Early on in my marriage, my first mission as a wife was to change my husband.
I first wanted to make him love reading books, outside the books he reads for his work. I mean, think about it. I can’t live without reading books but I married a man who lives happily ever after without reading books. So, I set out to change him, to teach him how to fall asleep reading good spiritual books.
I read one good marriage book (I am not sure which one) and I told my husband how the author talked about husbands and how much he, my husband, could learn from the book to be a good spiritual husband. I told him a lot about the book and the author when we were about to sleep.
So, the next morning, I was 100% sure that he would ask me where I put the book.
Did he ask me?
Then I began to leave the book on his side table, opening the book on a section where the author talks about husbands.
Did he pick up the book and read it because he saw the word “HUSBANDS” on the page?
Then I learned the secret of 1 Peter 3:1-2. It says like this:
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. ” (1 Peter 3:1-2 ESV)
The above passage says that I, the wife, can influence my husband for a change without me saying a word to my husband but by allowing the word of God to work on me to change ME.
So, I changed the focus of my mission from “changing my husband” to “changing me” and I began to work on my mean and wrong attitudes and characters towards my husband, including all those wrong and disrespectful words that were coming out of my mouth.
Then I began asking my husband to help me to work on me. No manipulation, no nothing! Being honest with him and with myself, I set out to be a better wife according to the spiritual marriage book I was reading. Was my husband good at helping me to be a better wife by, for example, telling me the words and attitudes that were disrespectful to him?
Oh, you bet, he was!
Then he couldn’t resist the temptation to pick up the book that was changing his wife.
Did he read the book for himself?
Did my husband start to read spiritual books, other than the Bible?
You better believe it!
Did I change my husband?
The Holy Spirit did!
So, if you are a wife of one man, listen to me carefully:
You and I need to always remind ourselves these three important things: First, we are not in the marriage to change our husbands. Second, God will never help us to change our husbands since changing our husbands is the work of the Holy Spirit, and we ain’t the Holy Spirit, and as you may very well know, God never partners with anyone, especially with humans, to do His job. He does it alone. Third, the way of God is always right and brings forth results every time we follow it.
Guess what the Bible calls a wife who preaches to her husband and tries to teach and change her husband?
“A foolish” wife, the wife who “tears” her home/marriage down (Proverbs 14:1). Foolish people always think that it is foolishness to do life according to the word of God (Psalm 53:1; 1 Corinthians 1:18). So a foolish wife does what feels right to her or what she watches on a TV show or what she read on secular social media, not according to the word of God.
Ugh! We all have those foolishness tendencies, don’t we? Believe me, I still find myself, sometimes, struggling with these tendencies. May God help us all to believe in God and take God at His word, no matter what we feel. ///
P. S. One best book to read to learn more about 1 Peter 3:1-2 is: “Sacred Influence” by Gary Thomas (author of “Sacred Marriage”). You can find this book from amazon.