At any given time, I can act real nasty and critical toward my husband. I can snap at him and bite his head off with no problem. Quick-tempered? Um, yeah, unfortunately! Slow to speak? Not so much.
My tendencies to lash out at my husband can quickly snuff out our passion and love. And what wife wants a marriage void of passion and love? Not this one.
So, I’ve had to learn (and keep learning) to watch my words, after all, our words will either build others up or tear them down.
Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. James 3:2 (NLT)
The tongue is hard to tame and if I’m not careful it can cause an awful lot of damage to my marital relationship.
The same premise goes for my husband. He can easily act harsh towards me with his words.
All things related to Jerk-like status.
When my husband is acting less than loving, here are a couple of things I try to remember and do as a wife.
1. My husband is not a woman, therefore I can’t expect him to act like a woman.
God wired him differently. By nature, women are more tender than men. Therefore, a man will always seem a little harsher than a woman. Have realistic expectations for him. Remember, he’s not your girlfriend or your mama.
2. He’ll have the flesh-filled sin tendency to be harsh.
The Bible gives husbands a reminder to not be harsh (jerk-like is my paraphrase) to their wives.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Col. 3:19 (NIV)
Now, does my husband intentionally plan to be harsh towards me? No, I don’t believe he does. He’s for me and I’m for him. But we fall short as sinners, thus extending him grace might be what he needs. But if he is doing something that really bothers me, then I’ll confront him in love, not anger. Although I don’t always get this right because I’m lacking some self-control. 🙂 Because, yes, it is easier to lash back at him when he lashes out at me.
3. I have to let him know how to treat me.
I always find it best to do this after he’s been harsh, rather than tell him in the heat of the moment. Reminding myself to speak to him with a tender heart rather than a cold and angry one.
Here are a few things to say to your husband when the jerkzilla has decided to come out to play:
- Please don’t speak to me like that.
- Please don’t treat me like that.
- Please be kind to me.
When you see him making an effort to be more tender towards you, then thank him for considering your feelings. This little act shows him how to treat you in a loving and Christ-like way.
4. Confront him in love. Ask yourself if he’s just having a bad day. Did he decide to take his frustrations out on you? Obviously, if this is a pattern of his behavior, then you need to have more conversations with him and let him know what kind of treatment is acceptable and unacceptable to you. If he doesn’t listen to what you’ve said and he calls himself a Christ-follower, then you’ll need to apply the Matthew 18 Principle. Go read Matthew 18:15-17 and learn how to confront your brother in the Lord. This biblical principle is something you’ll need to learn and put into practice because you’re married to a sinner. And the flip side of this principle is that you’ll need to receive and embrace the admonishment when you offend him.
If he’s not a believer in Christ, then you’ll want to consider some counseling. If he won’t go and his treatment towards you is borderline emotional abuse, then I’d let him know that. Consider separating, but make sure you walk out this path with people in real life. If you’re in a situation like this, just know that an article on the web can’t give you enough counsel for your situation.
5. Examine your own heart.
If I’m continually rude, demanding, critical, disrespectful, and opposing him, then I should expect the by-product of my sinful actions and attitudes to cultivate a jerk-like response from him. Unless of course, I hold a double standard–he can’t treat me poorly but I can treat him poorly. If this is the case then I’m a hypocritical wife.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 NLT
Let’s do one more for good measure.
6. Act Christ-like.
Since I call myself a Christ-follower, I should act like one. When my husband acts like Jerkzilla because of his humanity, I should be gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. These actions and attitudes emulate Christ and they also cultivate a sweet relationship. And when the time comes that I act like Bridezilla, a pattern has been set of how I want my husband to treat me in my humanity.
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. Psalm 145:8
Live a poured out life for Christ,