I’m so thankful that many of you have read yesterday’s post. If you haven’t, here is the link:
Yesterday I tried to show you how powerful it is for us, wives, to focus on changing ourselves, our attitudes and characters towards our husbands, instead of trying to change them because it is impossible to change anybody but ourselves. (Yes, it works both ways, for husbands too.)
Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3 NABS)
When we point our fingers at others, three of our fingers point at us. Yes, it is futile to try to change anybody. Instead, we have to always strive to change ourselves by aligning our own lives with the word of God. When we do that, we won’t have interest or time to notice things that need to be changed or fixed in others.
Today, I want to show you the other side of the equation where wife’s influence on her husband cannot bring any change in her husband. Let me give you one simple example:
So, my Berhan (my husband) goes to bed late at night and wakes up late in the morning. Me, on the other hand, I go to bed early and wake up early in the morning. It doesn’t really matter whether it is weekend or weekday. Our sleep patterns are always the same and they are complete opposites. I get up between 4:30 and 5am. My hubby would not be able to tell you his name at that time if you were to ask him. He is in another world.
So, early on in my marriage, I said, “This has to change! We all have to get up early in the morning so we can go to bed early, like 8:30pm or so.”
This decision on my part sounded perfect to me, but for my husband, it sounded like a death sentence. I didn’t know why. So, I labeled him like, “A very careless person for life!”
Can you imagine? That is crazy! Thank you my Love for forgiving me for that!
Then I learned that we all humans have what is called “natural bent” which can be completely different from one another and our unique natural bent should be celebrated not criticized and attacked.
God also taught me about this verse: “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7 NASB)
Hmm! Think about it. We are deeply in love with Jesus not only because He loved us but because He mainly accepted us as we are. There is no love without acceptance and there is no powerful way of expressing our love to others as accepting them as they are. Love cannot flourish without acceptance. And when acceptance flourishes in our home, joy, peace and rest follow suit.
Just imagine coming to a house where you are unreservedly accepted, cherished and celebrated! Wow! It feels really good, doesn’t it? Acceptance itself says, “You are amazing the way you are and I love you deeply!”
If not, the opposite is true. It is hard to come to a house where we are constantly criticized for who we are and told to make changes including our natural bent, basic wiring that we can do nothing about.
Yes, when I accept my husband’s sleep pattern as it is, I start to love seeing him sleeping in the morning (I used to get irritated). I actually start to leave the bedroom and go downstairs at 5 in the morning without making any noise so he will enjoy his sleep.
Then I learned that some people are “night owls” by nature or nurture and some people like me are “early birds”. In our home, two of our kids are like my husband and one of them is like me: Three night owls and two early birds!
So, even though what I said yesterday is true, it is good to aslo remember this side of the equation, where it is impossible for a person to make any change because of their basic natural brain and body makeup or wiring caused by nature or nurture.
“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7 NASB)
When we start to accept our spouses as Christ accepted us for the glory of God, we glorify God in our marriages. I mean, as followers of Jesus Christ, what more do we want from this life except glorifying our God! As John Piper and Jonathan Edwards usually say, the glory of God and our joy are two faces of the same coin. They are inseparable. So, in a way, we’re working for our joy when we strive to truly accept our spouses as they are, without any murmuring, complaining and whining (Philippians 2:14).
Yes, we wives can influence our husbands in a good way according to 1 Peter 3:1-2 for them to make changes in their lives, however, there are areas of life where we have to strive to accept them as they are so we become happy campers for life as God is glorified and our joy is multiplied.
Do I make any sense here or do I confuse you? Let me know either way.
By the way, I want you to make note of this: “Accepting our spouses as they are” doesn’t mean that we accept their sinful, negative and self-destructive behaviors, such as a husband physically abusing his wife and his wife accepting his abuse as it is. If she accepts this, she will be an “Enabler,” a person who accepts and encourages sinful behaviors.
Abuse of any sort, mental abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, should not be accepted in any condition and situation. No one deserves to receive abuse from anybody! No verse in the Bible encourages a person to abuse others, including his/her spouse. ///
P. S. Good book to read on this specific topic is: “Cherished” by Gary Thomas, you can find this book on amazon. And of course, acceptance also works both ways.