We're almost six years into our marriage. Not a long time but everybody who's been married for forty years at one time was only married for six.
Yes, I know.
I've learned a few things in six years. One is that my husband is a wonderful man. Another is that it's easy to take that for granted.
I love being married to him but I still have to die to self to be the wife that God intends for me to be. He put me here to help my man pursue the will of God. He didn't make me a wife so that my husband could make me happy (although he frequently does!). He didn't make me a wife because my husband needed someone to cook his dinner (although he appreciates my cooking, believe me!). God put me here because my husband can better serve God with me as his wife. At least... if I'm being the wife God planned for me to be.
My heart's desire is to be a wife that my husband can treasure so I want to grow as a wife. I spend the time on the things that matter. There are two avenues of blessing my husband that I am pursuing right now.
1. I want to be gracious with my husband. God defines "gracious" as one of the characteristics of His lady (Proverbs 11:16) and I certainly want to be gracious to the most important person in my life.
Gracious = Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings.
A. I want my husband to have my favor; my kind regard or friendliness. Am I a friend to my husband? How can I work on being his friend?
-Care about what he cares about
-Listen to his stories
-Share his disappointments and triumphs
-Be kind! Speak graciously. If I wouldn't talk to someone else that way I shouldn't talk to my husband like that.
B. That second part of the definition jumped out at me! Do I forgive offenses from my husband quickly? I shouldn't have a list in my mind that I go over every time he messes up and then add the new offense onto the end to review the next time. Do I do things for him that he doesn't deserve? I should. I should look for every opportunity to bless my husband even if I feel he doesn't deserve it. God bestows me with this same grace every day. Every day He showers blessings on me and I don't deserve one of them. His forgiveness is there in readiness every single day. I am behaving like Jesus when I am gracious to my husband.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. Psalm 103:8
God wants His ladies to be gracious. (Pro. 11:16). In doing so, we are showing Christ to the world (and our families!)
2. I also want to be welcoming. I want my husband to be at home with me. How do I greet my husband when he comes home? Sure, I'm usually in the middle of several different things: dinner preparations, refereeing, cleaning, etc. But I'm there (at home) for him. I tell Justin all the time that we're home so that he can come when it fits in his schedule. I want him to know we're excited about him being home.
Do I welcome my husband when we're in public? At church when I'm working on something? We belong together; I am here for him. I want to always have a smile for him!
How do I treat him when he asks me for something? I don't want Justin to ever wonder how I'm going to respond to him. Or what mood I'm going to be in. Or how he's going to be treated. I want to be welcoming. There is nothing that I can't put down or stop when he needs my attention. (Don't take that too literally. You shouldn't drop the baby or the pot of boiling water; you know what I mean!)
One of the saddest things I can imagine is getting to heaven and having God tell me that I was a hindrance to my husband or my family in serving God. When I look at it in that light- the light of eternity- there is nothing so big or so insignificant that I can't change to follow Christ.