As it happens, I married the most amazing man ever.
He's good, kind, and loving. Strong and handsome.
But he's not necessarily the easiest guy to have for a husband. (Honey, I can say that, can't I?)
I mean, he's really wonderful. Truly. Yet he can also say and do things that nearly drive a woman out of her mind - or at least this woman.
(And it's possible I have my moments too.)
Yeah, it's rather strange. Here we are crazy about one another - yet not always on the same page. We can think differently. See differently. Feel differently about all sorts of things.
So what then? How do two people who love each other work out their differences?
Don't Take It Up At The Time
If possible, let some time pass before you take it on. You might say things you regret if you attack in the heat of the moment, so let it rest for a while. Also, you'll probably want the chance to think through what happened and why it bothered you.
Then consider if the matter is really worth tackling. Once I've thought about it, I often realize that it's not that big of a deal. Or maybe even my problem and not his (say what?).
But....if it's something that honestly needs addressing, advance to the next step.
Get Prayed Up
Before you do anything else, ask the Lord to show you how you should go about this one. Ask Him to give you light on the situation. What are the underlying issues at the heart of the offense? It's not enough to be merely "bugged" or "fed-up". Seek to be clear in your mind - and your heart - on what is at the root of the problem.
Silence Can be Golden
It's possible that in the praying process, you feel prompted not to say anything at all. That you should wait for the Lord to convict him. Our God is so much more powerful and effective than we could ever be. It might be what's needed here - waiting and praying.
But what if the time has come to speak up?
Communication is Worth Careful Preparation
What is the best way for you to present your complaint or concern so your husband can hear you? For instance, my husband can hear "This is how I feel when...." about 10 times better than if I begin with "You always..." (Okay, maybe a thousand times better).
My choice of words and presentation can make a significant impact on our discussion.
Come to the Conversation in the Right Spirit
Your spirit - a sweet and humble spirit - is even more essential than your words. You can tell him how something makes you feel. You can say what it is that you don't appreciate. You can ask for certain things to improve.
But you can't change him.
So be honest. Be direct. Be gracious and loving. But leave the "transforming" up to the Holy Spirit. That's His job.
Choose Love Over Your Differences.
There have been times when my husband and I have consciously chosen to set aside a disagreement for the sake of our love for one another. We'll lay down our differences for the good of the greater whole - our marriage. Surprisingly few things are really worth fighting over.
I don't mean to make it sound overly simple. But then again, the Lord never intended for love to be overly complicated either. He created both of us and He knew we were going to be different - that came as no surprise to Him. Those differences might well be part of His design. A good thing. Not something to avoid or regret.
And isn’t it good to know we don't always need to be on the same page to share the same heart?
I think so. And, besides, I really am crazy about him.
In His grace,
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and writer, and together they enjoy raising 8 children. Please join her over at Club31Women, a blog for any wife, mother, or sister who is looking for Biblical encouragement and inspiration.
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