Does your spouse have habits that annoy you? If so, what you choose to do with those thoughts makes a huge difference in the growth of your relationship.
The following account is told in the Bible about King David. He was bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and read how his wife responded…
“12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.” (emphasis added) – 2 Samuel 6 NIV
We aren’t told anymore about their relationship at this point, but obviously Michal didn’t approve of David’s PDA for God. She was embarrassed and humiliated that her husband would behave in such a way. It’s likely this wasn’t the first time something the King did annoyed her. Annoyance breeds contempt if we aren’t aware of it. This is why we are bringing it to the forefront.
Ponder in your heart if there are little annoyances that cause you to roll your eyes when your spouse isn’t looking.
Maybe you verbalize it to your spouse in an effort to change their behavior. You may think that this is the way to deal with it, but it will do nothing but cause further distance between you.
Think of annoyances as seeds looking for a place in your heart to take root. This is why it matters what we do with these thoughts.
We can’t prevent the annoyances from happening–we are only human. But we can take such thoughts captive. God’s word helps us here…
“3For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV
If you have discovered contempt towards your spouse in your heart, what can be done?
- First of all, don’t trust that how you see your spouse is accurate. When we allow these critical thoughts to take root it blinds us to the good we love about our spouse and the Truth of God’s Word. In her book, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, Lysa Tyrkerest says,
“If we are going to be true to ourselves, we’d better make sure we are being true to our most surrendered, healed, and healthy selves, the ones God made us to be. A great verse to help us determine this is Psalm 19: 14: May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Yes, the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart must be pleasing to the Lord. And this can only happen when I align my words, thoughts, and desires with Scripture. Otherwise, our desire to ease the ache of our disappointments will lead us right into the enemy’s lies and his grip of destruction. We must not forget that our soul hunger can only be satisfied by daily doses of truth, otherwise we will be prone to snack on deception.” (Page 164-165)
- Secondly, repent to God for each and every thought you have had that is critical and judgmental. Allow His grace to wash over your soul, and if He so leads repent to your spouse as well.
- Finally, express your gratitude for your spouse on a daily basis. Gratitude counters contempt and helps us see our spouse accurately. It has been said that it takes three weeks to break a bad habit. It may be that you have been on this path for so long, you go there without realizing it. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself everyday to see the good. Some ideas: make a three week calendar where you can record the good, set a reminder on your phone that alerts you to be grateful, share your intentions with a close friend and ask them to check to see how you’re doing. All these are practical ways to help you stay committed to your resolve to change.
I highly recommend a The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband blog. They post everyday and give nudges on how to be generous in all areas with your spouse. Their positive focus will go a long way in countering this sinful habit.
The point in all this is to purpose to treat our spouse as the most important person in our lives, even before our children. This is the only relationship we will have day in and day out as long as we both shall live. Shouldn’t we make it a high priority for our good and God’s glory? We believe the answer is a resounding YES!
Share with us something for which you are grateful about your spouse in the comments below. Let the gratitude begin…
This is our 23rd post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in April.