. The tantrum becomes an opportunity to “train up” a toddler. The spilled juice is a chance to express love as I cheerfully scrub the carpet.
Next, I need to wait for the right time. When my husband calls me in the middle of the day or walks in the door after work, he needs a word of encouragement, not discouragement. I must be patient….look on the bright side….smile. I might even try to think of something fun to share. Imagine that!
I also need to wait for the right attitude. If I can’t find something positive to say, then I probably need to hold my tongue until I can tell him about the clouds and the silver lining. Often, many of those stresses of the day melt away as the evening goes on. Sure, I’ll eventually tell him about the trials, but I’ll wait until I can also tell him about the high points, too. While he may need to hear about the child who required extra discipline or the car that needs fixed, he also needs to hear how that same child is growing in other areas or how thankful I am that we have a car in the first place.
My husband wants to please me. His heart desires to bring joy to my heart. Being a happy wife is one of the best gifts I can give him.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Do you struggle with complaining? What tips do you have for using our words for good? Tell us in the comments!
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers.